PT George Lucas, Post-ROTJ, states beautifully why the Prequels were necessary

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Han Burgundy, Oct 5, 2013.

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  1. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4

    I am taking the Saga seriously, though. I think it's a very important message to teach -- that's it's never too late to turn a new leaf, but that means owning up to what you've done and facing the consequences. Additionally, I think the point Lucas makes -- how difficult it is to believe in ourselves and how we often need someone else to see something worth saving -- is very relevant as well.

    Anakin is standing there happy and smiling for Luke. This is to show his son that he was right. As Anakin says -- Luke was right and Luke saved him through his faith. Anakin being there does nothing for Anakin himself. But it does give Luke peace of mind. And Anakin has realized that it's not all about him.

    And, I hate to say it, but in 1983 you certainly knew his history. This was a man who stood by and helped a bureaucrat as a planet of billions of civilians was destroyed, who committed genocide against a religious order that considered the early twenties "too old" to begin training. It doesn't take huge leaps of logic to see the implications of that.
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  2. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 5
    "It's never too late to turn over a new leaf" is a nice concept. In nearly all cases I agree with it. If I was teaching a child though I might amend the quote to say "It's never too late to turn over a new leaf - unless you murder dozens of innocent children. Then it is too late, so don't do it".

    Also "owning up to what you've done and facing the consequences" is an interesting take on Anakin. You've made some personal interpretations there. Maybe he just loved his son & couldn't bare to watch him die. He'd rather die himself. Not sure what he was "owning up to".

    Sure but again, given we're dealing with a mass murderer here who only saved his own son after all, it was presented very happy & smiley & warm & fuzzy. He was seemingly accepted with open arms by ghost Yoda & Ben too.

    Sure but in the OT he was an accomplice in these acts, which is terrible. It's even worse to have this AND dozens of innocent kids dying at his own hand.
  3. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    I did no such thing. You misunderstand me. I'm saying that since this stuff offends you, you ought to be spending your time attacking Christianity and other religions. That seems more appropriate and productive than attacking a mere children's fantasy film that's only based on that kind of religious thought.

    But, if you're offended by something that so many people believe in so very strongly, you're not going to be very happy. [face_dunno]
  4. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I don't know what I would do if I were in Yoda and Ben's shoes, but no, I'm not offended by their choice to forgive Anakin, nor do I interpret it as an absolution of Anakin's crimes. The personal choice to forgive does not have to mean acceptance of wrongdoing, it can mean choosing not to dwell on the wrongdoing anymore.

    I also disagree with your statement that it's too late to turn over a new leaf if one is a child murderer. There is always the option to stop being a child murderer.
  5. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    That seems rather arbitrary though. Again, it seems to me odd that people can forgive OT Vader when he is, essentially, a space Nazi. Many of the highest ranking Nazi officers never killed a single person themselves. Yet, I don't consider them less guilty than the foot soldiers who did the "dirty work" -- on the contrary. They were in far more of a position of power and thus had a much greater responsibility to stop the atrocities. Their guilt is compounded.

    And he was "owning up to it," I believe, when he said that Luke was right. It's difficult to take that statement any other way -- he was admitting that Luke was right and he himself was wrong. Luke had shown him the light; Luke had saved him. And Anakin died for that.

    What would you have him do, though? He killed Palpatine and freed the galaxy from the oppression of the Sith. It cost him his life. He can't make up for what he's done. He can't bring the dead back to life (in fact, trying to control death is what created these problems in the first place). And Yoda and Ben forgiving him by no means indicates that the rest of the galaxy shares this opinion. Leia certainly never seemed to believe Luke when he spoke of redeeming Anakin. And it's her right to hold that view after everything he did to her.


    Yes, but I simply can't fathom how you can find him redeemable after Alderaan but not after ROTS. If Alderaan is anything like Earth, it must have about 1 billion people on it under the age of 15. Now, Tarkin holds most of the blame, of course, but Palpatine and Vader are high level members of the Empire. Even supposing that Anakin only takes 0.001% of the blame -- that's 10,000 people under the age of 15.

    And that's not to mention what is implied by the OT. Obi-Wan says that Anakin helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights, Tarkin says that Anakin is all that's left of the Jedi (unaware that Yoda and Obi-Wan are alive), and Yoda says that Luke (at the ripe old age of his early twenties) is too old to begin training. The implication is clear: Anakin helped the Empire hunt down and kill the Jedi to the point where it was thought he was the only tie left back to that religion. That means he killed kids (if I have to spell it out).

    And this is why ROTS is so important -- because it finally gave faces to Anakin/Vader's victims. It finally made people look at what was really being redeemed in ROTJ. With ANH, it's far too easy to dismiss what happens on Alderaan because we never actually see the people or see Leia grieve. But it did happen. And that needs to be acknowledged.
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  6. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 5
    You obviously haven't read my posts clearly. I'm not offended. Like you said, they're just fantasy films. This is a point I made several times. I responded to other people discussing Anakin's "redemption". I haven't "attacked" anything.

    Religions don't offend me. I don't take them seriously. However I do know that even among Christians there's alot of disagreement about the concept of redemption & whether all sins are forgiven no matter how terrible.
  7. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 5
    I agree with you. Who said he should be forgiven for being space Nazi? Not me.

