[*ESSAY WINNER*] Insider/Outsider: The Real Revelation(s) of the Prequel Trilogy

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by ObiWan506, Feb 17, 2006.

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  1. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2003
    star 7
    This is an essay submitted anonymously through our Star Wars Saga Essay Contest.

    Users are asked to read each essay listed below and send their vote in for the best one. Voting ends on Feb. 24th. Send your votes via PM to <a href="/user.asp?usr=Spike_Spiegel" style="color: black;font-weight: bold;font-style: normal;background-color: peru;text-decoration: none;border-top: 1px solid Black;border-bottom: 1px solid Black;border-right: 1px solid Black;border-left: 1px solid Black;">Spike_Spiegel</a> or <a href="/user.asp?usr=obiwan506" style="color: burlywood;font-weight: bold;font-style: normal;background-color: darkred;text-decoration: none;border-top: 1px solid Black;border-bottom: 1px solid Black;border-right: 1px solid Black;border-left: 1px solid Black;">ObiWan506</a>. Also, you can use these threads to discuss each essay. Discuss each point and share your own point of view on the matter.

    <li>Essay #1
    <li>Essay #2
    <li>Essay #3
    <li>Essay #4
    <li>Essay #5
    <li>Essay #6
    <li>Essay #7
    <li>Essay #8
    <li>Essay #9
    Since the genesis of Star Wars in 1977 when a pulp-inspired B-movie galvanized into a work that achieved near instantaneous cultural iconicity, it has widely been known that the character of Darth Vader existed on a tragic level. While at that time the plotting that would reveal the black-clad antagonist as Luke’s father was either murky or not yet conceptualized, still the most basic and rudimentary knowledge of Vader informed audiences that he betrayed and subsequently murdered the very Order he once served. Vader was supposedly a fallen angel, a once good man who dismissed morality and societal duty in favor of succumbing to a life path only achievable upon letting one’s self become dominated by an underlying philosophy that embraced hate, murder, and violent aggression towards any societal structure that didn’t succumb to the greater fascist regime. All the evidence pointed to a man who shattered any preordained expectations of his alignment by consciously choosing a life wrought from evil. Anakin Skywalker was to have been the one who let down an entire galaxy around him, not the other way around.
    <br>
    <br> Thus the Prequel Trilogy offered what was potentially a stunning revelation of its own that, while not as instantly recognizable as the storied twist seen in <i>The Empire Strikes Back</i>, still presents a cinematic moment of unadulterated shock that spans the greater course of three separate films. To grasp the full weight of the true impetus behind the fall of Anakin Skywalker, it is essential to recognize the insider/outsider duality, a key trait that occurs as a basis for social exclusion. Quite simply, the nature of the group necessities that separate entities exist outside of the structure regardless of whether or not said individuals wish for the divide.
    <br>
    <br> Anakin Skywalker, from the moment we first meet him chronologically as a young boy in <i>The Phantom/>
  2. Cryogenic Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    This is an utterly absorbing essay! My hat well and truly goes off to whoever put this piece together.

    This could well be my favourite paragraph:

    Plus:

    What a sterling and assured conclusion!

    In a more ideal universe, you might say that Qui Gon should have left Anakin well alone and plucked him up past adolescence. But would Anakin have been more wordly wise and more sophisticated if he'd have done exactly that? It's hard to say. Qui Gon thought he was following "the will of the Force"; he believed the Force had placed him in Anakin's path, and if Anakin proved his worth and made an autonomous decision to leave Tatooine for the Jedi Order, then Qui Gon must see to it - with his dying breath, no less - that the boy was inducted and trained in the Order's lofty ranks. Yet Qui Gon also cheated at the roll of Watto's dice. Shouldn't the lack of mind trick ability on Watto have told him to drop it and trust in "the will of the Force" instead of bending the Force to his own will? Or did Qui Gon suspect, as the novel suggests, that the dice was weighted and he was simply applying the opposite effect to overcome it? We must also consider the extent to which Qui Gon barters for Shmi. The answer seems clear here: not at all. If I recall the passage correctly (it's been a while since I watched TPM), then Qui Gon seems fairly non-plussed when he reports back to Anakin: "I tried to get Watto to free your mother but he wouldn't have it" (or words to that effect). Perhaps Qui Gon's stoicism is hiding a deep regret; perhaps not. There are a lot of grey areas in the film. And the thing with grey is that it can be turned to white or black with equal effort. Anakin's fate literally hinged on who would become his mentor - Qui Gon or Palpatine. We all know the answer.
  3. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2003
    star 7
    Remember, users are asked to vote for their favorites. Don't just read ... vote as well.

