Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Obi-Wan is the True Villain

So we all think we know Star Wars so well.   We think that first movie tells us the story that is continued in the rest of the saga, but what if we are wrong.   We already know George Lucas loves to alter his work and change the story on a whim, so what if we never really saw Star Wars (that first one so long, long ago in a theater far, far away) for what it was?    What if those "Rebels" were really terrorists and Luke Skywalker was simply a tool being used and manipulated by a bitter soldier from the losing side?  Think I'm crazy?  Challenge accepted.

First and foremost I must recap the legend of Obi-Wan.  Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi is the last of the Jedi Knights; an order of mystic warriors who acted as a sort of Police Force for the government.   A student of Obi-Wan's turned against the Jedi, slaughtered them, and forced Obi-Wan to fight and defeat him and go into hiding.  The end.  Sounds heroic, right?  I agree, but myths often are.  

When we first see Ben as he is now being called, he is a hermit on an obscure desert planet, supposedly in hiding and he comes across a young man who he saves and let's it be known he has been watching this boy and knew this boy's father who he says was killed  in the Jedi slaughter.    He promises to teach this boy all about his father and help him avenge his father's death.  Still good, right?  The only problem is that this is all a lie and I don't mean some of it; I mean all of it.

First things first and should be quite obvious is that Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi is not in hiding at all.  For one thing, he is still using the name "Kenobi" and more importantly is still wearing his Jedi uniform.    This is not obvious in the first movie and probably not intended, but as the series continued we learned that Ben's desert attire wasn't just what one wears in the desert as we first assumed, but was the uniform of the Jedi, an order extinct in the universe.  How in hiding are you if you are using your name and still wearing your uniform some 30 years later?   The Jedi slaughter and growth of the Empire wasn't exactly some small and unknown event.  If the remaining Jedi were being hunted, then why is he  using his name and wearing his uniform?   What kind of insane freak still wears the uniform of a defunct army 30 years after the war?   Wouldn't someone say "look, isn't that a Jedi?"

Next we have Princess Leia's mission.  Star War opens with the Rebel ship fleeing a gigantic Star Destroyer (possibly the coolest opening in movie history).   The ship becomes damaged and the Princess sneaks stolen information off the ship and it lands on a random planet.   This planet just happens to be where the guy she was looking for was in hiding AND the son of the bad guy she is fighting happens to live.    The means she uses to get said plans off her ship happens to be the robot made by the bad guy when he was a child.   How many coincidences do you need before pattern emerges?  Her ship doesn't slow down due to damage, it stops because they arrived at their destination.   The robots were brought along because it was known Obi-Wan would recognize the robots of his former pupil.   Basically, more evidence he was never in hiding at all.

After Ben saves Luke, he takes Luke to his home and begins telling Luke the story of his father.   He tells Luke his father was a great pilot and a hero; he paints a picture of a man Luke instantly falls in love with as it fills every dream a fatherless son has of who their dad was.   He then tells Luke that Darth Vader betrayed and murdered his father and hands Luke his father's old sword.   Come on!  He flat out lied and manipulated Luke to find and kill his own father.   Basically, Obi-Wan's final revenge on his former pupil is to have the son kill the father.   What a demented sick old bastard!   Darth Vader isn 't even the "Big Bad" of Star War, but only a lackey of Tarkin.   Killing Vader does nothing to aid the rebellion against the Empire: this is a personal vendetta Kenobi has against Vader with Luke a tool.

It is funny in an ironic way how Lucas altered his story so much that his heroes have become villains and terrorists.

I hope I have some friends left after reading this.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

My Tattoo

It had been haunting me; bouncing about in the back of my head for years, but something I would never do.   I was afraid; both of the pain and disappointing other people, but it was something I wanted.   My friend Miguel said "maybe it is something you are not supposed to get," but I countered "because of my fear it is something I HAVE to get."   He was the only one in on my internal debate and didn't think I would go through with it.  Neither did I actually.

My first design idea was "7/30/13" which is the day I was diagnosed and my world changed.   I would place it on my upper right arm, inside flesh so it would be hidden by a sleeve and remain a tattoo just for me.   Some people I would propose hypothetical tattoo ideas to with that date would say it was a bad idea because it was a bad date.   Everyone assumed it was a negative thing and wondered why I wanted to commemorate that date given my life changed and not for the better from their perspective.  And while I think of that date as a second birthday, I decided not to get it just because I didn't want a lifetime of justifying the idea and trying to prove it was a good day in the long run.   So the tattoo was back on the backburner but the desire was still haunting me.

While in Captiva, I decided on a new placement for my mythical tattoo; my right wrist.  Still a place where it was just for me, but also a place where I could see it.   The coward in me also felt that if girls could get a tattoo there, so could I.   And I could hide it by my watch if need be.  All I needed now was a design.

My first design stuck with me and a date on my wrist was pretty much decided, but it still didn't sit right thanks to the advise of others.   I still didn't want a lifetime of justifying it to everyone, so I started thinking about what means something to me.  My faith is a guiding force and a defining aspect of how I see myself.   While not religious, I am spiritual and believe in many of the Jewish philosophies found in the texts.    And I have spent the last two years of my life fight for life.   2+2=4 and Jewish faith + life = a Chai.   Decision made, but courage still lacking.   Then I had another operation and ended up in Hell.

While sitting in my hospital room and feeling miserable, a show came on about only survivors of plane crashes and, since NOTHING was on, I watched it.  It was OK for the most part and not half as depressing as I feared it would be and it sealed the deal on my tattoo with something a survivor said.  She said "life had put scars on me and changed my body in way I never wanted, so I found the courage to do it in a way I did."    That was it: I was getting a tattoo, but when?

Months went by and the tattoo stayed on my brain.  I began watching those stupid tattooing shows on TV and reading about them.   My rule was "if a design stayed in my mind for 6 months that I wanted, then I could get it for a lifetime."   I went about 3 1/2 months before I found myself driving to the tattoo shop at lunch one Friday.    Without thinking, I walked in and inquired about getting a tattoo.   The artist on duty was busy, but they said they could call me when he was done if I left my number.  I had a way out and didn't take it.   I left my number and went back to work as lunch was over.   I could still not do it.

My cell phone rang around 1:30 and they were ready.  Again, without thinking I asked my co-workers if I could go run a quick errand and they didn't ask where to, so I went.   I paid before my tattoo was started, so my window of backing out ended quite quickly.   By 2:10 I was back at work with a bandage on my arm that nobody noticed.   Weird huh?

So that is the story of my tattoo done in a quick and probably incomplete fashion.   I might have more to say later.