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Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Souderwan, Oct 1, 2005.

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  1. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    There are always wonderful discussions that go on here but many of them get stifled when people decide to break into frivolity. While I like a good time as much as anybody, it occurred to me that there might be others, like myself, who really enjoy a good intellectual discussion.

    Star Wars is ripe for deep thoughts about any number of topics. So...I've decided to try an open up a place where we can all engage in thought about whatever we like without fear of being disregarded or ignored. There are no topics with the TOS that are off-limits.

    In the interests of making this relevant to the Writing Resource Forum, please bear in mind that this thread is intended to engage the writer as much as anything else. There are any number of topics that we can engage in (I've started one below but that doesn't mean that's the only kind of topic we'll discuss). The intention here is for us to think deep things and maybe help us flesh out our ideas better in our writing.

    For example, given the current topic, how do you write the concept of "balance of the Force" in the GFFA? How do you visualize something like that? How do you get the reader to see your point of view without bashing them over the head with it?


    I have a few ground rules I'd like to put down, though:

    1. This is not intended as a social thread--there are already enough of those.
    2. This is not a fanboy/fangirl thread. As such, I'd appreciate it if we avoid drooling over our favorite characters here.
    3. We should all be respectful of one another. I have found that people tend to interpret SW in many different ways. None of us has a stranglehold on the 'right' answer. Even GL has been known to screw up his own universe from time to time.
    4. If you decide to mention a fic here (yours or somebody elses) in support of an argument, please take the time to provide a link to the story.

    Below are links to all the topics of discussion:

    What does it mean to bring balance to the Force?

    How important are the Writing 'Rules'?

    How do you write the Dark Side of the Force?

    Writing Romance: A/P vs. H/L

    What do you think of the Physics of Star Wars?

    Fun! Are you a SW geek?

    What is your writing style?

    Sacrifices you make to write.

    The Limits of AU.

    What scares you?

    Do you assume your readers know GFFA?

    Beginning your story.

    The Jedi and Sex.

    The Master/Padawan relationship.

    FREE FOR ALL!!

    Quiz: Are You Addicted to FanFic?

    Writing an Ending.

    Holidays in the GFFA.

    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/fan_fiction_resource/b10304/21781634/p3
  2. ladylaurel18 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2005
    star 4
    What does it mean to "Bring Balance to the Force"? Anakin is the Chosen One and, according to GL, bringing balance to the Force meant destroying the Sith. Is that all there is to it? Was it possible to bring balance to the Force without destroying the Jedi Order as we know it in the PT?

    When I was free of any Lucas influence and presented with this 'balance' prophecy, I thought that it meant that he was supposed to destroy the Jedi and the Sith both, or at least remake them. They are both rather extremist factions in my eyes - rigid and fanatical. The Jedi Council, no matter how 'good' they are, seem to be blind in the matter of normal people. If they weren't blind, they would not have made so many mistakes with poor Anakin, who is so human it is almost painful.

    Could Anakin have restored the balance without destroying the Order? I would like to think so. I believe that if he could convince the Council - especially Yoda - to see their own blindness, that may convince them. But that has many conditions on it. Anakin needs to realize exactly why the Jedi Order is such a bad fit for him, without falling. And..the council has to listen. I suppose Anakin could make them listen, but he would have to do that without falling, again.

    Very, very tricky situation.
  3. cdmcc Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2005
    star 4
    Well, as it says in the (in my opinion, quite poor) novelisation of ROTS, Obi states quite clearly to Padme that it doesn't say anywhere in the Jedi lore that the chosen one must be a Jedi.

    Which is good news for OC writers everywhere!

    Nobody seems to be able to grasp the concept of the Force from GL's pen to Yoda and down to Luke.

    The Force to me is your feelings on everyday life. They should be the same every day but sometimes they change due to bad hair/bad lunch/bad relationships etc...

