TLJ ideology discussion

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TLJ ideology discussion

Post by guardienne on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 1:40 pm

hello!

come here for some serious ideology stuff carrying over from the fan fatigue thread.

my grasp on politics is kinda weak so i'm counting on you smart people to enlighten me and make this a worthwhile thing to read Lolilol

how do you feel the FO is positioned now, how do you feel kylo is positioned towards the FO? how do the jedi/rebellistance fit into this?

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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by Piper Maru on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 1:48 pm

Aahhh, finally!

I think the FO is one of the most interesting aspects of the ST. Aesthetically, it draws influences from totalitarian regimes (particularly Nazi Germany, but also some elements from Communist Russia as well) and you can argue that it's totalitarian in essence, but it also subverts a lot of political elements there - especially when Kylo takes the throne and does his Monologue for the Ages. I've never seen such an utopian (in the strict sense of the word) speech in a mainstream contemporary movie.

He's taking over the regime and wants to burn it down -- I know some people made a point that he doesn't mention the FO by name, but he mentions Snoke who works as a proxy for the entire organization. I think it's ballsy and I love it, because he's metaphorically trying to burn the entirety of Star Wars and its legacy down.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by Geralt_Riv on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:12 pm

@guardienne
I don't know how Kylo fit into this but I think Snoke is out of scale. Laughing

And we know where porgs fit in. Laughing

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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by snufkin on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:18 pm

@Piper Maru wrote:He's taking over the regime and wants to burn it down -- I know some people made a point that he doesn't mention the FO by name, but he mentions Snoke who works as a proxy for the entire organization. I think it's ballsy and I love it, because he's metaphorically trying to burn the entirety of Star Wars and its legacy down.

Especially ballsy considering that Disney (along with Marvel, the Muppets, Pixar, and now part of Fox Studios) has a strangle hold over pop culture and nostalgia. And the films are almost the tail which wags the dog of the merchandising, gaming, and publishing (not to mention the conventions and eventual theme park) juggernauts. I still can't believe that I give a s**t about the ST because I've been militantly anti-Disney from childhood, even moreso as an adult thanks to their business practices around monetizing public domain works for films/stories while f**king with US IP law to keep their properties out of the public domain.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by Piper Maru on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:40 pm

@snufkin wrote:
@Piper Maru wrote:He's taking over the regime and wants to burn it down -- I know some people made a point that he doesn't mention the FO by name, but he mentions Snoke who works as a proxy for the entire organization. I think it's ballsy and I love it, because he's metaphorically trying to burn the entirety of Star Wars and its legacy down.

Especially ballsy considering that Disney (along with Marvel, the Muppets, Pixar, and now part of Fox Studios) has a strangle hold over pop culture and nostalgia. And the films are almost the tail which wags the dog of the merchandising, gaming, and publishing (not to mention the conventions and eventual theme park) juggernauts. I still can't believe that I give a s**t about the ST because I've been militantly anti-Disney from childhood, even moreso as an adult thanks to their business practices around monetizing public domain works for films/stories while f**king with US IP law to keep their properties out of the public domain.
@snufkin

I don't talk about this here, but I've been a militant-feminist-anti-capitalist-killjoy for years. And I think TLJ really got on my nerves after my first session because the "revolutionary" (lots of " " " " here and with poetic license, we're talking about a franchise owned by Disney and aimed at children) elements are there, but they just go nowhere.

I wonder if the movie can feel nihilistic and even moralizing because of it? The message is there, but gets diluted because "The Good Guys who Follow the Established Rules and Want to Keep the Status Quo Alive" are proven right by the end. And I think it's fascinating how Kylo is labeled as a fascist and yet he's the one who's trying to eliminate institutions -- which, you know, are the basis of any fascist regime.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by guardienne on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:48 pm

@Piper Maru where do you think logic should have led them?

i've already said how i felt rey should have joined kylo - and i can't really think why not tbh, i'm not sure she's expressed anything like as a strong an ideology so far, has she? - and steered things from there. i feel like the movie falls apart because it wants to have its cake and eat it, introduce an new element in ideology (let's burn the world down) but kylo (or johnson) don't really have any idea where this will lead.

the thing is, kylo hasn't been presented as an ideologue so far, (or has he?) neither has hux, neither has snoke, so this is the only convo we get right? i'm hazy on that so feel free to correct me.

