Love and the Jedi

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Nephthys
In short I've been reading some of This thread over on the Old Republic forums and I wanted to get the perspective of my peeps on the subject.

So whats your perspective on this debate? Do you think that emotional attachment is too much of a risk for Jedi to take knowing that it can potentially lead to instability and possibly the Dark Side? Or do you think that if handled properly theres nothing wrong with a Jedi forming emotional bonds with others? What are your views on some of the biggest 'falls' in the mythos?

My inquiring mind wants to know!

CaedusRules
You can always look at religion on this subject. The catholic church does not allow its Preists to marry for several reasons. First because they believe that thier whole existance should be in servititude to God, much like the KOTR believed the Jedi should focus everything on the force. Second they believe that the strain to decide to choosing the church over family or vis-versa could lead to coruption, much like the KOTR believe that Needs of a family could lead to the dark side....

Other Christian religions allow thier preachers to marry, believing that the sacrament of marrage and the devotion of love can bring you closer to God.

Who is to say either is right or wrong. Just the same, you really cant say either the KOTR or Luke's jedi are wrong. Any Jedi can be tempted to the dark side. Love can be a temptation, but it is only one of many. There is no way to remove all temptations, so why remove any? In fact, one could argue that the Jedi would be stronger if they face temptation and defeat it.

So in my honest opinion I believe Love with the Jedi is fine. Its not love that makes the Jedi fall to the Dark side, it's the lack of the ability to cope with your emotions that leads to the Dark side.

Nephthys
Originally posted by CaedusRules
Who is to say either is right or wrong. Just the same, you really cant say either the KOTR or Luke's jedi are wrong. Any Jedi can be tempted to the dark side. Love can be a temptation, but it is only one of many. There is no way to remove all temptations, so why remove any? In fact, one could argue that the Jedi would be stronger if they face temptation and defeat it.

Do you not see the risk of a Jedi facing temptation and failing as being a factor? I mean, look at Caedus, who was driven insane by his obsession to protect his daughter from what was essentially a non-exsistent threat, and from his inability to cope with his brothers death. And when a Jedi goes bad, it isn't like if you or I go bad. Caedus dragged the entire galaxy to war over this. Just because he couldn't deal with it.

Also Vader.

Ushgarak
George Lucas is very clear- in the Star Wars universe, having an attachment means you fear to lose it and that leads to the Dark Side.

That's simply a cosmological fact within the Star Wars setting and it is in fact crucial to the entire storyline. And I approve, because it is one of the very few damn storylines out there where love isn't the magic answer to everything.

Though as Anakin says, Jedi are encouraged to love in general, as opposed to specifically.

Nephthys
Surely you mean that it can lead to the Dark Side. Luke was happily married for years and even after Mara was murdered resisted falling. Hell, even in the movies Luke is clearly attached to his friends and loved ones. And it was the bond between father and son that eventually redeemed Vader. Love redeemed him as well as caused him to fall.

And I would argue that in so far that its crucial to the storyline that in Anakins case it was far more to do with that it was forbidden that it became such an issue. If he could have actually have gotten support from the Jedi rather than oppostion I doubt he would have turned against them.

CaedusRules
Originally posted by Nephthys
Do you not see the risk of a Jedi facing temptation and failing as being a factor? I mean, look at Caedus, who was driven insane by his obsession to protect his daughter from what was essentially a non-exsistent threat, and from his inability to cope with his brothers death. And when a Jedi goes bad, it isn't like if you or I go bad. Caedus dragged the entire galaxy to war over this. Just because he couldn't deal with it.

Also Vader.

I understand what you are saying, but an arguement can go either way. You could essentially break this down to a discussion whether you believe people need rules to protect them from themselves, or whether rules should be made to protect others, and let people protect themselves.

I am under the belief that you should not protect people from themselves. People that are tempted and fail will be held accountable by the rules in place to protect people.

In terms of being a Jedi. Would you rather travel to a darkside Nexus with someone that has never been tempted by the darkside, or someone that was tempted, but turned away? Me, I would rather have someone that was tempted and turned away, because I know his will-power is strong enough to withstand another temptation.

And the wonderful thing about EU is you can basically interperate as you want. I dont care if some uber dork pulls out a quote from George Lucas made in 1986.... Fact is there are hundreds of SW writers and each book you read is thier interperation... Thus SW EU is up to anyone's interpertations.

CaedusRules
Originally posted by Nephthys
Surely you mean that it can lead to the Dark Side. Luke was happily married for years and even after Mara was murdered resisted falling. Hell, even in the movies Luke is clearly attached to his friends and loved ones. And it was the bond between father and son that eventually redeemed Vader. Love redeemed him as well as caused him to fall.

And I would argue that in so far that its crucial to the storyline that in Anakins case it was far more to do with that it was forbidden that it became such an issue. If he could have actually have gotten support from the Jedi rather than oppostion I doubt he would have turned against them.

Yes Love CAN lead to the Darkside, but so can vanity, greed, desire, lust, boredom, and all the other emotions. Are you going to ban anything that leads to having any emotions? Emotions are a human factor. The Light side doesnt teach not to have emotions, it teaches to control your emotions, and to not let them drive you. And so just like you can teach someone not to act on thier desire for power, you can teach them not to fall because of love.

BTW wouldnt Vulcans make the best Jedi?

Ushgarak
Originally posted by Nephthys
Surely you mean that it can lead to the Dark Side. Luke was happily married for years and even after Mara was murdered resisted falling. Hell, even in the movies Luke is clearly attached to his friends and loved ones. And it was the bond between father and son that eventually redeemed Vader. Love redeemed him as well as caused him to fall.

And I would argue that in so far that its crucial to the storyline that in Anakins case it was far more to do with that it was forbidden that it became such an issue. If he could have actually have gotten support from the Jedi rather than oppostion I doubt he would have turned against them.

No, GL is clear- it DOES lead to the Dark Side. Attachment causes Fear and that;'s game.

EU material; that contradicts this is wrong. I am afraid your interpretation is wrong also; no amount of support would have helped unless it was support for him to give up the relationship.

Luke's love for his father was not possessive, that's the point.

Nephthys

NTJack0
Vader just handled it wrong.

If done correctly emotional attachment is not too much to handle.

Toshi
If you aren't a Skywalker and you aren't some random Knight or Padawan then you have a good shot of succeeding. Hell Satele got laid and dumped the kid and the guy that did her. Skywalkers just fail.

SIDIOUS 66
Originally posted by Ushgarak
No, GL is clear- it DOES lead to the Dark Side. Attachment causes Fear and that;'s game.

EU material; that contradicts this is wrong. I am afraid your interpretation is wrong also; no amount of support would have helped unless it was support for him to give up the relationship.

Luke's love for his father was not possessive, that's the point.

I don't remember Lucas ever making this clear. Sure attachment can be a risk to falling to the dark side so the jedi forbid it. Obi Wan was attached to Anakin but did not fall. Anakin's love for Padme turned into a severe obsession to the point where he thought it was impossible for him to live without her.

Zampanů
We've got a phrase that gets tossed around here a lot:
"Your interpretation <<< Canon"
The EU forum is founded on the fairly straightforward idea that the EU is canon. I'm... baffled as to how you can post something like "the EU is wrong" and expect the post to be received with anything less than derision.

Anyway, there is a huge amount of EU that gets nerfed by your new "EU is wrong" idea:
Shatterpoint, because Mace has an undeniable attachment to Depa.
The Jedi Apprentice series in its entirety, because of Kenobi's attachment to one young freedom fighter (and eventual departure from the order) as well as Jinn's friendship with the Jedi Knight Tahl.
Literally the entire New Jedi Order series, which includes relationships between Jaina and Jag, Tahiri and Anakin, Leia and Han, and obviously Luke and Mara.
Dark Rendezvous includes a subplot about the relationship between Scout and Whie that could be interpreted as romantic.

