The Morale Of The Story Is… – Star Wars & Star Trek Edition

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Think of your favorite film, book or story of all time. Odds are, there is a moral attached to it. Something that you can walk away from and apply to your every-day life that would improve it significantly. Whether it is something as simple as appreciate your loved ones and the time you have on this planet or as deep as “You are what you love, not what loves you.”

 

So, I’ve decided for the next edition of “The Morale Of The Story Is…” I would do something a bit different, and not limit myself to one series of films. Instead, let’s look at two groups of movies that often lead to sci-fi fans butting heads: Star Wars and Star Trek.

 

Whether you are in the Trek camp or the Jedi league, I believe most people can agree that the morals of these films are pretty simple and straight forward. They have also defined a (next) generation and have inspired countless lives to boldly go where no man has gone before.

 

Let’s begin with…

 

“Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” (1977)

 

The events of the following films, all the destruction, lightsaber battles, Jedi mind tricks, Jar Jar Binks and galactic conquest…could have been avoided if Luke had gone to Toshi Station to pick up his power converters.

 

Fun fact: That was Luke’s first line in the movie. Truly, the greatest and wisest Jedi of them all.

 

“Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)

 

James Earl Jones is the father of the Joker. No wait, I think I got that messed up. Mufasa is Fire Lord Ozai’s father.

 

Damn, I keep getting that mixed up. I blame Jar Jar.

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“Star Wars Episode VI: The Return Of The Jedi” (1983)

 

Had Boba Fett not been eaten by the giant earth butthole (ie, Sarlacc), he could easily dispatched with the greatest threat the Empire had ever seen: The Ewoks. His awesomeness is no match for their rocks and sticks.

 

But no amount of the Fett could save us from Jar Jar Binks.

 

“The Star Wars Holiday Special” (1978)

 

Even Wookiees dream of music videos by Jefferson Starship.

 

Also, I think all Star Wars fans have found something to hate more than Jar Jar Binks: This Christmas special that has nothing to do with Christmas.

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“Star Wars: Caravan Of Courage: An Ewok Adventure” (1984)

 

If you ever wanted to the epic tale of “The Lord Of The Rings” told with Ewoks, then this movie is everything you will ever want. And more.

 

I mean, it’s called “Caravan Of Courage.” How can you go wrong with that?

 

“Star Wars’ Ewoks: The Battle For Endor” (1985)

 

Clearly, the Ewoks have left a legacy more refined and treasured than any other in the Star Wars franchise. For they have touched the lives of thousands, if not millions, of children. And they shall carry the memories of the mighty battle for Endor for the rest of their days. When the time comes, they will pass this almighty knowledge onto their kin, so that the next generation may learn to appreciate the grandiose and epic journey of Wicket and Teek.

 

Ewoks: The true teddy bear’s picnic.

 

Boy, I’m all Star Wars’ed out for now. How’s about we ditch the hyper drive and go to warp speed? Good god, I am a nerd. Why don’t a throw in a flux capacitor in there as well?

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“Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1978)

 

If all else fails, try to pull a “2001: A Space Odyssey” and earn your film the nickname of “Star Trek: The Slow Motion Picture.”

 

“Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan” (1982)

 

When you are genetically enhanced super solider, bent on conquering the world, but stranded on a desert planet for several years, the most logical and sane thing to do is to start quoting “Moby Dick” and force worms down people’s ears.

 

And that’s before he knows about the device that can destroy an entire planet.

 

“Star Trek III: The Search For Spock” (1984)

 

The search for Spock was far easier than it was predicted to be.

 

“Where is Spock.” “Isn’t he on the Genesis planet? Where we left him?” “Oh yeah, I forgot. Let’s go get him. That search wasn’t so bad.”

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“Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986)

 

The reason we should not let animals like the Humpback Whale go extinct is not because of the environmental and health reasons. Merely, it is because you never know when a giant space probe will come to Earth, only wish to speak to a species that has been extinct for hundreds of years, just to make sure they’re doing okay, and cause global storms and short out all electronics until the probe speaks to this species.

