In their latest episode, Karl and Jason sit down for some Star Wars fun! Like the “choose your own adventure” scenarios, Karl and Jason ask each other a bunch of questions as to how they would respond to certain parts of the film if they were in the character’s shoes. They also ask each other about lots of other fun aspects of the films if they were allowed to be part of the Star Wars galaxy. From what creature would you want for a pet to which creature would you not want to have a run-in with, Karl and Jason certainly have a lot of fun in this episode!
While I have watched ROTJ close to a thousand times in my life, I was really inspired to write something brief about how love and redemption are presented at the end of the film. In just one short scene, so much of the the Truth which the tale of Star Wars teaches is revealed. I am referring to the scene when Luke takes off Vader’s mask right before Vader’s, or should I say Anakin’s, death.
This one particular scene does such a great job of “unmasking” what I would is one of George Lucas’ main themes in Star Wars. What begins in The Empire Strikes Back is brought to its full potential at the conclusion of ROTJ. When Vader confronts Luke in TESB, his motives are merely selfish as he only wants Luke to join him so that they can overthrow the Emperor and rule the galaxy together; it’s still all about power for Vader.
Yet when Luke throws himself into the chasm of Cloud City I think what he does is plant a seed in Vader which shows to him that there is something more than the dark side, that there is something more important than power. When Vader and Luke meet up again in ROTJ after Luke surrenders himself on Endor, Luke tells Vader the Truth he has hidden himself from: “You were once Anakin Skywalker, my father.” Vader says that this name has “no meaning for me” but Luke fires back, “It is the name of your true self you’ve only forgotten.” Quite literally, Anakin has been hidden by the mask of Vader for so long that he truly has forgotten who he really is. It’s interesting as many psychologists have said for years that people make masks to hide themselves and stay safe. That is what Vader has done; his fear and loneliness causes him to hide behind the mask of Darth Vader. I think we too often make masks for ourselves so that we don’t have to face parts of ourselves.
Luke continually points out to Vader during their duel in ROTJ that he senses the conflict going on inside Vader. To Luke, it’s clear that Anakin is fighting to reemerge from the mask of Darth Vader. After Luke lops off Vader’s right hand (poor guy is always losing limbs!), he realizes what he has done and renounces the dark side. This was something Anakin was incapable of doing. Anakin’s fear won out causing him to join the dark side. However Luke gives him another example. Luke renounces the dark side because he knows who he is; “I am a Jedi.”
Yet the event that finally allows Anakin to reemerge from the mask of Darth Vader occurs as the Emperor begins to hurl force lightening at Luke with the intention of killing him. As each blast of lightening pours over Luke causing him more and more pain, it’s as if the lightening is also having an effect on Vader; each blast is burning off the mask that is Vader.
As Luke pleads, “Father!”, his cries for help break through the mask of Darth Vader and hit the heart of Anakin Skywalker. And thanks to the blu ray version we know Vader does not approve of his master’s actions towards his son. As he screams “NO!!!”, he throws the Emperor to his death thus saving the one person who has shown Anakin what selfless love is. Just as Luke was willing to die to try and redeem his father, now the father dies in order to save the son.
So finally we’re to the scene where I’ve been trying to make my point: the unmasking of Vader. Vader tells Luke he wants to look on him with the eyes of Anakin, no longer through the mask of Vader. Yet Anakin is incapable of removing this mask on his own. Quite literally, he is too weak and not to mention he only has one hand! So he literally needs the help of his son. I think this is a very powerful Truth statement being made. Just like Vader, we are incapable of removing the masks we wear on our own. Just as Vader needed the help of his son, so too do we need the help of others.
But what is it that ultimately unmasks Vader? Why love of course! Vader was so full of fear and so obsessed with power that he hid behind the mask of Vader and was incapable of being vulnerable to anyone. After the death of Padme, Anakin feels no one could probably love him so he hides behind the mask of Vader. But then Luke comes along and shows him again what true love is. So when Luke pulls back that mask which Vader has been hiding behind we see a great Truth about love: love exposes us and allows our true self to be revealed. When we are loved by another, be it a parent, a friend, a spouse, we are made vulnerable and realize that we no longer have any need for a mask! Love redeems and unmasks us!
After a brief stint off, Karl and Jason are back at it again with a fun new episode where they discuss which Star Wars character they feel most represent themselves in life and which character they would most like to become. Join them as they delve deep into what makes them feel connected to our beloved Star Wars universe as they reveal what it is about these characters which they can identify with. Also, they talk about Joe Hogan’s motion-comic, “The Siren of Dathomir” which is beyond amazing! So sit back, relax, and tuck yourself into a Tauntaun as you listen to another exciting episode!
