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SWC Obi-Wan hang out

Discussion in 'The Movies' started by Valairy_Scot, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Valairy_Scot Jedi Grand Master

    @Iron-Lord: yes, the novelization does support the "fully logical" and "leave it to the Force." It also reinforces the "no time to reconsider or finish Anakin off" viewpoint because of the "would cost him more time than he had." Many folks in that thread are discussing this, however, purely in the context of the movie, so I haven't referenced the novel in my post (though it does influence my viewpoint).

    The dissenters also feel that mercy-killing Anakin is not murder; it IS the Jedi way - compassion to others, and Obi-Wan failed horribly. I sort of hate to bring this up, but it seems to me it's sort of like "pulling the plug" on a person in real life, or euthanasia - many, many, many abhor doing so although it may serve the same purpose yet they in real life would consider it murder.

    @ruth baulding: that is a perspective I had not thought of. [face_thinking] I would say it was very possible. Probable: I'm not so sure.

    Anyway, I wonder sometimes if the "Force's will" is apart from compassion and mercy. I think the "Jedi way" is to blend human (sentient) compassion with the Force's will, because humans are and will always be less than and more than "the Force." I think the Force is a lot like "Mother Nature" and things are to be kept in balance; the details don't matter (a somewhat harsh characterization, but defensible, I think, at least to a degree); to humans, details DO matter along with the balance.


    Edited because your post snuck in while I was composing mine.
  2. Iron_Lord Jedi Grand Master

    The Life & Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi does call him "stunned"

    "I hate you!" Anakin roared.
    Obi-Wan stood in silence, stunned as he faced the seething, ruined remains of Anakin. "You were my brother, Anakin." Obi-Wan said, "I loved you."
    Anakin's clothes caught fire, and he screamed as he was suddenly engulfed in flames.
    For a moment Obi-Wan hesitated. He's gone, Obi-Wan thought. Anakin is gone.
    Obi-Wan finally turned away.
    Anakin kept screaming.
  3. Valairy_Scot Jedi Grand Master

    Not to divert the convo, but would did you all think of The Life & Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi? I thought it was nothing but a rehash of old stuff, really.
  4. ruth baulding Jedi Master

    This question has of course demanded an explanation from anyone trying to write the scene... and there you have it. Several different takes. The other fascinating question raised by this last quote is, how much of a crutch were Yodas' words to him: "Gone is the boy you trained. Destroyed by Vader." ?? He later tells a version of this to Luke; how deep did that notion sink? Did he need to believe it himself? Padme asserts that "there is still good in him, Obi Wan" and he doesn't look as though he disagrees, per se... And in his last words to Anakin he calls him by his real name, which doesn't seem to bespeak any true belief that Anakin is utterly destroyed already...
    That's one of the subtlest points about the situation, I think. What adopted perspective gives the strength to do such a thing? In the Life and Legend book, the author has Obi Wan thinking that - but is it a conslusion, or a mantra, one said to reassure oneself in th face of doubt? (I'm aware that was for a juvenile audience and could not plunge into such philosophical depths. I'm just stirring the pot here :)
    earlybird likes this.
  5. ruth baulding Jedi Master

    Well, juvenile audience. Harmless. My eight year old read it in one night.
  6. Iron_Lord Jedi Grand Master

    I liked it- partly because it clarified that it really was Qui-Gon that arranged for the gem that Shmi got in the Tatooine Ghost journal entries.
    Seeing things from Obi_wan's point of view is also interesting.
  7. Valairy_Scot Jedi Grand Master

    I think it is as much a Jedi perspective, as something "comforting" to Obi-Wan - once down the path, consumed you are, forever your destiny, and all that. In Wild Space, he tells Bail the Sith "are like animals" when Bail is stunned/outraged that the Jedi would essentially hunt down and kill Sith for no reason other than they're Sith, without trial and without mercy. While I may have a bit of discomfort with that exchange, at its heart I get it. I don't think the Jedi would just up and kill a Sith; I also don't disbelieve that a violent confrontation could be avoided and thus killing a Sith in the heat of battle avoids "cold blooded killing." I just don't see the Jedi condoning "cold-blooded killing" even of a Sith (one might argue Mace was about to do so - I think that's a larger argument perhaps touched on elsewhere).

    As to Padme's assertion, I'm not really 100% certain of Obi-Wan's reaction; I think it's really more a hidden hope deeply buried in doubt based on "Jedi knowledge" and unvoiced as he's unwilling to "hurt" Padme by voicing anything contrary.

    Possibly Obi-Wan both nurtures and denies that spark by hope by using "Anakin." That could be interpreted as a plea or a goad, by both parties.
    earlybird likes this.
  8. FARK2005 Jedi Master

    Oh yes, had my longest posts in that thread.

    I think it would have been more merciful to kill Anakin once he started to burn, but I can sympathize with Obi-Wan for not doing it.

