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the Star Wars Saga

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Darth Maul
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« Reply #75 on: July 22, 2007, 07:13:02 pm »



Directed by Richard Marquand
Produced by Howard Kazanjian
George Lucas
Rick McCallum (SE)
Written by Story:
George Lucas
Screenplay:
George Lucas
Lawrence Kasdan
Starring Mark Hamill
Harrison Ford
Carrie Fisher
Billy Dee Williams
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Alan Hume
Editing by Sean Barton
Marcia Lucas
Duwayne Dunham
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) May 25, 1983 (USA)
Running time 134 min. (original)
135 min. (SE)
Language English
Budget $32,500,000
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« Reply #76 on: July 22, 2007, 07:14:01 pm »

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi is a 1983 science fantasy film directed by Richard Marquand and written by George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan.

The film is set about one year after Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Luke Skywalker and members of the Rebel Alliance travel to Tatooine to rescue their friend Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. Meanwhile, the Galactic Empire is planning to crush the Rebel Alliance with a more powerful Death Star while the Rebel fleet simultaneously prepares to launch a full-scale attack on this new space station. Luke confronts his father, Darth Vader, in a climactic duel before the evil Emperor Palpatine.

The film's original theatrical release was on May 25, 1983. Several home video and theatrical releases and revisions to the film would follow over the next 20 years.
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« Reply #77 on: July 22, 2007, 07:15:27 pm »



Luke, Han and Chewbacca on a transport headed for their execution.
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« Reply #78 on: July 22, 2007, 07:16:19 pm »

Plot

The opening crawl reveals that the Galactic Empire has been working on the construction of a new armored space station which is to be even larger and more powerful than the first Death Star. Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Princess Leia Organa, C-3PO, and R2-D2 return to Tatooine in an attempt to rescue Han Solo from the gangster Jabba the Hutt. Leia, disguised as a bounty hunter named Boushh, attempts to secretly free Solo, who had been encased in carbonite at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, only to be discovered and captured by Jabba soon after. Several days later, Luke arrives to make one final plea to Jabba to release Solo. Luke is also captured and is sent with Solo and the others to the Great Pit of Carkoon to be slowly consumed by the Sarlacc. With the help of R2-D2, Luke escapes and a large battle erupts. During the battle, Leia strangles Jabba and Solo accidentally knocks Boba Fett into the Sarlacc pit. Following this, Luke blasts Jabba's sail barge with its own deck cannon, and all of the heroes manage to escape before it explodes.

Luke then returns to Dagobah to complete his Jedi training, but he finds Yoda is ill. He tells Luke that no other training is required and all that remains to be done is to confront his father, Darth Vader — Yoda then dies. The spirit form of Obi-Wan Kenobi then appears and confirms that Vader was once Anakin Skywalker, a former Jedi who was turned to the dark side of the Force. It is also revealed that Leia is Luke's twin sister, hidden from Anakin and separated at birth to protect them both from the Emperor.

Meanwhile, the entire Rebel Alliance is meeting to devise an attack strategy. As part of the attack, Luke and his companions (whom he has now rejoined after leaving Dagobah) must deactivate the shield generator on the forest moon of Endor which is projecting a protective shield up to the orbiting and incomplete Death Star. On Endor, Luke and his companions encounter a tribe of Ewoks, primitive yet intelligent indigenous forest creatures of Endor. With the help of C-3PO, they are able to forge an alliance with the forest creatures. Later, Luke decides that the time has come for him to face Vader. He confesses to Leia the truth about her and Vader, and that he has to try to save the man who was once their father. He surrenders peacefully to Vader and unsuccessfully tries to convince his father to abandon the dark side. They go to the Death Star and meet the Emperor, who reveals that the Rebel Alliance is walking into a trap. On the forest moon, the Rebels — led by Solo and Leia — enter the shield generator control facility only to be taken prisoner by waiting Imperial forces. Once they are led out of the bunker, however, the Ewoks then spring a surprise counterattack. A desperate ground battle begins with the Rebels and Ewoks fighting the Imperial forces.

