Showing posts with label Shamanism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shamanism. Show all posts

Wizards, Workings and Walk-Ins: Watchers and Otherworlds

 From 2001: A Space Odyssey #2

Note: I realized I left this series hanging and didn't adequately wrap it all up. Seeing as how Synchronicity insisted I do so- in its own inimitable way- here's the coup de grace for what was an unexpectedly popular breakthrough series.

 As I've said too many times here, my first Kirby purchase was Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth #30. It wasn't the first Kirby comic I remember reading, however.

An interesting sequence of events, starting with Mike Clelland posting an absolutely stunning Graham Hancock lecture on the "stoned ape theory" led to that first Kirby read appearing to materialize out of thin air at the exact same point I needed to re-read it.

Textbook abduction narrative, from Kamandi #30

 As longtime readers know, Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth #30 featured the momentous story "UFO, the Wildest Trip Ever," a story with seemingly endless synchonistic reverberations. There's an obvious double-entendre at work; "trip" meaning both the journey Kamandi and his mutant mentor Ben Boxer take after being abducted by an energy-being who traveled to Earth via a Stargate, but also the psychedelic meaning of "trip" as well.

From this...

Kirby was always an astonishingly imaginative man, but only the most blinkered skeptic can look at the radical transition his work took around 1965/1966 and not recognize that something else-- some other extraordinarily powerful influence-- changed his interior landscape for good.

Kirby's cosmic visions were not only a huge influence on comics, they were also a huge influence on the psychedelic art movement as well. Indeed, his work would get only more cosmic and more shamanic, long after Psychedelia went out of fashion (and it was only in fashion for a matter of months before the radicals and social realists swept it out to the margins during the convulsions of 1968).

...to this.

You can see the transformation in the pages of The Essential Fantastic Four Vol. 3; it starts off with fairly standard superheroics and before you know it you're bombarded with visions of gods and the deep cosmos, of unimaginable technology clashing with brute rage.

What's so remarkable is the vessel these visions chose to express themselves through; a quiet, modest combat vet from the mean streets of the Lower East Side, who was often dismissed as an "idiot savant" (according to Art Spiegelman) or "a strange little man sealed in his own imagination" (according to one of his coworkers in animation) or "Jack the Hack" (according to the fanboys after his work fell out of fashion).

While his contemporaries were in awe of his skills, they generally dismissed him as a case of arrested development, and not a particularly bright case at that. It wouldn't be until a new generation of creators- people like Bruce Timm, Frank Miller, Alex Ross and Jim Lee- took control that Kirby's post-Silver Age genius would be rediscovered.

And it's not as if Kirby was some kid who was coming into his own. By the time his psychotronic freakout kicked in, he'd been drawing comics professionally for 30 years. This kind of metamorphosis isn't just unprecedented for comics, I can't think of a parallel in the arts in general. It was a reversal of the usual model, the wild experimentation of youth giving way to a comfortable rut in middle age.


Like his psychic peers in other fields-- Max Ernst, David Bowie and William S. Burroughs-- Kirby took to the randomizing power of collage to express his cosmic epiphanies. Like them, Kirby was fixated on aliens and gods and alien gods, and like them he changed the rules of his field forever.

Now back to that first Kirby story I remember reading- it was in that issue of Marvel Collector's Item Classics pictured above. There were two Kirby stories in that book, one a Fantastic Four story and the other an early Hulk yarn. When I was a kid the star of the show was the Doctor Strange story, all the more so since he tangles with Loki and Thor.

I enjoyed the FF story but it wasn't until the comic showed up on the floor in my hallway the other day-- don't ask me how or why-- that I realized how crucial it was to this little exegesis we're undertaking here.

The story starts with a bit of a nonsequitur: the FF discover an organic artifact buried within an asteroid, giving them proof of alien life. But this is a bit of a bluff- the artifact is simply a herald of a much stranger event, taking place outside their windows at that very moment.

Kirby and Stan Lee were probably still plotting together the FF at this point (eventually Kirby would be the driving force with the plotting), so it makes sense that we see elements familiar from Kirby's pre-Marvel sci-fi yarns show up in what is otherwise a typically pedestrian mad scientist plot.


