The Force, The Whole Force, and Nothing but The Force
Hai Guys! Trimaj here, with my first post on this here blog, and I’ve been ruminating on the Force (as if you can’t tell by the title, I mean really). Mainly on how it’s evolved from the magical and mystical “energy field created by all living things” of the Old Trilogy to the pseudo-scientific midichlorians of the Prequel Trilogy into even more… strange things when you get into the Expanded Universe and Clone Wars cartoons. Overall it seems like Lucas hadn’t really considered what the Force really was when he started all of this, and it sort of got lost in the expansion of the EU with the PT midichlorians being his attempt to ground it, as it were, in reality. Personally I think it’s a real shame that Lucas even felt the need to do this, but it also makes sense in universe for the Jedi to have figured out what connected them to the Force after something like 35,000 years. But I don’t think that when Lucas did that it was actually known how long the Jedi had actually been founded (feel free to correct me on this one in the comments). Overall, I’d have to say that the mystical, penetrating, life energy was probably my favorite phase of the Force, just because it’s so mysterious and you know so little about it. It seemed like anything was possible back then, just like the entire Star Wars universe was so much of a blank slate with the OT and immediately after. Admittedly I’m not QUITE that old, but I did see the movies before I was able to even pretend to read any of the books, and it was such a captivating place. I never imagined back then that we’d actually GET another set of movies, and was amazed when I did finally get into the books, starting with TImothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy (a great starting place for anyone really). Then we got The Phantom Menace, and the picture of the Force changed forever.
You see, what Lucas did by grounding the ability to use the Force in an organic organism was to irrevocably change it and make it less mystical and more magience. This was a sad thing to me, mainly because there is so little in Sci-Fi worlds left mysterious in many ways. Everything has to be grounded in Science, even if it’s in another galaxy where not everyone is going to understand everything because that’s just the nature of reality. That is one thing I’ve always liked about fantasy worlds in general, that mysterious unknown where they don’t even attempt to explain things, but that’s another discussion entirely. Basically we’ve gone from magic to magience, which I suppose is a typically good thing in a Sci-Fi world, but this doesn’t do anything to explain how it works, or what the Force even is. That’s what we have the next section of this post for.
Now things start getting slightly wacky, as we have to look at Mortis, the Ones and how they fit into things. Or how they don’t, because they jive with this universe about as well as actual time travel and Waru. Sadly both of these actually exist in this universe via The Crystal Star and Crosscurrent (no I’m not saying either of them are actually bad books (though Crystal Star is), just that they don’t really fit within the established mythos of Star Wars. While it was interesting to finally get some information on the mysterious Celestials in Apocalypse, going and looking at the Ones was just underwhelming and confusing. If the Force has a will, was it theirs? Where did they come from? Were they the original Force users? And that’s just the tip of the questionberg that we’re left with relative to them.
What I’ve personally been able to glean from them was that they influenced the will of the Force, otherwise how could it have a light and dark will if it is just an energy field? I could never really figure that one out, and in a way it is a relief to know that there is something outside of the Force that is influencing it. But since they’re kind of dead, it would suggest that they’ve merged with the force and legitimately become its will after Anakin was there and all of the Ones died. Or merged with the Force, or whatever it is that Force Entities actually do. Basically what I’m thinking is that the Jedi were guided by the Daughter, for a time, and to a degree turned their back on her to do whatever the republic wanted them to do, which is why their ability to use the Force started diminishing. As a result of that the influence of the Lightside was grossly weakened (which might have been why the Father got sick, now that I think about it. This entire thing is almost stupidly convoluted at this point :-P). Darth Plagueis even commented on this in the book of the same name by James Luceno. This was what started me thinking about this, along with my colleague’s post Blinded, Are the Knights. Plagueis was talking about that time, and what had happened the entire thousand plus years running up to that, and how they had lost their opposite to deal with. Essentially the war between the Son and Daughter was taken away from them as the Son started a different kind of war, and the Jedi stagnated and ended up pulling away from the Daughter. Given that this is what the entirety of the balance of the Force is about, their fight and how it evens out under the Father’s watchful eye, it does make sense that the Jedi became lost and in essence had a perverted lightside imbalance as it wasn’t lining up with the Daughter’s will. Now, whether this is actually a GOOD thing or not I can’t really say, but it does seem like that’s what happened. In a way, by the Daughter winning the war between the Jedi and Sith she ultimately lost, because the Jedi didn’t have as much need of listening to the will of the Force, or the will of the Daughter if you will.
Another thing I’m thinking is that the Son might have noticed how much Exar Kun was capable of doing on his own, and might have realized that there doesn’t have to be a lot of people following what he wants so long as they are powerful. In essence he focused almost all of the darkside of the Force in the Baneite Sith to bring about the downfall of the Jedi and the Daughter. And as I said, I think this might be why the Father grew ill, because things were so far out of balance due to the Son’s actions that he essentially caused the fall of the Ones at the hands of Anakin Skywalker. I do find it very interesting WHEN precisely Anakin Skywalker happened, and that it was right after Plagueis and Sidious had raised someone from the dead for the first time, and done it over and over. Even more interesting that Plagueis had been playing with that very idea, a being created by the Force. To me, this is something that has the Father’s fingerprints all over it, especially since he wanted Anakin to be his replacement. So in a way, the prophecy about Anakin was completely correct, he WAS meant to bring balance to the Force in a far more penultimate role than even Lucas could have imagined. What makes this even more interesting is when you look back at the Dawn of the Jedi series of comics, and what the Jedi originally were as the Jed’aii. But that’s for another post (my next one in fact :-P).
As this is starting to get rather on the longside, I’ll leave you all with this: The Force is something that will continue to evolve, and likely change completely with the new trilogy of movies coming out as well as all of the tie-ins that are planned. Not to mention that the current EU will also probably end up dumped by the wayside (this saddens me greatly, but what can you do?). But we can be sure that with the evolution of the Force, and by extension the very foundation of Star Wars itself, that we’ll have new theories and ideas to keep interest in the philosophical and metaphysical side of that galaxy far, far away.
Join me later this week as we look at the origins of the Jedi, and I’m sure I’ll be returning to this topic sometime in the future (hopefully in the comments on this post, but if not at a later date). Thanks for reading, any thoughts and comments in general are appreciated.