Myth In Movies: Why “The Phantom Menace” Is Responsible For Our Current World Crisis.
I just watched what is quite possibly the most brilliant and hysterically funny movie review I’ve ever seen. This masterpiece critique was created by Mike of Red Letter Media and consists of seven parts that can all be viewed on YouTube. I highly recommend everyone viewing at least the first two parts of his videos, but it will not be necessary to understand what I’m about to say. His analysis brought to the forefront something that I’ve pushed down deep into my psyche for over ten years and am only now ready to release: The Phantom Menace is not only the biggest disappointment in movie history, it is also very likely completely responsible for screwing up our world’s history. Yes, I’m completely serious. Before I begin proving my point, let me begin with some facts that will be a little easier to swallow.
I experienced the original Star Wars during its initial theatrical release and have no doubt in my mind that it completely changed my life. Had it not been for that movie, I would’ve very likely become an accountant like my father before me. I was just a kid when I saw the film, yet, something about its themes of destiny and a universal Force to help us achieve it deeply inspired me. In fact, it inspired an entire generation. A generation that was meant to step up to the plate and guide our world so that we could defeat an evil empire of greed, materialism, pollution, and abuse of power. Yes, a movie was meant to inspire us to do this.
While this idea might seem a bit ridiculous, if you think about it, artists, writers, musicians, and poets are a lot like the modern day shamans of our society. Shamans have the ability to receive the messages of our world that are hidden deep within our collective unconsciousness. The most skilled shamans decipher these messages for the rest of their tribe to understand. Centuries ago, the shamans would gather their clan around a fire and explain universal mysteries in the guise of stories. Members of the clan would then pass down these stories from generation to generation, creating the legends of their people, and thus, its collective rituals and mythology. These divinely inspired stories form the foundation of just about every classically themed story we tell today, from The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars, to The Matrix and Lost. The messages of these newer stories serve the same purpose as the stories that were told hundreds and thousands of years ago: to reveal hidden truths about our world and our place in it. The only difference is (I realize I’m plagiarizing from myself right now so I’m going to cite the rest, which is from The Myth of Lost.)
The only difference is, instead of sitting around a flickering fire to experience [these] stories, we now view them from the flickering light of movie screens or TV sets. We still prefer to be in the dark to receive our myths — partly because we’ve been doing it for thousands of years and it has become ingrained in our psyches, and partly because being in the dark matches our state of mind before we are enlightened.
Once we begin to hear the stories that are encoded with subliminal truths about our collective destiny, they resonate with a part of us that had been forgotten. The result is a story that deeply moves a tribe and inspires those who are in tune with its message to act in line with his or her individual destiny. As I wrote in The Myth of Lost:
Star Wars did this for a lot of people — a story about how a simple farm boy with big dreams goes through a series of challenges to unlock his destiny, using a mysterious force in the universe to help guide him to success. In case you didn’t know, the simple farm boy is you (whether you’re simple, have ever worked on a farm, or for that matter, are even a boy). We all have longings to play our part in the universe, so that movie resonated with society and created a sensation.
