Sunday, October 20, 2013

Star Wars Prequel, Darth Vader and Lee Kuan Yew

If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought, and no excuse, whether of security, should allow a government to be deterred from doing what it knows to be right, and what it must know to be right Lee Kuan Yew, Legislative Assembly Debates, April 27, 1955

If it is not totalitarian to arrest a man and detain him, when you cannot charge him with any offence against any written law – if that is not what we have always cried out against in Fascist states – then what is it?… If we are to survive as a free democracy, then we must be prepared, in principle, to concede to our enemies – even those who do not subscribe to our views – as much constitutional rights as you concede yourself.
Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Legislative Assembly Debates, Sept 21, 1955

Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love-it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they’re conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict.
Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition PAP member speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

Quotes thanks to

 I'm a big Star Wars fan. Or rather I used to be. I simply loved Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and ROTJ. Loved them. I watched Star Wars then Empire... totally blown away. I remember re-reading my ESB comic book like a million times. And then ROTJ came and I started to feel a bit of thaw in my love affair with the saga. I think the Ewok chorale symphony finale was just too saccharine.

When the Phantom Menace came out - it was like Jesus Christ 2nd coming. I watched the brilliant short tome video clips and it looked like it was going to be unbelievably great.

I wouldn't say i hated it straight off. The feeling sort of sunk in after I watched it. Its a bit like hearing rumors when you were a kid that the Santa Claus wasn't real etc.. Then suddenly the logic of it all hits you on the head. And you can't go back. Wow, it had amazing billion trillion dollar special effects, Natalie Portman was in it, Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor too, but... wow it really... sucked.

Let's cut to the chase: the prequels were badly written. They had an abysmal plot, dialogue, direction, characters. Awful. There was very little tension in the scenes. When Anakin finally went over the top and killed Jules Winfield, and the entire Jedi kindergarten class - there was very little drama. Compare those scenes to the death of Obi-wan, or when Luke gets his handcut off by Vader who also let's him in on a little family secret.

The prequels have to be essentially a big classical tragedy - on the scale of Shakespeare's Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and the classic Greek Tragedies - basically essentially good honorable people falling from grace and doing terrible things because of their essentially good or positive character. That is tragedy.

The prequels should have been about how the Senate was corrupt to its core, and how Civil Wars were flaring all over, genocides and religious terrorism were just proving too much for the Jedi to handle. Disorder is the law of the day.

Along comes Anakin, messanic, brass, bold, charismatic - he fixes everything - he becomes powerful - and eventually his love for his wife, peace and order prove to be his undoing.

That should have been the overdriving theme of Star Wars - and it was a story that should be told well. Lucas should have spent half of his multi-million dollar budget hiring better directors, writers, better writers, Neil Gaiman, etc.. to work on this. Instead because he's so egoistical and mega rich he took it upon his own hands to do it - and it was fucked. FUCKED. He absolutely forgot the effort that other collaborators - like his wife Marcia - had in making his original story great. If he had his way Greedo would have shot first. Han Solo would told Leia that he loved her too very much etc.. What's the point in becoming so rich - a movie tycoon - if it makes him the very person he is said to detest? He might have made billions of dollars from the Prequels but he basically shat on his own legacy. Seriously, wtf for?

Any how how does this have to do with LKY ?

LKY, Lucas - they seem the same. They both started out as idealists, dreaming of a better fairer world.

When I read LKY's early speeches - I believe he meant what he said. But then when he got into power - he changed his earlier positions. Its not being flaky. Its about power. And absolute power has a tendency to corrupt so the saying goes.

No doubt about it - LKY did a lot of good for Singapore. But to assume that he drew on a blank slate seems to be forgetting the effort that a lot of other people did as well Goh Chok Tong, Goh Keng Swee, etc.. even the good will of the Malaysian Govt back then who could have easily have placed a blockade or a high tax embargo on Singapore during its formative years.

LKY like Lucas had a lot of helping hands - how come we only remember one guy now? Its not helpful to our nation that we should be so driven to worship one leader.

Both of them had great ideas and were great creators. But then something happened and things started falling apart. Why?

Ego, pride, self-belief, a lack of humility....

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