    Wake up with a fine outlook to life and keep it throughout your days - that's the balance.
  4. Inara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2005
    star 4
    What does it mean to "Bring Balance to the Force"? Anakin is the Chosen One and, according to GL, bringing balance to the Force meant destroying the Sith. Is that all there is to it? Was it possible to bring balance to the Force without destroying the Jedi Order as we know it in the PT?


    Souderwan, I'm glad you started this thread. It's nice to talk about things beyond various ships :)

    Alright, so this is actually my favorite topic of the moment, so I warn you all of excessive windiness in the following essay...

    I always found the idea of the Chosen One interesting because there are so many interpretations of it. Taken one way, Anakin did bring balance because he killed Palpatine, and then he died from his wounds, thus ending the line of the Sith. So technically, he did destroy the Sith when he destroyed himself.

    But the Force never seemed balanced (and here's another question - what does balanced mean anyway?) after the collapse of the Empire. The other problem is that there are all these dark Jedi/acolytes running around, i.e., too many loose threads like Lumiya (who'll be coming back in LoTF).

    Darth Bane began the Rule of Two, which meant only two Sith lords could be present at any one time. But here is my problem with that: Before Darth Bane came around, there were several Sith, with one Sith overlord who ruled the rest of them. Then Darth Bane came up with the Rule of Two to impose control of the Sith Order after it had been nearly destroyed by in-fighting.

    But what's to stop someone else from breaking that rule? These are dark Jedi. They aren't known to be rule followers. And though you could argue that there isn't anyone around to teach them to be Sith, history seems to indicate that the Sith don't need to be taught. They either end up at Korriban and commune with dead Sith spirits or they find a Sith holocron somewhere.

    I remember debating this elsewhere, and I had compared Luke to Lumiya. If Luke, who was still an apprentice when Yoda, the last known Jedi Master, had died (he could not be a Knight until he passed his final test, to face his father), then what's to stop Lumiya, another apprentice, to take over at the death of her master, Darth Vader? Luke rebuilt the Jedi Order...could Lumiya rebuild the Sith Order?

    And let's not even talk about Exar Kun - did any of you guys find the Nebula situation just a little creepy?

    Going back to the topic of the Chosen One, GL said that Anakin would bring balance to the Force. But that doesn't mean that Anakin will do it himself. Perhaps it means that Anakin allowed the balance to happen, either by the events he spun into action (like Lumiya) or by his descendents, who could put a stop to the Sith.

    To make the situation more confusing, there is also a Sith prophecy, which is very similar to the Chosen One prophecy. The Sith prophecy tells that someone, called the Sith'ari (or Son of the Suns), will come and destroy the Sith (just like the Chosen One). But in addition, after the Sith'ari destroys the Sith, he will return to lead them and make them stronger, thus bringing the two factions of Jedi back together.

    It is quite possible that the Chosen One and the Sith'ari are the same.

    Given how Jedi philosophy has been changing up until the Dark Next trilogy, where the borders between Light and Dark are less distinctive, the Sith prophecy might have some relevance. This is especially interesting to note because the first Schism happened when Xendor, the first Dark Jedi, and his followers were banished from the Jedi Order because they disagreed on how to use the Force - very similar to the conflicts now plaguing Luke Skywalker's Jedi Order. It's also interesting to note the title of the next SW series, "Legacy of the Force." I think that in it, the Jedi will finally find the balance they've been waiting for.

    I played around with this idea in one of my fics, where I argued that Jacen was the one referred to as "son of the Suns." That's just my idea, but I think the general point of it, that Anakin's Skywal
  5. cdmcc Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2005
    star 4
    That was the longest post I've ever read - and such a passionate yet sensible one!

    I once wrote a viggie (completely ignored but I'm not bothered) where Mace and Yoda discuss the fact that the real prophecy was hidden from the Jedi because the prophecy was for the Sith.

    I realised the gaping plot hole after I hit post.
  6. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Wow! I'm loving the discussion so far!