In their latest episode, Karl and Jason sit down with returning guest Kyle Avery from Frontlines to talk about their favorite characters from the six Star Wars films! From memorable characters like C3PO and R2D2 to everyone’s favorite villian, Darth Vader, the three hosts discuss what it is about these characters which they love so much!
Welcome back to Star Wars Beyond the Films!
EDITORS NOTE: Ahead there be spoilers…. consider this your warning!
This week Mark and Nathan are joined by Intrepid Bothan Reporter and Lightsaber Rattling Jedi, Peter Morrison, to discuss the Fate of the Jedi series as a whole.
Mark ponders the excerpt at the start and end of the series and it’s possible ramifications.
The guys hit the plot in a nut shell to set the tone of the episode and then break down the series from there.
The series has an odyssey feel to it, while also telling a multitude of stories all enterweaved to make up a bigger overall story.
Jacen’s past was explored. Or was it? Was Abeloth TOO POWERFUL? Did Luke need an enemy more powerful than even him?
Nathan takes a moment to show his brotherly side. Did FotJ suffer an identity crisis?
Mortis makes its way into the series and the guys ponder how much Lucas knew of the plot. How much of this was made up on the spot? Nathan brings up the recent Insider interviews with the FOTJ authors.
He also ponders if the publishing group has changed the game plan and shifted to a looser planning style?
Did this allow for a more interchangable author feel to the series? Did that play into the success of Christie Golden stepping into Karen Traviss’s slot? Had Abeloth been Lucas approved would she have been the”Mother” in all respects? Instead of some being trying to be like them? Did Jacen’s story get resolved?
Peter proposes that the series might have done better had Abeloth been left out and the Lost Tribe been the main villian. Perhaps give her a stand alone book?
Mark ponders (or possibly rants) that Abeloth had to have hedged her bets and had a spare possessed body out there hidden away.
The guys focus on the pacing of the series. It almost made each book read like a stand alone. Was this a mistake? Should longer series be set to release closer together vs being spread out?
The Krayt factor: Was it or was it not Darth Krayt at the end of the story who came to Luke’s aide? Seems Denning doesn’t even know and he wrote the scene….
SPOILER WARNING: So in the end they stop Abeloth (for now) but in doing so have put back on the throne the dark man whom Jacen stopped which kicked everything off in the first place. Kind of crazy huh? But didn’t Jacen’s destroying Centerpoint Station cause her to get free? Wait, but wasn’t that ordered by Luke?
So did this give us closure? Or an open plot thread awaiting a crafty author later?
What? Nathan gets political with his satire? But it was necessary to understand the plot of FOTJ.
FotJ makes Dark Nest more meaningful to the SWEU.
Celestial, the Ones, and so much left open…. was this a good thing?? Bad thing? Or a GREAT Thing?
Random Mark ponder: Will Shelter be used to keep Beyond Shadows and the Mind Walker plots going?
They discuss Beyond Shadows, the Font of Power as well as the Lake of Apparitions, as well as Sith Spirits, Force Ghosts, Force Apparitions, Force Entities, and so forth.
This leads to pondering the “next generation” of Jedi. And how the Big 3′s story has overshadowed the newer Jedi’s individual stories.
Should the Jedi have destroyed the Font of Power? Is this something that should have been taken out? A weapon of Jedi Destruction….
Nathan touches on Ben and Vestara’s love plot. But not in a Tahiri touching kind of way…. …which leads to Vestara’s character growth throughout the series, dispite her Sithly Father’s pressures during the series.
Will this make Ves drop out of the saga? Or will the One Sith make an appearance BEFORE Legacy? (Even though it would happen after Legacy was published.)
Jaina Solo’s character grew a lot by the series end. Even Tahiri had her character go through a lot of changes. Especially in light of past series directions with her character. We almost had our Imperial Knights!
The personal relationships were well executed. All the hosts agree that was a very strong point for the series.
Anakin Skywalker CAUSED the imbalance?! Wait… say again? So does that mean Luke and Ben are the Chosen Ones per Lucas before Mortis? This leads the hosts to discuss Balance and what that means for a bit.
Nathan had a very interesting outlook on it. Or at least gives EU Fans OPTIONS. Or was this addition to the FotJ plot a huge mistake? Or one to come?
Mark takes a minute to have a fan crush moment about the Horn family
Were the Barabels the ‘sleeper agents’ of the whole series?
Allana’s back in the open. They developed her up to own her own portion of the next generation of characters. She and Ben could have been 3rd generation, but ended up growing into the 2nd.
Does judging children characters age vary from person to person?
The hosts also judge the series, and give it a 1-10 ranking and a one word description.
And sit back after the credits for a Marvel treat… erm.. we mean bloopers!