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Author Topic: the last jedi [grumpy warning]  (Read 1205 times)

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Offline Orell

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Re: the last jedi [grumpy warning]
« Reply #15 on: 10/12/17, 12:26:30 AM »
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Karmic has the right of it in one big way:

The fact that Luke may actually have a moment of doubt in his faith - makes him to me a richer, more identifiable, more personable, realistic, character.

There's one thing that can be read in Luke, Leia and Han's status in The Force Awakens: They've given up.

Han's part of that is obvious. He was a war hero, with the love of his life, no debts to speak of and a purpose before him beyond just making credits. In the EU, his transition to being a guiding force for the New Republic was a natural one, just as natural as his grudging acceptance that, damn it, he's good for the job.

But in this timeline, things fell apart, and he went back to his old ways, heavily in debt, swindling people, trying to scrape together credits, not caring about the issues of the greater galaxy. It's only when he meets Rey and Finn does he let himself get dragged back into things.

Leia's given up too, albeit to a lesser extent. Sure, she's fighting the good fight, taking on the new Empire... but it's as a leader of a quasi-legal paramilitary force doing it with feeling of "We don't approve, but we're not going to stop you" from the Republic itself. She's not trying to wrangle to political establishment, she's not trying to lead the Republic she took so many risks to bring back. It's a good fight, and one that needs to be won, but this wasn't the only way to do it...

...and with the Republic dealt a major blow by the Super Mega Ultra Nega Death Star, there's a question what will follow, and if the General will step up again.

And Luke? Shit, Luke's given up more than anyone. The Last Jedi refers to him, because he's the last one... and it's not just because his first class was wiped out. He could've rebuilt (again). He could've taken an active effort to fight the Sith that are still around, even if they're calling themselves something different.

Instead, he pulled a Bindo: He went to the most remote location possible so that he could pout in peace and quiet. And yeah, it sure seems peaceful, the only issues he has to deal with is finding out the best way to kill, butcher and cook Porgs (...he's gotta eat something), hashtag-gorgeous-island-problems.

This isn't Obi-wan protecting the one thing he has left in the galaxy that he can still protect. This is Luke giving up, because there is still a fight he can win. There is still a role for him. And odds seem good that a large part of Force Awakens will be Rey convincing Luke to return to the fight, because master-and-student-teach-each-other is about as Star Wars a thing you can get that doesn't involve tech :).
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Mourne

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Re: the last jedi [grumpy warning]
« Reply #16 on: 10/12/17, 01:32:33 AM »
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I'm clearly outmatched here in terms of my understanding of the lore and canon.

While I can't disagree with Niarra that the canon, at least as it's been explained by its creator, is fairly clear, it's my opinion that George Lucas either didn't fully understand the complexity of the universe he created or he purposefully oversimplified it. Indeed, we've seen many contradictions from the EU, and now that Disney owns the rights to the franchise, they appear poised to retcon a good bit of the Lucas canon. I therefore don't think that a purely canonical view of Star Wars should be held as gospel. In fact, fan interpretation is, and should always be, important in the discourse of any meaningful discussion. It sparks conversation and perpetuates interest in the story. It's on that premise that I base my opinions and my analysis of the Force and the question of balance.

One of my biggest points of contention with Lucas is his basis of the Jedi on Buddhism and Taoism. I understand his intention, but in many ways it doesn't make sense, and in others there are outright contradictions in the philosophy as to make that religious and spiritual connection meaningless. The first precept of Buddhism is to abstain from killing, but it's understood that if you are left with no alternative but to use violence to protect another life, you must NOT do so in anger and must attempt to do so in a non-lethal manner. I've only seen one example of that when Master Kenobi cuts off the hand of the Trandoshan in the Mos Eisley cantina on Tatooine in Episode 6. In Episode 1, however, when Qui'Gon was killed by Darth Maul, I don't believe for a second that Obi-wan wasn't angry when he bisected Maul and presumably killed him. In another example, when Yoda was about to be shot by the two Clone Troopers when Order 66 was given (who I might add were programmed like a droid might be to follow that order), did he amputate their hands holding their weapons? Nope, he decapitated them. I won't even get into the whole reincarnation concept. If we look at the Taoist influence, it muddies the water even further. Taoism famously represents with the Yin-Yang symbol that duality is an indivisible whole (positive energy cannot exist without negative energy). It's incongruous with the Jedi Code, and fails to support the notion that the Light side is the balanced side of the Force.

