Speculation Who's The Baddie?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII - Spoilers Allowed' started by fishtailsam, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    I would argue that a brain deficiency is a reason to behave a certain way.

    Most legendary villains have reasons why they behave evilly aside from "evil is fun."
    Dracula is hungry. Vader wants to bring order to the galaxy. The Joker wants to prove chaos is stronger than civilization. Hannibal Lector is full of scientific curiosity. Dr Frankenstein dreams of the perfect being. Etc.
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  2. Dra--- Chosen One

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    Dec 30, 2012
    star 4
    I think Dracula feeds more for the reason that he enjoys preying on people than out of simple hunger. We have vampire characters that retain enough humanity so that they either don't kill humans for blood or even allow themselves to be destroyed.

    The Joker too reminds me of a sociopathic personality. Why does he enjoy chaos? Because he's malevolent through and through.

    Lector becomes a cannibal because of psychological trauma as a child, not because he's interested in science. And the Hannibal we see on the new NBC show, which I love, seems incredibly malevolent.

    The real question is why have we as a culture become so interested in explaining evil acts? I would argue from a desire to bring order to the world that we've inherited from Enlightenment thought. Those thinkers believed reason and science could solve anything. And yet, knowledge has only increased humanity's ability to destroy. I'm not religious, but at a certain point we need to accept many people, beings, whatever, are simply born bad. ;)

    And even if we can understand them, the evil still exists.
  3. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    And Dark Helmet thinks good is dumb.
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  4. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

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    star 5
    I dunno. I think the question why evil exists has fascinated humanity since the dawn of time.

    I don't believe we should be able to understand every villain. Just that evil for evils sake is a bit bland. I like to watch characters who are, well, not quite as cardboard.
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  5. Dra--- Chosen One

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    Dec 30, 2012
    star 4
    For me, it depends on the genre usually, how much motivation for evil I need. But in SW you already have the whole Saga dedicated to Vader's reasons, which make him more of a tragic figure than evil (except for his actions, which are evil). So I think there's room for a natural evil sort of villain in order to contrast Vader. Not every character in a film or book needs to be fully developed psychologically, or else we end up with a 4 hr movie or an 800 page book. Dostoyevsky, for example.
  6. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    Evil people are usually angry too.
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  7. Dra--- Chosen One

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    Dec 30, 2012
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    Doesn't the Plagueis book say someone killed all of Palps' family? Who killed them?
  8. Darth Archimage Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2013
    star 2
    According to the Plagueis book, Palps himself killed his whole family.
    Last edited by Darth Archimage, Sep 26, 2013
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  9. Dra--- Chosen One

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    Dec 30, 2012
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    Haha, did the angry chap have a reason?

    I'm respecting Palpatine more and more...
  10. Darth Archimage Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2013
    star 2
    Palpatine never got along with his father, who just happened to be in the way of one of Plagueis entrepreneur ventures.
    Plaguies manipulates Palps into doing his dirty work. Plagueis (while on another planet) felt a shift in the force when Palps finally unleashed his full power in the force upon his family.
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  11. purplerain Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2013
    star 4
    Palpatine was pretending to be manipulated. Nobody (unless the ST changes things) manipulates Palps.
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  12. Darth Archimage Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2013
    star 2
    I suppose it's all a matter of interpretation. According to the Novel, Palpatine is duped by is Master, and even admits to being used.

    "But you seem to be implying that I somehow divined that the confrontation would end in violence.

    Palpatine considered it, then snorted in derision. You’re lying. You may as well have forced my hand.

    What an odd way to put it, Plagueis said. But since you’ve grasped the truth of it, I offer a confession. Yes, I deliberately goaded you.

    You came to Chandrila to make certain that my father’s spies would see us together.

    Once more, correct. You make me proud of you.

    Palpatine ignored the flattery. You used me.

    There was no other way."
    Last edited by Darth Archimage, Sep 26, 2013
  13. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
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    Vader: "If he could be turned, he would become a powerful ally."
    Palpatine: "Yes. Yes he would be a great asset. Can it be done?"
    Last edited by Darth_Pevra, Sep 26, 2013
  14. Immortiss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2013
    star 4
    In the context of the story I do believe that Plagueis did manipulate Palpatine. Plagueis relates a story to him concerning his own family history. Apparently Plagueis outmaneuvered his siblings for the family fortune and outlived them, too. Although the story he relates is both fact and fiction, Plagueis uses persuasion and emphasis to prod a 17 year old Palpatine to kill his father and his entire nuclear family.

    Again, who could be a more legitimate threat to the Skywalkers than one who manipulated Palpatine?
  15. DARTH_BELO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    Yeah...that's a good point... I guess I didn't think about that.

