Haiku Me Friday! I can’t relate to Obi-Wan

The pain sears through me
I’m filled with horror and shock
I thought I knew him

I can’t imagine what Obi-Wan went through when he realized that Anakin was the one who killed the Jedi in the Temple. There are times, even though this is in a galaxy far away, where I can somewhat relate to the characters.

I relate to Luke staring out at the sunset and yearning for something more. I relate to Padmé’s drive to believe the good in her husband. I relate to Leia’s decisive personality. I relate to Rey’s loyalty to her friends. I relate to Finn’s lies to cover up who he really is.

But I cannot relate to Obi-Wan when he finds out that Anakin has turned to the dark side. Not only turned to the dark side, but killed numerous in Jedi in the temple. In fact, when I think about it, there are very few moments that I do relate to Obi-Wan throughout the saga. I can understand why he is some people’s favorite character, but he’s not mine. The only moment I have ever been able to relate to Obi-Wan is when he is arguing with Qui-Gon about training Anakin. I’m a stickler for rules, so I understand his pushback to Qui-Gon’s stubbornness.

Yet, this betrayal of Anakin to Obi-Wan goes deeper than many of us have ever experienced or will experience. When thinking about the feelings he must feel, the only thing that may come close is if I found out my husband was cheating on me with multiple women and then murdered them all. Gruesome, right? I don’t even like thinking about it but it was the closest train of thought I could go down that might possibly provide the same feelings.

Not only is Anakin’s betrayal a betrayal of the Jedi and a way of life, he was also his best friend. He was someone whom he trusted and loved. And this trust is different from a trust that you or I might have with a friend – they were in situations where they constantly trusted each other with their lives.

I always watch their last exchange before Anakin turned with a pang of sadness. Watch it one more time:

When Obi-Wan says, “Goodbye, old friend,” is the Force that speaks through him that gives him a touch of foreshadowing?

And what about Anakin’s looks? He apologizes for his behavior but as Obi-Wan leaves, is that … defiance? Anger simmering below? Resentment? Conflict? There’s something there and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Obi-Wan leaves with kind, wise words of encouragement in their last conversation. This is his last impression of Anakin before Order 66. It’s so painful. He truly, really believes in Anakin, which is what makes this scene of realization hard to watch. Yoda understands right away, but Obi-Wan does not want to. The denial is there. “Who could have done this?” he asks Yoda as they walk through the temple. Yet, as they continue their walk through and recalibrate the code, he knows. How he knows, I’m not entirely sure. The Force, most likely.

And I can’t imagine how he feels when it’s confirmed. I know there are people in this world who have suffered atrocities at the hands of loved ones, and perhaps they can watch this scene with greater understanding. I am lucky enough that I hope to never, ever relate to Obi-Wan in this scene.

 

How have you processed this scene? Can you relate to Obi-Wan (no need to share)? Have you ever had a good friend betray you in an irrevocable way?

 

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Book Review: Dawn of the Jedi

It’s highly entertaining to me that while I was reading the first EU book in over 10 years, LFL announces that all of the EU is now referred to as “Legends” and no longer canon.  It kind of seems like a waste of my time to try to fulfill my resolution of reading one EU book per year.  Should I forget about the previous books and move forward as LFL moves forward with novels?  Or should I continue to read the books of the past?

Aw, shucks that’s a hard decision!

I’m kidding.  Of course I’ll read EU books before they were “Legends”.  As long as they’re good.

But, you know, I don’t read EU books.  I’ve discussed it many times on my blog, but this past experience was a heavy reminder of why I don’t read them.

Because this one sucked.  Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh.  I hate to say any author’s hard work “sucked” because they put a lot of time and effort into it…but LFL: Please don’t let Tim Lebbon write anymore Star Wars novels!

I chose Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void because they had a sample of the first chapter in a Star Wars Insider last year.  I really, really liked the chapter and figured the rest of the book would be the same.  Plus, it’s about Jedi, my favorite!  Originally it was a comic book that was adapted to a novel, so I’m hoping that explains away the reasons I didn’t like it, but I don’t believe that’s the case.

*Spoilers below*

dawn of the jediIn a nutshell: This is not exactly an “origin” story of the Jedi, per se, like I was hoping for.  Instead, it was more of a sampling of the history of the Jedi, more than 25,000 BBY.  They live on a planet called Tython where there are nine temples.  In order to become a Je’daii, you need to travel between each of the temples to gain a well-rounded skill set to become a Master.  I had to look some of that up on Wookiepedia because all I remember was that there was a lot of traveling and temples.