    :)
  4. Lord_NoONE Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2001
    star 5
    This is, in my opinion, the most well written essay in the field. Bravo.

    =D=
  5. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    Excellent essay. Very well written and thought out; its not everyday that i reconsider the content of the Star Wars films. Cudos to the writter of this one.
  6. ShaakRider Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2002
    star 2
    In a more ideal universe, you might say that Qui Gon should have left Anakin well alone and plucked him up past adolescence. But would Anakin have been more wordly wise and more sophisticated if he'd have done exactly that? It's hard to say.

    I don't think it's really about what should he (and everyone) have done, but rather about how. There are plenty of possibilities other than leave Anakin alone or making him a Jedi at once and at all costs, yet his apparent obsession with training the Chosen One seems to cloud his judgement at several points, and overshadow his caring for Anakin (or Obi-Wan for that matter). I don't think it was inherently wrong to take Anakin with him, but his intentions and means are questionable. Allright, he believes Anakin becoming a Jedi is the will of the Force, yet he doesn't have the faith the Force would get its way without him "forcibly" intervening. He believes he has to train Anakin, but when he's prevented from it, makes his padawan promise to do it in his place, knowing full well that the padawan heavily disagreed with previously. It's also funny that after they make it to the ship with Anakin, he completely ignores him until the Council meeting.
    While i think he did see Anakin as a person (unlike anyone else), and i think he believed (or convinced himself) that he was following the will of the Force, he might have been in fact following his own desires and fears sometimes.
  7. RamRed Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4

    We can't really say that what Qui-Gon did was right or wrong, can we? It's all just a matter of opinion. If you see Anakin becoming a Sith Lord in ROTS as the end game, then perhaps Qui-Gon was wrong. If you see Anakin bringing balance to the Force in ROTJ, then we can say that Qui-Gon was right, after all. Just because disaster happened somewhere between Qui-Gon's discovery of Anakin on Tatooine and Anakin's death above the Endor Moon, doesn't mean that Qui-Gon was wrong. In the end, we really cannot say whether he was right or wrong.
  8. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2003
    star 7
    ezekiel22x was the user that authored this essay. Please congratulate him on a job well done.
  9. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    yeah, congrats. excellent essay.
  10. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    The reason Qui-Gon wasn't there to free slaves is because Tattoine is outside of the Republic. A Jedi's duty is to keep peace and justice in the old Republic, not enforce the Republic's sense of morality outside of the Republic. To a large extent, they have to respect the way other societies on the outside have worked things out for themselves.

    My problem with this is the idea that morality and ethical responsibility begins and ends with territorial jurisdiction. Is doing the ?right thing? unnecessary simply because the action requires aid or intervention directed towards outsiders rather than fellow countrymen?

    Furthermore, I have a hard time believing that Qui-Gon?s inaction was a result of a desire to respect foreign customs, as the process of implanting a device into people that kills them upon the first sign of non-compliance is more an act of horrific oppression than a misunderstood custom. The bottom line is that Qui-Gon was in a position of power that allowed him many options. The one he took was taking Anakin back to Coruscant while allowing his mother to reside as a piece of property.

    Regardless, if you don?t buy into the backhanded theory of greedy deceit and think that Qui-Gon was simply following the rules of his government and his Order, still that would be extremely indicative of the failings of the Jedi. They were so ensconced with the idea of tradition that family, friendship, and nurturing were thrown out the door in favor of destroying a family and rationalizing that action in the name of prophecy.
  11. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    What is right is a point of view. The systems within the Republic have decided slavery is bad enough to be outlawed, while on Tatooine, they seem to do okay with it. Not to say slaver can be a good thing, owning another individual is at it's basic level dehumanizing. However, in the slaver we see transpire, the slaves are treated more like daily workers, they have their own homes, the ones we see aren't being abused.