    I've had similar thoughts, myself. I think that the whole concept of 'balance' has many layers to it. There is the natural concept of balance in numbers--2 Sith and 2 Jedi, for example, which Anakin accomplished during the Purge--and there's the idea of internal balance. The latter concept is something I've espoused in my own work. This is largely due to my original idea of the Force from the OT. I might come back to this at a later date.

    I think the Jedi would have a hard time restructuring themselves without having had to deal with the purge. They'd spent a millenia convincing themselves that they were doing everything right. If they hadn't been destroyed, what would have driven them to change their ways?


    No doubt, there is no reason to believe that The Chosen One has to be a Jedi. In fact, this was probably QGJ's mistake in trying so hard to get Anakin trained by the Jedi against the objections of the Jedi Council.

    Interesting take on the Force. I'm going to have to think about that one some more...


    Yeah, by destroying both Palpy and himself, Anakin "brought balance to the Force" according to GL. But...if that was all there was to it, couldn't Anakin have accomplished his destiny by killing Palpatine in his office when Palpatine revealed himself? Anakin wasn't a Sith at the time, and Dooku was dead. Had he killed Palpatine, the Sith would have been destroyed. I don't think that would have brought balance to the Force, though...

    I make a destinction between the Sith and dark Jedi. Admittedly, I don't know too much about the post-RoTJ EU universe. I haven't read the novels, so I can't discuss them intelligently. That being said, the Sith had a very good reason to follow the rule of two. The reason the Sith almost went extin
  7. Inara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2005
    star 4
    But...if that was all there was to it, couldn't Anakin have accomplished his destiny by killing Palpatine in his office when Palpatine revealed himself?

    Probably, but "destiny" doesn't really work that way. Anakin was the Chosen one precisely because he would be tempted. He wanted the apple from the tree of knowledge, which led to his fall.
  8. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Hmm...are you suggesting that Anakin's fall was inevitable? That it was part of his destiny to turn to the dark side?
  9. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I have a long-standing theory that the Jedi misread the prophecy and that the Chosen One does not have to complete the balancing alone. Yes, Anakin, by embracing the dark and then choosing the light, brought balance, but I think that Luke was the other half of the deal. I think that his 'destiny' (I hate that word, but it fits here) was to aid in balancing because he was offered everything the Dark had to offer, but held true to the light instead.

    P.S. Sith'ari is an anagram of Ishtar...
  10. ladylaurel18 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2005
    star 4
    I had never truly thought about the 'two Sith, two jedi' in ROTJ, Souderwan, thank you for pointing it out.

    Luke...

    Luke is an incarnation of the soul of Anakin. He serves to remind Anakin of everything he had buried, everything he had denied and forgotten. Luke destoys Vader and sees himself in the mask, I am sure every time Vader saw Luke, he remembered his old self.

    I am going to withdraw there and meditate on this. I am suddenly seeing everything in double.

    Yin Yang.
  11. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    I'm so depressed because this is such great discussion and I have to go to bed... :(

    Please, please, please continue on. I'll catch up in the morning! [:D] Thanks for taking part in this!
  12. Inara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2005
    star 4
    Forgetting for the moment about the identity of the Chosen One, what exactly does George Lucas mean when he talks about balance? How does the balance address the dichotomy of the two views of the Force? Is it the absence of the dark side? Or is it a harmony between the two (which is contradicted to an extent by the beliefs of the Jedi Order during PT)?
  13. stormqueen874 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2005
    star 4
    Oooh, SW, what fun! :D Can't add much to this lovely discussion, I'm afraid. Everyone else has captured my thoughts so eloquently!

    I thought that it meant that he was supposed to destroy the Jedi and the Sith both, or at least remake them

    Pretty much what I always thought. Thanks, Laurel! :D

    what exactly does George Lucas mean when he talks about balance? How does the balance address the dichotomy of the two views of the Force? Is it the absence of the dark side? Or is it a harmony between the two (which is contradicted to an extent by the beliefs of the Jedi Order during PT)?

