"A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack"

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by CrAsHcHaOs, Apr 6, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    I just think that sometimes the Jedi have to attack and it is okay. The Jedi were flawed and they could not always uphold their Code to its fullest potential. The important point was that they were struggling to be the best they could be, sometimes they failed. No Jedi attacked for no reason in canon. Anakin attacked the Tuskins because he found his mother bleeding, beaten, tied to a cross and dead within seconds - frankly people can complain about that all they want, but I fully understood his doing so - it if had been MY mum... :mad:

    Obi-Wan attacked Maul when he killed Qui-Gon and again, I fully understood; Just like when padawan Luke attacked the clones unknowingly when sneaking around DS2.

    The Code may say a Jedi never attacks, but that does not mean they never broke that rule, just like they broke dozens of rules. The important thing was they were struggling to do the right thing - even Anakin believe it or not. [face_laugh]
  2. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Well, Anakin slaughtering the Tuskens is a different story. Obviously revenge, and causing the deaths of unarmed innocents, is a bad thing, even if they did kill his mother. There's a difference between justice and revenge, and Ani certainly crossed the line into aggression and violence with the Tusken murders.
  3. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 4
    Yes, there is a line, but let's face it, it's the finest of fine ones sometimes. If Anakin had slaughtered the Tuskens who tortured his mother politely, without anger and ferocity, which would it be?

    When you take a title of General and lead armies into battle, you're walking on thin ice if you're still claiming to never use your powers for attack.
  4. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Okay, but war for the purposes of defense from tyranny, and murder for revenge are on opposite sides of that fine line.
  5. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 4
  6. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    But vigilantism was the name of the game in Tatooine. Lars and his band of men were out looking to find Shmi - do you think they would have hesitated to kill if they needed to in order to get to her? If he found her beaten and bloody and she died in his arms, don't you think he'd want revenge and take it? Probably. And he'd be wrong in a big view of the world sense, but what alternative did they have? They couldn't ask the Hutts to help get justice for them.

    And Justice is just a polite term for revenge anyway. There was no means of justice, what should Anakin have done? What should Lars have done? Say 'oh well, too bad you killed my wife, have a nice day, see ya!'

    As a Jedi, Anakin was wrong, but as a "son" I am not sure he handled it differently than vigilantes would have. I agree they may not have killed the kids, but if they didn't, those kids would grow up and kidnap their kids, kill um and THEIR children would kill those Tuskins anyway.
  7. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    It's funny. There's a thread in the PT Forum in which I spent several days arguing that Padme was "right" (or forgiveable, or understandable) to comfort Anakin after he had slaughtered the Tuskens. I pointed out that both Anakin and Padme believed the Tuskens were more animal than human, savage creatures with merciless natures and murderous instincts. Therefore Padme was not some kind of reprehensible twit (as others in the thread seemed to be saying) for loving Anakin and comforting him in his anger, after he had committed the deed.

    Now here I am arguing that Anakin was wrong to strike down the Tuskens in cold blood, that revenge is not the same as justice, that murder is morally wrong and, in the context of the Saga, an instance of giving in to the Dark Side -- regardless of who is being murdered.

    On the face of it this might seem a contradiction, or perhaps too fine a line for others to perceive. But for me, according to my own code of morality, gleaned from numerous works of fiction and mythology and developed over many years of practical application, it is simple. It's wrong to commit murder but right to forgive it. Anakin gave into the Dark Side in striking down his mother's killers. Were they wrong/bad/evil/morally reprehensible for torturing and killing his mother? Yes. But as the saying goes, two wrongs don't make a right. There is no way to redress a wrong like that, except to forgive it and let it go.

    Violence begets violence; murder gives way to more murder. The Tuskens slaughter Shmi; Anakin slaughters Tuskens; more Tuskens appear to slaughter more humans. It never ends... except in the human heart.
  8. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    I understand what you mean. But you know, in the TPM novel, Anakin as a child didn't have it in his heart that the Tuskin was automatically an animal. He allowed the one to live that he pretty much had at his mercy. That is the kind of person he was. Then the Tusken kill his mum. And you know before you even get to the revenge element, it is interesting to stop right there and think about it. Someone killed your mum - tied her to a stake, beat her, left her bloody to starve and goodness knows what else they did to her. You finally find her and she dies in your arms. It is your Mum - Well Anakin went through that and the whole Tuskins-are-people-too ideology from his youth went right out of the window. He finds himself in the Tusken camp with the power to wipe them all out. That he killed them was absolutely no surprise to me.