The seed was planted with Star Wars, and began to take root with the two other films in the series that followed: The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. But those inspired by the messages of these movies would have to wait sixteen years for the final segments of their instructions, for it would take that long until the Star Wars generation was at an age where they could act on them. Unfortunately, something went catastrophically wrong. A hidden and dark power corrupted the download we were all meant to receive from former chief shaman George Lucas. Appropriately, the message resulted in a film titled The Phantom Menace. After waiting sixteen years for this movie, I, along with millions of others who had consciously or subconsciously changed their lives to align themselves with the wisdom of the original Star Wars films, was completely devastated and at a loss for meaning and purpose. Of course, like most others, I didn’t realize this at the time. I was just really disappointed. It was only much later when I began to realize how wrong the message of the movie really was. Because early Lucas is one of my childhood heroes, I was rather kind in my analysis of what went wrong with the films as described in The Myth of Lost:
When George Lucas wrote Star Wars, he was channeling the myth of the coming spiritual awaking which resonated with an entire generation that is now helping to bring it about. When he wrote the three prequels, however, he was telling more of a political allegory (i.e., Gulliver’s Travels, which is about the incessant bickering of humanity and all its stupid rules and laws) than a great mythical truth. Episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga tell the tale of what happens when culture gets so caught up in propaganda, bureaucracy, and what it views as morality, that it turns a blind eye as a madman rises to power with hopes of taking over the world. Now, I have no doubt whatsoever as to why George Lucas was channeling this story when he was — it was a moral lesson that society needed to hear to warn us about the times in which we currently live. I just don’t think it was a message on par with the original Star Wars, especially since it ended on a negative note for the hero. A true myth should never do that. The aim of the myth is to uplift and inspire. Taken as a whole, all six Star Wars episodes do this, but the first three episodes just don’t do it as well. They focus more on special effects than story, and this was why there was such a backlash after they came out. There are a number of simple changes these films could have undergone that would have made them as powerful as the earlier films, but that’s a discussion for another book. My point is that sometimes shamans lose their way.
After watching all seven parts of Mike’s Phantom Menace review, I now realize that it would take more than a few simple changes to fix that mess of a movie. I would take a complete re-write. I understand that Episodes I-III ended at a point that was the middle of the larger Star Wars story, and that this ending had to feature the fall of Anakin Skywalker so that he could be redeemed. But that point of the story is exactly where ABC’s Lost is right now (Season Five Finale) in the character arc of John Locke. We are being led to believe that he is either dead or evil, and have to wait over nine months to find out why. But I am still rooting for Locke’s resurrection and redemption. I am still completely on board with the character I most resonated with and fully anticipate that he will succeed. At the end of Revenge of the Sith, I didn’t give a shit about Anakin Skywalker because the character had never been properly developed. It would have been completely possible for Episode III to conclude with the fall of Anakin, but for the entire audience to walk out of the theater feeling bad for him but knowing, just as I do now about John Locke, that he would be redeemed. Let me just say that if Lost also drops the ball on this, we are royally FUCKED.
I understand that to many people Lost is “just a TV show” and Star Wars is “just a film,” but I hope that at least some of you out there will sense the truth in what I’m writing and understand the greater implications of these myths for the world. Even if their purpose isn’t to guide us, they are absolutely reflective of the times we live in and the times to come. Somehow, something went dreadfully wrong between the time that The Matrix came out in March of 1999, and The Phantom Menace in May of that same year. What happened was so wrong, that it corrupted the timeline we live in and most of the mythological messages to follow, including the second and third parts to The Matrix series. (I explain what I believe is the proper mythological ending to the The Matrix trilogy in The Myth of Lost and you can read it here on pages 8-9).
For those of you who watch Lost, you are probably aware of the quantum physics concept of multiverses also known as the many-worlds theory. The idea is that there are an infinite number of possible realities that exist at any moment, but we only experience the ones we notice. In other words, where your mind goes, you go. And the more people who have a collective idea about something, the more powerful the change in direction can be. In Lost, the main characters realize that the current timeline they exist in has been fraught with nothing but a series of hardships all because of one incident that led to their plane crashing on a mysterious island. They conclude that by changing this incident, they can put their timeline back on its proper alignment and thus properly fulfill their destinies. This idea has completely resonated with millions of viewers around the world. Why? Because it’s the subliminal message about the world we currently live in! We have been corrupted by an incident that subliminally devastated the destiny of an entire generation leaving us utterly LOST. That incident was caused by or solidified from The Phantom Menace.
