The Most Pointless Scenes in the Star Wars Saga

The end of pregnancy does weird things to you…for instance – everyone is telling you to “get your sleep” while you can, but yet, you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, uncomfortable, and unable to fall asleep again for at least an hour.

And what do I do during that hour+? Obsess about the weirdest stuff.  Not stuff that makes sense like, “Will I be a good mom? Will I bring my child up safely and politely? Will my relationship survive the strain?”

Oh no.  I obsess about stuff like, “I wonder if I’ll remember to take the trash out when I have the baby,” or “Why is my dog making those weird sounds?  Did he throw up?” in which I promptly jump up, shine a light on him, wake my husband up, and see my dog is just in a funny sleeping position so semi-snoring.  Yes, this happened once.

Last night I woke up and obsessed about my  ideas for Star Wars blog posts and how I haven’t written any yet.  Then it evolved into how I could expand on one of my ideas and write an entire blog post about pointless scenes in the saga.

So here we are!  The fruits of last night’s pregnancy insomnia.

I define scenes as “pointless” if it could have been cut entirely and/or gotten to the point of the scene a lot faster.

 

The Phantom Menace

I think the most pointless scene in TPM would be the bongo scene.  After arriving in Otoh Gunga with Jar Jar who was exiled, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon bongo phantom menaceJedi mind trick Boss Nass into giving them a transport out of there.  He gives them a tribubble bongo and they head off to Theed through the planet core.

What ensues is basically a fish chase.  They almost get eaten multiple times, Jar Jar freaks out too many times and everyone has some pretty dumb lines (“There’s always a bigger fish”).

This entire scene could have been cut.  Instead, we could have seen them get on the bongo then appear in Theed.  Funnily – it’s the scene right after this one that Lucas decides to keep when they arrive above water and have to escape being almost pulled down a waterfall.

If you want to add a little tension and excitement to the movie, that cut scene would have done a better job than the exceedingly drawn out bongo trip.

 

Attack of the Clones

Two scenes come to mind here: 1) the droid factory scene where Padmé and Anakin are on some kind of weird obstacle course and Anakin’s lightsaber dies, and 2) the gladiator arena scene at the end.

The droid factory scene is more pointless than the gladiator scene.  I think this entire segment could have been cut out and replaced with something a padme droid factorylot more interesting.  The point of this scene was to catch Anakin and Padmé somewhere they weren’t supposed to be, therefore giving an excuse to have them in the gladiator scene with Obi-Wan.  Well, why not pick something that made the two main characters look a whole lot less foolish?  Maybe spying on Count Dooku, or, even trying to rescue Obi-Wan right away and failing.  And the whole thing with the lightsaber dying in the droid factory really rubbed me the wrong way.  It took the mystique out of lightsabers that there is a possibility it could fail like anything else mechanical.  Let’s not even go into Threepio in this scene and how must stupider it made the scene look with his horrible puns.

The gladiator scene is a harder to argue against but in this case, I think it was drawn out a little too long, similar to the bongo scene.  I understand it was a convenient setup to have Obi-Wan, Padmé, and Anakin in one place for when the Jedi and clone troopers save the day.  But it was unnecessary to have it be so dramatic when we had both the battle between the Separatists/Clones and Yoda/Count Dooku on the horizon.  I think we could have cut out the entire part with the animals and got rid of the similarities to Gladiator (the blockbuster and Oscar winner that came out around the same time as AOTC) and been a lot better for it.

 

Revenge of the Sith

The General Grievous versus Obi-Wan lightsaber fight.  Way too long and how in the world was General Grievous good enough to last as long as he did?  Again, this is one of the areas where Obi-Wan is so awesome that the fact that he had to keep chasing Grievous and have a weird showdown in order to kill him was yawn-worthy.

general grievous vs obi wan

We all knew that Grievous was not the main nemesis of the movie and there were so many other interesting aspect to get to that the corny lines (“Army or not, you must realize you are doomed.” “Oh, I don’t think so.”) and constant cat and mouse chase got to be too much.  Obi-Wan is one of the best Jedi Masters out there so just kill him already.

It would have been SO much cooler if it was like an Indiana Jones scene where the guy is doing all the tricks with the whip and Indy just takes out his gun and shoots him.  Something like that would have been way better for the Obi-Wan vs. Grievous show down.

 

A New Hope

Surprisingly – I can’t think of any pointless scenes in ANH.  This is one of the things that kept me awake longer than it should have last night because I think every scene in ANH is there for a reason, makes sense, and none of them are pointless.  This could be why I enjoy ANH more and more as I get older.

 

The Empire Strikes Back

This may be a little controversial, but I think one of the most pointless scenes in ESB is the cave scene where Luke sees his face in the mask of luke-dark-side-caveVader.  It’s not that I don’t understand what Lucas and Kershner are trying to do and say.  However, I think it could have been brought up totally differently if they wanted to make that point.  Or, do we even need it?  Was our Star Wars viewing experience enriched by that scene?  Isn’t it something that if you know Luke and see the training he is going through with Yoda, you can kind of figure it out on your own?  It’s a pointless bit of fake foreshadowing that leads the audience to believe and think something else.  Star Wars is also not known for its symbolism, even if it’s blatantly slapped in your face like this scene.  So why pull it in now?

 

Return of the Jedi

Honestly, I had a few scenes in my mind but then when I started to write about them, I realized that they didn’t quite hit “pointless” on my radar.  They did, in the end, have a point and they didn’t need to be cut either.

Therefore, I’m leaving ROTJ as another movie that was pretty well done and not too many scenes that I thought could have been left out.

 

The Force Awakens

Oh c’mon, do I even need to go here?  We all know the scene that should have been cut.

rathtar tfaThe freaking Rathtar scene.

Whhhhy is it in the movie?  As I thought about this, the only reasons I could think of was to a) alert Han that the First Order was looking for two fugitives and a BB droid, and b) to show that Han Solo still has trouble talking his way out of things, albeit in a funny way in that he thinks he can talk himself out of dire situations.

This could have definitely been done differently.  Being a smuggler again, Han probably would have known the First Order was looking for two fugitives and a BB unit…he probably would have had that come in on a priority signal or something.

As for the second part, we didn’t need it.  Han had plenty of time in the movie to show that he was still the same guy.

This scene is up there with the droid factory scene in AOTC as something that could have been completely cut.  It was childish, out-of-place in the Star Wars universe and was thrown in only for the action element.

 

I love Star Wars, as you all know.  But there are some parts of it that drag on too long or don’t seem to have a reason as to why they are in the movie.  More of the fault lied with the Prequel Trilogy than the Original Trilogy as I feel that gratuitous action scenes were thrown in to keep up with other summer blockbusters, when they really just made the movie look a little silly.

 

Let me know if you guys think of some pointless scenes in ANH and ROTJ…or if you disagree with my assessment!

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Final Analysis on the The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer

So we all watched it last week and had a great discussion about what the heck is possibly going on in The Force Awakens.

I thought that since it’s been a week, now is a good time to organize my thoughts, excitement, and speculations and write everything down.  It will be fun to come back in a year-ish and see which of my predictions were right, and which were wrong.

Overall, I liked the trailer.  I’ve heard complaints that people wanted to see the original cast back, but I’ve said from the beginning that I really wanted them to focus on the new cast and give a fresh look to Star Wars.  They did that with the trailer and I’m happy about that.

I was also happy at just how much of a tease it was.  So many questions left unanswered and so many theories now in place.

This is a looooooooooooong blog post, mostly for my own reference next year, but if you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan, then plow ahead.  (Oh wait, that’s all of you)

******

Trailer fades in and all we hear is,

There has been an awakening.  Have you felt it?

I spent a long time trying to figure out the voice.  My first thought was Andy Serkis, and then I completely wiped that from my mind and I swore it was Benedict Cumberbatch, despite his denial that he’s in VII.  I thought maybe he wasn’t appearing in VII, but his voice was there…mysterious and elusive and he will appear in person in VIII and IX.  I was completely wrong (but originally right) because Andy Serkis confirmed he’s the voice.

