Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ICTar Wars

I have always been a Star Wars fan. I guess there is just something about star wars that has always drawn me into it. Heck, I have always looked forward to the day I would have my own pearly white stormtrooper armour and join the 501st (please check out

Star Wars offers a lot – for a kid to wonder, for kids-at-heart to ponder. From that day I saw my first Star Wars through our neighbour’s window grills while on tip-toe and to this day, a lot have been said about the whole epic saga. It has been looked into in so many different ways, dissected and digested – political analysts, economists, historians, literary critics etc., they all had said something about it.

So, maybe as a fan, and for the first time, I’ll say something about it… and oh, with a little hint of ICT on the side.

One interesting thing about George Lucas is the way he arranged the whole saga. Why create the original trilogy which is actually the second part of the chronology two decades before the first part? Hence, we have a whole series where the earlier part looks more techy and advanced than the supposedly more technologically advanced latter part.

For a fictional epic that involves the use of sophisticated technology, George Lucas, ought to have foreseen that two decades would make a lot of difference when it comes to film/animation development. However, he did it the way he did it. One then would ask, why. And the answer could simply be, because he meant to do it the way he did it, i.e., that the making of the epic is itself part of the whole saga. And if so, why?

Of course, ironies.

It’s man versus man-made, the digital versus analog, rustic versus tech, brute force versus technology-guided tactics.

Take the following for example:

The much more animated and colourful first part (Episodes I-III) dealt with how the Sith Lord (simply put, Mr. Bad Guy) came to power. How the Republic was thrown and replaced by an anarchical empire. On the other hand, the original trilogy, which was of course an animation/film technology breakthrough at the time, dealt with the return of the Jedi (the good guys) and restoration of galactic peace.

Another. Darth Vader vs Anakin. Yes, they are the same person, “the father” of Luke. But see, Anakin was that side of him which was good, Anakin was the man while Vader was the machine. In Epsiode VI, the last episode of the series, to gain redemption, Anakin had to have Vader’s helmet removed for all to see the man inside that trademarked all black outfit. It created a distinction between the man and the machine.

Last one (though there are still so many others), the Force versus the Deathstar. The Jedi Masters would describe the Force in so many different ways but they would all agree that it is something natural, nothing fabricated nor synthetic. The Deathstar, meanwhile, is 100% machine (and pure evil). It can annihilate an entire planet into oblivion in just seconds. When tasked to destroy the Deathstar, Luke had to abandon all technological sophistication and had to rely mainly on the Force and instinct. And so, the De
athstar is history.

I am not trying to equate the relation between technology and stone age to that of good and evil. I am not saying that technology is bad or evil. In fact in the whole saga, aside from Anakin/Vader, the only two other characters one could see throughout the entire series are two faithful robots: R2-D2 and C3PO.

What I think the whole genius behind the manner of arranging the whole saga is that George Lucas would like to put emphasis on the fact that while technology is good (robots, comlinks, hyperdrive engines, facebook etc.) it is that man should always be seen as the source of this good and hence its master. That this master in turn should be jedi-like, a man who knows how to wield a sophisticated device like a lightsaber, to know that it is for preserving peace and not for waging war.

So, each time we choose which to click, I hope the force is with us.

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