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  1. - Top - End - #931
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    Default Re: The Mandalorian Season 2

    Whule I wholehearteadly agree that the Force as spiritual enlightenment and its associated powers as byproducts of that same enlightenment are a much better idea than the Force as D&D style magic/psychic powers; this approach runs into a huge problem even if we take the OT (or just the original Star Wars) in isolation: the Dark Siders have powers too. The Sith are about as far from enlightenment as one gets so why do they get to throw lightning around and such?


    In The Hand of Thrawn Luke theorizes that using Force powers to manipulate one's surrounding weakens one's ability to sense through the Force and that may even be the true nature of the Dark Side: a focus on the (destructive) power over the Now rather than the search to attune to a higher level.
    While it doesn't resolve everything, I wish this idea had been explored more. It would lead to some interesting things: through increased wisdom comes increased power but to use that power is to lose that wisdom. So the only course of action becomes to gain more and more power and to refrain to use it unless absolutely necessary. And isn't "knowing when not to use one's power and when not to" about as close as a definition of wisdom one can get?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    The key bit is that Jedi are supposed to bypass Step #2. Jedi are supposed to master their emotions - no be unfeeling, which is what Anakin mistakenly believed - but to reach an enlightened state where emotional input ceases to matter and only the guidance of the Force remains. This is a religious concept based on a specific set religious beliefs in a somewhat garbled presentation by Lucas.
    So how do you get motivated to stop a genocidal fascist without feeling any kind of emotion towards their actions? The only possible way is for Jedi to not be human beings in any relatable sense, which might be functional in-universe but makes following them as the protagonists of stories largely a failure. I'm not saying such a rule is impossible to write, I'm saying including it makes the overall story demonstrably worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Edit: it's arguable that Luke does this in Return of the Jedi. That once he throws away his lightsaber he's discarded his hatred and if he was somehow given the chance to walk out and go through the whole sequence again he absolutely could strike Palpatine down in peace and clarity.
    And this is a telling microcosm of that concept. How do you strike him down after throwing away your lightsaber? With your other one? Was Luke supposed to toss it aside, leave the room, come back in and then pick it up again? If yes, what was the initial tossing aside supposed to represent narratively? It's nonsensical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Uh, end of season 1?
    What about it? He is a child controlled first by the Avatar state,and then the Ocean Spirit. He might have caused some soldiers to die when he pushed their fleet back out to sea, but there was certainly no intent or agency there on his part. And it's the Ocean Spirit who drowns Zhao (who shows up later in LoK in the spirit realm, so even that is ambiguous.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Notably, remember what happens when Luke tries to cut Palpatine down. Vader blocks it. Palpatine doesn't actually intend to sit there and die. If that was the end goal, he would have let that strike land.
    More likely that Palpatine didn't actually care. Strike doesn't land, he gets a delightful father-son tragedy to watch. Strike lands, and he (it is assumed) either gets a young/virile/extremely force-sensitive new body to inhabit, or the Dark Side he serves gets the ultimate champion who is stronger than both him and Vader - win/win.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: The Mandalorian Season 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So how do you get motivated to stop a genocidal fascist without feeling any kind of emotion towards their actions? The only possible way is for Jedi to not be human beings in any relatable sense, which might be functional in-universe but makes following them as the protagonists of stories largely a failure. I'm not saying such a rule is impossible to write, I'm saying including it makes the overall story demonstrably worse.
    Because genocidal fascists are just bad? You dont need to actively hate somebody to want to stop them.



    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    And this is a telling microcosm of that concept. How do you strike him down after throwing away your lightsaber? With your other one? Was Luke supposed to toss it aside, leave the room, come back in and then pick it up again? If yes, what was the initial tossing aside supposed to represent narratively? It's nonsensical.
    The throwing of the lightsaber was symbolic, not a literal necessary step. Remember that Luke wasnt actually there to murder the Emperor, he was trying to confront and redeem Vader. I dont know that he even had a plan necessarily. Certainly he wanted the Death Star to be destroyed, and since the Emperor was on it, he isnt under much pressure to kill the guy personally.


    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    More likely that Palpatine didn't actually care. Strike doesn't land, he gets a delightful father-son tragedy to watch. Strike lands, and he (it is assumed) either gets a young/virile/extremely force-sensitive new body to inhabit, or the Dark Side he serves gets the ultimate champion who is stronger than both him and Vader - win/win.
    The Dark Side isnt a big old happy family. Internal competition is the way of the Sith after all. Palpatine absolutely wants to live, he just thinks he's in so much control of the situation that he isnt in any danger.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    Luke killed how many people on the Death Star?

    But killing the man who ordered its creation and use, as well established the whole empire to which such violence and terror is casually used as the chief form of control and legitimacy, that's a spiritual matter you have to meditate on?
    I've always had a bit of a problem with this conceit in action movies. If you've offed a pile of henchmen with no consideration, then why extend more to the guy at the top of the pile, most responsible for evil?

    Why worry about sparing the leader and not the minions? If anything, it should be the other way 'round.

    Even if the guy you're sparing immediately tries to shank you after sparing you, why go through that particular song and dance?

