Sunday, 5 October 2008

Star Wars again

In using philosophy, movies must keep it simple: Good and evil; black or white.

Complexity doesn't come through too well. Then too, the primitive mind is designed for simple action, yes or no solutions, which is why we're so deeply affected by stark movies.

The Star Wars hinge on one basic (eastern) philosophical tenet and its corollary. That there is a Life Force Energy (Chi/Ki) and that it has two sides, the dark and the light.

In the Revenge of the Sith(2005) we see it articulated so much more confidently than 30 yrs ago:

PALPATINE: Remember back to your early teachings. Anakin. "All those who gain
power are afraid to lose it." Even the Jedi.
ANAKIN: The Jedi use their power for good.
PALPATINE: Good is a point of view, Anakin. And the Jedi point of view is not the only
valid one. The Dark Lords of the Sith believe in security and justice also, yet they are
considered by the Jedi to be. . .
ANAKIN: . . . evil.
PALPATINE: . . . from a Jedi's point of view. The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost
every way, including their quest for greater power. The difference between the two is the
Sith are not afraid of the dark side of the Force.That is why they are more powerful.

Here they articulate the essential difference between the Sith, who use
their passions, and the Jedi who master the passions - power vs. control.

ANAKIN: The Sith rely on their passion for their strength. They think inward, only
about themselves.

PALPATINE: And the Jedi don't?
The Jedi are selfless . . . they only care about others.
PALPATINE: Or so you've been trained to believe. Why is it, then, that they have asked you
to do something you feel is wrong?
ANAKIN: I'm not sure it's wrong.
PALPATINE: Have they asked you to betray the Jedi code? The Constitution? A friendship?
Your own values? Think. Consider their motives. Keep your mind clear of assumptions. The
fear of losing power is a weakness of both the Jedi and the Sith.

But from the point of view of a n00b, both appear the same -
this is the point of balance, and there's room for exploitation
of Anakin's uncertainty, youth and angst. Material for a movie.

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