Obi-Wan, Anakin, Padmé and a Virus

I am slowly, agonizingly working my way through The Clone Wars to catch up to the latest episodes. I figured a good rewatch was in order since it had been years since I saw them. I remember watching episodes in my apartment – so that means pre-baby and pre-mortgages/houses. So, a long time ago!! Ancient times.

Sadly, I’m still on Season One. Don’t judge. I’ll get there…eventually.

I watched the episode called Blue Shadow Virus and Mystery of a Thousand Moons last night, and as I’m sure you know, it made me a little anxious. The basic premise is that an evil scientist, Dr. Nuvo Vindi, has recreated the Blue Shadow Virus, a deadly disease that plagued much of the galaxy many years ago. It was eradicated, but Dr. Vindi re-engineered it from being water-borne to air-borne, with the support of the Separatists, and planned to use it within a bomb. This all takes place on Naboo.

Padmé goes to investigate and gets captured by Dr. Vindi and his droids. Anakin and Obi-Wan are called into help.

This is where it gets interesting for me. Obi-Wan, being the pragmatic Jedi that he is, always wants to proceed with caution and think of the greater good. Anakin, being the passionate Jedi he is, wants to save Padmé as quickly as possible, and in the second episode, save Ahsoka and the clones as well. Padmé, being the noble one, only wants to help the planet by participating carefully.

It was an eerie reflection of our society today. I see Dr. Fauci giving reports and am reminded of Obi-Wan. He urges caution, to do our duty and help the greater good by staying hyper-focused on the mission at hand. In order to reduce the fatalities, we have to focus on the entire population. It breaks my heart, but I’m often reminded of Obi-Wan when I hear stories of those not allowed to visit their loved ones in the hospital or nursing homes to say their final goodbyes as they lose a precious family member to COVID-19. Anakin would say to hell with that and try to see them anyway. Obi-Wan would say not to think of one person, but to focus on the larger mission. Actually, it’s seen clearly in this scene:

Anakin is demanding to put the ship down, insisting on it. He doesn’t see that this is war and he has a chance to end the war. All he sees is someone he loves in danger. Anakin has the exact same mentality in the two virus episodes I was watching. To me, he represents the spring breakers in Florida, the man who told doctors he had no symptoms so that he could be by his wife’s side when she gave birth (he did have coronavirus) and…me. I struggle with this isolation, as many of us do, and I still visit my parents once a week when my daughter spends a day with them so we can get a lot of work done. It’s weird to write that, and weird to admit it as I feel ashamed.

My biggest argument and fear is that there are 8 people in my parent’s house, including my grandmother. Due to the large amount of people living there, they have to go food shopping every 3-4 days. We go food shopping now about every 1.5-2 weeks. There’s a greater chance that they could contact it with their frequent shopping trips, and I have this fear that they’ll be admitted to the hospital and that I won’t be able to say goodbye to them if it goes south. I will regret NOT breaking the quarantine, as my husband and I are pretty low risk. My fear and love for my family has me disobeying the local rules. I am, at times, Anakin.

Yet, when I mention this to others at times, I realize I’m not so alone. I have contacts who still have their nanny’s coming over, friends who trade off babysitting days with their siblings, and in-laws who have come to permanently live with people so that they can help with childcare. Are we all Anakin? Can we not let go of our old life, or our loved ones, or work for the greater good?

Then we have Padmé. She is such a strong character in the Prequels. Padmé represents the citizen right now that is doing right by whatever means possible. In the two TCW episodes I just watched, she seeks the answers to save Naboo. She puts duty above self, in a smaller way than Obi-Wan. In Mystery of a Thousand Moons, the second episode, Padmé is encased in a suit similar to what astronauts wear to protect her from the virus. While fighting off battle droids, she falls and her head bubble cracks open. She ends up contracting the virus due to this and starts dying. In a hologram to Anakin, she asks him to promise never to open the bunker, not even to try and rescue her, Ahoska and the remaining clones slowly dying. Opening the bunker means emitting the virus onto Naboo and killing the planet.

To me, Padmé is currently those that are playing by the rules, doing everything right, yet still somehow contact the virus. We have similar stories in the news of those “doing right”, obeying orders, and getting COVID-19 despite their precautions.

