Monday, 5 February 2018

A point of view on "a certain point of view"

Not couples goals in any fashion, a long time ago...
I'm a disc and a bit into the second season of Clone Wars and I'm starting to see the logic behind science fiction's most famous moral cop-out, Obi-Wan Kenobi's “what I told you was true... from a certain point of view”.

You see, I'm starting to see his point of view.

This is what I love about the Clone Wars series is how it lends context to the prequel films and one thing from the prequels it expands on is how little of Anakin's development Obi-Wan actually sees. In the films he doesn't ever find out about the slaughter of the Tuskan village (not only the men but the women and the children, too) and, of course, doesn't learn about Anakin and Padme's marriage until the very end. He doesn't understand the trauma Anakin lives with or the resentments that have built up in him concerning the Jedi Order.
Two generations of Skywalker man, same old bullshit
Obi-Wan Kenobi never comes to understand (save possibly in the last shot of Return of the Jedi) that Anakin and Vader are genuinely the same person. As far as he's concerned the slaughter of the younglings comes out of nowhere and is completely without motive. It is something Anakin would never do and so he sees the corrupting influence of the Dark Side as creating a completely distinct personality called Darth Vader.

And he thinks this because he never saw how close to the surface the Dark was in Anakin. He doesn't know that this isn't the first time Anakin has killed children as a reaction to trauma; he doesn't understand that Count Dooku didn't die in combat but was executed on Palpatine's orders; he doesn't sees the controlling behaviour that typifies Anakin's marriage (and is so much better dealt with and so much creepier in Clone Wars, by the way); he doesn't see Anakin force choke a prisoner to extract information.

That last one, the Clone Wars scene that inspired this post, is genius. In the second season episode Brain Invaders we see Anakin use the force choke for the first time and he even does it for pretty good reasons. The man he is, to be frank, torturing has information that could save the life of Anakin's padawan Ahsoka Tano. There's so much here of what will eventually damn Anakin: his instinct to violence; his tendency to take extreme action to save those he cares about; even the paternal emotions that will explicitly lead to his downfall.

And Obi-Wan sees none of it so, from a certain point of view...

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