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Some thoughts about the Force... Cannoli Send a noteboard - 20/12/2015 06:04:43 AM

I'm eager to see where they'll be going with Luke, and to discover more about the circumstances of how and why he tried to bring back the Jedi Order, and why the fall of Ben Solo led him to vanish. What was he trying to achieve, put an end to the war because his own efforts to bring back the Jedi Order was the cause of the First Order's attack in the first place? It sounds a bit like a foolish move, given that the other side is lead by dark siders...

Actually, that makes perfect sense to me. I might be influenced a bit too much by the novelization of RotS, but on the other hand, that just happened to play right into my understanding/interpretation of the Dark/Light conflict in the Force. It's not, and never really should be about numbers, about stacking up Jedi to defend against Darksiders (one thing the prequels seem to have done is kill the EU practice of referring to all Force users as 'Jedi' and thus Darksiders as 'Dark Jedi'; I like the notion that 'Jedi' is just the order, rather than the practice of the Force itself), like, say, Aes Sedai against Dreadlords or Black Ajah. The how and why you do something with the Force matters much more than your power, which is how one Sith lord, with the occasional help from various dupes managed to take down the entire Jedi order - he had purity and devotion, whereas they had become political. Not politicians, but tied to the state and its institutions and apparatus. Rather than be guided by the Force and their consciences, they were fighting in service to a military agenda and priorities (which is also why I loathed Karin Traviss' books, since she seems to think that military ideology superior, that the Jedi erred in not going far enough into the military mentality). They had become generals, and a general is really just a bureaucrat. I'd even go so far as to say that obi Wan might have survived, because he never really swallowed that. He wasn't actually leading the clones who tried to kill him, unlike Ki-Adi-Mundi & Ayla Secura and the guys in the speeders and fighters. He never liked doing any of the military stuff, like flying a fighter or using a blaster, and fought independently of his support troops. He was still pure, and that was just enough margin of connection with the Force to let it save him.

Anyway, back to the topic of Luke & Ben Solo (interestingly, in the EU, it's Luke who has a son named Ben, but Han & Leia's son still turns to the Dark Side, though he revives the Sith), the loss of Ben (and presumably the death of his other students, which I seem to recall the movie implying, if not stating outright) is more than just a numbers thing, it's the worst nightmare come to pass. He's experiencing Obi-Wan's failure, at least as Obi-Wan confesses it to him. We saw RotS and before that, AotC & tPM, and know it was Annikin's fault, and the fault in teaching him at all, if there was any, was in Qui-Gonn's part, though I'm not convinced of that, either. It was Annikin's own flaws and faults that cause his fall. But LUKE doesn't know that. He knows what Obi-Wan told him...that Obi-Wan was not as good a teacher as Yoda, his own instructor, and because of his arrogant presumption to train Annikin himself, his pupil turned to the Dark Side. And then when Luke's pupil turns, who is the son of his oldest surviving friends no less, and his nephew to boot, what could possibly be a worse outcome? That's got to be worse than not trying at all. At that point, keeping the hell out of anything remotely like this seems to be the only sane choice, lest he repeat the error he seems to have inherited from his mentor, and continue to provide the galaxy's aspiring tyrants with henchmen. That could also explain why he is not pitching in himself. While we don't know what happened in the interim, in confrontations with the Dark Side, Luke Skywalker is pretty much Oh-for-two. On a secular (for lack of a better term) scorecard, he's 1-0-1 at worst, since he survived Bespin and escaped to fight another day, and was the only one to walk away from his encounter with Vader and the Emperor, but in both cases, Luke made grave, un-Jedi-like errors. First, he rushed off prematurely to face Vader, accomplished nothing, was too late to save Han, couldn't reach Leia & Chewie (and she ended up first trying to warn him off, and later coming back to rescue him), got mutilated and almost ended up at Vader's mercy, and maybe facing the Force equivalent of 13x13 conversion. Yoda and Obi-Wan tried to warn him off, and later confirmed the wrongness of his choices, saying that it was unfortunate that his connection to Vader was revealed before he was sufficiently grounded and trained in order to keep that connection from messing with him. And it does. It clouds Luke's thinking, and their kinship dominates his judgement and choices, causing him to, for all intents and purposes, bet the success of the rebellion on what might be the wishful thinking notion of some good left in Vader. That he was right and succeeded had more to do with Vader than Luke himself, since Luke lost control and tried to strike down the Emperor out of emotion, whether fear or hatred or anger, and then succumbed to Vader's manipulations and seemed to be on the verge of giving in to the Dark Side, perhaps even calling upon it to defeat Vader. There was none of the detachment or serenity we see in other crises Luke survives with the Force, such as Jabba or the Ewok banquet. In his two confrontations with the Dark Side, he came close to succumbing to it, and in his efforts to teach, got a bunch of kids killed and gave the Dark Side a new champion. From Luke's perspective, he's the worst thing that could happen to the good guys in any war with the Dark Side of the Force. It could be argued that he did not even contribute to the defeat of the Empire, as there is no obvious way he affected the outcome of the Battle of Endor, unless one assumes he prevented the Sith lords from averting the Empire's defeat. And if he was lured into a near fall through rage over a threat to a sister he had met less than five years ago, and by his feelings over a father whose face he had never seen, how much more fraught must any confrontation be with a nephew he had held as a baby, and watched grow up, whose parents are his closest friends in the world, who entrusted their child's well-being to him, and he let them all down.

