Anakin slaughtering the Tusken Raiders - How wrong was it?

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by son of lucas, May 8, 2003.

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  1. son of lucas Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 1999
    star 1
    I've seen some comments about how Padme should have been horrified by Anakin's genocide of the Tusken Raiders. I think this overlooks some facts of life that people in the diverse Star Wars galaxy must live with.

    They weren't people. A lot of us look at this from a "cultural difference" standpoint when the actual difference is of the species.

    There's been no evidence in the Star Wars movies that the Tusken Raiders are anything more than butchering savages...and not capable of becoming anything else.

    Padme knows this. She probably doesn't approve of it. But there has to be other cases in the galaxy of semi-sentient beings posing threats to peaceful beings and the necessity to deal with them.

    In fact a lot of the source material indicates that the moisture farmers periodically went out and slaughtered them as a matter of course to scare them away from the farms (good move considering Shmi).

    That would mean that Luke Skywalker likely did the same thing his father did at one point or another.

    Cliegg and Owen Lars were actually on their way to slaughter some Tusken Raiders when they were ambushed.

    Look at it this way. What if there were a second species on Earth that sprung up? They were marginally intellegent, capable of crude speech, social behavior, and using tools including guns they found (made by humans).

    What if that species were biologically inclined to kill humans upon contact?

    No matter how we tried to keep them away, train them from birth, whatever, they would come in the night and kill whoever them met.

    How long do you think we would suffer a species such as that? Personally I don't think we would suffer them at all. They would be systematically wiped out and become but a strange page in the history book.

    The Tusken Raiders appear to be much in the same vein. Whenever we've seen them in Star Wars they've killed or kidnapped without any provocation.

    I understand there's a thematic comparrison to Native Americans (though I'd remind everyone that slaughtering Indians was once socially acceptable to the point where men became President on that basis). But these aren't Indians. They're a strange alien species that may very well have evolved to be incapable of living in peace.

    Now whether you still think it's completely and morally wrong, you have to admit that people would be slow to wholly condemn others for removing this threat. Especially if you already care for a person like Padme does for Anakin.

    Anakin's problem is that:

    A. He's a Jedi and isn't supposed to use violence for anything except defense.

    B. He killed in anger which leads to the Dark Side.
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  2. son of lucas Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 1999
    star 1
    BTW I know I'm asking for you guys to go against some of your better instincts on this.

    Almost all the world's atrocities (including the Indian slaughters) have started with the dehumanization of the victims.

    But, logically you have to take into consideration that aliens really aren't human. And grafting humanity onto them is simply sloppy thinking.

    Even in the theoretical world of science fiction it's still a somewhat dangerous mindset. But we must face this from the points-of-view of the participants if we're going to make accurate judgements on their behaviors.

    Not from our "ivory towers" as you will.
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  3. CieSharp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    It's not how many you kill and how fast, it's what kind of mindset you have when committing the act. When Luke Skywalker destroyed the Death Star, tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people died. But was not angry, he did it in self defense.

    When Obi-Wan killed Darth Maul in Episode I, he had a little bit of rage, so he was edging toward the dark side (which is why Duel of the Fates was playing). But of course, he never crossed that line

    Anakin on the other hand, killed the Tuskans because he was hatefully enraged and wanted revenge. After his mother dies, see the look on his face, and how the soundtrack changes, as the string section of the orchestra does this "rage effect" (for lack of a better term).

    Had Anakin just carried his mother's body away, back to the speeder, and had the Tuskans discovered him, and followed him for the kill, and if he put his anger away to defend himself, then it wouldn't have been falling to the dark side.

    "This is just the beginning" as Dooku would say. He wasn't consumed by the dark side, he was just starting on the dark road. I believe the purpose of this scene was to show that his turn to the dark side in Episode III wasn't completely abrupt like hitting a light switch.

    It's a shame that the scene where Anakin helps the wounded Tuskan was never in the Phantom Menace film. It would have shown a huge contrast between the two films.
  4. JEDIPAULAW Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2000
    star 5
    What would you guys have done in that situation?. Obviously, Anakin was so upset at losing his beloved mother that he had to kill the Tusken's to try to get rid of that upset. Incidentially, I conjecture that the more *sensitive* and *emotional* a person is, the more susceptible they are to extremes of emotion as a matter of consequence.