    Well that's your interpretation. Another one is that Vader meant Luke "was right" in believing there was still some good in him & that he couldn't go through with killing Luke. I think this is more likely that "right" about their previously differing philosophies on oppression & systems of government.

    Please don't use straw man tactics. It's a lazy & unfair way to debate. I never once said he's redeemable based on the OT. I said that the PT paints an even worse picture.

    You do realise that he didn't come up with the idea to destroy Alderaan, didn't give the order & wasn't active in any way in it's destruction. He clearly didn't even like or have much regard for the Death Star.
    He's guilty of standing by & letting it happen though, but so are all of the other officers. If I was apportioning blame for Alderaan I'd give Tarkin 70%, Palpatine 25% & the rest of the senior officers & Vader the rest.
  8. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 5
    That's all fine. I'm just saying that if the films were made in order & we saw all of the child murdering first then it may've been a bit rich to show such a happy smiling scene for Anakins' ghost. It's arguably salt in the wounds that he's forgiven & happy in death just for saving his own child when he'd killed so many others.
  9. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    The method Anakin used to kill Palpatine, though, rather indicates to me that he was renouncing the Empire. Otherwise, I can imagine that he would have used another method to kill Palpatine and taken control of the Empire himself. That he killed Palpatine the way he did -- killing himself in the process -- indicates to me that Anakin is conceding both points to Luke. But I'll agree that it is a matter of interpretation.

    My response was more in reference to the fact that you've repeatedly brought up Anakin's crimes in the PT while referencing that we didn't know of these crimes in 1983, as though that would make a difference. My point was simply that singling out these events is rather odd given what occurs in the OT. I also wouldn't say the PT paints a worse picture -- it just clarifies and makes explicit what the OT told us.

    And I wanted to show why statements such as this:

    "we saw all of the child murdering first then it may've been a bit rich to show such a happy smiling scene for Anakins' ghost"

    are kind of pointless. The Anakin of the OT certainly commits crimes at least as bad as anything in the PT.


    He didn't give the order. But nor did Palpatine. I hope you can see why I would still hold Palpatine responsible. I come back to the Nazis again -- because, in large part, the Empire was modeled so closely after them -- in reiterating that many Nazi officers never drew up the plans for the Final Solution and never killed anyone themselves. But they were part of the regime and did nothing to stop it. Personally, I think it's morally unsound to say that a foot soldier who carries out orders is more morally culpable than an officer who benefits from the regime and is in a position of power while doing nothing to stop it.

    Anakin didn't give the order, but he helped intimidate Leia and was a player in the entire scenario. That's why in my hypothetical situation I still assign him some blame (given how high up he was in the Empire) but not nearly as much as Palpatine or Tarkin. But still -- 0.001% is still 10,000 children. Which far and away exceeds anything shown in the PT. And that's why the PT is necessary -- to give those kids faces. Before, Alderaan was just a rock that we see explode. Now, we have to recognize that there were kids that were killed by the Empire and Anakin in particular.
    Last edited by PiettsHat, Dec 3, 2013
  10. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 5
    & what methods were available to him at the time? He was injured, had one functioning arm & a damaged suit. The Emperor literally had lightning at his fingertips. Can't see any way for him to save his son without sacrificing himself do you? How is that renouncing the Empire?? Talk about reading too much into it. Listen to GL's commentary on the dvd's & blu ray. The guy just couldn't bare to let his son die in front of his eyes so he did the only thing he could to stop it.

    What? The guy slaughtered multiple children by his own hand directly (twice) & you don't think this painted a worse picture than what we saw in the OT!? Even if you consider Alderaan as worse, the kid slaughtering committed in person should definitely add significantly in the negative of what you think of a person! Even taking Ben's quote that he "helped the Empire hunt down the Jedi" - this was read by many to mean that he turned to the other side & in the ensuing war helped eliminate the Jedi. This is very bad but still doesn't mean that he murdered innocent children. It's more likely to imply that he fought against Jedi with the aid of the Empire & killed them in battle - not cornered frightened children in a room & killed them. Also the Tusken women & children weren't the enemy in a war/rebellion scenario. It was an act of personal vengeance.

    Anyway, I chose the child killing as 1 terrible example in his rap sheet of crimes. To me it seems to be the worst & many people would agree if you consider the saga as a whole. If you think something else is worse then that's ok. The Alderaan thing is very complicated. You could have an interesting debate on this & reference comparisons with the Nuremberg trials as you've done. The kid killing seems much more clear cut hence I chose that as a striking example of his atrocities. You've incorrectly interpreted this as me disregarding or downplaying other incidents.

    Palpatine has to take ultimate responsibility for his regime & every officer under his authority, Tarkin included. Vader was subordinate to Tarkin. He had no legal authority or to intervene in Tarkin's order to fire. He also played no tangible part in the execution (no pun intended) of this order. You could argue the officer who pushed the button is more culpable than Vader. He was merely a witness to this event. He could also have believed that Tarkin was bluffing in order to coerce information out of Leia. When Tarkin went ahead anyway there was a small window where Vader could have gone rogue & perhaps murdered Tarkin & taken command & rescinded his order. This is where Vader's culpability could lie. I'd argue though that it's a highly debatable point & a very grey area. I personally don't compare this to his murdering of innocents because it's too complicated an issue.

