Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
-C.S. Lewis
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Vaderian Ethics 101
November 19, 2007

I'm somewhat of a Star Wars fan, though not on the obsessive fruicake level that many who call themselves "fans" of the series seem to be. As an entertainment medium, I appreciate the series as being able to entertain quite well. Unlike most so-called fans, I like the prequels just fine and, in fact, will be focusing them a lot in this rant.

What the fuck is up with me writing a rant based on Star Wars? Well, after watching Episode III for about the 50th time (it is by far my favorite of the six movies; another thing that sets me apart from most fans), I decided that perhaps it was time to comment on some of the deeper things that the casual idiot viewer may not've picked up on. Or, if they did pick up on it, just didn't care because it didn't involve spaceships or light sabers or anything else that makes cool noises and has pretty lights. Yes, by the way, I *am* implying that most Star Wars fans are vapid drooling retards and don't care about anything in the movies but the most basic stimuli.

We're going to delve a little deeper, though. By "Vaderian Ethics" I mean, literally, the ethics of Darth Vader. You may wonder "what fucking ethics?!" Well, that's kinda the point: Human ethics. Whatever else the character of Darth Vader may've been, he was most certainly human and acted just as I would expect almost any human being to act in his place.

One of the biggest complaints I hear about the prequels is that Anikan Skywalker is portrayed as a whiny, petulant, demanding, selfish, spoiled, stupid ass little pussy. In other words -- and I'm not sure how this happened so long ago and so far away -- you're all basically saying that Anikan was most definately a typical American. And indeed he was. The typical American who wants exactly what he wants - and nothing less - and he wants it right fucking now! Perhaps people were so bothered by that portrayal because it's simply uncomfortable to stare into a mirror for so long....

Nevertheless, it was ultimately not Anikan's selfishness or anything else that did him in. It was the Jedi mantra to "trust your feelings." A mantra shared, sadly, by our own modern world. Nevermind logic or reason, let's all just trust our fucking feeling to run our lives for us! And that brings me to the second most frequent complaint about the prequels: Anakin went to the Dark Side faster than a 14 year old girl goes to the bathroom on R. Kelly's chest. Or, did he?

In actual fact, he turned because he didn't have much fucking choice in the matter. Palpatine played Anakin like a fiddle and kudos to him for it! There's a question I'm going to ask you now and it's the main point of this rant. Ask yourself and, no matter what you may say publicly, answer it honestly to yourself at least. Think about the person you love most in the world. It may be a girlfriend/boyfriend, a spouse, a best friend, a parent, a child, whatever. Think about that person. Think about how much you love truly love them. Now, think about the pain of losing that person. Think about him or her dying as you watch and are powerless to prevent it. But wait! What if you knew this was going to happen and there was a way to stop it? What if Satan himself made you a deal: Become the next Adolph Hitler, and your loved one will be saved - Guaran-fuckin-teed. So here's the question: To save the one you love, would YOU betray everything you believe in and become pure evil (whatever your definition of that may be)?

Pay attention now, cuz here's your big lesson in basic Vaderian Ethics. There's only one correct answer, and that answer is yes, you would. Don't even try to weasel out of it. I know, we ALL like to think that we're so above that sort of selfishness, but we're not. Anakin was selfish and sacrificed everything he held dear to keep Padme with him. So would I, and so would you. Don't fucking kid yourself. If you say that you would make a different choice, you're lying. It's that simple.

If I knew with absolute certainty that my wife or Meg were going to be die and the only way to save them was to betray everything I believe in, I'd open a fucking Gulag school and start enrolling good little boys and girls by the truckload. I wouldn't be able to abuse those little shits fast enough! I'd join MADD and fucking blow up NYRA headquarters. Poor Alex Koroknay-Palicz, he'd be lying in 10 pieces after I finished. Even my dearest YR friend Katrina, might find a special package with a red LED count-down in her trunk. Oops, too late... BOOM! And the camera pans down so we see only Kat's glasses, bloodied and lying on the curb in front of her house. Awwww....

And it's no different for you. Yes, you too would obliterate everything in the world that you call "right" and "good" if it meant sparing yourself the pain of losing the ones you love most. You'd strike down the innocent people you care about, just as surely as Anakin struck down those little kids in the Jedi Temple.

