Clone Wars The Clone Wars: Episode 317: Ghosts of Mortis Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Garth Maul, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    See, this is something I can't buy. It's just too ambiguous. I'm assuming you're referring to the fact that the force is like a squabbling family? That's the most I got out of it. I didn't see anything "definitive," though. Just an extended metaphor.


    I've read Cambell and Jung, Confuscius, Lao-Tzu, and whoever else philosopher-types are always harping over on this site. The thing is I can't get a straight answer from the Mortis-lovers for why they think the story is "deep." Id/ego/superego has been done to death in literature, so it's nothing new in Mortis. And it's only good if it's used to some sort of meaningful purpose. You can't throw a bunch of meta-thinking into a half-baked story and accept me to buy it.

    I thought they were initially going to run with the "too much light" idea, but that never happened. If anything, it seemed the Daughter could do no wrong.
  2. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    I feel like making a Barriss_Coffee appreciation thread.

    But then I'd probably just spoil it by reminding everyone Barriss_Coffee isn't the real Barriss Offee.
  3. ImNotAStarWarsFanboy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2011
    star 5
  4. cwustudent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2011
    star 4
    Hahaha! They're not the same guy, I swear. They were born 12 years apart. Our Chris Taylor is still a handsome man though...

    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm4017331456/nm0995597

    <3 So dreamy! <3
  5. TaradosGon SWTV Mod - Like Palpatine with animals

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    I think you're interpreting it too literally.

    I mean that the concept of balance was clarified to literally mean balance between the light side and the dark side (i.e. the dark side does not inherently cause balance, the Sith do), and an equal number of sith and jedi also don't equal balance..

    I don't think everything in the arc is a metaphor. The Father says that he and his children withdrew to Mortis because they grew too powerful. I see know reason to think that is a lie. So the family are beings (not a dream, not an illusion, etc) IMO.

    So when something happens like the Son tells the Daughter she was the only one he ever truly loved, that's not some metaphor for the dark side really caring for the light side or anything, that's simply the Son (one being) telling his sibling he loved her.

    And the squabbling of the family is just that, a squabbling family.

    Some of the things that happen are metaphorical representations of the light side and dark side, but some of it is just the relationship between a family that has no metaphorical equivalent when it comes to the nature of the Force IMO.
  6. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    Tarados, explain to me this: As you see it, what is this "balance"? What does the Mortis story tell us that is any different from what we see in the films concerning the Force?
  7. Artoo-Dion Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2009
    star 4
    Well, either it works for you or it doesn't. My headspace at the moment is in computer science (I'm headlong in my thesis) so I can't go into too much depth right now, but to me, the Mortis arc gets at the heart of how Lucas is framing the saga. I see it as saying that the choice between apparent Good and Evil is a false dichotomy--transcending the dichotomy is the real answer. It's a psychological realisation, not a metaphysical one, and that's what I think is throwing some fans off.

    Id/ego/superego is a Freudian construct. What we're looking at in Mortis is the Anima, the Shadow and the Self, which are Jungian archetypes. And of course none of this is new--they're archetypes after all. But what intrigues me is that Mortis is Lucas' manifesto, spelling out the major themes of the saga. By deliberately retelling the saga in pure metaphor, it really is a kind of Rosetta stone. I would have killed to have this story to pull apart 10 years ago, even just in writing form.

    But again, if it doesn't work for you, that's fine. I just don't know what you're expecting people to say to make you like something that you clearly don't.
  8. TaradosGon SWTV Mod - Like Palpatine with animals

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    I don't entirely know what the balance is, because I'm under the impression that the Mortis arc is the first of several similar arcs that will explore the Force.

    The films do a terrible job of explaining anything. Anakin is the Chosen One meant to bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith.

    Who are the Sith?
    Why do they want revenge?
    How do they cause imbalance?
    How do the Jedi preserve balance?

    None of that was ever really addressed in the films. Sure the books elaborate on all of this, but since I'd imagine the majority of Star Wars fans are only fans through the films, Lucas did a terrible job. All that is known is that the Sith are evil counterparts of the Jedi, the want to kill the Jedi, they cause imbalance, and they have to be destroyed to restore the balance. It's enough to push the story forward, but there's no real rationale to it.

    Simply by stating that bringing balance to the Force is a matter of literally restoring equilibrium between both sides is doing more to explain things than the films ever did, which only make it look like the dark side has to be purged to restore balance, and isn't generally conveyed as being a natural essential thing.

    My interest in the arc has nothing to do with it being "super deep." And I think diving into things like Id/ego/superego is giving Lucas way too much credit. Watch Star Trek if you want to get into deeper (at least relatively) thinking sci-fi. I think it was just an enjoyable arc that felt more like an adventure than most of the episodes do, because the characters were really traveling to something completely outside of their element, and not just some other battle on some other planet with no big importance.

