Shifting Identities and the Force

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Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Sat 15 Oct - 0:07

whilst i have little else to do, i thought i could write a little about identity and how i see it in TFA. let me see how i can piece this together. bear with me, this is sort of ongoing. this is also definitely dark side positive, so beware, i guess.

i recently came across the #trans!kylo on tumblr and it got me thinking on the many ways the identity issues of the main characters can be framed in the movie and i find this really interesting. i'm not trans and this is strictly amateur stuff, so i hope i'm not offending anyone.

i think what i do in my thought process is find analogies for what the force could be in our world. and of course, because the force is the force, no analogy is absolutely congruous. but this is why i love playing with as many analogies as i can.

i have previously framed force use and the binary nature of the GFFA as a matter of sexual preference and thought that if everything is represented as either heterosexual or homosexual, so, what if you happen to be bisexual? and this works for me, for many reasons, and it illustrates a choice that is not really something that is a choice at all, it's something in your nature, just like perhaps the dark side is more suitable to some people?

but transgender works even better on a symbolic level.

@millicent the cat wrote:Also the whole interaction with Lor San Tekka.  I have this hair trigger with old men challenging a persons’ abilities by reminding them of their connection to their biology and their genetics.  Lor San Tekka is saying “the person you were born as will always inform who you are” and Kylo’s reaction is “you’re so right.”  As in, yeah, I know, but I still get to chose.  I didn’t get to chose how I was born but I get to chose how I demand to be perceived / treated.  Though in this case Kylo is demanding to be perceived / treated like Darth Vader.  So that’s different.  But on an emotional and symbolic level it’s the same.  

i did make me wonder how much choice went into joining the dark side and how much he understood what the dark side actually was. there is a sense of destiny with kylo that seems really strong, stronger than his commitment to his family and i think he may just have gone to snoke because there was literally no other way to be on the dark side at the time.

but i'm also interested in the aspect of his family never acknowledging his new identity. that must be really grating. note that the same thing happens with vader. luke confronts him with talk about his old identity, this family does not tolerate people transforming.

so, if you are thinking of the dark side as an existing possibility in the GFFA, why can't one join them? (Well, at the moment they are portrayed as mudering fascist kinda Wink )

but what fascinates me further is that we are seeing a character who has chosen a new identity, one that was not avoidable as such probably, and yet we are expecting this character to take on another in the next two movies??!! how is this even possible and how many stories exist that incorporate so many shifts? i think this is the reason that people theorise ben will return, but what if ben is truly a false self?

and if rey's journey follows kylo's fairly closely, are we expecting her to shift identity yet again as well? she has already gone from nobody to somebody with a lot of prophetic import and significance.

i hope this makes some sense.

i think what i'm trying to get at is that a) there was an inevitability about the dark side for this person, but the DS as it is represented right now is not a great choice but that doesn't make the pull towards it invalid and b) how on earth can they narratively make yet another identity work? if that is where it's going, which is what i'm expecting.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Helix on Sat 15 Oct - 1:53

Reminds me of one of my favorite characters Tetsuo from Yuureitou who is morally grey and ftm trans. A lot of the story deal with that and his struggles with his identity.
Spoiler:

he kills his ( adopted ) mother due to the pressure of her trying to force him to be and act like a woman. He eventually does try to atone by forcing himself to be a 'woman' for awhile, but that thankfully doesn't last. He was described as having the 'sad eyes of trapped person'. He's never show as being a monster for being trans, though. Just someone who struggles with their identity and happens to be morally grey since he has no problem manipulating and killing.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Sat 15 Oct - 12:18

@helix yes kylo is essentially - in this particular reading - monstered for choosing a different identity, something he couldn't really do anything about.

i'm thinking of rey here, she is also forced into this new identity as the saviour of the jedi. she refuses this twice, it's quite interesting. i wonder how many times ben refused?
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Sat 15 Oct - 15:33

This has me wondering...can one choose a different identity?  Is that even possible?  

On a related note, can people change?  There is an Agatha Christie book, can't recall which one, where a character says, "People change."  And Hercule Poirot responds, "The tragedy of life is that people do not change."

I've never been able to decide the answers to those questions.  I am, however, very certain that it's hard to type when a dog keeps hopping onto your keyboard and nudging your hands with his nose.

I know one person in real life who is transgender, meaning he underwent gender reassignment surgery, and my observation was that her problems appeared to remain the same.  But one person is not enough to form a general opinion.

Kylo and Ben are often described as almost two separate people, but that has never rung quite true to me.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Sat 15 Oct - 18:49

@sacrebleu

i don't know the answer to this either and my guess is that it depends on what kind of thing you are selling. churches will tell you that yes it is possible. and i guess we kinda cling to that? because the alternative is difficult to square?

and i also know a single transgender person, didn't know them before their transition, and i was interested in learning what it is like on a day-to-day basis. instances of being shamed when they are perceived to be using the wrong bathroom and having the wrong pronoun used can be very upsetting.

i can't begin to understand any of this, but it interests me nonetheless.

so, anyway, on a symbolic level i think that ben and kylo are the same person. or the same incomplete personality. but i also think that they symbolise each a capacity to be *good*, to be *bad*. which is very simplistic. there is a similarly weird identity issue with superman incidentally.




and i remember a nerdy friend telling me about batman and bruce wayne. my superhero lore is pretty limited but i remember he thought that bruce wayne was batman's false self. i think you can make either argument probably. and you can probably make the same argument about kylo at least with the available evidence. if he always knew he would join the dark side, then puttin gon the costume projects the dark side stuff pretty effectively and he sort of becomes the dark lord that he always knew he was.

and if kylo ren is a false self, a capacity that is forced on him externally, well, then ben is there all along just waiting to come back.

i don't know. i adhere to a model of identity that poses it as an integrated whole, that isn't a mosaic. but i haven't really fiddled with these theories in a long time. and i would say that personality stays with the person, regardless of their gender.