  5. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    son of lucas

    They weren't people.

    They are also called sand people and are described as being men, women and children.

    There's been no evidence in the Star Wars movies that the Tusken Raiders are anything more than butchering savages...and not capable of becoming anything else.

    There has been no evidence to show that Tusken's are only butchering savages, and there is no evidence that they are incapable of being anything else.

    Padme knows this.

    I'd like to see some proof that Padme knows that Tuskens are only butchering savages and that they are incapable of being anything else.

    She probably doesn't approve of it. But there has to be other cases in the galaxy of semi-sentient beings posing threats to peaceful beings and the necessity to deal with them.

    And the evidence that Tusken's are semi sentient is...?

    In fact a lot of the source material indicates that the moisture farmers periodically went out and slaughtered them as a matter of course to scare them away from the farms (good move considering Shmi).

    Oh, well that's alright then! When a Tusken kidnaps a woman that's bad, but when moisture farmers peroidically slaughter Tuskens that's a perfectly acceptable means of scaring people away! I guess it would be okay if the Tuskens just came down and slaughtered the moisture farmers as a way of scaring them away then, huh?

    That would mean that Luke Skywalker likely did the same thing his father did at one point or another.

    What, went on a psychotic rampage in which he slaughters men, women and children? Don't think so.

    Cliegg and Owen Lars were actually on their way to slaughter some Tusken Raiders when they were ambushed.

    Man, those Tusken's just get more and more evil! Imagine ambushing poor Cliegg and Owen, just because they were going to slaughter some Tuskens! Such animals!

    Look at it this way. What if there were a second species on Earth that sprung up? They were marginally intellegent, capable of crude speech, social behavior, and using tools including guns they found (made by humans).

    What if that species were biologically inclined to kill humans upon contact?

    No matter how we tried to keep them away, train them from birth, whatever, they would come in the night and kill whoever them met.

    How long do you think we would suffer a species such as that? Personally I don't think we would suffer them at all. They would be systematically wiped out and become but a strange page in the history book.

    The Tusken Raiders appear to be much in the same vein.


    You know, I've seen a lot of straw man arguments on these boards, but this is the first time I've ever seen a straw Tusken argument.

    Do you know Tuskens are only marginally intelligent? Do you know they are only capable of using tools that they found which were made by humans, rather then having the ability to make their own? Do you know they are biologically inclined to kill humans on contact? Do you know they are incapable of living peacefully?

    Whenever we've seen them in Star Wars they've killed or kidnapped without any provocation.

    Yeah, because getting systematiclly slaughtered is hardly provocation, is it?

    I understand there's a thematic comparrison to Native Americans (though I'd remind everyone that slaughtering Indians was once socially acceptable to the point where men became President on that basis).

    Well, thanks for reminding me that many people thought that slaughtering native Americans was ok. Just goes to show how morally wretched some people can be. Thank goodness we've moved on a little since then.

    But these aren't Indians. They're a strange alien species that may very well have evolved to be incapable of living in peace.

    Wow. Over the course of five SW films the Tuskens have been given a total screen time of about...what, four minutes? Yet we are qualified to say that they are semi sentient beings biologically inclined to kill humans and are incapable of living i
  6. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    Anakin's actions were not in self defense but brutal and hateful revenge. The image of him chasing down terrified children to kill them in cold blood sends chills down my spine.

    I'd say what he did was pretty damn wrong.
  7. Ret Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 1999
    star 6
    Well if they were just viewed as animals I can see why it might not be viewed as that big a deal. But obviously he still did go crazy. Also Padme may not be familiar with how the Tuskens are viewed on Tatooine.
  8. Ekenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
    It was soooo wrong! I mean who does he think he is Darth Vader?!? :)
  9. TheAnointedOne Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 2
    Clint Eastwood in "Unforgiven": "Yeah, I've killed women and children. I've probably killed just about everything that crawled or walked at one time or another..."

    That guy wasn't so bad either. I'm sure those kids had it comming!

    Maybe we should also ask the question, "Were Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and Jeffry Dahmer judged too harshly?"
  10. JKBurtola Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2003
    star 4
    There is no doubt what Anakin did was wrong.
    You can't murder innocents like he did. I'm a huge Anakin fan but even I admit he was wrong to what he did.

