main
side
curve

Lit Can Star Wars learn anything from Star Trek?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Darth_Duck, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Even in the newcanon, there's independent droids that pretty much get to act on their own initiative and live the way they want. Admittedly they tend to be bounty hunters, like Highsinger.
     
  2. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2005
    I don't think anyone in the GFFA struggles to understand that many droids are functionally the same as people and can act autonomously. That's a large part of why they're so useful. What seems to be culturally ingrained is the belief that they're not actually people, so, hey it's okay to own them even while we talk up our anti-slavery laws.

    I'm very interested in why that is and would like to see it examined but it seems futile to argue that isn't largely the case or that there's any truly meaningful in-universe debate when -- as mentioned upthread -- otherwise noble and enlightened individuals like Bail Organa will wipe a droid's mind without a second thought.

    If this franchise does ever tackle this head on I think that I-Five (Coruscant Nights) offers a glimpse of the right kind of direction to go in. The arguments in, say, Data's favour, while compelling in Star Trek, have surely already been refuted as far as the GFFA is concerned, or else we couldn't even have the current status quo. No grand "droid rights" narrative can really eschew the Force as a plot element without also doing a disservice to its own potential.

    I mean, in my head, all the "functionally people" droids are "actually people" and have a corresponding presence in the Force. It's just not on a wavelength the Jedi are tuned in to and, in their arrogance, they assumed that meant it wasn't there.

    Oops.
     
  3. JediBatman

    JediBatman Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 3, 2015
    So in other words, what TvTropes calls " Deliberate Values Dissonance "? Sort of like how the casual sexism in Game of Thrones or casual racism in Bioshock Infinite is meant to show that this society has different values that might be at odds with ours? I can see your point, but I'm not sure how much of the treatment of droids in Star Wars is deliberately showing us a flawed society, and how much is just adding droids because the writer thought robots were cool, and they didn't really think about what moral questions this might raise.

    Just as you gave a kudos for my Linkara reference, I must kudos your SF Debris reference :). That's pretty much how I see droids in Star Wars: though some droids can obtain full sentience by accident, that doesn't mean all droids are thinking feeling beings. The only difference is that what created Moriarty or The Doctor on Star Trek where accidents that only happened because of unique circumstances. In Star Wars your Roomba can apparently become a person if you don't give it the equivalent of a software update regularly.

    @Ulicus Aside from that C'baoth quote (and C'baoth is a well known for his extreme views anyways), I don't think the Force has anything to do with how droids are treated. After all characters who aren't Force sensitive or don't even necessarily believe in the Force (like Uncle Owen or Han) still treat droids like property.
     
  4. comradepitrovsky

    comradepitrovsky Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2017
    The finest photograph of the Mona Lisa isn’t the Mona Lisa. Droids aren’t people, they just appear to be to an untrained eye.
     
    Ackbar's Fishsticks and Havoc123 like this.
  5. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Given how many other franchises have no trouble with the concept of "inorganic persons" I can't see why Star Wars has to be an exception.
     
    Jedi Knight Fett likes this.
  6. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Yeah I like to think of it as a deliberate values dissonance sort of thing even if that wasn't the original intention.
     
    vncredleader likes this.
  7. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    To those saying droids are just machines... humans are just machines made out of carbon and water. Why does the composition of a machine determine if it's a person or not? If someone like Tarkin can have a "soul," then you'd better bet that Artoo has just as much of a soul. As for "the Force," they could just not be sensitive to it yet, and on a different wavelength.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
    Hypatia, Nom von Anor, jSarek and 4 others like this.
  8. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    It's pretty clear in the Star Wars universe that the force is connected to biology-midi chlorians, Vong life, among other examples.

    It's also clear something of a soul or distinct consciousness exists separate from matter-this is seen in the OT.

    It's just that only Jedi or sith can retain their consciousness after their body dies. Non force users souls dissipate into the force itself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  9. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    We know life doesn't have to have a natural origin. See: clones.

    Why does life have to be made of carbon and water?

    Midichlorians are what allows organic lifeforms to know the Force... there could be another way for non-organic lifeforms (aka droids).
     
  10. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    I suppose life forms made of silicon or ammonia or other exotic biochemistries could be connected to the force through some sort of midi chlorian analogue or some other manner entirely.

    As for clones-recall trying to clone force sensitives usually ended in disaster or failure. So the force's relationship with clones doesn't seem to be a stable one.

    And most droids aren't actually sapient living beings like the doctor on voyager, or data on TNG.

    They just fulfill their rote programming.
     
    vncredleader and Havoc123 like this.
  11. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Sure, as I said, I don't think it consciously factors into how the average person behaves on a day to day at all. But I think if you wanted to know why "droids aren't people" is so culturally ingrained, that's where we may need to look. Because in the early days of the Republic, when SW had it's "Measure of a Man" episode, or whatever, the SW Data analog was "proven" to be a not-person in no small part thanks to the Jedi point of view.

    And then we get millennia of droids being treated like property in galactic law, which naturally informs everyone else's attitude.
     
    vncredleader likes this.
  12. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Wasn't there a philosopher in early galactic history that believed droids weren't people?
     
  13. vncredleader

    vncredleader Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2016
    There was that Jedi in the Knight storyline for TOR who thought droids were force sensitive if they went long enough without a wipe.
    http://swtor.wikia.com/wiki/Leeha_Narezz
     
    JediBatman and Ghost like this.
  14. JediBatman

    JediBatman Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 3, 2015
    Is this based on a particular Star Wars story (Canon or Legends), or is this speculation?

