Saga Ghosting & Life After Death (Spoilers for CW: The Lost Missions, nonspoiler? speculation on the ST)

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    When the Original Trilogy was all fans had to go on, there was a widespread interpretation that all Jedi simply disappeared into the Force upon death.

    In A New Hope, Ben Kenobi says to Darth Vader that if Vader kills him, Kenobi "shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." Vader seems to react with surprise or puzzlement when Kenobi leaves only his robes behind. But then, Vader's training was incomplete, and anyway Kenobi seemed to just be using a linguistic flourish in describing the incomprehensible power of the Force (of which he would become a part). Vader could have also been checking to make sure Ben - a very powerful Jedi - wasn't tricking him. Later in the film, Ben speaks, but does not appear, to Luke.

    In Empire, Kenobi's ghost makes a visual appearance, as well as an aural one. And in Jedi, Yoda fades into the Force as well. We don't see Anakin disappear, but he was sort of a special case. He was also wearing armor which concealed most of his body. And anyway, we don't necessarily see the exact moment of his death (how does the Force determine exactly when to 'take' the person - the exact moment?). At the end of the film, we see three Jedi ghosts: Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin.

    The EU of the intertrilogy era also operated on this model, where the ghosting was something that simply happened to Jedi (and probably most light siders, I think), while dark siders (including the Sith) could only continue after death in very limited form (usually by being tied to/imbued within locations or talismans). Also, sometimes the energy of a dark sider exploded out of their bodies upon death; the blast that accompanied the Emperor's impact at the bottom of the shaft in the Death Star II was presumed to be a kind of death throe. There were Jedi like Qu Rahn and Nejaa Halcyon, who could appear in ghostly form, and Sith like Exar Kun, who (if I recall) quested after immortality but could never achieve it like the Jedi could, while holding on to the dark side. The Sith wanted eternal life in their physical forms, while Jedi accepted that there came a time when they had to move onto a different plane of existence, only visiting the physical one occasionally.

    Then came The Phantom Menace, where a Jedi dies but does not disappear, and a Sith also dies and there's no blast of energy. There were lots of discussions and fan hypotheses at the time about why this was the case. Perhaps Ben and Yoda were mentally prepared to die; they knew what was happening. Perhaps Qui-Gon would still appear as a ghost, but the disappearing trick relied on that preparation, or something.

    But the subsequent prequel films made it clear that Lucas meant for the disappearing trick and the ability to manifest as a ghost to be specific skills, ones that the Jedi as a whole did not possess. The Old Republic Jedi were supposed to be galactic policemen with monkish trappings, but apparently they did not have quite the depth of wisdom about the Force that Ben and Yoda demonstrated in the OT.

    In Attack of the Clones, Qui-Gon's voice speaks to Yoda, and in Revenge of the Sith, Yoda mentions that Qui-Gon will teach Yoda and Ben both how to retain their identities after death. And though it was never filmed, the script of ROTS called for Qui-Gon to have a conversation with Yoda in which he said that he learned the secret of life after death from a Shaman of the Whills - calling back to some of the earliest lore (or at least an early name) Lucas developed.

    Interestingly, even before the prequels came out, there was mention of this ghosting-as-something-different-than-the-usual: In The Annotated Screenplays (page 269) there is a quote from Lucas about how Ben learned to retain his identity after death between Episodes III and IV, was taught by Yoda, and that this aspect will never be explained because of its placement in the timeline. Lucas does say that this is something Ben learned 'as a Jedi,' but despite that, it does seem that this might indeed relate to how the Jedi as a whole don't have this knowledge in the prequels.

    Though Lucas said in 1997 that it would never be explained, the Mortis trilogy and the Yoda-centric episodes that close out the Clone Wars television series Lucas has actually shown a bit of how he envisions the secrets of retaining the identity after death. (It appears to have to do with knowledge and wisdom the Jedi should really already know, but maybe we'll get to that later.) In the Mortis arc, in the space or dream-time that was Mortis itself, Qui-Gon could manifest as a ghost, not just as a voice. In the Yoda arc, Yoda travels to a planet that is strong in the Force and encounters 'Force priestesses' who are some form of apparitions from 'between realms.' (Are these the Whills?) Apparently he also finds a Sith spirit (voiced by Mark Hamill) on the planet Korriban (called Moraband in the episode); I haven't seen that episode so I'm not sure how the spectral nature of this Darth works with the notion that the power of life after death is something dealing with compassion and oneness with the Force.