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« Reply #79 on: July 22, 2007, 07:17:06 pm »

During the strike team's assault, the Rebel fleet emerges from hyperspace for the battle over Endor, only to discover that the shield of the Death Star is still functioning. An intense space battle takes place as the Rebel fleet battles to give the surface party more time to complete their mission of deactivating the Death Star's shield. During the battle, the Death Star is revealed to be operational; its superlaser is fired at the Rebel fleet and obliterates a Rebel star cruiser. On the Death Star, the Emperor tempts Luke to give in to his anger. A ferocious lightsaber duel erupts between Luke and his father. In the midst of combat, Vader reads Luke's feelings and learns that Luke has a twin sister. When Vader toys with the notion of turning Leia to the dark side, Luke gives in to his anger and gains the upper hand in the battle, slicing off Vader's right robotic hand in a rage in one swift cut. However, despite the Emperor's goading, Luke refuses to kill his father, realizing that he is traveling down his father's path towards the dark side, and declares himself a Jedi. Upon realizing that Luke cannot be turned, the Emperor uses Force lightning against him to torture and attempt to kill him. Deeply affected by the sight of his son dying before him, Vader repents and turns on the Emperor, throwing him down a reactor shaft to his death. At the same time, however, the Emperor's Force lightning causes fatal injuries to Vader (Anakin) and short-circuits his breathing system. Knowing that there is no hope for his own survival, Anakin asks Luke to take his mask off. Luke removes the helmet, revealing the pale and scarred face of his father. Anakin says that Luke was right about him, and asks Luke to tell his sister this. With those final words, Anakin dies.

Back on Endor, the strike team finally destroys the shield generator. The Rebel fleet seizes the opportunity to launch a final assault on the Death Star in space. Lando leads Wedge Antilles and his fighter group into the bowels of the Death Star and they fire at the main reactor, causing its collapse. Luke, with the body and armor of Anakin, escapes the Death Star in an Imperial shuttle. Moments later, Wedge in his X-Wing and Lando in the Millennium Falcon emerge from the Death Star as well, just as the Death Star explodes. Back on Endor, Leia reassures Han Solo of her love and reveals to him that Luke is actually her brother. That evening, Luke cremates the remains of his father in a funeral pyre on Endor. The entire galaxy celebrates the fall of the Emperor and the Rebel victory over the Empire. On Endor, Luke, Leia, Han, Lando, and the rest of the rebellion, along with the Ewoks, celebrate the victory as well. During the celebration, Luke catches sight of the spirit figures of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and the redeemed Anakin Skywalker, who look proudly on him.

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« Reply #80 on: July 22, 2007, 07:18:25 pm »



Darth Vader and Luke duel aboard the second Death Star.
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« Reply #81 on: July 22, 2007, 07:19:06 pm »

Production

With The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas fought and won his battle for independence from Hollywood; like Empire, Lucas funded Return of the Jedi with his personal finances.[1] He also found his independence cost him a great deal. Having quit the Directors Guild of America during post-production of Empire, it was no longer possible for Lucas to hire his long-time friend, Steven Spielberg, as director.[1][2] David Lynch, with a Best Director nomination for the 1980 film The Elephant Man, was approached by Lucas to helm Return of the Jedi, but he declined in favor of directing Dune.[3] He eventually chose Welsh director Richard Marquand. Some reports have suggested that Lucas was so heavily involved in the shooting of Return of the Jedi that he could be considered a second or a co-director. It is likely that he directed much of the second unit work personally as the shooting threatened to go over schedule — this is a function Lucas had willingly performed on previous occasions when he had only officially been producing a film (i.e. Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, More American Graffiti).[4][5] Lucas himself has admitted to being on the set frequently due to Marquand's relative inexperience with special effects.[1] Although the working relationship between Lucas and Marquand was said to be bad, Lucas has insisted that he and Marquand had a good working relationship and praised Marquand for being a "very nice person who worked well with actors".[6] Marquand did note that Lucas kept a conspicuous presence on set, joking, "It is rather like trying to direct King Lear - with Shakespeare in the next room!"[7]

The screenplay was written by Lawrence Kasdan and Lucas (with uncredited contributions by David Peoples and Marquand), based on Lucas' story. The issue of whether Harrison Ford would return for the final film arrose during pre-production. Unlike the stars of the previous two films, Ford had not signed on for two sequels. Ford's idea was to have Han Solo be killed through self-sacrifice. Kasdan concurred, saying it should happen near the beginning of the film to instill doubt as to whether the others would survive, but Lucas was vehemently against it and rejected the concept.[1] Lucas included the scene in which Yoda confirms that Darth Vader is Luke's father because, after a discussion with a children's psychologist, he did not want younger moviegoers to dismiss Vader's claim as a lie.[6] Many ideas from the original script were left out or changed. For instance, the Ewoks were going to be Wookiees,[8] the Millennium Falcon would be used in the arrival at the Forest moon of Endor instead of the Death Star attack, and Obi-Wan Kenobi would return from his existence in the Force and become alive again.[9]

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« Reply #82 on: July 22, 2007, 07:20:11 pm »



A teaser poster entitled Revenge of the Jedi.
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« Reply #83 on: July 22, 2007, 07:21:04 pm »

Filming began on January 11, 1982, lasting through May 20, 1982. Lucas was determined to keep the budget from skyrocketing the way it had done on The Empire Strikes Back. According to producer Howard Kazanjian, the fact that Lucasfilm is a non-union company made acquiring shooting locations more difficult and more expensive, even though A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back were big hits.[1] The project was given the working title Blue Harvest with a tagline of "Horror Beyond Imagination." This disguised what the production crew was really filming from fans and the prying eyes of the press and also prevented price gouging by service providers.[1] Filming took place at Elstree Studios in England, occupying all nine stages, and beginning with a scene that was deleted from the finished film (the heroes get caught in a sandstorm as they leave Tatooine).[7] While attempting to film Luke Skywalker's battle with the rancor beast, Lucas insisted on trying to create the scene in the same style as Toho's Godzilla films by using a stunt performer inside a suit. The production team made several attempts, but were unable to create an adequate result. Lucas eventually relented and decided to film the rancor as a high-speed puppet.[1] In April, the crew moved to the Yuma Desert in Arizona for Tatooine exteriors.[7] They then moved to the redwood forests of northern California near Crescent City to shoot the speeder chase near the middle of the film. Using a steadicam, the camera operator walked through a disguised path inside the forest shooting at one frame per second (fps). By moving 5 mph and projecting the footage at 24 fps, the motion seen in the film appeared as if it were moving at around 100 mph.[1]

Return of the Jedi was filmed on a budget of $32,500,000. The film was originally titled Revenge of the Jedi, and the original teaser trailer for the film carried this moniker.[10] However, a few weeks before the film's premiere, Lucas changed the title, saying "revenge" could not be used as Jedi do not seek revenge.[1] The 2005 prequel trilogy film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith would later allude to the dismissed title of Revenge of the Jedi.
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« Reply #84 on: July 22, 2007, 07:23:34 pm »

Releases

Return of the Jedi's theatrical release took place on May 25, 1983 — the same month and day as the release of 1977's Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. With a massive worldwide marketing campaign, Star Wars series artist Drew Struzan created the iconic and distinctive images for the movie posters and other advertising. At the time of its release, the film was advertised simply with its subtitle, despite its episode distinction. This was evident on release posters and merchandise. The original film was re-released to theaters in 1985; an updated theatrical version was released in 1997 as the Special Edition.

The original theatrical version of Return of the Jedi was released on VHS and Laserdisc several times between 1986 and 1995,[12] followed by releases of the Special Edition in the same formats between 1997 and 2000. Some of these releases contained featurettes; some were individual releases of just this film, while others were boxed sets of all three original films.

Special Edition

In 1997, for the 20th Anniversary of the release of A New Hope, George Lucas released The Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition. Along with the two other films in the original trilogy, Return of the Jedi was re-released on March 14, 1997 with a number of changes and additions, which included the insertion of several alien band members in Jabba's throne room and the replacement of music at the closing scene. According to Lucas, Return of the Jedi required fewer changes than the previous two films because it is more emotionally driven than the others.[6] The changes have caused controversy among the fans as some believe that they detract from the films
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« Reply #85 on: July 22, 2007, 07:24:50 pm »

DVD release

On September 21, 2004, the Special Editions of all three original films were released in a boxed set on DVD (along with a bonus disc). It was digitally restored and remastered, with additional changes made by George Lucas. The DVD also featured English subtitles, Dolby Digital 5.1 EX surround sound, and commentaries by George Lucas, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher. The bonus disc included documentaries including Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy and several featurettes including The Legendary Creatures of Star Wars, The Birth of the Lightsaber, and The Legacy of Star Wars. Also included were teasers, trailers, TV spots, still galleries, and several video game demos.

With the release of Revenge of the Sith, which depicts how and why Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side of the Force, George Lucas once again altered Return of the Jedi to strengthen the relationship between the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy. The original and Special Edition versions of Return of the Jedi featured British theatre actor Sebastian Shaw playing both the dying Anakin Skywalker and his ghost. In the DVD release, Shaw's portrayal of Anakin's ghost is replaced by Hayden Christensen, Anakin's portrayer in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The change drew further fan criticism directed toward George Lucas.[13] The set was re-issued in December 2005 as part of a three-disc "limited edition" boxed set that did not feature the bonus disc.

All three films in the original Star Wars trilogy have since been released, individually, on DVD, each compiled with its original theatrical release cut as well as the 2004 DVD Special Edition. These versions were only available from September 12, 2006 to December 31, 2006. Although the 2004 versions in these sets each feature an audio commentary, no other extra special features were included to commemorate the original cuts.
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« Reply #86 on: July 22, 2007, 07:26:05 pm »



 
From left: Han Solo (Harrison Ford), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), R2-D2 (Kenny Baker), and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew)
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« Reply #87 on: July 22, 2007, 07:27:50 pm »

Reaction

Although a critical and commercial hit, Return of the Jedi is considered by many critics and fans to be the weakest film of the original trilogy.[14][15][16] Some indication of public opinion can be gleaned by its relatively modest ranking in the Internet Movie Database's Top 250 films list; as of July 2007, it ranked #111, as compared to A New Hope at #12 and The Empire Strikes Back at #8.[17] On the other hand, this is still far higher than any of the films of the prequel trilogy; as of July 2007, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith fail to make the list at all. And at Rotten Tomatoes, Return of the Jedi's 76 percent approval rating is only surpassed by one film of the prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith with 80 percent.[14]

Contemporary critics were largely complimentary. In 1983, movie critic Roger Ebert gave the film a four-star rating,[18] and James Kendrick of Q Network Film Desk described Return of the Jedi as "a magnificent experience."[19] The film was also featured on the May 23, 1983 TIME magazine cover issue (where it was labeled "Star Wars III"),[20] with the reviewer Gerald Clarke saying that while it was not as exciting as the first Star Wars film, it was "better and more satisfying" than The Empire Strikes Back, now considered by many as the best of the original trilogy.[21] The film grossed US $475 million worldwide.[22]

At the 56th Academy Awards in 1984, Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Ken Ralston, and Phil Tippett received the "Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects." Norman Reynolds, Fred Hole, James L. Schoppe, and Michael Ford were nominated for "Best Art Direction/Set Decoration". Ben Burtt received a nomination for "Best Sound Effects Editing". John Williams received the nomination for "Best Music, Original Score". Burtt, Gary Summers, Randy Thom, and Tony Dawe all received the nominations for "Best Sound". At the 1984 BAFTA Awards, Edlund, Muren, Ralston, and Kit West won for "Best Special Visual Effects". Tippett and Stuart Freeborn were also nominated for "Best Makeup". Reynolds received a nomination for "Best Production Design/Art Direction". Burtt, Dawe, and Summers also received nominations for "Best Sound". Williams was also nominated "Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special". The film also won for "Best Dramatic Presentation" at the 1984 Hugo Awards.[23]

While the action set pieces — particularly the speeder bike chase on the Endor moon, the space battle between Rebel and Imperial pilots, and Luke Skywalker's duel against Darth Vader — are well-regarded, the ground battle between the Ewoks and Imperial stormtroopers remains a bone of contention.[24] Fans are also divided on the likelihood of Ewoks (being an extremely primitive race of small creatures) defeating an armed ground force comprised of the Empire's "best troops". Lucas has defended the scenario saying it draws a parallel to the Vietnam War in which a much more primitively armed force also proved victorious.
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« Reply #88 on: July 22, 2007, 07:31:31 pm »

Philosophy and religion in Star Wars

George Lucas' creation of the Star Wars saga was influenced by mythology, philosophy, and religion and the popularity of the film series' inevitably led to even more comparisons being made.

Mythology in Star Wars
Many of the themes within Star Wars reflect elements of Greek tragedy (Oedipus, House of Atreus), Arthurian Legend, Roman mythology, and Japanese chambara such as the prominence of prophecy and the inability to control one's destiny. For example, Luke's relationship with his father is very reminiscent of Greek tragedy, while the original film contained elements which were interpreted by some as analogous of the Arthurian myths: Luke's lightsaber (a "magic sword") was inherited from his father, just as Excalibur once belonged to Arthur's father. The wise mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, can be seen as a Merlin figure; and a "round table" appears aboard the Millennium Falcon. Many concepts featured in the saga also feature prominently in Persian mythology. A central theme of the story concerns the struggle between the forces of good against the forces of evil – this good-versus-evil duality is a central concept of Persian mythology; in which the benevolent creator deity Ahura Mazda is locked in a constant cosmic struggle against his antithesis, Angra Mainyu.

The Star Wars films also show considerable similarity to Asian Wuxia "Kung Fu" films. In films of this genre, the protagonist almost always begins with a clear objective to avenge the death of someone dear (an old master, his father, or his entire family). Starting as an apprentice, he grows to become the most powerful Master of his art in Kung Fu and rightfully settles old scores inflicted to his loved ones. The influence of Japanese pathos is obvious in the technique of the lightsaber being similar to the use of the Japanese Samurai swords, and the etiquette-conscious Jedi humility to the Japanese bows in greetings (the word Jedi comes from the Japanese term "Jidai Geki," which translates as "period drama". The Jedi also live by a code of conduct and battle similar to the Samurai Code (or Bushido) as well as providing protection without being soldiers for a particular Nation or Government.

The Essence of the Sith/Jedi Moral Dichotomy

In Episode IV Obi-wan first explains the dichotomy of good and evil encompassed in the Force. He tells Luke that "For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." Then moments later he contrasts the jedi with the actions of Darth Vader: "He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct. Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force." Little other doctrine is expounded on in Episode IV, nevertheless, the violent nature of Darth Vader is viewed in contrast with the mostly passive behavior of Obi-wan Kenobi.

Above all of the films, Episode V contains the most thorough explanations of the nature of the Force during Luke's training on Dagobah. Yoda states, "A Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger...fear...aggression. The dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan's apprentice." Luke then asks, "Vader. Is the dark side stronger?" to which Yoda replies "No...no...no. Quicker, easier, more seductive." And Luke again asks "But how am I to know the good side from the bad?" and Yoda replies "You will know. When you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack." (Yet, inexplicably, Lucas states in the commentary for Episode II: Attack of the Clones, that the dark side is more powerful. "We're cementing [Anakin's] determination to become the most powerful Jedi. The only way you can really do that is to go to the dark side because the dark side is more powerful. If you want the ultimate power, you really have to go to the stronger side, which is the dark side." This can perhaps be attributed to be a verbalization of Anakin's rationalizations and motives.)

Star Wars stresses the self-destructive nature of fear, anger, hate, selfishness, and lust for power. In Episode I, Yoda summarizes stating, "Fear is the path to the dark side: fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." Patience, discipline, humility, monasticism, respect for one's elders, peace with one's self, trust in things spiritual over things physical, and self-sacrifice are extolled as virtues. However, a stoic position of setting aside personal feelings for others in order to bring about a greater good is also emphasized. For example, Luke Skywalker is told to remain on Dagobah to complete his training rather than rescue his friends from Cloud City, because doing so will "destroy all for which they have fought and suffered."


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« Reply #89 on: July 22, 2007, 07:33:11 pm »

Perspective on Death

Perspective on death also appears to differentiate the Sith from the Jedi. The Sith seek to prolong their own life regardless of the cost to those around them and themself. The Jedi, however, are accepting of death. And perhaps for this reason that Jedi that have passed on are able to commune with living Jedi (with whom they have had friendships) through a spiritual form of their bodies that seems to be manifest in the physical world. The Sith are never shown manifesting themselves to anyone in spiritual form, but perhaps this is due to their having no true friends in life.


Governance

The Sith and the Jedi also greatly differ in how they govern. The Sith are portrayed as wanting absolute power and then ruling with an iron fist. If absolute power is not yet obtained the Sith will manipulate and deceive scores of people until they do obtain it. Once in control they will kill underlings that disappoint them and rule through fear. However, because of their desire for power (which is an intrinsic characteristic of the Sith), they are always plotting the demise of their master or apprentice, whatever their situation may be (this led to great internal strife among the dads in pre-Republican history). Vader was never a true Sith - it is strongly hinted that although he wanted to overthrow Palpatine (consistent with the weak relationship between Sith master and apprentice), his motivation was originally a need to restore order rather than take power. However, it is made clear in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith that he considers absolute power a legitimate means to achieve co-operation among all species and factions in the Galaxy. In Revenge of the Sith, he reveals his desire to rule the galaxy with his wife Padme, and thereby to bring order and peace to the Republic (later the Empire), perhaps becoming some sort of benevolent despot. In The Empire Strikes Back, Vader again expresses this desire, this time inviting his son, Luke, to rule with him. In both instances, there is no question that Darth Vader himself would wield absolute power over the forces of the Republic/Empire (and hence, the whole Galaxy).

In contrast, the Jedi govern through a shared power structure with many "checks and balances". As Jedi they govern with a council based on merit and seniority. In the Republic they allowed themselves to be deployed on missions according to the wishes of the Chancellor and they did not seek to manipulate the activities of the Senate. The Jedi are almost completely devoid of jealousy and competitive ambition within their ranks.


Moral Ambiguity in Star Wars

There is, however, some sense of moral ambiguity associated with ethos of Star Wars. In Episode VI, Obi-Wan posthumously admits to deceiving Luke. Obi-wan asserts that "many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." In addition, in Episode III Obi-Wan exclaims to Anakin, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes". This statement gives rise to the idea that there is no such thing as "Objective Truth" and therefore there can be no such things as good or evil. Obi-wan's comment denotes moral relativism and can logically be explained that one man's evil is another man's good. While Anakin's character changes dramatically when he transitions to Darth Vader - he is still Luke's father (contrary to Kenobi's assertion that Vader had killed Luke's father). Perhaps Obi-Wan lied for what he perceived to be "the greater good," so that Luke would continue his training (being motivated by his father's death) and not become curious about the Dark Side.

Another recurring event is that a Jedi triumphing over a Sith in lightsaber combat usually occurs once the Jedi becomes sufficiently angry (see Luke's fight with Darth Vader in Episode VI). This raises an important question: if the Light Side and the Dark Side are equally powerful, then why does it help when a Jedi resorts to aggression to defeat his foes?

However, Yoda and Mace Windu both defeat Count Dooku and Darth Sidious, respectively, while still maintaining control; although it should be noted that Mace's use of Vaapad (Form VII of lightsaber combat) required enjoyment in fighting, by definition a Dark Side concept. Also, Obi-wan Kenobi defeated Anakin Skywalker only when Anakin's judgement became impaired by an over-estimation of his own power, engendered by the Dark Side. In addition, Kenobi defeated Darth Maul by feeling the force and conquering his anger. It is also made plain in Episode V that Luke Skywalker is negatively influenced by a tendency towards impatience and anger during his confrontation with Darth Vader. From these cases it would seem that control is "good" and anger "bad". Due to these seemingly contradictory factors, it is difficult to understand exactly what kinds of Force use the Jedi consider legitimate. This unclear boundary between the Light and Dark sides (and hence, the ease of transition to evil) may or may not have some bearing on the fact that Jedi are sometimes tempted by the Dark Side as soon as they become sufficiently powerful.


Religious and Ideological Motifs

A shift from Eastern religion to Western religion, however, occurs between the original and the prequel trilogies. Old Republic Jedi appear to bear a stronger kinship to medieval knights, than Taoist monks. The prophecy of a chosen-one (which Anakin fulfills), born to a virgin, is very similar to the concept of the Christ. The final scenes of Episode III add a symbolic emphasis to this role. After Anakin is “killed” on Mustafar, a robed emperor mourns over his “dead” protégé, in a composition reminiscent of the Pieta. This would suggest that the “dead” Anakin will be resurrected. The hierarchy and role of the Jedi Knights also bears a strong resemblance to the Knights Templar of medieval Christendom.

The sequel started in Episode IV with the obvious cliché — Darth Vader in matte and shiny black outfit, with Leia Organa in pristine white robes, alluding to the concepts of Good versus Evil. With the exception of Anakin in the teenage years in Episodes II and III (although one could arguably say that he was a bit "destined" for the Sith, so maybe this does not count as an exception to the rule) and Luke Skywalker in Episode VI, black costumes seem to be reserved exclusively for the darker Empire and its Emperor. Whether intentional or not, the use of language was dramatized — the Empire minions almost always spoke with British accents, while most of the Rebels spoke with American accents. Likewise, all Imperial officers were outfitted in tailor-cut Nazi-like uniforms, with the Rebels in looser and more ascetic overalls. It has been suggested as well that the Imperials/Rebels axis could also be a reference to real-world Reactionaries vs. Revolutionaries, but this theory is speculation.

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