Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Orrelios, Nov 19, 2012.
Yeah, over time I'm starting to feel this way, too.
People like SW for all sorts of reasons; Mandos, Jedi, prophecies, fleets. Prophecies and destiny weren't ever mentioned in the OT so many of the people who became fans during that point didn't have to like SW for prophecies. Furthermore, I'm a SW since TPM and I prefer the New Republic vs. Imperial Remnant stuff much more than meta-physical Force explorations. Mortis was hugely divisive, remember.
Thank you, Jack.
The tired old "why do you like Star Wars if you don't view it the same way I do?" meme got old years ago. And I'm fully aware that Star Wars is fantasy rather than science fiction, being able to distinguish between story genres is part of what I do for a living. How that plays into the idea that characters must take the attitude that they are not responsible for their choices and that they can blame some Power That Be whenever things go badly, is beyond me.
As I recall, "destiny" was mentioned three times in the OT, once when Yoda told Luke that if he made the choice to "start down the dark path," it would consume him, and the other two times were when both Vader and Yoda were using "it is your destiny" as a way of manipulating Luke to do what they wanted. Then the PT came along and the "it is your destiny" manipulative bull**** got cranked up to a factor of 10 with Anakin and the "Chosen One prophecy", and the audience is supposed to believe that Anakin had no choice in the matter either. Apparently according to the "Chosen One" mindset, Anakin didn't overthrow Palpatine because after 23 years he finally found the inner strength to make the right decision--nope, it was the damn midichlorians making him do it.
To me that takes away from the story. If for you that is the story, well, that's your viewpoint and your choice; it doesn't mean that people who disagree, don't understand Star Wars. If that were the case, there would be no place for a character like Han Solo. No mystical energy field ever controlled his destiny.
Maybe. But Star Wars has been deep into spirituality and metaphysics ever since Vader expressed his disapproval of Admiral Motti's agnosticism in the conference room on DS1. It certainly has since Yoda started giving speeches to Luke on Degobah.The thing is, the spiritual and metaphysical parts of Star Wars (i.e. the Force) aren't incidental or unimportant - they really are core parts of the mythos, and to me, saying that you like Star Wars except for that stuff is kind of like saying that you like Lord of the Rings except for all that dumb unrealistic stuff about Hobbits and wizards and dragons.
I don't think he did. Destiny means that one way or another, he would have ended up in the same place in the end.
I agree that the midichlorians were dopey, but they were dopey precisely because they were an unnecessary "rational" and "scientific" explanation of something that already had a perfectly good spiritual and metaphysical explanation.
Errr... really? I was quite under the impression that it did whether he wanted it to or not.
Again, I'm not trying to badger you over this - you like what you like. It just seems like maybe you're more a person who'd more appreciate the worldview of Star Trek, where there's little to no spirituality, everything has a "rational" and "scientific" explanation, and problems have technological or diplomatic solutions.
If you are going to persist with these type of statements, which to me contradicts your statement of "I'm not trying to badger you over this" (if "You have to believe in God to love Star Wars" isn't badgering on a personal level, I don't know what is), we're at an impasse and don't need to discuss this further. You're obviously set in your opinion, and you're not going to sway me that a predetermined "destiny" is anything other than a load of bull**** in either a story or reality, so, honestly, don't waste your time trying.
That said though, I do have one question:
So what exactly is the point then? Way to remove any sort of responsibility, if the characters (or people in real life) can do whatever the hell they want and end up in the same place. Personal choices never have any sort of outcome, for better or for worse.
I am confused by where Lucas wanted to go with the notion of destiny. The word "destiny" has always carried the connotation for me that the outcome is pre-determined. For instance, I think it's the Calvinists that believe in the concept of "pre-destination" and that God has decided your destiny even before you came into being and that whether you go to heaven or hell is already decided. Now I agree with
@anakinfansince1983 that is takes the responsibility out of things. But then I believe it's been said by Lucas or someone else that a "destiny" in Star Wars is something that can be rejected, and that Anakin could have rejected his destiny as the Chosen One. And while that puts the responsibility back into the picture, that concept of "destiny" doesn't sound like a destiny at all.
Whenever the word "destiny" got thrown around in the OT it seemed like it mostly came from Palpatine or Vader trying to convince look that it is vain to resist the Dark Side, and they even link the concept of destiny and unavoidability ("it is unavoidable, it is your destiny.")
Then when notions of prophetic destinies and what not start to get thrown around in the PT, I just get the vibe that Lucas is throwing around vague ideas and didn't really iron out a coherent thought.
Having said that, I enjoyed Mortis
Unpopular opinion +1
The concept of "destiny" is pretty much contrary to every viewpoint I have on life. Period, end of sentence. I certainly don't want to read/view a story in which a character just floats around letting his "destiny" happen to him since after all, he has no choice.
There is actually a guy on Stardestroyer who belives Anakin reisited the Darkside entirely because he was the chosen one and all the redemptions in the EU somehow take from it...
Wow. The resistance to the notion of humans actually making choices without divine influence is amusing.
