Wars not make one great

So says Yoda, but in some perusal of the Star Wars “expanded universe,” I’m finding wars are just about all we find.

Just read what Luke and company had to deal with after a few decades of mopping up the remnants of the Empire: “The Yuuzhan Vong war was possibly the most devastating crisis the galaxy had faced. The cost in lives were staggering; the number of deaths over the known galaxy were estimated at about 365 trillion sentients.”

Wow! Can Lucas make that movie?

The theme that makes the Star Wars saga more than a bunch of cool light sabers, funny droids and bad-shooting stormtroopers is the complex struggle between good and evil. Lucas realized that this struggle takes place internally just as easily as it takes place between governments and armies. I don’t buy the notion that Episode III was an allegory of the Bush administration, but I think Lucas’ vision would necessarily expand our notions of good and evil into something a little more complex than the typical neocon would allow.

Which is why the only part of the “expanded universe” I’ve found compelling is a somewhat recent comic book series on the life of a Skywalker several generations down the line — Cade Skywalker, who trains as a Jedi but turns to drug addiction and wonders, reasonably, what’s the bloody point.

From a panel in which he confronts the ghost of Luke: “I’ve read the histories! Time and again, the galaxy — which we served — turned against us! And we keep coming back for more! That’s real clever of us, isn’t it?!”

Now that’s a movie I’d want to see.

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