Author Topic: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy  (Read 872 times)

Jubal

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Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« on: January 06, 2018, 01:01:34 AM »
Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
by Jubal


Some days, morality is simple. But how often?
The greys of morality in gaming and fantasy settings have, over time, become an increasingly important part of settings and plot design. Tolkien and Lewis, some of the most important progenitors of the fantasy genre, painted pictures of good battling and resisting evil, using fantasy to frame a clearer, more inspiring moral world than we see outside these sword-swinging environments. Many earlier computer games had similar attitudes: you were, by definition, the hero: even if your hero wasn’t classically heroic on account of being a janitor or a plumber, morally it was clear what was what.

The primary countervailing current to this is  to “grey down” all morality, with the Warhammer universes among other presenting worlds that had almost as negative a view of protagonists as antagonists. Increasingly, we saw worlds where elves were arrogant, humans fallible and corrupt, and dwarfs avaricious and grudge-bearing. “Grimdark” stood against “High” fantasy, partially separated by setting but mostly by the accuracy of moral compasses. Nowadays, it is common to see literature that abandons moral clarity altogether (Game of Thrones arguably sits in this category), or games with multiple endings that reflect the varying possibilities of the characters’ moral choices (e.g. Bioshock).

Both in SFF fiction and in games, though, there’s a tendency to rock back towards “categorising” morals. It’s easy to see why: when explaining whole new worlds, and doubly so when you need the world to be able to react to a player’s actions, you need to somehow embed those actions into a pretty fundamental and calculated framework of how the world works. Even for writers exploring grim and unpleasant settings, the tendency to want to give entire factions, rather than just individuals, a certain philosophy or moral character is one that inherently tends to lead to the creation of worlds with natural morality – that is to say, ones where the fabric of reality has a moral stance embedded into it.

In Warhammer, the primal force of Chaos is presented as an ultimate evil, driven by Lovecraftian-evil deities; in Star Wars, the Force is split into light and dark. These naturalised, ingrained moralities allow a sense of “good” and “evil” that maintains the fundamental paradigm of a Tolkienesque or dualist worldview without that needing to reside in any particular character. In Star Wars, what little we see of the Galactic Republic is less than positive, and the moralities of different characters are often established by linking them to a certain side, all of which is enveloped by its anti-Jedi or pro-Jedi worldview. The Light acts as a strong moral proxy such that the writers often do not need to demonstrate particular moral actions to enforce it – the only key points are when a character “falls” from one side to the other, much like for a D&D Paladin.


"So... what makes us the good guys, again?" (Image credit: Cadia's Creed)
In Warhammer 40,000, the natural morality creates an even more bizarre situation; the Imperium of Man are to all intents and purposes a galactic fascist superstate, constantly obliterating innocent sentient beings, bombing entire worlds of their own people into oblivion, and being lorded over by chapters of genetically engineered super-soldiers who are a law unto themselves and will happily fight against the regular army. The fact that this setting maintains a “moral compass” is solely due to the fact that Chaos is presented as a primal evil – in other words, the force of evil has been naturalised into the world to the extent that good and evil are judged merely as sides of a struggle, and classic moral tells like “exterminating billions of people might be considered possibly a little bit evil” are no longer relevant.

Natural moralities are thus a powerful tool for writers in creating worlds of grand conflict but mutable morals compared to our own. They can also represent a problem, however –when it comes to balance. Natural forces tend to balance out, or have ideals of balance associated with them. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, fire balances water, earth balances air, and so on and so forth. Naturalising your moral forces risks difficult implications. Are they inherently balanced? Should they be? If your “light and darkness” forces are averaged to dusk, does this bring harmony (as all is in balance) or mean accepting that half the world is evil? This is perhaps the point that most undercuts systems with natural morality. Whether or not it’s possible or balanced to make the world “all light”, it may well be morally right for the characters in a setting to fight for that anyway. If balance means accepting evil and oppression, if it means selling the good and innocent to the night, then for a genuinely morally good character that will always be too high a price to pay.

In short, I think we as writers and creators need to be careful about “naturalising” our moralities in games and writings and setting design. I'm very much a fan of the idea that blatantly immoral actions should have consequences for the characters we create, but these are better produced and make better stories when dealt with on a case-by-case basis than weighing up into the long term balance of a character's soul (helping 99 old ladies across the road doesn't then give you enough "points" to get away with pushing the hundreth into the path of a truck, etc). As major world religions have discovered in the past, a point-scoring moral system ends up feeling contrived or even gamed after a certain point.

