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.

  1. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    If I may paraphrase, and to mix fandoms, kind of like 'you can't see past a choice you don't understand' in The Matrix. The choice was 'always' made that way, but you can't see beyond it, predict beyond it, until you understand why, live it for yourself. Something like that?

    The idea is the same. If the Force has a will, it is more anthropomorphized (or at least 'sentient-ized') than in the OT. It becomes a kind of character. What I'm saying is that from a storytelling point of view, it helps if your audience understands the rules and capabilities and motivations.

    I understand all that; it's just a shorthand using terms people are likely to be familiar with. It doesn't matter if you call him Space Horus or Space Mithra, the question remains: even if it is a common mythological theme, what particular relevance does it have to the story of Anakin Skywalker - a story which seems to have existed at least since 1979 to about 1994(?) without such additions? Feral children, children exposed to the elements, marriages between gods and goddesses; these are all common mythic themes. However, none of them are included in the Star Wars saga (so far). Just because something is a theme in myth does not mean it fits into every story, or even if it can be included, that it won't muck things up.

    (BTW, 'Space Jesus' may in fact be pretty applicable, at least to the way people often think about Anakin. He was created by the Force to rebalance the Force -> He was created by God to (provide a path to) rebalance the human soul. Each set of circumstances seems to be viewed as a turning point in history, and also as something without which the universe would be plunged into darkness forevermore... whether those interpretations were what was intended by the respective authors, I can't really say, but they seem to be common in their respective fandoms.)
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 7, 2013
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  2. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Right. That's why his vision of Padme dying came true because he was the catalyst for it. This is different from sensing the pain of his friends which hasn't happened yet and is caused by an external force, namely Lord Vader. Likewise, the vision of Shmi's pain was an ongoing event caused by the Tusken Raiders. And if you recall in TPM, Anakin saw himself coming back to Tatooine to free the slaves as a Jedi Knight. Something he didn't do. Coming back to Padme, he didn't intend to cause her death, but it was the result of his wanting to stop people from dying.

    The motivation is made clear in that the Force needs to be balanced due to the Sith's actions. Rules and capabilities aren't that important.

    The relevance is as I've said, that he had a particular destiny that his life was centered around, but he choose to go down a different path because of his selfish motivations. That you have to make a sacrifice in order to achieve your destiny. It sets everything in motion for his discovery to his downfall and the ultimate result of his redemption. That's all there is to it.
  3. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Midichlorian count as seen in TPM is a cell concentration and thus does not reflect the total number of cells.
  4. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

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    I meant cellS as in all of Palpatine's cells. IF the Force can tell the midis in ALL of his cells to stop reproducing, then his overall count will go down, he will weaken and eventually die if all midis die.
    So IF the Force wants Palpatine dead then it has the means to achive that itself.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  5. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    I don't understand the distinction you're drawing here. While Anakin was part of the cause of Padme's death, both that event and the events at Bespin, in being set up, involved a multitude of living beings and inanimate natural processes. I'm not sure why some of those things would be 'predictable' or allow for farseeing and others wouldn't. What if Padme's ship cleaning crew screwed up once, fifteen years prior, and the door mechanism where Obi-Wan was hiding has slowly been eroding over the years, breaking while he was in there, trapping him, even for an extra ten seconds? The events on the platform would have been different, even if only a little. But that's enough to make other things different. And so on. The future, whatever it turns out to be, is made of all of the action of the present. Nothing is inconsequential. That's from an outside perspective, I mean - obviously human minds find some things far more relevant and emotionally engaging than others. But to arrive at exactly where we are now, every mouse breath and heartbeat in all of history had to have taken place just so. Otherwise something would be different, and while it would start small, it would snowball. Cue Ian Malcolm.

    Anyway, if we use the analogy to The Matrix, I can sort of see it working. The future, the choice, is made. In a sense, the past, present, and future all exist 'at the same time' or 'always,' but even when we get glimpses of the future, the only sense we can make is based on the information we have in the present, which is always incomplete. So our understanding is always in motion.

