Monday, June 20, 2005

Anakin Skywalker is a victim of George Lucas

Having watched the most recent Star Wars, "Revenge of the Sith" (lame title, btw), the following thought occurred to me:

Poor Anakin.

The man is a victim. Think about it. How was he to know which way was right and which one was wrong? The Jedi are too "narrow" in their "view of the Force," whereas the "evil" Darth Sidious (who is only evil, of course, in the eyes of the pointy-headed "hyper-orthodox" Jedi in the Jedi Council) is much more open-minded. He is open to powers that "many consider to be unnatural," even to the point of HEALING.
So... we the audience (and Anakin) are left w/ the choice.
On the one hand, we have the Jedi, who
1) refuse to allow Jedi to fall in love,
2) refuse to explore options in the Force that would allow them to heal people,
3) tell Anakin to "let go of his fear of loss," since people dying allows them to be absorbed into the Force (whatever that means), which is a good thing,
4) ... and yet mourn the deaths of many young Jedi at the massacre at the Jedi Temple, and
5) assert that one's path depends on one's own point of view, which is verbatim what Obi-Wan tells Luke Skywalker after Yoda's death in Return of the Jedi.

On the other, we have the Sith, who
1) are the persecuted minority,
2) are more open-minded,
3) are open to the power of healing people,
4) are open to people of any marital status (it would seem),
5) allow the open expression of one's feelings and passions,
6) practice treachery and constantly seek more power, and
7) regard the Jedi as evil and oppressive.

So what is Anakin to do?
Who is the final arbiter of truth for him? Who can tell him that the Jedi are right (which we, the audience know by instinct if not necessarily by actual active assent) and the Sith are bad?
This is relativism at its finest, polished and buffed for public consumption thru the genius that is George Lucas. Lucas is shameless in his abuse of Anakin. Not b/c he wrote the story in which Anakin destroys his life. Rather, it is b/c he placed Anakin's character into a universe that is devoid of any rational basis for morality. At least w/ a consistent and foundational moral guide, as opposed to his frequently self-contradicting mentors Yoda and Obi-Wan, it would be at least possible to know w/ certainty just who the good and bad guys are.
But (spoiler alert) when he cuts Mace Windu's hand off, what he did was completely neutral, since it was his own point of view doing the talking. And just before clashing lightsaber against lightsaber w/ Obi-Wan, Anakin tells us that, in his perspective, the Jedi are evil. Obi-Wan is forced to remind us that his allegiance is to democracy. I shouldn't have to reiterate that this statement is also completely arbitrary.

So feel sad for Ani. I was very sad when he choked his beloved wife. Of course, that's just because, in my point of view, hurting my wife is bad. I fail to see how, in George Lucas' fantasy universe, he could tell me I'm right or wrong to believe that.

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