Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Prequels Are... Not Horrible I Promise ... No Come Back... Just Give Them A Chance

People hate the prequels, but there is a good story in there  I promise you.

 Let's talk about Anakin Skywalker.

The primary problem with his portrayal is a bad script. In concept, I don't hate the story they had to tell.  The simple truth is that Anakin Skywalker should not have joined the Jedi Order. that's why he fell to the dark side. He joined the Jedi Order.

Light vs Dark
The biggest problem the of the prequels isn't Jar Jar or midichlorians or bad acting, or c-span in space. It's that for a lot of reasons the writers decided to frame things with a good-evil binary when a close reading of the movies sees that it's straining at that.

Why is Palpatine so evil that the Jedi's have to be idiots not to figure things out until the third movie? Because the movie wants the audience to KNOW he's evil. Why does Anakin go from "I don't want anybody to die" to killing YOUNGLINGS because the movie wants the audience to KNOW he's evil. Why does the dialogue suck? Because the movie wants the audience to KNOW who's evil and who's good.

And it breaks the plot. Which I am going to fix now just to prove how awesome it is but first let's talk about the light and the dark.

The pull between the dark side and the light side isn't good and evil it's about hedonism vs asceticism. The Jedi are all about self-denial and self-control while the sith aren't. They want what they want. They feel what they feel. And they have no qualms about acting on it.

That doesn't make the sith evil but it does make them dangerous.

Likewise, the light side requires constant vigilance, self-discipline, and self-awareness.

And that doesn't always come through in the script. The Jedi are portrayed as emotionless zombies when they have emotions they are just super disciplined about acting on them.

So Anakin's fall is really about the failure of his own mental defenses. It's about how he let his emotions destroy him by spending years with the flawed order that demands the refuse to acknowledge he has them.


The Civil War
Despite being ABOUT politics the movies actively avoid talking about it.

In The Phantom Menace, "Darth Sidious" cough ah Palpatine cough THE EMPEROR cough convinces The Trade Federation, a conglomeration of merchants, to blockade and invade a planet in a bid to get out of paying taxes to the Galactic Republic, the closest thing Star Wars had to the UN.

This creates a diplomatic crisis. As the Galactic Senate does not have and has never really needed a military force. They don't have away to compel The Trade Federation to back down. So they send two pretty smart guys to try to negotiate.

Most of Phantom Menace is stupid so I'll fast-forward. They somehow convince the Gungan Army to defend Naboo which wins the battle but not the war. Since it's clear the Senate has no real way to enforce it's laws it's members start backing out creating a separatist movement and resulting civil war.

The Ace, The Hero of the Republic
Out of the chaos, a young hero rises. One of the best pilots the galaxy has known and the most adept force user in recent memory. Anakin Skywalker. Over the course of a few years, he's managed to fall in love with a young politician from the planet the first battle of the war took place.

He wants to act on that love but the Jedi Order an organization based on the precepts of self-denial lecture him about how it is inappropriate to hold earthly attachments.

But he can't stop himself. He silently breaks his oaths and weds her in secret.

The Vision
As the war is coming to an end he wakes up in a cold sweat. He has seen a vision of the death of his beloved. It is the worst possible thing he can imagine coming to pass and he decides to do everything in his power to stop it.

He can not go to the Jedi for counsel for they would only tell him to accept a loss that has not yet come to pass. But there is another.

The phantom that started the war comes to him and claims he can save his wife all it will take is his loyalty.  After considering all he holds dear Anakin relents of this master of the forbidden arts can save his wife.

A moment comes where Anakin must choose between the Jedi Order he has spent his life dedicated to or the woman he loves and to him it is not even a question he chooses to what he must, to spare her life.

But he didn't understand the cost. In the ensuing chaos, a man he respects and admires is killed. In his regret and sorrow, Anakin sees no alternative but to continue down the path he has chosen for despite how much pain his choice causes at least his wife will live.

But when he returns home she has already heard of his deeds. She is repulsed by him, and that this monster will be the father of her children.

In her grief for the man he was, the man she lost, she dies.

And Anakin is truely lost. Everything that ever meant anything to him has died by his own hand.

He is a monster and he can not deceive himself into believing he is or can be anything more than that.


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