Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Garth Maul, Feb 7, 2011.
Yes, I can get on board with that.
The light side is not passive nor a pacifist philosophy. At heart, it is about supporting your community--your friends and neighbours. This is what the Rebellion symbolised: a group of individuals banding together to fight for the good of society while embodying loyalty, mateship (as a fellow Aussie, you'll get that one) and camaraderie. Inherent in these ideas is the notion of defending the group.
Note that the Sith are backstabbers within their own ranks. There is no concept of "loyalty" within the dark side.
But defending the group isn't aggression. From Wikipedia, "Ferguson and Beaver (2009) defined aggressive behavior as 'Behavior which is intended to increase the social dominance of the organism relative to the dominance position of other organisms' ." In other words, it's about personal dominance--the antithesis of the light side ideals.
I would argue that on its own the Light Side is, in fact, pacifism. It is the core of 'good' however at the same time without any 'dark aspects' of nature it is pacifist. Without Darkness one can not pick up a weapon to defend ones self nor can one fight for their very survival (in other words you can't fight for democracy or freedom). Obviously I am not talking about aggression in the sense of 'evil', but rather that natural aggression which enables one to defend ones self and fight against evil. In the same sense animals need aggression to live - so it is an integral part of the balanced nature. For humans (and other intelligent beings) I would agree that the 'balance' is shifted somewhat towards light with our morality, etc. Alas however I still think there are integral aspects of darkness which enable one to fight for a greater good. Ultimately I think it is all about ratio and I think it is obvious that Darkness is an integral aspect of life which contributes to its functioning and ultimate goodness.
That's because it isn't counterbalanced by the Light Side - in other words it is Evil.
You may be correct - however I still think defending the greater good still requires a certain amount of violence or aggression. After all if you can't defend your people with a weapon (which pure light would prevent) you can't defend and protect. Whatever the case I think there are essential 'dark aspects' which are required for inherent goodness, thus a balance between Light and Dark (Lightark). The Allies in the Second World War is a good example.
The dark side is to be avoided. There is a light side ( that which is not to be avoided ), cited by characters and Lucas. Also, we know that the balance of the Force as a whole is between light and dark. Whatever it means to be a "well balanced Force user", that's the balance of a user, not the balance of the Force, though in Anakin's case one depends upon the other ( however, in the Annotated Screenplays there is an interpretation which seems to indicate that some dark side use is inevitable in combat but is balanced by use of the light side ).
I had another think about this last night, so here?s my mini-manifesto, DarthPhilosopher. See what you think:
The light side of the Force is about selfless compassion (symbolised by the Daughter here); the dark side of the Force is about selfish, self-centred ego-gratification (symbolised here by the Son). The choice of the light side is really about whether or not you?re willing to surrender your ego to your Anima or Animus--the contrasexual, unconscious element of your own psyche. (Anakin is male, so of course the Daughter is the feminine ?other?--the Anima, while the Son is the ego). Do you turn to the light side and side with the Daughhter, or do you align with the Son andd turn to the dark side?
Lucas? position, on its face, seems paradoxical and contradictory: the characters choose between the light side (good) and the dark side (evil) within the films, yet in the Mortis arc, ?balance? between the two is framed as apparently being the ultimate good. So are we meant to be both good and evil?
The choice between the light and dark sides is a false dichotomy. To quote Qui-Gon in the Mortis arc, ?Look deeper: you will find another way.? By transcending the dichotomy, you find a third possibility: the conjunction of the ego with the Anima or Animus. By joining the two to form one, you are now a complete whole--the Self, as symbolised by the Father (i.e. the classic ?wise old man? archetype).
What does this mean for the Force in SW? The Force is neither light nor dark, but if you split it into polar opposites (from your own POV), you get this ?good vs. evil? dichotomy, and so a choice must be made between apparent good and evil. OTOH, if you choose the Father?s path--the ultimate good and the middle-way between the two--you?re restoring balance.
The calculus of what parts of an action involve aggression, fear, hatred, selflessness, pacifism, etc., is only relevant when discussing these ideas in terms of the dichotomy. Once you're acting in service of the Self (i.e. the Force), all distinctions disappear. It's really that simple.
There is no light-side. There is Balance, which the Jedi represent, and there is the Dark Side, which the Sith represent.
George Lucas: "You?ve got the dark side and the light side. One is selfless. One is selfish. You want to keep them in balance." (2010 TCW meeting on BD)
It can't get much clearer than that.
I think it's more about walking the middle path. In my opinion the Father is where the ultimate good exists, whilst either the Daughter or Son are imbalanced and could potentially lead to evil (with the Son being more susceptible to fall to evil). In my opinion the 'light' is always the prominent part of inherent goodness - however at the same time it needs essential darkness in order to form to middle path/balance.