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    Default Re: The Mandalorian Season 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    And this is a telling microcosm of that concept. How do you strike him down after throwing away your lightsaber? With your other one? Was Luke supposed to toss it aside, leave the room, come back in and then pick it up again? If yes, what was the initial tossing aside supposed to represent narratively? It's nonsensical.
    Thinking about it just now, he probably fully believed he could turn Vader at that point. The very next thing Luke says is a plea for his father to help him. Just from a worse position than he thought.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    I've always had a bit of a problem with this conceit in action movies. If you've offed a pile of henchmen with no consideration, then why extend more to the guy at the top of the pile, most responsible for evil?

    Why worry about sparing the leader and not the minions? If anything, it should be the other way 'round.

    Even if the guy you're sparing immediately tries to shank you after sparing you, why go through that particular song and dance?
    The minions can't be martyrs. They don't have the eyes of the public on them. If there are enough of them (eg Death Star population), there is no way to stop the Death Star at that time while not killing them. None of these are strictly, necessarily true for the leader. It sucks, but that's how it is sometimes.

    Not all the times. But sometimes.
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    Default Re: The Mandalorian Season 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    I've always had a bit of a problem with this conceit in action movies. If you've offed a pile of henchmen with no consideration, then why extend more to the guy at the top of the pile, most responsible for evil?

    Why worry about sparing the leader and not the minions? If anything, it should be the other way 'round.

    Even if the guy you're sparing immediately tries to shank you after sparing you, why go through that particular song and dance?
    It's particularly egregious in something like Spectre, the last James Bond movie. There's a huge point about bringing the villain - Blofeld, the head of Spectre - in alive as representative of Bond's character arc.

    In a franchise where the main character has a literal license to kill, and whose typical reaction to brutal deaths the he himself is causing is little more than dry one-liners, makes sparing Blofeld - a man responsible for countless deaths and personal turmoil in Bond's own life - into the point where Bond has the moral high-ground.

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    Default Re: The Mandalorian Season 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Because genocidal fascists are just bad? You dont need to actively hate somebody to want to stop them.
    Sure, but you can't even be angry that they killed a bunch of people? A perfectly human response to an atrocity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    The throwing of the lightsaber was symbolic, not a literal necessary step. Remember that Luke wasnt actually there to murder the Emperor, he was trying to confront and redeem Vader. I dont know that he even had a plan necessarily. Certainly he wanted the Death Star to be destroyed, and since the Emperor was on it, he isnt under much pressure to kill the guy personally.
    So emotionlessly blowing up the Death Star while knowing Palpatine is on board would have been fine then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    The Dark Side isnt a big old happy family. Internal competition is the way of the Sith after all. Palpatine absolutely wants to live, he just thinks he's in so much control of the situation that he isnt in any danger.
    Which takes us right back to "you need to write him to be an idiot to make anything he does make sense."

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    The minions can't be martyrs. They don't have the eyes of the public on them. If there are enough of them (eg Death Star population), there is no way to stop the Death Star at that time while not killing them. None of these are strictly, necessarily true for the leader. It sucks, but that's how it is sometimes.

    Not all the times. But sometimes.
    All the more reason why killing the head honcho should be fine, ethically speaking. But when the metaphysics of the setting don't line up with these ethics, it creates a rather off-putting disconnect.

    It's like Divine Right of Kings, except only the despots get to use it. Like the Force is almost protecting him, except for the one contrived loophole the writers stuck in there.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2021-03-08 at 01:59 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: The Mandalorian Season 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Sure, but you can't even be angry that they killed a bunch of people? A perfectly human response to an atrocity?



    So emotionlessly blowing up the Death Star while knowing Palpatine is on board would have been fine then?



    Which takes us right back to "you need to write him to be an idiot to make anything he does make sense."



    All the more reason why killing the head honcho should be fine, ethically speaking. But when the metaphysics of the setting don't line up with these ethics, it creates a rather off-putting disconnect.

    It's like Divine Right of Kings, except only the despots get to use it. Like the Force is almost protecting him, except for the one contrived loophole the writers stuck in there.
    Its explicitly a trap to try and turn Luke to the Dark Side, of course Luke doesnt have many good options there. Had Vader not turned, something that Palpatine had not foreseen, then Luke would absolutely have died there at Palpatine's hands, because Palpatine planned the situation pretty well in order to deny Luke any real way out short of giving in to the Dark Side and joining him.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  9. - Top - End - #939
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    Re: The force and murder

    The Force clearly isn't anti-killing. It's about investment

    The best way I understand light-vs-dark force mysticism, is that the Dark Side is basically "You have power, use it to do the things you want", and the light side is more along the lines of "Use your power on behalf of the cosmic good or whatever".

    Striking down a foe in anger is Dark Side, because, no matter how much the foe deserves it, and how much cosmic good or whatever would come from their death, your motivations for killing them really come down to your personal satisfaction. If you hate somebody for a good reason, and kill them due to that hate, that might be more "Just" or whatever, but it still means that you killed somebody because you hated them. If you hated somebody else equally, but didn't have a good reason to do so, you'd kill them as well.

