Posts Tagged george lucas

Why I Hate Star Wars

jack black

Maybe “hate” is too strong a word here. Maybe “strongly dislike” would be more appropriate. Or “highly annoyed by it”  Whatever it is, I am likely one of the few who think it is highly overrated and just plain dumb.

For the record, I am a sci-fi fan through and through. There is nothing I love more than science fiction but Star Wars never truly struck me as one to begin with. In fact, if you think about it, it is really not sci-fi, more like a fairy tale set in space with some flashy, glitzy technology that is never explored beyond its optics.  I mean sure, they use technology, but the stories do not revolve around the effects that these technologies have on these ,what I am thinking are, humans (they never really say – are they humans? ). Therefore, for all intent and purposes, light sabers and hyperdives may as well be Excalibur and chariots.

See, science fiction is a “what if” story or scenario whereby the effects of a technology or various technologies that currently do not exist are explored. Like, “what would the world look like if we could travel at the speed of light?” or “if we could teleport from one location to an other within seconds”  or “replicate matter from energy in fancy little ‘replicators’ “. Thus, it is “fiction” that revolves around “science.”

But none of that is present in Star Wars. The light saber is just this fancy looking laser sword that looks really cool and has a special appeal when you are a 9 year old. But we do not know more about it really or how it affects the people and societies in it.  Same thing with their hyperdrives. We dont know what it is, how it affects them, how it works, how it has affected the various worlds in their system. It is just a means to an end. In this case, traveling through space and Chewy just beating up on it every now and then when it needs repairing.

In fact, the only aspect of the story which drives the tale as a whole is the Force, which is just this magical, supernatural element that  defines their universe,  not a technological one (even with the unbelievably hackneyed addition of “midichlorians” to the mix). You’re born with it or you aren’t and unlike a technology,  you can’t pick it up as you go or refine it or improve or it or learn it. And whether  you have it or not is not based on having had the smarts to build it or know-how on how to acquire it, but just a result of sheer dumb luck.

How exciting is that?

I find Sci-Fi more engaging than Fantasy because it is more relateable.  I’ll very likely never ride a dragon, nor rescue a princess or be a chosen one. But I use technology all the time, and I’ve personally witnessed “what if” scenarios with respect to changing technologies and their effects on humanity.

Star Wars also does not have any real people in it, more like archetypes. It had one real person in it. Han Solo. Everyone else was a guru, a princess, a chosen one, a villainy villain, or a wooly mammoth. Most of its “characters” do not have a story arc or motivations which grew and shifted over time, or even realistic interests  and a satisfying growth. They are just not real, well-rounded characters or persons.  Instead they are these one-note clichees that got destinies. They are archetypes. They aren’t real people with flaws, hopes, dreams, setbacks, and strengths. I’ve never been a chosen one, or a mysitcal monk, or a giant furry mercenary. It just does not hold any interest for me.

Star Wars is devoid of intellect. It is like a steady diet of dessert but eventually you’ll long for some meat and potatoes. For something with more substance. It is for kids and adolescent boys, really. It is like walking into a candy shop – all nauseatingly saccharine and just frosting and nutritionally deficient crap.  It isn’t even really nerdy because at least that implies something of intellectual value worthy of dissecting. Fantasy is not nerdy, that would be Star Trek, which I am a huge fan of.

As a kid I loved Star Wars (the operative word here being  kid) because it satisfied my limited intellect at that age. But as an adult, the same old tired and recycled “good vs evil” and “magical force” story elements do not hold any interest for me and just strike me as dumb.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Atheist FAQ: What if There Is a Heaven and Hell?

heaven and hell 2

The idea of infinite torture for any trespass on earth just does not seem very wise, benevolent and god like to me (if one were to, in fact, imagine god to be an inherently good god as there is the possibility that there may be a god or gods who are not inherently benevolent. It is interesting to note that most people  if not all, start from the assumption that this god or whatever it is that is the higher power allegedly is automatically a benevolent god. But that is another discussion).