 

A worthy cause to save the whales.

 

“Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” (1989)

 

If ever given the chance, William Shanter would make love to a mountain.

Has it been mentioned that Shanter is bat-shit crazy? And that he directed this bat-shit crazy film?

 

“Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” (1991)

 

The Klingons believe that, not only does William Shakespeare sound better in their native tongue, but that Shakespeare must have been a Klingon.

 

….Yeah, sure. You guys just keep on drinking your blood wine and believe whatever you want.

 

“Star Trek: Generations” (1994)

 

Captain Kirk was always meant to die on the bridge. It’s just that people never bothered to mention whether that was on the bridge of a ship, or a regular bridge. Oops.

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“Star Trek: First Contact” (1996)

 

Time travel is a casual thing that can happen in the Star Trek universe. It’s like having spare power tools. You know you have it, but after a while you just lose interest in it and only really break it out when you need to.

 

I also have the capability of traveling through time, but you can only visit the middle ages so many times before you’ve seen it all. I have so many maces that I don’t know what to do with them.

 

“Star Trek: Insurrection” (1998)

 

In the Star Trek universe, sacrificing 400 lives to save billions of lives is just not a fair or ethical choice.

 

Why didn’t I bring one of my maces to this film?

 

“Star Trek: Nemesis” (2002)

 

When you have a fatal illness where you need a blood sample from the most well-known Starfleet captain to live, the first thing you want to do is wait seven hours in your cloaked ship, just watching his ship, then make a long villainous speech about your intentions, and then after several hours of being a hammy villain, make your illness known. It’s not like you’re on a time crunch or anything.

 

Oh, wait.

 

“Star Trek” (2009)

 

The villain in this film must have found the villain from “Star Trek: Nemesis” to be his biggest inspiration. This guy is sent back in time about 300 years, destroys one random Starfleet ship and then goes into hiding for thirty years until he is called upon once again.

 

I guess the true moral of the Star Trek films is that time is just an illusion.

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“Star Trek: Into Darkness” (2013)

 

During his spare time, Doctor McCoy likes to inject other people’s blood and unknown chemicals into Tribbles and see what happens. And they that doctor’s like to play god.

 

Well, I believe that is it for this edition of “The Morale Of The Story Is…” I hope that you enjoyed this one, and…

 

Wait, I feel like I forgot something. Something important. But what could it be? I talked about all the important Star Wars films, especially the Ewok movies.

 

Oh, right. The unimportant Star Wars films. The terrible ones. I was hoping they’d just eventually go away.

 

I might need my mace for these.

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“Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” (1999)

Midi-chlorians and Jar Jar Binks.

That is all.

“Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones” (2002)

Anakin Skywalker hates sand. It’s corse, rough and it gets everywhere. Oh, and the people of the sand killed his mother. That might have something to do with it too.

“Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith” (2005)

All the blame for the rise of the Galactic Empire and their reign of fear and war can be put on Jar Jar Binks. He was the one to stand in front of counsel and elected Chancellor Palpetine to get all the power and control over the Senate.

And the alternate moral that I learned while writing that up is, when you think of Star Wars, the first thing that should come to mind is politics and control over a governing body. Screw galactic battles, jedi philosophies, unique characters and worlds and a wonderful soundtrack. I want to know who controls the Senate.

Goddamn, those prequels suck.

 

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The Morale Of The Story Is… – Dreamworks Edition

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The morale of a story is one of the most basic fundamentals of storytelling. By the end of your story, the characters must change, usually by learning something about life that they did not know before. Like not following strangers or not going off into the woods alone.

So I feel it is important to establish what the morale of every story is. Because that is the final impression that the story wants to leave on you. Something that the audience should walk away knowing more than anything else. Which is why I’ve returned with another installment of “The Morale Of The Story Is…”

This time around, I’ll be looking at the library of Dreamworks animated movies, including their 2D and 3D works. Like the last one, these are fairly simple morals that even most children can figure out. Hopefully you were able to spot them as well.