    I think your logic is crazy. Your method is to choose the worst thing committed by someone (Alderaan in your opinion) & his culpability & the extent of his sins are measured on that incident. The fact that other terrible incidents (child killing) aren't as bad (in your view) as this bigger scale event to you means that these crimes don't "paint a worse picture". Surely it's a cumulative thing, & surely there's more to consider than just a numbers game as shown by your Alderaan equation. What about the horror of someone making an independent decision, on their own, to slice up innocent children? Doesn't this paint a worse picture of a person to you??

    Since you brought up the Nazi's here's an example I'll use: 2 Nazi officers, both high ranking of equal authority. Both equally responsible for their part in the holocaust where millions were killed. 1 of them not only performed his role as a Nazi officer but IN ADDITION personally went around murdering dozens of women & kids in the streets & in the camps. Your logic would seem to say that the holocaust is the major crime & therefore the mass murdering doesn't "paint a worse picture" of the 2nd officer in comparison. I couldn't possibly disagree with you more.
    Last edited by Darth_Downunder, Dec 4, 2013
  11. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Force choke. Snapping his neck. Punching him in the back of the head. Anakin had augmented strength, so you can bet if he hit an old man in the back of the head with all of his strength, his skull would cave in. Likewise, I agree that he didn't want Luke to die. But I don't think that is the only reason he chose as he did. Your mileage may vary of course.

    Note, I said that the PT doesn't paint a worse picture because the OT basically laid out the fact that Anakin, in his participation of the Jedi genocide, would have had to kill children given the age that they begin training. Yes, I do consider Alderaan worse, but my remark was more related to the fact that the OT pretty much confirmed what was going to happen in the PT anyway. And thus, the PT clarifying things is really only that --> making explicit and visual what the OT logically implied.

    Saying he hunted down the Jedi, that he was essentially the last of the Jedi, and that the Jedi thought Luke's age was too old to begin training means there is largely no other logical conclusion than the fact that he supported the regime as it killed children.

    And frankly, I personally don't consider the fact that Anakin himself cornered them worse than if he would have given a soldier an order to do so on his behalf. I've asked this before to others, but do you consider Palpatine less guilty of the Jedi deaths simply because he's never the one wielding the lightsaber? To me, that's illogical. Even if Anakin had ordered the clone troopers, he wouldn't be less guilty. He would just compound his crimes by forcing someone else to get their hands dirty as well -- someone who would have no choice but to comply.

    I could understand your reasoning more if Anakin was a mere foot soldier, but he's not. That's not to say he's completely responsible or even a majority responsible. But I think it's dangerous to abdicate responsibility when he was right there, holding Leia down and intimidating her, as Tarkin destroyed her planet. He didn't protest, didn't speak out about logical considerations, as Alderaan was destroyed, he stood silent. He wasn't a mere "witness" to the event because he had power and influence. Second only to Palpatine and (perhaps) Tarkin. He could have refused, furthermore, if Tarkin would not listen, to not participate in Leia's intimidation at all.

    That's why I can't let it go. Because the incident screams of authority figures in a dictatorship using every excuse in the book to get out of culpability. He wasn't a helpless bystander.

    Alderaan was chosen merely to illustrate a point. After this event, Luke still chose to redeem his father and redeemed he was. I think it's therefore inconsistent to try to make Anakin's redemption about making amends because, just with his role in destroying Alderaan, it's basically impossible for Anakin to do so. The murder of the children is yet another example of this, but this problem pretty much clearly exists across the entire Saga. Yes it's cumulative -- but my point was that with Alderaan and the implications the OT makes, you've already made the issue of making amends for crimes untenable to achieve (at least, in one lifetime). Certainly not in the window of opportunity that Anakin had aboard the Second Death Star.

    That's not to say that he isn't worse because he killed the children in the PT. But I wouldn't say that it moved him to a plane where redemption was no longer on the cards whereas throughout the OT, it was. I think the point of the Saga is that there really isn't a point where redemption is no longer an option.

    In regards to the your scenario, if I had been offered evidence that logically insisted an officer had participated in the killing of children vs viewing this man killing the children with my own eyes, I would view them -- morally -- as equally culpable. The fact that one set of killings was only relayed to me whereas I saw the others take place doesn't change this.
    Last edited by PiettsHat, Dec 4, 2013
  12. Darth_Downunder Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 5
    [face_laugh] Hilarious. A Force choke against a Sith Master! We've never seen a Force choke against a Force user in the whole saga. Maybe Luke should've tried this on Vader. Or Obi-Wan on Darth Maul. What were they thinking to forget this obvious tactic! "Punching him in the back of the head" [face_laugh][face_laugh] I didn't know you had this good a sense of humour! Snapping his neck - how would this work when you have only one arm?? Hmm I think that given Palpatine was standing conveniently next to an exhaust port his decision to pick him up & throw him over was probably a good one.