The story focuses on a young Je’daii Ranger named Lanoree Brock, who is tasked with the mission to stop her brother, Dalien Brock (who was thought to be dead), from activating a hypergate.

The story goes between flashbacks of growing up with Dalien and trying to force him into being a Je’daii like herself and the real time of her mission to find him.  While on her mission, she meets up with a Twi’lek named Tre Sana who helps her.

Yup.  That’s the gist of it. Lots of plot. 😉

Pros:

  • Lanoree actually kills her brother at the end of the novel.  I know, strange that this is a pro.  But the whole novel is leading up to this climatic confrontation and you think she is going to “save” him from himself.  Possibly see him regret his actions and become a better person.  But nope, he remains foolhardy (I say foolhardy because he wasn’t necessarily “evil”) until the end of the novel where she has to kill him.
  • We get to see the Jedi as an organization years and years before the Prequels. Before they had lightsabers, they had swords.  They did everything lightsabers do, but were swords instead.  Not much detail on how they made the swords to have the exact same properties as lightsabers, though.
  • The novel was centered around a female protagonist.  Lanoree is practically a robot and it’s hard to feel supportive for her, but at least the main character is a female.  She is a Je’daii who can kick some serious butt and leads the story.  I always like to see books that are written entirely from a female perspective.
  • I learned that Sith were a species before they were the antithesis of the Jedi.  It was really confusing at first to be reading about Lanoree walking by Sith and not freaking out.

Cons:

  • My main problem with this novel was that I never felt attachment to any of the characters.  Lanoree is not a very likeable character lanoree brockand her brother is just annoying, not really evil.  The closest I felt for any character was Tre Sana, but even he was kind of wooden and non-likeable.  I like feeling for characters, rooting for them, and when I put the book down, I want to feel like they were my friends and I have invested my emotions into them.  I want to feel sad when someone dies (or almost dies? It wasn’t entirely clear) as was the case with Tre Sana.  Instead, I felt nothing when he died and thought the way it was written was very strange.
  • The juxtaposition between flashbacks and real time also created a very jarring novel.  I’ve read that style before, and I know it can be done well, but in this case, it made it a lot harder to read.  Lebbon seemed to want to write a fantasy novel during the flashbacks and a science fiction novel in real time.  It seemed like he was trying to mix two genres together and I wasn’t having it.   They never really matched up.  Tython and the Je’daii were the fantasy realm, whereas Lanoree’s mission with Tre Sana was sci-fi.  When Lanoree and Dalien were traveling to the different temples together (flashback) they encountered fantastical beasts, complete with beasts that could withstand the Force.  That’s fine if beasts can withstand the Force, I remember reading of such in Heir to the Empire, but by the time we got to them, it felt like the author was running out of ideas for suspense.
  • I never understood the connection Lanoree felt for her brother.  There were never any flashbacks that gave us the siblings being in tune with each other and completely loving each other.  Each flashback had a sullen, hateful Dalien, and a Lanoree who tried to push her ideals and training of the Force down his throat.  So where was this supposed connection and love coming from?  Was it just the whole “blood is thicker than water” thing?
  • The writing was horrible and there was very little actual plot.  I felt like I was reading an airport novel.  It consistently left chapters on bad cliffhangers that didn’t make me want to turn the page.  The dialogue was bland, and though there was a lot of action packed into the pages…it felt like nothing really happened.

Okay, there was more than just these points, but I feel like I would end up complaining way too much.  I think I had high hopes for this book since I liked the excerpt from Insider so much.  It’s never good when you have high hopes, because then you are bound to be disappointed.

I gave this book 2/5 stars on Goodreads because it wasn’t HORRIBLE.  But it was forgettable and it sums up why I stopped reading EU books in the first place.  When you get a bad Star Wars EU book, it’s pretty bad.

However, I’ve had some suggestions from Mei-Mei recommending Choices of One and Null recommended Darth Plagueis, and I’ve heard good things about both.  Maybe I should just start at the beginning and read the Thrawn Trilogy again…I think it’s been enough time to revisit them.

Anyone have any other suggestions?

Scene it on Friday – ROTS Scene #144

Shaak ti

Hmmm…definitely not in the movie.  However, this would have been very dramatic.  Not that I have any loyalty or feelings for Shaak Ti, but in the movie we don’t actually see Anakin kill anyone.  The picture is painted clear, especially when he goes in the youngling room and we hear his lightsaber igniting (is that the right way to say it?  “Lightsaber being drawn” maybe?  Or “turned on”?).  But the actual act of murder by Anakin is never witnessed, except for the hologram that Obi-Wan and Yoda view later on, and that is faint and as a viewer you are slightly removed from the emotional impact of it.

This would have been very interesting if this scene was in the movie and I think it would have produced more depth and a lot more hatred toward Anakin.  I can see why Lucas only kept the youngling scene, because with that one you have a) innocents being slaughtered and b) you still know what happens and get a slight emotional twinge, without actually seeing it.

BUT another interesting thing about this scene is that if you watch the deleted scenes from ROTS, they actually have a scene where Shaak Ti is murdered by Grievous in the beginning of the movie.  Watch:

AND on top of that, if you look up the EU facts on her, it’s saying that she was actually killed by Vader’s assassin, Starkiller, in the Force Unleashed game.

According to forums, the only canon version of her death is The Force Unleashed game, which is c-canon, since deleted scenes are not to be counted as they are, you know, deleted for a reason.  Sometimes fans think too much about this stuff.  Either way, she’s dead, canon or not canon.

So throughout her history as a character, she has been killed three different times.  Why all the hate toward Shaak Ti?

Shaak Ti and Starkiller

INTERIOR: CORUSCANT-JEDI TEMPLE-NIGHT

ANAKIN walks through the Jedi Temple, where he finds and kills SHAAK TI.  He exits Shaak Ti’s room and enters a hallway, where the battle is taking place.

Scene it on Friday – AOTC Scene #46

Scene it on Friday – AOTC Scene #46

There is honestly not much I can go into here…which is probably a good thing since my AOTC Scene it on Friday’s usually end up with me somehow complaining about how much I don’t enjoy this movie.

However – I can tell you that the Jedi Temple was also known as the Palace of the Jedi, which seems a little un-Jedi, if you ask me.  I also learned in The Clone Wars that it was locked off to anyone other than Jedi and personnel who had high security clearance – hence why at the end of Season 5, it was so unfathomable that someone would set off a bomb inside of it.

Jedi temple

Ok, since I’m done talking about this small scene, there a few other random things that I’ve been meaning to post here but kept forgetting.

Firstly – when it was announced The Clone Wars was not renewing a few months ago, fans started “Save the Clone Wars.”  I mentioned it in one of my older posts and how they were urging Star Wars fans to send letters to Kathleen Kennedy and trend #savetheclonewars on twitter.  Well, Kathleen finally responded earlier this month, and you can see the response here on the Club Jade blog (awesome blog, by the way, I highly suggest following it).  I kept meaning to post this earlier, but forgot.  Sorry!

Secondly – Her Universe’s creator and voice of Ahsoka Tano, Ashley Eckstein, is promoting “Year of the Fan Girl” on her blog.  Every day she highlights a fan girl and uses her blog/website to encourage girls to be proud of their geekiness.  I would love to be nominated (I have no shame)!  But in all seriousness – I think this is a great platform and so if you know of any girl who deserves this recognition, please nominate them.  Girls in the geek world are growing, but we continue to need some respect from our fellow men who still dominate the genre.  Nominate someone here: http://www.heruniverse.com/the-year-of-the-fangirl/

Have a great weekend and MTFBWY.

jedi temple photo

EXTERIOR: JEDI TEMPLE – DAY

The main entrance at the base of the huge Temple is bustling with activity. All sorts of JEDI are coming and going.

Ahsoka’s Departure: Clone Wars Season 5 Finale Part I

Yup, my post was so long that I will have to split it into two parts to get all my thoughts on the latest episode out onto this blog.

Ok, ok, everyone.  Let’s stop crying.  Let’s stop acting like this is the end of the world.  It’s a TV show.  Yes, the finale involved a major moment for Ahsoka and Anakin, but it’s still an animated TV show.

I can tell you, though, that these past 4 episodes have been a fresh of breath air for The Clone Wars.  After spending most of December with a boring side plot line that involved droids and a little frog character, TCW got back on the right footing with the Darth Maul/Death Watch story line.  I mean, they even killed off a semi-main character (Duchess Satine, if you’re wondering)!  But it wasn’t until these past four episodes of TCW that it began to get interesting and intense.  I’ve been holding off writing on it only because I wanted to know what happened in the Season 5 finale episode.