    Now you put someone like Obi-Wan in there; will he attack the Tuskins as a Jedi? Well based on canon I would say no. Instead he'd be angry, breath his anger and move on. In otherwords Obi-Wan's reaction would be that of a sorry sap. Leaving all the Tuskins there to go out and kill the next group of people. But would Obi-Wan ever break? What if he had 10 sisters and one by one they were kidnapped and killed and he found them all in the same position. Then what? Still nothing in retaliation? And he can't go to the authorities. I'm sorry but the Jedi way fails big time for me in this regard.

    And what is funny is if you stand in the camp afterward until they notice you and some Tuskins finally come charging at you, then you can attack them in self defense as a Jedi and essentially do the same thing Anakin did (less the women and kids not attacking). But then it is okay to wipe out all the armed men. It is almost laughable.
  9. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    It's understandable that Anakin would react that way -- it is certainly well within the realm of human emotional response -- but that doesn't make it right or just or proper. The reason we have laws and codes of morality is to guard ourselves against acting on animal impulses, on darker responses, on emotion rather than reason. Your characterization of Kenobi as a "sorry sap" for declining to strike down the perpetrators in violence casts your belief system into sharp relief. You may object to what I am about to say, but it remains that every spiritual system in the world -- Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, etc. -- teaches that revenge is inherently wrong. Every major work of literature of the last 5000 years to deal with matters of life-taking -- beginning with Homer and ending with Star Wars -- amplifies this viewpoint, which derives from love and forgiveness of wrongdoing. The Jedi as spiritual warriors also follow this teaching. Dismiss it if you like, but it is partly what the Saga is about.
  10. acmilanboy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2005
    star 1
    For me, the Tusken Raider incident was foreshadowing of Ani-Vader's misuse of the Force in later episodes. Just as he offs innocent Tuskens without prejudice in AOTS, he uses the Force choke on Motti, Ozzel and Needa.

    As we have seen in the previous posts, defining defense versus attack can be very difficult. Instead, discussion should exist on what "attack" can also means. In addition to "never for attack," one should not use the Force for vengeance (which has already been discussed) and for fear. By choking these officers, Vader hopes to instill fear in the Empire by attacking the mental well-being of the Imperial Navy.

    The phrase "A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack" implies that the Jedi have a mandate to use their power judiciously, as they have mental and physical capabilities that other entities can not match. Therefore, to use their power for anything but knowledge and defense means that they use this advantage unfairly for selfish ends. As we see, this misuse is something that Anakin did for the first time in AOTS and repeated through the OT.
  11. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 4

    I agree with this completely. "Just" revenge suggests that it puts an end to something by levelling the score. But it doesn't. It creates an environment of anger, violence and killing which becomes a cycle. Understandable as it is, I believe it's wrong. Padme was right to comfort Anakin, but his actions were wrong.
  12. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    I didn't say revenge was right - that is not what I was saying by characterizing Obi-Wan as a sorry sap in that example. Your point is 100% valid - we have codes and laws and that is why in many societies you can call the cops. The cops capture the villains and "bring them to justice" which is so that individuals don't have to take "revenge" for themselves when someone dies. But it is really just the same thing: Bring to Justice = Making one pay for what they did = revenge. It is merely more civilised.

    Tatooine had no cops; no codes; no laws to help Lars and his men or Anakin.

    So what do they do?

    I also agree that "revenge" is something that most religions and even societies consider wrong. But unfortunately that does not stop people from feeling it and often taking it on a daily basis (on a very small scale). I do not mean to justify it with my remarks about Lars and Anakin having no other recourse, but to explain why they might feel it was necessary and the only means of exacting Justice.

    Anakin was angry - very angry. And he was thinking about revenge = payment = bringing Tuskins to Justice. Anakin just sought to do it in the more uncivilised way and that is how Lars and his men were planning on doing it as well because there was no civilised way to do it on Tatooine (for Lars) and because Anakin recognizing this if but subconsciously, also wanted instant revenge.

