The Star Wars franchise may be the greatest in the history of film but to say there are no flaws is like saying Mace Windu looked out of place in the Jedi Counsel. I grew up on each movie and passed that history over to my own kids but what you saw when you were little, may not be the same as you got older. There are scenes, lines and moments that were just that when I was younger but now I’ve come to realize how far ahead of his time George Lucas was with his screenwriting skills. I have no idea what he went through as a kid but the movie is POWERFUL in more ways than most fans will ever understand.
It all begins with a simple question:
” Obie Wan never told you what happened to your father“.
Might just be the most famous question in movie history. Simple words, yet powerful at the same time.
I love Star Wars, all seven movies but after watching “The Force Awakens” it began to sink in, there’s a real problem in a galaxy far far away.
Whatever happened to family?
To start off we find that Luke Skywalker is the evil Darth Vader’s son. To make matters more complicated, they never knew each other and now Luke is told in order for the galaxy to be saved he must meet his dad for the first time, then kill him.
Damn, what a way to extend an olive branch to a blood stranger. On Vader’s side of the coin he has no desire to kill his son, instead he wants him to join the Dark Side and learn how to use the force from the Emperor.
Oh wait it gets better. “There is another” according to Master Yoda.
We later find out that the galaxy has a crush on a beautiful woman name Princess Leia, who in turn is Luke’s twin sister, that somehow the rest of the galaxy never noticed they look-alike or share any similarities throughout 2.5 scenes of the first three movies. I know they’re not on earth and I have no idea what curriculum they are on but people who can move objects with their minds totally missed that one.
Never mind the strange kiss they shared and the huge grin Luke had but hey, who am I to judge what aliens do or don’t consider incest.
As a man who grew up without his dad I get the anger part but murder for the good of the galaxy– that’s a bit much. I can see us going toe-to-toe at my high school graduation or some bar that we just happened to bump into one another but what Lucas wanted Luke to do was premeditated murder. It’s one thing to see him and get into an argument, but it’s another to fly around the galaxy with a deadly weapon (lightsaber), when both of you have the ability to choke each other out without putting a hand on one another. Go figure.
In A New Hope Luke was encouraged by Yoda but still had second thoughts on killing his dad. In Empire Strikes Back Luke figured he could change his father but Vader wasn’t up for the discussion and calmly put an old school ass whopping on Luke by cutting off his hand.
Take that youngster.
In Return of the Jedi, Luke was full-blown in ass kicking mode. Dressed in black like his dad, new lightsaber and the force was now running strongly thru his veins (this is why Return of the Jedi was by far the best of the series). Everything, all emotions, deceit, truths and wisdom came to the forefront in this epic battle between father and son.
(This shot still gives me chills every time I see it)
That scene was the beginning of the end. Not of the movie but it was the end of all hope for a relationship. I know we are talking about a Sci-Fi movie but Star Wars was much deeper than spaceships, aliens and mind tricks. It was good vs evil, son vs dad and two people not wanting to give up on each other in the process.
That fight. I grew up without my dad so I can relate to this side of the movie more but when Vader mentioned Leia, Luke lost his mind.
But when Luke got the best of Vader in the end, here comes the Emperor trying to showboat. We knew what was coming next. Vader did a few double-takes and became the father Luke needed.
In the end what could’ve been a tragedy, not only for the characters but kids in real life turned into a triumph as Vader was killed, but not by the hands of his own child.
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The next installments of movies was betrayal at it’s finest. We got to see how Anakin became Vader but in the process of turning to the Darkside he turned his back on his Jedi family, notably Obi Wan Kenobi and wife, Padme. The Counsel warned him about falling in love but the hot-headed Skywalker disobeyed orders from his authority figures and set the wheels in motions for so much destruction and death.
The new series picks up where the first began, family values. Han Solo and Princess Leia had a child, and we later find out that he trained with his uncle, Luke, who in turn couldn’t save him from turning to the Dark Side as his father did. Solo leaves Leia because he can’t deal with the pressure of failing as a father thus causing strife in one of the best relationships we’ve seen on the big screen (if Han and Leia can’t make it, then we’re in trouble). Han confronts his son, who does something that Luke could not, he kills his father.
This was not to save the galaxy, that was a hate kill. Years of anger and pain, unlike Luke’s caused him to do the unthinkable. Why is something like that put into a family movie? Kids watch this, generations of kids will see this. I saw my first Star Wars movie when I was 6 or so and I didn’t get the meaning of it until I was older and able to understand the similarities of what I was dealing with in my life. I was mad at my father but killing him never crossed my mind. The studio must be mindful of the message they are sending the kids.
For 7 movies we’ve seen kids slaughtered, parents murdered, and animals abused due to either broken homes or anger issues. These are real life issues that have caused bullying and murders in society today but somehow a family and iconic movie like Star Wars has made their living off of these personal tragedies. I for one am still a fan and will continue to watch but I am old enough, and in the right frame of mind to understand the difference but others are not.
I applaud the change in lead characters to a female heroine and a African-American hero and what is sure to become a love story between the two citing the acceptance of inter-racial dating but the message of family values must be fixed.
May The Force Be With You…
P.S. What ever happened to Leia’s powers and why she was never given the chance to confront Vader?