    I'm wondering if we can find resonances with older sources (notes and scripts for previous films) that would help fill in the concepts Lucas is dealing with here. Maybe we can figure out how this concept of ghosting, having power from beyond the physical realm, etc, came about and developed. What are the points Lucas is making by having the Jedi lack this knowledge, and by having it be a specific skill rather than 'just something that happens? What is different between the selflessness Anakin mentions to Palpatine in defending the Jedi, and the specific version that apparently needs to be felt to achieve ghosting (doing things for others vs. anattā?)? As SW developed, was ghosting always supposed to be something the Old Republic Jedi as a whole were ignorant of, or was that an aspect that Lucas added with the prequels? Also, given Lucas's seeming increased focus on these aspects of SW metaphysics (was he going to delve even more into it with Clone Wars, before it was cancelled?), perhaps we can come up with some good guesses as to how these themes and might play into the upcoming Sequel Trilogy.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Mar 9, 2014
  2. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Supplemental Information

    A New Hope

    Lucas was interested in the notion of a 'blind men and the elephant' approach to religion and spirituality even before he was working on Star Wars. There's a scene cut from THX 1138 that mentions a similar concept, even using the word 'force.' The earliest written narrative Star Wars material is a story snippet called the Journal of the Whills. The 'Whills' seem to represent the idea that there is some group or entity or something, observing how the wills of the people in the universe collectively shape events.

    In the rough and first drafts of Star Wars, there is mention of a Force of Others, which doesn't seem to really be explained. But in the subsequent drafts, it becomes evident that this is becoming the Force as we know it. The second draft, which opens with a prophetic quote from a fictionalized 'The Journal of the Whills' about the Son of the Suns, has Luke (the Obi-Wan in this draft) tell the story of how a man, Skywalker, had discovered an energy field that played a part in the fates of all beings. This Force of Others had two sides, the Ashla (good side) and Bogan (evil side). Skywalker had twelve children, and when he passed his knowledge on to them, they became the first Jedi Bendu. They served the Force, passing their knowledge from generation to generation. For millennia, the Jedi Bendu brought peace and justice to the galaxy, but after an episode of political upheaval, they were mostly destroyed by a group led by a fallen Jedi Bendu student. The former Padawan-Jedi, Darklighter, had taught use of the Bogan Force to some 'Sith pirates.' They then came into the service of the Emperor as bodyguards. Each death of a Jedi weakens the Ashla Force and strengthens the Bogan.

    It's interesting to note that some concepts here - like the prophecy and the notion that the actions of living beings can change the 'balance of power' of this Force of Others - are ideas that are not mentioned in the Original Trilogy but would be brought back, or perhaps simply brought to the fore, in the Prequel Trilogy. I can't tell if they were always there or if Lucas really discarded some of them and then brought them back. There's a quote from Rolling Stone in 1977, where Lucas says that, as compared to the finished film, the earlier drafts had a much stronger focus on the Force. I think this might relate to him paring down the heavier, more specific elements of the Force and its metaphysics, leaving it much more vague and open. He also mentioned a subtilization to Alan Dean Foster in 1975. This general sensibility, I think, ended up making the originals feel like their stakes were balanced more towards the political and personal than the metaphysical and cosmic, as compared to the prequels (or the earliest drafts).

    Anyway, the reason I describe the Force's development here is because having a religious element at all would seem to lead into 'afterlife'-friendly territory; the concept of life after death is often present alongside the concepts of supernatural forces at work in the world, probably just due to common human interests and concerns. But the story and notes don't seem to have dealt with death and the Force at first. The aspect of Ben being killed and disappearing into the Force didn't even exist until after the movie had begun shooting. The character didn't have anything to do after the Death Star escape, and Lucas also felt there was no climax at that point in the movie even though he thought there should be one. In introducing the disappearing trick and the ability to speak from beyond the grave, Lucas could illustrate how death and the Force worked in this universe... but I can't find any quotes or anything specifying anything more than that.

    Splinter of the Mind's Eye

    In a battle between Luke and Darth Vader in this designed-as-a-possible-low-budget-film sequel novel to the first film, Luke appears to be possessed by the spirit of Obi-Wan. Lucas definitely had input over what was in this novel, but as Alan Dean Foster actually wrote it, it's not clear where/who that idea came from or if it meant much to the ongoing development of Force ghosts that it was included.

