Shifting Identities and the Force

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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Tue 1 Nov - 19:39

@zioren

i think the resistance are also terrorists if i'm feeling particularly egalitarian and i am for this thread Wink

one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter, n'est-ce pas?

i'd be quite ok with 'extremist' but not terrorist so much. i think extremism is less politically loaded somehow *cue hysterical laughter* well, it seems more neutral as a word to me anyway.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Darth Dementor on Tue 1 Nov - 19:43

guardienne wrote:@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.

@guardienne

This post made the Superman speech from Kill Bill Vol.2 comes to mind.


Truth is Ben is the real person but he is still trying to find out who that is. Kylo Ren is his interpretation of strength and power(Darth Vader) but that is not him. And it is a perverted and warped image of it. I surmised he tried to be a carbon copy his interpretation of Luke via being virtuous and morally flawless. Those are impossible to be all the time because everyone has some dark in them. When Ben tried to deny them it only made them stronger; gave those parts more control of him. He took it as a failure and believed he is just bad, like his grandfather, not realizing that his uncle himself struggled with the same inner turmoil.

Both cases he is trying to be something he isn't and are next to impossible to be...extremes to one side or another of the light and the dark.

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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Tue 1 Nov - 20:02

thanks for providing that scene @darth dementor i never got to that bit in the movie Razz

it's interesting how it describes superman well but i don't think it fits kylo/ben. and i think because, as far as i can tell, superman is sure what he is disguising. batman is sure what he is disguising. these guys are sure of what it is they are hiding.

the implication of both of these false selves is that this person was never themself, you know, and that's saying something about his environment more than him (i mean, in a medical reading this would be an incredibly unstable personality, i guess). i agree with you that mostly it is a performance, but both of them are a performance. i think when he meets han, this is the first time he's articulating himself to his parent. i don't think these words were ever said out loud before to anyone.

but also, to my mind, he becomes kylo ren in this moment, the performance becomes real. and i think he literally says, i am kylo ren, it's an affirmation of that identity, or he believes he's got a 'true self' that is not tainted by whatever he is doing. and somehow both of these are true to me?

when you think back to vader and his 'true self', his family basically want anakin back, the decent man, now of course it's debatable how decent anakin was but hey, let vader renounce his dark side identity and we can welcome him back. and the film i don't think ever addresses whether the does. but he becomes a person again by unmasking (yay!) and he also acts on his heart, which is probably good enough in the grander scheme of things. but it's interesting, in a neutral reading of what identity is, that he could be both, darth vader the dark lord and a father.

kylo/ben is a son who has chosen to deny himself his family and his legacy (to an extent or fully?) to do something which we don't know much about yet, and he likely knew that his family would summarily reject him for that, but he can only do it as performance which he has to somehow make real? it's boggling my mind a little.

i guess the bottom of this discussion is something about whether moral choices make you a different person? i'm not actually sure. but i welcome ideas Lolilol
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Wed 2 Nov - 1:20

@guardienne - the dual identities of good person/biological father versus dark lord is the crux of the issues in Bloodline, especially how his biological children have come down on which side they see him as embodying.  One child sees him as having redeemed himself and returned to the light whereas the other wishes at all costs to deny being his child because of the very real personal pain/damage he inflicted on her. One had the chance to get used to the idea of this person as their parent and be reconciled before that parent's death - likely fulfilled their underlying lifelong desire for a heroic father. The other never had the same opportunity and already having had an adoptive father who filled that role (also hey, sort of murdered by actual biological father, not helpful). Both of them are in denial, just about different parts of their father's life. The irony is that the fallout of this information damages Ben, the person they were trying to protect from that revelation. And put him on the path of trying to emulate the patriarch.  I do agree with the always spot on observations of @Darth Dementor, he's trying to be something he's not by likely emulating first the LS heritage of his family and now the DS. Which he can't because he's both Dark and Light. The next two movies have to be not just about him breaking free of whatever hold Snoke has over him and redeeming/atoning for his actions, but in reconciling his identity as somebody who's both. Not existing as part of the previous paradigm that it was binary between Light and Dark, he has to embody the full spectrum in order to truly be at peace with himself.