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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Sat 15 Oct - 18:51

@helix i thought about this story from your series again and just wanted to say how bloody sad it is?? and also i didn't realise how relatively progressive the japanese were? i mean, i guess this is easier to do in anime but still.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Sat 15 Oct - 20:08

@guardienne

I met someone when he was a man and was able to witness the entire transformation to female.  I can only say that the surgery did not seem to resolve the core problem....unhappiness.

Another question, is there any such thing as a false self?

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

I can't quite wrap my head around the notion that either Ben Solo or Kylo Ren is a false front that can be shucked off as one would shuck off a cloak, be it tan or black.  Both personas are the real him, I would think.  Thus, the key is not fully embracing the dark or returning to the light, but finding a way to integrate all these aspects of himself.  Maybe he feels "torn apart" because he is viewing himself as two separate people?  When he really needs to see and accept himself as a single entity.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Sat 15 Oct - 20:33

@sacrebleu

true and false self on wikipedia - stuff from winnicott, who i sort of adore.

false self on the huff post - not sure how good this is yet, gotta run and will look at it later (or you tell me Wink )

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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Sat 15 Oct - 21:43

Alter egos are definitely a thing in the stories, starting with Padme and her handmaiden decoys





Obi-Wan goes by Ben during his exile in the desert and that name seems to stick as Leia and Han name their son after him.

Obviously the other big ones are Lightside-Darkside identities, especially because they've let drop in Bloodline that only a select few knew who was Vader was and who L & L's biological parents were until Leia's enemies used it against her. And sounds like it's the same with Ben, people are under the assumption he's missing, even if Han clearly recognizes his big emo stomping kid running off with Rey in his arms.

Finn has an alter ego or discovery of true self in being renamed from his ID # (which is a callback to both Leia's prison cell and the original art film which inspired that reference) by Poe. And Finn itself has to a tiny bit of a reference to Huck Finn.

Of course biggest question for the ST is if Rey's backstory reveals her to have a much different identity than just being a scavenger.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Sat 15 Oct - 21:50

@guardienne wrote:

you can probably make the same argument about kylo at least with the available evidence. if he always knew he would join the dark side, then puttin gon the costume projects the dark side stuff pretty effectively and he sort of becomes the dark lord that he always knew he was.

and if kylo ren is a false self, a capacity that is forced on him externally, well, then ben is there all along just waiting to come back.

i don't know. i adhere to a model of identity that poses it as an integrated whole, that isn't a mosaic. but i haven't really fiddled with these theories in a long time. and i would say that personality stays with the person, regardless of their gender.

@guardienne

Interesting thoughts. It does seem imposed in terms of his alone time with grandpa confessing that he feels the Pull to the Light and worrying that Snoke has noticed. And the collateral material does mention that Snoke won't allow his birth name to be spoken. So it's possible that Snoke may have dangled the "come be your true self" option as bait and then trapped him inside of a persona (essentially acting out the role of another family member when he was already being crushed under that) that's equally as false/destructive. However the thing with Rey is that when he's around her, he is very much who his true self actually is. Which is why he's so immediately drawn to her and so desperate for her to stay with him. And that may or may not mean that when he's with her, he's Ben (meaning the actual true self who's been struggling all along to come out and feel secure/confident/actualized).

Also as foils, Ben and Finn are going to be two very different men when they come face to face again, my money being that Finn is in the position of power, as "kind of a big deal" in the Resistance and also as Rey's de facto protective older brother. Ben's not going to be acting all cocky with his hair and swinging around his saber, especially with the mirroring scars that they have.


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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Sat 15 Oct - 22:16

Also think of Kasdan mentioning the Kurosawa quote about how it's the heroes who continue to evolve while the villains' identities are always fixed. None demonstrates the different identities in TFA better than his favorite character, Han. Rey and Finn's recognition of him are for different identities, is he a smuggler or a heroic leader of the Rebellion? Han's response is "I used to be." Part of his dynamic with Rey is that she nudges him (with Maz's backup) towards the parts of his identity that he feels conflicted about, both as a leader and as a husband/father. Or in his admission to Leia, "I went back to the one thing I was good at." While his death was tragic and has triggered plenty of fanboy outrage, it was both a moment of self-sacrifice and also courage in acting in the role he probably had the most ambivalence/insecurity about, as a father.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Sun 16 Oct - 0:05

@guardienne wrote:@sacrebleu

true and false self on wikipedia - stuff from winnicott, who i sort of adore.

false self on the huff post - not sure how good this is yet, gotta run and will look at it later (or you tell me Wink )

@guardienne

On the article about creating a false self, I think I get it....sort of.  I created a persona for my job because (A) I'm naturally prone to nervousness and anxiety and (B) I decided to go into a work environment that is extremely stressful and high pressure.  So I "pretend" and although it doesn't really change how I feel inside it enables me to cope.  But over time I suppose it has also subtly changed my perception and projection of myself, perhaps in response to how it alters other people's perception of me.  If perception is reality, then I guess I've changed.  Maybe.  It's an interesting question.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Sun 16 Oct - 16:37

@snufkin excellent points.

i think the difference with all the other assumed identities is that nobody denies it that person, they are allowed to exist as both hermit and powerful jedi knight and so on.