    But his mindset is important to remember here. Unlike what JenX says he isn't a borderline sociopath. He has had to repress his emotions for a long time, which has left him susceptible to what happened in AOTC. The moment he overloaded with his fear, anger and hatred, he lashed out. Much like some people do when it all becomes to much, and I can understand that because when things come to a head for me, I've a hell of a temper. But I certainly wouldn't harm women and children.

    This is always a touchy subject because on one hand you have to accept that he did an evil act and he should be punished for it, yet on the other hand we do have to understand other factors; his mother had just died, he has been made to supress his emotions to a point where they overload his system and he didn't intentionally go to kill Tusken raiders but save his mother.
    The fact we see both sides, creates a great
    big grey area.

    I understand his emotional distress but he shouldnt have lashed out like that.
    At least his saving grace is he was remorseful, at least he knew he had done wrong and hadn't celebrated the slaughter.
  11. QuiGonHrafn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 3
    The dark side is strong with you son of Lucas. So you think it is ok to kill dozens if not hundred of people (or even none humans for that matter). You have clearly misunderstood what Star Wars is all about. And in case of the comparison of some alien species arrving on earth and "taking it over". Where is the proof that the tusken raiders aren't the original inhabitants of Tatooine. I have always believed they are the original inhabitants of the planet and there is no proof the humans arrived there first. I would have to say it is unlikely humans arrived there first (after all it is controlled by an alien species called the Hutts and the human inhabitants are all slaves in the TPM) The tusken could be protecting what is theirs as they might have been living on the planet until "the humans" arrived. And Cliegg Lars is obviously meant to be racist and influence Anakin in his action. Cliegg called them mindless monsters and later Anakin called them animals because of his bad influence. Obviously Lucas needs to add a scene in Episode III to explain to fans with the dark side as their ally that Anakin's action are actually horrible.
    And I am going to finish this with a line from Star Trek (see what you have made me do): "human rights, the name itself is racist" (this is not a direct quote but the message is the same and it is from Star Trek VI)
  12. Draculas_guest Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2001
    star 2
    I'm somewhat undecided about the whole issue.

    On the one hand, I find it difficult to feel a sense of loss over a camp of Tusken Raiders. Of all the aliens, stormtroopers, battle droids et al that have been killed on-screen in SW, the death of some faceless aliens like the Tuskens seems somewhat insignificant.
    Luke and the rebels killed everyone in Jabba's palace (including a Rancor) in an effort to rescue Han, and there isn't any issue whether that was "right" or not, but then that was probably more in self-defense as Jabba decided to execute them by throwing them in the Sarlacc creature. (Though the bit where that dwarfish fellow starts crying over the dead Rancor has me in stitches)

    But then, morally speaking, it was wrong to kill the Tuskens as an act of revenge. Even if they are "animals".

    In Britain, there is the whole issue of banning Fox hunting. I havent really been following it, but from what I understand, the two main groups of people are those who think that fox hunting is morally wrong (animal rights), and those who view foxes as filthy animals that invade their farms at night and kill their sheep. (I may have over-generalised things there, so if anyone knows more about the subject then feel free to chime in)

    Even if Tuskens are nothing more than "animals" it could be argued that they're entitled to rights.

    I think its a case of intent. If you were being attacked by some Rottweilers, and you had a gun in your pocket, you would be entitled to use it in self-defense, but if you decided to go out one night and shoot some Rottweilers just for the fun of it, then that would be nothing more than a slaughter.
  13. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    You have an interesting point about the separation of species issue, its one that I've thought about many times before, and its personally something that bothers me a bit about both sci-fi and fantasy stories. But that's more a discussion of real world culture and ethics than SW, so we'll stay out of that.

    My only problem with your construct, as you've set it up, its that even in the SW Galaxy, the status of Tusken Raiders as an alien or human species is debatable.

    But now lets take a look at the actual situation proposed. Even if they are a seperate species, and are sub-sentient, there is still not justification for killing them. This is because, very simply, the mositure farmers, are colonizers, settlers from other worlds. Even if they all aren't, we know from Lucas that the Skywalker family is. Therefore, as squatters/invaders/trespassers, the Sand People, sentient or not, have a right to detain them. While what they did cannot be approved of really, it is justified in that it was an act of defense against people who entered illegally onto their planet.