    I am sure if he could have obtained Shmi from Watto through their own ways (by purchasing her) then he would have done it. But if he just nabbed Shmi, that's stealing, not to mention they would just blow her up. There isn't much Qui-Gon could have done to prevent that outcome unless he properly purchased her.
  12. RamRed Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    My problem with this is the idea that morality and ethical responsibility begins and ends with territorial jurisdiction. Is doing the ?right thing? unnecessary simply because the action requires aid or intervention directed towards outsiders rather than fellow countrymen?

    Furthermore, I have a hard time believing that Qui-Gon?s inaction was a result of a desire to respect foreign customs, as the process of implanting a device into people that kills them upon the first sign of non-compliance is more an act of horrific oppression than a misunderstood custom. The bottom line is that Qui-Gon was in a position of power that allowed him many options. The one he took was taking Anakin back to Coruscant while allowing his mother to reside as a piece of property.


    First of all, Qui-Gon or any other Jedi Knight really had no authorityto free any slave on such a large scale. The Jedi Order is a religious organization, not a political one. Sure, they can recommend to the Senate to deal with slavery on Tatooine or anywhere else in the Outer Rim. But they were in no authority to deal with it in a direct manner. To do so would have been inviting disaster and possibly bad feelings amongst the Galactic's politicians and citizens. Many fans of ROTS had considered the Jedi Council's suggestion of briefly taking charge of the Galactic Senate as dangerous.

    Two, Qui-Gon did try to free Shmi. In his bet with Watto, he tried to ensure that both Anakin and Shmi would be free. Watto had insisted that only Skywalker's freedom could be part of the bet. Since the whole idea of the bet was about Anakin in the first place, Qui-Gon made sure that Anakin's freedom would be in question. Whether Shmi would want this or not . . . who knows? And considering that Qui-Gon actually made an attempt to win Shmi's freedom told me that he was willing to break with Jedi tradition by possibly giving Anakin a chance to have some kind of contact with Shmi.

    Three, you seem to be inclined that if Anakin had not been found by Qui-Gon, he would have spent a happy life. What makes you think that would happen? What if Watto had found himself in financial straits and had been forced to sell Anakin? He would have profited a great deal more in putting Anakin up for sale than Shmi? I'm not saying that this would have happened. But it is something to consider.

    Four, you seemed to think that Qui-Gon could not have cared less about Anakin. Why? Because he was so insistent that Anakin be trained as a Jedi? What if he thought that life as a Jedi Knight would be the best thing not only for the Force, but for Anakin as well? Do you have proof that Qui-Gon was thinking only of the Force and didn't even consider Anakin's well-being?
  13. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Also, not only did Qui-Gon attempt to include Shmi in the bet, after the race, he took the money he got for Anakin's pod and tried to free her again, but Watto wouldn't have it because he thought Qui-Gon had cheated him with their bet.
  14. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    However, in the slaver we see transpire, the slaves are treated more like daily workers, they have their own homes, the ones we see aren't being abused.

    This is a good point. Like I said in the essay, Anakin and his mother led a life on Tatooine that on the surface signified a palpable level of comfort. But as Anakin tells Qui-Gon over a meal, the threat of death is something they have to constantly live with. Clearly, this is enough proof that despite surface comforts, there?s no way of getting around the fact that first and foremost the pair are slaves.

    To me this clear-cut truth, combined with the on-screen evidence relating to Qui-Gon, shows that most likely the Jedi didn?t bother exhausting all capable means of freeing Shmi. After all, when Anakin?s freedom is granted, it doesn?t seem as if it were any chore at all to deactivate the apparatus that previously kept him and his life in check (and who knows, perhaps such a thing never existed, and the threat was merely a fiction created by Watto as a means of ensuring that his workers remain his.) Either way, I find it unlikely that a Jedi of Qui-Gon?s stature wouldn?t be capable of finding the means to either deactivate the device or at least run some type of test to gauge the veracity of Watto?s threat.

