Saga Star Wars Philosophy: Jedi and Sith

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Twi'lekPrince, Mar 24, 2013.

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  1. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Here we go again with the absolute statements. "wrong", you say, and when I suggest that this is a matter of interpretation I have little doubt that you will tell me that it isn't a matter of opinion or interpretation. In fact you say here it is "according to Lucas", but forget that the quote that you are using to shore that position up is but one of many. Other quotes suggest that how you claim it to be is questionable (and are less confused in their context). And, who is this "certain Force Wielder" that you speak of? It seems strange to be coy about such. Do you mean Palpatine? In a scene where he is trying to turn Anakin? The term "darkside of the Force" is only used by Sith characters.

    Given that the films are (according to Lucas) about choices, then it makes sense to understand the difference between the Sith and the Jedi in terms of how they use the Force - and it is, I think, telling that the Jedi never use the term "lightside" and only ever talk of the use of the Force.

    Lucas was pretty categorical that Anakin Skywalker brought balance to the Force by destroying the Sith and ridding the galaxy of evil, so I don't understand how that fits in with the idea that the Force is in balance only with an equal power between this notional darkside vs lightside.
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  2. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Mod edit: Can it with the baiting


    The Sith are not the dark side. Destroying one does not mean destroying the other.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Mar 29, 2013
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  3. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Do you mean like the one that I sourced in a previous discussion. Why you ask this, given that (and the fact that you reference that same quote later in this post) is...puzzling. Why would you try to misguide in this way? Each to their own, I suppose.

    So...it should be Force User? Really? You want an argument that much? And, I take it that it was indeed Palpatine in that scene that you were referencing? Don't let your odd syntactic proclivities divert you from the question at hand.


    My mistake. I had misremembered this line(you see how this works?)


    I'm not entirely sure what, if anything, you are trying to say here. But at least you have accepted that the term "lightside" is not used in the movies. You interpret the use of the term "goodside" as being of the Force, but such is never said. And when Yoda replies he doesn't speak of knowing which side of the Force to use, he speaks of knowing how to use the Force. Again, this matches up with the idea that the difference between the Sith and the Jedi is in how they use the Force.

    Clearly you didn't understand the point that I made (though I took the time to explain it). Let me remind you. I said that you might have a point with the quote in question not being taken literally. But, obviously Lucas meant something by it. I suggested, therefore, that when he said that evil in the universe was destroyed he meant a particular form of evil That evil might be the darkside of the Force, that which imbalances the Force. The darkside of the Force used by the Sith. And their destruction brings balance to the Force and destroys that evil. Do you remember now? Again, quite why you appear to be....misguiding others regarding what I have said is...puzzling.


    So you say, but I would argue otherwise.
    Last edited by only one kenobi, Mar 29, 2013
  4. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    I'm talking about the residents of Mortis, also known as the Ones.

    It's self-explanatory. Disputing the existence of a thing on the basis that its name changed during its lifetime makes no sense. By this "logic" a man named Cassius Clay never existed.

    Strawman. That the term is not used in the movies is irrelevant, as explained once again above. The term came into use after the films were released, to describe something referred to in the movies by a different name. Besides, it wouldn't make any difference if the term had been used in the movies. It would just be ignored, as we see below:

    Lucas has said that the Force has a good side. Restricting our attention to the films, when we've already heard that the Force has sides, and two characters are discussing the Force, and they speak of two sides, this is not some kind of coincidentally similar separate construction. It is not much of a stretch to realize that the "bad side" and the "dark side of the Force" refer to the same thing, as is confirmed by Laurent Bouzereau; the rest follows. Don't forget that Luke is told he will be able to tell the sides apart when he is calm. This doesn't cohere with the revisionism which seeks to convert the sides of the Force into modes of behavior; it speaks directly to the external duality of the Force as envisioned by the filmmakers and cited in the historical record.

    Again, this remains true in the dualistic Force structure envisioned by Lucas, as any alleged fundamental truth of SW should. The Sith use the dark side voluntarily, while to do so violates the concept of being a true Jedi. Done.