    I personally enjoy the interpretation that the Jedi Order's whole "Cut off all attachments" philosophy is really just a one-size-fits-all solution to avoiding falling to the Dark Side, with the Dark Side basically being the old fashioned "Power Corrupts" concept. By denying emotional attachment altogether, you can do what you feel you must without fear that you're actually acting out of selfish emotion.


    The fact that Luke knows Vader is his father complicates things. I'm of the opinion that Luke could have killed Palpatine without issue. He's killed people guilty of far less without any stain on his proverbial soul.

    But Vader was Luke's Father, there's an emotional connection there, even if it's just the principle of "hey, killing your dad is a pretty big deal". Luke wasn't able to say "Well, he's my dad, but I guess I can kill him for the good of the galaxy" (Some Jedi might have been able to reach that point of emotional detachment, but Luke wasn't one of them). He could have killed Vader out of fear, anger, or hatred, an outburst of emotion at the father who abandoned him to become a genocidal dictator's puppet murder cyborg wizard.

    But that would be Dark Side.

    Unable to kill him without tipping his toes in the Dark Side pool, Luke went with the option of trying to redeem him.


    This whole take is wrapped up in the idea that the Force is more about the personal than the universal. It wasn't WRONG to kill Vader any more than it was Wrong to blow up the Death Star, but the light side/Dark Side force dichotomy isn't about Right and Wrong. Anakin's whole story is about how the classic military hero (Brave, Strong, Passionate about protecting those he cares about), was manipulated into Falling. You can fall to the Dark Side trying to do good things if your reasons are, not even bad per-say, just selfish.

    Of course, where this all diverges is that most Sith we encounter are portrayed as horrible villains. Like, you don't need to be Evil to turn to the dark side, you just need to act selfishly, even if the end result of your goals is overall good, but once you go to the dark side, you become Evil? I guess the idea is that anybody who falls to the dark side is used to using their power for selfish reasons, and you can only keep "Good actions for Selfish Motivations" going for so long.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Its explicitly a trap to try and turn Luke to the Dark Side, of course Luke doesnt have many good options there. Had Vader not turned, something that Palpatine had not foreseen, then Luke would absolutely have died there at Palpatine's hands, because Palpatine planned the situation pretty well in order to deny Luke any real way out short of giving in to the Dark Side and joining him.
    Right, because of the asinine rule that the Force will literally turn against you/corrupt you if you feel even a little emotional about killing the guy who murdered billions, was responsible for the deaths of the people who raised you, converted your own father into his chief fascist enforcer, and is actively trying to both kill your remaining family and friends and subjugate the rest of the galaxy's free will.

    And then they wonder why the most broadly appealing modern Star Wars stories are the ones with few to no Jedi in them.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Right, because of the asinine rule that the Force will literally turn against you/corrupt you if you feel even a little emotional about killing the guy who murdered billions, was responsible for the deaths of the people who raised you, converted your own father into his chief fascist enforcer, and is actively trying to both kill your remaining family and friends and subjugate the rest of the galaxy's free will.

    And then they wonder why the most broadly appealing modern Star Wars stories are the ones with few to no Jedi in them.
    Yes, striking down an old man in cold blood because youre angry at him is not a Light Side move. Youre making it a lot harder than it needs to be. Palpatine doesnt matter to the equation. Luke is what matters. Killing somebody because youre angry at them leads to the Dark Side because, as has been mentioned several times, what happens when youre angry at someone for a bad reason? Well youve already decided killing out of anger is fine, so you do it again.

    Jedi (and Sith) have a lot of power, so its really easy for them to go off the rails if they give into their temptations and lizard brain goals.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: The Mandalorian Season 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Yes, striking down an old man in cold blood because youre angry at him is not a Light Side move.
    "Because you're angry at him" is reductionist tripe. Striking him down because he is a clear and present danger to countless others and there is no feasible means of depowering or incarcerating him is the actual reason, and whether Luke is angry or not when he does it is a side concern at best. Or at least it should be, had Lucas thought about it for longer than it took to scribble on the nearest greasy napkin he had to hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    "Because you're angry at him" is reductionist tripe. Striking him down because he is a clear and present danger to countless others and there is no feasible means of depowering or incarcerating him is the actual reason, and whether Luke is angry or not when he does it is a side concern at best. Or at least it should be, had Lucas thought about it for longer than it took to scribble on the nearest greasy napkin he had to hand.
    Thats just it though. He ISNT a clear and present danger to countless others. Killing him wont stop the Imperial Fleet or the Death Star, not in that moment, and Luke doesnt know he can shoot lightning from his fingertips and kill him on a whim. So yes, killing Palpatine at that point would be killing him out of anger, and even if Luke has good reasons to be angry, he's still acting on his anger.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Pretty sure that you don't need to stop the entire enemy army as a result to justify shooting an enemy soldier in an active engagement, let alone the general.

    Don't get me wrong, I get the whole mystical force thing, but from a standpoint of "is killing this dude justified", heck yeah. The Emperor is responsible for countless crimes, and it's literally in the midst of an uncertain battle between his army and yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    It's particularly egregious in something like Spectre, the last James Bond movie. There's a huge point about bringing the villain - Blofeld, the head of Spectre - in alive as representative of Bond's character arc.
    Yeah, I had some beefs with that film.