but star wars is all about mixing categories, so someone legitimately joining the dark side cannot be accepted as they are. but it had never even occurred to me that people do change names actually on the light side as well  WTH  

i for one welcome our category-mixing overlords



and you are right about han, but he never changes his name, so his identity isn't as overtly changed.

i think based on all the identity playing in the movie, people are expecting rey to have a different identity herself even though, in the course of the story she already has changed. and i agree that finn might change as well. i don't think he's written with that much meat to begin with but he has an unmasking scene so he definitely belongs in the trio.

here's a video on deadnaming, which i think explains it fairly well, again, i'm using trans identity as a symbol and nothing much else but it seems so weirdly applicable.



and i did think about snoke's insistence as well, that he not be named by his old name.

i keep thinking of religious orders who also require name changes. i can't remember what their rationale is.

these are all very scattered thoughts.

to me, the 'pull to the light' is weirdly inverted. think about it this way, he's not saying, supreme leader senses it, i don't know how long i can keep up this pretense of being with the dark side, he's asking for strength so he can be better at the DS. a friend of mine compared it to christian fundamentalism and people praying to be saved and accepted, except dude is asking the wrong team for the same.

if you think as the dark side as simply a rival school to the light, this means his faith and his conviction are wavering, not so much that he thinks of himself as being wrong where he is. i think this doubt is really important and it's a staple of faith stories. although, i would say that what they've done here is giving his family more prominence. he's not just struggling with his faith, he's also rejected for it summarily.

here's some insight into the catholic naming tradition:

In the Catholic tradition as well as in many other religious traditions and cultural traditions, the taking on of a new name is symbolic of entering into a new place in one’s life. In Scripture, there are many times when a person takes a new name. For example, Abram was given the name Abraham and Sarai the name Sarah (Genesis 17) to indicate that God had called them to a new place in their relationship with God and in their role in human history. Jesus called Simon to follow him and gave him a new name: Cephas which translates to Peter (John 1:42).

Taking on a new name is also common in our Catholic sacramental tradition. When a person is baptized or confirmed, she or he takes on a new name symbolizing the new life they have entered into.

[...]

Many religious communities required and continue to require new entrants to take a new name as a sign of their new life as a religious. Other communities allow a person to keep their baptismal name since our vocation is intimately linked to our baptismal call.

https://anunslife.org/how-to-become-a-nun/what-is-the-reasoning-behind-a-nun-or-sister-choosing-a-religious-name

some thoughts about changing cloth:

The wreath to which the Princess de Ligne refers also requires some explanation. Many orders used two wreaths, one made of flowers and the other of thorns, and some rituals asked the novice to choose between them:
Formerly, taking the veil and the profession took place . . . , alone in the presence of the Prioress and of the community. . . . Before she [the novice] receives the white veil, she approaches the communion window, and the Superior General cuts a lock of her hair. . . . Then he presents her with two wreaths, one of flowers and the other of thorns. The novice chooses the latter.
The allusion to the novice's desire to share the sufferings of Jesus is clear. In some orders, this crown of thorns features as the key element of the ceremony and reappears in the postulant's final profession. Traditionally the crown of thorns is placed on the body of a dead nun as she awaits burial in the chapel, an element from an earlier rite of passage repeating itself in this final ritual.

[...]

A naming ceremony completes the transformation of the novice's identity. The assumption of a new name is the apotheosis of the renunciation ritual; it marks the final stage of the novice's death to the world. "You no longer bear your father's name," the new nun hears, and she understands that the change of name guarantees her spiritual transformation and her definitive integration into the new community. The attribution of her new name in religion completes her transformation, marking her passage from her fleshly family to her new family in grace.

[...]

Whether imposed, negotiated, or freely chosen, the new name becomes a fully integrated element of the nun's identity, a process that demands our attention. Rejecting the nineteenth-century notion of taking the veil as a "cowardly retreat" for women incapable of facing the world, J. P. Peterson suggests that we consider their act as "a strong, although unusual, affirmation of the self. It is like a rejection (even a revolt against) a humiliating status, although it takes the form of a radical annihilation of self, an absolute humility, but this time in the name of God alone." If we follow Peterson's suggestion in our analysis of naming, then the name in religion features as both the symbol and tool of that affirmation.

[...]

The possibility of returning to one's family name and of wearing ordinary clothes radically called into question a long tradition of religious life. In the course of my interviews, some nuns expressed joy at being able to drop religious names and nuns' habits, both of which they associated with rule-bound formality rather than spiritual value. Others, however, perceived the abandonment of a religious name as a denial of the religious life. Even if they were perfectly willing to give up their habit for ordinary street clothes, they nonetheless understood their name in religion as invested with a certain sanctity.

the severity of it is really breath-taking to me, in the end it's a ritual symbolising the death of that person and their rebirth. so this is how transgender identity and religious life converge? Sapristi

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/w/wsfh/0642292.0033.028/--taking-the-veil-clothing-and-the-transformation-of-identity?rgn=main;view=fulltext (the article is a translation from french) i wonder what this is like for monks??

@sacrebleu

i guess you are doing something as an adult, winnicott of course talks about children. you are also more or less aware of it and you can come back to your 'true self'.

huff post wrote:Because it isn’t safe to be open about what is going on in the emotional atmosphere of the family or for that matter to even feel what is really going inside themselves, these children may learn to live a sort of emotional lie because unconsciously, they fear that letting in the truth will overwhelm them or those they love. Family members silently collude in creating the sort of false sense of normalcy that they feel is lacking in their family. Staying safe and “looking good” become of paramount importance. To this end children and even adults become what will please and protect the system rather than who they really feel like on the inside.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Sun 16 Oct - 17:33

since we are sort of on the subject of queer-coding...



