Thursday, January 30, 2014

C3PO (Star Wars Character Thoughts)

More Thoughts: Intro, C3PO, R2D2, Qui-Gon, Obi Wan, Anakin, Padme, Han, Chewy, The Emperor, Yoda, Vader, Luke

The first characters we are introduced to in the Star Wars universe, back in 1977, were the droids. R2D2 and C3PO are the characters we are meant to identify with in the sense that they are the ordinary “little” people caught up in epic events. C3PO more than R@ really embodies this role. Lucas was inspired to create these guys after viewing an Akira Kurosawa film that was a grand story told through the eyes of a couple, comical servant types. In fact, the way Lucas got away from this perspective in the prequels has a lot to do with what is lacking in the newer films.

C3PO is a good reminder that history is full of us “little” people. It is literally made up of common men thrust into uncommon circumstances. It is only through stories that certain people rise to the status of heroes, and even then normal, everyday folk have important roles to play in the big events of history. Without C3PO, Luke and Ben would have never hooked up, and our story would have turned out very different, if at all.

All along the way we laugh at the silliness, the fearfulness, and the small-mindedness C3PO spouts. In part that is because he is funny, but also because we know how he feels. We identify with him. Later on when Lucas tries to create a new “comic-relief” in the form of Jar Jar Binks, we hate him. Not because C3PO is less silly, but because Jar Jar is not annoyingly common but just annoying. In C3PO we have an ordinary “little” man rising to the occasion and doing his part to help move things forward. He is even courageous in his own way. Jar Jar literally blunders his way into helping. Dumb luck is not inspiring.

We all dream of being heroes in the stories we embody, but there is no shame in the fact that we are more often C3POs. In any event, we are usually “little,” but if we handle ourselves well we can aspire to be like him.

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