Star Wars Awakens: Prelude, “Repetition of the Fundamentalist Narrative”

It is what separates them from the animals. By “animals”, they mean “not us”.


Series Contents

Found Hiding, Star Wars Awakens:

The Force had, from its very beginnings, though construed as having an eternally uniform nature within the world of Star Wars, a necessary and misidentified Dark side: The “Good” doesn’t exist independently within moral narrative; it isn’t merely a comparison, for instance, of degrees of well-being, but one which requires a sharp contrast in order to support identity. The “Dark Side” compels a following which must be resisted. So say adherents. The identity of darkness is only made to be apparent by the adherents of “The Force”, which, we are further reminded, must be chased. 

Nowhere in the narrative of Star Wars has any explicit mention been made of a “Light Side” or a “White Side”. It’s implied that the “The Force” (nominalized and normalized, but otherwise unmodified) is the logical opposite of darkness. This uncomfortable inference is left as an exercise and self-implication of the viewer-participant.

I think we already know where “The Force” came from. None of us needs to know the particulars of any such “awakening”. Believers in its literal presence can claim by mere proclamation to be genuine. If, on the other hand, you are one who just values its symbolism, you can claim to be “smart”. But if you doubt it, you are looked upon with suspicion: To doubt such a story — to engage in the activity of doubt — is tantamount to a brazen embrace of anarchy, a rejection of the very premises of unity and oneness.

Religious systems always promote moralistic stories which are both cryptic and distant enough, in the scale of history, to the end that investigations become futile and suspiciously pedantic, if not impractical and even dangerous. At the same time, these stories are set in a time recent enough that an inherited tradition emanating from the particulars can feel plausible. You might step back for a moment and remember that the writers of this and every other episode happen to come from a society having several religious hegemonies competing for attention, relevance, and adherents.

Would we be surprised, then, to discover that the writers of this episode chose to make knowledge of “The Force” to have originated in, say, a particular ancient personality, perhaps one having messianic or primal characteristics? Such a messiah would collect and unify while sweeping away all of the impure.

Or, if the origin were a Prophet, then the context would become one of yet another enumerated story line, ancient even in the context of “far away and long ago”. That ancient time in the prophetic model would have been one of wickedness and confusion by contemporary reckoning; one of loss or lack of narrative; one of historical precedence; appealing to the lumpenproletariat view that “we had a history once upon a time, before the…” The details don’t really matter. What matters is that current doctrine of inevitability and destiny of history be preserved.

Would it be much different if it turned out not to be of prophetic origin, if rather “The Force” had a Primal origin, perhaps coming out of The Mother or The Father (or both) of us all? This Elemental source would defy all investigation or logic, but would explain “our” separation of “them”, since this Prime origin wouldn’t  be the origins of “Them”, the many construed “other beings” in the world of Star Wars — the greedy Jawas, the barbarian “Sand” people (marked by their inherent love of violence and the dirtiness of their Banthas), the grotesque “Hutts”, even the great anonymous army of Storm Troopers (“they all look the same to me”) — all of them always being suspiciously inhuman in the eyes of the Faithful.

Then again, on second thought, I see no reason why this couldn’t be the origins of “Them”, too, since the story of Star Wars has always been a mythology of unity and universality. This capitulation would do no more violence in its reversal to the ideological, unthought premises of “The Force”, since to delineate and to speak of “Them” only serves to underscore the identity of the real, correct, genuine, and proper “Us”, thus making “them” any degree and quantity of false, deviant, derivative and iniquitous. They are in the dark, not just because they are not “us” but also, incoherently, because those are the very qualities we note that they’ve “chosen to embrace” and which separate them from us! So, sure, “they” can have shared origins! Follow a similar formula if pure knowledge of “The Force” came by means of the earlier speculated messiah figure: That precursor to fascism would lead the way to a State of Unity in power and means to societal purity.

Whatever the means, we know already that “The Force” came not of its own common presence, not tied, I mean to say, to the nature of those who might merely acknowledge its presence. “The Force” didn’t pique someone’s curiosity one day, the way one might wonder about the shuffling sound of a bird’s wing or the sounds of food digesting in the gut, the invisible pressure of a headache or the invisible pull of gravity. No, “The Force” was — and this is critical — “said to have been”. Because it was a revealed Truth, that quality consequently made it a fact more real than any mundane observation.

The mythology of the settlers of Tatooine does not begin with revelation from above, but includes such a revelation as a central component of their identity: It is what separates them from the animals.
The mythology of the settlers of Tatooine does not begin with revelation from above, but includes such a revelation as a central component of their identity: It is what separates them from the animals.

“Voima” kanssasi


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