i think ... generally, each trilogy (with the prequels doing this the most) has presented a b&w model of a power struggle, i would like to understand whether the ST is doing a new thing here. i'm not sure i've read a good political analysis mostly because the film focuses so heavily on military strategy and the force.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by Cowgirlsamurai on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:51 pm

@guardienne wrote:@Piper Maru where do you think logic should have led them?

i've already said how i felt rey should have joined kylo - and i can't really think why not tbh, i'm not sure she's expressed anything like as a strong an ideology so far, has she? - and steered things from there. i feel like the movie falls apart because it wants to have its cake and eat it, introduce an new element in ideology (let's burn the world down) but kylo (or johnson) don't really have any idea where this will lead.

the thing is, kylo hasn't been presented as an ideologue so far, (or has he?) neither has hux, neither has snoke, so this is the only convo we get right? i'm hazy on that so feel free to correct me.

i think ... generally, each trilogy (with the prequels doing this the most) has presented a b&w model of a power struggle, i would like to understand whether the ST is doing a new thing here. i'm not sure i've read a good political analysis mostly because the film focuses so heavily on military strategy and the force.
@guardienne

Because the story demands it. Most of us here think she should've taken his freaking hand, lol.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by guardienne on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:56 pm

@Cowgirlsamurai yes i am aware that it was in script Winks i'm trying to work out whether there is an actual story-reason for it to be happ'nin. i know the thing is plagued with awful writing, sadly, i'm just trying to be kind to it.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by Piper Maru on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 3:05 pm

@guardienne wrote:@Piper Maru where do you think logic should have led them?

i've already said how i felt rey should have joined kylo - and i can't really think why not tbh, i'm not sure she's expressed anything like as a strong an ideology so far, has she? - and steered things from there. i feel like the movie falls apart because it wants to have its cake and eat it, introduce an new element in ideology (let's burn the world down) but kylo (or johnson) don't really have any idea where this will lead.

the thing is, kylo hasn't been presented as an ideologue so far, (or has he?) neither has hux, neither has snoke, so this is the only convo we get right? i'm hazy on that so feel free to correct me.

i think ... generally, each trilogy (with the prequels doing this the most) has presented a b&w model of a power struggle, i would like to understand whether the ST is doing a new thing here. i'm not sure i've read a good political analysis mostly because the film focuses so heavily on military strategy and the force.
@guardienne

Obviously, she rejects his offer because The Plot Says So and they need conflict for IX BUUUUT... logically, Rey doesn't have any affiliations whatsoever. She's an outcast of society by GFFA's standards - literally living in the garbage, without a legacy/family/future - so IMO, it doesn't make any sense that feels an intense desire to save this political environment when the same political environment was responsible for her current status.

Which, again, makes Kylo the right one in the throne room from a MORAL point of view. Yes, he was a jerk but he was right. We can boo him for years, it doesn't change the fact that his words were the truth.

As it is, I think Rey is a very young idealistic person who believes in moral codes and institutions -- when they work side by side with their feelings/POV/tastes -- while rejecting their basic flaws. Which is a very powerful message if you think about it, because when we're touched by the Spark of Idealism (lol) we really believe we can change everything with the power of our dreams/ideologies. But in the end, we realize that the world is a whole big mess and we're just another pawn in the game. Of course, I'm talking about real world morality here, but I see some parallels with Rey's journey, only less bleak and with a more "from nobody to somebody" approach.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by snufkin on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 4:01 pm

@Piper Maru wrote:
@snufkin wrote:
@Piper Maru wrote:He's taking over the regime and wants to burn it down -- I know some people made a point that he doesn't mention the FO by name, but he mentions Snoke who works as a proxy for the entire organization. I think it's ballsy and I love it, because he's metaphorically trying to burn the entirety of Star Wars and its legacy down.

Especially ballsy considering that Disney (along with Marvel, the Muppets, Pixar, and now part of Fox Studios) has a strangle hold over pop culture and nostalgia. And the films are almost the tail which wags the dog of the merchandising, gaming, and publishing (not to mention the conventions and eventual theme park) juggernauts. I still can't believe that I give a s**t about the ST because I've been militantly anti-Disney from childhood, even moreso as an adult thanks to their business practices around monetizing public domain works for films/stories while f**king with US IP law to keep their properties out of the public domain.
@snufkin

I don't talk about this here, but I've been a militant-feminist-anti-capitalist-killjoy for years. And I think TLJ really got on my nerves after my first session because the "revolutionary" (lots of " " " " here and with poetic license, we're talking about a franchise owned by Disney and aimed at children) elements are there, but they just go nowhere.

