Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Star Wars: The Great Myth, Second Edition

        As requested, here's my second edition of Star Wars: The Great Myth.
Let's begin, shall we.

Samurai Jack and Jedi Joe: 

Star Wars  would be nothing without the Jedi; this fictional Order's origins lay in both the Samurai and the Knights Templar.
The Knights Templar, or the Poor Knights of Christ, played a major role in the Crusades (much like the Jedi in the Clone Wars). And their Code is similar to the Jedi's in some ways.
And the standard dress for the Jedi is mostly influenced by Japanese robes.

Also; the lightsaber fighting styles seen in the OT were based off of Kendo, meaning "Way of the Sword". Many fans will recognize this as "lightsaber tapping" as seen in Obi-Wan's final duel with Darth Vader on the Death Star.

Sterling Submachine gun.
"Grease those Rebels!":

 The droid E-5 blasters share characteristics with the M-3 submachine gun, also called the "Grease Gun" and "The Greaser". It was used by American soldiers in World War II. This 45 caliber weapon was made to offset the cost of the more expensive Thomson submachine gun commonly referred to as the "Tommy Gun".

M-3 submachine gun.
The classic E-11 blaster used by stormtroopers in the OT is based off of the British Sterling submachine gun. The British General Staff began using this weapon in 1944.

Use the Force: 

The idea of a binding energy has been in Japan for centuries, and it is the basis for all there marshal arts. In fact, many of the Jedi ideals have their roots in ancient Japanese legend.
Modern research is showing that every living thing emits an unseen energy. And even emotions could be considered "energies".


That's all folks. If you have any suggestions for other Star Wars parallels that you'd like to see you can post them on my Facebook page.   Until next time my the Force be with you!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Star Wars: The Great Myth

         The Star Wars Saga is everywhere, and it's become integrated into our culture. It is, quiet simply, a modern myth; just like the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths of old.
George Lucas has based many of his concepts off of ancient and well rooted ideas that have become a part of our being.
 Luke's hero's journey is the most well know of these. And his father's spiritual decay and submission to the dark side carries undertones of ancient myths.

You reap what you sow; Lucas sowed his inspiration from myths and legends, thus creating one himself.

So without further ado let me show you some examples of how Lucas based his legendary Saga off of ancient myths.

The Chosen One: 

As I mentioned briefly in a previous post Anakin is similar to David from the Bible. And really the similarities run very deep. David was the king of Israel chosen by God, while Anakin was the Chosen One said to bring balance to the Force.

David and Goliath  
Anakin might also be compared to Jesus Christ. And Shmi, his mother, to his mother Marry. Both were virgins.

I might also add that Anakin in Sanskrit (Asian) means warrior, a fitting title considering his role in the Clone Wars. It may have also been derived from Anakim a race of giants found in the Old Testament of the Bible. For a more in depth look at the origin of this classic character's name read Wookieepedia.  

One very notable difference between Anakin and his biblical counterpart is this: David ruled his kingdom in peace and ended all the wars, leaving virtually no fighting for his future heir. As opposed to Anakin who seemed to live off the energies of war.

A friend of mine interpreted the ancient prophecy of the Chosen One in a very interesting way; he said that Anakin did in fact bring balance to the Force when he massacred the Jedi in ROTS. Because once the Jedi were extinct there were no longer any opposing ideas, or ideals, about how the Force worked, so there was a kind of balance you might say.

Lightsabers and Lightning:

 "An elegant weapon for a more civilized age." Is how the aged Jedi Master Obi-Wan described the lightsaber to young Luke in A New Hope. This classic weapon ,unique to Star Wars, could be based off god the Greek god Zeus's favorite weapon; the lightning bolt.

Zeus supposedly fought his children in many epic duels with this weapon.

I also find the lightsaber comparable to the Japanese katana used by the ancient Samurai. Both weapons can cut through almost everything with exceptional ease, both were handcrafted, and both were used by skilled swordsmen of legendary Orders.

Roger, roger:  

The Separatist Droid Army may have its bases in the Immortals; the infantry force for the Persian Empire. These men used shields and spears and wore armor no thicker then a playing card.
The concept was to continually throw these men at the enemy, every time one fell two more took his place. This was kept up until the enemy was tired out and could no longer fight.

We see this same strategy used during the Clone Wars, but with
droids rather then men.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Future that Never Was

The pungent smell of sulfur filled his nose; blood, sweat, tears, and pain stung his eyes; his mind became a jumble and he couldn't concentrate, he was angry, angry at everything. He looked up and saw the figure of Obi-Wan standing over him, then he realized he was laying on his stomach on a bed of hard volcanic rock.
He reached out, only to come to the realization that he had no arms or legs, only a  robotic hand.
"You were the Chosen One." The Jedi said to him, conviction filled his voice. "You were supposed to destroy the Sith, not join them." he continued; "You were my brother Anakin." With that he bent down and picked up his former comrade's lightsaber. Fire and rage consumed Anakin there as he cried out in agony.