    Or it might be the evil of Palpatine and the power of his Empire, that which we actually see destroyed in the film. Lucas still doesn't say, anywhere, what you want him to have said, nor do any of his characters. It's a telling omission. And Lucas has also said that the point of the films is a balance between good and evil, which arguably works against attempts to spin his other quote to mean things he didn't intend.

    Since a side of the Force isn't a group of people, killing a group of people doesn't eliminate a side of the Force.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Mar 30, 2013
  5. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    And there I was thinking we were talking about the movies.

    So..the term "lightside" isn't to be found in the films (the analogy is seriously flawed - unless you are suggesting that he became Cassius Clay after his career and was never actually known by that name.)

    Nope. Just plain wrong.

    This is meaningless nonsense. The term is not in the movies, therefore not of the movies. Just because someone uses a term to discuss the movies after the event doesn't make it a part of them.

    As I say, you interpret the discussion this way. Do you deny that when Yoda replies he does not say Luke will know which side of the Force to use? He talks of how to use the Force - as in a singular entity.

    How can Laurent Bouzereau confirm anything about Star Wars? I thought it was George Lucas we should listen to. Luke is told he will know, when he asks how he will know the difference between the good side and the bad side. Not of the Force. And, if Luke meant the darkside, why didn't he say it? Throughout the rest of the films it is always referred to as the darkside, and yet here he refers to the bad side in opposition to a good side. Nowhere in Star Wars does it say what you would like it to say.

    So....what is the darkside?

    But, as you readily agreed, it seems odd that all of the Imperial officers would suddenly cease being evil. So how does the destruction of the Sith destroy the evil of the Empire? Destroying the Sith doesn't destroy the weaponry of the Empire, its fleets and troops, so how does the destruction of the Sith destroy the evil of the Empire. I don't think he can have meant that. That would be too literal a meaning, wouldn't it?

    But if you eliminate the Sith, you destroy the darkside users of the Force, and this (apparently, according to Lucas) brings the Force back into balance. The darkside, you see, isn't an actual entity. It is the self-service of Force sensitive individuals who bend the Force to their will; it is a choice they make, to abuse their power in the Force for their own ends, instead of for the good of all. That is the darkside. It is a philosophy, not an entity.
    Last edited by only one kenobi, Mar 30, 2013
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  6. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    That it has meaning inconvenient to your position does not somehow mean that it lacks meaning. It's simple: a name change does not cause something to cease to exist. Such a concept is an example of the ridiculous lengths some will go to in order to get rid of the sides of the Force. By this logic no one was a Sith in the OT, because they weren't being called Sith.

    I think you'll find that Yoda's admonitions against the dark side are quite clear in the films, and calling a side "bad" should be reasonably clear.

    Except when he says that the Force has two sides, apparently.

    That makes no sense at all. They're explicitly talking about the Force.

    He didn't know about the rule that says if you don't refer to something by a certain name, it doesn't exist. Also consider that light has more possible meanings than the opposite of dark, so it doesn't make the tightest fit linguistically, unlike "good"; "light side" sounds like something from a snack commercial.

    The films make it pretty clear that darksiders are bad guys, and thus the dark side is the bad side; it's not a reference to optics.

    Then you have an unusual view of the end of ROTJ. It's supposed to be a "happy ending". I referred to the power of the Empire. The problem is that evil has taken over. Lucas said that the Senate comes back after ROTJ. If democracy returns I think it's safe to say the Empire doesn't stay in control. I don't assume evil people would turn non-evil - that's the problem with taking the quote literally.

    Yet the dark side remains. Generally speaking, eliminating the users of a thing does not also eliminate the thing in question. The Force, for example, exists regardless of whether there are Force users or not. The dark side is not its users. Also, the Jedi sometimes find themselves using the dark side, though perhaps unintentionally. The Force is generated by all life, not just Force adepts. To act as if the dark side is solely generated by dark side users would mean that by extension the light side is solely generated by light side users, leading to Force adepts generating the whole of the Force, which we know is not the case. The dark side is generated by living things in general along with the rest of the living Force. It "has to be there" in Lucas' words, not quite a ringing endorsement for the theory that it is destroyed. It should not be considered odd that a series allegedly about bringing balance actually never expressed the idea that it was wiping out the negative side entirely.