    They are very important. There's a bee about to land on my neck, but instead of swatting it, I open my mouth and try to bite it. Why? I probably have all kinds of capabilities; why did I use that one? If I don't have arms with which to swat it, things might make more sense. But you, as the audience, haven't been told if I have arms or not, even though it seems logical that I would.

    We don't know what the Force can or can't do.

    I don't mean to seem obtuse, but none of that has to do with a virgin birth or a will of the Force.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 9, 2013
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  6. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

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    I don't mean to seem obtuse, but none of that has to do with a virgin birth or a will of the Force.
    They are indeed the game changers.
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  7. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    The thing in "The Matrix" films is that all of the decisions that the previous versions of Neo went through were all based on a predetermined outcome, set up by actions controlled directly by the Architect and the Oracle. They calculated the correct course of action and used the Agents and the Exiles to sheppard him along. That's why nothing was ever really solved, because the One would choose to return to the Source and pick out 23 candidates to be freed from the Matrix, while everyone in Zion was killed. Neo was different in that he fell in love with Trinity which changed things, resulting in his making a different set of choices because he loved her like he did. Thus allowing him to go beyond his pre-programmed destiny and end the war.

    In Anakin's case, what he saw wasn't really based on predetermined outcomes, but based on his emotional state. It was a warning of sorts. What Luke saw was the result of his emotional connections to his friends, which like it had been with Shmi, was something that his deep instincts would sense and thus act accordingly.

    Actually, we do, because it doesn't take any other action other than what it did. If it could have done anything, it would have.

    Because like I said, the hero in many myths is born differently from everyone else. It makes them more special than that person. Neo was born with a portion of the Source code, which was allowing him to fight the Agents as equals but it also allowed him to fix the Source itself and save the Matrix. Perseus was the son of Zeus and as such, he was destined for great things because of his heritage.
  8. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Just because the hero in many myths are such and such a way does not mean that all myths must have the same structure. I have argued previously that the OT subverted mythical standards because the hero (Luke in the OT) ultimately refuses to destroy the monster - where in the Campbell-ian mythic sensibility destroying the monster is the role of the hero. He does this because he recognises his own frailty, how close he is to being, himself, the monster he desires to destroy.

    Because of that, a departure from mythical norms, I thought that Star Wars deserved the epithet of 'a myth for our time'; because it was not formulaic; because it addressed a self-aware sense of responsibility; because it was about choices made not necessarily for one's own material benefit. The thing about mythical symbolism is....it needs to be understood what, exactly, its purpose is/was. For that reason I thought the exposition of Vader/Anakin as Luke's father was something of a cop-out - a reversion itself to the mythical standard. Why do we have myths of great sons of great fathers? Well, because greatness had to be shown to be hereditary; how else do you retain royal/noble succession?

    So, for me what was subversive and innovative myth making in the OT is trounced into the ground by the over-arching fated, same-old mythological norms introduced in the PT and imposed over the original framework.

    Kind of like taking a Picasso and painting over it in the style of da Vinci.
  9. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    You took that much farther into Matrix-specific worldbuilding than I meant to. I was just saying I think it's good/interesting philosophy - not unique to any particular franchise, but applicable to our world (and to Star Wars) as well.

    I'm still not clear on the difference. They are both using the Force to see "other times, other places. The future, the past [...]." Wasn't what Luke saw a "kind of warning" that Han and Leia would soon be in danger? And... doesn't Anakin have an emotional connection to Padme? I'm really not understanding.

    That's an assumption.

    And, even if it's the case, from a storytelling perspective why should it be the case? I understand that I'm not talking to George Lucas here, so we're really just speculating. But what do we think is the justification for the Force, that omnipresent life-force through which one can throw lightning, use telekinesis, read minds, etc, and without which life would not exist, having this limitation but not that one... ?

