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.

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  1. Ananta Chetan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2013
    star 4
    A point I am not sure that has been previously discussed was that of stories of the hero's journey and the path of the Chosen Ones and how often they are made to embrace either consciously, or not, such as in Anakin's case, the very evil which they were intended or wish to defeat in order to complete their destiny....and that their process in discovering this is often made to run parallel with the audience's.

    I was trying to imagine from the vantage point of the will of the Force itself... it had created a being in Anakin that, had not only to embrace that darkness for which is was destined to defeat, but it had to become it, almost fully, in order to ultimately succeed, which of course is what makes the story so compelling and moving to us all. Your thoughts...

    TAG: @darth ladnar, @Samuel Vimes
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  2. Ananta Chetan Jedi Grand Master

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    Aug 11, 2013
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    One small addition and clarification...Maybe at a more subtle level there are more stories where the darkness is not necessarily embraced...but not resisted. Where it is required to overcome evil by some higher more evolved form of good other than just direct confrontation.
  3. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    If we are looking at this the the perspective of the Force itself then all sorts of questions appear.
    If the Force thought that the Sith in general or a few Sith in particular were a problem and had to be killed. And the Force went about this problem by ordering the midis in Shmi's body to make her pregnant with Anakin. Anakin would then have the highest midid count ever and this would then enable him to destroy the Sith.
    Why this convoluted plan? If the Sith is such a threat to the Force and it can order the midis in people's bodies to anything, why not order the midis in Palpatines body to die? If that happens then Palpatine would loose all his powers and he would most likely die as "life isn't possible without the midis."
    If that is not possible for whatever reason, then just tell the midis in the bodies of all the jedi to increase in numbers, this would make the jedi much more pwoerfull and thus they would be equiped to kill the Sith. If Anakin is Force created and his high count is just so that he can kill the Sith, why not give this high number to the jedi?

    If free-will comes into this and the Force just created this Sith killer but it was still up to this Sith killer to do his job or not, them the prophecy isn't absolute. It might come true or it might not.

    If "bring balance" doesn't mean "kill all Sith" then it becomes more interesting but also harder to determine why the Force did this as we don't know what "bring balance" means.
    It could be that Anakin was meant to destroy both jedi and sith as the Force felt that both sides had lost their way and become too rigid in their "all white or all black" approach. So Anakin was created and then events were manipulated so that he'd be found by the jedi, is trained, betrays them and wipes them out and then kills Palpatine and then dies, the old orders are now both gone.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  4. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Pretty much the way I've always seen it, although I don't think it had to do with the two orders 'losing their way' - I don't believe the Force is particularly judgemental - more that the use of the Force by individuals was perhaps unevenly distributed in some way, as well as being abused.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Sep 18, 2013
  5. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    It seems we are meant to believe that the Force itself was unevenly distributed or "out of balance". As far as the orders losing their way is concerned, the Sith arguably represent an affront to the greater harmony of the Force in a way that the Jedi do not. In other words, the Jedi were set in their ways and not as good at holding back the dark tide as we might have liked them to be, but IMO this does not rise to the level of something the Force would have actively sought to destroy, while the most significant manifestation of the concept that they had lost their way was something engineered by a Sith in the first place. And it's not necessarily just any Sith that unbalances the Force, as we can see from an EU timeline in which there is a period when the Force is not yet out of balance but there are still Sith around somewhere. Developing the ability to directly shift the balance of the Force itself was a rare event.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Sep 18, 2013
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  6. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    I don't know enough about the scholarship on the hero's quest to know if temptation of the hero is considered to be a central part of the template for the plot of a hero's quest. I know that Beowulf doesn't have this component, though the recent film version tried to add that. To me, it makes the quest a lot more interesting. There's something strangely compelling about a villain that the audience can, on some level, identify with, and when the hero can believeably be tempted to join the villain, then the guy we're seeing the film through allows us to identify with the seductive quality of being "evil" in one way or another. Perhaps that's part of what's lacking in James Bond films. There are some good ones, but none of them really feel that lasting because it's so simply. It's awlays Bond vs. an obviously evil person. Skyfall is probably the best exception to this, but I thought it had other problems. It's also probably what set Die Hard apart from the others in the series. John McClane is never tempted to join Alan Rickman's character, but Rickman does such a great job and has such a clever plan that you're always rooting for him a little bit .

    I particularly like how SW uses temptation. Vader's seduction lasts 23 years, but he's not the only one who's tempted. Luke is tempted by the dark side, but when he sees what he's about to become and shows compassion for his father, he rejects it, and his rejection of it, which spares Vader's life, sets the example that Vader then emulates.

    I think the line that comments most directly on this point is when Yoda tells Obi-Wan: "The Chosen One the boy may be, but grave danger in his training I still sense." I think Yoda really gets the prophecy here. If he's the Chosen One, we don't have to do anything special. Some way or another, he'll end up fulfilling the prophecy if that truly is his fate. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, and later it seems many others, come to believe that they have to push Anakin in a certain direction to fulfill the prophecy, but if he has to be pushed towards it, then how is it a prophecy? So, in the end, Yoda was right. Anakin is the Chosen One, but taking him on created grave danger for the Jedi. The Jedi may have seemed arrogant when refusing Qui-Gon, and most of them were, but Yoda knew what Qui-Gon didn't. Just because Anakin was the Chosen One didn't mean that Anakin had to become a Jedi.

    Regarding the Force being out of balance question, my views have changed somewhat. Some people think balance mean equal parts light side and dark side. The equality of the two forces pushing against the other creates balance. Others think of balance as a flat plane being balanced on a point. The light side represents the flat plane, and the dark side is the force pressing down on a side shifting the plane out of balance. GL doesn't help much because he's both said that there is good and evil present in the universe, or at least his universe, and that they will always exist as 2 forces in balanced opposition, but he's also said that bringing balance to the Force means the destruction of the Sith.

    The second version of GL's descrption of balance seemed to make more sense to me when I watched the films. Anakin could've fulfilled the prophecy earlier, Palpatine tricked him into becoming his ally and he became evil in the process, but ulitimately Luke redeemed Vader and he gave his life to save his son, fulfilling the prophecy in the process. I had always thought that the Force had created Anakin but that it wasn't really directly guiding his way. He'd just fulfill the prophecy sooner or later, unless Palpatine had truly thwarted it by turning Anakin into his evil side-kick. Since I thought Anakin could've fulfilled it without turning to the dark side and by doing so he might have saved the old Jedi order, I thought that Chosen One was simply meant to destroy the Sith. Now, I have a second way of looking at it, and I'm not sure which I prefer.

    I still don't think that the Force willed the destruction of the Jedi, 23 years of Sith rule, the destruction of the Republic, and the geonicidal act of Alderaan's destruction. That's too Old Testament God for me, and Obi-Wan's and Yoda's awe and love for the Force doesn't seem in keeping with a Force that would willl such things. If that were the nature of the Force, then it seems that they would obey it out of fear, not embrace it, and I guess they could be totally off in their interpretation of the Force, but that seems a little unlikely for guys who can commune with it.

    So, I still think that the Force is solely willing the destruction of the Sith (more specifically the Sith order who pushed it out of balance when Palaptine and Plagueis tried to impose their will upon it). I think that this is its sole goal: destroying the Sith. However, it seems to me that it is fair to argue that in achieving the goal of destroying the Sith, the Jedi may have "necessary casualities." The Jedi had won the war and the Sith were in exile for a millenia, and the Jedi set up a code (including no attachments, no marriage, taking toddlers aways from their parents, etc) to prevent the Sith from ever rising again. All during that time the Sith had been plotting new ways to undermine the Jedi, searching for holes in their defenses, and they ended up winning not through military might as they had in the past, but through cunning, political manipulation, and corruption. So, the Sith became who they are only because of who the Jedi were, they were a reaction to the Jedi's entrenched way of keeping order. If you look at this this way, then I think a strong argument can be made that to achieve the goal of destroying the Sith the Jedi had to be destroyed as well. The destruction of the Jedi would ensure that the code that the Sith were able to exploit would come to an end. If the Jedi order had survived intact, then future dark siders could discover how Palpatine outmanuevered them and do the same, and this on-going chaos would create a climate antithetical to the light side, and favorable to the dark side.

    To clarify, I'm not saying that the Force specifically willed Order 66 and Palpatine's successful campaign to hunt down the remaining Jedi. The Jedi could've chosen to evolve on their own. However, at the end of the ROTJ, the slate is wiped clean. There are no more Sith, and there are also no more Jedi of the old way. Luke represents a new way, a way in which attachment and love can serve a Jedi rather than be a Jedi's vices.
  7. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    These things are entirely consistent. Without the Sith good and evil will still exist.

