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Anakin/Vader and mortality

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I noticed an interesting retroactive parallel between Return of the Jedi and Attack of the Clones

Attack of the Clones:
Padme: “You’re not all powerful.”
Anakin: “Well I should be! I will be the most powerful Jedi ever! I promise you… I will even learn to stop people from dying!

Return of the Jedi:
Anakin: “Luke, help me take this mask off.”
Luke: “But you’ll die.”
Anakin: “Nothing can stop that now.

I thought it was kinda neat how they retroactively created an arc where Anakin learns to accept mortality and death.

Then I realized, what if they had added another layer to Anakin’s turn to the dark side based on that line? Anakin is not only afraid of the deaths of those he cares about, but his own?

What if one of Anakin’s biggest fears is not only the mortality of the ones he cares about but that of his own? He craves power because he seeks immortality for himself, as well. When he learns the Sith crave and work towards immortality and the dark side may be a way to achieve it, it adds another layer to his turn. And in addition, makes his line finally accepting that nothing can stop his death even more meaningful.

It adds a dramatic irony, too. Obi-Wan is able to achieve immortality by the time of A New Hope and boasts to Vader that he’s more powerful then he can possibly imagine because of it. Vader turned to the dark side partially to achieve immortality but Obi-Wan achieves it by staying on the light with practically no effort. Then when Vader finally becomes Anakin again, ditches the dark side, accepts the light, accepts his mortality, and lets go of his selfishness, then is when he’s finally able to achieve immortality. But only after he learned not to want it and stop wishing to control the natural cycle of life. Accepting that death is “The way of the things. The way of the Force,” as Yoda would put it.

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That’s a good catch, that moment of Anakin making peace with his death.

It may be more blatantly selfish, but fear of his own death could work as a motivation for Anakin’s fall, or rather having it rolled into his primary motivation of saving loved ones. It could be just a general desire to control destiny and reshape it to his will that seduces him to the Dark Side. That feeling that, within a chaotic galaxy, he needs to force things to be a certain way to keep him and his loved ones safe, and this would draw him to the sense of order offered by the Empire.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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The latter is what I would prefer. I do love how Lucas used Anakin’s fall to have themes about the dangers of clinging onto someone too hard and not being able to let go. But I also think that having an added layer of Anakin’s unwillingness to accept his own mortality as well would add more to it.

Because you’re having a man literally slaughter his entire adoptive family. Going against everything he fought for and valued. His reasoning for turning should be multi-layered.

I feel like that’s a lot of the reason people cling to the “Jedi were ideologically flawed and Anakin was getting revenge on the Jedi for forcing him to repress his emotions” head canon when George Lucas literally agrees with the Jedi’s philosophy (and says they’re allowed to love and all that) and only blames Anakin’s greed and Palpatine’s manipulation for his turn. Anakin literally only turned to save his wife. Nothing to do with the Jedi.

“Some of the people had a hard time with the reason that Anakin goes bad… They didn’t seem to understand the fact that Anakin is simply greedy. There is no revenge. The revenge of the Sith is Palpatine. It doesn’t have much to do with Darth Vader; he’s a pawn in the whole scheme.”
-George Lucas, The Making of Revenge of the Sith

And that’s kinda hard for a lot of people to accept. So I think emphasizing more that Anakin’s only goal isn’t to prevent Padme’s death, but also his own and bringing order to the galaxy, bending the natural cycle of life and the state of the galaxy to his will, would be a good way to make his turn more layered.

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G&G-Fan said:

The latter is what I would prefer. I do love how Lucas used Anakin’s fall to have themes about the dangers of clinging onto someone too hard and not being able to let go. But I also think that having an added layer of Anakin’s unwillingness to accept his own mortality as well would add more to it.

Because you’re having a man literally slaughter his entire adoptive family. Going against everything he fought for and valued. His reasoning for turning should be multi-layered.

I feel like that’s a lot of the reason people cling to the “Jedi were ideologically flawed and Anakin was getting revenge on the Jedi for forcing him to repress his emotions” head canon when George Lucas literally agrees with the Jedi’s philosophy (and says they’re allowed to love and all that) and only blames Anakin’s greed and Palpatine’s manipulation for his turn. Anakin literally only turned to save his wife. Nothing to do with the Jedi.

“Some of the people had a hard time with the reason that Anakin goes bad… They didn’t seem to understand the fact that Anakin is simply greedy. There is no revenge. The revenge of the Sith is Palpatine. It doesn’t have much to do with Darth Vader; he’s a pawn in the whole scheme.”
-George Lucas, The Making of Revenge of the Sith

And that’s kinda hard for a lot of people to accept. So I think emphasizing more that Anakin’s only goal isn’t to prevent Padme’s death, but also his own and bringing order to the galaxy, bending the natural cycle of life and the state of the galaxy to his will, would be a good way to make his turn more layered.

I back everything about this. (And you’re also 100% correct about Lucas and his ideas about the Jedi.)

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That would have been so cool. Not sure if you can find a way to put that in an Ep III edit, but it would enrich the story.

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yotsuya said:

That would have been so cool. Not sure if you can find a way to put that in an Ep III edit, but it would enrich the story.

In order to do that you’d really have to have whole new scenes and dialogue. It’s not something you could do through the edit, at least not in a way I can think of.

It would have to be a rewrite. Which is something I’ve been thinking of doing, for the prequels.

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G&G-Fan said:

The latter is what I would prefer. I do love how Lucas used Anakin’s fall to have themes about the dangers of clinging onto someone too hard and not being able to let go. But I also think that having an added layer of Anakin’s unwillingness to accept his own mortality as well would add more to it.

Because you’re having a man literally slaughter his entire adoptive family. Going against everything he fought for and valued. His reasoning for turning should be multi-layered.

I feel like that’s a lot of the reason people cling to the “Jedi were ideologically flawed and Anakin was getting revenge on the Jedi for forcing him to repress his emotions” head canon when George Lucas literally agrees with the Jedi’s philosophy (and says they’re allowed to love and all that) and only blames Anakin’s greed and Palpatine’s manipulation for his turn. Anakin literally only turned to save his wife. Nothing to do with the Jedi.