THEN BAM!  Up pops John Boyega in a stormtrooper outfit on a desert planet.

john boyega

Boyega: My first gut reaction is that he’s on Tatooine.  I still believe that because it would be a nice way to tie all the trilogies together.  We visit Tatooine in the first movie of each trilogy (ANH and TPM) so I think it would be appropriate to also see it in TFA.  Will the main star come from Tatooine like Anakin and Luke did?

Most interesting is that Boyega is in the stormtrooper outfit with his helmet off.  When have we ever seen that with a stormtrooper?  Never.  We’ve seen it with clonetroopers, but not stormtroopers.  He also looks paranoid, frightened, and is definitely out of breath.  Why the urgency?  What’s going on here?

Is there significance with the way he pops up after the voice over mentions “the awakening”?  Could Boyega’s character randomly have the Force awakened in him?  We’ve thought that the Force is with someone from their birth and it doesn’t awaken out of the blue.  In a sense, it awakened with Luke when Obi-Wan began his training, so perhaps that is the case with Boyega’s character, though the voice over suggests otherwise.

ezra and zare

Ezra and Zare

My final thought on this shot is my grand revelation I had last Friday that Boyega is actually the stormtrooper that Ezra met in the Star Wars Rebels episode “Breaking Ranks”.  If so, his character name would be Zare Leonis and he infiltrated the Imperial Academy in search of his missing sister.  When Ezra escapes, Zare decides to stay to continue his personal mission.  Disney and LFL said that they wanted to start tying the canon together more with the books, shows, and movies.  If my theory is correct, this could be step in the right direction.  Perhaps we will never see Zare again in SWR, but his storyline will be revealed in TFA.  It could also explain why perhaps he’s on the run in this episode.  Maybe he’s escaping the Empire (finally).

On top of that, what if his sister is played by Lupita Nyong’o?  We don’t see her character at all in this trailer, but they gave Zare’s sister a name in SWR (Dhara) and why do that with no intention of ever bringing the storyline back?

It might be a bit of a stretch though, since Boyega himself is 22 years old.  But Nyong’o is 31 so it could work…maybe…?

As we transition to the next scene, you can faintly hear a probe droid, so it reaffirms the fact that he could be on the run.

Soccer ball droid: Your guess is as good as mine.  No idea how that droid would function, what it was there for, or if it was even important.  I checked through the Prequels trailers and they did have some random shots of ships that really had no real bearing on the story.  So maybe that was the case with soccer ball droid, or maybe it does mean something.  The only thing I saw of significance was the junk it was rolling past.  Looks a lot like podracers to me…

soccer ball droid

Empire:  Stormtroopers in garish, flashing light.  Oh, and isn’t one a little short for a stormtrooper?  Could that be John Boyega again?  So we know stormtroopers = Empire, so it brings us to the question…did the Rebellion not destroy the Empire in ROTJ?  Is it still alive and well?  And look at the helmets!  Different, but similar.

stormtroopers tfa

There are also rumblings online that they could be in an Imperial Troop Transport.  Apparently Kenner released a toy of them but no one has actually seen them on film (It was in SWR though).  So is that true and it’s making it’s first movie appearance?  If you see the quick shot, it also looks like the stormtroopers have new-ish blasters as well.

And then we see their feet and it looks like they are about to descend into the night.  But where?  What planet?  There are lights, not natural lights, when you look into the night as the ship opens.  The dots of white and red make me think it’s some kind of civilization where they may be going to attack.

Ridley: Daisy Ridley!  Wooo.  She jumps on some sort of speeder, that kind of looks like a cross between an AA-9 Coruscant Freighter and podracer, but different.  And yet, did anyone else feel like it was eerily similar?  Like I had seen it before?

But let me just say this was my FAVORITE scene.  It was so reminiscent of Leia on Endor that my heart sang.  The outfit was even similar to what the Rebels wore on Endor with the over-the-shoulders slouch look.

There has been a lot of speculation on the fact that she had some sort of spear and/or lightsaber right next to her when she jumped on, but then it wasn’t there when she was flying away.  I also noticed that.  Look:

The hilt definitely looks like a lightsaber, but the blade somehow encased or contained?  Why is it missing in the next scene?  Honestly, I think it was a mistake by the editors.  They aren’t even close to done with the film and they probably have a bunch of different shots, some with that lightsaber thing and some without.  Abrams probably didn’t want us seeing it and getting too much information so he didn’t want it in the scene.  You know what…I have no idea, but I really think it was a mistake.

