Three love stories

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Obi-Ewan, Nov 14, 2005.

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  1. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Among his many interpretations of the saga, Lucas has said that it's all about a father and a son. In that story, he has two other love stories: Anakin and Padme, and Han and Leia. I think it's no accident that all of them begin in the second film of each trilogy, and that the latter two begin in the same movie.

    Before Episode II came out, Lucas told us it would be a love story. However, it doesn't work the way you'd usually expect a love story to play out. In fact, I never found it believable as "love," per se. When Anakin and Padme first meet in Episode I, their relationship is purely platonic. Given the age difference, anything else would have been creepy. It's like a big-sister/little-brother relationship. In Episode II, we're to believe it blossoms into love. I don't quite see where that happens. I've heard the argument that it's not so much about them falling in love, as dropping the pretense of not being in love. In other words, they don't fall in love in this film, they simply acknowledge it. Again, I don't see where that happens. In Episode I, it couldn't be called love yet. But in Episode II, somewhere in there either they fall in love, or they've been in love, sight unseen, for the past decade. The latter doesn't hold up, given how they related in Episode I. The former doesn't hold up, as there's no real build-up to them falling in love, only their verbal expression of it later on. Unless they simply fell in love immediately upon seeing each other again, which strains credibility a bit: Hitchcock could make you believe two people were in love simply because he cast Beautiful People in those roles. Lucas lacks that ability, and that luxury, for that matter. Anyone growing up on Han & Leia expected the steady progression of a relationship, not love at first sight.

    Therefore, I came up with a different take on Episode II. Whether Lucas intended it this way or not, whether it was deliberate or simply a result of poor writing and/or acting, I never bought the idea that Anakin and Padme were in love. That being said, the relationship does set up a problem that Anakin spends the rest of the series overcoming. Anakin defines compassion as unconditional love. He is sadly lacking in this characteristic. Unlike in Episode I, where he helped Qui-Gon expecting nothing in return but an adrenaline rush and the self-satisfaction of having helped someone else, his affection for Padme is entirely selfish. It's not so much "I love this woman" as it is "I must have this woman to myself." A friend of mine equated it to a high school football jock, being so full of himself, that he believes he is entitled to have the hottest, most popular girl in school. His dialogue, "You are in my very soul, tormenting me," and "You're exactly how I remember you in my dreams," don't suggest a healthy basis for a relationship. He can't stop thinking about her, and has kept thinking about her for the past ten years. Isn't that a bit creepy?

    I had problems believing that death in childbirth was a believable fear in a galaxy as technologically advanced as the Star Wars world. The counterargument was, of course, that it connected back to Anakin's mother. Anakin believed his dreams to be infallible, and the connection, while straight out of Screenwriting 101, should be enough to establish credibility, and show that Anakin turned to the Dark Side to save the one he loved.

    The problem is I never bought this as true love. I've heard the saying that love can make one do horrible things. I've also heard the contradictory claim that love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes.

    Much of Anakin's problem is that he doesn't follow the characteristics listed above. What he feels for Padme isn't love: it's lust and obsession. He is therefore quick to perceive any threat to whatever he possesses. He doesn't turn to the Dark Side to save Padme's life. He does it to keep her in his. I
  2. Winston_Sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2004
    star 4
    Excellent post.

    I do think, however, that Padme and Anakin in AOTC, are mirrors: Padme's desire is to be who she REALLY is, and not just a "Queen", or a "Senator" - she desperately wants to be free of all of these duties, and obligations she finds herself embroiled in, while Anakin wants people to see that he REALLY is THE CHOSEN ONE - Obi-Wan is holding him back, and the Jedi Council doesn't understand his power.

    Padme, tries to console Anakin, after the Tusken slaughter, because she can see that Anakin is in much the same plight that she herself is in.
    Anakin tries to coerce Padme out of her Senatorial role, because he knows that she secretly hates all of this pretense, like he secretly hates his lowly Padawan position.
  3. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    I do think, however, that Padme and Anakin in AOTC, are mirrors: Padme's desire is to be who she REALLY is, and not just a "Queen", or a "Senator" - she desperately wants to be free of all of these duties, and obligations she finds herself embroiled in, while Anakin wants people to see that he REALLY is THE CHOSEN ONE - Obi-Wan is holding him back, and the Jedi Council doesn't understand his power.

    Having only seen Padme as a Queen or Senator, what "else" does she expect to be? Nothing else is communicated by the film.

    Everyone believes Anakin is the Chosen One. Only Anakin believes that Obi-Wan is holding him back. In reality, he isn't. Anakin is holding himself back through arrogance and immaturity.
  4. Fat_Bird Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2005
    star 2
    Excellent post. I feel that one of the places GL dropped the ball was the supposed great love affair between Anakin and Padme. A love that was so great that Anakin turned to the dark side and Padme loved him no matter what he did? Never saw it.
  5. Jedi_Momma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2005
    star 2
    Obi-Ewan,

    That may be the absolute best post I ever seen on this board. Thanks for the thought that went into it.

    It is interesting, to me, that most people see the Saga in terms of love and I see it in terms of honor, integrity and love. Love is not enough; too many sacrifice their honor for love and end up w/ neither.

    I think the main failings of people in the Saga were those of integrity. Qui-gon failed to trust in the Will of the Force at the most crucial juncture of his life ? as he lay dying he took it upon himself to assign Obi-wan to train Anakin (out of love for Anakin and faith in both Anakin and Obi-wan.) Obi-wan made the promise out of sentiment (love), failing to uphold his commitment to the Will of the Force.

