This is going to out me as a real nerd but that’s okay.
Mr. Bean and I watched “A New Hope” the other evening and had a few very interesting discussions throughout.
1. There is very little difference between a “freedom fighter” and a terrorist. By blowing up the Death Star, Luke killed thousands of people, yet he is hailed as a hero. From the empire’s point of view, he’s a terrorist with “weapons of mass destruction.” It’s like bombing – I assume that the person in the plane doesn’t think about how people beneath them have lives of their own: who’s life is more valuable?
An example that is a bit closer to home is that some amazing person/people in North Eastern British Columbia has been bombing natural gas pipelines in an attempt to get a petroleum company to leave the area. There have been six explosions thus far and thankfully no one has been hurt. But, there are sour gas wells in the area – they’ve already targeted a line that leaked a small amount of sour gas – but what happens when the bomber targets a pipeline with really sour gas?
I’ve been following some of the stories and there has been much debate as to whether this/these person/people are terrorists or not. Are they terrorists or “freedom fighters” against the “tyranny of the oil and gas industry”?
The ironic thing about this bomber is that they want Encana to leave and restore the environment within a certain amount of time, however they are willing to cause a lot of damage and potentially kill a lot of people to do it. How does that work?
2. One reason (of many) why the newest three Star Wars sucked is because the Jedi are Mary Sues. They’re perfect, awkward, never really make the “bad” decisions and as flawed humans, we can’t really relate to them. In addition, all the bad characters are “all bad” – this is one reason I like Darth Vader so much as he’s bad, but he has redeeming qualities like normal human beings. I’ve read various stories with “black and white*”/”perfect and evil”/”super human” characters such as these and it’s really hard to get into them. It’s ironic because Obi-Wan says in movie No. 3 that “only the Sith deal in absolutes” – well, look in the mirror, buddy, because with that logic you’re a Sith too! (An interesting discussion on absolutes and philosophy in Revenge of the Sith can be found here.)
Apparently, this is also one of the main themes of Watchmen (but I wouldn’t know as I’ve never seen the movie/read the comics.) If you like Lord of the Rings, this story does an excellent job of making fun of Mary Sues.
What are your thoughts about both these topics?
*black and white as in absolute thinking.
(Haha. I guess I’m pretty special as I turned a discussion about star wars into discussing the oil and gas industry.)