Saturday, November 13, 2004

The political history of Star Wars 

Oxblog reports that the trailer for Episode III is out. Of course, the entire TigerHawk family knew this before reading Oxblog this morning, because we went to see The Incredibles last night -- the most entertaining animated flick in an age, by the way -- and saw the trailer there.

In any case, David Adesnik tackles the chronology gap between Episode III and what we now call "Episode IV," but which back in the day was known simply as Star Wars. The gap:
[T]hat in the interval between Episodes III and IV, which is clearly less than thirty years, the entire known universe has forgotten about the Jedi so much so that they believe the Force to be a myth. However, the trailer for Episode III includes the famous speech from Episode I in which Obi-Wan describes how Darth Vader, his pupil, hunted down and murdered all of the Jedi, thus ensuring that they -- and the force -- would be forgotten.

Hmmm. There's more.
Now, you might say that Ben is hundreds of years old, which is why he alone remembers the Jedi. But that would mean that Vader himself is also hundreds of years old and the two of them are the only ones who remember the Jedi and believe in the force. (This scenario gets more complicated when we learn about the Emperor's background in Episode III, because he clearly remembers the Jedi, too.)

As a student of both politics and history, Adesnik thinks these explanations do not wash. Wouldn't Vader run around bragging on whacking the Jedi, if only to enhance his reputation? The historian in Adesnik wonders how such a technologically advanced society could "forget" such a fundamental part of its past.
Face it: Vader clearly has a hard enough time preventing R2-D2 from shuffling around with records belonging to the Rebel Alliance. What are the chances he could get rid of everything else?



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