    Instead we have super beings that reflect the Force around them on a planet that acts as a conduit of the Force, such that if the Son who acts as an avatar for the dark side takes control, then the consequence is that the dark side grows stronger in the temporal world and the Sith grow stronger. Anakin has to come to terms with the idea that he is the Chosen One and that he can solve the conflict on Mortis which would cause imbalance in his world.
  9. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
    Maybe I'm intruding here on the conversation. Maybe not.

    Now let's get this out of the way first. I don't mind Mortis. I think it's fine. I just don't GET it. The crux of Episode 1 was the introduction of a microscopic bacteria that communed with the Force. Ok. But now the Mortis Trilogy has further mystified the Force by introducing these Force Wielders.

    Okay let me set up how I see it.

    The Father is the Force. Plain and simple. Has the best intentions in mind for everyone. Gives everyone their power. The Son is a cipher of the Dark Side (though he seems to have his own will and feel remorse for his sister's death) and the Daughter is the cipher of the Light Side (though she never seems particularly light in that she doesn't really do good; she just does the opposite or says the opposite of her brother.)

    Daughter dies. Ok. But since there's no one left to embody the light side, that means the Force is 'out of balance'. Son can now get out into the galaxy and wreak havoc (if he's even real). So does this say that Balance is achieved when there's an equal balance of light and dark? That doesn't jive with the films, because 'Bringing Balance to the Force' is always said to be when Vader throws Palpy down the shaft and unintentionally killing himself, ridding the galaxy of Sith. That's not Balance. That's an imbalance.

    Plus, what is the point of these people if nothing happens when they die? Sure Mortis is entirely destroyed, but other than being a weird, not right metaphor for the Force, it serves little purpose. Anakin hasn't really learned anything. Neither has Obi-Wan or Ahsoka, that we've seen anyway.

    So WHY?

    I'll go one a little later about the biggest flaw in the plan, Ghosts of Mortis.
  10. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    Artoo-Dion: I think your comment on metaphysics vs psychology hits the mark. I keep seeing "metaphysics" thrown around here without any explanation other than it sounds like an intelligence word, and I don't think a lot of folks really know what it means since it doesn't make sense in context. My issue with the archetypes is that they're not new, and I don't think they were portrayed as well as they could have been. Again, I blame a half-baked plot.


    Tarados:
    Dang you, you don't give direct answers!:p I'm trying to get an idea of what you meant about what the Mortis episodes showed us about the Force that helped us understand the films.

    Mortis doesn't exactly help the lay-viewer understand these questions. If anything, it makes it more confusing. The first three are mentioned more explicitly in the films. As to the forth -- I imagine that would depend on how you view Anakin's final act in the arc, which is a matter of debate.

    Eh.... ok. This is where we're really diverging. I watch these films with people who don't know anything about the EU, and they understand the "balance" issue because it's explicitly brought up in the films. I've never know anyone to say it means "purging" the Dark Side, because that's not balance, and it's not how Yoda described the force in ESB.

    I'm not arguing this. It's how Anakin restores balance, and how the plot unfolds, that I take issue with. For instance, I'm not sure his little plot with the Father to defeat the Son helps explain the "balance" concept at all, aside from raise more questions.

    EDIT: Sorry Caedus -- didn't see you there until after I posted. One of the issues I had with the arc is the last thing you pointed out -- what did the characters actually learn? If they do eventually follow up on this in the future, that could be interesting and maybe I'll give the show more credit.
  11. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
    Yeah Barriss, my only hope is that they eventually cover what exactly happened in show. It's like, stuff happened...but they're unwilling to acknowledge what's been established. I don't really care if it's just some kind of Jedi pow wow with Yoda, just SOMETHING that's not merely a dismissive 'It was all a dream.'. I don't care what anyone else thinks about this arc, until they go over it some more it was all just a dream.

    There was plenty of good stuff in the arc. Questions about the role of the Chosen One, Balance, Obi-Wan seeing Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan seeing Anakin GO TO THE FREAKING DARK SIDE BEFORE EPISODE III and Ahsoka seeing her older self (which I think was a legitimate vision). But it's all just waved aside as some kind of freaky dream. You'd think every character would have something to say about all of this. But no. They just blanked out for a few seconds. Let's go back to Coruscant. Sorry Rex old chum.