And she, like Boyega, looks like she is running from something and is slightly nervous.  As she speeds off into the distance, we see her going towards something that looks almost like the junk we saw in the background of the soccer ball droid.  Is it the same place?

X-Wings: Woooo!  X-Wings are back and Oscar Isaac is at the helm.  And notice guys…notice….the Rebel Insignia!!!  I had had moments of fear that they would completely change it and then my tattoo would be a remnant of a lost time, but nope.  Loud and proud on his helmet AND his fighter uniform.  Also, remember how I mentioned a year ago that most of the Insignia’s were actually a dark blue, not the red we always place with them?  Looks like Abrams remembers that too since the one on his uniform is the dark blue, though the one on the helmet is red.

oscar isaacs x wing

But of course that brings up the recurring question AGAIN…are we still fighting the Empire?  Still?  WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?

xwings over waterThe X-wings fly over the water, which I actually could not figure out was water at first, silly me.  Just from the lighting, I thought it was actually Hoth again and they were flying over ice the first two times I watched it.  Beautiful shots though, right?  I love the artistry so far.  However…this scene actually makes me think it might be a closing scene of the movie.  Something about the lighting and the way there are three going into battle.  Will it be a final battle over the water?  THAT would be different!

Sith:  Okay, the big question.  All over the internet and TV, I’ve seen people dissecting this blade and the big question, “Who is that?”

First, we’ll talk about the blade.  I kind of like it.   The pulsing, unclean cut to it makes me think of something new sith crossguard lightsaberunfinished.  Perhaps due to the Sith (supposedly) being wiped out, this person had to create a lightsaber based on what they researched.  And this is what it is?

But what about those little blades coming out and making it seem like a cross guard?  I’ve read so much from people who think it’s stupid (what if your hand slips?) to people who think it’s practical as it will stop another lightsaber from chopping off your hand (that happens a lot, it seems).  I think…meh.  Don’t really like it actually.  I like the unfinished look of the blade, just not the cross guards.

As for who it is – I really, really want it to be Gwendoline Christie.  Really badly.  I’d love to think that the fact they were hiding the person was because we are finally, FINALLY get a female Sith.

Logic is pointing to Adam Driver because ever since he was cast he has been attached with the Sith rumor.  Some fans believe it could even be Luke due to the fact that they think this person’s right hand/arm is thicker than the other so perhaps it’s a bionic hand in there.  I disagree.  The gait of the villain (if it is a villain) seemed to be of a younger person.  And a very tall person at that.  Christie and Driver come in at 6’3” and Hamill comes in at 5’9”.

The voice returns.

The dark side.

And the light.

And then YAY IT’S THE FALCON.  Who got goosebumps then?  I certainly did.  The effect of it turning around and we’re following it upside down at this crazy angle and then there are TIE Fighters coming at you…MAGIC.  Loved it.  Second favorite moment for me, for sure.  And with the theme blaring in the background.  Happiness.  Pure happiness.

Falcon and TIEs

Again though, why the TIEs?  The Empire is somehow back in this movie.  Another desert planet, but this whole time we have not seen any sign of twin suns so we can’t confirm it’s Tatooine.   The Falcon also has a rectangular dish on it, no longer a circular one because if you remember, it got knocked off on the second Death Star run.

*****

The only question left for me at the end, on which I have no real theories on, is the voice.  Serkis’ overarching voice gave us a narrative that seems most unusual for Star Wars.  What character is that?  It seemed a little too neutral to me.  Are they good or bad?  Do they play a big role or are they, like my original theory on Cumberbatch, elusive for the first movie?

Time will tell, but for now, I’m pumped, excited, and can’t wait for the next trailer, much less the actual movie a year from now.