“Some of the people had a hard time with the reason that Anakin goes bad… They didn’t seem to understand the fact that Anakin is simply greedy. There is no revenge. The revenge of the Sith is Palpatine. It doesn’t have much to do with Darth Vader; he’s a pawn in the whole scheme.”
-George Lucas, The Making of Revenge of the Sith

And that’s kinda hard for a lot of people to accept. So I think emphasizing more that Anakin’s only goal isn’t to prevent Padme’s death, but also his own and bringing order to the galaxy, bending the natural cycle of life and the state of the galaxy to his will, would be a good way to make his turn more layered.

He doesn’t specifically want revenge on the Jedi, but I think he does get angry with them. His frustrations with the council make it easier for Palpatine to sway him and get him to accept moral relativism. I did like that it wasn’t so simplistic as him just hating the Jedi.

Touching on the greed thing, I think one part people tend to miss is that Anakin could have left the Jedi if he really wanted to be with Padme. He loved her but he also had an ambitious side that wouldn’t let him pass up chances to advance and increase in power. “I want more, and I know I shouldn’t.” He wanted to have his cake and eat it too. Notice that’s how Palpatine tempts him with both things at once - he can save Padme by becoming more powerful. It appeals to his love for her and his ambition at the same time, and he gets swept up in it until his ambition lets the dark side overwhelm him and he’s force choking the person he’s ostensibly trying to save.

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Well, although I’m usually a fan of Lucas’ work, in this case I can only disagree with him. As I have already explained elsewhere, I don’t share his view about the Jedi and Anakin’s fall, because I think that the Jedi philosophy was inherently flawed and that Anakin doesn’t deserve to be blamed for what happened. That said, I think what you highlighted is simply a coincidence. I mean, the same reasoning could be applied to Anakin and Padmé’s respective last words. Padmé’s last words were: “I know there is good in him, I know there is, still”, while Anakin’s last words were: “You were right”. Well, put this way, it could almost feel like a connection, when in reality it’s simply a coincidence. The fact that there are sentences that casually rhyme within the movies doesn’t mean that there is a real connection between them. These are just coincidences, and to derive an entire explanation/theory from them is at least exaggerated in my opinion.

«This is where the fun begins!»
(Anakin Skywalker)

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Vladius said:

He doesn’t specifically want revenge on the Jedi, but I think he does get angry with them. His frustrations with the council make it easier for Palpatine to sway him and get him to accept moral relativism. I did like that it wasn’t so simplistic as him just hating the Jedi.

Touching on the greed thing, I think one part people tend to miss is that Anakin could have left the Jedi if he really wanted to be with Padme. He loved her but he also had an ambitious side that wouldn’t let him pass up chances to advance and increase in power. “I want more, and I know I shouldn’t.” He wanted to have his cake and eat it too. Notice that’s how Palpatine tempts him with both things at once - he can save Padme by becoming more powerful. It appeals to his love for her and his ambition at the same time, and he gets swept up in it until his ambition lets the dark side overwhelm him and he’s force choking the person he’s ostensibly trying to save.

I agree. There are people who think that Anakin sides with Palpatine partially because Ahsoka was banished and he got denied the rank of master. But Lucas says over and over, that the only reason he turned was to save Padme. No nightmares, no turn to the dark side. All the “The Jedi are evil” bullshit is exactly that. Bullshit. It’s his rationalization for his actions. He gets a little irritated that they don’t give him the rank of master, but like, first, he’s not ready for it (yet), and second, that wouldn’t have made him turn to the dark side.

“…it’s very easy to have the audience believe that Anakin is miffed because he doesn’t get to go on the mission [to Utapau], that, you know, he’s angry because he’s not a master, and this scene [Padme’s ruminations] is really designed to remind you that his real problem is that he just doesn’t wanna lose her” - GL Revenge of the Sith Director’s Commentary

I agree with the last paragraph. Him joining the dark side to save Padme was absolutely selfish. It was about him not wanting to feel the pain of losing her, not her own safety. He was thinking of her as a possession and not a person, which is what attachment is, according to the Jedi. I think him wanting power could’ve been emphasized more though. Hence why I think it would be cool if they added another layer to his turn: wanting to be immortal for himself.

Darth Malgus said:

Well, although I’m usually a fan of Lucas’ work, in this case I can only disagree with him. As I have already explained elsewhere, I don’t share his view about the Jedi and Anakin’s fall, because I think that the Jedi philosophy was inherently flawed and that Anakin doesn’t deserve to be blamed for what happened. That said, I think what you highlighted is simply a coincidence. I mean, the same reasoning could be applied to Anakin and Padmé’s respective last words. Padmé’s last words were: “I know there is good in him, I know there is, still”, while Anakin’s last words were: “You were right”. Well, put this way, it could almost feel like a connection, when in reality it’s simply a coincidence. The fact that there are sentences that casually rhyme within the movies doesn’t mean that there is a real connection between them. These are just coincidences, and to derive an entire explanation/theory from them is at least exaggerated in my opinion.

Here’s the deal about Jedi philosophy: attachment in Star Wars does not mean the dictionary definition of attachment. It’s the Buddhist definition: the inability to let go of things. Lucas has said the Jedi are allowed to feel emotions. They’re allowed to feel love. This is shown. Yoda admits he’s afraid for Anakin’s training (proving that Anakin being afraid wasn’t the problem, it’s that he wouldn’t admit it and repressing it that was the problem). Yoda tells Padme he has warm feelings in his heart after she survives the assassination attempt. Mace Windu vouches for both Dooku and Anakin in AOTC (Mace and Yoda cut Anakin more slack then Obi-Wan, in AOTC). Yoda cries when he feels Anakin’s in pain.

Should these things have been better clarified and emphasized in the scripts, and the Jedi made to seem more kind and empathetic? Absolutely. You shouldn’t have to read Lucas quotes to understand the movies. But George Lucas being a bad writer doesn’t change the fact that the Jedi aren’t intended to be emotionless assholes.

The “no attachments” doctrine is about not letting your feelings interfere with a mission and being willing to let things go when need be. Obi-Wan loves Satine, in The Clone Wars, he even says, “It’s not that we’re not allowed to have these feelings, it’s natural”, but he doesn’t let it interfere with a mission like Anakin does. And when Satine dies, Obi-Wan lets her go. He doesn’t succumb to the dark side. He doesn’t close out his emotions. He feels his emotions but then moves on. When Bo-Katan tries to emotionally blackmail him, he doesn’t fall for it, because he can’t let his emotions cloud his judgement. The same thing happens after Qui-Gon’s death. He openly cries, but then moves on and honors his memory by training Anakin.

