The Sith revenge (but the patriarchy is safe)

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10 comments posted
Star Wars and the patriarchy

I wish I could dig up the link for you, but I found a blogger who poked around the Sith script and found some interesting bits, including scenes that revealed Amidala, Bail Organa, and Mon Mothma were the "name" leaders in a secret group that was going to oppose the Chancellor's accretion of emergency powers to himself.

Would those scenes change your patriarchy-centered opening analysis of the movie if they were included?

Additionally, I note that in your comments about the original trilogy, you don't mention the (admittedly background) role of Mon Mothma as leader of the Rebel Alliance. Any thoughts there?

--|PW|--

pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit (not verified) on 23 May 2005 - 3:25pm
Mon Mothma

I confess I do not know who that is. I recall an old guy who planned the military stuff in the original trilogy. But it's interesting to me that even today, in this day and age of portrayals of worlds a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, women are mostly absent from the story. Lucas is a boy who likes his toys after all.

In contrast, Battlestar Galactica offers a civilization where a woman is president, the hottest pilot is a woman, the most sympathetic cylon is a woman, much of the crew are women -- and yet the men are not emasculated fully grown dorks like many of the men in Star Trek: The Prozac Generation. Here we are, ten years after Janeway, nearly 30 years after Leia, and we get an expectant mother who's a politician who does no politics, instead worries about her man. Now that, in and of itself, isn't bad, but in the absence of any other female characters of note anywhere else in the movie, it's a rather backward view of society, if you ask me.

Of course, it was "a long, long time ago." Maybe that also explains the ethnic stereotypes in we see in the second trilogy.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 23 May 2005 - 3:49pm
Battlestarwars

It is interesting, as you say, that Lucas is mired in the fairy-tale archetypes, as others have remarked. Interestingly, other writers who play in his universe have done a bit more with the women of the Star Wars universe. If you have an appetite for Star Wars books and comics, you might find the women of those stories a bit more palatable than Amidala.

I particularly disliked Amidala's death -- she apparently died because she couldn't live without Anakin's love. I would think that a former queen who once stormed her palace at the head of her guards in Phantom Menace would be made of sterner stuff.

From the standpoint of her character, dying in childbirth might have been more palatable. From the standpoint of story, having Anakin directly, actively responsible for her death would have been desirable, as the theme of his own actions causing the future he feared would have been more strongly reinforced.

Here we are, ten years after Janeway, nearly 30 years after Leia, and we get an expectant mother who's a politician who does no politics, instead worries about her man. Now that, in and of itself, isn't bad, but in the absence of any other female characters of note anywhere else in the movie, it's a rather backward view of society, if you ask me.

I had to chuckle at this. I would think to being married to Anakin is a bit like being the daughter of Endora in Bewitched. I figure that having a mother-in-law who could turn him into a billy goat with a thought made him twitchy after a while.

Ona more serious note, I wasn't sorry to see Everybody Loves Raymond go. I can't say that I care for sitcoms that make all men into pathetic, clueless schlubs. Over time, I find that I prefer entertainment that develops characters of both genders as the flawed human beings that they are.

--|PW|--

pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit (not verified) on 23 May 2005 - 4:44pm
I confess

I managed to get through without ever seeing an entire episode. I always got bored, never interested to wade through 3-5 minutes of commercials.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 23 May 2005 - 5:01pm
Which witch is which?

Which didn't you watch? Bewitched or Raymond?

My girlfriend, for some reason, loves Raymond. Couldn't stand the show myself.

--|PW|--

pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit (not verified) on 23 May 2005 - 5:09pm
I am Samantha

Don't make me twitch my nose now!

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 23 May 2005 - 8:37pm
Oh, great ...

... Now, I'm going to have to break out my Golden Dawn Tarot deck and see if I can remember a good protection ritual.

--|PW|--

pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit (not verified) on 23 May 2005 - 11:18pm
Lucas letdown

I didn't see this film, and I don't plan on it. I was a lifelong StarWars fan, and to this day, can probably detail most of the comics, all of the books (to 1999) and give you advice on pricing your action figures. But after AOTC, I gave up and realized Lucas was leading the pack when it comes to writers who either don't care to make interesting female characters, or don't realize that it's very, very simple to make them: write male characters, change pronouns. People really aren't that different.

I find the idea that Padme died for love of Anakin appalling. Very, very disappointing. I'm happy for those of you who enjoyed it, and I'm sure it had good points, but all I can think is I'm glad I just plain quit this fandom two years ago and have never looked back. Which is sad, really.

BetaCandy's picture
Posted by BetaCandy on 24 May 2005 - 9:02am
Nice breakdown -

I haven't even seen episode II yet, but I like Amidala in the first one. I'm looking forward to Sith, but it does sound like George let the girls down.

I watched a documentary recently about the Science of Star Wars and they pushed the connection between the Jedi and Shaolin Priests. Frankly, The Force is more a Wiccan concept, which would have made the conflict a little less predictable. Buddhism divides things into light and dark, yin and yang, which is what made Anakin's slide possible. A truly holistic view of The Force would have naturally had women playing a larger part, and would have made Anakin's choice more believable and more tragic, IMO.

Lucas relied very heavily on Joseph Campbell's views of mythology for these stories, which are heavily patriarchal in form. I wish he had gone a good deal farther back.

Morgaine-ism© #8

"A Woman's Sexual and Reproductive Autonomy is Sacred and Absolute."

Morgaine Swann's picture
Posted by Morgaine Swann on 23 May 2005 - 8:00pm
Back to the Empire Strikes

One of the best lines in film history and the core of this cautionary tale:

"This is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause."

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 24 May 2005 - 11:27am