Cutting off hands what does it mean?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by jedibri, Feb 10, 2003.

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  1. jedibri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2000
    star 4
    I've been wondering about this since ROTJ. There is alot of people who lose part of their arm or lose their hand in SW. Why? What is it supposed to mean?
  2. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    I think it means most people in Star Wars are either unlucky or accident prone :D
  3. Emos-Edud Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 4
    It is a symbolic castration. Note that in Ep2, Obi tells Ani that his saber is his life. Later, in the monstrous womb of the doid factory, he has the saber cut in half. Then at the end he gets his arm chopped off.
  4. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    So what you´re saying is that a real man never looses his lightsaber?
  5. SECRETSISTER Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2001
    star 8
    If you want to go for hidden meanings, perhaps what Obi-wan says can be broadened to "You can't do it all by yourself. You have to accept the help and support of others." It has been my experience that when problems arise, don't be afraid- or so egotistical- that you won't ask for help. Too many people get stuck in the "I can do it myself - I have to do it myself" mode, and refuse to acknowledge that sometimes they need help

    Maybe you can solve some problems all by your lonesome, but when you need help and refuse it, you're cutting yourself off from the extra strength you need to get the job done the way it should be done.
  6. yodashizzzle Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2003
    star 4
    my first reaction is to say its just a way to have a recurring theme worked into all of the films; that there is no real "meaning" short of the obvious fact that a hand gets cut off in all five so far (and i'd bank on at least one in Episode 3). period. but i got to thinking that if it's symbolic of something, i would have to say its disempowerment in literal terms. or a loss of innocence. ponda baba is a pretty incidental character in ANH, but luke's bearing witness to some startling violence (and the power of a lightsaber)in the cantina seems to be a part of his coming of age and realizing that conflicts and violence are a part of the real world. i think luke and vader lose hands in ESB and ROTJ to draw parallels between father and son. destiny vs. choice. those sorts of ideas. and anakins's loss of his hand in episode II at the (no pun intended) hands of dooku just adds to the complexity of two generations with shared experiences in that same established way. zam and the wampa seem more elusive in proving very cryptic beyond simple choices GL made to continue a theme. i don't know. maybe episode III will show us the correct placement on the skywalker family tree for those others to deepen the theme. zam is luke's second aunt, the wampa will turn out to be his third cousin, and walrus-man will be shown as luke's long-lost brother. LOL
  7. yodashizzzle Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2003
    star 4
    on second thought, i like secretsister's response much better than my own. mine sucked.
  8. ForceHeretic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    star 4
    I always figured there was no real meaning behind it other then to show how Luke and Anakin's adventures I guess you'd call them parallel eachother in some ways
  9. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    This could be presented in the mythology thread.

    Dismemberment is rampant in mythology. In an example from "Star Wars The Magic Of Myth", Set kills his brother Osiris, dismembers him and scatters the body parts along the Nile. Isis gathers the parts and Osiris lives on in spirit to become the judge of the underworld.

    In many hero stories hero makes many sacrifices, in this case the loss of his hand.
  10. ForceHeretic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    star 4
    I think then Leia should have challenged Vader to a race with stone boats and cheat and win like Horris did to Set

    That'd make it just like the Egyptian mythology, only problem is it wouldn't make any sense
  11. QueenPadme Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2003
    star 1
    I think that it is because they literally "lose their grip" on things (bad pun intended). They lose control of their emotions, and consequently lose part of themselves physically.

  12. NiktosRule Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2001
    star 4
    It is just a cool visual. It also makes for some good action.

    And it happens a lot to show symetry and repeating themes in the movie which Lucas loves to have.
  13. GRANDADMIRALAXLROSE Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2002
    star 7
    It's just a parallel that lucas thought wuld be cool.

    Axl.
  14. jedi_master_ousley Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2002
    star 8
  15. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    It means "hands off my OT, Mr. Lucas!!!"
  16. D_Lowe Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 6
    If you listen to the AOTC audio commentary, it is mentioned that Lucas has a thing for having people lose their arms/hands. He just likes to do it.
  17. AUNTIE_JEDI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2002
    star 4
    It just runs in the Skywalker family ;)
  18. Master_Akwat_Kbrana Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2001
    star 1
    What does it mean? It means Jedi who constantly get their arms cut off wouldn't make very good pianists.
  19. Darth_Mideon Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2003
    I think it happens as it is a good way of finishing off a saber battle with out always having some one decapitated or sliced in half, becuase the person can go on to fight another day. unluck Qui-Gon - Stabbed with a saber or Darth Maul - cut in half. Jango Decapitated. If vader had sliced of lukes head there wouldn't have been a return fight in ROTJ the same goes for ATOC if Ani had dies, then what.

    On a more mythical note maybe it has a parallel to Samaurai myths where your sword is you honour. Maybe Lucas was trying to show that in some subtle way, as well as some sais earlier he just likes people having there limbs removed, when luke loses his hand he also loses his light saber, his protection etc.

  20. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "in some subtle way"

    Yeah, unlike Monty Python's Black Knight [face_laugh]
  21. Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    Losing an arm or hand seems to be a punishment for people that are arrogant or overconfident. It serves as a warning: don't underestimate your opponent or overestimate your own skills, or you might end up getting harmed.

    Examples:

    Zam is overconfident, and thinks she can kill Obi-Wan. She loses an arm.

    Anakin is overconfident, and thinks he can take Dooku alone. He loses an arm.

    Ponda Baba seemed to have an arrogance problem, and loses an arm.

    Luke thinks he can take Vader, even with such little training. He loses a hand.

    Vader provokes Luke to anger, little realizing how violent Luke will get. He loses a hand.

    In all these cases, the soon-to-be-limbless person starts as the aggressor. This may be another commentary on the danger of aggression and attacking, as opposed to defense, as seen in many other aspects of the saga, most notably the Jedi Code.
  22. ShortOrderSith Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2002
    star 1
    Well...is just that the lightsaber is one hell of a powerful weapon. I slices through just about anything so its hardly surprising that amputation plays a big part in a Jedi's life.

    Oh to be a personal injury lawyer in the Star Wars universe...
  23. threepio_mania Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 3
    It means a lot of people have had their hands lopped off by lightsabers. Nothing more. Any symbolism is just made up by someone with too much time on their hands(no pun intended). Why do people care so much about symbolism? Just enjoy the story. Sometimes symbolism is obviously created by the author/director/whatever, but most of the time it's just made up by people who feel that symbolism must be found in every work of fiction.
  24. AdamBertocci Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2002
    star 7
    Thanks for the plug ousley! :)


    EDIT: I was comin' in here to plug the site myself, sad to say... :p


    EDIT TWO: For the post below me... nobody lost a hand in TPM. Not until I get conclusive evidence -- a screenshot of a battle droid losing a hand/arm AND ONLY THE HAND/ARM -- will I believe a battle droid got it.



    Rick McCallum [face_love]s you! (Happy Valentine's Day!)
  25. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    Who got there hand/arm cut off in Phantom Menace? Well maybe a battle droid.
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