Random Symbols (Ivory Tower: Episode 2)

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by JediGaladriel, Jan 26, 2000.

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  1. Vee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 16, 2000
    star 3
    No new observations. Just wanted to say that I'm quite impressed with all of you. We just finished studying Paradise Lost, and the "3PO Naked" thing came to mind then, so it was nice to see someone else think of it.

    Also, does anyone know the name of the mythological god (Egyptian, I think) which was the sun, and "walked" across the sky? Yes, this is a "Dark Father, Light Son" thing, although Son is Sun and blah, blah. (Hey, I think I'm on to something here. Not really.)
  2. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    A love that brings down a galaxy.

    But that's where it doesn't fit -- this is a galaxy where love saves, not one where it destroys (the Greek world was one where love destroyed; in the Iliad, Aphrodite does not exactly cut a stunning figure). Love is the underpinning of the good side of the Force; to make it itself a Dark Side emotion is inconsistent. It fits much better with what we saw for the love of Anakin's life to be the pure thing that he holds on to. I actually wrote a poemusing this imagery, which I think goes into it better than my prose, though lord knows I'm no Shakespeare. This is the last stanza (obviously, Vader speaking:
    Alone in the void, when all is dark around me
    I will see your face, so perfect in my mind
    A jewel glimmering in the depths of midnight?s sea
    A reminder of the world of light I left behind
    The one thing even endless darkness cannot take
    My soul?s secret, a deep-down dream that cannot wake
    Just beyond my vision, beyond the reach of my eye,
    It will hover in the shadow until hope?s cry
    Brings my vision at last around to true
    And pulls me back to light I can?t deny
    From the depth of midnight?s soul I?ll call you

    I also just can't stand the thought of messing up a relationship I've been looking forward to for seventeen years. I always assumed that it was the one perfect thing in Anakin's life. The "angel" line confirmed it. And a perceived triangle really can't work, at least not if Anakin's the one perceiving it, because he's the one single person who absolutely cannot believe this love to be sullied. Anakin must always see her as pure and good -- and perhaps betrayed by the Jedi, for which he is going to exact revenge. A real triangle that he didn't see would work better with his character than a false one he was made to imagine (though it wouldn't work with her character at all, or the general themes of the saga).

    [This message has been edited by JediGaladriel (edited 02-28-2000).]
  3. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    Hardly surprising -- it is a classic fable!

    But the emotions set up for Palpatine to manipulate do not seem to be based on sexual jealousy; all the references to the potential triangle were scrupulously removed from TPM, and I suspect there's a reason for that.

    What we seem to be dealing with is something more along the line of Romeo and Juliet, where they don't doubt their love for each other, but the whole galaxy is so messed up that it comes to a bad end -- but from that true love, the seeds of a new hope for reconciliation grow. Obi-Wan is so very set in his ways, even in TPM. I can definitely see him refusing to allow Anakin to go help his Mother, and that results in her death. Then Palpatine -- playing with Anakin's emotions, as you suggest -- recreates the situation with Amidala as the one in danger, and Kenobi refuses again. What kind of friend/Jedi Master does that? And Anakin rushes off. That seems to be what Obi-Wan and Yoda are concerned about with Luke in ESB, at any rate, which would suggest that it's what they saw go wrong the first time. Though they doggedly keep making the same mistake -- they stand with their back to the sunset, and can't see the twilight coming at them...
  4. scum&villainy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 1999
    star 4
    The problem with that theory, JediGaladriel, is that Vader's darkness, his evil ways, become a direct result of Kenobi's faults, rather than his own.
    In this way Anakin's conversion at the end loses some power.
    Anakin must be at fault - his must be the choices and the mistakes which are undertaken to send him down the dark path. To burden Anakin's evil fate on Obi Wan's shoulders would be make Anakin, Vader and Kenobi much shallower.
    Darth Vader belongs to Anakin.
  5. scum&villainy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 1999
    star 4
    The problem with that theory, JediGaladriel, is that Vader's darkness, his evil ways, become a direct result of Kenobi's faults, rather than his own.
    In this way Anakin's conversion at the end loses some power.
    Anakin must be at fault - his must be the choices and the mistakes which are undertaken to send him down the dark path. To burden Anakin's evil fate on Obi Wan's shoulders would be make Anakin, Vader and Kenobi much shallower.
    Darth Vader belongs to Anakin.