    I don't think there were any guarantees.
  8. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    If you're making the point that there are other people besides the Sith who do evil things in the GFFA, like for instance, Tarkin, then I agree with you, but that's not my point above. My point is that GL has sometimes made statements that indicate that the Force has a dual nature and that's what keeps the Force in balance -- i.e. balance means that evil and good will always exist together. For instance, GL says: In each of us we to have balance these emotions, and in the Star Wars saga the most important point is balance, balance between everything. It is dangerous to lose this. In “The Phantom Menace” one of the Jedi Council already knows the balance of the Force is starting to slip, and will slip further. It is obvious to this person that the Sith are going to destroy this balance. On the other hand, a prediction which is referred to states someone will replace the balance in the future. At the right time a balance may again be created, but presently it is being eroded by dark forces.So, GL here seems to be saying that the universe is "right" with the Force when there are equal parts evil and good. So, when the Chosen One fulfills the prophecy he should return the GFFA to a state of equilibrium between good and evil.

    However, on other occasions, GL seems to say that opposite. For instance, he also said: "Is Anakin a product of a super-Sith who influenced the Midichlorians to create him, or is he simply created by the Midichlorians to bring forth a prophecy, or was he created by the Force through the Midichlorians? It's left up to the audience to decide. How he was born ultimately has no relationship to how he dies, because in the end, the prophecy is true: Balance comes back to the Force.GL also said: "The tale meanders and both the prediction and Qui-Gon are correct—Anakin is the Chosen One, and he did bring peace at last with his own sacrifice." So, these statements seem to indicate that the Chosen One brings balance by destroying the Sith, who represent evil. GL here doesn't seem to be saying that Anakin leaves things as equal parts evil and equal parts good. Anakin has just killed off the top evil guy in the universe and the second most evil guy, himself, has returned to the light side, so that doesn't seem to be creating equality. Now, I know GL says that Palpatine was pushing things out of balance, and so, killing him would equalize things, but the ending of ROTJ seem like an unqualified victory for goodness. The main evil forces have been totally eradicated, and only the good remain alive and triumphant. And GL's statement that "Anakin is the Chosen One, and he did bring peace at last with his own sacrifice" doesn't indicate a return to balance between good and evil. The word "peace" particularly implies that evil has been conquered. Peace, to me, doesn't at all seem like a hostile state where good and evil are constantly at odds. Instead, it implies to me the elimination of evil. Now, I do think GL is slightly exaggerating. I think if you asked him, "So, is there no evil anymore in the GFFA, not even a parent who abuses his kid or something like that?" I think the GL (in this context) would say: "No, stuff like that still goes on, but the main source of evil, the Sith, have been eliminated, so there has been a general return to peace where good rules and evil is the exception."

    So, this was my point about GL. He seems to have said things that mean both. I'm also sure that these statements may be able to be read in different ways. GL isn't always the most articulate guy, and his views on the issue may even be evolving.

    The stuff about Plagueis and Palpatine creating the imbalance in the first place complicates things a little, but mostly it leaves the same question unanswered. Before Plagueis and Palpatine created the imbalance was the GFFA in a state of balance in the sense that evil and good exist in a state of equilibrium? Or was the GFFA in a state of balance in the sense that goodness was the dominate Force and their act of evil tilted the galaxy or unbalanced the galaxy towards evil. GL never makes it clear what the normal state of things are. The normal state of things could mean evil and good existing as equal and competing forces, or the normal state of things could mean that good dominates and evil alters or unbalances this normal state.

    I would also add another complicating factor. In the GFFA, evil may need vessels (i.e. beings that bring it into existence) or evil may exist as a force.

    If you take our world, I would say the first is true. I think people, like Hitler or Stalin, did things that are considered evil, but I don't think that evil exists "out there." I guess the easiest way to put it is that I don't think that evil exists as a force of nature. Instead, I think evil can only exist when there are sentient beings who do "bad" things. Before man came onto the scene, I don't that evil existed or that using that term to describe things would evne make any sense. For instance, male chimps sometimes attack other groups of chimps, and bite of their faces and their hands, and then tear them limb from limb, or Octupuses routinely eat one another, as they have evolved to be cannibalistic, but I would never call these animal behaviors "evil." I only think one can call can an act evil when it is committed by sentient self-aware individuals who, by their nature, must live together in groups.

    So, if you take my view on earthly evil and apply it to the GFFA, then I would say that evil can only exist when there are people in the GFFA who are willing to do evil things. If no individual does an evil thing, then evil would not exist.