    Anakin likely went too far, the women and children and unarmed elders (if any exist) may not have done anything to his mother. But then again, maybe they had. Do we know if the women and children did not participate in Shmi's torture once they had her captive? We know they did not act to free her. Again, I am not justifying here, just laying out the reality of the situation.

    Anakin put a stop to any Tuskin in that clan moving against others in the future and there is another form of Justice for ya. Stopping villains before they strike - again or for the first time. Acceptable even to the Jedi once they are identified. However, in this case, Anakins method would not likely be approved - although I don't know what other method one could use...lock them all up in underground prisons so they could never grow up and attack?
  13. Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 6
    It amounts to defense. Anakin is clearly furious and has threatened Obi-Wan by calling him his enemy. Kenobi was simply assuming a defensive position and informing Anakin that he wasn't going to back down.

    I can sympathize with Anakin too, but he was simply wrong. His slaughter of the Tuskens was no better than what they did. He slaughtered unarmed and innocent men, women, and children just as the Tuskens did. Anakin also has the burden of the Force, which demands that he hold himself to a higher ethical standard than a man like Owen. Owen is able to care only about his family because the outcome of that won't be all that horrible. However, as we see, Anakin's selfishness has dire consequences for the galaxy.

    Justice also isn't revenge. Justice is guided by the desire to protect others. Revenge is much more personal. Revenge in most cases is about taking an eye for an eye and in some cases is about ending the one who wronged you.
  14. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    However, letting it go -- without consequences -- tends to lead to it happening again.

    See: ROTS.
  15. DarthApocalypse Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2007
    star 3

    How is Obi-Wan defending himself went he went there to kill Anakin? Obi-Wan made it clear what he was there to do and he drew his weapon first. The attacker cannot also be the defender.
  16. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Anakin attacked. It was in the film. We all saw it. Why try and rewrite what happened?:confused:
  17. DarthApocalypse Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2007
    star 3
    Both men made aggressive actions. Obi-Wan drew first and Anakin swung first. I'm curious as to why Obi-Wan's aggression gets ignored.
  18. Thegoat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 1
    War changes everything, and I think that's part of the reason TPM exists: to give us a brief view of how the Republic and the Order should function. The Jedi were sent out in small numbers as ambassadors and bodyguards to help maintain the peace while the council discussed what should be done about important developments like the discovery of Anakin and Darth Maul or the invasion of Naboo. Then of course by the time of AOTC everything is falling apart. The Republic is corrupt, the Jedi are weak and indecisive, and the presence of the Dark Side is becoming overwhelming. Then comes the Jedi Purge and the Empire. Eventually the Jedi are restored to what they should have been with the help of Luke, Obi-wan, Yoda, and Qui-gon.

    You're right that the ideals of the Jedi were inconsistent, but that appears to be intentional. I actually think that Lucas did a very nice job in developing the collective Jedi character arch.
  19. Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 6
    He went to kill Anakin in order to defend the Republic. Yoda doesn't say the Force is only for self-defense and he shows that he doesn't think it is given that he sends Luke to confront and possibly kill Vader.
  20. DarthApocalypse Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2007
    star 3

    It's true that it's never stated that the Jedi only use the Force for self-defense. However I don't buy that Obi-Wan was acting defensively on Mustafar simply because he fights for the Republic. Under that line of reasoning Anakin attacking first can simply mean he was defending the Empire.
  21. Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 6
    True enough, and I'm not entirely sure I think it's that great an argument. I just think it's an angle that one can argue from, but as you point out it has problems such as that almost everyone is fighting for some greater cause in the films.
  22. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Great, at least you admit it.
  23. Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 6
    I can't believe I missed that. :oops:
  24. Ziekfried Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Seriously though, Anakin was Sith by the duel on Mustafar he was doing things the Sith way Obi-Wan was doing the same thing all the Jedi had been doing throughout the war: going to kill someone. Can Obi-Wan justify killing Greivous? he went to kill him for the Republic but who says the Republic is righteous?

    That crap about the Jedi's vision clouded by the darkside is stupid. They let it get that way in the firstplace. The Jedi in the OT just seemed to have learned their lesson to me. They realized the error of their ways after it caused their demise.

    Also just because the Jedi had some code of ethics doesn't mean they were right, that's why people have wars to begin to prove "who's right"
  25. GODS-CHILD Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Wait so Luke killing Vader in the cave, that's why HE FAILED?


    I thought it was his fear.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.