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The Star Wars original trilogy?


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#1 Russell Lucas (unregistered)

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 03:12 PM

Believe me-- I love it. I even love Return of the Jedi. Absolutely indispensably formative in my youth. I pored over a book called "The Star Wars Album" for hours as a kid, so that when I saw the movie Freaks last year, a still from that movie in that book was immediately recalled in my mind.

Still-- on this list? Man.

Can't we have some sort of peremptory challenges?

#2 Doug C

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 06:05 PM

Russell, I only have one thing to say:

"Let go your conscious self and act on instinct."

If that isn't spiritual, what is???


#3 Ron Reed

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 06:52 PM

Well, speaking as one of the jury members who juried SW onto the list...

You may remember what a hard time I've given people who love these movies. They don't do it for me the way they do for lots of A&F-ists. Some of the things that inclined us to include the flicks;

1)
Clearly a strong favourite for lots of active participants in this board. And many of those fans would argue strongly for the value of the spiritual elements of the films. And as the list is really intended to be representative of this particular gathering of people, it was our one "well-it-wouldn't-be-my-choice-but-let's-do-it-for-them" selection.

2)
Historically, the Star Wars films were all the talk among Christians for several years there, comparable to the way LOTR or PASSION have been lately, or THE MATRIX a few years back. And that in an era when movies just weren't on the spiritual radar for most church folks. It could be argued that SW had a significant part to play in luring evangelicals to the movie theatres, and causing them to think of movies as something with which to engage theologically.

3)
For all my mockery, I remember actually feeling some resonance between the "spirituality" of Star Wars and my own faith. I haven't seen them for some time, and don't take them as seriously as many here, so I'd be hard pressed to say what that resonance was without seeing the flicks again, but I know it was there. Partly the sense that there was more going on than met the eye. Partly the sense that Luke and his buddies were part of a small, scraggly group of peripheral people who actually had hold of part of the truth - which is very much how I see myself and other of Jesus' followers - and who had some sort of hidden royalty, some "destiny" to fulfill - also an important theme for me, related to my fascination with calling/vocation, that is a big part of what similarly draws me to Lord Of The Rings.

4)
I'd be the first to say that even if the spirituality of SW isn't just goofy and superficial and bogus and mechanistic, it still isn't Christian. But that's not an objection when we're talking about TOKYO STORY (or plenty of other of our selections), so I can't see it being a deciding factor for SW either.

5)
The Force made me do it.

So. That's some of the thinking that went into putting Star Wars into the mix. When all's said and done, I think it's just another nice flavour to throw into the pot. Something in me gets a kick out of seeing STAR WARS right there between STEVIE and STALKER. Heh heh heh...



#4 Russell Lucas (unregistered)

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 02:05 PM

There are fantastic characterizations and vivid portrayals of heroism all around, but the "spirituality" in the films is just dime-store New Age stuff, which itself is Buddhism for Dummies. The sacrificial deaths of Kenobi and Vader are pleasant resonances to Christ-like sacrifice, but apart from an equation of "balancing the force" with "bringing peace and justice to the galaxy," those deaths are aids in winning physical battles more than anything. Yes, there are great echoes to the Hero's Journey and unparalleled combinations and conflations of a variety of film genres and storytelling modes (rivalled only among recent American films by Tarantino's latest opus). But the "spiritual" aspect-- the part of film or art that tells us of the transcendent, the reality behind the concerns of this world-- is such a soft whisper, drowned out by the shriek of TIE Fighters.



#5 Ron Reed

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 03:05 PM

QUOTE (Russell Lucas @ May 7 2004, 11:04 AM)
... Buddhism for Dummies...



laugh.gif