Saga Inconsistent Morality In Star Wars

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Narutakikun, Jul 25, 2013.

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  1. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Okay... so let's take this to its logical conclusion. Let's say Luke manages to cut down the old unarmed man in the chair (as far as he knows at that time) and then kills Vader...what then? Does he call through to the Imperial officers and say "Hey boys, I've killed the Emperor and Vader so will you stop the attack now?" They're going to be all, like "Yeah bro. No worries"? More likely "Are you kidding, we've got this rebel scum exactly where we want them. Thanks for the heads up, we'll use the full power of the fleet now."

    Luke's actions will make no difference except to sate his own anger and hatred - his own feelings of impotence/helplessness. (and why I keep trying to point out that the two battles are separate; the rebels win the battle against the Death Star, and missing that aspect confuses the issue of what Luke's choices amount to)

    Giving in to his own hate and anger would make him no different to Vader, whose turn was (read; was supposed to be) based upon the same basic error.

    While you suggest that it is absurdly sentimental I would suggest that it is about whether the means justify the ends, or rather - whether the ends are what, in anger and hatred, you think they are.

    Oh...and as for the sail barge; what did Luke blow the sail barge up with? The large and dangerous gun sitting atop it. He destroys the sail barge because it still poses a risk to their escape.
    Last edited by only one kenobi, Aug 1, 2013
  2. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    There is a difference between despising the action and despising the person. To despise the person is to dismiss the idea of reform or redemption. If Luke had acted on his hate then...the Emperor would have won. If he had cut down Vader then, the Emperor was far more powerful than Luke expected, or probably than Luke could handle and Vader would not have been there for his own personal act of redemption. If Luke cuts down Vader, who is already defeated, in anger and hate then....why is he doing it? It isn't to help the battle outside, it is simply to sate his own anger and sense of impotence. The end is not to save anyone, but rather to punish. To put it another way, the means become the end; power becomes the only real justification of the action.


    No, you are misunderstanding the role of the Jedi. They are not sent out as Judge, jury and executioners. They are there to protect the rights enshrined by the Republic, which includes the rule of law. They are given licence to act within those boundaries. But it must also be remembered that there is a spiritual element to being a Jedi. It was exactly that aspect that allowed them to be considered the protectors of the Republic.

    Then, at what point does your own morality differ from the enemy's morality? It seems that you would end up with a simple battle between who is more powerful, so that power would be the only arbiter of 'right' and 'wrong'. In terms of the Death Star, what other option is there? How else do you deal with that threat? This just seems to be a scatter gun approach to the question; let's fire as many moral questions, no matter how dissimilar, and see if they can all be answered in one simple way....

    As someone else has pointed out; Bruce Wayne is not a soldier. He has set out to try and protect, but he cannot become judge, jury and executioner. Isn't the Batman story pointing to the responsibility we all have; ie the danger of relying on an 'ubermensch' to defend us? ( I also think that this particular film is playing negatively with fears regrading the perception of 'weak' justice systems, in a way that is antithetical to the ideas of redemption within Star Wars)

    Just as a heads up on 'how war works'; did you know that the suicide rate among veterans now exceeds the numbers killed in the Afghan conflict they are veterans of? As it happens Luke does try to kill the Emperor, and then has to face Vader first. When he does so in anger he is at a point where he can kill him. Does he need to? He is defeated, what good would killing him do? But, why does he throw his lightsabre down? Because he knows his actions are irrelevant. The battle outside is not decided by what goes on in that throne room. Again, this is important (and why I think losing that in the story shifts the morality of the scene). If Luke killing the Emperor at that point could turn the battle then, of course, he has an obligation to act upon that, but that isn't the case. He refuses to act in anger. He centres himself. Killing Vader would serve no purpose except to sate his own hatred. But even taking that into account....he is calm, and any action against the Emperor would be devoid of anger. there is another element to this moment, and it is that he understands that his actions (his anger and hatred) are due to his sense of impotence. He has won the battle that he needed to in order to understand what it is to be a Jedi. It is not about saving the galaxy. It is not about power.

    By extension...then the Emperor was right. Only power matters. The power to impose 'peace'. Why bother with legal process? We can just have agents who can decide on the spot what is right or wrong.
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  3. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Only one Kenobi: I can't speak for Narutakikun, but I'm well aware of the suicide rate among veterans. It's following precedent, considering that more Vietnam veterans died via suicide in subsequent decades than in the war itself (100,000+ vs. 58,000). It's one of the reasons why I'm proud to have marched against both the Afghan and Iraq wars, and continue to work to demand that politicians be held to account for their greed and bloodlust.

    Setting aside my apprehension of referencing ongoing real-world traumas, this has little relevance to the subject. Luke isn't engaging in an unjust war; he's not committing atrocities against a civilian population. Rather, to use a tired analogy, he's a spirit man who's been brought before Hitler and Himmler. And as a man who values the sacred, he ought to channel his righteous indignation--anger for the sake of all beings--to murder the two war criminals, weep for what might have been, pray over their corpses, and accept whatever may come. If you ask me, it's a mature attitude to take.

    Luke was trained by Obi-Wan and Yoda to destroy the Sith, and I see nothing morally aberrant with him seizing the opportunity. And in reply to your hypothetical: What if the situation were reversed? The Rebels destroy the Death Star, yet the Emperor manages to escape. The war is prolonged, and more people are fated to die.
  4. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
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    If there is a similarity, it would be like turning up at the bunker with the Red Army approaching. You still kill Hitler and Himmler? What for? For the sake of being the person who killed Hitler? They are already defeated, you change nothing. And what have we learned from that war? That Hitler was to blame? For everything? Who bankrolled his rise to power? What were the circumstances that lead to people putting their belief into this lunatic? You kill one man and the whole thing just....goes away?

    So..let's say Luke cuts down Vader, is he really powerful enough to take the Emperor? If Luke acts in anger, then it is more likely that the Emperor gets away; there is no Vader/Anakin to save Luke.
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  5. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    onlyonekenobi: Your chosen historical juncture doesn't quite fit. The writing was on the wall for the Germans in '43, whereas in ROTJ, Palpatine had every prospect of winning the war. The moment the ruse was revealed and the Death Star began blasting frigates, Luke would have been well advised to kill the Sith and remove their cultic influence over the Empire.

    Whether Luke could triumph over both Sith Lords is open for debate. Yoda merely warned him not to underestimate Palpatine; had the boy not discarded his lightsaber, he may have been able to repel any attack. But the point of contention here is whether Luke possessed the moral authority to eliminate the Empire's leadership, and I'd say yes. With no hesitation.
  6. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    drg4, I don't think the point of contention is whether Luke possessed the moral authority to eliminate the Empire's leadership. He did, after all, try to strike down the Emperor, and was blocked from doing so. The Emperor was goading Luke, but was under no illusion that Luke could strike him down; Vader would always block such an attack. Then Vader takes up the goading, and he finally hits the note that unleashes Luke's anger. He despises his father for not living up to his idealised image of him. He attacks him with all of his rage, with hatred and hammers him to the ground. Vader is defeated. The Emperor then goads him to complete the job. It is clear that he means for Luke to kill Vader. But.... Vader is defeated. Killing him would serve no purpose except to sate Luke's own hatred. It is then that Luke recognises a similarity with his fallen father.

    His choice is not to kill the defeated Vader, because that - what the Jedi have been trying to teach him - is what differentiates a Jedi from a Sith. He makes no choice as to whether or not to kill the Emperor, he makes a choice not to kill Vader. So..I don't see how the point of contention could be whether he had the moral authority to kill the Emperor. Nor is the point of contention even anything to do with moral authority; his choice not to kill Vader is based on the fact that he comes to understand that in an unstable state of mind he is in no position to judge moral authority. To act in such a state of mind his justification will simply follow his will, so that morality will follow will. All reason in morality in that case is lost.

    He also accepts that he cannot win the battle outside; he must leave that to his friends and the rebels. He must have faith in them. The only victory to be had in the throne room is the Emperor's - or Luke's over his own darkside. This distinction is important and why the arc of Anakin (and his 'chosen one' status) undermines the moral message of the throne room scene.

    of course another aspect weakening these scenes are such acts as Anakin slaughtering a tribe of sandpeople, or executing the defeated Dooku, without either of those events leading (directly) to his fall... to the point that the danger that Luke is in (as would have been understood at the time ROTJ was made), with regards to falling to the darkside, is muted.

    hence why I refer to shifting moralities.
  7. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    Luke didn't know about the Emperors powers. In his eyes he would have been striking down an unarmed old man. Regardless of the power he wielded at that moment he was not directly threatening Luke.[/quote]

    By that measure, Luke should have turned to the Dark Side when he destroyed Jabba's sail barge. All those shrieking alien spectators were no threat to him, and yet the Jedi Knight burned all of them.[/quote]
    they were feeding him and his friends to the Sarlacc.
  8. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Sure - it's atrocious. And what does this have to do with anything? That's "how war works" - it requires terrible things to be done. There's no such thing as a clean, nice, friendly war. All wars leave deep scars - both physical and psychological. The answer isn't to try to fight war in a way that doesn't do that - that's impossible.

    The answer is that you don't go charging off into war every time you have a difference of opinion with someone else, which is why I've been saying for years that the Jedi involvement in the Clone Wars was a huge mistake. They should have been the peacemakers; they should have been the cooler heads who prevailed; they should have been the voice of reason. Instead they went in with their lightsabers blazing, and look what happened.

    The answer is to only fight wars when there is absolutely no other option - when the savage hordes are coming to burn your fields and rape your women no matter what, and your two choices are to sit back and watch it happen, or to mount a defense and hope for the best. But once you commit to that, then you do what needs to be done - which will necessarily be horrifying.

    We throw parades for the people who defend us with arms because we expect them to bear scars to protect us. Some of those scars will be spiritual and psychological. They are also unavoidable - that's how war works.


    No, if the Emperor had lived to complete his second Death Star and blown up more planets in the quest for absolute power - which he very nearly did because of Luke's decision to hit him with a moral lecture instead of a lightsaber blade through the heart - then he would have won. I doubt that Luke Skywalker's state of mind would have caused him much reflection.

    (BTW, did someone just forget to tell Luke about the whole Force Lightning thing? And about the fact that lightsabers can deflect it? Might have been useful to know before he decided to throw his lightsaber away.)


    Ask the inhabitants of Alderaan how much it matters who wields power in the galaxy.

    If he could stop a homicidal madman before he kills more innocent people, but refuses to because it would violate his delicate sensibilities, hasn't he just in effect become "judge, jury, and executioner" of the next innocent people that that homicidal madman will kill?

    Sure they are. That's why they give them laser swords that can chop people in half.



    There's a Jedi child soldier chopping the heads off of four people without a second's hesitation. Looks pretty "judge, jury, and executioner" to me.
  9. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    @Narutakikun Right there, at the end, do you highlight why I say shifting moralities.
  10. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    If Luke had not hesitated and killed Vader, chances are his Rebel colleagues would have to deal with a new monster.
    Last edited by DRush76, Aug 7, 2013
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  11. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    That's what I thought you were saying (particularly "The answer isn't to try to fight war in a way that doesn't do that - that's impossible." and " But once you commit to that, then you do what needs to be done - which will necessarily be horrifying."). I do not agree with that, at all, for the same reason that Luke shouldn't have struck down Vader (I think it necessary to point out, again, that that is the choice Luke makes); that you simply become the monster yourself; you become the "horde of savages". If you don't retain as much compassion as you can then... what are you fighting for? What makes you different?

    Another important point is that you make this claim that the Jedi started this war; Obi-Wan has discovered that Geonosis has a huge droid army upon it and an "unusual concentration" of Trade Federation ships.... what could all that mean? He has reported this to the Jedi Council, and the video has been played to a group of Senators and the Chancellor. There is an army of invasion there. In case we, the viewers, don't quite get that we hear the Separatist leadership discuss exactly that.

    The initial strike is designed to halt the war machine before it gets off-planet. Remember that Obi-Wan speaks of stopping Dooku and stopping the war right there. Its why they are shooting down the TF ships as they try to take off. They did not start the war.


    I refer you to an earlier answer I gave where I pointed out that when the scene was filmed, prior to the 'tragedy of Anakin Skywalker' story-arc, it was the rebels who took down the Death Star so... no the Emperor didn't nearly complete his second Death Star and...

    ...you underplay the importance of this; for all of your 'just stab him with your lightsabre and be done with it' rhetoric this scene makes clear Luke was never in a position to do so and, in fact, his choice doesn't hinge on whether or not he kills the Emperor.


    I think you miss the point. Ask the inhabitants of the new Empire whether it was better under Sith Emperor Palpatine or Sith Emperor Luke...


    If. It's a small word, but a big concept. The thing is, he couldn't stop a homicidal madman before he kills more innocent people, and that's the point. The choice he makes is not to cut down the defeated and abject Vader, and to have done so would simply have been to fulfill his own rage - it would serve no other purpose.
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  12. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Orwell once said: "People sleep safely in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf". Just so. War is by its nature savage, and by its nature requires rough men to do horrifying things. That's simply the way things are: complaining about savagery in war is like complaining about dampness in swimming - if you didn't expect that as part of the experience, you were inexcusably naive going in to the venture.

    In war, you send rough men to do horrifying things, or you watch your women get raped and your fields get burnt. You don't send navel-gazers who worry about the effect of violence on their spiritual growth.

    That someone has a lot of arms is not by itself enough cause to start a war. America had a big fleet at Pearl Harbor - did that justify the Japanese bombing it?

    The Japanese Admiralty could - and did - say almost exactly the same thing.

    I'm sorry, but "We have to start a war, or a war could break out" is the most bass-ackwards logic I ever heard in my whole life.

    Wait - so it's okay for Lando Calrissian to kill thousands of Joe-Sixpack Imperial Navy enlisted schlubs to stop DSII, but okay not for Luke to do so by killing the one man who was the linchpin of not only the Death Star, but the entire Empire? What moral sense does that make?

    What if Lando had failed? How could Luke, at the moment he threw his lightsaber away, have known whether he would or wouldn't?

    And you miss my point. I reject the entire premise that killing a proven mass-murdering genocidal psychopath who's armed with a planet-destroying superweapon really will instantly turn you into a yellow-eyed cackling despot yourself. Yes, I know that Palpatine said that it would, but guess what: he's a Sith Lord - you know, those guys who are experts at lying and manipulation. Why is Luke taking him at his word? Besides, the Emperor's failure to turn Luke proves that he was overconfident about doing so and completely misjudged what it would take to accomplish it.

    So again, why is Luke listening to this guy?

    Now you're shifting the goalposts again - changing the subject to whether it was practically possible for Luke to kill Palpatine (as opposed to morally right or wrong), and on to the Luke/Vader dynamic instead of the Luke/Palpatine dynamic.
  13. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Orwell said many things, and did many other things that didn't seem to match up with what he said...

    As you are going to use emotive language then I shall turn it back upon you; Is the idea of 'our' rough men raping 'their' women and burning 'their' fields wholly acceptable for 'our' safety? Or do you draw the line somewhere?

    I knew you'd pull that one out of the hat. So much did I know that I already answered it as an objection. Let me remind you; " In case we, the viewers, don't quite get that we hear the Separatist leadership discuss exactly that (the invasion of the Republic...which Obi-Wan had also overheard prior to giving his report through Anakin)."

    The difference being; the Japanese needed the US Navy out of the way because they (the japanese) were intent on invading other sovereign states, not because they felt threatened by invasion from the USA - as I'm sure you are aware.

    ...and is also very misleading. Because it's not that a war could break out, but that war and invasion is the policy of the Separatists. Why pretend there is doubt when we, and Obi-Wan have heard them discuss exactly those plans? This also seems remarkably antithetical to your previous reasoning. Did you not earlier suggest that if you could save lives by taking out a mass-murderer then you ought to? But now, despite the Republic having the knowledge of an intended military strike upon them they should....wait for the Separatists to attack?

    Again you keep returning to this idea that Luke made a choice not to kill the Emperor; that he was in a position to kill the Emperor. Neither scenario exists.He chooses not to kill Vader. As the Emperor demonstrates (with his power), Luke was not in a position to kill him; nor (just to emphasise this again) was that a decision that he took one way or the other.

    Again, this comes down to the reasoning behind the action. Lando Calrissian is attempting to take out a powerful super-weapon - he isn't attacking the Death Star because he's angry with one of the individuals upon it. If Luke cuts down the defeated Vader then he would have done so for no purpose other than to sate his own rage and hatred. No. Other. Purpose.

    Whoa whoa whoa!? What? You reject the entire premise? I suggest, then, that you are watching the wrong films. The premise is exactly that. You can't just reject an entire plot-point, a plot-point fundamental to the story, and only through which means you can judge the scene and then....reject the moral emphasis of the scene on that basis.

    I think I have been pretty consistent with this line. No goalposts have been shifted, you just keep trying to haul it back to being that choice that is the point of contention. It isn't. Its a circular argument; if he is simply a weak old man that Luke can kill then....in what way is his survival or death any help or hindrance to the continuation of the oppressive Empire? Killing an old man with no real power will change nothing - the Empire, if it survives with or without him, will continue as before. Killing the old man would be nothing other than for personal gratification. It would change nothing. That he is a powerful Sith Lord is what makes him the danger that you propose him to be, and that power is what would preclude Luke from killing him (if that were the matter of contention).
    Last edited by only one kenobi, Aug 8, 2013
  14. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Huh?

    Of course I do. But that doesn't change the point - there is no war that doesn't require rough men to do horrible things. World War I, for example, was relatively benign if you were a civilian, and yet still mindbendingly horrific if you were a soldier in the trenches.

    I'm not recalling the part where they actually say they're going to start a war and invade the Republic. And even if they did, that still doesn't justify going charging in lightsaber-first. When people are talking war is exactly when trying diplomacy and de-escalation is most critical.

    True, and irrelevant. No matter what their larger motivations, the reason they attacked Pearl Harbor was that they saw the US fleet as a threat, and instead of diplomacy and negotiation they turned to bombs. The Republic does exactly the same.

    Wait - when did Vader become a part of this? I was always talking about Palpatine.

    Sure I can. That's why I created this thread - to point out that the morality of Star Wars movies is often questionable and inconsistent.

    No real power to change anything? What the hell are you talking about? You don't need to personally be a physical badass to be dangerous. Hitler in the early 1940s was a short, middle aged-man with Parkinson's Disease - did that make him not dangerous? Osama bin Laden in the early 00s was a gaunt and sickly figure with failing kidneys - did that make him not dangerous?
    Last edited by Narutakikun, Aug 8, 2013
  15. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Sorry, thought it was general knowledge that George Orwell was known to have passed information on to British Intelligence sources about those of his "fellow travelers" he believed may have Socialist tendencies - feeding the very beast he decried in his novel 1984.

    Of course it changes the point, because your point was that you shouldn't be considering whether what you do is right or wrong. But of course you do have to, as you acknowledge. There is a line to be drawn or you become exactly the people you are supposed to be better than (the 'savage hordes' you referenced).


    Watch again, its pretty clear. The Separatists discuss using their army to enforce their demands upon the Republic. They have built the army in secret and have now an unusual concentration of TF ships on Geonosis. What do you think they are planning on doing? And...as I said before, your reasoning seems antithetical to your previous argument. They are going to invade. That are not talking about war (ie making noises to the Republic about it) but are secretly planning to attack. You seemed assured that killing an old man because it might save lives was reasonable, but not that they should strike to stop an inevitable attack by a huge army?


    It is absolutely relevant because you are making an argument of moral relativism. The Japanese were not afraid that the USA were going to invade them, but rather that the US Navy would become an obstacle to their Imperial ambitions. The Republic are responding to an imminent attack upon them. The nearer analogy would be that the USA find the Japanese navy within striking range of Pearl Harbour and intercept a signal to attack. According to your logic here they should first wait for the attack?


    Vader is a part of this because it is Vader that Luke refuses to kill - not the Emperor.

    ?? This makes no sense. Whatever. You can't judge the moral proclivities of a story if you reject a fundamental plot point upon which the morality is based. I find it ludicrous that you can even consider that an argument.


    The latter is highly debatable (do you speak Arabic?), the former...do you really believe that if one man had been killed everyone else would stop being such naughty boys? That nobody else in Germany wanted the power they had gained themselves? Perhaps if Hitler had been killed the strategic errors that he made may have been avoided (war on two fronts, attacking the Russians into the winter months without adequate equipment) and the war may have gone on for much longer.... Its ridiculous to believe that one man caused the entirety of WW2 to happen.
  16. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    After a certain point, yes. But that point is way, way past putting a lightsaber through a bloodsoaked tyrant responsible for the deaths of billions of innocent sentients. I'm not saying that the Jedi should be raping nuns or anything, but war involves some necessary roughness, to say the least. Ridding the galaxy of Palpatine, whether you're mad at him (And what decent person wouldn't be, after what he's done?) or not stays well on the right side of the moral line.