Specifically we see the FF menaced by a sentient fireball (which later re-appear in the storyline begin in Kamandi #30), which turns out to be an interdimensional gateway (ditto) to the lair of the alien giant known as the Watcher (read this important piece on the ancient Watchers, written by the late, great Filip Coppens). The Watcher has abducted the FF into his non-Euclidean alien dimension to warn them of the threat posed by a mad scientist (read: evil wizard) called the Molecule Man...

 Is the Molecule Man a Thelemite?

...who is the least interesting part of the story. But by the same token he is not only an evil wizard, he also falls into that sci-fi fairy template- wand and all- that we looked at in the "Eldritch" chapter of this series. All the more so since the Watcher later uses that sentient fireball to remove the villain from this dimension after he is outfoxed by Reed Richards. As in any classic fairy story, the magical outsider can only be fooled into defeating himself.

Of course, what caught my attention is that my two Kirby firsts both deal with this idea of sentient plasma recently explored by Andrew Collins in his book Lightquest. From an interview with Collins:
I propose that during UFO close encounters we enter what might be described as isolated bubble universes, or drive-through universes, where the interaction between human consciousness and plasma-based environments come together to create virtual worlds of our own making, based on our present conception of what we expect to experience under such traumatic and otherworldly circumstances.

If this truly is what happens, then the only good explanation would have to involve a progressive understanding of quantum entanglement, i.e. non-local communication, in which whole systems of twinned particles are able to transfer information back and forth in an instant of time. Under such conditions a shifted reality that might present itself as the interior of a spacecraft, the realm of faerie or even the heavenly paradise, might come into being, and be very real indeed. Yet in fact it is a mental projection existing temporarily within a higher dimensional reality attached to highly energetic light forms.
What Collins writes about 2012, Stan and Jack were doing fifty years previously. But it was that Hancock lecture that put me back on the trail of how these things seem to manifest themselves outside of time and space, in much the same way that comic seemed to manifest itself on the floor beneath a bookcase just as these issues re-entered my thinking.

Jack Kirby was undoubtedly a shaman in the literal sense, but how he was able to tap into these particular streams- almost invariably only accessible through the use of powerful psychedelics-- remains a mystery to me. Well, a mystery in that I don't have the particular documentation to prove my suspicions.

Kirby's wartime experiences were harrowing- when his CO found out Jack could draw, he didn't send him off to a cushy media post, he sent him into the lines to sketch out the lay of the land and enemy positions. PTSD wasn't well understood then but it could well be that Jack was treated psychiatrically for "shell shock" and may well have been dosed with LSD or something similar  (a not-uncommon therapy then) either consciously or more troubling, without his consent.

But something doesn't come from nothing. And if Jack was displaying behavior and work identical to those shamans who reached deeper states of consciousness through the use of entheogens then it makes no sense to assume that Jack didn't have access to these compounds at these crucial points in his career.



Hancock's lecture covered a lot of the same ground as this must-see documentary, and there were several times that the lecture had me thinking specifically of Jack. And it was this exact doc that I was talking about five years ago when discussing Jack's metamorphosis into a shaman.
But Kirby may have been more than a mere visionary cartoonist- as if that's not enough in and of itself. I remember one night I was lying on the couch, flipping through a stack of Kirby's Eternals comics when a documentary on the Discovery Channel was talking about how shamanic art in different cultures had similar features- abstracted human figures, dots, squiggles, and odd geometric designs. What struck me about that was in the mid 1960's Kirby's art underwent a startling transformation and incorporated ALL of those motifs.
As politically correct as it may be to serve up the usual bromides about "creativity" and "imagination" and this and that, and delicious-delicious-oh-how-boring, it's my experience that extraordinary transformations do not arise of out of ordinary circumstances. It's not only dishonest to pretend so, it's pointless.

The picture that seems to emerge from all of this is that we do indeed have a race of elusive companions, who have been presented and interpreted in many different guises over the years. Now we see them in the context of science fiction and technology. But when you strip away the externals and the cultural contamination it all seems to be the same base reality.


So those of us who have encountered them in a significant way will have similar experiences and results, whatever the cultural dressing may paint it all as.

Kirby seems to have first encountered these entities in the mid 50s and the stories he told about them baffled and bemused his editors and audience, even though proto-psychedelic sci-fi was all the rage in comics at the time. Ten years later an even more profound encounter took place and the aftershocks of it changed the entire face of genre entertainment- no matter what medium- forever after.