I wonder if the movie can feel nihilistic and even moralizing because of it? The message is there, but gets diluted because "The Good Guys who Follow the Established Rules and Want to Keep the Status Quo Alive" are proven right by the end. And I think it's fascinating how Kylo is labeled as a fascist and yet he's the one who's trying to eliminate institutions -- which, you know, are the basis of any fascist regime.

@Piper Maru

Militant-feminist-anti-capitalist-killjoy of the world unite! Aside from this topic, I find it a prime example of cognitive dissonance that you have so many fans engaged in discussions about what it and isn't feminist or critique this character as supposedly being a fascist. But meanwhile, it's all about being consumers of a central product line for a multibillion dollar corporation with a monopoly on pop culture. Even the amount of consumerism, like the focus on different merchandise release dates and events, that's $$$ going into the pockets of a corporation which doesn't have the public interest at heart. But that's a tangent for another time.

And yes, "The Good Guys who Follow the Established Rules and Want to Keep the Status Quo Alive" isn't a terribly satisfying conclusion at the end. Though it's one which certain fans who don't want their personal investment in characters/the franchise rocked. Because the whole point of the family/Jedi arc is how the hubris of institutions let down both a society and a family, crystallized into the 'burn it all down' anger Ben has (though with him at the top, out of both entitlement and fear). But notice how Poe identifies himself to Hux as being part of the New Republic? They went to the trouble in Bloodline and it sounds like the publishing around him as a central character about what's gone wrong in that society. So is the goal to create the New New Republic? Especially one which didn't do anything for individuals like Rey? Or even shielding people like Finn and Rose who came from smaller, less influential places that weren't under the NR's protection?



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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by Piper Maru on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 4:12 pm

@snufkin -- I fail to see how Poe can be the poster boy for the New New Republic after he basically ruined every single thing thanks to his constant desire to be a hero, but I do think some sort of new group of people is going to emerge for IX.

In another topic I mentioned how the fact that Leia's distress signal was summarily ignored by her allies and how people were already trying to run away from the Resistance at the beginning -- I'm not getting into the merits running away because you're "scared" or whatever, but the overall feeling is consistent for this particular group of people: this war is not worth dying over.

Which brings me to Finn and his "awakening". He had the same realization, but he was in the other side. His journey in TLJ consisted in him trying to find a place where he can fit in ("rebel scum"). I wonder if Leia's allies/people who tried to ran away form the Resistance also want some sense of belonging and will try to create a group against the political duality in the Galaxy?

My headcanon was that Finn would be the one to create a Stormtrooper rebellion, but after TLJ I find this unlikely. I don't think he is interested in any sort of insurgency or grand political gesture. Just like Rey, he wants belonging and finds it with a specific group of people.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by snufkin on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 4:52 pm

@Piper Maru wrote:@snufkin -- I fail to see how Poe can be the poster boy for the New New Republic after he basically ruined every single thing thanks to his constant desire to be a hero, but I do think some sort of new group of people is going to emerge for IX.

In another topic I mentioned how the fact that Leia's distress signal was summarily ignored by her allies and how people were already trying to run away from the Resistance at the beginning -- I'm not getting into the merits running away because you're "scared" or whatever, but the overall feeling is consistent for this particular group of people: this war is not worth dying over.

Which brings me to Finn and his "awakening". He had the same realization, but he was in the other side. His journey in TLJ consisted in him trying to find a place where he can fit in ("rebel scum"). I wonder if Leia's allies/people who tried to ran away form the Resistance also want some sense of belonging and will try to create a group against the political duality in the Galaxy?

My headcanon was that Finn would be the one to create a Stormtrooper rebellion, but after TLJ I find this unlikely. I don't think he is interested in any sort of insurgency or grand political gesture. Just like Rey, he wants belonging and finds it with a specific group of people.

@Piper Maru

Other than the Before the Awakening book, there's been nothing about Finn's backstory. And even that sounds counter to how he was written in the films. Or the writer's interests were more interested in Poe and Rose/Paige as the central character with Finn in more of a supporting/comic role. Has there been anything else about Finn beyond the one comic book appearance he's made showing his life as a stormtrooper.