The idea of heaven – as imagined and depicted in Christianity, for example, does not seem very appealing. Flying around without a corporeal body sitting on fluffy clouds with milk and honey flowing around for eternity is just not appealing. Any version of it, including all the dead waking up, is not appealing. Not to me.

Existing in absolute bliss with everyone for eternity is also not enticing  In fact, anything that involves eternal anything without parole or a way out seems more like hell – metaphorically speaking – than a blissful paradise.

In that case, being in heaven seems like some kind of an endpoint from which there is no escape because once you land in heaven, you’ll be there forever.

Taking away someone’s choice and with it autonomy is just about the worst thing that can happen to anyone as it is just another form of control, in which case, then, heaven becomes nothing but a gilded cage.

Most importantly, however, the concept of a paradise – as pertaining to human existence – seems unreal.  The good cannot exist without the bad. In fact, goodness or heaven or bliss do not make much sense without their counterparts. In paradise, there is no passion, no drive, no ambition, no hope, no imagination, no creativity…because those things are born not out of paradise but out of the growing pains of existence. There is no passion, hope or imagination in paradise  because  there doesn’t have to be. All is good – there is no reason to invoke anything else or strive for anything else. It is like having everything in life and nothing left to hope for or strive for. That seems like a pretty boring, if not torturous, existence to me.

Not that i wish for evil to happen but human existence or existence itself is tragic. Death and the end of all things conditioned (at least by what we understand as existence to mean) play a powerful role in that. Imagine how fundamentally different our existence would be if there was no death.

Furthermore, the concept of heaven and earth – much like good and evil, light and dark seems too simplistic. Like Star Wars, where everyone – with the exception of Han Solo. was an archetype: a guru, a princess, a chosen one, an evil emperor, or a woolly mammoth.

Real people have a story arc, a motivation which grows and shifts over time, realistic interests and ambitions, a satisfying or dissatisfying growth and so on. Real people have Real flaws, hopes, dreams, setbacks, and strengths. People in a perfect heaven don’t. And that is boring, bordering at mythical. To be clear, I love Star Wars,  but it is fantasy. Life is not fantasy.

final star wars

The concept of heaven and earth, therefore, is very childlike and simplistic where things are – through and through  – expressed in very simple, child-like terms: good guy versus bad guy, light versus dark…heaven and cotton candy and bliss versus the dark underground, fire and burning in hell. It is just too easy.

Real life doesn’t work that way because real life and real people are more complex. I would hate to spend eternity where things did, in fact, worked that way. Again, imagine if life was as paradise is depicted: we wouldn’t have great literature and paintings, sonatas and monuments born out of discontent, tragic and the yearning for all things passed.

Eternal bliss is one of things people always dream of or think they want, but if you really think about it, it is just boring. It doesn’t feed the soul or imagination.

Finally, when it comes to the question of a rewarding heaven and a torturous hell, one has to ask what sadistic being creates humans one way, sets the rules at the exact opposite and then waits for them to break it so that they then can be punished for fucking eternity? Who is this excellent decision maker and why should anyone sign up? I don’t want to honor someone like that, no one should. That is just fucked up.

heaven and hell 4

If god is beyond all petty earthly human things, then why does he have an ego the size of cathedrals? Why be petty? Why punish someone for the sole reason of inflicting pain as opposed to punishment in order to teach a lesson? Why does he want to be worshiped, honored, loved in the first place?

Allegiance under blackmail and fear is not love. And that is what heaven and hell really tell you: do this or that or else…it’s like kissing your boss’s ass because you are afraid of him or obeying your parents because disobedience would land you in the basement forever.

Bottom Line: the existence of heaven and hell, other than the heaven and hell we create for ourselves,  is logically flawed and for an atheist just as plausible as the existence of the Easter bunny, Santi Clause, the Loch Ness monster or pink flying saucers orbiting Earth,

, , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Comments