Now I need to figure out exactly why this reality seems to have been insinuating itself into my own life for as long as I can remember.

Ockham, the Occult and the Ultraterrestrials

Ockham's Razor is one of those famous dictums that people use in arguments and often do so incorrectly. The whole story of it is pretty tangled and is better explained elsewhere, but for our purposes let's stick to the common distillation of it, being that the simplest answer to a problem is usually the correct one.

"Skeptics" love Ockham's Razor, even if they don't always understand it. This is because "Skeptics" love-- no, that's not quite right-- they worship received authority and hate anything that challenges said authority. If the Razor was good enough for their professors, it's good enough for them, even if they often misquote it.

I've heard Ockham's Razor thrown around in UFO debates, with "Skeptics" gleefully oblivious to the fact that non-manmade aircraft is a much simpler solution to the problem than swamp gas, weather ballons, Venus, meteors, satellites, chinese lanterns, dirty lenses, low-lying clouds reflecting streetlights, and on and on and on and on and on ad infinitum. There are always the hoaxes, but since nearly all of them are perpetrated by the "Skeptics" themselves, they don't really count.

So let me repeat that: the simplest solution to the UFO problem is that they're some kind of non-terrestrial vehicles. Ockham, thou art revenged.

Of course, "Skeptics" have a much stronger argument in their corner, and that's the mind-twisting distances between star systems. Given the immense amount of energy that would be required to travel to another star system, thrown in the not-inconsiderable frequency with which unidentified objects are spotted (every day, now) and the numerous contact/abduction narratives and it all seems to beggar belief in "extraterrestrials," as commonly understood.

But if you delve into some of these contact narratives (which we touched on here) a different picture begins to emerge. One thing I've noticed is how vivid and downright numinous some of the reports seem. It's as if these experiences are engineered to trip a switch deep in the collective unconscious, in much the same way certain songs trigger a "dreamy" feeling (something we discussed back in the day here). I have no idea if it speaks to the authenticity of the stories themselves, but I've read a number of stories that seem realer than real to me.

But at the same time, there's that Trickster element to so much of this phenomena. This is something that becomes harder to avoid the more you read the literature. And as many others have pointed out this aspect of the story drags us into murkier waters-- the paranormal, magic and the supernatural. And as many others have also pointed out there are endless strands of continuity between modern UFO reports and ancient folklore of the supernatural world-- fairies, elves, djinn and of course, Leprechauns. Little people all. And like so many of the modern-day abduction narratives, sleep or some other variety of unconsciousness plays a central role in many of those olde tales.

Thornier still is the world of the Occult. If ETH adherents are wary of the paranormal, they're downright terrified of the Occult. But if you accept narratives from the Bible and other ancient mythologies as evidence of ancient contact-- like Enoch, for example-- what are we to make of Dee and Kelly and their Enochian Keys? How different is the Enochian alphabet from the various alien alphabets so many abductees have reported?

If Horus was an alien godking on Earth, what of poor Mrs. Crowley and her in-spired bit of channeled stenography? Then there's always Lovecraft and Lam, and the whole drift towards alien overlords in 20th Century occultism. Not the least of which are The Nine, who have a naggingly strange relationship to the current occupant of the Oval Office. All of those Secret Chiefs and Great White Brotherhoods didn't have to be from Sirius, certainly. Not directly, at least. It seems trenchant that occultism became especially potent once the Companions themselves entered the mix, whether in fact or by reputation. And let's not get started on JPL and NASA and all of that for now.



Of course none of this bolsters the ETH. But even as many of us come to grips with the whole UFO issue -- and many of not-us as well, such as the Vatican, the Royal Society and now National Geographic, of all people-- many of us also begin to wonder if these aren't aliens as you might understand them. In fact, they might actually be our companions. Elusive companions, maybe, but thousands of years of sightings and contact stories seem to show us they're elusive but never walk far.

The question then becomes not are we alone in the Universe but are we alone on this planet? Have we ever been alone? Then the question becomes if we're not alone, why do these companions of ours seem to take such pleasure in being such teases, giving us little glimpses and hints before they skulk back to the shadows? Certainly, anyone who's kept an eye on this little rock of ours knows what blood-thirsty savages we are at heart, so you can't quite blame any outsider for keeping a low profile. But at the same time it seems that the kind of phenomena we puzzle over here pops up now and then at particularly opportune moments.