To me Kylo’s unmasking scene in the torture chamber more than a little bit resembled when Ra unmasks himself in the first Stargate movie. The hard, cruel gray and black immobile feature-obscuring mask giving way to reveal a soft androgynous face and sensitive eyes. In the case of Stargate, particularly, strategically revealing the face of the actor that played a trans woman in The Crying Game just a couple years before, one of the most iconic and recognizable trans characters in film (for good or for bad).

https://destroyedforcomfort.com/2016/01/14/is-kylo-ren-queer-coded-well-yes-and-no/

wikipedia on mithraism - i'm not sure how or why this could be significant but i was digging around for a male initiation ceremony. this here is super-elaborate but i knew nothing about this *sigh* also it involves bull-slaying apparently. there used to be a really cool bit of writing about patricide possibly being a sacrament of the dark side.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Sun 16 Oct - 22:36

@guardienne wrote:@snufkin excellent points.

i think the difference with all the other assumed identities is that nobody denies it that person, they are allowed to exist as both hermit and powerful jedi knight and so on.

but star wars is all about mixing categories, so someone legitimately joining the dark side cannot be accepted as they are. but it had never even occurred to me that people do change names actually on the light side as well  :O_o:  

i for one welcome our category-mixing overlords



and you are right about han, but he never changes his name, so his identity isn't as overtly changed.

i think based on all the identity playing in the movie, people are expecting rey to have a different identity herself even though, in the course of the story she already has changed. and i agree that finn might change as well. i don't think he's written with that much meat to begin with but he has an unmasking scene so he definitely belongs in the trio.

here's a video on deadnaming, which i think explains it fairly well, again, i'm using trans identity as a symbol and nothing much else but it seems so weirdly applicable.



and i did think about snoke's insistence as well, that he not be named by his old name.

i keep thinking of religious orders who also require name changes. i can't remember what their rationale is.

these are all very scattered thoughts.

to me, the 'pull to the light' is weirdly inverted. think about it this way, he's not saying, supreme leader senses it, i don't know how long i can keep up this pretense of being with the dark side, he's asking for strength so he can be better at the DS. a friend of mine compared it to christian fundamentalism and people praying to be saved and accepted, except dude is asking the wrong team for the same.

if you think as the dark side as simply a rival school to the light, this means his faith and his conviction are wavering, not so much that he thinks of himself as being wrong where he is. i think this doubt is really important and it's a staple of faith stories. although, i would say that what they've done here is giving his family more prominence. he's not just struggling with his faith, he's also rejected for it summarily.

here's some insight into the catholic naming tradition:

In the Catholic tradition as well as in many other religious traditions and cultural traditions, the taking on of a new name is symbolic of entering into a new place in one’s life. In Scripture, there are many times when a person takes a new name. For example, Abram was given the name Abraham and Sarai the name Sarah (Genesis 17) to indicate that God had called them to a new place in their relationship with God and in their role in human history. Jesus called Simon to follow him and gave him a new name: Cephas which translates to Peter (John 1:42).

Taking on a new name is also common in our Catholic sacramental tradition. When a person is baptized or confirmed, she or he takes on a new name symbolizing the new life they have entered into.

[...]

Many religious communities required and continue to require new entrants to take a new name as a sign of their new life as a religious. Other communities allow a person to keep their baptismal name since our vocation is intimately linked to our baptismal call.

https://anunslife.org/how-to-become-a-nun/what-is-the-reasoning-behind-a-nun-or-sister-choosing-a-religious-name

some thoughts about changing cloth:

The wreath to which the Princess de Ligne refers also requires some explanation. Many orders used two wreaths, one made of flowers and the other of thorns, and some rituals asked the novice to choose between them:
Formerly, taking the veil and the profession took place . . . , alone in the presence of the Prioress and of the community. . . . Before she [the novice] receives the white veil, she approaches the communion window, and the Superior General cuts a lock of her hair. . . . Then he presents her with two wreaths, one of flowers and the other of thorns. The novice chooses the latter.
The allusion to the novice's desire to share the sufferings of Jesus is clear. In some orders, this crown of thorns features as the key element of the ceremony and reappears in the postulant's final profession. Traditionally the crown of thorns is placed on the body of a dead nun as she awaits burial in the chapel, an element from an earlier rite of passage repeating itself in this final ritual.

[...]

A naming ceremony completes the transformation of the novice's identity. The assumption of a new name is the apotheosis of the renunciation ritual; it marks the final stage of the novice's death to the world. "You no longer bear your father's name," the new nun hears, and she understands that the change of name guarantees her spiritual transformation and her definitive integration into the new community. The attribution of her new name in religion completes her transformation, marking her passage from her fleshly family to her new family in grace.

[...]

Whether imposed, negotiated, or freely chosen, the new name becomes a fully integrated element of the nun's identity, a process that demands our attention. Rejecting the nineteenth-century notion of taking the veil as a "cowardly retreat" for women incapable of facing the world, J. P. Peterson suggests that we consider their act as "a strong, although unusual, affirmation of the self. It is like a rejection (even a revolt against) a humiliating status, although it takes the form of a radical annihilation of self, an absolute humility, but this time in the name of God alone." If we follow Peterson's suggestion in our analysis of naming, then the name in religion features as both the symbol and tool of that affirmation.

[...]

