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JediTricks
06-08-2005, 06:45 PM
I know this topic has been harped upon endlessly over the past 6 years, but something that caught my attention while listening to the ANH DVD's commentary track was this little number from George Lucas himself:

... in terms of fantasy films and everything, I can't stand it when you sit around and try to explain how a teleporter works or why, you know, it's just not what the movie needs to be about.I agree with Lucas on this, and this is something he said only a few months ago so it's not like it's a 30-year-old quote and his mind had changed with the passage of time. Up until TPM, the Force was what it was, magic and intangible and it was simply accepted by the characters and the audience once a quick, cursory explanation had been given to our hero. Yet why then did Lucas feel the need to explain the Force with the technical midichlorian stuff in TPM, wasn't he breaking his own rule, why did he think we wanted to hear that sort of thing if he himself did not?

Droid
06-08-2005, 07:20 PM
I could not agree more.

I'm sure someone is going to jump in with some argument about how the midichlorians were necessary to show that Anakin was the chosen one. Of course, I never would have had Anakin be the chosen one either. I would not have had the prequels be the story of how the Messiah goes bad, but how a typical good person can go down the wrong path.

Another midichlorian defender might offer that it was necessary for the implication in Revenge of the Sith that Palpatine might be Anakin's father, in some fashion. Or that it shows manipulation of the midichlorians can not only create life (Anakin) but cause someone to not die (as Anakin hoped for Padme). Well there you go. I never would have had Anakin turn evil because he was tricked into it under the false promise that if he turned evil he would learn a special power to keep people from dying.

If the midichlorians were so darned important, why weren't they mentioned in Episode II? I think because Lucas knew it ticked people off. But he did mention them in one line of Episode III to show that he did it for a reason and it wasn't just something stupid in Episode I, but part of a grand scheme.

JediTricks
06-08-2005, 08:32 PM
The Ep 3 references seem pointless to me, we never get confirmation that Palps or another Sith is Anakin's father, and we could have just as easily had Palpatine say that the Force could be used by a Sith to create life and save them from dying, without the midichlorian mumbo-jumbo. Hell, Merlin from the King Arthur tales ages backwards and lives for a long time, don't need to know that it's actually Merlin's skills as a wizard which let him manipulate his mitocondria and chronitons to keep him alive in backwards-time (not unless this were Star Trek, but that's a whole other ball of wax ;)).

stillakid
06-08-2005, 10:25 PM
Droid, you hit the nail on the head. This whole business about there being a "chosen one" is ridiculous. The story should have remained being about normal people caught up in extraordinary circumstances, just like Luke was.

But so many Apologists hang their argument around Luke's ROTJ words that "the Force is strong in my family" to justify the need for some kind of magic elixer or superpower that no one else has. That's just ridiculous. All he was saying is that, just like any other ability like athletic or art, the Skywalkers are a little more adept at tapping into the Force than other people. There was no need to "explain" this with blood mites.

All this talk of "chosen one" and "balance to the Force" is never explained ever in the course of 6 movies. Completely ridiculous.

Lucas indeed lost his way. I think it was the doc that came with ROTJ when he was talking about the Sail Barge and why he didn't feel the need to linger on it. It was just a tool to help tell the story and to gratuitously keep the camera on it just to show off the coolness of the model would detract from the story. What happened to the guy that said that? :beard: :sur:

Ji'dai
06-09-2005, 12:51 AM
I think the midichlorians were a story device, just another example created to support the symbiotic relationship motif in The Phantom Menace. By introducing the midichlorians, parasitic bacteria that give their Jedi hosts their "power", Lucas was reinforcing the other main symbiotic relationship in the story, between the Naboo and the Gungans. There may be other examples of symbiotic relationships in TPM, but the Jedi/midichlorians and Naboo/Gungans are the two obvious ones.

I agree that it was a bad mistake. I prefer the interpretion that the Force is an energy field created by all living things, something that can be drawn upon and used by anyone with the ability to attune themselves to it. Some individuals and families are more adept or "strong in the Force"; others may not be able to use it at all. As was noted in another thread, the "wizardly, magical" quality of the Jedi Knights is also severely lessened in the prequels and I think the midichlorians are one of the main factors for that.

2-1B
06-09-2005, 01:03 AM
JT, do you have Lucas' quotes regarding midichlorians from his 2001 TPM commentary ? It would be interesting to compare that to his 2004 commentary on ANH. :)


But so many Apologists hang their argument around Luke's ROTJ words that "the Force is strong in my family" to justify the need for some kind of magic elixer or superpower that no one else has.

I've used that line before, guess it makes me an Apologist, but I always used it in opposition to your idea that "anybody" (as in, the average moviegoer) could no longer 'relate' to the character because Luke was "chock full of midichlorians."

My saying that is not a direct support of the presence of midichlorians, just that ROTJ came along and said that Leia had this power as well . . . and she didn't even know it.

I don't care much about midichlorians either way - I could take them or leave them, I really don't care, but like it or not, the Force was already more hereditary and tangible in the OT before Lucas even got to prequels and (for better or for worse, probably for worse lol ) solidified the biological details of the midiwhatevers. lol

Kidhuman
06-09-2005, 01:46 AM
I just believe he used it to steer off the whole religious debate issue and clarify it wasnt

CaptainSolo1138
06-09-2005, 10:46 AM
I just believe he used it to steer off the whole religious debate issue and clarify it wasnt
I wish he could have found a better way to do so. I can understand him wanting to do so, but this wasn't the way. Maybe in "TPM:SE" Greedo can shoot the midis. Yeah, that was dumb....

stillakid
06-09-2005, 10:50 AM
I've used that line before, guess it makes me an Apologist, but I always used it in opposition to your idea that "anybody" (as in, the average moviegoer) could no longer 'relate' to the character because Luke was "chock full of midichlorians."

I can't remember what you said about that. :sur: It just logical to me given our initial introduction to Luke Skywalker... he was a normal farmboy trapped in nowheresville dreaming of bigger and better things. That was even confirmed by Yoda just one film later. This was a character that was pretty normal and a generation of kids could relate to him. What made him great is that he was very normal and then something extraordinary happens to him. Who doesn't dream of that? Well, some people relish a mediocre life, but a lot of people dream of getting out of Dodge.

But by making him a superhero, it negates all of that. Suddenly Luke isn't "normal" anymore and all "we" can do as an audience is merely watch him go through the paces of his "destiny." Originally, we could pretend that we too (being normal like Luke) could be caught up in the extraordinary (Batman), but instead, with Midichlorians, it became an impossible dream (Superman).

I can't remember how you countered that... :)

JimJamBonds
06-09-2005, 12:28 PM
It just logical to me given our initial introduction to Luke Skywalker... he was a normal farmboy trapped in nowheresville dreaming of bigger and better things. That was even confirmed by Yoda just one film later. This was a character that was pretty normal and a generation of kids could relate to him. What made him great is that he was very normal and then something extraordinary happens to him. Who doesn't dream of that? Well, some people relish a mediocre life, but a lot of people dream of getting out of Dodge.

But by making him a superhero, it negates all of that. Suddenly Luke isn't "normal" anymore and all "we" can do as an audience is merely watch him go through the paces of his "destiny." Originally, we could pretend that we too (being normal like Luke) could be caught up in the extraordinary (Batman), but instead, with Midichlorians, it became an impossible dream (Superman).

I can't remember how you countered that... :)

I don't think it has changed things all that much and I don't think he's a superhero from the getgo. Luke is still from a backwater planet who's salty towards his uncle and wants bigger and better things. We now know that there was faith put into him and his sister but when we next meet Luke he's just a normal kid. He goes on to these great things he just taps into that potential. It could be said that we all have that potential in us we just need to tap into it... although why then bother with midichlorians then? Anywho Anakin has a destiny to follow himself but makes a major U turn and things turn out slightly different then expected. I do not think Luke/Leia had a destiny to follow but Yoda, Bail and Obi Wan did have certain plans for them.

Jim Jam

2-1B
06-09-2005, 01:49 PM
Leia must be a superhero as well since she has a power she doesn't even know about . . . much like Luke in ANH before he even knows about it. ;)

JimJamBonds
06-09-2005, 02:06 PM
Leia must be a superhero as well since she has a power she doesn't even know about . . . much like Luke in ANH before he even knows about it. ;)

I have to disagree with you Caesar. Leia knew, somehow she had always knwon she was a superhero. :p Just like she always knew about her brother. ;)

Jim Jam

stillakid
06-10-2005, 12:33 AM
Leia must be a superhero as well since she has a power she doesn't even know about . . . much like Luke in ANH before he even knows about it. ;)

Exactly! NOW you're getting it. :)

2-1B
06-10-2005, 02:09 AM
Are you sure I'm getting it ? :)

That last statement of mine does not agree with your claim that the audience can Follow Along With Luke because he's still a hereditary superhero as we find out in ROTJ which was made long before the midichlorian-infested TPM. :p

stillakid
06-10-2005, 10:11 AM
Are you sure I'm getting it ? :)

That last statement of mine does not agree with your claim that the audience can Follow Along With Luke because he's still a hereditary superhero as we find out in ROTJ which was made long before the midichlorian-infested TPM. :p


Previously on One Life to Live: :D


But so many Apologists hang their argument around Luke's ROTJ words that "the Force is strong in my family" to justify the need for some kind of magic elixer or superpower that no one else has.


Alas, all of that is negated by Yoda's eloquent words in The Empire Strikes Back:





YODA
And well you should not. For my ally in the Force. And a
powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. It's energy
surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we...(Yoda pinches
Luke's shoulder)...not this crude matter. (a sweeping gesture) You must
feel the Force around you. (gesturing) Here, between you...me...the
tree...the rock...everywhere! Yes, even between this land and that
ship!

If every there was a time to tell Luke about Midichlorians, this would have been it. But nothun'...or perhaps Yoda just kinda forgot to mention somethin' so important. :nerv:

2-1B
06-10-2005, 01:33 PM
Sure, except that I wasn't REALLY talking about midichlorians but rather the hereditary nature of The Force as established in ROTJ. :)

stillakid
06-10-2005, 02:32 PM
Sure, except that I wasn't REALLY talking about midichlorians but rather the hereditary nature of The Force as established in ROTJ. :)

Okay, fair enough. So the Midichlorians have nothing to do with what Luke said in ROTJ? I just want to clarify your position so as to avoid any unpleasant confrontations. :)

JimJamBonds
06-10-2005, 03:04 PM
Sure, except that I wasn't REALLY talking about midichlorians but rather the hereditary nature of The Force as established in ROTJ. :)

Of course we don't "know" that at that point since ROTJ hasn't happened. ;)

Jim Jam

stillakid
06-10-2005, 04:21 PM
Of course we don't "know" that at that point since ROTJ hasn't happened. ;)

Jim Jam

Good point! :) So Luke MUST have been referring to the Midichlorians...except that nobody ever bothered to tell him about them. :( What's the only Jedi left in the galaxy to do? :sur: How will he ever be able to pick the new potential Younglings out from the rest of the little brats? :confused:

JediTricks
06-10-2005, 08:32 PM
I think the midichlorians were a story device, just another example created to support the symbiotic relationship motif in The Phantom Menace. By introducing the midichlorians, parasitic bacteria that give their Jedi hosts their "power", Lucas was reinforcing the other main symbiotic relationship in the story, between the Naboo and the Gungans. There may be other examples of symbiotic relationships in TPM, but the Jedi/midichlorians and Naboo/Gungans are the two obvious ones. You could be right, it always seemed to me that the Midichlorians were just a device meant to do 2 things: show how Obi-Wan saw that Anakin was strong with the Force when they met; and to then extrapolate a reason as to why that works and how it makes the Force work. However, if you are right that they carried that other purpose, I would think Lucas failed miserably as he never drove his point home with the midis in the movie, and never really showed any actual symbiosis between the Jedi and the Midis - the Jedi get something but what do the Midis get?



JT, do you have Lucas' quotes regarding midichlorians from his 2001 TPM commentary ? It would be interesting to compare that to his 2004 commentary on ANH. :) I'm afraid I don't, I only bought the TPM DVD a few weeks ago and have only cracked it open once, as reference to a specific discussion. I bought the OT DVDs almost a year ago and only opened them last week, they came first in the queue (and I've so far only made time for ANH :(). I will try to remember to look for that when I finally do the TPM commentary though. Now that I've figured out why my DVD-ROM drive wasn't playing DVDs (stupid junk needs a codec which the company doesn't supply, seems lame to me as the $40 DVD player in the living room worked right out of the box).



I've used that line before, guess it makes me an Apologist, but I always used it in opposition to your idea that "anybody" (as in, the average moviegoer) could no longer 'relate' to the character because Luke was "chock full of midichlorians."

My saying that is not a direct support of the presence of midichlorians, just that ROTJ came along and said that Leia had this power as well . . . and she didn't even know it. 2 things, until midichlorians I always felt that Luke just meant his family was naturally skilled with the Force, like stilla said, some families are naturally good with math while others naturally excel in sports. Other thing, we never actually got plotline confirmation that Leia had those powers at the end of ROTJ, just that Luke and Yoda felt she had the natural ability to use them adeptly.



I just believe he used it to steer off the whole religious debate issue and clarify it wasnt You mean the "real world" religious debate or the one in the movie world? I ask because the movie world one remains firmly unchanged in this department by midis, it's just a religion now based on a molecular energy field network rather than a mystical ethereal energy field created by all living beings. In the "real world" aspect however, you could be right, but if that's the case I think Lucas failed as very few SW fans actually seem to accept it wholesale letting the fantasy continue in their lives unbound.


CS1138, I dunno how dumb it was, it made me chuckle. :D



I don't think it has changed things all that much and I don't think he's a superhero from the getgo. Luke is still from a backwater planet who's salty towards his uncle and wants bigger and better things. The way it plays now is a lot like the Superman story in that respect, we can all wish we were Kal-el but none of us are ever going to be from Krypton.


He goes on to these great things he just taps into that potential. It could be said that we all have that potential in us we just need to tap into it... although why then bother with midichlorians then? That's been the underlying question for the last 6 years.