    "Because the plot demands it" is a fair answer, but that doesn't mean it's automatically a good storytelling device.

    I think we're talking past each other. The answer to why it's in the narrative seems to be that George Lucas wanted to include it as a mythic reference. However, what I'm thinking about is something slightly different, which is that even though it could be - and was - inserted into the story, it was a late addition, added long after Anakin's basic prequel storyarc was known, and because of that it seems tacked on and maybe causes more problems than it's worth.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 9, 2013
  10. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    But it doesn't subvert what was done. If anything, it compliments what Lucas did originally by taking the two different concepts and marrying them together. That you have the standard mythological journey and then you have the one that breaks the convention with its outcome. That's why Lucas describes it as one story but done in two different trilogies which have different points of view.

    Shmi's suffering wasn't a warning, but an emotional connection that Anakin still had which was clouding his emotions and lead him to make a dangerous choice. Han and Leia's suffering was done in the same way to force Luke out of hiding. These were events that were happening or were going to happen, because of an external factor.This is different from Padme, because it was based on actions that Anakin had taken and was going to be taking in the near future. Every step Anakin took lead to his wife's demise. He was the catalyst for it.

    Mostly because it should fall to us to deal with the situation over God/the Force doing it directly. It should be the mortals who take on other mortal threats, rather than relying solely on a powerful entity to do it for us. Even in creating Anakin, it is still the mortal man who does what needs to be done.

    The idea of a chosen savior dated back to Luke and though he had abandoned it by the time of the fourth draft, Lucas obviously liked the idea so much that he did add it to the writing of the PT. He just changed what Luke was supposed to be as the Son of Suns and tied it to Anakin's actions in ROTJ. That still doesn't mean it adds problems. You're only seeing it as such because of how you and others who share your worldview have grown up with "Star Wars".
  11. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

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    But isn't it reasonable to base a "Star Wars" worldview on what's actually in "Star Wars" rather than what appeared in early drafts?
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  12. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    But it does alter how the OT is perceived if one views the saga as a whole. Because Anakin is the chosen one; it is his story and his own son becomes merely an addendum in that arc, acting as his conscience. And in this version of the story (the chosen one/virgin birth et al) the destruction of the monster is central to the outcome; whereas in the OT alone Vader's choice is about his own personal sacrifice and in the process killing (metaphorically) his own demon (literally the Emperor). Anakin's redemption in that tale is a personal vignette set against the rebels (separate) defeat of the Empire, presaged by Luke's deep understanding of what it is to be a Jedi. It is not to be the killer of monsters (external), but to be the tamer of one's own monsters (internal).

    For me that whole set of values built into the original finale are obliterated by the over-arching, over-blown nature of the re-writing of Anakin's part in the story; Luke's story, as that as central hero figure, is suffocated by the importance now aligned with Anakin, as is the rebel victory over the Imperial war machine, belittled by the new (introduced within the PT chosen one etc. story-arc) requirement for Anakin's destruction of Palpatine as an aspect of that prophecy.

    The entire dynamic of the finale of ROTJ is shifted massively by the imposition of the chosen one etc. story-line.


    As someone ( @Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn ?) has pointed out this is a temporal (causal) paradox. For it is Anakin's dreams that lead to his choices, so how can it be that his choices lead to his dreams ....?


    But...isn't that exactly the point? That...if there is no real change (ie it is the characters' choices that are important) then what purpose does the story-line actually have within the story? What is there about the story that could not be told exactly the same way without the chosen one/virgin birth arc?
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  13. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Not really. Lucas came up with ideas that he wanted to revisit in some fashion with the PT. Star Destroyers was originally the name of a smaller, single manned fighter. Triangular in shape. Lucas revisited that last part with the Jedi Fighter in AOTC and ROTS that's triangular. Lucas came up with the Ewoks based off of what he wanted to do with the Wookiees. Utapau was the name of a number of different worlds before finally becoming an official world.