He doesn’t enter a relationship with her because he has a commitment to the Jedi Order. If a Jedi wants to be in a relationship, they need to leave. “A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind.” And there’s no shame in leaving the Order. Dooku left and the Jedi still spoke fondly of him, let him keep his lightsaber (Dooku: Jedi Lost novel), and even built him a statue (in a deleted scene). It’s not a cult. Anakin should’ve either left the Jedi Order after AOTC or waited to marry Padme after the clone war.

Anakin knows the difference between attachment and love. As he says in AOTC and an episode in The Clone Wars when he lectures Ahsoka on the importance of letting go of attachments (in the Geonosis zombie worms episode). It’s not that he doesn’t understand the teachings or objects to them, it’s that he doesn’t have the emotional strength to apply them to himself.

The problem is that Anakin was willing to do anything to keep Padme from dying. He was shown that Padme could die (“Always in motion is the future”) and that there’s nothing he could do about it (for the sake of the plot we’re gonna assume there’s no such things as C-sections in Star Wars; which I mean, this is coming from the same guy who said “There is no underwear in space”, so it really ain’t all that hard to believe), but he refused to accept it. According to George Lucas, Plagueis could not actually cheat death. That was a lie. There was nothing Anakin could do except trust in Padme’s strength to make it through childbirth. If he had listened to Yoda and accepted that, then things would’ve been alright. It’s possible she would’ve survived, and if not, Anakin would’ve needed rejoice for the good memories he shared, honor her memory, and let go. That’s what the Jedi way is about. It’s really just about living a healthy life. Not craving control over things you have no control over. Because that’s how you get greedy.

George Lucas obviously doesn’t think you should repress your emotions, never be emotionally attached to anybody or never get married. He’s a very emotionally open guy, he’s been married twice and has kids. He just used a different meaning of the word attachment, and people were (rightfully) confused.

Another quote from Lucas:
“A Jedi is never lonely. They live on compassion. They live on helping people, and people love them. They can love people back. But when that person dies, they let go. Those that cannot let go become miserable. That’s the lonely place.”

That parallel is definitely not a coincidence. Anakin’s whole arc is learning to stop wanting control over the natural cycle of life.

As Lucas puts it:
“The Jedi are trained to let go. They’re trained from birth, they’re not supposed to form attachments. They can love people- in fact, they should love everybody. They should love their enemies; they should love the Sith. But they can’t form attachments. So, what all these movies are about is: greed. Greed is a source of pain and suffering for everybody. And the ultimate state of greed is the desire to cheat death.

Obviously when the line in Return of the Jedi was written it wasn’t about that. But the premise of his turn in the prequels adds meaning to that line where there wasn’t before. Thus making it a retroactive parallel.

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Maybe this could be connected with Anakin constantly losing his lightsaber. In the movie he rarely reacts to this, but if he did show some signs of anxiety due to being defenseless, it could work well with this narrative. After all Obi-Wan reminds him that this weapon is his life.
If we could somehow draw the focus to Anakin’s shock about losing his arm and lightsaber to Dooku, then we would have a good set up to include this plot point about Anakin’s own mortality in III.
Firstly this could be deliberately be brought up by Palpatine after Anakin killed Dooku. Then Obi-Wan could remind Anakin to jump from the elevator shaft a second time and we could change Grievous offense against Anakin’s age to a threat to kill them, to which Anakin response with an insult.
Finally we could change some of the dialogue during the opera scene, so that it focuses on the power to avert death rather than to save others. On top of that we could add “forever” to Anakin’s line about ruling the galaxy.

In conclusion I think that it definitely is possible to add this theme to Anakin’s fall. Not as the central motivation to turn his back on the Jedi, but rather as a contributing factor like his frustration with the council.

Your thread will make a fine addition to my collection.

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The “no attachments” doctrine is about not letting your feelings interfere with a mission and being willing to let things go when need be. Obi-Wan loves Satine, in The Clone Wars, he even says, “It’s not that we’re not allowed to have these feelings, it’s natural”, but he doesn’t let it interfere with a mission like Anakin does. And when Satine dies, Obi-Wan lets her go. He doesn’t succumb to the dark side. He doesn’t close out his emotions. He feels his emotions but then moves on. When Bo-Katan tries to emotionally blackmail him, he doesn’t fall for it, because he can’t let his emotions cloud his judgement. The same thing happens after Qui-Gon’s death. He openly cries, but then moves on and honors his memory by training Anakin.

I quote only this small passage, because I’m lazy and I don’t want to quote every statement you made in your reply.

I don’t think the Jedi rules are 100% wrong. I agree with some parts of them, but I disagree with other parts of them. And most importantly, I disagree with their practical application by the Jedi.

Must we learn to let go? Yes, of course. But letting go doesn’t mean not caring about the people we love. We are all attached to someone (in the Buddhist sense), because when we discover that a person we love is in danger of life, then we are all worried, we are all worried about losing that person. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with this, and we shouldn’t suppress the fear of loss. I think it’s right, not only to be concerned about the people we love, but also to try to protect them and prevent bad things to happen to them. Wanting to protect people close to us is a natural human instinct, thinking that it’s wrong and trying to repress it, in my opinion, is not right and doesn’t lead to anything good. Learning to let go is right, of course. But letting go should be the last thing you should do, not the first. If you find out that someone you love is in danger of life, then you should do everything that’s lawful (that is, everything that doesn’t lead you to hurt others) to save that person, and in case you fail, despite you did your best, then, only then, you have to let go. Letting go should be what you do when you realize that you can’t do anything else.

Also, you can’t expect a person to let go immediately. If a person we love dies in front of us, then it’s normal to be sad for a while, you can’t expect a person to see someone die in front of their eyes and a few seconds later act like nothing happened. It’s not human, and above all it’s not healthy, because letting go immediately means repressing oneself. And as everyone knows, repressing oneself where it’s not necessary never leads to anything good. The fact that some people, under certain circumstances, manage to let go immediately is not a valid excuse to justify the Jedi doctrine, because not everyone can let go immediately. We’re not all equal, and we shouldn’t be expected to be all equal. Each of us has different personal needs, because we’re not robots.

