Moon Beams

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Star Wars: Attack of the Clones - The Missing Planet, Expectations, the Dark Side and Balance

Posted by Donna Dolezal Zelzer on August 16th, 2008

Why the big deal about the children being the ones who realized that the missing planet, Kamino, was only missing because someone erased it from the archives? That seemed pretty obvious to me. Why was it such a problem?

Of course, maybe that’s the point. Like the children, I wasn’t aware that it’s supposedly impossible to delete anything from the archives, so it never occurred to me not to think of that possibility. Obi-Wan and the Librarian, however, took the library’s inviability for granted, so the missing planet posed a real mystery, as least to Obi-Wan.

We see what we expect to see. If we have no expectations, our minds are open and we can often see more clearly. (Indeed, Yoda tells Obi-Wan just that when Obi reports in after viewing the clones on Kamino.)

In some ways, this little incident is symbolic of the entire movie. The Jedi don’t expect certain things to happen (a planet being erased from the archives, the former Jedi Count Dooku turning bad) and so don’t look for them. Until it’s too late.

Yoda says the Dark Side conceals things, but in some ways the real culprit is the inability or unwillingness of people - even Jedi - to look beyond their expectations and preconceptions. (Or maybe you could say that’s part of our personal Dark Sides.)

It’s even possible - and I’m really stretching here - that the whole “bring balance to the Force” thing that Anakin is supposed to do has something to do with this blindness. Most of the Jedi have become too complacent, too sure of themselves, too sure the Dark Side is not a threat. When Anakin becomes Darth Vader he forces the Jedi to face the darkness rather than ignore it.

In the short run, this causes hatred and fear of the Dark Side in general and Vader in particular. (Not to mention lots of pain, suffering and death.)

In the long run, Luke goes beyond this as he faces and acknowledges both the darkness and his father. Even though Obi-Wan tells him that he must kill Vader, Luke refuses. His faith in the essential goodness of Anakin not only redeems this man, but shows us that the only way to truly conquer the darkness is to look it in the face and embrace it as part of ourselves. Only then can we mingle the Dark with the Light and be truly balanced.

Note: I wrote this before Episode III came out.

Star Wars - Episode II, Attack of the Clones (Widescreen Edition)


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2 Responses to “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones - The Missing Planet, Expectations, the Dark Side and Balance”

  1. glyphrunner Says:

    The reason Obi-wan and Jocasta Nu (Jedi Archivist) believe in the idea of the infallible archives is because it is supposed to require the Master Archivist and a Council member to remove anything from archives. As for why the kids were asked, it was used by Yoda as a learning experience. It is to show that those that think they may be wise and knowing can still learn from life.

    The fact that the Jedi discount the concept of the Sith returning is a testament to their blindness. Their complacency comes from holding up to a mystical ideal created around the Jedi Order, in addition to not having any serious opposition for a long time.

    This prophecy is one of the worst things in the entire storyline, as well. Of course, the Jedi will look at the prophecy as something meant solely for themselves - blinded by the concept of a “Chosen” Jedi that should only be “good.” As with all things in Nature, there needs to be balance. The “light” and “dark” sides of the Force are so unbalanced at this time in the Star Wars Universe that there can be only one way to balance it: reduce the “light” side Jedi and balance them with the remaining “dark” side Jedi/Sith/Force-users.

    One thing I would like to point out, though, is that Ben Kenobi does not tell Luke that he must kill Vader. He tells him that he must “face” Vader. At the time, nothing was written as to why, and definitely wasn’t explained in the movie, but you can look back on this with reference to the end of Episode III when Padme tells Obi-wan that Anakin still has some good in him. Luke makes this same reference to his sister and father. Perhaps Obi-wan truly realized it and knew that to defeat Darth Vader he wouldn’t need to kill him, merely face Vader and bring forth the good inside that was Anakin.

    Of course, I am also bringing a lot to my comments from the Expanded Universe materials - novels, graphic novels, sourcebooks, etc.

  2. Donna Dolezal Zelzer Says:

    You’re right - Ben Kenobi didn’t tell Luke he had to kill Vader. But Luke interpreted it that way, if I remember correctly. (”I can’t kill my own father.”)

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