    However, GL has also hinted that in the GFFA evil also exists as a force unto itself. For instance, Yoda says that the cave is place strong with the dark side. Now that could mean that cave has properties that bring out the worst part of our inner natures or it could mean that the cave is actually filled with evil, so again, it's not entirely clear if evil exists as a force outside of people or if evil only exists when people do or think evil things, but my impression is that it is the former and not the latter.

    Anyway, that's my read of things.


    Well, if the Chosen One prophecy really is a prophecy, then I would say that the interpretation most consistent with prophecy literature is that it has to come true. It is prophesized that Oedipus will kill his father and marry his father, and even though he tries his best to avoid this fate, he ends up doing just this. It is prophesized that Macbeth will become the next king, and this comes true. It is prophesized that Neo will free mankind, and he ultimately does just as the prophecy predicted. So, if the Chosen One prophecy is this type of prophecy, then it seems that Anakin is destined to fulfill the prophecy one way or another.

    There is another type of prophecy, though. There is the "can" type of prophecy. These prophecies don't say what will happen but only what is possible. For instance, in Macbeth, the witches tell MacBeth that he can only be killed by someone not born of a mother's womb. Macbeth thinks this guarantees that he can't be overthrown, but in the end, he is killed by MacDuff who was born via Caesarian section, so MacDuff successfully fulfills this "can" prophecy. In the LOTR, it is prophesized that no man can kill the Witch-King, and in the end, he is killed by a woman and a Hobbit. These "can" prophecies don't guarantee that the prophecy will come true. They simply say what is possible, although "can" prophesies always seem to end up being fulfilled too. (Generally in literature, it seems pretty lame to have a prophecy and do nothing with it. I can't think of an instance in literature when you have a prophecy, and then later on, at the end of novel or play or whatever, you have a character say "Hey, whatever happened with that prophecy? Like none of that stuff came true with that. What's up with that?")

    It would seem to me that if the Chosen One prophecy is a "can" prophecy, then it is not guaranteed that Anakin will fulfill the prophecy. In the films, the few times the prophecy is mentioned, it is always discussed as if it is a "will" prophecy. Obi-Wan: "Is he not the Chosen One? Is he not to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force?" Mace: "Remember, Obi-Wan, if the prophecy is true, your apprentice is the only one who can bring the Force back into balance." Qui-Gon: "He is the Chosen One. He will bring balance. Train him." However, as Yoda pointed out, perhaps the Jedi have misinterpreted the prophecy and believe that it is a "will" prophecy when it is only a "can" prophecy.
  9. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    None of that says anything at all about the issue of good/evil equlibrium. Most of it is about the question of how Anakin was created, a separate issue. The only part dealing with the results of Anakin's actions is the part that says balance comes back to the Force, but presumably that part is not in question.

    What is "the Sith represent evil" supposed to mean, practically speaking? They may be a manifestation of it but they are not identical to it.

    He also isn't saying that is not the case, however.

    We may have to agree to disagree to some extent. Defeat of the Empire/Sith means that arguably evil is no longer running the show, so to speak, but it's still out there.

    I should point out there's a "can" in there. :p

    I think this comes down to what we might call in-universe perspective vs. out-of-universe perspective. Out-of-universe, these stories are generally gifted with "happy endings" by their authors. In other words, the prophecy came true because that way the story had a happy ending ( even though we got the ending first in this case ), but I don't think that means the prophecy was guaranteed to be fulfilled from an in-universe POV. I think the whole thing would depend on Anakin's choices, and thus if Anakin for whatever reason had consistently refused to fulfill the prophecy throughout his life it would not have ended up being fulfilled. But I realize not everyone sees it that way.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Sep 19, 2013
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  10. Ananta Chetan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2013
    star 4
    In regards to reconciling the statements pertaining to good and evil... could it be solved by approaching it from the perspective that the Force itself is Absolute Good, and that contained within It are relative evil and relative good which co-exist as pairs of opposites and that they are constantly in flux and that after ROTS, the shift in relative balance was most in alignment, at least for the time being, with the Absolute Goodness of the Force?

    @darth ladnar
    Last edited by Ananta Chetan, Sep 19, 2013
  11. Ananta Chetan Jedi Grand Master

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    Aug 11, 2013
    star 4
    oops, a small mistake...
    ROTS should be replaced by ROTJ in the above post. :p
  12. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    These last few posts have helped me clarify my thinking on why the 'chosen one'/prophecy aspects introduced in the PT jar so much with the OT. The introduction of those aspects have muddied the waters awfully. Some might see it as being 'mysterious' or in some way clever to have confused the issue so but... it just strikes me as philosophically empty - a story that tries to be all things to all men and ends up by saying nothing.

