The Big Picture: Destined for Disappointment, Part 2

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Destined for Disappointment, Part 2

MovieBob details why the Star Wars prequel is actually the best example of a "Destiny" story.

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Very interesting Bob... Best to just throw "Destiny" as a concept, word and whatnot out the window out of creative works otherwise they become quagmired in it.

I still don't think the prequels are very good, but after watching this, I will be able to go back and watch them with a new perspective. I don't like destiny either, and the idea of having a prophecy actually be the downfall of the good guys because they were fools to believe in it actually appeals to me a great deal.

I don't know if Lucas was indeed thinking this when he made those films, but if he was, then I must say, I'd be willing to tip my hat to him for the first time in years.

That is actually a really good viewpoint, I have to say.

So you're saying that the prequels disrobed the Jedi of their mystique and status even further than I've thought of? And this in what I thought was going to be some sort of tangential, seminal praise towards the prequels.

Well done, Bob. You manage to have more interesting twists and turns than 90% of all movies out there. Even those yet to come out of their shell. This comment is oozing with bad puns.

Somehow I doubt Lucas did this on purpose. It's more a side effect of weaving the prequels to the originals.

To be honest, Bob, I'm wondering if you're not giving Lucas too much credit. I mean, I think George came out and said that Anakin actually /was/ the Chosen One all along (since he did kill the Emperor in the end and brought "balance to the Force"). Granted, they--Vader in the narrative and George when writing the films--did the whole destiny thing in a very round-about way that no one anticipated, but they did it.

To be even more ironic: If the SW prequels were so 'smart' with the destiny plot (as in, it turned out not be correct), than the original trilogy messed that up, because Anakin at the end does fulfil his destiny and brings balance to the force by killing the bad guy.

So in this sense, the prequel trilogy is actually smarter and the original is dumbed down for a wider audience...?

And more, the history repeats itself in the official canon sequels, so the prequels are even smarter by predicting how the future will again be messed up by believing in the chosen one!

TheMemoman:
So you're saying that the prequels disrobed the Jedi of their mystique and status even further than I've thought of? And this in what I thought was going to be some sort of tangential, seminal praise towards the prequels.

Well done, Bob. You manage to have more interesting twists and turns than 90% of all movies out there. Even those yet to come out of their shell. This comment is oozing with bad puns.

Hey hey! That kind of Humor belongs in a sewer.

Except Lucas has come flat out and said in an interview that Vader kills the last sith and brings balance to the force with his son...

edit:

Go about to about 12:40 (can't remember how to do the youtube time thing)

Nice try though.

Are you sure that destiny didn't actually happened as the prophecy said? Anakin DID bring balance to the force, by slaughtering a lot of the good force users which outnumbered the evil guys by a big margin (2 Sith vs a couple thousand Jedi's ). The force was out of balance in favor of the light side.

Sgt. Sykes:
To be even more ironic: If the SW prequels were so 'smart' with the destiny plot (as in, it turned out not be correct), than the original trilogy messed that up, because Anakin at the end does fulfil his destiny and brings balance to the force by killing the bad guy.

Except killing the bad guy takes out the last of the Sith, which actually unbalances the Force by making it too lopsided on the good side. Doesn't it?

Isn't Anakin wiping out most of the Jedi so that there's basically just two light/good Force users and two dark/evil Force users left alive in the end "bringing balance to the Force?"

This sounds to me less like the Jedi being duped into following a false prophecy and more like Jedi being idiots who misinterpreted a prophecy.

thejboy88:
I still don't think the prequels are very good, but after watching this, I will be able to go back and watch them with a new perspective. I don't like destiny either, and the idea of having a prophecy actually be the downfall of the good guys because they were fools to believe in it actually appeals to me a great deal.

I don't know if Lucas was indeed thinking this when he made those films, but if he was, then I must say, I'd be willing to tip my hat to him for the first time in years.

Well, as my dad managed to point out to me one time, the government and society established in the Prequel Trilogy were meant to fail in the first place because of how badly they were set-up if you actually take the time to analyze it. And unlike multiple other people who were supposed to be intelligent, including the jedi, Palpatine saw the loop holes and you know the rest.