In a nutshell, this is what has happened in the past four episodes:

A portion of the Jedi Temple is blown up.  Jedi’s die and so do civilian workers.  Is a Jedi behind this or a civilian?  Investigation begins, led by Anakin and Ahsoka.

While Ahsoka is interviewing a main suspect, the suspect is Force strangled in the air and it looks like Ahsoka killed her.  Conveniently, the security cameras had their sound disabled so we can’t hear Ahsoka crying for help as the woman is strangled.  We now know that a Jedi is behind the attacks, but it looks like Ahsoka is the culprit.

Image on Security Camera in Jedi Temple

Image on Security Camera in Jedi Temple

The Jedi want to bring Ahsoka in for questioning, but Ahsoka runs for it and every step she takes makes it look more and more like she is the one behind the attack.  Anakin seems to be the only one who believes she is innocent, but the council bans her from the Jedi Order.  Ahsoka meets up with Asajj Ventress and they try to get to the bottom of it.  Ahsoka finally ends up being captured and is put on a trial in front of Tarkin (yes, Grand Moff Tarkin when he was younger) and is given the death sentence.  Thankfully, Anakin comes in to save the day and you realize it was actually Ahsoka’s friend, Jedi Barriss, who was behind the attacks.  The Council ends up apologizing to Ahsoka and asks her to rejoin the Jedi.  Ahsoka declines and leaves the Council and Anakin.

Ahsoka Refusing to Return to the Jedi Order

Ahsoka Refusing to Return to the Jedi Order

Yup.  We see Ahsoka leave the Jedi Order for good – hence the many internet wails of sadness, real or otherwise.  I have to admit, I was a little surprised.  I’ve been wondering for a long time how they would get rid of Ahsoka on TCW since we all know she doesn’t end up in Revenge of the Sith.  I held the belief that she would fall in love with Lux and leave the Jedi Order for love, doing what Anakin could not.  But this is more poignant.  It’s a crash of beliefs and ideals that Ahsoka held so high.  Being a Jedi is your life.  There’s no turning away and why would you want to?  It’s a hard life, but also an extremely gratifying one and a life that not many people get the ability to experience.  You are the special elite – almost more so than high officials of the Republic.

The tables were turned in this episode where Ahsoka was once viewed as the deceiver, she now looks at the Jedi as traitors.  They did not believe her innocence and they were her family, her life.  She was betrayed by them, and now they are betrayed by her as she turns her back on them.  The mirroring was so perfectly done.

Ahsoka does what Anakin cannot, or does not, have the will to do. She leaves.  Anakin should have left when he married Padmé.  His life would have probably been better and easier without the pressure of the Jedi.   As things get worse within the Jedi Order and as the Dark Side begins to cloud everything, Ahsoka sees clearly enough to know that it’s time to get out of there and to figure things out on her own.

What’s great about Ahsoka’s departure is that you still root for her.  You know and understand that she cannot be part of the Jedi Order after how they turned on her.  She was basically treated as a prisoner and her only advocate was Anakin.  At the end of the episode, Anakin says to her, “I understand wanting to walk away from the Order.”  All Ahsoka says in return is, “I know.”  You get the feeling then that she knows more than she let on.  Does she know about Anakin’s marriage to Padmé?  Probably.  Does she understand Anakin’s frustrations with the Council, the inner Jedi politics, the outward politics affecting the purity of the Jedi?  I think she definitely does now.

What a great way to end TCW…especially as we don’t know what will happen next season.  Now that it’s in Disney’s hands, we still don’t know if it will continue to air on Cartoon Network or if it will continue to air at all.  If this is the end of TCW, they did it perfectly, which almost makes me hope they don’t keep the series going on.  We have an open page now for Ahsoka, which I’m sure the EU would love to expand upon.  She is technically no longer a Jedi so she may not be killed with Order 66.  Also with this ending, you see why Anakin never mentions his former Padawan in ROTS since it may be too painful for him.  It also sheds more light on how the Jedi react to events in the third prequel movie and to Anakin’s continuing frustration with the Jedi.  It provides a good foundation for Palpatine to start gnawing into Anakin’s doubts and uncertainties regarding the Council, Mace Windu, and Yoda.

Bravo.  Clone Wars – you definitely converted me.  From a fan who was enraged over Ahsoka and the choice of even creating an animated series, I am now a huge fan of hers and glad I came around.  Thanks Clone Wars!  Hope to see you soon, but if not, it’s been fun.

Ahsoka leaves Anakin and Jedi Order