    I get if there's some practical consideration. It's a spy film, if he has info they urgently need and can get no other way, sure, whatever. But from a character perspective, Bond shouldn't care at all.
    Last edited by Tyndmyr; 2021-03-08 at 03:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Thats just it though. He ISNT a clear and present danger to countless others. Killing him wont stop the Imperial Fleet or the Death Star, not in that moment, and Luke doesnt know he can shoot lightning from his fingertips and kill him on a whim. So yes, killing Palpatine at that point would be killing him out of anger, and even if Luke has good reasons to be angry, he's still acting on his anger.
    So I guess tossing him down a ventilation shaft didn't accomplish anything either? The Empire regrouped right after that?

    The whole reason the Endor Strike Force had to leave Luke, their most powerful asset by far, out of the crucial ground mission was because one or both of the only two Sith the Empire had could track his movements through his connection to the Force, any by extension that of the rebels themselves. There is no way to turn off that cosmic gps short of killing Palpatine, and possibly Vader (though killing Palpatine and redeeming Vader would have worked as well.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Pretty sure that you don't need to stop the entire enemy army as a result to justify shooting an enemy soldier in an active engagement, let alone the general.

    Don't get me wrong, I get the whole mystical force thing, but from a standpoint of "is killing this dude justified", heck yeah. The Emperor is responsible for countless crimes, and it's literally in the midst of an uncertain battle between his army and yours.
    This.

    And I do think "this guy figured out how to make the Force protect him from direct attempts on his life by other Force-users, who are in turn the only people with a ghost of a chance of getting close to him" has the potential to be an interesting story thread. But RotJ did nothing with that premise save force Palpatine's defeat to be the result of abject stupidity. Which leaves you with the only way to kill folks like him and Snoke be to get their already-darkside apprentice to do the deed, or to somehow get him to kill himself.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2021-03-08 at 03:17 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    It's particularly egregious in something like Spectre, the last James Bond movie. There's a huge point about bringing the villain - Blofeld, the head of Spectre - in alive as representative of Bond's character arc.

    In a franchise where the main character has a literal license to kill, and whose typical reaction to brutal deaths the he himself is causing is little more than dry one-liners, makes sparing Blofeld - a man responsible for countless deaths and personal turmoil in Bond's own life - into the point where Bond has the moral high-ground.
    I believe the point of the scene (and of a lot of the Craig films) was that Bond's life is empty, sad, miserable and destructive and by deciding to spare Blofeld and walk away with Léa Seydoux's characters rather than shoot Blofeld and go to M he is walking away from his life as a spy and quitting the MI6.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I believe the point of the scene (and of a lot of the Craig films) was that Bond's life is empty, sad, miserable and destructive and by deciding to spare Blofeld and walk away with Léa Seydoux's characters rather than shoot Blofeld and go to M he is walking away from his life as a spy and quitting the MI6.
    Do you think he'll try a pacifist run in the forthcoming No Time to Die? 'Cause I doubt it.

    Anyways, having that realization just before killing the one man who deserves it the most - as Spectre retconned everything ultimately to be this one man's fault - is pretty sus, as the kids say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So I guess tossing him down a ventilation shaft didn't accomplish anything either? The Empire regrouped right after that?

    The whole reason the Endor Strike Force had to leave Luke, their most powerful asset by far, out of the crucial ground mission was because one or both of the only two Sith the Empire had could track his movements through his connection to the Force, any by extension that of the rebels themselves. There is no way to turn off that cosmic gps short of killing Palpatine, and possibly Vader (though killing Palpatine and redeeming Vader would have worked as well.)
    Can they? They know Luke is there. That's it. And once they know, it's too late to fix. They know the Rebels are there but not where.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Can they? They know Luke is there. That's it. And once they know, it's too late to fix. They know the Rebels are there but not where.
    Indeed, the connection didn't matter there because it was already too late. But had Vader not turned, and therefore Palpatine and Vader survived due to the Dumb Force Rule, they would have been able to exploit said connection in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    My understanding is that Palpatine wanted Luke to strike him down and that by doing so he becomes host to whatever entity is Darth Sidious.

    So by intervening Darth Vader was protecting Luke thereby proving Luke right.

    Didn't stop Luke losing his temper especially when Vader sensed about Leia, but if he did so did Palpatine so that could be construed as Vader warning Luke.

    Never did understand the killing of the younglings from the Prequels felt a waste given the creation of the Inquisitors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless View Post
    My understanding is that Palpatine wanted Luke to strike him down and that by doing so he becomes host to whatever entity is Darth Sidious.

    So by intervening Darth Vader was protecting Luke thereby proving Luke right.
    And the Emperor cackled as Vader blocked Luke because...?

    Regardless of the gymnastics Abrams would need to make that fit retroactively, when it was released that was certainly not the case. And frankly I'm happier forgetting about the Abrams Abominations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    Do you think he'll try a pacifist run in the forthcoming No Time to Die? 'Cause I doubt it.
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    Default Re: The Mandalorian Season 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    And the Emperor cackled as Vader blocked Luke because...?
    Because he's a sadist, and gets his rocks off kicks watching father duel son?

