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PT Defending Anakin and the Tusken

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by andresfelix, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 1, 2011

    The problem is that you're presupposing that all the Tuskens behave this way or that even the entire tribe is like this. There might very well have been dissenters in the tribe that were overruled. The children in the tribe certainly don't have the mental competency to be held accountable either. At best, you can argue that all the adults in that particular tribe were responsible for Shmi's torture and death since they allowed it, but I don't think you can generalize that to Tuskens as a whole.

    I sympathize with Anakin because I think, emotionally, he lost control given the degree of trauma he experienced when his mother died and the visions he endured for a month. In honesty, I can't say I wouldn't do what he had done, even though I recognize that it was wrong.

    But that doesn't make what he did okay -- and Anakin himself recognizes that. Anakin doesn't have the right to act as judge, jury, and executioner. His actions are understandable to me on an emotional level, but I don't condone them on a moral/ethical level.
  2. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Hoping someone will quote the post that says "It's OK for the Tuskens to kill everyone on Tatooine."
  3. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Dictator star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 25, 2013
    Murder is murder. It's still murder if you kill Hitler himself or something
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  4. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    And using that analogy, the equivalent here would be blowing up an entire plaza full of people in order to get to Hitler standing in the center of the crowd.

    Many people would sympathize with assassinating Hitler, although yes, it's still murder. It's the "collateral damage" that's the problem.
    Darth Maaliss likes this.
  5. sarlaccsaurs-rex

    sarlaccsaurs-rex Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 10, 2007
    I may also add that they cut off Cleig's leg and killed a dozen or so of his search party. I believe Anakin's slaughter was just as much of a nessesary evil as the death star's destruction. Why don't we just kill Tarkin, Palpatine, and Vader. Not the 500, 000 + innocent young men and possibly women on that station. We also know from the EU that 2 of the people on the DS1 were good hearted people (Yularen and the Death star gunner in charge of the superlaser, don't know his name.) Or Luke destroying a barge full of innocent slaves musicians cooks and indentured servents rather than just killing jabba a couple of henchmen and leaving? Because those 2 instances were nessesary evils. They had to destroy the death star, and they had to make sure there were no gangster witness's to put a hit on the heros after the jabba ordeal. I believe that killing the tuskens was a just revenge for Shmi and the search party.
  6. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    LOL "just revenge".

    Pretty much right up there with "legitimate rape."

    ...iow not funny at all.
  7. sarlaccsaurs-rex

    sarlaccsaurs-rex Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 10, 2007
    Look what Anakin did was not a good thing but if you were in his shoes would you not do the same? Also the heros do a lot larger atrocities throughout the saga than just this scene. I think what Vader did to the sepratists was a lot darker in ROTS than what he did to the Tuskens but that's just my opinion.
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  8. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Kill the men responsible for Shmi's torture? I hope not but I could see it happening. It still wouldn't be OK but Anakin gets a lot more sympathy for that.

    Kill those in the camp that I knew bore no responsibility for what happened to Shmi, including small children?

    Hell no.

    "Hey look over there!" isn't much of an argument.

    By all means start a thread on what he did in ROTS though.
  9. sarlaccsaurs-rex

    sarlaccsaurs-rex Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 10, 2007
    I'm not trying to argue just state my opinion. We never see the tuskens do anything innocent or neutral just kill and cause trouble for no reason. That's the last thing I'm gonna say I'll shut up now.
  10. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    To use another film portrayal example: in A Few Good Men, the Marines are ********* for the most part, but I don't think anyone takes from that movie that all Marines are *********At least I hope not.

    Mod Note: Please censor out entire word.
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  11. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 10, 2011

    The Tuskens are, in a lot of ways, pretty obvious analogues for some of the indigenous peoples of our world, none of whom were mindless savages who killed and caused trouble for no reason. If you read between the lines even just a little bit, it's clear that there's a deeper conflict going on between the Tuskens and the settlers on Tatooine. Given that resources on the planet are so scarce that people actually have to resort to sucking the moisture out of the air to survive, it's pretty easy to guess what that conflict might be about.

    This in no way justifies the violent and aggressive actions of the Tuskens, but it puts them in an illuminating context. It means the Tuskens have motives for their immoral behavior. It means they're angry people, not mindless animals.

    You can't solve conflicts between two peoples by indiscriminately slaughtering one side's men, women, and children*. It's not just wrong on a moral level, it's also wrong on a pragmatic level. It's wrong on every level. There's just no way you can look at that situation and say Anakin made it better.