    S&V
  6. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    By that token, a love triangle would make it pretty much 100% the fault of Kenobi, or Amidala, leaving Anakin in the position of the wounded one. It turns him from being a man who made bad choices into being a pathetic, duped cuckhold.

    In my version, Anakin is making the wrong choice -- and knows he is making the wrong choice -- for the right reasons, the means to an end fallacy. This is what we've already seen them most worried about, this is what is suggested in the thought that Owen didn't hold with Anakin's "ideals," this is what almost turns Luke. That's what Yoda means about the Dark Side being "quicker, easier, more seductive" -- heck, you can get stuff done with it... but it will consume you in the end; the means become the end. Would it not have been Luke's fault if he went against everything he had been taught and everything he believed to attack Vader in a rage and kill him? Even if he had darned good reasons to be enraged?

    Obi-Wan's moral failure is the opposite -- sort of "the means justify the ends" fallacy: as long as we're doing everything as it should be done, we can be satisfied with any outcome. Between the two of them is a balance -- again with the balance! -- but instead of being found, as it should have been, it is thrown completely off, because Palpatine plays those two fallacies off each other.

    At any rate, I would hold him responsible in the scenario I proposed (though I admit, I wasn't clear about it; I definitely didn't mean to imply that his running off half-cocked was a good idea, only that it was done for good, understandable reasons). But I don't think that absolves Obi-Wan, whose mistakes, I believe are equally important in what happens. It is the poor pairing of Master and padawan (had Qui-Gon been Ani's Master, I doubt any of it would have happened), the clash of philosophies, and the fact that Anakin cannot accept the self-discipline Kenobi requires of him (ironic that he ends up under much the much stricter discipline of Palpatine).

    I think it's important that Anakin turns for good reasons, reasons that are noble and pure, because that's part of what makes his redemption work -- he has been struggling for years to maintain his self-image as an idealist, and it's as his son is being murdered that he realizes he has failed his ideals, and takes a decisive step back in the right direction.

    [This message has been edited by JediGaladriel (edited 02-28-2000).]
  7. Hôl Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 1999
    star 2
    Let me attempt a slight distinction which may help.

    Compassionate love (agape) -- the kind Luke holds for Vader -- saves.
    Romantic love (eros) can destroy.

    Reasoning:
    Romantic love has the potential to blind, to blinker its proponents into believing the other can do no wrong and is the only thing that matters, and the world can go hang itself. More extremely, the other has the potential to become a justification for nearly any action. This is an extremely dangerous frame of mind for a Jedi.

    True compassionate love (not simply the best of intentions -- for is not the road to hell supposed to be paved with those?) accomplishes precisely the opposite: for by its very nature it embraces the world, rendering some actions unjustifiable by their very nature -- but an individual spouse or love interest may possibly end up second where the need elsewhere is greater. The spouse of a Jedi may well have a more difficult life of it than the Jedi him or herself.

    Which one is Anakin (or Kenobi?) more likely hold for Amidala in E2? How is Amidala likely to react?
  8. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    Sure, eros by itself is dangerous (and agape by itself is impossible; people can't love "in general"). But true love and marriage -- what we're dealing with here -- are questions of friendship augmented by eros, agape and eros eternally combined and balanced, perhaps agape through eros. That's the difference, symbolically, between the rightful heirs (Luke and Leia), conceived through true love, who show compassion, and the illegitimate heir, like Mordred, who is a product of mere eros, who comes an avenging angel to punish for a past sin. The product of the union, in a fairy tale, shows the nature of the union.

    Further, let's look at Kida's extrapolation of the name "Padme," the lotus -- the flower that emerges unsullied from the mud. It's strongly suggestive of purity.

    [This message has been edited by JediGaladriel (edited 02-28-2000).]
  9. Emuboy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 1999
    star 5
    I'm not in support of the love triangle, but suppose Amidala uses a different decoy name? THAT would be cool.
  10. BlackHorse Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2000
    Hello, thank you for welcoming me Shar Kida. Im not one who is big on introductions so....

    Thoughts about a Love Triangle

    I dont know how much of this love triangle is just speculation and how much is accurately derived from quotes. Granted, im not up to date on the latest quotes from GL or RM, but the only quote I can recall regarding a love triangle is somebody saying something to the effect of "there is a reason that Amidala's age falls between Anakin's and Obi wan's". Correct me if im wrong.

