For anyone that might be coming into this thread for the first time, and for our own sanity, I just want to bring it back to basics and express the essentials: Star Wars is like ........... truth stacking. It explores the essence of truth and approaches it in a tiered manner. It says there are one set of truths and another that all these truths seem to be stacked on top of each other. So Palpidious can tell Anakin that the Jedi need him more than he knows and mean: a) the Jedi need Anakin as a Jedi Knight, b) the Jedi need him to be a spy, c) the Jedi need him to eradicate the Sith, d) the Jedi need him to sweep away their dogma and balance the Force. Every truth is built on every other. For example, "d" is related to "c", but "d" is not the same as "c". Then "c" is related to "b", but "c" is not the same as "b", and so on. All of these things are true from a certain point of view. It depends on your focus. In terms of truth stacking, I was trying to imply a kind of geometric stacking. Like Russian dolls. Every progressive truth is bigger than the one before. But I'm not sure if it's correct to say that much. Maybe. Let's have a look. For example: "d" is a bigger truth than "c". The Sith are a small part of a complex cosmic equation, but the Force is everything. And then "c" is bigger than "b". In fact, if we start at the bottom and work up, we have ourselves a little narrative. The Jedi want Anakin to be a Jedi Knight and use his Jedi insights (a) and are abusing his trust with Palpatine to get Anakin to spy on Palpatine (b) with the aim of figuring out what's going on and eradicating the Sith (c) in the hopes of righting the wrongs and balancing the Force (d). But there is this thing called the "Dark Side" in the way. The Jedi's vision is clouded on these matters. While their basic chain of reasoning is correct, they fail to account for themselves. (Reflected later in a line by Obi Wan; when Padme asks if Anakin is in danger from the Sith, Obi Wan says, "From himself"). The Jedi are too much into the light. Their "Force pupils" are constricted and cannot register the dark. Palpidious is the other extreme. He can see in the darkness and operates with that ability at all times. So he can see where the Jedi are going wrong: what their Dark Side is. And because Anakin represents the Order, he can certainly see Anakin's Dark Side. And because the Jedi are in sway in the PT, it's perversely Palpidious that has the advantage -- because he's viewing things from afar. It begins to swing round in the OT. The Sith are now in sway and it's the Jedi who have the advantage -- because they're now viewing things from afar. Palpidious is too much in the dark. His "Force pupils" are dilated and the light is too bright. What's needed now is balance. We've had both extremes. The galaxy needs a rest! So Palpidious forgets about Anakin. Why? Because he can only see Vader, his Dark Side creation. That's where Luke is essential. He takes the Jedi's cautious and incomplete outlook, which has begun to mellow in the OT, and he goes the extra mile: he sees Anakin. I suppose this is a bit like Palpidious "seeing" Vader within Anakin in the PT and coaxing it out of him. The difference with Anakin returning is that he's already been a Jedi and a Sith .......... so what he chooses next will be his REAL self. Palpidious doesn't get this. He simply cannot understand a holistic creature because he's an extreme and is no better than the old Jedi. But it *seemed* like he was decent and reasonable in the PT because of the way he was FORCED (pun intended) to act. Only, he wasn't. It was all an illusion, even then: a phantom menace. In building a narrative in your own head, it's possible to come to new understandings about things. That seems to be what SW really represents: understanding through narrative. That's why the nakedness of the narrative is constantly on now. (Or Lucas realised this with the PT after a certain threshold had been crossed -- Campbellian overtones intended). I'm not sure I've come to any new understanding from the "story"