Furthermore, I think that being totally selfless, like the Jedi claim to be, is impossible. Love always requires a certain degree of possessiveness. If I love someone, I want to be with that person not only because I like him/her as a person, but also because the presence of that person makes me happy and makes me feel good. If the presence of that person didn’t make me feel good, then there would be no reason for me to engage in a romantic relationship with that person in the first place. In love, you have to give and receive. You give your love in the hope that your love will be reciprocated and that the exchange of that love will make you happy. A stoic love without attachment is simply not true love, but a generic feeling of relative interest. If we find out that someone we love is in danger of life, then it’s right to try to save him/her. Not just because we want that person to be good, but also because that person makes us feel good. In life one cannot be either entirely selfless or completely selfish. You need a balance, and that’s what neither the Jedi nor the Sith (as well as George Lucas himself) have ever understood.

Also, I don’t think that the Jedi can give lessons about what absolute love and compassion mean, since they were the first not to practice this phantom “universal love”. If they really did have unconditional love for the entire Galaxy, then they would have paid more attention to civilians and ordinary people instead of lock themselves in their own Temple and put themselves at the service of corrupt politicians, and maybe they would have cared more about the millions of people who lived in slavery and disease on Tatooine and other criminal-controlled planets. “I’m not here to free slaves”, Qui-Gon said. A great example of unconditional love for every sentient being, I must say! It’s too easy to practice “absolute love and compassion” exclusively with the people we know. And yet, this is what the Jedi do, because I don’t remember having ever seen them going out in the middle of the streets to help starving people. I mean, they didn’t even had to left Coruscant to do it, because you know, the low levels of Coruscant are already full of poor people who need help. So the Jedi should stop thinking of themselves as the custodians of absolute truth, because they’re the first to not practice what they preach.

In addition, talking about Obi-Wan as the perfect example of a person who lets go immediately is, in my opinion, wrong. Yes, Obi-Wan managed to let go immediately when Siri Tachi died, but he couldn’t let go immediately when Qui-Gon was killed. When Maul killed Qui-Gon, all Obi-Wan did was attack him aggressively and violently. I mean, this is no mystery to anyone, just review the scene of the fight between Maul and Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan was so upset and angry that he let his emotions take over, and as soon as the shield opened he immediately threw himself at Maul, attacking him. Of course, after killing him, Obi-Wan calmed down and ran to Qui-Gon to hear his last words. But in the meantime he fought Maul and killed him, driven by anger and aggressive feelings. So, I think Obi-Wan is quite hypocritical in criticizing Anakin, because he did pretty much the same, although on a smaller scale.

The Jedi think Dooku could never kill anyone. That’s true. But let’s examine carefully what both Mace Windu and Ki Adi Mundi say. Ki Adi Mundi says: “He’s a politically idealist, not a murderer”. After that, Mace says: “You must know, My Lady, that Dooku was once a Jedi. He could never kill anyone, it’s not in his character”. Well, to be honest, the only thing I see in this dialogue is simply the Jedi being arrogant. Yes, they don’t think that Dooku could ever kill anyone, they don’t believe that he’s a murderer. But why do they think that? But it’s clear, because he was once a Jedi, and for God’s sake, everyone knows the Jedi are perfect, so even if one of them leaves the Order, he could never become a murderer. It’s not that the Jedi are saying those things about Dooku because they sincerely respect him and have affection for him, but simply because they have so much faith in their own teachings that they think that even if someone leaves the Order, he could never become a murderer or hurt others.

In addition, the statue that the Jedi have dedicated to Dooku inside the Temple is not a commemorative or appreciative statue. In the Temple library there are 20 statues, depicting the so-called Lost 20, that is, 20 Jedi masters who at some point decided to leave the Order. Dooku is part of the group of the Lost 20, and the Jedi have placed his statue in the Temple library, not to commemorate him, but simply as a warning. Further information here: https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Lost_Twenty/Legends
So, despite what you say, those who left the Order were frowned upon, and leaving the Order was seen as something almost shameful, reprehensible. To say that Anakin could have left the Order at any time without any repercussions is, therefore, absolutely false. Despite this, however, Anakin was planning to leave the Order after the end of the War to live with Padmé on Naboo, as is clear from Revenge of the Sith.

In conclusion.
Although the idea of learning to let go is basically right, I think the Jedi have implemented it too radically. Instead of forbidding attachment (as intended by Lucas),I think they should have taught how to control it, allowing people to express the fear of loss in a balanced way. Their wrong teachings played a very important role in Anakin’s fall, because they didn’t allow him to handle his emotions in a healthy and human way (because I repeat, suppressing the fear of loss is neither healthy nor human). Then, if we also add Anakin’s manipulation by Palpatine, who taught Anakin to handle his negative feelings in the wrong way, then we have Darth Vader as a result. Darth Vader is simply what you obtain when you mix up a person with already existing emotional problems, the wrong teachings of the Jedi that doesn’t allow this emotional problems to be solved correctly, and finally Palpatine’s willingness to take advantage of all the above to carry out his own agenda.

«This is where the fun begins!»
(Anakin Skywalker)

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Peter Pan said:

Maybe this could be connected with Anakin constantly losing his lightsaber. In the movie he rarely reacts to this, but if he did show some signs of anxiety due to being defenseless, it could work well with this narrative. After all Obi-Wan reminds him that this weapon is his life.
If we could somehow draw the focus to Anakin’s shock about losing his arm and lightsaber to Dooku, then we would have a good set up to include this plot point about Anakin’s own mortality in III.
Firstly this could be deliberately be brought up by Palpatine after Anakin killed Dooku. Then Obi-Wan could remind Anakin to jump from the elevator shaft a second time and we could change Grievous offense against Anakin’s age to a threat to kill them, to which Anakin response with an insult.
Finally we could change some of the dialogue during the opera scene, so that it focuses on the power to avert death rather than to save others. On top of that we could add “forever” to Anakin’s line about ruling the galaxy.

In conclusion I think that it definitely is possible to add this theme to Anakin’s fall. Not as the central motivation to turn his back on the Jedi, but rather as a contributing factor like his frustration with the council.

Excellent ideas.

