martes, 11 de marzo de 2014

The Yoda Arc

Literally amazing.

It's difficult for me to find the words that can describe how these episodes made me feel.

George Lucas and Dave Filoni decided to take Yoda on a quest to learn the path of immortality, replicating the Hero's Journey as seen in Joseph Campbell's The Hero with A Thousand Faces, staying both surprisingly faithful to the blueprint and also re-telling it in a way unlike anything I have ever seen before. 

But before we could embark on this amazing journey, we learned more about the mystery of Sifo-Dyas. We know from the Darth Plagueis novel that the Muun Sith Lord had proposed Sifo-Dyas with the idea of the creation of a human clone army in case it would ever be needed. Dyas was eventually persuaded into it. The first episode of the arc, The Lost One, does the careful job of not directly mentioning these events and leaving much mystery surrounding his character. 

However, their are some major continuity issues that start to spark once you think about what the episode exposed, and it took me a while to figure if their was any logic around it. This is something I hope is clarified in the future, but if I am correct, then it should go like this: After the events of Episode I, Chancellor Valorum should have remained in office until his term ended, therefore giving Palpatine some time before he turns Dooku into his apprentice and the Clone Army is created. Once Sifo-Dyas does this, Valorum sends him on a secret mission to prevent a criminal war with the Pyke Syndicate. Dooku strikes a deal with Lom, the head of the Pykes with his alias Tyranus to gundown the ship Sifo-Dyas was in. Dooku then takes the body of the deceased Jedi and cremates him in Felucia, in order to leave no trace to the Jedi. However, the Pykes keep the only survivor of the incident, Valorum's aid Silman, as insurance over the deal with the Sith. 

As Obi-Wan and Anakin go to the Pykes homeworld and meet with Lom, they are shown the cell where a crazy Silman has been living for over a decade. Before Silman can reveal to the Jedi who was behind Sifo-Dyas's murder, Dooku Force chokes him to death. Later on we get into a very suspenseful and incredible fight between Obi-Wan, Anakin, Dooku and the Pykes, in which the Jedi learn of Dooku's Sith name and Dooku remarks that he told Obi-Wan the truth on Geonosis. 

This all leads them into a terrifying conclusion-the Sith created the Clone Army and the Jedi have been playing with the Dark Lords game all along. Yoda says that no one-not even the Chancellor-can be aware of this. Even worse they have little choice but to continue to play the game of the Sith, bluntly realizing that they have no other choice.

In the following 3 episodes of the arc, we do go into the amazing journey in which Yoda is guided by the spirit of the deceased Qui-Gon Jinn to the planet Dagobah, in which we learn much more about the mythology and cosmology of Star Wars, dealing with the concept of the Cosmic Force which we had never learned of before. He later goes off into the planet where life and the midichlorians originated, and meets with Five Priestesses (they could be the Whills) and tell Yoda that he has to face a set of trials in order to prove himself worthy of learning the secret to immortality.

In those trials he faces his fears, some of which are kind of terrifying. But perhaps the most interesting thing he saw was the scene where Yoda saw what life would be like if everything was perfect-Ahsoka was still in the Order, Dooku hadn't turned to the dark side and Qui-Gon was still alive. However, Yoda comes to the realization that all of this is just a vision, and none of it is real. He comes to realize that he has to accept his life like how it is, not how he thinks it should have been.

The Sages deem him to have passed the first trials, but he must now go into the most dangerous one yet, and visit Moraband- the ancient homeworld of the Sith. There he faces off with an illusion of the ghost of Darth Bane (voiced by Mark Hamill himself) and sees a couple of other scary things in the planet. The most interesting part however, is the vision Yoda ends up having of Darth Sidious, purposefully enacted by the Sith Lord himself through the use of some weird Sith ritual with the use of Tyranus's blood. Many scenes in that vision have strong references to Episodes III and VI, and in the end, the Sith fail to break the spirit of Yoda. 

Yoda passes the trials with the Sages, and can now become an apprentice of Qui-Gon. He comes to the realization that the Jedi won't win the Clone Wars, but that a few Jedi must retain their consciousness after death in order to train Luke and bring victory to the Jedi for all time.

All I can say in the end, is that this arc is perhaps the greatest possible way George Lucas could have left his legacy as a storyteller...

May the Force Be With You, George. Always.

Oh, and a note to JJ: this arc should give you a clue as to where you can move forward into Episode VII.

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