Essay: George Rips Off Big Russian, Really!
Ewok Yobwoc

Hello, y'all. I just wanted to send an email out asap because I want credit for this before it shows up on-line somewhere (though it probably already has). This is an annotation worthy of rasfw-rj. George Lucas ripped off Russian poetry with his Episode II dialog! I won't give anything away if you haven't seen the movie yet, but there's one scene where Anakin is professing his undying love for Padmé (big surprise, right?) and he says some pretty bizarre stuff. A review of the movie tore this scene up because it didn't sound like real dialog.

Well, it wasn't.

Lucas, probably knowing that he can't write dramatic dialog, went to the (Jedi) Master -- Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin -- and stole from his poetry. When I first heard it, I said to myself, "Boy, this dialog sounds like it came out of a Pushkin poem."

Well, my subconscious remembers more from high school than I do, apparently. The only two lines of poetry I remember from Russian class are, "bez tebya, menye skuchnya ... Ya zevai." Literally, "Without you I'm bored. I yawn." The next line (I don't remember the Russian) is basically, "But when I am with you, I'm really sad." That's really the theme of the poem as I remember it. The poet loves this girl, but for some reason it's impossible; I forget whether it's because she doesn't love him, or if she's above him socially or something. Anyways, when Anakin says something like "when I'm around you, I'm sad, but when I leave you my breath leaves me," or something like that my brain went "ping" and I realized right there that this was, in fact, from the same poem. It may be taken from more than one poem, but those are the lines I recognized.

This morning I looked it up on the web. Here is the English text of Alexander Pushkin's Confession. The English translation is rather liberal in attempting to make the English more poetic and rhyme, but I think Anakin's dialog derives more from the literal translation.

If anyone has a script of the movie on line anywhere that we could compare the poem to, this would be interesting. OK, back to our regularly scheduled work. Have fun!

Confession
Pushkin's Confession* to Alina Osipova
I love you -- though I storm and stress,
Though vain this toil and melancholy,
And to this shameful, hapless folly
Here at your feet I will confess!
It ill-becomes me; I get older...
Time, time to be more sensible!
And yet I know the love-disorder
By all the symptoms in my soul:
I'm bored without you -- I keep yawning;
I'm sad with you -- I suffer through,
And barely hold myself from owning,
My angel, how I care for you!
When in the parlor your light footfall
Or dress's rustle reaches me,
Or voice so innocent, so youthful,
I lose my senses suddenly.
You smile at me -- I'm glad, immensely;
You turn aside -- I'm sad again;
Your pallid hand may recompense me
For the whole day of utter pain.
When you embroider diligently,
Bent over casually, though gently,
Eyes, ringlets down -- I am beguiled;
In silence, tenderly, intently
I watch, admire you like a child.
But then how wretched my existence,
How desolate my jealous pain,
When you set out into the distance
(At times despite the cold and rain);
And then your solitary grieving,
And, in a corner, twosome talks,
And twosome piano of an evening,
And twosome trips, and twosome walks...
Alina! have a little mercy.
I wouldn't dare to ask for love:
Perhaps, for sins I'm guilty of,
My angel, I'm of love unworthy...
But feign it! All can be achieved
By that expressive gaze, believe me!
Ah, it's so easy to deceive me!...
I'm glad myself to be deceived!
*In Russian, the word for "declaration" (of love) also means "confession".

* * *

From Attack of the Clones

ANAKIN
It doesn't work around you. My mind is always a muddle ... I can only think of you.

PADMÉ
Anakin, don't ...

ANAKIN
From the moment I met you, all those years ago, a day hasn't gone by when I haven't thought of you. And now that I'm close to you again, I'm in agony. The closer I get to you, the worse it gets. The thought of not being with you makes my stomach turn over - my mouth goes dry. I feel dizzy. I can't breathe. I'm haunted by the kiss you should never have given me. My heart is beating, hoping that kiss will not become a scar. You are in my very soul, tormenting me. What can I do? I will do anything you ask ...

Silence. The logs flame in the hearth.

ANAKIN
(continuing)
If you are suffering as much as I am, tell me.

PADMÉ
... I can't. We can't. It's just not possible.



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