I would now like to give a brief overview of the chain of events that came about from this horrific incident. Please note that NOTHING that I am writing about is politically, socially, or economically based on anything that has happened on a physical level. It is all a reflection of energies that occur on a spiritual level, or, if you are a more scientific type, within the unseen, subatomic particles that build our physical reality and are influenced by our societal mindset. So when I mention a person or event in a bad light, it is not that person or event which is “bad,” but the version of them that exists in the reality we are currently experiencing. With this in mind, have a gander of the series of events that occurred after The Phantom Menace was released:
1. After sixteen years, a hopeful generation who’d been inspired in their youth by a series of films to change the world (much as their parents and grandparents had done) will finally experience the newest chapter in the saga due out in May 1999. While this inspiration originally occurred mostly on a subconscious level, no one can deny the deep connection the Star Wars films had with its fans. Unbeknownst to most, this connection was based on the mythological messages hidden within the story. With the newest film, millions of fans around the world would be receiving subliminal updated instructions beginning with Star Wars Episode I.
2. Instead of channeling the myth this generation is meant to hear, Lucas is corrupted by some dark, unseen influence, and vomits forth an ego-based movie littered with an overabundance of special effects and a convoluted “story” that he appropriately titles, The Phantom Menace.
3. Devastated by the atrocity forced upon them and missing the message they’d so longed for, those who had been inspired by the original Star Wars myth bottle their resentment. Some even experience complete denial and force themselves to like it in order to avoid any traumatizing cognitive dissonance. These repressed feelings slowly leak out into the cohort’s collective psyche leading to feelings of confusion and hopelessness.
4. The generation that had helped shape the Internet and create much of the dot-com boom is now left soulless. This causes them to focus mostly on the material aspects of the Internet, instead of its much more important spiritual benefits that they were meant to usher in as per the message of Star Wars.
5. As per the precedents set in the Biblical Tower of Babel story and continued throughout history (the sinking of the Titanic, et al), using only ego to create something causes the massive Web structure of the dot-coms to immediately begin to collapse. This leads to fear, which leads to panic, which leads to irrational thinking.
6. As the stock market begins to tank in 2000, people decide to vote with their fear at the U.S. presidential ballot box. What was supposed to happen was environmentalist and overall group-hug type guy Al Gore was meant to win, but due to the overall confusion being felt at the time, a few hundred people incorrectly filled out the misleading voting ballot in Florida, enabling George Bush to become the next president. As is predicted in spiritual texts, it only takes a handful of people to tip the balance in any direction. This is known as a critical mass, and in 2000, this critical mass immediately put us on the wrong path to humanity’s enlightenment.
7. In 2001, George Bush takes office and immediately puts corporate greed and American materialism ahead of world peace and environmental prosperity. He does this through a bullying American policy and disregard for the unique differences and beliefs of other people.
8. This forceful energy instigates an energetic backlash in the form of Islamic hatred that brings about the world-shifting destruction that occurred on 9/11. This is the symbolic beginning of Armageddon.
9. America reacts in turn by attacking the entire Muslim world. Not satisfied with just attacking the perpetrators who caused the events of 9/11, Bush rallies the country to follow him into Iraq, practically tricking Congress to allow him to do so. Seen as a savior to many, perhaps time will reveal the Biblical character Bush was really embodying in our timeline, once we are far enough away from it to be able to judge objectively.
10. Making a threat that would eerily be mimicked by the Jedi-turned Sith Anakin Skywalker, Bush announces to the world that, “you are either with us, or you are against us.” (Was Bush to Cheney as Anakin was to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine — revealed to be the dreaded phantom menace?) Not looking to upset the belligerent mega-power, most of the world joins Bush’s personal vendetta.
11. The war for oil combined with a stock market benefiting from it eventually lead to a gluttonous nation focused on materialistic gizmos and superficial pleasures. It is official: we are completely on the wrong track. While many feel this realization deep in what’s left of their souls, most feel helpless to do anything about it. They try to satisfy their subliminal unhappiness with bigger houses, more luxurious cars, and more lavish lifestyles.