Definitely the part where no body responds and Leia has her speech about HOPE is where I felt like I was 5 years old and back at a children's theater production where they want you to clap to save Tinkerbell. Which is where Broom Boy comes in - it's also a meta statement about Disney reeling in a new generation of consumers the new people who will emerge for IX. And more importantly, the trilogy Rian Johnson will be overseeing.

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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by SkyStar on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 4:52 pm

The more I think of it the more Poe seems to organize some kind of Revolution here with his speach and all the symbolism of the Resistance becoming the oppressed ones, flying with old garbage fight toys. And then Bromboi could be on some kind of poster for sure. We fight for children like him. And Kylo sees it, how much its just the same thing all over.
Then again even if Kylo has this idea, but does he have a plan? I just imagine them sitting like in the ending of The Graduate.


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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by Piper Maru on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 4:59 pm

@snufkin wrote:
@Piper Maru wrote:@snufkin -- I fail to see how Poe can be the poster boy for the New New Republic after he basically ruined every single thing thanks to his constant desire to be a hero, but I do think some sort of new group of people is going to emerge for IX.

In another topic I mentioned how the fact that Leia's distress signal was summarily ignored by her allies and how people were already trying to run away from the Resistance at the beginning -- I'm not getting into the merits running away because you're "scared" or whatever, but the overall feeling is consistent for this particular group of people: this war is not worth dying over.

Which brings me to Finn and his "awakening". He had the same realization, but he was in the other side. His journey in TLJ consisted in him trying to find a place where he can fit in ("rebel scum"). I wonder if Leia's allies/people who tried to ran away form the Resistance also want some sense of belonging and will try to create a group against the political duality in the Galaxy?

My headcanon was that Finn would be the one to create a Stormtrooper rebellion, but after TLJ I find this unlikely. I don't think he is interested in any sort of insurgency or grand political gesture. Just like Rey, he wants belonging and finds it with a specific group of people.

@Piper Maru

Other than the Before the Awakening book, there's been nothing about Finn's backstory. And even that sounds counter to how he was written in the films. Or the writer's interests were more interested in Poe and Rose/Paige as the central character with Finn in more of a supporting/comic role. Has there been anything else about Finn beyond the one comic book appearance he's made showing his life as a stormtrooper.

Definitely the part where no body responds and Leia has her speech about HOPE is where I felt like I was 5 years old and back at a children's theater production where they want you to clap to save Tinkerbell. Which is where Broom Boy comes in - it's also a meta statement about Disney reeling in a new generation of consumers the new people who will emerge for IX. And more importantly, the trilogy Rian Johnson will be overseeing.

@snufkin

I laughed out loud here.

When I first watched the movie, in that moment I thought of all the times I sent messages to my boyfriend, the phone showed me the notification (✓ seen at 12 P.M.) and I kept waiting like a fool for him to answer me back when he clearly didn't want to/had better things to do.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by snufkin on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 5:11 pm

@Piper Maru Nobody is answering Leia's texts. It's not that the galaxy has lost hope (like that moment I was like "Okay, I get it, you've beaten this word into my head how many times now?") or that they're too scared, it's that they're too old for that sh*t.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by thescavenger on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 5:14 pm

@guardienne I'm really enjoying the chart, thanks.

I'm still very cautious of where I put Kylo. His speech did mention 'ruling' the galaxy rather than just running away and living peacefully with Rey somewhere, so I'd put him in the blue box. He has ambition and that political desire, which is not surprising considering who his mother and grandmother are. On the other hand, I'm not sure what he would do once he gets that power. It does seem that he has certain ideas of what he wants gone, but not much on what's new. I guess that is sort of where his personal character is at at the moment, letting the past die. But he also hasn't found his own identity yet so soon after Snoke's gone. I guess that's what messed up about having some crazy old man dictate what you should think for so long. That will be his struggle and development going forward, trying to find himself an identity and what he believes in. I think this is why he still doesn't have a fixed political alignment.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by DeeBee on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 8:05 pm

Hi guardienne,
What an interesting idea to explore!
I don’t know that I’ll be able to enlighten anyone though ha!

@guardienne wrote: how do you feel the FO is positioned now, how do you feel kylo is positioned towards the FO? how do the jedi/rebellistance fit into this?

Yep I think it's good to throw in to the mix the politics of the Jedi order also.. that would be different again I think. (Pre TFA of course). It started off apolitical, but I think part of their downfall was that they became political.

I’d love to hear insights from us here who have read the canon books – I believe there is more politics in the books..
I’d love to learn more about all this too!