    Just because possessing Luke would be a good option for him, doesn't mean that staying alive and either corrupting them both, or getting one killed to cement the other wouldn't be better.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I always thought that was a very weird aspect of the Force.

    1) Dude commits atrocities and will unfailingly continue to commit atrocities unless stopped.
    2) You get mad because of all the atrocities.
    3) Because you're mad, you now can't kill the dude who did the atrocities and will continue to do atrocities, because doing so will either (a) allow him to possess you(?) or (b) make you just as bad if not worse.
    4) There is no other feasible way to stop the guy from doing the atrocities short of killing him.

    Star Wars basically wrote itself into a corner with a setup this contrived. It resulted in every means of defeating Palpatine rely on the man himself becoming incredibly idiotic, which isn't satisfying for a villainous mastermind.

    What Star Wars needed was another way to stop him that didn't result in either stupid behavior or massive inconsistencies. Both LotR and ATLA did this kind of dilemma far better.
    Its not that weird largely because you've added steps that don't actually exist.

    The whole deal is what others have touched upon, to not be controlled by your emotions. You can totally be mad about some dude committing atrocities and will unfailingly continue to commit them in the future. And you should definitely defeat/detain/kill him if you get the chance. Being warrior monks, the Jedi are totally onboard with that idea.

    What they AREN'T onboard with is letting that anger dictate your actions. About letting your hate, anger, fear, sadness control your actions or be the route with which you access the Force because THAT'S what leads you to the Darkside. Your desire to act in the moment will lead you to do so in the future because, thanks to the Force, you're probably going to succeed at whatever you're trying to do and thus be likely to do that in the future. Its a shortcut. A cancerous 'lifehack' for the Force. Its poison. The Jedi's policy to keep that from happening was teaching people to just avoid the mess entirely by encouraging Jedi to avoid attachments. Love, but don't fall in love. Get mad, but don't be filled by rage. Dislike someone, but don't be consumed by hate. When the Jedi say the Sith only deal in extremes, that's part of what they mean. Sith don't feel in degrees, its all or nothing and it drowns them in the Dark Side because its all impulse, its all satisfying an emotional rush accompanied by the allure of great power that creates the intoxicating high of the Dark side.

    A Jedi isn't that. Its all measure twice, cut once. Its self improvement. Its doing your best to act wisely by removing distractions. Its about not letting your baggage dictate your actions because the less attachments you have, the closer you are to the Force. And it isn't a pass/fail system. We see numerous Jedi who struggle to contain their emotions, even Jedi Masters. They're still Jedi and still with the Force. We've even seen Jedi flirt with the dark side with their actions and other Jedi being concerned but also trying to help them out. Its only once someone has completely fallen to the dark side, gone full Sith, that the Jedi pull out the lightsabers.

    To use your framework...

    1) Dude commits atrocities and will unfailingly continue to commit atrocities unless stopped.
    2) You get mad because of all the atrocities.
    3) Because you're mad, you now can't kill the dude who did the atrocities and will continue to do atrocities, because doing so will either (a) allow him to possess you(?) or (b) make you just as bad if not worse.
    4) There is no other feasible way to stop the guy from doing the atrocities short of killing him.

    ...isn't the Jedi way.

    1) Dude commits atrocities and will unfailingly continue to commit atrocities unless stopped.
    2) You get mad because of all the atrocities.
    3) You control your anger, to ensure your emotions aren't controlling you. Once you see the path clearly, you can decide how to handle the dude.
    4) There is no other feasible way to stop the guy from doing the atrocities short of killing him, but it is to stop him from committing more atrocities not because you're mad at him.
    5) You are now less likely to get angry and kill other people in the future.

    Or to use a real Star Wars example of how the process failed.

    1) The Sand People commits atrocities and will unfailingly continue to commit atrocities unless stopped.
    2) Anakin gets mad because of all the atrocities (which includes his mother).
    3) Because he is mad about his mother's death, Anakin kills the Sand People. All of them. Even the younglings.
    4) Anakin didn't do this to help the people of Tatooine and was not in control of his emotions, otherwise he might have considered a non-violent solution to the problem. (The Mandalorion series has shown that Sand People CAN be bargained with, just like any other sentients, they simply have strange customs)
    5) Anakin flirted with the Dark Side then decided to buy the Dark Side a drink, take it home, and make rough revenge sex with it.

    vs how it succeeded...

