Saturday, June 02, 2007

Science Fiction geekiness.

First off, there are no words to encompass my outrage over the doings on Stargate Atlantis last night. If, like me, you are pissed as hell, go here, and learn who to e-mail your complaints to, in the hopes of fixing things. Warning: there are spoilers on both links, major ones. So if you have plans in the future to watch Stargate Atlantis and want to be surprised by plot twists, don't click there. (Amy Lane, e-mail me if you've got the time, and we can have a rewarding discussion on how to piss off your readers/viewers in one easy step.) This same group of fans actually got Michael Shanks back on the original Stargate, after he left the show for season six. So there is hope. Get on over there and e-mail the producers to complain.



Anyway. Other geekiness. It's the thirtieth anniversary of Star Wars, heaven help all of us having mid-life crises over it. Last week, History Channel ran a show called "The Legacy of Star Wars" which really should have been called the mythology of Star Wars. (There appears to be an encore showing on Sunday night - check it out, it's pretty good.) It goes into all the mythological refrences between the Star Wars movies and world mythology. But the biggest question I'd always had was, did George Lucas do it on purpose? Did he write a rocking good story that happened to use a lot of mythological themes (most stories do - there are only so many themes in storytelling, after all), or did he deliberately set out to tell the tale of the hero's journey? I have wondered that since I was a teen, almost as soon as I saw the movie, when I saw the parallels between Luke Skywalker and King Arthur. (Significant sword, father/son death spiral, females he can't decide what to do with, etc etc.)

It turns out, he did it on purpose. According to the show, George Lucas was reading Joseph Campbell in college, long before he ever wrote the script for Star Wars (according to the show, he read 'The hero with a thousand faces', though I bet he read more than just that). Anyone who wants to tell stories, whether they be on film, paper, or spoken words, have their lives changed when they first read Joseph Campbell. (It has happened to me; I know.) In fact, there are rumored to be articles written BY Joseph Campbell ABOUT Star Wars, and I would love to track them down and give them a read.

So anyway, my geeky heart is glad. A long-standing question answered, with footage of Harrison Ford in his prime, into the bargain. Yum, yum.

10 comments:

Donna Lee said...

thirty years, I feel old. That movie came out at the end of my freshman year in college. I saw it 12 times in the theater (no vcr in 1977) and waited in long lines to do so. It has been one of my favorites because it echos some deep part of my soul that good will always triumph and heros can come from unlikely places. I have read Joseph Campbell and you just can't beat his explanations for why we write about certain themes and how they appear over and over in popular culture.

Bells said...

Julie I have the book which is based on the series of interviews, or conversations between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth. Fantastic book. Highly recommend it. It does cover some of the Star Wars stuff you mention in it. Campbell looks at a few movies that do the same thing.

NeedleTart said...

Pardon me while I wipe the drool from the screen.
Thanks for the eye candy.

Amy Lane said...

Okay...we need to talk about Stargate...it wasn't one of my shows, but I remember when they canceled Farscape and Mate and I 'bout had a collective anneurism... and I SAW that legacy thing...it was AWESOME... I loved how they managed to tag every myth that Star Wars tied into... (and Han Solo...mmmmm...)

Roxie said...

Mmmmm, Harrison Ford. Sigh.

Thirty years? Wow. What a long, strange trip it's been!

Barb outside Boston said...

This year we introduced my kids to the Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark series--I hadn't seen them in decades and was really surprised how well they stood up!

debsnm said...

My kid refuses to believe that I'm a Star Wars geek. Oh, well! STILL haven't caught that show, but I really want to - maybe they'll repeat next weekend???? They're show on the "real" 300 Spartans was fantastic! I LOVE military history!

KnitTech said...

Did you see the Star Wars Tech? That was a killer show. It was on right afterwards.

ladylinoleum said...

Dude, I am so with you on the Atlantis goings-on. NOT COOL.

I'm hoping they replay the Star Wars doc. I completely missed it!

janet said...

I snagged the Star Wars thing on dvr at your suggestion, and am currently thoroughly enjoying it.

It's a fabulous geekfest. Thanks, and I love your blog!