We should also, just as importantly, recognise what we're doing with our moralities - especially with naturalised morals, which are proportionally more dangerous as they can lead to a "but I'm on the good team" syndrome in which characters undertake objectively evil actions under the cover of "being a good guy". This, played right, can be an extremely clever storytelling tool, but all too often it is played unironically and players are left without an appreciation of the fact that the things happening in front of them are straight-up evil. If you want to reinforce the idea that X is actually not evil/a valid choice, or you're setting up for a "hey look that was evil" twist, great, but being self-aware about the moral compasses you're ingraining into your worlds is vital. If we don't have that awareness, eventually players/readers/viewers will start seeing the gaps between the story we want to tell and the events that take place within it, breaking the immersion we seek to create.

We create fantasy settings, in part, to tell people something about the world and their place in it. It is down to us as creators to decide how our worlds react to moral stimuli, and decide whether to show them a world that is bleak or bright, muddled or clear - whether our protagonists must accept their reality or not. It is, ironically, taking this careful moral control on the part of the creator that gives those we create for a genuine feeling of character freedom, and of living in a world where, natural or not, good or evil, it is the direct results of the choices of characters that, as a constellation not a tally-sheet, form the people that they become.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 06:25:15 PM by Jubal »
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rbuxton

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 09:16:39 PM »
I find it interesting how "good vs. evil" has always been such a key part of storytelling. To stick with your Star Wars example, it's hard to imagine a more "evil" character than Darth Vadar, at least as he's portrayed in episode 4. With the new episodes (4 and 8) it seemed the writers wanted to take it in a more ambiguous direction with the focus on the conflicted Kylo Ren. I was disappointed with episode 8 though, as it was still "the good little guy standing up to the big bad guy". Wouldn't it have been more interesting if the film followed Kylo Ren and a small band of First Order die-hards resisting the overwhelming might of Leia's new Republic? Perhaps there's something that appeals to audiences about the "good little guy". They're rarely on top.

Jubal

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 09:44:20 PM »
Quote
Wouldn't it have been more interesting if the film followed Kylo Ren and a small band of First Order die-hards resisting the overwhelming might of Leia's new Republic?

I think good guys probably are naturally the underdogs - most explicit evil in the world comes from bigoted sentiment plus power to enact it, so in any situation, those standing up to power and authority are more likely to be fighting the evil of the day. I think it would have been a morally wrong judgement call to play it exactly the way you propose, because of the explicit Nazi coding of the Sith/First Order - a core part of Nazi mythos is the idea that *they're the persecuted ones really*, and I think playing Ep 8 as "tiny diehard First Order resists massive Republic" would have been a bit of a propaganda coup for them.

There are probably more stories than you think, though, which have bad guys as the smaller force - even within Star Wars, that's true of the prequels. But bad guys without power are generally on a mission to obtain it from within, or by overthrowing, society. I think there probably are a decent number of stories that cover that scenario - evil political sects, or cults, or whatever, and the good guys trying to track them down.
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Clockwork

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 11:51:30 PM »
Sorry I didn't see this before, busy week.


When looking at morality as a whole in fictional universes I think the main components are setting morality, character morality and destiny with respect to medium, worldbuilding, story and narrative. It's my opinion that these are all very much distinct and while they often overlap and are all connected to properly address the topic I think they need to be separated. For example I'll keep with star wars, specifically episodes IV, V, VI.


The setting morality is very obviously good vs evil - by that the forces in the world which clash are distinctly the good guys or the bad guys.


Character morality: There is very little. Vader is evil by being on the side which the bad guys are on but the character on screen has done what? He's holding a hostage - he's a soldier at war - morally neutral. He's killed an enemy combatant - morally neutral as far as sci-fi/fantasy as a whole is. But really he's actually not done much apart from look scary. Luke is a good guy because he more or less selflessly goes to save Leia but since then he's pretty much been a soldier for the rebels and looking for answers to his own questions.


The only character with even the capacity for morality was Han which was utilised for sure but as a whole it's my opinion that there was very little character morality going on in Star Wars original trilogy. The prequels went full bore character morality which is in my opinion where they fell down but that's another story.


Destiny: The path set before the hero, the story and choices to make which, as espoused by Our Lord and Saviour Morpheus, we have already made. Again, once Luke's course is set from the hero's call to action his choices are made for him, there isn't really much of an option to go on a separate path until the duel in the cloud district but even then it's 'would you like a bad choice or a bad choice?' with no enticement to change path.