    Good on you for thinking Vader was "renouncing the Empire" but I'll run with GL's explanation that he was saving his son.

    Maybe that's the logical conclusion, maybe it isn't. The point is I don't believe anyone was sitting there watching RotJ in 1983 & thinking about Anakin's child murdering past based on these assumptions of yours. Would you agree with that at least?? However when people think about Anakin as a character now having seen the PT this is very much an important part of his makeup & his history. This brings me back to my point that most audiences think Anakin committed worse crimes now that they've seen the PT, specifically in reference to his 2 counts of mass child killings. No one in 1983 associated Vader & child murder no matter what you say. Therefore this wasn't a factor if anyone stopped & considered whether it was right for his Force ghost to be standing there laughing with his ghost pals. Again, if the PT were made first & we got to this scene 6 movies later it would be an important factor people would consider if they watched the scene & thought about this issue.

    The average movie viewer doesn't sit around thinking about Alderaan & what % of blame Vader should have. However when they see Ep's 2 & 3 they come away knowing that Anakin killed those kids.

    You're basing your blame on Vader on the fact that he "was there". Is standing in the room enough to blame someone for blowing up a planet? As for holding down Leia, who cares? He only held her back when she lunged forward towards Tarkin. This is not relevant to the Death Star firing on Alderaan. It made no difference to this action so it should dismissed on the basis of relevance. You could bring him up on charges of manhandling a prisoner if you like. I'll say again, Vader was subordinate to Tarkin. He had no role as far as we know in the decision, no authority to override Tarkin's orders & played no part in the firing of the laser blast. He wasn't even part of the chain of orders to do so. He would've needed to stage a mutiny to remove Tarkin from command to prevent this action. My point is this is a highly debatable issue. There's a case for both sides of the argument. So is it as clear, & is his guilt in this matter as clear as him slaughtering a whole camp of people, or killing a bunch of frightened children?
    OF COURSE NOT.

    I strongly disagree. Pretending it's 1983 for a second & the PT doesn't exist: In the 3 movies, Vader was part of the government, an oppressive government but nevertheless one that was in place. That government was at war with a rebel force. Vader killed officers, & also rebels but Luke, Han etc killed plenty of stormtroopers & TIE fighter pilots too - that's what war is. He participated in the torture of Han, definitely not cool. For the most part though he hunted for Luke & fought against the rebels. Nothing that heinous. I already said he wasn't the one who thought of or gave the order to destroy Alderaan. So nothing like child slaughtering so far.

    Now to Ben's comment about him helping the Empire hunt down & destroy the Jedi in the past. In 1983 I take this with a grain of salt. For one thing, it's vague. Vader "helped the Empire"- well how did he help them? Physically helped the Empire track them? Provide them with info on the Jedi? In any case how do we know the circumstances? How many Jedi were there back then? How many did they hunt down? Did the Jedi rebel against the government/Empire too? Was it in wartime? If so see my comment RE Han etc killing Imperial troops. Luke killed hundreds of thousands of troops & staff when he destroyed the Death Star! How reliable is Ben anyway? He first said Vader murdered Luke's father. That turned out to be a lie. He goes on about "truths & points of view" !

    The point is this taken as a whole requires too many assumptions to say Vader's crimes in 1983 at the time of RotJ are anywhere near as bad or as clear as they are to us now. To respond to your comment: yes I think his actions in the PT in going on child killing sprees do move him to another plane in terms of evil deeds. I'm surprised you're arguing this point. Going on what we see in the OT vs what we see the PT he did far worse in the latter. The only way you could disagree is if you go into some complicated debate about Tarkin's orders or if you make a bunch of assumptions about one comment from Ben.
    In contrast there are no need for any assumptions with his actions in the PT.
  13. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    I don't really want to enter into this debate, but just wanted to point out we actually have seen a force choke on a Jedi - Dooku force chokes Obi-Wan when he lifts him up into the air. Obi clearly grabs his own neck signifying this.

    Edit - Although I will say that personally killing Jedi younglings, part of Anakin's surrogate family, is worse than standing by and letting Alderaan be destroyed, despite the loss in life being greater in ANH. But I feel it fits; he is cementing his loyalty to Palpatine after selling his soul, eliminating the threat of the Jedi indiscriminantly, and it has been established that for a darksider killing without mercy increases your power level, which makes sense toward the objective to save Padme. Maybe it seems dumb out of universe, but it clearly would increase his chances of learning the ability in the Star Wars world. And of course it is a very emotional moment that really makes Anakin's turn for me. Its so tragic to see him bring himself - quite intentionally jarringly - to that point.
    Last edited by HevyDevy, Dec 4, 2013
  14. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    ...

    Glad you're so amused.

    I would remind you, though, that the way Anakin does actually kill Palpatine is hardly more complicated. He picks him up and throws him down a hole. Is snapping a neck (or a similar move) really all that different? He had to carry him for quite a few seconds -- it wasn't an instantaneous death. So I'm not sure how my suggestions are all that more unsubstantiated.

    What do you think happened to them, then? Did the Jedi children disappear into thin air? Because if Luke is so "old" that Yoda brings it up as an issue with his training, then the Jedi must have begun their training substantially younger. And given that none of them are now alive, it doesn't take a genius to figure it out.