    1) The Emperor and Vader commit atrocities and will unfailingly continue to commit atrocities unless stopped.
    2) Luke gets mad because of all the atrocities.
    3) Luke controls his anger and realizes that striking down the Emperor and then Vader is exactly what the Emperor wants. Why? Because it taints him and makes him more likely to indulge rash, reckless emotion in the future. It opens the door to the Dark Side but also keeps Luke from his true goal of trying to save his father. He also realizes that him slaying the Emperor is irrelevant. Either the Empire wins the battle and the Rebellion is wiped out, regardless of if the Emperor/Vader are still alive or the Rebellion succeeds, which means the Emperor is dead anyway and the Imperial fleet is in disarray. Luke has no control over any of that, but he does have control over possibly redeeming his father.
    4) Luke successfully redeems Vader (which also kills the Emperor as a happy bonus), even if Vader dies shortly thereafter. The Rebellion succeeds at destroying the second Death Star and scattering the Imperial Navy.
    5) Luke flirted with the Dark side but ultimately walks away from it.
    4)
    4) There is no other feasible way to stop the guy from doing the atrocities short of killing him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callos_DeTerran View Post
    3) You control your anger, to ensure your emotions aren't controlling you. Once you see the path clearly, you can decide how to handle the dude.
    4) There is no other feasible way to stop the guy from doing the atrocities short of killing him, but it is to stop him from committing more atrocities not because you're mad at him.
    5) You are now less likely to get angry and kill other people in the future.
    Except that's not how it's presented. If you feel even a shred of emotion you've failed, and it's practically impossible for someone impacted by Palpatine to not feel a shred of emotion about him. And Palpatine, knowing this... thankfully makes it easier for the heroes by making sure there's a bottomless pit in his throne room, or throwing lightning that he knows from empirical experience can be reflected back at him. Our mastermind, everybody!

    Quote Originally Posted by Callos_DeTerran View Post
    Or to use a real Star Wars example of how the process failed.

    1) The Sand People commits atrocities and will unfailingly continue to commit atrocities unless stopped.
    2) Anakin gets mad because of all the atrocities (which includes his mother).
    3) Because he is mad about his mother's death, Anakin kills the Sand People. All of them. Even the younglings.
    4) Anakin didn't do this to help the people of Tatooine and was not in control of his emotions, otherwise he might have considered a non-violent solution to the problem. (The Mandalorion series has shown that Sand People CAN be bargained with, just like any other sentients, they simply have strange customs)
    ...Your own example shows that sand people and the Dark Lord of the Sith are completely incomparable. Emotion doesn't even enter into it, there are lots and lots of ways to deal with sand people that don't even involve the Force. (One of which was for the Jedi to, you know, go back and free his mother at some point in the 10 years between E1 & E2 so that she would never be taken by them in the first place. But thanks for reminding me of yet more bad Lucas writing, much appreciated.)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    And the Emperor cackled as Vader blocked Luke because...?

    Regardless of the gymnastics Abrams would need to make that fit retroactively, when it was released that was certainly not the case. And frankly I'm happier forgetting about the Abrams Abominations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Because he's a sadist, and gets his rocks off kicks watching father duel son?

    Just because possessing Luke would be a good option for him, doesn't mean that staying alive and either corrupting them both, or getting one killed to cement the other wouldn't be better.
    The retrofitting of possession explanations isn't necessary to explain the Emperor's actions in that scene. It is flat-out arrogance on the part of the Emperor based on a misleading vision of the future. The Emperor at that point in the OT is completely convinced of the accuracy of his own visions, which include Vader bringing Luke before the Emperor. He holds that belief in place even when Vader points out that the Emperor hadn't sensed Luke with the Endor Strike Force, but this doesn't change the situation. The Emperor is supremely confident in his control of the situation and supremely confident that when Luke does give in to his anger and tries to attack him, Vader will intervene. And the Emperor is proven right. The Emperor's mirth is born out of two elements: one, he's fooled Luke into thinking he had any real power to kill the Emperor despite all of the Emperor's temptation to do so; and two, he's illustrated in very elegant terms his absolute control over Luke's father, since Vader is intervening to protect the Emperor, not Luke.

    Also, remember back to ESB: when the Emperor first contacts Vader, even the Emperor seems to be concerned about the possibility that Luke might complete his training: "There is a grave disturbance in the Force. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi." I interpreted that as meaning that the Emperor had foreseen his downfall (or at least couldn't foresee events down the time path of a point) if Luke became a Jedi Knight. When Luke spares his father's life, that's precisely what happens: 'I am a Jedi, like my father before me.' At that point, the Emperor then resorts to direct physical force since it's basically the only tool he thinks he has left: the one future he couldn't foresee has come to pass, and consequently he doesn't foresee Vader betraying him. And that, in turn, was because the Emperor had misread his vision of the future: Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor. I suspect both Yoda and the Emperor (if not Ben) both interpreted as Luke being the one to kill Palpatine, hence why the Emperor focused on trying to kill Luke outright. But Vader had been redeemed and was a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Except that's not how it's presented. If you feel even a shred of emotion you've failed, and it's practically impossible for someone impacted by Palpatine to not feel a shred of emotion about him.
    This is a misunderstanding. The Jedi don't not feel emotions, they do not allow those emotions to control them. They are able to transcend emotional states through immersion the Force. The 'luminous being,' as Yoda referred to the true nature of people in Star Wars, needs to surpass the demands of the 'crude matter.' Emotional input derives from the chemical reactions in the body and is therefore inferior to the input of the Force. The Jedi is to let go of their connections to the physical and embrace the guidance of the cosmic.