The possibility of returning to one's family name and of wearing ordinary clothes radically called into question a long tradition of religious life. In the course of my interviews, some nuns expressed joy at being able to drop religious names and nuns' habits, both of which they associated with rule-bound formality rather than spiritual value. Others, however, perceived the abandonment of a religious name as a denial of the religious life. Even if they were perfectly willing to give up their habit for ordinary street clothes, they nonetheless understood their name in religion as invested with a certain sanctity.

the severity of it is really breath-taking to me, in the end it's a ritual symbolising the death of that person and their rebirth. so this is how transgender identity and religious life converge? :sapristi:

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/w/wsfh/0642292.0033.028/--taking-the-veil-clothing-and-the-transformation-of-identity?rgn=main;view=fulltext (the article is a translation from french) i wonder what this is like for monks??

@sacrebleu

i guess you are doing something as an adult, winnicott of course talks about children. you are also more or less aware of it and you can come back to your 'true self'.

huff post wrote:Because it isn’t safe to be open about what is going on in the emotional atmosphere of the family or for that matter to even feel what is really going inside themselves, these children may learn to live a sort of emotional lie because unconsciously, they fear that letting in the truth will overwhelm them or those they love. Family members silently collude in creating the sort of false sense of normalcy that they feel is lacking in their family. Staying safe and “looking good” become of paramount importance. To this end children and even adults become what will please and protect the system rather than who they really feel like on the inside.

@guardienne

They're definitely mining religious symbolism with the name change, disavowal of his birth name/identity, doubt of his religious faith in the Darkside, blood sacrament of killing his father, and the robes/mask to cover up the young man underneath. There's also an element of Han being a religious martyr in dying to save his son (we hope), likely that if it hadn't been him, Snoke probably would've ordered Ben to kill Rey in front of him ("bring her to meee") as both a test and way of eliminating her as a distraction/enemy of the FO.  My guess is that Ben will eventually realize that Snoke is a false prophet of the DS and come to realize how it's meant to be used/understood and fully embrace that as the balance with Rey. It's not for nothing that she has a kernel of darkness inside of her LS powers - that exists to both mirror and attract him.

Also in terms of secret identities/alter egos - the whole existence of Ben and his mother/uncle is because of the ultimate secret identity, a marriage which produced children. Part of the original fall was having to keep those feelings and relationship a secret, which ended up corrupting and destroying those around it. Including the eventual echoes of it causing Ben's fall. So whatever happens between him and Rey will likely be very much open, much public. That may also be part of 'finish what you started' and 'this will make things right' in terms of any mirroring they do to the romance/characters in the PT. He'll have to live with the full identity of what he did on behalf of Snoke and the FO going forward, in terms of atonement and how he reintegrates into society. Much like your examples of soldiers after war. But likely he and Rey won't have to keep their relationship and role of that relationship as a central part of their identities secret from the rest of the world, which is what poisoned his own family.

As for Rey, I don't think she'll have some shocking "I am your father" identity like how the GA expects. Her identity will be based on the hardships she faced and survived during her childhood and young adulthood as an orphan. The only 'missing piece' in terms of who her family were and how she ended up there, my guess is that it is tied back to whatever Snoke's plans are and that she's unfinished business for him (meaning he's ultimately responsible for what happened to her and her parents). That part makes sense to me in terms of also providing another reason for them to end up in conflict and for Ben to ultimately break with Snoke for all the reasons he's deceived/used him and ally himself with her. The knight and queen imagery (plus all his awkward chivalry) has to be there for some reason, right?


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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Sun 16 Oct - 22:56

this is from a kights templar magazine. i didn't realise they published online? is this a thing? i thought this would be secretive??!!

Under the umbrella title of "Freemasonry," the Knight Templar ritual is an example par excellence of a rite of passage, and I will try to convince you that this is so. Another ritual which has similar success is that of the Rose Croix Degree. When viewed superficially, Knight Templary is a ritual and a tradition which exhorts the candidate to lead a more Godly life, but it does more than this. It is a ritual which points to and prepares the candidate for important stages in the life of a Christian Knight in Christ's service. It can properly be called a rite of passage as it outlines the transformation of the soul. The journey on the spiritual path begins when the soul thirsts for God; he is then presented with opportunities for service to the Master. The Knight Templar ritual then leads him to the point when the Divine Name, the Word of Life, is revealed, and the candidate becomes more closely identified with Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

It seems to me that the Knight Templar ritual has telescoped these several stages of our journey through life into one ceremony, and as a consequence, much of the spiritual teaching and esoteric knowledge which the novice requires is not given to him in this ceremony. However, the candidate is directed to the one true source of divine wisdom, the Book of Gospels. As in the Craft, the rest is up to the new member! If the Ritual does nothing else, it provides him with both a foundation and a framework by which personal transformation and growth may be pursued in safety.

The ceremony of making a Knight is an excellent example of a rite of initiation. This view is supported by none other than G. E. W. Bridge who is quoted in the booklet published by Great Priory in London. He writes: "It is quite unlike any ritual of any order anywhere else in the world. Analysis of the degree shows that it embodies almost all the features of a complete rite of initiation viz: tyling, proper preparation, ritual garments, pilgrimage, warfare, penance, death, rest and refreshment, a new name, rebirth, enthronement and proclamation, and the long journey "home" across the mystical "middle sea."

http://www.knightstemplar.org/KnightTemplar/articles/20121023.htm

it describes the full initiation ritual and the role of the sword in the bible as well.

there's also this:

Warfare

The Crusader undergoes a period of seven years of warfare. This campaign is successful also. This period is a trial of his courage and constancy and represents the constant warfare we undertake against the lying vanities and deceits of this world.

As a reward for his valour, the candidate is now brought to Mt. Calvary, to the cross of our Lord, and he is invited to assist the marshal in unveiling it. He then beholds the inscription, that declaration and title which was placed over our Lord at His crucifixion. It is an inscription which is central to the Christian degrees and orders in Masonry.

i wonder why it was so important to show that he hadn't completed his training. i'm sure some of it had to do with the logistics of the movie, but it's interesting that whatever he's done has not been enough or it needed this period to establish his faith. (the period mentioned here is symbolic, i gather).