    I find that most of the people participating in the debate generally lack a will to try and place themselves in Obi-Wan’s boots for just a moment. They approach the question with emotional detachment; hence they can sit back and calmly review and analyze the scenario, calculate the potential impacts and principles, and thereby make rational decisions about what is the best choice of action in that specific situation: end Anakin’s suffering. And, despite everything that has happened in such a short span of time, they think Obi-Wan should have been able to do the exact same thing and so they label him as being deliberately cruel when he doesn’t.

    As I said in the thread (and I simply copy-paste it, because I’m too tired to think properly), I think Obi-Wan’s decision to not kill Anakin “is based on reflexive emotions and instinctive evaluations/feelings, which involve an automatic “filtration” of acceptable and unacceptable actions based on earlier experiences that resulted in reward/punishment (happiness, pain, shame, joy etc.), and which kicks in long before rational consciousness. Obi-Wan loved Anakin like a brother (perhaps like a son) and his feelings made the option to deliver a killing blow in that specific situation (in which he has a choice between letting Anakin live or killing him directly) unacceptable and hence impossible.”

    That’s my two cents…
    PiettsHat likes this.
  9. Charlie Jedi Grand Master

    I have a question: Is it possible that Ben had lost his way after Revenge and simply became obsessed with ending Vader's life because of regret for not doing it when he had the chance?

    It seems that he trained Luke exclusively to kill Vader. Yet this wouldn't have helped out the galaxy that much as Palpatine would have still been alive.
  10. ruth baulding Jedi Master

    That's a fascinating possibility... but it is difficult to accept his passive acceptance of death at Vader's hands when they do eventually meet and battle again. There, had there been regrets, you would think he would have acted to finish the job. Rather, he lays his own life down and (I think) still seems to be "teaching" by showing the power of the true Force, as when his corpse disappears.
    Don't Yoda and ghostie-Ben train Luke to /face/ Vader? I suppose that does include a definitie possibility of killing him... however, I'm racking my brains for a direct mandate to kill Vader or to destroy him...
    Ben sets an example to Luke of "facing" Vader which definitely ends in a laying-down of hostilities, an act directly echoed by Luke in RotJ at the end....
    These things make me interpret Ben's purpose in training Luke in a different vein. Of course, what you suggest is definitely a plausible human motivation - maybe it was even a temptation at some point.
    Valairy_Scot likes this.
  11. Valairy_Scot Jedi Grand Master

    Is it possible? Yes, of course. (Edited to add per @ruth baulding's snuck in post, perhaps a temptation, even, from time to time.)

    But I doubt he was inciting Luke to kill Vader out of a need for vengeance.

    One might think perhaps he was relying on Luke to carry out the "Force's will" although a certain, human part of him was weary and uncertain of what path that would take - not losing faith, as such, but unable to see what other outcome was possible. As we see, the Force, working through Luke, did have another way: redemption for Anakin.

    Can you imagine, if the Jedi ARE capable of feeling other Jedi through the Force (not clear in canon), how 19 years alone in exile, with the deaths of Jedi after Jedi echoing through the Force as they're hunted down and exterminated must have felt? Obi-Wan must have been soul-battered and bruised to the core, no matter his inner strength.

    Yet he retained a core of gentleness along with a steel spine all those years.
  12. Iron_Lord Jedi Grand Master

    Yoda says that "only a fully trained Jedi (with the Force as his ally) will conquer Vader and his Emperor"

    When Luke says "I can't kill my own father" Ben immediately responds "Then the Emperor has already won."
  13. Charlie Jedi Grand Master

    Well what strikes me as suspicious is the methods Ben uses.

    He instills a vengeful attitude in Luke by telling him that Vader betrayed and killed Luke's father.

    He never warns Luke about the Emperor or is ever concerned about whether he lived or died. Despite the fact that it was the Emperor who had destroyed the Jedi, enslaved the galaxy and caused Vader to fall. Yet Ben seems so unconcerned with him. His focus was mostly on ending Vader's life and he trained Luke for this purpose.

    This is what makes me question his motivations.

    On the Death Star battle. He may have not thought himself capable of killing Vader and he already had a plan going (Luke) to ending Vader's life. It's possible he scarified himself because this would more freely allow him to train Luke to continue his mission of killing Vader (as if Ben was captured he wouldn't have been able to communicate with him), but also serves as the ultimate troll for Vader. Vader's satisfaction of killing Ben would have presumably gone away once he found out Ben had not really died but was still hanging out.

    EDIT: As the above post demonstrates. Only Yoda ever seemed concerned with ending the Emperor. Ben never really cared for him, despite the fact that this was the man responsible for everything wrong in the galaxy. Ben remains focused on Vader. If that's not a sign of a personal vendetta against Vader and thus vengefulness by Ben then I don't know what it is.
  14. Iron_Lord Jedi Grand Master

    Might have been that, when ANH was written, the Emperor was portrayed (especially in the novel) as a relatively ineffectual figure- with Vader being "one who has mastered the Force and been consumed by its Dark Side" and "marking time for some incomprehensible abomination".
  15. Valairy_Scot Jedi Grand Master

    Ah, forgot about that - yes, originally the Emperor was a "stooge" and not a Sith.