This is a prodigious amount of material--and certainly not an exhaustive list-- to declare "wrong" so casually. Instead, I'm going to have to interpret such a casual disregard for the source material as a joke of some sort. laughing


Personally I believe that the NJO has a much healthier interpretation of the Force and the danger of attachments than did the Golden Age Jedi. Biological fact doesn't go away just because you declare it to be wrong. Acceding to feelings, going with the flow and mastering one's actions, rather than suppressing them, is a more psychologically effective strategy. (From a narrative standpoint it also makes characters more dynamic; the more relationships and intricacies each character has to navigate, the more opportunities for soul-crushing inadvertent betrayal.)

Stealth Moose
Originally posted by Ushgarak
No, GL is clear- it DOES lead to the Dark Side. Attachment causes Fear and that;'s game.

EU material; that contradicts this is wrong. I am afraid your interpretation is wrong also; no amount of support would have helped unless it was support for him to give up the relationship.

Luke's love for his father was not possessive, that's the point.

Anakin's "attachment" to Padme was not traditional love. It was a dark obsession fueled by mutual physical attraction. Anakin was emotionally damaged and his prodigious abilities further separated him from others. It was not love which tore apart the Jedi Order, or caused any one of its numerous Schisms. It was lust for dominion over others, selfishness, and seduction of power magnified by the amazing abilities of all Force users.

The Golden Age of Jedi's failure to recognize the needs of someone other than a devout, raised from infancy Jedi including love and support is pretty much showcased throughout the PT. EU material simply lumps on more to support that.

I don't see how you can use a blanket statement like "GL sez love leads to DARKNESS!" and expect it to be binding. Try something new, like supporting your own stance with facts and logical arguments.

Or in lieu of that, flex mod muscle. Your call.

CaedusRules
Originally posted by Ushgarak
No, GL is clear- it DOES lead to the Dark Side. Attachment causes Fear and that;'s game.

EU material; that contradicts this is wrong. I am afraid your interpretation is wrong also; no amount of support would have helped unless it was support for him to give up the relationship.

Luke's love for his father was not possessive, that's the point.

The problem with saying anything GL says is Cannon, is people like you that take every word GL says as black and white, from God's mouth.

Let me put it this way. GL wakes up one morning and his wife just backed into his favorite car. She gets mad that he is more upset about the car, then if she's ok... They have a big fight, and GL leaves for the office pissed off...

Then some Snot-nosed internet blogger see's GL on his way to work and asks him. "GL, There is a difference in love between the golden age jedi and the EU jedi... Can you comment."

GL, already pissed off says, "Love leads to possesing, and possesion leads to the dark-side."

Now every other day GL might say, "well in the golden age, the jedi were different, and becuase of the sheer number of Jedi, it was easier to just ban love then police jedi's relationships. However, in the EU, Luke was able to mentor each Jedi to control emotions and thus in his time love was not as dangerous."

So now the brat, goes home, blogs his discussion with a pissed off GL, and now "Cannonites" quote this as being undisputable evidence from GL's mouth...

chilled monkey
Originally posted by Ushgarak
George Lucas is very clear- in the Star Wars universe, having an attachment means you fear to lose it and that leads to the Dark Side.

That's simply a cosmological fact within the Star Wars setting and it is in fact crucial to the entire storyline. And I approve, because it is one of the very few damn storylines out there where love isn't the magic answer to everything.

Though as Anakin says, Jedi are encouraged to love in general, as opposed to specifically.

So if George Lucas said sticking your head in a fire was a good idea, would you stick your head in a fire?

Or would you maybe, think for yourself, instead of what someone told you to think?

Seriously, Love is the greatest force for good in existence. It is pure, it is unselfish and is, in fact, the complete opposite of the dark side which is all about selfishness. Love is about unselfishness.

chilled monkey
Originally posted by Stealth Moose
Anakin's "attachment" to Padme was not traditional love. It was a dark obsession fueled by mutual physical attraction. Anakin was emotionally damaged and his prodigious abilities further separated him from others. It was not love which tore apart the Jedi Order, or caused any one of its numerous Schisms. It was lust for dominion over others, selfishness, and seduction of power magnified by the amazing abilities of all Force users.