But let's put that aside for now and get back to the idea that the Jedi have it right and the Light side is the balanced side of the Force, according to Lucas canon.

I don't believe that such a thing as altruism can exist in something as fallible as the human condition, which was clearly the template for the Star Wars universe. Especially when considering the dogmatic perspective of the Jedi that often leads them to arrogance, inflexibility, and self-righteousness. You cannot be so flawed and morally beyond reproach. If you want to argue against this based on a few characters or the merits of their accomplishments, let's talk about the practice of kidnapping children to indoctrinate them into the Jedi way. The very continuation of their Order is predicated on what amounts to the conscription of children. Beyond the moral implications of that, it essentially eliminates choice. When you eliminate choice, all you're really doing is kicking the can that holds that choice down the road. Eventually it's going to be opened and a choice is going to be made that is more likely to be the choice that you tried to avoid. In this context, choosing and following the Dark side over the Light side.

I'm not singling out the Jedi here. The Sith subscribe to a philosophy that is ultimately self-defeating. Their thirst for self-empowerment inevitably leads to betrayal, and it's the infighting that is their worst enemy. This is what eventually led to Darth Bane's "rule of two". Even then, their commonly shared inability to cooperate and trust one another is often their undoing. As for the visible Dark side corruption that Niarra alluded to, it simply fits the narrative Lucas wanted to tell. He wanted to make it clear that the Dark side is evil. There's no argument there.

We'll likely have to agree to disagree here, but to claim that the Light side is the balanced side of the Force is certainly what Lucas had intended, but my interpretation of his works, further informed by my life experiences, leads me to believe that he failed to grasp the argument in the first place. The world, or the galaxy in this case, is not that black and white - there are various shades of good and evil - and with few, notable exceptions, the capacity for Light and Dark exists in every force user. Embracing one to the exclusion of the other isn't balance. I'm not suggesting the Dark side and Light side should coexist. That's impossible. What I am saying is that every living being in that galaxy far, far away, have both inside them. To deny that is to deny your nature, and is folly. And it's my opinion that understanding and embracing both sides is the key to finding harmony and balance between them. This is in essence the "Unifying Force" perspective that espouses that true balance in the Force lies somewhere between the Dark and Light sides. Whether or not this will become canon remains to be seen.

Again, this is all my personal opinion and interpretations, and I've said my piece. I've enjoyed the discussion here with everyone, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing this next installment of the new trilogy!

Offline Karmic

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Re: the last jedi [grumpy warning]
« Reply #17 on: 10/12/17, 08:57:15 PM »
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Ok I gotta say this ...slightly off topic but entirely relevant :)

The first precept of Buddhism is to abstain from killing, but it's understood that if you are left with no alternative but to use violence to protect another life, you must NOT do so in anger and must attempt to do so in a non-lethal manner.

Um no its not.

The first Truth (of the 4 Noble Truths) of Buddhism is "There is Suffering."    Honestly, it starts out more Sith that way. LOL

In fact the 4 Truths don't address fighting.  None of them do. Its not about fighting.  Has nothing to do with anger.  Nothing about killing.  Buddhism isn't against emotions, not at all.  Buddhism wants you to reach past your attachments and realize there is more, and thereby realize they aren't "that important" so its not a big deal to let go. Buddhism is about self-reflection and letting go of the negative holding you back from Enlightenment.  Its not changing the outside (except through kind compassion), but changing your insides so that the outsides don't bring that out of you.  That's "good karma" (not doing deeds for others).  Bad Karma would yes, be reacting in anger/vengence/etc.

