May 17, 2004
i like starwars, but...

mypetjawa takes the cake. Let me see if I can break this down for you, the beloved reader of my blog and possible star wars fan:

Dr. Rusty Shackleford posits that "we" (american citizens, I guess) "can now safely divide our enemies into two camps" (our enemies are, as far as I can tell... arabs and/or muslims and/or other assorted peoples who dress funny according to "us"), and that those two camps are: jawas and sandpeople.

What's nice is that the comparison fails on two distinct levels:

1) The author has a view of these fictional aliens that has been molded slightly (radically in the case of the jawas) to fit his view, and it might sound good to a casual fan of star wars, but if you are a geek like me, you know he's a bit off the mark.

2) The aliens mentioned above have the narrative advantage of being uncomplex one-dimensional beings who can only do what they are required to do by a script. "Our enemies" on the other hand (arabs? muslims? it's what I'm working with) are a lot harder to deal with because they are, well, complex and multidimensional to start with. And they can be painfully unscripted at times.

Rusty really needs to tighten this up a bit, for the slower readers:

[Jawas] despise being a second rate power when they were the most advanced civillization for so long. They hate you but tolerate you. The only thing they hate more than you are the "settlers" that ventured out into the desert. In public, they openly rail against these settlers and say they wouldn't mind the rest of the colonists if we would just withdraw our support for this small minority. This would placate some of them, for sure, but they would just find another excuse to resent us. For the most part, the jawas can be dealt with. They live their semi-nomadic life and simply want to be left alone. But don't misunderstand them, while they wouldn't personally kill you, when a Tusken Raider takes the life of an Imperial Stormptrooper or even an innocent colonist, they secretly (and sometimes openly) celebrate. Jawa political society varies from clan to clan, with some tribes even outwardly adopting many of the customs of the colonists they so despise. However, in all cases leaders rule with an iron fist.
I bolded the sentence in the blockquote to call attention to it, because you might have missed it.

The "settlers" as he calls them, are Israel, if I read him right.


For a sanity check, here's some info on jawas from the Star Wars databank:

The Jawas are a scavenger species. They comb the deserts of Tatooine in search of discarded scrap and wayward mechanicals. Using their cobbled-together weaponry, they can incapacitate droids and drag them to their treaded fortress-homes, immense sand-scarred vehicles known as sandcrawlers.
Nothing in there about hating the jews, or appeasement or any thing. Seriously, Dr. Rusty: take your hate-mongering to some other fantasy world, and leave the jawas out of it.

Or better yet, get your head out of the stars and realize that our "enemies" are complex and shouldn't be reduced to cardboard cutouts, because that always leads to disaster. And in the process you might begin to question who should be our enemies, and who we should try really hard to make friends with again.

I'm not saying I have the answers, just that it's a lot more complicated than every muslim is either a jawa or sandperson.


Posted by illovich at May 17, 2004 03:16 PM