book and temple burning in star wars

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book and temple burning in star wars

Post by guardienne on Sat 17 Feb 2018, 7:03 am

so, this was a first, right, we haven't even been presented with actual ancient documents in a SW movie before?

anyway, point is, book burning and temple burning is normally reserved to the oppressive and fascist regimes for, you know, censorship and more oppression. so, i was wondering of anyone had any thoughts on how it benefits the story, or the jedi narrative or anything to have the native culture burn their own documents and sites.

i cannot think of an example where this was done in the real world.

i feel that even if you disagree with scripture (and i think we are supposed to take this to be scripture), we still generally feel the need to preserve our ancient documents and study them, because the past has a hold on the present.

(yes, i am very aware that rey saved the documents, but i had that pointed out to me somewhere, so i assume most of the audience missed that bit)

any thoughts and feelings towards yoda himself setting his past on fire?

ETA, ack, of course, palpatine burns down the frickin jedi temple, sorry for jumping the gun on that. but that'S surely an example of the oppressive regime doing the oppression kinda thing.
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Re: book and temple burning in star wars

Post by Armadeus on Sat 17 Feb 2018, 9:22 am

I think the book burning was meant to be symbolic about clearing away what came before so as to begin building something new... but then Rey is shown with some of the old books, so... will it really be new start? Hard to tell for now...

I get what you're saying about the need to preserve ancient texts. It's important to keep our past (successes and mistakes) in mind as we strive towards the future. There are plenty of real life writers whose works are either out of date or contain ideas completely contrary to the ideal the Western world seems to be marching towards, yet people recognise the importance of preserving those works for posterity.
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Re: book and temple burning in star wars

Post by guardienne on Sat 17 Feb 2018, 1:56 pm

@armadeus

the movie cops out on destroying the legacy of the jedi IMO. you could perhaps argue that the legacy is more to do with morality or something and that that isn't something you can learn from a book.

i guess what happens is that some works are considered canon after a time and others disappear. and why that is, who knows. the thing i imagine is that in 1000 years time someone ends up accessing all of AO3 for example and tries to make sense of it, and it'd be a revelation to them about how we lived, or how we chose to process our world or whatever. but it's a document of these things.

i'm guessing that rian johnson decided to be iconoclastic (i don't know what the appropriate adjective for scripture is) and that critical analysis of the jedi legacy wasn't what he wanted.

it's funny, you know the nazis burned books in germany (and synagogues) so this is why this feels like the baddest of tastes to me. and we do still employ censorship to what we allow to be legally available for reading etc. and last year the ban on 'mein kampf' was lifted and a critical edition was published. i think they were very worried so the publication is now about twice as long as the original pamphlet (i haven't read it) but all the criticality is there to basically ensure that people can't just read it as a straight propaganda piece. i assume that the relevant people obtained an uncritical copy already anyway.

what i'm saying is, luke didn't even read it and yet he feels compelled to obliterate it. i guess he resents it all in the abstract. it's weirdly reminiscent of the nazi reasoning and really off.
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Re: book and temple burning in star wars

Post by Armadeus on Sat 17 Feb 2018, 11:49 pm

@guardienne

I think IX will make it clear what (if any) plan LF has for the Jedi legacy. Maybe it'll be a case of: the texts are a decent jumping-off point for learning about the Force, but you shouldn't take them as gospel and finding the Force should be something you do on your own.

About the AO3 stuff; I'm not sure if this is relevant, but as a student of Ancient Egyptian history, one of the most fascinating discoveries from that era has been the ostraca fragments discovered at the ancient settlement of Deir el-Medina. What's fascinating about them is they were recorded on a daily basis by the normal townsfolk; not kings, or priests, or 'important' historical figures, just the worries, prayers, and gossip of everyday people like you and me. And the biggest revelation has been that they were no different from modern people. We have records of wives worrying about how they're going to get by now that a husband has died, gossip about infidelities going around in the village, guys worried that their brothers are scamming them. It's really eye-opening that, on a personal, human level, nothing has changed in over 2000 years.

Yeah, I get what you're saying about the burning of knowledge. Even if the knowledge is deemed 'wrong' does that justify destroying it? Shouldn't we be able to read it, if only to remind ourselves of how wrong we were?

