Matt Clark had me on his show to actually co-host with him as we spoke to Robert Tracinski who writes for The Federalist. He had written an interesting article about how it was unlikely that J.J. Abrams could screw up the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, so long as he stuck with the formula. There were some condescending aspects to Tracisnski’s article which I was willing to overlook, because he was right about a lot of things. But more than anything Tracisnski had been dismissive of the original trilogy as not being very good—which I thought was odd. So I was eager to talk to him. It only took a few moments into the interview however to learn the root of his issues—he was a Star Trek fan and had only come to Star Wars through his children. His position was that Star Trek was philosophically superior to Star Wars and that these new movies were kid stuff that he was enjoying with his children. Listen to that interview here:
Matt and I spent the first segment of his Saturday WAAM show talking about Disney and their progressive activism with a gentle warning about messing with the formula of Star Wars and the impact that might have on their massive investment. Matt and I love Disney—the Uncle Walt version. I love that Disney is a family friendly entertainment group—so I am willing to overlook a little of their liberal activism. Something that Robert Tracinski did bring up on his show that was true. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were the best conservative filmmakers coming out of the 80s. I personally think they were both seduced by Bill Clinton in the 90s and have lost their minds since. The reason their early films were so successful was because they all had conservative leanings to them. Once both directors had achieved their monstrous success and essentially stepped away from the Objectivist roots of their film careers, their movies started making a lot less money. Without question George Lucas was at least attracted to Ayn Rand in his early days—when she was at the height of her influence—and Han Solo was a character that represented that struggle within George. As he become more liberal with age and success—perhaps feeling a little guilty that all his liberal employees were constantly berating him for his capitalist tendencies, he softened up on his stance for individualism and began to accept collectivism to a much higher degree, which was clearly represented in the prequel films—which were noticeably absent of the Han Solo type of character.
After Matt’s show I spent time at my children’s house going trick or treating with my grandkids—and kids. Late into the night my oldest daughter and I spent time talking about Han Solo and how it seems obvious now that Disney will find a way to put him in the stand alone films as much as possible just to use him as a springboard to success. Like Robert Tracinski and I spoke about on Matt’s show, without Han Solo, I think the Star Wars saga crashes and burns. If they try to turn him into a sacrificial collectivist Disney will lose a lot of money because people will reject the premise. The ticket buying public will only accept the Objectivist Han Solo—and nothing less—the hero who acts in his own self-interest. Even though the moment at the end of A New Hope was intended to show that Solo was able to act for others, the need to save Luke at the last moment was out of Solo’s self-interest because he was starting to like the kid. Like I said, Star Wars is a lot more philosophical than people give it credit for, and I’d think that as much as Tracinski likes Ayn Rand, that he’d prefer Star Wars over the United Nations in space—Star Trek and all that “needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” crap. Screw Spock and his pointy ears—he’s a damn collectivist. Solo is a rugged, gun slinging individualist who acts out of his own self-interest. That’s why Star Wars is better than Star Trek.
We’ll see what happens, time will tell. It was a good conversation that was worth listening to, especially given what Star Wars will mean when it opens in a few weeks. There will be no escape; the opening of The Force Awakens will impact just about everyone no matter where they live. It will be impossible to not notice something about it as the merchandising around Christmas will be everywhere. Just watch the Duracell commercial shown above. Star Wars will literally be everywhere in just a few weeks of this writing. There will be nothing like it ever—history is being made both commercially and philosophically. The question will be whether or not The Force Awakens will be as anticipated on the 19th of December as it was on the 18th after people start seeing the movie. To be as successful as Disney needs it to be people will need to see the film several times. And to have that kind of power over the mind of fans—Han Solo will have to be a part of it with an Objectivist approach—otherwise the whole thing falls apart. It’s not the lightsaber battles and space antics that make Star Wars so great—it’s the Objectivist leanings of its basic premise:
Han Solo—“marching into the detention area is not what I had in mind.”
Luke Skywalker—“but she’s rich.”
Han Solo—“How rich?”
Luke Skywalker—“More wealth than you can imagine.”
Han Solo—“I don’t know, I can imagine quite a bit.”
Luke Skywalker—“you’ll get it.”
Han Solo—“I better!”
Luke Skywalker—“You will!”
Han Solo—“Alright kid, what’s your plan?”
That’s Star Wars—it’s an Objectivist love fest designed before George Lucas was overly liberalized. It’s also why twice during the broadcast with Matt that I uttered to his millions and millions of listeners—“Han shot first!” When Lucas changed Star Wars in 1997 to have the bounty hunter Greedo shoot at Han first in the Mos Eisley cantina fans were angry. It was a liberalized mistake for Lucas to cave under the pressure from the liberal film community to make Han Solo not appear as such a blood thirsty killer. But Solo acting out of self-interest shot first because that is the nature of his character—he’s an Ayn Rand survivalist and the heart of what makes Star Wars great.
Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman