Saga The Chosen Post: The Prophecy's Importance, Palpatine's Plan To Escape It, & Why Mace Lost the Duel

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by darth ladnar, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    I highly doubt he thought Force lightning could deform somebody at the time of ROTJ, going by the example of Luke. Also, we don't even know that he thought that by the time of ROTS either.

    In the first draft of ROTS, Palpatine says he was the one who created Anakin. So that was apparently Lucas' plan around 2003 or so. Anakin being the Force's response to Plagueis did not appear until the Plagueis novel, and as far as I know we do not have information saying that was a particular choice made by Lucas himself. ( Even then Anakin is supposed to be a response to Plagueis and Sidious shifting the balance, not the cheating death thing. )

    What exactly is wrong with his own interpretation?
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  2. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    Arawn, maybe I'm reading the tone of your reply wrong, but I get the feeling that you're trying to take exception to mostly everything I had to say in my last post.

    About Force lightning and deforming someone I'm basically saying what you're saying. I'm simply guessing that GL didn't think that lightning could deform someone because the thought of that possibility didn't even occur to him. You say in your post that you doubt he thought lightning could deform someone at the time of ROTJ. I'm agreeing with you.

    About the force creating Anakin. I thought Plagueis's scheme to try to cheat death was what was throwing the force out of balance. I don't remember it exactly in the novel, but what I remember matches what wookieepida says: "Around the year 42 BBY, Darth Plagueis finally took Venamis's life. He then resurrected him and killed him again, repeating the process until the Bith's organs gave out, and he finally died. Both Sidious and 11-4D were present. Sidious and Plagueis then entered a meditative trance and managed to tip the scales of balance in the favor of darkness." 42 BBY was the year Anakin was born, so wasn't the Force creating Anakin in response to how Plagueis was trying to tilt the Force towards the dark side and reviving Venamis and all that? (That's what I meant by cheating death.)

    Also, I was assuming that Lucas approved of Luceno's Palpatine/Plaqueis's storyline and particularly the part about how what Palpatine/Plagueis did led to the creation of Anakin. I was just assuming this b/c it's something so central to the overall story of Anakin's life and b/c GL gave Luceno some special assignments. For instance, GL was going to tell that stuff about Sifo-Dyas in ROTS, but then he decided to let Luceno explain it in "Labyrinth of Evil" and also give the backstory just before the Battle of Coruscant. Luceno was also given the task of telling what it's like for Vader right after he becomes the mechanical Vader in "Dark Lord: the Rise of Darth Vader" and what it's like for the Jedi who survive Order 66. And most recently, he was given the assignment of telling Palpatine's backstory. I always assumed that Luceno was GL's go to guy and that GL was more involved in what he wrote than he was with the rest of the EU writers.

    Finally, I do think there are a few problems when it comes to GL's interpretation.

    First, he says contradictory things and sometimes he outright makes stuff up.

    Second, in this case, I think it's hard to know GL's own interpretation of what's going on in this scene b/c I don't think he's ever given it. In part E of my post, I explain why I think what GL says in his ROTS commentary is a descriptive instead of explanatory account of what happens.

    (Also, I don't think what the writer/director says is always the last word. For instance, I remember reading a bio of Alfred Hitchcock in which decades later he remembers one of his films wrong and he says something that contradicts what clearly makes sense in the film, and biographer recognized it too. What's most important is what occurs in the films themselves. The best interpretation of a film is based on things like that a character's motivations need to make sense and that nothing in the films is self-contradictory, stuff like that. This is just a silly example, but if GL said that Luke wants to redeem Vader b/c Vader is Luke's son, then we would have to reject his interpretation b/c we know that Luke is younger than Vader, and we've seen Padme give birth to Luke when Anakin was 22 or 23 years-old and Anakin was the creation of virgin birth etc., etc. I'm not saying GL has contradicted the films. I'm just saying that our source of understanding about the films must come from the films first, and if GL says one thing and the films clearly say the opposite, then you have to go with what's in the films and not what GL says. Now I'm sure someone can cut and paste a sentence out of what I just said and make it look like I'm saying GL's opinion doesn't matter, when I'm not, but I think most would agree with the gist of what I'm saying.)
    Last edited by darth ladnar, Apr 9, 2013
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  3. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    Darth Nub, thanks for that link. I've read through the Secret History of SW, but obviously I forgot some of the details, and unfortunately, I'll probably forget them again! It's a really complicated story how it kept changing over time, and what makes it even more confusing is that some people's memories aren't always right on the money.