    You know what, Rex should go along with them on their next vision quest. Shoot first, ask nothing later.
  12. TaradosGon SWTV Mod - Like Palpatine with animals

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    It didn't really show us anything new about the Force other than that the Dark Side isn't inherently bad. Maybe it's just be, but over the years when AOTC and ROTS came out, and discussions about balance have come up, there's been a lot of discussion about what that means. Given terms like light side and dark side, that seems like a blatant way to characterize the light side as good and the dark side as bad, which apparently isn't the case. The Father even mentions that too much light can be a bad thing. That's a new idea I've not heard. It might not be a concept new to the characters in universe, but I've never once really seen a fan put forth such an idea (unless it's in a "Are the Sith REALLY evil?" thread.

    I've watched it with people that "understand" in the sense that the Force is unbalanced and the dark side is growing in power, and that the Sith must be destroyed to restore balance. But that's just reciting a supernatural belief in the context of the show, that really isn't touched upon any deeper than that. But IMO the films make no attempt at putting a positive spin on the dark side or a negative spin on the light side.

    E.G.
    "Is the dark side stronger?[than what?]" - Luke
    "Vader was seduced by the dark side" - Obi-Wan
    "Fear leads to the dark side [and subsequently the Jedi try to master their emotions]"- Yoda

    While "light side" is never spoken of directly in the films, there is never any real indication in the films themselves that the dark side is a natural part, necessary part of life. Instead the Jedi warn against it and do what they can to protect themselves from it, and those that follow it are evil. And conversely, there's no real warning against following the light side. Yoda never talks to Luke about bringing balance back to the Force, it's all about refusing to fall to the dark side and killing the practitioners that follow it. And even in the prequels when it is said that Anakin will bring balance, he's similarly told that this is through killing the Sith and protecting himself from the seductions of the dark side. There's never any conversation that the dark side is ok.

    In hind sight, Yoda's conversation about death being natural of life can be interpreted as that the dark side's role in destruction is an essential part of life, where as the light side powers of creation/restoring life are evil because it disrupts the balance.

    But that's not something I'd ever interpret in such a way without the Mortis arc. But it too is complicated by the fact that Sidious says that the Dark Side is the path to such a power (and apparently a Sith Lord had discovered it).


    I was speaking more generally, because some people are talking about really deep philosophical things about freudian concepts and stuff like that, and I wanted to make it clear that I didn't like this arc because I found some deep insights in human psychology present in the story or anything. I liked it because it was simply an adventure. In the OT, we have a farm boy that gets thrust out of his element into a galactic war and learns about becoming a Jedi, and it's this fantastic adventure. In TCW it's about Jedi on battlefields... were we've seen them before and again and again and again. It's appropriate since it IS the Clone War, but I wind up just looking forward to pretty visuals and appearances of new technology, characters, etc. Because seeing the Jedi push th
  13. cwustudent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2011
    star 4
    Oooooh, no, I disgree. Obi-Wan's memory was never altered, nor was Ahsoka's. Anakin's foreknowledge was erased, not his memories.
  14. DarthPhilosopher Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2011
    star 4
    Well I have provided my opinion of this arc previously so I won?t go into too much detail.

    Firstly let me just say that, if interpreted as a metaphor, it explains the Force fairly concisely. The whole ?Father-Son-Daughter? ? the Father being balance, the Daughter being the creator and the Son being the ?fall of man?.

    Regarding balance ? it?s fairly simple; there is a ratio between the Light and Dark Sides of the Force which must be maintained. Creation to destruction, etc, as the Father says. Both are necessary for existence. Yin-Yang. The Dark Side, it seems, does not need to be destroyed but merely balanced (i.e. only what nature requires). The Jedi conserve this through aligning with the Light and, in turn, maintaining the whole (balance).

    When vanity, etc, is introduced to the ?Dark Side? is gains excessive power and has the potential to imbalance the Force. This is the ?fall of man? ? when humans fall out of balance with the Force and as such are purely ?Dark Side? (no counterbalance of Light).

    The Sith emit excessive Darkness thus unbalancing the Force.

    Regarding the Dagger ? Apart from being a plot device one could see this as the Chosen One. But again this need not be anything metaphorical it is simply a plot devise for the story to be concise.

    Not really. The preservation of life indefinitely is going against the natural order ? the Jedi would say this is a result of fear and greed, something which is fundamentally the ?Dark Side?. Thus Yin-Yang ? the ability to preserve life (which could be considered ?Light? if it were to save someone from, say, starvation) can also stem from the Dark Side. There is Yin within Yang, etc.
  15. Humble_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2004
    star 4
    You're forgetting that Daughter brought the sword into the conflict, which caused the eclipse of the light side.
  16. Dark Lord Tarkas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2011
    star 4
    Since we're going through this again, I'll just say once more that I loved the Mortis arc but I don't think it was meant to convey particular details about the Force we didn't have before, there are myriad possible interpretations and I prefer it that way.
  17. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
    I'm not saying they're memory was erased and it WAS some dream. But that's how the writers (and the characters) have been treating it.