The Golden Age of Jedi's failure to recognize the needs of someone other than a devout, raised from infancy Jedi including love and support is pretty much showcased throughout the PT. EU material simply lumps on more to support that.

I don't see how you can use a blanket statement like "GL sez love leads to DARKNESS!" and expect it to be binding. Try something new, like supporting your own stance with facts and logical arguments.

Or in lieu of that, flex mod muscle. Your call.

"Applauds."

Well said.

chilled monkey
Originally posted by Ushgarak
Luke's love for his father was not possessive, that's the point.

Exactly. Love (be it familial love, romantic love etc) does not corrupt. Selfish feelings of possessiveness are what leads to corruption.

In the case of romantic love specifically, true love is NOT possessive. Let me show you a quote;

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

Stealth Moose
Originally posted by chilled monkey
Exactly. Love (be it familial love, romantic love etc) does not corrupt. Selfish feelings of possessiveness are what leads to corruption.

In the case of romantic love specifically, true love is NOT possessive. Let me show you a quote;

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

Good quote. Well said indeed.

Lord Lucien
Originally posted by chilled monkey
Exactly. Love (be it familial love, romantic love etc) does not corrupt. Selfish feelings of possessiveness are what leads to corruption.

In the case of romantic love specifically, true love is NOT possessive. Let me show you a quote;

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." Wrong. Incorrect. False.

The PT showed love leading to the Dark Side. It's G-canon. Love is always bad. Always. It's wrong.


P7ZUFs04C6I

Ushgarak

SIDIOUS 66
This is correct. It's also very similar in the real world. Majority of people will do crazy things to protect someone they love, so I see why jedi forbid romance. However, sometimes it is hard to spend years around someone and not form some kind of attachment, and Obi Wan is a good example of that. Obi Wan admits his love for Anakin and even goes so far as to call Anakin his brother. It would be impossible for Obi Wan to feel that way about Anakin without being attached to him somehow. With any type of personal love comes attachment.

Nephthys
I find it hilarious how for saying so much, GL hasn't actually said anything in this thread yet.

Dr McBeefington
I love the ridiculous rules we must adhere to instead of debating everything. I left the former Soviet Union for this? Thanks comrade.

RE: Blaxican
I love how my crotch sticks out more than my stomach. There was a time when that wasn't the case.

Zampanů
Welp, here's the revised list of non-canon books:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Star_Wars_books

ares834
Damn. Sad seeing the Jedi Prince series becoming non-canon.

Lord Lucien
Yup. Pretty much every post-RotJ novel involves a Jedi that's in a romantic relationship. Leia counts.

And there goes a lot of the PT books. Obi-Wan with a girlfriend? "NO! Not canon!" There goes a couple The Clone Wars episodes too. Bastila Shan had offspring who played pivotal roles in The Great Galactic War and Cold War? Not anymore, 'cause those things never happened. Revan in love? As if. He doesn't exist.


Damn, Ush. Got a little Bolshevik blood in you?

Zampanů
Any EU material directly contradicted by explicit statements from GL is deemed to be non-canon. That's how things are done around here, a policy we apply with consistency.

The canon policies of the EU are measures of first recourse for many of the posters I respect here. Gideon, before his ban, used the canon status of out-of-universe quotes to develop the foundation of his argument his favorite character (Marka Ragnos). Nai consistently synthesizes the different products into robust arguments, Advent carefully included every detail of KotOR in her final argument, and Lightsnake has a bevy of citations in nearly every post. The common thread with each of these posters is that their arguments are supported by evidence, and the easiest way to attack these arguments is to undermine the validity of that evidence. Advent argued for something like eight pages to defend the inclusion of details from KotOR as canon. Lightsnake, in a line by line argument, once disputed something like 4 screenshots in each of 3 comic releases. (I think it was following the Bane retcons.) This forum is founded on a coherent vision of canon, one that you authored in the rules section. I'll quote it once more:

(Emphasis mine.)
The policy is clear. The books are canon, as is anything that GL says regarding Star Wars.