    From the OT we knew that Vader had once been a Jedi and was seduced to the darkside. He had made a choice which had lead to the tyranny of the Empire and the destruction of the Jedi Order. A choice. Luke was tempted also, by his anger and hatred particularly at the end of ROTJ but he made a very different choice; and through his example Vader came ultimately to understand his own failure. Choice. At the end of ANH Solo makes a choice to come to the aid of his friends rather than just run off with the money. In TESB Luke makes a choice to go help his friends (perfectly laudable...paths and good intentions and all that), and lands himself in circumstances for which he is ill prepared - in all sorts of ways - without affecting the outcome of the events he went there to address.

    The whole of the PT works on the basis of choices. The Force is not explicitly a conscious entity. It can be if one so wishes, but it is not explcitly so (I know there's the line about the Force controlling 'our' actions but that just strikes me as the natural flow of nature - as within Buddhist and Taoist philosophy, where such as rivers. streams etc are often invoked to try and describe the non-conscious and/or supra-conscious flow of life - or the more pragmatic version; my death is certain, it will happen; without mechanical aid I cannot fly - the Force controls my actions.

    As @Samuel Vimes said; once you look at the conscious machinations, or will, of a conscious Force then the question arises; why so convoluted? @darth ladnar expanded upon the most obvious answer to that; an Abrahamic Force angry at its creation; that or the Force was just a bit dim and hadn't figured out the less troublesome route of denying the evil-doers their power.

    To keep it short; the prophecy/'chosen one' storyline was completely suprfluous to the story. There was absolutely no requirement for it. What makes that galling is that, had Lucas not been so enamoured of the idea of Anakin's specialness and destiny (the bad seed aspects etc.) then the PT may have given us the good man who was Anakin Skywalker, his friendship with Obi-Wan and a real seduction to the darkside instead of the premonitory underscores, the flatulent 'perfect boy without fault' TPM storyline and the pseudo-Faustian pact (more a cheap lastminute.com trick). As far as I am concerned there is a glaring chasm between the dumb and confused Anakin at the end of ROTS and the guy who has been acting in his role of Imperial rottweiler with relish for 20 some years - there is in mind no connection between those two characters; there isn't a connection that makes sense.
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  13. Visivious Drakarn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2013
    star 2
    I'll slip in my thoughts... [face_blush]
    I always wondered how that don't get angry, you'll turn to the dark side concept works. Are the Jedi forbidden to play Monopoly then?
    Anyway, I'm just gonna say that Anakin's willingly turn to the dark side makes far more sense (to me) than falling to the dark side presented to us in ROTJ.

    The prophecy part was tied to the Sith. During the OT period, we only saw Palpy and Vader using the Force. The Jedi were extinct, so they were the only Force users in the galaxy. To give Anakin more important role and to make clear that after ROTJ there is no more Sith, Lucas invented the prophecy. But, besides that, it also highlighted Anakin's turn and, more importantly, his redemption. Good, old mythology style storytelling.
    Then, Obi-Wan's and Anakin's friendship. Why would that part be important? And why are everyone keep referring to it? Obi-Wan also said that his apprentice Darth Vader betrayed and killed Luke's father, but nobody's accusing Lucas for not implementing that in the PT.
    Flatulent perfect boy without fault storyline fits into the story of how a good person turns bad. It's been said so many times, he's a boy and a slave, he wants to help other persons in trouble, but then...

    Of course there isn't a connection. It's been 19 years between Ep 3 and Ep 4. It takes time for Ani to become that rottweiler.
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  14. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    Well, I'm certainly not going to change your mind, not that it needs to be changed! I also can't find any of this galling because I'm about to have a gall bladder operation because gall bladder is not working properly! (Not kidding!)

    I would only like to point out that there is a way to interpret things like this that allow for free will. I'm going to use film Back to the Future as an example. (So spoilers coming!) Early in Back to the Future, Marty is there in the Mall parking lot with the Doc as he tries out the Dolorean time machine that goes back in time when it reaches 88 mph. So, they do a test run that works, and then the Syrians arrive in a van and they want to kill the Doc. They shoot the Doc, and then they aim for Marty. At that point, Marty freely decides to run to the Dolorean and he freely decides to use it as a getaway vehicle. Marty can't shake the Syrians (which seems strange since he's in a Dolorean and they're only in a van), so Marty freely decides to speed up to 88 mph to escape back in time where the Syrians can't follow.

