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Musings on the Force

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  • Musings on the Force

    This is just a random thread for the discussion of the Force from Star wars, mostly because I had an attack of philosophy yesterday, and ended up with what I thought was an interesting metaphor for the Light and the Dark sides.

    First, if we consider the power of the force - the actual exercise of force-powers - to be like water, I believe it can be said that the Light side is rather like a desert, while the Dark is more like an oily ocean. Let me explain.

    With the Light, the road to any kind of significant power is long and hard. Guides are needed, to show the way to the sparse oases. It requires great will and discipline to find one's way, but oh, the water is sweet! However, the further one journeys into the desert, the more one forgets the green of life and emotion and the more the sun burns away who you are, leaving a white, bleached and smooth thing where there was once a living being, a husk preaching the love, honor and nobility which it no longer understands and following the guiding light of the burning sun because it can no longer make a light of its own.

    With the Dark, claiming power requires only that you dip a cup over the side, but the power does not satisfy. It is bitter and salty, and leaves you craving more. All the while, one must be cautious that they do not fall from the boat and into the waters to drown. The waters are black and dark, and every draught stains the skin, the teeth and the tongue until the drinker is transfigured, unrecognisable to those who once knew him. Finally, the drinker is indistinguishable from the ocean from which he drank, more akin to an elemental force than a living, feeling, breathing thing, but godlike in his might and bestial in his endless hunger.
    Last edited by ajf115; 01-08-2017, 05:44 AM.


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  • #2
    That is a pretty cool metaphor. The only part where it breaks down for me is that it kind of treats the light side and the dark side as different forces - different waters, as it were. While this may or may not be the case in-setting, I have always preferred the philosophies that say the force is just the force, and light or dark is about how you use it.

    The Sith Academy on Korriban (no longer canon, but still a good source of insight) taught that the force is powered by emotion. Which if true would explain why the dark side is the easier route to greater force mastery. By letting yourself be ruled by your basest, most powerful emotions as the Sith do, you open the floodgates and channel the force with great ease. But by keeping careful control of all emotions as the Jedi do, you leave the well of force energy to dry, unless you continually dig deeper and deeper for a few more drops of moisture.


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    • #3
      A friend of mine has an alternate theory on how midichlorians work that I've pretty much incorporated in my fanon. That they are a species of Force-sensitive and Force-attracted bacteria. Thus their relative concentration levels in a living being can be used as one (possible) indicator of their Force potential but they are not themselves the source of the Force in an individual nor is their concentration the only measure of someone's talent with the Force.

      Moreover, Qui Gonn's various pronouncements about them constitute a somewhat heretical view from Jedi orthodoxy, adding to the Jedi council's reticence to indulge his other unusual requests.
      Last edited by Caitiff Primogen; 01-08-2017, 05:13 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Caitiff Primogen View Post
        A friend of mine has an alternate theory on how midichlorians work that I've pretty much incorporated in my fanon. That they are a species of Force-sensitive and Force-attracted bacteria. Thus their relative concentration levels in a living being can be used as one (possible) indicator of their Force potential but they are not themselves the source of the Force in an individual nor is their concentration the only measure of someone's talent with the Force.

        Moreover, Qui Gonn's various pronouncements about them constitute a somewhat heretical view from Jedi orthodoxy, adding to the Jedi council's reticence to indulge his other unusual requests.
        So essentially a high midi-chlorian count is a byproduct of a strong force connection, instead of being the cause of said connection.


        Is it presumptuous of me to ask for alternating male/female pronouns?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Caitiff Primogen View Post
          A friend of mine has an alternate theory on how midichlorians work that I've pretty much incorporated in my fanon. That they are a species of Force-sensitive and Force-attracted bacteria. Thus their relative concentration levels in a living being can be used as one (possible) indicator of their Force potential but they are not themselves the source of the Force in an individual nor is their concentration the only measure of someone's talent with the Force.
          Is this not how people usually view them? That was always the impression that I got from Qui-Gon's explanation. He said they are microscopic life forms in a symbiotic relationship, without which life could not exist and we would have no knowledge of the force, but never that they are the source of the force. In fact the phrasing, "without them (...) we would have no knowledge of the force" implies that the force would still exist without them, we just wouldn't know about it. Also we wouldn't exist... I assume there's an unspoken "in the form that we know it now" in there.

