Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Balance to the Force?

I have been listening to the new Binge-Mode podcasts which are now focusing on Star Wars after doing Game of Thrones and Harry Potter.  So, I have been reminded of something that drove me crazy long ago.  Yes, there is so much bad in the prequels, but one of the dumbest ideas is this: that Anakin Skywalker would bring balance to the force.

What the hell does that mean?  It is often suggested that his killing of the Emperor at the end of Return of the Jedi is finally the act that brings balance to the force.  But balance suggests an equal weight on both sides.  Killing the most powerful Sith and then, well, dying himself and thus removing most of the relevant dark side types (until Snoke and Kylo return to the scene--depending on how much of the expanded universe one consumes and adheres to) actually disturbs the balance as now the weight should all be on the light side. 

Which gets to one of the dumbest things in the prequels--if at first, the Jedi don't think that there is a Sith menace out there, why would they (Qui-gon especially) value a prophecy about bringing balance to the force.  At that moment, these Jedi think they utterly dominate, so balance is the last thing that they would want.

Let's move to IR for a minute: once the Soviet Union collapsed, the US stood alone, a superpower with no equals.  It did not then seek out to balance power.  Power became very unbalanced, tilted heavily to the US.  As China has risen relative to the US, there is greater balance in International Relations.  Is the US happier now?  I think not. 

One could argue that it is not so much about balancing of forces but any moment in time is a particular status quo that is seen as a balance, a juxtaposition of forces, and stability-seeking powers want to keep the status quo.  Again, however, until Darth Maul and Darth Siddious became well known, there should have no need or desire for an agent to balance the force. 

So, alas, we are stuck with this dumb prequel concept attached to Darth Vader in a more sticky way than much of the crap in the prequels.  However, it is handy for illustrating how problematic the concept of balancing is in International Relations.

What I liked most about The Last Jedi is how Luke railed about the stupidity of the Jedi.  I need to re-watch to see if the balance stuff comes up.  As it stands, I am thinking of the Rise of Skywalker is not about Rey being kin to Luke/Leia/Anakin but rather a new way, alternative way to think about the force and one's role in using it.  This would allow Rey to occasionally use the force in anger, to engage in love (something else that was so dumb about the prequels--that Jedi can't marry, etc), and the balancing is within the force user rather than between the forces of light and dark. 

We will find out next month how wrong I probably am.  And that will end any balance there is now between me and my uncertain opinions.

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