Discussion in 'Literature' started by Grey1, Oct 3, 2013.
You know, I'd love to see the forum's take on Filoni's take on Luke's Jedi Academy.
Let's see here, Kirana Ti's Rattataki now, obviously; we all know there aren't any humans on Dathomir. Streen is childlike, so let's just make him a literal child. Let's also make Cilghal a Quarren, just to shake things up a bit, leverage Mara's popularity by shoehorning her into every other episode, and throw in an additional kid to hang out with kid!Streen and have the two get on everyone's nerves. I've only watched a few episodes of TCW, am I doing this right?
I don't get the references?
Champions of the Force is the original "ACKBAR IS BACK" moment, in that it is the first time he returned to service from retirement.
I think we're joking about the fact that TCW has rewritten/ignored/reinterpreted previous Clone Wars continuity, and that just one continuity "error" would result in more discussion than a pretty uneventful book. And I immediately imagined how the forum would defend KJA's books if Filoni rewrote parts of them. So yeah, I think it's a joke. Could be serious, though.
So, since 2013 was the Year of the Kun, any final words on our favourite evil Sith spirit? Is there any indication that anyone should have tried redemption? How far gone was his personality as a possibly improvable individual, and how much "personality" remained after 4000 years in a stone building? How much might have been "memory", "training", letting him react to Jedi presence in the only way that had made sense at the end of his physical existence?
In the entire story of Exar Kun, is there a point where we feel sorry for him?
When Nadd keeps on forcing him to use the dark side.
I doubt Nadd actually "forced" Kun to do anything. Unlike Kyp, I don't think (correct me if I'm wrong) that Kun was actually possessed at any point in time.
Yeah, I think that's a pretty powerful moment when we realize that although he was a jerk, Kun wasn't all-out despot material before his "deal with the devil". Him not wanting to die is understandable, and he still tries to resist the dark side, but ultimately fails. Now, we all know this depiction of the dark side doesn't line up with all other depictions, and that the "immediate psychological switch" is more than a bit naive - even Anakin was going insane while starting his career as Vader (the movie does this better than Stover's "suddenly everything is clear" interpretation, in my opinion). Still, it's a powerful scene of a man simply not being ready to die. And how many people are ready to die when the time comes?
It's more coercion-by-fatal-injury, if he's a real Jedi, he'll die to stay so, if he isn't, he'll grasp any salvation to live.
KJA/Veitch really set up the dark side as being primarily coercive and possessive in nature, it doesn't trust free will so all its ploys aim at ensnaring it and guiding it along paths of its own design. The likely cue for this take is Vader's line in ROTJ: I must obey my master.
I think it's been pretty clear early on in TOTJ that whatever Kun was, he wasn't a real Jedi. But he's actually no different than what Lucas wrote into Anakin's character later on: He's simply not able to let go. Not in a way like Kyp gets drawn in by the dark side - him not being able to let go of his thoughts of revenge - and not like someone like Gantoris, simply drawn in by power (which ultimately has too weak a hold on him). The dark side gets Kun and Anakin at the very level of existence. Forget about all the social constructs like power and revenge. Can you accept the brutal natural way things are?
Since I read something along those lines from prequel bashers again a few weeks back, I'd like to make my point again about the Jedi Order saving Anakin's mother from slavery so that the boy could start his training without a chip on his shoulder. The thing is, what the Jedi actually believe is that Anakin needs to be able to let go. Not when his mother is out of danger, because in a universe where even stars die she will never be. He has to let go, and giving in to his desire of saving his mother might remove one chip from the shoulder, but the rest of the mountain that's on there simply stays, maybe even gets reinforced.
Funnily enough, while this epiphany is part of Exar Kun's genesis as a Dark Lord, it doesn't factor into Luke's Praxeum training at all, does it? Or could it be that the students simply have to "leave their teacher behind" and confront the universe on their own to prove their status as Jedi?