    All these "retcons" and rewrites sure twist some of the meanings and motivations now ascribed to characters and plot points.

    I agree, Charlie, the dialogue could be interpreted to support your view. I argue that Ben might fear Luke may not have the will to do "what must be done" IF what must be done is killing Vader. I can no more support my supposition than you can; I only base this on the sum total of who Ben has proved himself to be and his beliefs.
  16. ruth baulding Jedi Master

    It's an interesting interpretation, Charlie. Just working from within the original trilogy, how would the personal vendeatta interpretation gloss the appearance of the Force ghosts at the end? You have Yoda and Ben and Anakin smiling at Luke as though all has been resolved in the right way. But he certainly didn't kill his father as planned; so why then are the two Jedi masters pleased? Generally vengeance doesn't give way so readily to forgiveness, at a twist of fate. Indeed, on this argument, it is Yoda and Ben who need redemption through Luke, as much as Vader, since they have been pursuing a hateful path all along. In which case the mythic thread would be "Luke Skywalker overcomes false mentors" making Ben a shadow archetype character rather than a mentor, and the role of mentorship transferrred to, perhaps, love itself or something of that nature. ?? There isn't any sense of Ben changing his fundamental pov in the wake of Vader's death, so that woudl seem like a bit of a flub on Lucas' part as storyteller if he intended the "vengeance" thread.
  17. ruth baulding Jedi Master

    Telling Luke that Vader killed his father: while this produces a natural vengefulness, is it fair to say that was the simple and direct intention of such a statement? What if that statement is 1. the truth, at the deepest level, and 2. protective. Luke's reaction to the news that Vader IS his father is heart-breaking - and that's AFTER Jedi training. I think Alec Guineess' delivery there is fairly evocative of caution and semi-belief; he doesn't once project vengefulness in tone or gesture. Bitterness, maybe a little as in "before the dark times. Before the empire." I think Lucas would have directed that a bit differently if revenge were the motivation, and he certainly would have made more of a plot point out of the revelation of Ben's unworthy motives.
    Iron Lord you seem to be well read.... is this vengeance motive a trope in the novels?
    TreborSabreon and Valairy_Scot like this.
  18. Valairy_Scot Jedi Grand Master

    As time goes by, I am more and more impressed with Alec Guiness's delivery of so many of his lines - world weary, cynical and far from defeated - still retaining a spark of hope along with a twinkle in his eye.
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  19. Charlie Jedi Grand Master

    Well I don't think so. The vengeance thing certainly isn't something Lucas wanted to be placed there. So it wasn't intuitional if there is anything there. This is why its never mentioned or made a plot point. It's more of my interoperation of the motivations of the characters given all the circumstances and events that had taken place. It's completely ignoring the author and taking the story as is (or at face value) and interpreting what I see.

    Authors like to designate things and take them for granted.. And because of this if the author isn't careful they can unwittingly have their character do things that are morally questionable but since they are supposed to be the "good guy" they are never called out on it, because in the author's mind they never did anything wrong.

    One quick example I can think of, is Goku staying dead after he died against Cell. The story and narrator present this is a heroic stance. Goku is selflessly staying dead because his presence on Earth seems to attract bad people. However, we as the viewers can interpret his actions differently and see that Goku was selfish in his actions, because he mostly wanted to stay dead because the idea of fighting super strong fighters attracted him. While leaving his widow wife to raise a kid with another on the way. Also considering how strong they were at the time its very unlikely any enemy would have been a significant threat. Thus, if we don't find the reason valid, we could say that he was a selfish jerk in that instance but the story never treated it that way, because the author didn't want that to be the case.

    Ben was the designated "good guy" of the story and was thus presented as a person with good motivations and good character, but if we take the implications of everything involved, I think the motivation of vengeance pops up. Making him not the best guy.
  20. chosen_Oby Jedi Master

    Very interesting posts.

    When Yoda explained that Anakin was no longer the boy he trained and that he should go after him; Obi-Wan said that he couldn’t kill Anakin. I believe that was true to the very end.
    Anakin destroyed Obi-Wan’s love for him by turning and killing the younglings and then choking Padme. Anakin was consumed by hate and could not differentiate between good and evil anymore.
    A Jedi only draws his sabre if all other avenue’s of negotiation fail and Anakin proved that he was beyond help and if the Chosen one turned to the dark side there would be no hope for any future. I believe that Obi-Wan knew this. His last words to the fallen Jedi where “You were my brother, Anakin I loved you." Past tense.’ In Obi-Wan’s eyes Anakin his friend and brother was already dead; maybe not in body, but in soul.

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