Let’s get started with…

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“Antz” (1998)

The perfect compliment to the narcassitic Woody Allen is Slyvester Stallone. If this had been a buddy cop film about those two, this would easily overtaken “A Bug’s Life.” It could be called “Whine and Brash.”

“The Prince Of Egypt” (1998)

When all else fails in your reimagining of the story of Moses, you can always rely on Steve Martin and Martin Short to liven things up.

“Chicken Run” (2000)

Chickens will rise up to conquer us all some day. This world shall not become the planet of the apes, but the planet of the fouls. All hail our feathered overlords, for they shall conquer the skies and rain delicious pies on us!

“Shrek” (2001)

Smash Mouth is the true star of the movie. Because only shooting stars break the mold.

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“Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron” (2002)

That horse needed a cough drop or something, because his voice was raspy.

“Shrek 2” (2004)

“Prey for mercy from Puss In Boots!” just doesn’t have the same effect when you try to sound threatening in the real world. Trust me on this.

“Shark Tale” (2004)

Will Smith-fish is one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen in my life. It still haunts my dreams.

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“Madagascar” (2005)
Even zoo animals understand references to popular Charlton Heston movies. That’s how ingrained they are, not just into our own society, but all flocks of life.

“Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit” (2005)

We are one bad lab accident away from destroying ourselves. Whether through gene splicing, chemical explosions, bacteria exposure, or switching your brain with a rabbit. All are just as likely to happen, but mostly the rabbit one.

“Shrek the Third” (2007)

Justin Timberlake is the answer to every problem ever. Want world peace? Just throw JT at it and he’ll have it all sorted out. Crappy fantasy movie? Just make him King Arthur and something will work out.

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“The Bee Movie” (2007)

An entire movie about bees? What’s the deal with that?!?

Okay, the true morale is that a Jerry Seinfeld impression doesn’t work as well through text.

“Kung Fu Panda” (2008)

Don’t judge a movie by its title.

I’m serious on this one. What? I can’t throw in an honest one? Work with me, people!

“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” (2008)

When your escape plan relies on a group of secret agents who are also penguins, it is about time for you to rethink your life. Either that, or find better drugs.

“How To Train Your Dragon” (2010)

All dragons are actually working for one gigantic bully dragon, so don’t pick on the little dragons because they get enough of that already from the pudgy one in the corner.

“Shrek Forever After” (2010)

Shrek backwards is Kerhs. The more you know.

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“Kung Fu Panda 2” (2011)

Don’t release your awesome animated movie on the same weekend as a crappy remake to a comedy. Because then everyone will overlook your movie and no one will talk about how great it is.

Sorry, I’m still upset about that.

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” (2012)

All you need to be in the circus is an afro and bright colors and then sing about having a circus afro. Thanks Chris Rock. Truly you are the wisest of us all.

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“Rise Of The Guardians” (2013)

Santa is Russian, loves to fight, has giant tattoos of the naughty and nice list on his names and sounds a lot like Alec Baldwin. The more you know.

“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” (2014)

Dogs are naturally smarter and better than humans. Give them a week and they will invent zumba and auto-tune.

So really, the morale of all Dreamworks films is that animals are superior to humans in every way. From the chickens in “Chicken Run,” to Gromit, to Donkey and Puss in Boots, to the endless hordes of dragons and even Mr. Peabody. These animals will lead the charge against the humans who will never see them coming. No longer will they be subjegated to our every whim but be free to live their beasty lives to their hearts content. The creatures of the world shall unite one day, so prepare for the worst.

