Saga An intended contrast in Anakin's training?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by HevyDevy, Nov 11, 2012.

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  1. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 3
    I posted something on this subject on the "Lines from the saga that mirror each other" thread a while back, but thought it might generate some discussion here.

    Does anyone else see a sharp contrast in Obi-Wan's teachings to Anakin in AOTC, when compared to Qui-Gon teaching Obi-Wan, and (Ep4) Obi-Wan and Yoda teaching Luke?

    Mostly I've noticed some opposites in dialogue. Basically Obi-Wan says wiser things in the OT than the PT, and in the OT matches Qui-Gon, Palpatine and Yoda better.

    Qui-Gon in TPM: "Feel, don't think. Trust your instincts."
    Whereas; Obi-Wan in AOTC: "Patience. Use the force. Think."

    Also; Obi-Wan in ANH: "Stretch out with your feelings."
    And Palpatine, the mentor Anakin turns to perhaps for something he isn't getting from the Jedi...
    "In time will learn to trust your feelings. Then you will be invincible." I get the impression that Qui-Gon, Yoda, Palpatine and OT Obi-Wan are far better teachers than PT Obi-Wan. Don't get me wrong, he likely did love Anakin, but possibly couldn't provide the Master Anakin truely needed.

    Another one... Anakin: "I try Master." Yoda in ESB: "Do or do not. There is no try."

    And... Obi-Wan: "This weapon is your life!" ESB Yoda: "Your weapons. You will not need them."

    It seems Obi-Wan has learnt from his mistakes and redeems himself with Luke. I don't think it is just a coincidence. It seems there is possibly more weight to Obi-Wan's comments, that he failed in Anakin's training, than meets the eye. Any Thoughts?
  2. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Good points, HevyDevy.

    I've always felt the following example, in particular, showed how Yoda and Obi-Wan had learned to deal with attachment.

    ROTS:

    YODA: Premonitions . . . premonitions . . . Hmmmm . . . these visions you have . . .

    ANAKIN: They are of pain, suffering, death . . .

    YODA: Yourself you speak of, or someone you know?

    ANAKIN: Someone . . .

    YODA: . . . close to you?

    ANAKIN: Yes.

    YODA: Careful you must be when sensing the future, Anakin. The fear of loss is a path to the dark side.

    ANAKIN: I won't let these visions come true, Master Yoda.

    YODA: Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them, do not. Miss them, do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed, that is.

    ANAKIN: What must I do, Master Yoda?

    YODA: Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.

    versus ESB:

    LUKE: I saw...I saw a city in the clouds.

    YODA: Mmm. Friends you have there.

    LUKE: They were in pain.

    YODA: It is the future you see.

    LUKE: Future? Will they die?

    Yoda closes his eyes and lowers his head.

    YODA: Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.

    LUKE: I've got to go to them.

    YODA: Decide you must how to serve them best. If you leave now, help
    them you could. But you would destroy all for which they have fought
    and suffered.

    ...

    YODA: Luke! You must complete the training.

    LUKE: I can't keep the vision out of my head. They're my friends. I've
    got to help them.

    YODA: You must not go!

    LUKE: But Han and Leia will die if I don't.

    BEN'S VOICE: You don't know that.

    BEN: Even Yoda cannot see their fate.

    ...

    YODA: Stopped they must be. On this depends. Only a fully trained Jedi
    Knight with the Force as his ally will conquer Vader and his Emperor.
    If you end your training now, if you choose the quick and easy path,
    as Vader did, you will become an agent of evil.

    BEN: Patience.

    LUKE: And sacrifice Han and Leia?

    YODA: If you honor what they fight for...yes!


    I honestly think the above is one of the most beautiful contrasts in the Saga. With Luke, Obi-Wan and Yoda make sure to remind him that the future is not set in stone and that by going he might be able to save those he loves, but that is not what they would want him to do and he risks being destroyed himself in the process.

    You can see the stark contrast in their dealings with Anakin's visions -- when Anakin expresses fear of the future and his visions coming to pass, instead of reassuring him that nothing has yet been decided, Yoda (unintentionally) makes it seem as though Anakin's only option is to "forget" about whoever it is he is worried about.

    It gives Yoda and Obi-Wan really beautiful character arcs.

    @HevyDevy

    I also liked the comparisons you drew between Qui-Gon, Palpatine, and OT Obi-Wan. I see it frequently expressed that Qui-Gon shouldn't have existed, but honestly, I think he's desperately needed in order for the Saga to work properly. He's a contrast to the dysfunction of the Jedi Council of the PT and I think he serves as a tie to Luke, which brings the story full-circle.
    minnishe and thesevegetables like this.
  3. FARK2005 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 2
    You have some good observations and I certainly agree that OT Obi-Wan is a better teacher than PT Obi-Wan, but I also think that some of the comparisons you make are a bit… unjust… because of the difference in situations:

    I’m assuming you’re referring to what Obi-Wan teaches Luke in ANH, and I think it’s imperative to keep in mind that OT-Obi-Wan is teaching a person who knows absolutely nothing about the Force, while PT/AotC-Obi-Wan is teaching Anakin who has received Jedi-training for teen years, so there is a huge difference in Anakin’s and Luke’s knowledge of the Force. Obi-Wan may very well have told a nine-year-old Anakin the very same things he told Luke when he began his training, but since the movies don’t show those ten years between TPM and AotC we’ll never know.

    Again you compare three completely different situations:

    TPM-Qui-Gon is giving advice to a boy who is about to participate in a pod-race where everything goes so fast that the racers don’t really have time to think and mostly have to rely on their instincts and skills to get them through – it’s when you start thinking whether you should go right or left around that column in your path that might get you killed.