I do hope that this ends soon, but my guess is that we’re not close. I want to jump one year from now and see how I am, how my family is, and how our economy is. The media is bombarding us daily with fear that I can’t think straight and look at this objectively. It’s too personal for many of us as we are all affected in some way or another. I’d like to be Padmé, but Anakin sometimes comes to the surface. I’d like to take a broader look and try to look at this scientifically and channel Obi-Wan, but hey, Obi-Wan was never one of my favorite characters for a reason.

 

Where do you fall in this analysis? Are you Padmé and working for the greater good? Do you gravitate towards Obi-Wan/authorities or do you lash out like Anakin?

12 thoughts on “Obi-Wan, Anakin, Padmé and a Virus

  1. I like your analogy of the virus and how you compare each character to real-life examples. I have definitely been Anakin in the past. But today I am a stapler for the rules so definitely Padme or Obi-Wan. There are people in my country breaking the rules of our lockdown and I cannot understand it. There are plenty of situations where breaking the rules doesn’t risk a person’s life. But right now is not the time to break rules. In NZ we are allowed to visit anyone who is alone such as a parent or other family member and that’s it. I hope everything goes well for you and your family, I hope they stay safe! 🙂

    1. I’m observing how each country is very different too and I’ve noticed that Americans, for the most part, are not taking this well. I think because freedom is ingrained into our culture. Each state also has different rules so its hard to be unified when there are 50 states and each says something else. My state has only closed all essential businesses and asked us to stay at home. And there are so many factors to consider… I’m losing clients and business which = money. I want to keep the clients I have and try to hustle for new ones. A lot of people in my network are in the same boat. So when your livelihood depends on if you have time to concentrate and work, children are a big factor on how much you’re willing to stay at home. I’ve noticed large discrepancies (and judgement) from those that have older children, younger children, and no children. Parents with older children are finding it really difficult right now as they want to hang out with friends and they can drive. Parents with younger children are finding it really difficult to keep up with work and worry about losing their job and want to show their worth in this uncertain time so they can keep their job. And then there is a difference when parents are unemployed or have been furloughed.

      It’s hard for everyone but I think I’ve noticed the biggest difference between kids vs. no kids.

      1. I don’t have children and I really feel for those families that are trying to keep their heads above water with kids to worry about on top of that. So many people have lost jobs over the Pandemic. One of our biggest magazine publishers went under in New Zealand because they couldn’t afford to keep staff on and pay them. This publisher has been around for more than 20 so years. 200 writers now all unemployed. Cafes and small businesses are being hit really hard as well. It’s a very difficult time. It has made me really re-think everything. Before the Pandemic I really wanted to leave the job I was in but now that I am still working because I work for an essential business, it’s really made me think twice.

        1. I’m sure it’s had a lot of people thinking twice. And I think most importantly, a big factor here is a matter of choice. As my friend said, “I really wanted a lot of things off because I was getting burned out, but I wanted to choose when that happened” haha. I know a lot of people furloughed who are so frustrated because they are getting unemployment pay but have nothing to do. Nothing is open and their sense of self worth has gone down. Nobody wants a break then it’s not their choice.

          Anyway, I was agreeing with you but had a weird way of saying it!

          1. Haha, no I get what you mean 🙂 It’s true, people I know feel the same way. While the business I work for hasn’t let anyone go in my department, sales team members have been made redundant and we have all been forced to take leave without a choice of when. We have until June to take five days off. Managers have been told they have to take 10 if they have more than 20 days of leave. We were also told we had to take it during the lock down in New Zealand but so many people don’t want that. I still think that is not as bad as some places and we should be thankful we have leave to take and get paid for it. But some people really don’t like the choice being taken away from them I guess. So I agree with you as well 🙂

  2. Ahh I need a rewatch, too. I watched TCW more recently, right before it left Netflix. But I don’t have Disney+ yet… We’ll see how much longer of this quarantine I can hold out 😂

    You know, the Jedi made it very easy for Obi-Wan to be selfless; that was the point. He has few personal attachments; he doesn’t have to worry about where his next meal is coming from; he is the job. We are not Jedi. I see myself as similar to Obi-Wan, I’m a rule-follower, but I still need an income, and ways to keep myself sane with all these changes. So I’m trying not to be too hard on myself for doing what I have to do to get through this. I do get frustrated with people who are just going to the store because they’re bored, or not wearing masks.