    And this is precisely why the PT is so important. Too many people want to see Vader as some cool "badass" rather than the evil, pathetic genocidal man that he was. It's not my problem if most people can't put the pieces together and realize the implications of what they are watching. It's why the PT is so important -- because it makes this explicit. If you don't like it, then that's your choice. But don't pretend like Vader was some noble enemy. ANH established, right from the get-go, that he participated in genocide.

    No. Your logic might hold if I were trying to incriminate a gunner or conscripted man. I'm not -- I'm targeting a man instrumental to the formation of the Empire. Who answers only the Emperor and (perhaps) Tarkin. Who is free to choke other high-ranking officers with impunity based on his own caprice. As for holding down Leia -- of course it matters! She's the reason they're targeting Alderaan in the first place, because it's her home planet. He's fully participating in her intimidation knowing what is on the line. You can't excuse Anakin on the "just following orders" BS because that is not an acceptable excuse. Especially for someone as high-ranking as he is, who would be equivalent to a member of the inner circle of the government. You are supposing that he would not be free to raise objections and yet, we see him choke another high-ranking individual with no consequences.

    Of course he bears culpability. You're acting as though he were a conscripted soldier who could easily be replaced. He isn't. No one on that ship was more powerful than he and the only one who might have higher rank is Tarkin. And even that in itself is debatable.


    Why are you making statements like this then?

    "Please don't use straw man tactics. It's a lazy & unfair way to debate. I never once said he's redeemable based on the OT. I said that the PT paints an even worse picture."

    The Empire bears many striking similarities to the Nazis --> they committed genocide against a minority religious group and murdered billions of their own civilians. And they too were "a government in place." That is not a defense against their crimes. Anakin actively and purposefully supported this regime -- not as a common soldier with no power, but as (at worst) the third most powerful person in the entire Empire. To say he did nothing "that heinous" in the OT is rather disgusting. It's not "that heinous" to support a government that murders billions of civilian children for no cause? To stand by and do nothing when you have power and influence?

    Vader helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi knights -- to the point where he was "all that's left of their religion." That's genocide. You can't color it by any other name -- it's a government sponsored eradication of a minority religious group. And given that, as I point out, Yoda said that Luke was too old to begin the training that means that Jedi children must have had to be killed. As a result of the Empire and Anakin's help.

    So, no, the PT does not move him to another plane of deeds. It just makes it explicit. If forces you to confront the reality of the situation -- that this is a man who participated in genocide, who bolstered and headed the military of a government that murdered billions of civilian children, that tortured its elected representatives, who killed his own men for no reason at all. There was nothing noble about the Anakin of the OT. He's a weak, pathetic, cowardly man who committed appalling crimes.

    The PT is especially important because it gives faces to a lot of these victims. One can't live under the delusion that Vader was some cool badass who only killed people in the line of duty. Because that was never the case. He only ever attacked those weaker than himself until his final action against Palpatine.
    Last edited by PiettsHat, Dec 4, 2013
  15. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    "He can't be for the acts he commits, but he is able to take the last ounce of good left in him to stop the horror. He sees the compassion his son has for him in spite of what he's done, how he broke his mother's heart, etc. and realizes that he cannot let his son die. He sees the light so to speak. I guess that by letting go, the good man that was Anakin Skywalker becomes one with the force."

    --George Lucas, The Making Of Revenge Of The Sith.

    "You learn that Darth Vader isn’t this monster. He’s a pathetic individual who made a pact with the Devil and lost. And he’s trapped. He’s a sad, pathetic character, not a big evil monster. I mean, he’s a monster in that he’s turned to the Dark Side and he’s serving a bad master and he’s into power and he’s lost a lot of his humanity. In that way, he’s a monster, but beneath that, as Luke says in Return of the Jedi, early on, “I know there’s still good in you, I can sense it.” Only through the love of his children and the compassion of his children, who believe in him, even though he’s a monster, does he redeem himself."

    --George Lucas, quoted in J. Windolf, “Star Wars: The Last Battle,” Vanity Fair, 2005


    "It really has to do with learning," Lucas says, "Children teach you compassion. They teach you to love unconditionally. Anakin can't be redeemed for all the pain and suffering he's caused. He doesn't right the wrongs, but he stops the horror. The end of the Saga is simply Anakin saying, I care about this person, regardless of what it means to me. I will throw away everything that I have, everything that I've grown to love- primarily the Emperor- and throw away my life, to save this person. And I'm doing it because he has faith in me; he loves me despite all the horrible things I've done. I broke his mother's heart, but he still cares about me, and I can't let that die. Anakin is very different in the end. The thing of it is: The prophecy was right. Anakin was the chosen one, and he does bring balance to the Force. He takes the one ounce of good still left in him and destroys the Emperor out of compassion for his son."

    --George Lucas, The Making Of Revenge Of The Sith; page 221

    As Lucas said, Anakin can never really be redeemed for all that evil acts that he committed. But he is redeemed in that Luke is able to bring the good out of him. Anakin changed himself back into the man that he was, which is what Luke has seen in him for years. It was an act born out of selflessness and compassion, because it meant sacrificing himself for his son. Luke had unconditional love for him despite all that he had done and with his last act, Anakin choose to put his son's welfare over his own. Something that he couldn't do with Padme.