          Between that, and Lucas' confirmation that they're the Star Wars universe's rough anologue to mitochondria, it always just made sense to me that they are a form of force-sensitive organelle, and that the Jedi are aware of a correlation (but not necessarily a causation) between force sensitivity and high concentrations of midichlorians in the sensitive's cells. Qui Gon, as a strong believer in The Living Force, attributes his force sensitivity to those organelles "whispering" and "telling him the will of the force", but that's clearly not how all Jedi view it.

          I'm also one of the few who was never bothered by the idea of midichlorians, though.

          Originally posted by Caitiff Primogen View Post
          Moreover, Qui Gonn's various pronouncements about them constitute a somewhat heretical view from Jedi orthodoxy, adding to the Jedi council's reticence to indulge his other unusual requests.
          Indeed, as a believer in The Living Force, it makes sense that he would conceptualize the force in terms of symbiotic relationships. It's like... the Thyrsus' view of the force.
          Last edited by Charlaquin; 01-08-2017, 06:07 PM.


          Onyx Path Forum Moderator

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          • #6
            I had originally interpreted it as midichlorians acting as a 'channel' for the Force, an intermediary of sorts between the person and the actual Force.


            Is it presumptuous of me to ask for alternating male/female pronouns?

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            • #7
              I never really understood this, what is the Living Force and the Universal Force, I know it's an alternate axis to the Light/Dark you normally hear about. Is the Living Force the force of living things, and the universal the overall Force as a (near) omnipresent field, i.e. Force of beings vs. Force of the world?

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              • #8
                My favorite Force musing was Darth Traya's in KotOR 2, where she took the idea of the Force and how it functioned to the logical conclusion that was an omniscient, omnipotent, wicked, and malevolent god-being that needed to be destroyed and was frustrated by the fact that destroying something which is omnipotent and omniscient is simply impossible.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by An Fhuiseog View Post
                  I never really understood this, what is the Living Force and the Universal Force, I know it's an alternate axis to the Light/Dark you normally hear about. Is the Living Force the force of living things, and the universal the overall Force as a (near) omnipresent field, i.e. Force of beings vs. Force of the world?
                  The Living Force and The Unifying Force are differing views on what the force is. Most Jedi subscribe to the Living Force philosophy, which says that the force is a sort of energy that exists within all living things. It also says that the force has dual aspects, commonly referred to as the light side and the dark side. Conversely, the Unifying Force view is less popular among the Jedi, says that the force is a single, conscious entity, with no light and dark side.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                    My favorite Force musing was Darth Traya's in KotOR 2, where she took the idea of the Force and how it functioned to the logical conclusion that was an omniscient, omnipotent, wicked, and malevolent god-being that needed to be destroyed and was frustrated by the fact that destroying something which is omnipotent and omniscient is simply impossible.
                    Yeah, Traya is an example of an extremist interpretation of Unifying Force philosophy.


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                    • #11
                      Here's something I've always found to be a hot point of debate. Darth Bane instituted the Rule of Two in part because he believed there were too many Sith and that was causing their power to diminish as they overdraw the well of the Force. Some people I've discussed this with don't believe this is possible due to the Force being generated by all living things in the universe and therefore impossible for even hundreds of thousands or millions of Force users to deplete its strength. Others have posited it might imply that while the Force is infinite in scope it has only so much ambient presence in a given system or galaxy that be drawn upon at once. What are your thoughts?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Caitiff Primogen View Post
                        What are your thoughts?
                        That being a force-user is more about belief and cultivation than science.

                        Taking a Watsonian perspective on all the different ways the Force has been presented by different writers, I posit that nobody really has a complete understanding of what the Force is or how it works. Different people find different ways to manipulate it, drawing on such things as extreme emotion, highly focused discipline, or empathetic symbiosis as means of gaining power. Some of them form schools that manage to persist for thousands of years.

                        Darth Bane might be completely wrong about the force being limited, or not. What really matters is that he thinks he is correct, and is able to persuade others to follow suit.
                        Last edited by semicasual; 01-09-2017, 02:43 PM.


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                        • #13
                          It always seemed more likely that Darth Bane was completely bonkers than he was right.

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                          • #14
                            I thought Bane instituted the Rule of Two to put a stop to the infighting among the Sith and to insure the Mantle Dark Lord of the Sith would always belong to the most powerful among them.


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                            • #15
                              I mean yeah, the mantle of the Dark Lord of the Sith would always belong to the most powerful Sith but that was because after Bane there was often only one Sith (or two if he had an apprentice) so that Sith would by default be the "strongest" Sith. It's kind of like me bragging about how I'm the most powerful person in my apartment - once you realize there's nobody else in my apartment but me, it's maybe not quite so impressive.

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