The Kiss of Judas… in Star Wars?
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Don’t make fun of me. I LOVE Star Wars. Return of the Jedi was always my favorite, but I love all the original three.
I love the aliens.
I love the bad guys.
I love the LIGHTSABERS.
And I was thinking about the Kiss of Judas, and how brotherly betrayal is represented in film. We see the female kiss of betrayal far more often than the male, I think, and most of the time, the male kiss of betrayal is not a literal kiss. More often, it’s an act of betrayal committed out of fear and masked as a friendly gesture. And I thought, where better to see the Kiss of Judas in film, than in The Empire Strikes Back?
You know who I’m talking about. Don’t deny it, you’ve seen the movies at least three times each, too.
Now, I feel bad for Lando. He’s never quite the good guy or quite the bad guy – always a suspect, thanks to his shady past of gambling and the grudge Han Solo fears he holds about losing the Falcon to him. But in Star Wars, we most often talk about the struggle between light and dark, or the villainization of Darth Vader, or that creepy brother-sister-kiss in The Empire Strikes Back that happened before Luke and Leia knew they were twins.
Lando Calrissian, to spare his people the enslavement of the Empire, betrays Luke Skywalker. He doesn’t actually know Luke Skywalker prior to this, so I suppose it’s not a true kiss of Judas, but he ends up chucking Han Solo under the bus along with Luke, and doesn’t bother doing anything to stop his course until after Han is already shrink-wrapped and carbonite frozen, ready to be shipped to Jabba’s palace like a Pier One wall hanging.
My point is that in order to serve the good of his personal causes, Lando commits a friendly act that ends up handing his friends over to the dark side. Did he intend to betray Han and Leia and Chewbacca with his backpack-o-droid? No, not really. But he got tangled up with bigger bad guys than he was prepared to fight off when he changed his mind, and the betrayal was a consequence of that.
And no matter which version of the Kiss of Judas story you believe – that Judas and Jesus agreed upon the exchange based on the wording of the text in the bible, or that Judas committed a completely unexpected betrayal, his actions appeared selfish when they were truly driven by fear.
And then everybody gets tangled up in Judas’ problems…
And bad things go KABOOM!
Where have you seen a Kiss of Judas in film? Where the betrayal is brotherly, rather than spawned out of a lovers’ spite?
Also: Star Wars rocks. Seriously. 😀
Edited to Add: I forgot to mention I have good news on the authorly front. Check it out on my personal blog!