Saturday, October 23, 2004

Does the Republic have a ship called the "Adam Smith"?

TF.N reports that the starship belonging to the major new villain in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, General Grievous, has a name: the Invisible Hand. This is an interesting name, in that "Invisible" sort-of reminds of the title The Phantom Menace, implying that the genuine threat against the Republic is an unseen one from within. Also, "Hand" may be a subtle nod to Timothy Zahn's additions to the Star Wars Universe in his post-Return of the Jedi novels which posit a person called "the Hand of the Emperor". (Or it could be that I'm just in an overly-geeky mood, and am reading way too much into what's probably just something Lucas made up because it sounds cool.)

I doubt that George Lucas is trying to make some kind of statement about contemporary politics by naming a bad guy's starship after a concept that underlies a lot of our economic system, but I do admit that reading the name Invisible Hand put me in mind of George Carlin, who once said, "That invisible hand of Adam Smith's seems to be offering an extended middle finger to an awful lot of people."

Oh, and now I'm thinking of the Star Trek (The Original Series) episode, "Who Mourns for Adonais?", in which the Enterprise crew literally encounters the Greek god Apollo, after the fine starship is literally snatched up in space by a big-ass hand.

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