    Is this hard? Yes, of course it is, it's supposed to be. In fact it's so hard that the Jedi Order of the Prequel period tried to cheat the system. Attachments, as a form of emotional anchor focused on specific individuals rather than the all-pervasive Force, are the most difficult form of barrier to surpass. A Jedi engaged in romantic love, to use the obvious test case, cannot prioritize their partner over any other person in need. Nor can they take actions that would protect their partner from that person's own choices. Vision of the Future goes on at some length about this in the context of the relationship between Luke and Mara, and how difficult it is to transcend the bond of love and not let circumstances or people use it against you. This is extremely difficult, even some of the very best Jedi Masters struggle with it, which is why when Yoda attempts to explain the idea to Anakin he botches it and it rebounds terribly.

    The Jedi Order, therefore, tried to simply bypass the issue entirely by forbidding attachments in the first place. This was ultimately a bad idea because it meant that when various Jedi inevitably formed attachments they were unable to address them with their mentors and a warped culture of secrecy took hold within the order that caused it to rot from within.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    The retrofitting of possession explanations isn't necessary to explain the Emperor's actions in that scene. It is flat-out arrogance on the part of the Emperor based on a misleading vision of the future. The Emperor at that point in the OT is completely convinced of the accuracy of his own visions, which include Vader bringing Luke before the Emperor. He holds that belief in place even when Vader points out that the Emperor hadn't sensed Luke with the Endor Strike Force, but this doesn't change the situation. The Emperor is supremely confident in his control of the situation and supremely confident that when Luke does give in to his anger and tries to attack him, Vader will intervene. And the Emperor is proven right. The Emperor's mirth is born out of two elements: one, he's fooled Luke into thinking he had any real power to kill the Emperor despite all of the Emperor's temptation to do so; and two, he's illustrated in very elegant terms his absolute control over Luke's father, since Vader is intervening to protect the Emperor, not Luke.

    Also, remember back to ESB: when the Emperor first contacts Vader, even the Emperor seems to be concerned about the possibility that Luke might complete his training: "There is a grave disturbance in the Force. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi." I interpreted that as meaning that the Emperor had foreseen his downfall (or at least couldn't foresee events down the time path of a point) if Luke became a Jedi Knight. When Luke spares his father's life, that's precisely what happens: 'I am a Jedi, like my father before me.' At that point, the Emperor then resorts to direct physical force since it's basically the only tool he thinks he has left: the one future he couldn't foresee has come to pass, and consequently he doesn't foresee Vader betraying him. And that, in turn, was because the Emperor had misread his vision of the future: Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor. I suspect both Yoda and the Emperor (if not Ben) both interpreted as Luke being the one to kill Palpatine, hence why the Emperor focused on trying to kill Luke outright. But Vader had been redeemed and was a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally.
    Honestly, a lot of what the Emperor does is less explainable less by Sith Lord powers...or philosophy...and is more that he's basically a malignant narcissist with wizard powers, the creepy uncle of the entire Galaxy Long Ago and Far Far Away.

    Palpatine has an abusive relationship with Darth Vader: he chanced on a kid with emotional baggage and made that baggage as painful as possible while also isolating that kid from real sources of validity and love...then he pushed that kid to do something so unforgivable that there seemed to be no way back. If Anakin burned to death he would have just found a replacement, like how he replaced Maul, et al. Vader is perfectly isolated in a way that make him the perfect subject for a power/control freak like Palpatine: always in physical pain; always isolated from literal contact by his suit and social contact by his position as Aloof Magic Homicidal Authority Figure; constantly reminded of what he's lost. Vader might hate and resent Palpatine all along, but he's dependent on him in a way that makes Palpatine feel safe and in control.

    In Luke, Vader see the possibility of connection to another person--being de facto already connected through bloodline and Force sensitivity--but we watch Vader try to replicate the dynamic he has with Palpatine: he coerces his son, hurts his son, then offers alliance in a way that commands deference and is structured entirely in terms of using their shared power to dominate others...and Luke decides he'd rather die than say "yes."

    Palpatine speaks with Vader about Luke as "Skywalker's son"--creating semantic distance, communicating that Darth Vader isn't Anakin, doesn't get to acknowledge the family connection. We're not actually show his visions, so within the frame of the scene when Palpatine speaks of forseeing stuff it's not objectively true that he forsees or that he's interpreting or communicating accurately what he sees. It is entirely possible to read his proclamations as utterances of want and intent matching his narcissism, with no mysticism: he's afraid of Luke because he's a challenge to his power in general and to his power over Vader specifically and therefore wants Luke both not a Jedi and dead, and ideally wants Vader to kill him because that re-affirms their power-control abuse dynamic. When he's crafted another coercive scenario and can imagine replacing Vader with Luke, he can "see" that too.

    The throneroom scene can be read as an interaction about power and cruelty as psychological forces entirely separate from the Force powers underpinning the three participants.