One reason I was not sorry to see the EU declared non-canon, was the prequels kind of ruined those books for me. For the most part, they were sci-fi, techno-thriller, military adventure books, especially the ones I enjoyed the most, but if you looked at it the way I did, the prequels combined with the OT totally gave the lie to that perspective of the Star Wars setting. It was always all about the Jedi and the Sith, about virtue versus power. The Clone War was not even a real war, it was a hideous atrocity, with the same player behind both sides of the board, and the Republic and Jedi and Separatists lost because they all played. The military stuff did not matter at all. Subtract Jedi from the equation, and the rebels die on Yavin. They got their butts whupped at Hoth, and Endor was a trap they fell into, except for a bunch of factors that are appallingly sappy when you think about them for half a second - they made friends with the Ewoks, and Luke refused against all reason, to give up on his father. Yoda was right all along, wars do NOT make one great. Once the whole saga was out there, the EU novels, many of which I enjoyed at the time of their release, felt kind of hollow, and not just because Timothy Zahn's notions about the Clone Wars were so divergent from the films, but rather because all those pastiche authors and their readers were all suckered into looking at the wrong thing. Even books about the new Jedi were treating the Force like a weapon or tool to be put in the service of those wars and battles, which turned out to be in complete opposition to the message of the actual movies.

With that in mind, under the "wrong" vision of Star Wars, that governed the EU, Luke in tFA is slacking or sulking, and depriving the home team of a critical asset, but not fighting the New Order, or not training more Jedi. But from the other point of view, nothing in Star Wars has ever really been decided on a battlefield. All Luke knew was that he had failed yet again, and it was best to remove himself until he could see a way to actually help, or else let the good people try to get something done right in whatever ways they can. Again, this is not a struggle won by military derring-do, that the Resistance survived at all, was because Finn strove to do the right thing in the only way he could think, because Poe made a connection with him, and because Han Solo is the most sentimental guy in the galaxy, first hunting down the ship he loved, then taking in two kids who in a lot of ways bring to mind his younger days and his old friends, then reconnecting with his ex, and finally, to never stop reaching out to save his son. Just because he seems to have failed, does not mean it wasn't important, and that he did not serve some sort of object lesson or inspiration to Rey.

You don't beat the Dark Side of the Force with tactics, or firepower, or skill. You don't beat it with politics or for revenge. You beat it with love. That's why the Jedi lost the Republic, because they didn't have anything to love, except impersonal institutions, like the Republic or the Order. Maybe Qui-Gonn got that, and maybe Yoda came to understand it, but I doubt the rest of them did. Obi-Wan definitely seemed to by aNH, and that's why Luke succeeded to the degree that he did, in spite of his own personal failings and missteps. Annikin, on the other hand, was not actin out of love with his obsessive infatuation with Padme. As Yoda told Luke, it's important to value what your loved ones are trying to achieve, maybe more than you value their presence in your life. If Annikin had loved Padme in a positive way, he could never have betrayed her cause and especially not to keep her like a possession he could not do without.

That's what I hope Abrams & co get right in depicting the downfall of the New Order and the Knights of Ren. It doesn't matter so much if Ben gets redeemed (and he seemed to be deliberately putting himself beyond that with his killing of Han, suggesting that he gets what the Light side of the Force is all about, and was deliberately burning that bridge), but Rey & Finn have to win the right way for this to be true to Star Wars.

“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” GK Chesteron
Inde muagdhe Aes Sedai misain ye!
Deus Vult!
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Star Wars : The Force Awakens review (spoiler free) - 17/12/2015 09:18:26 AM 1638 Views
Love your review! I'm seeing it tomorrow night at 9pm. Can't wait! *NM* - 18/12/2015 01:20:16 AM 384 Views
Some (relatively spoiler free) thoughts - 18/12/2015 12:27:22 PM 694 Views
I pretty much agree with most of that. - 18/12/2015 01:05:16 PM 668 Views
Agreed, Driver did a great job..... - 19/12/2015 05:46:44 AM 543 Views
Replies and spoilers - 18/12/2015 03:04:37 PM 608 Views
Re: Replies and spoilers - 18/12/2015 04:35:49 PM 482 Views
Re: Replies and spoilers - 18/12/2015 05:51:29 PM 512 Views
Re: Replies and spoilers - 29/12/2015 04:44:36 AM 524 Views
Re: Replies and spoilers - 29/12/2015 07:37:39 PM 509 Views
Re: Replies and spoilers - 19/12/2015 05:30:13 PM 547 Views
Re: Replies and spoilers - 20/12/2015 09:51:22 AM 666 Views
Re: Replies and spoilers - 21/12/2015 06:31:54 PM 826 Views
The books... - 21/12/2015 09:05:28 PM 560 Views
Re: The books... - 22/12/2015 03:12:52 AM 522 Views
In general agreement ** potential Spoilers ** - 19/12/2015 06:06:23 AM 496 Views
There are books? - 19/12/2015 11:19:07 AM 554 Views
Re: There are books? - 19/12/2015 05:41:45 PM 602 Views
So Darth Plagieus might still be in? Sweet. - 20/12/2015 04:44:21 AM 485 Views
Palpatine's master? - 20/12/2015 02:25:45 PM 486 Views
I mean the novel of that name. - 22/12/2015 09:47:16 PM 515 Views
Re: I mean the novel of that name. - 22/12/2015 10:05:49 PM 590 Views
Yeah, I think we're talking about the same one. - 24/12/2015 12:05:57 AM 505 Views
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens - 19/12/2015 06:07:16 PM 525 Views
I don't think any of that had to be explained. - 19/12/2015 12:16:07 PM 476 Views
I'm more or less in complete agreement (spoilers) - 19/12/2015 08:22:21 PM 591 Views
Some thoughts about the Force... - 20/12/2015 06:04:43 AM 611 Views
Re: Some thoughts about the Force... - 20/12/2015 08:06:40 PM 449 Views
Re: I'm more or less in complete agreement (spoilers) - 20/12/2015 10:07:36 AM 563 Views
Also, SPOILER thoughts. - 18/12/2015 01:00:32 PM 659 Views
Re: Also, SPOILER thoughts. - 18/12/2015 01:11:30 PM 577 Views
You're making me reply to two posts - 18/12/2015 03:29:23 PM 537 Views
The death (spoilers) - 22/12/2015 10:30:05 PM 555 Views
Re: You're making me reply to two posts - 29/12/2015 05:24:39 AM 548 Views
Re: Also, SPOILER thoughts. - 29/12/2015 05:19:54 AM 498 Views
I have tickets for tonight - 18/12/2015 04:47:17 PM 561 Views
Arbrams impressed me(spoiler free) - 19/12/2015 05:17:42 AM 659 Views
'Revenge of the Sith' (3rd prequel) was actually a decent movie - 18/12/2015 10:46:52 PM 534 Views
They were all good. Internet geeks suck. - 18/12/2015 11:38:36 PM 552 Views
Re: They were all good. Internet geeks suck. - 19/12/2015 12:19:10 AM 583 Views
Well - 19/12/2015 05:53:56 AM 506 Views
Re: They were all good. Internet geeks suck. - 19/12/2015 07:46:06 AM 674 Views
people forget they were kids movies *NM* - 19/12/2015 01:17:10 AM 401 Views
Yeah, people take the whole 'Star Wars' thing too seriously - 19/12/2015 02:59:29 AM 552 Views
BTW, Daniel Craig is totally forgiven for Spectre. He was a Stormtrooper (spoilers for role) - 18/12/2015 11:40:44 PM 510 Views
Yip that's true *NM* - 19/12/2015 07:46:59 AM 382 Views
And Simon Pegg was the alien who ran the trading post Rey always went to *NM* - 20/12/2015 02:30:59 PM 453 Views
I got the impression he was actually her boss or contractor - 28/12/2015 12:48:48 PM 672 Views
Pretty much... - 29/12/2015 12:08:58 AM 581 Views
Absolutely, yes *NM* - 29/12/2015 01:54:52 PM 431 Views
Just saw it! Holy shit, shit, shit, was amazing. - 19/12/2015 05:38:44 AM 543 Views
Loved it (Spoilers) - 19/12/2015 06:16:54 AM 521 Views
Fantastic characters, great entertainment, no originality, no logic - 29/12/2015 03:33:43 AM 556 Views
Your Mom has no originality or logic! *NM* - 29/12/2015 11:39:41 AM 435 Views
JJ Abrams should be able to do better than my Mom - 30/12/2015 04:20:54 AM 434 Views
I gave it a B+ overall but I think the characters are its weak spot - 29/12/2015 05:08:15 PM 441 Views
JJ Abrams' movies are character-driven, Lucas' movies are plot-driven - 30/12/2015 04:38:49 AM 454 Views
Lucas has created some of the most iconics chacters in movie history ? - 31/12/2015 02:29:02 PM 518 Views
So, Rey (Possible Spoilers ahead) - 30/12/2015 10:11:01 AM 506 Views
Re: So, Rey (Possible Spoilers ahead) - 30/12/2015 07:10:56 PM 864 Views
Re: So, Rey (Possible Spoilers ahead) - 30/12/2015 09:24:08 PM 482 Views
Re: So, Rey (Possible Spoilers ahead) - 31/12/2015 04:58:24 PM 465 Views
It was fun, and I look forward to the next ones, but can't say I was that wowed. - 30/12/2015 09:26:10 PM 453 Views
Why is time for female lead and why does the lef think subtraction is the answer to inequality? - 04/01/2016 01:37:37 PM 363 Views
Because the six other movies had zero female Jedis of any importance? - 04/01/2016 05:58:25 PM 555 Views
Just another check the box movie, then - 04/01/2016 06:02:41 PM 459 Views
Oh, come on. You're really going to complain just because they had a woman and a black guy? - 04/01/2016 11:48:52 PM 472 Views
They are talking abou tmakin ght Gunslinger black - 05/01/2016 02:05:36 PM 486 Views
Yeah, Star Wars is just part of the larger trend. It can't be viewed in a vacuum (pun intended). - 05/01/2016 02:38:34 PM 473 Views
That's not really what I said, you'll note. - 05/01/2016 07:48:08 PM 583 Views
I don't think it was Disney's business acumen. - 06/01/2016 06:59:46 PM 583 Views
Wow. That's... sad. - 06/01/2016 09:32:37 PM 522 Views
Re: Wow. That's... sad. - 08/01/2016 03:08:58 AM 535 Views
I am noit sure how well that 7-12 girl demographic will work in merchandising - 08/01/2016 06:30:47 PM 573 Views
Your premise is entirely wrong. - 12/01/2016 05:53:26 AM 471 Views
Actually, they do have a major character who is Latino. - 12/01/2016 07:15:31 PM 453 Views
The culture wars are just about blacks and feminists. - 13/01/2016 02:31:20 AM 521 Views
All that Paul said - 17/01/2016 05:13:59 PM 508 Views
LOL - 05/01/2016 06:33:50 PM 487 Views
Funny that people use strwmen arguments to make themsleves feel smart - 08/01/2016 04:22:22 PM 496 Views
It's not a straw man - 08/01/2016 04:52:03 PM 486 Views
it was story of a father and son so it makes sense to male leads - 04/01/2016 06:59:33 PM 409 Views
Male leads, sure, but it wasn't just the leads. - 04/01/2016 11:28:12 PM 536 Views
Was finn as strong as Leia? I would say not even close - 05/01/2016 05:55:51 PM 506 Views
I don't see how it makes sense to compare their roles, but Finn is certainly plenty strong. - 05/01/2016 07:38:05 PM 475 Views
Finn reacts and is pretty much drug through the story - 06/01/2016 02:52:58 PM 445 Views
Re: Finn reacts and is pretty much drug through the story - 06/01/2016 05:50:08 PM 472 Views
I don't have an issue with a strong female jedi - 07/01/2016 02:49:44 PM 485 Views
Re: I don't have an issue with a strong female jedi - 07/01/2016 03:26:34 PM 465 Views
The reall issue it looks like Luke sucked as Jedi master - 07/01/2016 07:14:31 PM 490 Views
Sorry, no. - 06/01/2016 06:56:09 PM 499 Views
What a load of crap. - 08/01/2016 10:29:35 AM 448 Views
I only partially agree - 08/01/2016 03:27:10 PM 505 Views
Sorry if science isn't your thing but no what I said is true - 09/01/2016 11:49:15 PM 479 Views
Re: Was finn as strong as Leia? I would say not even close - 08/01/2016 10:01:16 AM 428 Views
Well said *NM* - 05/01/2016 12:01:25 PM 408 Views
Because it isn't "subtraction"... - 08/01/2016 09:33:24 AM 458 Views
Of course it is - 09/01/2016 10:19:53 PM 459 Views
Okay so about the big bad guy *spoilers* - 05/01/2016 06:27:37 PM 549 Views
I may be alone on this, but... - 05/01/2016 08:07:26 PM 512 Views
Re: I may be alone on this, but... - 05/01/2016 08:42:42 PM 481 Views
What speaks against is for me... - 05/01/2016 10:57:44 PM 759 Views
Re: What speaks against is for me... - 06/01/2016 10:08:35 AM 555 Views
It's all good stuff, like the first book in a good sci-fi/fantasy trilogy! - 07/01/2016 06:44:45 AM 556 Views
I think it's pretty obvious... - 17/01/2016 07:43:19 AM 536 Views

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