I used to marvel at the author’s godlike ability to let be the inevitabilities within his characters. In The Idiot, Dostoevsky’s narrator depicts Gogol as throwing his arms up “in amazement” at Lieutenant Pirogov and his puff-pastry, as if the writer had not known what the character would do.
Now I get angry when a character in a television series does something that he really couldn’t (mainly in a moral sense) have done. (I think, in particular, of the distortion of Andrew Foyle in Foyle’s War, made necessary by Julian Ovenden’s choice to leave the series.)
Carl Eric Scott contrasts the “poetic precedent” of Middle Earth with that of the Star Wars universe in a similar context:
Contrary to what Canavan tries to imply, there is nothing remotely wise or tragic-sensed about this betrayal of the original magic of those films, particularly the first one. It is only “adult” in being jaded. Compare and contrast what Canavan reveals about Tolkien’s quickly-aborted attempt to write a piece set in his “Fourth Age” of Middle-Earth. Tolkien says he “discovered” several things about what would happen in Gondor, including the emergence of a secret Satanic cult. It’s always weird to read Tolkien saying he discovered this or that about his own imagined world, but what he apparently means is that following through on the logic of human (or elvish, etc.) nature and events, that this or that would follow. Middle-Earth (Arda, strictly speaking) was a literary world constructed carefully enough, and upon real wisdom and poetic precedent enough, to invite and sustain that kind of thinking, and that kind of discovery. The Star Wars world never was. Tolkien wisely chose to be silent about what would have to happen in the Fourth Age, in part to be true to the beautiful ending of The Lord of the Rings, but there was no literary necessity for the Star Wars world to go this way or that.
He goes on to offer this Spenglerian explanation for J.J. Abrams’ failure to “discover” anything:
Rather, there was another kind of necessity at work, as Pete suggests. One about money.
A couple of Spengler’s comments on money his Decline of the West:
It was in the conception of money as an inorganic and abstract magnitude, entirely disconnected from the notion of the fruitful earth and the primitive values, that the Romans had the advantage of the Greeks. Thenceforward, any high ideal of life becomes largely a question of money. […]
Money has become, for man as an economic animal, a form of the activity of waking-consciousness, having no longer any roots in Being. This is the basis of its monstrous power . . . .