Thinking of how images and narratives shape and are shaped by history.

I suppose this post is for Star Wars addicts like me.

The Original Trilogy had it all. Especially the ramifications of asymmetrical warfare and violence. A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi gave us three scenes to ponder.

No videos (though YouTube has been pretty quick to pull Star Wars stuff anyway). It’s better to imagine this, and the true addicts have the scenes memorized anyway.

The Death Star’s treatment of Alderaan in Episode IV is thoroughly modern. Ultimate power in the universe meet weaponless planet. In premodern times, the gods brought the disproportionate violence (through natural and/or human intermediaries [i.e. The Force]). Modernity: majoring in human asymmetrical warfare since 1492.

Rethink the convo btw Vader and ya boy in A New Hope…

Ya boy (Modern): “This station is the ultimate power in the universe. I suggest we use it.”

Big Pimpin’ Vader (Premodern): “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The Ability to destroy a planet is insignificant, next to the power of the Force.”

Ya Boy (Modern): “Spare us your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader…”

Ya Boy gets Force Choked

Vader (Premodern): “I find your lack of faith, disturbing…”

The Emperor, for his part, is thoroughly postmodern and utilizes both premodern and modern asymmetrical violence to gain and maintain power. In Return of the Jedi, the emperor represents a plurality of power.

First he tells Luke: “Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!” and proceeds to light up a few rebel ships with the Death Star beam from hell. (I’m thinking hell in the Star Wars cosmos is a mix between Tatooine and the salt mines of Kessel.)

Moments later the Emperor comes with one of the coldest lines ever as he takes a brief hiatus from turning Luke into a Jedi lightning-rod: “Now, young Skywalker… You will die…”

And for those who find themselves on the underside of all this asymmetry… An asymmetry that can make you dissolve longstanding relationships just so you can survive… Empire Strikes Back has you covered.

“This deal is getting worse all the time…”

Interesting that Lando was the one who said that to a representative of the Empire.

Didn’t MLK wonder if black folk were integrating into a burning building?

Cinema can tell you more than you wanted to know.

May ears hear, hearts feel, and minds think.

Faith, Hope, and Love

© 2015 M. J. Sales

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