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The Dark Side May 20, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Drama, Mechanistic Relativism.
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WARNING: THE FOLLOWING GIVES SOME VAGUE PLOT HINTS ABOUT STAR WARS EPISIDE III!! IF YOU DON’T WANT TO HAVE ANYTHING GIVEN AWAY, DON’T READ THIS POST!!!

Well, we went and saw Episode III last night. Instead of belaboring the pros and cons of this film, I will just briefly say that this is the best of the first three episodes (which is not saying a whole lot), and that the critics, while they have some legitimate beefs with Lucas’s screenwriting and his managing of actors, went overboard in their panning of the film. Nevertheless, Lucas missed a prime opportunity to create an epic legacy for himself and his characters.

But that’s not my point.

Without giving too much away, I wanted to spend a bit of time talking about Lucas’s philosophy of the Dark side, and where the motivations for falling into evil come from.

Anakin is essentially swayed to the dark side for the following reasons (speaking generally for anyone who has not yet seen the film):

1. Anakin has a significant fear that one he is very close to is about to die. After his loss of his mother, he is determined to prevent this. Avoiding death (and pain) at any cost becomes his motto. The ends then justify the means for Anakin.

2. The forces of justice in his universe are then painted as bad guys. Because these forces have also thwarted Anakin in some personal ambitions he has, he embraces this unkust painting of them as bad guys to justify standing against them.

3. And most importantly, Darth Sidious, posing as a more sympathetic character (if you don’t know who this is, you have been living inside a Hutt for the past 5 years) attempting to seduce Anakin to the dark side, suggests to him that the road to true power and knowledge requires the examination and embracing of ALL areas of knowledge. One cannot focus strictly on the truth, as those misguided Jedi have done. Examine and understand evil as well, so that you might fight it and use its power at the same time. In fact, for Sidious, there IS NO EVIL, only power to be used as the power owner sees fit, to use to accomplish his own vision of goodness.

The Jedi focus only on following the good, the truth. For them, the ends never justify the use of evil means. Sidious instead says, in short, that there either is no evil, or evil in the pursuit of what one feels is good is an OK thing. Evil means in pursuit of even a nominal good is fine. Skywalker then gets seduced (as do so many of us) by this simple yet sinister philosophy.

Darth Sidious is an MRT. For him, there are no absolute truths. Relativism is all.

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