    Then at the end of Back to the Future, Marty returns to the "present" just shortly before the scene described above. He makes it to the edge of the mall parking lot and witnesses the scene transpire exactly as I describe above. In fact, if Marty could watch the scene 10 times or a 1,000 times or an infinite number of times from afar without affecting what occurs, he should expect to see the exact same events tranpsire. So, all the free decisions that the escaping Marty made don't seem like free decisions at all to the watching Marty. Every time the watching Marty watches what goes down he sees the exact same thing occur. So, from this perspective these free decisions become 100% predictable. The only difference between the escaping Marty and the watching Marty is that one is a participant and the other is an observer. As a participant, he has free will, but as a knowing observer, the watching Marty already knows what choices he made, and he should expect to see those choices be made again in the exact same fashion when he's given the opportunity to watch the same scene a second time.

    Now, to connect this to Star Wars and all prophecy literature in general, imagine that Anakin, Palpatine, and everyone else are the participants (which isn't hard since that's what they are). So, as participants, just like escaping Marty in Back to the Future, they can make free decisions. Then imagine that the Force is an enlightened observer, like watching Marty from Back to the Future. Like all spiritual entities, the Force would exist beyond time and space, and it would have watching Marty's perspective. So, just like watching Marty, the Force would be able to know exactly what would happen and it would know what free choices each individual would make with perfect certainty. In this manner, the Force can know what will happen without reducing everyone to unthinking automatons.

    I find this to be a good way of reconciling prophecies and free will.
  15. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    No, I agree. I couldn't find a place to cut a quote without messing up its meaning. I also know this quote on its own doesn't say that much. I connect it with what happens in the end of ROTJ where it "seems" like a very comprehensive win for goodness. My point is the comprehensiveness of the victory, but I recognize that this is more of a subjective judgment. It is also complicated by balancing out what Plagueis and Palpatine did if we're going to bring a little EU into it, so a big win for the good side may just coincide with re-balancing the Force after what those guys did. For instance, the stuff with Luke, Vader, and Palpatine could've occurred exactly as it did in the film, but the rebels could've still failed at blowing up the Death Star. However, if you drop the EU stuff, the end of ROTJ seems *to me* like such a big win for the good side that evil has basically been overcome or overwhlemed (with the qualifications I give above). Since it is such a decisive win for the good, I think it is fair to argue that balance doesn't mean evil and good co-existing in an equilibrium. Then when you combine this quote and the ending of ROTJ with GL's other quote about the Chosen One bringing peace, I think one can interpret that evil has pretty much been routed, and that means that balance indicates a state of nature in which good dominates over evil.

    I would again point out that GL has said other statement that suggest that evil and good must exist side by side, so really, I'm not personally taking sides. I think GL statements and the films leave it open to either interpretation. (Maybe the ST will bring more illumination to this topic.)

    I agree. Prophecies always getting fulfilled could be the result of what the dramatist needs to do with the story. It would be pretty weird for a writer to insert something as big as a prophecy and then do absolutely nothing with it. Also, since prophecies don't exist in the real world, we can't ever know what their true properties are, so we can't ever know if they will always be fulfilled or if it is a strong probability that they will be or if prophecies are only of the "can" variety or the "will" variety, or if they come in both varities. (BTW good catch with the "can" in the Mace Windu quote!)

    Personally, I sort of see the Force creating the prophecy and GL coming up with the idea of the prophecy as sort of the same thing. The author is sort of like God in the fictional universe of his creation. The characters he creates seem to have free choice, but the author's pulling the strings. So, when you translate that to the in-universe that just means that the Force is the one pulling the strings b/c its the GFFA's equivalent of a god.

    You've made some good points about what I've said, but I'm interested in what your own notion of the cosmology of the GFFA is. I think I remember from before that you think of the Force as a duality, but that's all I really remember. I'm curious to know if you think the Force is sort of a two-headed snake both evil and good, or if there are two competing Forces -- one good, one evil -- and if one of these can ultimately be defeated. Also if evil and good exist as entities unto themselves of if evil and good only exist when human (or non-humans) do evil things. That type of stuff.
    Last edited by darth ladnar, Sep 20, 2013
  16. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    We could say that aggregate good and aggregate evil exist in some sense as theoretical constructs, but I don't know if I would go so far as to call them entities. I don't think the dark side can ultimately be defeated, but its devotees can. We know from Word of Lucas ( and also word of the Father ) that both sides are necessary.
  17. Iron_lord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    And even the most recent novels (in particular, Crucible) seem to have moved in that direction as well.
  18. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    I haven't read it, what did it say?
  19. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    I'm sort of following what you're talking about, but could you expand it some?

