Lit Jedi and Sith = Yin and Yang?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by darklordoftech, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Mortis heavily insinuates an association of creation and destruction with light and dark with the day/night cycle on the planet, and correspondingly life and death. Therefore, even the Jedi, through the act of killing in self-defense and defense of others, are not behaving purely in a fashion befitting of the light side.

    The Fallanassi seem to be much more of an embodiment of the traits under the light side, with their non-involvement in pretty much anything, as well as Akanah's horror at Luke attacking two men in defense of her (whom happened to be illusions).

    Edit: But back to your main premise, I think Star Wars is Jungian in the sense that every character has their own internal light and dark sides, the ego and the shadow, and the Jedi have to overcome their shadow. That's Luke's struggle in V and VI, embodied externally in the form of Vader.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Aug 14, 2013
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  2. darklordoftech Force Ghost

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    I feel like the retcon for which great schism founded the Sith changes the relationship between Jedi and Sith.
  3. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    But death and violence are part of the circle of life - the hunter kill to eat, the pray defend itself to live, large plants stunt the grout of smaller plants by taking most of the sunlight - it is unbalance that is the path to the dark side: to much death, to much violence, to long life...
  4. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    mind elaborating?
  5. darklordoftech Force Ghost

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    Before the retcon, the Sith had been around nearly as long as the Jedi. Now, they have existed for far longer.
    Last edited by darklordoftech, Aug 30, 2013
  6. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    I think there would be an interesting story to be told that both the Jedi and the Sith have both fallen from the path of Daoist enlightenment. One might argue that the loss of immortality and Force Ghosting is actually the loss of one's ability to rise "above" the Force and become something of a Force God.

    The Sith are the obviously evil ones, of course, but the Jedi Knights attempts to avoid emotion and feeling have crippled them from action in several key points in history.

    In short, it's a direct repudiation of Lucas' "Light Balanced, Dark Imbalanced" idea.

    A truly great Jedi is one which is not afraid of the Dark but achieves Balance within himself. Which, ironically, means that it's less about being a Jedi or a Sith but a good person.
  7. darklordoftech Force Ghost

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    Have you read Dawn of the Jedi? It tells the story of the Je'daii, as the Jedi were known then. At that point, the Jedi were more concerned with philosophy and less with protecting others.
  8. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I disagree with the notion that Lucas says dark represents imbalance. I don't have time to comment at length any further on the ideas presented right now, but I think there's more to be said not just about Dao but Buddhism and Hinduism as well.
  9. darklordoftech Force Ghost

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    Anyway, the retcon about when the Sith formed shows that Jedi can exist without Sith (unlike what some fans claim).
  10. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    The Platonic ideal of what a Jedi is, is not defined by opposition to the Sith. However, I'd argue that the creation of the Sith fractured the Jedi, as not only did those Sith leave the order and fracture it in that sense, but it fractured the Jedi in a metaphorical sense. They *became* defined by their opposition to their fallen brethren, and so being were no longer whole. Anakin killing his master and being redeemed and dying as a Jedi finally restored the whole. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Luke's new Jedi order is a progression on the old Jedi and a restoration of the Platonic ideal.

    The NJO series did a good job with this. Afterward...
  11. Solent Force Ghost

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    His universe, his rules. If he says the DS is like a cancer, then that´s what it stands for.

    I personally got sick of good needing evil to exist with D&D (which they somehow mixed with law = good, chaos = evil), so I rather like the way the Force works.
  12. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    It depends if you assume Jedi=Good and Sith=Evil.

    Also, it WAS his rules. Now it's Disneys.
  13. Solent Force Ghost

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    Sith: we are the only ones who know how the galaxy should be ruled, by us, of course, if you don´t like it we kill you - any iteration of sith.
    Jedi: work along democratic goverments to ensure peace. Have a tendency to think normal emotions are a hindrance and that certain conflicts are below their mandate, which always results in getting genocided every thousand years or so.

    While I wouldn´t call the jedi good (at least not for long periods of time), sith are clearly evil.

    And now that it´s Disney´s I´d say moral ambiguity is gone forever. Let´s just hope villains don´t have goatees and twirl their moustaches. On the other side, it´ll probably prevent that damn darker and edgier revisionism every tale with clear good and bad guys is going through.
    Last edited by Solent, Aug 30, 2013
  14. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    I'm pretty sure that the thing being compared to "a cancer" was not the Dark Side itself, but the relationship between Sith Master and Sith Apprentice.

    Lucas's statements about the Light and Dark Side actually do compare it to Yin & Yang- and he even said that they both need to be there.

    @Arawn_Fenn was the one who dug up the quotes:

  15. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I'm disagreeing with the idea that Lucas said it, not with Lucas. As @Iron_lord said, Lucas was talking about the Sith and their behavior, not about the dark side.
  16. Solent Force Ghost

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    I stand corrected.

    This one is interesting. The Sith embrace what gives them power, the Jedi reject time and again part of what gives them theirs. One would say after several quasigenocides they would have learnt.

