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Why does the EU hate villains? — Page 2


xhonzi said:

I was thinking about this more on a 2 hour drive I had to make today.  Here are my thoughts:

As I said above, "I think truth is truth, and good is good, and that there are people who wrongly disagree."  I mean by this something similar to what an Atheist believes about believers in God.  The Atheist doesn't believe in God, but he readily admits that believers do.  I don't believe in Moral Relativism, but I readily admit that some people do.  And, more to the point, that a lot of bad people do.  In fact, I think that it is hard to be a truly bad person if you don't believe in Moral Relativism. 

When you watch the Godfather (or Watchmen, or countless others) you see people that are bad, but they don't believe that they are.  They don't sit around and think of themselves as the bad guys.  They think of themselves doing what needs to be done in their circumstances.  Sometimes the storyteller is also telling you that YOU would also do as they do if you were in their circumstances.  Sometimes the storyteller is simply telling you how the bad people rationalize what they are doing so that they can continue doing the things they want to do.

Would you really like to see villains who are simply bad for the sake of being bad?  How interesting is that?  How many people are really like that?  I think an honest non-Moral-Relativistic storyteller has to show the logic that villains use to do the bad things they do.  I think the storyteller can do this without showing Moral Relativity.  Unless the Storyteller begins to make the same case the villains do, and then you have something else on your hands.

Well sometimes there are conflicting motives that are hard to pin down. Like killing people to save other people. Its hard to label someone as all bad or all good because often they a grey, they have a mix. I do believe that people around the world have different values, but I also believe there are universal ideas of what's bad and what's good that we all share.


TheBoost said:

Gaffer Tape said:

Well, yes, it's certainly not a character study, but if you establish the precedent that a character can make a choice between good and evil, and that they are not simply stuck on one side of the line or the other, it implies that the characters themselves are not inherently one or the other.  You say Vader is non-relativistically evil, but Luke constantly says, "There is good in him."  And it turns out he is right, which means that Vader has both good and evil traits.  True, there is not really any good example to show this.  We don't see any struggle until the very end, so I'm not arguing that it did a good or deep job from a relativist angle, but the concepts certainly existed.

 Perhaps we're not in sync as to the use of the term 'moral relativity.'

I'm referrinig to the philisophical conceit that good/evil are not universal truths, that situation, culture, and tradition are part of what is categorized as 'good' or 'bad'. I'm referring to the idea that morallity is subjective.

No matter Vader's personal journey from good to bad to good again, the lines of good and bad are still very sharply defined and objective. "Star Wars" never asks us to see the destruction of Alderaan as a 'good' thing from Vader's point of view, nor is torture and casual murder that Vader does somehow justified from his religious views ("The Sith Antidiscrimination League"). These are all universally seen as 'bad.' Vader himself would probably see them as 'bad' and just not care, given that he's down with the Dark Side.

The closest the OT comes to moral relativism is Obi's line about "from a certain point of view" and even that is (I think) just meant to be his justification for his own lying.  In the PT Palpy tosses out some vaguely moral-relativistic concepts, but again I think that's meant to be seen as just him lying to Anakin, as Palpy's ultimate goal is simply revenge and 'unlimited power.'

No, I do understand the use of the term "moral relativity," and I will concede that in terms of actual, real world moral relativity, you are correct.  I don't think I've read enough EU (or at least not most of the ones you're talking about) to weigh in on whether or not the EU uses moral relativity, but, really, even the PT, from a real world perspective, has relatively simplistic uses of good and evil.  My point is that, as in a lot of things we criticize about the newer Star Wars films, you really have to look no further than The Empire Strikes Back to see where those ideas germinated.  I still believe that the concept of good and evil as displayed in all other films besides the first have less codified morality than the first, and are thus relativistic by comparison, yeah, you're right that they're not really relativistic.

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.