PT Did Palpatine Even Use/Need The Force To Conquer the Galaxy?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by GeneralCeel, Feb 16, 2012.

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  1. CaptainGiladPellaeon Jedi Knight

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    Jun 2, 2009
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    As I wrote in a previous post, I liked the Dark Lord novel for the work it did to recuperate--so to speak--some of Vader's power . . . within the bounds of reason and plausible post-Episode-III narrative, of course.

    The idea that Vader's cyborg nature made him some kind of cripple who'd be an easy target for any Jedi is blatant revisionism of the original movies, if you ask me. He was the major villain of the franchise until the prequels came along, and he was feared by allies and enemies alike for his power.

    And if we must consider Vader's power in the new light of the prequel trilogy; considering the way Yoda, Dooku and the Emperor effectively fought down opponents in the prequels, I'd say the movies have established that a prime physical body isn't as important as the power of the Force, when it comes to dueling.
  2. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    Feb 16, 2010
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    Well, first of all, I don't think it is "revisionist" again. I think GL said as much in one or more interviews. And I don't think anyone here has used the word "cripple". But he's certainly not quite the man he used to be, is he? What made him such a strong Force user was his unusual midichlorian count.... if he's lost most of his limbs, there is absolutely no way he can still be as strong as he'd have been otherwise. He is still very strong, and can still easily force-choke anyone who isn't a Force user (and maybe even weaker Force users). Of course most of the people in the OT would be rightfully scared of him.

    Plus I think it was established at some point (either in interviews or some other audio commentary) that he cannot even use Force lightning, because you need to use your natural limbs for that. In any case, I think post-ROTS Vader is not a Sith that could have defeated Palpatine unless he totally took him by surprise. Had it not been for the Mustafar duel, Darth Vader would probably have become far more powerful than Palpatine himself, sooner or later. He would not have been such an obedient, subservient Sith apprentice for 20+ years, because he could have destroyed Palpatine and become Emperor Vader.
  3. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Losing limbs has no effect on midichlorian count.
  4. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    If a Jedi's blood contains the actual midichlorians, then when body parts are lost, there is going to be less blood in that Jedi's body, therefore, the total amount of midichlorians would have to be proportionally lower, even if the concentration of midichlorians in their bloodstream remains constant.
  5. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    star 7
    That's what I'm talking about.

    First, midichlorians are in all living cells, not just blood.

    Per-cell concentration of midichlorians and total amount of midichlorians are different quantities.

    One of those things is the midichlorian count.

    The other isn't.
  6. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    Feb 16, 2010
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    Yes, but there's still going to be a lower total number of midichlorians than there were before, even if the concentration remains constant. Therefore, it's obvious he's not going to be as strong with the Force as he was before.
  7. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    No, that's in no way "obvious", because total amount of midichlorians is not the midichlorian count and thus has no canonical connection to strength in the Force. It is a quantity only cited on message boards which is not mentioned in the films anywhere.
  8. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    I wasn't saying that the total amount of midichlorians is the same thing as midichlorian count. When you take a sample of the midichlorian count, it would tell you the amount of midichlorians per cell - in Anakin's case, it is said to be 20,000+, from what I remember. Anything that exists in the cells will have both a count per unit and a total amount in the whole body. So after the Mustafar duel, the concentration per cell may still be the same, but Vader's lost almost half his body, so even if the concentration is exactly the same, there's not going to be as many midichlorians in the body.
  9. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    But the "total amount in the whole body" is an irrelevant statistic because it does not determine strength in the Force.
  10. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    There's no way it would be irrelevant. If midichlorians are an essential element that explain why Anakin was so strong in the Force... you can follow that to its only logical conclusion. ;)
  11. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    A midi-chlorian count is the average count per cell. The total amount of midi-chlorians in the body is irrelevant, otherwise Yoda would have the smallest midi-chlorian count of all the Jedi, and we know that's not the case.
  12. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    How can it be irrelevant when you lose almost half of your body mass? You simply could not hope to have the same strength with the Force, if that is at least in part determined by something that is in every cell of your body.

    Comparing Yoda and other species is also kind of comparing apples and oranges, imho.
  13. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Because, again, a midi-chlorian count is how many midi-chlorians are in each cell, not the whole body.
  14. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    Yes, that is *exactly* what I have been saying. The midichlorian count is supposed to be a *representative* measurement, not a comprehensive one. I agree that, all other things being equal, it could provide an adequate point of comparison between different sentient beings.