    Palpatine has created what he sees as a let's-you-and-him fight scenario where he wins, and gets his validation, either way. Vader kills Luke: Palpatine keeps his already-broken partner. If Luke kills Vader, Palpatine imagines that he can leverage Luke into a position of submission through carrot and stick because, well...he's done this over and over, using carrots and sticks to create wounded child-adults that can't stand against him, and also has enough concealed mojo to kill Luke outright. When he discerns Leia--who is an ideal lever with which to move Luke or Vader, and also a Third Option of who to break and reassemble deliberately-damaged--he gets downright perky. When Vader loses and Luke won't play the scenario out to the intended finish, Palpatine doesn't just kill Luke for defiance, he loses his bottle and deliberately hurts him over and over while cackling. Anything except another loop of the same abuse dynamic is unacceptable.

    That whole bit about "strike me down in anger"? Set aside the mysticism and its a psychological tactic that digs at the center of Luke--he is terrified of being his dad or mirroring his dad's path of descent--and also just a universal tactic of the amoral--using the morality of a moral person pushed to violence against them by twisting the scenario--and also just a straight up bluff--the kind of thing a vain old creep would say just to impose the veneer of control on a situation: "I meant to do that." It also an inversion of Kenobi's end--resigning to death, passing on his burden to Luke, rising above the moment even as Vader demands death-as-ultimate-deference. The Emperor is 100% selfish trash and nobody matters but him, even if he's dead that was the plan and he wins because he says, nyah, nyah. The way he actually dies--tossed in a pit by a man he felt he owned to defend a son that Palpatine tried to first groom, then murder--demonstrates how hollow his confidence was, and how shallow his control--of Vader, of the galaxy--was.

    When Luke calls Vader a both "my father" and "a Jedi Knight" it's a form of unconditional validation, directly contrasted with the Emperor bodily demonstrating that he's only got one move--parasitically ride people until they're useless, then find another person to break with and pain and isolation until they comply. Vader doesn't become a good guy, but he becomes a guy with clarity about what is happening and why, and has an authentic altruistic impulse--to protect his son in multiple senses of the word--and acts on it. At the end he finds that place that Kenobi seemed to be at--not consumed by emotions that trap him within himself, but connected to the universe (mostly his son, but the universe too).

    Look, you could argue that dying because of the rapid stop at the end of a long fall is some kind of Koschei the Deathless technicality where he's killed by a Jedi Knight but not "struck down" by anything but physics and deck plating and therefore can't metempsychosis himself into someone, but really I think the point is...Palpatine's death is undignified and that's perfect. This is also an inversion of Kenobi's death: Palpatine can't let go, has no actual legacy, and is incapable of perceiving the world outside of his appetites; his actual conduct in the face of death directly contradicts his earlier "as planned" smack talk. He's thrown over a rail so surprised by the assault that he actually grouses about it like an upset old dude rather than a Sith Lord. He sprays Force lightning in a kind of incontinent way and has no fall back tricks to use against Vader or save himself from the fall with telekinesis or whatever. If you divide 1 by the ending of Scarface, you get this death scene.

    Sic semper creepy uncles.

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    Default Re: The Mandalorian Season 2

    ^^

    This is actually a really fine psychoanalysis of what's going on with the Emperor/Vader/Luke relationship. I think we're in violent agreement because I think the scene and the plot works on all of these levels. Huh, ROTJ was actually better than I remembered it! :)

    On a tangent, Ian McDiarmid's role/performance as the Emperor is surely one of the few, if not the greatest, one-shot movie appearances to actually work out as a plausible introduction into the story. Sure, the's Emperor's been mentioned and hologrammed throughout the whole OT, but I can't think of many other last-movie-baddies introduced in the same film who go on to just leave their mark on the entirety of the franchise they step into at the last minute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    ^^

    This is actually a really fine psychoanalysis of what's going on with the Emperor/Vader/Luke relationship. I think we're in violent agreement because I think the scene and the plot works on all of these levels. Huh, ROTJ was actually better than I remembered it! :)

    On a tangent, Ian McDiarmid's role/performance as the Emperor is surely one of the few, if not the greatest, one-shot movie appearances to actually work out as a plausible introduction into the story. Sure, the's Emperor's been mentioned and hologrammed throughout the whole OT, but I can't think of many other last-movie-baddies introduced in the same film who go on to just leave their mark on the entirety of the franchise they step into at the last minute.
    Thanks. As I get older I see more layers in the original trilogy and appreciate it more.

    The Emperor...is an excellent condensation of what power without self reflection looks like, and I think that's why he sticks around in our brains. Like...when you encounter him first he's presented as mysterious and powerful, but when you get down to seeing him interact unguarded, where he isn't playing a the part of Emperor, he's a gross old troll having fun trolling a teenager before lightning-torturing him. I'm generalizing, but usually a fiction villain is a mastermind eminence gris or a akrasic monster, but the Emperor demonstrated how the first, washed and peeled, is the second. Drama conventions tell us to expect that "real" villains are serious, stern, pompous--even pulp ones like Ming the Merciless (who would be the direct analogue of Palpatine)--and a man who's having a great time being awful is jarring to watch.

    Especially when contrasted with Vader, who either is angry or asserting dominance at all times: if he were anything other than #2 Magic Space Fascist in an awesome armor suit, you'd label him an insecure guy who hates his job and is overcompensating...in that "dad" way where a man tries to bully his son into making the same choices....

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