    The character of Annikin Starkiller/Luke Starkiller/Skywalker was forged in the idea of his being the conscience/shining example for the Jedi turned Sith who finds redemption in the end. It became more crystallized by the time TESB was filming, hence when putting together ROTJ, Vader was going to be the one who stopped Palpatine.

    That's why Lucas addressed it as the two stories coming together and reaching a climax. Nothing is obliterated because it still is Anakin doing the right thing because of his son's actions and words. Adding in that it had an even context does nothing to take away and only enhances the importance in that decision.
  14. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

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    MOC Yak Face said:

    But isn't it reasonable to base a "Star Wars" worldview on what's actually in "Star Wars" rather than what appeared in early drafts?

    Not really. Lucas came up with ideas that he wanted to revisit in some fashion with the PT. Star Destroyers was originally the name of a smaller, single manned fighter. Triangular in shape. Lucas revisited that last part with the Jedi Fighter in AOTC and ROTS that's triangular. Lucas came up with the Ewoks based off of what he wanted to do with the Wookiees. Utapau was the name of a number of different worlds before finally becoming an official world.


    So, by that rationale, if Lucas thought of an idea in an early OT draft, excluded it from the OT, but then included it in the PT, that means consistency between the trilogies? So if Han Solo appeared as a green alien in the PT, that would be consistent with his OT character as Lucas had at one stage considered having him as that in the OT?
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  15. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Here you have addressed it as Anakin's story. Given what I said about the OT on its own then...how can you say it has not changed? It is simply about Anakin and his choice. He, being now the hero, destroys the monster - just exactly as the tired old mythological sensibility requires. Nothing new to see here. Same old, same old, tired, irrelevant mythical symbolism - lacking any reflection upon the deeper meanings and uses of those symbols. Killing the monster - the other, the enemy; an external threat. Hereditary greatness, associated with a deistic origin/blessing, and that leader's actions over-riding any other act. These are all myths that, imo, entrap us within old forms; that is what - for me - made the OT ending truly subversive and uplifting.
  16. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    I think your limits of what and who counts as a 'catalyst' may be too defined. What if Vader foresaw Luke at Bespin, then tortured Han and Leia? Would Luke be the 'catalyst' of his own vision of Leia and Han in pain, then?

    Anakin, while a cause of Padme's death, is not the only cause. If Obi-Wan hadn't been on Mustafar, the conversation on the landing platform might have gone differently, having a different outcome for her; is Obi-Wan the 'catalyst' of her death? Anakin's vision has her dying in childbirth. Are Luke and Leia the 'catalysts'? If Anakin had never existed, Padme couldn't have gotten pregnant with the twins... is Shmi the 'catalyst' of her death, being Anakin's mother? Is the Force the 'catalyst'?

    I've (sorry) also somewhat forgotten why we were even discussing this type of distinction. Why does it matter who is the 'catalyst'?

    Why should it be the mortals?

    ... because otherwise there wouldn't be a story, or at least a story with them in it?

    I am a 90s fan. However, while that may have a little to do with my feelings (simple preference for a given 'feel' for the stories), I don't think that's all of it. Adding a will of the Force (making the Force a super-character), making it so that the characters can apparently easily change the value of a Force of nature (imagine characters changing the speed of light, universe-wide), and adding a magical creation for a character dredge up all kinds of questions about the Force's capabilities, how it operates, who and what can see the future, etc etc etc. The kinds of questions we've been discussing. Those questions, while interesting, seem to have little or nothing to do with a "hero goes bad" story (Anakin) or a "journey from hubris to humility" one (Ben) as laid out in the backstory seen in, say, The Making of Return of the Jedi. That's the kind of problem I'm talking about. That story already had a basic outline; the additions do not seem to relate to that outline/arc. I understand wanting to construct a story that references myth, but I personally don't think those particular elements work as well in Anakin Skywalker's story as they do in some others, mostly because they aren't really dealt with in a way so as to change anything about the narrative. They could be removed or drastically altered and the story would barely be any different. Those are pretty 'big' points to add to the worldbuilding of a story for such little return.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 11, 2013
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  17. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    EDIT: I can't quite recall the sequence of events here, so I may be misremembering the possibility of a 'happy ending.' However, just replace the comment about Obi-Wan with one of the lava miner guys... they didn't, or (because of prior events) weren't in a position to have anything to do with or care about Anakin or Padme. But they were still present. Are they 'catalysts'? Are whatever circumstances brought them to the same place, but with insufficient care or distance or whatever with which to intervene, a 'catalyst'?