Suddenly he breathed, and sat up. The scars from the fire were gone, it was just a dream. He stood and looked around. Birds sang their songs outside in the lush foliage. He was in a large room, a great window filtered in dazzling sunlight from the outside. Perplexed, he looked out it to see a large lake shining in the sun like a thousand finely polished diamonds, and lush green hills rose around the lake. Is this real? He asked himself; the answer like a shadow in his mind.
He placed his hands on the masonry of the window-sill, it seemed real enough.
"Honey, are you ok?" came the song of a voice behind him, he turned. It was Padm`e, and her face shone like a young star.
He embraced her, the events of his nightmare were still so real and fresh in his mind, he wanted to apologize to her; but her face said it was unneeded. Besides, what had he really done?

"The children are waiting for you." She said.
"Children?" He echoed.
"Yes, Luke and Leia. They're waiting for you. You promised to spend some time with them today."
"I--I did?" He said taken aback.
He placed a hand on his forehead.
"Are you alright?" she asked with a note of concern.
"I'm fine." was his reply.

With that he left the room, which was a bedroom. He came to a larger family-room. There, two small children, a boy and a girl, sat playing on the floor. Both looked about twelve years old.

"Aren't they beautiful." Padm`e said coming up behind him.
He turned and met her face once again, this was perfect, almost to perfect.

He looked again, the children seemed further away then before; maybe it way just his eyes. then he looked to his wife, she to seemed to be fading.
Suddenly his eyes burnt with fire, and a rage consumed him. The lakeside house, Padm`e, the children all vanished into total darkness. He was alone.

And then he remembered, remembered what he wanted to forget, Padm`e's agonized face as he assaulted her with the Force. Remembered the innocent younglings, who'd  never done anything to offend him, remembered the cries of all those he slew.
As quickly as it had begun there was suddenly silence. He breathed heavily, and then from all around him came a foreboding respiratory-assisted breathing.

Darth Vader awoke from his deep sleep and his arms and legs were numb as always. He sat there in the silence alone with his thoughts. What have I become?  He asked himself; the answer a shadow in his mind . . .

                                                          -THE END-

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Like a Father

The sound of the ship's seasoned thrusters was a comforting sound, its steady drone filled the Jedi's cabin as he sat on his small bed, deep in thought.
The Kel-Dor 's thoughts dwelled not on his destination, nor the expendable lives of his troops, and their sacrifice to the war effort. Instead they lingered on her, the one he was proud to call daughter.
Ahsoka Tano, a strong young fourteen year old Togruta Padawan, had become the focal point of his thoughts whenever he was alone.
He'd seen her grow over the years, in both strength and beauty; true, whenever he saw her a father's pride would well inside of him.

He thought of her know, and her safety.
He closed his goggled eyes and let his mind drift back to their first meeting.

He was back in the fields of Shili, her home-world, he could smell the grass and feel the wind on his face. Then, a sudden awareness of another Force-sensitive, and finally the discovery of the little girl.

He smiled under his breath-mask at the thought of her innocent face.

I wonder if he's thinking about me know? She thought as she laid on the hard bed in the center of her small cubical, it had become a puerperal prison with her Master away in some distant part of the Galaxy.
Know she laid there and gazed lazily at the ceiling, imagining it was invisible she drifted deep into thought.
She drifted back to her first thoughts; and all she could see was Plo's face looking back at her. True, many a Jedi could not determine the Jedi's mood via expression; it being hidden beneath his breath mask and goggles. She, however, was one of the few who knew which expression he wore.
Know he was smiling, she smiled back, no one saw her, alone with her thoughts.
A sense of gratitude welled inside her chest; if not for Master Plo where might she be now? She shuddered at the thought.
Father, Papa, Daddy. She'd never called him that out loud but it was how she felt about him in her heart. "Come home Daddy, come home." she whispered to herself.

I love you. He'd never told that to his Little-soka, but he wanted to, it felt awkward, was that wrong? Still he contemplated; did she know how much he loved her? It bothered him; such words were uncommon in the Temple. He reached out to the Force.

Ahsoka closed her eyes and let her spirit drift away. And it traveled past stars and through a nebula until it came to a star-ship, she went inside.
She could see though all the walls.
Plo felt his daughter's presence on the ship, and it was sweet and comforting.

