Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Darth Hamlet

I quite like Star Wars. I grew up with the original trilogy, so it was so familiar to me that it was a while before I could sit back and say, wait, I do like these movies simply for themselves not jut because I have watched them so much. One of my good related memories is from when my brother and I were in elementary school; we turned on Return of the Jedi and sat in front of the TV with legos out, building the scenes as they showed up on the screen. That two and a half hours passed by quickly, I can tell you. Can you imagine the creativity we must have had? There was no spare moment to think about what we were doing; we just had to keep going to not miss anything. Ah, the things children are capable of doing.

I'm now at my parents' house for the holidays, and Star Wars was playing on TV. Even though we own all but Episodes II and III, I had to watch an hour or two just because of the crispness of the image quality. The TV is new (they just bought it this summer), and the difference between VHS quality and HD quality is, well, like the difference between not wearing my glasses and wearing them. As I was watching and gloating over how wonderfully literary Darth Vader's character is (which I certainly didn't notice when I was in elementary school), another of my comparisons occurred to me.

I was thinking about how Anakin made his decision to kill the Emperor a couple decades late. If he had killed him years ago, Padme wouldn't have died and the Republic wouldn't have fallen. But, no, it is only years later that he finally pulls himself together enough to make the right choice (and realize what "right choices" are). That sounds a lot like Hamlet to me.

Hamlet also delays action. He wants to gather all the information first, he tells himself, so he plays with all the characters and doesn't kill his uncle until the very end when it is almost too late. Like Anakin, he loses Ophelia and his own life in the entire process. Both of them have trouble knowing how to deal with relationships and how to jump into the right actions (since Anakin certainly acts, though not in the right ways).

How utterly tragic these two are.

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