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Dark side of the Plot

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About halfway through reading the Slate article "Star Wars: Episodes I-VI: The greatest postmodern art film ever," by Aidan Wasley, I started to wonder why it was sounding familiar. This line in particular:

The Force is, in other words, a metaphor for, or figuration of, the demands of narrative. The Force is the power of plot.

reminded me of something, and it didn't take long to remember what: Nick Lowe's 1986 essay "The Well-Tempered Plot Device":

[I]t's not always necessary for the author to put in an appearance himself, if only he can smuggle the Plot itself into the story disguised as one of the characters. [...] It'll call itself something like [...] the Force. Credit for this justly celebrated interpretation of Star Wars belongs to Phil Palmer; I'd only like to point out the way it makes sudden and perfect sense of everything that happens in the film. "The time has come, young man, for you to learn about the Plot." "Darth Vader is a servant of the dark side of the Plot." When Ben Kenobi gets written out, he becomes one with the Plot and can speak inside the hero's head. When a whole planet of good guys gets blown up, Ben senses "a great disturbance in the Plot."

(But as with last time I mentioned the Lowe article, I feel I ought to issue a warning: Lowe trashes all sorts of beloved works, including several that I hold dear, so if you plan to read that article, be prepared.)

Anyway, the Wasley article isn't really the same as the Lowe article, but I was struck by that one common point.

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