“Three tiers of racks: ground floor level, first gallery, second gallery.
The spidery steel-work of gallery above gallery faded away in all directions into the dark. Near them three red ghosts were busily unloading demijhons from a moving staircase.
The escalator from the Social Predestination Room.
Each Bottle could be placed on one of fifteen racks, each rack, though you couldn’t see it, was a conveyor traveling at the rate of thirty-three and a third centimeters an hour. Two hundred and sixty-seven days at eight meters a day. Two thousand one hundred and thirty-six meters in all. One circuit of the cellar at ground level, one on the first gallery, half on the second, and on the two hundred and sixty-seventh morning, daylight in the Decanting Room.”
Fair readers? Does any of this sound familiar? Of course if you recognize the actual source, shush you well read teacher’s pet and let someone else answer the question!
Modern science fiction fans might look at this passage and immediately imaging a plot critical scene from that juggernaut of cultural relevance that launched in 1977 but only achieved plot significance for this blog post in 2XXX with the release of “The Clone Wars”. This is indeed a very apt description of what one Obi Wan Kenobi finds on Kamino. Right down to the “ghosts” moving about the factory that is producing the clones. However this scene is not in fact from the screen play, or novelization of the movie. It is an older tale, one that shares some remarkable similarities with the much vilified prequels.
In 1932, with the world still smarting from the War to End All Wars, and the warning that maybe in fact it wasn’t already rumbling like distant thunder on the horizon, poet and playwright Aldous Huxley published “Brave New World”. It is this deeply disturbing tome that produced the above concept. Human reproduction reduced to a factory process. The all powerful state creating individuals to be grown like machines and used for specific purposes.
First off let this author admit that the similarity just might be a mechanical thing. A factory is built to be efficient and human biology lends itself to very specific processes. So the visual similarities might just be two different creators reaching the same result by an empirical study of the logical growth of science and industry. But there is still the underlying socio-political issues that lead to the creation of these institutions in their respective worlds.
There is a power that is seen as a good. On the one hand the growing post-apocalyptic state of Huxley’s “Brave New World” and the Jedi in Lucas’s “Star Wars”. They are handed by science (or science as represented by the Kaminoians) a docile population that serves their needs. On the one hand consumption that keeps the social order going to keep certain ideals in power and on the other war that maintains the social order while moving certain ideals in power. Both the Jedi order and Huxley’s state focus on the suppression of intense emotion, promoting amiable service to a greater good, ‘we all belong to each other’. The scenes where Obi Wan and Skywalker Sr. are flying through the capital could have been written off of nearly identical scenes in the opening of “Brave New World”.
So this author, having seen the repetition of a pattern, now wonders if it was deliberate on the part of the “Clone Wars” writers? Were they trying to depict the corruption of the Jedi order by so strongly aligning the core of the Grand Army of the Republic’s power with the saccharine dystopia found in Huxley’s “Brave New World”? Trying to tap into the sense of subtle horror that has risen from the book for nearly a hundred years now? Were they trying to subtly trying to display the fact that the Jedi were not the ultimate good that the culture had assumed they were from the original 70’s series? Was the convergence deliberate at all? Was it simply that the images created by Huxley have so far seeped into the cultural consciousness that when asked to visually display a cloning factory that that was where their minds went without thought?
So what do you think?
Was the great similarity between the Cloning Facility on Kamino and the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Center a deliberate attempt by the writers to show the corruption of the Jedi order or simply cultural convergence on a subconscious level?