Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth Nerdling, Apr 8, 2013.
"Greed, for a lack of a better word, is good" ~ Darth Gordon Gecko
The root of the problem seems to be an inability to accept the fact that some things are beyond control. Is that greed? Possibly it is.
Or fear . . . which is something that Anakin, the Jedi and Padme all suffered from in the PT. The same could be said of Luke in both ESB and ROTJ.
The so-called "Dark Side" is nothing more that evil. Regardless of whether that person is a Force user or not, he or she would be embracing evil with an act of murder out of hate.
It seems to me that the motivations for Anakin's fall are very similar to what tempts Luke to accept the dark side. Luke is drawn away from his training in TESB because of his attachment for his friends, and Luke is persuaded to attempt to strike down Palpatine in cold blood and to fight Vader with ferocity because of his attachment to his friends/sister.
I also interpret things differently than some posting on this thread. I see Anakin's fall to be very gradual. It begins with his attachment to his mother (which is apparent in TPM), an attachment that he never fully learned how to control. It escalates to a much higher level with her death and his slaughter of the sand people tribe. Moving further towards the dark side, he recognizes that his killing of Dooku is the not the Jedi way, and his motive for doing so is traced back to his slaughter of the sand people. Palpatine's insinuations that the Jedi are corrupt encourage him to lose faith in the Jedi ways to some degree. He becomes intensely fearful of losing Padme, and Yoda's advice doesn't set his mind at ease. The opera scene shows that Anakin is intrigued to learn the way to save Padme from death, even if it involves an unnatural dark side power. Before Mace confronts Palpatine, Anakin's temptation to learn this unnatural power and his hope to become the most powerful force-user ever have already led him to admit to Padme that "Something's happening. I'm not the Jedi I should be. I want more, and I know I shouldn't." He's still aligned with the Jedi enough to turn Palpatine in, but his fear of losing Padme is so great that it convinces him that he must go to save Palpatine from Mace. Once he swears allegiance to Palpatine, he still seems to be troubled by his choice to become a Sith, and he doesn't have the characteristic Sith red/yellow eyes yet. It is only after he kills his Jedi comrades and the younglings (made easier by his slaughter of the sand people) that he develops Sith eyes, but even then, it's clear he shows some regret as we see a tear roll down his face (showing that he has not totally lost connection with the light side). It is only when he seems to have flipped his lid when speaking to Padme on Mustaphar that he seems consumed with the dark side, but even then, I'm not sure he's fully there (though a good argument could be made that he's fully embraced the dark side here; he seems to have totally lost it). To me, it seems that only after Anakin believes Padme has betrayed him, Obi-wan has destroyed most of his body, he learns of Padme's death, and all his ties to the past have been cut that Anakin fully embraces his new identity as Vader. So, to me, his transformation from Jedi to Sith is very gradual and believable.
I'm not a big EU guy, but I really enjoyed the portrayal of the dark side users' desire for power in the Darth Bane series. I got the impression that the belief was that if you could control everything, including ultimately life and death themselves, that you would no longer have anything to fear. I think this state of mind is beyond garden variety fear, because fear is normal and necessary in its place. If the fear is strong and all-consuming enough, however, it can ultimately lead to the dark side / Sith mindset. That's how I read it anyway.
Given GL's stateements it would seem like the OP's surmisings are pretty much on the ball. However, personally I'm not sure if destroying the Sith is the conclusion of the Prophecy. Destroying the Sith, imho, doesn't bring balance, given the "Ying&Yang" principle that GL is equally oft to use as an example, you could argue that it was the Jedi that had put the force out of balance with their numbers and excessive influence on the Republic and therefore the galaxy (or majority of it). They were afterall a kind of Republic Police Force and what they said was wrong, was taken as wrong.
Taking the "Ying&Yang" as the standard, true balance could only be gained from finding the sweet spot between both points of view. Ie A viewpoint where the expression of emotions and passion were encouraged but where control of such was taught, not letting such emotions control the personand run riot.
I would argue that Luke found that balance, but that also Anakin finally attained that when he killed the Emperor and fulfilled the Prophecy.
Balance to the force - is a curious notion, is it about the force's presence or how one uses it?
Palpaitne -brought the Sith to the fore
Anakin/Vader - ended the Sith
Luke - appears to have found a way of using the force but with control.
All 3 could be argued to have brought balance to the force, therefore the prophecy could be about any of them!
I think it's about motivation and understanding of perspective. Neither Order is wholly good or evil even though they spew such nonsense all the time. Both are seeming inherently afraid of balance because it would take *unifying* and the Jedi staunchly oppose that because they are blind and narrow-minded.
Yes. How one uses the Force is not the Force, but can affect the it (which is what happens with the Sith).
Maybe its not "Balance to the Force" but rather "Balance in its use".
The Sith tap into the Darkside using negative emotion. The Jedi "deny emotion", however Luke used emotion to beat Vader but remained on the "Light side".
I think it means 'not massively out of kilter' as opposed to 'perfect'.
"It's not that they can't see the dark side coming, it's just that the dark side begins to envelop everything. It's like walking into a fog. The Jedi's ability to see lessens as the dark side grows."
--George Lucas, Starlog Magazine interview, 2003.
"If good and evil are mixed things become blurred - there is nothing between good and evil, everything is gray. 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."
--George Lucas, Cut Magazine Interview 1999.
It's "Balance of the Force". Not "Balance in the use of the Force".
Seriously? He remained on the light side because he saw the mistake he was making before it was too late. Heck, they even took the time to show him comparing his hand to Vader's in order to let the audience know that he was realizing what he would become if he continued. Even the music during that sequence is called "The Dark Side Beckons".
@Alexrd, go easy. Steven Hocking is a Jedi youngling. He's new here. It takes time and dedication to learn the ways of the Force.
@Steven Hawking, I think you make a good point. In some way, Luke's refusal to kill Vader because of his attachments, and Vader's choice to turn on the Emperor because of his attachment to his son represent a middle ground between the Sith and Jedi philosophies.
Yeah, sorry about that. It's such a pointless scene to argue about given how transparent it is...
I really, really can't get my head around why anybody would think Yin and Yang have any sort of equivalence to "good" and "evil". The whole point of Yin and Yang is that only through balance will good prevail - good in this instance being positive outcomes.
It seems an odd take on any religious/philosophical proposition that "evil" would be a required aspect. Let's say I've had a good day, done a number of good deeds, helped my neighbours etc. Should I have to, I don't know, cut some strangers finger open to balance the day out? Slap a work colleague? And if I've had a really good day....I mean, let's say I saved someone's life, should I kill someone or something to balance that up?
After I've hugged a couple of kids and dropped some money into the Salvation Army bucket, I always yell at a few people on the Internet to balance it out.
Seriously, I agree with you. The whole "balance" idea was always pretty absurd to me.
According to "The Masks of God": They are not to be separated; nor can they be judged morally as either good or evil.
However, the same source calls the yang a "beneficent, positive principle" while referring to the yin as "malignant and negative".
What's odd is the implied assumption that evil can be wholly removed from the construct; that it can be eliminated. How would you propose that such a thing be accomplished - a crusade, perhaps?
What did they say that was wrong?
I agree. I dont hold by the whole good must be balanced by bad idea in real life.
However Lucas has mentioned a kind of Ying&Yang idea as to the Force and am just trying to reconcile that myself.
@Arawn_Fenn Reading comprehension ftw. What I mean is that for the general populace of the Republic, the Jedi set the standard as to what was acceptible interms of the Force and enforced that standard.
No, the Jedi seek to promote the balance of the Force, something which is not achieved by "unifying" with those who are intent on domination and evil and who have demonstrated willingness and capability to shift the balance. No such unification is even feasible, unless either group drops its core tenet and heads into "in name only" territory. The Jedi look forward to the restoration of balance by a prophesied Chosen One.
There could always be a situation of imbalance between the two.
So what? You might want to read the source material itself, take the time to understand the Yin and Yang from the perspective of those for whom it is representative of their religious/philosophical world-view, rather than from a writer whose ideas are the subject of comprehensive criticism - not the least of which is a Western monotheistic bias, and a concomitant simplification and over-generalisation of 'similarities' between the world's religious/philosophical ideas and world-views.
A Campbellian perspective is a pretty shallow view of such ideas.
Let's hear it. Campbell's source is the Tao Te Ching. What's yours? Is it your own imagination, or that of some other Westerner?
Hardly. If there's a "monotheistic" bias at work here, it's on the part of those who have a problem with a dualistic Force.
Which is completely irrelevant to the question of the portrayal of one specific belief system.
...but not yours, it seems. It's not my duty to educate you. Go read.
You reveal only a level of ignorance here. A dualistic proposition is the result of monotheism - as opposed to a polyvalent worldview.
Well, clearly not.
In other words, you have no source, so we're just discussing your creative writing on the topic? Well, that's nice, I guess.
Unfortunately, not in this case...
I refer you to this post:
If you grant that such themes exist, their exploration does not somehow preclude an accurate portrayal of individual disciplines.
Yin Yang, as it is generally understood in Taoism are complementary facets - which cannot be defined except by defining the other (night/day, masculine/feminine etc). The word Yin has an original meaning of "shady side" and Yang as "sunny side", as of a hill. The two complementary concepts are not immutable, there is no defining line between night and day, for example, the one merges with the other. Generally Yin is passive, dull/oppressed, feminine and Yang is active, bright/released, masculine (although as the basic edicts of Taoism involve not codyfying life these are not absolute).
So Campbell's deconstruction of them into "positive, beneficient' as opposed to (whereas in Taoism they are complementary to) "malignant and negative" misses, entirely, the real structure - in terms of their philosophical value. He does this because he is forcing them into his a-priori treatment of mythical 'archetypes'
And I don't grant that there are unifying mythic archetypes, especially not in some Jungian sense.