    Furthermore, even if this were not the case, there are plenty of dangerous animals that people still seek to preserve, so this really isn't a valid argument either. Finally, since you refer to periodic killings as "source material" that would presumably be EU, which establishes that Sand People are in fact sentient, and does in fact explain the reasons for hostility between themselves and the settlers (that paragraph, and the arguemtn "good move considering Shmi" is circular logic in any case, since that can easily be attributed to the farmer's policy of periodic killings).
  14. Heavenly_Angel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2003
    star 1
    yep. a good jedi would never do such thing. jedi are supposed to have self-control and hold their anger and not use violence.
  15. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    I did not want to post in here. But there a lot of things people seem to forget about the Tuskens.

    1st in ANH Luke is attacked by them. What did he do? All he did was go and take a look at them.

    Then Obi-wan's words: "I thank we better get indoors. The Sand People will soon be back in greater numbers."

    That line right there says it all. They woudl have come back and killed both Luke and Obi-wan. So I again will ask for Obi-wan what did he do? He did not attack them he was just saving Luke.

    Same thing when all those men went out to save Shmi and only four came back. These are not nice people. They are very dangers and kill any and all people. Weather they do something to them or not. Shmi did nothing and yet they kidnapped her. She was a slave msut of her life so when woudl she have had time to hurt them?

    I don't feel much for them. I don't feel mcuh for people who will kill others for no reason. Both Luke and Ben would have dead if they would have stayed. Shmi dead because of what they did to her. Again the Tuskens are not nice people.
  16. SLR Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 2002
    star 5
    I think the tone of the scene and the confession display Lucas' feelings on the matter. Lucas was definitely trying to convey what happened was wrong and evil. Listen to the music when he lashes out at the tuskens and when he confesses his crime to Padme. It is the imperial march. I think the whole purpose of the confession scene itself was to show the audience what Anakin did was wrong, morally and not just because he is studying to be a jedi. Anakin's comments at the confession, show what Lucas' opinions were. Anakin knew what he did was wrong. When the strong emotional rage subsided, cool contemplation made him feel guilty and ashamed of what he has done. Anakin knew what he did was wrong. That was the purpose of the confession scene.
  17. sdj Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 4
    Well this is why I think the thing with the Tuskens was the perfect situation to setup Anakins' fall. Because we don't really blame him, many of us if we could would do the same thing, but we know it is wrong. Especially killing the kids.
  18. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Sorry to weigh un again so soon, but there were some interesting new comments that attracted my attention. So of we go:

    anidanami124, those were some interesting comments. A crux of your argument seems to be the aspect of "senseless killing" and especially in reference to Obi-wan's "we better get indoors" comment. However, on this latter point, I would like to disagree with you, because Obi-wan did do something. In the movie, it was stated very clearly that he scared them away (I bleieve even he says it). For them to come back in large numbers would make a lot of sense, because if he scared them, then they must have saw him as a threat. And yes, it is reasonable to prepare defense (or apparently even preemptive attacks) against a threat; this is the very line of logic used by all who support the "its not as wrong as it seems" line of logic. Moreover, if Kenobi dealt with them all those years simply by putting on a hood and yelling, why did the mositure farmers neeed to actually attack them, let laone Anakin's massacre? Their motives were obviously not pure eiher, as anyone who lived there should have known the "make funny noises" trick. For that matter, why didn't Shmi herself just use the trick when they tried ot cpature her?

    Finally, let me commend Draculas-Guest, as I neglected to do so earlier. His thoughts regarding fox hunting were xactly what I was grabbing for.
  19. sdj Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 4
    I always felt that Obi Wan used a Jedi mind trick to scare the sandpeople in ANH.
  20. Mateo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2001
    star 4
    I think that Anakin's killing of the Sand People/Tusken Raiders was also partly due to the fact that he wanted to protect other people on Tatooine from being killed and enslaved by them, its basically his preventive medicine,he does it to prevent them from killing anyone else but what is wrong is the fact that he gives into his anger and hate and slaughters them because of it.