What, you think Anakin really WANTED to do that? You think he wanted to wipe out the Jedi - his family - and go wipe out the Seperatists on Mustafar? FUCK NO! He didn't *want* to do that, but to save Padme's life, he absolutely had to. Try watching it again sometime and slow-mo the part where he's standing there looking out over the lava after he's just killed everyone. It's easy to miss, but he turns his face slightly to the side and you can see that his face is tear-streaked. He regretted everything evil he'd done, just as you would, but what choice did he have? The only other option, as far as he knew, was to let his wife die. No human being would make that choice, no matter how horrifying the alternative.

It's a good thing that situations like this can't happen in real life. Not often, anyway. If they could, way more people would be "evil" and turn out to be psycho murdering fucks.

But it never works out. That's what happens when you "trust your feelings." The one time a Jedi went against that mantra was probably one of the only smart things ever said in the whole fucking series. Obi Wan told Luke, "Bury your feelings deep down. They do you credit, but they may be used to serve the Emperor." When you consider that the Emperor was the embodiment of "evil" that statement from Obi Wan makes a lot of sense. Cuz that's what following your fucking heart and making huge decisions based on emotions gets you. Let's remember just what happened to Anakin and Padme? Oh, that's right, he was so committed to being evil and rotted inside from it that by the time he saw Padme again, he'd lost all capacity for goodness, caring, compassion, and love.

The Jedi and the Sith were both full of fucking horseshit. Trusting your feelings, paying no heed to the good sense you SHOULD have, leads to anger, bitterness, envy, hatred, etc. If you allow your feelings to steer your course, they will quickly overtake your reasoning mind and consume you.

That's the real Dark Side; dependance on your emotions. Think about. What the fuck is "trust your feelings" supposed to mean? Fuck that! Your feelings are there to make emotional decisions, not to run your entire life with! You should trust your feelings to pick out a girlfriend or a wife. You should trust your feelings to decide which CD you want to buy song you want to illegally download. You should NOT trust your feelings to steer the course of your life. Sadly, that's what people do more often than not. And as I've admitted, my own feelings would guide me in Anakin's place as well.

I doubt George Lucas is smart enough to've meant for this to be his message, but nevertheless, it is. Don't let your feelings rule you.

I've spoken on this site before about the Wizard's First Rule. It's the first in a collection of rules set out in Terry Goodkind's fantasy "Sword of Truth" series. The 1st rule is, "People are stupid. They can be made to believe any lie, either because they want to believe it's true or because they're afraid it's true." Now, I'm going to teach my readers another of Goodkind's rules.

The Wizard's Third Rule: Passion rules reason, for better or for worse.

This rule serves a two-fold purpose. It is, firstly, a statement of fact. A warning that people are ruled by their passions, not by their logical thinking minds. And it is, secondly, an admonition that you should not allow yourself to fall prey to this fact. Don't let your passions control and consume you! And, on that note, one more of Goodkind's little pearls of wisdom for you:

The Wizard's Sixth Rule: The only sovereign you can allow to rule you is reason.

Nothing must govern your life before reason. No government, no ideal, no belief system, no king, no creed, no god - nothing. Reasoned, logical, critical thinking is the only "god" worth devoting yourself to. Without it.... Well, I can't explain the 6th rule nearly as well as it was explained in the 6th novel of that series, so I'll close out this rant with that quote.

It's too bad Anakin Skywalker never learned this. Too bad the entire Jedi order never learned it. What's worse though, is that real life men and women all across the globe have never figured out this basic truth of existance that a simple fantasy author managed to figure out. It's fucking pathetic.

"The Sixth Rule is the hub upon which all rules turn. It is not only the most important rule, but the simplest. Nonetheless, it is the one most often ignored and violated, and by far the most despised. It must be wielded in spite of the ceaseless, howling protests of the wicked. Misery, iniquity, and utter destruction lurk in the shadows outside its full light, where half-truths snare the faithful disciples, the deeply feeling believers, the selfless followers. Faith and feelings are the warm marrow of evil. Unlike reason, faith and feelings provide no boundary to limit any delusion, any whim. They are a virulent poison, giving the numbing illusion of moral sanction to every depravity ever hatched. Faith and feelings are the darkness to reasonís light. Reason is the very substance of truth itself. The glory that is life is wholly embraced through reason, through this rule. In rejecting it, in rejecting reason, one embraces death."
-First Wizard, Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander
'Faith of the Fallen' - Chapter 2, Page 21
By Terry Goodkind

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