    This brings me to the following speculation. There is no love triangle in Episode II. Instead we see Obi Wan and Anakin begin to become estranged from each other...and the only one who keeps them together as master and apprentice (for now)? Amidala. Amidala's duality as presented in TPM is key here. As Queen she must side with Obi Wan, as lover, she must side with Anakin. In this struggle we could begin to see both sides a once, her character unifying, as Scum&Villiany suggested above.

    As for symbolism, we could see Amidala acting to quench Anakin's growing fear and anger... as water to fire.

    I would also like to point out that when considering intended symbolism one must consider the mindset of the author. It is my opinion that GL has a very Victorian mindset; traditional, romantic, influenced almost as much by the East as by the West. There seems to be something very Victorian about a woman being caught between two headstrong males and acting as mediator. In such a view, Amidala's would be a role that would necessarily require a woman's touch and one at which only a woman could be successful.

    <insert witty, thought provoking quote here>
    BH
  11. BlackHorse Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2000
    Arrrggghhh!

    [This message has been edited by BlackHorse (edited 02-29-2000).]
  12. Hôl Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 1999
    star 2
    I may be wrong, JediGaladriel -- but I always had understood eros not so much to be love in specific (as opposed to the "love in general" which you seem to believe impossible in isolation), but sexually oriented love, which by definition seems to be focused usually on a single person at a time. Considering the powerful monastic proscriptions against "erotic" love present in both Christian monastic traditions and Buddhist core teachings (where it is interpreted as yet another of those attachments which leads to suffering), both sources upon which GL is known to have drawn, there may also be aspects of a lost "purity" of "compassion" inherent in any embrace of "erotic" love by the lotus Amidala "Padme".
  13. scum&villainy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 1999
    star 4
    Well put obilon.

    My objection to the love triangle is basically that Anakin must have ownership of his own fall from grace. To give his fall some reason, with which people can empathise, surely diminishes his reversal at the end of ROTJ.
    Yes, having Anakin bitter & twisted at Amidala's/Obi Wan's affair would give Anakin a more sympathetic plight, but being able to blame others would make his fall and ultimate rise less powerful - he must choose the dark path, not be forced down it. He must be seen to make the wrong decisions at the wrong times through some of the traditional 7 deadly sins.

    Kenobi & Amidala cannot be scapegoats or excuses.



  14. scum&villainy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 1999
    star 4
    PRIDE - Anakin's a Jedi, a war hero
    ENVY - Obi Wan is too.
    WRATH - Fear leads to anger. Where Obi Wan(vs Maul) and Luke (vs Vader) retained self control, Anakin will not
    SLOTH - Hmmm hard to apply.
    GREED - Anakin will want the galaxy
    GLUTTONY - Hmmm maybe he has an addiction to that weird blue milk.
    LUST - His lust for power or maybe for Amidala or maybe a third party. Who knows.
  15. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    To give his fall some reason, with which people can empathise, surely diminishes his reversal at the end of ROTJ.

    That, I totally disagree with. Anakin's fall must be for good reasons that we all agree with, and a choice we can all see ourselves making in the same situation -- otherwise, there's no point to telling the story, and no way his redemption would be believable. This is a cautionary myth; if he makes incomprehensible choices, the caution is thrown to the wind. I expect to go into the fire with him, which will make the redemption much more satisfying in the end.

    Which is why I object to a love triangle. I just can't imagine making such a momentous choice based on a lover's spat. It seems more congruous to deal with the tragedy as a one of over-reaching (Lucas has set up greed, which can also be greed for the power to do the right thing), and being destroyed in the process, because he has sacrificed his love in order to get this. Again, the sacrifice theme is important -- but this time in the negative: Anakin is giving up the very thing that makes him Anakin -- his love -- in order to gain power that he didn't rightfully have, or didn't have fast enough the old way. (No, I'm not suggesting that he voluntarily leaves Amidala -- I think, in fact, that he will fight to keep them together through it all, and so will she -- but eventually there will come a point where she can't turn a blind eye to his "politics" anymore, nor can he ignore the fact that she is on the opposite side of the line.)
  16. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    I think that sloth, inasmuch as it's related to laziness, might be implied in what Yoda says about the Dark Side -- "quicker, easier, more seductive" -- or what is said in Jurassic Park about the creation of the dinosaurs: that the knowledge was used carelessly because it wasn't earned by disciplined research. Anakin wants the power to do something, and do it quickly. He cuts corners, slaps it together, uses what's lying around instead of disciplining himself to achieve the power fairly. It's a kind of quick-moving sloth that tragic heroes are prone to.

