Lit A question on Karen Traviss and her work(s)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Pyrotek, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Eternal_Hero Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    star 1
    I practice non-attachment, I think it's healthy. I learned from experience the wisdom in the Tao Te Ching, Dhammapada & Bhagavad Gita. I'm glad GL put it in SW. Westerners wreak a lot of havoc getting all attached to people & things; it's not easy but I believe that learning to let go can be a powerful force for good in everyone's life. Sometimes, non-action is better than action. You have to give people space to work their own issues out & make their own journey to self knowledge & enlightenment. The sooner everyone on earth learns that possessions do not of themselves bring happiness the sooner we'd all be living in a happier world. So I obviously don't think that Jedi philosophy is full of it or out of touch. GL secreted some real wisdom into his fiction.
  2. Esg Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    They actually talked with each other in Republic. He mentioned how he he had to deal with his family's deaths and avoiding attachment when the Clone Wars hit after Obi-Wan went MIA and Anakin was with him
    Last edited by Esg, Sep 24, 2012
  3. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I think my religious beliefs are healthy as well, but that doesn't mean that I believe they work for everyone or that they cannot be misconstrued in an unhealthy manner.
  4. Eternal_Hero Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    star 1
    I didn't say either of those things! I said "I believe learning to let go can be a powerful force for good in everyone's life" and that it is wisdom. And they're not "religious beliefs" for me, I see it as wisdom from the collective human experience, which you can take from anywhere. I'm an atheist.

  5. Tim Battershell Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 5
    And, of course, if not Yoda for a therapist (or agony uncle) then Palpatine???
  6. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Exactly. Other than Obi-Wan, I felt the Jedi really took the attitude of "You miss your mother? You're worried about her? Tough ****, kid, you're on your own."

    Palpatine was more nurturing, which is what someone of Anakin's disposition and background needed. One could argue as to whether the Jedi should have had to nurture Anakin in the manner that Shmi did during the first ten years of his life, but that's beside the point. He craved that enough to take it from anyone. And while I don't blame the Jedi for Anakin's fall--the causes were too complex to put on one person or institution--I still think that providing Anakin with a little of the attention and nurturing that he got from Palpatine, might have made a difference.
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  7. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Yoda never said one untrue thing to Luke, and you're acting as if Ben's one big lie was somehow a multitude.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Sep 24, 2012
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  8. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2005
    star 5
    Speaking of Buddhism and "not his therapist"....one never stops learning. No living person is ever so wise that they have no room to grow, that they do not need advice, or that they are above seeking and giving emotional comfort. Yoda has been the therapists for jedi more experienced and wiser than Anakin, and he has used other jedi for that purpose himself. I see no reason why Anakin should not expect honest advice and guidance from the head of his order: why else is there a head of the order in the first place. I am also surprised that his asking would be considered a personal failing on his part - being able to recognize one's limits and ask for advice is one of the most mature things he has ever done.

    You can manipulate someone with the truth. An incomplete truth dolled out in convenient portions is not any better than a bold faced lie.
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  9. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Precisely. And by not coming clean with Luke, Yoda chose to become complicit in Obi-Wan's lie.

    It's a mixed bag, really. All EU sources aside, the movies either heavily imply or outright state that attachment such as Anakin's would earn him expulsion from the Jedi Order, depending upon how literally you want to take the dialogue. Remember, Obi-Wan says that at Geonosis, before Anakin and Padme have even been married. And in Revenge of the Sith, a similar implication is made that Anakin will have to choose between service to the Jedi and his relationship with Padme were they to be open about it—one or the other, not both. The scope of the EU complicates matters a bit, by introducing exceptions to this rule. However, it's also believable that these are very much exceptions, few and far between, or that such measures of clemency aren't paraded about for fear that others will see it as an acceptance of previous unacceptable behavior. Thus, you could see that from what he knows, Anakin has every right to believe that his transgression against the code will be responded to harshly, whether that's actually what would be done or not. As would Nejaa, and in the scope of Traviss' novels, that goes likewise for Etain.

    Traviss also questions the moral implications of using mind tricks. She's not alone in that, and there was even a lengthy quote on the responsible use of such power by Yarael Poof in The Essential Guide to the Force. But still...that's something that's never reflected upon in the films, or even most EU works. You're expected to take it as a cunning power of the good guys. As an outside viewer of a fictional universe, I enjoy the hell out of Jedi mind tricks. They're useful, often amusing, and downright hilarious when they fail or have unintended consequences. But were I a resident of the galaxy far, far away, a functioning member of this universe who knew that this power existed and was practiced with relative frequency, by a government supported agency of warrior monks whom I know nothing about or their inner workings...I would be deeply concerned, and that's putting it mildly.
  10. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Yeah, he was like the on-call substitute Councilor or something, because he's always on the Council before he's supposed to be. Pre-TPM material is always trying to stick the TPM Council where it isn't supposed to be.