I miss you so much. Plo heard, as much as felt, her say to him; he replied; I miss you to. 
For a moment they could almost see each other's faces.
The door hissed open.

"Sir."  came the voice of a clone officer dressed in standard gray uniform, the connection was gone. The crewman continued; "We've emerged from hyperspace sir, you're wanted on the bridge."
with that Plo rose to his feet, Duty calls. He thought as he left the small room behind . . . .

                                                   -THE END-

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Prequel Trilogy and the Original Trilogy: Why we Need them Both.

It is often disputed among us fans which of the two Trilogies is better. Some say the Prequel Trilogy (TPM, AOTC, and ROTS), and others say the Original Trilogy (ANH, ESB, and ROTJ).
In my opinion they're both great in their own sense. As I've mentioned in my last post, my favorite episodes are ROTS and ESB.

Think about this: If we didn't have the Prequels the Original Trilogy wouldn't exist, and vise versa. I am going to discuss both Trilogies, and what they contribute, and why they ultimately need each other.

The Prequel Trilogy: 

I really enjoyed this half of the Saga, especially TPM and AOTC, and believe it or not, I really enjoyed the bumbling Jar-Jar in Episode I.
It was only until I saw ROTS, and the end of AOTC, that I began to question Anakin and his loyally to the Jedi.
The things that are set in motion here in the Prequels plant the seeds for events in the Originals.
Two of the most touching scenes here where Anakin saying goodbye to his Mother as he leaves with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan for his new life in the Jedi Temple; and Padm`e's death.
The three intertwining tales told are, for the most part, are lighthearted and fun.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

This was the very first episode I saw, it introduced me to all the fantastic aliens and planets.
I've heard it said that this episode is like a fairy-tale. It is in a sense. If you think about it. Here we were introduced to Anakin in his purist form; untainted by pain or deceit.
TPM is a fun story, and a great start to the Saga.

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

If anything, AOTC is a sad love story. A little slow for my tastes but still epic.
Some of the best music came out of this episode, and it was all spectacular.
Shmi's unfortunate death was a very heart-felt moment, and a focal point in Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader. If scares had been healed here Anakin might not have fallen.
Aside from Anakin and his internal troubles the treat of a Droid Army gave this episode a nice feel of suspense. This episode was very character driven, and breath-taking. As in the last episode politics played a major role in this episode.

Clone Wars movie

While not strictly part of the Saga, I still feel it's worth mentioning. This is a very unique piece; in terms of story and characters.
Ahsoka's introduction I found very pleasing, and her role here, and in the proceeding series, is a very important one as far as I'm concerned.
There were several epic battle; and many duels between our heroes and Sidious's pawns, all were very well done.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Of all the episodes ROTS is by far one of the saddest and most dramatic episodes in the entire Saga. It has an engaging plot, intricate characters, internal and external conflicts; this is what makes a story not just good, but epic. Seeing, for the first time, the former Anakin ignite his lightsaber in the chamber with the younglings sent a chill down my spine. And to hear Palpatine's words; "Execute Order 66."  was a moment that wouldn't soon be forgotten.
The downward spiral of the plot has a certain gravity to it that cannot be replicated or copied; this is by far one of Lucas's best works ever.

The Original Trilogy:

The OT has a  certain "retro" feel about it that the Prequels don't have. But that's because they were made back in the 70s and 80s.
Fact: The Battle Star Galactica series started airing in 1978; exactly one year after A New Hope was released.  The series mimicked much of its special effects from Star Wars. Anyway.
I love the OT as much as the Prequels.

Episode IV: A New Hope

For many fans ANH was their introduction to the Star Wars universe. Obi-Wan (Ben's) famous line; "That's no moon." comes to mind whenever it is mentioned. This is classic Star Wars. In its day I'm sure, and still today, this episode is a jewel.

Episode V: (The) Empire Strikes Back 

The Hoth battle, Luke's duel with Vader in Bespin's Cloud City; and that classic line: "No Luke, I am you Father." are all in this episode. Here, in my opinion, we see Luke, Leia, Han, and Chiewe at their best. ESB, for me, stands toe-to-toe with ROTS in terms of drama, action, plot, and characters.
There is a slow building of tension that starts once the Imperial spy probe lands on Hoth, and doesn't dissipate until the very end.

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

The Battle over Endor, Ewoks vs.stormtroopers, ech. As with ESB tension is built up in this episode until the very end. And any seasoned fan will say; "It's a trap!!" along with Ackbar. Here the final redemption of Vader plays out along with Emperor Palpatine's first demise (yes you heard me right).
In all this was an epic conclusion to the Saga.