I don't think the dark side and light side are necessarily characterized by either good or evil specifically. Rather the Light and Dark Sides are two essential core aspect groups forming the unified 'Force'. To be completely aligned to the Light, while it may be the core of good, is imbalanced if it exists without darkness. While you may have love and compassion you are incapable of decisive action. In truth 'good' consists of an adequate ratio of both light and dark in order to form a balanced being. In other words creation and destruction - both are essential for nature and both must exist balanced; too much creation, just as too much destruction, will destroy life. In this way the Force must exist with both light and dark in adequate ratio in order for life to exist and function. This balance is what creates good.
Evil, in contrast, is not simply the dark side. Evil is created within the intelligent mind when our natural emotional aspects (fear, anger) are corrupted by vanity. In this way Evil only exists when the Dark Side is not counterbalanced by the Light. This is what happens when one 'falls to the dark side' - they fall to a state devoid of light where natural darkness manifests into evil. So the Dark Side is only evil when it exists without the Light. When it exists in an adequate unison and balance with the Light is consists of inherent goodness.
The Dark Side is essential for nature to exist. Typically it exists in nature in harmony with light, allowing animals to kill their prey and survive - animals surviving, it could be argued, is a part of inherent good, and as such darkness exists as part of this 'good'. For humans the situation is different because of our intelligent mind. Where in animals both aspects exist continually within an unbreakable balance, within humans intelligence allows darkness to envelop due to its nature - this is why humans must be wary and control our darkness, maintaining it at its raw aspects (defending one's self and one's people, fighting for just causes, etc).
Exactly. This is balance. Animals are forever locked within this balance. For intelligent beings we must work towards this state because we must control our darkness.
This was also the framing used in the PT films ( and certain EU from the PT era ).
If there is a dark side there is a light side by simple subtraction. According to Lucas the Force itself has sides.
Good/Evil are independent of Light Side/Dark Side.
We know how good can stem from the Light Side through compassion, and how evil can stem from the Dark Side through hatred and aggression. However, how good comes from the Dark Side and how evil come from the Light Side are not really touched upon. Nor how the Dark Side relates to the Jedi.
The Light Side is nothing ever spoken of directly in the films, and therefore it's hard to discern how the individual sides of the Force are utilized by Jedi. In the TV show, there are a couple mentions of "light" in the Mortis Arc in reference to the Light Side, but whether that is meant to imply that the Jedi are strict followers of the Light Side, I do not know, though I do not believe so.
In the films, again, the Light Side is never spoken of. The Jedi speak of following the will of the Force, whereas the Sith speak of giving themselves entirely to the Dark Side. The Force has two sides, and if the Jedi are following their instincts as influenced by the Force, then it would be reasonable to think that they are influenced by the Dark Side in instances such as combat, when they have to give into aggressive tendencies, but that the Light Side acts as a counterbalance to ensure they don't carry violence too far.
I think that the idea about the Force is confused by EU sources like KOTOR. That when you behave like a Jedi from the films, you are considered "Light Side," whereas when you harm people or manipulate them for self-gain or for sadistic pleasure you are "Dark Side," and that in between there is grey when you bounce between either camps to balance out compassion with greed. But I would say that the Jedi of the films are not truly "Light Side." They follow the will of the Force and Force is naturally in balance. If they gave themselves completely to the Light Side, they would be like Lurmen and would be incapable of fulfilling their duties as peace keepers.
The Jedi are supposed to represent the light side, aren't they? But they're corrupted by TPM.
My interpretation is that light and dark forces are naturally needed to be balanced for a cycle of life/death. However, because the dark is seductive, many people use it selfishly and destructively and become a cancer of sorts. The Jedi, who represent the light side strongly, will always be needed to keep the dark side users of the galaxy in check.
The amount of Jedi in the galaxy does not skew the balance, because they do not seek to have control. On the other hand, the Sith will always try to alter the natural balance and therefore need to be eliminated. My basic interpretation is that balance of the light/dark sides of the Force doesn't neccessarily mean literal balance of light/dark Force users.
It was called "the good side".
This is a good point. The Lurmen take pacifism to an extreme which tends to negate effective self-defense or peacekeeping.
Okay I'm 9 months late...(watching TCW S3 on Blu-ray).
WTF was this arc about?
It was so pointless, so out there...Ghost of Qui-Gon? Father, Son and Daughter? New interpretation of balancing the Force? Anakin and Ashoka both turning to the darkside, Anakin ROTS nightmares, come on SW writers! What are you thinking? With Mortis being the all powerful station/planet, you're basically making Sidious useless!
I felt like this arc with the Father was a repeat when Neo entered to see the architect - only that somewhat worked. This didn't.
Even though it was cool to hear Qui-Gon and Shmi, these episodes are 100% EU/Alternate Universe. These episdoes should be ignored and banned as part of the SW story.
Glad to see they wiped the memory of our Jedi heroes. Now I wished the SW writers would do the same for my brain.
To be fair, it was written by Christian Taylor, a man who either shares his name with a gay porn star, or that's where he actually gets his money from because he certainly doesn't get it from the scripts he produces.
Yes, you are quite late to the Mortis party/discussion/rehash/debate/furor.