We agree that the things that GL says are canon. A past version of you even agrees that the books are canon. It seems to me that since we are following the same rules, this will be a fairly straightforward dispute to settle. All that you have to do is substantiate your claim that GL has said specifically that "having an attachment means you fear to lose it and that leads to the Dark Side." You will also have to prove that this applies to every type of emotional relationship, as that was the topic of the discussion referenced in the OP.
Things that will fulfill this requirement:
Sourced and/or linked quote by GL indicating that every single emotional attachment leads to the dark side, or that every single romantic relationship involving a Jedi leads to the dark sideVideo Clip of interview with GL claiming the sameSpecific scene/timestamp in commentary claiming the same
Things that do not fulfill this requirement:
Any quote by GL that indicates less than absolute correlation between love and the dark sideAny quote by GL that specifies Anakin's Fall rather than the nature of the dark side in general
I believe that covers the bases. If you can prove that GL has publicly stated that every emotional attachment leads to the dark side without fail, then I will be happy to admit that you are correct. However, I do not believe that an interpretation of GL's words is enough to damn thousands of pages of published, licensed work to discontinuity.


Source and specific quote?
This looks like a Yoda derivative, who is neither omniscient nor the creator of the universe.

Where does GL specifically refute this being the issue? If you are referring to Anakin's line in AotC then I'm sure you will recognize the difference between a quote by the creator of the universe and a hormonal teenager with a life-long unhealthy fixation trying to get into Padme's pants.

Where does he make these philosophical beliefs clear?

I see two things here. The first is that you are pointing at the PT as evidence for your interpretation, which (as we've established already) is not canon. The second is that you are putting qualifiers on your assertion that "having an attachment means you fear to lose it and that leads to the Dark Side." If it is your contention that most attachments make you fear to lose it and lead to the dark side, then the absolute statement is broken and I would encourage you to look into the various EU offerings depicting very healthy relationships among the Jedi.

This is the position of the PT era Jedi Order. However, your claim is stronger than their claim. You have asserted that it is "simply a cosmological fact within the Star Wars setting" that "having an attachment means you fear to lose it and that leads to the Dark Side." "A cosmological fact," my friend, is something that requires a GL quote (that you have yet to supply) or a pristine body of evidence (that is not to be found, given the myriad relationships of the EU).

I will certainly accept that if and only if GL has ever stated that every single conceivable relationship involving a Jedi will inexorably lead that Jedi to the dark side.

I agree. There can be no debate until you supply the much-vaunted statements by GL.

Lord Lucien
That's it, Zampano. You've crossed the line after being explicitly told not to question anything.

Ever.

Nephthys
.....Its treason then.

(nice post Zam!)

Zampanů
Originally posted by Lord Lucien
That's it, Zampano. You've crossed the line after being explicitly told not to question anything.

Ever.

I thought that was a rhetorical flourish, like "it's undeniable that Sidious is the most powerful Sith, or, "it's undeniable that ", or, "Faunus is thin."

Ushgarak
Good Lord, anyone approaching this who thinks Yoda is NOT being used as an omniscient narrator to get GL's point across when talking directly about The Force and having been presented as the wisest of all has serious issues in understanding drama. Lacking an ACTUAL narrator, Yoda is being used as a narrative device to tell us, directly, how the system objectively works. The fact that some of you could think that Zampano's post was a good one speaks poorly. There is a completely maladjusted sense of what logic is around here. As soon as you try the argument "Yoda is not omniscient' when looking at this particular issue, you've immediately ruled yourself out of reasonable contribution to any possible debate.

My ruling is, absolutely and unequivocally, that the film has made GL's canonical intent clear and I class trying to argue it on the grounds of "that's only what the characters within the setting think" is an utter waste of time.

Thread closed, and I will close all further threads trying to argue in that fashion also.

And yes, a lot of the EU contradicts GL and hence has dubious canonical status. That is not my fault.

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