How The Clone Wars Succeeded and Failed

With the arrival of Star Wars Rebels, I thought it would be a good time to publish this guest post and look back at the last Star Wars animated series: The Clone Wars.  Please comment and love Icarus’ post on TCW.  His bio is below, if you would like more info.  (My thoughts on Rebels next week)

What can I say about The Clone Wars that hasn’t already been said? Star Wars fans hoped TCW would fill in some critical gaps in the three years between second-trilogy Star Wars films Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith.  Bonus if it fixed a few mistakes in the prequels.  What we got instead were very uncomplicated story arcs and tastes and teases but not much more depth to the Star Wars ecosystem — InterGalactic Banking Clan anyone — certainly not enough to satisfy the appetite of even the more casual fan.

The Clone Wars says goodbye

The Clone Wars says goodbye

The series is over but I’m writing this from the perspective of what potential it had at the beginning.  To be sure, I tried to binge watch the entire series and found that I could only stand to watch one, maybe two episodes at a time.  It was painful to listen to Kabuki theater level dialog overemphasizing the importance of obvious plot devices at the expense of storytelling. That was probably because each episode has to appeal the limited experiences of its kids audience.  In every episode you had comically inept droids trying to kill Clone Troopers and vice versa.  You have to handle this with a certain delicacy for your young audience.  To simultaneously kill bad guys, kill some good guys yet not bring the horrors of war too close to light.  TCW had to do this on the small scale while also keeping its eye on the end game, setting up the landscape for ROTS.

You cannot talk about ROTS without talking about Order 66 and how thousands of Jedi were slaughtered by clone troopers without any hesitation or sense of loyalty to their Jedi generals. I could see the droid army following this order more to the letter than the clone one, although given the level of ineptness portrayed by the combat droids, along with the ease with which Jedi Masters Yoda and Windu dispatched them, the number of Jedi actually killed would have been substantially lower.

I’ve always asked myself how could you pull something like this off?   Putting aside the logistics of getting word simultaneously to every despot in the galaxy, one thing that bothered me was in the movie, they show every Jedi getting ambushed because they were in a vulnerable position.  Yet the Jedi are almost godlike in their awareness and certainly wouldn’t have been just heading into battle as the order came in.  While the galaxy’s preeminent mystics/warriors can be caught by surprise, it’s also just as likely the Empire’s spin doctors exaggerated the number of Traitors eliminated under Order 66 with many more  Jedi  driven into hiding.

Clone trooper clone wars s5ep18War changes everyone and it is possible that Order 66 succeeded because the clone troopers saw the Jedi as an actual threat to the Republic.  Remember to outsiders, the Jedi are a very secretive group that keeps their Archives, a vast repository of knowledge, to themselves (Vatican anyone?). If you view The Force as a hokey religion and the Jedi as the Temple Priests, it follows that ordinary soldiers could see the Jedi as roadblocks to peace.

Though I haven’t seen it yet, I’m aware of the Fives/Tup arc that almost exposed Order 66 prematurely.  I’m probably way off on this but I suspect that arc serves to demonstrate that while moving toward complete domination of the Republic, Chancellor Palpatine wasn’t quite there yet and there is always the slim hope of a few people being in the right place at the right time

What are your thoughts on Order 66 and the clone troopers?

About me:  I am what you would designate as a casual fan at best.  When the original trilogy was out, the conventional “wisdom” at the time was that you could either like Star Wars or Star Trek, not both.  However, I like Star Wars and Star Trek and if that makes me a freak so what. Being from Chicago, I also like the White Sox and the Cubs except when they play each other in inter league.  If you like what you read, please read my regular blog at ChicagoNow and/or my personal blog and if you are on Facebook please give me a “like” at Mysteries-of-Life and of course feel free to follow me on Twitter at @Icarus2013.

Scene it on Friday – ROTS Scene #141

darth sidious order 66

AWESOME.  This scene is just so … life changing.  I was nervous when I got ROTS again on random.com since most of their scenes are two sentences with no depth.  This is a short scene as well, but damn, it’s not lacking.  There are tons of Order 66 scenes, but this scene specifically is the one on Kashyyyk, right before the clones try to kill Yoda.

Okay, so if you know me at all – you know that I try to stay relatively spoiler free for every movie.  The only spoilers I read about are in the Star Wars Insider.  I do it so that I have few expectations going in and I have no preconceived notions of what will unravel within the plot.  I don’t mind finding out about casting and character names, but I don’t know every detail of the plot like some do.

