The Bad Guys Were Not Cowards

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith' started by VadersLaMent, Dec 6, 2005.

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  1. mandragora Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2005
    star 4
    How is it cowardly if you refuse to engage in debates that are futile? By the same token you can say that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were "cowardly" in TPM in trying to kill Maul because they didn't engage in a debate.

    Actually there are several different definitions of what a coward is. The wikipedia states:
    "Cowardice is a vice that is conventionally viewed as the corruption of prudence. Cowardice may be considered to be prudence that does not take consequences to their furthest extent.
    Cowardice is not fear, but rather a submission to vice that uses fear as a pretext. Here is an example of virtuous fear: we all fear to dive head-first into a swimming pool the depth of which we do not know. An example of cowardice would be to refuse to testify against a crime lord, merely because one might risk death."

    Fear is one of the most basic instincts in any evolved living being. It warns you of dangers and thus it has since ever been a prerequisite in the evolutionary struggle to survive. Someone who has no fear is not brave but stupid. The difference between cowardice and bravery is what the wikipedia calls the use of "prudence", which is the use of caution in the face of danger and considerate judgement of whether it is appropriate and worthwhile to face that danger. To run even though it's neccessary to face the danger is cowardice. Had he avoided revealing himself to Anakin, had he fled when Anakin ignited his lightsaber, or had he evaded the confrontation with Mace, all confrontations useful for his goal, that would have been cowardice. When he faced Yoda, he had already achieved his goal of becoming Emperor, and the only "merit" of this fight was risking what he had achieved. The Jedi order had been practically defeated by then and there wasn't anything worthwile he could gain from this fight.
  2. alansmithee85 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    ?How is it cowardly if you refuse to engage in debates that are futile? By the same token you can say that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were "cowardly" in TPM in trying to kill Maul because they didn't engage in a debate.?

    Well I said it was a silly notion and was just thinking out loud, that they could not coexist. Though don?t be so quick to relegate the debate to futility. To achieve a reconciliation of course it is futile, but an open war of ideas to prove themselves right in their view over the Jedi perhaps not. If the Sith have conviction that they are correct to follow that path, then they should test themselves against the Jedi?s fallacies. If it cannot stand up to the Jedi?s philosophy on its own strength, their own dogma says it should fall. Whether it would be cowardly is whether or not something could be gained. Materially no, but remember this is essentially a sectarian conflict; a religious schism gone violent. To demonstrate the righteousness of one?s ideology over the other is perhaps the greatest victory of all. And angels and demons delight in the battle for hearts and minds. A debate with the Jedi would give them a bully pulpit to cultivate a lay following in the galaxy; winning over souls to your side over the other is another not very tangible but desirable victory?perhaps strengthening the dark side if a culture built upon feeding it through action proliferates throughout the galaxy. Of course you could say to these pros are outweighed by the con that once revealed it would be very difficult to hide themselves again, and thus once the debate ended the Jedi would move against them if they felt the Sith were going too far in their dealings. Which is hard to argue against. Anyway, yes it would be cowardly for Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to try to kill Darth Maul off the bat, as it would be a betrayal of the Jedi philosophy just to make neutralizing the threat he posed easier. But mark that it was Maul who ignited his blade/s first, and made the first move?they fought in self-defense. Note again that Obi-Wan simply assumed a stance of readiness on Mustafar, it was not inherently aggressive?Anakin made the first move of aggression there as well. Mace could have killed Dooku on Geonosis but he did not. A preemptive strike by the Jedi would be of cowardice as it would be an action that is not their way but done to make things quicker or easier.

    ?Actually there are several different definitions of what a coward is. The wikipedia states:
    "Cowardice is a vice that is conventionally viewed as the corruption of prudence. Cowardice may be considered to be prudence that does not take consequences to their furthest extent.
    Cowardice is not fear, but rather a submission to vice that uses fear as a pretext. Here is an example of virtuous fear: we all fear to dive head-first into a swimming pool the depth of which we do not know. An example of cowardice would be to refuse to testify against a crime lord, merely because one might risk death."

    Fear is one of the most basic instincts in any evolved living being. It warns you of dangers and thus it has since ever been a prerequisite in the evolutionary struggle to survive. Someone who has no fear is not brave but stupid. The difference between cowardice and bravery is what the wikipedia calls the use of "prudence", which is the use of caution in the face of danger and considerate judgement of whether it is appropriate and worthwhile to face that danger. To run even though it's neccessary to face the danger is cowardice. Had he avoided revealing himself to Anakin, had he fled when Anakin ignited his lightsaber, or had he evaded the confrontation with Mace, all confrontations useful for his goal, that would have been cowardice. When he faced Yoda, he had already achieved his goal of becoming Emperor, and the only "merit" of this fight was risking what he had achieved. The Jedi order had been practically defeated by then and there wasn't anything worthwile he could gain from this fight
    .?

    Interesting. Though if you read I said that my definit
  3. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I almost thought this thread would go nowhere.

    I think the character's name is Uppum, from Saving Private Ryan. Sitting there on the stairs afraid to go into the room then letting the german soldier pass, that was a coward. Palpatine trying to run out of the room, but getting blocked by Yoda, was not a cowardly act. Was he surprised Yoda jumped in front of him? Surely he was. But in no way is Sidious a coward. I like the points made that everyone is fearfull, Palaptine is afraid of the Jedi and says as much to Anakin about the Jedi being relentless and that they(Palps and Anakin) would be hunted down and killed.

    Grievous surronding himself with bodyguards is not cowardly, it's very smart. One cannot take on the galaxy by themselves, and you can't always be looking over your shoulder, and if the opponent is possibly stronger then it is very smart to wear them out if they can't be outright killed.
  4. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    "I almost thought this thread would go nowhere."


    Nice to see somethings actually surpass expectations?
    You're right, there have been some very good points made in this thread.
  5. mandragora Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2005
    star 4
    I think you do have a point here; however, in a sense he did win the ?battle? by means of a debate, an indirect debate. Remember, he was given his powers by the senate, because they were afraid and wanted a safe and secure society, and he managed to convince them that he was the one who could fill their needs and restore security, whereas the Jedi couldn?t. That in turn means, he convinced them to let him take advantage of their fear. They agreed with ?thunderous applause? to let themselves be governed by their fear, and to surrender their liberty to one powerful man, for the sake of ?a safe and secure society? - which perfectly matches the philosophy of the Sith. To paraphrase the Plagueis quote in ?Dark Lord?, it is about being ?Master over your own fear, Master over the fear of others, Master over the fear of the Galaxy.? And people, as well as Anakin of course, agreed to this philosophy, and neither the Jedi nor the Loyalists were able to convince them of the contrary.

    That aside, it might have been difficult for Lucas to sell to us a movie in which the battle between good and evil is being decided in a panel discussion between the Jedi council and Palpatine ;)

    I didn?t mean that Maul example as an serious argument, of course. I haven?t got the DVD at hand right now, but I think you?re right and he does ignite his lightsaber first. It?s however one of the few instances in the PT that the Jedi aren?t the first to ignite their saber. But I think this isn?t really a point relevant to this topic.

    I think the question of whether being a coward or not ultimately comes down to the question of whether you let yourself be controlled by your fear, or whether, though being faced with danger and being afraid, you are able to take your decisions in consideration but without being dictated by your fear. He was willing to take all kinds of risks during the prequels, more often than once he deliberately got himself into situations that could have easily cost him his life in case
  6. R2-12point Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2002
    star 3
    I've read your posts and I don't get what y'all are talking about. The fact that evil is craven is one of the biggest themes in the movie, and one that really helped me respect what Lucas did with the film. It's not just the spidery retreat after spidery retreat, its the basis for Anakin's story.

    If the flick had been fashioned with the same old "Hey, for a really COOL movie let's just make the bad guys super-duper-duper badasses" I wouldn't like it nearly so much.
  7. HerbertMorrison Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    It's always frustrated me to see people claim that Palpatine is a coward in some way, shape, or form. I can agree that the Sith are not as "brave" or noble as their light side counterparts, but it's a far cry from cowardice. The most common citation has been his murder of Plagueis while he slept. Keep in mind that if this equates cowardice, then characters such as Jango Fett and Zam Wessel would also apply (think back to Episode II). The second most common is his "plea" with Windu after he's disarmed, despite the fact that Lucas has stated clearly it was a ruse.

    As far as Grievous is concerned... it's hard to say. Mace is the only one ever to call him as such - Lucas, in the commentary, simply refers to him as "slimy," a comment he also used for Palpatine at one point. Grievous certainly runs more often than others, but, in the situations that he does, there's not a whole lot of choice. EU material also states that he was a respected warrior of sorts before his transformation.

    Cowardice, like others have said, is essentially fear to the point that it causes an individual to abadon their "duty." I personally don't think that can be said of the main villains in this film, or in the trilogy as a whole. Characters like Bib Fortuna and the Neimoidians seem the only exceptions. Sidious, Dooku, and the others... they're snakes, not cowards.
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