    AotC-Obi-Wan is out to capture an assassin who is hiding in a bar and has to stop his overexcited Padawan from mindlessly barging in there; using his brain he figures that the best way to lure the assassin out is by presenting an irresistible easy target.

    ANH-Obi-Wan is teaching Luke not to rely on his eyes when using a lightsaber. Since Luke can’t see, the only way he has a chance of deflecting those bolts are by stretching out with his feelings and deepen his connection with the Force – it’s the whole point of the exercise. We see Yoda teach the same things to the younglings in AotC and Obi-Wan was almost certainly taught the very same thing as a child. I don’t think it’s unlikely that PT-Obi-Wan taught Anakin to “Stretch out with your feelings.” when he went through a similar exercise for the first time.

    There are situations that require thought over action and others where it’s better to rely on your instincts.
    Arawn_Fenn likes this.
  4. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    @FARK2005

    I definitely agree with some of your points and think that you can see some of the wisdom that Obi-Wan imparts to Anakin in the PT. The "Patience. Use the force. Think." line in particular is interesting in that I think it plays both ways.

    If we look at his instruction for Anakin to be patient, for instance, we can clearly see how that has paid off by ROTS -- when Anakin and Obi-Wan are trapped by ray shields, Anakin says "I say patience." and indicates that R2 will come along to deactivate the ray shields. A lot of ROTS actually references back to Obi-Wan's instructions in AOTC -- such as when Anakin agrees to take on Dooku together or when he apologizes for being arrogant.

    At the same time, though, I do believe that the feel vs. think dynamic is established in the PT and that Obi-Wan's line is meant to reflect that. One of the big problems I see with the PT Jedi as a whole is that they've become too removed from people, too cold and detached, and instead they intellectualize instead of empathizing. This is also reflected in Yoda's answer to Anakin that I posted earlier where, instead of providing emotional reassurance, he gives an intellectual reply that satisfies philosophically, but does nothing to ease Anakin's concerns.

    With the PT Jedi and Anakin, I think Lucas was warning against being both too detached and too attached, respectively. Both are imbalanced, but in different directions. Or extremism is bad, in other words.
    minnishe likes this.
  5. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Well, I think young Obi-Wan (TPM) was more a thinker than an instinctual Jedi, so Qui-Gon urged him to incorporate more of what he was weaker at. Whereas young Anakin (AoTC) was an action-oriented, instinctual Jedi, so his master, Obi-Wan, urged him to incorporate more of what he was weaker at.

    In short, broaden your horizons, young Jedi. Just as the Force directs you and is directed by you, act on instinct AND use the brain you were gifted with in tandem.
    minnishe and StampidHD280pro like this.
  6. FARK2005 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 2
    I agree that the PT-Jedi had become too removed from the people – it seems a natural development that the higher up in the system you operate the further you get from the people at the bottom – no matter how good your intentions are. I have no doubt that the Jedi tried to help the most people by solving conflicts at the top of the system, but unfortunately they also lost sight of the very people they were trying to help.

    I also find your comparison between the Yoda-Anakin-dialogue and Yoda-Luke-dialogue appropriate in terms of illustrating how Yoda and Obi-Wan, representing the Jedi, have evolved by the time of the OT. You can also see the difference when Obi-Wan tells Luke that his feelings do him credit which is not something I think that any PT-Jedi would have said.

    Well said - I'm with you all the way :)
    PiettsHat likes this.
  7. thesevegetables Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2012
    star 4
    Very interesting thread - but are we reading too much into this?
  8. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    In this case, no. Definitely no. One of the biggest themes in Star Wars is the difference between thinking and feeling. "Let go your conscious self, and act on instinct." Obi-Wan also says. Which is how Luke ends up destroying the Death Star. He *turns off his targeting computer*. Which is one of the things a practicing Buddhist learns how to do.

    This is also tied to the difference between order and disorder in the saga. Think of the Kaminoans and their pretty clones all in a row. "I'd be happy to arrange it for you." The Jedi even make major judgments based on a midichlorian COUNT. The Republic's spacecrafts descend from sleek and painted into an angular monotone grey due to this sort of mentality.

    No, we aren't reading too much into this. The evidence really stacks up. But we've clearly all had to much to think. ;)
    thesevegetables likes this.
  9. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    That's a wonderful example, in particular, because it ties so seamlessly into the PT. Obi-Wan likely realized that Anakin was emotionally manipulated by Palpatine and he (like Yoda) is warning Luke against that. In particular, I like the recognition that the Saga gives to the fact that emotions aren't negative things, but you have to be in control of them, they can't rule you. Which was, in many respects, one of the largest challenges Anakin faced (and what made him so vulnerable to Palpatine), so it's interesting to see Obi-Wan bring it up again.
  10. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 3
    Thanx for your responses guys. Particularly PiettsHat, that's a meaningful contrast in PT and OT Yoda. I think it can be overlooked by the casual viewer that the last Jedi have adapted and grown and, compared to their handling of Anakin, more effectively train Luke in the original films. The wiser dialogue of the OT is not an inconsistency IMO, rather an intended arc as you have described.

    I may be biased because I am a TPM fan, but Qui-Gon is actually my favourite Jedi in the prequels. I agree, there is definitely a tie to Luke in ROTJ, and there is an underrated depth to what Qui-Gon and TPM generally does for the rest of the saga. In the OT Yoda, Obi-Wan and Luke certainly seem to echo him.
    Personally I think the contrast in Qui-Gon's mentoring and AOTC Obi-Wan's may have made Palpatine a more appealing Master. And of course, Luke throws of the shackles of both the past Jedi and the Sith when he becomes his own Master. Star Wars rocks :cool:
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