Perhaps because, per Stover, that was the OJO's downfall: Anakin couldn't let go, and it doomed them all. Both Yoda and Obi-Wan encourage Luke to let go of his feelings, become a tool of the Force - the way Yoda fought Palpatine, the way Obi-Wan fought Grievous and Anakin (both times), but, in the end, he doesn't.
Luke embraces his emotions on the second Death Star - first his anger, which almost pushes him into being Vader 2.0 38 years before Caedus. He lets that go, but he holds on to something else, IMO: Love. He holds on to his love for Leia & Han and his friends, his love for his father and his belief in his redemption, and that kindles the same in Vader - Luke's faith and love in Anakin Skywalker is what brings him out from the shell of Vader and redeems him.
Luke doesn't teach the rejection of emotion because it's not what makes him a good Jedi - embracing positive emotions is.
Of course, several of his students didn't get the memo.
I always find it interesting that the Jedi are pretty much preaching Buddhism but that really seems to go over most of the fanbase's heads. Anakin isn't a special case just because he was older when he started his training. Everyone feels the same way that Anakin feels. The Jedi nip it at the bud by making it easier for their prospective Jedi by raising them from birth so to reduce the opportunity for the development of attachments, but one can achieve the same ability to let go of attachments regardless of upbringing. It's what Buddhism is all about.
Exar Kun was greedy for knowledge and power. Most Jedi that fall want to be great Jedi. They want to make a difference, and aren't content with being a subpar Jedi. Even Anakin felt this way, absent his attachment to Padme. "I want more."
OTOH, they seem to sometimes take that too far, with the PT Jedi being the best example - nonattachment as lack of emotion, as denial of self, which is difficult for people to do and leads to Jedi falling. What the best Jedi - Luke, Revan (debateable), Satele Shan, Obi-Wan to an extent, seem to be able to do is to accept that everything is temporary while still channelling their positive emotions - their joys, their loves, their compassion - and it's that that makes them create Light, rather than use darkness. It's a difficult path to walk, to be sure, but that seems to be the kind of thing Luke would teach.
I don't think that the PT Jedi take it too far. Their flaw, as Yoda points out in Episode II, is that same arrogance which Exar Kun and Anakin Skywalker exemplify, except systemic and informing the way they deal with the Sith and the Clone Wars. Nonattachment doesn't require lack of emotion, and Yoda seemed to be feeling a lot of emotion during Order 66 -- and Lucas told the animators to make it look like emotional pain rather than physical pain. None of the Jedi's decisions that doomed them in the prequels was due to a lack of compassion, and I believe this interpretation that the PT Jedi were lacking compassion stems from a disagreement with the Jedi over their worldview. Yoda's instructions to Anakin in Episode III are spot on, and what Anakin is feeling is what everyone feels at some point in life, but most people don't make the sort of decisions which Anakin made in response to it.
What I find curious is that the one EU book in which a Jedi explicitly instructs the student to channel positive emotions, a lot of fans hated it.
Wait, is that Traitor?
I agree that the principle that the OJO embodied - live for the moment without being destrictive and learn to let go - is sound, but I feel like Luke's order communicated it better. I don't think nonattachment should have been taken to the extent it was, but I can also see how it could have come about as an institutional precaution.
"What you call the dark side is the raw, unrestrained Force itself: you call the dark side what you find when you give yourself over wholly to the Force. To be a Jedi is to control your passion... but Jedi control limits your power. Greatness -- true greatness of any kind -- requires the surrender of control. Passion that is guided, not walled away. Leave your limits behind."
Ganner tried for so long, tried so hard to be what everyone told him he was supposed to be, tried to control his flair for the dramatic, for the elegant, the graceful, the artistic, tried to be a good son, a good friend, a humble man, a good Jedi . . .
But in the archway, he finds the end of trying. There is reason no longer to resist the truth of himself. Playacting the hero's part is not only permissible --
It is necessary.
To hold the archway it is not enough to merely wound and kill, is not enough to be calm, and surgical, and grieving.
To hold the archway, he must not only slaughter, but slaughter effortlessly, carelessly, laughingly. Joyfully.
To hold the archway, he must dance and whirl and leap and spin, calling out for more opponents. More victims.