Writing Star Wars Episode V and VI the narrative has already been set out; the worldbuilding thus far has already determined that Good wins, that we follow Luke to it's conclusion. I don't think the writers had any real choice where it went. Sure you can say; Luke could have turned to the Darkside and the rebels were crushed; but that wouldn't have been within keeping of the setting, that'd be a twist and not a good one because it doesn't go anywhere. Like if Frodo just goes 'portugal it.' and hands the ring to the first ringwraith he sees. It's an end but a super disappointing and unfulfilling one.


Also I think that Grimdark and High aren't contradictory, I think Warhammer is Grimdark High Fantasy, ASoIaF is Grimdark Low Fantasy, LotR is High Fantasy but not grimdark.


EDIT: PS. Episode 8 was so off key. I think it was a good film, had some good Star Wars EU stuff in it but doesn't make for a good core trilogy Star Wars film.
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Jubal

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 12:13:08 AM »
I guess I forgive E8 all of that because the ways in which it didn't feel like a "core" SW film generally made me like it more as a film. But that's maybe a thing for a separate topic.

And yes, fair point on high vs grimdark - what would you use as the antonym of "grimdark"?
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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 01:30:52 AM »
Not sure it has one but something which describes the type of fantasy which Zelda (High Fantasy, vibrant setting), Narnia maybe (not versed on that lore bucket though) or a lot of anime like Fairy Tail and parts of Sword Art Online.


Yeah as someone who has spent a *lot* of time with the Star Wars universe I hated it but looking at it stylistically, artistically and storywise I think it has a lot going for it. Kylo's tale of Fate (now using it in a medieval fairy tale sense: duty to the self, doing what's in your heart) is set up well as the lesson to be aware of, Reys Destiny (duty to your lord/faith/jedi code/whatever) has it's flaws acknowledged in 8 and is set up to reverse into Rey following her heart to save the land at the cost of the jedi code and Rens fall from grace trying to order a force by his will alone. Classically that'd be the path they take but idk, they seem to want to break conventions just for the sake of it also.
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Caradìlis

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 11:35:48 AM »
I liked E8, there was nothing wrong with that movie (other maybe killing off Luke...)

And also, in defense of the Sith Order (NOT the Empire - I'm all for the destruction of weapons of mass destruction and the removal of people who use them...): If you look at both the Sith and Jedi Code, the Jedi Code is actually the more "evil" one... As it is the one that forbids, censors and limits (and not in a good way.) Through that code the Jedi created their own enemies. "Fear leads to the dark side" is another example for corrupt Jedi thinking. You can only be brave when you are afraid and to teach someone that emotions are wrong instead of telling them how to deal with them is just as misguided... That will just lead to them not being prepared when they end up feeling such emotions and they will seek answers from people/ideologies that listen (i.e. Anakin Skywaker)... And then there's the whole "balance means that there's only our faction and the Sith are destroyed"-thing, which is just plain simple arrogance in my opinion... (arrogance also not being a typical good-guy trait...)
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Jubal

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 12:03:30 PM »
I think that's just an example of "what's written on paper and what a movement actually does differ" - see also, "major world religions".

The experiential facts of the matter in the Star Wars universe (talking films only as I don't know much expanded lore) seem to more or less be that the Jedi are a mess who basically do nothing useful, and the Sith are dictatorial overlords. The fact that they have a better code on paper doesn't actually mean anything, any more than the humility and care for the poor preached by certain real-world movements prevent them from spending a load of money on massive gold-plated buildings and covering up crimes, or (as I saw one politician do recently) arguing that "love thy neighbour" implies "but literally only the person living next door, portugal the guy living at the end of the street". Given what the Sith are in practice, one shouldn't morally be trying to find balance with them - which is one of the points I was trying to explore in the article. If something actually is a bona fide case of "these people are totalitarians/fascists", then it's wrong in my view to find a midpoint or balance with that, because the only effect is that everything gets dragged towards them. What the Sith code says isn't hugely relevant in moral terms, any more than the "People's Republic of China" implies that they're an actual republic, it's what they do (and what they say as people) that matters more.
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Caradìlis

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 12:26:01 PM »
Well, what's on paper is just plain evil, what they actually did is ignore threats and warnings from countless sides, allowing Sidious's rise to power and the destruction of the Old Republic... Not sure if that counts as just foolish, or accessory to the Empire, but in either way, it would still be misguided to call the Jedi "the good guys"...

Not all Sith are dictatiorial overlords or even aspiring ones... *raises you Count Dooku*...
I understand your "deeds over words" philosophy, but the deeds performed by the Jedi Order we know are not all worth of applause... and we are being told this story through their perspective, which means that they are presented to us in the best possible light. If even in the best possible light you can persieve flaws, then there is definitely something wrong with the thing you are looking at... In Star Wars, we are not shown a great number of Sith and those we are shown are usually very tied to the Empire, so blaming the entire Order of Sith for the deeds of the Empire is a bit like saying "All members of this and that religion are such and such, because most members that show up on the news are like that", don't you think? Just because every once in a while a couple of members take it a bit too far, you can't judge an entire ideology... The entire reason why we don't see any "evil Jedi" is because once they become murdery or such like the Order just goes "That's not one of our guys, he fell to the dark side, bla, bla..." And we accept that, because the story is told through the eyes of the Jedi... We want to believe that they are the good guys, so we believe the stories they feed us... That does not mean that they are telling a pure truth, they are most certainly telling a personal one, but that's not the same thing...
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Clockwork

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 01:56:29 PM »
I liked E8, there was nothing wrong with that movie (other maybe killing off Luke...)


The Casino scene, the Finn and Rose arc, 'hey, hey, hey, hey, audience, yeah you there, animals in captivity is wrong', where blue milk comes from, chewie not living up to his name, kylo in widescreen undress, half-arsing, Leia and probably more are all wrong with it.


Jedi Code distilled into a few lines is: Peace, Knowledge, Serenity, Harmony, Faith.
Sith code: Passion, Strength, Power, Victory, Freedom.


The Jedi code is essence discipline and duty and brotherhood and sith is selfishness and dominion.


Dispassion certainly isn't evil, serenity in battle is preferred. Like superman - when he's fighting he's calming himself to not destroy more than he means to (in certain versions) but under whatever colour kryptonite is rage inducing he causes a ton of collateral damage. The Jedi don't teach that emotions are wrong at all, they teach that Jedi in particular must be careful with them because of the nature of their sensitivity. Balance in the force is brought about by the destruction of the sith because there is enough dickery going on in the universe without them, like an equilibrium is being tipped by Sith and Jedi are tasked with restoring it.

blaming the entire Order of Sith for the deeds of the Empire is a bit like saying "All members of this and that religion are such and such, because most members that show up on the news are like that", don't you think?


That's what one of Jubs points is, that you can't blame a singular entity's morals on their doctrine no more than you can blame their actions on them.



I think it's interesting to note that in Fantasy, it's pretty rare that moralities are that different to real-world ones. In GoT tv series for instance (can't remember if it's in the book) but the way we see Jaime Lannister is a bad guy to start with is that he 'fights dirty' which imo should not have even been a point of contention in the muddy waters of the rest of ASoIaF morality. Sci-fi usually does a little better with alien cultures often having vastly different moralities.


Also Sidious didn't destroy the Old Republic, just the regular Republic. Old Republic ended at 1000BBY with the (seventh) Battle of Ruusan and the *sigh* detonation of the thought bomb. God Star Wars sucks sometimes.


Also, Also: my favourite youtuber actually has a little thing on a highly interconnected subject: Central Tension. Good guys vs bad guys. Goes into a bit of Roman Republic/Empire, Star Wars, Legend of Five Rings, D&D etc.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 09:15:47 PM by Clockwork »
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Caradìlis

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 11:23:54 PM »
First of all, the milk on Ahch-To is green milk, not blue like the one on Tatooine. Secondly, give Chewie a break, he just lost his best mate, someone still acting themselves in that situation would have something seriously wrong with them... Oh yeah, Ren's not allowed to be caught in a scene of changing into day-clothing, but Leia in her slave bikini was totally fine and necessary for the story line (if that is a break from original Star Wars, it's just a "wow, for once we're not undressing the woman" type of change, bohoo...)  ::) Leia was totally fine, especially if you conside EU material where Luke trained her. And even if you don't, she has the force inside her, and it's a wildly known fact that in times of great danger, we do things we nor anyone else ever thought we were capable of...

I still think that passion and freedom are more important than anything the Jedi have to offer... What good is knowledge, if you can't be free? Power and Passion don't equal "selfishness and dominion", You can have power without dominating and you can be passionate without being selfish (just saying, because I feel like that terminology was a bit harsh...)