    The Empire Strikes Back

    Ben's status appears to have been in flux as Empire was developed. There's a note of Lucas's that reads "Ben is not 'dead,'" as well as another describing Ben as "somewhere." Death is described simply as one person's energy rejoining the energy permeating the universe, the Force. In the story conference, Lucas started to think about bringing back a visual ghost of Ben, as well as his voice. Luke can start to see Ben in this "other dimension" because Luke is becoming stronger with the Force. He can also begin to see his own ancestors. Lucas also mentioned the Emperor as being able to "transform himself" like Ben did (exactly what this means is unclear).

    In the Brackett draft, other people cannot hear Ben's ghost speaking to Luke. He appears to be hallucinating. People in the physical world can summon ghosts; Yoda summons Ben in this way, then has a lightsaber duel with Ben, even though Ben is in spectral form. Later, Ben says that there are no such thing as ghosts, and that that's just a name that's applied to something that's not understood. He describes himself as in another part of the universe, which someday Luke will be able to reach and understand too. Ben brings with him the ghost of Annikin Skywalker.

    In the second draft, Ben speaks to Luke during the duel with Vader. When Luke falls to the underside of the city, he asks Ben to help him, and it is Ben who contacts Leia, speaking to her. I think the phrase 'Luminous beings are we' also comes originally from this draft.

    In the third draft, Yoda is impressed by how Luke calls to Ben through the Force. As the film was being shot, Alec Guinness was ill; if he had not been able to appear and they had simply used his voice, or had someone else fill the role, I'm sure this would have affected the retroactive 'rules' of Force ghosts. Of course, Guinness did appear as Kenobi in the finished film. When Luke leaves Dagobah, Ben tells him that if Luke leaves, he won't be able to help him. And when Luke is trapped at the bottom of Cloud City, Ben indeed does not help him. It's unclear if this is an actual limitation, or if it's simply that Ben didn't want to help Luke or felt he shouldn't.

    Thoughts

    I'll get to Return of the Jedi and other sources later, but I have noticed something while going back through the Making Of books and other sources: it feels like the Jedi of the original films were supposed to truly have the knowledge of the Force, how to live with it, etc. Meaning, by ESB Ben was a flawed character, but the Jedi as a whole, as a concept, in pretty much every mention from anyone working on the project, are held up as a kind of ideal. Now, in Annotated Screenplays, Lucas describes how the Jedi will be shown in the prequels (that he was then writing) as galactic policemen who follow the orders of the Republic, who are not independent but serve pretty much a parallel role to the Sith agents of the Empire. This feels to me like a change, and it could easily relate to the Jedi not having the knowledge of life after death, among their other flaws in the prequels (stodgy, arrogant, etc.). The Jedi of the prequels have a lot to learn about the Force, while the Jedi of the original films and the original film backstory (i.e., the stuff that formed the basis for the prequel story in the 80s but is not what was actually filmed) seem to be paragons.
  3. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Return of the Jedi

    In the earliest outline for Jedi with an ending (two previous(?)/related ones trail off before concluding), Ben and Yoda would return for the celebration at the end, but they would be back in human, corporeal form. In the rough draft, Ben's face when he appears is at one point shown superimposed over Yoda's. In the conversation on Dagobah, Ben says that he can only remain in the 'netherworld' for a limited period of time before having to either return to bodily form or 'become one with the Force.' But while he's in the netherworld, he can affect the way Vader is able to use the Force. At one point, Ben appears to Vader and announces his intention to try to help Luke bring him back from the dark side, saying that if Vader is destroyed and becomes one with the dark side of the Force, he will lose his identity. Vader says that the Emperor will block Ben's attempts to return to the world of the living, leaving him only the option of becoming one with the Force himself. Later, when Luke has been brought before the Emperor, Ben appears and tells the Emperor that Luke has many allies in the netherworld of the Force. The Emperor insists that the netherworld has no control over him. Ben says that there is no passage to the netherworld through the dark side, and that the Emperor actually knows very little about its workings. Yoda also appears, and tells the Emperor that not only did he and Ben survive, but there are many others as well (presumably other Jedi who disappeared into the netherworld when they were attacked by the Empire and Darth Vader). When the Emperor shoots lightning at Luke, images of Ben and Yoda appear at the points of impact, protecting Luke. At the celebration, Ben appears in the flesh out of the forest, saying that he no longer needs to stay in the netherworld, and that he has interrupted Luke's father's journey after death, bringing him back to physical life as well. Finally, Yoda shows up as well.