    Honestly I've always thought of it like a Yin Yang sort of thing, where you've got to have both at equal amounts to be in balance. Sure, it was depressing as heck to watch the Jedi Order come crumbling down, but it always struck me as sort of inevitable (as much as I didn't want it to happen). You've got two powerful Sith, but then hundreds of powerful Jedi, right? How is that balanced? Like SW said: 'two Sith, two Jedi'. That seems pretty balanced to me. That doesn't mean I can't see balance refering to the absense of the Dark Side, but it just seems like too much Light would be unbalanced as well. People always have dark sides to them; it's a matter of bringing the two into harmony.

    Anyway, thems my two credits. :)
  14. aldocassidy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2005
    star 3
    Great idea for a thread. I'm looking forward to future discussions that will occur on this.

    (Kinda drunk right now, but I'll try to make sense) I have to say that I agree with the camp who support the fact that the Jedi had to be destroyed for the Force to be balanced, even though GL may not have meant for that in his perspective. I think many of us agree that the Order was arrogant and rigid or what not, but I think that the major sin that lies in the background of all that is that the Jedi commit is the theft of free will. They turn something as natural and omnipotent as the Force into a red-taped bureaucracy. Basically, they are saying that there is only one way to commune with the Force, and it is their way. And anyone who is Force-Sensitive in the Galaxy will never know any differently from the brainwashed teachings that have begun since their infancy.

    Whether it was inevitable or not that the Chosen One fall to the Dark Side, I think that no matter what destiny occured it was Anakin's role to challenge those beliefs and set free for the people of the Galaxy to follow the Force in accordance to their own free will. Personally, I feel that the sumnation of the free will of every sentient of the Galaxy IS the will of the Force itself. (I say this with complete ignorance of the EU and NJO events, though).

    But balance to the Force does not mean that everything will be nice and perfect. If I can use an accounting allegory (which I know Sounderwan is studying right about now), balance to a Balance isn't all good stuff like assets and equity. You gotta have some nasty liabilities in there.
  15. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Wonderful discussion but I'd like to throw a spanner in the works. Perhaps, Anakin is the balance in the Force - both dark and light, since he was both a Jedi, a Sith and a Jedi. That may also be Luke's Jedi problems - that they are also not balanced. That because they have a greater distance to fall, they fall harder (and are less likely to be redeemed) than someone more balanced. Just some food for thought.
  16. Neo-Paladin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2004
    star 4
    I personally don't think the OR Jedi's problem is that they were ridged, per say. I think their problem was, after a time, more and more of the knights and masters deferred to the council to interpret the Force's will, and charge them with their duties. After a time this would seem to be a good thing. If the knights defer to the council there is less conflict within the order and more stability with the council charging knights in their missions. There is also a clear line of responsibility, which can be a comforting thing to have.

    However, Qui-Gon Ginn is considered a maverick for following his own feelings as opposed to deferring to the Council. It is called as much as defiance. Each individual Jedi signed his responsibility away to another body, and I don't think that is something a rational being can do. Everyone faces choices, and making them inescapable.

    When the time came, Anakin was not able to make the right choice, nor was Yoda able to tell him why it was the right choice.

    When Luke faced his choice, he went as far as to disobey Yoda and left for Cloud City, the right choice.

    On the Sith side, it seems to me that they set up an order with themselves at the top, and everyone else below; and the galaxy exists to serve and elevate them (think Nietzsche's supermen). This opposes the order of nature, were nature treats everyone equally, everybody is born, the rain and the sun fall on everyone a like, and everyone dies. The rest is circumstantial. So they had to go, because they oppose the natural order of the Force.

    The main question I'm left with is why did the Jedi lose their potency and ability foresee the future...
  17. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Is it the absence of the dark side? Or is it a harmony between the two (which is contradicted to an extent by the beliefs of the Jedi Order during PT)?