I think red kryptonite was the rage one (I could be wrong, but I am quite certain - I'm pretty sure I remember that being a thing on Supergirl)

No they're not, Sith and Jedi are two equal forces, one cannot exist without the other... If one side is too powerful, it is either weakened drastically or the other gains on them... In E1, we have a ton of Jedi and two Sith, three if you count Dooku (haha, unintentional pun, hehe ;D), but he's not much of an "Empire" accessory... Then in E2 you already have a bunch of them die in the arena before the Stormtroopers show up, while there still three Sith. Finally at the end of E3, after Anakin's murder of the padawans and order 66, we are left with two Sith (Sidious and Vader) and two Jedi (Kenobi and Yoda). Then E4 comes around, Yoda's in exile, Kenobi's a hermit and the Sith are gaining power: enter Luke - exit Kenobi. Takes a while, but at the end of E6 we're left with one Sith (true, somewhere in the depths of the galaxy and we didn't know, but Snoke was there...) and one Jedi, which is still quite balanced... Shortly before E7 we have Luke training new Jedi, tipping the scales toward "light" again. Cue Ren. Luke goes into exile cuts himself off from the Force. The "Dark Side" gains power, enter Rey. Now at the end of E8 we are again balanced at one Sith (Ren) and one Jedi (Rey) although neither of them has completed their training and both have learnt that there is something wrong with what they're doing (even though Ren keeps falling back on the old "I can't have what I want, therefore I'm throwing a tantrum - which he gets from his dad...) So there you are, the Force is not about bad things happening in the galaxy, it is about balance, like Rey said: "Light-Darkness, Life-Death, etc." The Force encompasses all of these things and binds everything together... The Jedi screwing with the balance is literally the one thing that keeps messing things up.

Well, the books are a bit different in that JL isn't a POV character until book three or four, meaning that the only accounts you get on him are from Tyrion or the Starks, so you do get the full load of "He is an honourless jerk" without any of his reasoning. Once you hear his thoughts, things change dramatically... It's not an "he fights dirty" though as much as it is "he broke a sacred oath", "he is arrogant and looks down on everyone" and "he's a Lannister", amongst other things that I'm currently too tired for...

Yeah, sorry, I was trying to make a distinct difference to the New Republic, and went overboard... Point taken (although Star Wars never sucks!!! Granted, some of the dialogue between Anakin and Padme is a bit painful, but hey, perfection isn't really a human thing, is it?)
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Clockwork

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 12:49:30 AM »
It doesn't matter what colour it is, the scene was cringeworthingly bad. Chewie not eating a porg because it looked at him was what I was referring to, rest of chewie was fine. No Rens not allowed to just have his form changed like someone switched to widescreen mode on a standard monitor, having his shirt off is fine, I am all for hot guys with their shirts off. Ren doesn't do it for me at all though, Finn or Poe, sure. Nope, considering just the films Leia gained like a lifetime worth of training to be able to control the vacuum of space. EU materiel isn't relevant because the film itself is disregarding Leia getting any training, Luke had a set of students and that went tits up. Everyone has the force inside them, also said in the movie, but nobody else thought to expend it while they were getting blown up? Just her? Ok then. It's contrived, it's bad writing, it's bad filmmaking and it's inconsistent.


Passion and freedom are great, but just saying the words isn't what makes it a Jedi or Sith attribute, it's the intent as much as anything. Sith are selfish, treacherous and power hungry - it's embedded in their teachings, it's the core of their power, it lingers on artefacts like the blade of Naga Sadow, it's in the earth of Korriban, it's essence is within their holocrons some of which are able to hold spirits. The Jedi are just as free as anyone who has to work, pay bills etc. Obligations are obligations no matter what form they take. Real world monks for instance take vows of piety and abstinence and spend a lot of time just in the company of other monks - if you ask a monk if he's free, he'll say yes. You can argue that having obligations traps us but that's more about the human condition than it is about being a Jedi.


I figured it might be but from my memory of smallville I thought it just made him super-horny.


Jedi and sith are nowhere near equal forces, they almost never are. The times when they have been, half the galaxy has been burned. The jedi civil war, the great hyperspace war, the hundred years of darkness but before those and after those one side has the upper hand. After the Jedi Civil war, the Sith were supreme, before the hundred years there were only Jedi, sith were created by the battle, the great hyperspace war demolished the sith. Jedi and Sith exist as opposite to each other but neither requires the other to exist to make them valid.