    In the revised rough draft, a vision of Yoda tells Luke about how Ben will soon be one with the Force, 'his identity lost forever,' but that Luke can draw him back to the physical world. When Luke is about to go to Vader and the Emperor, Ben returns in the flesh, and Yoda appears as a ghost. Together, they will help Luke. Later, Yoda says he can cloud the minds of the Emperor and Vader, and the Emperor apparently has the ability to sense presences (like Ben's) in the netherworld. Ben and the Emperor watch Luke and Vader duel. The Emperor says that he has not foreseen his own death, so it must not be an actual future. But Ben suggests that actually, his foresight may not be clear (probably due to Yoda's, and the rest of the allies', interference).

    In the story conferences, Lucas suggested having Yoda die, possibly offscreen but while Luke was still on Dagobah, and then return in shimmering form. He thought this would be a good illustration of how death is something to deal with and accept, not something to be paralyzed by. They were also trying to figure out what to do with Ben; he might have a goodbye scene with Luke, saying that he can never return. Also mentioned is the idea of having the ghosts as 'guardian angels' that Luke has the power to see at the celebration.

    In the second draft - written by Lawrence Kasdan - Luke leaves Yoda to sleep while he talks with Ben outside. Midway through their conversation, Ben reveals that Yoda has died as they've been talking, to which Luke is saddened. But Ben says that all of Yoda's former students will be waiting for him (in the netherworld). Soon after, Luke asks if Ben can help when he does before the Emperor and Vader; Ben says that he can't. And indeed, neither Ben nor Yoda appear to help Luke against the Emperor in this draft, though their ghosts - but not Anakin's - appear at the celebration at the end. In Lucas's revsions to the second draft, Yoda dies onscreen the way he does in the finished film, and so Ben's line about the former students seems to be gone.

    In the shooting script, there is still no Anakin ghost at the end; this was something that came up onset and that Lucas agreed to put (back?) in. The funeral pyre scene was also a late addition, meant to clarify that Vader was in fact dead. There's a relatively recent (though still chronologically vague) quote in Making of ROTJ from Lucas, mentioning that Vader can maintain his identity after death because Ben and the Jedi Order learned the ability.

    Heir to the Empire

    The first novel released after the original trilogy (in 1991, by Timothy Zahn), this one has a scene near the beginning where Ben, in ghostly form, tells Luke that he has to move on and won't be able to communicate with Luke anymore. This is similar to some ideas that came up during the process of making ROTJ, but someone with the annotated twentieth anniversary edition of HTTE might be able to check if there is any mention of whether this is coincidental or if it's something Zahn was directed to include by Lucas.

    Thoughts

    It still seems to me like the Jedi as a whole might have been intended to be able to become ghosts, though some of the stuff in various versions of ROTJ seem like they might relate to Lucas thinking about the ability as a skill. In some versions (and maybe in the final film?) Vader's transition is guided/aided by Ben and/or Yoda. This might be because he doesn't know the skill, or it might simply be because he was a dark-sider for a long time, and the Force may require some cajoling in order to accept him.

    It seems like 'becoming one with the Force' and becoming a ghost are actually different things. Becoming one with the Force involves the loss of all the things that make a self, a person, a distinct entity. But there is some 'netherworld' (an in-between place/dimension/plane of existence, a purgatory or bardo perhaps) where light-siders, or maybe just those with the proper skills, can retain their identity and have effects on the material world, even perhaps returning to it, or going the other way, melting into the larger Force. The recent Yoda Clone Wars episodes mention this with the Force priestesses living 'between the realms.'

    I think that's enough to start an actual discussion, right? I can add more based on the prequels and the CW stuff, but that's mostly been covered. Anyone have more thoughts, speculations?
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Mar 10, 2014
  4. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Really? No one wants to discuss this? I'm surprised...
  5. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    I'm not sure most people know enough about the subject to add anything.
  6. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    That's fair enough. But doesn't the way Lucas has focused more and more on this aspect, dropping mentions and hints in the CW series for example, just make people wonder what this might all mean? Where it might be going, like in the Sequel Trilogy? What it might say about how Lucas pictures the cosmology and metaphysics behind the movies that already exist? I'm interested in speculation, which we can compare to how Lucas seems to be thinking of things. And/or memories of how things 'used to be,' before the prequels depicted this ghosting mechanism as a skill that isn't even something all Jedi can do. I dunno. Maybe I'm just more into this than others.

    EDIT. "Most people don't know enough about the subject" to talk about it. Well, that's never stopped anyone on the internet before.... ;) :p
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Mar 11, 2014
  7. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Unfortunately I'm so far behind with TCW, I'm nervous about spoilers for this whole 'Yoda arc' everyone's going on about...