    I had no idea that the first draft of SW was being released as a comic. I read the 1st draft online a few years ago, but all the different drafts get mixed together in my mind. One thing GL seemed to love was that trash compactor scene. I think that was in every version! Then he wasn't satisfied with in it ANH, so he brought the same idea back in the Temple of Doom, and then I think he finally thought he got it right. I think there's even something like it in THX-1138!

    BTW, is that comic available yet? I can't believe I haven't heard of that.
  4. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    star 4
    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/dh-comics-to-release-the-star-wars-in-september.50011265/
  5. Darth Dominikkus Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 5, 2013
    star 3
    This is a masterpiece.
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  6. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    Thanks, I'm glad someone made it through the whole thing!

    Maybe I should've edit it down some. I'm a pretty fast writer, and I didn't realize it was so long until I posted it. I hope when people scroll down and see the whole thing that it's length doesn't scare too many people away, especially when all my main points are in the 1st half of it.

    If you have time, please lemme know what you think of my interpretation of the Saga.
  7. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Throwing the Force out of balance was what was throwing the Force out of balance.

    We don't know that for certain, though. Luceno has mentioned certain things that came right from Lucas or Lucasfilm but IIRC that issue wasn't one of them.

    Yes. We call it "Star Wars". Making stuff up is what writers do.

    But that is not what happened in this case.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Apr 10, 2013
  8. Anakin's Daddy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2002
    star 4
    Man, that was an insane read. I can definitely appreciate the work you put into this. Having said that though, I think you're over thinking it too much, probably even more than Lucas himself! But I do know what it's like getting carried away with this stuff. I like the way you think. Admittedly, I ended up skimming a lot of your posts because they are soooooo long, but It seems that pretty much all your points are very well thought out. I also appreciate your love for ROTS because I've been a Star Wars fan for at least 30 years and I enjoy watching it more than any other of the films. It's probably my favorite movie of all time.

    I agree 100% that Palpatine lost the fight with Mace on Purpose in order to receive Anakin as his apprentice. I also agree that His disfigured form was his true form that he was holding back, until he finally no longer needed to hold it back. Just another piece to his huge master plan. It is interesting though to see how different Palpatine looks even from TPM to AOTC. I think it was getting more difficult for him to conceal his appearance because he was growing so much with the dark side.

    I have one question for you regarding the prophecy. Perhaps you answered it somewhere in there but I'm not sure. You mention the importance of the prophecy being accurate and I believe that 'balance' means no Sith. So my question to you is, what is your thought on bringing a new Sith into Episode 7? Do you think this undermines the prophecy and the importance of Anakin's story? I've heard a lot of people say this. I mean the prophecy will still have come true but there is nothing in the prophecy that says the force would 'stay' balanced.
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  9. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Joking aside, I will take a look through when I get some time to read it properly, you've obviously put a heap of thought & effort in.
  10. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    Darth Nub, I'd be curious to hear what you think of it since it you clearly know the Saga very well. And actually, there's really a lot you can skip.

    If you just read the 1st post, plus parts #2, #5 through #7, #9, and #11 (which is the most important of all), then you'll pretty much understand all I have to say.

    All the sections that I think you can skip get into topics that would only interest someone less knowledgeable about the Saga than you are. Also, the whole 2nd half of the post is almost like an appendix that develops only 1 argument, so that's not really necessary to read it either.

    Also, please let me know if you find any holes in my argument.
  11. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    Darth Nub, I'd be curious to hear what you think of it since it you clearly know the Saga very well. And actually, there's really a lot you can skip.

    If you just read the 1st post, plus parts #2, #5 through #7, #9, and #11 (the most important of all), then you'll pretty much understand all I have to say.

    All the sections that I think you can skip get into topics that would only interest someone less knowledgeable about the Saga than you are. Also, the whole 2nd half of the post is almost like an appendix that develops only 1 idea, so that's not really necessary to read it either.

    Let me know if you find any holes in what I'm saying.
  12. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    AnisRealDad,

    Actually, I spent a lot of time thinking about whether I was over-thinking things or not. :)

    You may be right, but I have the feeling Lucas really did think it through like I did, though I think he's more of an intuitive thinker than I am. GL spends a lot of time studying mythology, and fate is one of the biggest themes in mythology, so I think the idea of only Anakin being able to kill Palpatine was very important to GL. He understands how fate works.

    All I really did was combine 3 different aspects of the Saga making sure that they didn't contradict at all: the prophecy of the Chosen One (i.e fate), Palpatine wanting an apprentice more powerful than he is, and Vader's redemption. Then, I took it as a given that Palpatine is a really smart guy, and I asked myself how a smart guy like Palp would act if he knew there was a prophecy predicting that this other guy would kill him and end Sith rule. Then I looked at his battle with Mace, and I realized that his behavior in that duel fit exactly with what he should do if he were trying to thwart the Chosen One prophecy, and everything fit perfectly. No contradictions. So, I figure GL did plan it out this way.

    About your question, I don't think it would prevent them from bringing the Sith into the sequel trilogy. I don't think the Chosen One prophecy is about killing the Sith off forever. Lucas and the characters in the film say that the Chosen One is supposed to bring balance to the force (in other words, destroy the Sith). GL or the characters never say that the force won't be tipped out of balance again some time in the future.

    Also, a lot of people have theorized that Anakin was created by the Force in response to Darth Plagueis's and Palpatine's attempts to use "unnatural" Sith powers to create and preserve life, and the novel "Darth Plagueis" develops this idea. So basically, Anakin was created as a response to Palpatine, and by killing Palpatine, things are brought into balance. In a nutshell, Anakin was created to correct that particular imbalance in the Force, but that doesn't mean future imbalances won't occur. (Though, I'm not sure I'd like it if they brought back the Sith (especially the rule of two). I hope they take things in a new direction.)

    You mentioned you skimmed what I wrote. If you go back and read parts #2, #5, #6, #7, #9, & #11, that really covers my whole argument. Just letting you know b/c I really should've edited it a lot more.
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  13. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    Ok, @darth ladnar - at your prompting I'm going to respond to the points that are relevant to our other conversation (flaws in Palpatine's development).

    I tried to respond in one big post, but that ended up being more difficult than I anticipated. So, this'll be broken up into a few posts. As you said, posts 5, 6, & 7 are the most relevant to the other discussion, but I'm going to comment on your earlier points, as they establish the premises of your argument.

    So, to start:
    This certainly seems to be the Jedi's interpretation of the prophecy, at least by the time it's become apparent that there are still active Sith Lords in the galaxy plotting against them.

    It may be important to note that the Jedi in the PT are in some kind of weakened state. In Attack of the Clones, Mace says, "I think it's time we inform the senate that our ability to use the Force has been diminished. The Jedi might also think that "brining balance to the force" could mean resolving this issue and returning "full access" of the Force to the members of their order. This might involve defeating the Sith (probably), and it might not. It also might mean destroying the Sith in addition to other things.

    Regardless, I can only agree with your statements partially. The Jedi think the prophecy means defeating the Sith. But Yoda points out "a prophecy that misread, could have been" (ROTS).

    The prophecy could mean anything, or nothing. My own personal reading is that the Force was "out of balance" because the Jedi had become stuffy, overconfident, dogmatic, and too strict when it came to their philosophy of no attatchments. These weaknesses make threats such as the Sith inevitable. So, to this humbler viewer, it's the Jedi way itself that is out of balance or causing the Force to be out of wack. But that is my interpretation, and that the prophecy means the destruction of the Sith is yours (and the Jedi's). A prophecy could mean anything. If we had more access to the prophecy's content besides the whole "bring balance" part, we might be able to have a better discussion of it's actual meaning, but alas...

    Anyway, my ponit is that I agree that the Jedi's belief was that the Chosen One was meant to defeat the Sith, but this does not mean that this is the correct interpretation. I'm not even fully convinced that Anakin was the Chosen One to begin with.

    Again, I must point out that the prophecy might not mean killing Palpatine at all. But I do understand that this is the premise of your agrument and you argue consistently.

    I do appreciate the evidence that you provide in this section, but I'm not of the belief that any prophecy has to be infallible and unbreakable. And even if they are, that does not mean that you or I (or the fictional Jedi) really understand what the prophecy is forcasting. Prophecies have a tendency of coming true but meaning the opposite of what we thought they meant.

    [continued in my next post]
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  14. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    @darth ladnar

    I will respond to what I have read already. As best I can.

    In terms of your understanding of the Prophecy itself, I think you are correct. In fact its that facet of the prophecy and its part in the saga that I think dislocates the PT from the OT. The OT is about the choices the characters make, but that Anakin is destined to do what he will - that actually none of the choices that any of the characters will make are what culminates in the destruction of the Sith, but that it is so because it has been foreseen, it is destined - is a complete contradiction from that original structure.

    A story about choices and redemption cannot work within the over-arching framework of destiny. As Anakin had no choice, then he needed no redemption - he was simply following his destiny.
  15. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

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    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    Again, your are successfully arguing that the Jedi believe that the fulfilment of the prophecy means the destruction of the Sith. A agree - this is clearly what the Jedi thought. But I fail to see how their interpretation is the interpretation. I know you go on to say how Anakin ultimately does defeat the Sith by destroying Palpatine on the Death Star II. Is this the final actualization of the prophecy? Perhaps. But what we might be missing is, among other things, the Jedi's role in the supposed "imbalance." The prophecy could easily mean that the Chosen One is meant to destroy BOTH the Jedi AND the Sith, wiping the slate clean for his son to re-evaluate the Jedi philosophy and code of behavior. From this reading, Luke himself could be the chosen one (I've seen this argued, for and against), as he is the one who brings about Anakin's change in behavior. OR the prophecy could mean somethuing nobody's thought of, or it could be utterly meaningless. I know your argument hinges on the Jedi's interpretation being accurate (after a fashion), and you argue consistently based on this presupposition. I'm just (again) pointing out that, while internally consistent, it's important that it's not the only interpretatino, and strict interpretation of prophecy is always problematic.
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  16. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    I can see what you're saying, to be sure. And if we accept your presupposition that the prophecy is all about how Anakin is meant to destroy Palpatine, then Palpatine's line about "peace" refers tot he fact that he (and the Sith) are now safe. And just like the Jedi believe the aforementioned interpretation of the prophecy, it's certainly possible that Palpatine shares this interpretation.

    It could also be that Palpatine throws that line out to help Anakin/Vader believe that he has made the right decision. Remember, Palpatine has achieved his goal through manipulation and seduction based on lies. When Palpatine says anything about "peace," I generally roll my eyes, even if he is talking to another Sith.

    But I wonder if Palpatine even cares about the prophecy. The Sith could have their own version of the prophecy - one that is about a Sith warrior who rises during a time of unrest to destroy the Jedi and bring about a Galactic Sith Order, with no mention of destroying Palpatine. And in the end, both sides could be right. Or, as I've said a few times, the prophecy could have a meaning neither group understands, or no meaninga at all.
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  17. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    George Lucas has said that Anakin fulfilled the prophecy (that he was the Chisen One). Not only that, he also said that he fulfilled the prophecy by destroying the Sith and bringing balance to the Force.
  18. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4

    My issue here is, just as I'm not convinced that Palpatine believed or was worried about the prophecy, I'm similarly unconvinced that Palpatine gives a crap about the Sith as long as he's the one running the show. Palpatine is in it for Palpatine. Sith knowledge helped him to achieve his goals of galactic dominatino. I'd be shocked if Palpatine was excited to have an apprentace to carry on the Sith legacy - to me, it was more about having a slave to use as a weapon of destruction and subjugation. I suspect (though I can't prove it, of course) that Palpatine had plans to achieve immortality. I don't see how an egomaniac like that, who was tought by someone who's main goal was immortality, would be willing to be defeated by death at any point. But this theory of my own is probably not relevant. My main point is that I have trouble believing that the truly egocentric, sociopathic Palpatine was concerned with anyone but Palpatine ruling the galaxy, Sith or not.


    I leave my critque there. You've got a very well-thought out reading and I respect it. We agree that the Jedi had a certain idea about what the prophecy meant - I just don't agree with the Jedi in this case. The prophecy is ambigious (as they tend to be), and a simple "chosen one is to defeat the bad guys" is unlikely from my point of view.

    Excellent discussion.

    Peace.
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  19. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

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    Feb 28, 2013
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    I actually tend to be wary of anything Lucas says about the origins and interpretation of his own story.

    Plus I'm not that into the quest for authorial intent. I'm more concerned with the text itself.
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  20. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    Son of a Bith & Only 1 Kenobi,

    I'm somewhat halfway between the two of you in interpreting film. I go with the film first, and then if the filmmaker says things that don't contradict what takes place on screen (i.e. replacing logical character motivations with motivations that make no sense), then I factor in what the filmmaker says. I also would never reject it if someone comes up with a new interpretation of a film that fully explains everything important without contradiction and that interpretation is different from the author's.

    With novels and short stories, I actually almost always go with Son of a Bith's approach, but films are limited in what they can explain (things get too wordy) and without VO, it's difficult to know what characters are really thinking. Fiction (at least from certain points of view - first person POV, unlimited third-person POV) gives us so much of what is occurring "behind the scenes," that I wouldn't care at all about authorial intention unless it allows me to see something in the text itself that I missed.

    An example I'm thinking concerning this idea was that controversy a few years ago about Harry Potter. JK Rowlings said Dumbledort (I think that's his name) is gay. A lot of people responded, "No he's not. There's nothing in those 7 books to support that idea, and you certainly had plenty of opportunities." I side with those who say that Dumbledort's sexuality is not known because the text never provides you with evidence about his sexuality one way or another. So, in this case, Rowling's interpretation didn't uncover any subtle things that show what his sexuality is, so I threw her opinion out. (Actually I should have said that I would have thrown her opinion out if I had liked the first couple books and kept reading.)
    Last edited by darth ladnar, Apr 16, 2013
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  21. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    Thanks for you replies. From your interpretation of the films themselves, I agree with mostly all your saying. (That without GL filling in gaps, all we know is the Jedi's interpretation of the prophecy, so there could be other valid interpretations out there.)

    Here are a couple points I disagree with you on:

    --Although prophecies don't exist in reality so I can't talk about their true efficacy at predicting the future, I would still say that the tradition of how fate and prophecies are dealt with throughout the history of literature show pretty consistently that prophecies are inescapable fate. However, I do agree with you that prophecies are often misinterpreted and end up being fulfilled in unexpected ways. (In fact, as you can tell, I think this applies to the SW saga.)

    --I'm skeptical that Palpatine didn't care about the prophecy. Even if it is the Jedi who interpret the prophecy that way, I think Palpatine would be concerned about any prophecy that involves his death and the destruction of the Sith, even if he had some doubts about it. Also, he knew that Anakin had incredible potential, so if he remained a Jedi, he seems like a real candidate to fulfill the prophecy. So my view is that Palpatine wanted to turn him just in case, even if he doesn't totally buy into the prophecy, because Anakin presents a very viable candidate for fulfilling the prophecy.
    [I also go beyond the 6 fiilms to the "Darth Plagueis" novel to extend this argument. I wouldn't include most EU stuff in my interpretation. This novel seems sort of different to me. 1st, GL was actively involved in it and he gave the assignment to James Luceno, and GL seems to consistently give him the plum assignments and to consistently go to him to fill the gaps left from the 6 films. 2nd, it tells the whole back story of Palpatine including his knowledge of the prophecy, the idea that the force has created Anakin as a response to what they're doing (and that Palpatine knows this), and the fact that Palpatine killed his master before he had perfected cheating death even though his master didn't consider him a threat. (An indication that cheating death wasn't his highest priority.) I don't know what your view is on including this novel, but just from how I see it, I imagine that this novel connects much more intimately with the rest of the Saga than the ST will.]

    One question for you. Did you read section 11 of my "treatise"?

    I think another thing that distinguishes better and worse interpretations is that a better interpretation gives the most "elegent" interpretation of a text (as long as that interpretation is merited). Force instance, we could interpret that Luke shot the torpedoes down the exhaust port just out of luck, but that would eliminate the theme of belief which would make the interpretation of the film less "elegant." If the prophecy is not about Anakin being the only guy who can kill off the Sith (and Mace and others can), then it seems that all that turns the Chosen One prophecy into the mess I describe. Whereas, if only Anakin can kill Palpatine b/c of the prophecy, then it changes that mess into a very elegant storyline of Palpatine trying to thwart the prophecy by creating a paradox, succeeding for 20+ years, but ultimately succumbing to the prophecy in a very unexpected and touching way and all that other stuff I mention in Section 11 of that post. What are your thoughts on this and what I'm saying in Section 11?

    BTW, thanks for the compliments about what I wrote.
    Last edited by darth ladnar, Apr 16, 2013
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  22. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
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    Their role in the imbalance is simply that their efforts were not enough to hold back the advance of the dark, and that some errors on their part may have made the situation worse. But they do not unbalance the Force in and of themselves.
  23. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

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    Feb 28, 2013
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    Or, the Jedi could have put the Force out of balance by promoting an imbalanced philosophy. A philosophy that was probably meant to be based on the idea of selfless love and compassion over selfishness and spite, but unfortunately became (by the time of PT) a rigid philosophy of detachment. For all Anakin's talk of the Jedi being encouraged to love, it seems to me that the PT Jedi encourage/indoctrinate their pupils to suppress their emotions. All this could be enough bad "Force Karma" (trademark Son of a Bith Inc.) to place the Force out of balance, affect their ability to use/access it (as referenced by Mace Windu), and allow for a phantom menace to rise.

    This is just one interpretation, of course. There are many (clearly). Just food for thought, gnome sayin?
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  24. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

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    Feb 28, 2013
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    @darth ladnar I haven't had time to read through section 11 but as soon as I do you'll have my thoughts.

    And thank you for the engaging conversation. I'll take an engaging discussion/debate over a typical internet "my opinion is best" argument any day. :)
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  25. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    We know that it is the Sith, not the Jedi, who have put the Force out of balance.