12.This focus on the purely materialistic, leaves our world without a stable soul on which to truly create, and much like The Tower of Bable, the Titanic, and the World Trade Center, our illusionary stable market once again sinks, this time, affecting the entire planet.
13.Almost as if coming out of a deep slumber, the world begins to awaken from its daze and immediately votes for change in the form of an American president who is different from anything we’ve ever had before, to help us deal with something we’ve never had to deal with before.
14.Unfortunately, still in an “outside savior” mindset, the American people do not change themselves but expect the president to do it all for them. They do not heed his message that “we are the change we’ve been waiting for.” In other words, there is no personal Messiah who will come to rescue us — WE are our own saviors. This misunderstanding only furthers our direction on the wrong path, and as the captain of the ship that is America, Obama is carried along with it and also goes astray.
15.Thinking that their misfortunes are based entirely on the superficial stock market and broader economy, which in truth is based on absolutely nothing but consumer mindset, the world anxiously watches to see when things will improve. All the while, the American government dishes out billions of dollars to banks so that they may give their fat cat executives huge bonuses for completely failing at their jobs. This money brings an energetic push in the wrong direction, furthering our fall on the dark path.
16.Now, millions are losing their jobs, their homes, and their former lives. Health premiums skyrocket, quality of life plummets, and all the while Americans believe themselves to be the victims of a world gone wrong.
17. However, glowing on the flickering silver screens around the nation, shamans who have managed to keep their connection to our collective message are channeling more truths for the world to hear. They tell us that WE have become the bad guys and have to change our ways. These messages come in the form of films like District 9, Avatar, and on TV, Lost.
18. Now, we are once again at a crossroads. We can stop focusing on all that’s wrong with the world and start focusing on what’s right. We can stop being brainwashed by the “news” and our presumed need for keeping up with the Joneses, and instead just try to make a difference in our own lives. If everyone changed his or her own life, the whole world would change. Stop worrying about everyone else. Change yourself and the world will follow. At the very least, you will jump into the timeline where the world is more in line with your thoughts. How can you do this? Fulfill your destiny! Do what you love. Even if it’s only as a hobby, or on the side. Even if it means not going out to dinners as much or skipping the bar or missing a ball game. Use your personal superpower to help change the world and get us back on course. We need you because if you don’t do it, who will?
In Lost, the castaways try to prevent an incident from the past in hopes of changing a series of events that led to their plane crashing and their lives becoming miserable. As of this writing, the effect of having tried to do this is yet to be revealed. I don’t know how it will go on Lost, but I have an idea of how it works in our world, and usually Lost perfectly reflects that. Changing the moment when you went astray can help realign you back on course. While we probably can’t go back in time and inspire Lucas to write the Star Wars prequels that fans were meant to experience, we can all put our energies towards a different vision. As a symbolic gesture, I am voting that all of us annul this reality’s version of Star Wars Episodes I-III, and begin a petition for them to be rewritten and remade. Whether or not it ever really happens is irrelevant.
What is important is that our generation recognizes that we have gone astray. We have not fulfilled our role in this world. We must put energy back into the vision we had after seeing the original Star Wars, after seeing the first Matrix, and hell, even after seeing The Wizard of Oz for the first time. Let these films inspire us and help us to remember who we are. Let us look to District 9 and Avatar — beyond the spectacle — but to their message on how we have become our own worst enemy and what we can do to change. Let us stop putting the blame on everyone else and start looking at what we can do to help bring about the change we’re looking for. We still have a chance to get back on track, before bringing about outcomes foretold by modern day shamans in the many apocalyptic films coming out of late. Let those myths serve as warnings. Let us not focus on 2012 as a time of dread, but a time of new beginnings. A time for us to once again connect with the message of our soul.
To join the petition to annul Star Wars Episodes I-III and have them remade, click here.
Marc Oromaner is a New York City writer whose book, The Myth of Lost offers a simple solution to Lost and uncovers its hidden insight into the mysteries of life. He can be contacted in the discussion section of The Myth of Lost Facebook page.