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Failings of the Force

Gendo_IkariJul 7, 2018, 11:50:52 PM
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                                                Failings of the Force

                    After watching and subsequently hating The Last Jedi film, I went back to look at the Legends books and video games to find a more expansive science fiction universe. After going back over the philosophy of both the jedi and sith codes I came to despise both ideologies.

                                                       Lost in Entropy

                 The Jedi preach a strange form of Buddhism and new humanism, to let go of all conflicting elements and attachments. Through this process of stripping oneself of all conflicts and attachments, enlightenment is gained. But the failing of the Jedi is present for the very conception of Jedi doctrine, the Jedi code. The idea of complete detachment; no emotion, no passion, no death is quite startling. People can draw strength from there attachments, ultimately helping them grow on a deeper spiritual and mental level. Attachments are needed, humanity (presuming aliens as well) are a social species and need attachments. Is it wrong to love one's parents? Is it wrong to want to protect what is precious to you or your community? The Jedi are apathetic and unconcerned with the suffering of the galaxy as a whole, and only help out of obligation when in direct contact with suffering. In the words of Julius Evola "the new humanism teaches that political ideologies, religions, and philosophies have so far divided men and peoples, putting them at odds with each other. Science and technology on the other hand have established unity and consensus, resulting in a general leveling, a grey and emptied unification of humanity". The Jedi take babies and toddlers to indoctrinate them into a truly alien philosophy that preaches the complete alienation of the individual from all of the greatness of life. Due to this alienation the Jedi become indifferent to the suffering of the galaxy, as seen in the knights of the old republic game. The jedi council chose to stay out of the mandilorian war, resulting in millions of death, the fall of revan and malik, and the firing of the mass shadow generator--a devastating super weapon. The jedi who chose to fight in the mandilorian war saw humanity at it's darkest, in the trenches filled with carcasses and the voids of ruined ships. When confronted with such blood shed and death, Revan fell from the "light side", joined the sith and plunged the galaxy into further destructive conflict. The fact that the Jedi have the power to mold and shape the galaxy into a better place and chose not to leaves them ultimately responsible for the repetitive cycle of the "balancing" of the force. Anakin's love of Padme and fear of lose is a natural fear, for what husband would not want to protect his wife? Unable to see the fault in their ideology the Jedi were ultimately replaced with a more human version in the Legends novels of Luke's jedi academy, teaching them to embrace life and say yes to all of the conflicting elements of humanity. The portrayal of Luke in The Last Jedi was a step in the right direction, reflecting on how the Jedi's dogmatic and totalitarian ways and the rejection of basic humanity were ultimately what destroyed them time after time. However, this Luke never put those teachings to practice, he just wanders off to some back water planet to be a alien milk drinking hippie hermit, not unlike another Jedi who failed those around him in a time of darkness, leading to his exile to a back water planet.

                                                   Consumed by Grandeur

                The Sith are the polar opposite of the jedi, a Nietzschean take on the use of the force, however the sith still fail in fulfilling the ideal ubermensh philosophy. Th Sith started out as heretical "fallen" dark jedi who caused a schism in the jedi order. This resulted in a devastating civil war and ended with the exile of the dark jedi to unknown space, they eventually landed on Korriban. The Sith fail in that by taking more power and becoming more bound to the force they become consumed in trying to gain more and more power at the expanse of their original goal. Anakins original goal was to save Padme, but as seen in Revenge of the Sith, he already was headed down this path by exclaiming that he could overthrow palpitine and become the emperor of the galaxy. The dark side blinds you with the temptation to gain more power, not for a greater goal or purpose, but simply for more power. This power destroys who you are, you are consumed by the thirst for power and abandon your original goals. The last line in the sith code is a stark reminder of this, "the force shall free me", this is a clear statement of a slave morality. The force becomes a crutch for either jedi or sith, enslaving themselves to it, with out the force either jedi or sith would be weak and disposable. The force does not free you, your will frees you.

Another criticism that I have over the sith is the inability to collectivize and form a cohesive group. The sith are plagued with infighting and murder, as Darth Bane pointed out this weakened the sith. The ability for lower level sith to gang up and take down more powerful sith in an uneven fight showed the weakness of the ideology. If the sith had the control the jedi did over their lust for power then the sith could have formed a mirror image of the jedi and have been able to take them on. Banes solution was to destroy the sith in it's current form and replace it with the rule of two, this promoted strength and skill from the get go, the apprentice could only become the master by surpassing the master. Banes solution ultimately brought the Republic to it's knees and destroyed the jedi. But imagine if Bane had been able to create a "sith council" and promoted strength of will and unity through a true will to power/master morality. By learning to control ones emotions, not erase or allow them to rampage through one's life, the sith could have possibly destroyed the jedi a millennia ago. Palpatine had the will to shape the galaxy but was ultimately consumed by his own lust for power. Ultimately the Sith fail to elevate themselves; they are consumed by their own lust for power, kill their superiors--destroying their chance to learn and become strong, and are overly dependent upon the force.

              The lesson to take away is two fold, 1) say yes to the conflicts of life, don't try to remove what makes you human, 2) becoming over dependent on any one thing is harmful to your will and own personal strength.