Seeing With New Eyes

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by WayOfTheLight, Apr 25, 2005.

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  1. WayOfTheLight Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Revelations play a huge part in Star Wars, whether it's from the audience's or the character's point of view. Once-hidden truths are always coming forward to challenge established perspectives. From father/son, to maker/3po, to Padme's handmaiden/queen ruse..it goes on and on. I'm new to the boards and would like to get some sharing of ideas. So what's your favorite revelation? It could be the one you think is most crucial to the story, or something you think is cool-like stormtroopers turning out to be clones. Or maybe it's something even the characters didn't realize-like the fact that a "mystical energy field" does indeed control Han's destiny. Let's just keep it spoiler-free. But otherwise have at it. I'd love to hear your ideas.
  2. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Obivously the most common, the most mainstream, the most dramatic and the most ground shaking plot twist was Vader announcing that he is indeed Luke's father.
    That twist in the story is one of the most well known Star Wars quotes and one of the first things many people think about when they think of Star Wars.

    That one has the most shock value and I love it. James Earl Jones has the perfect voice the declaration makes it immediately known that Vader truly is a human. There is a man behind the mask and something went terribly wrong.

    Along with that one, I find the Queen/Handmaiden twist to be amusing.

    Part of the appeal of these films is a constant plot twist. The suprise ending, or twist you didn't see coming. I enjoyed all of them.

    -Seldon
  3. WayOfTheLight Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Thanks Seldon, I agree about Vader's revelation. That was a really powerful scene all the way around. Our hero got his hand cut off, and his idol-who he thought to be a heroic jedi-turned out to be the most evil villain. All of a sudden the Star Wars galaxy seemed to grow in its scope. There was a lot more going on than mere space battles. My favorite part of that scene was the during the line: "Luke, you have not yet realized your importance." Like you said, James Earl Jones' voice was awesome, deep and resonate. But John Williams' music also got very creepy then. This was one of two scenes that begged for prequels-the other was in ANH with Ben's line: "For over a thousand generations..."

    Edit: By the way, the title for this topic comes from a Marcel Proust quote: "The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." It is that moment of dawning comprehension that I love. For example, at the end of ROTJ when Leia told Han she loved Luke. Han had to have the courage and honor to confront his jealousy. But then Leia told him: "It's not like that at all. He's my brother." The look on Han's face was priceless.

    We're off to a great start here. Anyone else? Your post can even be about how you might think some of the revelations are contrived or stupid, or maybe just ironic. The most ironic one to me was Jar Jar being the one to give emergency powers to Palpatine in AOTC. I then realized why Jar Jar was in the story, other than for marketing purposes.
  4. Sgt Pepper Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 1998
    star 1
    The prequels have certainly changed the way I feel about certain characters in the saga. It used to be that Yoda and Obi-Wan were perceived as ultimate good guys who could do no wrong. After all, Vader was the villain, right? Well, things aren't so black and white anymore but rather grey. It seems Obi-Wan and Yoda made some key mistakes along the way even through inaction. Meanwhile, Vader has been transformed from just plain mean ol' villain to a tragic christ-like figure that we feel for now. I personally prefer this more complex view of characters than I did before the PT.

    My 2 cents.
  5. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    The Empire Strikes Back added a more emotional and human view of the Star Wars Galaxy.
    A New Hope was a series of adventures involving heroes. The good guys were noble and good, the villains were completely evil and ruthless. Empire came along and added the emotional struggles, and a look at the flaws of humanity.

    It expanded the original completely.
    And nowhere is that expansion more evident than the example of Vader's character. Along with the galaxy, the way we look at Vader changed with the second film.

    -Seldon
  6. WayOfTheLight Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Some great stuff you guys! =D=
    Sgt. Pepper: It's funny how a growing understanding of these characters also leads to growing complexity. Black & white becomes fuzzy & grey. A friend once told me that he thought Star Wars was mostly a story about redemption. This is no more apparent than when you look at Obi-Wan and Yoda and Anakin. Following the chronilogical order of the movies, we see that these three messed up bad. Yet by the end of episode VI they have all redeemed themselves. While following the released order we realize that even suppossedly infallible Jedi can make horrible mistakes. What really made them all heroes was that they realized, admitted and learned from their screwups.
    Seldon: You are so right with everything you said about ESB. On the dvd commentary director Irvin Kershner talked about how he wanted to make it more emotional, more personal than the original. And it does, probably more than any of the other episodes, show the flaws of humanity. From Luke's "failure at the cave" to Vader's admitting that he was a Jedi who had fallen, we see that even with the Force as your ally you're going to make mistakes. It's great too how you pointed out that Vader's revelation was not just in terms of plot, but also how we look at or feel about him. We not only learned that he was Luke's father, but also developed more sympathy for him. And as Sgt. Pepper said, this was taken even farther with Anakin in the PT.
  7. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    TESB really shows the emotional and flawed side of everyone.

