Cookie Warning

Warning: This blog may contain cookies. Just as cookies fresh out of the oven may burn your mouth, electronic cookies can harm your computer. Visit all kitchens and blogs (yes, including this one) with care.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Jeremiah & George Lucas: Part 2

According to The Making of Star Wars by J. W. Rinzler, in earlier scripts George Lucas had introduced an elderly man, a "wizard on the side of the road, whom the hero meets on his journey. In exchange for his teachings, the old man requests payment in the form of food, which recalls [asian filmmaker Akira] Kurosawa's seven samurai who are paid with rice by farmers to protect their village." That character would go on to become Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Old Ben, as Luke Skywalker initially knows him. Might Obi-Wan, the desert hermit, who claims to have once been a Jedi Knight, share important qualities with Jewish prophet Jeremiah? 

Filmmaker George Lucas stands with actor Mark Hamill,
who portrayed the character of Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars."

In "Star Wars," the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO escape capture by Imperial forces, and flee to the desert planet Tatooine. There they meet Luke Skywalker, a young moisture farmer who dreams of being a space pilot and doing something really important and exciting with his life. Unbeknownst to him, R2-D2 is carrying plans for the Death Star, a moon-sized space station, with enough firepower to destroy an entire planet. R2-D2 want to get these plans to the Rebellion, in the hopes that a flaw or weakness can be found, and the Rebellion can use that to destroy the Death Star. And he knows just who can help him: Obi-Wan Kenobi, a former Jedi Knight, who now resides on Tatooine. So after Luke's uncle Owen buys the droids, R2-D2 suggests that he is really the property of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he's carrying a private message just for him.

The thing is, Luke doesn't know any Obi-Wan Kenobi. He does know someone he calls Old Ben, a strange hermit who lives out by the Dune Sea. Luke refers the matter to his uncle, who dismisses the matter: Ben Kenobi isn't important, he's just a crazy old man. In any case, the message R2-D2 is carrying can't be that important: what really matters is that Luke gets those droids ready to work on the farm, so the family can reap a good harvest this season.

R2-D2 takes matters into his own proverbial hands, and sneaks out of the farm in search of this disparaged old man, in the hopes that he is the retired Jedi Knight. Luke and C-3PO find R2-D2, but are attacked by a local tribe called Sand People, and who should rescue them but old Ben Kenobi. When Luke tells the hermit about the message, Ben admits that he is Obi-Wan, and that he was once a Jedi Knight, an elite group of warrior-priests who selflessly fought for others, and always strived to retain order in the galaxy. Yet when Obi-Wan tells Luke that his father was also a Jedi Knight, Luke disregards the old man's claim. When they listen to the message, and learn the necessity of getting the Death Star plans to the Rebellion, Luke, who dreams of doing something important and exciting, refuses to get involved. Only after he realizes that Imperial soldiers are after the droids, and then rushes home--too late--to find that his aunt and uncle have been killed, does Luke acknowledge the veracity of Obi-Wan's advice, and vow to accompany him on his journey. 

When Chancelor Palpatine destroyed the Jedi Knights, and transformed the Galactic Republic into an Empire, Obi-Wan fled to the remote planet Tatooine, where he was forced to live as a hermit and change his name. Now, when events warrant his return, and the Emperor's new space station threatens to destroy any planet whose citizens show the slightest disloyalty, he realizes the time has come for his return. But he needs help, a companion to help him get R2-D2's plans to the Rebellion. He also needs a disciple, whom he can teach to become the first of a new group of Jedi Knights. So Obi-Wan sheds the mantle of secrecy that has protected him for decades, takes Luke into his confidence, and asks Luke to accompany him on this journey. Perhaps Luke might also consider becoming his disciple, and help him restart the Jedi order. And how does Luke--this young man who dreams of adventure, and doing something important with his life--respond to the truths Obi-Wan reveals, and this great offer to perform the ultimate good for the citizens of the galaxy? 

Does Obi-Wan's situation remind you of Jeremiah, or for that matter, the plight of any of the Jewish prophets? Or do I need to remind you how Han Solo, the independent space trader whom Obi-Wan and Luke meet later in their journey, continually disparages Obi-Wan, and tries to get Luke to see how crazy and unrealistic the old man is?

Dragon Dave

No comments:

Post a Comment