Shopping Maul said:
I love what you’re saying Rogue (not that I necessarily grasp all of it of course, but I like the vibe of it!) but I would add that attaining the ‘effortlessness’ implied in the Taoist way would (ironically) require effort. Think of it in terms of being a musician. It would take hours of blisters and finger-cramps and listening and learning for a guitarist to be in that zone. No-one’s going to pick up a guitar and nail it first time just because they had their baser thoughts in check. That’s the beautiful thing about the Karate Kid - he had to wash cars and stand like an Ostrich and go through all kinds of stuff to get to that place. Kershner famously said he wanted “something powerful going on in Luke’s soul” and within the (arguably) limited framework of a SW film he achieved that. The SE feels more like bullet points - ‘we need lightsaber fights, we need a Dark Lord, we need a cantina’ etc etc. Any depth to Rey’s experience seems (to me) to being created by the fans themselves rather than by anything JJ and/or Rian are doing.
Well, to use your Karate Kid example I think the idea in the ST is that Rey has essentially spent her whole life waxing cars (whereas Luke is mostly just any old kid, wasting time with his friends between chores at home).
Yes, but the ‘waxing cars’ does not a Jedi make. It would only be an asset in the pursuit of Jedi mastery.
I think the “I don’t believe it” moment in TESB is taken way too literally. If it were a simple matter of belief, then Chewie could observe Luke in an act of levitation and emulate it on command. For me Yoda’s claim is meant to be taken in the context of the training/skill-set itself, not just a general “hey, if you believe it you can do it”.
To give a possibly clumsy example, Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about ‘self-belief’ and ‘positive affirmations’ all the time when discussing his bodybuilding career. That guy is the poster boy for conquering fear and rising above negativity (within and without) to advance his very successful career. But this is only an element in the process, not the whole story. Some fat jackass with the deluded ‘belief’ in his/her own abilities isn’t just going to become Mr Olympia because they’re convinced they will. No, there’s training and diet and discipline and technique and self-sacrifice and all that stuff with ‘belief’ as one of many components in the overall scheme.
That’s how I view Jedi training - or at least that’s the impression I got from the OT generally speaking. I know the Force is just space-magic and can do whatever the writer wants, but without a sense of being earned and/or some consequence I think the Force becomes boring and unrealistic. Even the girls in ‘Charmed’ suffer major consequences for misuse of magic or ethical naivety with regard to its use. Dr Strange has had entire comic-book arcs detailing the dangers of certain magical actions coming at a tremendous cost. And the good Dr is known to point out that anyone can use magic - they just need the will and discipline to do so. I just prefer this to giving the Force (or magic) its own agency to randomly give certain folks vast powers for no good reason.