Lit How did regular people in the SW universe think of the Force (at 0 BBY)?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by darth ladnar, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    Do you remember where he said this?
  2. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    For most of earthly history, I think it is probably mostly true that the nobility were the only ones interested in the arts, philosophy, and science. Besides very wealthy members of the merchant class later on, the nobility were the only ones who could afford to buy art and books (before the printing press). They were also mostly the only ones that had the free time to explore intellectual pursuits. Galileo, Copernicus, Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Liebniz were all children of wealthy merchants, government officials, or nobility. Some came from lesser wealth, like Newton who was the son of a wealthy farmer. Some, like Botticelli, were able to move up from the artisan class, but artists were mostly thought of as glorified craftsman back then anyway. In the US, notable intellectuals like Franklin, made their wealth, or Jefferson inherited it. So, as a practial matter, it was very difficult to be an intellectual if you did not have money until recent times in world history.

    This creates a weird situation for the SW universe. Because of their technology and standard of living, most people in the SW universe would seemingly have access to intellectual things as presumably they had libraries, something like the internet, university education, etc. However, at the same time, SW seems to have a class structure that resembles earthly class structures of the past.

    So, if you consider what their standard of living implies, then intellectualism should not be limited to the noble class, but if you consider their class structure and feel that it is meant to indicate that people have similar roles to those found in past centuries on earth, it would seem that intellectualism would mostly be limited to the nobility.
  3. Jedifirefly5 Jedi Master

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    Sep 5, 2012
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    Most people are probably mystified by them, unless the Empire is around, in that particular case they hate them or else.
  4. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Oct 23, 2004
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    One of the Republic comcis afaik during the Battle of Jabiim.
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  5. Bib Fartuna Jedi Grand Master

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    Nov 4, 2012
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    I believe calling the Jedi a religion is a misnomer; obviously not by yourself, but the Imperial Officers you mention. I believe the Jedi is more akin to Buddhism, the analogy being that Buddhism is not a religion, more of a philosophy. There is no GOD that the Jedi / Sith / (any other Force-Flavor) worship, neither monotheistic nor a pantheon of 'Gods'.

    Apart from recognizing a God(s), what else do you believe that a Religion encompasses? Rituals? What 'rituals' do the Jedi have? The braided ponytail of the Padawan, and its cutting on promotion to Knight within the Order?
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  6. LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 29, 2012
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    You know, the way you're defining the word "religion" here is not entirely accurate according to modern research on the subject. As it happens, I study religious sciences at the university, and we've had a semester long 30-hour course pertaining to the mere definition of religion. It seems that the lowest common denominator is not the faith in one or several gods, but rather a theory on the afterlife. Might I add that "Buddhism is not a religion" is as inaccurate as it is commonplace. While Buddhism is non-theist, it's not atheist per se. And once again, it all depends which segment of the religious mass you're looking at: the is a devotional Buddhism, and many Buddhist actually believe in gods.
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  7. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
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    Though the Nightsisters supposedly have the concept of a "Fanged God" and "Winged Goddess":
    [IMG]
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Apr 20, 2013
  8. Bib Fartuna Jedi Grand Master

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    Nov 4, 2012
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    They were simply LSD based hallucinations.
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  9. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
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    They're dead now anyway. :)
  10. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    I think what you're are saying is generally correct about Buddhism. Many Buddhists believe in the gods of other religions. For instance, Buddhists in Japan typically also believe in the Shinto gods, some Buddhists like those of Tibet have made the Buddha himself into a god-like figure, and in many strands of Buddhism believe in a process of reincarnation that ends when one experiences enlightenment. Other strands of Buddhism empasize study of Buddhists texts above all.

    However, there are some types of Buddhism that don't embrance reincarnation and don't deify the Buddha. For instance, many Zen Buddhists don't even like to use the term religion to describe Buddhism. Many Zen Buddhists don't like intellectual categorization and discourage attachments (as the Jedi do). For them, using the word religion implies a profound attachment to an set of ideas, and it suggests an attempt to rationally describe their benefits, which is counter to the intent of Zen Buddhism. In fact, a few Zen Buddhists don't even like to call themselves Zen Buddhists because that places to much of an emphasis on their identity rather than their practices, like meditation, living in the present, being mindful, etc.

    I actually think GL, who calls himself a "Buddhist Methodist," wanted to depict 2 differing approaches to Buddhism in his films. Qui-Gon seems to be more a Zen Buddhist focusing on the living force, while most of the members of the Council seem to be more intellectual about "Jedi-ism" and care more about Jedi doctrine.
  11. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    Actually, now that I think about it, it seems that GL provides some of the best examples of how your average Joes lived in the SW universe. ANH starts off with a naive farm boy working for his uncle: the problems they have with their droids, Luke needing to do mundane things like get power converters, surviving by farming moisture in the desert, Aunt Beru fixing lunch and serving blue milk, etc. In TPM, you see sort of the same thing with Anakin and Schmi. But even though the EU deals with so much, you rarely get such a good idea about life is like for regular people.

    Those settings really help the stories of those films too. When we see Luke, we think of kid living out the middle of nowhere in Iowa who's got big dreams, and then Obi-Wan gives him the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of his father, and the contrast of these 2 options really gives us the sense of why going with Obi-Wan would mean so much to him.

