Star Wars not a battle between good and evil

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by byrdnest, Aug 18, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
  1. byrdnest Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2001
    star 1
    Using good vs. evil makes the story of Star Wars simplistic in nature. What if the true story is about abrogation of power? About ridding oneself, society itself, of the need for power? Our world at least the western world, is all about gaining power, granted that is the nature of capitalism. When you have any sort of power, can you stand to not use it? I am a high school teacher, which should give me a sense of power in a way, but i only use that power when pushed up against the wall by a student. interestingly enough, i hardly ever have to use that power. What is the difference between the power the Emperor and Vader use and the power we use in our lives? Anakin did not accept the great suffering and did not sacrifice the use of power eventhough in the beginning his motives may have been good.

    Luke, a powerless ridiculed farmboy, finds he holds the ultimate power. He carries within him the universe's destruction. In the end he forgoes that power instead of acquiring it. No wonder Luke is the true hero of this story. He is the only one who is willing to forsake power for the welfare of others. We humans cannot do this on our own. We have had Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, and countless mythological figures show us the way but unable to do it ourselves. For all the power the Emperor held, he was unable to defeat Luke. Who won the battle? the one able to turn away from the power.

    King Arthur said he would use his Might to make Right. But power cannot defeat power. Mordred was quite powerful. He couldnt. Arthur realized this at the moment of his passing. That is why he ordered the sword thrown back in the lake.

    Now here is the real question. Did George Lucas know this as he wrote this story? Is he trying to tell us that only by turning from power is the only way for something other than power to prevail. Well looking at skywalker ranch the answer is obvious. Maybe he is just telling a really great story.
  2. xoliver Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2001
    star 2
    Of course he knows it. The characters who talk and think about power are the Sith and the Empire, in contrast to the wisdom and self-sacrifice of the Jedi and the Rebels. That doesn't mean Star Wars isn't about good vs evil, though.
  3. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    I see what your saying and to a degree, I agree.

    GL is well aware of this. SW is not a simple story. It is a tapestry that GL wove all different mythic influences together.

    -Seldon
  4. Plurimus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 1999
    star 3
    Only those who don't give SW much thought explain it as a a good versus evil story. Even GL might even use those words out of convenience to make a point. He seems like a simplistic guy, but what he's created contains a lot of subtlety. So much subtlety that I wrote a book on a single aspect of his creation -- lightsabers.

    Let's face it, literature, film, and any performing or representational arts follow conventions which make it easier for the public understand. But that's only the surface. There's plenty below it, if you care to dig for deeper meaning.
  5. TIE1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 4
    IMO the most general theme in the SW saga would be balance - or Yin and Yang if you will. Not about good vs. evil, but how they balance eachother out and how they cannot exist without the opposite.
  6. asajj_temptress Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2003
    I agree with you Plurimus

    All stories have a simplistic facade, but when looked at more closely, have more detail...a bigger picture.

    GL created SW in a way that allowed people to view it either way they chose to. To see it as purely a battle between good and evil is not wrong...it is only one of the many ways to look at it. He wanted people to enjoy the movies, whether it be for entertainment value or for the deeper themes woven into the saga.

    "The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it."
  7. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    IMO the most general theme in the SW saga would be balance - or Yin and Yang if you will. Not about good vs. evil, but how they balance eachother out and how they cannot exist without the opposite.

    No offense, but are you kidding me?? :p Not once do I see where this is the case... At the start of the story mainly good exists and is in power, and while things seem stagnate and in need of some change, GL appears to be trying to imply that it is good this way, that the Old Republic, the Jedi, etc. are all the victims. Then come the Sith, and the Empire, and good is only a small factor in the story. In each case, there is no real balance, and both are trying to gain dominance over the other. And then in the end there is purely good again. The moral of the story SEEMS to be that good eventually conquers evil. In this tale it crushed it! There's no balance in the end. The scales have been tipped RIGHT back to where they were at the beginning.
  8. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Bringing balance to the Force is trying to maintain a balance between ying and yang. That is one part of the saga's story. The struggle between the forces of good and those of evil. It is not the entire story. GL has so many bits about politics and handling power. He also puts in mythic heroes and their journey. There is a lot to the saga but the whole yin and yang is part of it.

    -Seldon
  9. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    It's also about the importance of family and love. Anakin forsakes all of that when he assumes the name Darth Vader. In the end though, he realises that he loves his son and thus redeems himself. He is Anakin Skywalker once more.
  10. byrdnest Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2001
    star 1
    i used to think it was about good/evil or balance of opposites but it is about power. even good is about using power. i use my powers for good... see who is to say how good i am with whatever powers i got? and the road to hell is paved with good intentions. at what point does good cross the line.
  11. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    It also has to do with, evil is not always evil. Often evil begins as good.
    I believe Natalie Portman said something similar on one of the DVDs. Attack of the Clones Special Features, I think.