Regarding the FO – there is the order’s ideology as an institution  and then there is the ideology of various individuals within the FO.

I had a quick squiz at political ideology basics to organise my thoughts here.
Political ideologies have two elements:
1) the goals (how society should be organised)
and 2) the methods (the most appropriate way to achieve this goal).
[thanks Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_ideologies ]

With this in mind.. I might have a stab at the FO..
What are the goals of the FO?
I’m guessing it’s to rule everything! Control everything! Society should be organised with the maintaining of order and avoidance of chaos.  
So I think in a nutshell the FO is a right-wing, Facist, Military dictatorship.

Here’s what Wikipedia say: “Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties. Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[12] Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature and views political violence, war and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[13][14][15][16] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[17]”
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism ) sorry I’ve been lazy and copied and pasted. I don’t have time..
Sounds like the FO to me.. Just have a galaxy level rather than national level..

With the FO overall – there are some differences in the methods used to achieve the goals between the players that we’ve seen so far.. differences between Snoke, Hux and Kylo (Hux hates the force stuff and Kylo hates the stormtrooper program and superweapon use, snoke used it all).

Kylo’s goals seem to be destroy everything and create something new.. but looking at canon I am not sure if his goal was the same as the first order’s. Maybe it is. But I don’t know. He was a part of the FO because he was Snoke’s apprentice.. and he had his side gig with the Knights of Ren hunting down Jedi’s and Luke Skywalker. He was a special side project in Snoke's Military dicatorship rather than intrinsic to the military structure of the FO> so this all feels hard to pin down for me at this point without more information.

Hux’s goal is more power. ‘A man who craves power above all’ is how TLJ visual dictionary puts it.
Also in TFA visual dictionary it says Hux ‘grew up hearing legends of great Imperials, and how the Empire saved the galaxy from the violence of the Clone Wars. The young Hux firmly believed the galaxy needed to be saved from itself, as the New Republic was too weak to prevent the inevitable chaos.”
That this was the legend of the empire being spread around says much.. and is likely what the young FO officers were indoctrinated with. It’s all for a good cause – a firm, sometimes cruel hand is needed to save the galaxy from themselves..
A certain hubris is at work here no? much like what Luke talked about in TLJ! Hubris all around..

@Piper Maru wrote:Aahhh, finally!

I think the FO is one of the most interesting aspects of the ST. Aesthetically, it draws influences from totalitarian regimes (particularly Nazi Germany, but also some elements from Communist Russia as well) and you can argue that it's totalitarian in essence, but it also subverts a lot of political elements there - especially when Kylo takes the throne and does his Monologue for the Ages. I've never seen such an utopian (in the strict sense of the word) speech in a mainstream contemporary movie.

He's taking over the regime and wants to burn it down -- I know some people made a point that he doesn't mention the FO by name, but he mentions Snoke who works as a proxy for the entire organization. I think it's ballsy and I love it, because he's metaphorically trying to burn the entirety of Star Wars and its legacy down.
@Piper Maru

Yep! I see the FO as totalitarian too.

Regarding the bolded.. Yes I am one who noted Kylo left out the first order in his speech. your take on this is interesting. True, he did include Snoke... But to me Snoke for Kylo was much more than just the first order so he is not necessarily a proxy (maybe/maybe not I really don't know at this point) Snoke was his master.. and Kylo was not really central to the military structure of the FO. So at this point I'm not sure what to make of Kylo's future agenda.. Also unclear because what we saw of Kylo as Supreme Leader was him pursuing personal agendas only, to the detriment of the FO's agenda..  so for me this is very much up in the air till we learn more.

I'm especially curious about the New Republic and how it was different to the Galactic Republic, and what went down there!
And if anyone has read the books and can fill us in on some more of the backstory!
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by ISeeAnIsland on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 8:59 pm

@snufkin wrote:@Piper Maru Nobody is answering Leia's texts. It's not that the galaxy has lost hope (like that moment I was like "Okay, I get it, you've beaten this word into my head how many times now?") or that they're too scared, it's that they're too old for that sh*t.
@snufkin

I wasn't sure if no one answering Leia's texts was, perhaps, a reference to the fallout from Bloodline, or if it was a hint that the Rebellion wasn't going to win this war via politicians/political allies.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by snufkin on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 9:48 pm

@ISeeAnIsland Or other thought, all the major players on both sides are there because of their families and in Leia v. Ben, it's 100% ugly family business. We definitely don't know anything about politics because that's all on Claudia Grey's books but the only thing which went on screen is Holdo. The entire segment with Korr Sella (the other CG character) got cut from TFA.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by Kylo Men on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 11:06 pm

Kylo isn't so much evil as a Jacobin. Someone on a different site compared him to Robbespierre, which makes sense.

