Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A Lesson from the Phantom Menace

We've become Star Wars fans over the last few months. We still haven't seen Attack of the Clones or the Revenge of the Sith but my son has watched The Phantom Menace at least a dozen times now. There are a lot of interesting tidbits in there to chew on. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm.............

One of those things is Quigon's (not sure how to spell that) insistence on training Anakin Skywalker, who later becomes the evil Darth Vader. I couldn't help but notice a little something that bothered me about that whole thing. Our church is really digging into understanding submission, authority and that sort of stuff. It's been humbling for all of us. One of the things I'm learning in the process is that submitting to authority (whether they're right or not) keeps me in a place of protection. A theme that comes out in the Phantom Menace is Quigon's rebellion against authority. Obi-Wan Kenobi encourages him to submit to the Jedi Council and listen to their advice. Quigon won't do it because he is so convinced that he is right, not just about Anakin but obviously in previous things as well (Obi-Wan chastises him and reminds him that he would be part of the council himself if he wasn't so stubborn). Yoda and the rest of the council listen carefully to Quigon but then say to him that they will keep their own council. Yoda sees the beginnings of the dark side of Anakin right from the beginning. If the council had continued to walk in their authority they would most likely have saved themselves a lot of grief. Yeah, yeah and then there wouldn't have been the rest of the movies and George Lucas wouldn't have made so much money - it's in the script, I know!

Anakin's accidental heroism and Quigon's death seem to bend the council a little. It also moves Obi-Wan (Quigon's padawan learner - or disciple) into the same place that Quigon formally occupied, a stubborn willful Jedi knight. The power of apprenticeship is obvious both in a good and a bad way.

Just a few thoughts on Star WArs. I'm sure someone will have something to say about this sacred cow being touched **grin**

14 comments:

Cindy said...

Hey Lani! I've been lurking for awhile, but I thought I'd comment on this one...

We've seen all the movies, and I would have to differ with your observations a little...

If Annekin had never been trained then he would never have been put in the place with the Emperor that would have enabled him to eventually fulfill the prophecy and bring back balance to the force by defeating the Sith. Prophecy is a strange thing - the fulfillment of it often looks different from what one expects.

Personally, I appreciate Qui-Gon's ability to stand up for what he believed, understanding that "the force" was not simply about rules. He had the guts to risk and to think for himself, and while he generally followed the council, he recognized that they did not have the corner on revelation.

When you see the other two movies, you may find that Obi-Wan is less like Qui-Gon. He does tend to stick strictly to the rules and that makes it so much harder to train Annekin - who is much more similar in nature to Qui-Gon, though less mature and discerning.

Our favorite part in the entire six movies is when Darth Vader/Annekin turns back to the good side of the force just before he dies...

flowerlady said...

Cindy,

I was gonna put in that little piece about Darth defeating the Emperor and turning to good in the end as the disclaimer. It's just too bad that all that good training got used to wipe out so many good people and bring so much death and destruction.

There is definately the fine line between the gut feeling of something you believe strongly and following your convictions. However, speaking from experience, it isn't always the best way to go....

_cwg_ said...

Well I cannot comment on this one, out of sheer ignorance for not knowing Star wars. but I did see a part of Attack of the Clones. It was where that green goblin guy, hobbles into the room and then fights like a teenager, then hobbles back out of the room. That was different. Anyway...as I said, not much to say, just wanted to ramble. (and let you know I am reading your post's)

CWG said...

LOL that was funny , I made a mistake on my identity and without knowing it, forwarded myself to Starbucks....coincedence? absolutely not.

carebear said...

I noticed those same points in Star Wars. I was watching Lord of the Rings last night folding laundry and there is a cool healthy picture of authority there too. I love how Sam is totally devoted to Mr. Frodo. It's all over the LOTR series with the kings, in the fellowship of the ring and between Gandalf and others. I just love those movies! Star Wars too!

Nin said...

I'll have to agree with Cindy on this one. Annekin needed to be trained to fulfill his destiny. Had Qui-Gon not stuck with what he knew he had to do, the prophesy would not have been fulfilled. Plus, because of Qui-Gon seeing something special in him, he met Padme, and they had the twins, who were the ones who helped fulfill the prophecy. I think it's a lesson on how all things work together for good in the end, and suffering is sometimes a part of getting to the blessing.
Good post Flower Lady, I knew people would have things to say on this one!

flowerlady said...

At least I know how to spell Qui-Gon now! I was close. I find it sad that all the training that Annekin had went to benefit the dark side. He doesn't actually use any Jedi training to overcome the Emperor does he? Doesn't he just throw him into one of those handy bottomless pits they seem to conveniently have on hand whenever a bad guy goes down? None of the good guys ever goes down those things do they?

I haven't seen 2 or 3 yet so I haven't seen the whole story yet....perhaps things will get clearer!

carebear said...

okay, I agree with nin and you flowerlady....
How about this for an explaination:

You need to be obeidient and stay under the authority God has placed for you. Qui-Gon was rebellious and made bad choices, but GOD uses all things for Good.
So in the series, Yes, anikan turns into darth vader (boo!) But it all worked out in the end because GOOD TRIUMPS.

God gets his plan done. period. He is building His kingdom. If you choose to disobey, you are testing God to see if He'll "save you" testing His mercy. Thank you that He is still merciful (YAH!)
You know what's funny Lani, is that you write a super deep post on plan A or plan A....no comments. And you post on Star Wars and everyone's got something to say! LOL

laconiclogic said...

I am not going to comment on the three new movies (ugggh) being a purist and all, but it does make some of the things in the original three make more sense. Like how Vader doesn't want to kill Luke as the Emeperor wishes, but suggests to "turn" him instead (The Empire Strikes Back). Or how there is still an ongoing internal conflict in Vader, even though he denies it.

Uh oh now you know I think about this stuff too much...

sparrow said...

Fun! I don't have any insights, but I like talking about movies... :)

Hope you like the rest of them.

Cindy said...

I agree that the point of the prequel movies is to add depth to the characters of the original movies. You get a deeper understanding of what drives them. You get to see that Luke is headstrong and impulsive like his father, and Leia is strong and determined like her mother. AND the internal conflict that drives Vader! It's crucial to the whole thing!

No, Vader didn't use the force to defeat the Emperor. But because of his mastery of it he was the only one able to get close enough to throw him down. (I seem to recall Luke going down one or two of those, too, but somehow surviving...) Point is, he couldn't have fulfilled the prohpecy without being trained. Qui-Gon knew that, even if Yoda and the council couldn't see it, though they did eventually consent to it - I couldn't say why for sure.

As for people dying, and suffering... the emperor was already doing that before Vader became his sidekick...(oh, but you haven't seen that yet...oops!)

CWG said...

LOL
I'm so lost....have no clue what you all are relating to.
Oh well at least I'm original.
Happy Star Wars chit chat.

flowerlady said...

ya see Carebear, writing about STar WArs is just my slightly veiled attempt to get people to read and comment on my blog (hee hee, my plan is working though I'm guessing I won't get to 20!). My deep writing is just so deep that no one can think of what to say (ha ha, wink wink)

Hey Laconiclogic (thanks for telling me what that means this evening) welcome to the blogging world.

CWG we'll just have to have ya over for a Star WArs fest so we can learn ya... the green goblin guy...come on!1 You've gotta keep up with your boy!

carebear said...

I've totally noticed that from the blog world, that if someone writes about something really deep, there's not many comments. Even on my own blog.