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PT What do you think of the virgin birth concept?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by DarthVist, May 28, 2019.

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What do you think of the virgin birth concept?

  1. Love it

    24 vote(s)
    52.2%
  2. Hate it

    22 vote(s)
    47.8%
  1. DarthVist

    DarthVist Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2019
    In Episode I - The Phantom Menace, it is stated by Anakin Skywalker's mother (Shmi Skywalker) that her pregnancy with Anakin "just happened", and thus there was no father.

    It has been hinted that the reason why Shmi Skywalker got pregnant with Anakin was because of "The Force". So Anakin Skywalker was created through the Force.

    I think it's actually an interesting concept.
     
  2. Count Yubnub

    Count Yubnub Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 2012
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  3. Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2015
    Im cool with it. Brings an interesting dynamic to Anakin's search for a father figure in Obi-Wan and Palpatine. And it spawned tons of interesting conversations on The Chosen One concept. Oh, it also lead to the Darth Plagueis scene in ROTS.
     
  4. Laphon

    Laphon Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Even if this movie is about entertaining on almost every level,
    it sometimes tends to treat deep and serious issues
    in an original way. Also the name "Skywalker" seem to have a messianic touch , since the biblical prophecy says that "..the Son of Man came with the clouds of Heaven" (Daniel 7:13).
    But what a tragic Messiah, this Skywalker !
     
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  5. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    I never had much problem with it, in the EU it was a result of the force itself retaliating against Plagueis trying to break it like a beast of burden. And it does add to the messianic aurora around Anakin Skywalker.
     
  6. lord_sidious_

    lord_sidious_ Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2019
    I love the idea of Sidious creating Anakin.
     
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  7. Darkside Floyd

    Darkside Floyd Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Hmm, I don't have any real problems with it. The concept lends more to the mystical nature of the Force overall while also hinting at possible deeper religious overtones and connections.

    My only nitpick would be the presumed involvement of Plagueis and/or Sidious in his conception. If his conception was somehow manipulated through the Force by another, then my first question would be, how or why was Shmi chosen for this?
     
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  8. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 25, 2014
    And if Plagueis was responsible wouldn't that make the chosen one prophecy obsolete?

    why make a creation that is destined to kill the order you desperately want to keep going?
     
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  9. CLee

    CLee Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 2017
    The first few times I watched TPM I interpreted, and assumed others did as well, that Shmi was just being hyperbolic, not literal, there had been a father but he left Shmi before Anakin was born so she was the only parent in a meaningful sense, the one who did all the work.

    I initially wasn't fond of it both from having and preferring my earlier interpretation and that I'm not really fond of involving some kind of divine will; even when it's possible that that's involved it's probably better to keep it only possible, ambiguous.

    I have gotten a lot more interested over time, though, especially from my last rewatch, in the idea that the Sith created Anakin, it's a great set of ironies that the Jedi so drastically misinterpreted him (well many were quite hesitant but then won over), that he had that origin and then his whole life events, that he ended up destroying the Sith. Though it's probably better that Anakin's level of power and ability was actually just random chance from a regular pregnancy. And the idea that the Sith tried to create life but failed and the non-Dark Force did so as a response to stop the Sith feels a really big and awkward stretch.
     
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  10. CLee

    CLee Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 2017
    Likely the Sith thought the Chosen One bringing balance to the Force meant by elevating the Sith to power or doing some other thing rather than destroying the Sith, it meaning by destroying the Sith was just what (some) Jedi thought.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  11. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 10, 2011
    That obviously wouldn't have been Plagueis's intention. It would have been the will of the Cosmic Force working through him without his knowledge. Evil being co-opted by the forces of destiny.
     
  12. -NaTaLie-

    -NaTaLie- Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Anakin as a demigod reminds me of the Ancient Greek heroes (Achilles, etc.). At the same time, it deconstructs the messianic myth: the Jedi and Anakin himself assume it's all about the power with the Force but love and compassion are more important. This could also be a warning from Lucas on the dangers of creating the idols: yes, Anakin fulfills his destiny but at what price?
     
  13. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    I loved it, I just didn't need them to call him the Chosen One over and over, I get it.
     