    That is what you want it to be, but in Lucas' concept it is a part of the Force; that's how it came to be called the dark side of the Force. One need not ask one's master how to tell one such "philosophy" apart from another. We are told that the dark side should be thought of as the real villain of TESB, and that the Force is a two-sided entity, not a one-sided one. When Yoda probes the dark side and speaks of its growth in the AOTC script, he's not talking about a philosophy.

    Lucas was heavily involved in TCW.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Mar 30, 2013
  7. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    star 3
    But it isn't a name change. The term never existed in the movies. It did not change because it did not exist there.


    Exactly my point. Yoda's, Obi-Wan's....everyone's admonitions are against the darkside, yet here we have a completely different set of words. If Luke meant the darkside why did he not simply say this? He uses the term later, so he understood it as a concept.

    Except, you didn;t say Lucas had said it, you said that some other guy had confirmed it.

    That's how you read it, but if that is so, as I asked above, why does Luke not simply refer to it as the darkside? He is asking how he will know if what he is doing is good or bad. The advice that Yoda gives is that Luke will know and then he goes on to talk of how a Jedi uses the Force, not a notional aspect of it.


    But Lucas did - the one who wrote the story. I don't think its an accident that the term 'bad side' is used here as a deliberate departure from darkside. In ever mention of the darkside it is called the darkside, including by Luke.

    Utterly out of context. At the time the films were made such a correlation did not exist.

    But you have made the leap that it refers to two aspects of the Force itself, and so this explanation only makes sense in that context.

    You seem to be missing the point. If the destruction of the Sith leads to the destruction of the evil Empire then that would be a literal reading. That is my point. Why would the destruction of the Sith stop the evil Emperor's evil staff from being evil. The power of the Empire is destroyed by the rebels.


    Lucas was heavily involved in TCW.[/quote]

    Irrelevant. We're talking about the movies. Maul is not killed by Obi-Wan in TCW. Don't hold with that at all either.
  8. janstett Force Ghost

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    May 29, 2004
    star 3
    Star Wars was heavily influenced by Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai". Samurai were seen very much like we see Knights in western culture, most of them being noble or at worst mercenaries. Ninjas, however, dealt in deception, stealth, and sneak attacks -- much like the Sith.
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  9. Jcuk Jedi Grand Master

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    Ninjas were the shoguns assassins. They weren't necessarily evil. They just did what they were told to do
  10. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    That could be said about the doers of many of history's worst atrocities. "I did what I was told" is a decidedly dubious excuse.
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  11. janstett Force Ghost

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    Amoral, then... The point being they fought without honor, from the point of view of a Samurai.
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  12. Jcuk Jedi Grand Master

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    People who committed some of historys worst atrocities (I won't go into names) were inherently evil to begin with. These people didnt have a conscience about what they were doing which makes them inhuman. They had no sense of humanity.
  13. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    That's an assumption- and one not entirely supported by the evidence.

    People have a tendency to obey figures in authority- and there's been experiments demonstrating that "ordinary" people can be surprisingly willing to obey immoral orders.

    It's become something of a trope:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/JustFollowingOrders
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Mar 31, 2013
  14. Jcuk Jedi Grand Master

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    Ninjas were assassins but they were also highly skilled warriors. They would fight to the death if discovered and confronted. They would rather die than be captured and live with fact their identity had been unveiled. Is that dishonourable? Who's to say when in these situations they fought without honour? They weren't cowards.
  15. Jcuk Jedi Grand Master

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    This is true, but I don't think you can say that Himmler (as an example) was just following orders? He was evil.
  16. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    I'm thinking of "the ordinary guard" "the ordinary soldier" and so forth.

    If ninjas are "just following orders"- so were they- yet we don't give them a pass.
  17. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    star 7
    The term under its original name existed in the movies. Later people called it by a different name, outside the all-important content of the movies. That's known as a name change. It happens all the time, and doesn't make anything cease to exist.