    A while back I did speculate that the Sequel Trilogy might take the whole ghosting issue a bit further, and that one reason the Qui-Gon scenes in ROTS in which the Whills are mentioned were cut out was because GL had decided there wasn't going to be another trilogy. If they'd been there, it could have been a hook into Episode VII (going by release order). That's purely my speculation, though.

    However, there does seem to be an underlying interest, at least with the TCW writers, about these Force-using beings that are beyond the Jedi and the Sith, and the concept of the Whills described in ROTS was GL's creation, however vague.
    I'd like to see it addressed in the ST - the fallibility of the Jedi Order, as shown in the PT (the story of which I like to think Luke discovered in full between Eps VI & VII) suggests that there is far more about the Force for someone like Luke to discover, and that may be part of his story. Hell, if it is, they might record Liam Neeson's lines for a SE of ROTS after all.

    From a 1999 interview in Empire magazine:

    This wasn't really 'cleared up' in either Episodes II or III, and the deleted scenes from ROTS were too brief and vague to account for what GL seems to be planning here. It may have been a plot point that was whittled away.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Mar 11, 2014
  8. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    I'm not sure I'd read too much into the fallibility of the Old Jedi Order aspect of this.
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  9. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Regarding the oddity in continuity and canon that is the notorious Splinter of the Mind's Eye - the passage relating to this discussion isn't necessarily an example of Force Ghosting, there's just a strange, clumsy line from Luke which seems to resonate with his experience in the DS battle:

    Everything else comes across as Luke simply remembering Ben's teachings, and connecting with the Force as a result. His next line - "Ben Kenobi is with me, Vader," Luke snarled, gaining confidence every second, "and the Force is with me, too." - even seems to suggest that he may have been speaking figuratively to begin with.

    Exactly how much input GL had into SOTME isn't clear, nor just how much was written before the film of Star Wars was actually finished - so it's not known whether or not Alan Dean Foster was influenced by the voice of Obi-Wan speaking to Luke in the DS battle, which was a very last-minute addition to the film.
    Then again, Luke being 'possessed' by the spirit of Obi-Wan may well have been an earlier idea that GL was aware of, or even came up with himself before the making of SW/ANH, and mentioned to Foster (and even inspired the addition to the film).
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  10. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Star Wars Insider (145 and 146, just a few months ago) has a transcript of a conference over Splinter of the Mind's Eye - in 1976 before Star Wars was finished - with Lucas, Foster, and Lippincott:

    It seemed to me that a lot of the plot for that book was laid down by Lucas- to the point that it's almost like a movie novelization in how closely the book hews to the Lucas-defined plot.

    Biggest changes in the novel - Vader doesn't die at the end, and Wookiees are replaced by Yuzzem.
  11. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    How come?

    You know (slight diversion here), it seems to me that the 'flawed Jedi' concept that appears to be at work in the prequels might be not just a deliberate subversion on Lucas's part, but it might be trying to make a really good point: that dogma and institutions, even the nominally 'good guys,' can be extremely flawed and should always be questioned. But there's kind of a problem, which is that there is also some part of the mind which wants to believe that somewhere, there are people who really 'get it,' who really can serve as some kinds of paragons. Not necessarily perfect people, moral paragons, etc, but as examples of how a person can really just fully live their life, understand their place in the universe, etc. There are plenty of examples of this in real life (subcultures and individuals that work with this concept), as well as in fiction. And in the OT, the Jedi (or at least some of them) seemed to be representatives of that kind of concept: Yoda lives on a planet filled with life and nature and not much else. It's all he needs; it's symbolic of who and what he is (a guru living at the top of the mountain, showing what's really necessary in life). If I recall, in one of the early drafts of ESB it's either implied or just stated that Yoda trained Ben and Anakin on Dagobah, too (his home, this is - more than just an exile, perhaps).

    Then in the prequels, all the Jedi are headquartered on Coruscant, the diametric opposite of Dagobah's swamps. And they are an organ of the Republic. There is still a 'paragon'-type character, who can follow the 'will of the Force,' but it's Qui-Gon as opposed to anyone else. The Jedi are much more of a hierarchical organization than a community of Force-mystics. A conflict between these two models might have always been there: Buddha or Castaneda's Don Juan vs. the Lensmen. It's hard to tell exactly how flawed the Jedi are supposed to be, too. Maybe they aren't actually supposed to be flawed as an organization, just as individuals (to Lucas's mind, I mean)?

