Destiny and "The Will of the Force" vs. Free Will

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Obi-Ewan, Mar 12, 2003.

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  1. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    The films so far have briefly touched on the power the Force has over events in the galaxy.

    In Episode IV, Luke asks if the Force controls his actions. "Partially," Obi-Wan tells him. "But it also obeys your commands."

    Episode I gave us the idea that the Force was somehow guiding the events. "Finding him was the Will of the Force. I have no doubt of that." "They [the midiclorians] continually speak to us, telling us the Will of the Force."

    However, I think it's going a bit overboard to suggest that the Force controls everything that happens in the galaxy, as if all the characters are puppets on strings.

    Anakin's turn to the Dark Side is often said to be the Will of the Force. It is not. The Will of the Force is that Anakin brings balance to the Force, not by helping the Sith take over, but by ridding the universe of the Sith. His turn to the darkside is in complete defiance of the Will of the Force.

    The characters in Star Wars are not helpless tools of the Force, the Force is their tool.

    This is a story about people making decisions that affect the courses of their own lives and of the galaxy. To make the whole story into essentially characters performing a divine script is to lose the idea of this truly being a look at human behavior.
  2. plutoneam Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2003
    star 3
    IMHO, the will of the force is just bullcrap. The force has no consisnous. I don't really know....














    Actually, forget I said anything.
  3. ForceHeretic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    star 4
    I've always believed that the force guides people who are willing to listen to it, if you don't let yourself hear it then it won't affect you. But even if you do feel it's will it's still your decision to follow it or not

    Because I think that as the force represents an all mighty, call him/it whatever you want. And I've always believed that god will guide you if you ask him for help and are willing to listen, but even if you do you have the final say in what you do, just as it is with the force. It can't make you do anything, but it will try and influence you to do what should be done
  4. Darth-Dispicable Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2003
    star 4
    I think you are both way off. Anakin played out the will of the force as he was meant to. He brought balance to the force not by destroying the darkside, that would have balanced nothing. It would have made the balance shift to the lightside. He balanced the force by destroying both sides of the force. 1st he destroys the Jedi order after 1000's of years of peace (how balanced is that?). 2nd he kills Sideous after a short reign of terror. Luke was his son, planned by the force so Vader would have conflict and turn again to the lightside. Now both sides of the force are at a base level and can start again with a balanced progression.
  5. stainlesssteelrat Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    you want to know the will of the force vs free will. I'll give ya my take on it.it all starts with the prophecy.

    I think the Force needs someone to make a judgement on the galaxy.since Anikin is born by the midi's he is the "chosen one"it is his destiny to make a decision.does the galaxy know peace and harmony or darkness and oppresion.in other words does Sidious or the Jedi live or die.everything that happens brings him to points in time where he holds the very fate of the galaxy in his hands.that (to me anyway)is the will of the Force and its effects on the saga
  6. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    He brought balance to the force not by destroying the darkside, that would have balanced nothing. It would have made the balance shift to the lightside. He balanced the force by destroying both sides of the force. 1st he destroys the Jedi order after 1000's of years of peace (how balanced is that?). 2nd he kills Sideous after a short reign of terror. Luke was his son, planned by the force so Vader would have conflict and turn again to the lightside. Now both sides of the force are at a base level and can start again with a balanced progression.

    That shows a misunderstanding of the prophecy. It is not a mere matter of whether good outnumbers bad, or vice versa, or if they have even numbers. Balance means that the Sith are no longer around to cause trouble. It was that single act of killing Palpatine that brought balance. It's not about numbers, it's about peace.
  7. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    Obi-Ewan : Not necessarily. The Force wanted the galaxy to be brought into balance, and that may or may not mean getting rid of the Sith. Sometimes, as much as we hate it, too much good results in evil because people forget how to protect themselves. In the end, even though the galaxy had its petty troubles, the Jedi have kept any real evil from harming the people for WAY too long and as a result everybody started depending on the Jedi more than they had to. With the end of the Jedi Order (and then the subsequent rebuilding of it), there is more balance in the galaxy. So, in effect, Anakin DID follow the will of the Force.

    Aunecah
  8. k-man Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2002
    star 3
    The problem with "balance" to the force is that we really don't know what that means. Does it mean it's balanced when there's equal number of Sith and Jedi? Does it mean it's balanced when there's NO sith and ONLY Jedi? There's no indication either way.

    As for Will of the Force v. Free will, I think that is the essence of the Jedi-Sith struggle: active or passive?

    Jedi was based on Buddhism, but many philosophies and religions hinge on submission to a higher power/denial of the self in favor of the will of God -- Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, it's in there. And it follows Qui-Gon's teachings.

    Sith on the other hand are about using the force to their own will. They are not content to leave things to the will of the Force and instead use the force for their own ends.

