The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Forget Star Wars, it's Chinatown

Jeffro has reintroduced us to Leigh Brackett.

Brackett was a mid-to-high tier author up to the 1970s; she wrote sci-fi work, and work in other genres. Toward the end she sketched out a script for a sequel-movie to a movie you might have heard of: Star Wars. But then she tragically died. Another author, Lawrence Kasdan, picked up her script, to revise it. That movie became The Empire Strikes Back.

You'd think that modern reviewers would be praising Leigh Brackett for what she did. At the time Kasdan was effusive in his praise for what Brackett had done; Brackett wasn't finished, but Kasdan did what he could to deliver her vision to the silver screen. At the time everyone made eulogies to Brackett's contribution - to Star Wars, and to SF at large.

But now, Brackett is known only as having written a script that was "discarded" and "rewritten". The international Makers Of Opinion And Of Policy have been telling us that Brackett didn't matter. The original Star Wars series was a Product Of Its Time, we are told; sexist, racist, outmoded. We'll forget about the best movie in that series, which happened to have been outlined by a woman.

Social Justice isn't about the contributions of actual women, if those women aren't convenient; it's about present power. But Jeffro probably knows that Star Wars was always a Left enterprise. It were better for Brackett that she hadn't touched this franchise. It might even be better for her memory that her contributions be ignored, if it weren't for that annoying ideal that knowing the truth is good for its own sake.

posted by Zimri on 20:10 | link | 0 comments

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