So believe it or not, I had no idea how they were going to kill of all the Jedi.  No clue.  I didn’t know the clones would turn on the Jedi, though I guess if I really spent time thinking about it, maybe I could have pieced it together.

When Order 66 ended up being executed, it was such a surprise to me to just see how easily the Jedi were killed off.  I guess I was expecting some dramatic showdown with lightsabers out and fighting to the death.  But this Order was so perfectly planned to catch the Jedi unawares, you really have to hand it to Palpatine.

The more I write on this blog and go deeper into the Saga, the more I realize that Palpatine is one dude you don’t want to mess with.   All his domino pieces line up so perfectly that when the time comes for him to persuade Anakin to turn to the dark side, all he has to do is push the first piece and they all go cascading down.  It’s kind of like this:

There are a lot of moments that changed the course of the entire Saga, but I’m inclined to believe that this could be one of the bigger ones.  This scene and all the scenes that surround Order 66 transition the Saga from the Prequels to the Original Trilogy.

Another interesting thing to note, since this is the Order 66 from Sidious regarding Yoda…Commander Gree is one of the few clone troopers to fail in his task.  Yes, so did Commander Cody, but Cody thought that Obi-Wan was dead so believed he had fulfilled the order.  Gree flat out failed.  He tried, but Yoda was too fast and killed him and the others surrounding him.

By the way – in the next scene, is this the first and only time we ever see Yoda actually kill anyone in the movies?

execute order 66

INTERIOR: CORUSCANT-CHANCELLOR’S OFFICE-NIGHT 

DARTH SIDIOUS stands alone in his private office, illuminated only from a hologram projector beam from above. A small HOLOGRAM OF COMMANDER GREE stands in front of him.

CLONE COMMANDER GREE: Yes, My Lord.

DARTH SIDIOUS: The time has come. Execute Order Sixty-Six.

The Jedi Code Absolutes

I’ve always had some strange difficulties understanding the Jedi Code – this weird mantra that we actually never hear uttered in the movies, but somehow most average fans know about it.  Well, maybe that’s not true, but I know I ran into it when I was in middle school so it’s been around for over 10 years.  I’ve been trying to research where it first came about, and Wookiepedia is saying Dark Apprentice by Kevin J. Anderson and also the video game Knights of the Old Republic.  If anyone can figure out where this first came about, please let me know. [see update at end of blog post]

My main problem with this code is that it seems to set them up for failure and if we suppose this Code was in place during the Prequels, it definitely put too many limitations on the Jedi as a body.

Here is the entirety of the code as I learned it in middle school, and the one Jedi Code that most people know about (you’ll find a Jedi Code on Wookiepedia that was supposedly established 32 BBY but I’m not acknowledging it):

the jedi code

There is no emotion; there is peace.

Many have argued that the Jedi set this up not to be taken as the Jedi are robots and completely lacking of emotion, but rather that they should not experience strong emotions because strong emotion inhibits rational thinking.  But this code implies that the lack of strong emotion will bring you peace and I think that’s ridiculous.  As you notice in the movies and even The Clone Wars, we see some Jedi struggle to gain this peace that they think they should have.  The only Jedi that mastered it pretty well was Yoda, and he had almost 900 years to reach that level of clear, rational thinking in all situations.  Then again, if he had listened to stronger emotions, or his gut feeling, would he have realized that there was something fishy going on with Palpatine?  And that Palpatine’s constant meetings with Anakin were actually a strategic move he was making to gain control of the galaxy?  The only way to gain peace is to have that contrasting strong emotion because then you know what real peace feels like.

I have always thought that Qui-Gon Jinn has been the “perfect” Jedi.  I say this qui gon obi wan sunset coruscantbecause though he is flawed by Jedi standards, he follows that gut feeling that he has to do what he must, regardless of if the Council agrees.  He consistently defies the Council by following his stronger emotions and in turn, through his actions, we get Luke.  Without Qui-Gon picking up Anakin from the desolate rock of Tatooine and insisting he be trained as a Jedi, we would not have the arching story of Anakin’s demise and in turn his redemption through his son.

There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.

