Here’s another past academic analytical research Essay, on Star Wars! Written by Moi 🙂
Into The Force
An analytical study on the Sacred, the Profane, and its use in Power
The force and its use in power, can be discussed, viewed and argued in different ways. This may lead, to the continuation, of alternating perspectives when discussing the force; including its application, however the force viewed as sacred, is the force deemed worthy to be attained. “The sacred is the realm of important matters, the great concerns that effect the life of the entire community; the profane, in contrast, is the realm of things personal and private, the daily minor needs of the individual” (Pals, pg. 100).
In addition, the sacred is the respected force to be pursued, yet often seems next to impossible to hold on to. It appears as if the general consensus of our current civilization, has consciously and unconsciously agreed, to conform to the belief, of actively pursuing the realm of the forbidden, namely the sacred. We continue in the hot pursuit of the sacred, as “we ordinarily think of it under the form of a moral power which, though immanent in us, represents within us something not ourselves: this is the moral conscience, of which, by the way, men have never made even a slightly distinct representation except by the aid of religious symbols” (Pals, pg. 115).
The search for perfection; inclusive of quests enriched with illustrious treasures, as well as the aid of magical supernatural figures, all center around the suggestion of thirst and hunger for more, while on the great pursuit for happiness. In order to quench or tame this arousal, one must submit to the practices of ritualistic performances, including the repetition of rituals and the citation of sacred rites. With humanity deemed easily influenced by the profane, and the profane deemed as unavoidable yet easily attainable, it is quite natural for the belief in good over evil, light over dark, and heaven over hell, thought processes to easily manifest, applied, and progress, while ultimately setting the standard tone for society.
In George Lucas’ epic movie trilogy; Star Wars Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, the use of the force, is demonstrated thoroughly as sacred and profane, while showcasing that its application, can create peace or destruction, and victory or demise, depending on its use in power.
“War! The Republic is crumbling, under the attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord: Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.” (Lucas, George, Twentieth Century Fox).
The force; is it driven by emotion, which, depending on how it’s developed, may have the power to heal or destroy, in addition to deciding the fate of galaxies? When discussing the force, how does one differentiate from the starting point of the force, namely as profane? Could it be a poor thought pattern; consumed with fear, which grows into the formation of dis-ease, or could it be the trickeries of emotions, which were developed through moments of passion? The sacred, is “naturally considered superior in dignity and power to profane things, and particularly to man, when he is only a man and has nothing sacred about him. One thinks of himself as occupying an inferior and dependent position in relation to them; and surely this conception is not without some truth. Only there is nothing in it which is really characteristic of the sacred. On the other hand, it must not be lost to view that there are sacred things of every degree, and that there are some in relation to which a man feels himself relatively at ease.” (Pals, pg. 105).
The movie begins, with a battle of the forces; the good will of the Jedi Order, against the combative Destroyers, while in a heated pursuit, for the dark and evil Count Dooku, by Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi, and a young Jedi Knight; Master in the making, Anakin Skywalker, enhanced by the assistance of artificial intelligence, from a trusted android, R2-D2. Anakin is in “moral harmony with his comrades. He has more confidence, courage and boldness in action, just like the believer who thinks that he feels the regard of his God turned graciously towards him” (Pals, pg. 115). Count Dooku; the assumed evil Sith Lord, ultimately meets his demise, by the sacred Light-Saber, swung by the brave and determined Anakin, whose emotion is heightened with anger; through thoughts of revenge, in addition to the coercion of Palpatine, the chancellor of the Galactic Republic. This opening scene provides a distinct look into the force, as it develops in Anakin, while he immediately is forced to make the decision to act quickly and wisely, right before killing Count Dooku. He senses it is wrong to kill Count Dooku, despite the wrong which the Count had previously done to him. “This is not the Jedi way,” (Lucas, George, Twentieth Century Fox) young Anakin murmurs, as he struggles to make the final decision, while under pressure by the Chancellor.
