David Thompson
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December 14, 2015

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dw

But the evil storm-troopers all wore white!!!! It's a conspiracy!!!!

David

I can’t help wondering if Ms Harris-Perry would rather that James Earl Jones had turned down what must be one of the most lucrative voiceover jobs in history in order to avoid his unseen black skin being associated with make-believe evil in a fictitious universe.

Rjschwarz

So black = voice, clothing, and bad deeds in her eyes?

A sane person would think black clothes have always symbolized evil and a great voice is a great voice. I know 95% of the world understood this as children.

David

Before being hired as an MSNBC host, Ms Harris-Perry taught Political Science and African-American Studies at Princeton University. According to Wikipedia, she was denied a full professorship because of “questions about her work.”

Captain Nemo

Sometimes real life is indistinguishable from parody:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrCO-pwh4EE

Adiabat

I remember in the 90’s stand-up comedians would do this exact same routine, and everyone would laugh because it was obviously absurdist humour. I think it was also done by Chris Rock in the film Dogma.

Now SJWs are doing the same routine, but being serious?!

sackcloth and ashes

Jar-Jar Binks. The 'Der Sturmer'/insect-like slave trader with the prominent nose. The Federation aliens with the Mikado-style headdress, the accents and the eyes.

She's too stupid to pick out even the obvious cases.

TDK

Too good not to quote:

Michael Jackson’s story is Darth Vader’s in reverse. In Star Wars, a whiny, sexually frustrated, white man-child no one trusts turns, via hideous disfigurement, into an all-conquering, super-cool black guy who first made it big in the 70s.

Of course, I need to point out that Pootergeek is a black guy but what does he know.

David

Even though I’ll happily book IMAX tickets to watch the Avengers punching robots, I still don’t quite get the Star Wars films’ adult fandom. I saw the original films when I was at school and the first two were fun, but by the time the third one arrived it was already looking cheesy, even for a kid, what with the moon full of teddy bears, or wombles or whatever the hell they were.

As for the prequels, I caught bits of them on TV recently and was once again shocked by how awful they are. I mean, nothing enlivens a space drama like innumerable council meetings about things that nobody in the audience has any reason to care about. And at the heart of it all, there’s the sullen charisma vacuum that is Hayden Christensen. And Natalie Portman, who I’m told isn’t entirely talentless, gets buried under Lucas’s hokey dialogue and direction and is rendered floorboardlike. Whenever she and Mr Charisma Vacuum are together onscreen, supposedly breaking our hearts, the whole film sags into tedium and inadvertent comedy.

[ Edited. ]

Pinkeen

Only Vadar's voice was a black actor, the man inside the suit was out very own David Prowse, the Green Cross Man. It was a travesty that they didn't let him voice the part in my opinion. Darth Vadar with a deep West Country burr would have been a real joy.

David

The spam filter’s getting uppity again. If anyone has trouble with comments not appearing, let me know and I’ll shake them free.

Anna

Darth Vadar with a deep West Country burr would have been a real joy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQFho0_G1VI

James Earl Jones was worth every penny.

David

Wow.

Lord of the Fleas

Before being hired as an MSNBC host, Ms Harris-Perry taught Political Science and African-American Studies at Princeton University. According to Wikipedia, she was denied a full professorship because of “questions about her work.”

Work? People teaching African-hyphen-American Studies do work?

Who knew? ....

WTP

I mean, nothing enlivens a space drama like innumerable council meetings about things that nobody in the audience has any reason to care about.

Had the exact same feeling. Seeing that 100% urbanized planet on which they met (IIRC) and the huuuuuuge sphere of the Galactic Senate where soooo many different representative of sooo many different civilizations was when it finally sunk into me what a complete waste the UN is. Which I think is the opposite of what that scene was meant to convey. Which led to the sense that they seemed to be shoe-horning a UN type message into the film, and that was when it sunk into me what a complete waste the Star Wars films had become. Up to that point, and perhaps I had missed something by being simply a fan but not a fan-boy fanatic, I was under the impression that the Empire was the only cohesive organized fascist structure in the films and that all those opposed were more of a confederation of semi-cooperating civilizations opposed to the fascists. I also missed where the Jedi were formally tied to a political organization in the original films.