I've read several books by the current Dali llama and not a single one of them ever talks about fighting and what a Buddhist rule would be.  Violence as a whole, yes, is the antithesis to what a Buddhist should be about though, of course. 

I can't speak to Zaoist; I don't follow that branch specifically.

The Four Noble Truths mention nothing at all about violence or how to fight or emotions.  In fact it would more accept violence as a fact of life - even if the buddhist himself isn't directed to "add" to it that way, it is a "fact" of life and to fight against that "fact" would be just as "not buddhist" as physically fighting someone.  That would only bring about more suffering for the individual. 

I mean yes, its more implied/built into the whole ideas Buddhism endorses - but its not a "first rule."  I just wanted to clarify because yea, its important in understanding what we're talking about and that everyone's coming from the same terms/ideas etc.

I don't believe that such a thing as altruism can exist in something as fallible as the human condition.

That I think would possibly be why only one individual, the Buddha himself, has reached enlightenment. =D  Not a direct comparison necessarily but as compassion is a big thing in Buddhism - altruism is a biggy - so pure altruism is something very difficult to obtain.

Sorry, this is a "thing" of mine (Buddhism) - and its also one of the few Star Wars philosophy bits that interest me  enough to study it - how he used the Eastern Philosophies and the Jungian Archetypes to create the "classics".  And I'm also into Buddhism - though would not attempt to call myself a Buddhist; i'm not that committed yet.

Don't get me started on the use of other Jungian theories like The Shadow-Self and collective unconscious themes; I just nerdgirl out then...  :aww:  :grin:

(No - Nevermind how Lucas forgot (or consciously chose to just throw it all out  :facepalm:) how to be deep or meaningful with the other six, I just mean the classics LOL). 
« Last Edit: 10/12/17, 09:02:21 PM by Karmic »

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Offline Mourne

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Re: the last jedi [grumpy warning]
« Reply #18 on: 10/12/17, 10:01:21 PM »
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@Karmic, can you cite your source? Mine is from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Precepts. It's listed as the first of the Five Precepts under the Pali Literature. It's also listed under the Eight Precepts and Ten Precepts for the Upasakas and Sramaneras, respectively. If the Wiki is wrong, which is possible, feel free to send them a correction, but their references looked pretty solid to me.
« Last Edit: 10/13/17, 01:03:17 AM by Mourne »

Offline Karmic

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Re: the last jedi [grumpy warning]
« Reply #19 on: 10/13/17, 07:32:56 AM »
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Ahh ok - yes

Look under the Wikki entry for "Buddhism".  And not just Five Precepts.

From what I understood/understand - the Pali literature while yes, being precepts - are not the Four Noble Truths. There are several schools of Buddhism and it goes with one of them.  Each school appears to have a set of Precepts.


So its like a "Appendix B" I guess under the main chapter - LOL.  And yes, it is first among those Precepts.  They are just not the only Precepts and not the Four Noble Truths.  It is part of the "Eightfold Path."  Which per this particular wikki entry - is apparently part of the Fourth Nobel truth.

There are a lot of lists in Buddhism =D.  Even under the Eightfold Path its divided apparently into three parts - and is only a set of rules under Theravada.  There are also rules/precepts/whatever word under the other schools: Mahayana (ten Paramitas - but sometimes 2 4 or 6 too lol)

I do know that out of all the books I've read by the current Dali Lama - he never goes into any of this - for us non-Eastern-Buddha studiers lol.  He does go into the Four Noble Truths, which is why I'd not seen any other list of precepts while reading his stuff/listening to his lectures (granted I don't yet get into the hard core deep Buddhism stuff cuz its hard... :grin: and it certainly wasn't what I was raised with - Alabama land here.  Just been my own journey.)

(Again sorry for the side track! Just interesting stuff!)

I did find it interesting that in reading through those wikkis (specifically)- 1-it seems the Five Precepts mean "no killing period" (so possibly not even in defense) and 2-It definitely has to do with INTENT in the actions (which is more relevant to our discussion about the Force ha!) as much as the action itself.

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