    -Seldon
  12. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    She did. It's very true. I think Star Wars is more about the nature of evil than about good vs evil.
  13. Jade87 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2004
    its about bringin pece in to the galaxy
  14. TIE1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 4
    The moral of the story SEEMS to be that good eventually conquers evil. In this tale it crushed it! There's no balance in the end. The scales have been tipped RIGHT back to where they were at the beginning.

    Where in the story was the Republic/SW galaxy ever good? The story begins with the Rupublic in full corruption and ends with the galaxy in chaos (I say chaos because order is not re-established by the time the saga is over) and has evil in between. It's easy for us to assume that "Good" is restored to the galaxy after RotJ, but that's just assumption - general/overall/collective good does not take place in the saga. If you look at it, the Jedi aren't there to make the galaxy peacefull/good/etc., they are there to keep a balance. Even though they may be titled as "Keepers of the peace", do they ever keep peace? No, they keep balance.

    The thing that I beleive sets the SW saga apart from your general Good vs. Evil story, is the Force itself. The very nature of the force is neither good nor evil it's everything: balck/white/grey, +/-/=, good/bad/nuetral, Yin & Yang. If the Force was supposed to be one sided (Good), then why would the Force need to be balanced? Why wouldn't the will of the force be for everything to be perfect? It's because the very nature of all living things/sentiants (The Force) is neither good nor evil (generally). Therefore I believe the main theme of the saga is balance.
  15. byrdnest Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2001
    star 1
    so its about the lesser of two evils???
  16. TIE1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 4
    The only period of pure evil I mentioned was that of the Empire ...and has evil in between. To say that the main theme of SW is good vs. evil, would mean that there would have to be two extremes: one extremely good reality, and one extremely bad one. We only get the extreme of "Bad" with a neutral period prior, and a transitional period afterwards. This neutral period is the "balance", while the "bad" is the "imbalance".

    Also, let us not forget what is being fought for through out the entire saga: democracy. While it is not the perfect utopian system of government, it is the perfect balance of people's wants and needs (good/evil).
  17. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    Well, I prefer to go with GL's answer regarding the Force and balance. He said that the Sith were evil, the Jedi were good, and balance was brought when the Sith were destroyed.

    That to me sounds very "good vs. evil".
  18. TIE1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 4
    I guess it all boils down to one's definition of "good/evil". To me, good and evil are extremes when put in contrast against eachother, leaving no room for a grey area. It's really hard to go by what GL says because he tends to contradict himself. Granted, he has said that the Jedi are "good", yet he's used important scecnes in AotC to emphasize the themes of the Jedi being corrupt and arrogant - traits that prevent them from falling into the "good" extreme. AotC proves that the Jedi order is no longer "good", they now fall into the gray area. GL either contradicted himself, or he was referring to a select few Jedi (Obi, Yoda).
  19. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    The Jedi have become corrupt, yes, but that's because the dark side has grown. It influences everyone. And who is behind the growing of the dark side? The Sith.
    Once the Sith are gone, the Jedi will be free from corruption.
  20. TIE1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 4
    Regardless of the cause, the Jedi are no longer collectively "good" in a pure sense. Also, there is no evidence that the Sith are the cause of the corruption as of now, it could have been going on long before Darth Maul has revealed himself.

    edit:

    Also, for one to be good would imply morale and character, but the Jedi don't teach that. They are to look at situations from all points of view (balance) and act accordingly to the will of the force - and again - the force is neither good nor evil - it is both and everything in between (balance). Pure subjective "good" has to come from free will, not by command like how the force controls the Jedi.
  21. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    From the movies, it seems evident that the Sith are behind it. Even if it was going on before TPM, because the Sith had been around for awhile.
    It's also clear that the Jedi are basically good.

    EDIT: Your edit provides a very good point, though :)
    Alright, forget what I said! The Jedi are striving for balance by following the will of the Force. The Sith don't do that. Hence, imbalance.
    So, as I said, Star Wars is more about the nature of evil than good vs evil.

    EDIT 2: On the other hand, couldn't balance be a definition of good(or vice versa)?
  22. TIE1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 4
    The way I see it (and in reality too) is like this:

    Good cannot exist without evil and vice versa. Without the opposite, all you have is neutral - nothing's bad but nothing's good either. For example, think of your favorite food. Would it taste that great if you didn't have all the bad tastes to compare it with? Without bad or average tasting food, it would just be nutrients - nothing great.

    So to me, balance is all three: good, neutral, and bad.
  23. Jade87 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Well balance is wen all is the same
    so you might got a point there!
  24. QueenLeia Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2004
    star 7
    I believe good can exist without evil. SW has a battle between good and evil which is call the lightside and darkside respectively. If you vanquish the darkside then the lightside will still exist thus good can exist without evil.
  25. TIE1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 4
    If evil is completely gone (meaning everything is on the extreme side of "good") then "good" becomes neutral on a long enough timeline because there is no opposite.
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.