Thats nothing. He tried arguing Force Lighting wasn't deadly and Vader let himself die
I agree that "destiny" as most use it is completely contrary to my viewpoints on life. The way I choose to view "destiny" is that we may be able to ascertain the results of one's actions by the choices they are currently making but they are in no way "predestined" to live a certain way or do certain things.
For instance, a father may realize through his own wisdom that his son's use of drugs will lead to a life of heartache and perhaps prison time, etc. That in no way means the father wants that for his son or that the son cannot make decisions that change that.
The prophecy of the "Chosen One" to me is a result of a vision someone (Whills?) had and it is only their knowledge of it that we are told, it doesn't mean that there is no way out for Anakin by making different decisions or even that it is the "will of the Force" that Anakin fulfill the prophecy. It's just a statement of their vision.
The thing is, I think you're injecting this world too much into a fictional one. When you enter a fictional world, you kind of have to accept it on its own terms - that's part of "suspension of disbelief". You accept the rules of the fictional world as they are. I mean, I don't believe in fairy tales or magic wands, but when I watch Once Upon A Time, I accept that those are just a part of how this fictional world works, and the only time I get upset is when a show like that seems to violate the rules it set up for itself - for example, if it's established that a particular magic spell only works one certain way, but then, with no explanation, suddenly it's shown working a different way. In other words, I don't require it to be realistic in terms of my own world - just to be internally consistent.
This gets to the heart of what was wrong with midichlorians. When Yoda explained how the Force works to Luke (and by extension, to us) on Degobah, it made it seem as if the Force works one certain way. But then by including midichlorians in the explanation, it made it seem as if the Force worked a different way than Yoda explained it, and that we'd accepted as the way the Force worked for nearly twenty years. I suppose some rationalization can be made to reconcile the two explanations, but it seemed jarring and inconsistent, as if the story was violating its own rules.
The thing I'm baffled by isn't your own personal religious views in this world - those are your own business. What seems curious to me is the way in which you seem not to be willing to "check those at the door", so to speak, when you enter a fictional world that has metaphysical aspects right there at its core. Or, alternately, if it bothers you that much, what attracts you to such a fictional world at all. Especially when there are fictional worlds out there that seem far more in tune with your own views.
In terms of storytelling, sometimes the destination is less important than the journey. I mean, if knowing the outcome or destination made the story of how we got there not worth telling, then why bother watching the PT at all? After all, we knew how that story ended years before TPM came out - Palpatine wins and becomes Emperor; Anakin has twins, falls to the dark side, and becomes Vader; Obi-wan takes Luke to Tattooine and sits in the desert for years watching him grow up, and so on. The long and short of this is that how human beings respond to the pull of destiny or fate has been a subject of drama for basically as long as there's been drama. I mean, Oedipus Rex deals with basically the same idea, and that was written 2500 years ago. So, as they ay in Hollywood, that's obviously a story that has some legs.
In terms of personal worldview, well, that gets into complicated questions of theology and philosophy that are well beyond the scope of this thread, I think.
We disagree about whether those "metaphysical aspects" are "at its core." If I actually believed that the bull**** concept of "destiny" was the heart of Star Wars, then no, I wouldn't be attracted to it as a story at all.
You obviously think that destiny is what Star Wars is really about, I don't and won't, and I suspect we both bring our own life perspectives into this. Which is fine, nobody has to be "wrong."
Well, I mean, even more than that, the whole idea of the Force is highly metaphysical. There's even talk of "the will of the Force", which implies some degree of consciousness to it.
And again, the Prophecy and Anakin's fulfillment of it is, well, basically what the story of Star Wars is all about. I mean, everything else is a sidebar to that, or works in service of it, but that's the core story of Star Wars right there. The part that creates the drama centers around how Anakin did end up fulfilling the prophecy, but in a way that nobody expected. It's all very related to the concept brought up in that famous short story, The Monkey's Paw. Be careful what you wish for - think about all the ways that it might end up happening, and consider all the potential consequences and costs. Literally nobody read the fine print on the Prophecy, or ever really bothered to stop and ask themselves if there were interpretations of it that they weren't thinking of. But this, too, was part of the path of destiny laid out by the Prophecy.
Anyhow, yeah, I guess I'll just leave it there. As I said, you like what you like for the reasons you like it.
There was no mention whatsoever of a "prophecy" in the OT. It was the story about how Anakin overcame the Dark Side and overthrew the Emperor, but thankfully it was all done through his own volition, which makes a much better story.
If the Chosen One prophecy were so central to Star Wars that those of us who think it's a load of crap, shouldn't even bother watching, it seems that such a prophecy would have been harped upon quite a bit from ANH onward.
Don't the movies even refute the whole "destiny" thing? According to Vader it was Luke's destiny to join the dark side and rule alongside Vader, just as it was Anakin's to rule with the Emperor. Anakin bought into the idea of destiny, but Luke refuted destiny and chose his own way.
"I am a Jedi, like my father before me."