    Anyways, my take on this is that there are countless Sci Fi works where it's ingrained into a culture that robots/cylons/replicants/synths/whatever are not-persons. None those franchises had Jedi in them. We don't need input from monks connected to the life force of the universe to convince ourselves artificial beings aren't alive, we do it by ourselves all the time in fiction. After all, if Data HAD lost the "Measure of a Man" case, the Federation a few centuries in the future could look a lot like the SW galaxy with droids everywhere. All without any Jedi.

    Because of this, I see no reason to assume that Jedi input was instrumental for how people in the SW galaxy see droids. In fact, I see no reason to assume they had a court case like in "The Measure of a Man" at all. And besides, many Legends sources show us that even at the height of their power when Jedi were respected, many still mistrusted them or thought of them as weirdos. So I wouldn't assume that Jedi are responsible for the ingrained sense of "droids aren't people" in the galaxy. Not to mention that unless a droid goes without a memory wipe for a long time, usually it seems to be true.
     
    Sarge and vncredleader like this.
  15. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Speculation, though largely informed by the blunt certainty with which Obi-Wan states that droids don't think.

    I'm sorry if that was unclear.

    True enough and, yet, in such works of fiction -- those that expect to be taken seriously, at any rate -- there's normally a genuine debate. More often than not, the heroic characters are portrayed as sympathetic to synthetic rights. Either immediately or eventually, as the story plays out.

    They are also usually much younger societies. AI has often only arisen in the preceding few decades or centuries.

    The GFFA, on the other hand, presents a millennia old civilization in which there is next to no dissent on the issue. Barring a few fringe examples, the question is essentially settled. I would like to know why. The easiest answer is "Because, unlike in many other fictional settings, this one has a class of individuals who can literally feel the presence of consciousness"

    I wouldn't suggest that it's the only possible answer.

    The reimagined BSG had religion, spirituality and God front and centre. For better or worse.

    It could, but more likely it would have been revisited several decades down the line because, despite precedent being established, "Maybe we got it wrong?" would always be on the table.

    The question isn't "Why would anyone think droids aren't people?" it's "Why would pretty much everyone?"

    And I don't think Star Trek offers a suitable model to Star Wars to follow.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
    Hypatia, Dr. Steve Brule and jSarek like this.
  16. firesaber

    firesaber Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2006
    I've been doing it wrong???

    For the OT and PT I just think they had time to deal with the issue of droid rights. I do wonder though if they ever were going to tackle it later and went " Well, **** BSG and Caprica already did it".
     
  17. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Droids serve a lot of roles I imagine in the galactic economy-if they were granted rights the whole structure would be greatly destabilized.
     
  18. Darth_Duck

    Darth_Duck Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2000
    Well, yes, but I think I also read that argument in my US history textbook w/r/t chattel slavery.

    Sent from my SM-G386W using Tapatalk
     
  19. Jedi Princess

    Jedi Princess Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 25, 2014
    They made every single novel and an entire television series non-canon when The Next Generation launched in 1987.
     
    jSarek likes this.
  20. mnjedi

    mnjedi Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Zuckuss and 4-L0M seemed to think that a droid attuning itself to the force was possible, and it looked like 4-L0M may have been getting close in thier tales of the bounty hunters story. Unfortunately 4-L0M wound up memory wiped before we could go all the way down that particular rabbit hole.

    Of course that's the perspective of a Gand findsman and an erratic protocol droid that reprogrammed itself to be a bounty hunter. So its clearly nowhere near the galactic mainstream.
     
  21. Duguay

    Duguay Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2002
    They didn't have the internet, and they didn't make an announcement on TV about how an earlier series and all novels were automatically rendered as not mattering. I didn't read any magazine or go to any convention were a speaker for TNG or Roddenberry denounced them as having no meaning. They didn't print new copies of the old novels with some weird logo that translated as "Not ****** anymore." The closest I came to encountering any denouncement was a puzzling note at the beginning of a novel that said (paraphrasing) "This novel reflects the author's views of the ST universe and may not be consistent with the actual TV show." I can't remember what I thought at the time.
     
  22. Jedi Princess

    Jedi Princess Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Except we did have the internet. Here's an interview published to said internet all the way back in 1991. In it, Richard Arnold explains why he largely stopped communicating with fan groups that were not the Official Star Trek Fan Club. He recounts the heated canon arguments between the "Big Name Fans" and the production team on The Next Generation, which culminates in this:
    So yeah, they announced it, in every place that fans of the time would be looking. Hell, Roddenberry made no secret of the fact that he considered all of the movies after the first one non-canon, he made this very clear at conventions (as, again, that interview talks about). And a number of fans responded the way you are here, acting like that is some "denouncement" of the material, when all it ever was in either case was a practical matter in the production of new creative content.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
    Hypatia, jSarek and vncredleader like this.
  23. Shadowrain10

    Shadowrain10 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 12, 2017
    I would say maybe make the Sith language more fleshed out like they did with Klingon?
     
  24. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    I would wholeheartedly agree with making the Sith language more fleshed out-I know one guy did try and the clone wars largely ignored his efforts. He wasn't pleased.

    The Sith language(of the Sith species) I recall was supposed to balance a sort of barbaric guttural sound with a sort of regality and elegance.
     
  25. Yunzabit

    Yunzabit Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 5, 2015
    What I truly want is a Star Trek style TV series taking place in the Star Wars galaxy. Its would be about a crew exploring "strange new worlds" in Wild Space. That's my biggest dream