What I would be curious to see in the Ache-to scenes are what the concept will be about these two different sides and how the Force is meant to be used? With the lines about balance and Rey's introduction, as somebody who's a more intuitive (versus hanging around the Imperial Archives) Force wielder, there could be a philosophical discussion. I personally like the idea that her role is to break up the old Boy's Club mentality that's existed for both sides.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Sacrebleu on Wed 2 Nov - 9:28

guardienne wrote:@sacrebleu

i think the dark side and the light side could one way or another represent ideology, or dogma, but the force is not its own ideology. these people have a real connection to the force. the force is real, they aren't struggling with the doubt over whether it exists. they only struggle with the ideas around it. i don't know if that makes an actual difference, at the moment to me it does, i guess i'm interested in how much ideology keeps you rooted to certain practices and clouds but also reinforces your connection to the divine.

it could be that snoke wants rey killed but it would seem very... well, she is still un-subscribed to any ideology, isn't she? i guess if he wanted to wipe out all the jedi and/or convert them to the dark side. yeah. it's possible. we really don't know what snoke's plans are.

the line about compassion is from the novelisation as well. i wonder if snoke might want to eliminate her as a 'weakness' because she's a woman or because she's 'strong with the force'.
@guardienne

I wonder if he wants to eliminate her because he senses she's a potential weakness for Kylo ("you have compassion for her").  I keep wondering what exactly Snoke needs Kylo for, and why he's so afraid of Luke given that Luke disappeared years ago.  Why is Snoke certain that the Jedi will rise if Luke is found?  Maybe Snoke sees Rey as the person who could get Luke to do that?  Snoke's motives and abilities are very obscure, to say the least.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Wed 2 Nov - 16:08

Sacrebleu wrote:
guardienne wrote:@sacrebleu

i think the dark side and the light side could one way or another represent ideology, or dogma, but the force is not its own ideology. these people have a real connection to the force. the force is real, they aren't struggling with the doubt over whether it exists. they only struggle with the ideas around it. i don't know if that makes an actual difference, at the moment to me it does, i guess i'm interested in how much ideology keeps you rooted to certain practices and clouds but also reinforces your connection to the divine.

it could be that snoke wants rey killed but it would seem very... well, she is still un-subscribed to any ideology, isn't she? i guess if he wanted to wipe out all the jedi and/or convert them to the dark side. yeah. it's possible. we really don't know what snoke's plans are.

the line about compassion is from the novelisation as well. i wonder if snoke might want to eliminate her as a 'weakness' because she's a woman or because she's 'strong with the force'.
@guardienne

I wonder if he wants to eliminate her because he senses she's a potential weakness for Kylo ("you have compassion for her").  I keep wondering what exactly Snoke needs Kylo for, and why he's so afraid of Luke given that Luke disappeared years ago.  Why is Snoke certain that the Jedi will rise if Luke is found?  Maybe Snoke sees Rey as the person who could get Luke to do that?  Snoke's motives and abilities are very obscure, to say the least.
@Sacrebleu

I sort of figure they'll at least play with the motives both the Emperor and Vader had in the OT - who can influence/control this 3rd person to their ends? Both see Luke as somebody they can possibly overpower/control and use to eliminate the other. Has to be a little of that going on here. The irony being that Ben's test was set up to supposedly overcome Vader turning on the Emperor in favor of family. Proof of loyalty and being above sentiment. So possibly same here, Snoke will likely be calculating enough to want to toy with Rey if it ends up benefiting him with somebody stronger than Ben and probably less emotional. The fact that she has no family probably would make him believe that she'd be better with no conflicting loyalty. But there'll definitely be an order to eliminate her now that she's become 'dangerous' enough to be outside of Snoke's sphere of influence and with Luke.

Question I have is whether or not Snoke has any connection to the disappearance of her parents and her growing up isolated as an orphan. So far my guess is that there are too many things which are connected in this story, that it has to be the case. Which will make this conflict interesting, beyond the guess of everybody here that these two will develop feelings for each other that will complicate the Supreme Leader's orders.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Wed 2 Nov - 22:25

This is worth double posting, but to answer @guardienne's earlier question, maybe the issue isn't one's true identity, but in denying one's shadow. Not necessarily our "bad" sides, but the darker and more difficult sides. Which right now for Ben is The Light (Leia can feel that it's still in him), symbolized big time in Finn's decision to follow his conscience in the beginning and in Ben's interactions with Rey. Like can't get more direct than having her name be a euphemism for light. And we know from Bloodline that Leia has been in MAJOR denial about her own parentage (not for entirely wrong reasons) to the point that it entraps her own child. Haruki Murakami may not have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, but he did just get the Hans Christian Anderson award and had some very on point comments to make. It's not dual identities, it's about accepting both your Light and your Shadow. Ben's oscillating from one extreme to the other, hence the chaos. And you'd imagine in the next one, Rey has to face to now that she's been shaken out of the belief that she had a family who were coming back to get her.

