Blinded, Are The Knights

Too late, you are.

Seeing as Yoda and I, the two most powerful Jedi in the known Order, could not sense the planetary defenses being switched off, yeah..we’re gonna need you guys to come clean up our mess.  Thanks.

Luceno’s Labyrinth of Evil and Genndy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars microseries (ran from 2003-05) present the Battle of Coruscant in different lights, a continuity dilemma that has always irked me, to some degree, as they were likely in production around the same time.  While I favor Luceno’s version in terms of the gritty realism, the scope that the microseries was able to present through its trademark exaggerated visual style (i.e. Saesee Tiin leading the fighters into space, where a massive battle was already raging) also makes it one of the two to three most memorable storylines of the short-run series. Labyrinth does this event in Galactic history well in that it provides backstory for the giant, overreaching question that is not even approached in the microseries – HOW!?  Just as many would question Roosevelt’s administration following the Japanese assault on a crucial US Naval Base in 1941, or those who accuse the second Bush administration of prior knowledge of 9/11, how on earth could the capital planet be invaded without some sort of inside assistance?  Of course, we, standing outside the fourth wall, know a great deal about that “inside assistance,” but it is an assumption that the writers of the micro-series should not have presumed, I would argue.

Luceno provides the needed backdrop, albeit simplistic- the “shield generator,” as referred to by Shaak Ti, was deactivated or destroyed. Thoughtful characters such as Padme seem baffled by this, but, as is the tragedy of the Prequel Trilogy, the dots are a bit too far apart for connecting.  Windu also suggests some skepticism as to the timing of  this assault, as it came at the end of a lengthy operation intended to root out the truth about Darth Sidious.

As a practical matter, one would believe that the value of Coruscant to the Republic surely warrants some sort of backup security measures out of the hands of one single person (similar to modern-day nuclear codes), even if he is the Dark Lord of the Sith masquerading as Supreme Chancellor.  However, one would have to acknowledge that logic is seemingly defied at many points throughout the Clone Wars, the excuse for which is that everything is interwoven into the brilliantly hideous plan of its curator.  Dooku’s mark is surely on this treachery as well, as he assists Grievous in commandeering a Republic gunboat that takes him directly to 500 Republica, hoodwinking Windu and Kit Fisto long enough for Grievous to lay waste to Palpatine’s security detail, made up of nameless Jedi and his trademark red guards.

The level of coordination is absolutely flawless, and we as the reader/viewer are led to believe that this is all due to Jedi being extended to the Outer Rim sieges on Palpatine’s orders.  Perhaps we should even assume that, should Kenobi and Skywalker have been allowed back home, they could have disrupted this plot.  Yoda harps on the ability of the Dark Side to cloud everything many times throughout the films and the EU, but while this is truly Grievous’ “finest hour,” as Sidious transmits to him during Luceno’s novel, it is, first and foremost, a staggering failure for the Order.  All practical matters aside, if we as fans are to believe Yoda when he definitively tells Luke “No” when asked if the Dark Side is stronger, and are also expected to make all of these logistical leaps in assuming Palpatine could, in the blink of an eye, disable the planetary defenses for the Republic capital, the greatest leap of all is accepting that the Jedi were absolutely, totally blinded to all of this.  Mace wishes to tell the Senate in AOTC that the Order’s ability to use the force has “diminished.”  The way I see it, in this instance, Palpatine turns it completely off, as easily as he flips the switch on the planetary shield.  And that is a small detail worth exploring.

More to come this week!  And we’ll make sure to talk about Kit Fisto’s blue lightsaber.


Posted on August 18, 2013, in Prequel Trilogy EU and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I do think there is a bit more going on than merely the Order being blind. For one thing, the Force has essentially been out of balance for over a millennium after Bane instituted the Rule of Two, and there is very little real Sith/Dark Side presence in the galaxy from that point on whereas the Jedi just keep growing year after year, etc. What this suggests to me is a very interesting thing: There is only so much of the Force to go along unless there is an equal amount being pulled by the other side. Why else would the Jedi’s ability be diminished? The Light Side is being stretched too thin through too many people without anything to help renew it through use of the Dark Side… other than by just a few Sith in comparison. It’s an interesting conundrum on the balance of the Force, I have to admit.

    I’ll probably look into this a bit more in a post on here actually.

    • Interesting commentary, and makes sense in the context of “balance.” Does this, in turn, suggest that the amount of “Force” in the universe produced by midichlorians is somehow normalized, then? Simply put, when a Force user dies, one or more beings capable of matching their count are born? And whether or not those Force users are a) of the same convictions, b) of different convictions, c) choose to ignore their abilities whatsoever is what creates the surpluses and/or deficits? We know that Anakin’s birth came as a result of Plagueis’ manipulation of life forces- perhaps the attempt to influence this natural process (or balance) is what created “The Chosen One.”

      • It WOULD explain Starkiller, and Luke being so absurdly uber.

        Something else though… what about the Ones and their deaths? I wonder if that has something to do with things being so out of whack as well. Combined with Plagueis messing with things… maybe Anakin was actually legitimately destined to replace the Father, and through that bring balance to the Force? And because he chose not to, he had to balance it out in another way which resulted in the destruction of pretty much every known Force user other than his son. Or nearly enough.

        I’ll have to think on this some more I think.

  2. Nice, Trim. Here are my thoughts.

    Anakin was first described by QGJ as a “vergence,” a focal point in the Force. We know that that focal point was only generated to punish Plagueis, a death-mark which Sidious inherited. The issue that I see with the Ones is that the Father technically is not the manifestation of the light- that is his daughter. In order to punish Plagueis, and/or balance the negative of the force, you need a positive, not a neutral. In the context of the Prequel era (not even getting into Abeloth), I don’t know what good Anakin would have done on Mortis. As you said, the force was shaken out of balance by Bane, and was severely unbalanced by the time he, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka visited there- while the Father still lived. Would the status quo have not continued? Or do you think that Sidious would not have been able to pull the final plug on the Jedi, were the Ones still alive?

  3. I think that since the Father was the one who was supposed to actually keep things in balance between the Son and Daughter, i.e. keep them from fighting to gain the upper hand against each other, his illness/dying is at least part of what allowed things to get out of whack in the first place. So with the Father too weak to actually do his job, you have the potential for the Force getting out of balance in the first place.

    For the rest, I think that things would have happened differently if the Father hadn’t been getting near to death, and it’s possible Sids wouldn’t have even existed because the Force wouldn’t have become so focused in the Dark Side users. I kind of think that the Brother might have seen what one supremely powerful Force user such as Exar Kun could actually do, and it took until the Father was too ill to actually do anything about it for him to put a plan pertaining to that into motion.

    At least those are my surface level thoughts on that. I think that the Father would have not allowed the Jedi to be wiped out, essentially. Because without them the Force is completely out of balance, not just skewing to one side or the other.

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