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Will

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xx The Star Wars Saga
« Thread started on: Nov 3rd, 2005, 7:40pm »

I figured this would work better and could go broader outside a Sith DVD thread. Least so far as staying strictly adherent to the topic.

Was Anakin's fall preordained? The first half of his story -- which is Episodes I-III -- in its completion suggests a betrayal and fallacy of his predicted destiny; that he is not a Christ figure but instead the anti-Christ. The second half shows that the prophecy was indeed accurate, but the question then becomes one of leeway and what had to be purged to balance the Force.

From that, and my perspective on the series at the moment, it seems that Anakin's corruption came by way of the corrupted nature of the Jedi order itself. Their arrogance and coldness -- in contrast to Anakin's emotionally rich being -- is very much what leads him to fall so far and in such an ugly manner.

Anakin is symbolic of narrative and thematic point for the saga, really its voice; just as the series is double-edged, so is its main character. He is balance by the end of his story, as shown through his actions -- the fall of the Jedi was brought about by him in Revenge of the Sith, and the fall of the Empire he was manipulated into creating comes in Return of the Jedi. The son saves the father but the father also saves the son (they mirror each other in so many ways), and what the Jedi warned about -- what caused Anakin's fall -- is also his salvation: his overriding (as opposed to overwhelming, as in Episode III) love for another.

The Jedi had no balance and that's what we see in Anakin's struggle. His rise, fall and redemption are all predicated on their impurities as much as the evil influence of the Sith. Their complacency, and thus ineptitude, is what allows Palpatine to take over, and it's a flaw that must be wiped -- which is what Anakin does as the greatest of the Jedi and THE Force's tool for renewal and purification.

Qui-Gon's death in Episode I lays the seeds for Skywalker's turn. He wants and needs a father -- he refers to Obi-Wan in this role in AOTC -- and Palpatine plays on this perfectly, while Obi-Wan drops the ball by never understanding the dynamic properly; he sees himself as a brother to Anakin, not a father. Qui-Gon was the figure that Anakin needed in his life and his death left a void that Obi-Wan could not fill.

The hint that we get in the theatre from Palpatine as to the power that Anakin is desperate for tells us that he is also possibly Anakin's father or creator; even the theatre's main visual plays on this as it is arguably embryonic and suggestive of creation itself. This makes for some form of connective trinity tablaeu in Return of the Jedi when considering the Emperor's throne room to say the least -- before it played out more clearly as a struggle between good and evil, with Vader in the middle and Luke coming close to following his father's path, but now it comes with issues as to the Skywalker line and its beginnings on top of all that which muddies the waters further.

Many disliked Skywalker's portrayal in the prequels, but it fits perfectly from my perspective -- not truly evil, just an orphaned child fearful of loss and enslavement who sadly ensures both for himself in his choices. The point was not his evil but his emotion, thus why he's more of teenaged boy than a commanding adult. His heightened emotional state is what gives him his great power and the instability within him in the prequels from this is what makes him the Chosen One, as well as what leaves him so pathetically open to Palpatine's machinations -- not stupidity, but a great well of emotional need that the Jedi have no understanding of. Which is what destroys them as rightly as the Emperor's later destruction.

His trust in the Jedi is shattered and this is not wrong when looking at the aggregate picture of the saga; they are contradictory in their actions and language in multiple circumstances -- such as Obi-Wan's statement that "only a Sith thinks in absolutes" in comparison to the Jedi's strict adherence to a lack of attachment that even he cannot fully live up to ("I cannot kill the boy, he is like a brother to me"), or Windu's attempt at murdering a "helpless" Palpatine even as this is against the Jedi code, and what finally pushes Anakin fully to the dark side -- and as with the cloudiness that shadows Palp's true plan, it's obvious that this is destined and ordained by the Force itself because of the perversion in the Order. They undermine their own strength and bring about their own doom.

The repeated beats, parallel lines and overall mirroring of Luke to Anakin in the two trilogies makes the point of the father's good and the son's closeness to that father's dark fall -- the only thing stopping it is the father, just as the son resurrects Anakin, destroying Vader and his master in the process. Through this, a balance. Rather, THE balance. Balance comes through love and connection, not dispassion and distance -- Anakin was as betrayed and mauled mentally and physically by the Jedi as he was the Sith.

The comparison and contrast of what Obi-Wan does to Anakin -- cuts him to pieces, leaves him for dead and calls him brother when Anakin had told him he was for all intents his father -- and Palpatine's reaction is a fascinating one wherein he, on the other side, pure evil or not, rushes to save the boy and cradles him in his arms at the foot of the lava flow. From this we get the brilliant intercutting of death and birth -- Anakin and Padme's funeral processions bookending the birth of Vader and the twins -- a visual statement as to what the sequal trilogy will be, and what we are seeing is an end and a beginning of an evil that comes to full being at the same moment that the good that will help to undue it does.

Anakin's story is predicated on emotion and family, something the Jedi in their previous state had no concept of. While it initially appears they were right when only looking at the prequel trilogy, by the end of the sequel side we see that Anakin's ability to feel and love deeply was not wrong at all; rather the Jedi's coldness and blindness through that was the problem.

The Skywalker line is one tinged with gray -- there is evil with the good -- but this is normal and welcome; it's a struggle but is elemental balance. Light and dark. What exists without one or the other to create form and contrast? The Jedi fought this and destroyed themselves through the stultification it wrought. By the end of Return of the Jedi we have a Jedi who is balanced, thus carrying over into a new Order that is or will be stable and equalized in the Force. Anakin's legacy and creation.
« Last Edit: Nov 8th, 2005, 06:44am by Will » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Star Wars Saga
« Reply #1 on: Nov 6th, 2005, 06:30am »

Luke is hidden from the Empire and his father, while Anakin was hidden from the Jedi and in that time the traits that would doom him and them were formed -- lust for control (the belief that anything can be fixed and the need for power) and personal attachment. What does it say that Luke was taken from his mother instead of being raised by her? Is this a meaningful shift despite all the parallels between father and son? Certainly the lack of enslavement is.

The comparison and contrast of what Obi-Wan does to Anakin -- cuts him to pieces, leaves him for dead and calls him brother when Anakin had told him he was for all intents his father -- and Palpatine's reaction is a fascinating one wherein he, on the other side, pure(?) evil or not, rushes to save the boy and cradles him in his arms at the foot of the lava flow.

Wrong. Tripping on Return of the King imagery perhaps?

The overtness of the above description is less interesting than the truth, in any case. There's a subtlety and question of some affection for Anakin from Palpatine, the lava scene being a moment where physical actions suggest this: kneeling next to him and slightly, or gently, touching his charred form.

From this we get the brilliant intercutting of death and birth -- Anakin and Padme's funeral processions bookending the birth of Vader and the twins -- a visual statement as to what the sequel trilogy will be, and what we are seeing is an end and a beginning of an evil that comes to full being at the same moment that the good that will help to undue it does.

The Frankenstein homage of Vader's "birth" fits perfectly with thematics: a pieced together monster created from and defining conflict as image considering nature; an unholy creation, and a perversion of what was (truly remains) the Christ figure of this saga.

A fallen angel. The out of control, broken ship that Anakin pilots into Coruscant works as visual foreshadowing and allegory to his fall; crashing into the atmosphere aflame. A hellish descent.

Palpatine's manipulation of all involved, and most specifically Anakin, is embodied in that theatre scene. He manipulated him into existence (the question that comes on the heels of that revelation is whether the Force was controlling Palpatine in this matter), with the imagery and dialogue summing Anakin's place up -- always a slave, never in control. A slave to Watto. To the Jedi. Palpatine. But most of all the Force itself. Its greatest being, he embodies its will.

Both Christ and Antichrist? I don't think so. Wrong was coming from all sides, and had to be purged. Through this, Anakin had to suffer greatly in his life. Gethsemane -- the betrayal, and the suffering from that. Treachery and confusion abound -- Anakin's distrust for the Jedi is of their own doing to some extant, and they do fail him. The reason for his existence, really.

But the saga's summation is that he does not fail. In that summation, we see that Anakin had the ultimate control of this story and its outcome the whole time.
« Last Edit: Nov 10th, 2005, 02:24am by Will » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Star Wars Saga
« Reply #2 on: Jan 14th, 2006, 8:02pm »

Is it not also that, in the Expanded Universe, Luke start a New Jedi Order that, whilst being good, also allows for emotions - something the Old Jedi Order lacked which Luke thinks is a mistake in the Old Order?
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xx Re: The Star Wars Saga
« Reply #3 on: Jun 11th, 2012, 04:27am »

Quote:
In a 2012 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lucas altered his previous statements by announcing that Greedo had always shot first - stating that a combination of bad close-up shots and the audiences' inaccurate perception of the Han Solo character was what actually caused all the confusion: "The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isnít. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down."

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

(Reference 1 and reference 2.)
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xx Re: The Star Wars Saga
« Reply #4 on: Jun 17th, 2012, 06:53am »

on Jun 11th, 2012, 04:27am, TheMidnighter wrote:
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

(Reference 1 and reference 2.)


You have to wonder which side of parody Lucas is on at this point. Self-aware schtick or just pathetically funny insulation from reality?

I don't take it seriously, outside the question of what final-cut and intent mean. Directly, Lucas and Spielberg have been mucking with Harrison Ford icons for decades. Compare the greedy asshole of Raiders to the idealist of Last Crusade. The original character is at least partial homage to Bogart and Treasure of The Sierra Madre, yet by Last Crusade they're literally trying to reconfigure him as a boyscout.

I understand Last Crusade's psychological-base -- Henry Jr. versus Indiana; the scholar versus the treasure hunter; what ideally would be idealized and what is -- but the sudden throughline, from childhood to adulthood, of moralizing being central to the character is not a match for the rake of Riaders and even Temple. In a supra-sense (Lucas the auteur versus the Lucas the hack), at the very least there's the saving grace of father/son conflict driving it; but the need of the son to rebel against the father still could have worked without the excessive retcon,

Nonetheless, the emotional core of the film is genuine and decent.

The Han Solo issue is worse. If this isn't a guy who will shoot first in a crowded room, what is really memorable about him? His pissy demeanor? Is he a sitcom star now?

The character arc is sanitized and thus vitiated.

The dirty secret or obvious fact is that Lucas has had no use for Han Solo since at least 1981/2. The character was given jack shit as far as motive and interest in Return of the Jedi. By becoming another selfless good guy Lucas made Harrison Ford into the universe's biggest schmuck. From coolest character to needy cuckold in three films. Bravo.

What remains with Lucas is the contradiction. The prequels are at the heart of that. Reviled by so many, they are more interesting as thematic line and cosmology than the original trilogy, and even help those earlier films as a thematic/narrative argument through Anakin. And I don't mean that in passing, I mean they are hugely helpful as character and backstory.

The only reason Return of the Jedi is even a third watchable now is because of the conclusion of Anakin's story.

Yet, the prequels are also a fucking mess so far as cOnSiSteNT tone, logic, and execution. Jar Jar. A romance that 's the worst high school play ever conceived. Bathroom humor. Jake Lloyd. Jimmy Smits. "Younglings." Yoda hopping around with a lightsabre. Sam Jackson holding a purple lightsaber that looks like a female suppository. Sam Jackson "acting".

And on. And on.

And yet. And yet.

And yet, there are the machinations of Palpatine throughout. Whether it's completely sound on plot logic, it's an evocative summation of the Hegalian Dialectic: control both "sides", control all your enemies, and end up the winner in a rigged game.

It has the notion of metaphysics and the flesh being intertwined; science and spiritualism as one, as standardized by Gottfried Leibniz with his theory of Monadology (aka midichlorians). Thus Jar Jar makes sense as a contrast to Anakin: the highest being and the lowest.

Then there's the meta-awareness of the prequels: all of this is preordained, configured and inevitable. It just is. Anakin's power and his constant placement as a slave from childhood is a strong thematic nod to this (he's so powerful, and importantt, that all he can be is a slave: of Watto, The Order, the Sith and ultimately The Force); Anakin, then, is not only the protagonist of the six films, but also a postmodern symbol and statement about their pop cultural expectations and burdens. The sequels are the past and already present. The future is old, the past is new.

Monads (midichlorians) -- the enlightened knowledge of creatures' connection to the spirit world, and how unbreakable that bond is -- are the key to Anakin's status, as well as an implicit nod to the films' anachronisms: nostalgic but more technologically impressive, the prequels are allowed out of this visual conundrum, to an extent, by the implication of the sequel trilogy's "future" as not only darker but also backward vis-a-vis science and philosophy. A neo-medievil asseveration about modern culture's debasement (but how much is Star Wars a part of that? Many would argue that Spielberg/Lucas destroyed what sixties/seventies filmmaking built). Hence, the hidden nature of the Force, the Sith and the existence of monads/midichlorians.

The constant references to Anakin as The Sun God, and how he's both a father and a son without a father. How important this is between the two trilogies, and how Lucas -- by plan or happy accident -- worked this in with the visual motif of Tatooine's two suns (get it? Luke and Anakin); as one sets the other rises. And the irony of Anakin as this cliche: The Sun God who darkens in all ways -- physically, emotionally -- the longer he's away from Tatoine's suns. The Sun God that will be locked away in a black sarcophagus, never to feel the sun(s) again.

How each film seems largely based off of the emotional placement of Anakin, and how the saga is now his story from childhood to death. A sun rises and sets.

Even something as simple as the visualization of Gunga City (it hurt to type that) -- its hidden nature and design (oxygenated bubbles=oxygenated cells) -- as a very early nod to Lucas' concern with monadology (hidden cells that allow us to exist) and how this has always been what The Force was about. Within this structure, the ongoing idea -- thematically and on plot -- of codependent relationships (forming "a symbiotic circle").

And I love the duality of Attack of the Clones as a portent of Anakin's future, and perhaps another hint to his past: the manufactured droid troops versus the bio-engineered clone troops.

So yeah. A lot of good. Probably a lot more I haven't mentioned. And a hell of a lot of bad.

Lucas has done much, much worse. Howard the Duck, Willow and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull are each two hour treatises on "Greedo Shoots First".

But really? I just want to know if Carrie Fisher switching from a Yank to Brit accent randomly, as part of a set is heard falling over in the background, was planned.
« Last Edit: Jun 26th, 2012, 2:15pm by Will » User IP Logged

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