Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lucas' New Testament

Although I write screenplays, I don't think I'm a very good writer.
George Lucas

Whaddaya mean "Greedo damn well shot first,"  everybody knows Han Solo shot first!

No...Lucas changed his story.  And Star Wars is his story.  If he wants to change it, then he can.  He sorta kinda regretted it later, even showing up in public once with a "Han Shot First" T-Shirt.  Lucas' motivation for having Greedo shoot first...wait a minnit.

Alla you have seen the original 3 Star Wars movies right?  The theatrical releases?  If you haven't then imagine in capital red letters in large font the words SPOILER WARNING flashing on and off for the remainder of this blog.

Now where were we...oh yeah.  Lucas wanted Han to shoot in self-defense, not to be the first one.  He wanted Han to be more heroic earlier in the movie.  Lucas isn't a very good writer, that is true.  He said so.  For example...Han Solo is on the run from Jabba the Hutt, owes him some money big time and is desperate to get a big job that will "really save his neck."  So where does Han Solo go to look for such a job?  Jabba the Hutt's home planet of Tattooine, naturally.  Heck, if I want a restful night's sleep, I always check into the Bates Motel, myself.  Perfect logic, that.

Of course it was "destiny."  The same destiny that allowed the best wizard in all of Middle Earth to just by coink-ee-dink be smoke-ring blowing pals with the very hobbit that found the One Ring.  Serendipity-do.

But what Lucas did in establishing in the original Star Wars that Han would shoot first was to let us know that Han is a scoundrel.  Han is a smuggler.  Now since the word "smuggler" is sorta close to the word "snuggler" which is of course a good thing, let me go right out and say it, or rather let the dictionary do it for me:

–verb (used with object)
to import or export (goods) secretly, in violation of the law, esp. without payment of legal duty.
to bring, take, put, etc., surreptitiously: She smuggled the gun into the jail inside a cake.
–verb (used without object)
to import, export, or convey goods surreptitiously or in violation of the law.
Han Solo was a criminal, engaged in illegal activity that would be illegal whether the Empire or the Old Republic were running the show.  In short, Han Solo was the Star Wars Universe equivalent of a Drug Mule.  He wasn't smuggling teddy bears to give to disadvantaged children on Kashyyyk (gesundheit).
This is why when Han Solo later sticks his neck out for somebody else, it is dramatic and a game-changer and he then becomes a more likable character, because he redeemed himself from being a no-account smuggler with a bad hair-cut who is only in it for the money.  Or as Lando called him, a pirate.  Sidenote here...if you "pirate" stuff online or elsewhere, that's being a thief.  So there.  But after Han Solo redeemed himself, he was able to go on to other roles like playing Jack Ryan and some homicidal archaeologist whose name escapes me right now.
So Han shooting first makes all the sense.  He's not a Caspar Milquetoast.  Lucas further redeems Han by creating a romantic relationship with Her Worshipfulness.  And who could blame him?  I mean that hairstyle and the conspicuous absence of underwear...I feel funny just picturing her.  Having Han and Leia hook up and, according to later canonical Star Wars fiction, make little Jedi Knights who could sneak into the cookie jar without using their hands, was a good decision, because it helps alleviate those rumors that Han and his walking carpet co-pilot sometimes got jiggy with it the cargo bay.  Such rumors dog Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to this day.  Take Lamont Cranston and his "friend and companion" the lovely Margo Lane...we all know they were doing the Shadow Shuffle in their spare time.

