Good guys finish last?

Monday, 28 April, 2003

Star Wars Episode Three. With a mere two years until its 2005 release let’s start the hype early.

Let’s start with a mention of Clerks, which was released in 1994 though. How does “Clerks” relate to “Star Wars”? Those who saw it may recall the scene where some of the cast were discussing the somewhat questionable morals of the Rebel Alliance.

Consider how the Rebels destroyed the second Death Star (and even the first one) with absolutely no regard for the vast majority of its crew, who, as pointed out in “Clerks”, were mainly just “mums and dads” working as contractors, helping construct the station.

Sure they were working for an ignoble cause, but they were hardly henchmen of the evil regime. The Rebel Alliance should have taken control of the station, dealt with the leaders of the regime, and then, after evacuating the Death Star, destroyed it.

Instead they annihilated possibly tens of thousands of innocents, people whose interests the Rebels claimed to have at heart.

Jonathan V. Last writes an interesting article on the flaws of the Rebel’s overall strategy, or more accurately, lack of strategy. This article suggests the Empire’s true intent was simply to restore order to the galaxy after centuries of government corruption and decay.

Further, despite episodes of heavy handedness by some of its agents (Darth Vader, or Grand Moff Tarkin, for example), the rule of the Empire was hardly tyrannical, and life for the vast majority of its citizens continued largely uninterrupted.

For example here on Earth, we would barely notice the affect of being part of the Empire. The upper echelons of the regime most likely wouldn’t even know we existed, and the chances of a royal visit from the Emperor would be almost non existent. Indeed we’d probably be very lucky to even see our regional governor.

So far, as Last’s article suggests, from evidence presented in the movies, the Empire was relatively benign, and really only acted against those trying to undermine it, as with the Rebels, for instance.

Well it’s strange how things can change. Having followed the Star Wars website for a while now, I have noticed that a lot of the copy in relation to the activities of the Empire has subtlety changed.

It’s almost as if the creators of “Star Wars” have taken on board comments made in “Clerks”, by Last, plus others I’m sure, and have been quietly changing the story, rewriting history so to speak, and painting the Empire in a much darker hue than was originally the case.

Now the Empire appears to be oppressive and authoritarian. In the way that it was intended of course. Naturally this ruthless impression has not been conveyed very well by the movies so far.

Or maybe not. Perhaps it has also occurred to the creators of “Star Wars” that the good guys weren’t really all that great, and the bad guys were not, based on their actual ultimate intentions, all that bad. This type of situation doesn’t make for a much of a good triumphs over evil kind of story, does it?

I shall now be interested, therefore, to see how the Empire can further muddy its bad image in the upcoming “episode three” movie.

Also, the latest I’ve heard is that Chewbecca will be making a cameo appearance in this movie as well. How much better can it get?

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