    I would say something like maybe Plagueis raises an army of Sith or something (since he never really did truly agree with Darth Banes philosophy anyway) and then that would be who the younger heroes went up against. Meanwhile, Luke kills Plagueis-sort of as a sendoff for his character...That formula was used in the lion the witch and the wardrobe, when it was Aslan who killed the white which-not any of the children. it still work quite well there, maybe it would work here too. but other than that I suppose I'm not sure how it would work for Luke killing him. I don't know, maybe his son helps or something! ;)
    Last edited by DARTH_BELO, Sep 26, 2013
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  16. Circular Logic SWTV Interview Host

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    Also the one who taught his apprentice "everything he knew" (supposedly). Sidious would naturally grow into such a brilliant schemer in part due to learning from his Master---great enough to ultimately fool his Master into believing that he would be willing to share his power. If Plagueis were to return, I doubt he would make the same mistake.
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  17. Dra--- Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 4
    In the Netherworld, Plagueis has been waiting to see Palpatine again. Gradually growing stronger so as to annihilate his final essence in the force, and to drain that power and resurrect himself.

    Muahahahaha!
  18. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    I always thought the Netherworld was called the Dead Jedi Lair. Well I'm going to call it that.
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  19. Echo Base Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2013
    star 2
    Yes, a friend and I were discussing this a while ago. One of the aims of the prequel trilogy was to show Vader's origin yet Anakin's conversion to evil is awkward at best. His love for Padme and rebellion against the rules of the Jedi order are shown but we never really come to understand the psychological growth of a former slave boy into an evil Sith lord. Indeed, Vader was a stronger character when his origins were left unknown. Kenobi's " he turned to evil" line in A New Hope sustained the first trilogy, with later clues that he was impatientand that the Emperor had seduced him.T

    The nearest thing I could think of to Anakin's sudden conversion inthe prequels is the abrupt change to Kriemhild's personality in the Nibelungenlied. Yes, she is seeking revenge on those who killed her husband but that doesn't explain her complete change in personality or the evil acts she is prepared to commit. Of course, this text was composed long before psychological realism became a feature of European literature and it is to myths such as this we should lookto understand SW's mythicheroes and villains more.
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  20. Dra--- Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 4
    Neat post!

    If anything, I wonder if the attempt to portray Anakin's turn realistically wasn't doomed to feel strained or clunky. We're working in myth here, so evil's not purely about reason: myth predates reason -- although it gradually becomes tacked on bit by bit over time beginning with the Greeks and Romans -- and it views human rationality as weak at best or even impossible. Instead, people are ruled by overwhelming passions, jealousy, and hubris. They don't think to themselves: "I'll become evil for the following reasons." Instead, evil is simply that essential potential in them that no one can escape, that essence that Christians will later try to describe as Original Sin or that Freud will call the death drive and the Id. Myth attempts to capture these essences and portray their power and texture, whereas psychological realism seeks to explain and solve them.

    But evil is always a kind of excess that can't really be explained or easily contained. "He killed his wife because he wanted to save her." We have a because statement here, but is this truly reasonable? No. At the end, evil makes Anakin impossible to understand because there is no reasonable explanation for evil. It feels clunky because there's always a crucial disjunct between reasons and actions. Reason is doomed to fall short, and in the end, we're left with myth. In the end we're left with some essential evil in Anakin that could not be contained, as we saw with his brutality with the Sand People. How do we understand Anakin's anger? It's excessive insofar as he's willing to punish the innocent for the crimes of others. Why would a Jedi act this way? What happened to him as a slave that would explain such anger? I don't know.

    Instead, in the end, the explanations don't matter because we're left with the power of the darkside and the potential for darkness within us. Its this essence of darkness that attracts Anakin and overwhelms him. But how can it overwhelm him when he's making the choice for a reason? Because there's something inexplicable about the power of evil. We can't explain it because it's beyond logic and language. It's simply something inside us.
    Last edited by Dra---, Sep 26, 2013
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  21. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    Anakin's problem is that all personal freedom and power over his own fate was taken away from him at a young age, first as slave and later as Jedi. Thus he later lusted for power and control. And if someone doesn't let himself/herself be controlled by him, he/she is a threat and must be eliminated.
    Last edited by Darth_Pevra, Sep 26, 2013
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  22. Dra--- Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 4
    Threat to his power then is the actual motivation, not some high-minded justification for order, or saving Padme.

    But that still doesn't explain the excessive acts he commits. Killing the Tusken Raiders, later the Younglings, and allowing the entire planet of Alderaan to be destroyed? How were the women and children a threat to his power? Was everyone on Alderaan guilty of rebellion?

    There's some kind of cruelty (evil) inside Anakin or the darkside that's in excess to the supposed motivations.

    Edit: Also, not all slaves end up like Anakin. So why does he become "twisted and evil?" What makes one slave cruel and another not?
    Last edited by Dra---, Sep 26, 2013
  23. HL&S Magistrate Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2001
    star 6

    As you and I have discussed before, upon viewing all six films and the revised TESB dialogue, there is serious doubt as to whether Vader manipulated the character of the Emperor into doing anything.
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  24. Dra--- Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 4
    Apparently they'd tossed the Rule of Two aside, as Plagueis intended.
  25. purplerain Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2013
    star 4
    That's from Plagueis's point of view.

    If Plagueis could survive Palpatine "killing" him and Plagueis taught Palpatine everything he knew, couldn't Palpatine survive the reactor?