Det, MI Demons in SW(minor AOTC spoilers)

Discussion in 'Mid West Regional Discussion' started by Idgie, Apr 4, 2002.

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  1. Idgie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2001
    star 4
    Okay,hopefully that title didn't freak you out too much!:)

    I was reading something on mythological comparisons recently(nerd alert!),and there was something interesting which related back to SW.

    The book was comparing different cultures and how those cultures view and interpret the idea of the underworld,or basically,how different cultures view Hell and what it's like,and what changes(if any)the appearance of the condemned person(or the hero) undergoes for the journey.

    Some cultures believe that when a soul makes a journey through the underworld,that no change in outer appearance occurs.For example,In Dante's`Inferno',when Dante takes a dark journey through Hell,he sees people that he knew on Earth and he is able to recognize them.Same thing happens in the `Oddysey';Oddyseus also takes a dark journey and the people that he sees are recognizable to him also.

    Other cultures however,believe that when a soul is cast into the underworld,that the soul is then recast or transformed into a hideous demon.I think that may be why some of the ancient people buried their dead in hideous or grotesque masks,to prepare them for that journey.

    SW seems to follow the latter.We see two characters who take journeys through the dark underworld(Anakin Skywalker and Han Solo),and,in both cases,they are both changed and given demonlike appearances.In the case of Anakin,he becomes Darth Vader and gets the costume,and in Han Solo's case,he gets encased in the carbonite,and is no longer recognizable as his former self.

    I've also noticed that in the last AOTC trailer('Clone War'),that there were those little winged creatures on Geonosis(not sure if that's the name of the planet,it's the one with big battle at the end),and I'm wondering if those creatures are supposed to represent demons and that maybe that planet is supposed to be some kind of symbol for the underworld for one of the characters.I dunno,AOTC is supposed to be darker movie,so you never know.

  2. huttese1138 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2002
    star 3
    I can understand the analogy when talking about Anakin, but I dont see it with Han. I read a similar book, and it said those who keep the same physical appearance in the underworld are those whose perception is that hell is the equivalent to earth, or closely related. That would go along with why Anakin was soo easily manipulated to the dark side, since there is not a difinitive wall between it and the light.

    Its late, and I don't know if any of this makes sense. As long as Idgie understands it.
  3. Idgie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2001
    star 4
    Wow,someone actually repiled to one of my topics?!

    Anyhow,Han,like so many of the other characters undergoes his own hero journey in the films.The purpose of Han's journey is to go from being a selfish person to being a lover/husband to Leia.At the same time,Leia has to come to terms with her own feelings about Han.

    There's tons of symbolism in the three films showing how this transformation takes place:being devoured by the cave creature,Leia killing Jabba,even the way that vehicles breaking down are used as a means to bring people closer.

    The idea of the carbonite is basically a symbollic death for Solo.Like Anakin,he has to be freed from this dark place since he obviously can not free himself.And also like Anakin,he is freed by someone's love.I also think it was intentional to have Leia be the one who kills Jabba,since Jabba represents the past that Han is still tied to,and since he cannot have a life with her while he's still tied to his past,her destroying Solo's ties to that past allows him to move ahead with her.
  4. poweranger Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 2
    in some ways this confuses me because some cultures regard hell as a one way trip once you've died - you cant go there for a visit and leave like say, tatooine! those cultures see hell as a prison from which there is no parole. this concept kinda reminds me of the crow theory actually.(or todd mcfarlane's spawn)

    i dont quite see the parrell when it comes to han...while its true that he had a mostly dead encounter, like anakin did, he didnt change all that much; even though at first glance he seems to be a selfish character, the way he looked out for chewie and luke(from the beginning) is contrary to him being selfish.(even though he is a cynic) the overall theory would hold true for palpatine - he is barely recognizable when you compare versions of him in jedi and in episode one.

    i like the theory about the loved one destroying what ties a person to a dark past...now if only we could figure out what luke destroyed to free his father! as for the new planet with winged creatures, that depends on what type of place lucas chooses to make this planet.

    when we consider the term underworld, it has a double meaning, representing both the afterlife and the worldwide(galaxy) of crime. now if that is the case then tatooine would be ideal to represent a hell or even purgatory [i.e. if there's a bright place in the center of the universe you're the farthest from it!] that would make folk like jabba or xizor keepers of the underworld technicaly and not the emperor since he heads up the acting gov't; then han would be someone tempted by a dark journey while someone like boba fett gave in completely. this would also make tatooine a purgatory for obi wan since he partly blames himself for anakin becoming vader.

    all this being said i guess i would describe each dark journey as the ongoing choices a person makes, which leads them further from the light. i feel anakin was an easy character to corrupt because the only life he had known was that of a slave;once he tasted freedom and power(that others pointed out he had) he had his own ideas about being free, ideas that probably contradicted the jedi code.