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Darth Malgus said:

Must we learn to let go? Yes, of course. But letting go doesn’t mean not caring about the people we love.

George doesn’t say that. He says the contrary. That the Jedi can love people and care about people.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with this, and we shouldn’t suppress the fear of loss. I think it’s right, not only to be concerned about the people we love, but also to try to protect them and prevent bad things to happen to them.

It’s not about repressing your fear of loss. It’s about confronting that fear and letting it go. They’re different things. It’s about saying “Yes, I may not be in complete control, but I will do everything I can and if not, then I must let go and honor their memory by staying good”.

Also, you can’t expect a person to let go immediately. If a person we love dies in front of us, then it’s normal to be sad for a while, you can’t expect a person to see someone die in front of their eyes and a few seconds later act like nothing happened.

That’s not what happens. Obi-Wan takes plenty of time to mourn Qui-Gon. Both right after he dies and at his funeral. It’s literally never said that the Jedi have a strict time limit for how long you can mourn.

https://david-talks-sw.tumblr.com/post/693487689321906176/what-does-yoda-mean-when-he-says-rejoice-for

Furthermore, I think that being totally selfless, like the Jedi claim to be, is impossible. Love always requires a certain degree of possessiveness. If I love someone, I want to be with that person not only because I like him/her as a person, but also because the presence of that person makes me happy and makes me feel good. If the presence of that person didn’t make me feel good, then there would be no reason for me to engage in a romantic relationship with that person in the first place. In love, you have to give and receive. You give your love in the hope that your love will be reciprocated and that the exchange of that love will make you happy.

As I’ve said, Jedi can’t be in romantic relationships because of commitment. The Jedi are allowed to feel whatever they want, they can even have sexual experiences (Lucas says Jedi aren’t celibate), but they can’t sacrifice the greater good, the mission, to save a loved one.

Obi-Wan and Satine is an example of how a Jedi deals with romantic love right. Anakin and Padme is an example of how it’s done wrong.

Also, I don’t think that the Jedi can give lessons about what absolute love and compassion mean, since they were the first not to practice this phantom “universal love”. If they really did have unconditional love for the entire Galaxy, then they would have paid more attention to civilians and ordinary people instead of lock themselves in their own Temple and put themselves at the service of corrupt politicians, and maybe they would have cared more about the millions of people who lived in slavery and disease on Tatooine and other criminal-controlled planets. “I’m not here to free slaves”, Qui-Gon said. A great example of unconditional love for every sentient being, I must say! It’s too easy to practice “absolute love and compassion” exclusively with the people we know. And yet, this is what the Jedi do, because I don’t remember having ever seen them going out in the middle of the streets to help starving people. I mean, they didn’t even had to left Coruscant to do it, because you know, the low levels of Coruscant are already full of poor people who need help. So the Jedi should stop thinking of themselves as the custodians of absolute truth, because they’re the first to not practice what they preach.

The Jedi literally day by day participate in diplomatic missions to resolve conflicts, thus saving people in the process. Literally the opening scene of The Phantom Menace is the Jedi going to negotiate with the Trade Federation to save the people of Naboo. That’s the reason that sequence exists, to show the Jedi’s day job. The reason they don’t help the common people during the war is because they’re too busy with the war, because Palpatine drafted them into service.

But hey, look, here’s a canon example of a Jedi, Mace Windu, saving and protecting ordinary people.

Slavery only happens in the Outer Rim. The Jedi don’t have any jurisdiction there. The Senate has authority over the Jedi. The Jedi don’t have the resources to do an all out war on the Outer rim. They’d need backing by the Senate. An army. There’s only 10,000 Jedi and a shit ton of systems with slavery with millions of people. The Hutts aren’t something to laugh at. They’re literally one of the biggest powers in the galaxy. Even the Galactic Empire didn’t want war with them. They wouldn’t stand a chance because a Jedi’s biggest weakness is numbers, which is why battle droids are their perfect enemies that aren’t other force users. In the areas where they do have jurisdiction? They do free slaves. They wiped out the Zygerrian empire when they dared to do the slave trade in Republic territory. It’s not that the Jedi don’t give a shit, it’s they that don’t have the resources necessary because the Senate is greedy and selfish.

The Jedi can’t just leave the Republic. They have a responsibility to be diplomats. To save people through peaceful negotiation on a daily basis. Leaving would be devastating to the Republic. And like, it’s not like they’d be able to free all of the slaves on Tatooine without backing from the Senate, anyway. What the Jedi really should’ve done is gotten political allies in the Senate so they could change the system and make things better. When your government is shit, you don’t just ditch it, you make it better.

Qui-Gon saying “I’m not here to free slaves” is just him bluntly stating facts. That’s not why he’s there. They’re on an urgent mission, to save the Naboo. They can’t deal with slaves on Tatooine right now. They need to get to Coruscant as soon as possible. This is just another example of Lucas being a flat dialogue writer, not Qui-Gon being a dickhead. When you have a guy writing your script that writes flat dialogue, the characters are gonna say things in a very flat way that might come across as callous.

Besides, you literally have Qui-Gon try to free Shmi (when he tries to bet Watto the racing pod for both Anakin and Shmi) and Qui-Gon ask Shmi if she’s alright when Anakin has to leave. He also waits patiently as Anakin says goodbye. He’s not meant to be seen as a callous dickhead.

Nonetheless, this isn’t “George Lucas believes the Jedi shouldn’t help the common people”, it’s “The prequels are complex as shit and have a million things going on in them and because of that they don’t have time to address this stuff”.

In addition, talking about Obi-Wan as the perfect example of a person who lets go immediately is, in my opinion, wrong. Yes, Obi-Wan managed to let go immediately when Siri Tachi died, but he couldn’t let go immediately when Qui-Gon was killed. When Maul killed Qui-Gon, all Obi-Wan did was attack him aggressively and violently. I mean, this is no mystery to anyone, just review the scene of the fight between Maul and Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan was so upset and angry that he let his emotions take over, and as soon as the shield opened he immediately threw himself at Maul, attacking him. Of course, after killing him, Obi-Wan calmed down and ran to Qui-Gon to hear his last words. But in the meantime he fought Maul and killed him, driven by anger and aggressive feelings. So, I think Obi-Wan is quite hypocritical in criticizing Anakin, because he did pretty much the same, although on a smaller scale.

Obi-Wan getting angry and attacking ferociously is a character flaw in TPM. He has clear growth in all three films. Notice how he never gives into his anger in the other two movies. In fact literally his arc in AOTC is learning to go easy on Anakin, because he suffers from some of the same arrogance that Anakin does.

The Jedi have great respect for Dooku and think he could never kill anyone. That’s true. But let’s examine carefully what both Mace Windu and Ki Adi Mundi say. Ki Adi Mundi says: “He’s a politically idealist, not a murderer”. After that, Mace says: “You must know, My Lady, that Dooku was once a Jedi. He could never kill anyone, it’s not in his character”. Well, to be honest, the only thing I see in this dialogue is simply the Jedi being arrogant. Yes, they don’t think that Dooku could ever kill anyone, they don’t believe that he’s a murderer. But why do they think that? But it’s clear, because he was once a Jedi, and for God’s sake, everyone knows the Jedi are perfect, so even if one of them leaves the Order, he could never become a murderer. It’s not that the Jedi are saying those things about Dooku because they sincerely respect him and have affection for him, but simply because they have so much faith in their own teachings that they think that even if someone leaves the Order, he could never become a murderer or hurt others.

You’re just using the least charitable interpretation possible which is obviously not what Lucas intended.

If you were a cop and you had a partner who you worked with for years, he quit, and then someone years later claimed he committed a crime, you would probably use the fact that he was a cop to help make the case that it’s unlikely. Not to mention that being a Jedi is a way of life. They’re taught these things from birth. For one of their own to do something so overtly evil is unthinkable.

In addition, the statue that the Jedi have dedicated to Dooku inside the Temple is not a commemorative or appreciative statue. In the Temple library there are 20 statues, depicting the so-called Lost 20, that is, 20 Jedi masters who at some point decided to leave the Order. Dooku is part of the group of the Lost 20, and the Jedi have placed his statue in the Temple library, not to commemorate him, but simply as a warning. Further information ere: https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Lost_Twenty/Legends

That’s from Legends, not Canon. Legends was not made by George Lucas.

In said deleted scene Jocastu Nu goes on about how Dooku was so great and that it was a privilege knowing him. She compliments his statue, saying he has a powerful face. Obviously the statue is not meant to be a warning. If you read the Dooku: Jedi Lost novel (which is canon), Yoda doesn’t have any problem with Dooku leaving. He even lets him keep his lightsaber and wishes him luck. In the Obi-Wan and Anakin canon comic (takes place a couple years after TPM), Obi-Wan doesn’t have a problem with Anakin wanting to leave the order and was also willing to leave with him. Yoda doesn’t have a problem with it either, when Obi-Wan tells him about it.


“His path before coming to us… difficult. His questions natural.”
“If, after you return, Anakin still wishes to leave us, then released, he shall be. Jailers, the Jedi are not.”
Wow, what an asshole!

Again, you’re not only confusing attachment according to Lucas (a selfish obsession with holding on no matter what) with emotional connections. George Lucas writing dialogue in a flat way doesn’t mean the Jedi are actually supposed to be flat and emotionless. He’s just not a good dialogue writer. And just because George Lucas doesn’t address a bunch of stuff in his scripts doesn’t mean his intentions of what the Jedi are is invalid. Everything you’re saying that makes the Jedi morally wrong, like them not saving slaves? That’s not something that’s delved into in the prequels, you just filled in the blanks. Now, you’re supposed to do that, when watching a movie, but Lucas doesn’t delve into it enough and that leaves people coming to a conclusion that he didn’t intend, and that’s his fault. As I said in the other thread, Lucas strictly made the prequels to focus on the themes/story of letting go and how a democracy becomes a dictatorship. He constantly sticks to that bottom line. It’s why Shmi isn’t addressed except for when it comes to Anakin. The Jedi don’t free Shmi? That’s not because they’re morally wrong, it’s because Lucas doesn’t bother to address it. Because the Jedi are not the focus. You’re just supposed to take the fact that they’re good guys for granted. Shmi is there as a plot device in Anakin’s story arc. That’s it.

The only reason people have come to this uncharitable view of the Jedi Order is because George Lucas is not a good writer. Simple as that.

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I agree with everything G&G Fan said. I’ll also add some things:

  1. The idea of “balance between the light side and dark side, Jedi and Sith” is nonsense. The light side doesn’t represent lack of emotion and the dark side doesn’t represent emotion. The dark side is a supernatural evil that exerts supernatural influence over people that are strong in the Force, specifically through the emotions of greed, hatred, and ambition. It’s not just any old emotion like romantic love or frustration or protectiveness. It’s not nature, it’s a perversion of nature, which is why it gets associated with looking gray and sickly, cybernetics, and the pursuit of immortality.

  2. Individuals not living up to their own ideals doesn’t mean that those ideals are wrong. The Jedi probably don’t expect every Jedi to be perfectly selfless 100% of the time. As a religious person in real life I see this kind of thing all the time. Someone who is very openly religious or pious will make a mistake and then everyone pounces on it to call them a hypocrite. Even though those people live at a much lower standard of moral behavior, they think it’s somehow worse to try to be good and make mistakes than to not try at all. Having standards and trying to live them is not the same thing as arrogance or thinking you’re better than other people, even if sometimes there are individuals that act that way.

  3. The Jedi don’t expect everyone to be Jedi. They never say that everyone is supposed to live the way they do. They practice self-discipline because they have more power and ability than other people, but they don’t tell average people on the street to be monks. George Lucas clearly wants the audience to take away the message of avoiding fear, greed, and selfishness, but obviously he’s not telling the audience to wear brown robes and leave their families.

  4. There might be some loss of face if Anakin left the Jedi, but it wouldn’t be insurmountable or dangerous to him. They wouldn’t hunt him down and kill him. He would still have plenty of friends who would wish him well. It would be perfectly understandable if he really loved Padme that much.
    Them thinking so highly of Dooku actually backs this up. As does the number of Lost 20 being only 20, after 10,000 years. It turns out the Jedi are pretty decent at retaining people and keeping them from going to the dark side, so it’s not this thing of the Jedi being inherently unstable and deserving destruction for the crime of suppressing emotions or whatever.

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Darth Malgus said:
In conclusion.
Although the idea of learning to let go is basically right, I think the Jedi have implemented it too radically. Instead of forbidding attachment (as intended by Lucas),I think they should have taught how to control it, allowing people to express the fear of loss in a balanced way. Their wrong teachings played a very important role in Anakin’s fall, because they didn’t allow him to handle his emotions in a healthy and human way (because I repeat, suppressing the fear of loss is neither healthy nor human). Then, if we also add Anakin’s manipulation by Palpatine, who taught Anakin to handle his negative feelings in the wrong way, then we have Darth Vader as a result. Darth Vader is simply what you obtain when you mix up a person with already existing emotional problems, the wrong teachings of the Jedi that doesn’t allow this emotional problems to be solved correctly, and finally Palpatine’s willingness to take advantage of all the above to carry out his own agenda.

I 100% agree!

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G&G-Fan said:

The only reason people have come to this uncharitable view of the Jedi Order is because George Lucas is not a good writer. Simple as that.

Sorry to cut out most of what you said, but that would be too long.

But this final statement I have to disagree with. I feel that Lucas created the Republic Jedi Order in a very deliberate fashion. At the core they are still the same Jedi they started out as. They are still good. But they are out of balance with the galaxy. Their ability to access the force is compromised. Perhaps that explains some of the rest of it. But they have become too reliant on their rules. Something has been lost and they know it (the dialog indicates that they know something is wrong and things are out of balance). That is why Qui-gon sees Anakin as the Chosen One - a being to bring balance to the force. So we have established that there are things wrong from the outset. Qui-gon is at odd with the Jedi Council and the story makes it clear he has no intention of changing his ways. Lucas’s comments about him indicate that he is on the right path and the Jedi Council is not.

So built into the story are a number of things that show that the Jedi are not at their best in the PT.

How they handle slavery is also addressed. Qui-gon says they are not there to free slaves. Okay. If it was a timing issue, why didn’t they go back and free some of the slaves. At least Shmi. That would have been one way to help Anakin get on the right path. Qui-gon might have had he lived. The other Jedi did nothing. So it was not a timing issue. It was a policy issue. The Jedi were being politically correct for their role in the Republic.

The scene was cut, but this came up in TLJ. Rey’s third lesson was a test. Rey helped the nuns against a perceived enemy and Luke asked her what happens next time when she isn’t there. The Jedi can’t save every situation all the time. They are guardians of peace and justice. They have a political role in the Republic. This goes beyond their connect with the force. It feels like because they have a role in the Republic that they are prevented from acting in the true best interests of the galaxy. Having the added information that their numbers have fallen provides and explanation. Where once they could go out and conduct missions to help the people of the galaxy, their lower numbers have forced them into a political role where they my choose what missions will help the most people and do the most good. Slave on the rim becomes something of a non-issue because it does not fit their political role even though it fits their moral role.

The Jedi have fallen from their high point and are now struggling and sacrifices have been made. Their teaching relies on avoidance rather than learning how to resist the dark side. Their missions have become more political - controlled by the Senate and Chancellor - than moral (going to help where they are needed). The Clone Wars are the final nail in their coffin because it emphasizes everything they are trapped into doing. And they get destroyed for it.

I don’t think it is the writing, at least not this part. I think this is all pretty clear. If there is nothing wrong with the Jedi, why do they need the Chosen One to come and balance things? We are left to imagine how the Jedi would have been before all this in their glory days. But the PT does not depict their glory days, it pictures them in decline and clinging to traditions and that is included in the films.

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If there is nothing wrong with the Jedi, why do they need the Chosen One to come and balance things?

I don’t think the reasoning for why Jedi think things are out of balance is conveyed well. If the Jedi had become complacent, then they would think that everything is fine and that the Force is balanced. By all outside appearances, the Force does seem to be fine until the Sith start to reveal themselves, and even then, the Jedi are skeptical when Qui-Gon first tells them about the Sith’s return.

I know a common piece of writing advice is “show, don’t tell,” but I sometimes think George should have spelled some things out more clearly, even at the risk of giving too much exposition. Obi-Wan says that Qui-Gon doesn’t follow the code, but we’re never shown or told how he’s not following it. There are some references to Jedi’s connection to the Force being diminished, and we can infer that the Jedi have become too politically minded rather than focused on helping people, but that’s not something the movies acknowledge nearly enough. The films never call out the Jedi for ignoring slavery, for example. That could have very easily been made a major grievance Anakin had with the Jedi Order, but the movie doesn’t address it, which leads me to believe it wasn’t meant to be a moral failing of the Order.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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Servii said:

If there is nothing wrong with the Jedi, why do they need the Chosen One to come and balance things?

I don’t think the reasoning for why Jedi think things are out of balance is conveyed well. If the Jedi had become complacent, then they would think that everything is fine and that the Force is balanced. By all outside appearances, the Force does seem to be fine until the Sith start to reveal themselves, and even then, the Jedi are skeptical when Qui-Gon first tells them about the Sith’s return.

I know a common piece of writing advice is “show, don’t tell,” but I sometimes think George should have spelled some things out more clearly, even at the risk of giving too much exposition. Obi-Wan says that Qui-Gon doesn’t follow the code, but we’re never shown or told how he’s not following it. There are some references to Jedi’s connection to the Force being diminished, and we can infer that the Jedi have become too politically minded rather than focused on helping people, but that’s not something the movies acknowledge nearly enough. The films never call out the Jedi for ignoring slavery, for example. That could have very easily been made a major grievance Anakin had with the Jedi Order, but the movie doesn’t address it, which leads me to believe it wasn’t meant to be a moral failing of the Order.

Exactly. All of these perceived issues are something we read into it because as written it just doesn’t make sense or there’s too much missing or contradictory information.

As for the slavery thing, their jurisdiction is inside the Republic. If they go outside the Republic to start cracking heads, that could start a war and ultimately result in more collateral damage including to slaves. It wouldn’t be morally right or practical for them to conquer every system for the Republic and forcibly subjugate everyone into following their own laws.

I greatly prefer the decentralized pre-1999 Jedi, but with what we have, that part makes perfect sense.

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yotsuya said:

G&G-Fan said:

The only reason people have come to this uncharitable view of the Jedi Order is because George Lucas is not a good writer. Simple as that.

