Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Star Wars Conspiracy.

My nephew, who pretends to be a doctoral candidate at a well known university, cannot explain to me why he likes Star Wars, but doesn't like The Lord of the Rings. Anyway, he wrote to me recently  about a relatively short video he wanted me to watch, parodying the truthers (9/11 was a conspiracy):

Watch it before continuing with my comment below. I am not that knowledgable about the Star Wars universe and will gladly stand better informed correction:

"So childish. Very well, if I must, I will just say a couple of things, bringing myself down to you and your friends' infantile level:
Interesting theory, but I don't think the video takes into consideration four very important factors.
Factor 1: Luke's high level of training: Luke did not have just a little bit of training. He and his friends used to target womp rats while flying their T-16s. The level of training of imperial troop pilots is difficult to discern, but, if Luke had significant hours of piloting and bombing on his home planet merely for fun, it is quite possible it was equivalent or superior to that of imperial pilots, who were probably seen as expendable by the Empire (you know how empires are). I recommend Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success, which explains that doing something for 10,000 hours provides people with expertise that seems well above their peers. It is impossible to know, of course, how many hours Luke spent killing womp rats, but, if you recall how young his father started flying, it is quite possible that Luke also started as a young child and easily surpassed that number of hours as a grown man likely in his young twenties.

Factor 2: Luke was groomed to do this: According to Gladwell, people who end up stars in sports often get an advantage earlier on. He cites the fact that most NHL superstars were born in the same few months. How is that possible. It turned out that those who, because of the month they were born, started playing hockey a year earlier than others born even a month or two later gave them a huge leg up. Luke was not only the child of a very special princess, but the son of one of the most powerful beings ever to grace the universe. He was also being watched over and groomed by someone very special, one Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Jedi knight, who spent time mentoring and training Luke, just as he mentored his father. Notice how often professional athletes' children end up professional athletes themselves. Do you think Kobe Bryant wasn't helped by the fact that his father and maternal uncle were professional basketball players? Eli and Peyton Manning, Danny Schayes, Rick Barry's four sons and many others. It's not a coincidence. Thus, the connection between Luke and the great adventure was no accident, but a result of Obi-Wan's intervention.

Factor 3: Luke has a genetic advantage: You do not get to be a Jedi knight because you are a Zen master or just try real hard. It is sometimes vastly underrated how important it is to have significant levels of mido-chlorians in your bloodstream in order to hear the force speaking to you. No one had a higher midi-Chlorian level than Darth Vadar, perhaps as high as 20,000 per cell, far above everyone else's. What was Luke's? We don't know, but in order to have been a Jedi knight, it is probable it was at least 15,000 count and likely closer to his father. Though Luke's mother, a princess, did not seem force-sensitive, and a normal human count is 2,500 (you cannot have life without midi-chlorians, which are intelligent beings inhabiting all living cells), it has to be presumed that you can inherit your count from one parent, or there would have been nothing very special about Luke. As it was, his father could sense his presence from a great distance and he picked up the use of the Force rather quickly.


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I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .