Saga It Is Your Destiny: What Does Star Wars Have To Say About Fate?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Nov 26, 2013.

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  1. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Yes and no. Focusing in on Vader and Luke does make the narrative focus tighter. However, that's only from an out-of-universe perspective. In-universe, the scale at which the struggle takes place is not affected, or at least not affected as much as it was with the changes wrought in the prequels.

    The films are the focal point, but they needn't be the apex of in-universe history. Are you familiar with the nine-film idea from around 1979, where each trilogy would focus on different characters and themes - the prequels on politics and society, the middle trilogy on personal growth, and the sequel trilogy on philosophy (to paraphrase)? The idea seems to have been to give a series of interrelated views of what the galaxy was like, to tell a variety of stories. The films are the focus, here, because they're a set of points of interest set up by GL; they needn't be the focal point of history any more than Deckard's hunting of the replicants is the focal point of all the history of Blade Runner's world.

    When there were to be twelve Star Wars films, many of them would focus on Luke and the Rebels, but one would tell the story of Ben Kenobi, one would be about droids, one would be about wookiee society, maybe there'd be one about the founding of the Jedi, etc. The world was being built more than a single narrative thread. All of that is still possible, but the way things are phrased - the Chosen One, defeat evil/the Sith, etc - make it feel like this series of events is not only bigger than anything that has ever happened, but also maybe the most important thing that will ever happen. It's perfectly possible to tell a story in this way (Lord of the Rings), but it just seems a bit blown out of proportion compared to the OT, to me.

    I think that's the difference - that even if DE Palpatine became uber-powerful, the universe outside of his influence would continue as it always has, and there could be any number of ways for the future to go. But when someone says, without exaggeration, that (for example) Luke and Leia are the only hopes for the entire future of the galaxy (i.e., no one else in eons hence will ever have any potential for making a difference), or that Palpatine would take over for all of time (i.e., the heat death of the universe), that just doesn't seem to fit, to me. (I know I constructed those phrasings, but they do seem relevant.

    Something I've never quite gotten about this kind of story, where a human or group of humans is used as tools by some force not just more powerful but indeed superpowerful, supernatural... why are humans the required tools? If the supernatural is so powerful, why not intervene with the other people causing problems directly? Or why not [any one of a thousand, or even infinite, possibilities available to a supernatural force]?
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 3, 2013
  2. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    What are you talking about?
  3. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Admittedly a bit vague. Say there is a supernatural power at work in the universe, one which has unknown powers but which can be used for telekinesis and lightning-throwing, and which can create living beings through means different than the usual sexual reproduction. "The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force." So... why would it be necessary for this entity to create, or at least work through, mortal beings of less power? Why couldn't it handle its problems directly? In this case, assuming Anakin was created by the Force to destroy the Sith... why didn't the Force just de-create Palpatine, or something like that?

    Even worse, since the Force seems to be outside of or independent of time (given how people use it to see "the future, the past"), how could anything ever occur that was against its 'wishes,' given that it could just self-correct the universe from the instant of creation? Why didn't it create Anakin before Palpatine was ever alive, and use him to prevent the rise of the Sith to begin with? The Force, being at once the past, present, and future, must have known the eventual outcome - that Palpatine would cause problems, and that Anakin would succeed. Why not just avoid the whole thing? (Aka, "going back in time to kill Hitler.") Maybe that's assigning too much power to the Force, but then again, maybe it's not.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 3, 2013
  4. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    In other words, if the Force is so powerful, why doesn't it just destroy the Sith and balance itself?
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  5. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Boy, you really cut that down to the relevant bits. :D

    The one thing I'd add back in is that those kinds of problems are related to the Force having a will. If it's just a force of nature, then it doesn't really care, can't care, and doesn't need to anyway. So it wouldn't need to do anything. But once you establish that it does care what happens (in so many words) and that it has superpowers... yeah, why are the mortals necessary at all?
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 3, 2013
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  6. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    Usually in religion the answer to that kind of question is that only God understands the answer!

    Or at least, that's the answer that religious people give...
  7. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    This may only be true for a certain aspect of the Force. It is arguable that the living Force - analogous in some sense to an organism - is as "in the moment" as was the storied focus of one Qui-Gon Jinn.
  8. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Right. I'm not the biggest fan of that, either, in this context. I guess it's logically consistent, but I don't think it helps when you're trying to have a direct story/plot.

    Perhaps. But even if that were the case, that only deals with the temporal problems. Presumably the Force could 'uncreate' people, or... really anything else, beside (in this view) reacting before things happen.

    You know something that might have helped with all of this? The characters wondering about it, bringing it up, questioning it, in the story. Might that have been boring? Maybe. But it doesn't need to be. It just seems strange to inject all this stuff into the story 'behind the scenes' and not really deal with it in a deep way.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 3, 2013
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  9. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    How would destroying the Sith balance the Force? Why do people assume (and I'm accusing Lucas of the same thing) that destroying evil will bring balance to nature? Why do people insist upon clinging to their black-and-white morality and blind themselves to the fact that this existence is a lot more complicated than they are willing to admit?


    You guys sound like you want a world that is lacking in chaos and with a rigid sense of order. You sound like the Jedi . . . and I'm not being complimentary.
    Last edited by DRush76, Dec 4, 2013
  10. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    The Sith =/= The Sum of All Evil!!!
    Last edited by MOC Yak Face, Dec 4, 2013
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  11. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Lucas wasn't interested in the idea of Anakin being bothered by his destiny. His interest was in why would a man who was good and noble, throw it all away and join the enemy. That had been there from the beginning when the character of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader was Prince Valoruum, a Jedi turned Sith who ultimately becomes a Jedi again.

    In the hero's journey, it is one of those defining traits. It is what separates the hero from everyone else. In mythology, there is often one who is divine. Zeus had given birth to a few sons who were unique individuals, such as Perseus and Hercules. Both the son of Zeus and both who did things that made them heroes. In a modern myth like "The Matrix", the divine one is Neo who has in his body code from the Matrix itself which grants him abilities beyond what normal people could do and was given a mission in life that he had to fulfill. In "Star Wars", it is Anakin Skywalker.

    Lucas considers himself a student of Joseph Campbell's work and in that lies the reasons for Anakin's tale.


    Anakin was created to be the weapon of the Force, if you will. But Anakin still has to make the choice to fulfill his destiny and he chooses not to for twenty four years, because he became a selfish individual. He made a number of wrong choices in his life and he paid a high price for it. But it is Luke's compassion for him that brings him around and in doing so, he winds up fulfilling his destiny. Anakin could have chosen not to save Luke and thus forever deny the galaxy its salvation.

    Because while the Force is an energy field, it is something that is completely deity like. It won't materialize as a god and smite down their enemies. It creates a champion which will act in its stead. One that exists on the physical plain whereas the Force cannot. The Jedi who foresaw this event only saw part of what happened. Things still happen in life. The future is always in motion. The people still have to make choices about what they do.

    I'll say what I've said for over ten years.

    Picture the Force like a scale.

    [IMG]

    It has two sides. One side is the good, one side is the evil. When there is an equal amount of one over the other, the scales of are balanced.

    [IMG]

    But as we know, if you put too much of something on one side over the other, it causes an imbalance. This imbalance is not right and has to be fixed in order to achieve that balance again. That is what happens when the Sith push the Force out of balance and what results in Anakin's sacrifice.

    The chaos will still exist just as order does. But they both need to be there. They both need to have the same power over everything. We have to balance ourselves as much as we do the universe.
    Last edited by darth-sinister, Dec 4, 2013
  12. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Which is exactly the point I was making (in responding to the idea that that aspect of the chosen one/prophecy story-line was of any relevance)

    I am aware of mythology. They are different stories. The subject of my entering this discussion was on the basis that the insertion of the prophecy/chosen one story-line into the Star Wars mythology is a massive conceptual break from what existed in the OT. The OT was a story that required no virgin birth or prophecy to carry its story; Luke did not require any magical birth, nor did Vader..or any character. They did not require an overarching consciousness to guide them to their paths. The stories rested explicitly on their, and all of the characters', choices.



    Then...why was the prophecy/chosen one storyline required at all? If it still comes down to Anakin making choices then what does the chosen one/prophecy storyline say about 'destiny'? It either is relevant (so that Anakin was pre-destined to complete what he had been created for) or not (so that it is a situation that resolves according to the choices that individuals make). Which is it?

    Hmm..but Anakin was created (physically, as he is physical) by the Force...so in what way can it not act on the physical plane?

    I think you addressing this, and forcing me to address the answer might have actually engaged with me what I find so off-putting about the chosen one/prophecy story-line.

    It is simply this; it is convoluted, theological guff that the OT managed to avoid. It is the birthing of all the philosophical double-talk that derives from its institution that I cannot stomach.

    I will respond to this with a simple question. How much murder, butchery, theft, torture, abuse, slavery etc. do we require for balance?
  13. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    This, I think, is the essence of what this discussion is all about.
    Last edited by MOC Yak Face, Dec 4, 2013
  14. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    It has relevance, it just didn't need to be a consuming aspect of the story. Which was Lucas's point.

    Right, but the story expanded beyond Luke's story and became Anakin's tale. And as Lucas has said, you've got two trilogies here that have different tonalities and are one big storyline. Luke's story is similar to Anakin's, but it is also different because of the roles that the two play in each trilogy.

    I told you earlier, it is both. Anakin has to make a choice about doing what he needed to do versus what he wanted to do. The purpose of choice has to do with why we make the choices that we do and the outcome from it. The purpose of destiny is to place a context upon which the story's foundation is built. The Jedi lose faith in the prophecy, before and after Anakin's turn. This opens the door for Luke's story. The two stories merge at the end in which Anakin reaches a turning point in his life and does something that has a positive impact on his life and the galaxy surrounding him.

    The Force manipulated the Midichlorians into creating a fetus that was then carried to term by Shmi. That's the extent of its power in the physical realm. It obviously cannot prevent the birth of Palpatine itself, nor cause him to disintegrate into a steaming pile of blood and mucus.


    Balance within us has to do with emotions. We have to balance our selfishness with selflessness. We must temper anger with happiness. We must love the ones that we are with, but be willing to let go of them when the time comes. These acts when balanced make us into normal people. When there is too much of one and not enough of the other, then we aren't fine and this can lead to bad places. For all the evil that exists in our world, there is a great amount of good. It may not seem like it, but it is there.
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  15. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    So, is the prophecy fulfilled or not? Or, more pertinently, is it fulfilled because it must have been, or because Anakin chose to do so?
    Last edited by MOC Yak Face, Dec 4, 2013
  16. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    Well from my point of view, the Jedi are evil!!!
  17. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    I would also distinguish between a character having choice, and one having a choice as to whether or not to fulfill his or her destiny. Sure, Anakin had choices to make, like we all do. But that doesn't mean that he can necessarily choose to avoid his fate. If the destiny is prescriptive, then whether he chooses x, y, or z at any particular time, he will still ultimately fulfill his destiny. If this prophecy was true and was fulfilled as a matter of necessity, the presence of SOME choices in the films doesn't really detract from the fact that it is essentially the story of a prophecy being fulfilled / a man meeting his fate.
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  18. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I wish I had better ways/more time to write but for now this will have to do: @darth-sinister, on Anakn being created to be the weapon of the Force... once Anakin was created, could he choose not to destroy the Sith/balance the Force (whichever thing the Chosen One is supposed to do)? If he could and did so, what would happen? Would the Force create someone else? If the Force exists somewhat independent of time and therefore knows the future, why wouldn't it have just created that person? ... though maybe Anakin IS that person. Or maybe there are thousands of potential Chosen Ones created by the Force littering the galaxy. And I'm still not sure why a supernatural Force with a will and a problem needs a human to do what some energy bolts would take care of, Raiders of the Lost Ark-style. What does God need with a starship?
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 4, 2013
  19. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Lucas has said outright that the latter scenario applies. There's really no guarantee attached to any Force vision, and that includes ones written down as "prophecies".

    Couldn't it theoretically cause his midichlorians to die off, like when Plagueis killed Veruna?
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Dec 4, 2013
  20. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    So that being the case, we have a 6 film saga in which a prophecy, complete with immaculate conception, is introduced in film 1, fulfilled to the letter in film 6, but for which the fulfillment of said prophecy is merely coincidence that the protagonist's actions happened to match the content of the prophecy?

    Ok. I think that answers the question.
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  21. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    I wouldn't call it coincidence, more like a natural tendency to give the audience happy endings.
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  22. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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  23. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    Sorry, double post.
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  24. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    [face_laugh]
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  25. PiettsHat Force Ghost

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    I wouldn't say it's coincidence. A lot of people see it as a casualty dilemma, but I've always believed that the prophecy only exists precisely because of Anakin's choice.
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