(via The Chive)
Videogame developer Ross Mills recently nonchalantly strolled past the Early Learning Centre in Dundee and immediately felt a disturbance in the force.
In the shop’s window they had Anakin Skywalker lego toys for sale which discomforted Mr Mills as he thought that Ankakin, a character who notoriously embraced the dark side in the Star Wars movies, murdered ‘younglings‘ and betrayed his Jedi master, wasn’t an ideal positive role model for young children.
So, doing what any reasonable Star Wars aficionado would do, he penned a letter to The Early Learning Centre to voice his concerns.
From: Ross Mills
To those responsible for choosing the toys they wish to sell at the Early Learning Centre, as well as in-store advertising.
I was recently walking past the Dundee Early Learning Centre, and was shocked and disgusted to see an advert for Star Wars toys, prominently featuring the characters Yoda and Anakin Skywalker as positive figures.
Personally, I could not be more shocked. I thought the Early Learning Centre was a place for positive reinforcement of positive actions for children, but yet, here it was, actively promoting one of the most evil characters in the Star Wars universe. Anakin Skywalker.
Now, I am aware that Anakin was not always evil, and was in-fact an innocent in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, however, I wish to press on you the severity of his actions starting upon joining the Jedi Order as a Padawan:
* Consistent and flagrantly ignoring the rules, orders and limits set on him by his Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
* Killing an entire tribe of sand-people on Tatooine
* Killing the unarmed Count Dooku
* Cutting the arm off a Jedi Knight, Mace Windu. (Need I remind you that the Jedi
Knights are the PROTECTORS of peace and justice throughout the Star Wars saga?)
* Pledging himself to the Dark Side of the force, an organisation based on the teachings of the Sith, involving Brutality, Fear, Anger, and Hatred, including severe humanistic racism when they came into power forming the Empire
* Acted as the right-hand of the Sith Emperor
* Choked his wife using the power of the Force, nearly killing her and undeniably an act which eventually led to her death.
* Attempted killing of Jedi Knight and Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
And, last of all, and the most important
* The massacre of an entire school of young Jedi Children.
Now, I ask you, how can you sell such toys, promoting such individuals, in your establishment?
Sincerely, Ross Mills
Dear Mr Mills
As an avid Star Wars fan myself I can relate to your points below and see the perspective that Anakin Skywalker (in his teenage years onwards) is by no means a ‘positive’ role model, nor is he intended to be represented as such.
We sell a wide range of characters from the Star Wars universe, including stormtroopers, scout troopers, Commander Cody and so forth. With particular reference to the two former characters both are generally considered to be ‘bad’ and unlike Anakin have had no periods of being ‘good’ or ‘redemption’ and are provided to give the ‘good guys’ someone to triumph over. While ideally the Jedi Council would have no enemies and would sit in their chambers sipping Bothan rum, it’s not particularly interesting for a small child (unless of course they wish to populate their ‘tea parties’ with Star Wars characters in which case we fully endorse this!)
For a child to fully immerse themselves in the Star Wars products we sell I would hesitate a guess that said child is a fan of the Clone Wars cartoon series (the prequels and sequels being of an age most would agree is unsuitable for the age range we cater for). In this series Anakin is very much portrayed as a force of good, and our aim is to provide fans of the series with both heroes and villains so they can replay the epic battles of the show in the comfort of their own home.
It’s unlikely that children of that age have seen any of the Star Wars films, however if they have I beg to offer the following counterpoints to ‘the sins of Anakin’
* Anakin loved his mother a great deal and always treated her with respect
* Rescued his master several times from assassins, pit monsters, droid troopers etc.
* Rescued Amidalla from assassin snakes, pit monsters, the Trade Federation and even found time to romance her in the fields of Naboo
* Built C3PO
* Won the Podrace
* Killed the evil emperor to save his son
* I would also argue that if a child has seen all the films they’ll see Anakin as a hero who went wrong but ultimately paid the supreme sacrifice to atone for his sins.
There may be better role models out there for a child, but for the period our toys are aimed at (the Clone Wars), Anakin remains very much ‘hero material’ and is a popular and welcome addition to our range.
Client Support Manager
The Early Learning Centre
Step away George! Put it down and walk away! Further than that. No, just shut the door.
It seems that director George Lucas cannot leave the Star Wars films alone, like a hyperactive child who discovers a small tear in some wallpaper, he finds a compulsive need to rip the whole thing off. Speaking of rip offs, (see what we did there?), the latest forthcoming release of the special Blu-Ray edition of Star Wars: The Complete Saga takes the tally of varied versions of the films up to 384.*
But this latest effort to evacuate your wallet by Lucas comes with some changes to the original material, most noticably the scene above which replaces the tension filled silence by Darth Vader as he contemplates his actions before picking up The Emperor and throwing him to his death to save his son in Return Of The Jedi, with a cheesy scream of ‘Noooooooo!’ Michael Bay will be proud.
Then there’s the alteration to the infamous and iconic sound of the sand people, (below), in Star Wars: A New Hope, which has been tinkered around with so that they sound like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. No word yet if all the laser guns have been replaced with CGI walkie-talkies.
*figure may have been entirely made up.
Look at them! Drink them in! These are a few samples of the brand new Star Wars Originals created by Adidas. In a stroke of what we regard as complete genius the sporting wear giant has collaborated with Lucasfilm to produce a range of trainers, boots and jackets themed on characters, locations and crafts from the Star Wars universe. From fur lined Chewbacca boots…
*wipes drool from mouth* to a Darth Vader style jacket…
…the collection is enormous and not fully officially released yet. Here are some more examples but chart a course for High Snobiety who have a whole load more on display.
Yes it’s pathetic, we know, but today is indeed Star Wars Day an unofficial holiday organised by rabid fans of the movie franchise.
Why today? Well because it is the fourth and as every self respecting
virgin fan will tell you: ‘May the fourth be with you.’ See what they did there? That play on words actually has more smarts than the entire three Star Wars prequels.
In honour of such an auspicious occasion we’ve decided to post up what we consider to be the greatest and most in-depth analysis review of The Phantom Menace. This satirical critique which holds no punches thanks to it’s unique and rather dark blend of humour throughout, was created by Red Letter Media and compiled by a seriously disturbed character known as Plinkett. Some people argue that if it wasn’t for the collective movie car crash that was the Star Wars prequels the world would have been denied these hilarious reviews. We have to agree.
If you enjoyed the Phantom Menace analysis below and would like to see the ones for Episode II and III then chart a course for HERE.
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