David

I think the problem of the prequels – aside from the appalling dialogue, wooden acting, dreary plot, bad pacing, endless meetings, etc - was that they were wholly devoid of charm.

Patrick Brown

"Which I think is the opposite of what that scene was meant to convey."

I'm not sure it is. It seems to me fairly obvious that the Republic only became a despotic Empire because it had first become a sclerotic, corrupt bureaucracy - the first film really beat you over the head with that - and that the stuff about Anakin being prophesied to "bring balance to the force" meant wiping out the Jedi, who were complacent, politically compromised and out of touch, and starting again. Balance in the force can only mean balance between the light and dark sides, no? I think there were some interesting intentions behind the prequels, which could have shed an interesting new light on the originals, if only they'd be competently realised.

Ten
I think the problem of the prequels – aside from the appalling dialogue, wooden acting, dreary plot, bad pacing, endless meetings, etc - was that they were wholly devoid of charm.

Well, to be fair the little kid in the flying chrome Cadillac cutting down droids was a hoot. But come to think of it, this was after he'd been part of that idiotic levitating Ben Hur race with the jet engine horses. I get your point.

Steve 2 - A Touch of Stevil

No wonder Godfrey Elfwick retired.

David

I think we may be living in a post-satirical age.

Argh

James Earl Jones also voiced a cartoon lion, who was kind and noble both before and after death. Does race hustler lady have an opinion on that?

Disclaimer: I haven't (and won't) read the piece linked at the top of the post, as just the snippet that was provided makes me want to kill. Myself, or others, or the entire human race, I'm not sure. Can nobody write properly any more?

Richard

Appearances can certainly be deceiving! Although she spoke like an utter fool, she has held faculty positions at both the University of Chicago and Princeton, so she really must be very clever indeed. . . .

TDK

Actors generally prefer to play baddies rather than goodies because the characters are usually more interesting and there are more interesting motivations. Even the goodies who are conflicted come across as more engaging than those who are pure. Fagin and Bill Sykes offer better roles than Mr Brownlow. Darth Vader is better than Han Solo who is much preferable to Luke Skywalker. Hayden Christensen was offered a potentially great role and partly through his poor acting but mainly through the lousy plot, he blew it.

On that basis, the fact that the most memorable character in SW is a "black" man ought to make our SJW happy rather than demented.

WTP

It seems to me fairly obvious that the Republic only became a despotic Empire because it had first become a sclerotic, corrupt bureaucracy - the first film really beat you over the head with that

My bad then. I haven't seen any of the films in at least 15 years so I'm probably way off then. Except for the numerous "Han shot first" clips. Unless by "first film" you mean the Episode I and not the one from 1977. I should know better as I had a roommate back in the 80's who watched every HBO/whatevs rerun of the '77 flick to the point that he actually could "quote" R2D2's lines. I kid you not.

On that basis, the fact that the most memorable character in SW is a "black" man ought to make our SJW happy rather than demented

But then they would complain that all the preferable roles of baddies were being offered to white actors. It's the same tire schtick they've been playing for decades. It's all spin, spin, spin. All such "opinion" can be traced to the simple rules of:

1) Anything America or Americans do sucks unless they are criticizing Americans or logical contortions can be made to "prove" America sucks.
2) See rule #1, substitute "Men" for "America"
3) See rule #2, substitute "White People" for "Men"
4) etc. etc. etc.

Don't question me. I went to college. I know this stuff. End of story.

Hal

. . . what must be one of the most lucrative voiceover jobs in history . . .

My googlemancy isn't getting me numbers, but I believe the actuality case is Not Even.---after all, the only thing Jones did in the SW movies was to read off a script for three movies, with potentially suspect royalty flow, and then off he went to other projects.

What I'm particularly thinking of for the, or otherwise a, most lucrative gig is, I Believe, some guy where all he had to do was announce This Is CNN . . . and As I Recall, he got paid for every time that short sentence was played on the air . . . . .

Daniel Ream

I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that Star Wars is a kind of Rorschach test. People see what they want to in it.

Hal

Actors generally prefer to play baddies rather than goodies because the characters are usually more interesting and there are more interesting motivations.