    GL implies that it's the absense of the dark side. You're absolutely right that the PT Jedi Order seems diametrically opposed to the idea of harmony between the light and dark side. I'll come back to this in a sec...

    Honestly I've always thought of it like a Yin Yang sort of thing, where you've got to have both at equal amounts to be in balance.

    Ok, now I'm back to it. The Eastern idea of Chi is what the Force was originally based on in the OT. In fact, when you look at the way Yoda describes the Force way back when on Dagobah, you get the distinct impression that he's like the ancient Kung-Fu Master who has learned more about the Force (Chi) than anyone ever imagined possible. Yoda of the OT didn't fear the dark side. He seemed to almost consider it an inevitability. He warned Luke to be wary of it but he didn't tell him to repress his natural feelings to avoid being tempted by it. He just taught him that he should resist turning to the dark side.

    The PT version of the Force is much more Western-Theology based. In fact, it's almost Judeau-Christian in its view of the Force. In the PT, the Force has "a will" and the two factions involved are completely intolerant of each other--to the point of obsession, in fact. The Jedi must avoid the dark side at all costs--to the extent that one must avoid virtually all normal human emotion. The Sith are evil incarnate, with no redeeming qualities.

    One can argue the merits of each pov, but I think it's clear that there is a philosophical shift between the PT and OT in how the Force is viewed.

    In my writing (see my profile), I've tended to lean more towards the Eastern philosophical view of the Force. In that line of thinking, in order to achieve balance, one must create harmony between the light and the dark. Each is diametrically opposed to the other, but both are necessary for the other to exist. Understanding this--and accepting it--is what is required to achieve balance.

    But balance to the Force does not mean that everything will be nice and perfect. If I can use an accounting allegory (which I know Sounderwan is studying right about now), balance to a Balance isn't all good stuff like assets and equity. You gotta have some nasty liabilities in there.

    *grin* Well put, aldocassidy!! Balance doesn't mean everything is great. Balance means dealing with the weaknesses in all of us. Balance means allowing oneself to fall in love, for example. But, that necessarily means that you must deal with the pains that come with love--heartbreak, fear of loss, etc.

    Perhaps, Anakin is the balance in the Force - both dark and light, since he was both a Jedi, a Sith and a Jedi. That may also be Luke's Jedi problems - that they are also not balanced. That because they have a greater distance to fall, they fall harder (and are less likely to be redeemed) than someone more balanced. Just some food for thought.

    And excellent food it is, dianethx! I agree that Anakin might very well have been the one to closes come to achieving balance. But I don't think he ever pulled it off. He spent too much time being pulled asunder by two different dogmatic belief systems. Palptatine told Anakin that the Jedi and the Sith were more alike than they were different, and he couldn't be more right. If Anakin had really taken that lesson to heart, he woldn't have "chosen" between one or the other, as he did, but probably created an "independent" Force-religion. :p

    I think their problem was, after a time, more and more of the knights and masters deferred to the council to interpret the Force's will, and charge them with their duties. After a time this would seem to be a good thing. If the knights defer to the council there is less conflict within the order and more stability with the council charging knights in their missions. There is also a clear line of responsibility, which can
  18. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    There are always wonderful discussions that go on here but many of them get stifled when people decide to break into frivolity. While I like a good time as much as anybody, it occured to me that there might be others, like myself, who really enjoy a good intellectual discussion.

    Star Wars is ripe for deep thoughts about any number of topics. So...I've decided to try an open up a place where we can all engage in thought about whatever we like without fear of being disregarded or ignored. There are no topics with the TOS that are off-limits.


    I'm afraid I'm going to have to throw a spanner in the works, too. :(

    This discussion is great, but if it's about a specific character it can be discussed in a character thread. The Star Wars Saga is for discussion of general intellectual Star Wars discussion. You'll find intellectual discussion in the character threads as it pertains to Fan Fic, also.

