Star Wars and Galactica were among my favorite movies as a child. I always dreamt of distant spaces and times, and in these movies you could see a world beyond the daily concerns, a world which seem to awake us to our true reality, as inhabitants, now only of this house, family, neighborhood, country, or even planet. In fact, we were inhabiting the strangest of all places ever heard of: a place so wide in space it would be impossible to imagine (even today I try to capture the distance and size of a close galaxy, without success), so old in time it is impossible to imagine, with such diversity of life in this planet that the most beautiful image of Paradise pales in comparison; in sum, we inhabit a world far beyond the imagination of any man, both in diversity, dimensions, complexity, mysteriousness, stories, interconnectedness, etc.

We live well in a world beyond Paradise, more beautiful than we can imagine.

Science fiction was a small door to this world, although it did not escape entirely from the petty themes of normal tv: who cheats on who, the dying man, the revenge, who thinks what of whom, and all the assortments of trifles that fill the minds of man when his eyes are away from splendor.

Seeing again Star Wars, and some of its new episodes, in this case, episode three, revenge of the Sith, leaves me a bit cold, in the sense that there are so many special effects, and fast paced action, that it is difficult to grasp the meaningful purposeful points and insights of the story. The only things that I really remember after walking out of a movie. But in this case there was a particular image that stroked me. This image, a beautiful young girl, pregnant, in a landscape of insurmountable richness. The peak of human achievement, either as an individual (a loving wife and family) and as a species (a colonized planet with all the commodities in over abundance, and no predators).

This is the image:

Star Wars: Anakin sees Padmé on a balcony with a view to a splendorous city

Now, I find the image quite spectacular, it seems like a dream come true. But it is the dialogue that really opens up the big questions. Anakin says to Padmé

"- You are so beautiful..." to which Padmé replies:

"- Only because I am in Love with you."

Now this is actually true. When someone is deeply in love, he/she radiates such energy, such light, that inevitably, to those who can recognize love, he/she becomes beautiful. In fact that could almost be the definition of beauty: something that is impregnated, opens the door to, or talks about Love. When something is Love, when someone Loves for instance, then, no matter what one thinks, that person is beautiful, it is not a matter of perspective, we might not see it, perhaps no one sees it, but nevertheless there is tremendous beauty where Love resides. In some strange sense, beauty is the outer shell of Love.

But Anakin replies:

"- No, it's because I'm so in love with you."

Now, when you look at the scenery (not Padmé, and the subtle love that seems to subtly shimmer through her eyes), the houses, the lights, they are beautiful! But isn't it because we love them?

Stop your love for them. Suppose you do not love them, they become what? Look at the image again. Blocks of concrete, pointy fingers to the sky, dead, cold, packed, polluting, uninspiring. The only reason these buildings are beautiful is because we love them: we see them as a symbol of our creative inspiration, of our achievement, of our involvement with a work of art, of our love. But, in themselves, they are not beautiful, they are just concrete, tons and tons of it.

So, although it seemed initially the same, the beauty of Padmé and the beauty of the city, now it is revealed, they are completely different. Padmé is really beautiful, either you see it or not. While the buildings behind her are only beautiful when you look at them as the objects or products of our desire or creativity, as symbols of something beautiful or as means to achieve something beautiful.

But Anakin is here revealing his great weakness. He looks at Padmé, but he does not see Her. He sees only the love he has for her, the love of what he projects in her, a love that in fact blinds him to her true beauty. Letting him see only himself, what in seeks in her, that he loves her. Padmé replies to Anakin, correctly concluding:

"- So, love has blinded you?" (i.e. - You're saying I'm not beautiful, you just see me that way)

Yes, love has blinded him. He loves only what he desires, and not what desires to be love. He is unable to distinguish between what has real value, and what has just the value we place on she/he/it. For Anakin, Padmé was just a mean, a mean to get a family, respectability, to get out of loneliness, or a symbol of beauty, real only while seen as a symbol. This was the kind of man, that could kill or destroy for jealousy. This was the kind of man that could not distinguish between his desires and what was desirable or useful for someone else. That only knew the place of his own shoes.

Being blinded by his/her own Love is similar to being Mad or blind. Seeing only the outer shelf of its own ego: necessities and desires. While this ability might be an accomplishment to many people, it does not deliver the peace of living in a world

well beyond Paradise...