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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by SheLitAFire on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 11:20 pm

@Kylo Men wrote:Kylo isn't so much evil as a Jacobin. Someone on a different site compared him to Robbespierre, which makes sense.
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I find this comparison to the Jacobins fascinating. Robespierre and Jean-Paul Marat too. Very much "the ends justify the means" type of ideology as you burn down everything in order to rebuild and create true change & reform. Marat began to critique not only the former monarchy, 1st and 2nd Estates in France, but eventually the National Assembly (republic) and Robespierre too for not creating enough change (National Assembly in SW=the Republic/Leia's cohort/the Resistance). It's all part of the Thermidorian Reaction & the pendulum swing of politics/revolutions.

I still want to know what Ben's vision is to "create something different/new." It's hard to tell what's going on in his head. He's place up far right, top corner in the chart above, but I'm not so sure he's dead set on conservative imperialism...the movies haven't really divulged a lot of info on his personal agenda. He takes the title "supreme leader" but that seems mostly for dominance over Hux, to put him in his place. Maybe he'd be totalitarian, like Snoke. I can't deny that, it's just hard for me to tell.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by KyleWren on Thu 11 Jan 2018, 11:37 am

I could be very wrong when the next movie hits, but Kylo does not look the supreme leader type to me. He looks like being the head of what remains of the FO would exhaust and disinterest him, and he would have to look over his shoulder constantly for people trying to kill or depose him, if he wanted to continue to run it. And if he did try to burn it all down I am sure he would make even more enemies within it, all looking to grab power somehow in the mess. He's put himself in a terrible position, really, for someone of his temperament, to destroy Snoke, and yet he had no real choice. Snoke would have killed him too, eventually.

Ideologically I am not sure what Kylo wants at all. He does not seem interested in flaunting wealth or taking it from others or he would probably not have been walking around in a ragged cowl and a battered helm for most of the first film despite being one of the most high ranking members of the FO. He doesn't seem all that materialistically power-mad either, since he rarely talks about it. If he embodies conflict I guess he probably doesn't know exactly what he wants, either. He's practically succeeded in routing the resistance at this point so what would be left would be to either rule the FO thinking he could "improve" it, or else sabotage it. I can't remember where now but I think it was hinted somewhere that he sees himself as having been born into a position of leadership/royalty - which I guess he was - so there'll always be some part of him that probably thinks it's rightful for him. But it's also hinted in TLJ in the walker cockpit that there will be leadership problems for him. I get the feeling he's been largely driven by emotion all this time and when he finally gets that power it will feel empty and pointless, not to mention even more lonely being at the absolute top. His interactions with Rey have already sabotaged whatever ideological ideas he might have had about his place in things, though.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by SkyStar on Thu 11 Jan 2018, 12:46 pm

I thought this is relevant to this thread (or Renperor). Rian talked to WSJ about his inspiration when writing TLJ:



Here is the full article:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-rian-johnson-kept-his-star-wars-script-from-leaking-online-1515689397
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by Ynqve on Thu 11 Jan 2018, 12:58 pm

I think it's too early to place Kylo on any ideology chart. While the FO seems to be a pretty straight forward fascist regime we know very little of Kylo's own political beliefs. The closest thing we get to a political statement from Kylo is when he calls the Resistance murderers and thieves (which they are from the FO's point of view), and later when he simply states that he wants to let old things die. I like the comparisons to Robespierre and the Jacobins, I think they're very fitting. I'm really looking forward to finding out what his plan is going to be and if he's got any idea of how to rebuild the galaxy. Same goes for the Resistance, fighting a totalitarian regime doesn't really tell us anything about the rest of their ideology.

Regarding TLJ as a whole - I was so surprised at how political it was. I may not like how it was executed but I never thought that Disney would provide us with an in-your-face class analysis in Star Wars.
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Re: TLJ ideology discussion

Post by DeeBee on Thu 11 Jan 2018, 9:37 pm

@Ynqve   I agree Ynqve it's too early for Kylo! we need more information Smile

I've been thinking about Politics and Star Wars.. SW has always been political.. and the PT's even more so..
Back in the 80's when it all began, Star Wars was maybe more focused only on western audiences..
I'm thinking there has always been an underlying message that democracy and liberty are to be fought for and protected. These are traditional western values.. The galactic republic had lasted peacefully for years.. and the rebels aimed to restore the republic and democracy..
They did.. but it failed to take hold... and so we are back to dictatorship and war.