The Elusive Companion Hypothesis explains the long history of sightings and contact narratives. Being aware of our technological and scientific powess explains why these companions have chosen to present themselves in a procession of guises- gods, fairies, spacemen- over the years. Even controversies like Roswell and the nuke installation flyovers make a lot more sense in the ECH-- our little jumps in technology happen in secret, catch them by surprise, and take a bit of time to adjust to.

Over-the-horizon radar might have been a bit of a shock to their navigational systems and then combined with a good electrical storm all of a sudden the savages have gotten a hold of one of your (non-spaceworthy) little hovercrafts which they promptly reverse-engineer, at least in part.


Now, the other reason why the ECH or Ultraterrestrial hypothesis works is that it satisfies Ockham in relation to AAT or Intervention Theory. It's no accident that now that the bilge-waters left by the Fundamentalist tsunami of the 70s and 80s have finally receded that AAT is suddenly all over the place lately (most recently in the late, unlamented NBC potboiler The Event).

The Designers might have been called away for whatever reason but would they go to all this trouble and not leave a sitter behind to keep an eye on the kids? Which makes even more sense that the sitters would make themselves known once the kids started playing with the atomic matches. If Ockham is to be satisfied than these ancient and modern skywalkers must in some way be connected.

It makes you wonder if there isn't some realization about all of this afoot among the ruling elites, given that we're seeing a parade of evil alien movies hit the screens (both big and small) whether we want them or not (mostly not, it seems). If some change in the status quo were in the cards, it makes sense that those with the most to lose from said change would want to salt the fields. Of course, there is that whole 2012 thing coming at us fast and furious. I've long wondered what all those defense billions are being spent on and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they were being spent to keep things the way they are as best they can.

Well, like anyone else I can't answer any of these questions. All I know is that the more I read about this ongoing mystery the less it feels "alien" in any real sense of the word. It seems all too familiar, like it's all part of some unactivated bit of shareware that came with our birthday CPUs.

There's a quote from a famous abductee from the 60s that I can't quite get out of my mind. Former Police Chief Herbert Schirmer believed he was abducted, reported the events, took a major beating in his life for doing so even though he passed all of the polygraphs and all of the rest of it. When asked about the motives of his skywalking friends. Schirmer responded "to a certain degree they want to puzzle people. They know they are being seen too frequently and they are trying to confuse the public's mind."

Tricksters, in other words. Quite insightfully, Schirmer added, "everyone should believe in them some, but not too much."

Just like Hermes, go-between for the gods. The ancients knew Hermes was around when Synchronicity began to pop up and so it often is with our Companions. As the blog archives will show I didn't think much about UFOs for years. That is until my first trip out to Esalen, where I gave a talk on Jack Kirby and Synchromysticism. As I also documented here, a strange electrical storm kicked off a spate of wildfires not long after, roaring all the way down the coast. The flames licked at Esalen's gates but spared the compound its wrath. How about that?

And of course Esalen itself is no stranger to the Companions, having been controlled by a channeler for The Nine (late of Sirius) for several years back in the waning days of the Cold War. Not a few people thought they were tricksters as well.

Jack Kirby was no stranger to the Companions, either. They starred in his epic series The Eternals (another touchstone of my life and this blog). In The Eternals, the Companions were composed of two races- the Deviants, who skulked in the underseas ruins of Lemuria (under the Bermuda Triangle, of course) and liked to pose as demons and the Eternals, who kept to themselves on the roofs of the world and were mistaken for the gods throughout history.

Think the Greys and the Nordics of UFO lore, more or less.

The Eternals were content to pursue meditation and other spiritual practices and the Deviants kept themselves busy with their infernal machines while humankind were ruling the roost. The two races only made themselves known to the world when the gods- or Anunaki, if you prefer-- returned to take stock of the Project. Kirby didn't seem to be familiar with 2012 prophecies but would certainly have incorporated it if he had. The story all kicked off in a Kirbyesque Inca tomb, which could easily be Kirbyesque Mayan if need be.

And this all brings us back to the shamanic and psychedelic realm, yet again. Kirby not only knew things he shouldn't have known, but he didn't even know he knew them. As far back as the Mithraic Mysteries and all of the way up to the modern Ayahuasca ones, strange flying disks show up when a certain state of mind is reached. It's almost as if there's a signal out there, one that's usually filtered out.