While Bob's analysis with the whole destiny issue put's a whole other spin on things, Palpatine would have succeeded no matter what, and Anikin was just a fluke that happened to make his plans become even more successful than he originally thought.

Anakin did bring balance to the force by killing all the jedi, he reduced there numbers to be more inline with how few sith there were.

At the end of episode 3 there are 2 sith and 2 jedi that's balance.

There may be nothing else good about the TMNT trailer, but at least the "just a mask" joke makes me smile a little.

Interesting... But, I was more wondering about what exactly "bring balance to the force" actually meant.

I mean, there's a a metric shit ton Jedi on one side, and the "Rule of Two" Sith on the other. I thought that is was obvious that to fulfill the prophecy of bringing "balance of the force", Anakin was going to be to culling the majority the Jedi to bring their numbers down to be on par with the Sith.

Rawbeard:
Somehow I doubt Lucas did this on purpose. It's more a side effect of weaving the prequels to the originals.

I agree. Over the years I've come to form the opinion that Star Wars became successful despite Lucas' best efforts, not because of them. The fact that the prequels subvert the whole "chosen one/destiny" plot device (albeit in a ham-handed fashion) was probably just an accident. I doubt that it was stylistically designed to be that way. Bob is perhaps giving George Lucas a little too much credit.

What's also interesting about Star Wars is that while the mythos uplifts destiny, Jedi, and Order as this outstanding and special thing, the best, most memorable characters and events are all based around Everyman. It's one solid reason the prequels don't stack up as well - the Jedi are simply the least interesting part of Star Wars.

While Luke and Vader are off romanticizing medieval combat because 'destiny', the majority of the action is regular people fighting hard battles. Even in SW video games, the best stories and characters are those that either have no force powers (Republic Commando, Battlefront, Rogue Squadron) or have this Jedi destiny, but reject it (Dark Forces saga). While KotoR certainly has Jedi characters, there's a rejection of destiny there as well, and the game is designed where it is very hard to beat without relying heavily on regular old humans with blasters, and even droids.

Destiny is certainly present in most of Star Wars related stuff but unlike most media that uses it, it recognizes that you can't win a battle strictly by hope - it should only be a small part of a much bigger whole.

Interesting take on how following a bad/false prophecy led to the ruination of the Jedi, Bob. While the prequels were poorly executed, there were some good points buried underneath the crap.

(star wars nerd out incoming)

I think one of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that "the prophesy to bring balance to the force" was inherently a good or positive thing. Balance doesn't mean good, it means even.

Prior to the fall of Anakin you had on side Evil the two darths, master and apprentice, presumable also a few other not quite apprentices/padawan types as discussed in the EU but in universe, you had Sidious Maul, then Sidious Dooku, then Sidious Vader, but always two. On the side of Good you had the council made up of 12(ish) Masters there were also countless other masters and thousands of knights and padawans remember Mace Windu took over 200 jedi who were free at the time to Geonosis including 10 masters. Thats WAY out of balance.

After the fall you had (in the movies) Sidious Vader and Yoda Obi Wan, 2 V 2 arguably equality to the sides. Yoda and Obi Wan didnt want Luke to "fulfill the destiny of bringing balance' they wanted him to restore the imbalance that they had grown accustomed to.

So you could say that the prophesy was a warning that was ignored, and as such fulfilled, rather than one that they tried to accomplish and in doing so destroyed themselves. If the council had been mindful they would have said "wait he is going to bring balance to the force? (Snap-hiss VRRRRMMM ~AHHHHHH~) Jedi Custodial service we are going to need a clean up in the council chamber please."

really love that cultural iconoclasm don't cha Bob?

Don't get me wrong it's a powerful tool in this day and age where we're trying to figure out what our decade stands for, and usually with strong directors its used well, but I think it takes more than calling out 'old fashioned isms' or turning concepts on their head in media, to determine how fresh a film is, but how well or honest any new idea or old trope is handled by a writer or director.

