Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Star Wars and Philosophy - Dusty Cantrell (12)
STAR WARS AND PHILOSOPHY
Dusty Cantrell (12)
My topic is Star Wars and Philosophy. It is known to be one of the most successful franchises in the history of film. Currently, Star Wars is arguably at the top of popular culture with its new installment coming out next month. The film's main theme focuses on what is called "The Force" and implies that it is unbalanced. There are two sides of the force; one side being the Jedi and the side in opposition is the Sith. Throughout the storyline the Jedi are viewed as good because they are freedom fighters. However, the Sith is consumed with evil. As the great philosopher Augustine said, "There cannot be good without bad." Yoda, one of the most prominent Jedi on the Jedi Council, would definitely agree with Augustine. In Star Wars, the Sith seem to always have the upper hand and the Jedi Council's intentions are to bring balance to "The Force". That is when the Jedi come across the child prodigy Anakin Skywalker. The Jedi Council decides to train him because they believe he has the means to balance "The Force". Inevitably, Anakin gives in to the Sith's tactics in an attempt to save the love of his life and becomes a Sith Lord himself known as Darth Vader. In this process, Anakin had a set of twins that the Jedi Council decided to hide from him now that he has turned rogue. The Jedi Council then believes that Vader's son, Luke is the one in the prophecies to bring balance to the force. Luke gets his training and goes on a journey of his own and finds out that Darth Vader is his father. Luke, in an attempt to bring back the balance to The Force, engages in a light saber duel with Darth Vader. Luke is then attacked and almost killed by the leader of the Sith, Senator Palpatine/The Chancellor. Darth Vader decides to save his son and kills the Chancellor. In the end, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader was the one who fulfilled the prophecy and brought back the much-needed balance to the force.
The Jedi strive to be selfless beings. In fact, the Jedi Code and philosophy says, “There is no emotion; there is peace. There is no ignorance; there is knowledge. There is no passion; there is serenity. There is no chaos; there is harmony. There is no death; there is the Force.” Ultimately, the Jedi’s intentions are to save the many even if it comes with a cost of losing a few. Jedi and Sith alike develop certain philosophies that are unique to their character. We can relate many of these Sci-Fi philosophies to our individual realities. The most prominent Jedi Masters would be Luke Skywalker, Yoda, and Ben Kenobi. The Jedi master, Yoda said, “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.” The first thing I would like to stress about Yoda is that the character was intended to be a philosophical figure. Notice the character’s dialogue. He has a unique sentence structure. He includes the subject at end of his sentence, creating a more suspenseful and dramatic effect. Yoda’s philosophy means that we all are more than just our physical beings. It is obvious that he suggests there is an afterlife just like most world religions. However, this is just one of Yoda’s truths. Obi Wan or Ben Kenobi had an interesting outlook on the truths we hold. He said, “You will find many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” In other words, we all interpret truth, or our versions of truth, through our own individual perspective. When Obi Wan proposed this idea he was talking to Luke. Luke reflected upon himself and discovered his truth. He tells his sister, Princess Leia, “I can turn him back to the good side. I have to try.” The person he is speaking of is their father, Darth Vader. At this moment, Luke proves that we all have the power to make changes to the world but first we must have the will. The forces of good in Star Wars offer us a lot to dwell upon and implement into our daily lives. However, this doesn’t mean we must abandon the philosophies of the “evil” Sith.
Even though the Sith and the Sith Lords are the anti-heroines, that does not mean the do not have any thing to offer us. Ironically, The Sith Code and philosophy seems to be more respectable than that of the Jedi. The Sith Code states, “Peace is a lie; there is only passion. Through passion I gain strength. Through strength I gain power. Through power I gain victory. My chains are broken; The Force shall free me.” This code suggests that the Sith fight on behalf of passion. For example, the only reason Anakin Skywalker decided to join the Sith was because the Emperor manipulated him into thinking he could save the love of his life, Padme, by acquiring the powers of the Sith. With great Sith power comes great Sith philosophy. The Emperor, Darth Vader, and Count Dooku are the key Sith players. Each one develops philosophies sure to influence the galaxy. The Emperor told Luke to “Search your feelings” in an attempt to persuade him to the dark side. This proclamation can be interpreted into meaning that in order for an individual to make an important executive decision, it requires an individual to look within him or herself. According to most Sith, the most gruesome struggles can generate from within the being. However, the individual has the power to let emotion destroy them or empower them. Count Dooku says to Anakin, “I sense great fear in you Skywalker. You have hate… You have anger… But you do not use it.” He implies that we use our emotion to drive the force of our actions. The ability to subdue emotion in an instance like this can prove to be very beneficial. In the end, everything seems to work itself out, similar to fate. This mirrors what Darth Vader says in a sense. He said to Obi Wan, an old friend and mentor, right before he killed him in a duel, “The circle is now complete.” Vader suggests that our lives move in a complex array of circles or patterns. Perhaps, we will return to meeting the same people or arriving at the same places over and over and over again. Lastly, I would like to focus on probably the main philosophy in Star Wars. In fact, many of the Star Wars characters say this line. “The Force will be with you, always.” The creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, leaves us with this great philosophy. Our faith and strength always come and appear from within.