Haruki Murakami cautions against excluding outsiders Celebrated novelist’s acceptance of the Hans Christian Andersen literary award led to a speech on confronting the inner darkness of people, society and nations

“just as all people have shadows, every society and nation, too, has shadows”, and “if there are bright, shining aspects, there will definitely be a counterbalancing dark side. If there’s a positive, there will surely be a negative on the reverse side.”

“At times we tend to avert our eyes from the shadow, those negative parts. Or else try to forcibly eliminate those aspects. Because people want to avoid, as much as possible, looking at their own dark sides, their negative qualities. But in order for a statue to appear solid and three-dimensional, you need to have shadows. Do away with shadows and all you end up with is a flat illusion. Light that doesn’t generate shadows is not true light,” said the novelist.

He continued: “You have to patiently learn to live together with your shadow. And carefully observe the darkness that resides within you. Sometimes in a dark tunnel you have to confront your own dark side.


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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Thu 3 Nov - 18:03

@sacrebleu patience, you've got to learn patience Wink

i'm sure some of snoke's plans and powers will be revealed and i'm hoping they won't totally generic. if he's a kind of papl figure and basically eliminating the competition... well, maybe he's creating a new kind of force user? we don't even know what kind of dark side thing he's running.

@snufkin

i'm expecting a reconciliation that is an acknowledgement of the shadow. we need this shadow and we need people to explore the shadow. but the dark side, as it stands so far, is also something that is real to people. so, whilst everyone expects a return to the light, i think some people would like for the emergence of a kind of powerful witch king, and i can understand that. not in the sense of kylo ren overtaking where snoke leaves off but in him attaining dark side power and to stay with that? i don't know if this makes much sense. the old movie did not explore the dark side as a legit path at all. we can see there is great power to it, but at the moment it comes at the price of fracturing and corrupting his personality. i don't think that is necessary in itself.

you see, i don't know whether leia and han have it right necessarily.

i think ben has a conscience, kylo has a conscience, these things haven't gone away, and before we know anything about his back story i'm hesitant to decide whether this story is about him feeling the pull to the light and following it to leave everything behind, everything that seems to have meaning, even if it's corrupted, or whether there is a third choice.

i think there is a third choice. i bloody hope there is one.

again, when crossreading this with the matrix, it's interesting that neo is able to intuitively choose the option that is not presented. it's done pretty schematically, but between a black and a white choice, he chooses the one that *feels* right. and we can see that in that kind of instance, kylo would probably choose rey, but i'm not sure that's a very smart answer to his own existential dilemma. it's nice to have a partner, but it seems a bit of a cop-out especially since it mirrors vader so well. so, if they are doing this, they gotta move on from there and develop more story. because that's kinda lame.

sorry, dunno if we are talking at cross-purposes, i'm kinda just riffing at this stuff and talking myself to places WTH
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Thu 3 Nov - 18:31

@guardienne - I think what they'll explore is the 3rd choice, that he has to be both and that trying to follow either extreme (Light under Luke's guidance or Dark under Snoke's 'teaching') isn't the path he's meant for. And that trying to hew to either end of a binary is what caused problems both for the society and for him personally. Whatever relationship they have set up with Rey is about pulling him into that 3rd choice, likely because she's also somebody outside of that paradigm (or as I've hoped, somebody who's there to break up the Old Boy's Club model for the two opposing sides).
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Thu 3 Nov - 19:33

@snufkin i guess i'm struggling with finding him being pulled to her simply because she's a girl and his equal and whatnot, to be very narratively satisfying.

i'm not sure he needs saving in the first place. or redeeming as such. (i might be playing devil's advocate here). i guess i haven't seen enough emphasis on how much they are both outside the paradigm. but it's mostly fanfic projection so i might just have to step back from letting that colour my perception of the story going forward.

i'm guessing that some of the disaster surrounding luke has to do with the discrimination facing force-sensitives. and that would only have increased with the revelation of his heritage.

anyway, i agree rey is likely there to break up the boys' club that's been established.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Thu 3 Nov - 19:50

@guardienne - while there will be elements of being pulled to her because she's female/his equal, it'll be more complicated than that. And it will work in the converse for her in part because once they get into the back story of what happened vis Luke and she gets those details, that in turn will pull her in his direction.

