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Lit Why all the LOTF hate?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by The Supreme Chancellor, Jun 2, 2013.

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  1. Darth_Pevra

    Darth_Pevra Force Ghost star 6

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    May 21, 2008
    I didn't read Traitor or anything after it, but isn't this force theory of hers just a bunch of hogwash? The movies have made it abundantly that the dark side does indeed exist and that there is no question about it.
     
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  2. FatSmel

    FatSmel Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 23, 2012
    Definitely true, but it was interesting to read at the time. At least it was something different and the authors definitely didn't intend it to be "hogwash"
     
  3. Darth_Pevra

    Darth_Pevra Force Ghost star 6

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    May 21, 2008
    I'm all for different force outlooks but the question remains why Vegere would teach something that is wrong. Either she didn't know any better or she acted out of evil intent. Anyways I think it is fairly realistic that someone who was taught that the dark side didn't exist would fall prey to it.
     
  4. Trip

    Trip Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Dec 7, 2003
    ugh

    - she does not claim that there is no dark side
    - she does not encourage jacen to not feel guilty about using sith lightning
    - she claims the exact same thing as yoda does about a place "strong in the dark side"
    - her "new understanding of the force" is not new
    - neither is it hogwash
     
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  5. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Hangman Host & 9X Wacky Wed & 5X Who Am I Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Quotes?

    I read Traitor, and I remember the phrase about "the terrible secret of the Jedi- that there is no dark side"
    And her conversation with Jacen after he used Sith Lightning- "the only dark side you need to fear- is the one in your own heart"
    And the discussion of why Jacen senses what seems to be a dark side nexus where the Jedi Temple used to be- his puzzlement at them building it there- with "there is no dark side" as the punchline"
     
  6. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Force Ghost star 5

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    Dec 28, 2006

    I think that is the single most important thing a Jedi should have ever learned. Like attracts like. If your heart is free from the stain of evil, the Devil has no where to get in. And if you know your own heart, and know your weaknesses, you can be all the more on your guard. So whether or not there is an external dark side... it's not the external dark side that makes a person evil. It's the darkness within that tempts them to explore that dark side more and more and more.
     
  7. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Hangman Host & 9X Wacky Wed & 5X Who Am I Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

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    The quote from Traitor:

    Vergere: "Light and dark are no more than nomenclature: words that describe how little we understand. What you call the dark side is the raw, unrestrained Force itself: you call the dark side what you find when you give yourself over wholly to the Force. To be a Jedi is to control your passion…but Jedi control limits your power. Greatness—true greatness of any kind—requires the surrender of control. Passion that is guided, not walled away. Leave your limits behind."
    Jacen: "But—but the dark side—"
    Vergere: "If your surrender leads to slaughter, that is not because the Force has darkness in it. It is because you do."
    Jacen: "Me? No—no, you don't understand—the dark side is, it's, it's, don't you see it? It's the dark side. The dark side…"
    Vergere: "The only dark side you need fear, Jacen Solo, is the one in your own heart."

    Just how different is that from the Sith "Through passion I gain power, through power I gain victory?"
     
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  8. Trip

    Trip Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Dec 7, 2003
    yep, Dawud has the right of it. "the terrible secret of the Jedi-- there is no dark side" line is a rhetorical device to shock Jacen out of his overly literal interpretation of Jedi doctrine. and it's also correct, even as it's not entirely correct. but what she's saying wouldn't be at all controversial to, say, Mace Windu, or Yoda, both of whom were well aware that the "dark side" is not a literal, external, satanic force. it's just the Force, refracted through the "dark" lens of greed or hatred or despair. this is why I'm also reiterating that Vergere's understanding of the force is not novel or new, except to Jacen. she's an unconventional teacher but her lessons are not in any way out of step with Jedi tradition.

    "Your weapons. You will not need them."​
    "What's in there?"​
    "Only what you take with you."​
     
  9. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Hangman Host & 9X Wacky Wed & 5X Who Am I Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

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    He does precede it with "That cave- is strong with the dark side of the force. A domain of evil it is" though.

    In the EU, it's an "emotional bloodstain" marking the spot where a powerful darksider died.
     
  10. Trip

    Trip Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Dec 7, 2003
    Iron_lord - oh, she's certainly taking a risk there, but the philosophy is sound; she's gambling that Jacen is the rare sort of individual who will be able to surrender himself while still keeping any dark inclinations in check. Again, it's not an unprecedented idea; Mace's development of Vaapad has the same theoretical basis.

    and yes, out of context it sounds similar to that line from the Sith code. But context tends to be important with this sort of thing.
     
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  11. Reveen

    Reveen Jedi Knight star 3

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Really, Luke and other Jedi fixating on what Vergere said about the darkside just sounds like evasive rhetoric so they don't have to intellectually confront anything else that she said. That they'd rather stick their heads in the sand and blame everything on the darkside bogeyman.

    Even if the philosophy is wrong, the Jedi still look like a bunch of dinks for dogmatically rejecting it as what amounts to "the devil's work".

    That, and I think that designing the universe so that there's only one philosophical approach to the force that won't leave you open to the darkside is too dogmatic for a franchise that's supposed to be more open minded in tone.

    Again, there are likely a lot of reasonable religious people who are willing to accept different denominations of their own faith as valid. Exactly what is wrong about the jedi doing that?
     
  12. FatSmel

    FatSmel Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 23, 2012
    What we have here is an impasse due to conflict between EU material and film material, hence unlikely to be resolved. For those who follow the films to the latter it is understandable that Vergere's training is rubbish, but it is also understandable that some people hold the EU in just as high regard and hence the more in depth philospophical mumbo-jumbo we get it Traitor.
     
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  13. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Hangman Host & 9X Wacky Wed & 5X Who Am I Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

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    The problem is, just how much emphasis the movies put on Jedi not "surrendering themselves".

    Hence, it's not surprising that Vergere ended up being retconned as at least partly Sith-affiliated. Perhaps someone who transcended both orders- but still someone whose passed through both, and taken a big chunk of Sith doctrine on board.

    According to The Essential Readers Companion, Troy Denning wrote a 30 page "Vergere Compendium" connecting all Vergere's actions.

    A case could be made that even Stover was deliberately playing on Luke/Vader in ESB:

    "Search your feelings. You know it to be true. The Force is one"
     
  14. DarthJenari

    DarthJenari Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 17, 2011
    I found Vergere's explanations in both Traitor and Destiny's Way to be more in-depth and philosophically accurate than Lucas's in the movies, where its literally just "Beware the Dark Side" and nothing else.

    Iron_lord I'd be more interested in this Compendium if it had been written by Stover and not Denning.
     
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  15. Darth_Pevra

    Darth_Pevra Force Ghost star 6

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    May 21, 2008
    Seeing as how Luke directly interacted with the Dark Side and has intimate knowledge about it, what else should he do? He simply knows that her teachings are wrong because his facts don't fit with it. If you tell a biologist that Darwin was wrong he will straight dismiss you as well. Because he knows of all the proof that the theory of evolution is indeed correct.
     
  16. _Catherine_

    _Catherine_ Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Of course.
     
  17. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Hangman Host & 9X Wacky Wed & 5X Who Am I Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

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    When I read what Stover wrote in the RoTS novel (Palpatine's lecture to Anakin)- it does seem like the similarities between that and Vergere's stuff are not entirely coincidental:

    Palpatine shifted his weight, settling in comfortably. "Perhaps the real difference between the Jedi and the Sith is only in their orientation; a Jedi gains power through understanding, and a Sith gains understanding through power. This is the true reason the Sith have always been more powerful than the Jedi. The Jedi fear the dark side so much they cut themselves off from the most important aspect of life: passion. Of any kind. They don't even allow themselves to love."
    Except for me, Anakin thought. But then, I've never been exactly the perfect Jedi.
    "The Sith do not fear the dark side. The Sith have no fear. They embrace the whole spectrum of experience, from the heights of transcendent joy to the depths of hatred and despair. Beings have these emotions for a reason, Anakin. That is why the Sith are more powerful: they are not afraid to feel."
    "The Sith rely on passion for strength," Anakin said, "but when that passion runs dry, what's left?"
    "Perhaps nothing. Perhaps a great deal. Perhaps it never runs dry at all. Who can say?"
    "They think inward, only about themselves."
    "And the Jedi don't?"
    "The Jedi are selfless- we erase the self, to join with the flow of the Force. We care only about others ..."
    Palpatine again gave him that smile of gentle wisdom. "Or so you've been trained to believe. I hear the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in your answers, Anakin. What do you really think?"
     
  18. Reveen

    Reveen Jedi Knight star 3

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    Oct 4, 2012
    It's not like saying that Darwin is wrong, it's like saying that Darwin's understanding of evolution wasn't entirely correct, and there is an alternate way of approaching evolution. A biologist (who isn't an idiot) would look at the persons argument on it's own merits and not dismiss it out of hand because he realizes that neither he nor Darwin have a perfect understanding of evolution.

    Luke just assumes that his understanding of the force is right and doesn't even try to engage with the other philosophy on an intellectual basis. Sure, he has his own experiences with the dark side to base his thoughts off of. But his experiences aren't anyone elses, and the idea that everyone's experience with the dark side is different is seems pretty fundamental to Vergere's thinking.

    Also, it's not like there's many alternatives in concern to deep thought on the force; the current Jedi dogma seems to consist of Light side good. Dark side bad. If you turn to the dark side you are bad and we gon' kill yew! That kind of thinking doesn't exactly comfort or help someone struggling with the stuff.
     
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  19. Darth_Pevra

    Darth_Pevra Force Ghost star 6

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    May 21, 2008
    Why would a biologist waste time discussing with someone who obviously didn't even grasp the basics when he can use that time to do some real research or discuss biology with someone who understands his stuff? Maybe it is rude and unfriendly but I can see why the order would simply ignore someone like Vegere. If someone went to me and told me that fluorine is less electronegative than oxygen I'd also ignore him/her. Simply because it would be proof that the person I am talking with doesn't even know the basics.

    Luke: Hey Kyp, do you think Vegere could have a point about the darkside not existing?
    Kyp: Nope.
    Anakin Skywalker force ghost: Nope.
    Luke: Okay

    Case closed

    There would be still a lot of interesting questions about the darkside. Why it exists, whether it is necessary in a way, why it acts so much like a drug, etc.
     
  20. Reveen

    Reveen Jedi Knight star 3

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    Oct 4, 2012
    This assumes a couple things that are pretty questionable.

    1. That Vergere doesn't know the basics instead of knowing the basics and disagreeing with them.
    2. That "there is no darkside" is meant to be taken entirely literally instead of being a shocking philosophical segue into arguing that the darkness inside a person matters more.
    3. That there are absolutely no holes in the science or philosophy that even looking at a false hypothesis should shed some light on. Thought experiments are for suckers!
    4. That the correct approach in an analytical field when confronted with something you think is wrong is to just brush it of instead of looking into the thinking that led the person to that conclusion.
    5. That "seduced by the dark side" was ever supposed to be taken literally, and can't be interpreted as "seduced by your own dark temptations."

    Anakin's ghost: I mean, whythe hell would I take responsiblity for killing a tribe of Tuskens, hundreds of Jedi, and ushering in an age of fascism? The darkside made me do it! It wasn't a choice made by my own free will at all!

    That's exactly how the attitude to the darkside comes off to me. Which doesn't jive with the movies at all. Darth Vader chose to break down and swear to Palpatine, because of his own deep seated darkness inside him. The dark side didn't sidle up to him like the Robot Devil and go "Hey kid, you're one of us now. Deal with it!"


    Except the only questions the Jedi seem to wanna ask when dealing with the darkside is a. When's the point when I gotta kill them? c. Should we wait until they attack first, or just start going nuts with power cables? and c. Should I shove his face into a vat of used needles first, or what?

    There's something subtly anti-intellectual I find with the Denningverse, maybe it jives with any anti-thought leanings Lucas might have but that doesn't make it acceptable.
     
  21. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jul 24, 2005
    Vergere Force ghost: Wait...
    Luke: Oh, hey. Forgot you were there, too.
     
  22. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Hangman Host & 9X Wacky Wed & 5X Who Am I Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

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    It's also worth noting that Vergere says different things to Luke (in Destiny's Way) than she does to Jacen (in Traitor)- condemning strong, passionate emotions, rather than saying that it must be "guided".

    "When love becomes obsession, anger becomes rage ... then the Dark Side is."
     
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  23. Lady_Misty

    Lady_Misty Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 21, 2007
    Also in Destiny's Way Luke would visit Vergere in her cell at different times before Luke said that he'd keep an eye on her. Luke asked her how she had avoided detection for so long and sh replied that she made herself really small in the Force, or something like that, and I think challenged Luke to find her. So Luke did several technics and finally he used the Force to "box" Vergere in and made the "box" very smalll and then made a "ball" out of Force Energy and ordered her to reveal herself or something along those lines. He missed her and in the cell behind them the prisoner confessed to stealing some high up officer's boots while the officer was drunk.

    Luke, while amused by the other prisoner's confession, pulls out because he was becoming extremely frustrated with his inability to find Vergere in the Force. When she questions him as to his reasons for stopping he tells her that his frustration was leading to anger and she said that he should have used it; especially since he had nearly hit her that last time.

    Vergere shows two faces, one to Jacen and one to others. Jacen is too thankful to her for saving him in captivity and blah, blah, blah to see anything else about her. Her sacrificing herself to save him and the other Jedi on the moon just cemented her goodness in his mind.

    Tahiri not being over Anakin Solo after all these years is shocking. She was fourteen/fifteen when he died and she's in her early thirties and still pines for him? How many of you guys married your high school sweetheart? And how many widows and widowers remarry when they thought and said that they would never love again/find someone to share their live with?

    Lumiya and her Force Abilities are outrageous! I am sure that she was missing as much as her body as Vader if not more but she seems to have little difficulty wielding the Force to create illusions around herself.

    Someone needs to smack some sense into the creative forces at Del Rey; with chairs.
     
  24. Darth_Pevra

    Darth_Pevra Force Ghost star 6

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    May 21, 2008
    1)
    Does she?

    2)
    Now that is a theory that makes more sense, doesn't it?

    3)
    There's a metric ton of evidence for the theory of evolution and for the existence of the darkside. If you want to present a hypothesis based on the assumption that the theory of evolution is wrong you better present a boatload of empirical evidence. Otherwise the scientific community will tell you to **** yourself, at least in hard sciences like physics or chemistry.

    4)
    Evidence is everything in real science. Without evidence a theory or hypothesis is worthless.

    5)
    Yea, there is obviously a connection between your own desires and the darkside. Doesn't make the extreme position that the darkside doesn't exist any less wrong.

    Sure, debating how big the influence of the darkside really is, is a good idea. Claiming that the darkside itself doesn't exist = wrong based on the empirical evidence.

    I don't think we disagree here.
     
  25. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jul 24, 2005
    As Trip says, Vergere's understanding of the dark side was basically "a certain point of view" and "only what you take with you" writ large. Stover was not aiming to rewrite the metaphysics of the setting, only further elaborate on them.

    Then it somehow got twisted into, "Hey, y'all can throw lightning about willy-nilly as long as it's for a good cause, YOLO!"

    The Vergere remembered by DNT onwards was made of straw.

    Anyhoo, I find THIS blog post of Stover's back from '08 illuminating on the subject. (WARNING! PG-13: One use of the F word. :p)
     
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