    I'd say there's a definite lust for power in him, and a lust to achieve.
  17. Hôl Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 1999
    star 2
    This page does seem to keep cycling around a "lovers" triangle as if it were the only option. For a different perspective, consider Lancelot's role in the Arthurian sagas. Yes, there was the aspect of forbidden love -- but was it a triangle in truth, or a square (or, if the Lady Elaine is included, even a pentagram)? The element in that relationship which continually is overlooked is the relevance of Lancelot's focus on God.

    Would not it be more logical for Anakin's conflict to lie, not in competitive jealousy of Kenobi, but simply between his vocation as a Jedi and his love for Amidala?

    We are, after all, speaking of an Order which shuns strong emotion and which has already condemned Anakin's fear at losing his mother. How likely are is the Jedi Council as a whole to look sympathetically upon a new emotional attachment in one whom they already consider to be too old, too versed in attachment and fear?
  18. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    When I say "lust for power" I don't mean, "Man, it sure is great to be powerful because power is cool." I mean, "I have to save my mother and free the slaves! No one else can do it, and I need this extra help!" Means to an end fallacy. And of course, power corrupts, once you have it.


    Originally posted by Hôl:

    Would not it be more logical for Anakin's conflict to lie, not in competitive jealousy of Kenobi, but simply between his vocation as a Jedi and his love for Amidala?

    We are, after all, speaking of an Order which shuns strong emotion and which has already condemned Anakin's fear at losing his mother. How likely are is the Jedi Council as a whole to look sympathetically upon a new emotional attachment in one whom they already consider to be too old, too versed in attachment and fear?

    This is my thought on the matter entirely.

    On a semi-related topic to what we've been at, with the extrapolation of Amidala's name, I went looking for lotus graphics today, and decided, what the heck, I'll see what they have to do with the Amida Buddha while I'm doing it.

    The Amida Buddha -- the probable source of Amidala's name -- resides as ruler of the Pure Land. He would not become a Buddha until it was promised that such a land would come into being, and he could bring people to it. I haven't found the direct connection with the lotus yet -- I'm still looking -- but there definitely is one. The following link is to a page with a picture of the Amida Buddha rising from a lotus flower dais (I'm not going to post the picture itself, because it's from an active temple and is an altar centerpiece, and it strikes me as disrespectful to post it out of context to prove a literary point).
    http://www.calgary-buddhist.ab.ca/statue.htm http://www.calgary-buddhist.ab.ca/statue.htm

    I'm going to go read some more...

    [new edit]
    And now, having read a bit more, they do have a very brief description:

    Who is Amida Buddha?

    Amida Buddha (in Sanskrit: Amitabha) is the Buddha of Infinite Light. This buddha is described in the central texts of Pure Land Buddhism: the Larger Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra, the Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra, and the Meditation Sutra.

    The central story tells of the Bodhisattva Dharmakara, who became Amida Buddha, and his vow to delay his own ultimate enlightenment until all sentient beings have achieved enlightenment.

    [This message has been edited by JediGaladriel (edited 02-29-2000).]
  19. aguywithabiggun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 1999
    star 4
    Hey! Great thread!

    This is off the proverbial wall but has anyone noticed that the activation of the lightsaber makes for a great phallic symbol? See, my personal slave, Xizora, and I were discussing this very thing just a few days ago. Not only the actual activation, per say, but the tight grip and slender build of the handle itself. See, the handle, being held firmly, is always the beginning of activation. (just ask any handle) So, the activation is the direct result of the firmly held handle. Furthermore, Vaders handle activates much quicker than, say, Lukes. So its possible that, in effect, the way the handle is held is equal to the pre-activation of the activator. Right Xizora?

    Thank you
  20. Xizora Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 1999
    star 3
    ::dies of embarrassment::
  21. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    :revives Xizora:

    Well, I suppose this is the point in the thread where, as in the last one, we make some cracks about Vader's helmet. (As long as we're talking about snakes and phallic little Artoo... )

    Then, to get back to Dante...

    There's another scene in Dante, if I'm remembering correctly (and it's more than likely I'm not) where, in Hell, he has to climb over the frozen form of the Devil himself -- he must accept the Devil's help, in effect, to escape Hell.