    I guess what I'm saying is that although actions can be localized to a single person sometimes, the entire set of circumstances surrounding the actions are also necessary for that situation to arise.
  18. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    If it was, he wouldn't have needed Boba Fett or any of the other bounty hunters. He found the Falcon because of Fett. He knew that torture would bring Luke out of hiding just as it had forced him to leave Naboo.

    The catalyst matters because these visions aren't just random chance. They are based on the emotional connections that the two Skywalker men have and are responsible for the course of action they take.

    No, more that it is mortals who have to decide their own fates rather than having all their problems solved by a deity. Relying on a deity results in complacency and weakens the development of society. It's much in the same way that in ROTJ, Luke has to face the Sith alone because if he has help, then it weakens his journey.

    As I've pointed out, there is a relation. A correlation. Just because you don't have the characters spending ten minutes pondering the meaning of it, doesn't mean that it doesn't have a place within the Saga, regardless of it coming into play in the 90's.


    Obi-wan's catalyst factor isn't as serious as Anakin's was, because he could sense that Padme was turning away from him before Obi-wan stepped out of his hiding place. However, the deeper context is that Anakin's turn to the dark side resulted in his betraying Padme and hurting her, which he wouldn't have done if he hadn't saw to stop her death.
  19. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    That was supposed to be a thought experiment, not speculation on how the movie actually went. However, if we want to speculate... once Vader found out the Falcon was going to Bespin, he goes to his meditation chamber and sees the duel with Luke. He then tortures Han. Is Luke the 'catalyst'? I'm simply trying to understand how you are drawing these distinctions.

    Yes... I'm still not sure what we're talking about. I should probably go back and read whatever instigated this line of discussion. When I have time, later.

    And why does the universe care if it weakens the development of society? My point is that "should" is a term that only has meaning within a given value structure. People feel they "should" do things because of their religious identification, their culture, their own feelings of fear or pride or whatever. Other people or cultures may have different "shoulds." In the abstract, there is no "should." Why (and how?) does the Force care if the mortals rely on it?

    Not to mention that if the super-power can do what it wants/needs, and can see 'the future' (in whatever form we decide that takes), then there would be no problems with complacency; the problems it sees as problems for itself could be taken care of before they even exist. The only problems for mortals would be their own (and natural disasters).

    Don't misunderstand me. I like 70s-90s Star Wars. But that current Star Wars is different is not my complaint. It's that what was added doesn't integrate fully. I feel like if one is going to add elements that change the whole set of possibilities in the worldbuilding - making not just a supernatural Force but an actively participating one, changing a main character who doesn't seem to have been originally a Jesus-Horus-whatever-analogue into one, etc. - then those elements, being relatively large departures from what was originally there, should be developed.

    Thought experiment time: It's like if towards the end of Lord of the Rings you found out that Sauron used to be a train conductor. It's a strange addition, but seemingly innocuous... until you realize that adding it raises questions about the structure of the world and story itself: (A) Why didn't Sauron use trains or other similarly advanced technology? (B) Exactly what level of scale is Sauron supposed to be on, anyway? Is he a godlike magical being or a more humanish/human-capability creature? If these things are not dealt with in the narrative, they kind of feel like plot holes, or are at least puzzling or missed opportunities.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 11, 2013
  20. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    I'm basing them off of what happens in the films. For three years, Anakin didn't have visions of his wife dying until he killed Dooku in cold blood and had used his anger and hate to help him do so. That's when it began and it was because of himself that they happened. It is obvious that these events are related to each other.

    The mortals are the ones that affect the Force and its balance. When there is balance, it is because of the actions and reactions of the populace. Hence the time of peace and prosperity that existed before the dark times when everything when to hell. These are the results of the Sith and their pawns in their rise to power. To counter that, a mortal of great importance is required to fix the problem.

    We didn't know enough about Anakin in the first place, to say that it was or wasn't a major change. We just knew that he was a Jedi who became evil and that was it. Nothing is really forced into the narrative in saying that he was destined to do a great deed, but didn't because of his choices. There's nothing to deal with because of the introduction of the prophecy. Having him be created by the Force and the Midichlorians serves a purpose in that Palpatine tells Anakin that they could be used to create life and to stop others from dying. It serves as a focal point for why he would side with the man who is responsible for all the evil that exists and his sole reason for his own existence. Anakin knows about his birthright and hears that it could go beyond just that, it becomes a temptation for him.
  21. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    But this is really no change at all: Palpatine, had he escaped destruction by Anakin's hand, would surely have rebuilt the Imperial war machine and continued to be a major threat. After all, it is only the DS 2 that is destroyed, not the entire Imperial starfleet.
  22. BigAl6ft6 Chosen One

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    The question of free will is an interesting one in the world of Star Wars since people are always yammering about fate, destiny and flat-out Chosen One prophecies. I think, in the grand scheme, there is an overall design to the universe and certain points certain set groups of people will be propelled towards. That part is inevitable. However, their actions in that moment are of the individual person. Anakin decides to yell "No!" and lop off Mace's hand. Luke decides to deactivate his lightsaber and toss it away. Which is why reactions to that ("You were the Chosen One! It was said you would destroy the Sith, not join them!" and "If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed.") are people kind of freaking out that what was meant to happen didn't.

    As for the Anakin Chosen One of it all, I do believe that it was his fate to destroy the Sith but it was his personal choices, to become Darth Vader, destroy the Jedi, in the end save his only son, that brought that about. So things can change on the way to one's destiny. Always in motion is the future, as the Green Guy said.

    Considering a significant theme of the series is fighting against tyranny, the choices of the individual have to have some element of personal responsibility. It wouldn't work if Everything Always Happens This Way Because It Will and there's a scrappy band of Rebels fighting for their freedom against the bad guys.
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  23. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    Okay, let's say that killing Dooku was the proximate cause of Anakin's visions of Padme. There was a still long history that got him to there - from his slaughter of the sand people to the fact that his starfighter wasn't struck by errant space debris during the battle over Coruscant.

    I don't have a problem with the characters seeing the future, or some edge of it, and acting on that. Is that what you're arguing for? Because if so we don't disagree... ?

    On one level, I can make sense of this. However, on another level I have a problem with humans unbalancing the Force itself. I can think of it like this (possible bad analogy time): a dog lives in his human's yard. Another dog starts encroaching on the territory, pooping all over the place, digging holes. The first dog might see it as his 'duty' to take deal with this second one. However, the human who lives in the house attached to the yard both sees it as their own problem and has greater capacity than the dog to deal with it. If it was just a dog's territory being messed with, no humans involved, then it's one thing. But if there is a human who cares about the territory, then it becomes a different kind of situation. Replace the dogs with humans and the human with the Force and its will.

    The addition of a will and the notion that humans can modify the 'value' of the Force galaxy-wide is unique to the prequels and alters the deal. In the OT, the cave/tree on Dagobah is a place of the dark side, so apparently ambient physical spaces can be tainted or imbued with power from the Force. But unbalancing the Force itself sounds more like changing the speed of light... altering a fundamental force of nature. That's on a whole different scale. Having the Force respond changes things still further, and finally having it create a lifeform from nothing changes the human aspect of the story while also making me question (still) why it has the limitations (or preferences) that it does.

    We didn't know much, true, but what is there doesn't really suggest anything other than that he was a man (Making of SW and Making of ROTJ have enough there to make this seem the case, I think). There are notes from around the time of ESB by Lucas using the words "chosen one" in relation to both Luke and the character who became Yoda, but this seems to be a slightly different concept than that which was eventually used. (Not to mention how Lucas has inserted later terminology into earlier notes in these books - we don't know if that's the case here. It probably isn't, but it could be.)

    Sort of. It has someone's notion of what is 'destined' be accurate, whereas the OT has Force-foresight as a very dark glass to look through, indeed. Even so, it's not so much a change of type as degree. I don't have so much of a problem with it, especially after this thread.

    And you know what, this actually doesn't hang together that badly, either. I still don't think it was necessary to tell the story that existed as backstory to the OT, but at least it's self-consistent.

    I'd instead say "what they thought was meant to happen." While I think whatever happens could, in retrospect, not have happened otherwise, no one knows that at the time. At best, the Jedi and other Force-users have a couple cheat sheets, but not enough to really be sure.

    Sure it could. Because they still do the things that they do, have the feelings that they do, etc. It's just that from a larger perspective, looking back from the future, things had to happen the way they did... but none of them knew that at the time. All the suspense, love, struggle, it was all real. It's just that those people, in those situations, at that time, could not have felt or done otherwise.

    Or at least, that's my current model for the world. Cf. Slaughterhouse-5. Maybe Lucas has a different model. But even if so, for my own purposes, I'm pounding my beloved SW into the round hole here.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 11, 2013
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  24. BigAl6ft6 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    I'm personally very partial to the idea that while Fate and Destiny may be writ large in the stars it comes down to the choice of the individual to either go to that fate or go against it (and I think Lucas has said the same deal or it was mentioned earlier). Let's call them Destiny Pivot Points or something, I keep going back to Anakin at Palpy's office or Luke with his saber at his father's throat. Their destiny propels them to this moment, but in the moment, anything can happen. Anakin could have ended the Sith right there in Palpy's office but his tragedy is that he's trying to save his wife from certain death (or what he believes is certain death. His mom croaking in front of him didn't exactly help his perspective on the subject). Preordained destiny may put him there yet he has to make a choice. The outcome is uncertain. For dumber members of the audience like myself there's the helpful pointer moment of Sidous yelling "YOU MUST CHOOSE!" so I get it. Anakin will always destroy the Sith but he rallied against his destiny, which, in turn, led to Darth Vader, the Empire, etc. Again it is love (for his son this time) that does eventually destroy the Sith, but this time he chose wisely.

    Or something like the battle of Endor. It is destiny that the Empire will fall but it's the actions of the individuals that cause that to happen that day. Not that it's supposed happen right then, right now. Everyone on the Rebels side could have chosen en masse to plummet the entire fleet headfirst into the Sanctuary Moon and kill themselves. Woulda been a really weird thing to do but they are allowed that choice. The Empire would fall later. After they stopped laughing about that weird en masse Rebel suicide maneuver they saw at Endor, that is.

    I think something like Obi-Wan kvetching about Anakin supposed to be the Chosen One, Palpy gloating that everything is going as he has foreseen, these are moments in the future that have been prophesied but what happened depends on the individual. So they are foreseen in broad stokes but they aren't down to the moment. To take that and apply it to real life messages that we get out of the series, it's about bucking up and coming through in the clutch or something to us as the viewer. Touchdown time! And so forth. Things happen in Star Wars, and life, that get you to that point. But it comes down to you in the end. And you can either go with it or against it when it happens.
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Dec 11, 2013
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  25. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 1999
    star 6
    Just to clarify, the "it" in my previous post:

    was in reference to all the virgin birth, will of the Force, unbalanced Force, etc, stuff. I don't think that stuff was necessary in order to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker and Ben Kenobi in the backstory to the OT.
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