    Way I understood the Force by the films, is that there´s the Force, which encompases everything, and the DS, which is a corruption born of using the Force under negative emotions, thus corrupting it and also the person doing it (Luke killing Vader with hate in RotJ wouldn´t have meant anything otherwise).
    Last edited by Solent, Aug 30, 2013
  17. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I don't think the Jedi reject anything. The Jedi are about the Force. The Sith are about the dark side. The Force is equal measures light and dark.

    I really don't think knowledge or understanding about the Force -- or lack thereof -- is what causes people to fall. Nothing causes a Jedi to fall, except his or herself.

    "Make a Jedi fall, one cannot; beyond even Lord Sidious, this is. Chose this, Skywalker did."

    I think it's a fundamental mistake to attribute a character falling as a consequence of anything spiritual or metaphysical. Characters fall because they're flawed. There's no magic to it.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Aug 30, 2013
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  18. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Couldn't the bolded and underlined sections kinda contradict each other? I guess he's kind of saying the Force as a whole is not tipped towards either "good" or "bad," but in saying that he still seems to be subscribing to a notion that the larger universe (presumably the Force is a Force of nature like this) has humanlike definitions of things as "good" or "bad," "malevolent" or "benevolent." These are mind-based definitions; I don't think they are universals. This, for me, makes the cosmology he proposes problematic. Though I do like parts of it.
  19. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    The Force itself doesn't have agency nor does its sides, but I think ultimately what he's getting at is that these things are in the Force in the sense that the Force is an immanent, pantheistic, monistic, all-encompassing substance. The Force itself is ultimately divided into halves because the Universe is at the fundamental level represented through complementary opposites which are each necessary for the existence of the other, as each opposite is defined by the other.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Aug 30, 2013
  20. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Yes, I think that's what he's saying, and dependent origination, complimentary opposites, etc, make sense within a construct like a human mind... but they aren't any more fundamental to the universe than our names for colors. They are labels that help us conceptualize that universe. If the Force itself is separated into "good" and "bad" pieces, and this is not an artifact of human/sentient perception upon it, then it must have an independent, but nearly identical, definition of "good" and "bad."
  21. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    The Force being separated into good and bad pieces may very well be a construct of the mind. I think it's possible for characters to transcend it -- Jacen did.

    It's also possible though that the Force represents monopsychism, in which case the Force would have those qualities as a consequence.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Aug 30, 2013
  22. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I agree with this point, but I don't know if Lucas would. And there are quite a few fans who wouldn't, either.

    Good point about monopsychism (for certain values of monopsychism; Force as collective intelligence, basically). Though that would mean that, for example, if more people (just Force users? or organisms in general) came round to an Aing-Tii-like philosophy, the sides of the Force would disappear.

    And what if everyone stopped believing in the Force? Would the Force itself disappear? It goes well with the Force's partial cultural milieu what with the Power of Positive Thinking, etc.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Aug 30, 2013
  23. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I would like to give Lucas the benefit of the doubt in the sense that his statements have said the Force represents dialectical monism insofar as that both sides need to be there. He doesn't explain it, but I can't see why he would have that idea otherwise. If he didn't think so, it would be a lot easier for him to describe the Force in Zoroastrian or Manichean terms in that the Light will eventually prevail over the Dark. The way he has Anakin restore balance to the Force certainly sets that up, but he doesn't ever say anything like that.

    As for fans... well... I think fans of Star Wars project too many western values onto it.

    Edit: Well, in The Unifying Force, Luke speaks about the concept of the dark side some day not being an option, and only existing because sapient beings made it an option. I don't necessarily agree with Luke, at least in the sense that certain aspects of the Universe that the dark side may or may not represent were present prior to sapient life.

    I think Zonama Sekot may be a metaphor for the concept as well.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Aug 30, 2013
  24. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I was about to say that it would be interesting to see him speak about such things (philosophy) but then I remembered that I think I have seen him do so on the Power of Myth DVDs, and I think I was vaguely disappointed with the level of discourse. I'll have to dig that up. Maybe I'm misremembering, but I'm not sure how much benefit of the doubt to give.
  25. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    This makes me think that George Lucas should have long ago written some sort of an essay which describes the Force. When Robert E. Howard first started writing Conan stories, he wrote an essay called The Hyborian Age which laid out the eponymous age so that he could refer back to it when writing stories for the purpose of consistency. This was for Robert E. Howard's benefit alone. It's possible that Lucas did write something similar, as Filoni has mentioned old notebooks which he referred to when discussing the story details for the Mortis trilogy. But I think that Lucas should have either provided those materials, or written a new essay, for the purpose of the Expanded Universe and its writers so that the way the Force is depicted is consistent. For the most part, I think the blind men and the elephant parable is a core aspect of the Force in the sense that it can be compatible with most anything so long as the stories don't go too far in detailing it, but there's still a mishmash of stories in which some just paraphrase dialogue from the films, others extrapolate from the lowest common denominator interpretation of the films, some go to the core concepts that inspired the films, some go to the meaning behind the dialogue in the films, and it's all just a mess.

    Perhaps Disney will do this for future stories.

    As for Lucas' level of discourse, I wish I was a fly on the wall when Stover met with Lucas prior to writing the novelization to Revenge of the Sith.
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