Devo
06-10-2005, 08:59 PM
I know this topic has been harped upon endlessly over the past 6 years, but something that caught my attention while listening to the ANH DVD's commentary track was this little number from George Lucas himself:
I agree with Lucas on this, and this is something he said only a few months ago so it's not like it's a 30-year-old quote and his mind had changed with the passage of time. Up until TPM, the Force was what it was, magic and intangible and it was simply accepted by the characters and the audience once a quick, cursory explanation had been given to our hero. Yet why then did Lucas feel the need to explain the Force with the technical midichlorian stuff in TPM, wasn't he breaking his own rule, why did he think we wanted to hear that sort of thing if he himself did not?

Exactly. And somewhat related, though something which has also been discussed in countless other threads, is the whole 'why didn't Qui-gon disappear' thing. Here Lucas forced himself into a position where the jedi disappearing act needed to be 'explained'. And its one of those things, along with the concept of the force, for which I wanted no explanation. I merely accepted that jedis disappeared after they died - 'one with the force', great. Why introduce this stuff about Qui-gon being the 'first' to become one with the force? For a starters it still doesn't explain why his body didn't disappear and secondly it seems to bring greater significance on the character of Qui-gon than he deserves - he's never even mentioned let alone seen in any form in the original trilogy. Surely a brief 'history of the force and past jedis' should have been included in Luke's lessons from Obi-wan and Yoda. I guess Lucas is going to have to go and make more changes to the OT. Of course if Qui-gon had stayed out of existence, as he had been doing up until about 1998, there wouldn't be this problem.

Its as though Lucas was trying to defy our expectations at every turn, springing surprises on us - not always a good thing George.

"You thought Obi-wan was trained by Yoda didn't you? But NO!!! He was only trained by Yoda when he was a toddler - actually he was trained by Qui-gon Jinn!!!"

"Ah-HA!! You thought Obi-wan saw potential in Anakin and decided to train him - but NO!!! Obi-wan was wary of Anakin - it was Qui-gon who decided to train him and this task fell to Obi-wan after Qui-gon died and made it his dying wish - how could Obi-wan refuse??!!"

"HO!!! You thought Anakin, Obi-wan and Owen Lars would all occupy the screen at the same time at some point in the prequel trilogy!!! Dialogue from Obi-wan 'your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough but your uncle wouldn't allow it' etc seemed to imply it - but HA HA how wrong you all were!! See how clever I was by not addressing this in any way, shape or form???!!!"

2-1B
06-11-2005, 01:12 AM
In fairness, Obi-Wan was trained by Yoda after ROTS as well. lol About the whole communing with Qui-Gon thing. ;)


Okay, fair enough. So the Midichlorians have nothing to do with what Luke said in ROTJ? I just want to clarify your position so as to avoid any unpleasant confrontations.

What I meant was that the OT by itself already establishes the inheritance of the Force and tangible aspects. Again, Luke is claiming to Leia that she has a power that she doesn't even know how to use. Do the midichlorians have anything to do with that ? I just don't see how it negates or contradicts anything in the OT. I'll continue by quoting JT. :)


The way it plays now is a lot like the Superman story in that respect, we can all wish we were Kal-el but none of us are ever going to be from Krypton.

See, I just can't accept the whole Superman comparison. Yes, Luke is different from us in that he has these "midichlorians" but it's not as if he has them in the SW universe and nobody else does . . . see what I mean ?

I'll try it this way: As a kid I loved watching Luke pull that lightsaber out of the Wampa's ice. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I even tried to do that myself. Many, many, times. :D And guess what, IT DIDN'T WORK. EVER. :crazed: So right there, Luke is already "Superman" to me in that he can wield this magical Force that does not exist in our own reality.

JediTricks
06-11-2005, 03:32 AM
In fairness, Obi-Wan was trained by Yoda after ROTS as well. lol About the whole communing with Qui-Gon thing. ;)Oh man, you should be flogged for that one, I don't think I can respect you after that. :p


See, I just can't accept the whole Superman comparison. Yes, Luke is different from us in that he has these "midichlorians" but it's not as if he has them in the SW universe and nobody else does . . . see what I mean ? Except nobody else in that universe has a daddy that was created BY THE FORCE. Superman isn't the only one who can run and jump and punch things, he's just the one whose unique genetic makeup lets him do it far better than the others.


I'll try it this way: As a kid I loved watching Luke pull that lightsaber out of the Wampa's ice. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I even tried to do that myself. Many, many, times. :D And guess what, IT DIDN'T WORK. EVER. :crazed: So right there, Luke is already "Superman" to me in that he can wield this magical Force that does not exist in our own reality.That's different, Superman doesn't exist in a world of other super-powered Kryptonians everywhere and he's just special because he has heat-vision, Superman is special because he's the last son of Krypton and he was sent here which gave him powers far beyond those of mortal men. Luke isn't the only Jedi to ever exist in Star Wars, but now thanks to midis he's the one who is the hero of the OT because his daddy was "the chosen one" who was created by Verizon's analog cellular bug network.

stillakid
06-11-2005, 05:24 AM
I'll try it this way: As a kid I loved watching Luke pull that lightsaber out of the Wampa's ice. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I even tried to do that myself. Many, many, times. :D And guess what, IT DIDN'T WORK. EVER. :crazed: So right there, Luke is already "Superman" to me in that he can wield this magical Force that does not exist in our own reality.
I see where you're coming from now. Thanks for the clarification. But you are COMPLETELY missing the point I'm making regarding this.

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether or not the audience can directly copy what a screen hero can do. Just like you with the lightsaber, I always wanted to climb walls like Spiderman, but it just never happened. :(

But that isn't the point when it comes to writing a character that the audience can empathize with. It isn't about mimicking the character's sometimes incredible actions. It's about creating a character who thematically derives from a place that is relatable to the audience and who rises above his own self doubt and fear to attain his goals.

This is a theme common to almost every successful story and film. In Diehard, there's pretty much no way that any of us will ever find ourselves trapped in a building by high tech bank robbers so that we have to fight them off one by one with glass coming out of our bare feet. That story was fun, but the reason John was so likeable was that he was "ordinary" like so many of us but was "extraordinary" because he rose above that normalness to achieve something great.

Like anyone with a dream...some kid wanting to play in the major leagues one day...or some kid trapped on a boring farm wanting to become a Wall Street mogul...or some kid wanting to find that perfect love.......they look at their heroes, onscreen or off, to see the perseverence that gets them through.

So while we couldn't use telekinesis like Luke could, it wasn't the magic that was what made kids want to be him. It was that Luke came from a small farm in nowheresville and managed to get out and achieve something great. So many people can relate to that "plot" which is why it is played out over and over and over again in films everywhere. It's that element of normalness in a character that enables an audience to empathize and relate. If you take that normalness away from the character by making him somehow superhuman, then the audience can't relate because he has superpowers to begin with. It's almost akin to looking at someone like Paris Hilton and suggesting that we all should be able to relate to her even though she started out with a fortune at her fingertips. We can't. No matter how hard we try, we inherently know that she's operating on a whole different level to begin with and no matter how hard we might want to (okay, maybe she's a bad example :D ), we can never be like her. Nor Luke as he is chock full o' Midichorians.

But somebody like, say, George Lucas, who came up from Normal-esto California in a normal middle-class working family, heads out to achieve his dreams and winds up a billionaire. Now THAT'S a story that kids stuck in nowheresville can look at and say, "Wow, he was in a situation almost like mine...and if he can do it, so can I!" But if you look at Paris Hilton, she started out rich with influence so any perceived success she ever has will be written off because she didn't come up from "nothing" to get there. Luke with Midi's is the equivalent of Paris Hilton...already destined to get what he wants. A Midi-free Luke has to work at it, and when he succeeds, the victory is that much sweeter. :)

JON9000
06-11-2005, 08:18 PM
Except nobody else in that universe has a daddy that was created BY THE FORCE. Superman isn't the only one who can run and jump and punch things, he's just the one whose unique genetic makeup lets him do it far better than the others.
I think you guys are getting at what many feel is the real problem here. It isn't plot continuity so much as it changes our ability to identify with the heroes. When I was a kid, all you had to do to be down with the Force was follow all of Ben Kenobi's admonishments- stretch out with your feelings, act on instinct, and so on. Being a Jedi was sort of like learning Kung Fu- it was hard, but anyone could do it. Now you have to have some sort of genetic predisposition.

While in reality I prefer observable science over mysticism, I have to say that part of SW appealed to me, and now it is gone.

I don't mind too much, though. I kinda dig the whole Emperor creating Anakin thing...

KPl
06-12-2005, 12:52 AM
A whole bunch of neat ideas and responses, my take on which follows:

1. Luke was a Superhero from the Very Start.
NO ONE (I repeat, _Not_ _One_ _Person_) can /employ/ an F-16 fighter after training on a Cessna 172 as a bush pilot. Yet Luke shoots, gun-turrets, uses 'The Force' (guiding proton torpedos no less, how 'technical') to fly snubs like he holds a Master Combat Infantry badge, B-17 Gunnery Instructor certificate and a Fighter Weapons School graduate degree all at once.
All without thought. All without trial and error. Riiiiiight.
This sounds more like Perseus being the only man for the job of killing Medusa and Freezing the Kraken because he's the son of Zeus and 'just discovering it naturally' along the way. A good destiny-earned-is-learned film is still a good story, no matter how biased it is in it's development of the hero. The PT is simply a bad tale all 'round.

2. Paris Discovering Her Destiny.
Girls dream all the time of being a 'Secret Princess' (Paris' Twin, whatever)because they were secretly stolen from the cradle by Gypsies or sold to the orphanage by the Evil Stepmother so another child could become Queen. And again, (learning to earn) 'that's okay' so long as (in their minds) their nice but struggling nature wins out through purety of spirit in the end.
I find it is males who need the impossible odds 'common man' scenario in order to grudgingly accept that they deserve to be whatever.
Perhaps the truth is that if you are a good person, a good 'spirit' maybe after a given number of lives you are BORN TO BE what your potential has accumulated. To find the struggle that forges you into a superior being ready to 'become one with The Force'.
As a function of storytelling psychology, it certainly saves on both guilt and needless ham-drama "I'm so unsure of myself, pity me for I am strong..." that is typical male heroic stereotype arc.

3. Midichlorians, A GOOD THING!
A. Because it brings science to the fantasy and that is a welcome focussing lens, particularly given today's topical headlines and the notion that BEING A JEDI is important because it allows you to bypass all the machine-crushes-soul element of modern existence. LEARNING made us who we are, it is simply that, now that we have the hard-science tools to capture the data and manipulate the invisible of more exotic disciplines related to 'who we are'that we need to mix both philosophy and technical morality with a 'where we want to go' curiosity of intuitive foresight. Yet the science to stay alive and do all the humble things necessary to sustain existence while we make our next big vision question of social evolution doesn't go away because of that. Microcellular genetic engineering then is simply another vehicle of morality to remind us to be grounded in the physicality of what connects us to all things before thinking we can change them our view of them.

B. The chief element of which is of course the attainment of godhood. For minor demigods is in fact what the Jedi are. Hercules. At which point, natural and legalized enforcement of selection becomes a first order determinator of who gets vs. who deserves to be 'better than not only what came before, but all that exists now'. Indeed, the scenario I envision is not unlike that of the DS9 episode in which we learned that a Trill/Dax symbiotic 'joining' was not nearly as 1-in-a-million unlikely (as a function of genetics) as originally stated. The old excuse simply remained in place to keep a frenzy of applicants and hard feelings from rising out of competetiveness and into civil unrest.

C. The only thing which should have a /remote/ chance of killing a Jedi should be another Jedi. Humility is all well and good but it should be backed by a OVERWHELMING ABILITY when called upon. In fact, most Jedi -apprentices- should have been operating at Yoda's level of Mastery. Comparitively, Yoda was never impressive as a swordsman (look how many times that flying monkey acrobatic style actually crossed minisaber spatial arcs, with any element of Dooku's _body_ such that he /had to/ block it or die: ZERO.).
Yet, in keeping with his "My Ally It Is..." Force _Mastery_, he should be able to step off the shuttle onto the Geonosis' plain, whisper the word "Stop". And have the entire area simply halt in place. Droids, Clones, Geonosians. EVERYBODY. Such is _raw power_. Such is the Emperor's Gift. Mercy, whether you will it or nil it because he could just as easily think 'die' and have everyone's spirits wrenched from their bodies (their innards shifted in opposite directions by a critical 5-10mm, whatever).
i.e. the Jedi should not be humble in what they /do/. But rather in their ability to immediately go back to being 'inscrutable' afterwards. The difference then coming down to a Master who doesn't NEED a saber. And a Padawn or Knight who uses it brilliantly but only 'one at a time'.
Both as a function of movie spectacle and utter majestic right to control/influence what the rest of us cannot envision, there should have been a lot more invisible but still utterly breathtaking elements of 'Any fool can gauge strength, now they must calculate what they cannot see...'. Preferrably as a function of political intrigue and 'philosophical differences' between the better-slow-and-steady Jedi. Vs. the 'We've waited long enough and you framed us!' Sith.

D. If you combine B & C with the notion that these are indeed KNIGHTS who protect as a function of a powerful order of familial _nobility_ (if for no other reason than I found the burlap bathrobe to be monk-ludicrous, they should not have used a term that has a clearly defined meaning in our universe so shabbily. A good 'look' to a Jedi should emphasize quiet grace, not clumsy lack of identity).
Then you can have the SITH be the ones who 'make this wonderful discovery' (how to transfer/enrich Midis through theraupeutic cloning) that would potentially allow ALL the universe to share in the magical experience of connection.
And rightly or wrongly, 'the man', 'the establishment' that is a caste based society in which everything is democratic so long as you behave. Engineers a blasphemer type justification for exorciszing the renegade/rebel/terroriists. Destroying the Sith (within a couple generations past, _NOT_ 1,000 years of held hatred!) and giving birth to a 'cause' which is corrupted by the very SCIENCE which is used to create and/or magnify it. Without understanding thanks to the loss of the Masters who created it.
NOW you have the basis of a good morality tale. For the Jedi should NOT have assured their own power by framing their dissidents. And the Sith are not 'Dark' because of what they do, but perhaps because of the scenario that the Jedi helped craft: power corrupted by hiding in false-shame. And the audience must decide through the actions of the pro-antag characters whether the Jedi or the Sith are ultimately right or wrong.
And the vehicle by which stability (and entropic decay) could degrade to utter chaos and anarchy should be the _CLONE WARS_ By which naturally birthed and a 'lifetime of training' Jedi must attempt to stave off the predations of a seemingly endless horde of decanted simulacrum equivalents.

E. Real Science doesn't prevent the notion of being a Jedi requiring a catalyst experience (presumably very bad to inspire an instinctive reach into the depths of personality) or person (mentor) to 'activate the spin' of these mitochondrial DNA fragments in a way that makes _them_ the luminescent means by which The Force, a 'mystical (and highly secretive, given it was the Laran equivalent basis of Jedi justified rule in My Universe) energy field' allows the sensitive to make subtle alterations in space-time aka 'Reality As We Know It'. Gravimetric (levitation), Molecular Accelerant (telekinetic), or Clairvoyant/Prognosticative (time as a remote viewing experience). Perhaps even Psychomotive (Telepathy and direct Nerve Induction Control). Indeed, I could make ten clones of Bruce Lee and take him to ten spots on the planet and _unless The Force intervened_ (tongue in cheek, Boys In Brazil as a Hong Kong upbringing) the likelihood of him becoming a martial artist is about the same as an accountant or a dentist.

CONCLUSION:
I wanted to see a movie which made the Jedi Way seem like a REAL Atlantis (With all the faults as well as perfections, compromised actions as a function of pure motives. Hidden good in the seeming evil.) of day to day life in a broad and largely unruled (unruleable) universe in which the Jedi moderated a greater whole without overt intrusion.

The Jedi as portrayed could not 'keep the peace' in a cloistered nunnery on the Antarctic Plain.

And that's a shame because Lucas has _never_ told a decent character driven story. The only SW movie ever made which even approached this was ESB as written by a woman and directed by another man. Lucas' skills always lay in the grand scheme of things. Enobling a vision broader than ours. And in that, what began to degrade (badly) in the kiddyesque ROTJ, died an all too prolonged death in the PT.

I think having kids and becoming a single parent cost GL his edge. He certainly seemed to give into as much as adopt waaaaaay too many unexplored themes (though I would never take a child below 12 to see a movie where a man is cut in half through the chest) before settling on just the most neurotically mundane (all of Anakin's character arc) if not moronically insensitive (Jedi as being unable to deal with a temperamental adept who thinks he's bigger than he/she is, something which would be all too common in children, regardless of taken-at-birth lack of reinforced familial instinct) alternatives.

In that, there is no forgiveness for what 'could have been'. Only the certainty that what _should not have been_ (a story better never told) tells a moral tale as empty of meaning as it is of entertainment. For Lucas made the entire PT a flip-flop of convenient if not contrived-in-the-moment revelations that did NOTHING to expound a greater vision. His faulted Empire Of Dead Dreams is then ironically itself the ultimate portrayal of the very entropy that he would have us believe was common in Late Republic times due to clumsy, careless or 'arrogant' (IMO, you have to have intelligence to be properly haughty, these guys come off as just shy of brain dead) Jedi.

How sad.


KPl.

stillakid
06-12-2005, 02:47 PM
While I'll agree to a majority of what you've said, this:

The only SW movie ever made which even approached this was ESB as written by a woman and directed by another man. .

isn't true. Leigh Brackett died prior to finishing her version of the screenplay at which point Lawrence Kasdan came in and started from scratch.

KPl
06-12-2005, 06:48 PM
Thanks Stillakid,

I checked IMDB-

http://imdb.com/title/tt0080684/
Before making that comment and though I knew she died before it was complete, I didn't realize it was a complete rewrite on Kasdan's part.

In any case, other than the whole 'space slug' fiasco (which should have been Vader using The Force to 'guide on' more Spy Droids or TIE bombers to flush the Falcon while avoiding the whole Bounty Hunter and so-close-you-should-feel-them idiocy of the garbage dumping scene in a more classy implication of /driving/ Solo and Co. towards Bespin as bait for Skywalker) I had only one real problem with ESB.

Namely the time elements. Though nowhere's /near/ the grotesquery that they made of Ep.III's Mustafar core:rim run; the notion that you can use the emergency hyperdrive backup and not come out of your journey multiple YEARS later is laughable. They are moving hundreds, even thousands of lightyears on most runs which almost has to mandate a time compression/compensation factor at supraluminal velocities.

And since the Falcon has limited onboard supplies, and given the '12 parsecs' (space as time: _lightyears_) notion of a Kessel run, how much niftier to see the Falcon crew 6 months older while Luke Skywalker sits on Dagobah with a beard and 2-3 years worth chiseled (lost water fat, much harder overall body tone) 'special forces level' Jedi training? It certainly would have helped with the actor chronological aging and reconstructive surgery problems while it would have also improved on the notion that it takes a lifetime to become a strong Jedi and Luke was making a good start but was nowhere's near finished rather than forcing the notion on us that he is some kind of super champ because of daddy. It even gives you some insight into the complexities of past-as-now actions that is precognition in a galaxy with everyday star travel.

Other than those two (see, I can acknowledge faults in the OT!) minor quibbles however, almost all of ESB stands out as both the saddest and the grandest piece of the series. Considering I was 12 or 13 at the time, to make that kind of an impression, going in with super high hopes, and NOT being disappointed, even with the traumatic amputation of a now-mortal central hero, says something about who should be in the driver's seat of a Star Wars production, IMO.

And it further shows-to-go'ya (as me granpappy used to say;-) what GOOD character drama can do. Because while Luke and Leia both went through the fire and came out tempered and different characters but not broken in their friendly affection or moral core from the arrogant pups they were 3 years before, I _never_ got that feeling with Anakin and Padme who were posterboard flat from the getgo.

Indeed, Lil' Orphan Annie was a hero who was clumsy beyond words and thus never had cause for pride of suffering patience to lose. While, as a 'fallen soul', he was never that compassionately compelling (or anything really, given the miles and yards separation of Christensen and Lloyd as personalities) to make a 'losing my religion' exercise worthwhile as a faith-tried-and-broken drama.

Furthermore, when I was a 'little kid' of 9 or so, watching ANH, I _never_ dreamed of being a super-kid 'just like me'. I wanted to be an /adult/ like Luke Skywalker because I was smart enough to know the limits of a small body and requirements for participation in adult violence.

WHY (oh why) then make a play for the kiddy market demographic when it is MOM AND POP who are buying the tickets and merchandise for the young ones and have at least as good a chance of being 'cool-ectors' themselves based on fond memories?

I frankly also find fault with the MPAA for allowing things like lightsaber impalements and full body dismembering which _should have_ pulled down a PG-13 from the get go. MUCH better to make the droids trained martial artist humanoids with a Gollum type mechanization for CGI overlay of "Dang, he looks just like me!" _Jedi Cloning_ so as to allow for a soft R or a hard PG rating as a deliberate choice while keeping the 'human factors' drama more real between professional actors doing what THEY are 'good at' (Even Ewan MacGregor is not that hot a swordsman, IMO, and the rest are not even minor league.).

Urrrrgh, (little martian dude jumping up and down) Lucas, you make me SO ANGRY! Where did I put that detonator...


KPl.

JediTricks
06-13-2005, 01:14 AM
But somebody like, say, George Lucas, who came up from Normal-esto California in a normal middle-class working family, heads out to achieve his dreams and winds up a billionaire. Now THAT'S a story that kids stuck in nowheresville can look at and say, "Wow, he was in a situation almost like mine...and if he can do it, so can I!"Star Wars is even an extension of young Lucas's struggles, George Walton Lucas jr. was raised on a ranch in Modesto and always felt under the thumb of his father who felt he shouldn't go off to be an artist or a racecar driver, he should stay in their small Northern California town and run the father's stationary store or become some other company suit-type, and Lucas Jr felt trapped by this until fate stepped in and put him in a car crash that left him in the hospital for many months which let him reexamine his life and head out on his own to try to be a different man than his father - ironically, by Lucas yearning to tell that story he ended up becoming like his father before him, just as his Luke character does in ROTJ. The story of a normal young man who escapes the humdrummery of average life and becomes extrodinary through deeds, just like the pre-midichlorian Luke.


JON, I don't think you mean "admonishments", that would be firm lessons of a negative connotation - eat all your peas or you'll get cancer, let the Force flow through you or you'll cut off your own arm, you'll have your head smashed in if you don't get out from under the feet of that AT-AT, you're a fool for going to Bespin instead of staying with Yoda, etc. ;) I think I know what you mean though, "lessons".


While in reality I prefer observable science over mysticism, I have to say that part of SW appealed to me, and now it is gone. Damn, that's terrible, I feel like the same way, like the prequels have eroded what I had from the OT, and there may be no way to get that back. To me, it's a heartbreaker that has weighed heavily upon me up until I started that thread about it being ok not to like the prequels or to think they're not what SW is about, now I am trying to get that feeling back.



NO ONE (I repeat, _Not_ _One_ _Person_) can /employ/ an F-16 fighter after training on a Cessna 172 as a bush pilot. Yet Luke shoots, gun-turrets, uses 'The Force' (guiding proton torpedos no less, how 'technical') to fly snubs like he holds a Master Combat Infantry badge, B-17 Gunnery Instructor certificate and a Fighter Weapons School graduate degree all at once.
All without thought. All without trial and error. Riiiiiight. Except that Luke has been practicing on his 'Cessna' at home, his T-16 Skyhopper is similar to the T-65 X-wing, and it even has a weapons system which he's used, giving him the starter skills he needs. Hell, that new Biggs scene in ANH which I felt didn't have any purpose actually works to bolster Luke's skills behind the X-wing controls.


3. Midichlorians, A GOOD THING!
A. Because it brings science to the fantasy and that is a welcome focussing lens, particularly given today's topical headlines and the notion that BEING A JEDI is important because it allows you to bypass all the machine-crushes-soul element of modern existence. LEARNING made us who we are, it is simply that... Except with midichlorians, not everybody gets to learn, EVER. You can wave your hand around till it falls off but you're never going to enjoy the power of mind control no matter how many of Yoda's books you read. You are casting off magic entirely, that's not what Star Wars is about.


B. The chief element of which is of course the attainment of godhood. A rather ignoble goal if ever I've heard one, should the nature of man be to strive to better himself, or to cast off what makes him a man to attain control over a domain and superpowers? Sounds more Sith than Jedi to me.


C. The only thing which should have a /remote/ chance of killing a Jedi should be another Jedi. Only if we must accept that Jedi are demigods, which is absolutely putting the cart before the horse in this discussion I think. Nobody is infallible, Yoda too eventually must succumb to illness and pass on to the afterlife, Obi-Wan slicing off Ponda Baba's arm eventually attracts the attention of the Sandtroopers, the Jedi are wizards and samurai but I don't think they're supposed to be gods. These medieval Knights you refer to often thought of themselves as superior men, there have long been nobles who believe themselves to have the birthright to control the destinies of lesser people, but that doesn't make them RIGHT.


Yet, in keeping with his "My Ally It Is..." Force _Mastery_, he should be able to step off the shuttle onto the Geonosis' plain, whisper the word "Stop". And have the entire area simply halt in place. Droids, Clones, Geonosians. EVERYBODY. Such is _raw power_. Such is the Emperor's Gift. Mercy, whether you will it or nil it because he could just as easily think 'die' and have everyone's spirits wrenched from their bodies But that is just a trapping of the Expanded Universe version of the Force, nowhere in the movies do we ever see any Force power on that grand a scale.


And rightly or wrongly, 'the man', 'the establishment' that is a caste based society in which everything is democratic so long as you behave. Engineers a blasphemer type justification for exorciszing the renegade/rebel/terroriists. Destroying the Sith (within a couple generations past, _NOT_ 1,000 years of held hatred!) and giving birth to a 'cause' which is corrupted by the very SCIENCE which is used to create and/or magnify it. Without understanding thanks to the loss of the Masters who created it. Aren't you describing a wholly different movie? Isn't this akin to the basis of THX-1138?

I don't mean this to sound rude KPL, but it seems like while you have a lot of great ideas and some interesting notions about Star Wars, it feels more like you're trying to tell a different story, like you're painting a wholly different picture onto the Star Wars canvas.

KPl
06-13-2005, 04:57 AM
>>

Except that Luke has been practicing on his 'Cessna' at home, his T-16 Skyhopper is similar to the T-65 X-wing, and it even has a weapons system which he's used, giving him the starter skills he needs. Hell, that new Biggs scene in ANH which I felt didn't have any purpose actually works to bolster Luke's skills behind the X-wing controls.

>>

Consider this, I can mount a rifle on a pintel or even a bungy sling and snipe wolves messing with a herd of cattle with little real consequence. If I am using a blaster or equivalent weapon which has a high rate of fire and can be /fixed/ to fire along the forward direction of flight without ammo loading/ejection that get's even easier.

But when the wolves start to shoot back, things immediately spiral out of all reasonable assumption of pro-am shared competency.

And when those wolves sprout wings and give chase, they become almost impossible to handle.

Because of the layered secondary factors now become overriding and _for which_ Luke had ZERO experience because not merely the technology but the operational (say 'Red Flag') training conditions on which they are based is restricted-access. What other elements?

Well, he had to know specific tactical combinants of evasion and ECM as well as countermaneuver to engage specific enemies (maneuvering out of plane /except/ when taking the actual shot for instance, combining lead, lag and pure pursuit on a 3D dynamic target).

As well as what formation responsibilities he was expected to perform relative to the overall gameplan of the section/flight/squadron/wing mission accomplishment. In Welded Wing you are more a hassle than an asset because the lead cannot maneuver to full capabilities or he will spit your 'look out only' behind out of the turn much like a whip-snake. In Loose Deuce, both shooters provide incidental support yet are largely independent in their ability to engage the same or differing targets. In Double Attack, one shooter forces the enemy to expend his maneuver energy while the other positions for a tag team tap-and-bounce kill by cutting off the resultant threat vector 'at some point in the future'. ALL this being handled through what is called 'the contract' of wingman:lead based (preagreed) tactical plans.

Now consider that ALL of this is occuring in a vacuum so that whatever artificial gravitic vector is being generated by the ship to support the airplane like maneuvering may not be an exact replication of an atmospheric flight and may therefore itself have to be dealt with as a function of NASA-not-barnstormer physics understanding.

Indeed, even such things as orbiting Yavin itself may be beyond the average (atmospheric/intrasystem) pilot's abilities ("But can you fly it kid?") because they almost /certainly/ had to do an off the cuff formation mini-hyperjump using the backup hyperdrive to move rather like you see in ROTJ when the Task Force approaches the second Death Star. Can R2 handle all this? If he can, then, for reasons of reflex if nothing else, HE should be the hero who flies the X-Wing. Leave the mass and multiple colocated bio-vulnerabilities of the stick wiggler back at base.

Other than that stultified verbiage, the whole Red Leader chats up his two junior Flight Members scene does NOTHING to inspire confidence because it makes it seem like he is making the /awesome/ mistake of choosing Luke over what must surely be ten or twenty other pilots (just look at the throne room scene) who ARE type qualified in that particular platform and who DO HAVE shared training, doctrine and _experience_ (ten mission hump) in wartime ops.

>>

Except with midichlorians, not everybody gets to learn, EVER. You can wave your hand around till it falls off but you're never going to enjoy the power of mind control no matter how many of Yoda's books you read. You are casting off magic entirely, that's not what Star Wars is about.
>>

Which is why it would be a good 'talking point' moral conjecture to make The Sith the ones who want to bring GE tech to the benefit of everyone by increasing their base MCC# (Midi Chlorian Count). And the Jedi who, for good or ill, believe that it would be better to retain that awesome power only in the hands of those who are willing to dedicate their lives to 'the cause' of "Only for defense or knowledge, never to attack...". Even though the mandate of 'what is an attack' when you proactively go out looking for trouble as a Keeper Of The Peace is itself questionable, there can be NO DOUBT that an individual whose life is dedicated to living by a given set of rules is more apt to use his granted power within those rules than one who has no reason to own those gifts but for the thrill of their possession.

NOW you can introduce a scenario by which the Sith prepare to stir up the masses with hightone sounding promises of 'equality in The Force for everyone!'. And the Jedi artificially maneuver them into a situation from which they are made to look like bad guys, just before they are butchered as a threat to 'The Peace'. Ahhhhhh, what fun now the notion of "Before it was a philosophic debate, _Now It's Personal!!" as a plot vehicle designed to make the rage of a Sith Hippy VERY REAL in it's justification.

Especially when compared with the utter nonsense of a 1,000 year old vendetta which NOBODY LIVING knows the true origins of the offense. In fact, if I am a _Force Adept_ (which is to say beyond Sith OR Jedi as political agents provocateur) WHY would I want to rule a universe composed of mundane idiots obsessed with material goods and personal position? The Force lets me speak to the warp and weft of reality itself. How much 'crude matter' can that compare to?

Unless I have been hurt by those who persecute me or have some /overwhelming/ crusader-idealism about converting them to my way of thinking, I would not care a single iota about their lives.

The difference then being that The Jedi hold the secret of awareness that the herd-massed psyche can 'taint' The Force with the will of hysteria, hate and fear. At levels beyond which even an Adept can fully counter. If the system of legal (treaty) based safeguards and proactive calming influence is not maintained. So the wheel turns again. Are the Sith right for abhoring the undue (suppressive if not overtly oppressive) effect the Jedi have upon the advance of mankind? Or are the Jedi right in believing that it is better to 'let The Force will it' in terms of giving power only to select individuals and then creating a system by which those individuals are snatched up BEFORE they can think they have an alternative.

i.e. Magic is not inherently prejudicial in whom it chooses to gift with ability. But it MUST REMAIN conservative in it's application because the numbers of uncontrolled time:space 'fate' vectors (everybody wins the lottery!) which could wreak destructive havoc if everybody could do it.

>>

A rather ignoble goal if ever I've heard one, should the nature of man be to strive to better himself, or to cast off what makes him a man to attain control over a domain and superpowers? Sounds more Sith than Jedi to me.

>>

Return to the place you began and know it for the first time. That is the nature of our quest.

The difference is that, the less you modify the environment through base needs, the more perceptually valid your observations of it are. In this godhead is not a 'me better than you' bias, it is simply the operative minimum by which you support your subsistence that you may -enlighten- your awareness of it's details. Man lived in small tribal groups for uncounted millenia before we discovered the first inklings of technology. Does that mean that we were /wrong/ to place ourselves above those around us (sentient and otherwise) in exploiting that newly discovered capability for our own? There is much evidence to say yes: We work 40-60hrs a week with little or no rest or sense of 'this is what God (The Force, whatever) meant' reward. We bring death by war, disease and 'prosperity based famine' around the world to ALL our resident population backups to extinction. We enjoy no sense of permanence beyond the notion of striving to have more technology to stave off the consequences of what technology itself brought as new problems (resource depletion and geopolitical competition based on commercial consumerism, wage-slave labor, pollution yadda de yadda yadda).

What _I See_ in your comment is the assumption that /because/ technology is both remote from our personal manipulation AND creates a sense of social interdependence it is a 'humble thing'. And this is far from the truth. At best, someday, maybe, star travel will take us off this planet so that when the inevitable extinction event comes due to any Horseman you care to name, not everybody is again 'colocated at ground zero'.

BUT. What then? When we are safely ensconced on ten or a thousand or a million worlds. What comes next? _There will be a day_ when artificial labor, power generation and resource access is so freely available that we don't need to maintain the system for anything but our own security of leisure. Is THIS then the moment where our existence plateau's out? Or is there something more endemic to the act of living than technology can support by alienating us?

Ahhhhh, now I've done it, I've made 'control over a domain' an evil thing because it has an endgame that effectively proves pointless. Godhead is simply the point at which your are so 'into the system of systems', at the most personal level, that you are no longer living separate from your observations and thus are able to observe the flow with total accuracy of not disturbing it.

THAT then being the position to start learning 'where we are', for the first time.

>>

Only if we must accept that Jedi are demigods, which is absolutely putting the cart before the horse in this discussion I think. Nobody is infallible, Yoda too eventually must succumb to illness and pass on to the afterlife, Obi-Wan slicing off Ponda Baba's arm eventually attracts the attention of the Sandtroopers, the Jedi are wizards and samurai but I don't think they're supposed to be gods. These medieval Knights you refer to often thought of themselves as superior men, there have long been nobles who believe themselves to have the birthright to control the destinies of lesser people, but that doesn't make them RIGHT.
>>

In the Greek definition and certainly Webster's-

One entry found for demigod.

Bottom of Form 1

Main Entry: demi·god [/url]

[url="javascript:popWin('/cgi-bin/audio.pl?demigo01.wav=demigod')"] (javascript:popWin('/cgi-bin/audio.pl?demigo01.wav=demigod'))


Pronunciation: 'de-mE-"gäd
Function: noun
1 : a mythological being with more power than a mortal but less than a god
2 : a person so outstanding as to seem to approach the divine

They are already. But more importantly, they MUST BE MORE THAN MORTAL to be effective guardians of a 10,000 generation Republic. To get there from the mess GL created, I must fall back on an old saying that goes something like:

Skill is the ability to do one thing well.

Power is the ability to do many things with skill.

Wisdom is the awareness of what things need doing /first/ to accomplish a given goal.

Grace is the decision to do or do not achieve an objective goal without undue fear of or greed for the consequences of one's actions.

At an 'SOD' or Suspension Of Disbelief level, there can be no Jedi who are as weak as are shown. Because they would be run over by the teaming masses of those who would simply use pack tactics to overwhelm their resistance to whatever herd-hyped stampede response to environmental stimulus came next. Jedi as /effective/ manipulators then become _valid_ moral story points. Not because THEY are 'faulted characters'. But because the /philosophy/ they espouse with Skill, Power, Wisdom or Grace, is itself dangerous. And something which every man must continually evaluate the 'rights to be dominated by', relative to his own perceptions.

Democracy is a lie by which the singularly powerful cage the massed weak within a system of 'participancy' whose interval, subject and threshold understanding is all dictated to them as a preexisting template to WHAT they can vote on. This is the Jedi system of a moderated control rather than one which permits (say) slavery by those who live outside their rules while taking advantage of their security and prosperity. A system which harvests a continual flow of Unifying Force from the great wheel of effort-in/result-out benefit.

Now look at the Sith whose 'passion' is about power for it's own sake. Yet who have no REASON (SOD's ugly head rears again) to want to be leashed to those they would ennoble as equals or 'liberate' into anarchic chaos vectors to obviate if not truncate the structured order of the status quo. WHY? Because a Sith, feeding on the Dark Side like a vampire, only becomes powerful by evanescing the powerful emotions which loose The Force (time:space as an event sequence called 'fate' with all it's unlimited outcome potential) at the cost of the agent who dies or suffers in the release.

Ahhhhhh, now we have Jedi vs. Sith as the overriding manipulators who at least keep the system alive. Vs. incorrigible but innovative /destructors/ who in their very destruction of 'what is', create new pathways of Force Growth.

THAT is a moral debate worth having. Because the ultimate extent of mankinds power is, even now, so great that to drift towards an absolutism of either pole would destroy us all. But how we control the floodgates while conserving the lake of societal potential behind the dam wall is another story.

Moderation in all things, including Moderation? That doesn't say much for the causal mechanism by which we 'situational ethic' recognize when one 'Force' must be in control vs. the other. Or even whether our role is to be complacent in accepting the turning of the Great Wheel between cycles. Or to learn to slow or speed it's progress on our own.

Me, I don't care. I just want POWERFUL exponents of power so that the fantasy realm itself is believable as a working society as much as magic-vs.-tech effector of same. Stories which base their drama entirely upon human weakness in NOT being strong pro-antagonists quickly become deadly dull and boring.

>>

But that is just a trapping of the Expanded Universe version of the Force, nowhere in the movies do we ever see any Force power on that grand a scale.
>>

We should. Because a powrful ally that does not DO ANYTHING USEFUL is in fact a paradoxically worthless advertisement empty of worth whose ego-based 'oooh!' minor fireworks only causes it's agent avatars to /ruin everything/ for everyone else. In this, Lucas' SWU has made it seem like 'the real problem here' is that there are EITHER Jedi or Sith.

Why can I not instead see Jedi optimizing hyperlane efficiencies through their awareness of here-to-there spatial variables? Or healing the sick by teek-squashing a harmful virus or matching molecules with an antibody? Or acting as lie detectors and unequivocally neutral moderators at high level trade agreements which could potentially skew the prosperity and safety of BILLIONS of people signing up to the interstellar equivalent of NAFTA?

Why can a little green toad who is 'so past that' in terms of being capable of armed combat, stand like one of our own Martial Arts grand masters and simply say "No." There will be no more violence children. Because you cannot touch me. And so, free from your fear _I choose_ to give you ALL the Emperor's Gift* of ubiquitous mercy.

Yoda never acts like a believably wise character in any of the PT. He is full of wise *** remarks but this ultimately only renders him into an egotistical fool seemingly looking only to point out his "Saw that coming..." after the fact wisdom rather than truly /aid/ his companions search for their own way along the path that The Force has chosen for them.

Perhaps you cannot have any kind of 'deep insight' moment in an action driven movie.

But when you see an aged little Master come into a scene of great Chaos and Despair only to open a window of hope and understanding through sheer awareness of the strife and will that is the PATTERN behind the madness. Then, do you begin to understand, through actions of skill and power. Unleashed through Wisdom and Grace that the real mysticism of the Jedi, the real puissance of their 'point of view' is that of acting beyond combat of any kind. With more than 'aggressive negotiations'. To give _SAPIENT LIFE ITSELF_ a chance to choose a fate path that leads them beyond the moment's adrenal (animal) response to stress. Not a guarantee. But a chance. At another choice.

What better exponent of such 'this is what we are about, the chance to help those less than us LEARN what /they/ are about' than Yoda? An irascible self-will, neither democratic nor self-obsessive. But ultimately nothing more or less than a life (choice) revering ethos unto himself?

WOW. What a concept. What a story. What a wasted chance Mr. Lucas!



KPl.



*The Emperor's Choice. I'm sure you've seen Schindler's list and hence know 'part of the story'. Here's the rest of it (and mind you, it's a very loose translation of the Chinese tale made from memory).

1. The Emperor's fishpond in the forbidden city was stocked with all kinds of rare delicacies. Such that one, very enterprising, thief finally figured a way past the guards and the walls and the traps and the /mystique/ of that which was deemed untouchable, only to be caught on his way out. Rather than have the incriminating evidence found on his person, he ate the fish. When brought before the Emperor, the Heavenly One laughed and told the guards that they should not immediately execute him but rather send him on his way. When the bureaucrats looked at him like he was nuts and said "Bu-but sir, the fish!?" the Emperor merely smiled and said "What fish, my fish are safe, and if this man says otherwise, who will believe him?". And so the humbled man was let go and saw, thru mercy, why he was indeed out of his depth in the presence of such a Celestial Mirth.

2. A man is brought before the Emperor with a /wondrous/ creation. A combination kite and glider made from the thinnest of bamboo and shaven silk, it allowed one to 'ascend to heaven' and view the land all around for many ridden leagues. The man figured that this would surely help the Emperor in his constant battle with rebellious local lords and of course the rampaging Mongols 'ever to the north'. The Emperor could not believe what the man said, looking at him carefully as he enquired politely about the details of the wondrous machines crafting. And upon hearing the man's tale of not only how but who knew of this devices creation, he sadly gazed upon him and then told his chamberlain to take this man to a holding room where he would be 'justly rewarded for his magnificent efforts'. As soon as the pleased man had overcome his shock at the compliment enough to bow in withdrawal the Emperor looked heavily at his aide and ordered the man killed. The Chamberlain, knowing the Emperor not to be at all cruel or jealous of his own position, was shocked beyond words but eventually asked /why/ for surely this was a man whose gift ought to be nurtured and used for the benefit of all. And the Emperor sighed and said, "Yes, and if I were to allow word of his creation to spread, then, less than a century after my predecessor completed the Great Wall, the Mongols would be able to craft the means to utterly negate it, thanks to the very simplicity of his genious. Be grateful that I trust your discretion more than his exuberance in this or you would be joining him."

Understand, that for a JEDI to make such hard choices (and there is a passage in the novelization specifically relevant, though vastly overstated in which Obiwan confirms he would kill Yoda if it meant shortening the war), he must have both the power and the insight to use it under the most trying of circumstances. Achieving a result beyond the ken of most men. And you cannot do that if all that they are capable of achieving is minor parlor tricks of little or nor time:relevance to even the most mundane of combattive (anti-criminal etc.) actions. Let alone organized slaughter on the scale of mass-attrition warfare. No saberist could ever beat a man with a simple machine gun (or a blaster that fired like one). But if Yoda could twist the rules so that the the bolts/bullets or what have simply 'warped out' of existence. Then is HE no the 'most powerful warrior' there is? The one you WANT to be making the hard choices because he is never so afraid of dying that he lets adrenaline rule his actions? Again, such is power. REAL POWER. The power of peace made more potent than war.



KPl.

stillakid
06-13-2005, 11:57 AM
Other than that stultified verbiage, the whole Red Leader chats up his two junior Flight Members scene does NOTHING to inspire confidence because it makes it seem like he is making the /awesome/ mistake of choosing Luke over what must surely be ten or twenty other pilots (just look at the throne room scene) who ARE type qualified in that particular platform and who DO HAVE shared training, doctrine and _experience_ (ten mission hump) in wartime ops.
Admittedly, that always bothered me a bit as well, that Luke being fresh off the boat, as it were, is suddenly given command over other pilots who have probably been field tested. We have no reason to suspect that Luke has ever seen an X-Wing before much less flown anything similar in combat situation. From a movie-standpoint, a rationalization would be to assume that they felt he was qualified as a leader because he pulled off a rescue in the face of impossible odds, however accidental it all became.

To invoke Expanded Universe material, the radio drama for ANH includes an entire "training" sequence where Luke sits in a simulator and impresses the bejeezus out of the commander. Take that or leave it at your discretion. :)




i.e. Magic is not inherently prejudicial in whom it chooses to gift with ability. But it MUST REMAIN conservative in it's application because the numbers of uncontrolled time:space 'fate' vectors (everybody wins the lottery!) which could wreak destructive havoc if everybody could do it.
Correct me if I'm not understanding you correctly, but based on this theory, if EVERYONE had this special ability, it wouldn't be "special." It would be status quo therefore we would assume that this is the way the Universe (or at least that part of it) was created so therefore there would be no "havoc."

Because the concept of real "magic" (not illusion or sleight of hand) is nothing but a fictional construct in our experience, it is impossible to ascertain how such supernatural powers would impact the absolute entity of spacetime as predicted by Einstein. But that is all moot as far as I can tell because the use of the Force in Star Wars doesn't qualify as "magic" in that sense anyway. It appears to be based solidly in the "M" or Superstring Theory in which everything there is has as it's most fundamental element, a tiny string of oscillating energy. With that paradigm for creation firmly in place, it doesn't take a tremendous stretch to suggest (or pretend ;) ) that living organisms, which are merely large groups of oscillating energy strings, can "tap into" the pool of energy which IS everything and perform acts of telekinesis, "mind control," or fortune-telling. If everything is merely energy, including time itself, then we and everything there is is all one gigantic "thing." So there is actual science sitting behind Yoda's words even though he colors the instructions under a more "religious" umbrella.

Which leads us back to the initial assertion: Midichlorians shouldn't have existed. It's clear that their purpose in the story is to act as a conduit...a gateway...for organisms to tap into this energy field (the Force). But was it necessary? Not really. What the inclusion of this conduit is saying is that despite all of Yoda's eloquence, no organism has the internal inherent capability to tap into the Force without some third party help. Just as JT says about Yoda's books, Luke had to be a superhero prior to even knowing about it therefore his status as an "everyman" is diminished if not negated entirely.

So why are Midichlorians in the story? It was blunt instrument to show that Ani was "special." A blunt instrument where a more subtle indication would have worked far better and been less detrimental to the established storyline and character of Luke Skywalker.



Ahhhhh, now I've done it, I've made 'control over a domain' an evil thing because it has an endgame that effectively proves pointless. Godhead is simply the point at which your are so 'into the system of systems', at the most personal level, that you are no longer living separate from your observations and thus are able to observe the flow with total accuracy of not disturbing it.

THAT then being the position to start learning 'where we are', for the first time.

I don't think so...you didn't make "control over a domain" an evil thing. But it is a necessary thing with sometimes "unfortunate" implications and results. To put it into simplier terms, we have Joe Nobody from Middle America who has to work 60 hours a week to provide for himself and the family thus leaving little time for quaint philosophical musings like this one. On the other we have someone like Paris Hilton who has none of the petty concerns regarding mere survival that she has the leisure time to pursue more...well, living. People may scoff at her personal choices, but in the end, most are envious of the opportuntity to do as she pleases. Point being, without those pesky survival issues to deal with, what's left to do? So once we master our domain (the universe) in such a way that we have no fear of extinction, what then? Does complacency automatically lead us to that "evil thing" which you allude to? I'm not so sure. And if even idleness is "immoral" in some people's eyes today, that doesn't mean that a hedonistic lifestyle is empirically "evil." It just means that people have the opportunity to truly LIVE. And isn't that what the goal should be? :confused:



At an 'SOD' or Suspension Of Disbelief level, there can be no Jedi who are as weak as are shown. Because they would be run over by the teaming masses of those who would simply use pack tactics to overwhelm their resistance to whatever herd-hyped stampede response to environmental stimulus came next. Jedi as /effective/ manipulators then become _valid_ moral story points. Not because THEY are 'faulted characters'. But because the /philosophy/ they espouse with Skill, Power, Wisdom or Grace, is itself dangerous. And something which every man must continually evaluate the 'rights to be dominated by', relative to his own perceptions.

I agree. The Jedi should have been wiped out long ago for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the invention and propogation of the "blaster." (I brought that question up in another thread) Judging by the fairly nonchalant attitude that most "normal" people had toward the Jedi (Obi and Anakin on Coruscant), there was zero respect shown for such a "magical" sect of the population. To adequately illustrate Old Ben's statement that "the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice for over a thousand generations," we would have needed to see that those in the Prequels cleared paths for the robed ones showing the utmost reverence and even a little bit of fear. But instead, we got Joe Friday and his sidekick, Slappy out to solve a crime.



Perhaps you cannot have any kind of 'deep insight' moment in an action driven movie.
Ah, but we did:



LUKE
(discouraged)
You want the impossible.

Quietly Yoda turns toward the X-wing fighter. With his eyes closed and his head bowed, he raises his arm and points at the ship. Soon, the fighter rises above the water and moves forward as Artoo beeps in terror and scoots away. The entire X-wing moves majestically, surely, toward the shore. Yoda stands on a tree root and guides the fighter carefully down toward the beach. Luke stares in astonishment as the fighter settles down onto the shore. He walks toward Yoda.

LUKE
I don't...I don't believe it.

YODA
That is why you fail.

This is a failure of the Prequels with their heavy-handed attempts at "subtlety" and "meaning":




JIRA
Gracious, my bones are aching...storm's coming on, Annie. You'd
better get home quick.





OBI-WAN
But he still has much to learn, Master. His
abilities have made him... well, arrogant.

YODA
Yes, yes. It's a flaw more and more common among
Jedi. Too sure of themselves they are. Even the older, more
experienced ones.





ANAKIN
From my point of view, the Jedi are evil.




We really don't see that kind of thing written into the Original Trilogy. The story there is just the story without any of the characters catching on to the themes that are in George's head. One of the best things I ever was taught in writing was that it was okay to have a message for your story, just don't let any of your characters know what it is because inevitably, you'll write some lame scene where one of them monologues about it. Best to just have the characters do what they do and say what they would say and trust that the audience is intelligent enough to figure out what message you're trying to impart. But I have to say, after reading some of the "interpretations" of elements of the saga here, I'm beginning to think that George is dead on in being over-the-top and obvious. Subtlety doesn't seem to work as well as it should.



But if Yoda could twist the rules so that the the bolts/bullets or what have simply 'warped out' of existence. Then is HE no the 'most powerful warrior' there is? The one you WANT to be making the hard choices because he is never so afraid of dying that he lets adrenaline rule his actions? Again, such is power. REAL POWER. The power of peace made more potent than war.
Interesting idea: TOTAL control over the energy field so that manipulation goes beyond simple parlor tricks. I'll have to dwell on that potential. Very good. :) However, good it is though, it does take us well-beyond the world that is Star Wars and (smack me for saying this) into something akin to The Matrix (not an endorsement of that terrible series). I would think that the residents of this galaxy far far away may one day achieve this level of influence with the energy field, but at the time of the saga, it is still well beyond their reach.

However, your last sentence speaks to my idea concerning what a Post-quel would contain. While it would never see the light of day (or a projector), it seems to me that the only (or best) possible resolution of the Star Wars saga would be to continue with the concept that "once you start down the darkpath, forever will it dominate your destiny." Luke invariably does use the darkside to defeat Darth Vader. While it appears as though he steps back from the brink in favor of martyrdom, he has tasted the sweet nectar of the power of the darkside nonetheless.

As such, as our hypothetical episodes VII, VIII, and IX progress, Luke is busy trying to rebuild the Republic into a greater force than it was previously. Only he finds it conventient to "cheat" from time to time in a classic illustration of "the ends justify the means." It worked to bring down Vader, so why not just hedge into that power from time to time for the greater good? Well, as we all know, you give an inch and they take a mile, so Luke's minor forays into the darkside for the greater good become more aggregious over time. He is truly repeating the sins of the father (the OT version, not the bastardized PT version) and must be stopped/saved. The only person who can possibly do this is his own sister, Leia. The saga climaxes with Luke spouting out angry words such as, "I'm doing this for the Republic! I'm doing this for you!" Leia must stop Luke in order to save the Republic...and in order to save his soul. But shall she fight him and risk perpetuating the Skywalker cycle? No. As she has always done, she places the value of the Republic above her own needs and sacrifices herself at the blade of her brother. Only in her martyrdom can Luke be "shocked" into realization of what he has become. And the only "hope" that the Republic has left is for Luke to take his own life, wiping the slate clean so that the galaxy can begin anew. That is the measure of true peace.

KPl
06-13-2005, 03:13 PM
>>

To invoke Expanded Universe material, the radio drama for ANH includes an entire "training" sequence where Luke sits in a simulator and impresses the bejeezus out of the commander. Take that or leave it at your discretion. ) that living organisms, which are merely large groups of oscillating energy strings, can "tap into" the pool of energy which IS everything and perform acts of telekinesis, "mind control," or fortune-telling. If everything is merely energy, including time itself, then we and everything there is is all one gigantic "thing." So there is actual science sitting behind Yoda's words even though he colors the instructions under a more "religious" umbrella.

>>

And Lo, God Created The Universe. 'Fixing' the energy of inifinite potential into a hard reality which could be manipulated and alterred mechanically but would never be the wild, chaotic, 'anything goes' nature of what came before. And some of the Angels thought he had gone mad, fought, lost, and Fell. And others saw infinite potential in his work (the sculpture hidden in the rock theory) and so eagerly awaited 'what would come next' from the clay he wrought into a basic form...

You see, whatever imagery hook you put on it, it is the /limitations/ of 'Force Alteration' which -allows- the infinite variety of achievable (semi permanent) FORM not wild kineticism.

This being why Anakin was such a dangerous tool.

Because he could not understand the concept behind destructive creationism nor the limits of absolute power. And since his love was never allowed to mature openly into wisdom by providing a 'nurtured becomes nurturer' alternative to _direct interference_ in the structured order of things (i.e. whether you are trying to keep everything the same or make everything different, you are effecting the flow of pattern into pattern that staves off entropy as staticism), he self destructed within the fixed perception of 'Jedi may never mate because...??' (Heroic or Lover story path conflict for it's own sake as a Campbellian _dramatic_ not philosphical inhibitor...).

SOME DAY, we will know enough of this that whoever survives out of the continuing Darwinism of social as much as physical evolution will have achieved the ability to Do Both.

Effect mundane life in mundane ways.

And alter fate as a potential curve in completely exotic ones.

But at that point, we will no longer be humans mining the coalface of destiny. We will be Gods who must allow destiny to flow through and around us. Neither destroying nor preserving things beyond (or before) their use-by date.

At that point WE will be 'The Flow of The Force'.

And anything which we do to interupt that here-to-there voltage metering will diminish ourselves. Given the ruthless exploitation of our sole and only home, that point may be closer than we think possible.

>>

Which leads us back to the initial assertion: Midichlorians shouldn't have existed. It's clear that their purpose in the story is to act as a conduit...a gateway...for organisms to tap into this energy field (the Force). But was it necessary? Not really. What the inclusion of this conduit is saying is that despite all of Yoda's eloquence, no organism has the internal inherent capability to tap into the Force without some third party help. Just as JT says about Yoda's books, Luke had to be a superhero prior to even knowing about it therefore his status as an "everyman" is diminished if not negated entirely.

>>

Baaah. You might as well be envious of blue eyes and blonde hair. They are pretty and if you are a caucasian male looking at a gorgeous female they may provide an increased incentive desire to prove worthy mate potential. But they are NOT the be all/end all of what has value. Indeed, assigning any -more- value than that to their presence as a phenotypical indicator is envy of what you are not rather than desire to learn what you may become (through her genes or otherwise).

Force potential is much the same (especially if you remain mortal and thus limited in the time you may learn to manipulate it) because a great Force Adept will likely not be a great doctor or engineer. Even though he may understand more /instinctively/ of the basic physics of what they are doing, his need to be a dynamic part of society, to 'feel the flow' of life all around him, will prevent him from contributing usefully to what must be a very structured, static, and yet in many ways _more valuable_ (and rewarding) mundane existence.

And never doubt, there is INCREDIBLE magic in the most basic of physical=mundane things. People assume there is a separation of the two across some infinite void of the soul. But there isn't. For The Force is BOTH the hardest of fixed realities and the greatest of dynamic energies. And Midis are just the mechanization linking the two through our genome.

In this, Yoda's 'certain point of view' was that of a Mage Warrior trying to expand Luke's _genetic predisposition_ towards a conscious awareness of the chaos-warp of potential realities to a level where the 'luminosity' of it's presence was more important than the mundane belief of 'how things were and always would be' as a static value. See The Force and it will help you understand how to break the causal links between what you perceptively accept and what is truly possible etc. etc..

Yet Yoda gives himself away in the simplest of phrases, "Between you, me, this rock, that tree, yes, even between the land and your ship..." Note how, for all his rejection of 'crude matter' it is BY THE GOALPOSTS of that physical reality that he bounds the potential of The Force to make changes.

Aha! Tiz better to be a mage in a mundane world than a god of chaos because mundanity will settle back down to assume it's static pattern and thus -hold- the changes in place or purpose you have made. Whereas, if everything were magic, then YOU are the one holding the pattern together. And as soon as you stop concentrating, everything returns to random chaos (think Hyperspace flow patterns).

>>

So why are Midichlorians in the story? It was blunt instrument to show that Ani was "special." A blunt instrument where a more subtle indication would have worked far better and been less detrimental to the established storyline and character of Luke Skywalker.

>>

NO. The Midichlorians were a way to generate a class-advantage for those who were Jedi. An advantage which was vulnerable to unwarranted exploitation IF it could be passed on or enhanced outside the specific family lines who inherited it. This may or may not be 'prejudicial' in it's similarities to the Great White Way by which (so the media would have us believe) caucasian males rule the world we know 'so unfairly'.

But it is ALSO the basis of great drama. For the conflict created is that of an 'everyman' standing one-rung-down on the ladder and wanting desperately to SEE the top. Whether they really are able or willing to pay the price for getting there.

Yet it also sets you up to learn what that price is in that it teaches people to understand the difference between having a great gift in which you are trained by those who had the genetic predisposition themselves (and thus, as both caring parents and 'BTDT' experienced Force users can impart a great degree of control and respect for it's use).

And the notion that, if industrialized so that 'everybody was equal' Force talent (or any potentially destabilizing _genetic engineering_ discovery) might cause /incredible/ destruction as nobody had to fight to master themselves before they 'read a book' and could master the ability to alter reality itself. How now a worldview rendered unto ash by your greed for more power?

In this, we live in a society bounded by rules for a reason. And one of those tenets is that collective power is given to a few representatives to wield wisely, continuously, while 'in the loop' of constantly updated awareness and reevaluation of circumstanital outcomes. Not to be expended pell-mell on a thousand whims.

Such a system is in fact called a representative democracy or 'A Republic'.

The difference then being that, while the teeth of our own Republic are trained warriors no more intelligent or gifted with precognition than we and who are therefore forbidden to make do-do-not decisions because that would 'give them too much power'. And those who would unleash them are typically equally unaware of the best vs. worst-case efficiencies of their destructive aptitudes and so have no knowledge of the tool so much as the need for -A Tool- to resolve a given crisis. We have no link of wisdom between effect and effector.

Jedi, living in family groups in control of local systems as a _KNIGHTLY_ order of mages that both counter balanced each other. And shared Power as a function of Prescient Awareness could perhaps be trusted to do more as local regencies (say referees) for a Republic's (Senatorial) 'general wishes' (produce this much, give that much trade percentage) while maintaining a safe and habitable social structure for their people.

Because they were 'tapped in' to The Force and so had no real need for the mundane elements of living as temporal power _in and of themselves_. But rather existed solely as a function of what day to day existence liberated from the coalface of fate to let them continue to have their connective Force fix with the godhead of chaotic energy.

Such is the difference between a centralized and federated control architecture in that the federated system is rewarded by the very traffic of data requests that it permits or offloads to others and so will only continue to benefit so long as that traffic is maintained -between the system as a whole-.

If a Sith Vampire or an untrained and careless as much as callous 'everyman' Joe Force User was to be made possible because someone had figured out that the nominally male lineage of Force Gifting (as a function of nuclear DNA mind configuration templating) could only be maintained through the FEMALE passage of non-nuclear, mitochondrial, DNA. And that this non-nuclear DNA was itself replicateable to avoid the familial restrictor of 'Knightly' dual-linked Jedi traitism.

Then all the discipline of the martial artist who must learn over a lifetime to control himself before he can kill another at will would be lost in a pop-the-blue-pill commercialism of Matrix Mechanization to achieve Force alteration of reality itself.

THAT would be _very bad_. Even as it would again be /excellent/ storytelling material on an "Is it better to have some access to raw power at it's most basic level 'for emergencies and in moderation of everyday life activities basis? Or is the envy and lust for power too easily able to break all boundaries and thus awareness of Power Itself better denied?"

Such being vastly more interesting a grey-area question than the avatar driven _dreck_ we've had to suffer through this past decade.

>>

I don't think so...you didn't make "control over a domain" an evil thing. But it is a necessary thing with sometimes "unfortunate" implications and results. To put it into simplier terms, we have Joe Nobody from Middle America who has to work 60 hours a week to provide for himself and the family thus leaving little time for quaint philosophical musings like this one. On the other we have someone like Paris Hilton who has none of the petty concerns regarding mere survival that she has the leisure time to pursue more...well, living. People may scoff at her personal choices, but in the end, most are envious of the opportuntity to do as she pleases. Point being, without those pesky survival issues to deal with, what's left to do? So once we master our domain (the universe) in such a way that we have no fear of extinction, what then? Does complacency automatically lead us to that "evil thing" which you allude to? I'm not so sure. And if even idleness is "immoral" in some people's eyes today, that doesn't mean that a hedonistic lifestyle is empirically "evil." It just means that people have the opportunity to truly LIVE.

And isn't that what the goal should be? However, good it is though, it does take us well-beyond the world that is Star Wars and (smack me for saying this) into something akin to The Matrix (not an endorsement of that terrible series). I would think that the residents of this galaxy far far away may one day achieve this level of influence with the energy field, but at the time of the saga, it is still well beyond their reach.

>>

Excellent! I think you've got it. OTOH, why make grand statements about philosophy when The Force exists to maintain BOTH itself AND the potential of something more. If man creates an artificial Jedi (as a universal if inadequate label for a Force Adept) then the Jedi /system/ may degrade as fallen Sith Lords (ex Jedi) attempt to corrupt the trust of the people by engendering war and civil unrest using the _literal_ 'face of authority' which are CLONES of those hereditary family members that the galaxy has come to trust through past actions.

"Oh no, they've gone mad with power, we must all have it now for they are untrustworthy!"

The 'Imperial Period' then serving the purpose of eliminating the mixed value (Good? Bad? WHO THE HECK ARE YOU!?!?!) confusion as the Jedi destroy the Clones and are themselves destroyed (attrition warfare on an /immense/ scale) while The Sith, having 'total access' to what remains, allow a built-in kill date (think Bladerunner) to leave them in absolute power on a Force High that makes any known drug seem like chiclets.

For they are both the Senatorial 'do this' and the middle management 'here's how' governancy and so can stripmine the coalface to enjoy /huge/ spurts of unregulated power.

Yet because even they cannot control all The Force and hence cannot hold the -form out of chaos- that is galactic society, 'from out of the mists emerges a hero'. To exploit himself the degrading social context in fighting fire with fire.

And because REALLY powerful Jedi, like Yoda, have 'shown the way' (ruthless but not purposeless use of MASS area-of-effect Force empowerment) you have a really believable ability for not merely a powerful but a /charismatic/ individual to recollect more and more personal trust (and hence superstring M-links if you like) of those who reinforce once more the Lightside over the Dark.

Does the audience NEED to know about this Light:Dark underlying pseudo-religious conflict? No. Religion scares people with it's absolutes of beyond-normal consequence. All's they need to see is the 'clever' goes-around-comes-around effect of simulacrums destroying the system like a cancer and the destruction of the system providing an opportunity for it to renew itself like a Phoenix.

As it becomes 'obvious fate' that, with the Jedi untrusted, they had to vanish until the 'bad guys' either self destructed or were made obvious in their mortal (aging, even as a Clone) presence. And the Jedi could pull a Once And Future themic recovery once things had settled down and people had 'learned the lesson' about being burnt by uninhibited (untrained) Force Users. As well as WHO those Force users were.

i.e. The self balancing system effect in operation. No matter 'what comes next' on a grand evolutionary scale.

>>

However, your last sentence speaks to my idea concerning what a Post-quel would contain. While it would never see the light of day (or a projector), it seems to me that the only (or best) possible resolution of the Star Wars saga would be to continue with the concept that "once you start down the darkpath, forever will it dominate your destiny." Luke invariably does use the darkside to defeat Darth Vader. While it appears as though he steps back from the brink in favor of martyrdom, he has tasted the sweet nectar of the power of the darkside nonetheless.

As such, as our hypothetical episodes VII, VIII, and IX progress, Luke is busy trying to rebuild the Republic into a greater force than it was previously. Only he finds it conventient to "cheat" from time to time in a classic illustration of "the ends justify the means." It worked to bring down Vader, so why not just hedge into that power from time to time for the greater good? Well, as we all know, you give an inch and they take a mile, so Luke's minor forays into the darkside for the greater good become more aggregious over time. He is truly repeating the sins of the father (the OT version, not the bastardized PT version) and must be stopped/saved. The only person who can possibly do this is his own sister, Leia. The saga climaxes with Luke spouting out angry words such as, "I'm doing this for the Republic! I'm doing this for you!" Leia must stop Luke in order to save the Republic...and in order to save his soul. But shall she fight him and risk perpetuating the Skywalker cycle? No. As she has always done, she places the value of the Republic above her own needs and sacrifices herself at the blade of her brother. Only in her martyrdom can Luke be "shocked" into realization of what he has become. And the only "hope" that the Republic has left is for Luke to take his own life, wiping the slate clean so that the galaxy can begin anew. That is the measure of true peace.

>>

Now who is it that is saying godhead cannot be touched by those corrupted by original sin because 'we are ALL not worthy'?

Therein lies the paradox and it's solution. If we were never meant to know wisdom as the mediator of power then God either /really/ screwed up when he kicked us out of The Garden. Or he is himself an absolute of evil that vampirically feeds on the neverending cycle of rise-and-fall that is civilization without real point of development. Yet which -itself- must ultimately come to some final doom of apocalyptic proportions because even our /mundane/ tools of physically real weaponry as well as the effluvium of society itself, will eventually destroy our habitat as much as our genome beyond the ability to be liveable.

If God (the Darkside, whatever) is the ultimate Sith, then he/it is also the ultimate fool. For in giving us /partial/ wisdom, he has assured his/it's own irrevocable loss of the most powerful tool Sapiency in mining the coalface of Time:Space=Destiny as a 'Force' of recovered dynamic chaos.

For we will indeed destroy ourselves if our rapacious desire for the mundane replaces our connection to the infinite -because we are not worthy- of more.

OTOH, _what if_ the fall from grace is /not/ irredeemable? Because, being mortal (for now) we are ourselves infinitely mutable from whatever fault we may have accumulated in a deliberate nest-kicked journey towards becoming something more. If this is the working hypothesis. If we are intended to become gods or even to become a unified trinity of personality, power and potential that is 'Force Itself', perhaps as part of some kind of universal reproductive cycle.

THEN WE MUST GRAB HOLD SOME DAY.

We cannot forever push away power on a WANW basis of refused trial. But rather we must integrate it with ourselves so that, through it's awareness ('_Knowledge_ and Defense') we can start to see how we must make changes to not merely the coalface but our own perceptions of ourselves as it's miners.

BAM. New idea. It's not about 'little evils grow into giant nightmares'. It's about accepting fault as a journey towards grace without rejecting the power of control over potential that let's us alter as much as achieve the destination. For WE are the beginning -and- the end of the journey. And our awareness of self in the universe is the true potential of 'knowing it all, for the first time'.

I /like/ that story. Because it doesn't require a suicide of fabulous potential to refuse it's evil application. Nor does it require darkness to be extinguished by light in a given singular moment of absolute moral choice.

Because the power they represent are one and the same at the point of employment (which is yet another reason why Yoda should have /acted/ differently, more like a god, less like a cantankerously demented and aggressively snide little saber troll.).

And furthermore, having already been kicked out of the innocence that is our representative species memory of The Garden as a Paradise Lost (in touch with the absolute power but not aware of it's function), it's time for a NEW MYTH about /why/ God (The Force) wasn't really mad at us because it was time for us to go out into the great wide world that was created 'just for us' that we might become BOTH power AND it's understanding.

One way to get there is to create stories that combine the old perceptions of fantasy (knights and feudalism) as a static set of microsocietal viewpoints with a new psychology of what is _really going on_ in the mechanization of effect from motive that is their interaction. Perhaps then the 'end begets the means' justification IS the clue, dark or light, to what part of the dynamic cycle we are in at that moment. And the awareness of position as an ethical modifier proves "We ARE ready for more power..."

The most basic understanding of the Great Wheel must be that we accept the tenet that not all will have that power. Due to 'random chance' genetics or otherwise. But that maybe, someday, our children's children, will refine down ethics and moralism to the point of ruthless efficiency as absolute empathy such that they will.

The 'next question' being whether they will need it or if it will be what we think it is.





KPl.

JediTricks
06-14-2005, 06:52 PM
I have limited time on this earth, so I am not going to have time to respond to the massive replies here right now, thus I will pick my battles by what most interests me.


(demigods) They are already. But more importantly, they MUST BE MORE THAN MORTAL to be effective guardians of a 10,000 generation Republic. To get there from the mess GL created, I must fall back on an old saying that goes something like: Skill is the ability to do one thing well. Power is the ability to do many things with skill. Wisdom is the awareness of what things need doing /first/ to accomplish a given goal. Grace is the decision to do or do not achieve an objective goal without undue fear of or greed for the consequences of one's actions. I believe that the Jedi are not "more than mortal", they do not have "power" per se, it is their knowledge and skill using the Force that makes them special, and the Force is the "power" there for anybody with that knowledge to use. Just because they were the Republic's "guardians of peace and justice for a thousand generations" does not mean they were omnipresent intergalactic cops who fought a thousand wars on a thousand different fronts, the Jedi were not guardians of peace and justice through war, it was the OTHER stuff that made them who they were. That's the romance of the Jedi, of Star Wars, that they could be more than just superwarriors and still not be demigods, not be ubermensch, for thousands of years.


We should. Because a powrful ally that does not DO ANYTHING USEFUL is in fact a paradoxically worthless advertisement empty of worth whose ego-based 'oooh!' minor fireworks only causes it's agent avatars to /ruin everything/ for everyone else. That's your interpretation of what "a powerful ally" should be, that a powerful ally must be MORE powerful than the uses of the Force we see in the saga, but I would disagree and say that the uses we see are already pretty powerful and useful without needing to control an entire galaxy of people, places, and things, nor does it need to show a master puppetteer directly manipulating a billion different marionettes at once in order for the Force to be powerful. The Force is supposed to be greater even than the Jedi or Sith, so that they can tap into it yet when it obeys their commands it is done on a personal level rather than pan-galactic one. You seem to present a Star Wars where the Force users actually *are* gods already and therefore should be smashing planets together and manipulating the minds of entire worlds as ammunition in their wars, but I don't think that's who they were shown to us to be.


Yoda never acts like a believably wise character in any of the PT. He is full of wise *** remarks but this ultimately only renders him into an egotistical fool seemingly looking only to point out his "Saw that coming..." after the fact wisdom rather than truly /aid/ his companions search for their own way along the path that The Force has chosen for them. Of this I will definitely agree.


Perhaps you cannot have any kind of 'deep insight' moment in an action driven movie. It's supposed to be an adventure-driven movie, which intermixes action and characters and plot. It is limited, but it's not absolutely "no possibility for depth" limited IMO.


But when you see an aged little Master come into a scene of great Chaos and Despair only to open a window of hope and understanding through sheer awareness of the strife and will that is the PATTERN behind the madness. Then, do you begin to understand, through actions of skill and power. Unleashed through Wisdom and Grace that the real mysticism of the Jedi, the real puissance of their 'point of view' is that of acting beyond combat of any kind. With more than 'aggressive negotiations'. To give _SAPIENT LIFE ITSELF_ a chance to choose a fate path that leads them beyond the moment's adrenal (animal) response to stress. Not a guarantee. But a chance. At another choice. All well and good, but that is not a particularly entertaining tale, ONLY a moral one. The prequels are nearly the opposite, trying to be an entertaining tale without much vision for the moral tale. I feel the OT was a good balance, but it only opens ones eyes to large possibilities of not fighting because otherwise it wouldn't be attractive. If every Jedi vs Sith battle had the ROTJ Luke-style ending, it'd become purely academic.



The story there is just the story without any of the characters catching on to the themes that are in George's head. One of the best things I ever was taught in writing was that it was okay to have a message for your story, just don't let any of your characters know what it is because inevitably, you'll write some lame scene where one of them monologues about it. Best to just have the characters do what they do and say what they would say and trust that the audience is intelligent enough to figure out what message you're trying to impart. But I have to say, after reading some of the "interpretations" of elements of the saga here, I'm beginning to think that George is dead on in being over-the-top and obvious. Subtlety doesn't seem to work as well as it should. That's a good piece of advice you were given. I think the OT succeeds there for the most part, it has them do what they do and it's the plot that has the moral messages, and it does this through simplicity and directness, two things I think the prequels absolutely avoid like the plague for some reason (probably because there IS no central moral core to these 3 stories, they're just afterthoughts and add-ons to an already-complete tale).


However, good it is though, it does take us well-beyond the world that is Star Wars and (smack me for saying this) into something akin to The Matrix (not an endorsement of that terrible series). Even The Matrix has only "the machine" at that level of control, Neo as the most powerful protagonist can only control the matrix on a smaller, more personal level - that series quickly went nowhere with the sequel though unfortunately, the hope of who Neo was and how he could outthink the machine became a wasted point on the story arc IMO.



Anyway, it saddens me that we've essentially sucked the life out of this thread's original point, we've gone so far off onto our own massive grand-scale philosophical discussion that we've strangled off the meaning of the thread. I'll try to refocus on this thread's meaning...



NO. The Midichlorians were a way to generate a class-advantage for those who were Jedi. An advantage which was vulnerable to unwarranted exploitation IF it could be passed on or enhanced outside the specific family lines who inherited it. This may or may not be 'prejudicial' in it's similarities to the Great White Way by which (so the media would have us believe) caucasian males rule the world we know 'so unfairly'.Is this not blatant assumption? Because that's how it seems to me, you've assigned a foreign goal to the midichlorians as a plot-device and base a LARGE portion of your argument on that assumption. At best, we see that class-advantage is the BYPRODUCT of the storylines that the midichlorians create, but I cannot fathom how you feel that's their main and intended purpose.


But it is ALSO the basis of great drama. For the conflict created is that of an 'everyman' standing one-rung-down on the ladder and wanting desperately to SEE the top. Whether they really are able or willing to pay the price for getting there. This is absolutely not what Star Wars is about though, you may see that message in there but it's not the intent, again we're talking about a byproduct. Intent is part of what this topic is about, after all, why the midis were created and how that stands in contrast with what they were supposed to represent.

KPl
06-14-2005, 11:13 PM
>>

I believe that the Jedi are not "more than mortal", they do not have "power" per se, it is their knowledge and skill using the Force that makes them special, and the Force is the "power" there for anybody with that knowledge to use. Just because they were the Republic's "guardians of peace and justice for a thousand generations" does not mean they were omnipresent intergalactic cops who fought a thousand wars on a thousand different fronts, the Jedi were not guardians of peace and justice through war, it was the OTHER stuff that made them who they were. That's the romance of the Jedi, of Star Wars, that they could be more than just superwarriors and still not be demigods, not be ubermensch, for thousands of years.
>>

Ahhhh, but that's just it. YOU make them into warriors-only when they are only allowed to be portrayed as being such. I'm the one who wanted to see them as Healers (The Temple in much of the EU fiction is specifically a site for healing). As Hyperlane navigators. As Diplomatic Mediators acting as an insurance policy of based on read-intent AND outcomes to specific 'clauses' in treaties. Yet the one thing you _cannot_ do is forget that, if they are at this for 20,000 years, they WILL accumulate power as a result. My idea, for a 'familial' system that interlinked system-nobility is thus not a way to make the Jedi better than those they rule. But to act as a mediatorial barrier between them and the totally ruthless Senatorial Powers. The would certainly be a lot less cold and sterile than the 'Jedi' whose notion of of a cloistered society is that of militant monks who kidnap children from the cradle solely to control their Force Gift.

At the same time, I also want to get _clear_ right now, that ubermensche does NOT mean 1 racial type. Or indeed even 1 /species/ type. (Because clearly that is not so in Lucas' own portrayal of the Jedi Council and I am not arguing for any change there). It is simply the reality that the cream rises to the top of any fairplay competitive system. And if you want to moderate the impulses of a galactic society 120,000 light years across for 20,000 years, you had better have _great people_ learning how to do it, repetively beyond trial and error or 'terms of election'.

Now, there are two ways to get there. One is to make these Jedi wealthy and conventionally imposing in the way we think of Royalty on OUR earth. And indeed as is hinted at by Lucas via the notion of Jedi having monstrous temples built like fortresses and personal starfighters they can joyride across the galaxy in.

'Without war but apparently with everybody armed to the teeth' (snort, look at WWI for the likelihood of /that/ condition lasting any length of time).

The other method is to make the Jedi like elves. Joyful, playful, and /in love/ with the Pure Magic that is The Force so that everything else, all the bobbles and trinkets that are the trappings of temporal power are simply 'things' to them. THAT should be what the 'common folk' love about them. That these Jedi (who apparently live a LOT longer socially-effective lives than do the rest of us and so ARE more than mortal). Are also, literally, 'Great People'.

To be around.

To count on as friends.

To know as honorable even as acquaintances.

Ubermensche, at it's most basic, is not a class definition. It is simply a word for Great People.

But if that is the kind of power you use as an alternative to materialism, to 'remain pure' and untouched by common needs while at the same time influencing the course of society for the better. It had jolly well _better be_ a lot more creditable STRENGTH of ability that we were shown. If only because it _has to_ be /fun/.

For those so gifted.

The ultimate conflict between my Jedi and Lucas' little raving misanthropic fanaticism is that, according to him, having a family makes you unable to be a 'Great Person' (with The Force or without it) as a function of self sacrifice. Which, IMO, is _dead wrong_.

It may hurt to lose the chance to see your kids grow up as you fall in battle or by any other 'dangerous profession' means.

Or to bury a son or a daughter who followed in your footsteps but will never know the joys of raising his own children as you did.

BUT, the alternative is to have NO link to Society. NO reason to want /society/ to be safe for _your_ kids (special or not) to grow up in. And that sounds to me like a recipe for ennui and arrogant disassociation. Not 'emotionless compassion'.

Lucas' little twisted fantasy failed, utterly, to provide a reasonable counter argument, not as to why Anakin fell. But why he had to LIE so that all those around him could not help him out. 'And then' in the OT, they did nominally the same thing with Luke and it was 'somehow okay'?

Anakin never loved anything. So it was not love that destroyed him. MAYBE it was starting too old. But if so, why delay Luke's initiation into a monklike existence?!?

Duuuuh-UUUUH-uuuuuuh!

Moronically Unjustifiable is the only phrase that covers what I perceive to be GL's 'themic disconnect'. On BOTH sides of the OT/PT barrier.



>>

Quote:

We should. Because a powrful ally that does not DO ANYTHING USEFUL is in fact a paradoxically worthless advertisement empty of worth whose ego-based 'oooh!' minor fireworks only causes it's agent avatars to /ruin everything/ for everyone else.

That's your interpretation of what "a powerful ally" should be, that a powerful ally must be MORE powerful than the uses of the Force we see in the saga, but I would disagree and say that the uses we see are already pretty powerful and useful without needing to control an entire galaxy of people, places, and things, nor does it need to show a master puppetteer directly manipulating a billion different marionettes at once in order for the Force to be powerful. The Force is supposed to be greater even than the Jedi or Sith, so that they can tap into it yet when it obeys their commands it is done on a personal level rather than pan-galactic one. You seem to present a Star Wars where the Force users actually *are* gods already and therefore should be smashing planets together and manipulating the minds of entire worlds as ammunition in their wars, but I don't think that's who they were shown to us to be.
>>

>>

All well and good, but that is not a particularly entertaining tale, ONLY a moral one. The prequels are nearly the opposite, trying to be an entertaining tale without much vision for the moral tale. I feel the OT was a good balance, but it only opens ones eyes to large possibilities of not fighting because otherwise it wouldn't be attractive. If every Jedi vs Sith battle had the ROTJ Luke-style ending, it'd become purely academic.

>>

No. Imagine a 15-20 minute battle. 'And then Yoda shows up'. And the battle STOPS. All the death, all the slaughter. You want power, you want to see REAL control of The Force people? Here it is. BAM. /Not/ what you expected of a 'Great Warrior' is it? How about a _Great Person_??

When the Egyptians fall into the trap of stupidity which is their destructive pursuit of the Jews across the Red Sea (and four feet deep of bottom mud in narrow rim wheeled chariots) in the film Moses, what is the greater moment? When the sea takes them. Or when Charleton Heston 'asks' that the whole of the water part for the safe passage of his people? Visually and Morally, it is the latter. Just watch the damn film. The water returning to crush Pharoah's troops is simply nature being itself.

The water dividing itself to a humble WILL that invokes ACTION it would never normally undertake so as to make the unreal, 'possible'. _That Is Power_.

And even if all's you are doing is teasing the audience's sense of voyeuristic expectation, for Yoda to toddle down the ramp, do his best Crying Indian impression before centering himself and looking up to say, softly, "No."

With the result that all the people 'woke up' and stood back as the droids simply 'froze'.

That would be the /perfect illustration/ of why 'technology and organized political power cannot replace the MAGIC that is the Jedi Way.' Even as the AUDIENCE went /wow/. That is Yoda alright. I wish I could 'buy the world a Coke' like he just did.

This doesn't mean that there will not be more 'action oriented' moments as the Jedi slowly _stop_ winning all the time (each encounter get's harder and harder to overcome, no matter how strong the individual Knight, until disaster starts to strike 'all over') and begin their long fall.

For indeed, imagine the final duel between Sidious and Yoda that rings more like a Dark Fantasia with the two Masters 'walking on air' as the literal sphere of the Senate collapses with the wild energies (well beyond 'mere lightning' now) they are unleashing.

But what it says to a (very sad) audience is that, even in losing... Even when the best among 'us' (for we are with them) are hunted mercilessly into extinction, it will be an even greater (dramatic) tragedy because they represent all the HOPE that we want to be. But never thought to desire.

For The Jedi Are Past Being Graceful. They ARE Grace. And Wisdom. And Power. And Skill.

And if you believe in them as something more than mere killers. If you BELIEVE that war itself is the absence of control and honor and that The Force can smooth that aberration over into the continuity of Peace.

Maybe, someday, when we are _Ready For It_. The Jedi Will Return.

As Us.

WOW. In _our_ worldview? What a concept. That no loss is greater than the potential of regaining what you have once seen to be the better way. The stronger way. The Way of Peace.

The reason Jedi carry sabers is because other Jedi basically nullify their ability to warp reality simply by saying 'no, it will remain the way it is because that is what the overwhelming 'weight' of galactic inertia makes easy'.

Thus combat /between/ Jedi is _very_ personal at it's most physical of incarnations. You can't dodge a saber beam like a blaster bolt because where a Jedi commits his life to sending the blade, there it will _remain_ until he pulls it back.

OTOH, for combat with non-Force Adepts, the opposite should be true. You want to stir up the negative aspects of The Force? Then You WILL be stopped by the will of the Jedi whose life rests in it's awareness. And who absolutely _refuses_ to be bated into further violence.

Again, a simple explanation for a complex moralism that could be shown in a second's scenic _visual_ display of expositional explanation without all of Dooku's testimonial blather.

>>

The story there is just the story without any of the characters catching on to the themes that are in George's head. One of the best things I ever was taught in writing was that it was okay to have a message for your story, just don't let any of your characters know what it is because inevitably, you'll write some lame scene where one of them monologues about it. Best to just have the characters do what they do and say what they would say and trust that the audience is intelligent enough to figure out what message you're trying to impart. But I have to say, after reading some of the "interpretations" of elements of the saga here, I'm beginning to think that George is dead on in being over-the-top and obvious. Subtlety doesn't seem to work as well as it should.

>>

Moralless stories have no value. They are Music Videos eliciting base responses to collages of visual imagery that pulls emotions from the R-brain. The difference between _Testimonialism_ and _Exposition_ is:

A. How long you make it run-on-sentence vs. a 'feel of ethics' presentation not involving speech. Getting pulpitted sucks. But when you see the dead baby impaled on a stick, the moral lesson comes home.

B. How you order your scene with intro vs. action. Taking the audience by surprise is possible both immediately by initiation of action. AND through it's outcome.

C. How much interval pieces you put into plot-play to basically red herring (or accomplish other, valid but not 'centrally moral' elements of the storyarc) the audience's attention away from the obvious pending moment.

If A says something at B and then 'the rest of the film happens' until he has to /put his actions where his mouth is/ at XYZ, you only need a 'single moment' for the audience to understand that THIS is the situational ethic point where we will see junior fail his own beliefs or apply them beyond any expectation of 'how it would happen' in his own mind. But NOT in the moral way in which his actions reinfore OUR belief in a 'this is how it -should- be' for an outcome.

THAT is story telling. At the grandest of _expositional_ levels. Testimonialism be hanged like a cooked ham of an actor who wants to engage in it...

And never doubt that a good actor, (NOT Hayden OR Portmann) can not merely carry the theme without sotto vocce telegraphing it. But 'hold, hold, hooooold, NOW!' make it all the more intense when the moment finally happens. IF he knows that is the moment. Such being the difference between character, natural and method acting for you MUST UNDERSTAND where your character is going before you can add the subtle contextual emphasis that is 'great acting' to /define/ how he will make himself vulnerable and at the same time strong in the climactic moment.

I don't believe in natural acting because it is tinted too much by 'conversational dinner theater' type dependence on direct intimacy that rarely develops offstage (and certainly not reliably between main characters). Good Actors /become/ their roles. They don't 'be' them. The result of the latter is often as flat as testimonialism is overstated. And the certainty that Lucas can't cast to save his soul NOR give 'direction' on where characters should be going as a function of developing their feelings in-the-now is so obvious I feel like _I_ am engaged in tar and feather testimonialism, just saying the obvious.

The problem then being that H&P were so /incredibly/ _flat_ in their performances both with and away from each other that they had no 'inflection' of either Character (here to there) or Natural (chummy for want of a better word) driven character motivation change that the driving theme of love vs. power could not reach out through them in a way that makes you willing to suspend your disbelief of the _entire PT story_ such as to argue the choice.

Part of this is material (as I stated above, a real man or woman can have real emotions on and off the battlefield). But mostly it is a refusal to let _visual_ (contextual) exposition lead competent actors through a period of 'knowing what is going to happen' in such a way as to ENHANCE their own performance.

>>

That's a good piece of advice you were given. I think the OT succeeds there for the most part, it has them do what they do and it's the plot that has the moral messages, and it does this through simplicity and directness, two things I think the prequels absolutely avoid like the plague for some reason (probably because there IS no central moral core to these 3 stories, they're just afterthoughts and add-ons to an already-complete tale).

>>

S******. 'Afterthoughts' are the most subtlely scripted of social mores presented in a way that grabs you by the heart rather than beating you on the brow. A good screenwriter and /certainly/ a Great Director is nothing if not 'deliberate' in every word he chooses. It's just that he is so good with them that, to you, 'it seems subtle and uninflected'.


>>

Even The Matrix has only "the machine" at that level of control, Neo as the most powerful protagonist can only control the matrix on a smaller, more personal level - that series quickly went nowhere with the sequel though unfortunately, the hope of who Neo was and how he could outthink the machine became a wasted point on the story arc IMO.
>>

There is a scene in Star Drek The Neutered Genderation in which Data basically says to Number 1 that "Yes, I _am_ superior to you, smarter, stronger, faster, longer lived. Yet I would give it all up to BE you." Such was the beginning of a sadly neglected theme by which you had the typical "Dumb machine cannot understand emotions but is possessed by one (envy) enough to want them..." With a typical endgame where he got them, couldn't /handle them/ (because it was 'all in a chip') and so went from sorta-stoic to neurotically dysfunctional.

At which point you ask yourself, is 'being human' about being so mentally weak that you automatically feel humbled 'by size alone' to experiences as a sunset whose parameters of distance and optical effects inherent to seeing a refractively enlarged orb raging across a burning sea are simply 'magical' for their unknown quantification?

Or is being a robot such a function of 'optimized' performance that there is no /time/ in the continual processor loop of see-analyze-respond environmental awareness to accord such a technical event the period of experience without understanding as a period of aesthetic reflection beyond the enhanced yet mechanically obvious (rate of rotation descent, radiative intensity, thermal atmospheric breeze effect, multispectral diffusion of colors) that makes it 'what it really is' rather than whatever value we assign as beauty?

The Jedi should have been, COULD have been, the answer to this. Because they raged when they lost (never done that before), laughed when they won. Were kind and affectionate with all but _intimate_ (empathically drawn to each other's company) 'at another level' only with their own.

So that you _Hurt_ when they hurt. _Cried_ when they died. Because they WERE special enough to make you want to BE them spiritually AND physically.

As much for who they were off the battlefield and their all too human reactions to the stench and pain and viciousness when they were forced to enter it.

As to any mechanical perfection of their killing art forms.

The 'opposite end of the spectrum' then being the 'Commercialized Mass Production' CLONES of these same people. With the _very same_ abilities. But the heart of a robot, not a human. Not 'us' as we want to be.

People seem to be stupidly brainwashed (by mass media polarizations of presentation) into thinking that powerful MUST be arrogant. And humble MUST be weak.

And that is degrading to all of us who want to be /more/, without losing the basics of who we already are (and yet are rapidly losing in this mechanized sterility we call modern society).

Lucas started a process by which he /should/ have given us an alternative view.

>>
Anyway, it saddens me that we've essentially sucked the life out of this thread's original point, we've gone so far off onto our own massive grand-scale philosophical discussion that we've strangled off the meaning of the thread. I'll try to refocus on this thread's meaning...
>>

>>

Is this not blatant assumption? Because that's how it seems to me, you've assigned a foreign goal to the midichlorians as a plot-device and base a LARGE portion of your argument on that assumption. At best, we see that class-advantage is the BYPRODUCT of the storylines that the midichlorians create, but I cannot fathom how you feel that's their main and intended purpose.
>>

George Lucas is a dullard who introduced a plot device he had /absolutely no idea/ how to employ, properly. Then, like a remonstrated little boy he bowed his head and tried to take it all back "Yeah, you were right, I was wrong, please forgive me!!" when the audience at large screamed bloody murder that "NO! It has to be 'beyond our ken' or it is merely technical!" The whole notion of which is silly. Because to a cave man, a steel spear tip is magic, if he does not see how it is made by 'mere mortals'. To you and me, the ability to levitate an object is pure-wow if we don't SEE the mechanization of electrogravitation device as much as theory that makes it happen. What is 'magic' today _will be_ science tomorrow. Whether you are directly the means of it's creation. Or simply holding another device. At /some level/ there is a mechanization effect in play.

I gave the Midis meaning (to argue the thread point that 'Midis Shouldn't Have Existed') on (at least) a threefold basis:

1. If the Midis exist as I say they do, then you can make the philosophical argument that 'we are our own worst enemy'.

And the Sith who realized this (Ninja envies the Samurai he can never beat), at this level, was able to bend his awareness of The Force to a degree that allowed him to unleash copies of Jedi on Jedi until the violence brought down the Social Order on which the /trust/ of the Jedi families was based. No 'shroud of evil' tainting a Galaxy wide energy field generated by ALL life (Are microbes evil? They dominate the majority of animate existence by factors of 1,000:1 or more). What hubris of human perception. When you can instead say that 'human greed created a human (technical) way to exploit The Omnipresent And Untouchable Magic. At so much more readily scriptable a level of base-emotion understanding.

2. To make the Jedi seem human in a way that emphasized 'Magic' IS real.

And it is attainable, because as soon as we refuse to put it in the map area marked 'here be dwagons' as an unknowable, it becomes something we can look for in our own Genome as much as shared species memory of heroic legends and tales. Aaaaaah, /now/ is it 'so bad' to make these people 'ubermenschen' if they are merely US, in a few years or centuries time? Force knows we cannot keep up this kind of exploitation of our environment and each other without destroying ourselves if all's we are into is materialistic 'thingism'. But who cares about a new sports care when you /will/ to run like a cheetah. And _do it_.

3. You can also make the people who KNOW magic as a scientific principle, more reachable by us 'mere mortals' as Living Personalities.

Principally thru bypassing all the stultified dialogue of 'mystical knights' (pent up, without kids and a wife to worry about or take joy in) who were utterly without character. And again, this has _mechanical_ effects outcomes which don't SCREAM 'IITS' (It's In The Script) stupidity. As the meaning of the scene in which Obiwan strained against the leash of a Master who thought that Precognition was valueless relative to mindless submission to a Force Driven destiny. A Master who died like a chump. A Master who put the value of a dangerous little boy ahead of the safety of that which he supposedly revered. Why then DID NOT Obiwan see in his bonded pupil the same _truth_ of prescient nightmare?!?. Why indeed did the Jedi Order itself NOT pay to calm a young man's fears that he might undertake the Training without distraction? IITS. That's why.

OTOH, you make those Jedi REAL, as a family based organization of Adepts made up of brothers and sisters, young lovers and proud parents. PEOPLE we can identify with. Rather than iconic dramatization stereotypes that themselves should have DIED back in the GrecoRoman period (when every actor was a God acting out base emotions rather than understanding them). Then, when these decent folk start to fall. A little bit of the audience will scream with them. Die with them. WANT THEM to survive. So that they take away from the theater seats a little kernel of rebellion that says: "NO! They didn't die for nothing! They were not betrayed by their own DNA! What /made them/ 'Good People', lives in ME!"

>>

This is absolutely not what Star Wars is about though, you may see that message in there but it's not the intent, again we're talking about a byproduct. Intent is part of what this topic is about, after all, why the midis were created and how that stands in contrast with what they were supposed to represent.

>>

CRAP. I would rather be /led/ by a man I _knew_ was better than me, even if he was seemingly ruthless in his proven-correct actions. Than defended by a fool who got me and mine into trouble he had no competence to foresee the obvious in avoiding. Given I think that much of the Gulf Situation was indeed /engendered/ by deliberate artifice which IGNORED the social havoc that resulted from a 'but can you keep it?' outside force coup`de`crude occupation of a very clannish society, it makes both moral and fantastical 'about damn time' /sense/ to see that the Jedi are indeed _That Good_. That they too can make hard choices which seem strange or cruel but are proven right in the end.

Yet I would also make it clear that _instead of the 4th Armored Division_ the way in which JEDI operate is relative to their perceive of 'the little things' that add up to disaster. A nudge here. A quiet word there. Small adjustments. Force applied relentlessly but never without a merciful alternative to direct violence. Until somebody decided that they didn't like being manipulated when there was a profit or a power gain to be made. And fought back. Using the same power. But grossly overapplied.

And so the Jedi die upon the alter of their own blood-gift.

Yet, EVEN SO, 'The Dream of Camelot' is still a gleam in OUR eyes. Rather than a perception of 'all power corrupts and thus must never be strived for, no matter what, because it will always fail and destroy it's user and all he holds dear for trying'. Which is effectively what Lucas makes clear here.

That is the ultimate arrogance of his series of films and indeed of humanity to avoid commiting to a path because it /might/ fail. As emotions, not reality, teaches us is wise.

Indeed, in _MY_ PT Universe it can also be said that "When the gods are pulled off their pedestal, when we forget or outgrow our superheroes, there is still US." The everyman. Who must use the values he has gathered to his heart _from those he admires_ to continue the fight until a new dawn. When, maybe, if we are lucky, The Jedi Will Return.

Because, by taking in THEIR morals. THEIR code. Daring to /act/, ruthlessly but never for own-self reasons and never to escalate the battle, only to contain it's destructive hate, we prove that The Jedi Still Live, in all of us.

And who's to say that, even if every Jedi HAD been killed, 'somewhere, The Force was watching' as man struggled on without hope of a savior with prescient insight to pick those battles that could be won, but not without the beliefs that they had been taught as a function of a heroic class of leaders. And so this living Energy Field itself said "Enough, they are worthy..." and chose to tip the scales in favor of the brave. As it reactivated or multiplied into dominant trait passage the dormant Midis of some hidden Jedi (or non-Jedi) lineage.

A Jedi who would be taught by a little malignantly sarcastic troll on a backwater swamp world. A Jedi who would bring a A New Hope for the Galaxy.



If Lucas could only /dare/ to think on such a scale... I wouldn't be stuck reviling the utter trash that he has instead made 'purely for profit of Empire'. KPl.