    In the first film, Leia was a strong woman. She was independent and out spoken. By the time the second film comes around, she is shown to have emotions, she no longer knows what to do next, she isn't really in charge anymore and sometimes she is speechless. Her emotions get the best of her and she falls in love, despite resisting it. The second film makes her more human.

    Han Solo was a space pirate in the first film, but he was always pretty carefree or careless about it all. By the time Empire comes, it is shown that he really owes people big time. That he is involved with some serious buisness and is going to pay for it. Solo isn't in control of things anymore, his debt to Jabba begins to take over his life.

    Luke Skywalker was the shining star of A New Hope. He was the hero that could do no wrong. The only boy that could help Obi-Wan, the heir to the legacy of the Jedi. Yoda shows the kid that he isn't all powerful, and that he isn't so important and so heroic. What Yoda does is show him his flaws, his mistakes, his weaknesses and his fears. All of those weren't explored in the first film.

    I've already explained how Vader changes from that inhuman monstor to that human gone wrong.

    The second film doesn't just expand the locations and planets. It also adds something to all of the major characters. This is sort of a digression from plot twists, but I thought I would point it out.

    -Seldon
  8. WayOfTheLight Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Not a digression at all Seldon. When it comes to revelations, there's none more telling than the revealing of character. My favorite writer Vonnegut once said that there's two things a story should do: advance the plot and reveal character. Because when that happens-in keeping with the topic of this thread-it's not only we the audience who learn something new and get a fresh perspective, it's the characters too. Leia thought she knew what strength was, until she watched her beloved lowered into the carbon freezing chamber. Han thought he was in control, until the very same moment oddly enough. And we thought Luke was the pure, unadulterated hero until he got down-n-dirty on Dagobah. Luke thought he knew who and what his father was. He also thought he was strong enough, and in control enough, to take on Vader and rescue his friends. A recurring theme here seems to be a redefining of what strength is. [face_thinking]
  9. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    I find it somewhat interesting that both Anakin and Luke began their Jedi training at a late age, especially Luke. It is also somewhat ironic that Luke, whom received the informal and rushed training, turned out better than Anakin, who went through the traditional Jedi protocol.
  10. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Anakin had years of running into the barriers created by Yoda, Obi-Wan and Mace. After a while he stopped learning and became frustrated by it all.

    In contrast, Luke only had a short time so instead of becoming all that frustrated, he learned from the barriers and the lessons and moved on and became stronger for it. I think being trained for less time was an advantage Luke had, for he never really grew angry about the whole experience.

    It is sort of strange to explain.

    -Seldon
  11. Tokio_Drifter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2003
    star 2
    Great topic.

    Seldon, while I agree with you, I believe there is more to it.

    because of his freely developped self he still had the connection with that natural thing, (the force itself?) which made it possible for him to throw away his weapon eventually; he wasn't unlike his father at his time completely consumed by the teachings and domga, or his frustration against them.

  12. WayOfTheLight Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Lucas loved using parallels between Luke and Anakin. But as you guys have shown there was more to it than having them both work in the same garage, both look at the sunset, etc. He seemed to be showing us that even though the two of them had very similar lives, when it came to the ultimate choice of light vs. dark they took separate paths.
    The telling moment for both characters comes with this choice. I believe it is called a toggle, a point of no return. It has to do, I think, with how they dealt with revelations up to that point. We have to be careful here since this forum is SPOILER FREE. So, for Anakin, I'll take my queues from Seldon and Tokio_Drifter. He was frustrated and consumed by the duality of following the Jedi Code while feeling love. His love for his mother haunted him from day 1, and when she died because of his inaction his frustration with the Jedi way grew. He was unable to move on, to let go.
    Remember toward the end of ANH, when Obi-Wan's force ghost told Luke to "Let go"? Well, he did. He faced the deaths of Owen and Beru and Obi-Wan, and became stronger for it. In keeping with the teachings of the Jedi this kept him in the present, "..where he was, what he was doing.." Whereas Anakin never let go. Obi-Wan to Anakin: "You haven't learned anything." He held onto his mother, Padme, the memory of Qui Gon. When the two paths of light and dark diverged from the path of the Jedi, as Tokio_Drifter said, Luke threw down his weapon. His mind was ready because he had dealt with his losses, faced his demons and in so doing had turned himself over to the will of the Force, the way of the light. Toggles often occur in the heat of the moment, when there is no time to sit and think before deciding on the proper course of action. It then falls back on all the little choices that were made along the way. Everything Luke had done prepared him perfectly for his confrontation with the Emperor. He was able to throw down his weapon and back away from the passion and fury of the dark side because he had learned to let go.
    Thanks to everyone who has participated so far in this thread. You've made this newbie feel very welcome. And, what's more, have given me a lot to think about. Let's keep this going. We are just scratching the surface of the revelations within our favorite story.
  13. Chaotic_Serenity Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2004
    star 4
    Honestly? I was always shocked - but impressed - by how much Luke and Leia's mother impacted the story. I always assumed, and I doubt I'm alone in this, that Padme was more of a sideline figure who really didn't influence his turn to the dark side, simply because the only reference to her was a paragraph or so in ROTJ. Now that her story's developed, we see it's quite the opposite. She has played just as important a role in not only shaping the Republic as it transforms into the Empire, but also in creating the Vader inside Anakin. She is his motivation in most all of AOTC, and I won't be surprised if that carries over into the main plot of ROTS, if not right into the reasoning behind why he turns.
  14. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Chaotic_Serenity: I agree with that. When I always thought of the mother, it never occured to me that she was a major player in the saga. My image of her was a quiet, attractive young lady who Anakin loved. I never imagined that she was a Galactic Senator and friend of Palaptine. Granted I was only 12 before the prequels began so I didn't think too much about her role.