During the scope of the core films, and as a core narrative arc of Star Wars in general there is duality and legacy and such but it's not like because one side is powerful the force boosts the other. When the Sith and the Dark side is more powerful, parts of the galaxy rebel and through a desire to bring about a fair and free* society, a jedi rises from the masses in the style of Joan of Arc or Christian saints. Crazy those religion parallels keep cropping up eh? :P When the Jedi and Light are more powerful and the galaxy is 'normal' avarice and ruthlessness provide a place for the darkside to fester and grow, so it is with the prequels. The force as a whole isn't a sentient thing causing this, the individuals are by manipulating the force. Storytelling is what binds everything together, Lucas' idea that everything had to be dualistic, not the force. Look at the post Lucas films; Snoke is a Sith Lord but there are no jedi left. Rey might have a blue saber but she's not a Jedi *however* light and dark sides are about even Snoke is powerful, First Order are powerful but really there are more (New) Republic leaning entities than First Order supporters. Luke is being sought by the end of 7 because they need help, the force isn't balancing things for them; it's tipping things against them, the peacekeepers of the galaxy are needed once more etc. The new movies are still bs but they demonstrate how there is the potential for more creative freedom sans Lucas. And don't get me wrong, he tells a good story but he only tells the one, if he had his way it'd be the exact same concept over again with a different backdrop.


In the prequels there are two sith for only a little time across the three movies (as in time in-universe, not screen time), Dooku is a Dark Jedi which is slightly different, E2 has clones, stormtroopers are conscripts and in E3 more than just Obi-wan and Yoda survive, they're outside the scope of the movie though so we never see them. Coruscant was only one of the Jedi temples at the time. At the very least Ilum is still canon because Ashoka Tano is canon.

Look I am a die-hard star wars fan but more than a little of it sucks unfortunately and the best bits are underutilised.
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Caradìlis

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 10:15:36 AM »
Right... I don't know why, might be because most my holidays were spent on farms, but milk coming from animals did not strike me as weird or cringeworthy or unnatural... It's milk...
They cut away from the scene before he started eating it, doesn't mean he didn't... And he wasn't very impressed by the googly eyes either, as far as I recall...
Huh, I mean, to be fair, I might not have stared at him that much, I might have focused more on Rey, but he didn't seem so much broader than he does with his clothes on, plus, have you seen the guy fight, there's no reason he wouldn't be... Well, that is kind of your own issue though, isn't is, that's not the movie's fault that he's not your type, right? He's obviously doing it for some people, given other opinions I have encountered...
Yes, the Force flows through every living thing, but to "have the Force" in the Star Wars Universe is used as "being able to control it" --> *refers you to "The Force is strong in my family..."* So it makes sense that Leia is the only one on the bridge getting out of the situation...

Again, pointing out that we are seeing the story from the sides of the Rebellion/Resistance and the Jedi... We are not getting the full story. We are not supposed to. The perspective from which you are told a story is vital in your perception of it. You are more likely to believe the version of the truth the hero is telling you, because a) you want to believe that they're the good guy, b) you are less inclined to doubt them from the start, because they're the hero and c) if you do notice them exhibiting occasional questionable behaviour, you end up making excuses for them because "They're the good guys, the good guys are allowed to do that, because they need to defeat the bad guys, bla, bla..."
The truth value of that argument really heavily depends on when in history you are asking the monk that question... I would probably not take a medieval monk's word on it (although I have no such troubles with accepting a medieval nun's, as women were caged in in that society anyways, so in the confinement of a nunnery they were actually more free than most other members of their sex), as bad-mouthing the church back then was a bit of a bad idea... I would take his word now, on the grounds that he chose that life for himself and could theoretically leave at any point, because leaving a monastery or nunnery has actually become a possible thing, so he is indeed free. He can step outside the order without being publicly shamed and branded as "fallen" - which is not something the Jedi do. Once you have become a Jedi, you either die as one or you "fall" in which case they will pretend that you are dead anyway...

I have never seen Smallville, I don't really care for neither Superman nor Batman... Not really a fan of movies where the main antagonist is more appealing than the hero...

Well, I'll admit my not Episode Star Wars knowledge is very much limited to things I have picked up in conversation, podcasts and such-like... You may therefore be more of an authority on it than I am, but just because there's not the same amount of people that still does not mean that the forces are not balanced. As the Force is basically described as an energy source. And if you have three people tapping into one source and 50 tapping into the other, the three will seem more powerful than the 50, so you see, tha balance is always there, there's a reason the dark side appears stronger and is so "alluring" there are less people tapping into it. It's like an internet connection, the more people are using it, the slower it is...

