Should Barriss be redeemed?

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by StarWarsFan91, Mar 7, 2013.

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  1. Circular Logic SWTV Interview Host

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    This is certainly one of the better decisions the show can take with Barriss's character, and really show her evolution from by-the-book Jedi to extremist Knight Templar. Even if she never plays an important role in the show again, she would ironically be viewed in the lens of history as ultimately right about the darkness that befell the Jedi Order during the waning years of the Republic. As you said, when stripped down to the bare essentials, Barriss might well be viewed as one of the first and few Jedi to have foreseen the fall of the Jedi Order and the Old Republic; therefore making her a hero in hindsight to those opposing the Galactic Empire.
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  2. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

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    Who is the "you" that you're speaking to here? Because that's quite an unflattering generalization to be throwing around, as if everyone here is simply sucking up whatever shallow image the media deigns to dole out without a care for the truth. We're not all idiots stumbling about in the darkness of placated ignorance, we have real and varying opinions.

    The thing is that, with each of those examples you mentioned, it's possible to see each of those men for all of their flaws―"warts and all" as the saying goes―and yet still see the good there. I think many people know about Lennon's less than pleasant home life as well as Lincoln's true feelings toward the issues of equality, and the truth of both is becoming more widespread all the time as people become more accepting that heroes don't need to be spotless icons. Despite Lincoln's lack of true empathy for the slaves, he remains the cornerstone of their eventual freedom; regardless of his flaws, it was his actions that set in motion a series of events that led to freedom, and a further march toward equality between blacks and whites. Neither of these aspects of who he was specifically cancel out the other―the man had his good points, and he had his bad. Seeing him for what he is, both parts in their entirety, marks intelligent acceptance of reality.


    Bringing this back to Barriss, this is why I believe she has a chance for redemption. Looking at this in-universe logic and ignoring the sheer stupidity of the "creative" reasoning, Barriss allowed herself to be consumed by the negative side of the Jedi. She ceased to see the Order for what it truly is, and instead saw only the warts: the battlefield warriors, the attack-commanding generals, the Senate-serving sycophantism. To walk her back, to effectively reopen her eyes to a larger, broader view of the Jedi, so that she would be seeing the Order in all its shades, would open the door to a reassessment of her position. Show her the teachers that pass on knowledge, show her the humanitarian workers who work with refugees, the poor, the sick, and the hungry, on Coruscant and far flung worlds in the Outer Rim. Let her get back in touch with the Circle of Healers and see the good the Jedi do. The Order is a living organism in itself, subject to change, growth, decay, and rebirth; encourage her to see the Order for all its positive traits as well as it's flaws. Acceptance that there is a problem, as well as assurance that things can improve, is the only way to truly affect change and create a better future. Walked down that path, Barriss could come back to the light again.
  3. BigAl6ft6 Chosen One

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    Nov 12, 2012
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    Barris was right.

    No, really! Her speech at the end that the Jedi are fighting for the dark side and the Republic will fall is totally on the money because the Chancellor is behind the whole darn thing! Her killing innocent and not-so-innocent people is not something that can be forgiven but her overall point, that the Jedi have lost their way and are really the bad guys in the war is completely correct. So she's not exactly a villain who just went crazy, she's just seeing clearly. Can't really redeem something that is ideologically and technically correct.
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Mar 9, 2013
  4. JackG Force Ghost

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    If they're going to **** with Barriss' character they may as well make it interesting. Don't go the boring route of her falling to the Dark Side or being manipulated by Sidious. Have her break out of jail, but not to join the Separatists, to right the galaxy as she sees fit. So, Barriss' redemption hinges entirely on whether or not she has fallen to the Dark Side, something the episode left ambiguous. Can someone who ideologically believes differently to the High Council and the Senate yet isn't a dark sider be redeemed? No.

    I really want to see what prompted Barriss' choice to take such drastic action, because that is really a large question that hangs over this entire arc. And not a "oh, that's so intriguing" question, more like a "WTF? That makes no sense from what we've seen of this character" question.
  5. johnrain39 Jedi Master

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    Oct 30, 2012
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    Barriss can be redeemed. In Star Trek, Commander Chakotay was a Maquis terrorist. He was allowed back in Starfleet.
  6. QuangoFett Force Ghost

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    Jun 11, 2011
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    Anakin in ROTS is actually a good point of comparison to Barriss in S5.

    A distinction was made earlier in the thread between "valid" targets within the Jedi Temple and "invalid" targets - people totally unconnected to any military activities or coup attempts as opposed to those who are. Ultimately, Anakin targets every last person in the Jedi Temple for summary execution, while Barriss specifically targets military assets and those connected with the war effort. Anakin kills younglings with no connection whatsoever to any coup attempt, while we never see any evidence that Barriss' victims include among them those unconnected to the war effort. There is a clear distinction between who they target, and not one that can be overlooked. Intent matters. Their targets are not just as legitimate.