    Though, we now know that at the time of ROTJ story planning, Yoda was also supposed to be different from the Knights; more wizened, perhaps. What if Lucas had a 'flawed Jedi Knights' model way back when, but Yoda was supposed to be a maverick, in the Qui-Gon role? (Though I figured that Qui-Gon's maverickishnessosity was simply the vestige of the time when pretty much everything he does in TPM was supposed to be Ben Kenobi's job. "You are reckless." "So was I, if you remember.")

    Wait, Vader was supposed to die in SotME at some point?

    And thanks for the clarification on the Ben stuff in that book, @Darth_Nub .
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Mar 13, 2014
  12. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    As you describe above, there's a lot of ambiguity around Lucas's thoughts behind the development of the "flawed" nature of the PT Jedi. However, I don't get the impression that the question of knowledge of Force Ghosting was a major factor in that development, so I don't know how much I'd analyze that angle of this question.

    Yeah, that was a "wait what?" moment for me as well. Do tell.
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  13. DBZGTKOSDH Jedi Master

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    (I'm only familiar with the movies & some games, so I won't take into account the EU for the most part)

    I guess the reason that Qui-Gon's & Anakin's bodies didn't disappear is because they hadn't perfected the technique yet. Qui-Gon is the first known Jedi that learned about it, so I guess he failed to do it properly when he died (unlike Obi-Wan & Yoda, who were ready to die & were taught by Qui-Gon who was successful in doing it), but after some time later, his body disappeared (or what remained from it), and he took the ghost form. Anakin was taught how to do it after he died (like Qui-Gon perfected it after he died), so his body (or what remained from it, again :p) disappeared later.

    But can they fight? Well, we've seen Obi-Wan walking and sitting, and he even touches some branches as he walks instead of passing through them. For what is worth, in the non-canon The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition, we see Obi-Wan as a Force Ghost fighting with Starkiller, and after he is defeated, he dies permanently. Of course, this story is non-canon because it's an alternative reality, but this doesn't mean that this couldn't happen at all (George Lucas was involved in the game and was telling them "you can do this, but you can't do that", but do we know if he was involved in the TFU: Ultimate Sith Edition stories?). But then again, The Force Unleashed in general is non-canon now. Obi-Wan says to Luke that he can't interfere in his fight with Vader, but this could be for moral reasons, like, the dead shouldn't be involved in the living world's issues.

    With the Sequel Trilogy on the way, we may see Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda, and/or Qui-Gon (maybe even Mace?) as Force Ghosts, so perhaps we will learn more about this subject.

    I'm not very familiar with the EU, so how do Force Ghosts interact with the physical world (even in non-canon stories)?
    Last edited by DBZGTKOSDH, Mar 13, 2014
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  14. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    At that point, it was the planned sequel to Star Wars. In the Insider 146 bit - the plot ends with Luke standing over Vader's dead body.

    After Star Wars's smash success, I'm guessing that Alan Dean Foster was asked to change it - so we have Vader falling into a pit, and Luke sensing he is still alive.
  15. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Qui-Gon's body did not disappear. The example of Qui-Gon shows that it is not necessary to disappear to become a Force ghost. According to Lucas on the ROTJ commentary, Anakin did not disappear either.
  16. DBZGTKOSDH Jedi Master

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    I mean that Qui-Gon's body disappeared off-screen, after they burned his body. Same for Anakin.

    How old is that commentary, and what exactly did Lucas say?
  17. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    I'm told it was the 2004 RoTJ DVD commentary:

    "This little scene where he burns his father's body, it wasn't originally in the script. But I decided it gave more closure in terms of Luke's relationship to his father, letting go of his father. Even though later on, as we get to the end of the movie, as he joins the Force, he was able to retain his original identity, it's because of Obi-Wan and Yoda, who learnt how to do that: how to join the Force at will and then retain your identity. But it was his 'identity as he was when he died as Anakin Skywalker.'"

    --George Lucas, ROTJ DVD Commentary.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Mar 13, 2014
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  18. DBZGTKOSDH Jedi Master

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    That doesn't mean that his body couldn't have disappeared after Luke burned his body, right?
  19. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    There's a quote from Lucas, I think, about how Qui-Gon didn't know the whole technique or wasn't strong enough in it, which is why his body didn't disappear and why we only ever hear his voice, not see his ghost. (Can't remember where that's from, at the moment.)