    *(Unless, of course, you completely wipe them out, or else kill so many of them that they're functionally destroyed as a people. But I really hope I don't have to explain why genocide is bad.)

    DARTHLINK Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 24, 2005
    Here's how I've seen it: Tatooine is a lawless planet. That has already been established. It's a planet run by gangsters. The big guys don't care about the little guys, and the settlers don't care about the Tuskens and vise versa. It's a planet where it's 'kill or be killed' and the strongest survives. If you're too stupid, too merciful, your butt is going to either be a slave or worse.

    In Star Wars terms, we're basically Coruscantis looking at this event and applying our own Republic ideals on the matter. Of course we wouldn't commence wholesale slaughter. We'd get our mother out of there, taking down only those dumb enough to try and stop me. Of course we wouldn't start slicing and dicing Tusken women and children.

    But imagine yourselves, all of you, for just one moment: you are residents of Tatooine, kept down by the oppressive slug-tail that are the Hutt overlords and not only that, but you have to worry about the Tuskens, who would kidnap you or your beloved and do unspeakable things to you/your beloved. The law literally doesn't exist. No one important would give a smelly Bantha rear about you.

    If I were a Tatooine resident, and I heard that an entire Tusken village was wiped out? I'd probably cheer. One less barbaric village to worry about, what would I care about them? I would want to shake the hand of the man/woman who had the balls and toughness to dole out what I would think is justice long overdue. And if I met them and they told me, "They took my mother and tortured her to death." I wouldn't suddenly go moralistic on them. In fact, I'd nod and say, "They got what was coming for them, then."

    Point is, to us Coruscantis, it's barbaric to wipe out an entire village. To the residents of Tatooine? It's probably the first good thing that had happened in a long, long time. Again, the Hutts don't give a damn, why would they care if a few Tuskens nabbed a few settlers? They literally have to survive on their own, and if wiping out Tusken villages increases their chances of survival, then Anakin is a hero to them. They would probably hope he'd go massacre more Tusken villages.

    Look at it from the perspective of the Tatooine people. They might not actually care at all what Anakin did.
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  13. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    They probably wouldn't but that isn't the point.
  14. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    DARTHLINK: you're right. Also, look at it from the Tuskens viewpoint: the more interlopers you kill, the better.

    But objectively...

    DARTHLINK Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 24, 2005
    Oh definitely, what Anakin did was morally wrong. A Jedi would not have done what he did, as he admitted later after the slaughter. To be honest, what would've made this scene stronger for me is if Owen went with him and while Anakin was butchering the Tuskens left and right, Owen is doing the very thing Anakin should've been doing. Maybe he could even try to save some of the innocent Tuskens by chasing them out of the village and away from Anakin?
  16. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    Oh, I'm sure Owen would have "cheered" him on - not that I think Owen is morally lacking, mind you, but he seems to be clearly of the mindset that the Tuskens are evil and vile, "animals" - he's living in the midst of their "depredations" and "mindless aggression" and probably, like his dad, thinks of wiping out the Tuskens like wiping out a plague of locusts.

    (Doesn't make it right, of course, but it's harder to step back when you're in the midst of all that.)
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  17. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 8

    Sep 2, 2012
    In the EU (The Life & Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi) - there's hints of that:

    Owen glanced back to his own home, then returned his gaze to Ben. "Normally, I'd tell you to get lost. But I just got word from a friend in Bestine. The Sand People attacked another farm." Owen looked away again. "Only one survivor," he continued. "A little girl. But she didn't last long."
    Ben sighed. "I'm sorry, Owen."
    "I'm not finished!" Owen roared, his eyes now blazing at Ben. The edge of Owen's upper lip quivered nervously.
    He's not just angry, Ben realised. He's terrified.
    Owen licked his lips before he continued. "The little girl ... she said she saw one of the Sand People, maybe their chief. She said he ... he used two 'laser swords.'"
    Over the last three days since Ben's last exchange with Qui-Gon Jinn's spirit, Ben had had plenty of time to consider the possibility that A'Sharad Hett was involved in the recent killings. Still, hearing Owen's description of the marauder's leader made him feel suddenly queasy.
    Oblivious to Ben's discomfort, Owen said through clenched teeth, "I don't suppose you've heard about any missing lightsabers on the planet, Mr Jedi?"
    "Get a hold of yourself, Owen," he said, keeping his voice calm. "You know I had nothing to do with the attacks."
    "Maybe not!" Owen said bitterly. "But I have some idea of what Jedi are capable of!"
    "You're talking about Anakin," Ben said, "About what he did after he learned that his mother had been taken by Tuskens." It wasn't a question.
    Owen winced, then he scowled at the ground. "Shmi Skywalker was a good woman." he said. "We tried to rescue her, but my father ..." The words caught in his throat, and he left the sentence unfinished. Tilting his chin in the direction of the entry dome, he continued, "When Anakin brought Shmi's body home, I'll never forget the look on his face. If killing me would have brought her back to life, I know he would have killed me then and there. I could see it in his eyes."
    Ben grimaced. "Anakin never told me what really happened, Owen. Please trust that what he did that day was not the way of the Jedi."
    "Well, I'm not so sure if that's a relief," Owen said. "Much as I didn't like the way he looked at me, I like the idea of Tuskens with lightsabers even less. There's not a person on Tatooine who wouldn't be happy if all the Tuskens were dead."
    Ben offered no response. He knew that the deaths of Tuskens would not bring him any happiness, but he didn't believe there was any reason in explaining this to Owen.