There's no "or" between Joan of Arc and Christian Saints. She is a saint, the patron saint of France to be exact...

Also well, of course "religion parallels" keep cropping up, the Jedi and Sith are religions!!! They don't even claim not to be, in fact they blatantly admit to it, the words "the Jedi religion" show up more than a couple times in the movies...

Snoke appeared on the radar when Sidious left, and once he's there, the Force doesn't remove him from the picture when Luke cuts himself off, instead it awakens in Rey... And sends her to Luke to get him back, resulting in both Snoke and Luke's demise, resulting in neither Sith nor Jedi being on the playing field anymore... Rey might have the old lightsaber and the ancient Jedi texts, but I doubt very much that she will actually become a Jedi after everything Luke taught her about them. --> Grey Jedi...

It's not been this long since I last saw the prequels, and I might be wrong here, but I'm pretty sure Yoda calls Dooku a Sith...

You don't need to defend your fan-ness, I am spending enough time online to know that there are two kinds of die-hard fans, those who think new Star Wars sucks and those who don't think there's anything wrong with it... Knowing which side you're on is a thing, but it doesn't mean the other side can't have a point... There's always more than one way to percieve a story, but in it's core, it is still that: A story. A thing meant to entertain, not to make you scream abuse, just because it wasn't the thing you wanted... It's a movie, it can't please everyone.
"Those who don't beieve in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl

Clockwork

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2018, 12:03:35 AM »
Right, the milking was the problem rather than say, the unnecessary scene, the awkwardness written all over Hamill, the fact that those islands are so tiny only like birds could live on them. But sure, assume I have a problem with milk. Like what even is that angle you're pushing, that I hate the process of extracting milk?


There's literally memes everywhere over it. And no, the problem once again is not that he's shirtless and not my type, it's that his body has been digitally altered badly. And again what's with the agenda? I have nothing against Adam Driver or Daisy Ridley or any of the cast members personally, I don't even know why i feel I need to say this, I don't know why you're giving me gip over it.


You can't reactively know how to finely manipulate the force. With innate, raw force users it's always unrefined and uncontrolled. That's literally the point of training. A vision, a force scream, a force detonation, push, throw any of those are example of abilities used by untrained users. And somehow she's using powers not even shown on-screen until now; it's power creep at it's worst.


It's not a story told by an unreliable narrator, it's just a plain story and told as much about Kylo as it is anyone else. It's not a point of view story like Resident Evil for example where it's all about Alice. There is no 'version of the truth' there is what happens on screen and what happens off screen. Furthermore, no I don't 'want to believe the good guy' I don't care for alignments as much as you seem to think I do, there is nothing to doubt in their actions because it's not a narrated film. It's not like you watched Luke blow up the first death star and then say 'yeah but did he though, or is that what they want you to think?'. I don't make up excuses, their behaviour is their own, their reasons are their own, they're a character not a real person. Not all decisions are good ones, not all opinions are valid.


A Jedi can leave the order at any time. Most choose not to because hey, being a jedi must be cool, you're with your buddies you've grown up with and you get a purpose, fulfilment and all those kind of things that minds crave. For aliens like the Kel Dor; patience and discipline is their comfort zone, Mirialan like the compassionate aspect of the code, Cereans like the knowledge: there's something in there for everyone. The ones that do leave, referred to as The Lost, statues are made of them which detail their good achievements and actions but don't say why they left. They are made as a reminder that the Order can fail and it isn't perfect.


Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum are both gorgeous and talented and amazing. It's also a TV series not a movie.


No, the force doesn't work like that you've been misinformed. The balance of power doesn't work like that, certainly doesn't work like an internet connection. At least around here anyway. There aren't two sources, it all comes from within, each living thing has it inside them, it's the single core story element of Star Wars, that self belief brings self control. And then sci-fi's it into control of other things. The force doesn't get tired or tapped out or used up or anything, it's literally faith.


Right a grammatical error, armadillo.