    Ki-Adi-Mundi's entire existence is basically one long, continuing retcon.

    Because no one knows about her. I would guess, though, given that she was allowed to leave and come back and have kids and all that, one could imagine a similar situation to Mundi, where there's a special dispensation involved. It could also be profitable to link her to Djinn Altis, and his similarly Council-defying-yet-formally-Jedi gang.

    As for the Lost Twenty, I've always favored narrowing down conditions to be "Lost." It could be Jedi Masters who leave the Order over a philosophical dispute (which Leem ostensibly doesn't do), rather than just pulling out because they're old or don't want to do it anymore or have a family or want to get out ahead of censure. Alternatively, it could exclude those Jedi who don't leave the Order in good standing, and Leem could be excluded on the basis that she was violating Jedi rules at the time, and even if, as with Altis, they're not willing to exercise any power to expel them, they're also not willing to honor those who essentially jump ship because they're breaking the rules.
  11. QuentinGeorge Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2003
    star 5
    If Anakin can't suck it up (as Mundi did when his entire family died) he has no business being a Jedi. That was Xanatos' problem. I can't understand why this is difficult to grasp.
  12. QuentinGeorge Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2003
    star 5
    I don't even think we need to worry about dispensations. The Council has never shown even an inclination for throwing people out because of marriage or a relationship. The worst anyone got is a scolding. No one got expelled for anything except having fooling about with Dark Side stuff.
  13. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    That's what the Jedi Order sorely needs more of: Therapists.

    Hell, the whole damn galaxy needs more therapists. Might solve a whole lot of problems.
  14. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Because I've spent my entire adult life working with children and refuse to view them in such an uncompassionate manner. Paraphrasing George Bailey, people are human beings to me. I have no idea about Xanatos--isn't he a Jude Watson character? I can't stand her work. But I do not believe that the Jedi, for whom compassion was supposed to be central to their lives, would or should have such a callous attitude towards their members.

    Are you really arguing that Anakin does not have emotional issues? That he would not benefit from therapy (which does not involve "sucking it up," thankfully, and would involve working through some tough issues, sometimes in a painful manner)? You seem to be arguing that the profession of psychotherapy should not exist and that everyone who has issues that they need to work through should just do a Ki-Adi Mundi and "suck it up." And "he should do it because he's a Jedi" does not work for me either, as I view Anakin as a human being first. He did not cease to be a person when he became a Jedi, nor should he be forced to do so. Any sort of "military order" argument doesn't work for me either because they usually do not accept children.

    Telling a 10-year-old kid who has spent his entire childhood as a slave and has just been permanently separated from the only family he has ever known to "suck it up" is at best, an attitude from the 19th century when people who had emotional difficulties were thrown in asylums and left to rot.

    FWIW, I do not think the Jedi viewed Anakin's issues in the manner in which you do, or I would think the whole Order was a worthless lot. I think they cared about Anakin and had no idea how to help him.

    It's not a popular opinion because it contradicts the whole "badass Jedi" image but I do believe Anakin would have benefit from someone helping him work through the issues with his past. But we can agree to disagree, because I doubt I'll sway you and you certainly won't sway me.
  15. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Dooku's best friend wasn't expelled for stealing a Sith Holocron (in Secrets of the Jedi), but for lying about Dooku's involvement. "Using the Dark Side" didn't have anything to do with it.
  16. Parnesius Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2012
    star 1
    Are you saying Anakin should have been receiving therapy from his initiation into the Order, when he gave every appearance (and I'd say was) a very normal and quite well adjusted child? Or are you referring specifically to the time from Shmi's death through the Clone Wars?

    So no dabbling in the dark side or being a worthless, conniving little excrescence prepared to drop one's best friend right in it?
  17. Riven_JTAC Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2011
    star 3
    There's a difference between nurturing and manipulating, but the difference isn't always clear...
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  18. BoromirsFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2010
    star 4
    You seem to know everything about the EU. How do you do it!?
  19. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Uh . . . oh, you know. Years of training, that type of thing. Solitude. Heavy medication . . .
  20. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I don't know that he was normal and well-adjusted. He had been a slave and been separated from his mother, with the knowledge that he would probably never see her again. Neither the Jedi Council nor Obi-Wan seemed to think he was normal or well-adjusted either. It seems odd that the Council would find a 10-year-old child so dangerously afraid and yet be eager to just set him aside like so much loose change. (No, that's not what they ended up doing, but they didn't really consider other options until Qui-Gon died.)