    But if he just nabbed Shmi, that's stealing,

    I suppose here it comes down the old relativistic adage concerning stealing bread to feed a family. Would Qui-Gon really be concerned with breaking a law on a world controlled by gangsters if it meant freeing a human life? Unfortunately, I don?t think there is an answer to this question, as all filmic evidence points to the truth that the Jedi Order had no problem with totally isolating Anakin from his mother during his formal Jedi upbringing. Again, I just don?t see why Qui-Gon would feel it necessary to free Shmi when he knew his Order demanded that the woman had no business getting in the way of Anakin?s career as a Jedi.

    First of all, Qui-Gon or any other Jedi Knight really had no authorityto free any slave on such a large scale. The Jedi Order is a religious organization, not a political one.


    Hmm, a religious organization that accepts military commissions? Clearly, the Prequels make it clear that politics play a significant role in the order?s day to day works. Why else would Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon be dispatched to help settle the political affair that was the Trade Federations blockade of Naboo?

    Three, you seem to be inclined that if Anakin had not been found by Qui-Gon, he would have spent a happy life.

    I never explicitly said that. That certainly is a possibility, though, as is the one that Anakin and the galaxy around him might have been worse off if Qui-Gon hadn?t got the whole Chosen One ball rolling. That was the whole essay?s thrust, that contrary to the belief that Star Wars is a simple morality tale, the Prequels instead portrayed a set of characters and circumstances where easy answers are few and far in between. I think it was a bold move on the part of Lucas to fill his films with such subversive subtext.

    Four, you seemed to think that Qui-Gon could not have cared less about Anakin.


    I don?t doubt that Qui-Gon did genuinely care for the boy. At the same time, though, I think it?s possible for a kidnapper to form similar bonds with an abducted child. I?m not saying that this is the exact case and with Qui-Gon, though, but merely that it was a possibility that Qui-Gon cared for Anakin while simultaneously putting the boy into a detrimental situation.

    Do you have proof that Qui-Gon was thinking only of the Force and didn't even consider Anakin's well-being?

    I find it extraordinarily suspect that Qui-Gon?s interest in Anakin seems to culminate after his suspicion of a high midichlorian (sp?) count is confirmed.
  15. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    It's because he believes the living Force has put him there to discover the Chosen one, but that doesn't mean Qui-Gon isn't compassionate towards Anakin. My point is the whole cornerstone of his character, the very trait he had mastered to become one with the Force and retain his consciousness, was compassion.
  16. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    Go-Mer I see what you are saying. Qui Gon is a nice guy. Or at least he seems like he is. He even tries to free Shmi. But i think you are missing the bigger point that underlying it all is a self-serving worldview that the jedi are obviously unaware of, and in fact because they are also outwordly doing good deeds, remains somewhat hidden.

    But the fact is that Qui Gon and the Jedi only have an interest in Anakin and his well-being because of their own needs. The only reason they give a damn about him is because he is the Chosen One?, and the only one who eventually feels any genuine emotion for him, Obi Wan, does so simply because he gets close to him and grows to value his friendship--he becomes his friend in spite of himself, in other words.

    The fact that slavery exists on Tatooine proves that the jedi are out for themselves. If they were truely interested in the well-being of the galaxy at large, they would have descended on Tatooine and instated some kind of freedom to the gangster-controlled slave-ridden wasteland. But they didn't. They snatched up Anakin because he was of use to them as the supposed Chosen One, destroyer of the Sith. They are selfish, and care only about themselves--interesting in that this is what Anakin ascribes to the Sith. As Palpatine rightly states, in the end, "The jedi and the Sith are similar in almost every way."

    So why is all of this not obvious? Because the jedi are (supposedly) the good guys. They are the protagonists of the series, and as such, they are relative nice people, who do indeed try to help others, and given that we follow the story from their perspective, we inevitably grow to like and sympathize with them. But stepping back from the emotional subjectivity emplored by the film, we find a much different picture. We find an organization obsessed with itself, constantly concerned that the Republic may be slipping from its clutches, the symbol of a Republic that is rotting from within due to the inability of the establishment to properly function or care for its citizens. In this, the jedi are a microcosm for the galaxy.