With that being said, those are the morales to the many Dreamworks movies out there. If you don’t see these morales, then I don’t know what else to say. It’s not that I’m reading too deep into the film, because these are simple lessons. I’m surprised everyone doesn’t get these lessons out of the movies.
But I’m an open kind of guy. So if you have a morale to a film that you’d like to share with me, send it my way and I just might use it in the next edition of “The Morale Of The Story is…” Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to prepare myself of the animal apocalpyse, which will surely be led by its front of pandas that know kung fu.

The Morale Of The Story is…



Welcome to another new section of my blog, entitled “The Morale Of The Story is…” 
In these posts, I will be summarizing my feelings on the morale to be learned from each movie I look at. These morales will be life lessons that I believe can be applied in the real world and can be used to better your experience throughout life. 
This will be used to show that even the dumbest and brainless of movies can still teach the audience something, even it is as simple as appreciating what you have. 
With that said, let’s look at the morales of the many Disney animated films of recent years. I feel these are fairly straight forward morales and anyone can understand, but need to be addressed anyway. With that being said, let’s look at the morale of…


“Cinderella” (1950)
Never wear glass slippers under any circumstances. They don’t fit you very well, they break easily and apparently have a deep connection to princes. And who wants to marry a prince and have to deal with all that royalty crap? 
“Peter Pan” (1953)
Pixie dust is the elixir of life. Steal every fairy you come across and you shall rule the world.
“The Jungle Book” (1967)
Next time you get lost in the jungle, be sure to befriend the bears, orangutans and elephants. But stay away from the tigers, because they’re the real bad guys. They’ll kill you, unlike the panthers.
“The Rescuers” (1977)
When all hope and faith seems lost, your aunt is using you to collect rare and dangerous gem and has crocodiles as her pets, never fear. The mice are always on your side. 


“The Brave Little Toaster” (1987)
Your toaster, electric blanket, lamp and vacuum will chase you halfway around the world (and apparently all the way to Mars…yes, “The Brave Little Toaster Goes To Mars” is a thing that exists).
“The Little Mermaid” (1989)
Stalk someone you just met and only know through passing glances (and apparently collecting giant stone statues of them) and they will eventually fall in love with you. That’s how love works, right?
“Beauty & The Beast” (1991)
There is a monster inside of all of us, waiting to be let out. And within that monster is a hunky pinup model, waiting to be “let out.”
“Aladdin” (1992)
Genies will always make jokes and references to Groucho Marx, Johnny Carson and Jack Nicholson. Even if they don’t exist yet. 


“The Lion King” (1994)
You can either run away in fear of the past or learn from it. Except when you doubt yourself and more fear starts to set in, no one is behind you or standing up for you. Unless it all turns out what you believe is your past is a lie…So really the morale is never take responsibility for what you’ve done, because nobody will be behind you, unless you didn’t do it.
Have I mentioned this movie isn’t as good as people make it out be?
“Pocahontas” (1995)
“They’re not like you and me, which means they must be evil” is one of the worst lyrics I’ve heard in any song. Ever.
“The Hunchback Of Notre Dame” (1996)
Priests are evil. Never trust anyone in a cloak or longingly sniffs the garment of gypsy. 
“Hercules” (1997)
Always invite Hades to your party. Trust me, it will cause far less stress in the future.


“Tarzan” (1999)
Man = evil. Apes = good. Man-ape = savior of all ape-kind. Audience = confused.
“The Princess And The Frog” (2009)
The guidelines for spells and deals with shadow demons must come with extensive loopholes, written out in detail, highlighted the key points in case of a court case.
“Tangled” (2010)
A frying pan is the ultimate weapon. Tell this to MacGuyver and his head will explode. 
“Frozen” (2013)
Eternal winter isn’t as bad as some make it out to be. It’s good for the ice business, many snow days for the kids, no shortage of fresh water, the season is consistent and the temperature is only around absolute zero. That’s serviceable. 
That’s all I have for now. I hope you learned a thing or two about something that you could use in the real world, because there is so much that movies can teach us. I felt these morales were quite obvious, so next time I’ll be sure to look at some of the more obscure lessons to learned from cinema.