    That could be taken all kinds of ways. The US "enforced" their demands to remove nuclear missiles from Cuba on the USSR without ever firing a shot. That's because cooler heads prevailed and everyone decided to de-escalate and negotiate instead of charging into a disastrous war.

    Maybe someone should, y'know, ask them.

    I hate to say this, but a Star Trek episode came up with a much better answer to the same problem.

    Totally different situations. Not even remotely comparable.

    Yes, yes... I've heard this before: "We cannot wait for the smoking gun that will come in the form of a mushroom cloud". So began the most useless and ruinous American war in my lifetime. Similar thinking started World War I - everyone in Europe being convinced that everyone else in Europe was going to imminently attack them, and in so doing ending up charging into a war that could have been avoided with an all-night dealmaking session over a magnum of Port.

    How about calling Tokyo and saying: "We know your fleet is going to attack us soon. We'll be ready if it does, so you should call off your attack and come back to the negotiating table instead before you do something rash that we'll both end up regretting". I find this to be a better idea than allowing a war to start when there's still a chance at peace.

    He refuses to kill both, from what I saw.

    Sure I can. Why can't I?

    It's entirely possible that, absent Hitler, the German military might have tried to negotiate an end to the war. It's equally possible they would never have tried to invade Russia - that was Hitler's personal obsession more than anything else.

    If so, then good. That's exactly what Patton proposed - sit back as long as we could and let the two most murderous regimes in human history duke it out until both of them were so exhausted that they couldn't threaten anyone else.

    On the contrary, it's ridiculous to think that WWII would still have happened if not for Adolf Hitler. Just as it's ridiculous to think that the Clone Wars or the Rebellion would have happened without Palpatine. Absent Palpatine, by the time Luke turned twenty Hego Damask would still be sitting in the basement of a castle trying to get midichlorians to play nice with each other.
    Last edited by Narutakikun, Aug 8, 2013
  17. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    It kind of is, but it kind of isn't. You introduced Orwell as having said that..., as if Orwell was some sort of scion of morality or common sense. I was simply pointing out that Orwell was not all that.

    That is a change from your earlier stance, which was that morality was not something to be considered in war. Now you have "after a certain point"; if you aren't bothering with aq moral compass at any point (what you consider 'navel gazing') then how would you know at what point?

    And...again you bring it back to whether he should have killed Palpatine. Again, I will say, that wasn't the choice that Luke was actually faced with. He refused to cut down a man who was already defeated. See my previous post as to why taking out Palpatine is a non-sequitur in terms of the morality involved.

    Why would they need to ask them when Obi-Wan has already overheard them. They know what the plan is. Whoop di doo for Star Trek but...I'll wager the situation was somewhat different. We are discussing the scenes here, the situation here, not a different made-up situation. The Separatists have a secret army; they have collected an 'unusual concentration' of TF ships to the planet where that army has been created; Obi-Wan has overheard the Separatist plans for invasion. You can only argue this on the basis of some sort of ignorance (see below for more).

    Why is it "totally different"? Surely if they capture the Separatist leadership and contain the army on Geonosis they have saved millions of lives and stopped a ruinous, galaxy wide conflict. That was the moral issue as you raised it earlier.

    Are you deliberately confusing issues? You were trying to give a morally relative position between the Japanese actions at Pearl Harbour and the Republic's actions on Geonosis, I was simply pointing out how the positions are not the same and that the example I gave (a build up of military resources and a clear intelligence report that the Japanese were about to attack) was a more accurate moral simile.

    That depends upon the point in time that you discover the threat, doesn't it? And how much the opposition require what they have planned for their own ends. let's not forget 'peace in our time'. Hitler strung the Western powers along with promises of peace and shored up his military position by means of that 'peace'.

    He took a swing at the Emperor which Vader blocked. He was never in a position to kill the Emperor. The Emperor isn't goading Luke to try to kill him because he has a secret death wish, he is goading him because he is confident that Luke cannot kill him.

    Because you're not making a judgement on that scene. You are making a judgement on other similar (in your opinion) situations that you have seen. In fact, not only are you here dismissing the major plot point relative to the morality (and perceived danger) of the throne room scenes, in other instances you likewise seem to pare the storyline of its full content.