    Their compassionate actions may seem well on the surface, but beneath it is all about self-preservation, something that is made all the more obsessive by the re-emergence of the Sith. I mean, they are not villains, per se at least, and true, they do indeed do some helpful things. But their inaction and passivity to the many great injustice in the galaxy, contrasted by their immediate action and "at all costs" attitude when it comes to matters about their own order, suggests a dangerously apathetic order that has lost its way and no longer functions.

    In fact, the only thing that clearly identifies them as "heroes" or "good guys" is that the sith are clearly identified as "villains" and "bad guys". They dress in black, speak of world domination, laugh maniacly and have red eyes. They might as well have "VILLAIN" stamped on their heads. But without the Sith in the story, the Jedi suddenly become exposed as the corrupt, self-serving beaurocracy that it is. In fact, had we followed the story from the perspective of the Sith, and had they not been portrayed as cartoonish "Evil" caricatures, we would have a much different view of the Jedi. Take away this cartoonish aspect of the Sith and suddenly they are not such bad guys--they are in fact, completely equivalent with the jedi.

    Oh, and Qui Gon "compassion" line about the Whills does not count. You are saying Qui Gon says he is compassionate and therefore he is. Thats like when christians say "the bible says it is the word of god so therefore that proves it is"--you cant use these things to prove themselves. In fact, this is just another instance of us being told "The Jedi Are Good Guys"--yes, we are told they are, and they are clearly meant to represent the heroic archetype, just as the sith are portrayed to represent the villainous archetype, but analysing their actions tells us the truth about them both.
  17. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    My point is the whole cornerstone of his character, the very trait he had mastered to become one with the Force and retain his consciousness, was compassion.

    Compassionate to a boy, or compassionate to a cause that required usage of the boy? At best, I still think the force ghost explanation is murky enough to allow different readings of Qui-Gon?s character to remain viable. Given his willingness to leave behind Shmi as a slave, and that this circumstance coincided nicely with the Order?s practice of having its Jedi sever preexisting or desired familial ties, I think Qui-Gon?s specific motives with Anakin are suspect.

    This doesn?t mean that he?s approaching Sith-like levels evilness, as ultimately it?s clear that Qui-Gon feels it?s necessary to initiate the prophecy of the Chosen One in order to combat some inherent wrong in the galaxy. To achieve this, though, I believe TPM portrays Qui-Gon as a man willing to overlook basic needs of individual humanity as a cost of reaching something that he believes affects a greater societal need.

    But their inaction and passivity to the many great injustice in the galaxy, contrasted by their immediate action and "at all costs" attitude when it comes to matters about their own order, suggests a dangerously apathetic order that has lost its way and no longer functions.

    Yes, that's a great reading. Which just reminded me that even assuming that Qui-Gon and the Jedi wanted the Chosen One to rise up and help the galaxy as a whole might be probematic. After all, the vague prophecy of bringing balance to the force may be nothing more than a self-serving need to ensure the Order's survivial rather than a means of spreading all that is good.
  18. mandragora Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2005
    star 4
    Congratulations from me, too, ezekiel22x. I really enjoyed your essay and it put some things into a different light for me. I really like your point about people doing things for the wrong reasons, and I agree with you that there's a lot to be criticized with respect to the Jedi Order, and even Qui-Gon Jinn, during the prequels. Apart from what you and zombie mentioned, the easy-going use of mind tricks when it seems to be convenient is something that's really bothering me. Oh, and about Qui-Gon not wanting to "steal" Shmi because it's againt the law, he showed no qualms about stealing when he tried to mind trick Watto into "selling" him the hyperdrive for money that was entirely worthless for him.