But I be digressin'.  So...Lucas changed it.  But yet, to the logical and reasonable among us, that seemed like a poor decision.  So the question is:  can a creator depart from his true faith?  Yep, you guessed it, this is where religion comes in.
Because if the original theatrical release of Star Wars where Han shot first is Lucas' Old Testament, then the later editions are the New Testament.  The last 3 "Star Wars" movies, which have as much in common with the original Holy Trilogy as Woody Allen has with Wilt Chamberlain, are the Apocrypha, and aren't considered canon, but are a heck of a read, just for the jaw dropping weirdness of them.
Now let's shift our attention to Yahweh.  A male god who rose from being a Semitic God of Sheepherding to being regarded by many people all over the planet as Teh One 'n' Only Livin' GAWD.  Assuming that the Old Testament is Yahweh's word and all the books of it are dictation that was taken down by all the various authors, and we assume the New Testament is also Yahweh's own memoirs, then...Yahweh changed his mind.
The question is...Did Han shoot first, I it "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" or is it Greedo shot first and Han turned his other cheek and ducked the shot (which would have probably just taken Han's eye out anyhow) I it "turn the other cheek" and "bless your enemies" and alla that?  Well, which is it?  Do you follow the New Testament, which is the Current Contract...or so you go back to the Old Testament?
The answer is much the same as with the Star Wars depends on what your preference is, and you make choices based on your prejudices and circumstances.  Which is of course silly, isn't it? I mean...where movies are concerned, we can do that, yeah?  But where your immortal soul is concerned, shouldn't you make sure that your focus is on the New Covenant?  Makes sense, right?
Except that is not how the game is played right now.  F'rinstance.  Jesus said to sell all you have and give it to the poor.  Now I'm not about to do that and I don't suggest you do it.  Jesus himself, when a woman used expensive ointment on Jesus, rebuked Judas when he protested by saying that you'll always have the poor.  (This is an example as why there are so many Xian denominations...whatever you want to do, hey, you'll find a scriptural reference to back it up.)  The early Xians practiced the redistribution of wealth as well, a concept which most Xians in Uhmurkah find as likable as Adult Bookstores.  So how come most Xians today are very interested in wealth, materialism and regularly say that it was the Lord's will they get a certain job, or have their home, etc?
I mean, exactly where in the New Testament did Jesus promise you a rose garden?  He said that Yahweh would make sure you had food, clothing and shelter, but he never promised you filet mignon, $100 tennis shoes and a 4 bed/3 bath house in a choice gated community.  He never mentioned PS3's and iPhones and vacations in the Caribbean, that's for sure.

So why do so many Xians in Uhmurkah not only aspire to such things, but actually believe it is their Lord's will that they have those things?  Because in Uhmurkah, after World War the Sequel, we had a middle class in this country that began to be more prosperous and industry counted on these Xians buying all these products and stuff that they really didn't need, things that were marketed to them as things that would change their lives for the better.  Materialism and carnality and an obsession with status and wealth became the new paradigm.  How to do you reconcile this concept with the New Testament's direction to live simply and share your wealth with others so that nobody has to go without and so nobody has more wealth than anyone else? 
How do you have Capitalism when Jesus was clearly a Socialist?

The answer is you go back to the original theatrical release...I mean, the Old Covenant and you find in the Psalms and in some of the writings of the prophets verses about how Yahweh will bless you and enrich you if you tithe and live according to his will.  Here's one among many such passages:

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts."(Malachi 3:10-12)
Now this is obviously 180 degrees from what Jesus said.  And Jesus came to give you the NEW covenant with Yahweh.  And to be an Xian, you have to believe that Jesus is Yahweh in his fullness, that Jesus IS Yahweh, that he is Lord of all Creation and the New Testament is the New Rules.
But these passages are what has allowed the Xian church and its storytellers...the preachers and religious transform Sunday Mornings into How to Get Rich Seminars.  Jesus will bless you in your circumstances and make you wealthy and healthy?  If you want to believe that, then please don't read any of those sections of the New Testament where Jesus says the opposite...and your church is helping because they never talk about those passages anymore either.

For me and mine house...Han Solo shot first, even if the creator changed his mind, yea verily.
Next Vigilantius Time, Next Vigilantius Channel, we may talk about homosexuals and why you should envy them, even if they are mutants.