    I think the final Jedi approach is to balance the two -- use the Force to do things that are in agreement with the overall will of the Force -- it's both active and passive.
  9. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    Theory:

    To me, destiny means a pre-determined path. "Fate" if you will. I think you can prove fate exists to a certain degree. Apply the concept to the past: Everything that happened to you is obviously what was supposed to happen. Why? Because that is what happened. The concept is only questionable when applied to the future; mainly because we can not predict the future.

    My opinion is that one CAN ignore the will of the force. But if they do, it was their destiny to do so. Bizarre, ain't it?

    The Picnic :eek:
  10. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Obi-Ewan : Not necessarily. The Force wanted the galaxy to be brought into balance, and that may or may not mean getting rid of the Sith. Sometimes, as much as we hate it, too much good results in evil because people forget how to protect themselves. In the end, even though the galaxy had its petty troubles, the Jedi have kept any real evil from harming the people for WAY too long and as a result everybody started depending on the Jedi more than they had to. With the end of the Jedi Order (and then the subsequent rebuilding of it), there is more balance in the galaxy. So, in effect, Anakin DID follow the will of the Force.

    Anakin only followed the will of the Force by getting rid of Palpatine. Lucas himself has said this. Unless of course the Force somehow made its plans behind Lucas's back.
  11. bad radio Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 1999
    star 4
    There is free will to a certain extent, but an individual can?t escape his or her destiny. This is something that Lucas undoubtedly gets from his two mentors, Akira Kurosawa and Joseph Campbell. It?s something that Kurosawa calls ?the hero?s moment of truth,? and Campbell labels it ?the recurring choice.? Kurosawa and Campbell subscribe to the notion that circumstances continually prod the hero towards the path to self-discovery and help him find his own place in the world. Eventually the hero comes to a crossroads (the moment of truth) where he has to make a conscious decision rather than relying on circumstances to see him through. Evil is simply the wrong choice at the moment of truth, and if the hero errs, then the choice will renew itself and a whole new set of circumstances will put the hero back on the path to another ?moment of truth.? In other words, a wrong choice only delays the inevitable. This repetition, however, is destructive, and it?s this pattern which the hero must destroy. For example, Luke makes the ?choice? three times in the OT: he fights in the cave, then he rushes off to fight Vader at Cloud City, but the third time he refuses to fight and thus succeeds.
  12. Darth-Dispicable Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2003
    star 4
    Hmm. This is a very good thread Obi-Ewan, thanks. Now back to work. I still think that balance would have to be for both sides of the force to be on an equal level. I know what GL says, but I also know what I see and my gut tells me that starting both orders over again is the best way to balance the force. Maybe GL didnt intend it to be that way, but maybe the force really has a will of its own (snickers).

    Urgent-Jedi-Picnic-You know what you said is really bizarre, but like everything else on this thread it makes sense. This is a very curious thread.
  13. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    The Force never intended for the Sith to rise. It intended for Anakin to put a stop to it when it happened. Anakin's role in the rise of the Sith is actually fairly miniscule. Darth Sidious had plenty of help before he turned Anakin. There was the Trade Federation, Queen Amidala, Jar Jar Binks, Darth Maul, Jango Fett, Count Dooku, and Dooku's confederation of Independent Systems, as well as the corporations that supported it. It was while Anakin Skywalker was on the good side of the Force that Palpatine manipulated his way to being Emperor. Numerous Jedi were killed at the Battle of Geonosis without Anakin turning against them. If Anakin were meant to bring about the Empire, then he's not doing a very good job.

    Anakin himself is not Palpatine's first apprentice, nor even his second, but his THIRD. Plus, let's not forget that PALPATINE, not Anakin, is the mastermind behind bringing the Sith to power. If this were truly the will of the Force, then Palpatine would be the Chosen One. He isn't.

    It's no accident that Anakin was found at the same time that Palpatine began his rise to power. He wasn't there to help him, he was there to stop him.

    This isn't a numbers game, it a desire for harmony, which the Sith disrupt.
  14. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    Yes, Anakin did kill Emperor Palpatine, and that is the will of the Force, but the key here is that Anakin fulfilled his destiny after the death and destruction of the Jedi Order - almost all of it. And so, in effect, that is the will of the Force. There is too much good in the galaxy, and before destroying the great evil, that good had to be destroyed as well for the balance.

    Aunecah
  15. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    There is too much good in the galaxy, and before destroying the great evil, that good had to be destroyed as well for the balance.


    Once again, the numbers argument. This is not about good and evil being in equal amounts, or one outnumbering the other.
  16. sidiousmd Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2002
    star 2
    In SW as in real life, there is no such thing as free will.