    And I would say that Anakin hasn't fallen completely or absolutely, even by the end of ROTS. He is still bound by the chains of remorse and regret. He even sheds a tear at killing the CIS leaders, who include among their number war criminals like Wat Tambor. It takes him a few additional missions for the Sith post-ROTS to become completely subsumed into the Dark Side. If Sidious is the paragon of the Dark Side, then Anakin/Vader is still quite far from it and Barriss in S5 is probably even further from it. Like Anakin in ROTS, she lacks the will to completely overcome moral inhibitions and feel no regret. She does indeed give into fear, anger and aggression, but as Filoni has said, her fears include concerns about herself in addition to the Jedi Order. She is implied to be conscious of darkness within her.

    Using the Force Choke to murder Letta is probably her darkest act, comparable to Anakin's execution of Dooku. She hasn't gone on a murderous vengeful rampage, and even the people she kills in her personal political war for her perceived "greater good" have far more accountability and validity than the people he kills, as ruthless as her killing of them is. She doesn't regularly use the Force Choke as a crude intimidation tactic. Her actions are brutal and ruthless, but still targeted and measured rather than casual, impulsive and out of control. I consider her to be partially fallen, but not completely.

    Whether she should be "redeemed" or not is a separate, albeit not completely independent, matter.
    Last edited by QuangoFett, Mar 9, 2013
  7. Sitara Force Ghost

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    Bariss should be killed off to put this much abused character to rest. To salvage what we can from this ridiculous arc, it should be Luminara that does the deed, with tears in her eyes, so that we get some adult emotion and show the Jedi are humane and have feelings too.
  8. Narutakikun Force Ghost

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    True, but not the point. When people become symbols of something, they become mythic, and the truth of them as a human being ceases to matter. Yes, a few professional historians may find a need to take a more balanced view of the truth in the interests of historical objectivity, but the vast majority of the people won't, nor do they either need or want to. Look at the Spielberg movie about Lincoln that just got released. Historians like Tom DiLorenzo have done a fine job of pointing out what historical load of rubbish that movie is. And yet, it keeps a mythos alive, and people need those. They need them in order to inspire them to do good (although the definition of "good" is, of course, highly debatable).

    So the only real reason for anyone beyond a certain small coterie of professional historians to even bother to see how much the mythos around a historical figure may or may not match up to reality is to attempt to tear down the thing that mythos represents. This is something that's actually fairly common. DiLorenzo, for example, is a hardcore libertarian who believes that the Lincoln mythos is used to justify overreaching government power, so he has an ideological interest in tearing down the Lincoln mythos. Christopher Hitchens wrote a whole book devoted to tearing down the mythos around Mother Teresa because he didn't like religion in general and Christianity in particular very much, and she is a powerful symbol of everything that's good about it. There have been books that did similar things with J. Edgar Hoover, Pope Pius XII, FDR, Martin Luther King, Jr., Churchill, Darwin, Galileo, Mohammad, Gandhi, and Che Guevara, among others. Still other books have tried to do the opposite; to take a historical figure who has become a symbol of something bad, and tried to show that the real person at the bottom of the mythos was nowhere near as awful as people thought. One can debate the factual historical accuracy of all of these accounts, but all of them have the same thing at their core - an ideologically-motivated desire to tear down an idea by tearing down someone who has become a symbol of it.

    I'm strongly of the Lisa Simpson mode of thought in these matters - as long as they genuinely inspire people to do good, it's best to let people have their mythoi. Other than - rightly or wrongly - trying to tear down the thing they stood for, what's the point of trying to inject more objective truth into the histories of the people behind them? To show that they were flawed human beings who sometimes didn't do the right thing? True enough, but also so much a truism that it's not worth saying. Besides, pointing out that heroes were ordinary people is, in a way, damaging to their mythos - people need their heroes to be extraordinary, in order to inspire them to be extraordinary too.
  9. Narutakikun Force Ghost

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    A small addendum: There are often good historical cases to be made that someone else actually deserved to become the kind of symbol that a well-known figure became - why, for example, does Rosa Parks deserve to become celebrated as a symbol of defiance against injustice instead of Irene Morgan, Mary Louise Smith, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, or Claudette Colvin, all of whom did the same thing she did before she did it?

    I wonder what would happen if we did see Barriss become a symbol of someone who took a stand against an unjust war and the creeping oppression of the approaching Empire by being willing to turn her back on a Jedi Order that had lost its way - with us, dear audience members, knowing that an obscure ex-Jedi padawan named Ahsoka Tano deserved just as much credit, if not more, because she walked away from the Order non-violently?