    On a side note i think that the Tusken Children probably would have charged him with Gaffi Sticks just like the adults did,you dont really think that they would just run away like Neimodians,they were raised by a violent warlike species and would definetly attack him alongside of their elders,probably with the same kind of hate that the Kid in the movie Flatliners attacked Keither Sutherland with to without any provocation.
  21. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    In the movie, it was stated very clearly that he scared them away (I bleieve even he says it).

    Yeah because he was not about to start fighting them. All he was dong was getting Luke out of there then gettin away as fast as he could. Obi-wan did what any one would have done. Did he attack them? No. Did he hurt them? No. All he did was scare them so he could save Luke that was it. And they would have killed him for that? [face_plain]

    Yup I feel so sorry for the Tuskens. [face_plain]
    So again I ask what did he do to them did he hurt them in any way? What did Shmi do to the Tusken's? Way did they kidnap her. Again she was a slave for a good part of her life. So way was it ok for them to kidnap her?

    By the way this is form SW.com

    Fearsome desert savages inhabiting the rocky Jundland Wastes, Tusken Raiders are the foremost reason Tatooine colonists do not wander far from their isolated communities. Extremely territorial and xenophobic, Tusken Raiders will attack with very little provocation. They show no allegiance to even their native world-mates, as these nomads have attacked Jawa scouting parties on occasion. They have even gathered numbers large enough to attack the outskirts of smaller towns like Anchorhead.

    So they will attack in one any any thing. So again I will ask what did Obi-wan, Luke, and Shmi ever do to them. Shmi never hurt them and yet they kidnap her.

    Here's what Shmi did: This is also form SW.com.
    A month prior to Anakin's return to Tatooine, Shmi left the safety of the house in the early hours of the Tatooine morning to gather mushrooms that collected on the moisture vaporators. A raiding party of Sand People suddenly attacked, and Shmi was kidnapped by the bandaged brutes. Outraged and grief-stricken, Cliegg rounded up a posse of moisture farmers to rescue her, but the Tuskens lay in wait. After a bloody ambush, only four of the 30 farmers returned, including a maimed Cliegg.
  22. Tay-Mau Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2002
    star 1
    How wrong was it?

    HE CUT UP SMALL CHILDREN!

  23. son of lucas Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 1999
    star 1
    "There has been no evidence to show that Tusken's are only butchering savages, and there is no evidence that they are incapable of being anything else.

    Sure there's evidence.

    Why aren't there some Tusken Raiders running around Mos Eisley and Mos Espa if this is the case?

    You'd assume a few orphans would be taken when the Tusken Raider villages were destroyed. The people of Tatooine obviously aren't xenophobes enough to kill all aliens (the diversity of the cities and the trade with the relatively weak Jawas being proof of this) so it's logical to think that many Tusken Raiders would be "civilized" over the years.

    This certainly does not appear to be the case So you've got to assume that there's a biological reason that the Sandpeople are only brutal killers in the desert.

    Oh, well that's alright then! When a Tusken kidnaps a woman that's bad, but when moisture farmers peroidically slaughter Tuskens that's a perfectly acceptable means of scaring people away! I guess it would be okay if the Tuskens just came down and slaughtered the moisture farmers as a way of scaring them away then, huh?

    You're going to morally equivicate the Tusken Raiders?

    Look, the moisture farmers obviously don't go around killing everyone. The Jawas are out running around the desert (hiding from the Tusken Raiders in their Sandcrawlers) and the moisture farmers don't use them as target practice.

    I don't see much evidence that the moisture farmers would do anything other than leave the Tusken Raiders alone if they'd just stop killing, kidnapping, and torturing them.
  24. Tay-Mau Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2002
    star 1
    CUTTING UP SMALL CHILDREN!

    He cut up children with a lightsaber!, how can anyone possibly justify this?


  25. son of lucas Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 1999
    star 1
    Now you're entering emotionalist arguments.

    It's clear that Tusken Raiders are not humans. Calling them "children" is a misnomer at best (even if Anakin uses the same language).

    The act of slaughtering them isn't a big deal in the Star Wars universe. When Cliegg mentions their intention to go after them did you, in the audience, cringe at their barbarism? Padme certainly didn't.

    Anakin simply was out of control in those scenes. His own hatred scared him. Hence his breaking down a few scenes later.

    But I doubt he, or anyone else, really cares that there won't be as many Sandpeople out there terrorizing the moisture farms next generation.
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