    Bottom line, this thread needs a more defined purpose than itellectual discussion and it needs to pertain to writing if it's a general thread, otherwise we can't keep it.
  19. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    I've added an edit to the post to clarify the thinking behind this thread. Please check it out before your next post, all. :D
  20. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    It looks good to me, Souderwan! :) On with the discussion! :)
  21. East_Coast_Ryder Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2005
    star 2
    Actually, I'm attempting to weave this sort of thing into my post-ROTJ fic, which isn't posted yet, but hoping to be soon. The Jedi, like someone said, thought the idea of 'balance' was the absence of the sith. The Sith most likely saw this as the absence of the Jedi. My take on this was that a complete balance would be the same amount of Sith and Jedi, or none at all. The rule of two would complicate these things a bit, however.

    That's my opinion. How I'm going to get Leia and Luke to find out the prophesy, however, might be difficult... *runs to work on fic*
  22. Inara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2005
    star 4
    How does the rule of two explain light side Jedi? There is a difference between Sith and dark Jedi, which is why the rule works - two Sith lords, with dark minions. But there isn't any differences between the Jedi in the order. They're just Jedi. Luke, by his rank, isn't elevated to anything special. He's just a Jedi Master that is in charge of the Jedi Order.

  23. aldocassidy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2005
    star 3
    In one of my stories I've tried to portray Anakin as the Balance of the Force; he delves into the Dark Side occasionally, but he has a complete understanding of it and therefore is able to control it. However, I don't see the Anakin/Vader as portrayed in the movies as being the balance, because his mental state isn't balanced.
  24. Zonoma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2005
    star 4
    If you think about it, there is more than one way to look at Balance. The teeter totter is balanced and in much the same way scales are balanced. But so is the spinning top. I believe it is human nature to look at the duality of the universe and forget about the spinning top or the rotating planets on their axis.

    Balancing Rock in Garden of the Gods (Colorado Springs, CO) is amazing. Miraculous even, if you look at it. Here is this immense, irregular, rough upside down cone boulder balanced on a tiny little point balanced on a rock that is sitting overhanging a small path. The nature of man? They have recently cemented it in place. I have to wonder how long that chunk of stone has remained in balance on its own.

    The Jedi Council and Old Order thought strictly in terms of black and white.

    They made no allowances for grey, they feared the ?dark? side. A teeter totter has two sides. A black and a white. There is a definitive line where the change happens and if you step over to the other side it tends to dump you head over heels into the ?dark.?

    A spinning top is a spheroid. It encompasses all it?s facets so well that it has no ?sides.? If it is balanced it is mobile and (in the case of a hurricane) powerful. If someone knocks it off balance, it falls.

    Obviously the teeter totter is safer than the top for a Jedi but Balance needs dedication, not ?safe.?

    Yes, I believe that in the end Anakin restored balance just because he killed enough off to be literal about it. Done deal, who cares? What did anyone LEARN from it??? That is what I want to know!

    ***Spoiler Alert*** But I also believe that another has come to show how to be a Balanced, multidimensional Jedi. Go Jacen. Don?t fall.


  25. Elana Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2005
    star 2
    Here's another way of thinking about it. Why did George choose to word the prophecy that way? When he first started writing the stories of the PT, he's sitting there with three completed movies that he can't change (well, okay, only in minimal ways). He already knows what is going to happen, now he has to write the history of what leads up to that. Now, I wouldn't put it past him to have had the idea of a prophecy in mind for a very long time (he had the image of Obi-Wan and Anakin fighting and Anakin clawing his way up out of a fiery pit as far back as the novelization of RotJ), but I doubt he thought of it before writing the stories of the OT, particularly RotJ.

    So why did he choose a prophecy as an element of his story? Why have the prophecy be about balance at all? He could just as well had the prophecy be that Anakin was destined to destroy the Sith. What idea was he trying to convey with that particular wording?

    If you were writing the PT, based only on the OT, how would you set up the story?
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