Personally I think that they've already established that he's very much made a very bad bargain, either a deal with the devil or the example from fairytales/the Fae where a human is tricked into making a bargain that will ultimately destroy him. He's entered into that compact with Snoke, tried to prove he can follow through by following orders to murder his father (proving that unlike his grandfather he's not loyal to family/blood), and will likely start VIII trying even harder to prove that he's the darkest dark that ever darked. He can't take on Snoke alone and since it's hinted that Snoke will ultimately use and destroy him, he's in big time denial. The 'personal interests' impulse are tiny rebellions, but he's in over his head the same way his father was with Jabba. So he at least needs help, both with that aspect and whatever larger cause he believes that he needs to fulfill, which is where Rey comes in. So my guess it that as with stories mentioned here like East of the Sun, West of the Moon - she's going to have to break both the spell on him and face down the actual Big Bad (Snoke) to save both him and their galaxy. He won't revert back to the person he was before, but will finally be his true self. Likely somebody with both elements of Dark and Light in him and more able on his own (the ronin analogies) to function in this new paradigm, without a master or having to repress 1/2 of himself.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Thu 3 Nov - 20:32

@snufkin

you are so right Evil

sorry, this sounds good and solid and i have very little to say for the moment.

i think we don't know enough about snoke and the KOR and he who 'destroyed luke's work' and all that so i'm going to reserve judgement - probably forever. at least for the moment. i think the film establishes enough ambiguity for me to think there is a chance that the dark side and the corruption we are presented aren't the same.

i'm also not sure destroying snoke is particularly exciting. but again, we don't know how his power manifests and whether it can be withdrawn and what his plan is. i don't think snoke is great either, i'd have to do read the life debt novel probably to get some more impression of his alter senatorial ego.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Thu 3 Nov - 21:41

@guardienne - if the model is a dark fairy tale, then I tend to think of Snoke as being like one of the Fae folk. Susanna Clark and Guillermo del Toro are the two writers I can think of who know that genre and conventions down cold and portray them really well as properly frightening and sublime antagonists. Who always trick and entrap humans into bargains they'll lose and end up paying with their blood. Ben got his name in honor of the man who led to his father meeting his mother, without whom he would've been murdered quickly by a powerful antagonist he'd gambled against and lost (and who she killed in the most vicious/retributive way possible). Ben's made the same Devil's Deal with Snoke in exchange for something that like all stories about bargains with fairies (or The Monkey's Paw) end up being deadly traps. That's not to say that there won't be elements to truth and honor to the cause he's been serving with the KoR, especially once they reveal what exactly Luke was up to. But he's also signed away his soul and if things don't change for him, it'll eventually be a death warrant.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by Armadeus on Fri 4 Nov - 4:07

snufkin wrote:He won't revert back to the person he was before, but will finally be his true self.
@snufkin

That reminds me of the novel The Last Unicorn:

Peter S. Beagle wrote:I'm not poor Haggard, to lose my heart's desire in the having of it. But there are wizards and wizards; there is black magic and white magic, and the infinite shades of gray between — and I see now that it is all the same. Whether I decide to be what men would call a wise and good magician — aiding heroes, thwarting witches, wicked lords, and unreasonable parents; making rain, curing woolsorter's disease and the mad staggers, getting cats down from trees — or whether I choose the retorts full of elixirs and essences, the powders and herbs and banes, the padlocked books of gramarye bound in skins better left unnamed, the muddy mist darkening in the chamber and the sweet voice lisping therein — why, life is short, and how many can I help or harm? I have my power at last, but the world is still too heavy for me to move, though my friend Lír might think otherwise." And he laughed again in his dream, a little sadly.

The unicorn said, "That is true. You are a man, and men can do nothing that makes any difference." But her voice was strangely slow and burdened. She asked, "Which will you choose?"

