Kylo is the only character in this story who accepts the postmodern take and runs with it.
Interesting take and very well written! But to me it seems it definitely frames Kylo’s perspective as wrong or misguided. So what does that say about the films own stance on a post-modernist perspective?
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.
Honestly, of all things, I would have never imagined us having a conversations about the parallels between The Santa Clause and TLJ. 😂
I feel like there’s a good chance we’re the first people in the world to have this conversation.
The magical elements in TLJ 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.
So does this mean the film can’t have multiple interpretations, i.e. meta-narrative, post-modern, Campbellian/Jungian? Because I think it does both. (Also the fact that different plots and character arcs could have various interpretations of their own.)
I’m not sure if the point of it being post-modernism is supposed to be a criticism of it, but I think for me it is hard for me to see how Luke’s story could’ve been told any other way that would’ve felt appropriate to his position as a legitimate modern mythic figure.
Many of the great mythical figures Luke shares similarities with all shared somewhat tragic endings. Jesus, Moses, King Arthur, we all see how they die, and none of them lived happily ever after. Jesus was betrayed, abandoned by his disciples and crucified by the people he was trying to save (he came back briefly, but Jesus’ crucifixion was necessary in order to save humanity, create a religious movement, and to one day return when the apocalypse finally came). Moses saved his people from Pharaoh, but never got to step into the Promise Land himself because of his own sins. Arthur united Britain only to see his kingdom come to ruin because of his failures and the betrayal of his own flesh and blood (in Le Morte Darthur, Arthur actually attempts to preemptively kill Mordred by casting all the newborn sons in his kingdom out to sea in hopes to prevent the dark future foretold by Merlin.) Then Arthur, mortally wounded, fled to the mystic island of Avalon to supposedly one day return.
So following that tradition, Luke’s exile, final act and death (or ascension) was a natural progression of his mythic identity. But, as the ultimate Jedi, his last heroic act also had to be one of nonviolence. I’d argue ROTJ’s climax was somewhat subversive at the time of your typical 80’s action hero because Luke did not destroy the villain, but instead, cast his own weapon aside and submitted himself to death. His greatest act was an act of nonviolence, and his greatest mistake was contemplating violence. So for him to be able to simultaneously save his followers and spare his enemies without spilling any blood was an act that reflects well on the philosophies of his counterparts, Buddha and Christ, and himself as a quasi-religious figure.
So maybe TLJ is post-modernist, but to me it still clearly follows the traditions of the pre-modern myths that came before it. With Star Wars being a modern myth, I by its nature it takes real ownership of that name by combining myth with modern philosophy. Also, were the original Star Wars films never referred to as post-modern? It seems like there are plenty of articles written about the original Star Wars films as post-modern before the new films even came out.
It just seems labels seem to change a little for convenience. The idea that new films don’t fit with the old ones because they’re post-modern and the original Star Wars was not, when it seems people would’ve said the original Star Wars was post-modern before the new movies even came out. Or is it because it is too post-modern?