    Also, after a body is burned, what would disappear? Force ghost ashes?
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Mar 13, 2014
  20. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    "Anyway, I was rewriting, I was struggling with that plot problem when my wife suggested that I kill off Ben, which she thought was a pretty outrageous idea, and I said, 'Well, that is an interesting idea, and I had been thinking about it.' Her first idea was to have Threepio get shot, and I said impossible because I wanted to start and end the film with the robots, I wanted the film to really be about the robots and have the theme be framework for the rest of the movie. But then the more I thought about Ben getting killed the more I liked the idea because, one, it made the threat of Vader greater and that tied in with The Force and the fact that he could use the dark side. Both Alec Guinness and I came up with the thing of having Ben go on afterward as part of The Force. There was a thematic idea that was even stronger about The Force in the earliest scripts. It was really about The Force, a Castaneda Tales of Power thing."

    --George Lucas, Rolling Stone interview; 1977.


    Do you have agreements with the principal characters?

    "Yes. All the actors except Alec Guinness. We may use his voice as The Force -- I don't know."

    --George Lucas, Rolling Stone interview; 1977.

    "The big surprise is that (Obi-Wan) doesn't die - he's able to join the Force at will and retain his identity, and influence things in a more powerful way than he could just by being a Jedi. "

    --George Lucas, ANH DVD Commentary.

    "The issue of consciously joining the Force, which is a theme that runs through these films, and being able to retain your personality and your individuality once you've gone over to the other side, is a part of the story that gets explained in the first three films (Episodes I-III). Here (ESB) it becomes kind of a mystery, because it's never really explained how and why that happens."

    --George Lucas, TESB DVD Commentary.

    "We cut to Yoda, who is meditating, who hears this (the Tusken slaughter) off-screen, and we do hear a voice in there, and that voice is the voice of Qui-Gon Jinn. So we very subtly establish that in this rather intense emotional connection, where Yoda is feeling the pain and suffering of Anakin and the Tusken Raiders, he's also making a connection, unwittingly, with Qui-Gon Jinn. Up to this point (in the saga), we haven't established that you can make a connection with the departed in this world, and that will become a factor in Episode III. Lots of issues sort of come out of that - but this is the very beginning of it. Yoda making a connection with Qui-Gon Jinn in the middle of Anakin's pain."

    --George Lucas, AOTC DVD Commentary.

    The voice is indeed Qui-Gon Jinn's - including the pained cry of "noooooo!" at the end. Somehow, the Jedi hero of Episode I has been able to retain his spirit in the netherworld as we see Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin do in the original trilogy. How did he learn to do this, and how did the others obtain this knowledge? You'll have to wait just a few more months for that information."

    --Pablo Hidalgo, Hyperspace.

    "We never see the ghost of Qui-Gon; he's not that accomplished. He's able to retain his personality, but he's not able to become a corporeal ghost."

    --George Lucas, page 40 of the Making Of Revenge Of The Sith.

    "There’s a hint of how Obi-wan eventually in ANH has learned to give up his physical being and becomes one with the force and you understand here that his old master Qui-Gon has something to do with it - come back from the netherworld of the Force and teach him how to do it."

    --George Lucas, ROTS DVD Commentary.


    In the rough draft…Ben explains that…if "Vader becomes one with the dark side of the Force, he will lose all identity. If he turns to the good side, he will pass through the Netherworld" and in the revised rough draft, Yoda "will rescue him before he becomes one with the Force."

    --Lorenzo Bouzereau, explanation from Star Wars The Annotated Screenplays page 300.

    "This little scene where he burns his father's body, it wasn't originally in the script. But I decided it gave more closure in terms of Luke's relationship to his father, letting go of his father. Even though later on, as we get to the end of the movie, as he joins the Force, he was able to retain his original identity, it's because of Obi-Wan and Yoda, who learnt how to do that: how to join the Force at will and then retain your identity. But it was his 'identity as he was when he died as Anakin Skywalker.'"

    --George Lucas, ROTJ DVD Commentary.


    I remember reading that Lucas had filmed the scene where Yoda talks to Qui-gon, but it was cut as it wasn't working out well. In regards to the fallibility of the Jedi Order, this is in the script and the novelization. I'll quote from the former and someone else can with the latter.

    YODA: "Failed to stop the Sith Lord, I have. Still much to learn, there is ... "

    QUI -GON: "Patience. You will have time. I did not. When I became one with the Force I made a great discovery. With my training, you will be able to merge with the Force at will. Your physical self will fade away, but you will still retain your consciousness. You will become more powerful than any Sith."

    YODA: "Eternal consciousness."

    QUI-GON: "The ability to defy oblivion can be achieved, but only for oneself. It was accomplished by a Shaman of the Whills. It is a state acquired through compassion, not greed."