    Maybe that Lucas guy was better at putting together a story than some people nowadays give him credit for.
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  12. cthugha Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 24, 2010
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    Somehow this is the most deeply meaningful typo I've seen in a while :p
  13. Dawud786 Force Ghost

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    Dec 28, 2006
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    I'd say the in the birth place of Zen/Chan, Shaolin Temple, Buddhism is definitely a religion... with a pantheon of Buddhist divinities. Usually Boddhisatvas and Buddhas. Guan Yin is a huge one in Chan, particularly when consider that Zen/Chan and Pure Land co-exist. The idea that Buddhism is not a religion is largely a Western rationalization for why anti-religious people find themselves attracted to Buddhism, despite that Buddhists have more in common with religious people than non-religious at the end of the day.
  14. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    Well, I believe there are some Zen Buddhists in the East who approach Zen Buddhism the way I described it, but even if what you're saying is correct about the East, the form of Zen Buddhism practiced in the West shouldn't be considered a lesser form of Buddhism just because it's practiced in the West. The Zen Buddhist temple that I meditated at many years ago had exactly the approach I describe above.
  15. dewback_rancher Jedi Grand Master

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    Aug 23, 2009
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    The lightsaber-construction ceremony eems pretty ritualized to me. Also considering Ilum "sacred ground".
  16. Dawud786 Force Ghost

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    Dec 28, 2006
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    Zen isn't a separate form of Buddhism, though. It's a method. It's dependent upon the metaphysical suppositions of Buddhism as a whole. And Mahayana, of which Zen/Chan is a subset, in particular. The only way I'd classify Buddhism as "philosophy" is in the classical sense, which also contained a great deal of metaphysical postulates including usually monotheist tendencies, than I would the contemporary sense. Most Buddhists that I know and have read wouldn't even go so far as to call it "non-theistic" they would rather say they don't speak on the Ineffable specifically because it is the Ineffable. They see a commonality between Nirvana, Fana fi-llah and Apotheosis.

    The Jedi Path does a decent job of laying out Jedi life and ritual. The Jedi robes are a ritual in themselves, let alone the process of lightsaber construction. The Jedi Forge is a ritual. More over, if a Jedi youngling living in the Temple is expect to meditate five times a day, surely there's some ritual approach to getting themselves into the meditational step. There's suggestion of using the different sentences of the Jedi Code as a mantra.
  17. dewback_rancher Jedi Grand Master

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    Forgot to use The Jedi Path as a ref, despite owning it... :oops:
  18. Obie-2-Kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 18, 2008
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    I couldn't tell you about this particularly, but I tend to agree. Case in point...Han Solo. Normal as can be right? The HST never once mentions the force or jedi or Vader. And as far as I can tell, Han hadn't heard of Kenobi either which is very evident in ANH. And this is coming from a guy who had been from one side of the galaxy to the other. How he had never came across the force or jedi escapes me! How he had never heard of Vader, having done a stint in the Imperial Navy, completely beyond me. But I guess my point is, there's a big fat example of someone normal who seemingly wasn't aware of all that stuff.
  19. General Immodet Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 5, 2012
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    If I lived in the SW Universe, I would not like Force-users since they created so many wars in the past.
    I never got why politicians (the Chancellor) have never decided to keep the spread of Force Religions and Orders in check.
    Why did they never develop a weapon to neutralize the Force behind the Jedi's back and use it clear the universe of Force-Users.
    I would feel mroe safer with them gone, even if Jedi are serving the Light Side.
  20. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Dec 16, 2012
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    I think that the Empire worked hard to eradicate all concrete facts about the Jedi, involving names and deeds, after all Luke don’t go "Are you saying that my father was The Anarkin Skywalker? The Hero with no fear!" after Ben tells him that his father was not a "navigator on a spice freighter" but a Jedi knight.

    Also to quote a goodlooking herre-
    One more thing; were is it stated that he has never heard about Vader:confused:
    Last edited by Gamiel, Apr 23, 2013
  21. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Dec 16, 2012
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    How many wars have known Force-users created? And how are they in comparison with the amount of wars who non-Force-users have created?
    How do you suggest they should have done that?
    So, you are suggesting universal purging of life or “just" all the people and species with a strong connection to the Force?
  22. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Dec 16, 2012
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    But we have to remember that not just religious groups have rituals, many organisations (ex. fraternal organisation, clubs, university fraternities, orders, etc.) also have them
  23. Nom von Anor Jedi Master

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    Oct 7, 2012
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    I don't believe it's stated anywhere that Han has never heard of Vader... maybe I'm missing something?
  24. dewback_rancher Jedi Grand Master

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    Aug 23, 2009
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    Do those organizations have entire temples (yes plural) that they consider "sacred", though?
  25. VanishingReality Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 21, 2013
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    If regular people included the empire, they were likely extremely ignorant and perhaps even prejudice. There were even religions that discriminated against force-sensitives like the 'cosmic balance' religion. Many imperials basically thought the Jedi were evil unless proven otherwise. If 'regular people' included the criminal underworld, they probably could care less as long as they got paid and were mostly atheist.