    If you refuse to acknowledge the allegory (within the framework of the story, an in-universe structure by which the story is to be understood) of the darkside and its power to disfigure (physically, mentally and morally) then you are not arguing the morality of the story, but the basis of the story. You are simply arguing against the concept of the Force. One might as well dismiss the morality of Tolkein's work because you don't believe a ring could affect the way people behave. It's a non-argument, and why I said these may not be the films for you.

    So, here we have you dismiss a fundamental structure of the Star Wars universe; we have you misrepresent the choice actually made in the scene (the choice to kill Palpatine, when it resolves around the choice to kill Vader), and in other scenes you have to introduce a level of doubt that does not actually exist. You are arguing the morality of a different set of stories - and in fact you highlight that by introducing other fictional 'similes' in defence of your position.




    [face_rofl]

    You are equating the power of the Sith Lord with Hitler? Really? What is ridiculous is to believe that one man actually was the reason for a world-wide war. Nothing to do with the abject poverty of the German state via the treaty of Versailles; noting to do with the consequent humiliation of the people of Germany (take a look at how German residents were treated by French authority in French Alsace, for instance); lets pretend that Germany wasn't a violent hotch-potch of para-military organisations, had not faced serious regional/internal revolts; lets ignore that it costs money to build up the military capabilities of a nation, who paid for that?; lets' ignore that powerful figures stood behind the National Socialists (how did Hitler get away with such a light sentence after his botched revolution?); lets pretend that he wielded power without support (how did, for example, Operation valkyrie fail? - because it was discovered and its operatives rooted out by pro-Hitler forces).
    Last edited by only one kenobi, Aug 9, 2013
  18. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    OK, OK, calm down, the pair of you.

    Interesting discussion - and neither of you are really breaking any rules - but it's getting a bit off-topic, and the timeless, unwritten, yet eternal laws of the interwebz do state that when Godwin's Law comes into play, the discussion must either end, or be moved into the section of a discussion forum in which the politics and circumstances surrounding the rise of Nazi Germany are specifically relevant and not merely analogous to the topic of the forum at hand, lest the topic become derailed.

    (This rule is on page 767 of the internet, back when it had page numbers and no pictures. Page 768 was about how much everybody hated Ewoks. Last time I checked, you needed an Amiga 2000 to access it)

    And joking aside, I'll reiterate what I stated on page 1 of this thread:

    Want to debate the ethics of war, politics and real-life despots like Adolf Hitler? Head on over to The Senate Floor forum.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Aug 9, 2013
  19. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    My apologies. I tried to go back to edit/remove the superfluous stuff at the end but was too late.
  20. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    ^^^
    No worries - these topics, due to their somewhat intense nature, do tend to get to get a bit out of hand, and go off-topic as a result. Some good heated debate is fine (and welcome, to a certain extent), as is veering off onto various tangents, but once they're completely off-topic it isolates everyone else.

    Like I said, though, no-one's broken any rules, so all's well. It's still a good thread, just want to steer it back on track.:)
  21. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    You honestly believe that the whole question of the characters' morality is simply about their actions? What about the reasons behind their actions?
  22. Sandtrooper92 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2013
    star 2
    I laughed

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2
  23. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Sorry, but the pain and suffering you cause to others does - and must - count in judging morality more than intent. We human beings aren't rational animals - we're rationalizing animals. If we judge by reasons and not by outcome, then anyone who can rationalize up a reason why what they're doing is necessary - which will be just about anyone, doing just about anything - will get a moral pass. That won't end up making for a very nice galaxy.

    Man of Steel hit on this. Zod tells Superman (quoted from memory): "All the things I did - no matter how violent, no matter how cruel - I did for my people". That's a perfectly reasonable (and not at all uncommon) rationalization for things like that. It works, from a certain point of view. But... so what? That makes it okay?

    Sorry, someone doing terrible things is not okay just because they were in a really, really good place emotionally when they did it. If we follow that to its conclusion, we end up with, well...

  24. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Let me get this straight.....so you should cut a defeated man down and kill him even though it serves no purpose...but you shouldn't destroy a super-weapon that that is the means of inflicting oppression and destruction upon millions?
  25. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Nope.

    You should cut down a defeated man and kill him when it does serve a (pressing, necessary) purpose, and you shouldn't let concerns about your state of mind or spiritual wellbeing get in the way, because it's about more than you. Also, you should blow up the superweapon.
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