Maybe it should be a call for no more laziness or free passes in fiction.

all victories and trust must be earned, physically and emotionally and character relationships should appear genuine, even the duplicitous ones.

I think there can be better ways to use destiny other than what this seems like akin to Spec Ops: The Line. "blindly following orders or prophecies, without asking questions or using your moral sense."

And maybe that's the diagnosis of weakened character in action-adventure fiction. Its where the hero or heroine doesn't get to make such critical choices, and succeed as a bumbling human like the rest of us, or have to screw up and go-for-broke when their destiny feels like its on-rails.

Shjade:

Except killing the bad guy takes out the last of the Sith, which actually unbalances the Force by making it too lopsided on the good side. Doesn't it?

Lord Hosk:
(star wars nerd out incoming)

I think one of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that "the prophesy to bring balance to the force" was inherently a good or positive thing. Balance doesn't mean good, it means even.

Prior to the fall of Anakin you had on side Evil the two darths, master and apprentice, presumable also a few other not quite apprentices/padawan types as discussed in the EU but in universe, you had Sidious Maul, then Sidious Dooku, then Sidious Vader, but always two. On the side of Good you had the council made up of 12(ish) Masters there were also countless other masters and thousands of knights and padawans remember Mace Windu took over 200 jedi who were free at the time to Geonosis including 10 masters. Thats WAY out of balance.

After the fall you had (in the movies) Sidious Vader and Yoda Obi Wan, 2 V 2 arguably equality to the sides. Yoda and Obi Wan didnt want Luke to "fulfill the destiny of bringing balance' they wanted him to restore the imbalance that they had grown accustomed to.

So you could say that the prophesy was a warning that was ignored, and as such fulfilled, rather than one that they tried to accomplish and in doing so destroyed themselves. If the council had been mindful they would have said "wait he is going to bring balance to the force? (Snap-hiss VRRRRMMM ~AHHHHHH~) Jedi Custodial service we are going to need a clean up in the council chamber please."

Again, like I said in the previous video thread, you two are both working from a fundamental misunderstanding of what "bring balance to The Force" actually means.

It doesn't mean balance between light and dark. It means that dark no longer exists. Dark Side practitioners naturally imbalance the force by twisting it to their own selfish and nefarious purposes. The main purpose and goal of the Jedi order is to bring The Force back it it's natural state, balanced.

Palora:
Are you sure that destiny didn't actually happened as the prophecy said? Anakin DID bring balance to the force, by slaughtering a lot of the good force users which outnumbered the evil guys by a big margin (2 Sith vs a couple thousand Jedi's ). The force was out of balance in favor of the light side.

Shjade:

Sgt. Sykes:
To be even more ironic: If the SW prequels were so 'smart' with the destiny plot (as in, it turned out not be correct), than the original trilogy messed that up, because Anakin at the end does fulfil his destiny and brings balance to the force by killing the bad guy.

Except killing the bad guy takes out the last of the Sith, which actually unbalances the Force by making it too lopsided on the good side. Doesn't it?

Isn't Anakin wiping out most of the Jedi so that there's basically just two light/good Force users and two dark/evil Force users left alive in the end "bringing balance to the Force?"

This sounds to me less like the Jedi being duped into following a false prophecy and more like Jedi being idiots who misinterpreted a prophecy.

That was always the way I looked at. I know it's not true, lucas is just a modern day ed wood, but it's a much cooler way of looking at it. If you watch clone wars and stuff the Jedi at this point had a real stigma for running the galaxy like a police state. It wasn't true but the Sith really took advantage of it.

I think it's a much better interpretation to see that anakin did indeed bring balance to the force by wiping out the jedi.

One a side note I tried rewatching the prequels mainly ROTS but man they are so unwatchable on every level. Every one of them. Out of the entire trilogy the one scene worth watching is obiwans interaction and fight with jago fett. Thats it. Literally every other scene is unbearable to watch. Even Darth Mauls fight is tiresome.

A very interesting way too look at the prequel trilogy, I do highly doubt it was George's intention since it seems way too clever.

I understand this assessment, but I truly doubt that this was Lucas' intentions. Still, art takes on a life of its own, and the word of the artist is to remain separate from the interpretation of the art because they are separate entities.