Shamans, occultists, sick children and other thought-criminals seem to pick up on the signal when the stars are all aligned. It's a fleeting state, but it's driven forward our evolution in ways we don't quite understand. Real evolution is never pretty, never fun and always painful. But maybe on the other side of it we'll get to know our Companions more intimately. And we can teach each other.

SYNC LOG: Speaking of sick children I was mulling the idea of losing the Ockham's Razor part of this piece until I happened over to Wikipedia and happened to scroll down and spotted an old friend...
Pretty necessary in this context, don't you think?

Star Wars Symbol Cycle: A Long Time Ago

Isis became a slave during her search for Osiris

Return of the Jedi is generally seen as the least of the three original films.
A lot of this has to do with the Ewoks, the feral teddy bears that are featured heavily throughout the film. In truth they're no different than the Jawas or any of the other cutesy characters throughout the trilogy. That is, until you get the to the the odious "Yub Nub" production number at the end of the original cut (it literally sent my friends and I out screaming of the movie theater in 1983, as we watched junior high dreams being stomped on).

In fairness, the Ewok scenes are also balanced out by the oppressive darkness of Luke Skywalker's confrontation with the Emperor, the battle for Endor and some riveting action scenes. But it may well be that the Ewoks are there to deflect any criticism over a hidden narrative being uncovered here (and Lucas wisely deleted "Yub Nub" for the film's 1999 re-release). We'll get to that later.

Just as Osiris' casket became the centerpiece in the palace of Byblos, so too is Han

The first act of Return of the Jedi parallels with the Osirian mythos, with the ever-present echoes of the Contendings of Horus and Set. Leia again plays the part of Isis, Solo is Osiris, Chewbacca plays the part of Anubis, C3PO plays the part of Thoth. Jabba is Set to Luke’s Horus (the outer desert is the province of Set in the myths). The action opens back on the desert planet of Tatooine (Jedi repeats several plot points and visuals of the previous films). Han Solo is still entombed in carbonite and under the power of Jabba the Hutt.

Let the Sol shine

Dressed androgynously as a bounty hunter, Leia releases Solo from his carbonite tomb, but is found out by Jabba and his cronies and forced into slavery. This mirrors Isis’ role as slave girl in Phoenicia when she was searching for Osiris’ body. But the process in which Han is freed parallels Isis sneaking into the nursery of the prince of Byblos to burn away his mortality. She too was caught in the act (note that Han has "Sol" in his name).

Luke descends to the Underworld to defeat Death

Luke arrives on the scene and like Hercules (the original global superstar messiah) descends to a symbolic Underworld where he kills a monster that looks suspiciously like Ammit the Devourer. The action moves out to the desert where Jabba intends to feed Luke and Solo to a giant sand monster (the Sarlacc) that recalls both Apohis and a giant orifice (as well as the worms of Dune). The speeding gray hovercrafts stand in for the stone ships which Horus and Set raced. Jabba the Hutt also recalls Baron Harkonnen in Dune, another major touchstone for Lucas in the creation of Star Wars.

Uh, what's that on your chin, Jabba?
Set's favorite food was lettuce, associated with the god Min.
Look it up, but not at work.

Just as Solo and Luke are about to be killed, Luke works his Jedi magic and destroys Jabba along with his entourage (Jedi magic recalls the folklore about the Templars, who were widely believed to be magicians).

More Templar symbolism- the twins share a horse

The scene then changes to the rebel base on Endor. Our heroes meet up with the rebels, who are there to disable the force-field protecting the new Death Star. Fearing he'll endanger the mission because of his psychic link to his father, Luke surrenders to Vader and brought to meet the Emperor.

C3Po initiates the Ewoks into the mysteries of the gods

Luke, Leia, Chewbacca and C3PO then encounter the Ewoks, essentially a race of stone-age teddy bears/protohominids. The Ewoks plan to sacrifice Sol-O-Siris to C3PO, whom they believe is their god (shades of The Golden Bough). Luke’s Jedi magic sways the Ewoks, who then assist the rebels in defeating the Imperial garrison and disabling the force field.