Such as, if you work a lot, you get paid a lot.

How do you die this time, Daddy?

dicentra

Even though I’ll happily book IMAX tickets to watch the Avengers punching robots, I still don’t quite get the Star Wars films’ adult fandom.

My company is taking us all to see Star Wars on the 18th.

They also took us to see Avengers.

I love working in IT.

dicentra

the fact that the most memorable character in SW is a "black" man ought to make our SJW happy rather than demented.

But then how would she leverage the opening of the new Star Wars film to engage in moral preening?

You really don't understand how this game is played.

Theophrastus

I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that Star Wars is a kind of Rorschach test. People see what they want to in it.

Indeed, though that can be true of all products of the human imagination. Leftists love to 'analyse' culture, and so they spawn various spurious disciplines; but entertainment is often no more than entertainment, just a cigar is often no more than a cigar, even to the Old Fraud of Vienna.

Elrond Hubbard

Only a crackpot like MHP can be traumatized by a 38 year old movie; but then she did wear tampon earrings.

TimT

Reminds me of a conversation I once heard at uni about billiards: "The white ball hits the black ball into the pocket. It's totally racist."

Randy

Indeed, though that can be true of all products of the human imagination. Leftists love to 'analyse' culture, and so they spawn various spurious disciplines; but entertainment is often no more than entertainment, just a cigar is often no more than a cigar, even to the Old Fraud of Vienna.

Bill Clinton might disagree. And Monica, for that matter.

R. Sherman

I enjoyed the 1977 Star Wars movie. Unfortunately, with each installment, I wound up having ever more questions. Like, "Why did they 'hide' Luke Skywalker with relatives on the same planet where his dad is from and with the same surname?"

mojo

The racist evil that some call "voice-over work"!

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Speaking of white black men, it appears famed SJW and organizer of dubious non-profits, Shaun King, came out as a genuine trans-black.

At least until he got back to covering his tracks deleting tweets last night. His struggle, however, is real, it is hard to convince people you were born a poor black child when both your parents are white.

WTP

at uni about billiards: "The white ball hits the black ball into the pocket. It's totally racist."
I'm inclined to agree. I was taught that the key to pool was taking care of whitey.

PiperPaul

Wasn't Steve martin born a poor black child?

Q30

But was he culturally-black, though?

TimT

"I think the problem of the prequels – aside from the appalling dialogue, wooden acting, dreary plot, bad pacing, endless meetings, etc - was that they were wholly devoid of charm."

Perhaps that is where the appeal of projects such as fans restoring the 'original' Star Wars lies - it's an exercise inherently intertwined with nostalgia for youth, and the way the cute original creations of Lucas somehow embedded so many of the cultural assumptions of the 70s - the robots with all their flashing knobs and widgets, the vast computer systems and machinery of the Death Star - it's all so video era, so pre-internet. That's a central dilemma of science fiction - the future is obsolete already, and we haven't even got to it yet.

sackcloth and ashes

'I think the problem of the prequels – aside from the appalling dialogue, wooden acting, dreary plot, bad pacing, endless meetings, etc - was that they were wholly devoid of charm'.

They were dire.

I think that George Lucas had an impressive imagination to actually create his fictional universe, but he cannot write dialogue, and he is in desperate need of advice when it comes to character creation. The inclusion of creatures intended for marketing purposes (the Ewoks, Jar-Jar etc) also screws things up.

Incidentally, Lucas used the clout and money he made from 'Star Wars' to help resuscitate Akira Kurosawa's career, which had gone badly awry. Lucas had of course been 'inspired' by 'The Hidden Fortress', was a big fan of Kurosawa, and was appalled when he found out he was on his uppers, and couldn't get a Japanese studio to fund any of his work. So Lucas cajoled Twentieth Century Fox to persuade some of its Japanese counterparts to get Kurosawa back into film-making, and the end results were 'Kagemusha' and 'Ran' (Francis Ford Coppola was a co-producer for the former).

So there you go. Lucas, for all his sins, helped one of the greatest directors in world cinema at a time he was in need of all the help he could get. I wonder what great things Melissa Harris-Perry has done in her life?

David

I wonder what great things Melissa Harris-Perry has done in her life?

She’s healing the nation with her racial paranoia.

David

I’m still trying to untangle Ms Harris-Perry’s line of reasoning, such as it is. She seems to believe that when Seventies audiences thought of Darth Vader, dark lord of the Sith, they were unanimously imagining a black guy inside the all-covering costume. As a child, the pigmentation of the person inside the respirator didn’t occur to me. And when I later learned that a black actor was doing the voice, I still didn’t imagine James Earl Jones stomping around and waving his gloved fist at escaping spacecraft.

David

Darth, off-duty.

He carries an inhaler.

Theophrastus

Melissa Harris-Perry bears a superficial resemblance to that pioneering trans-racial, Rachel Dolezal. Are they, by any chance, related?

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/13/rachel-dolezal-i-wasnt-identifying-as-black-to-upset-people-i-was-being-me

Tim Newman

I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that Star Wars is a kind of Rorschach test. People see what they want to in it.

Such as Jar Jar Binks being a Sith Lord.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Incidentally, Lucas used the clout and money he made from 'Star Wars' to help resuscitate Akira Kurosawa's career, which had gone badly awry.

I enjoy Dersu Uzala even though, as I understand it, Kurosawa hated working with the Soviets. (Who can blame him, I suppose?)

hUgO

Somehow I missed this all in my childhood. Maybe I watched a bit of it but I think I slept through that. Now I have to watch this stuff with my son and I just think it is horrible. Horrible script, sets look like something cut out of polystyrene blocks by preschoolers. Darth Vader- supposed to be frightening? My 11 year old looks more convincing in a Scream mask. And as mentioned above, meetings and exposition on and on and on. And the new films - huh? - it's supposed to be dramatic and heart-wrenching when thousands of little cartoon soldiers attacks thousands of other cartoon soldiers?

I sneeze in threes

I thought everyone new Darth Vader was the Green Cross Code Man. Can someone superimpose a crossing lollipop sign over his light sabre?

sackcloth and ashes

'She’s healing the nation with her racial paranoia'.

She looks like she's meeting Ron Jeremy.

David

I had to Google Ron Jeremy.

I learned something today.

Shawn L.

Was James Earl Jones available for comment? I strongly suspect he would have dismissed this rather quickly.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

She looks like she's meeting Ron Jeremy.

I don't know, I suspect he has higher standards.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Jeebus Jumping Chreerist, why is she so stupid??? It's a mask, moron!

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Plus, he was white the whole time! Did she not see any prequels???

Caroline

Never mind Darth Vader, I'm surprised she wasn't more upset about Lando Calrissian. Of course it would be the black guy who betrayed them!

(I like Lando, myself. The poor guy was just in a no win situation.)

sackcloth and ashes

'I had to Google Ron Jeremy'.

Hopefully not on a work computer.

'I learned something today'.

Glad to be of service.

Spiny Norman

I learned something today.

You found out who the other Hedgehog is?

Heh.

TimT

I was just reading about the Lucas/Spielberg relationship. It's impressive, too, how Lucas had the wisdom to sit back and let Spielberg take the Indiana Jones project where he wanted it to go, including in those points where Spielberg's vision for the character differed greatly from Lucas's vision.

Jonathan

I've never been a fan of Star Wars to be honest, even as a 14 year-old seeing it in 1977 it struck me as poorly-written nonsense.
Anyway, as usual, Milo explains it better:

http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2015/12/11/star-wars-is-garbage/

TomJ

Except when Spielberg wanted to go with crystal aliens; Lucas should have stopped that...

Wildgoose

I loved Star Wars as a kid, but the fact still remains that Lucas completely ripped off the storyboards for Jodorowsky's "Dune".

Hedgehog

You found out who the other Hedgehog is?

Beg pardon?

dicentra

Word on the street is that they find the skeletal remains of Jar-Jar Binks on Tatooine.

I hope the audience erupts in cheers, should such be the case.

WTP

Perhaps it's a reflection on my low opinion of the prequels, or a tell on my moral depravity, but Jar-Jar Binks is the best thing I remember about that installment.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Jar Jar's the only thing I remember, aside from Hayden Christensen's wooden face.

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