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Apr 30 2013

Star Wars and the Myth of the Nuclear Family

From sapling to monster. Tribulations of a young man growing up without a father.


Most of you must be familiar with the Star Wars series. If not it really is not worth making an effort to familiarise yourself with this masterpiece of mediocrity, just for this article. Especially since I will be focusing on the less popular ones, namely episodes 1,2,3. That being said, I have no great love for the ‘original’ movies either. It has just been way too long since I have seen them, and have no idea whether they confirm my totally fabricated opinion.

Anyway, what happens in episodes 1,2,3 is essentially we watch Anakin Skywalker grow from an exceptionally talented sapling, into a full grown jedi.

[Brief note here, I have just discovered that my computer's spellcheck, insists on typing 'jedi' with a capital 'J'. The absurdity of course is that I do not get an irritating red underline when I write 'god' without a capital letter. As atheist as I am, I find it concerning that a (supposedly) informed decision has been made to encourage computer users to revere 'sacred' symbols that are known to be fictional instead of sacred symbols whose existence there is a debate over. I will persist bravely, at the risk of offending the 'force' and being struck blind by it or some shit of that nature. In fact the theme of comparing contemporary popular culture will (or may, since I haven't the faintest idea how this will end up) be of great relevance to the rest of this article]

It is widely known that one of the great inspirations for Lucas in the making of Star Wars was the works of Joseph Campbell on the Monomyth. Campbell suggests that all myths have in common the ‘rite of passage’ storyline. There is of course greater detail in description, certain elements are detailed in specific like the appearance of a far sighted goddess, the receiving of a special item, the survival of some ordeals that come close to death etc…

Campbell’s works with their emphasis on the trial of passage story arc, that ends with the hero becoming ‘a real man’, as expected, place a tremendous importance on assorted macho imagery. The heroes in question go through a range of tribulations to prove that they have understood the wisdom of their invariably male mentor, save for placing their peckers against the chosen measuring implement of whatever fantastic land they come from.

Essentially the entire Star Wars saga could have been resolved by Anakin and Luke taking out their members. But instead we have to endure watching the said gentlemen wave shiny penis substitutes to make entire armies submit to their virility, before they can get to each other.

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