He must make them hesitate to face him.
He must make them fear.
He had spoken the words: he had found a magical incantation to crack the dikes within him and unleash the flood.
None shall pass.
He wields the blade of a fallen hero, but now he is the hero, and it is others who fall.
He is rising.
The Force thunders through him, and he thunders through the Force. Letting slip the bonds of control, leaving aside conscious thought, answering only the surge of his passion and his joy, he finds power undreamed of.
I think what the Jedi of the old Order never understood is that passion itself isn't a bad thing–no, passion is a part of humanity and we wouldn't have it if it wasn't a helpful, even necessary, part of us. But it's the negative passions, the hate and the fear and the rage, that should be eschewed; not the love and the joy (possibly the two most important passions to survival) and positive emotions. That is what Ganner is channeling there, I think, and it's what Vergere is trying to tell Jacen. As long as you're willing to let go when the time comes, to not become obsessed, as Anakin did, then using those positive passions certainly is not wrong.
I don't think the PT Jedi were against positive emotions. They had institutionalized dogma forbidding romantic relationships to preclude attachment, but they weren't against love, per se, it just has that appearance. The Jedi on the high council all have strong interpersonal relationships with each other, but they are able to let their attachments pass from their lives. The master-padawan relationship is one that allows attachment, but it's necessary for perpetuation of the order. Obi-Wan is immensely upset at Qui-Gon's death, for instance, but he's able to allow that attachment to pass from his life. The same could be true of romantic relationships, but those invite intense emotions such as lust and are more prone to the development of attachments, and thus are forbidden by the PT Jedi.
Though of course, as Luke and many of his Jedi proved, such fears were usually unwarranted and could, in fact, strengthen you as a Jedi. Sure, some couldn't handle it, but honestly, of all the Jedi in Luke's order, how many actually fell due to their marriages?
Apparently Jacen did as a result of LOTF being a prequel rehash. Since Luke's Jedi don't forbid marriage, they had to contrive another reason to keep things secret though. But I would argue that the nonfactor it plays is more a consequence of the writers having a similar mindset to that of a lot of fans. The Jedi are more or less Buddhist monks in their lifestyle, but most SW writers and fans aren't, so they would prefer to see the Jedi characters live non-alien lifestyles, rather than the way that the PT Jedi live a lifestyle to some degree of asceticism and self-denial.
I don't count Jacen's as a result of attachment, I count it as a result of:
a) Utter stupidity
b) An (apparently to Jacen, at least) convincing web of lies by Lumiya
c) According to Denning's logic, shell-shocking from the Vong war (but I don't buy that)
d) Jacen being replaced by a Life Model Decoy
But no, in all seriousness, Jacen's fall was caused by him wanting to unite the galaxy, not his personal attachments, stupid though that may be. The only negative things caused by romance that I can think of is Tahiri's temporary fall (again, stupid, since by the end of NJO she was pretty much over that), and Corran's anger after Valin and Jysella's imprisonment. Oh, and Luke's murder of Lumiya.
I was going mostly off the final retcon for Jacen's motivation, which was that Jacen saw his adult daughter in a vision when he was at the age of 20 and somehow
A) Knew this ~35 year old woman was his daughter
B) Suddenly and inexplicably became insanely attached to his unborn daughter
C) Inexplicably knew that he had to keep her a secret from Luke
D) Therefore decided he had to do whatever was necessary to prevent the vision at all costs
Not quite the same as a romantic attachment, but the consequence of one.
See, this is why Denning shouldn't be given a keyboard while drunk. Or at all, really.
Back to Exar Kun and comparing him to Ulic Qel-Droma, what I think is interesting is that Ulic was intended to be a prototype to Anakin, and his name is very similar to Luke's.
But now that the prequels have come out, it's interesting that Exar Kun is almost like the other side of Anakin, if Ulic is Anakin's heroic side. Kun is Anakin's dark side, his Vader. He's supremely talented with a lightsaber and the Force, and he wants more. This is why he's so interested in learning Sith knowledge.