  18. natureboy76

    natureboy76 Jedi Knight star 2

    Dec 11, 2009
    Yeah, if you go by the Jedi code any Jedi in the same situation would have remained calm (no longer having such personal attachments) and dealt with the problem in a much more enlightened way. Could you imagine how differently it would have went down if it was Obi wan who discovered his mother there....

    On a side note I really hate how Lucas gave the Jedi the "no attachments" credo. Jedi seem to have friends they are attached to and isn't a padawan "attached" to his or her master? It makes the Jedi rather boring not being able to love, have families or form lasting friendships...
    Estelita likes this.
  19. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    One of the tragedies of Star Wars (to me) is this misunderstanding of "attachments" that GL used. From everything I've heard/read over the years, he was referring to a more "Eastern concept" of the word than "western." If one is "attached" the object of one's attachment is held above all others, becomes almost a "object" to hang onto. What becomes important is hanging on to the attachment, no matter what.

    Padme, Anakin's attachment, couldn't die (I'm ignoring the possibility of medical intervention keeping her from "dying" in childbirth, etc. - I'm talking death, whenever, however, it is, as it was inevitable at some point) because he would lose her. He "couldn't live without her." It was HIS loss if she died (and yeah, I'm overstating it, because it was more complicated than that, I believe).

    If one is not attached, one can "let go" if/when the time comes. One can let a spouse leave, a parent die when death comes as it must to us all, etc.

    A small example: I've adopted a 3rd cat. I love this cat. No way I want to return this cat: she's 12, passed over countless times. I want her to end her days a happy kitty.

    But my other two cats aren't accepting of her, and vice versa. It might be best for the 3rd cat to return her. I've got another 2 weeks before I have to decide what's best for all 3 cats. Sentiment cannot come first; the cats' well-being must. If I hung onto her to the detriment of all 3 cats because I couldn't "let go," I would be "attached" to her.
  20. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Exactly. The Jedi taught unselfishness, and attachments are selfish.

    Love, which is unselfish (at least it is in a mature person), is the opposite of attachment.

    Anakin had it right in his conversation with Padme. Compassion was central to a Jedi's life; they were encouraged to love.

    But he only saw his relationships in how they benefited him. Attachment.

    (Hope it works out for you with the cat, Valairy.)
  21. Cael-Fenton

    Cael-Fenton Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 22, 2006
    Yep, people look at this "Eastern" concept with "Western" eyes, and conclude, oh, Jedi can't love, so they're either emotionless robots or worse, hypocrites, since (eg) Obi-Wan and Yoda do obviously have deep feelings for other Jedi.

    It's more nuanced than that, as Anakin explains to Padmé aboard the refugee ship. Attachment love. As Anakin demonstrates when he chokes Padmé, and as anakinfansince1983 says, attachment is in fact the opposite of love: putting yourself and your needs first, ahead of the person you supposedly "love".

    (Can I take a moment to rave about how Hayden delivers that mini-lecture? He flawlessly pulls off the awkwardness of a teenage kid trying to impress his crush with his philosophicalness while giving the impression of basically quoting Obi-Wan verbatim. Something about the way he mimics Ewan's and Alec's speech patterns for a moment there.)
  22. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    About "attachments" and eastern/western ideas.