Brave, yet sensitive to the sensation of the force, Anakin could not “escape the feeling that outside of him, there are active causes from which he gets his characteristics attributes of his nature and which, as benevolent powers, assist him, protect him and assure him of a privileged fate” (Pals, pg. 115).“ The Jedi Order, is quite similar to a “positive cult, when a man is trained to renouncement, to abnegation, to detachment from self, and consequently to suffering. Even if the rites do not demand material gifts from him, they require his time and his strength. In order to serve his God(s), he must forget himself.” (Pals, pg. 129).
The reward proves he made a wise decision, as Anakin gains favor in Chancellor Palpatine, who showers Anakin with praise while in political council. Jedi’s have no place in politics, as the seasoned Jedi Master; Obi Wan Kenobi, demonstrates. The Jedi order is to serve and protect, with the intention of good for all, while clinging to the righteous path; namely the light-force, the sacred realm of power. Fear has captivated and clouded Anakin’s judgment, preventing him from using the force with caution. As the need for the force and its power, to generate a result ensues, and Anakin’s relationship with Palpatine grows, Anakin is faced with heart wrenching questions, as he is led towards the dark path of the unknown. After prophesying the death of his beloved wife Padame Amidala, Anakin’s need for the assistance of the force, in order to change destiny, is accelerated by the remembrance of his beloved mother whom he had lost. Attachment clouds his judgment. Young Anakin is determined to save his wife, as he wished he could have saved his mother, by any means necessary. This kind of conclusion, can call for the arousal of the profane, or the dark side of the force, which may produce what the heart desires, while cleverly hiding the devastating cost. Anakin is haunted constantly by visions of tragedy. His suffering , “is the sign that certain of the bonds attaching him to his profane environment are broken; so it testifies that he is partially freed from this environment, and, consequently, it is justly considered the instrument of deliverance” (Pals, pg. 129).
Anakin is tempted to enter into the dark realm, as he grows closer and gains the trust of the mysterious Chancellor Palpatine, who arouses young Anakin further, by informing him of his truths. The Chancellor confesses to Anakin, that he knows the secret, to save one from death. This ultimately leads to a bond being formed, and Anakin submitting himself wholly to the secret teaching of the Chancellor, who is in fact; yet unknown to the public, the dark and profane Sith Lord, Darth Sideous. “Sacrifices and privations do not come without privations, which cost the worshipper dear” (Pals, pg. 129). Anakin learns the deep and darkest secrets of the Sith Lord, by becoming his apprentice and choosing to use the dark side of the force. From his point of view, he is right. There is war, and the republic is losing to the separatists. The Jedi Order is to serve the republic and live by the codes of democracy. However, this Jedi Master in training, is now secured to the dark side of the force; the profanely evil course of the Sith, and the fate of the entire galaxy is at stake. “We hold to the profane world by the fibers of our flesh; our senses attach us to it; our life depends upon it. It is not merely the natural theatre of our activity; it penetrates us from every side; it is a part of ourselves. So we cannot detach ourselves from it without doing violence to our nature, and without painfully wounding our instincts. In other words, the negative cult (or the negative use of the force), cannot develop without causing suffering. Pain is one of its necessary conditions” (Pals, pg. 129). Killings, imbalance, hate, and destruction, reigns as the Chancellor’ continues to rise in power, with the aide of his young apprentice, whom he has gained his complete devotion. Anakin is devoted to serving the profane(or the dark side of the force), for the sake of saving life.
The movie concludes, quite similar to how it began, with an epic battle between the forces of good and evil. This time however, it’s a gruesome showdown, with brother versus brother, Master Obi Wan Kenobi, against the once shining Jedi knight; Anakin Skywalker, whom has fallen sadly far from grace, while rising in power, through attachment in the evil and profane use of the supernatural. With the supernatural power in the light saber secured tight, and with a distinctive upper hand, Obi Wan Kenobi reminds the once prophesied chosen one, that “we were once brothers”, as what was once worth fighting for, in the name of peaceful revolution and sound restoration, is now replaced with impure intentions and empirical motivations, which Anakin now believes is worth dying for.