Sunday, November 13, 2005

Letter to George Lucas

Dear George Lucas,
While watching your film Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith in my comparative philosophy and religion class I came to many new and different conclusions. I watched this film with a new perspective on it. When I had first watched Episode Three the first day it was out in the theatres I picked up on some of the obvious social and political parallels with our modern world, but I was really more excited by the fact that another Star Wars film was coming out and I was watching it. Watching it a second time around after reading The Republic of Plato and really paying attention to the subtleties of the film I picked up on many things. I wanted to know how you personally feel the political situation of the United States of America and The Republic of Plato influenced the film.
If you do not know it well, The Republic of Plato is basically the story of a singular argument of what is justice, the perfect city, and the ultimate destruction of the Republic/perfect city. In this Republic the guardians are men who are selected at a very young age and taken from their parents. They are trained in music, gymnastics, and geometry and are the protectors of the republic. In your story line the Jedi are selected at a very young age, taken from their parents and well educated, and they are the guardians of the Republic. It’s interesting to find such clear connections with such an ancient text.
Also, Chancellor Palpatine is the perfect example of the tyrannical man from The Republic of Plato. The tyrannical man is a man ruled by his lawless desires. These lawless desires draw men toward all sorts of ghastly, shameless, criminal things. Palpatine desires power no matter the consequences. He cares not for who must suffer and almost destroys a whole way of life when he removes the Jedi from the Republic. He uses corruption and lies to change the Republic into an empire and sees no wrong in his actions because “good is a point of view” after all.
Modern political tones definitely rang true to me at least in this film. I was amazed how this film could be seen as anything but a political commentary on current U.S policy. The entire take over by the empire is due to more executive powers granted in a time of war by an unknowing senate. Looking to the situation that we are faced with in our country I see the U.S. congress granting the administration more powers in a time of war through the patriot act. I see Vice President Dick Cheney asking for the CIA to be exempt from anti-torture legislation because we are at war. Lastly I see a harsh future, which revolves around the quote “as long as there is an enemy the fighting will continue.” Our country has been moving from country to country lately or evil doer to evil doer always fighting someone because weneed it in order for the administration to stay in power. Before the war President Bush’s approval rationg was falling and he was expected to be a one-term president. When at war his approving skyrocketed and led to his reelection and ret. General Grievous could be Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, or whoever is next on the list. As Anakin said, “your ether with me or you’re my enemy” just as President Bush stated in a recent State of the union, “your either with us or against us” and as we know only evil men or Sith deal in absolutes. I think Padme’s line “Maybe we have become what we most fear” is strangely prophetic of the future of our country. How can we fight around the globe for democracy while we limit and restrict it at home?
I would love to hear your views on my opinions and how you felt Episode Three: The Revenge of the Sith was influenced by this text and our modern world. Thank you for your time.
Sincerely, Travis Sky Larkin

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