Nowadays, I'm getting a vibe that Disney is aiming to send Star Wars global and they are embracing diversity..
This means the audience is not limited to western audiences. And if this is the case, how will the portray of values and politics take into consideration non-western audiences and their political traditions?
e.g. China is not a democracy...
What's the end game here politically? When the ST is over, the good guys will have won, and what political landscape will remain?
I think it will be hard for SW to not portray an overall political idea here..
Will the message be that the New Republic was the ideal that needs to be restored? [as Holdo seemed to believe]
Or is globalisation (aka galaxy wide) politics not feasible?
In general, the current climate in western politics seems to be trending toward increased nationalism...

I don't envy Disney with trying to come up with a way to portray politics in a global economy where they have a movie to sell and audiences are politically diverse.
I think all the audience can agree on good needing to conqueror evil - but they may not agree on what the world will look like when good wins in the end.
Heck, maybe SW will just avoid this thorny issue altogether! [See below the Bob Iger quote]
Anyone else wondered about this?

Here's an interesting article from Huffington post including quotes on what George Lucas thought of SW politics..
Source: (Nadler, 2017)

Nadler (2017) wrote: On the surface Star Wars deals with the battle between good and evil, an ancient one at that. But the journey of our heroes, in both the original and prequel trilogies, are set against a backdrop of complex political strife and oppression. The films, at their core, explore the nuanced relationship between a state and its people, and how a democracy can slip into a strict dictatorship.

George Lucas has admitted that one of the biggest influences on the series was the Nixon era. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Lucas said Star Wars “was really about the Vietnam War, and that was the period where Nixon was trying to run for a [second] term, which got me to thinking historically about how do democracies get turned into dictatorships? Because the democracies aren’t overthrown; they’re given away.”

Lucas has also expressed that Emperor Palpatine, or Darth Sidious, was directly inspired by Nixon, which makes a lot of sense given the the nose. In “The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” when asked if Emperor Palpatine was a Jedi at one point in his life, Lucas responded, “No, he was a politician. Richard M. Nixon was his name. He subverted the senate and finally took over and became an imperial guy and he was really evil. But he pretended to be a really nice guy.

ut the political inspirations didn’t stop at the original trilogy. Say what you will about the prequels, but revisiting them will show you that Lucas held fast to his political ideology and used his massive entertainment franchise to comment on and predict the Bush administration.

Once again, Lucas drew connections between real life political figures and those in his cinematic universe. In a New York Times interview, Lucas explained that “Anakin Skywalker is a promising young man who is turned to the dark side by an older politician and becomes Darth Vader.” He added, “George Bush is Darth Vader. Cheney is the Emperor.”

The prequels allowed Lucas to fully explore how a people’s republic can turn into an empire. While the original films were largely reactionary to the politics of the time, the prequels were occurring simultaneously to the War on Terror, and it reflects in the films as we see a non-conflict blown up into something that represents absolute patriotism, and the gradual decline into the creation of the Galactic Empire.

Most famously, Lucas got some heat for giving Anakin a line of dialogue that was almost verbatim from a Bush speech. Anakin says to Obi Wan before his ultimate betrayal, “If you’re not with me then you’re my enemy.” Bush’s line was, ““You’re either with us or you’re with the enemy.”

The question is, how will the new era of Star Wars deal with the underlying politics of the universe in the Trump era? Now that Disney holds the keys to the Star Wars universe, they’ve been adamant about them not being political. Some Trump supporters went as far as to boycott Rogue One because they said it was a slight against The Donald. However, Disney chief executive Bob Iger made the absurd claim, “Frankly, this is a film that the world should enjoy. It is not a film that is, in any way, a political film.” The film’s plot centers around rebelling against an oppressive tyrant. That is at least, in some way, political.

With the new trilogy under way, it begs the question of whether Disney’s team will stay true to Lucas’ political influence, and use the billion dollar franchise to comment on the Trump administration. If the original inspiration for Star Wars was to explore how a democracy turns into a dictatorship, certainly this is more relevant now than ever.”

I don't know about singling out specific politicians here but overall, the thoughts are interesting to consider...
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