    Apropos of nothing said lately, I was thinking about unmasking in RotJ again, and I noticed another one. When Han is being resurrected, the very first thing that happens is that a brilliant light breaks out from the carbon covering his face. Not only is he resurrected, he's Transfigured and reborn to a higher state.

    This is followed closely by the unmasking of the twins -- Leia gets unmasked twice, first literally, when she removes the Boussh mask, then figuratively, when she is revealed as a Skywalker. And Luke, of course, lowering the hood of that Vader-cape. Through the course of the movie, each of the characters is revealed in increasingly truer selves (oh, wait; I guess we can count a third unmasking of Leia when she tells Han that she's Luke's sister, though really both the subsequent unmaskings are pre-figured in the initial one).

    Serious question about Leia's gold bikini: it's been mentioned that it's a figure of her emerging sensual side. But is it, in the end, another mask, but one so incomplete that she simply can't hide behind it. She certainly doesn't look like she's even trying to fit the role, and she's held on a leash which she uses to strangle Jabba. (Warning: long-winded diversion. Except for the bikini, all the prominent women -- read "good gals" -- of SW are dressed in outfits that would literally pass the standards of restrictive regimes (well, there was the low-cut celebration gown on Yavin, I guess). Even their elbows and knees are hidden. There've been glimpses of other women, but they are very definitely minor and rather sleazy, always attached not even to the Empire, but to figures like Jabba. Any thoughts on the meaning of this? Leia certainly goes back to long sleeves right away, even in the Ewok village, where she's being natural and has even let her hair free.)
  22. Kayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 1999
    star 1
    <re: amida buddha - check recent adi buddha discussion on Forum7/HTML/002844.htmlthe meaning of qui-gon's name - kayla>
  23. MissPadme Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    I've also read about the metal bikini unmasking Leia, or as Phoebe on "Friends" put it, "It's when she stopped being a princess and became a woman." That's more or less how I looked at it for years.

    But I like JediGaladriel's take on it. Leia sure wasn't trying to be seductive. She kept trying to resist Jabba and eventually she strangled him. Good note about how other wise the heroines of the saga (Amidala and Leia) are covered up most of the time. What Amidala wears in Eps. II and III remains to be seen, but I don't think she's going to be running around in Barbarella-type get-ups. (Sorry, guys.)

    I think what we have here is an issue of worthiness. In most fairy tales and myths, the hero never gets anything from the princess or whomever happens to be the lady of virtue until he proves his worthiness in a series of tasks or trials or saves the kingdom, etc. AND he marries her in a proper ceremony. The heroines in SW are virtuous and they will not reveal their sensual side to anyone but those they deem worthy and at the proper time. Leia might have a few smooch sessions with Han, but she still takes her time revealing that side of herself to him. He doesn't fully commit to her and her cause until ROTJ, after all. Jabba's crime is that he *forcibly* unmasks Leia's sensuality, making her disrobe and sit by his side like a pet. He's trying to see something she doesn't want to reveal to him and get something he certainly does not deserve. So his punishment is death.
  24. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    Oo, I like that, Obilon.

    And I gets me thinking about the unmaskings again -- vision seems to be a major component in at least two cases (Han is blind, Anakin asks for the mask to be removed "to look upon you with my own eyess"). Can we do anything we SW and seeing? We see through binocs with both Luke and Maul; Artoo "peeks" through Yoda's window; Luke can't see a thing when he's landing on Dagobah; Amidala visually confuses people with her decoy; hmmm... that's off the top of my head. I wonder what I could come up with if I thought about it. I'll get back to y'all...
  25. BlackHorse Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2000
    Just some thoughts I had after reading the latest posts....

    Leia's bikini and leash (i dont think one can be refered to without the other) is a mark of shame, representing her fallen status. Her costume helps represent this state. No longer is she seen as a princess, but as the rest of the sleaze in Jabba's palace. However, she continues to behave not only like a princess, but like a warrior.

    Leia's fallen status is just part of the larger picture. Luke fell (quite literaly) in ESB, and remains so. Han fell, he was betrayed and frozen. Chewie's fall is being handcuffed (again) and thrown in Jabba's prison with Han. C-3P0's fall is having to serve Jabba, being knocked over, having green stuff splattered on him, and his eye being taken out. Finally, poor R-2 is made to be a mere waiter aboard the barge.

    As for vison all I can think of is:
    "Your eyes can decieve you, dont trust them"


    BH
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