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Wednesday, October 1

October 1, 2014

CNF Workshop: Today: Paul and Nickel. For Monday: Campbell and Shaffer.

Screenwriting Workshop: Today we heard pitches from Christy, Danielle T & Danielle B. We’ll continue hearing pitches on Monday, starting with Rosemary. You all signed up for Round 3 due dates today as well – I’ll post them to remind you in a bit!

Action Hero: Today we talked about (and watched) the six hero-villain showdowns from the six Star Wars films that pretty much define the series:

From New Hope: Obi-Wan vs. Darth Vader

From Empire Strikes Back: Luke vs. Darth Vader

From Return of the Jedi: Luke vs. Darth Vader (and the Emperor)

From Revenge of the Sith:

a. Anakin and Obi-Wan vs. Count Dooku

b. Anakin and Mace Windu vs. Anakin and the Emperor

c. Anakin vs. Obi-Wan

These six lightsaber battles are more than just fight sequences. They give us important information about our characters. They reveal the struggle between dark and light that both of our protagonists (Luke and Anakin/Darth Vader) must grapple with. And they chart, in miniature, the hero’s journeys of both characters.

It is no accident that each hero is tested by temptation three times. Jesus and the Buddha, among others, also faced three temptations. They were successful, as was Luke. Anakin was not.

However, Anakin is the one constant in all six battles. And while he made the wrong choices in five of them, he finally made the right choice in the sixth, and was redeemed.

The motif of temptation is, I will argue, what separates an action hero from the sort of hero (or heroine) common to children’s films, which would include Night at the Museum and Cloudy, as well as most Disney movies. Those heroes and heroines face temptation — but it is usually the childlike temptations of laziness or greed, NOT the sort of choice that might involve genuinely doing evil. In an action film, and for an action hero,

Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.”

I asked you before we left the most popular superhero, and (some of) you correctly answered Batman. Why? Because he’s just a guy — a guy subject to all the moral temptations and possible failings as the rest of us. Mortal stakes, as the poet said.

BatCat: No news… is good news?

7/8 Lit Arts:

8th Grade:

Survey: Reading:

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