    Anakin is smiling because he is proud of his son for believing in him and risking his own life for him like he did. He is proud because he has succeeded where he failed. Luke is now a Jedi Knight and the beginning of a new dynasty of Jedi. He is happy to see his children have been reunited and are happy together. He's even happy that Leia has a man in her life who is not like he was and would never hurt her in the way he hurt their mother. Obi-wan is smiling because he got his friend back and he wound up surprising him with his final act of contrition. Yoda and Obi-wan forgive Anakin for his actions because they do not bear any ill will towards him, which is why they taught him to retain his identity. Luke is happy that his father is at peace with himself and returned to the light. That he has made it and that is something by which Luke can be proud of.

    The fact is we didn't know what exactly happened until ROTS. That's why Lucas went down this route to show us how far he had fallen and why he would do what he did.

    "The thing with the kids is necessary to establish how far down the road he’d come (Anakin) to do something that, this brutal and barbaric and it had to be in there but I definitely didn’t want to show it. It was really in the editorial process that the idea of inter-cutting her (Padme) with him when he’s at his very worst with her worrying about him. That juxtaposition works quite well cause it reflects as much on the slaughter of the children as it does on her concerns about him even though she doesn’t know the children have been slaughtered. There is a strong emotional connection when those sequences are pushed up against each other."

    --George Lucas, ROTS DVD Commentary.


    It is only too late upon dying to mend your ways. But before then, one can do so. Even with an act so vile as killing children, you can repent and do what you can to redeem yourself.
    Last edited by darth-sinister, Dec 4, 2013
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  16. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Watch the Dooku/Anakin/Obi fight in ROTS. When Dooku picks him up with the Force, Obi-Wan's hand goes to his throat. Does that count?
    CT-867-5309 likes this.
  17. sluggo1313. Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2013
    star 4
    In the real world most people don't consider the solider who fires a missile or the commanding officer who orders the strike that kids non-combatiants evil, but someone who walks into a school or a movie theater is. Largely because of context and how involved that person is. Anakin walking into the Temple and personally killing people, including children, is different then not stopping Tarkin from blowing a planet from thousands of miles away, even though the result is similar.

    Lets take your hitler example and use someone who isn't easy to hate. Is every American Army, Navy and Air Force officer who gave his soliders orders which resulted in the death of a civilian in Iraq (and over 100,000 have been killed since 2003, give or take) evil? Are they no different then anyone else who kills an innocent person(s)?

    They didn't torture Leia, they said she was resistent to the mind probe, and it would take some time (indicating it would still happen) to get any information. And why not confirm the info, because they are evil.

    Of course using a weapon on people makes a difference. The Japanese didn't stop fighting in 1945 based on nuclear tests. You want to show every a weapon's power you use it on people. The other factor is showing the Empires willingness to use it. Sure they can blow up an uninhabited planet so what the weapon is capable of, but that doesn't show people they are WILLING to use it on an inhabited planet. THey blow up Alderaan..........that causes real fear.
  18. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    There is a big, BIG difference with the American soldiers that you are not point out though. Those men never knowingly and willingly target innocent civilians. Sometimes, yes, they die due to faulty information or as casualties of a strike against an enemy combatant, but they are never deliberately targeted by American soldiers. If that were the case, if an American officer knowingly launched a missile at a school of kids and killed them with the purposeful intention of murdering those children, I would consider him as bad as if he had walked in there and shot them with a machine gun.

    Civilian casualties are a horrific fact of war. But American soldiers, to the best of my knowledge, do not go out of their way to target innocents. If they did, the method of attack wouldn't matter to me -- knife, gun, missile, etc. They would all be equally guilty.

    And, yes, Leia was tortured. What, you think they were having a nice chat? Just the threat of Alderaan's destruction counts as psychological torture. And that's not even including ESB where we visually see both Han and Chewie in pain while Luke says that Leia is being hurt as well.

    And, yes, the nuclear bombs were used on Japan. BUT -- Japan was at war with the United States. The United States did not nuke Chicago because they suspected that the mayor of the city and many residents were communist sympathizers. Additionally, as bad as the nukes were, you can't forget that the US had been firebombing Japanese cities for quite a while -- and the devastation was equally as horrible (at least until the effects of radiation became known).

    That's where it is unconscionable to me. And that's where the Nazi comparisons fit -- the Empire turned its weapons against its own people, its own civilian populace.
    Last edited by PiettsHat, Dec 5, 2013
  19. sluggo1313. Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2013
    star 4

    No so easy to call them evil when you're not dealing with people who are hard to call evil is it? Given your black and white view of Anakins actions - he caused by action and/or inaction he caused death so whats the difference - why wouldn't an American solider who fires a missile that kills civillians, or the officer that ordered such a strike be as evil as someone who walks into a school or a mall or a theater and opens fire? In a black and white view, both caused the deaths of innocent people, and when you drop a bomb or fire a missile you KNOW there is a blast radius and is possible (maybe likely) that civillians will get caught in that. So whats the difference, why is Anakin so much more evil for not stopping someone from pushing the triggger?