  15. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
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    star 7
    You said it yourself: because the blood concentration remains the same. The "total amount" is not canonically a determinant of Force strength per se. Assuming it to be is not, in fact, logical; it's more like circular logic.
  16. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    Wait, so are you arguing that Anakin's abilities aren't impeded when he is put in the suit, which has been confirmed by Lucas, right? Or are you just saying that it isn't the loss of midichlorians that causes it?
  17. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Anakin is indeed weaker while in the suit. But that's not due to his loss of limbs (or midi-chlorians), at least not directly. As confirmed by Dark Lord, the suit is clunky, distracting, and an overall burden on Vader. He isn't as mobile, so his lightsaber strikes use more of his arm strength than his legs. Also due to the fact that the control panel for his suit is on his chest, Vader has to be more defensive-minded in order to keep that control box safe. In short, he has to learn whole new lightsaber fighting techniques, and can't rely on what made suitless Anakin so powerful.
  18. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

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    Good points. I was kind of looking forward to seeing this expanded on in the live-action series, but it looks like with Lucas retiring it may not happen. I have read the ROTS novelisation but not Dark Lord.
    I had thought about the change in his saber fighting technique, but that's ineteresting about him having to be more defensive to protect his life support.
    Anyway, even with the suit he is still more than a good match for Luke In Empire Strikes Back. Just felt like mentioning that because it is my favourite duel :p
  19. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
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    star 9
    Sidious also makes it quite clear that he doesn't consider Vader's physical injuries to be a problem; it's Vader's emotional baggage that limits him as a Sith.
  20. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Those are all good points, too. The thing with him not being as strong in the Force as he might otherwise have been seems to be like a pretty logical conclusion, as well. If midichlorians are in all living cells, and Anakin has lost almost half his body, then it is perfectly obvious that he no longer has a lot of the midichlorians he used to have... those were left there, in the cut limbs, on Mustafar. It should be self-evident that some of his midichlorians were in the limbs that were left behind.

    And again, I wasn't saying it was the sole reason he could not be as powerful as he'd have been if Obi-Wan hadn't nearly killed him. The limitations of the suit, breathing mechanism, etc., also seem to me to be self-evident, which is why I hadn't spelled them out. Yes, he's still a very powerful Force user, even if he is "half man, half machine". But there's no way he's as powerful as he could have been if Obi-Wan had not confronted him in Mustafar.

    This is all going merely be what is on-screen, I am not drawing any conclusions from any EU materials here. It's just what is there for people to see who are not necessarily into EU stuff.

    Is that from the novelization? EU? I don't recall that having been mentioned in the movies.
  21. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    star 9
    It makes a hell of a lot more sense than fanon about "x number of midichlorians" in the context of films that repeatedly hammer home points about the mental aspects of the Force. Yes it's EU, but EU outranks fans on what's real and what isn't ;)
  22. EHT New Films Manager

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    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    Regarding the Live Action Series, I have doubts about that getting made too. But if it's any consolation, I'm pretty sure they never intended on having that show focus on Vader at all anyway.

    I'm not into the EU, but I did read LOE, ROTS, and Dark Lord. Regarding the suit, I don't recall if it was in ROTS or Dark Lord, but it says that Vader essentially had to use the Force just to be able to walk in the suit in the beginning.
  23. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Dark Lord did that.

    FWIW, it's borne out somewhat by ROTS-look at Vader's stride when he starts walking after surgery in the film. He's a staggering klutz. Then look at him on the Star Destroyer at the end of the film-all TESB graceful. ROTS wins some reality points by showing that prosthetics are a giant hassle to walk with at first, but you could always chalk it up to Vader using the Force.
  24. CaptainGiladPellaeon Jedi Knight

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    Jun 2, 2009
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    The midichlorian debate is interesting (I would personally side with those who do not believe total midichlorian count is a good index for Force power), but it doesn't really answer the question of whether Lucas revised the Vader character from the original movies when he made the prequels. Midichlorians themselves are a prequel revision of the Star Wars myth. Similarly, it?s never established in the original movies (or the prequels for that matter) that Darth Vader can?t use Force lightning. In the original movies, it?s not the least bit surprising that Darth Vader does not use this power because only one character in the original movies does use it, and only in one scene. It was the prequels that established Force lightning as a more common, expected power by giving it to Dooku and by showing that many prequel-era Jedi knew how to deflect it.

    Now, I?m not saying that we shouldn?t continue telling and enjoying Star Wars stories, beyond the original movies. I?m not saying I know for sure what Lucas was planning for the prequels, if anything. I?m just saying that Episode III revised Anakin?s character (all new stories revise older ones to some extent), and while those revisions can be rationalized after the fact, they were far from apparent in the original portrayal of Vader.
  25. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    And still perfectly irrelevant to the question of his Force ability.
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