    Right now I'm only getting a sense of what you are saying. It sort of reminds me how Tolkien imagined what shaped his universe. My understanding is that Tolkien had an idea that all of his universe's reality arose from a beautiful and totally "good" spiritual music. Each note in the music represented a different thing in the real world. Somehow or another, I can't remember how, this beautiful music ended up being changed by the introduction of an "evil" countermelody. To give you idea what these means, you might want to listen to this piece by Mussorgsky, which has a positive melody and a foreboding evil sounding counter-melody:



    So, the introduction of this counter-melody in Tolkien's reality did not make the song any less beautiful. In fact, it enriched the music, so it is still "good." Yet ever since the introduction of this "evil" counter-melody, the "good" melody and the "evil" counter-melody have been fighting it out.

    I can't remember how Tolkien resolves this though. I'm not sure whether 1) the music itself resolves the issue and evil or good wins in the end (as good wins in Mussorgsky's piece) or 2) whether the music continues on without ever resolving itself (enabling good and evil to live on forever) or 3) whether the behavior of man ends up determining what happens with the music. So, if man destroys evil, then the music returns to pure "good" music, or if man succumbs to evil, then the "evil" counter-melody ends up winning, or if man can't win decisely one way or another, then the music is never resolved.

    Utlimately, I think the Force must be defined by one of the previous scenarios. Either Force wills that good or evil is the ultimate victor (most likely good winning out, unless Yoda and Obi-Wan who are Force ghosts still no nothing of its true nature) or it is the Force's will that the conflict is never resolved or the Force allows the beings of its universe to decide through their actions whether good or evil win in the end or whether it remains a stalemate forever.
    Last edited by darth ladnar, Sep 20, 2013
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  20. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    Not trying to shoot you down but instead to add a point. If you have an EU that can theoretically produce an endless supply of stories, then you would want a universe in which evil and good live on together forever. If one conquers the other and there is a final defeat, then you can't write any more books because evil, the source of conflict, has been vanquished.

    However, with a film series, you might want one side (good or evil) to win in the end. I think GL was going for this when he decided to jettison 7 through 9, and bring all the stories to a close with ROTJ. ROTJ at least has the feel of an ultimate victory for the good. Now obviously, it wasn't, or we wouldn't have the ST, but I think in 1983, that's the feel GL was going for. I also think the sense of finality of ROTJ is going to make it really hard for the makers of the ST to come up with a compelling plot. (I actually hope they go for a small story (that only later gets bigger) to start things off, because they aren't going to top ROTJ for big conflicts and big villains.)
  21. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Of course ROTJ is a victory for good. It represents the transition from tyranny back to democracy. But even democracy is not all good all the time. It tends to be fraught with problems and there is always crime. Some might call this a balance between good and evil, but it can also fairly be called "peace", at least when there's no war on.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Sep 20, 2013
  22. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    I agree. That's why I emphasized the word "feel." It feels like an ultimate victory. I was speaking of how it feels dramatically.

    Earlier, when I used the word "peace" I was citing GL's words, and I pretty much admitted what you're saying. I said:

    Now, I know GL says that Palpatine was pushing things out of balance, and so, killing him would equalize things, but the ending of ROTJ seem like an unqualified victory for goodness. The main evil forces have been totally eradicated, and only the good remain alive and triumphant. And GL's statement that "Anakin is the Chosen One, and he did bring peace at last with his own sacrifice" doesn't indicate a return to balance between good and evil. The word "peace" particularly implies that evil has been conquered. Peace, to me, doesn't at all seem like a hostile state where good and evil are constantly at odds. Instead, it implies to me the elimination of evil. Now, I do think GL is slightly exaggerating. I think if you asked him, "So, is there no evil anymore in the GFFA, not even a parent who abuses his kid or something like that?" I think the GL (in this context) would say: "No, stuff like that still goes on, but the main source of evil, the Sith, have been eliminated, so there has been a general return to peace where good rules and evil is the exception."