    This reminds me of another type of twist or sorts.
    Seeing how evil Palpatine is in Return of the Jedi, I never imagined that the prequels would feature a friendly, kind, respectable grand father like politician named Palpatine. I assumed he was always evil, hated, and ugly. This has been a delightful suprise, how many layers have been added to the character of Chancellor Palpatine. I don't know of too many people who thought that he would be so normal and kind (or at least seem normal and kind).

    -Seldon


  15. ceridwen1977 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2005
    star 3
    After reading many history books about Hitler and Stalin it is interesting to see that Lucas has approached the character of the Emperor in quite a similar fashion: like Hitler he was voted in because he was assumed to be fairly passive and controllable, and like Stalin, he built his way up the ranks fairly quietly, not making any big displays and like these two tyrants, getting other people to do the dirty work for him so that he cannot be implicated in anything. Of course neither Hitler nor Stalin had the dark side!! So to me it is completely believeable that someone so outwardly 'normal' (whatever normal is in the Star Wars world) and placid would turn out to be the villain of the saga, most 'real' villains are the ones we least expect. It's only with hindsight that they are revealed to be villains. It avoids the terrible sterotypes we are all subjected to where evil is always outwardly deformed or nasty looking (see most Hollywood films) - okay so that analogy falls down when we consider Vader, who is evil and twisted, and Jabba, but at least in the Emperor it works for me - also see the Ewoks who are 'cute' but almost eat Han Solo and like to beat up stormtroopers.

    Incidentially my favourite revelations in Star Wars apart from Vadar telling Luke is his father, are when Lando starts to help Leia and Chewie (not that unexpected but a great relief) and (call me a soppy girl) when Leia finally tells han she loves him, a touching moment. My least favourite is when Leia finds out that Vadar is Luke's father - I always wonder why she doesn't seem to realise that he is her father as well, it seems that Lucas missed a chance here for some really great dialogue between Leia and Luke - they don't get much in the trilogy at it is and there are no new perspectives offered despite the gravity of the situation.
  16. Lieutenant Piett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 4
    The revelation in SW that is the most profound for me is the one that overarches the whole PT and informs the whole saga: that not only is Palpatine not the seemingly benevolent and wise man-of-the-people that he offered himself up to be, but that he's purest Evil incarnate, unrelenting and unredeemable. Moreover, he succeeded in a decades-long plan to turn a democratic Republic into an autocratic Empire, which while seemingly sudden, was actually gradual and meticulous. This is the way that Evil works, and this illustration of the true nature of Evil is GL's most stunning achievement. He is not demonic, attacking and terrorizing (like Maul, and later, Vader); no, he is truly diabolical -- calculating, assured, and patient. (I think one of the, if not the most prominent question the saga asks, is, "What is the true nature of Evil?" Its answer is in the character of Palpatine; Vader, while acting evilly, wasn't truly Evil.)

    Darth-Seldon above accurately cites the imagery of this: indeed, throughout the PT (so far!) Palpatine appears "kindly". Even in ROTJ, though gruesome, he's basically the form an enfeebled old man, hobbling slowly around on a cane (in turn, presenting a mirror-antithesis of Yoda, the characterization of benevolence and wisdom). Still, this, for me, makes the PT Palpatine infinitely more frightening: here is Evil, regally attired and sighing in compassion, whispering sage advice (?!) in the ear of a beautiful young Queen, providing avuncular mentoring to our handsome young protagonist . . . and lying through his teeth all along. The Great Deceiver, indeed.

    (For a similarly terrifying study of true Evil, seek out the indie movie "In the Company of Men", and observe the character "Chad").

    But part of the beauty of the architecture of the saga is how smaller revelations are nested in this largest revelation, on many levels -- the specific moments cited above are examples of this, and reinforce the overall theme of deceptiveness. From the Decoy-handmaiden ruses in the PT to old Ben "telling the truth from a certain point of view" to Luke in Ep.IV (i.e., lying!), all these moments resonate with and from the overall deception of Palpatine.
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