People are born with force sensitivity, Rey always had it. The force didn't do it, it doesn't have ambitions it certainly doesn't favour light side. Grey Jedi is a term used as a catch-all, it doesn't denote differences between say: Jolee Bindo - Sick of Jedi mantras and being out of touch with the outside world and The Jensaari who had a different set of teachings to Jedi or Sith. As it stands, it's near impossible for Rey to be a Jedi regardless of what she tells herself, there just isn't the knowledge, tradition and experience left to teach it in the galaxy. In my opinion Luke isn't really a Jedi either. It's the difference between reading a book and playing a video game, one is an account you can empathise with and the other is making the actions for yourself. But also the term Grey Jedi is a fan appellation. In the universe that label doesn't exist.


Yep he probably does call Dooku a Sith but the character is honorable, intelligent, knows the failings of the Jedi and the destruction of the Sith. It's a matter of opinion but I think it's able to be argued either way that he's a Dark Jedi or a Sith.
Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.


Caradìlis

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Re: Dark Versus Light: Morals, Nature, Sci-Fi And Fantasy
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 10:48:14 AM »
Okay, so first of all, I'm not sure what it was in my argumentation that provoked you into thinking I were pushing a angle or agenda... I don't do those, since they usually would involve having at least some sort of a plan and I don't make those, because plans never work anyway, no matter how maticulous your planning... I just really didn't get why you (or any other number of people, 'cause gods know you're not alone) could get so riled up over a scene like that...

Quote
having his shirt off is fine, I am all for hot guys with their shirts off. Ren doesn't do it for me at all though, Finn or Poe, sure.
I'm not sure why, because you apparently meant it differently, but that seemed to me like you didn't like Ren, but I see now that I have obviously misinterpreted that...

Really, can't you? Is that from personal experience, because I'm pretty sure that supposedly it's impossible to lift cars without training either, and there's still mothers who manage quite well without any when their kids are in danger, just because the adrenaline kicks in...

I ever claimed that Luke blowing up the death star never happened, as a) that was a pretty big event that both sides kept harping on about, and b) in case of the death star, the Empire lost their greatest weapon of mass destruction, I'm pretty sure that if Luke blowing the thing up had been a lie, the Empire would have just blown Hoth out of existance instead of sending ground troups and risking the Rebel's escape, wouldn't they? I was merely suggesting that story telling is a lot like human history at some points... We occasionally chose to ignore things that happened or view them in a bit of a distorted light, just because it does not support our argument to look at the whole picture... The view point gets more objective the further away the historical period, but especially where wars are concerned, you often learn that the victors were "liberators" and that their arrival was "celebrated", when in reality, they were raping and pillaging everywhere they went to the effct that entire towns and villages packed up and fled, when they heard of their nearing approach...
I mean in Rogue One it is totally acceptable for Cassian to shoot someone who gave him information, just so that guy can't tell on him, because he is the good guy, his morals are okay, but "good people sometimes have to make questionable choices, because if they don't, then the bad guys win"...

Exactly, they have been "lost", they have "failed"... That kind of terminology can be imprisoning as well, I have found...

I know Smallville is a tv show... I was merely illustrating why I had not seen it with the argumentation that I have disliked every single Superman/Batman movie I've seen with the exeption of "The Dark Knight", and the only good thing about that one was the Joker, so I just didn't see the point in bothering with a tv-show... It just didn't seem worth it to me... And no matter how great and amazing the actors, Batman and Superman just aren't my kinds of heroes, so I won't give them tons of my attention...

Actually not that impossible... The ancient Jedi texts are on the Falcon with Rey and we have the force ghosts of Yoda, Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and in all likelyhood Luke galavanting around the galaxy somewhere, there is a decent chance that she could get Jedi teachings if she wanted them...

See, now I am confused, because equal to the Sith and Jedi Code, there is a Grey Jedi Code, which centers around the terms "force" and "balance", so I'm not entirely sure how this is "just a fan appelation", because sure, the wish that Rey becomes a Grey Jedi, is a relatively new thing, but the Code is way older than that and I found it way before episode 7 aired...

Dooku himself doesn't take issue with being called a Sith and I'm pretty sure given their reputation, he'd object if he wasn't... The point that "he was honourable and intelligent" and that that would somehow not make him compatible with being a Sith is literally the kind of thinking storytelling is trying to encourage... But the point is that he became a Sith, because he knew of the failings of the Jedi...

Seeing as my last argument apparently ended in you feeling offended by me, I feel like I should close this one by saying that I do not mean to do that. Occasionally I might misinterpret what other people mean by their line of argumentation. I believe that this is a side effect of individual thinking, but I do hope that this time I have managed to be less offensive towards you.
"Those who don't beieve in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl