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TCW Episode The Clone Wars: Episode 213: Voyage of Temptation Discussion Thread (Spoilers Allowed)

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Garth Maul, Feb 3, 2010.

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  1. Slaign

    Slaign Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 5, 2008
    How different are people from droids really? Our brains are no more than complex computers, mathematical equations. The only difference is how advanced they are, and what they are composed of. Our brains use chemicals and organic tissue instead of capacitors and memory chips, but the result is the same. Every time we do anything it's a result of our brain coming to the conclusion that that is what we must do.

    Consider the moment of the biggest decision of your life. One that you had to weigh every option and emotion before making. Do you think you could have made a different choice in that moment? Even if you regret it now, that's because of new information. If you reset time to that moment however, and replayed it 1000 times, with the exact same moment occuring over and over, would your response ever differ? With everything being the same, every minute detail, your brain has the exact same information to work with, would it ever come up with a different response?

    I don't think it would. I think our brains are extremely powerful computers, and I think they process a cast amount of information. They certainly learn, adapt, and continue to build upon the way they compute those decisions, and every brain is certainly different and would compute the information differently, but with the exact same structure and the exact same information, I think the exact same brain would always come to the exact same conclusion. Unless the values change, the result is always the same. Two plus two is always four.

    Are droids really all that different? They display a capability to learn and change, just as we do. Some of them aren't very smart, but some of us aren't either. their minds are less advanced, less capable of processing the vast amount of information we put into every thought, but they function the same way. In that way aren't they at least on the level of animals?

    It's an interesting dilemma. It grinds against the very fabric of the idea of choice that we as humans cling to so much. Without that choice, what happens to individual responsibility? If every choice is simply the calculated result of an inputted equation, then how can anyone be responsible for what they do? I can't definitively answer that, but I roconcile it with this: No matter how you arrive at decisions, be it a complex equation or some obscure, indefinable essence, soul or other thing, in the end, what you do is what you do, and what you do is who you are. Thus, even if the choices you make are the only ones you can come to, you are responsible for them. You are you, and no one else is, so when it comes to responsibility for what you do, it falls upon you alone. We don't let a virus inhabit our computers out of mercy because it's malicious actions are all it knows how to do. We take actions to correct the problem.

    That's how I see it anyway. I regret I won't survive long enough to see what humanity will do when it encounters a machine based sentience, and has to come to terms with what it implies.
  2. Game3525

    Game3525 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 25, 2008
    Droids are differant, humans can at least some what understand their emotions. I mean look at Threepio.:p
  3. Garth Maul

    Garth Maul Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 18, 2002
    Actually, if you've read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, much of day-to-day living and even decision-making is done without much conscious thought. [face_idea]
  4. Slaign

    Slaign Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 5, 2008

    It's not as clear as it is when animated but I still think it's abundantly clear. So clear, that I think the animation team deserves accolades.

    The first frame, Satine's expression is clearly pained. You can pretty much feel her pleading with Obi-wan "Please, I need to hear how you feel, this may be the only time."

    The second frame, you can see a look I can best describe as remorse, but it's hard to put in words. And trust me, I'm not someone who has trouble putting something in words. It's a clear look of him recognizing pain in the face of his loved one, and that he is the one causing that pain, and his strong desire to not do so.

    The third frame is surrender. It's right before he says "Alright." It's not a bright eyes realization, it's him closing his eyes, looking away and steeling himself to do what he knows he needs to do.

    I understand reading faces isn't a science and no matter how clear it seems, it's still "up for interpretation," but really, I can't see how the could make it more clear without putting up a subtitle that says "Obi-wan and Satine are totally sincere right now."

    I would wager a great many people would disagree with you on the idea that humans understand their emotions.

    I'm not sure if this was in reply to me or Game, but regardless it serves as a great jump off to round out my point.

    Unconscious thought is where most of the calculating happens. It's back end stuff. Conscious thought is the results, the thoughts, the sums of the equations. That's how I see it anyway. It's not that humans are trying to calculate everything, it's just that our brains are constantly running the equations and outputting the results, completely unconsciously.

    That's why we have what I refer to (and I know I didn't invent the phrase) as the illusion of choice. Any given decision isn't necessarily one equation. Say you're deciding who to date out of two girls. Your brain runs one equation and the result is the thought "I really like Girl A because she's really pretty." and then it runs another and the resulting thought is "But I really like Girl B because she makes me laugh." Then it runs an equation with those results and comes up with "I'm going with Girl B because personality is more important to me."

    Now you made your choice, and later Girl A really makes you laugh. If you had that information, the outcome would have been different, but you didn't, and I believe that without that, or some other, change in variables, you would always come to the same decision.

    Now of course that's a very basic example that doesn't do any justice to the true complexity of the process. I can't do any justice to the complexity of the process because it's so damn complex I don't think anyone truly fully understands it. But I do believe that everything boils down to complex math, and our brains are just really advanced calculators. Math is certain and absolute. The same equation always results in the same answer.

    I've never read the book, but it sounds interesting. I'll have to look into it.

    Edit: Speaking of unconscious thought, I think our most familiar form of unconscious thought is a great comparison to machines. Dreams. They're like formatting a computer. It's all the data being shuffled around with no inherent intent that has to do with the data itself, but rather the organization of the system. That's why you see familiar bits of data in strange and unintelligible sequences.
  5. Garth Maul

    Garth Maul Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 18, 2002
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  6. fanboyskywalker

    fanboyskywalker Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 3, 2008
    You can be against it because the machines fight back and lives are lost. Also, in the SW galaxy it is possible to have feelings for machines. Look at R2 and Threepio. And the progression of the battle droids into their olbivious, childlike personalities... I could see someone feeling sorry for them and wanting to stand up for them.
  7. AhsokaMiro

    AhsokaMiro Jedi Youngling star 3

    Apr 21, 2008
    The whole thing with droid rights or droid "personhood" has kind of been written into SW from the very beginning; "We don't serve their kind in here" clearly parallels bigotry in the real world. Generally our heroes are people who are a little less... erm, droidist, or whatever, than the average guy, with some of them clearly having real feelings for the droids. The incidences of bigotry are usually just kind of brushed aside and you sure aren't left with the impression that Episodes 7-9 were meant to be about the Droid Civil Rights Movement or anything, but the undercurrent is there.
  8. TheMacUnleashed

    TheMacUnleashed Jedi Knight star 4

    Feb 2, 2009
    Well, we've talked a bit about the humanizing of the droids before -I made [link=]this thread[/link] awhile back.

    Personally, I think of droids as already being programmed, and I don't see how, from a scientific point of view, they could have personalities. However, seeing as this is Star Wars, realism isn't a big part of it, so I don't think it's a major complaint.

    (how is this related to this episode, btw? :p)

    edit: oh, okay. The post below me has provided a satisfactory explanation. I clearly should be paying more attention. [face_monkey]
  9. MercenaryAce

    MercenaryAce Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 10, 2005
    Ask the Lemur guys. As strange as it seems, some groups extend pacifism towards droids.

    Though I must also point out the invasion force at Naboo wasn't all droids. A lot of people died when that spacship blew up, and at least one organic pilot died defending it. And the CIS as a whole is far from all droid: all the leaders are organic, and there are lots of organic troops and militia.
  10. Garth Maul

    Garth Maul Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 18, 2002
    Yes, the point of pacifism is to use non-violent means. Completely non-violent means, no exceptions.
  11. Kualan

    Kualan Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 4, 2008
    Yeah, pacifism isn't just about not harming other individuals; it is also a principle of not resorting/lowering yourself to the use of violence at all - even against non-sentients such as droids.

    ^ That's the difference between the 'peaceful' people of Naboo and Alderaan, and the 'pacifist' Lurmen, for example. Those who are 'peaceful' opt for a life without violence...but with room for exception in extreme circumstances.

    On an additional note; wouldn't it be interesting to see Alderaan as the 'anti-New Mandalore' in TCW? A planet that is willing to arm itself and fight for the war effort...but which as a result of the Clone Wars adopts its peaceful ways that we know of from ANH.
  12. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    It depends on how much of their behavior is created by their experiences and how much they are able to change themselves. If they start to be shaped by their collected experiences rather than merely a collection of data about those experiences, they start to cross that line.
  13. JediMasterJessica

    JediMasterJessica Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 26, 2005
    I agree- It never crossed my line that they where faking it for Merik until I came on here ( and I had seen the episode twice at that point). If you look at the shot of Satine after Obi-Wan starts that this isn't the time....she gestures down- not left toward Merik. I thought the animators where going for the almost crying look on her. I just think the dialouge is worded to be heartfelt. If they where faking it....why wouldn't Obi-Wan just of replied with" I love you too'?
  14. Slaign

    Slaign Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 5, 2008
    Exactly, and I don't think the people who wrote the droid programming programmed them to be so whiny and afraid all the time. I think it's a result of their lot in life, and their networked existence. Connected via wireless network to hundreds of other droids, they have learned to fear Jedi, because all their memories of Jedi are associated with hundreds of their kind going offline. Thus they've developed a minor personality quirk of constant fear. They know their only lot in life is to march forward and overwhelm the enemy forces with sheer numbers, which inevitably means a lot of them are going to die.

    This also explains why in TPM, they appear to just be mechanical war machines, and as the timeline progresses, we see them develop into these whiny, unintelligent but personified things. Of course, the people in the GFFA have developed methods to keep their mechanical slaves in line.

    One method we see is restraining bolts. These work not to limit the droid's personality (as we see when R2 tricks Luke into removing his, and C-3PO goes into hiding with his still on) but to override their motor functions in order to keep them in a specific area, or to make them come to you or stop moving. They can also remotely shut the droid down. Think of it as being locked into a shock collar so powerful that should you try to run, the controller can either lock your muscles up with an electric shock, or just knock you right out.

    The even more telling method they have is memory wipes. This very clearly indicates that the reason droids develop a personality is in direct response to their memories. They learn. Wipe out their memories and reboot their personality, and you have a clean slate. But if they go long without a wipe, they develop an extensive memory and adapt according to those memories, as we see with R2.

    Now, C-3PO's memory was wiped and we don't see significant change in his personality. I'm not sure what this indicates. To me, it indicates that 3PO wasn't wiped entirely. Perhaps his memory was only partially wiped. Perhaps it was just altered, as seems to be the case when he is questioned about his past and he says he worked on binary loadlifters. Maybe this left the changes he had adapted to his personality in place. Perhaps young Anakin put protections on the droid's personality center, since he was building a friend. Or, perhaps it's just that a large part of his personality is pre-programmed.

    I would imagine his tendency to say "I am fluent in over 6 million forms of communication!" is part of his programming, where as his fear of flying is likely adapted from his experiences (after all, every time he gets on a ship someone seems to want to shoot it down.)

    Going back to Battle Droids, I imagine they are wiped routinely and have on-board restraint devices, so we never see them develop to the point where they say "Hey, wait a damn minute, I don't wanna die, screw this." Also, perhaps they have inhibited ability to learn (seems likely seeing how dumb they always are) and limited memory banks. Still, due to being constantly networked, they experience things much faster than a typical droid, and seem to always develop that fearful personality that I see as going hand in hand with being nothing but cannon fodder.
  15. Scolai

    Scolai Jedi Youngling star 2

    Dec 31, 2009
    An interesting idea, essentially a droid subconscious (see: Mass Effect - the Geth). However, that's not really workable or the Republic would be using droids to know every move the CIS makes. Additionally, the clones kill far more droids than the Jedi. There's pretty much a reason Rex doesn't mention his kill score to Ahsoka...she'd be bummed out. While a Jedi is flashy and certainly get their share of kills, clones use grenades, rpgs, turret cannons, and their regular rifles and carbines can slag clankers by the dozen when they're not behind cover. Not at all. In TPM, all of the droids were being controlled by a single source signal and weren't independent. That's why when Anakin destroyed the control ship, all the droids shut down. The droids were all essentially one brain, running from the ship in orbit. After that, the droids were fitted with individual intelligence programming, but it didn't really work so hot. Bad and/or cheap programming in mass produced droid troops = dumb droids.

    Indeed that is why you have droids' memories wiped. If they go for long periods of time, they can develop "personalities", though it's more like quirky programming errors. Usually these lead to very bad things, like droids going all psycho and smashing things or trying to burn stuff down, often with no malicious intent, but because they have bad sectors, like on a hard drive, and they're, well, crazy. Artoo and 3PO are exceptions, and both actually have had their primary operating systems cleaned out/reinstalled (3PO at the end of ROTS at the very least, and R2 after being shot up in ANH).

  16. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 6, 2007
    Jedi have less personality than droids do:p

    Yeah, my take is that droids are sentient both in the Lucasverse and the EU.
  17. Slaign

    Slaign Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 5, 2008
    When I say they fear the Jedi, that includes the troops they command.

    Fair enough. I knew all about that, but I didn't really consider that the droids would have no independent brain at all. I figured it was more that without a source of commands, they just shut down because they didn't have independent orders. I didn't think the droids would be entirely incapable of being activated as individuals, merely that they were all being commanded through the control ship for efficiency.

    This is never directly addressed in the movies. The reason Owen tells Luke to wipe the droids is because they mention Obi-wan. It has nothing to do with personality, be it through sentience or sector errors. the EU has material enough to support both ideas, but I think it's more commonly accepted as to prevent a personality from developing. Wookiepedia defines memory wipes as designed to "prevent the development of personality and independence."

    If you are of the personal opinion that droids can't be, or aren't, sentient, you will embrace the idea that it's just quirks in the data. Personally I think it's clear that droids learn from their experiences and that colors future interactions. That defines them as sentient to me.

    The mechanics of how it happens are irrelevant. It being digital "data" and not organic "thought" is semantics. It works through different processes to achieve the same result. Like I said, our brains are just complex computers made of squishy organics. Droid brains are just made of different things, but they do the same thing.

    To me, it's not an argument that droids are exceptionally special, it's an argument that humans like to think we're more than what we are. We like to think we're special, with this mystical property to us that makes us more "alive" than other things. To us, it doesn't matter if another thing mimics our properties exactly, it is not us, so it doesn't have that special indefinable something we like to pretend we have.

    I'd argue that we're not special through divine intervention, but just because we evolved to the point of being the most adaptable and intelligent species we know of. I'd argue that we don't have anything inherently above animals. We're just smarter. They are less advanced creatures of the same general design as us.

    But I think that's getting outside the scope of this board. The point is, if you're one to attribute that special
  18. swcolts1977

    swcolts1977 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Nov 17, 2009
    Little late here, but I really liked this episode, it was one of the best of the season. It's hard to believe it was produced for season 1, it was just such high quality.

    Paul Dini does it once again, his episodes are just special. The female characters just seem so real, Satine is a fantastic character, and I agree with what others have said, I like her better than Padme.

    Satine's history with Obi-Wan was played well with all the characters, especially Anakin. Anakin shined in this episode, specifically when he stabbed Tal Merrick. Speaking of Tal Merrick, Greg Proops did a graet job with him. I'm a big Whose Line fan and Merrick reminded me of some of the evil characters he did on that show.

    Voyage of Temptation is what Star Wars is all about: witty banter, strong characters, great action set pieces, and those little moments that make you say "Yes, this is Star Wars."
  19. fanboyskywalker

    fanboyskywalker Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 3, 2008
  20. Slaign

    Slaign Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 5, 2008
    As far as kill counts go, my guess would be, considering the contestants are present for the same battle, and we are speaking of a period of a single battle, not the entire war:

    Avg Clone vs Avg Jedi = Avg Jedi
    Avg Captain vs Avg Jedi = Avg Captain
    Avg Captain vs Avg Master = Avg Master
    Rex/Cody vs Avg Master = Rex/Cody
    Rex/Cody vs Obi-wan/Anakin/Mace = Obi-wan/Anakin/Mace

    Again, just my guesses.
  21. Garth Maul

    Garth Maul Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 18, 2002
    Yeah, I think Jedi like Obi-Wan/Anakin/Ahsoka who are in the thick of battle all the time probably have an advantage over most Jedi.
  22. DarthNidLoc

    DarthNidLoc Jedi Youngling star 3

    Mar 19, 2005
    I watched the wednesday night replay and was eating a late dinner(due to law school) when I was watching. I knew as soon as Santine had the gun on Merrick that it was going to be Anakin killing the guy and since I had just taken a swig of water, my laughter caused me to shoot the water out my nose not fun. Anakin killing Merrick in the manner he did was a great little bit of character foreshadowing. Star wars authors and others tend to make anakin too dark to early and have him doing stuff that is often a little to darkside. Anakin sneeking up and stabbing a bad guy in the back(something I believe Obi-wan and most other Jedi would never think of doing) is great because it is a subtle nod to who he will become not the not so subtle nods we tend to get.
  23. Scolai

    Scolai Jedi Youngling star 2

    Dec 31, 2009
    Yeah, exactly. My point was more that if a droid could feel fear, the Jedi wouldn't necessarily be the apex of that fear. The clones vastly outnumber the Jedi and would be the opponent droids would face most often, and would likely fear the most. And, heh, if you want to talk Odds, the clones would need to be able to take out thousands (tens of thousands?) of droids each.

    Cue I_see_wut_u_did_thar.jpg
  24. kecen

    kecen Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 12, 2005
    OK, I'm late to the party. Discussion about droids? It depends on the model.

    I enjoyed this episode much more than the previous, mostly because I wasn't as on edge and Death Watch's goons weren't as prominent. I also watched it only helps blow off steam. Anakin understands what Obi-wan feels, even to the point of what he did with the infiltrator...

    The fat Twi'lek was benign, huh.
  25. Mond

    Mond Jedi Knight star 3

    Nov 21, 2009
    I don't think Orn Free Taa was ever meant to be malevolent per se, just a typical sleazy/corrupt senator from the dying days of the Republic.
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