    I'd like to add some thoughts that seem to be related to your essay. First, concerning the issue of "doing things for the wrong reasons", I think this is also true for little Anakin. As early as in TPM we see him joining the Jedi for the wrong reasons. It is about "going away in a starship", and it is about joining a group of very powerful people that "no-one can kill." As early as that we see Anakin thinking about the possibility of defying death. The reason for joining the Jedi is not the desire to learn the ethical and spiritual principles of the Jedi, or to learn the ways of the Force, it is about getting away, about becoming powerful, and even about defying death. Compare this to Luke in ANH: First he thinks he can't leave because "he's got work to do", and when he finds his family dead, he states: "I want to learn the ways of the Force, and become a Jedi, like my father." I think this shows a completely different motivation compared to those of little Anakin.

    The other thing that made me thinking was the issue about "creating a family." I think that there is a lot of significance to this. While the Jedi should have become his family, they failed to to so, and Anakin, as you stated, created his own family. And most interestingly, not even one single person of that self-constructed family is a Jedi. The core of the family is Padme, R2-D2, and Palpatine. Especially Palpatine is the one who fills the vacancies in Anakin's psychological life. He first becomes the father figure, then replaces the mentor Qui-Gon could have been but Obi-Wan wasn't able to substitute, and last he even replaced Watto as a slave master. In the end, with Padme dead and R2-D2 in the hands of Bail Organa, Palpatine literally had become Anakin's family.

  19. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    The reason for joining the Jedi is not the desire to learn the ethical and spiritual principles of the Jedi, or to learn the ways of the Force, it is about getting away, about becoming powerful, and even about defying death.

    Great observation, mandragora. Yeah, early on in "Menace" it?s painfully clear that Anakin?s romanticized view of the Jedi paints them as invulnerable star-hopping heroes. Qui-Gon?s only refute against this seems to come in the form of the brief comment where he states that he wishes that Anakin's thoughts about Jedi not dying were true. Other than that, he seems to be incredibly confidant in Anakin?s comprehension level of the circumstances relating to his transition from slave to Padawan, as Qui-Gon shows no real hesitancy about proceeding with Anakin?s ?recruitment.?

    That?s also a good pickup about the early evidence of Anakin?s feelings about defying death. Of course, it?s natural for a child his age to partake in such thoughts, as I?m sure at one time or another all of us played army and glorified war as only an innocent child can do. But still, it?s highly problematic that Qui-Gon and the order capitalize on Anakin?s naiveté for the sake of their betterment.
  20. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I still don't understand how slavery that exists on a system outside of the Republic can possibly be attributed to the Jedi not having a problem with slavery.

    Anakin wanted to be a Jedi from the get go. He had been having dreams about becoming a Jedi so he could come back and free the slaves. He certainly wasn't coerced into it. Shmi makes a point to highlight the fact that it's Anakin's choice alone. Qui-Gon certainly didn't mind trick him into it.

    As for suggesting that Anakin was doing it for the wrong reasons, that all he cared about was flying away in a starship, everything Anakin does in TPM is about helping others with no thought of reward. He wants to become a Jedi to come back and free the slaves in addition to getting to fly around on a starship.

  21. Jedi_872 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2005
    star 1
    First of all, congrats, ezekiel22x. A very insightful essay.

    We can't really say that what Qui-Gon did was right or wrong, can we? It's all just a matter of opinion.

    I agree with this. Should Qui-Gon have just left Anakin alone and let nature take its course? There's a saying - God - or the Force, if you will - helps those who help themselves. But how far does this extend? Does it justify using the Force to influence the chance cube? Would stealing Shmi have been okay? One of the things said earlier on this thread was that the Jedi were being too passive, but how much action should they take?

    Anakin wanted to be a Jedi from the get go. He had been having dreams about becoming a Jedi so he could come back and free the slaves. He certainly wasn't co-erced into it. Shmi makes a point to highlight the fact that it's Anakin's choice alone. Qui-Gon certainly didn't mind trick him into it.

    As for suggesting that Anakin was doing it for the wrong reasons, that all he cared about was flying away in a starship, everything Anakin does in TPM is about helping others with no thought of reward. He wants to become a Jedi to come back and free the slaves in addition to getting to fly around on a starship.