    No discussion. Nothing.
  18. Magellan_the_Cat Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 4
    By referring to Jung, Campbell, etc, I think people are giving way, way, waaaayyyyyy too much credit to Lucas.

    Campbell himself gave way too much credit to Lucas. Personally, I think Campbell was full of himself, but that's another matter. Campbell said the trash compactor scene was the Jonah and the Whale parable. But, of course, that would require some dimension of spiritual growth, which no one in the trash-compactor scene develops, so no, not the Jonah and the Whale, but a cheezy effect in an action-based movie.
    OK, back to topic.

    I don't think Lucas had a clear concept at all for the Balance of the Force, just as I do not believe he had a clear concept of the prequels at all, which is why the movies are as flawed as they are. The Prophesy of Balance was just another detail that wasn't really clear, or with any focus whatsoever. It was a throw-away line (like the reference to the clone wars in the first place) that people latched onto.

    So, with the GoM, we have the Holy Trinity, of Father, Son, and the Holy gho--ahem and the Daughter who can do no wrong. And, like every sith we've seen before him, The Son is just a whiny crybaby who needed to be hugged more as a child.
    Beings that became powerful enough to transcend the Jedi/Sith model--OK, I could accept that. But did they have to transcend having names as well? What did that add? And where did this actually go? Um, just 'away'. Not very far. Where have I seen that diamond-shaped space-station before? Hmmm...
    The whole Mortis story felt too padded out--like they could have thrown away an entire episode without affecting the story. Or even two, and just made it one (fairly weak) episode.
    A little incestuous with the Son loving the Daughter... Another whiny bit, I guess was meant to show some love/hate dichotomy? Eh, no. It just is there and doesn't really do anything except allow more OtT melodrama.

    I think GoM is just another throw-away episode that people have latched onto, reading way more depth to it, and then feeling they have to defend it against those bitter, nasty people who "just didn't understand how good it was." To me, it was horrible, badly executed non-sense that did not fit in with the universe of any of the movies, the Clone Wars cartoon, or even anything I was aware of from the EU.

    You know, when the first Matrix movie came out, people were talking about how deep and meaningful it was, and I wondered what movie they saw. All I saw was yet-another not-very-good wire-fu movie with a sci-fi skin stretched way-to-thin as a disguise. I suppose if you'd never seen one before, it might be impressive or amazing, but I had seen a lot of HongKong sci-fi, so it was more "Meh" to me.
    Sorry, I know that seems like a side trek, but that is how I felt about the Mortis story. It didn't fit in any way with the established universe, it wasn't a good story, and they threw the "was it all a dream?" mask over the top to try to make it seem way deeper and more complex than it actually was.

    It didn't work for me.
    I think it was one of the many bad ideas for season 3 that should have been thrown away (a good script editor would have done so) rather than aired. The Mortis Trilogy is one of the reasons I wish I'd waited for Netflix to send me the DVDs rather than assuming season 3 would be as good as 1&2 and buying it outright. I will not make that mistake with season 4.
  19. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
  20. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    Did it?

    I didn't see it providing any evidence one way or another in terms of what was "bad".


    Again, the plot didn't use that concept to its full potential. Or even half-potential.

    I'm not sure how the Mortis arc helped you interpret that. I agree with most of what you said, but the only reason I agree is based on what I saw in the films.


  21. fistofan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2009
    star 4
    What I got out of the trilogy was that the Force is ideally a balance between light and dark, life and death. The Jedi preserve balance by watching out for "cancers" born of the dark side, attempting to keep the balance natural. Of course, it was more reiteration than clarification since fans had assumed that about the Force for 10+ years.
  22. Humble_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2004
    star 4
    [image=http://files.sharenator.com/south_park_cartman_screw_you_guys_Ask_a_Dannyl-s276x270-114676-475.jpg]
  23. GGrievous Prequel Trilogy Trivia Version 2.0

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2005
    star 5
    This thread bumped by more Mortis discussions?

    [image=http://www.nooooooooooooooo.com/vader.jpg]
  24. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    I agree that there are several interpretations, but I don't prefer it that way. For once I'd like a straight answer.

    I think this can be said about the entire arc, which is why I've avoided these discussions like the plague.

    I said I would just "blink it out of my mind", and I did. Back to pretending it never happened.
  25. fistofan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2009
    star 4
    Without going into too much depth, I'll just say that my main problem with the Mortis arc was the fact that, instead of being an eye-openeing look at the Force and the personalities of the characters like Overlords was, it quickly turned into an eye candy extravaganza without substance. The Big Three copy/pasted into a fantasy setting isn't much without some real depth behind it.