    since all sw is is modern day myth, it certainly is possible that lucas had ideas about hell somewhere in the back of his mind. he is on record for saying that redeemption plays a role in the sw saga (i can certainly see that theme when it comes to vader, han and even obi-wan) the whole idea of having demonic characters in the story holds true especially in maul's case because lucas based him on a mix of what myths say about evil. and luke had a partial dark journey, illustrated by the loss of his hand, showing he and dad had a lot in common.
  5. Idgie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2001
    star 4
    Solo is contradictory in the way that he does look out for Chewbacca and Luke,even becoming a sort of surrogate father to Luke(I believe that's the symbolism behind Han using the lightsaber on Hoth,he uses Anakin's weapon and is playing Anakin's role in the way that he protects Luke).But,Solo is still a selfish person,at least that's how he starts out.

    It's not so much compassion that he seems to have a problem with,but intimacy,where Leia is concerned.Notice the way he always refers to Leia by her titles(up until the point when they first kiss)This could be seen as a way of distancing himself from her,or of distancing himself from his feelings.Although I think that Han was more aware of the sparks between himself and Leia.He could admit to his feelings while she could not.

    In some mythologies,the purpose of the journey into the underworld is to gain some kind of object,or power,or some new knowledge.Or,it is,like you said,a kind of purgatory,from which the person must be freed by an act of love.So I think the idea of the carbonite being a sort of hell,or purgatory,for Solo works pretty well.You could also make the case that there is some symbolism behind being `frozen',and having to be(maybe emotionally)thawed out,and for Solo being blind when he wakes up.

    I think the last step for Han was when he gave up the ship to Lando in ROTJ.Remember how Han always referred to the ship as `she',it was like he had some sort of anima attachment to the ship,and by giving the ship up to Lando,he was giving up yet another attachment,as well as something from his past.

    I liked your idea about Tatooine being a kind of purgatory.The imagery holds up pretty well,what with the climate,the harsh enviroment,people being trapped there,OW's self imposed exile and self punishment.Luke is only finally freed from his connection there when he frees another:by freeing Artoo(who then ran away),Luke was literally freeing himself.

    Jabba as a sort of lord of the underworld?I can buy that,he does seem to be the closest thing to a ruler or law that Tatooine has.

    I'm not sure if Luke experienced any kind of dark journey at Bespin,but he did experience a symbolic death.After vader revealed his identity to Luke,Luke's life(and his mission)changed at that point.That's what I think Luke's jump from the scaffold represented,the death of who Luke thought he was,which was followed of course by his sliding throgh the tunnels,which could be seen as an image of birth.
  6. poweranger Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 2
    hmmm i forgot all about han giving up the falcon in jedi... i guess we could take the entire transformation thing to an extreme and count all stromtroopers, biker scouts, red guards and tie fighters as condemned minnons...we never see their faces and that would make imperial academy their dark journey; it seems to be that way for all armored troops and serves as a preview of what luke could have become if he had gotten his own way to be an academy pilot. then the academy would be a place where legions of good people 'died' and became unwitting pawns of the dark side.

    on a personal note, for anyone from michigan, we would consider Hoth symbolizing hell. its a polar extreme to Tatooine and could easily serve as purgatory(in lukes case it was a near death experience)

    the fact that luke has his own lightsaber in jedi mirrors his concept of what a jedi is has changed
    from his original premise to be a 'great warrior' as his dad before him! Perhaps his black outfit would represent a sign of mourning the loss of both his dad and his daydreaming.(it literally fits his burden of responsibility) the only 'angel' i can think of for the series would be ben after he gives his life willingly...maybe leia too, as the only clear symbol of hope?
  7. Idgie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2001
    star 4
    Now,although I feel like you're making fun of me with the bit about `armored troops':),I do think you're on to something with the theory behind Luke's lightsaber in ROTJ.

    My personal take on the symbolism behind Luke building the saber is that it shows his finally becoming independent from his father and that Luke has reached the point where he is now better able to take care of himself.

    Your idea about Luke's costume was interesting as well.Since the costume itself was black,but the cloak was brown,I always saw the costume as showing the conflict as well as Luke's being vulnerable at that point in time.I like how Anakin's costume in AOTC seems to follow that same idea.

    Hoth as hell?Yeah,living in Michigan,we could make a good case for that...

    I think that Hoth was just a metaphor for these people being stuck basically.Han and Leia were `frozen',emotionally.Now if I were a smarter person,I could find a way to tie the probe droid and the energy shield into all that, and I could make a case for Han destroying the probe droid as illustrating his being protective of his deeper feelings,and the fact that the energy shield is only opened for brief amounts of time as indicative of how these characters do occasionally let their guards down with each other,but that they are cautious in how and when they do that.

    Luke was stuck in the sense that he could not move forward on his hero-journey,since he had no teacher.We also get that same death-rebirth motif here again with Luke,when he's trapped in the Wampa cave and when he's kept alive inside the tauntaun's belly.
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