    YODA: ". . . to become one with the Force, and influence still have . . . A power greater than all, it is."

    QUI-GON: "You will learn to let go of everything. No attachment, no thought of self. No physical self."

    YODA: "A great Jedi Master, you have become, Qui-Gon Jinn. Your apprentice I gratefully become."

    The idea seems to be that as time went on, the Jedi became more interested in the state of affairs in the Republic and not growing and evolving as Jedi. To the point where they became stagnant and eventually their abilities diminished thanks to the Sith's machinations. Qui-gon had someone made a connection to a Whill and from that individual, gained the ability to transcend as he does. In the early writings of ROTJ, Lucas said to Kasdan that Yoda was more like a guru of the Force and not an active member of the Jedi Order like Obi-wan and Anakin. This falls in line with Yoda teaching it to Obi-wan in screenplay notes. But as Yoda evolved and so did Qui-gon, Lucas switched it around so that Yoda was active, but it was Qui-gon who found out the technique. This also fits in with what Palpatine says to Anakin about how the Jedi limit themselves.

    PALPATINE: "Anakin, if one is to understand the great mystery, one must study all its aspects, not just the dogmatic, narrow view of the Jedi. If you wish to become a complete and wise leader, you must embrace a larger view of the Force."

    Though Palpatine is referring to the dark side, he is unintentionally referring to what Qui-gon learned from the Whills. As to why the earlier EU went with it being common place, I don't think Lucas had either settled on every detail or opted not to let it out to the publishing division.
  21. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    It's a CGI guy talking to a disembodied voice. By filming do you mean they recorded some dialogue or did the animation?
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  22. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    From what I recall reading, Neeson didn't get to record his lines. I assume this means that they got to at least the animatic stage and used temp voices to plan out how the scene would go and found it wasn't going to work. I think Pablo talked about this during the summer of 05, but that was a good long while back.
  23. DBZGTKOSDH Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2013
    star 1
    That's all very interesting stuff! So from what I understood, Qui-Gon's body didn't disappear because he hadn't perfected the technique, so he could only visit the living world as a voice and not as a ghost (while Yoda & Obi-Wan had time to perfect it), while Anakin's body didn't disappear because he took the form of his younger self before his fall to the dark side (and he learned how to do it from Yoda & Obi-Wan after he died). And Force Ghosts also lose their physical form, so they can't fight.
  24. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 1999
    star 6
    Laurent Bouzereau. Also, I think in that quote he may be finessing the storytelling (adding 'then's or the like) for that section. Rinzler describes the same stuff in The Making of Return of the Jedi but you can sort of draw your own conclusions as to which things are related or caused by others.

    I thought the issue was that Liam Neeson either had a previous engagement, was ill or injured, or just didn't want to be in the movie. Has it ever been actually talked about?

    One of the drafts of Jedi, I believe, has Yoda speaking about the Jedi Knights as "they." Like maybe he's something else (making a distinction between Knights and Masters, or perhaps he's not 'really' a Jedi, which is something Lucas talks about in that same section of the story conference). The definition of 'Jedi' really morphed quite a bit as they developed, didn't it?

    The knowledge that seems to lead to being able to use the ghosting ability seems very close to Eastern (Buddhist) notions of no-self, being able to recognize that the world as we perceive it is constructed from useful fictions applied to something we can't really ever touch, etc. This seems like exactly the sort of thing audiences saw as part of the definition of Jedi since the beginning, such that since the prequel Jedi use some of the same terminology it's hard to even tell if there is a difference. But if there's not a difference, why do only some of them become ghosts? But on the other hand, if there is a difference (like with the Jedi of a really long time ago being more like 'paragons' while the prequel Jedi are flawed and Luke bringing it back to the old wisdom), it could certainly be clearer, I think. And outside of all of that, is that Eastern wisdom really something that they would lose? I mean, we here on earth have similar wisdom, and it's not even unique to any given religion - there are mystics in many traditions who end up having very similar messages, each couched in the language of their own background. So it just seems weird to me that the Jedi could lose that aspect, especially because it seems so central to the type of thing they are - if they don't have that sort of wisdom, what do they really believe in? Hitting things with lightsabers and using the mind trick, that's as deep as it gets?

    I don't suppose they talk about whether that was something Lucas outlined/included or if it was something that came from Foster originally?
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Mar 13, 2014
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  25. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    You mean this part?

    BEN: My need to stay in the netherworld has been resolved. Your father turned to the good side and I was able to disrupt his journey.