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.
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