Our brother has received the Sacred Name itself, and he has written his own name on the stone which will be part of God's temple. The sword, which is sharp and quick, is often used as a symbol of the Word of God. The mystical stone, the Sacred Word, the sword, and the candidate himself are now bound together forever in a solemn and sacred bond.

dammit this is romantic.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by SanghaRen on Sun 16 Oct - 23:10

@guardienne

I was fascinated by Ra in Star Gate. I think my jaw dropped when Ra unmasks the same way it did when Kylo unmasked. You just made me want to watch the movie again.

I agree that when you pretend - to give you courage for example - at one point you change. Maybe not fundamentally, but you change. I always wondered how much actors put of themselves in a character. I think I mentioned this before but I was fascinated by Adam Driver being a Scorpio because I am seeing Kylo as a very typical Scorpio and it really made me wonder how much of himself AD put in Kylo. If you think about it, actors who immerse themselves in roles, probably have to deal with shifting identities.

I don't think one can split themselves in such a way that one alter ego is 100% pretend and fake. I think there is always going to be some link to your true yourself. But then what is one's true self? True self sounds so definite when in reality it is evolving. Anyway, isn't that what actors do, find a thread that links them to the character and build on it? The question is how much pretending will change you? If you look at actors in long lasting TV shows, they tend to resemble their characters after a while, don't you think? And we are all actors in our lives. Why is the clothing industry so successful? Because we try to dress the part. Some years ago a colleague was always telling me "oh, you're wearing your b*** boots today?" B*** was meant as not taking sith from anyone. She was right. When I was anxious and needed to boost myself to deal with some work issue, I was wearing these boots.

I think Kylo is Ben's fearless alter ego, the one that protects Ben from experiencing pain again. But Kylo is not built out of thin air. It's built on Ben's own angst and desire to be more self-confident and live up to 4 legendary figures. A survival method in the end because he did not get the support he needed as Ben Solo. Maybe one day he won't need that alter ego anymore but I don't think Kylo will ever disappear fully. It will be more a process of acknowledging why Ben needed Kylo and integrating the positive sides of Kylo - self-confidence for instance - while letting go of the other more negative sides.

OUAT is dealing with this topic too with Regina. Last season she thought she got rid of her Evil Queen side, but she re-appeared this season. OUAT is not the best TV show on the planet and I am starting to wonder if I'll continue to watch, but it's interesting to see that even here the identity struggle is a topic. The question of who am I. Am I a good person or a bad person? Would I be happier if I become someone else?

Just realized that there are other posts in the meantime. Sorry if I repeat what others are saying or if I am not aligned with the discussion anymore, but I took some time to write this one so I'll post anyway and read the other posts later.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Sun 16 Oct - 23:21

@sangharen not to worry about aligning yourself with the discussion, please.

i think i have been framing the story as an identity struggle for some time now, i needed a thread to discuss this but it turns out it's all leading to religious initiation rituals Razz

what is OUAT?

the questions the knights templar want to ask are

Who am I? Where do I come from? What am I doing here? Where am I going? How can I transcend the limitations of this physical world so that I may work with the Creator and become more God-like?

so very about identity.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Sun 16 Oct - 23:53

"Nun ergibt sich immer für eine solche Initiation, wie sie jetzt die Folge war bei einer Reihe der Tempelritter, auch die Möglichkeit, nicht nur zu sehen das Beseligende, das Göttliche, sondern auch die luziferischen und ahrimanischen Kräfte zu sehen. Alles das, was dem Göttlichen entgegenwirkt, alles das, was den Menschen in die ahrimanische Welt hinunterzieht und in die luziferische Welt hinaufzieht, all das erscheint neben dem Einblick in die normalen geistigen Welten dem, der eine solche Initiation durchmacht. All die Leiden und all die Versuchungen und all die Anfechtungen, die an den Menschen herankommen durch die dem Guten gegnerischen Mächte, denen steht der also Initiierte gegenüber, und er hat schon Augenblicke, in denen vor seinem geistigen Blicke, vor dem Seelenblicke schwindet die gute geistige Welt, und er sich wie gefangen sieht von dem, was Macht über ihn gewinnen will, und sich in den Händen sieht der ahrimanisch-luziferischen Mächte, die ihn ergreifen wollen, die sich seines Willens, Denkens, Fühlens, Empfindens bemächtigen wollen...

So lernte manch solcher Tempelritter kennen jenen teuflischen Drang, der sich des menschlichen Wollens und Fühlens bemächtigt, herabzuwürdigen das Mysterium von Golgatha. Und in den Traumbildern, von denen solch ein Initiierter heimgesucht werden kann, erschien manchem visionär - das war bei der Art, wie diese Initiation entstanden war, durchaus möglich, namentlich da ja die luziferischen Kräfte versuchend an der Seite standen - gewissermaßen die Kehrseite der Verehrung des Symbols des Kruzifixus. Er sah in der Vision, wie die menschliche Seele fähig werden konnte, zu verunehren das Kreuzessymbolum, zu verunehren die heilige Handlung der Konsekration der Hostie; er sah jene menschlichen Kräfte, welche dahin drängen, ins alte Heidentum wiederum zurückzuführen, anzubeten das, was die Heiden angebetet haben und zu verachten den christlichen Fortschritt. Wie die Menschenseele solchen Anfechtungen erliegen kann, das wußten diese Menschen, weil sie es bewußt überwinden mußten."

http://anthrowiki.at/Templerorden

this is steiner speaking (if you aren't familiar with him, i'm probably not much better than google, mainly because i didn't realise he would have given talks about the knights templar to begin with) (translation is all mine):

With any initiation of a knight templar you have cause to see the elevating powers and the divine but also the luciferian and ahrimanic powers. Everything that opposes the divine, anything that pulls man down into the ahrimanic world, all this will be revealed to the person who has insight into the normal spiritual world, in their initiation. All the suffering and the temptations, and the adversity that will approach them, the initiate has to face them all, and he will have moments in which before his mind's eye, before his soul's eye, vanishes the good spiritual world, where he will feel himself prisoner of what wants to hold power over him, and where he sees himself in the hands of the luciferic-ahrimanic powers, that want to grasp him, and want to get hold of his will, thinking, feeling ...

Thus many a knight templar has known that devilish drive that takes hold of human will and feeling, also vilifying the mystery of Golgatha. And in their dreams, the dreams the initiate can be haunted by, it appeared to some - it is possible the way the initiation works, the luciferian powers were on their side tempting them - as the inversion of crucifix worship. he would see in that vision how the soul of man was capable of de-honouring the crucifix, de-honouring the holy treatment of the holy bread; he saw the human powers that were driving back to the old paganism, to worship what the pagans had worshipped and to despise the christian progress. How the soul of man can fall for these challenges, these people knew because they had had to deal with these themselves.

sorry if this is wonky, i'm not a pro translator.

what's interesting, and i know so little about this, is how they were persecuted because philipp wanted their wealth. and also, according to steiner, how much they were for spreading the divine christian wisdom amongst people fairly stealthily i guess. i'm not really sure how present they would have been before they were all imprisoned.

there are also the teutonic knights, probably much more set on bloodshed seeing as they were part of the crusades? but then the knights templar were as well? if someone can clarify, i'm getting confused.

anyway, i remember seeing baphomet alongside this before, and whoahey, here he is. symbolising the worldly temptations.



i reckon they just threw all the possible accusations at them until they gave in. which is really sad but not uncommon.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Mon 17 Oct - 0:10

@snufkin

my identity theory framework is pretty ancient and rustic.

i would say that rey's identity is based on her function. i think we can do this for each character and see how they have become a different person in the space of the film.

i guess you could say that there is often a discrepancy between the functional identity and the, shallwesay, nominal identity? i don't know if this obvious to everyone but me. and what we've been talking about is the naming ceremonies in various rituals and how that aides the idea that this person is entering a new life. and this is literally how it works, except of course, they are probably still the same underneath all the disguise. and i'm guessing that struggles with faith are pretty normal (even on the light side) and that this is a lifelong commitment to faith.

but that the ritual satisfies our need for symbolic action. you can become a person without a baptism, but it's supremely satisfying to 'come out' in public in a ceremony. (likewise i'm now wondering whether transgender people have coming-out celebrations. i think they might help establish a new identity) for this reason, as you pointed out, it would be nice if the bond between kylo and rey would be a public affair, not something they have to hide shamefully. i like that reylo angle.

There's also an element of Han being a religious martyr in dying to save his son (we hope), likely that if it hadn't been him, Snoke probably would've ordered Ben to kill Rey in front of him ("bring her to meee") as both a test and way of eliminating her as a distraction/enemy of the FO.

but killing his own family is definitely a test of his faith. killing rey under any circumstance would be very much combat. han could only ever be a martyr, rey can't be that. i know what you're saying, but han's death would have significance for him personally, rey would have been another force-sensitive, if we are to believe he's eliminated them all already.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Mon 17 Oct - 0:32

@guardienne wrote:@snufkin

my identity theory framework is pretty ancient and rustic.

i would say that rey's identity is based on her function. i think we can do this for each character and see how they have become a different person in the space of the film.

i guess you could say that there is often a discrepancy between the functional identity and the, shallwesay, nominal identity? i don't know if this obvious to everyone but me. and what we've been talking about is the naming ceremonies in various rituals and how that aides the idea that this person is entering a new life. and this is literally how it works, except of course, they are probably still the same underneath all the disguise. and i'm guessing that struggles with faith are pretty normal (even on the light side) and that this is a lifelong commitment to faith.

but that the ritual satisfies our need for symbolic action. you can become a person without a baptism, but it's supremely satisfying to 'come out' in public in a ceremony. (likewise i'm now wondering whether transgender people have coming-out celebrations. i think they might help establish a new identity) for this reason, as you pointed out, it would be nice if the bond between kylo and rey would be a public affair, not something they have to hide shamefully. i like that reylo angle.

There's also an element of Han being a religious martyr in dying to save his son (we hope), likely that if it hadn't been him, Snoke probably would've ordered Ben to kill Rey in front of him ("bring her to meee") as both a test and way of eliminating her as a distraction/enemy of the FO.

but killing his own family is definitely a test of his faith. killing rey under any circumstance would be very much combat. han could only ever be a martyr, rey can't be that. i know what you're saying, but han's death would have significance for him personally, rey would have been another force-sensitive, if we are to believe he's eliminated them all already.

@guardienne

I definitely think that they're playing a little with issues related to identity/secrets, both in the spiritual and familial sense. Killing Rey wouldn't have martyred her as he's done this before to other FS. But if the Space Bear hints are a clue, he would literally be killing something/someone intrinsically tied to him via the Force. They just haven't realized that yet about one another and will have to fight/negotiate out that part of their relationship. As somebody else on here put it (apologies, can't remember which person it was), their dynamic is likely to have some elements of all consuming First Love with the identification/ties to one another, both via the Force and simply as young/attractive/lonely and traumatized young man and woman. Maybe that's what Lucas was aiming for and failed with in the PT.