    Free Will is not an illusion, and we all have our fate completely predetermined. There is no sense in saying the future has many different aths and we can control it. It makes as little sense as saying there are multiple pasts.

    that said, the will of the force IS fate


    P.S. I recommend you all read the September 2002 issue of Sicentific American. Scientific evidence for fate is rpesent there if you like to know it.
  17. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    There is no sense in saying the future has many different paths and we can control it. It makes as little sense as saying there are multiple pasts.

    The past has already happened. The future has not. So there is quite a bit of sense. The future is the result of choices people make, and there are always other choices that could have been made. I could have chosen not to go skydiving, or not to take piano lessons, or not to become a teacher. Anakin Skywalker could have chosen not to turn to the Dark Side. In every situation in life, there are decisions to be made. The future is determined by which decision we ultimately choose.
  18. sidiousmd Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2002
    star 2
    i made a mistake in my last post. What i meant to say was :

    Free will IS an illusion

    Why do you say the future has not happened?. "Happening" only exists in our mind because we perceive time from past to future. It is a limitation of our brain.

    The fact that we can not usually perceive something is not proof of inexistence. For example we can not see ultraviolet light, nobody has ever seen an atom. Likewise the fact that we can not normally see the future does not mean it doesn´t exist.

    Another example would be extra dimensions. We can not see them because we are 3 dimensional beings, but the laws of phisycs do not forbid theyre existence and in fact it seems that they are necessary to achieve a complete picture of the universe.


    Once again I recommend you read the series of articles about time in Scientific American.
  19. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Yes, and maybe we're all just character inside some giant's dream. There's about as much support for that as there is for a predetermined future. That may be useful in a Philip Dick story, but not in the real world. That's more a philosophical concept than a scientific one.

    What is happening is, by its very nature, now. What has happened is, by its very nature, the past. Tomorrow has not yet happened, because we are not there yet. It is, therefore, the future.
  20. sidiousmd Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2002
    star 2
    All right, believe... what you want to believe.

    I´m offering you new knowledge providing a source and you respond with sarcasm, did you even read carefully? Nevermind....

    For other readers, I leave you with a dilemma described by St. Augustine in his "Confessions" :

    "... How then, can these two kinds of time, the past and the future be, where the past no longer is and the future as yet does not be?"
  21. Valiowk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2000
    star 6
    I believe that the Force has an overall "will", in this context being that there will be an upset to the balance of the Force, and after that a restoration. All that will come to pass. However, how exactly those events will happen is not part of the will of the Force. It is like a sonnet, where the general structure has been determined, but the intermediate lines are ours to fill in. Similar, each person's destiny is their own to live our, and in that sense they can use the Force to alter it, but eventually it will serve the purpose of bringing the balance back to the Force.
  22. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    I will believe what I know to be true: I make choices, they don't make me. Atrophysics and psychology are completely different fields, you can't use something from one to prove something in another. There is such a thing as free will. That is a psychological fact, and nothing about the origin of the universe changes that.
  23. JediHunterCommand Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2003
    star 1
    Getting away from the metaphysics for a momemt...

    I followed the numbers theory for a while, and it still works on a very basic level: at the beginning of ANH we have two Sith and two Jedi (EU aside).

    But I acknowledge that there is more to it than that. And a lot of the debate does arise from not knowing precisely what Lucas meant by "balance." But I see now that the Jedi were getting far too proud, too full of themselves. Interestingly enough I found this first in TPM in Yoda, of all people, and even before I saw AOTC I decided that the Jedi were getting a little above themselves. My thoughts at the time were literally "Yoda needs to get back to the swamp."

    In AOTC we find that Yoda, at least, is alert to the problem, but the situation is growing worse among the other Jedi. And I note that when Yoda and Obi-Wan train Luke they skip all the frippery like "padawans" and braided hair. They have decided that they will have no part in the rebuilding of the Jedi order. They will give Luke the skills he needs to defeat the Sith, and then as sole Force user, he's allowed to choose the destiny of the Jedi from there on out.

    That's balance.


    Returning to the original topic... I say that Obi-Wan was exactly correct. The Force does have influence on events (witness, if you will, the fact that the droids found their way to Luke and Obi-Wan almost immediately considering that they could have wound up anywhere on the entire planet), but at the same time it can be used.

  24. Darth-Dispicable Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2003
    star 4
    Obi-Ewan, I think I found a way to explain this better. I don't think it is a #s game because that would not balance anything. How does this sound? Jedi were not meant to be focused only on the light or the dark side of the force. Maybe in the beginning the Jedi embrased all of the force instead of breaking it up into desirable and undesirable peices of the larger picture. This way Jedi would be neutral instead of good or evil, thus balance would be achived. This way my theory would still work, Anakin was directed by the will of the force to destroy both the dark and light side followers.

    Also, just because GL says something does not mean that is the way it will pan out in the next movie. There are too many contradictions in the 5 movies he has put out to bank everything on what he says.
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