    Sith Lord 2015 likes this.
  14. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2001
    "There is a hint in the movie that there was a Sith Lord who had the power to create life. But it's left unsaid: Is Anakin a product of a super-Sith who influenced the Midichlorians to create him, or is he simply created by the Midichlorians to bring forth a prophecy, or was he created by the Force through the Midichlorians? It's left up to the audience to decide. How he was born ultimately has no relationship to how he dies, because in the end, the prophecy is true: Balance comes back to the Force."

    --George Lucas, Rolling Stone Magazine, 2005.


    In other words, regardless of how it happened, he is still the Chosen One the minute he decides to kill Palpatine. As to who created him, the Sith were trying to create a powerful asset to use against the Jedi. It just so happened that said asset was also the one who would destroy them.
     
  15. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Honestly, I don't care much for that concept. Maybe it's because as a former Christian and current agnostic the whole Christian ideology just doesn't convince me in any way. I hope Lucas was trying to be above pushing Christian principles on the audience, and that he had a wider world-view. In any case I don't need his permission to interpret the story in any way I choose. So basically when I watch SW I tend to ignore the whole "virgin birth" concept. I just want to enjoy the story, and couldn't care less about the religious agenda that may have been involved. I may like Lucas' work, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with his personal religious views.
     
  16. Dark Ferus

    Dark Ferus Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Still not a fan of midichlorians, but they are the lesser of two evils when you compare that to Anakin being created by Palpatine von Frankenstein.
     
  17. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 10, 2011
    George Lucas has all but admitted to not being a subscriber to any one organized religion. Like his late mentor Joseph Campbell before him, he has said that he considers all religions to be true, in the sense that they reflect deeper truths about how humans perceive and relate to the world. But he certainly isn't a committed Christian trying to push a Christian agenda.

    Despite what many people with an agenda might have you believe, the archetype of the hero born of a god isn't something exclusive to Christianity. Now, the idea of that hero being a savior of all humanity is something that is perhaps more specific to the Judeo-Christian tradition, but the mythic significance of that idea is not necessarily something that only a Jew or a Christian could appreciate, any more than the story of Hercules is something that could only be appreciated by someone with pagan beliefs.

    Why not just see what Lucas himself has to say about it?

     
  18. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Voted love it. I think what I like about how it's treated in the Prequels is that there is room for different interpretations. There is the messianic interpretation since Anakin is said to be the Chosen One of prophecy and ultimately dies to save his son (and in the Christian tradition there I said to be no greater love than to lay down one's life for another). However, given the destruction and terror Anakin inflicts on the galaxy, one could also see him as a sort of "anti-Christ" made sympathetic. There are also those who see the hints of Anakin's origin in Palpatine's Plagueis story where Plagueis is described by Palpatine as being so strong in the Force that he could influence the midichlorians to create life. All those are valid and intriguing ideas to me.

    I also think that this origin story provides important context for Anakin's search for father figures that we see throughout the Prequel Trilogy. According to Shmi, Anakin is literally a boy with no father. Due to the absence of a father figure in his life, we see that Anakin is very quick to latch onto Qui-Gon as a father figure. Then when Qui-Gon dies, Anakin finds new father figures in Obi-Wan and Palpatine with Obi-Wan being the light or good father figure and Palpatine being the dark or evil father figure. In many ways, the Prequel Trilogy is defined by how these two father figures are fighting for Anakin's soul on behalf of the Dark or Light Side. For me, personally, Anakin's origin story therefore works really well in the Freudian context that I tend to interpret much of his tragic story and character in, so that makes me a fan of it.

    I can understand other people not loving the idea, though. For those who don't, I think it is possible to just head canon it as Shmi being the victim of the sexual assault that could befall a slave woman and not being prepared to talk about that to Qui-Gon, someone she has only met recently. Honestly when I first saw the film as a little girl I just assumed Anakin's father had left Shmi before Anakin was born and Shmi didn't want to talk about it. That more fit into my life experience and what I knew of single mothers in the 1990's. So to me there is some room for making Anakin's origins as mundane or miraculous as one wants. At least from the strictly movie perspective.
     
    CLee and Sith Lord 2015 like this.
  19. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Big fan. This is what sets Anakin apart from the other characters and gives him a greater destiny. So his father is the Force? What does that mean exactly?

