Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It Doesn't Pay to be Good

The following is a re-post from an old blog/column I wrote for another medium a long time ago. I've tweaked it a little to bring it up to date while hopefully keeping the content intact.

Lex Luther,  Anakin Skywalker, Michael Meyers and Elphaba Thropp have one thing in common. They started out as good people.

Spoiler alert: This column gives away plot points of Spider-Man and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

Over the last couple of weekends, I managed to catch up on my movie watching for the summer, which included the above-mentioned films.  I liked all but the last two minutes of Spider-Man.  I enjoyed the special effects and was pleased with how true the movie adaptation was to the Marvel Comics storyline.   I even liked the casting choices for Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) and the other characters.  I didn't like "Man Waiting for Bus" in scene 14 because his performance was so unbelievable, but I digress.

What I really didn't like was the ending in the graveyard where Mary Jane suddenly professes her love for Peter, a.k.a. Spider-Man.  Unfortunately our fine webbed friend has to turn down MJ’s sudden discovered love because being with her might be hazardous to her health.  Parker has been in love with Mary Jane since the day she walked into his life and now that he final has her, he is forced to give her up because of a higher calling: The Sequel.

Now take Star Wars: Episode II.  In it the young Anakin Skywalker - who will eventually become the evil and dastardly George W. Bush - gets married to the lovely Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman).  True he loses an arm, which is technically getting off easy with what weddings cost these days.  While we’re on the subject, is it just me or wouldn't you expect that if they have the technology to send a message across the galaxy, they'd know how to reattach a severed limb? Well, the former Queen decides to marry the guy anyway.  Why? Because chicks dig evil! 

What attracted Anakin Skywalker to the Dark Side in "Episode II."

"In this film, you begin to see that he has a fear of losing things, a fear of losing his mother, and as a result, he wants to begin to control things, he wants to become powerful, and these are not Jedi traits," he said. "And part of these are because he was starting to be trained so late in life, that he'd already formed these attachments. And for a Jedi, attachment is forbidden."

Let's look at television while we're at it.  In the television series Smallville, a young Clark Kent, who will later grow up to become Superman, also has to give up any hope of ever being with either Lana Lang or Lois Lane.  In episode after episode - and I am qualified to make this generalization because I've seen almost five complete shows - Kent has the opportunity to get in good with Lana, but has to pass it up because of some pesky obligation to save some helpless mortal caught under a overturned tractor. 

Sidebar:  Annette O'Toole played Lana Lang, the girl Clark Kent left behind in his youth, in the big-screen feature Superman III. Now she takes her new place in the Superman saga playing a teenage Clark Kent's mother, Martha, in the new action-adventure series Smallville. (Source:,7930,81,00.html). 

Now I have to think of a TV example where a bad guy gets the girl.  The only one I can think of is Charmed.  In Charmed, a television show about three sisters who are also witches…or is it three witches who are also sisters?  Anyway, these are good witches who must fight the forces of evil.  Every week, they somehow manage to magically vanquish a demon or warlock without smearing any makeup or messing up their hair.  These witches are extremely hot looking and could have any guy they wanted.  Yet Phoebe, the youngest witch played by Alyssa Milano, chooses to marry Cole, an upper level demon working for The Source, played by Bill Gates. 

So it seems that if you chose evil, you get the girl.  Do the right thing, and you're spinning web fluid alone, if you know what I mean.  Can anyone tell me where to sign up with the Dark side of the Force?