    After Shmi died, he definitely needed help. But I think the need started far earlier, especially given that Anakin in AOTC obviously struggled with an extremely unhealthy fear of loss as well as a lack of self-confidence (for which the arrogance was a cover) and lack of coping skills.

    As far as nurturing vs manipulation, I agree, and what Palpatine was doing, was a no-brainer for the audience. But Anakin saw a confidante who offered unconditional friendship and seemed to understand and accept him with the personality that he had, whereas I believe he saw the Jedi as only accepting him when he exhibited traits that they wanted him to have. If Anakin has felt the acceptance from the Jedi that he felt from Palpatine, things might have been different.

    And BTW, unconditional acceptance of a person does not involve unconditional acceptance of a person's every deed, nor should it. It is possible to send the message that "You were absolutely wrong to do X, I don't like how you behaved, but I love you anyway." I'm thankful that there are several people in my life who will do that for me, and I think everyone needs at least one such person.
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  21. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    I feel that Anakin trusted Obi-Wan more than he trusted the Jedi Order and I actually think that Obi-Wan did kinda accept him for what he was, warts and all. I think it was his fear of loosing Padme outweighed his feelings and respect for Kenobi. Then followed by what he viewed as a double betrayal on Mustafar of everyone who he thought still loved him.
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  22. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I agree to a point. I think Anakin did trust Obi-Wan far more than the rest of the Council. However, that isn't saying much, given that he trusted them practically not at all. And I do think Obi-Wan offered Anakin full unconditional acceptance. However, in Anakin's mind, Obi-Wan was loyal to the Order and the Council first, Anakin second. Anakin, as a person who was loyal to other people first and ideals second, did not understand that Obi-Wan could easily make his life as a Jedi his first priority but still have unconditional love for Anakin and others in his life.
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  23. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    But you can't call it untruth at the same time.

    All truth is incomplete. By this reasoning, anything is tantamount to a lie. Thus the concept becomes essentially meaningless. This aside from the fact that "tell the truth all the time" is a poor substitute for morality when there are reasons not to and the fate of the galaxy is riding on it.

    Not just one lie - all of them. All his deceptions and untruths.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Sep 25, 2012
  24. Parnesius Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2012
    star 1
    You've piqued my curiosity; are you getting your perspective from different sources to me or fielding a different interpretation? I'm basing my understanding of young Anakin on The Phantom Menace, its junior novelisation, Rogue Planet and the first half dozen Jedi Quests. In none of those, excepting the bizarre, never-repeated yet highly enjoyable maybe-future-Vader flashes in Rogue Planet, can I recall ever detecting anything untoward or disturbing in his personality. In fact, Rogue Planet ended with him receiving counseling. In this period his fears are really quite normal and when necessary he deals with them using his training.
  25. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I'm going by the films, both Anakin's comments in them and the Jedi's comments about him, and the TPM novelization. I don't remember much about Rogue Planet, and as far as I'm concerned, Jedi Quest isn't good for anything other than my toilet paper. Jude Watson flat-out said that she doesn't like Anakin and can't separate him from Vader. As far as I'm concerned, any writer with such a bias against a character that she can't write him fairly has no business whatsoever writing that character. And she didn't write Anakin fairly; she not only purposely magnified every negative quality he had, she had him commit murder in cold blood in one of the JQ books, which is absolutely ridiculous given that the entire point of the Tusken slaughter in AOTC was that it was Anakin's first act of killing that wasn't purely self-defense. And even the Tusken slaughter was not cold-blooded murder.

    I don't take anything Watson writes about Anakin seriously. I've seen fan fiction writers from this board, whom I know to strongly dislike Anakin, write him more fairly and more in character than Watson does. As far as Rogue Planet, if it ended with him receiving counseling, that's great, but I don't know the context or the outcome.

    I think Anakin's fears were far too strong and far too consuming to be normal, even from a young age, and given his background, I'd be surprised if they weren't. ROTS in and of itself proved that he was not an emotionally strong person. "Disturbing" isn't the word I would use to describe him, but he needed to be taught some coping skills. Coping skills, like any other skills, come naturally to some people whereas others have to be taught, sometimes repeatedly. And telling him to "suck it up," as a PP mentioned, is not teaching, it's not even in the same universe as teaching, any more than telling a kindergartner who doesn't know the alphabet to "suck it up and read the damn letters" is teaching.
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Sep 25, 2012
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