Training in the Force

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by severian28, Mar 27, 2005.

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  1. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    Ive always contended that Vader trains Luke. Sidious actually completes Lukes' training and consequently Luke completes Anakin's just by idealistically accepting death instead of giving into the darkside. It doesnt really matter that his father saved him because really Anakin was saving himself. When seeing it this way it makes it alot easier to delete the darkside/light quagmire you see people running into when arguing what side of the force is stronger and who is the most powerful, or more importantly knowledgeable. How the power and knowledge are used are of course what determine the alignment. Is a point trying to be made by Lucas on learning? It worked, IMHO.
  2. Plurimus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 1999
    star 3
    I very much like the way you expressed this idea -- learning instead of a path of power. I completely agree that choice is the crux of GL's message. You are what you do, which is clearly alluded to with the symbolism of the chopped off hand (as opposed to intellect -- mind -- or emotion -- heart).

    This is the philosophical trappings of my book Shimmering Sword, which is fundamentally based on the concept of honor -- a public code of behavior that advances justice and rule of law. Honor is, in of itself amoral. It is a code of behavior which is self-regulated in the first place because the training of honor teaches proper civilized behavior, as well as imposed because other swordsmen pull (or force) the bad swordsmen into proper behavior. Honor is not character which no one can give or take from you. Honor is accorded by the public. It does not tell you what is moral, which is for the individual and the group to decide.

    So what is learning? And what allows a Jedi to take on the title? And who teaches whom?

    I think we know what learning is. Isn't this really a question of what learning (knowledge, understanding, and skill) is necessary to become a Jedi? The martial artist in me tells me that hundreds of hours of hard work are necessary. These things are not simply granted as if by magic or even by a Midi-chlorian count. Any man or woman can choose not to use or develop his or her talents. In this sense, self-discipline, personal drive, determination are necessary for learning. From my own experience, knowledge of the martial arts were not discovered on my own, but taught to me in a rather organized method. From this, I know that starting from other people's experience and wisdom is a far easier task than creating and discovering martial techniques on my own. But certainly all experts know that once basic technique is mastered, it is again up to individual drive to invent (or perhaps re-discover) "new" techniques.

    So the question becomes: who teaches what to whom in Star Wars?

    Does Sidious actually complete Luke's training? You'd have to be more specific Severian28. Luke certainly doesn't go through any trials so there is no formality to his training as there would be at the Temple pre-empire. His statement that he has become a Jedi after he throws away his lightsaber is profound to me, and again central to the thesis of Shimmering Sword. It is a paradox that knowledge of killing with the sword leads to the realization of its futility. Some get this instinctively, but it is profound when the soldier says, ?peace not war? is the answer.

    You assert that ?Luke completes Anakin's [training] just by idealistically accepting death instead of giving into the dark side.? In my book, I assert that it is Luke?s willingness to sacrifice himself (the ultimate act of love) is what gets Vader to turn away from his evil path and in turn learn that he too can sacrifice himself, as well as atone for his past by killing the Emperor, which ends the Empire and imposes the penalty on Vader of death. Of course, this leads to Vader?s redemption, which is ultimately the heart of the saga?s tale.


    When seeing it this way it makes it a lot easier to delete the darkside/light quagmire you see people running into when arguing what side of the force is stronger and who is the most powerful, or more importantly knowledgeable.


    I agree with you here too; as if power is the ultimate expression of whether good or evil will dominate. The whole dichotomy is, in a way, a convenient philosophical convention used to help less thoughtful people understand what they should and shouldn?t do. And it?s been used to this end by even the most intelligent and caring of people: by parents, friends, civic leaders, and the clergy. If one looks at evil as the absence of goodness, then the story devolves from tales of angels and demons to a search for what is just, right, and good. This has been the crux of ethics for millennia, as well as the societal need for an alignment of codes of behavior (laws) and the preservatio
  3. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    Your points are excellent Plurimus. After Yoda dies the only people left that Luke could glean any insight to the force are Vader and Sidious. I believe that Kenobi and Yoda not telling Luke of his lineage is as much a contingency against the Emporers diction, which they knew Luke would inevitably face, as it is to protect him in anonymity. By designing an endgame where the Emporers own words will be mitigated by the fact that Luke can sense a conflict in his father, the two remaining Jedi at the start of the OT roll the die and actually send a pup into the wild thinking, correctly, that less is more - in this specific case because of how wanting it all affected his father and good or evil would actually NOT be the factor at the end but a lesson in power taught by someone who is very powerful with the irony being that by displaying it he allows Anakin to fufill his destiny and the prophecy - which are the same and always were. Thats why after really thinking about it - it IS better that Christensen replaces Shaw at the end of RotJ. Its funny, your mentioning swords actually brings me to another angle on it that could be related. If you havent seen or read the Lone Wolf and Cub movie series or manga, the most basic premise of it is that by exposing the young learner to the very worst of human nature it actually makes him a pacifist, but still with extraordinary survival skills. The connexion of Retsudo, Ogami, and Daigoro, while exactly opposite in the case of father and son in relation to the SW father and son, share many similarities - not the least being the frighteningly similar nature of Retsudo and Sidious and the roles they both play in relation to their respective stories.
  4. Plurimus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 1999
    star 3
    Severian28: You have to get SW and Philosophy which was just released this week. Lots of interesting philosohpical stuff. I'm on the 2nd chapter and have a couple of philosophical reservations with their assertions, but it's a solid book, not some pop-psychology high school paper. All of the writers are academics, so my criticisms are those of any philosopher challenging the veracity of one particular philosophy or another.

    There's a chapter on moral abiguity that seems interesting as well as chapter on the problem of evil, which relates to this thread.

    After I'm finished, I'll post a review on Amazon.com.

    I was working on my own SW philosophy related book and collected a dozen or so authors to contribute, but it fell through when I couldn't find anyone interested in publishing the book. One of the people I contacted was the editor of SW and Philosophy. He was a very nice guy and was open to contributing to my book.
  5. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    I think that evil in SW is not as simple as some fans like to think it, in the PT particularly. Thats part of the reason that the PT is so effective to me, because of its refusal to simply be good vs. bad. It acknowledges that evil usually starts somewhere good, with the best intentions. In the OT this is only displayed in Vader - which is why, of course, the PT is his story.
  6. Moriarte Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2001
    star 5
    To be fair, the OT does show that good and evil isn't as purely dualistic as you say some fans may think.

    Two prominent instances:
    What Lando Calrissian does in ESB-he aids the Empire in capturing Han, Leia and Chewbacca. Lando did this evil act, obviously, to protect the citizens of Bespin, but his action(s) was, or would have been, worse in the grand scheme of things.

    Lastly, there is Vader who becomes Anakin again in ROTJ. It may be a brief example, but when Vader becomes Anakin again at the end, he acknowledges that there was indeed good in him; the good that was manipulated towards evil ends a la Palpatine. This is seen best, in retrospect, in EP II and soon EP III.

    However, when it comes right down to it, our actions are going to be either good or evil in fulfillment.


    Ciou-See the Sig
  7. AlrikFassbauer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2003
    star 4
    After Yoda dies the only people left that Luke could glean any insight to the force are Vader and Sidious.

    Well, more or les, yes.

    But there is one more : Leia. remember the scene on Endor. Luke finally sees a bit more about himself - and his father. The strength of his mother reflected in his sister.



    And don't forget, on Dagobah there's still the "ghost" of Obi-Wan ... ;)

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