I don't even know that Anakin bought into the idea of "destiny;" in the prequels he pretty much heard what he wanted to hear, and since he wanted to believe that his "destiny" as the "Chosen One" meant that every other character was supposed to think he was the most awesome piece of organic matter to ever set foot in the galaxy--that's what happened.
As I mentioned before, the word "destiny" is thrown around as a verbal weapon to manipulate Luke into doing what Yoda wanted and what Vader wanted, sort of the way some religious people in real life throw around bull**** phrases about what "God wants for your life."
Some of the characters seem to believe in the concept of destiny while others like Palpatine just seem to throw the word around as a means of manipulation. The notion that "always in motion is the future" refutes the idea that there is a fixed, destined future.
Which makes it confusing with Lucas continues to talk about this stuff in regards to Anakin's "destiny" behind the scenes. But Star Wars is unique in that I can't think of a single other franchise in which so much stock is put into what the creators say. I'm sure there are no shortage of artists that can make something genius, while still holding completely asinine ideas. I love the OT, but Lucas has a tendency to go back and revise what he "intended" after the fact with ideas that come out of nowhere and were not reflected in the OT itself.The films can stand on their own as films without years and years of Lucas adding commentaries and random ideas.
While I enjoyed Mortis, the idea that there are two polarized superbeings living on a metaphysical "planet" and have influence over the "real world" in which the events of the films take place just comes out of nowhere.
And when he gets on metaphysical rants about the nature of the Force and stuff like that, sometimes it comes across as anything but coherent. For instance, he was asked about why Vader chooses to Force choke people and what the symbolism behind that is, and he said something about breathing being a gateway to the Force that he is cutting off or something like that. And I can't help but think he just pulled something out of his butt on the spot trying to sound intelligent.
Say what? What happened to Vader choking people because it was an easy weapon to use from a distance, almost guaranteed to kill, and killed in a painful way? (Since not being able to breathe really, really sucks.)
It was from an interview in Rolling Stones
I would think that it was just because y'know Motti was rambling on and Vader wanted to shut him up + make a demonstration = choking him.
I don't buy that anything "deep" crossed Lucas' mind and that he's trying to make himself sound more intelligent by attributing some arbitrary metaphor to it. Plus I don't exactly see strangulation as being a "theme." There's nothing to make me take a step back and think: holy crap, Leia just choked Jabba! My God that's deep! It's like a metaphor!
Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. Specifically, to the idea that you may not so much be objecting to the idea of destiny in Star Wars per se, but to the fact that the whole "Prophecy/destiny" thing with Anakin seemed to violate what you perceived to be how this story worked. Basically, you believed Anakin/Vader's sacrifice at the end of RoTJ to have worked one way and to have had one meaning, but the introduction of these aspects of it into the story made it work a different way and have a different meaning instead.
Well, I can certainly see that, then.
In fact, it speaks to one of my big problems with the PT and Lucas's philosophical inconsistencies as well. When I say "inconsistencies", though, I don't necessarily mean here that he just can't keep his ideas straight. It's more a problem with the huge gap in time between making the OT and the PT. The great boxer Muhammad Ali once said that anyone who's the same person at 50 as they were at 20 has wasted thirty years of their life. And right he is. Few people are the same person at one point in their lives as they are in another - their worldview changes, their perspective on life changes, their philosophy and beliefs change. The thing is, George Lucas in 1999 was not quite exactly the same guy as George Lucas in 1977. Thus, the films that these two not-quite-exactly-the-same guys made do have some real differences in these areas. This is what explains, for example, "Han shot first". The explanation that Lucas always wanted Greedo to shoot first is ridiculous on its face, and I don't buy it for a second. The truth is that GL1977's philosophy and outlook was one in which Han could shoot first and still be a good guy, albeit a rogueish and sometimes morally gray one, but GL1997's philosophy and outlook was one in which he couldn't. Add a little magic of CGI, and GL1997 gets to overrule GL1977.
So yes, the two trilogies are philosophically inconsistent, and I think we've hit a spot where that really bothers you.
Not necessarily. Destiny could still exist, and Vader could have just been wrong about what Luke's was.
Which is why I ignore those "different aspects" and just watch and enjoy the rest of the films.
Getting back to TCW though, that's why I can't stand Mortis, as the theme of that arc is those "different aspects" which I have to set aside in order to enjoy the PT. I certainly don't think those same aspects are the central theme of the PT the way they are the theme of Mortis though.
The Ghost Hand vision was more subtle
We are accepting the Prophecy of the chosen one based upon what? We don't even get a clear understanding of what exactly that prophecy is suppost to be from the films. Is it the Prophecy of one who will bring balance to the Force as Qui-Gon suggests? Or is the Prophecy one that marks the destruction of the Sith?
The films actually leave this very ambigious, communicated to us through unreliable narrators who may or may not understand what the prophecy is.
I say its very open to personal interpretation. Anakin killing Palpatine may or may not have had anything to do with a pre determined destiny - its up to the viewer to decide that.
I didn't much like Cloak of Darkness.