The magician laughed for a third time. "Oh, it will be the kind magic, undoubtedly, because you would like it more. I do not think that I will ever see you again, but I will try to do what would please you if you knew...."

Years later, when a fan asked Beagle if, in the end, Schmendrick the Magician was indeed happy, Beagle answered: 'No... but he was more himself.'
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Fri 4 Nov - 4:53

@Armadeus - great quote! It seems like the writers have him oscillating between these two different sides of himself, the side which is imbued with Light Power and the side which is imbued with Dark Power. And that's driven him bonkers, especially in trying to suppress part of himself. So he has to continue moving, almost like a Foucoult's Pendulum (you can imagine being around Rey, she's the literal force of gravity unwittingly pulling him in that direction), towards a sane/healthy center between these two poles. He can't function as one or the other, he has to be both. And so far it sounds like he's had Luke and his parents try to get him to be just Light and suppress the Dark. That didn't work and the Dark came out big time, so he fell prey to Snoke, who's now forcing him to suppress his Light Side while taking advantage of his Darkness. He has to break free not just of Snoke, but of being put into this binary and learn to be somebody who has elements of both in him and when to use one versus the other. Like you said, he will ultimately not be happy (seems to much of a broody personality like his mother), but he'll be the person he's supposed to be.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Fri 4 Nov - 15:38

@snufkin i'm glad you keep mentioning Faust, i actually hadn't really thought about this  Shy

it's interesting that Faust's story ends in tragedy, at least in goethe's version, it's also interesting that marlowe made faust suggest the wager, goethe makes it mephisto's idea. (i've never read the marlowe version)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faust
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Fri 4 Nov - 16:29

@guardienne - yep, those kind of bargains, Faust, the Monkey's Paw, the Fae Folk, it never ends well. Supernatural forces always make these bargains with the intention of cheating or putting one over on the mortal. Ben's now in that exact same position. He's admitted that he was "weak and foolish like his father" and we know that Han's fatal flaw in the beginning was being arrogant/self serving enough to make a deal with the Devil and then see it close in around him. It's only due to meeting/bargaining with the older Ben that Han's ultimately able to escape that trap, thanks to the woman he falls in love with.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Fri 4 Nov - 16:32

@snufkin i understand there is a danger to these bargains. it's a morality tale after all.

it also fits with the specific sorcery. i feel that in han's case this is obviously much less pronounced (he bargains with ben kenobi??) but it's an interesting father and son parallel.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Fri 4 Nov - 16:40

@guardienne - Han bargains with Jabba in taking on the smuggling job, dumping the cargo because he was boarded, and then trying to smarm his way out of the penalties that he'll have to pay for lost cargo with maximum penalties. The whole "Han shot first" scene. Greedo's appearance shows that he's more than happy to just kill him and take his ship as payment for Han's debts. Hence Han "only in it for the money", first from Ben and then Leia. You suspect no matter the mitigating circumstances, Ben made his Faustian bargain with Snoke in part thinking that he could get the benefits without facing the consequences. Which Han calls him out on, likely not just because he has some knowledge/prior dealings with Snoke but because he has first hand experience thanks to Jabba. Not to say Rey's gonna be a in gold bikini and strangle the Supreme Leader, but it's gonna take something or somebody to get Ben out from under this bargain.

And credit for that observation (like many things) goes to @Darth Dementor for saying that like his dad being a f**k-up when it comes to smuggling, Ben's kind of a f**k-up when it comes to being a villain.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Fri 4 Nov - 16:44

snufkin wrote:@guardienne - Han bargains with Jabba in taking on the smuggling job, dumping the cargo because he was boarded, and then trying to smarm his way out of the penalties that he'll have to pay for lost cargo with maximum penalties. The whole "Han shot first" scene. Greedo's appearance shows that he's more than happy to just kill him and take his ship as payment for Han's debts. Hence Han "only in it for the money", first from Ben and then Leia. You suspect no matter the mitigating circumstances, Ben made his Faustian bargain with Snoke in part thinking that he could get the benefits without facing the consequences. Which Han calls him out on, likely not just because he has some knowledge/prior dealings with Snoke but because he has first hand experience thanks to Jabba. Not to say Rey's gonna be a in gold bikini and strangle the Supreme Leader, but it's gonna take something or somebody to get Ben out from under this bargain.