Its certainly an interesting perspective, and it seems to create an ideal that you should distrust blind faith and over-adherence to religious belief and traditional, while additionally reminding you to be objective in your assessments. I mean, objectively speaking, Anakin did bring balance to the force, by culling the number of Jedi drastically down to a number significantly closer to the near non-existant Sith practicioners, and if the Jedi Order didn't have their heads so far up their own ass with self-righteousness and the complete and blinding faith in their religion, they might've been able to be objective and spot this. In that sense I wouldn't necessarily call it anti-religious, but more highlighting the importance of thinking for yourself when it comes to your religious belief - something, by the way, that the Jedi Order condemns constantly, always creating a false dichotomy of where you either have a blind adherence to their sanctions or you'll turn evil... Now that I think of it, there's some glaringly obvious allegory there, but as I said already, I'm fairly certain its unintentional on the part of the creator.

gargantual:
I think there can be better ways to use destiny other than what this seems like akin to Spec Ops: The Line. "blindly following orders or prophecies, without asking questions or using your own morals."

In Spec Ops though, wasn't it the applications of one's own morals to the orders what landed them in that mess in the first place? I mean the orders were to recon the place, and turn back at the first human contact. Walker, and hence the player, interpret these orders under this spectrum of "be a good guy and do good guy things", because the orders are to recon the place for rescue, and so Walker, as a stand-in for the player, extend the parameters by using their own moral thinking, rather than rationally adhering to the objective orders.

Lono Shrugged:
edit:

Go about to about 12:40 (can't remember how to do the youtube time thing)

Nice try though.

So? Art isn't to be taken into account by the artist's perspective.

daibakuha:
It doesn't mean balance between light and dark. It means that dark no longer exists. Dark Side practitioners naturally imbalance the force by twisting it to their own selfish and nefarious purposes. The main purpose and goal of the Jedi order is to bring The Force back it it's natural state, balanced.

The problem with this though is that characterizing The Force. The Jedi Order completely discards emotion, whereas most dark side practicioners embrace it whole-heartedly. The dark side practicioners use their abilities completely selfishly, while the Jedi are completely selfless. There are very clear balance between those things. You don't have to discard your emotions or else you turn into an evil monster, you don't have to be a martyr to be a good person.

The way I see it, the Jedi propogate The Force just like many religious people propogate God, in which I mean the way their beliefs and this supernatural force seemingly always have the same ideals, just coincidentally, even though there's been scientific experiments that showed it often wasn't "just a coincidence" for real-life religious practicioners. The Jedi are just religious practicioners of their own, so isn't it fair to think that they might not be completely objective?

It's actually a clever scheme if the Sith lord created the prophecy just to force the Jedi downfall from within, in SW2 they said Anakin and many older Jedi where growing arrogant, the Sith seeing this probably knew the Jedi could train the most powerful Jedi and force there growing rigid, arrogant and blind faith would harbour be there greatest warrior and enemy.

If the trilogy was any good that would be awesome. :)

I always assumed the prophesy was just plain true, but the Jedi were morons. When they get Anakin, the Sith are nearly extinct. There's only a few left, but there's a lot of Jedi. "Bring balance to the force"? Anakin does just that, kills nearly all of them, leaving just two Sith (himself and Palpatine) and two Jedi (Yoda and Obi-Wan). Balance is achieved.

I rather enjoy chosen one narratives when done properly. I think it's kind of misleading to say that any kind of plot mechanic is "played out". I can't think of any basic plot mechanic that hasn't been "played out" for centuries. With a finite number of story types and motivations coupled with a general need to define that the protagonist has to act or bad things will happen, we're going to see mechanics like these over and over again across all forms of media. The only thing we can ask is that they try to do it as well as possible in an attempt to make it feel "new" even though it's been done forever.

As far as Star Wars. I'm going to have to disagree with Bob here. The prophecy was fulfilled, just in a sinister way. He balanced the force by largely ending the Jedi superiority. To say that it's a mockery of prophecies or a statement to not listen to them is incorrect as long as the prophecy ends up being correct even if in an unanticipated way. So you're giving Lucas far too much credit here. It's your own mind creating connections that don't exist.