    "Do you deny that when Yoda replies he does not say Luke will know which side of the Force to use?"

    He says when Luke will be able to tell them apart. Luke will know which side of the Force he isn't to use, or he isn't following their discussion very well.

    Only one word is different. Once again you insist that things cannot be called by more than one name. But no such rule exists.

    No, he's not. He's not intended to be a simpleton. He's supposed to be 19 years old. That's old enough to understand the difference between good and bad behavior without having to be instructed by a teacher.

    It has nothing to do with how I read it. They refer to the Force several times. They are explicitly talking about the Force in that sequence. To presume otherwise would be desperate and irrational.

    Sorry, Lucas doesn't share your belief in the "one name and only one name" rule you invented. Don't forget that this is the guy who calls lightsabers "laser swords".

    "Good" and "dark" don't go together as well as "good" and "bad". Mystery solved.

    Except when he calls it the bad side.

    Do you mean to imply that in the 1970s, "light" had no other common meaning than "the opposite of dark"?

    Palpatine is destroyed by Anakin. That covers the "doing away with the Sith" part. Palpatine happens to be the source of everything of major significance that has gone wrong in the galaxy since TPM, including the Empire. As for the rest of it, did "getting rid of evil in the universe" literally happen or not?

    Completely relevant to the question of Lucas' beliefs, but in a sense ultimately unnecessary, since the duality expressed in Mortis was also referenced elsewhere.

    YODA: That place... is strong with the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go.

    "The overriding philosophy in Episode I — and in all the Star Wars movies, for that matter — is the balance between good and evil." - George Lucas, quoted in L. Bouzereau, Star Wars: The Making of Episode I, 1999

    "The idea of positive and negative, that there are two sides to an entity, a push and a pull, a yin and a yang, and the struggle between the two sides are issues of nature that I wanted to include in the film." - George Lucas, quoted in L. Bouzereau, Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays

    "I wanted to have this mythological footing because I was basing the films on the idea that the Force has two sides, the good side, the evil side, and they both need to be there." - Time magazine 2002

    "The Force has two sides. It is not a malevolent or a benevolent thing." - Time magazine 1980

    "The Phantom Menace refers to the force of the dark side of the Universe." - interview 9/07/99

    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Mar 31, 2013
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  18. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    From the same article;

    "The Force is what you perceive it to be," Lucas notes, "and it is always changing."

    So, you see; this belief that you have that there is a reality hiding behind the stories is wrong. One of Lucas' aims (stated aims) with Star Wars, was to get young people thinking about a spiritual side of life. There is no 'truth' of the Force, it is a seed for ideas, for contemplation and discussion. Not a dogmatic and fully formed philosophy.
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  19. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    The Force is an energy field, not a philosophy.
  20. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Its not real. You understand that, yes? But, if it helps you. The Force is not a fully formed entity. It is an invention in a series of movies, expanded upon in novels, comics and TV series.
  21. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Ridiculous game-playing of this sort only continues to demonstrate that you have no serious point. Furthermore, trying to rewrite the dark side into a philosophy was foolish enough; trying to dump the entire Force in the same manner is inexplicably misguided.

    The only wrong belief in evidence here is Death of the Author, I'm afraid. In-universe reality is how fiction works.

    Which has no relevance in-universe.

    In the same article, the truth of the Force is expressed. Things are said about it without equivocation. You aren't told, for example, that it has as many sides as you want it to have. A very different message is conveyed.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Mar 31, 2013
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  22. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Its not game playing. You keep claiming that there is no interpretation involved. You use terms like "wrong" as an opening, and then point out what is "true", and how any other opinion (and that is what it is) than yours is 'simply in your mind' or that 'only fans have made this up'.... You argue on the basis that there is a true position to hold, and there simply isn't.

    You pick out quotes from Lucas that 'prove' your point, but then dismiss quotes that contradict that position. I will discuss, happily, the concepts of the movies with anyone, on the understanding that that is what they are. It seems faintly ridiculous, to me, that I should have to point out to someone that there isn't actually a reality to the Force. There isn't a truth, as you claim there is.