This arc was about the corruption and redemption of Ahsoka Tano through the augmented Force power of the Chosen One. The arc speaks to the vulnerability and fragility of life, as we so clearly saw with the near death of Ahsoka. Despite having been saved, she still acts in contrary to her Master's wishes realizing the corruption within him.
You should ask Swashbucklingjedi what he thinks about Mortis. I believe that he likes to receive at least one private message per day requesting his insights on the Mortis arc.
I don't doubt that the Mortis arc can provide a noble message and had creative meaning.
That being said, did it belong in Star Wars? What's the point of it? That the events of Mortis control the Force?
fanboy, you're going too far with this. I don't have any trouble with attacking Taylor's writing but this is a family site and we don't need any jokes or insults like that.
I'd say it's the retelling of the six films in a nutshell. Essentially, the message it's trying to convey is that the events of the six films will continue into infinitum on an infinite number of levels.
Of course, this arc was the most hotly debated and discussed story arc of any TCW episodes as you can see from the pages and pages of responses.
Rumble why almost everything you post nowadays is insult or sarcastic humour about other lacwacers? Yes I am not lover of this arc- especially this episode. Idea was to "explain the saga" but it only made it more complicated and episodes were unentertaining..... but I'm not interested in discussing this anymore no matter what others say about my opinions
I'll forever carry "Mortis-hater" stamp on my forehead it seems- I just didn't like the damn arc - is that so hard for others to accept without using that fact for insulting sarcastic comments?
I'm with Swash on this, except I guess I don't really "hate" these episodes. I just got really frustrated by people who kept thinking symbolism like the scales and the dagger were "ingenious" and worth 50 hours of discussion.
Of course the scales were symbolic of balance! That's not ingenious! That's symbolism 101! Any 8-year-old watching this show could tell you what they meant!
And I have yet to hear a good argument explaining that silly dagger.
Oh, and the light and dark symbolism? That's supposedly ingenious too or something? Like that's not something else any 8-year-old can explain?
And the connections to ROTS are supposed to be subtle or something? They showed scenes from ROTS! There was no subtlety involved!
Also, something really ticks me off about Anakin learning he becomes Darth Vader. Was that really necessary? I know he "forgets" or whatever, but now it's like he's tainted. Like the Son put the seed of the idea in his subconscious and he became Vader because of that, not because he was a genuine greedy little jerk (which, granted, he's not too much in the show, but he was in the films).
Blargh. At least the Son was cool. And as Thrawn would say, it was artistically done, setting-wise.
I liked the arc because:
1. The Son - biggest reason I liked it. He's sort of what I wished Palpatine would have been.
2. Clarification on what balance means. There were arguments among some confused people that two Sith and two Jedi made the Force in Balance, and others claimed that it was about "light side Jedi" vs. dark side Sith, and that the dark side created the imbalance. Now it can definitively be said what is meant by "balance" (and it's the simplest answer).
3. Anakin directly has to deal with the prophecy and it shows both that he doesn't believe it and why he doesn't believe it.
4. ...I actually like how Anakin saw his future, and that that future itself would turn Anakin to the dark side to prevent it. It just seems to be in his character, to fight an enemy by any means, and in the process become like that enemy.
5. People criticize how the arc is pretty much a rehash of the saga in a different setting. I kind of like this in the sense that I love to analyze the saga as a whole and draw connections between even and see how characters develop, etc. The Mortis arc allowed for those kinds of conversations more than any other episode IMO.
6. Possible foreshadowing that something bad might happen to Ahsoka if she remains Anakin's apprentice, and Anakin dealing with Shmi some more.
7. The actual mystery of it all. Who the Force Wielders are, how much of it was real, how much of certain actions were due to the son's own personality, and how much of it was simply him acting as a physical manifestation of the dark side, etc.
I just liked it. I don't attempt to rationalize the dagger in any way. I don't think it's a symbol of anything, just a plot device as to how the characters can overcome beings that can overpower them in every way. As to why it exists in universe, it might just be something the Father created and uses as leverage to control the Son or something.
The scales are not deep or subtle. It's the narrative itself that is of interest, at least to me. For example, the Son is defeated indirectly via the Father: in psychoanalytical language, this is a transcendence of Ego (symbolised by the Son) via attainment of the Self (symbolised by the Father).
Really, you need a taste for the works such as those of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung, as well as Eastern philosophy, to be interested in discussing these ideas at that level. Not everyone is interested in it--different strokes and all that--and that's fine. I'm certainly not saying this is a "superior" level of discussion, though I do think it cuts closest to Lucas' intent.
But what I found ingenious was the fact that Mortis is effectively a meta-myth that retells the SW saga in pure metaphor. It's bold and daring, to say the least.
While the rest of the arc squandered it, the concept of light and dark proposed by Overlords was indeed quite revolutionary for Star Wars. The idea that there could be such a thing as "too much light" is something that could open the philosophical discussion in this series into realms never before explored by the saga. Alas, the following two episodes muddled the whole thing, retreating into the classic dark=bad, light=good, and returning the whole balance issue back into a contradictory mess.
I think what worked in Overlords was how bitchy Daughter was.