    Will Episode 9 The Rise of Skywalker talk about this more? Is it linked to Palpatine? Do all Jedi pass on Force ability to their children or is this something unique to Anakin and his children?
     
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  20. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 10, 2011
    I would say it means the same thing it means for any other mythological hero born of a union between a god and a human. In my view, it means that there is a duality inside all of us, a duality between the mortal and the divine, and that we are at our most heroic when we tap into that divine aspect.

    And "divine" simply means something beyond mundane humanity. To tap into the divine is to access something beyond our limited selves. It means transcending your egoistic identity to become the embodiment of a universal symbol--the symbol of the primal, archetypal hero.

    That Anakin was, in some sense, conceived by the midi-chlorians is just another way of saying that Anakin is the offspring of the very concept of symbiosis. So whenever Anakin acts heroically, he becomes an embodied representative of Nature. He becomes an avatar of symbiotic life--in other words, the Force. Thus the culmination of his life, the moment where he most fully becomes one with the archetype of the hero, is the moment when he sacrifices everything for the sake of another living being, and receives eternal life in return. Through this ultimate act of ego-less heroism, he literally becomes the Force. He becomes a god. He returns to the place he came from, to become what he was before he was a person.

    And this is the way it is with all heroes. Take Spider-Man. He starts off as a normal human named Peter Parker, but then gains powers from an irradiated spider and becomes Spider-Man. This, in its own way, is a kind of special birth. Spider-Man is birthed from Peter Parker through a combination of primal, natural forces--the force of radiation, and the force of the spider. In this way, he too becomes an embodied representative of Nature--a radioactive Spider-Man. When he acts in the role of the hero, he loses his individual identity of Peter Parker and becomes a universal symbol of forces which transcend humanity. As Spider-Man, he embodies the abstract concept of power with responsibility. He possesses both the power of radioactivity and the power of the spider within him, but he must use these powers responsibly to maintain the natural order which they spring from, rather than for his own selfish benefit.

    The hero always represents some force or concept which is at odds with the notion of individual identity. Always. This is why there is always conflict between responsibility and desire, duty and attachment. To be a hero means to in some degree forsake one's place in the mortal world. Even when the hero is able to walk in both worlds, there is always this sense of separation. The hero can never be fully mortal again. The hero can never live for himself, but only for others. The hero must truly become an ego-less force, an abstract concept--in other words, a god.

    This is why heroes are always born in some special way. It's to remind us where their heroic powers come from, and therefore to what ends those powers must be used.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  21. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Shmi is not a victim of sexual assault. Qui-gon would know the difference between a lie and the truth, just as he did that Padme was really Queen Amidala. She's just a vessel for a powerful Force user, who would bring balance to the Force.
     
  22. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Edit: Double Post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  23. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Sure. I was just saying what my head canon would be if I didn't like the miraculous conception and birth explanation for Anakin. I like the fact that there is space for people to have that kind of head canon and not be totally inconsistent with the films themselves. I like when there is room for imagination and interpretation beyond what the creator intended in a work.
     
    christophero30 likes this.
  24. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Naw. You or me could have been Spider-Man. Peter Parker just happened to be the right person to get bit by the spider at the right time. And boom - he's Spider-Man.

    Anankin is the chosen one by divine right. He's not special due to circumstance. He's born to a special position. Not all heroes are like that. It's like being born a king. It's destiny. It's fate. It's a higher power.

    Even Superman wasn't like that. We're talking religious levels with Anakin. It's not democratic. It's not anyone can be a winner. Anakin is the one.

    Not all heroes are born in a special way. I rather like when they aren't. But Anakin is.
     
  25. Bob Effette

    Bob Effette Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Not a fan of it to be honest, it goes too far towards the rest of the Midichlorian type exposition inherent in The Phantom Menace.

    I think that "The Force" concept works best when left simple, and unexplained. I would have been happy for the other characters to just notice, as Qui-Gon did, that "The Force is (unusually) strong with him" and left it at that. I don't think it needed any further deconstruction.

    In fact, I think it might have been more interesting for Anakin to actually have had a father, even if his mother didn't want to elaborate on who he was. Who knows, we could have even had a trilogy about him? ha ha

    Conceived by the Midichlorians, nah, too silly for me.
     
    FARK2005 and christophero30 like this.