darkness Journal

Does the Force doom the Galaxy?


So I’ve been thinking a bit about the concept of the Force in Star Wars. In many ways it acts like a biological organism. We’ll set aside midichlorians because I’m writing this late and I don’t want to hate my night. But there seems to be an emphasis in the cinematic side of Star Wars about “balance” (which I believe is basically all that exists with the Lucasfilms acquisition by Disney). The Force itself doesn’t appear to be a thing that considers “light” to be acceptable as the dominant factor. Then again whenever “dark” overtakes the light it too suffers many ills until it ultimately dissolves.

However true balance is such an incredibly difficult, if not impossible, thing. There is only one zero. But there are infinitely many values to the left or the right of it. A single nudge in either direction and the scales keep trying to correct themselves. Anytime they are correcting the opposite side tugs too hard and the overcorrect too far in the other direction. At least for my money this appears to be what happens in the movies. In the prequels you see basically an Army of Jedi, it sounds like the Sith are basically defeated. The galaxy is just one big shiny light party.

But then the “balancer” arrives. Anakin Skywalker. Obi Wan in those movies (I think the third) shouts to Anakin “You were supposed to bring balance to the force!” And he did. That slaughtering of Jedi children and the rise of the Empire was the pendulum swing from Light to Darkness. I liken it a bit to drinking Coffee. The more you drink coffee the more your body builds up an immunity to it. Eventually if an outside force removes coffee from your life you’ll find yourself incredibly fatigued for a while. Those stopgaps that your body built to deaden the effects of caffeine still exist but the thing that made them “balancing” are now lost. So you swing from the middle ground of coffee + anti-coffee, to the “dark side” of merely anti-coffee.

Here too when Anakin slaughters the kids and ultimately brings the downfall of the Jedi Order he’s removing coffee from the equation. Albeit you’d be able to argue that the galaxy was drinking WAY too much coffee. Regardless, all that is left at that point is anti-coffee. That said, to the Empires credit, they do kinda wipe out slavery and bring order to the universe. So you know, I mean. Yeah they were terrible but that old joke about fascists making the buses run on time was in full swing here.

In 4/5/6 we are deep in the darkness. Sith’s are apparently REALLY potent because there only really appear to be two of them. Again, cinematically speaking, we’ve got the Emperor and Darth Vader. Though, I suppose, we’ve only got three Jedi left now. Yoda, Luke, and Obi Wan. Also Leia I guess but this was the 70s and Leia’s belonged in the kitchen at that time. Anyways, they’ve swung the pendulum too far and coffee has returned in the form of Luke Skywalker. He ultimately brings the downfall of a seemingly otherwise unstoppable force (galaxy wide empire is pretty bitchen, but apparently not enough).

You’d think with most fantasy stories the fall of Sauron would lead to the end of darkness. But even as Tolkien noted, idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Eventually someone will get bored enough to want more. And eventually one of those someones will want far more than any one person should have. In that moment the cycle will begin anew, it’s just a matter of numbers and time. Not really a matter of some flawed part of living minds but just probability (in my opinion).

The force is one large pair of galaxy wide idle hands. If at any point the balance tips, even slightly, the vibrations of correction start jerking out of control. And it is this force that nobody can really deny or control that will doom the Galaxy. There is nothing the people can do. Eventually the darkness or the light will awaken (as it did in the recent movie) and the cycle will continue. Everything Luke and company did in 4-6 was for naught. Eventually suffering will return because eventually the machinations of darkness will rise again. You can’t work extra hard to make life super awesome because in doing so you’ll create a culture that consolidates Jedi and this will ring in another “balancer”. Another figure on the level of Anakin will bring great sadness.

All the galaxy of Star Wars can hope to do is survive. Because for as long as the force exists they’ll be moving from one tragedy to the next. A generation (or two) might see joy but they are only taking from the joy of the generations to follow. Which I’m unconvinced was the intention of Lucas (no offense but he seems more like a collaborative creative than a single brilliant person). It’s not beyond belief that the combined creative talents of him and his editors thought of this though. And to some degree it’s pretty accurate to our planet as well.

Anywho, just a thought that came to me. Maybe it isn’t just laziness that leads to this sadness moving on ad infinitum. Perhaps its unstoppable and unavoidable, sewn into the very fabric of the universe itself.

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