    How about this, too - we know that the last few remnants of the Separatists were instrumental in forming the coalition that became the Rebellion - what if Dooku and Grievous became symbols of resistance against tyranny to the Rebellion? Again, you and I would know the truth, but if some young soldier at Hoth was inspired to stand against the Imperial AT-ATs by the heroic example provided by the mythos built around one of them, well, even if that's historically wrong, doesn't that do more good than the truth would?
  10. Dan_Grievous_Tikkes_Fan Force Ghost

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    Redeemed!? Pish Posh.... [face_party][face_rofl]

    Why redeem her?! Why!? She has just become 1000 times more fun and interesting for me. I mean... Ahsoka's best friend has now gone evil and betrayed her. It could catch the eye of Palpatine and now thanks to Barriss being evil, we can explain or retcon why Geonosis fell in the hands of Poggle back in Season Two.
    Barriss (as explained in the Wookiepedia) was watching over Geonosis before it was taken back by the Separatists,... what if she gave them the planet back!? Maybe to prove herself to Dooku?!


    Evil Barriss is THE best Barriss and has so much more potential for future stories... as a regular villain...
    Last edited by Dan_Grievous_Tikkes_Fan, Mar 9, 2013
  11. BigAl6ft6 Chosen One

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    Yeah, aside from that episode where Barris and Ashoka did a riff on The Thing, a cover of some novel, and this, the character is a very blank slate. Much more interesting this way, I think it suits her.
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  12. JackG Force Ghost

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    Aug 15, 2011
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    Way to extrapolate there, Wookieepedia. :rolleyes: Consider me partial to the school of thought which thinks Barriss is feed up with the Jedi and Republic but isn't a Dark Sider.

    But I don't know what I detest more: Barriss' TOS page's succinct description of Barriss is "Friend of Ahsoka Tano". [face_sick] Seems she's nothing more than a device to have Ahsoka leave the Order. [face_sigh]
    Last edited by JackG, Mar 9, 2013
  13. StarWarsFan91 Force Ghost

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    Why are people saying she hasn't fallen to the darkside? It is kind of obvious when she is revealed to be the traitor, that she has turned to the darkside.
    Last edited by StarWarsFan91, Mar 9, 2013
  14. JackG Force Ghost

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    いいえ
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  15. StarWarsFan91 Force Ghost

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    I meant that when we found out she was the traitor, it was obvious that she had fallen to the darkside. I used a poor choice of words above, because it made it sound that throughout the entire 4 episode arc, it was obvious that Barris was a dark jedi, which of course we didn't know in the first few episodes of the story.

    Besides, a Jedi who is following the lightside of the force, would not have done what she did.
  16. JackG Force Ghost

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    What if she isn't following the Dark or the Light?
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  17. StarWarsFan91 Force Ghost

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    There is not a third form of the force.
  18. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    What if the Force didn't make her do it?
  19. StarWarsFan91 Force Ghost

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    It didn't force her to do anything.. The force is not something that rids free will out of a subject, though the darkside can cause people to act less rationally at times. Barris chose to become evil, chose to join the darkside.
  20. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
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    Exactly.

    Maybe she just had PMS or something.

    But lol at the idea that any character in the Star Wars universe who does something bad, must be a Sith. You know what Obi-Wan said about absolutes.
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  21. StarWarsFan91 Force Ghost

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    I never said she was a Sith, she isn't.

    And most people in the GFFA who do something bad/evil do not become a darksider because they are not force sensitive.

    But when a force user does something bad/evil, they become more open to the darkside, and can likely fall because of that. Sure there are examples of jedi doing bad things, and not falling to the darkside at that time, but apart of that is because said jedi realize what they did was wrong and that it could lead to the darkside, therefore striving to prevent themselves of doing anymore future evil.

    But i did not see Barris say she regretted what she did, in fact, i think if given the option again, she would have attacked the Jedi even more, even if she hadn't been caught.
    Last edited by StarWarsFan91, Mar 9, 2013
  22. TaradosGon Manager Emeritus

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    Anakin tells Obi-Wan that if he is not with him then he is an enemy. Obi-Wan says only a Sith "deals in absolutes."

    Anakin proclaims that from his point of view the Jedi are evil (something that Barriss does as well) to which Obi-Wan immediately writes Anakin off as being lost, completely unwilling to see that pov.

    My God. Obi-Wan's a Sith. [face_thinking]
  23. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    ...or something. Yeah.

    I personally prefer to label deeds separately from people and I believe that people are more than what they do.

    As far as Barriss "regretting what she did"--yeah, I think that's the only thing that could have made this arc suck worse than it did (other than a less awesomely-written Anakin). There was not time for her to actually get motivated to bomb the Temple in the first place, much less bomb it then regret it afterwards.

    My answer to the thread topic would be "I don't care" though.
  24. Togruta Force Ghost

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    I'm not crazy about the idea of Barriss being "redeemed", I kinda don't like the idea of any PT Jedi being redeemed but Anakin, though I don't think she's quite gone to the dark side.
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  25. Circular Logic SWTV Interview Host

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    There may actually be some sense in this view, actually. I recall reading that Barriss believed that the Force did not have a good or evil side, and this may have factored into why she was so willing to use Dark Side methods to achieve her goals of discrediting the Jedi. Is she a believer of the concept of the Unifying Force?
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