Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Dilemmas and Loyalties Part XII

All hands were called to form a perimeter around the LAAT/i. Some of the clone pilots and general staff hid behind parts, boxes, and other aircraft. Commander Len positioned himself behind the phalanx of clone troopers. He removed his side arm from its holster. He never realized he would be using it on a Jedi. He did not need any voice enhancements to allow his voice to travel through the small bay. He hoped that Alef Ulo would just surrender to avoid any further bloodshed.

“This is Commander Len, Jedi Alef Ulo. You are to surrender your lightsaber to be escorted to your quarters. You will be returned to Coruscant for detention. These are direct orders from the Emperor himself. If you refuse, we will shoot to kill.”

He waited. There was no answer. The clone troopers who were sent to retrieve the commandos and the Jedi slowly walked out with no weapons. Then the LAAT/i began powering up. The phalanx of clone troopers instinctively headed towards the aircraft with their weapons drawn. Two clone pilots approached the unarmed clone troopers gesturing them to remove their helmets.

Commander Len heard another noise in the hangar bay. It was another ship. He looked around to find some of the staff firing their rifles in the direction of where the V Wing was stationed. He yelled out to the other clone troopers but realized that he could not be heard through the noise. Yet they realized that the Jedi was not in the LAAT/i. Immediately they ran in the direction of the V Wing. Len followed and noticed that some of the blasters were “yanked” from the hands of his staff and troopers. He arrived in the vicinity to find Alef Ulo sitting in the cockpit of the V Wing. He also noticed a clone trooper slumped on the ground. He shook his head. The vehicle was being prepped by the now unconscious trooper. The Jedi would be getting away.

Commander Len reached for his comlink.

“Make sure that the bay doors are locked!” He repeated over and over.

He watched in horror as they opened and the V Wing shot out of the bay. As quickly as the bay became loud, it was just as quickly quiet.

“Battle stations!” Commander Len barked. He reached for his comlink again. “Follow that V Wing and train all batteries on it. Shoot him out of space!”

Commander Len realized he would regret that order later on.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Darth Bane and the a different view of the Sith

Omi's Note: This is a side bar to the Darth Bane review that I posted last week. The book as well as other's such as Star Wars: Traitor, give a different view of the dark side. I must point out that Billie Wheelz and I hold Vergere's view of the Unifying Force. That view is that there is no dark or light side of the force. There is just the force. People can be self centered or selfless in their approach to it. If one reads Traitor they will understand further. This book demonstrates Jacen Solo's approach to the force that set him apart from the other Jedi.

Growing up, we are given stories of good and evil. Even our religions are masked with concepts of people being either good or evil. Some are considered na├»ve and just fall into a category that is easiest. As we get older however, we realize that the lines are blurred. Of course you have people who are just evil but then there are people who are either victims of circumstance or have a noble idea that goes wrong somewhere. There is a saying: “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Take Darth Bane. He realizes that the Force will redeem him. It will provide a better life for him then living as a miner on a backwater planet. Unfortunately for him, Bane lived a harsh life. His understanding of the universe and the Force was shaped by this. He felt that pain, passion, and self centered ideology were the key to power. His fellow Sith however looked at the force differently. Yes, they were the enemies of the Jedi but they felt that the Jedi were corrupt. The Sith of his time (which is 1,000 years before the Battle of Yavin or BBY), saw the the Republic was also corrupt and only cared about certain people. They wanted to shape the galaxy in their own image. They stopped their infighting and decided to unite to bring the galaxy together. Although they were totalitarian in their approach, their idea was to create a galaxy that worked.

It is Bane's approach however that triumphs and eventually destroys the Jedi. Although this takes over 1,000 years to work and only allowed Palpatine another 20 years of power it was successful in uniting the galaxy and fixing several of the political problems therein. Of course there were flaws such as the Xenophobia exhibited by Palpatine and his co horts, but things went smooth. Yet 135 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), we see the Republic broken again, the Sith are running things and the Jedi are on the run. I skipped the Yuuzhan Vong War and the Correllian insurrection but we will go over those later.

This time the Sith are many instead of the rule of two. Their approach is much like that of the Sith in Bane's time. They united to bring the Sith to power and the galaxy under control. I am not saying the Sith are good but it brings many political ideas to question.

Take for example, modern dictatorships. Look at the Former Soviet Union. Yes it was rife with bureaucracy and supply issues that caused long lines for basic foodstuffs, but there was little crime and the government took care of health needs and the like. Now it has reverted back to Russia and it is rife with economic and social problems. Here we see the debate between democracy and a totalitarian government. I think the Star Wars EU covers those parallels.

What makes the Sith intriguing is that many of them want to do good. Many of them want to fix problems. At times, the Jedi want to do the same thing and also go about it the wrong way. During the Old Republic, the Jedi often became elitist in their ways and actions. The Mandolarians had issues with the Jedi who they felt meddled in affairs that they had no business being in (sort of like the Iraqi's). It is because of the Jedi that the Mandolarians are a stateless society. We learn as we get older that things are not as evil as they seem and some things that seem good are not all the way good. Catch my drift?

Again this is just something to think about. It makes one look at the EU differently.