I understand this, for the most part.  Constantly learning and evolving as an organization is the only way to stay in synch with each other and understand the galaxy around you.  The problem comes about when you know so much pong krellthat you consider yourself superior to other people/races.  Take a look at Pong Krell (my favorite episode arc of TCW) and the battle he oversaw on Umbara.  His thirst for knowledge made him a formidable Jedi General, so much so that he sought success no matter what.  He refused to listen to his clone troopers and viewed them as dispensable units, so that the troopers were dying in large numbers.  Under Captain Rex, his troops showed that not only were they individuals with the ability to feel and think through problems themselves, they also understood more about the current battle than Krell did.  His thirst for knowledge and success, led to his thirst for power, which in turn led to him turning to the Dark Side.

There is no passion; there is serenity.

I’ve talked about this numerous times in other blog posts, but this is perhaps the most frustrating of all the lines in the Jedi Code.  I believe that this was the downfall of the Jedi Council and the rise of Darth Vader.  Because of their refusal to let Anakin “miss” his mother, it amplified his fear of losing her.  Later, with his love for Padmé burning inside of him, he had to hide his marriage from the Jedi Council.  Rather than acknowledging these feelings and working through them, it is pushed aside under the guise that passion brings a Jedi to recklessness.  In my opinion, it’s a good concept, but horrible in reality.  One of those “easier said than done,” moments.

But passion is essential to the reason for why Luke was able to turn Anakin luke vader rotjback to the Light Side of the Force.  When Obi-Wan and Yoda were telling Luke to destroy Vader, Luke held onto the notion that there was good in him.  His love, or passion, for his father is what tipped the favor once more to the Light Side of the force (or you could say he brought balance to the Force but I now hold that notion in check since I read this Tor article).  The refusal to allow passion caused Anakin to turn to the Dark Side, but Luke’s refusal to accept this rule brought Anakin back to the Light Side.

And a life without passion is not serenity.  It’s boring.

There is no chaos; there is harmony.

First question that rises to my mind: are they referring to inward/emotional chaos or are they talking physical/galactic chaos?  If they are referring to the former, then I’ve already gone into this enough so I won’t barrage you guys again.

If they are talking about chaos within the galaxy, then they are striving for a grand goal, but perhaps they are overreaching a bit.  Sometimes their need to create harmony within the galaxy ended up making them look like the enemies and they were seen as creating more chaos, as was explored in TCW TV series.  The Jedi are seen as guardians of the peace in the galaxy, so this line is understandable.  Also, the more harmony there is in the galaxy, and then I’m sure there is more harmony within the Force, which leads to more harmony within themselves.  Out of all the doctrines in the Code, I find this one to be the best only because I can see the overreaching effects.

There is no death; there is the Force.

This makes sense.  I don’t find much fault with this.  When a Jedi dies, they believe they become one with the Force, so death does not exist.  It’s only aforce ghosts real anakin reunion and as Dumbledore said, “Death is but the next great adventure,” so I feel the Jedi took on the same viewpoint.  Questions only arise when I start thinking too hard about Force ghosts.  According to the Star Wars Encyclopedia, a Force ghost was the “soul and essence of a deceased Force-sensitive who denied the will of the Force upon death, yet was able to interact with the living, albeit not physically.”  You are denying the will of the Force by becoming a Force ghost?  Hmmm, interesting.  A Jedi works with the Force their entire life, why would they all of a sudden decide to go against the grain?  Maybe I’m just too hung up on that once word…

Overall, can you see my frustrations with the Code?  I understand that though they have monk-like attributes, the Jedi were not made to be sitting around on a planet humming and chanting, while they try to find serenity and peace internally.  The problem I have is with the absolutes that are within this code.  When you have absolutes, there are extremes because of the limitations.  When you do not fit into this absolute of “no passion”, “no chaos”, “no ignorance”, etc., then you are setting yourself up for failure.

[Update: I tweeted to Pablo Hidalgo to see if he knew where the first instance of the Jedi Code appears.  He replied telling me that it “first appeared in the first edition RPG rule book by Greg Costikyan, West End Games, 1987.”  Sure enough – he was right.  Page 69.  Amazing how something like the RPG rule book has now made this simple EU Code almost omnipresent in the Star Wars universe.]