    Lets look at the one time Americans did demonstrate the power of their newest weapon (kinda like the Empire did), you think they cared about civillain lives when they dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? And isn't the Empire at war with the Rebellion? Isn't the first line in the opening crawl "It is a time of civil war"? Leia says her father wants Obi-wans help in his "Struggle against the Empire", isn't he their enemy? Don't they have his daughter and KNOW she is part of the other side of the war that is being fought? Whats the difference?

    The ONLY instrument we see a needle, and its later called a mind probe. And, as you pointed out, there are no marks or indication that she was tortured (hell, her make-up isn't even smudged). The indication isn't that she is tortured but injected with something to break down her ability to lie and hide things and then questioned. The contrast to Leia's condition in ANH after a session with the mind-probe and Han after actual Torture just backs up that version of things.

    So if a big part the evil comes in for you with the Empire turning on its own people (though we are told they are at war and the leaders of Alderaan are on the other side, so not really their own people), what about the "Greatest Generation" in the US and Canada? President FDR order 110,000 American citizens removed from their homes, their property taken and sold off, they were put into "internment" camps, forced to live in tar-paper buildings with no plumping or cooking facilities. Many of hte families and people were moved to much colder areas of the country and didn't ahve proper clothing. They had barbed wire fences and armed guards who did shoot people who tried to leave. Both countries stopped short of killing people, but had the war gone on longer......who knows. All those American and Canadian soldiers and officers and politicans.....evil? Is a soldier who killed someone trying to leave one of the camps just as evil someone who takes a gun into a school? And not only by your own moral scale, but are they seen as evil by the population in general?
    Last edited by sluggo1313., Dec 5, 2013
  20. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Do you not see a difference? When an American soldier launches a missile, he or she expressly targeting a military combatant and, although civilian casualties may occur, everything possible is done to minimize these. Because American soldiers are not gods and cannot control every variable. Moreover, their ability to question orders is far more limited. It's not the fact that both cause the death of innocent people -- it's that they're specifically targeting civilians.

    And that's what Alderaan was all about. Leia says that Alderaan is peaceful and has no weapons. Tarkin tells her that if she would prefer a military target (i.e., not a civilian planet) then she should reveal the Rebel location. The Empire, in this instance, purposefully targeted a planet of their own civilians for no tactical advantage whatsoever.

    In essence, you're equating an American soldier who launches a missile at the headquarters of a terrorist organization and accidentally kills civilians to George Bush and Dick Cheney (or Obama and Biden) deciding that they should nuke Los Angeles because they suspect that there might be terrorist sympathizers in that city.

    Seriously, do you not understand how these actions are not in the slightest morally equivalent.

    Except…and this is a pretty big point…Alderaan is still a member of the Empire. If you hadn't noticed, Leia is a member of the Imperial Senate. Alderaan hasn't seceded from the Empire and attempted to form its own government. The Rebellion might be getting backing from individuals across a variety of planets, but Alderaan was not formally at war with the Empire given that it was still part of it. Its citizens were Imperial civilians. Leia may be a member of the Rebellion, but destroying a planet based on the political allegiance of one person is overkill, I hope you would agree.

    Also, as Leia points out, Alderaan is peaceful and has no weapons. Hiroshima and Nagasaki had military presence. During WWII, the "2nd General Army and Chugoku Regional Army were headquartered in Hiroshima, and the Army Marine Headquarters was located at Ujina port. The city also had large depots of military supplies, and was a key center for shipping. While Nagasaki's dockyards were of prime importance to the Japanese military.

    You do realize that not all torture leaves marks, right. Have you heard of water-boarding? Have you heard of sleep-deprivation? Have you heard of fake executions? All of these are considered torture. And torture can be psychological as well. Seriously, are you trying to say that the Empire didn't torture Leia? Because threatening to destroy a planet is psychological torture.

    Are you seriously saying that "internment camps" weren't evil? It's among the most shameful points in American history. I am not here to defend all the actions of the American government. The people who did it weren't evil. But the actions themselves were undoubtably evil. In this case, it can't even be justified in the slightest. With the bombings of Japan, you can at least make an argument that we were at war with Japan, they attacked first, and the targets had military value. The internment of Japanese civilians had no defense.

    FDR committed evil actions. Why do you think the US government paid the survivors of those camp as a form of compensation? Because they recognized that it was WRONG.

    What exactly are you trying to say here?

    In answer to your question -- I wouldn't say those American soldiers officer and politicians were evil, but the action itself undoubtably was. But you have to look at things in proportion. The internment camps in the US did not kill anyone -- if the US had gathered its Japanese citizens on an island and killed them, then yes I would consider both the government and its actions evil. But paranoia leading to very poor decisions --> no, it was a evil and wrong and a mistake and the US government acknowledged it as such (for once).
    Last edited by PiettsHat, Dec 5, 2013
  21. sluggo1313. Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2013
    star 4
    You're assuming they all care and all make efforts to avoid and min. civillian casualities. As I said, harder to boil down to black and white when talking about people you want to believe are good guys.

    Are they? Their leader is pretty much in open rebellion and trying to recruit the onyl Jedi he knows to fight against the Empire. Leia is a Senator member who stole Death Star plans is try to get them into the hands of the Empires enemies. And please come join us in the real world - a few people (the leaders) are the ones who get larger groups of people into wars. There was a CIVIL WAR going on and Alderaan's leader was a key figure in the other side. That pretty much puts Alderaan on the other side.

    I'm pretty sure water boarding would mess up Leia's make up and hair. Sorry, there is ZERO evidence that the Empire did anything other then inject Leia with something to get her to tell the truth.

    No, this started by you saying there was no difference between Anakin actively killing people and watching as Tarkin kills people by blowing up a planet. I'm bring up real life examples to demonstrate that such a black and white view is wrong and there are differences and degrees to which people can be blamed for things that happen. No one would call the soldiers who put the Japanese people into those camps, who guarded the amps, who shot people who tried to escape evil because of their circumstance. Vader not stopping Tarkin from destroying a base of Rebellion in the Civil War they are fighting is not as evil an act as personally killing children.
  22. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    I'm not going to defend the actions of every single American soldier because they are all individuals. Suffice it to say, every soldier I have known has said that it is the policy in the Armed Forces to try to minimize civilian casualties. And they cared about those people as well. None of the people I talked to were proud of the killing they had done -- they saw it as a necessary evil.

    That doesn't mean that every American soldier is good, though. One of the people I talked to related to me a story of a soldier who, yes, did enjoy attacking civilians. You will get no protest from me in stating that is evil. This man also enjoyed torturing animals and had a history of taking house pets and purposefully running them over with his lawnmower so he clearly had some issues.

    If the mayor of New York City is a sympathizer with a terrorist cause, does that mean we should nuke the city? Of course not. Even if most of the city government is. Fact of the matter is, until Alderaan formally secedes, its citizens are Imperials.

    When the Civil War broke out in the United States and the South seceded, conventions were held to formally break away from the Union. Certainly, Southern States did not maintain members of the Senate. They formed their own government.

    You don't think Leia could have fixed her hair? And you're forgetting psychological torture. It's just as bad as physical torture, I hate to break it to you. I can't believe you're even contesting this. We see Anakin torture Han in ESB for goodness' sake. You think that after the Death Star plans disappeared, they're not going to torture Leia?

    You're a fine one to talk in telling me to "join us in the real world."

    You miss the point.

    I'm saying, the method of killing doesn't matter. If Anakin had had the kids herded in a gas chamber and the watched as a clone trooper turned it on, would you think he's "less evil"? Fact of the matter is that I do think that doing nothing to stop the destruction of a planet of billions of your own civilians when you are the third most powerful person in the military (and helping to intimidate a woman that is crucial to that plan) is worse than what Anakin does in the Jedi Temple.

    Why? Because while Anakin may not personally have killed the people on that planet, the scale of the destruction is such that it tips the horror towards Alderaan. If I were Anakin and I could go back in time to change one action, the action I would change would not be to let the children in the Jedi Temple live. Instead, I would choose to intervene in Alderaan's destruction. Not because killing the children isn't a horrific monstrous crime, but because the loss of life on Alderaan was so great and it would cost me very little to intervene.

    In either case, there's no assurance that Anakin would be able to save either group (Palpatine might just have the clone troopers kill Anakin along with the children and Anakin may find that he can't save Alderaan), but the number of lives saved is greatly in Alderaan's favor.
    VanishingReality likes this.
  23. sluggo1313. Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2013
    star 4
    A city and a soverine planet are two different things. Countries on the other hand (which are much similar to planets) do get attacked and devestated because of the actions of their leaders. And we don't know if the citizens are Imperial citizens or not, there might be no such thing as Imperial citizens. The USA is part of the UN, but Americans aren't UN citizens.

    So you think Leia is in a cell (with no mirror that we see) is going to be tortured and then fix her and make-up to look good for Tarkin? I realize you filled in the blanks between scenes with Leia being tortured, but we aren't shown that and there is no evidence that she is. All we are shown is a droid with a needle.

    Sure the method of the killing doesn't matter. But you're also saying an evil act is an evil act. And watching someone do something that is (at least arguably) militaryly justified is different then personally killing children because of what they MIGHT do in 20 years.

    You're also assuming Vader could stop Tarkin.
  24. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Much less that Vader disagreed with Tarkin about blowing up Alderaan.
  25. Firmus Jagdon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2013
    star 1
    First off, Anakin became trapped as his alter ego Vader...he allowed Palpatine to purge all humanity from his soul. Vader was in the Awe of Palpy, did his bidding no matter what it is, how awful it was... or else- he knew Palaptine could kill him with a flick of his Force Lightning.
    He was in constant pain from his injuries, filled with hatred, his powers severly capped off because of his injuries and his dong and balls were burnt off... not a happy camper....
    If child molestors and the likes of Charles Manson can be forgiven for real world attrocities, than Vader can for fake world deeds.It's not like he got off scott free after said redemption- he paid for it with his life.
    Last edited by Firmus Jagdon, Dec 9, 2013
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