Sorry to cut out most of what you said, but that would be too long.

The Jedi have fallen from their high point and are now struggling and sacrifices have been made. Their teaching relies on avoidance rather than learning how to resist the dark side. Their missions have become more political - controlled by the Senate and Chancellor - than moral (going to help where they are needed). The Clone Wars are the final nail in their coffin because it emphasizes everything they are trapped into doing. And they get destroyed for it.

I don’t think it is the writing, at least not this part. I think this is all pretty clear. If there is nothing wrong with the Jedi, why do they need the Chosen One to come and balance things? We are left to imagine how the Jedi would have been before all this in their glory days. But the PT does not depict their glory days, it pictures them in decline and clinging to traditions and that is included in the films.

Please explain your distinction between avoidance and resistance. That just doesn’t make any sense. If you’re talking about temptation, avoidance is legitimately the best strategy FOR resistance. It’s better to prevent a situation or avoid getting into a situation than to intentionally put yourself near it and grit your teeth and focus really hard on not doing it. But the Jedi absolutely also teach how to do that if you’re in the situation. That’s the point. That’s why they’re always talking about clearing their minds, and meditating.

Sometimes the political missions are the moral missions. If they were sent out to free slaves, that would absolutely be a political mission as well. We don’t really know the details of what their missions look like anyway, or what most Jedi are up to outside of Coruscant. For all we know, they’re serving the people perfectly well.

The Chosen One isn’t to balance the Jedi, it’s to balance the Force, which in some way involves destroying the Sith. The idea is vague and not explained well, but at the very least it doesn’t say anything about getting rid of the Jedi or fixing them.

The PT does depict their glory days. According to Lucas, that was the point of Duel of the Fates being so different from the OT duels. They’re at the height of their abilities, so they’re doing all kinds of flips and whatsits and have faster choreography.

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yotsuya said:

But this final statement I have to disagree with. I feel that Lucas created the Republic Jedi Order in a very deliberate fashion.

Obviously wrong as the things Lucas says goes against your head canon.

But they are out of balance with the galaxy. Their ability to access the force is compromised.

They’re ability to use the force being compromised is because of the dark side clouding their vision, not the Jedi being bad at their jobs.

How they handle slavery is also addressed. Qui-gon says they are not there to free slaves. Okay. If it was a timing issue, why didn’t they go back and free some of the slaves. At least Shmi. That would have been one way to help Anakin get on the right path. Qui-gon might have had he lived. The other Jedi did nothing. So it was not a timing issue. It was a policy issue. The Jedi were being politically correct for their role in the Republic.

I already talked about this. I even brought up Shmi specifically. Please read what I said.

The Jedi have fallen from their high point and are now struggling and sacrifices have been made. Their teaching relies on avoidance rather than learning how to resist the dark side. Their missions have become more political - controlled by the Senate and Chancellor - than moral (going to help where they are needed). The Clone Wars are the final nail in their coffin because it emphasizes everything they are trapped into doing. And they get destroyed for it.

I also talked about their association with the Republic and not freeing slaves in the Outer Rim. Again, you’re not actually reading what I said.

Also the Jedi do learn to resist the dark side. It’s a part of their way.

https://www.tumblr.com/david-talks-sw/679421723083522048/balance-when-talking-about-a-jedi?source=share

If there is nothing wrong with the Jedi, why do they need the Chosen One to come and balance things?

The Chosen One prophecy is about destroying the Sith. Not the Jedi. The Sith are a cancer in the galaxy. They need to be destroyed.

https://www.tumblr.com/david-talks-sw/679554898557353985/bmnl?source=share

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I’m just happy we’re having a lively discussion again.

https://www.tumblr.com/david-talks-sw/679554898557353985/bmnl?source=share

I noticed you cite this guy’s lore posts a lot, and I’d just caution against relying too heavily on the words of one fan. I’ve read some of his stuff before, and I wouldn’t consider him the definitive or final word on these issues.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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Servii said:

I’m just happy we’re having a lively discussion again.

I mean, I do kinda regret allowing this tangent to go on in this thread since it’s supposed to be about Vader and not the Jedi, but hey, at least I’m actually somewhat able to convince people here.

I noticed you cite this guy’s lore posts a lot, and I’d just caution against relying too heavily on the words of one fan. I’ve read some of his stuff before, and I wouldn’t consider him the definitive or final word on these issues.

I cite him because he always uses quotes directly from George Lucas to support his claims. When you constantly use direct quotes from the author, if we’re talking about the films from a “Word of God” POV and not “Death of the Author”, then you become an instantly reliable source. Plus sometimes I’m lazy and just want to link to his posts rather then find the quote myself and also explain it myself (especially when the same conversation goes on for two days).

What exactly has he said that makes him unreliable?

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He has some takes and interpretations that I don’t think are backed up well. For example, he has his diagrams showing the state of the balance of the Force at different points in the saga, and he portrays the pre-TPM era as unbalanced because of Palpatine’s scheming and various other negative forces. Yet he claims that the post-RotJ is a time of balance, despite the fact that it has pretty much all the same problems as the TPM era (including a living Sith lord).

The point is, while he’s a good source for quotes from the man himself, his interpretations are still fallible.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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During TPM Palpatine was actively doing things (the invasion of Naboo) while post-ROTJ he was trapped in a defective clone body he couldn’t do anything in. Also during TPM the government was a lot more greedy and corrupt then post-ROTJ. Every good and bad person contributes to the Force.

The reason it has to be balanced post-ROTJ is because it’s kinda directly stated that it is. Anakin brought balance to the Force. Even in TROS he says, “Bring back the balance, Rey, as I did.”

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The reason it has to be balanced post-ROTJ is because it’s kinda directly stated that it is. Anakin brought balance to the Force. Even in TROS he says, “Bring back the balance, Rey, as I did.”

Well, it may be the official narrative, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense. The prequels were clear that balance meant the destruction of the Sith, and despite being worse for wear, Palpatine was still alive and scheming and whispering in little Ben Solo’s head. Not to mention, the New Republic was pretty corrupt, ineffective, and filled with secret Empire supporters.

The point is, he toes the line of whatever the official canon narrative currently is, but if the official canon narrative is defective and contradictory, then that doesn’t mean much.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.