And credit for that observation (like many things) goes to @Darth Dementor for saying that like his dad being a f**k-up when it comes to smuggling, Ben's kind of a f**k-up when it comes to being a villain.
@snufkin

you'll want to tag @darth dementor like so Wink (with speech marks)

i'm not sure he thinks he can get away with it, i'm not doubting that he's a crap villain (don't tell him i said that!), but i have a feeling he knew this would entail sacrifice and rationalised that at the time.

i can't remember how faust talks himself into it, but i think he is bored with the progress he is making? i'm not getting a sense of boredom from this kid here anyway.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Fri 4 Nov - 17:28

@guardienne - I was in too much of a rush to remember the quote mark rule for compound names, so thanks.

Agree with you that he signed on to the bargain knowing the sacrifice part and rationalized it. Being young and likely reckless/idealistic, it probably was very attractive to him. The feeling at that age where you want to give yourself up to something greater. But the "personal interests" Hux calls him out on (biggest one being Rey) are these tiny rebellions against the bargain. And he's not bored with his progress, but he's definitely miserable and knows that the clock is running out on his usefulness to Snoke.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Fri 4 Nov - 20:01

@snufkin sorry didn't mean to patronise you, i thought maybe you'd not know Shy

no, i mean, faust entered into this because he was bored with the science he was conducting. so mephisto turns up and offers to show him the ways of the world. i think mephisto promises to exhaust all his desires? which in spiritual terms i think is always a doubtful proposition. and i think mephisto is sure that he can do this. and he will have faust's soul (as is his wont). and faust falls in love, which is a very fitting turn for this board.

but it all goes wrong. (i studied goethe's play for a class on child murder, because gretchen does kill her baby and that was one of the instances of a male writer actually not demonising the woman for doing this. ... either way i hope the tragic turn this takes is not something i'll have to contend with)

i might reread over the weekend.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Fri 4 Nov - 20:15

guardienne wrote:@snufkin sorry didn't mean to patronise you, i thought maybe you'd not know Shy

no, i mean, faust entered into this because he was bored with the science he was conducting. so mephisto turns up and offers to show him the ways of the world. i think mephisto promises to exhaust all his desires? which in spiritual terms i think is always a doubtful proposition. and i think mephisto is sure that he can do this. and he will have faust's soul (as is his wont). and faust falls in love, which is a very fitting turn for this board.

but it all goes wrong. (i studied goethe's play for a class on child murder, because gretchen does kill her baby and that was one of the instances of a male writer actually not demonising the woman for doing this. ... either way i hope the tragic turn this takes is not something i'll have to contend with)

i might reread over the weekend.
@guardienne

No worries, not patronizing at all! Other example I thought of was the play Tom Waits did with William S Burroughs and Robert Wilson, the Black Rider. It played in San Francisco and I saw it because Marianne Faithful plays the Devil. It's where a young man has to prove himself a competent hunter to win the hand of his sweetheart, so he makes a deal with the Devil for 3 magic bullets. And at the end of the story, he wins the hand of his bride after using 2 bullets and the 3rd bullet ends up killing his wife at the moment they're married. So good intentions (they wanted to be married) but the Devil always collects his pay at the end of the bargain. Can see the same thing here, especially because Snoke already appears canny enough to manipulate his insecurities.
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by guardienne on Fri 4 Nov - 20:24

@snufkin i remember hearing about that play back in the day.

there are lots of stories like that. there are also stories of people outwitting the devil but i can't see that happening here. and i don't like clever copouts anyway, i want the whole hog of consequence. but what's important is that the devil can only do this with a willing person, they can't be coerced, i don't think.

and all this fits with the underworld imagery that's come up again and again in discussion. is kylo trapped in the underworld already?
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Re: Shifting Identities and the Force

Post by snufkin on Fri 4 Nov - 20:33

@guardienne - no you're right, the Devil can only trick the willing. And he is Hell/the Underworld with all of the imagery and his persona. Just that as they also borrow heavily from Fairy Tales, there's also the spell cast by the villain which imprisons one of the characters. And it's up to the hero/heroine (especially in the discussions about East of the Sun, West of the Moon) to outwit the villain and free the Prince who's held under this spell.
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