Haiku Me Friday! Palpatine and Love

A master of chess
Conniving, ruthless and sharp
Forgets about love

I never paid much attention to Palpatine until I started writing more frequently in this blog. The more I wrote, the more I realized how conniving and masterful he was and wrote a post on him a few years ago. The point of the post was to help others realize how he was playing a long term game of chess, but left out one big glaring fault – the fact that love trumps all.

It’s interesting to see that this is one of the main themes in Harry Potter. Countless times Voldemort fails because he forgets to factor love into his equation. Even when he thinks he gets over the hurdle (Goblet of Fire) and takes some of Harry’s blood that has his mother’s love inside it to recreate himself, Harry’s selfless love ends up being his undoing in the end.

Love is the ability to feel for people in inexplainable ways. Though we try to explain it – we can’t, hence why it’s one of the most interesting emotions that has been written about and sung about through the centuries. English, unfortunately, only has one word for love, while the Greeks had four. Hebrew has more than 10, while Persian has over 80 and the French have around eight. We are sincerely lacking on explaining one of the most important emotions human beings have.

Love is often viewed as weak. In some ways, I think that the Jedi also view it as a form of weakness, though they would probably not list it as such. I think the Sith believed that by having complete power, they could wipe out any need for love. Palpatine is so evil that he never factored love into his equation. Perhaps because he never loved and only used people as an end to a mean, he thought that everyone was also like him. Palpatine seemed to sense, here and there, that Vader had hesitations about his son, but believed him when he stated his resolve.

Could this be true also with Snoke? Did, perhaps, Kylo Ren actually have some feeling for Rey and that motivated him, gave him that little push, to come to the decision to kill Snoke?

If you have seen the deleted scenes in TLJ, in Luke’s third lesson to Rey (a stupid lesson so I’m glad it was cut out), he makes her believe that raiders are coming to the island to war against the caretakers. She says that they have to do something to help, and in a nutshell, Luke explains that the Jedi of old would have done nothing, because by helping, they are only creating a larger problem as the raiders would return the next month with even stronger raiding parties.

It’s a poignant line that speaks to the Jedi Order from the Prequel Trilogy. They try to cut out love because love leads to attachment. And when you’re attached to someone, you are afraid to lose them. And that fear leads to the dark side.

Everything makes sense until that last line. The fear to lose someone does not lead to the dark side. Helping others, in an act of love like Rey wanted to do with the nuns, is a sign of great compassion. By doing nothing or by cutting out love, you cause a rift in the emotional bank that needs love to live. It’s such a fine line there between turning to the dark side and staying a Jedi.

Palpatine, being so powerful, miscalculated that love would be his undoing. The Jedi miscalculated that love would also be their undoing. Both found tried to eliminate love and ended up losing lives because of Anakin.


One thought on “Haiku Me Friday! Palpatine and Love

  1. This is one of my favorite pieces of yours! Wow! I love (no pun intended) the examination of love in Star Wars. I appreciate how you frame both the Jedi and the Sith’s fear of love. I think you’re right – they both struggle with love (and what love asks of us) and, as a result, they are both undone.

    I read an essay in Kevin Decker’s ‘Star Wars and Philosophy” collection that says the reason Anakin is the Chosen One is because he’s the only one who isn’t afraid to follow love, no matter where it leads him. His love of Padme helped lead him to the Dark Side and his love of Luke brought him back. I’ve always been blown away by that framing. I think we can naturally add Luke there too as it’s his love for his father that leads him to do what he does, throwing away his lightsaber and bringing back the Jedi in nonviolence, compassion, and love.

    Aaah! This is such a great piece! I’m going to be thinking about love and Star Wars all day now :).

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