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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Mon 17 Oct - 0:34

And Rudolph Steiner? The Anthoposophist? I grew up around a lot of hippies raised in that school of thought/the Waldorf system.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Mon 17 Oct - 0:49

@snufkin exactly that steiner Lolilol

it's true i forgot about the force bond. i know she is special to him more than whoever he's offed before and he's never wanted to off her anyway.

i'm kinda thinking as a true parallel she would have had to have a name change as well. and i guess snoke will have to do with that for reasons of story economy.

what i'm also wondering about is how much his commitment to the order and snoke is something he can undo or even wants to undo. you know, you can take the boy out of the dark side but you ca't take the dark side out of the boy... or something.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by SanghaRen on Mon 17 Oct - 0:56

OUAT is the show Once Upon A Time. It's about fairy tales but the stories are quite different as the ones we know. The quality of the show has decreased with time but it deals a lot with identity struggles. In the first season the characters, except for a few, do not remember that they are fairy tales characters because the whole city is under a spell that is finally lift off. There is always the underlining question of what makes a person a good person - a hero who in theory should get his/her happiness as a fairy tale character - or a bad person - a villain. Regina a.k.a. The Evil Queen is trying to get away from her villainy self to find happiness, but always stumbles across obstacles. Nowadays, the main character Emma a.k.a. The Savior is doubting her identity because her magic powers are again failing her. If she is not a savior anymore, who is she?

The show is going downwards because it wants to cram too many characters and story lines in one half-season. It's like there is a gambling on how many fairy tales or novel characters they can still include. It's a shame because the original characters were interesting enough and the actors are good so they could really take it slower and go deeper with the struggles of the characters.

I know nothing about the Knights Templar. Need to read what you sent.

I guess as animals that have developped consciousness, identity struggle is the one big thing that separates us from the non human animals. Although I sometimes wonder about whether other animals do not have a certain level of consciousness and hence experience identity struggles too. How would we know? I think consciousness only happened - sorry religous persons out there - not because we were chosen by God but because we freed ourselves from the constant survival mode leading us to have more mental freedom and connecting some dots. Whether it makes us better or happier, I am not sure. This ongoing search for who we are and where we fit in can really make us crazy. We will frantically consume because we think we are what we own or we will search for our spiritual self through religion or esoteric practice or we will put ourselves out there on social media to prove our existence and define who we think we are through multiple pictures. I am doing all 3 sometimes in the same day.

Today I was at yoga. One of the goals of yoga classes, when used for its original purpose and not only to get a beach body, is to just be here in the moment. A very tough one and that's why you put yourself in weird and challenging positions to shut down that ongoing voice in your head and just be in your body. Well, sometimes even in a yoga class, the voice is coming back telling me that I am a fraud because after 2 years, I am still lingering at level 0-1. I was hoping to become a decent yogi, but I am the lagging yogi, it seems. Today, the teacher asked me how to say a word in French, I told him and when I turned my head, I had all eyes on me "oh, she's French". 30 seconds before I was the average yogi and then I became the French one in a German class. But I don't want to be labeled French and be used as the representation of French people. It's very difficult to grasp our own identity but when around you people try to stick their labels on you, it's even harder. I guess that's how I see Ben and why I feel for him. Having a "son of / nephew of / grandson of" label being stuck on you when you are struggling yourself with your identity - which for a force user means struggling with how you're going to deal with your powers - is a tough one. Yes, I went from me feeling uncomfortable in a yoga class to Ben's struggle with the Force Very Happy

My posts are really not structured tonight. They usually aren't but it's worse tonight. I am not even sure what I am trying to say. I guess it's my Sunday evening "OMG tomorrow is Monday and I have to go to work again" stressed persona posting. Plus I realize that you are all very litterate while I come with my pop culture and personal experience. Well, I'd have an astrological explanation for it but won't go into it except to say lack of air element except for Mercury in Gemini which explains my unstructured posting style too.

And now good night.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Mon 17 Oct - 0:58

@guardienne wrote:@snufkin exactly that steiner :lolilol:

it's true i forgot about the force bond. i know she is special to him more than whoever he's offed before and he's never wanted to off her anyway.

i'm kinda thinking as a true parallel she would have had to have a name change as well. and i guess snoke will have to do with that for reasons of story economy.

what i'm also wondering about is how much his commitment to the order and snoke is something he can undo or even wants to undo. you know, you can take the boy out of the dark side but you ca't take the dark side out of the boy... or something.

@guardienne

I knew it! Those anthroposophists are an er, interesting bunch!

Rey likely does have an alternate identity/name from her pre-abandonment childhood and whatever happened to her parents. But as has been hinted, that isn't her belonging. To wit your can't take the X out of Y comment, no matter how powerful a Force user she becomes and whatever her backstory turns out to be, she'll likely "keep it real" by seeing herself as a scavenger from Jakku and continue to be seen as Rey.

As for his commitment, Han does say he's a boy, right? The full fall into a DS fueled Knights Templar movement is very much the actions of somebody fueled by youthful passion and hubris. Wanting to find something larger to ally himself with. Next step in his evolution, as with Rey's longing for a family, will be to move outside of that circle, into something slightly more on the maturity curve. That will come into play if the two of them are trapped together and forced to work together/evolve their relationship. No doubt Snoke will try to order him to either kill or break her because what she represents is a danger to his agenda in that he wants to keep Ben in an arrested/immature state of mind. Nothing forces growing up faster than being around the girl he's infatuated with.
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