    Anakin had several crises of honor before the ultimate one of betraying the Jedi Order out of "love" for Padme. There was the Tusken massacre, the clandestine marriage, killing Dooku out of revenge. Padme, of course, consented to the secret marriage and refused to let Anakin ?come clean? when he was willing. She also countenanced the massacre out of ?love? for Anakin instead of insisting he do something about his feelings of guilt and shame.

    The Jedi had crucial failings of integrity ? out of ?love? for the Republic, they failed to see that it had become, in essence, a dictatorship. They fought the war out of that same love, ignoring the fact that their mandate was to be peacekeepers. (Mace?s failure w/ Palp ? integrity.) And, of course Obi-wan, who allowed his love for Anakin to blind him to Anakin's faults and overlook his growing attachment to Padme.

    Luke also faced his crisis on Dagobah ? stay and keep his promise to Yoda and Ben or leave out of ?love? for his friends. He failed, and a very costly failure it was. And I don?t think it was Luke?s love alone that inspired Anakin to turn from evil, it was the example of Luke?s integrity. Luke offered Anakin (Vader) his love (?Come with me.?) on Endor and Vader rejected it out of hand. But when Luke showed that he was willing to die rather than become evil ? that awoke the honorable, loving man who had been there all along.
  6. Winston_Sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2004
    star 4
    Padme wants to be a regular person. Even dialogue in AOTC make that clear. She wasn't sure if she did a good job as Queen, but the new Queen kind of persuaded her to become a Senator. That doesn't sound like a woman who is entirely in control of her own destiny.

    And, I don't know if the Jedi really thought Anakin was the Chosen One. If they did, why did they do such a terrible job of training him?

    You can't just blame Obi-Wan...
  7. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    I think the main failings of people in the Saga were those of integrity. Qui-gon failed to trust in the Will of the Force at the most crucial juncture of his life ? as he lay dying he took it upon himself to assign Obi-wan to train Anakin (out of love for Anakin and faith in both Anakin and Obi-wan.) Obi-wan made the promise out of sentiment (love), failing to uphold his commitment to the Will of the Force.

    Qui-Gon is the only character in the entire series who believes that there is such a thing as the will of the Force. Nobody else takes him up on that, and I think that's telling. The minute he brought up such an idea, fans soaked it up, saying that they Jedi serve the Will of the Force. They don't, and there is no such thing. The Force doesn't control everything. There is only one objective the Force has in mind: the destruction of the Sith. Creating Anakin for that purpose is the only time the Force itself has taken an active role. How it comes about is entirely based on the characters' choices and actions. Ultimately, though not part of the original plan, it ends up working towards that one objective. (See my other post on the invisible hand.) Other than that, the Force is not a conscious entitiy, it is something used by the Jedi and the Sith. In his older days, Obi-Wan downplays the idea that the Force controls peoples actions. That is, at most, only a small part of it. It's their to be used by the Jedi.

    Placing Obi-Wan in a position to train Anakin was one of the most important decisions Qui-Gon made. He had earlier said that Obi-Wan was a much wiser man than he was, and Obi-Wan's dedication throughout the rest of the saga proves this to be so. Not only did he train Anakin all the way to Jedi Knighthood; he also looked after Luke well into his adulthood and gave him the training needed to defeat the Sith and redeem his father--whether the last bit was intentional or not. You couldn't ask for a more dedicated Jedi than Obi-Wan.

    Excellent post. I feel that one of the places GL dropped the ball was the supposed great love affair between Anakin and Padme. A love that was so great that Anakin turned to the dark side and Padme loved him no matter what he did? Never saw it.

    While he may not have intended it that way, by watching the films I think one has to conclude that it wasn't really love. The characters weren't mature enough, for one this. It was lust, passion, and obsession. In fact, I think it works best viewed that way.

    Padme wants to be a regular person. Even dialogue in AOTC make that clear. She wasn't sure if she did a good job as Queen, but the new Queen kind of persuaded her to become a Senator. That doesn't sound like a woman who is entirely in control of her own destiny.

    What else does she expect to do with her life? No one forced her to be a Queen, and she never talks about what the alternative would be.

    And, I don't know if the Jedi really thought Anakin was the Chosen One. If they did, why did they do such a terrible job of training him?

    They said so quite frequently. And you cannot state, a priori, that his turning to the Dark Side proves that he was poorly trained. That wasn't the case with Dooku. He made it all the way to Jedi Knight--you don't get that far with poor training. Palpatine didn't get to him by making him turn against what he believed as a Jedi; he got to him by appealing to every one of those beliefs.

    Nothing different was done with Luke, except the shorter time frame. He was trained in the same manner as his father. It's not a question of training, but of personal choices.

    You can't just blame Obi-Wan...
  8. Jedi_Momma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2005
    star 2
    I can't agree that QGJ is the only one to have a notion of the "Will of the Force. It's made fairly clear in the ROTS novelization. In the end, he was still Obi-Wan Kenobi. And he was still a Jedi. And he would not murder a helpless man. He would leave it to the Will of the Force. He turned and walked away.

    Oh, I agree there is no better Jedi than Obi-wan (I love the guy[face_love] ) and I DO NOT blame him for Anakin's fall but I'm still convinced that he was never intended to train Anakin. If he were, then he would have felt pulled toward that task all on his own. And we never see that. In fact the Force was telling Obi-wan that Anakin was dangerous. "The boy is dangerous." It's a measure of his greatness and dedication that he accomplishes the task anyway. But for all the good he did for the GFFA he had not much personal happiness and I can't help but feel he would have been better off if he had never laid eyes on Anakin Skywalker.
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