And here are the Merpeople, right on schedule

Luke encounters Emperor Palpatine in orbit over Endor, who demands that he submit to the Dark Side. Luke refuses and the Emperor commands that Vader destroy his son. It is here that Luke and Vader’s roles shift. Luke is still Horus, but Vader is morphing into his new role as Osiris.

Signaling this new identity, Vader rebels and throws the Emperor into a pit, another gaping orifice like the Sarlacc. In doing so, Vader is mortally wounded and dies in Luke’s arms. Luke removes his mask so Vader could die with dignity. Secret Sun readers remember that the removal of the space helmet is often linked to Baptist symbolism, and that Baptist worship is linked to Osiris through Oannes.

Han and Lando share another intimate moment

The new Death Star is destroyed. Vader is then cremated by Luke at a celebration in the woods of Endor and then appears as a ghost along with Yoda and Ben, forming a kind of Trinity.

WHO'S WHO

It becomes clear that Yoda/Merlin is a stand-in for Obi-Wan/Merlin following Yoda's death. Whose ghost does Luke encounter as soon as Yoda mangles his last sentence? Apparently Lucas didn't originally plan to kill Obi-Wan (and Alec Guinness wasn't too happy about it either).

Left: Demeter. Right: Oannes.

The Merman General Ackbar (from "Mon Calimari," of all places) fits smack dab into the exegesis we've been trying to unravel around these parts. The Fishmen seem to be in charge of this war, tying back to Oannes and the Nommo and all of the rest of it. I can't help but think of Robert Temple's claim that the Nommo are in hibernation in Saturnian orbit.

Note Ackbar's partnership with Mon Mothma. This is our Demeter/Cybele/Rhea earth -mother figure. "Mon" is short for mondo, or world, and the "Moth" is Mother with diminutive "Ma" attached. (who's the wiseguy yelling "mothman?") This offers us a tantalizing clue. Ackbar means "Great," and connects us etymologically to the mermen known as the Cabeiri, loyal companions to the Earth Mother from the ancient Mysteries. From Theoi.com:
THE KABEIROI (or Cabeiri) were twin gods or daimones (spirits) who presided over the orgiastic dances of the mysteries of Samothrake which were performed in honour of the goddesses Demeter, Persephone, and Hekate. They were also famed metal-workers, dwarf-like sons of the god Hephaistos, who served their father at his Lemnian forge. Like their mother Kabeiro, the pair were also sea-divinities, who protected and came to the aid of sailors in distress.
C3P0 really nails the "messenger of the gods" role in Jedi, translating all over creation. He also repeats that weird dream-logic ritual in which he suffers as the gods do. Remember that Horus lost an eye in battle with Set, and here we see C3p0 lose his as Luke battles Jabba the Sett.

The Emperor's Praetorian Guard remind me of something, I just can't put my finger on it...

...can someone help me out?

Maybe this guy can.

Then there's the new Death Star.

Seeing it in orbit around that green and verdant Endor reminds me of theories circulating in the Exopolitical community that our own moon is so anomalous because it's artificial. Remember that the first time we see the first Death Star, it's referred to as a moon. Watch this:



Some exopol researchers believe that there are still aliens on the Moon, which they say accounts for the fact that there are no serious plans to go back there (or go there period, depending on your POV) even though there are several serious Mars programs in the works.

Which makes this anomalous image from the Moon that many have compared to C3P0, though for some reason it's been called "Data's Head." So if the Death Star is the Moon, what does that make Endor?

The word ‘Endor’ originally comes from the Bible. In 1 Sam 28:4–25, The Witch of Endor used a talisman to commune with the spirits of the dead (note that magic plays a major role in the various Ewok spinoffs). She was consulted by the Hebrew King Saul (“Sol”) to contact the spirit of the prophet Samuel, an inconvenient act of holy necromancy that has driven religious conservatives out of their minds for millennia.

But Endor has another meaning.

JRR Tolkien was another obvious influence for Lucas, and Peter Jackson's masterful Lord of the Rings films gave geeks a new definition of the word "trilogy." It would also give them a new definition of "Endor":
"Middle-earth" is a literal translation of the Old English term Middangeard, referring to this world, and the habitable lands of men. Tolkien translated "Middle-earth" as Endor (or sometimes Endóre) and Ennor in the Elvish languages Quenya and Sindarin, respectively. The north of Endor became the Eurasian land-mass after the primitive Earth was transformed into the round world of today.
Endor is the "land of men."

Earth
.

A long time ago.


So if the Death Star is the Moon and Endor is the Earth, who the hell are the Ewoks?

ARE WE NOT MEN?

"Ewoks have a difficult time separating fact from myth.
This may be the great strength of their society."
Voren Na'al Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi

The Golden God talks about the War in the Stars
and the sufferings of the gods

So how would an Ewok describe Return of the Jedi? He'd say it's about giant aliens who came down from the sky with amazing powers and terrible magic. In the midst of this the Golden God fulfilled the prophecies and walked among the people and taught them the secrets of the gods and about the war in Heaven. The other gods then asked the Ewoks to join them in battle against the demons with their terrible beasts.

The gods defeated their enemies and left Endor, promising one day to return. The shamans and chiefs were entrusted to teach subsequent generations the stories of the gods that the Golden God taught them. Which is essentially the same story told in this book...


Here's Sitchin's (admittedly controversial) version:

Eons ago, the Earth was a battlefield. Mighty armies clashed, led by giant warriors meticulously skilled in the art of combat. These wars would shape man's destiny and live on for centuries in legend, song and religious lore -- brutal and terrible conflicts that began lifetimes earlier on another planet.

In the astonishing third volume of Zecharia Sitchin's The Earth Chronicles, the internationally renowned scholar parts the mists of myth and time to return to the violent beginnings of humanity -- employing ancient text, religious documents and archaeological findings to reconstruct epic events that support the existence of extraterrestrial "god" who once set nation against nation, army against army, and man against man.


Maybe this is why Lucas wanted the Ewoks to be so cloyingly cute. That way if any of his many critics in the religious establishment -- who were already on the warpath about all of the Force stuff -- figured out the story, they'd be laughed at for making such a big deal over a movie about a bunch of teddy bears in space.



Remember also that Lucas himself was on the warpath against Battlestar Galactica, which ended up back on Earth itself with the short-lived Galactica 1980 series. So it might make sense to him to steal that thunder back, but bring the action to Earth in the dim, dark past and do so in a way that would throw the religious parasites off his scent.

As always, there's a precedent for the Ewoks in the Jack Kirby Canon. As we looked at before, Kirby created a comic called Devil Dinosaur, which featured short, fur-covered protohumans interacting with, um, dinosaurs. The Creationists probably loved it, at least until Kirby began stoking his ancient astronaut obsession . Before setting about rewriting the Book of Genesis, Kirby had his protohumans dealing with alien invaders.

There was also a lot of scenes that Lucas may have used for mood, never mind that the ATATs and similar walkers in Jedi were essentially robotic versions of dinosaurs themselves.

So it all ends up on Endor - Earth - with giant gods (to Ewoks, at least) battling with their magic while a neolithic tribal society with no concept of the cosmos outside of their forest watch in amazement.

Lucas said he wanted a primitive society to play a pivotal role in defeating the Empire (his first choice was the Wookies, but decided they were too technologically advanced), but it seems as if the Ewoks are serving another agenda as well. You can't read as many Jack Kirby comics as Lucas seems to have without being punched in the face repeatedly by Kirby's all-consuming obsession with alien gods, especially alien gods given to using Earth as their battlefield.

And the fact remains that pretty much every single major Sci-Fi franchise is essentially about ancient astronauts; BSG, Star Trek, The X-Files, Stargate, Doctor Who, Transformers, Yu Gi Oh, and so on. So it only makes sense that the meme shows up somewhere in the Star Wars Universe. It also explains the ancient mythological elements being tied to futuristic technology, and technology existing in a pre-modern political environment.

What the Star Wars saga then becomes is our story. C3p0 acts like every sky god in our history, teaching the natives about their world and the worlds out there. And the myths that formed the bedrock of the ancient world are the magic that the human imagination can create trying to explain something it experienced but doesn't quite understand.

SYNC LOG UPDATE: Reader Deb points us to this story on HuffPost today, about a forest-dwelling "uncontacted" tribe in Peru. The visual connections between them and the Ewoks (named for an indigenous tribe in California) are striking. Make note of the narrator.

SYNC LOG UPDATE II: Check out this new Volkswagen commercial. Thanks to Reader Jason.