    I would ask, very simply, that you stop dismissing others' opinions on the fatuous basis that your opinion is actually fact.
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  23. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Acting as if someone doesn't understand that SW is fiction is game-playing, and also the kind of ad hominem garbage that some people typically resort to when their claims have been debunked.

    Apparently that concept bothers you. However, to escape it, more is required than simply flailing and expressing displeasure. What other alternatives are there? Should we give EU authors credit as fellow fans, or do they belong in a separate category? Who else is left? Only Lucas. If you can't find evidence of Lucas expressing certain positions, in what way is it incorrect to say that only fans have made them up?

    You know, that sounds oddly familiar. It would be like if someone tried to portray a quote about "getting rid of evil in the universe" as proof of the destruction of the dark side, even when the destruction of the dark side was contradicted by other quotes.

    It is indeed a ridiculous tactic for you to stoop to, but since there is literally no support for your claims, you've got nothing left. What about the cave strong with the dark side of the Force? Is the fiction strawman meant to get you out of that one too?
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  24. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    It bothers me only as far as this; that the corollary of that argument is that what you believe is in some way more true; that your version of Star Wars is not in any way made up in your head. (oh, and we're discussing when Lucas does express certain positions, in contradiction often-times with other statements that he has made, as well you know)

    You really don't get this do you? I'm not telling anybody that this is the way that it is. I'm offering my opinion. The fact that there are contradictory statements is the point. There is no true position to hold. What you hold to be a true position is as much made up by you as any other position. In terms of 'in universe reality' that amounts to the nuts and bolts of the story. This planet is Alderaan. That character is Obi-Wan Kenobi, he is a Jedi knight. In terms of the Force....Lucas never intended it to be a self-contained 'religious' construct. It was always designed to raise questions, not answer them. The reason there are contradictory statements are precisely because Lucas is playing with ideas throughout the saga - as he tells us.

    "The Force is what you perceive it to be," Lucas notes, "and it is always changing."

    And the statements are contradictory.
    "I wanted to have this mythological footing because I was basing the films on the idea that the Force has two sides, the good side, the evil side, and they both need to be there."

    and

    "Which brings us up to the films 4, 5, and 6, in which Anakin's offspring redeem him and allow him to fulfill the prophecy where he brings balance to the Force by doing away with the Sith and getting rid of evil in the universe..."


    Completely, utterly contradictory. It would be a bit odd that ROTJ leaves us on the positive note of evil being destroyed if good and evil both need to be there, and that balance is referred to in the second statement as being exactly that - getting rid of evil in the universe.

    Now. You say (state) that the Force is broken down into two, the darkside and the lightside; is this correct?
    Last edited by only one kenobi, Mar 31, 2013
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  25. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    This is something you continue to misunderstand, or intentionally misrepresent. There is no "my version". As I have extensively documented the "version" in question has been written down by others who are not me. I didn't invent it. That's the difference. I merely report it, making me little more than a messenger. You seem somehow unable to imagine that the urge to rewrite Lucas' work is not shared equally by all. But in a world where everyone is equally right, I suppose that means people are essentially indistinguishable? Having a basic inability to accept the concept that one position can be objectively more right than another position has ramifications beyond the scope of SW.

    No one is wrong, everyone is right. That's an impressive hurdle you've cleared, there.

    It seems he intended it to be an energy field. When you talk about aims I suspect you're confusing out-of-universe considerations for in-universe ones.

    You know what they say: all opinions are equally valid. Wait, they don't say that?

    Not at all. You merely continue to insist on the same mistakes in an attempt to create contradiction where there is necessarily none. We might call it the opposite of the scientific method. When your theory is contradicted by the data, you're supposed to change your theory. Without your assumptions contradiction vanishes. The destruction of the Sith and the destruction of the dark side are not the same concept. One of these happens; the other does not. At the end of ROTJ, are we in a universe without the existence of evil? No. Are we in a universe without Sith? Yes.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Mar 31, 2013
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