    I agree that Anakin wanted to do good things. Of course, like Luke, he wanted to get off Tatooine and do something exciting, but he also wants to become a Jedi so that he can affect the galaxy and make things better. As Palpatine says, Anakin always dreamed of a life greater than an ordinary Jedi, and better than an ordinary boy, especially a slave. That's why parents gave their children to the Jedi. It wasn't easy for them, but if their children could help change things for the better....

    However, Anakin says to Padme on Mustafar that they can rule together, make things the way they want them to be. Now, Anakin is proposing this as a dictatorship with power in mind and the what the parents of the Jedi are doing is equivalent to letting their children be in politics and is to let their children have opportunities and make the galaxy better, but aren't they similar? Another parallel between the Jedi and the Sith (not that I disagree with the parents).

    That?s also a good pickup about the early evidence of Anakin?s feelings about defying death. Of course, it?s natural for a child his age to partake in such thoughts, as I?m sure at one time or another all of us played army and glorified war as only an innocent child can do.

    Anakin's slave childhood may have influenced his desire to cheat death, even though the idea alone or having his mother die in his arms might have been enough. As ezekiel22x said in his essay, Anakin and Shmi were treated pretty well for slaves. One thing that made them slaves though, was the threat of death if they ever ran away.

    Also, both as a slave and a Jedi, Anakin never got to do what he wanted to do. If I were in his position, I would have wanted more time so I could keep hoping that I would be able to do these things.
  22. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I sort of mentioned this in the other thread, but I should congratulate you as well ezekiel22x, your essay has a strong footing in reason, and you make your points well.
  23. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    I still don't understand how slavery that exists on a system outside of the Republic can possibly be attributed to the Jedi not having a problem with slavery.

    See the point I made earlier about the perils of using a territorial boundary as a means of rationalizing inaction. Though the Jedi and their philosophies aren?t the cause of slavery on Tatooine, their willingness to accept this truth and move on suggests a certain level of questionable moral standards.

    Shmi makes a point to highlight the fact that it's Anakin's choice alone.

    Exactly. Which begs the question of whether or not a child should be making such a life-altering decision. Like I said, Anakin chooses the path of the Jedi because it?s a ticket to what he thinks is freedom. What he got, though, turned out to be yet another form of mandatory servitude.

    He wants to become a Jedi to come back and free the slaves in addition to getting to fly around on a starship.

    I wasn?t questioning Anakin?s intentions in TPM. What I?m questioning is the manner in which the Jedi capitalized on this youthful altruism as a means of making the boy one of their own. In AotC we still see his noble wishes to help his mother, yet we also see Obi-Wan casually attempt to stop this from happening by his whole ?dreams pass in time? speech. By forbidding this attachment, the Jedi are attempting to destroy a part of Anakin?s moral and emotional standards. That, while not as clear cut as implanting an explosive device inside him, is proof enough that Anakin?s Jedi upbringing is a thinly-veiled form of slavery.


    And, of course, I?d offer a big thanks to mandragora, Jedi-872, Go-Mer-Tonic, and everyone else who?s offered congrats. I?m just glad I churned out something others deem worth reading and analyzing. At the very least, I think we all can agree that Star Wars offers textual depth it?s often not given credit for.
  24. mandragora Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2005
    star 4
    I didn't say he left only because he wanted to fly around in a star ship. It was one factor - "I'm a pilot, you know, and some day I'm gonna fly away from this place." - "You mean that I'm going with you and your starship?" - The piloting thing did play a part, you cannot deny that. Another factor was becoming powerful enough to save people he cares about. "I'll come back and free all slaves." - "I will come back and free you, Mom, I promise." While I agree that this is about doing good, that is not the only implication. It is also about becoming powerful enough to make things the way he wants them to be.

    I think the following quote by Padme is quite revealing: "It must be difficult having sworn your life to the Jedi. Not being able to visit the places you like, do the things you like ..." - This is certainly not a description of a free life. Not being able to do what you want and go where you want is in fact quite similar to his situation on Tatooine.
  25. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    just to chime in a little:
    i think this is undeniable.

    they take his life in the hope that things will be set right externally when in truth they ought to have changed with time themselves.
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