    My dad was in the hospital for a month before he died last year, and I’m not sure I could handle it if my mom got sick now. The saddest thing to me is the stories of people dying alone in hospitals. I watch almost no news now.

    Glad you’re back, at least a bit! 😊

    1. Oh I know what you mean. Everyone’s situation is so different and the biggest difference I see are people with children under 5 and over 15. There are teenagers in my neighborhood that see their bf/gfs and drive around like it’s a holiday. I wonder what the parents think but maybe they tried and gave up or maybe they don’t know if they have to work and are doctors. And people with little ones need to key their job if possible so it’s hard to make them choose between livelihood and quarantine. So they need to bend the rules a bit.

      It’s surprising to me how much I have not judged anyone during this. Usually I have some form of judgement or attitude where I think I know best but I’ve really just hope that most people do what’s best with what they have.

      Now, I do judge people who are coughing on groceries, licking produce, etc. They are not even Anakin… They’re off the star wars grid. 😂

      I’m so sorry about your father. I had no idea. And I do hope your mother doesn’t catch it, or no one you know. The dying alone breaks my heart, I know what you mean.

  3. I will put healthful decision and social security first to make sure everyone follows the law on public health and safety information that are required. There are some people who are very covid-obedience or covidiot, because no one should try to break any rules and can be very frustrated when they are trying to cope with the virus. Plus Padme Amidala and one of the Stormtrooper they are not making suicidal decision when they fell out of the ship, they able to still managed to get back on the feet from the sand. To prevent coping of getting the cold flu-like symptoms, you have to require anti-bacteria nutritional supplies like yogurt and water beverages which are natural source of multi-vitamin enriched values.

    When this happened Anakin was very upset why his ship was under attacked when the gates or hatches are still opened and was not sealed when they are inside the transport ships. If I would like to considered for Padme, it will be a bad decision to make and fell out of the plane, which she had to do so which wasn’t a real suicide making decision to do.

    Stay safe and follow your personal healthful safety, may the force be with you… as always long live EU!

  4. Like the Force, a Virus cannot be easily seen, only felt. I think that is the thing about CORVID-19 since people cannot see it, they don’t think about how easy it is spread.

    we were early adopters of home sheltering but aren’t mask wearers (not yet anyway) except the last time Nightingale went grocery shopping.

    Our kids are 5 and it’s hard because my immediate coworkers understand what I’m going through but their kids are grown so they kinda forget what it’s like to have a 5-year-old interrupt you.

    I think it’s probably hardest for people with toddlers, who need more hands-on attention. And what about single parents? If you bring your small children into the grocery store, you are judged but if you leave them in the car or at home, DCFS gets involved.

    1. I do agree that people kind of “forget” what it’s like to have young children. But also, no one has been in this situation before! So even if you have an amazing memory and remember your kids when they were young, they probably did not experience having to work at home long term while not being able to go anywhere. Even typing that makes me feel like “wtf?” Who would think we’d ever be in this situation??

      And yes! Good point on the single mothers. Lose-lose situation and good luck having the child keep the mask on. So even more judgment from that!

  5. I have been thinking, for quite a while, to write a post about The Blue Shadow Virus story-arc. Alas, you beat me to it! Still, I might have to take some inspiration from you and go for it. My thoughts are different than those you express here, especially since my thoughts stem from an idea I had like two years ago, long before the pandemic.

    That said, I like how you interpret where we currently are with our own encounter with a virus through the lens of this story, and more specifically the characters in the story. I can’t help but wonder and want to know your take on Jar Jar Binks, Captain Rex, and Ahsoka since they, too, are in the bunker with Padme attempting to keep the virus from spreading. Who, given our current crisis, would you connect them with?

    1. You are welcome to write one haha! And shoot me a text when you’re done so I know to check it out. I’m not in WordPress that much anymore (clearly).

      You know, I did spend some time mulling about the other characters but other than Jar Jar, Ahsoka and the clones weren’t consistently in the 2-episode arc so I ignored them. And then I got stuck with Jar Jar too… So I also ignored him haha! My post, my rules. People are conveniently left behind. Do you have thoughts on who Jar Jar would represent? I’d be interested in that!

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