    Here I'm speaking hypothetically of what peace means to a GL in 1983, and this would indicate that peace indicates the domination of good over evil. This is my impression of what GL would say based on a very short comment he made and the impression I get from the end of ROTJ. A state of peace, to me, means to me a state in which, at least in general, good dominates over evil, and since the Chosen One was meant to restore balance, that would indicate that the true nature of the GFFA is one in which good dominates over evil.

    However, I don't know what GL really meant. Maybe he misspoke, maybe he hadn't figured it all out, or maybe the GL in 1983 thought one thing, and the GL of today thinks another. My main point is that I think it is still up in the air what the true nature of the GFFA really is. It may be one which good dominates over evil, and off-balancing it means the disruption of a general sense of peace, or it may be one which good lives in equilibrium with evil. I think GL's comments and the films leave both interpretations open.
  23. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    I think the 'choice' missed the point of Luke's potential turn. I don't think people generally choose to serve evil, they fall into it. It becomes normalised, it seems reasonable - even right. The idea of Anakin going down on bended knee and choosing to serve the dark lord knowing that he is evil misses that. It is not that one cannot be angry, it is that one should not act on the basis of those emotions. If you are setting out to do the right thing you should be able to step away from your own emotional desire otherwise....what you are doing is not based upon any moral framework other than what you want. Evil is simply the adoption of that and its justification.



    But the story, from the perspective of the OT, didn't need it. I don't think it did highlight his turn; in fact his turn is rushed into a twenty second decision to go down on bended knee and swear his fealty to the evil-doer at the centre of all of his problems. He'd have to be the most stupid of stupid creatures ever to have existed, with a short and inefficient memory to have fallen for that guph. And...that he chose to serve evil missed the point that was already there in the OT (regarding good men doing evil) which is good people fall to doing evil, they don't consciously choose it.

    The TPM 'perfect boy' is made redundant by the AOTC Anakin already being well on the way (in fact, by OT standards he has already fallen by the end of that movie)

    The PT does what it purports to have aimed at poorly. It does not (imo) tie in with the OT, for which it is supposed to be a prequel; it adds new elements which have no place in the OT, including the whole Sith v Jedi thing and then the whole prophecy and 'chosen one' nonsense. It ends up doing none of the things it aims at very well. It doesn't show how a good person does bad things, because good people don't get down on bended knee and swear their allegiance to evil - that's not how it works. It doesn't address the 'god-hero' issue (as Dune does, for example) as the 'god-hero' loses his humanity because he is no longer human. It flails about underthe weight of trying to be too many things. It is a different story. It has merit on its own, but it does not tie in, imo, with the OT.


    My point is...the manner of his turn is almost a last minute gambit; he's tricked (not seduced, he doesn't fall) and...the reason he agreed to that is gone - Padmé is dead. Killed by his anger (the very thing that gives him 'strength'). So...he agreed to join the Sith Lord, who he knows is evil - and who he otherwise opposes to save his wife. But his agreeing to that lead to his wife's death, and he's done all these other things that he knows are evil....just how on earth do we get from that to the rottweiler who relishes his oppression of the galaxy in ANH?

    These are two entirely different story-arcs with characters whose names are the same.
  24. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    QFT
  25. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Not quite. I think it's possible to read too much into OT rhetoric here. The crucial difference in AOTC's isolated incident is that Anakin knows what he did was wrong and intends to do better. By the end of the film he's still on the right side and trying to do the right thing, qualities rarely associated with the fallen. In this universe, at least.

    But where are the facts backing up this contention? There's only "imo", which tends to create the impression that we're looking at an emotional position rather than one truly supported by facts. As someone once said, it is not that one cannot be angry, it is that one should not act on the basis of those emotions.

    Sith vs. Jedi has no place in the OT? I must have seen a different OT, then - one in which some Jedi told their new padawan that everything depended on stopping the Sith.

    Tom Veitch of Dark Empire fame thought that was how it worked - and that was a good 8 or so years before Jar Jar, when he only had the OT to go on. Curious, isn't it?

    There's no trick. Everything of relevance that was told to him, as far as we know, is true. Unless we're using the word "trick" to mean getting someone to participate knowingly in a situation which might not ultimately be in their best interests... but don't we have other words for that?

    He's depicted as fallen by the end of the film, and the process leading there is consistent with Obi-Wan's words.

    The answer appears to be in the question. We might as well ask, "How on earth does X equal X?"

    That was the idea. You weren't expecting a simple regurgitation of Luke's story arc all over again, were you?
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Sep 21, 2013
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