People always call the prequel trilogy 'universally reviled'
I kinda liked them.

daibakuha:

Again, like I said in the previous video thread, you two are both working from a fundamental misunderstanding of what "bring balance to The Force" actually means.

It doesn't mean balance between light and dark. It means that dark no longer exists. Dark Side practitioners naturally imbalance the force by twisting it to their own selfish and nefarious purposes. The main purpose and goal of the Jedi order is to bring The Force back it it's natural state, balanced.

The problem with that is, thats not what the word balanced means, it doesnt mean "back to its natural state of no darkness" for a balance to exist you must have two sides.

an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another.

In all cases there is a side A and a side B, you can argue that the sides arent light and dark, and instead some other bi-polarity, but for there to be a balance you have to have equal proportions on two sides.

While a individual can create a imbalance within themselves by using the force exclusively for evil, so too do they create a imbalance by using it exclusively for good, imbalance is after all lack of proportion or relation between corresponding things.

Storm Dragon:
There may be nothing else good about the TMNT trailer, but at least the "just a mask" joke makes me smile a little.

That's been the one shining thing about this trailer. I think the movie looks dumb and the Turtle designs just aren't working for me, but that mask bit is a really good Ninja Turtle style gag.

As for the video itself.

It's an interesting look at the destiny narrative as it's woven through the Star Wars series, however it seems to rely heavily on the idea that the Jedi council is 100% on board with the prophecy to begin with, or at least 100% on board with Anakin being the chosen one.

Maybe I need to go back and rewatch those flicks with an eye on that part of the narrative but I don't recall anyone other than Qui gon and Obi Wan really mentioning the Prophecy or the Chosen One outside of the little bit from Windu and Yoda toward the middle of Phantom Menace and then again at the very end of Revenge of the Sith when Obi Wan tells Anakin he was "supposed to be the chosen one."

For what it's worth, I always projected the idea that in between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, Anakin had been trained by Obi Wan with a constant reminder that he's being groomed to be a great savior and the most important Jedi who ever lived. Growing up with that whispered in his ear for 10 or 12 years leading directly to his turn into a self important, entitled little shitheel who doesn't like to be told no.

Tom_green_day:
People always call the prequel trilogy 'universally reviled'
I kinda liked them.

Well, there's the problem. You "kinda" liked them. Sometimes when the offspring of something as revered as the original trilogy is only "kinda" likeable then the shadow it's standing in makes it all the worse.

I'd say that I could watch them. I didn't hate them but they were so utterly forgettable and did such a disservice to the original trilogy that I'm glad the series was wrestled from Lucas' hands.

I thought the prophecy did come true. That the whole bringing balance thing was actual balance. That at the start of the prequels the balance was tipped heavily in favor of light. So Darth Vader in the end kills every Jedi and then dies himself. Once Sidious is dead, Luke who rejected the teachings of the old order is the fresh slate for the force. Thus the prophecy is fulfilled. And I think Yoda knew that, as he is kinda somberly accepting events as they unravel because he knows that this was how it was supposed to turn out.

For all the good things Bob said about the prequels here, my favorite bits were when he tore into them and berated the characters for acting so stupid. My favorite bit was when Bob commented that he was genuinely surprised that Qui-Gon Jinn didn't turn out to Sideous's apprentice. It's almost as if he's saying "No, he's not actually working for the bad guys, he really is THAT DUMB!" Hey maybe that's why they call him "Qui-Gon Jinn"... 'Cause he's always drinking gin... RedLetterMedia reference, likely that I'm not the first, sorry about that. Either way, great video!

Certainly a good point. A Sith Lord using a self-fulfilling prophecy to his own gains is a cool concept.
That said, I seriously doubt Lucas had actually intended that, and not just needed something to handwave everything. Had there been a character to at least express concern in blindly following prophecies, it might have granted him that retroactively, but the question never comes up.
They wonder a bit if Anakin is really the one from the prophecy, but never doubt the concept.

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