A sword is technology too. As are the carving tools needed to put runes in a wooden staff.
Do you know the reason those aren't celebrated as the technological marvels they are in a standard fantasy universe? Because thematically, the only thing that counts as "technology" or "science" is the stuff that's advanced by the standards of their universe.
If you have a magic arrow that never misses, but shoot it out of a perfectly normal bow, you don't get to claim that the bow (which was still absolutely vital to the operation) was the true hero here.
I also wouldn't claim that the story had some sort of anti-archery message because you used a magic arrow rather than relying purely on your own skill. Plus, I don't think your analogy works so well here, because in Luke's case, both the bow and the arrow were normal, the only thing "magical" that he used were his own instincts instead of something like a sniper scope
In any actual magic-versus-science universe, you can claim the fact that magic is real makes it actually just a subset of science, but thematically, it doesn't work that way.
Maybe, but what is the theme here? You're saying it is anti-tech just because Luke eschews the use of the targeting computer (though still relying on very high-tech bombs to actually do everything). But it only worked at all because Luke basically has superpowers to fall back on. It's not like he was a normal person or anything. So what, is the movie supposed to be, pro-force powers? Pro-super powers? It can't just be "don't rely on technology, it isn't as good as your own instincts," because Luke's instincts are basically magically enhanced to superhuman levels.
I mean, it feels like it would be kind of like taking the TPM and saying that the pod racing scene is trying to convey a message about how children are people too and shouldn't be barred from doing the things they love or something, when really it is quite obvious that it only applies to Anakin because he is a truly exceptional individual.
"The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant compared with the power of the Force."
Yeah, nobody takes that seriously. He may not have even meant it literally.
Which is described as ancient in-universe, thus not being treated as highly advanced at all by the narrative.
Isn't all their tech ancient? I'm not that familiar with the EU, but I was under the impression that the average tech base of their galaxy had been pretty consistent for something like tens of thousands of years.
Also, it's very common in science fiction for ancient tech to actually be more
advanced than newer tech, for whatever reason.
Which are all nothing more than part of the background, and not "technology" as far as the narrative cares.
Which is actually kind of my point. The tech in Star Wars is so ubiquitous that most of the time it's not even worth commenting on, until someone opts to use force powers instead of some particular kind of tech. Then all of a sudden it's an anti-tech movie.
He's also not treated as a person in-universe. That makes a difference when you're talking things like good and evil.
You and I must have different ideas of what "people" are. Threepio (and Artoo) has a personality, feelings, and relationships to other characters. He is very much a person.
Now if it weren't for those pesky superadvanced weapons systems he keeps ordering built to solve his problems, this would be a great argument.
Yeah, the main point here is actually that you are claiming that cyborg=evil and corrupt, except Palpatine is much more evil and corrupt than Vader ever was. Tarkin was also arguably more evil and corrupt than Vader, even if he didn't have the force. So there is plenty of indication that evil and corruption exist independently of technology in the universe.
Suspension of disbelief is a great thing for the versus type analysis, but for a literary analysis, you have to look at things other than what objectively happened, and more at what things mean narratively. Because it isn't what literally happened that gives people the impression Star Wars is anti-tech. It's the literary aspects.
I have never gotten the impression that Vader's death was a result of anything other than Palpatine frying him with Force Lightning. Not as a child, a teen, or as an adult, nor have I ever heard such an interpretation from anyone other than here. Vader was being zapped hard enough you could see his skull glowing through his helmet, there were sparks flying off his armor, and he could barely stand afterwards. I don't see how anyone could watch that and not come to the conclusion that his death was pretty much entirely a result of being zapped by the Emperor.
It'd be cherry picking if I were to grab obscure one-off events, but I'm grabbing iconic moments from the most well known and emotionally powerful films of all time.
I call it cherry picking because there is significantly more to the movies besides those scenes and lines, regardless of how iconic they are, and I do not see an anti-tech bias anywhere. To me, to get a sense of "anti-tech" or "anti-science," a movie has to actually go somewhat out of its way to suggest that humanity would be better off without advanced technology, that humanity is actually already better
than advanced technology, or that advanced technology is extremely dangerous and poses inherent risks, physical or of the dehumanizing sort. I do not think Star Wars does this to anywhere near a large enough degree to actually view it as having an actual anti-tech message to it. There is lots of tech used by the bad guys, and lots of tech used by the good guys. There is mysticism used by the good guys, and there is mysticism used by the bad guys. Yes, the bad guys have better tech, but that is shown as purely a matter of resources, rather than philosophy or lifestyle.
Of course, the bad guys also have better force powers, so maybe the movies are anti-lightside too.
Avatar would be blatantly anti-tech. Battlestar Galactica and Dune have a lot of it too. Terminator arguably (arguably because the first was mainly just meant to be an action movie). Star Wars? I really don't think Lucas was trying to convey any kind of message about tech one way or the other (other than, "hey, this stuff can be really cool!"). It's not like we get Yoda saying that living in a hut in a swamp is actually better than living in a city. There's probably a stronger message about the evils of insane dictators who think they can see the future than about technology as a whole.
EDIT: this is in response to Freefall
Actually all your rebuttals fail to answer the specific charge in those examples.
It's possible I didn't quite understand things, or did not express myself well, so let's see.
Yes, Luke used superpowers. Luke needed superpowers. I don't see how substituting advanced tech with advanced superpowers makes it an actual anti-tech theme. It does not show normal people being better off without technology, just someone who is far beyond normal anyway. During the mission briefing someone commented that the shot was basically impossible, even with a computer. I don't see that as anti-tech either. Maybe their targeting computers just aren't that great for whatever reason. Just because the movie doesn't portray all tech as being better than all other options at all times doesn't mean there is actually an anti-tech theme running. In fact, doing so would basically be more like tech-wanking. If anything, Star Wars has a fairly neutral stance on tech's place and utility.
And since we're also mentioning thematics, thematically that scene was basically just analogous to Luke taking off his training wheels. It's not anti-tech, it's just a tool to establish Luke as something special.
2) The Jedi are a religious organisation not a scientific one. Many of their teachings stress the importance of feeling your way through life, trusting the Force to drive their actions, and making moral decisions rather than the 'quick and easy path' of the dark side.
I do not see how any of that makes them anti-science. Not embracing science is not the same as considering it inherently evil or destructive. There's also nothing "quick and easy" about science. It took us most of recorded history just to figure out F=ma.
Saying that they use laserswords ergo they are not anti-technology is irrelevant. For that matter, they can be completely for technology and indeed, this is depicted in the films, while at the same time also being religious or mystical. Many religious people use iPhones and drive cars in today's world so again, your comment makes no sense.
Maybe I misunderstood. I thought the fact the Jedi were basically a kind of mystic monk was being submitted as evidence that the movies have an anti-tech/science message. I do not believe this to be the case, and submitted that there is nothing about the Jedi order that seems to actually reject either science or technology as a category. It looks like you agree with me, since the above paragraph seems to indicate you accept that there is no inherent or portrayed clash between their mystical beliefs and having a respect for science.
3) Again, it's like your point just gets away from you. You acknowledge that the Emperor relied on the Death Star to carry out his will. That's the very definition of 'bad technology'. Vader being more machine than man was a commentary on the loss of his humanity more than anything else.
The Death Star itself isn't evil though, it is just built with an evil purpose by a thoroughly evil person. One who, I might add, is essentially just as "mystical" as the Jedi themselves. So again, both forces can be used either way. In the case of the Death Star, it is simply a matter of the Empire having far more resources than the Rebels.
I feel like we actually kind of agree on Vader as well. You are right; the heart of the matter is the loss of his humanity. The cybernetics and armor are used to illustrate this, but I don't think it has any deeper meaning there than just looking cool. Making him a werewolf or mutant would have also worked well for conveying his loss of humanity, but would have been quite silly and out of place in Star Wars. Of course, I don't think most people view werewolf stories as being anti-wolf or anti-nature.
Obviously the droids were signs of good technology, but hey while we're talking about the droids there is some anti-droid prejudice in the Star Wars galaxy so it's not all good. What about the torture bot Vader brought in Leia's prison cell? There's also the Imperial Probe Droid that betrayed the Rebel's base to Vader. Also that droid boss Jabba had who tortured an underling?
Sure, you can find plenty of examples of both good and evil droids, but to me it seems like that simply balances things out and indicates there is probably no real bias one way or the other.
I don't really care what Palpatine was shooting; if the Dark Lord of the Sith tries to kill you, you're probably going to at least get hurt in the process. And it's pretty clear Vader was hurt in that process. Badly. For that matter, so was Luke, so it's clear that Force Lightning hurts like hell, regardless of what it actually is.
I've also heard that some parts of the EU actually stated that Palpatine deliberately gave him poorly insulated cybernetics and suit, to make clear how vulnerable Vader was to him, or something like that. I don't know. It doesn't really matter to me. Since the EU was all written by different authors, they have to be taken on a case by case basis. I'm sure some of them had an anti-tech bias. Some of them probably had a pro-tech bias as well. Some of them probably love huge numbers, some love small numbers. Apparently some of them have a huge crush on Boba Fett. I don't know. But what I do know is that they are not George Lucas, and what they have written doesn't really have anything to do with what he himself meant to convey in his movies.
I don't see how any of that makes for a strong anti-tech message. We have one instance of picking the force over technology. We have many instances of them working together with no qualms, or of many people just liking tech. I don't see how a small handful of examples overwhelms everything else; that's what I mean by cherry picking. The Jedi have no anti-science attitudes. Neither does Luke. Neither does anyone else. Palpatine uses tech for evil, but at the same time he is just as much a mystic as the Jedi, while the Jedi and Rebels freely make use of technology with no qualms or reservations of any kind. The only real difference is Palps just has better resources and thinks bigger. Otherwise it all evens out pretty well. The one clear instance of picking mysticism over tech is actually completely consistent with what it is supposed to do in the universe. The Force is all about perception. It allows people to sense death family members from kilometers away, mass death from lightyears away, glimpse the future, deflect blaster bolts with a thin beam of energy, allows a small child to compete in pod racing, and allows an older Anakin to fall a few thousand feet and land on a relatively small, very fast moving object. Perception and accuracy is actually one of the most common, albeit subtle, manifestations of the force.
Well, they had Harrison Ford on their side.
This may sound argumentative, but to be perfectly honest, I always felt that the main reason Lucas used droids in TPM instead of ordinary soldiers was so that he could have the Jedi cut them in half without making them look like cold blooded murderers. Essentially the same reason the Foot Ninjas in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon were all robots, or why the GI Joes could never hit anything with their guns except the BAT androids. It always felt to me it had a lot more to do with getting around sensorship issues than with any particular view on the ills of technology.
The Clones were made with technology, but again, the clones weren't evil because they were clones, they were evil because they were created by and for an evil man, who chose to use them for evil purposes. Not to mention the guy they were cloned from
was kind of evil too. But the people who actually created them, the Neimoidians, seemed perfectly fine, and the clones themselves were fine and likely would have stayed that way if they had been under the absolute control of Yoda instead of Mr "I-may-as-well-have-'Evil Sith Lord'-branded-on-my-forehead-you-morons" Palpatine.
I haven't seen the Clone Wars show, but I would say I view it a lot like the books, meaning if it wasn't written by George Lucas, then it doesn't necessarily reflect on what he intended to portray with Star Wars, and probably varies with the writer.