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Discovery of Truth in SW and ROTK

Discussion in 'Charleston, SC' started by jedi scholar, Feb 7, 2004.

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  1. jedi scholar

    jedi scholar Jedi Youngling star 3

    Oct 31, 1999
    Hey guys,

    After watching ROTK again, I thought of something which I thought might be good for discussion. The classic depiction of evil is that it is manipulative and seductive. In ROTK Gollum is both manipulative and seductive because he sets up Sam and causes Frodo to lose faith in his long time friend.

    Even though the "truth" of the matter is that Sam never falters in his allegiance toward Frodo and their quest, Frodo in a moment of weakness looks at the circumstantial evidence and believes the smoothly seductive words of Gollum.

    But as Jesus says in John 8:32, "then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." For Frodo, the moment of "truth" begins when he realizes that Gollum has tricked him into the spider's lair and culminates when he awakens in the castle, alone, seemingly friendless,stripped of everything and about to be slaughtered by the Orcs. Sam comes to his rescue and he apologizes for ever doubting the loyalty and integrity of his friend.

    My question to the board is, is there a similar moment in SW? Or is there more than one? Same holds true for LOTR. And finally, is truth subjective or is there a definable standard of right and wrong which can be ascertained from these stories?
  2. jedi-ES

    jedi-ES Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 7, 2002
    Great question. Lets see what I can contribute to this inquiry.

    I think the same pattern happens in SW, though I think the role of Sam is played by different people in SW. If you place Anakin in Frodo's role, there is a temptor that lures Anakin away from his true allegiances - Palpatine. He is consistently teaching Anakin things that are antithetic to the Jedi creed and thus luring him away and second-guessing what the Jedi, represented by Obi-Wan, is all about. Palpatine is causing Anakin to guess what is right and wrong instead of knowing that goodness lies with the path and perspective of the Jedi. Similarly, Frodo is guessing if Sam is his true friend or just another person trying to take the ring from him. And Frodo doesn't know, just like Anakin doesn't know, that the temptor is really the Evil one. Gollum = Palpatine.

    And then when we return to ROTJ, Vader/Anakin is at his lowest low when Luke has taken his hand and his life support is beginning to fail. At that moment, when Luke doesn't take his life and instead stands by him as Father and Son does Anakin realize who is the good side, the Light side, again. And from then on till he dies, Anakin never doubts that his son loves him and is in the right and that the path of the Jedi is the right one.

    Also, if you watch ROTK, till Frodo is saved from the tower by Sam, Frodo doesn't act much like Frodo. You could say that to a degree he has devolved into his own Vader and only returns to the Frodo that we know and love when Sam saves him.

    And in regards to truth, sometimes we must go through pain and suffering because we are incapable at certain moments to see the truth, before we can see and know the truth. In the cases of both Anakin and Frodo, they go through more pain and suffering than they had to. But in the end, however much they went through to get there, they do realize the truth eventually and it takes them to the end. For Frodo, it allows him to finally destroy the ring in Mt. Doom and for Anakin, he realizes what the darkness, what his destiny truly is, what he truly loves - and he knows what he has to do.

    I'm sure I will have more thoughts later, but here's something to get it going. :)
  3. motf-jan

    motf-jan Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 25, 2001
    I think you hit the nail on the head Jedi_ES. I think the whole role of the hero suffering some kind of temptation is classic in both theology and mythology. It's a pattern we see over and over again and can relate to.

  4. Anakin_PadmeFan

    Anakin_PadmeFan Jedi Youngling star 3

    Oct 17, 2002
    I also think you got it right, ES.

    Throughout all of the LOTR movies, we see Frodo gradually moving towards what he becomes through most of ROTK. When we first see him in LOTR, he's very innocent and his one goal is to destroy the ring, so as to make middle earth safe once more, struggling along the way, to keep the ring safe from those who would misuse it's power. But the siren song of the ring is too strong, for even Frodo to endure any longer and he finally gives in to it's alluring call.

    But in the end, he's saved by Sam and the truth truly does set him free, as JS said.

    Hmm.....I think I may have just stated what JS did, but in a different way! 8-} [face_laugh]

    I think I'm getting off topic a little bit here, but it's an interesting character study, in both SW and LOTR. How a person can start out as being innocent and good, but be misled by twisted truths. And then to be set free by the realization of the actual truth.

    And I'm not sure if this relates or not, but in answer to the definable standard of right and wrong, I think that there is one. Is it right to manipulate someone for your own gain? Clearly not, as chaos insues in both cases. And just as clearly, truth, loyalty and love are shown to be right. Only when these are shown, does our hereo rise above.

  5. Idgie

    Idgie Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 17, 2001
    Interesting question :)

    '...when he awakens in the castle, alone, seemingly friendless,stripped of everything...'

    I wonder if there was any significance to Frodo being 'stripped of everything',in that scene(in the book,I think he was completely naked).Maybe Frodo's nakedness was somehow symbolic of his beginning to see the truths that some of you mentioned.(?)

    'For Frodo, it allows him to finally destroy the ring in Mt. Doom'

    Except that Frodo did not destroy the ring at Mount Doom.The ring is destroyed because of Gollum.I think that one of the 'truths' that Frodo eventually learns is the need for compassion.In this case,compassion for Gollum.By sparing Gollum's life at various points in the story,Frodo sets up the means by which the ring is eventually destroyed,even when his own will clearly fails.

    'Palpatine is causing Anakin to guess what is right and wrong instead of knowing that goodness lies with the path and perspective of the Jedi'

    I partially agree with this statement.Although Anakin does return to the light side of the Force,we can see that there are flaws with the Jedi mentality(or dogma,in some cases).After all,had Anakin strictly followed the path and perspective of the Jedi,he would have never had the child who eventually redeems him.

    Listening to the will of the Force and following the Jedi Code are not necessarily the same thing.Qui-Gon seemed to know that and Luke was definitely not adverse to following his own heart,even when that conflicted with the ideas of the old order(i.e.,Yoda and Ben).And like Frodo,one of the truths Luke comes to represent is compassion.I always thought it was interesting that Lucas chose to bookend the saga with Luke and Qui-Gon,two sort of maverick Jedi.In the end,it seems to be these two mavericks who end up doing the most good.

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