Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Star Wars is about Vietnam


Michael Ondaatje: Was Apocalypse Now a project the two [Francis Ford Coppola and John Milius] of them thought up?

Walter Murch [editor of Apocalypse Now]: No. Originally George Lucas was going to direct, so it was a project that George and John developed for Zoetrope. That was back in 1969.... After the success of American Graffiti in 1973, George wanted to revive it, but it was still too hot a topic, the war was still on, and nobody wanted to finance something like that. So George considered his options: What did he really want to say in Apocalypse Now? The message boiled down to the ability of a small group of people to defeat a gigantic power simply by the force of their convictions. And he decided, All right, if it's policitically too hot as a contemporary subject, I'll put the essence of the story in outer space and make it happen in a galaxy long ago and far away. The rebel group were the North Vietnamese, and the Empire was the United States. And if you have the force, no matter how small you are, you can defeat the overwhelmingly big power. Star Wars is George's transubstantiated version of Apocalypse Now.

-- Page 70, The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, M. Ondaatje.

Google "Star Wars and Vietnam." The first two hits are these:
  1. "Star Wars and the American Empire"
  2. CNN article, "Lucas on Iraq war, 'Star Wars' ''
Read. And think for yourself.

Iraq. Somalia. Vietnam.

Shouldn't Luke had been played by a North Vietnamese actor?

Photo by: David et Magalie

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