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Post #1295923

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Episode VIII : The Last Jedi - Discussion * SPOILER THREAD *
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Date created
9-Sep-2019, 2:11 AM
Last modified
9-Sep-2019, 8:14 AM
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RogueLeader said:

Except in this Christmas story Santa Claus is still magic.

I can’t believe I’m making this comparison but does that mean Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause is a post-modernist take on the Santa folktale? In the film old Santa literally dies, and the new Santa is a mortal man who is struggling between his duties as a father-figure, and the duties of being this mythical folk character. He doesn’t think he is Santa, or even can be Santa. But in the end, he accepts the role because of how he can bring hope to children all around the world, even if he is just a man (albeit with actual magical powers).

Aren’t both stories a reaffirmation of the myth? Magic/the Force is real, and not a fabrication in both cases. Yes, Luke’s avatar is a fabrication, but it is also probably one the most powerful uses of the Force we’ve ever seen, the ultimate act of a Jedi. It’s a very real power that also demonstrated the power of his legend, and that in itself is a threat to the First Order’s authority.

I mean, by questioning the nature of the Jedi and Luke Skywalker it definitely plays in the post-modern sandbox, but when Rey gets to that island Luke doesn’t say, “Oh yeah, none of those stories are heard about me are true. I’m actually not a Jedi, and there is no such thing as the Force! It’s only midichlorians!”

Yes, I would say Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause is a postmodern take on Santa Clause, since Santa is aware of the fact, that Santa is a fabrication, an idea, not a real person. Like Luke at the end of TLJ Tim Allen’s character realizes it is important to sustain the legend, and so he accepts the role of Santa Clause.

Postmodernism and magical elements are not mutually exclusive. Magic is not a prerequisite of myth. Conversely its presence cannot be used as the definitive proof of the alleged mythic identity of a story. I would argue Luke’s powers in TLJ fall into the realm of “magical realism”, which is part of the postmodern literary movement. It is a style of fiction that paints a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements. RJ uses the magical properties of the Jedi to maximum effect to sell his postmodern message. The key element here in my view, is as I’ve stated, that the postmodern use of mythic themes are mythmaking self-conscious of itself, aware that it is engaged in a premeditated act of fabrication, which Luke definitely is, and that ancient myth was not aware of itself as myth, which Luke also clearly is. So, unlike classic Star Wars TLJ in my view cannot be classified as myth, even if it uses mythic themes, and magical elements to tell its story. The magical element in the form of Luke’s Force projection is used to reaffirm the deconstruction of the the legend of Luke Skywalker, and to highlight its symbolic nature, not to reaffirm the in-universe reality of the legendary figure himself.