That's interesting about Mein Kampf. My friend read it while he was at university in the UK, and he says, on an artistic basis, it's one of the worst books he's ever read Razz
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Re: book and temple burning in star wars

Post by SoloSideCousin on Sun 18 Feb 2018, 4:37 am

@guardienne wrote:@armadeus

the movie cops out on destroying the legacy of the jedi IMO. you could perhaps argue that the legacy is more to do with morality or something and that that isn't something you can learn from a book.

i guess what happens is that some works are considered canon after a time and others disappear. and why that is, who knows. the thing i imagine is that in 1000 years time someone ends up accessing all of AO3 for example and tries to make sense of it, and it'd be a revelation to them about how we lived, or how we chose to process our world or whatever. but it's a document of these things.

i'm guessing that rian johnson decided to be iconoclastic (i don't know what the appropriate adjective for scripture is) and that critical analysis of the jedi legacy wasn't what he wanted.

it's funny, you know the nazis burned books in germany (and synagogues) so this is why this feels like the baddest of tastes to me. and we do still employ censorship to what we allow to be legally available for reading etc. and last year the ban on 'mein kampf' was lifted and a critical edition was published. i think they were very worried so the publication is now about twice as long as the original pamphlet (i haven't read it) but all the criticality is there to basically ensure that people can't just read it as a straight propaganda piece. i assume that the relevant people obtained an uncritical copy already anyway.

what i'm saying is, luke didn't even read it and yet he feels compelled to obliterate it. i guess he resents it all in the abstract. it's weirdly reminiscent of the nazi reasoning and really off.
@guardienne

Yes, there are non-annotated versions of Mein Kampf available for purchase in the US. It's extremely difficult for the government here to have the ability censor political speech, even if it is abhorrent, because of US Supreme Court jurisprudence over the past 60 years. I had to read and textually analyze excerpts of Mein Kampf with no annotation for a History of the Holocaust class as an undergrad. So I am sure whoever really wanted it, could get it. :-(

I can't stand the thought of throwing books away, nevermind burning them. I have to give even the most cheesy 80s/90s era teen romances that I read when I was 11 years old away to the library, lol.

I actually don't think that Rian was trying to make any kind of "burn the past" statement with regard to that Luke scene because (1) Rey saves the books, (2) Yoda knows she saves the books, and (3) Rian makes his movies in such a way that he wants people to have to see it more than once ... almost like, "well if you missed it, you need to look closer".

I actually think that Rian was making more of a statement of how ... non-analytical/impulsive Luke is. I mean considering he supposedly searched the galaxy for Jedi knowledge, it's pretty damn shocking that he never bothered to read those books, lol. But then when you think of Luke from the OT, it kind of makes more sense. Luke does not come across as a studious or analytical type at all. He wants adventure. He wants to fly and kick imperial a**. He wants to help his friends. He wants his Dad back. He's not the St. Thomas More or Erasmus or Calvin of the Jedi. He didn't get some version of a classical enlightenment or Jesuit education which would have engendered serious analytical or reasoning abilities at Yoda's weekend intensive in the swamp. He learned to lift s*** up and face demons in caves.

In the end, I don't think Luke's love of the Jedi had anything to do with reason or convincing arguments at all. It seemed to be very much of a faith or gut thing, and when it failed him, he was ready to throw it all out the window. This does put him on the spectrum of people who engage intensely in some emotion/belief-based movement which you do see in many malignant governmental movements. But in the end, Luke is still so borderline-babyish about it and so petulant about it, that it seem like it falls into the "Skywalker idiocy" category more than anything else. I mean even when he was going to do it, he was acting very immature, like he hadn't gotten past his "Tosche station" whining even after 30 years, and was still all like "I'm gonna burn it down! Dare me!".

Ben certainly has some of these immature behaviors as well, but one thing that gives me hope for him to differentiate himself from the seriously non-analytical Luke and Anakin is that bloody calligraphy set. Very Happy Luke and Anakin never would have done calligraphy in a million years. And calligraphy brings up the idea of reading and illuminating ancient texts, like some Irish monk by candlelight. So maybe while Luke was being his "I'm a Jedi Master" self, nerdy Calligraphy Ben actually had to read and translate the books that Luke found, and if I really had my wish, Ben would have found some teachings that Luke didn't want to hear because they went against his emotional idea of what a "Jedi" should be.

This "Ben the student" idea will probably go nowhere, but I would love it if it did.
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Re: book and temple burning in star wars

Post by SkyStar on Sun 18 Feb 2018, 5:38 am

@guardienne



Goodnight sweet library of Alexandria. 

In European history, I am sure there are examples of getting rid and burning scrolls and ancient texts etc that is connected with religious practices - in the times of the crusade and also the Reformation. All of it is usually replacing one with another and going against the previous practice. Now we haven't got a lot of information about that time, but burning books, scrolls etc is a way to destroy the previous and kill the past approach. It's almost violent and destroying part of the culture, I feel it's violent and insulting on a personal level. 

off topic -  I always feel uneasy when people throw away books, lol.
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