    I think that Lucas probably did have Eastern concepts in mind.
    But I also look at the films and what they say about the rules the Jedi have.
    Marriage is not allowed, nor is having children, nor is having any contact with your parents or relatives.
    Jedi-to-be are taken in at a very young age, possibly so young that they have not yet formed any kind of attachment to their parents. Why do this if they don't view parent-child attachments as a problem?
    Anakin in TPM loved his mother and to the JC that was apparently a problem.
    They commented that he missed her and was afraid to loose her, both those feelings are normal for a nine year old in Anakin's position.

    Attachment is normal and healthy but can lead to possessiveness and other negative emotions.
    Anakin in RotS was more about possession of the things he cared about than actual love. Padme was "His" and no one could take her from him. What she wanted was less important.

    To sum up, I do not think it is unreasonable for an audience to look upon the Jedi as cold, unfeeling and banning love.
    That might not be the intention but I can see why someone would think this.
    They did not allow love as in a marriage, they did not allow love between parent and child. If you wanted to have those things then you had to leave the order. Children were taken in before they could make any kind of adult choice in the matter and then not allowed any contact with their parents.
    The Jedi also knew that Anakin was worried about his mother and that she was a slave on a planet run by criminals.
    Yet they apparently did nothing to help her. I think Anakin would have asked Obi-Wan if something could be done to free his mother and it seems that Obi-Wan simply told him no.
    In short, the idea is interesting but I found the execution lacking. To me, the Jedi came across as distant and overall uncaring. Which made me not care about them.

    As for the topic itself.

    The Tuskens that kidnapped Shmi and tortured her did a horrible thing. Anakin killing every last Tusken is also wrong and two wrongs do not make a right. By the logic used by some in this thread, all Germans should have been executed at the end of WW2 for what the Nazis did.
    Sadly this type of thinking can be seen in our world. I know that some Jews in my country have been attacked because of what is going on in the Gaza strip. Despite the fact that these people have zero to do with any of it.

    Personally, that Anakin got really sad and angry and filled with hate, that I can understand. That he started to lash out, that I can see as well. But him exterminating the entire camp down to the smallest child, that is another matter.
    Based on the film and I only care about the film, it sounds like he killed all of them with his lightsabre. And since he killed all of them that implies he chased after those that tried to run and searched each hut for those that tried to hide.
    In all, it would have taken long enough that either Anakin got ahold of himself and kept killing anyway. Or he was "insane" the whole time which makes him a danger to all around him.

    In closing and a bit off-topic. I have read some EU that talked about what happened to Shmi and that the torture was ritual and all that. Aside from the horror of it all, I really am not a fan of torture in books or film, the overuse of torture in the third season of GoT springs to mind. Sorry, back on track, aside from a terrible and evil act, it also seems stupid and senseless. Shmi has been tortured for a month. So the Tuskens would have to have given her water and probably food as well. The Tuskens live in a desert, where food and water is a very precious resource. So why waste that by giving it to a prisoner that your are torturing to death? Yes torture is illogical and makes very little sense, not to mention cruel and evil. But this made no sense to me and made me feel sick. And I wonder to what end? Was it to make the Tuskens so EVIL that Anakin killing all of them becomes a good thing?

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
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  23. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Eh, Western thought. We are a society full of hopeless romantics. If you've looked at any of the discussions about Luke in the Episode 7 forum since the Disney announcement, you'll see posts indicating that it would be cruel, horrible, the most awful thing in the world to not give Luke a wife, and why do people want him to be miserable?

    There is a thought process here indicating that "not married" equals "miserable", and therefore the Jedi banned marriage because they wanted people to be miserable. The flaw is with the thought process, not the Jedi.

    As far as parent/child attachments, the idea is for the Jedi to be raised by and among other Jedi in order to avoid being raised with the thought process that I just described, among other reasons. Karen Traviss EU books aside, there is no indication that the Jedi "kidnapped" kids. The parents had a choice.

    As far as the Tuskens, having them slowly torture Shmi and having Anakin wipe out the innocent as well as the guilty both serve the same purpose from opposite ends: to keep the scenario more grey. Yes, the Tuskens were deliberately portrayed as that cruel in order to invoke some sympathy for Anakin and Shmi. But having Anakin wipe out the entire camp, innocent and guilty, leaves some sympathy for the innocent Tuskens.

    If the Tuskens weren't that cruel, Anakin would have flipped out over nothing. That would have been rather pointless.

    The scene was not meant to be as morally black-and-white as the younglings scene in ROTS.
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    DANNASUK Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 1, 2012
    And that's how you defend ethnic cleansing. [face_nail_biting]
  25. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 8

    Sep 2, 2012
    There's also The Jedi Path - which suggests that, legally at least, the Jedi aren't required to respect that parental choice.