Thursday, November 15, 2012

800 Words: Star Wars Episode VII – Directed by Werner Herzog

A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away…

Cue John Williams music and title cards         

Episode VII – Spleen of the Infinite Void

It is an era of void and decadence. The iron fist of the Palpatine Empire, the great organizing principle of the galaxy, has fallen. And with it has fallen that illusory transcendence to which all men aspire but cannot achieve, for they must have an enemy to focus them towards the ecstatic, poetic, illuminative truth of the present moment.

Scene I: Luke Skywalker, returned to Tattooine, walking among the charred remains of Moss Isley Space Port he’d just reduced to embers and bones.

Luke’s Inner Monologue: Without the Emperor’s heroic evil against which I rebelled, I am but a wormhole to nothingness. The Empire is my one true love, and I shall always be its slave. I cry into my pillow at night, for it was the stupidities of the Empire which made us look towards greater dreams. I now shall devote all my remaining life to the resurrection of its glory.

Scene II: Lando, Chewy, and C3PO gaze out into the infinite frontier from the bridge of the Millenium Falcon

Lando Calrissian: As I contemplate eternity from my temporal vantage, all things seem an abyss. To see the senseless crimes the Empire wrought is to gaze into that abyss, to ignore them is to gaze into yet another. To ponder infinite time is to see a universe created in overwhelming anger and miserable chaos. The absurdity of the Galaxy is laid out before me, and I must bear witness to that which I see, though none shall listen.  

Chewbacca: In my quest to attain human speech I have attained the wisdom that all creatures are greater when they remain but dumb and free from understanding. The world remains a mystery we are free to ignore. Yet I truly thought that human speech would make me capable of great things, even of killing myself.

C3PO: My linguistic ability is a conduit to understanding, but whereof my programming cannot speak, I must be silent.

Scene III: Retired imperial stormtrooper played by Klaus Kinski standing by the side of the road on Yavin 4, he is missing two limbs and has a sign that reads falsely “Rebel forces veteran, need money for transport back to home planet of Dantooine. May the force be with you.” He has a mangy grey beard and is missing all his teeth, wearing only an undershirt, torn pants and one shoe. He accosts random passerby he sees and tackles him to the ground in front of the passerby’s children:

Stormtrooper: Do you not see that every stormtrooper who perpetrated these monstrous crimes was a human being negating the humanity of his inner worldspirit?!?!? It is not the stormtrooper who is a monster! It is his choice and lack thereof! By surrendering his will, he ventures deep into the obscene, fornicative willlessness of his pre-rational nature! We are blighted by the curse of nature, and all those who saw what we saw take our share of that curse upon ourselves. And like Oedipus we must realize the unalterability of our crimes and put our eyes out lest we see too far into the truth of our overwhelming and collective damnation!

(The stormtrooper smashes his long-since broken blaster into his eyes, rendering himself blind - causing the children to cry.)

Stormtrooper: Oh happy relief! Ecstacy of torment! Children! Gaze into the abysses that were once my eyes and see the collective sinfulness of men within these pits of suffering. Take that sin upon yourselves as I have and mangle your eyes before it is too late and you have unwittingly gazed into truth most horrible!

Scene IV: Han Solo piloting a fight cruiser in the Degoba System with R2D2.

Han Solo: I curse the present and search the galaxy for remnants of our glorious past. When fighting against the Empire, my identity as a scoundrel proclaimed me to the galaxy as a man of the future. Now I realize that I am but a half-broken conduit to the past, formed by Empire, blood, and iron. I am saturated with life yet there is a bell upon me that does not allow me to die. And like the Dutchman, I condemn myself to eternal wanderings. In such a vile, debased era, there is no other rational course. In an epoch without truth, we must go forth and reinvent it.

Scene V: Naboo. Queen Leia addresses a hundred thousand troops below from a balcony.)

Leia: The time when we fought against the Empire’s beastly magnificence was the only true happiness we’ve ever known. Now we know that happiness is only the absence of pain. We are now free to contemplate that we are but hamsters in a galaxy without a wheel. The enemy was not the empire, it was us! And we must now declare war, holy war, against ourselves!

(In an instant of collective, ecstatic madness, all 100,000 troops begin to kill each other. This goes on for three minutes against the backdrop of Popol Vuh’s music, until not a single troop remains alive. Werner’s camera lingers for the next five minutes, lovingly, on the rivers of blood and dismemberment.)

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