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Posts Tagged ‘Revenge of the Sith’

The politics of Star Wars are interesting.  The philosophy, though? 

I was watching Revenge of the Sith the other night, a tense and moving film filled with individuals in conflict.  Obviously Anakin is torn between what he wants and what he fears.  Padme loves Anakin but can’t believe who he’s become.  Obi Wan has to fight evil, though it is manifest in his pupil and friend.  The Jedi want to follow the Jedi-way, but evil is too powerful to be left alive that long. 

The prophecy, about the “chosen one”, is the one common theme in all of the movies.  Anakin is to restore balance to the force.  Balance is just the half-full way of describing this tension.  As Padme lies dying, she tells Obi Wan that there is good in Anakin.  Luke repeats this in Return of the Jedi, and ultimately, appealing to this shaft of goodness is what saves the galaxy. 

While I watched a few nights ago, Anakin Skywalker’s seduction by the Dark Side, I laid a finger on something that has always bothered me, a fundamental difference in philosophy between George Lucas and I.  For Anakin, there is no going back.  He never repents for what he has done, even at the end of Episode VI.  In Episode III, after disarming Master Wendu, leading to his death, Anakin’s whole being looks like he wishes he could repent.  “What have I done?” he cries out.  As though unable to control who he is or what circumstances limit him, the young Jedi hates who he is becoming yet boasts in it.  The wickedness in him is just as important, just as valid, as the good.  In the end of the story it is not a turning from his identity that causes the change, but the resurgence of a different part of his character. 

That is a hopeless, gnawing life.  The truth is, Anakin wasn’t good.  Neither was Darth Vader.  Goodness could only really come by acknowledging the wrong, and turning from it to something truly good outside himself.  Without that, there is no forgiveness, no redemption.  Without that, good versus evil is ultimately irrelevant.  Which matches the philosophy of the Jedi, who claim that “only the Sith [bad guys] deal in absolutes.” 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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