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Mind you, I thought it was explicit that Vader was being appealed to by Luke on the basis of being a Jedi.
If Vader was going to be appealed to on the basis of family, Vader is all for that.
Rule the galaxy together and all that.
He just rejects the Jediness until the end.
Lighty Snake hit the nail for me a dozen of posts ago. Vader is a space nazi, but he's not a space nazi because of a reason unrelated to his son, Vader is a space nazi because he fell to the dark side of the force, and he fell to the dark side for the exact same reasons him dying for his son gets him back from it.
In real life, a nazi dying for his son wouldn't make for a redemption. But the dark side of the force doesn't exist in real life, though. That's the problem of trying to apply real life morality to fiction with fantastical elements - you can only take it so far. The dark side is a metaphor for many things of real life, all right, and fiction informs reality, all right.
But that's just that, a metaphor. As in, the entire fiction is a metaphor and the metaphor is supposed to be what informs reality, not just the bits you can outright apply directly to the real world while ignoring everything that isn't a 1:1.
Redemption IS no longer being a shitty person, not just having one nice moment, and vader isn't just having a nice moment. The setting intrisically linked both Anakin's love for his family to him being a space nazi when love made him fall to the dark side, so when his love for his son cause him to reno_unce the intrinsically selfish dark side to selflessly die, he also reject everything that caused him to be space nazi in the first place. Just because Vader doesn't also state he regrets being a space nazi doesn't mean it's left to interpretation that he actually does.
Saving the galaxy and even killing the emperor aren't the decisive turning point. Acting selflessly and rejecting the philosophy that led him to become a space nazi is.
Edited by Yumil on Jan 14th 2020 at 5:17:58 PM
From the start of ROTJ on, we are introduced to the notion that Vader is not pure evil, and there is a good man still inside him. by the end of the film, that proves true.
The prequels bungle his fall immensely, but just about every piece of canon and EU material on Vader has rolled immensely with the whole "Vader is redeemable" stuff
And in SW there is a literal supernatural force that takes hold of you when you give in to anger and hate that twists your mind so even benevolent actions can become evil ones.
It's true that in real life...I dunno. Ernst von Manstein shooting Hitler wouldn't be enough to redeem being a top commander in Germany's armies, but SW is a fantasy story in space. I'm not watching Lord of the Rings to have everyone suddenly stop, turn to the camera and explain why kingship is an inherently oppressive feudal system and Aragorn will convene a socialist democracy from thereon.
Edited by Lightysnake on Jan 14th 2020 at 8:20:16 AM
Isn't the philosophy that led him to become a space nazi "can't let my loved ones die"?
Fail to see how chucking Palpatine off a ledge clashes with that tbh
Anakin's feelings for Padme were twisted to the point that he couldn't stand her opposing him and decided everyone else was turning her against him. His fear of losing her was selfish.
Luke never gives in to Vader's viewpoints. He does nothing but oppose and challenge him throughout their entire interactions into ROTJ. Vader no longer thinks of Luke in what it means for him as he did with Padme, but truly loves Luke to the point he's willing to sacrifice his life to save him.
He spends his interaction with Padme screaming "everyone turned against me, don't you turn against me, too!" Luke throws Vader's beliefs and philosophy back at him constantly. Vader sees him reject the Dark Side at the most pivotal point despite Vader doing everything he can to rile Luke to homicidal rage. End result? Vader's attack on Palpatine is him making a choice that's selfless.
Edited by Lightysnake on Jan 14th 2020 at 8:22:08 AM
As someone noted earlier in the thread, anakin's love up to that point is an entirely selfish love - something the prequels drive home by having HIM kill padme while wanting to save her. Anakin only cared about himself and his love was a possessionnal one. Him dying for his son is antithetic to that notion, which is why that moment stands out.
Except the son in this case is a Polish Resistance fighter who he kills Hitler to protect, knowing full well it will destroy the Nazis. He also spends his dying moments reassuring his son that they were right to fight him the entire time and he was glad he had the courage to reach out to appeal to him to turn against the Reich.
The argument being made is that Vader did not repudiate fascism because his love for his son is unrelated to his fascism when Lucas is claiming that his love for his son cannot exist with his love of fascism as the two are contradictory. Because, as we see, Vader is abusive and destructive when trying to combine the two.
And yes, in RL, there's a good argument that healthy relationships cannot exist with extremist ideologies. So good and evil are related to healthy love versus abuse.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Jan 14th 2020 at 8:29:57 AM
You do realize my post is agreeing with you, right ? Honest question.
Edited by Yumil on Jan 14th 2020 at 5:36:03 PM
Yep just wanted to add my thoughts.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Jan 14th 2020 at 8:37:39 AM
The talk about redemption made me think about a possible opposite: what if the person is forgiven but they havenít forgiven themselves? Is that just Easily Forgiven mixed with Redemption Rejection?
If the person is forgiven but hasn't forgiven themselves then that's the redemption problem mixed with being an obnoxious emo angstlord about it.
Some writers believe "BUT they haven't forgiven THEMSELVES" makes Easily Forgiven stop being a thing, but it doesn't. The reason it doesn't is because when someone is an asshole, the one person whose opinion on their rehabilitation matters the least is the asshole themselves.
If the asshole says, "I'm absolved of my crimes," and everyone else is like, "No, you're f*cking not," then they aren't absolved. Because who actually cares what this asshole thinks? He's the guy who caused this mess. He doesn't get a vote.
If everyone else goes, "We absolve you of your crimes," and the asshole is like, "I shall never forgive myself," then they're absolved. Because who actually cares what this asshole thinks? He's the guy who caused this mess. He doesn't get a vote.
Holding yourself in eternal contempt doesn't make you a deep, tragic, or compelling character. It doesn't make you worthy of forgiveness, nor does it make you unworthy of forgiveness. It just makes you really annoying to be around.
Edited by TobiasDrake on Jan 14th 2020 at 9:57:10 AM
This talk about redemption reminded me of Steven Universe and its "Diamond Authority situation", where after they are "redeemed" by Steven, they are treated by the show "as wacky Stevens' grannies" and all hate is supposed to come now towards Pink Diamond for being an asshole a few times (despite her, you know, starting a rebellion that saved Earth and humanity in the first place):
This video talks about this.
Edited by VeryVileVillian on Jan 14th 2020 at 8:11:48 PM
Well, one can treat the diamonds as skating by too easily (which is an issue SU has in abundance with too Easily Forgiven) and still see Pink Diamond as a terrible person
the issue with vader is that he just didnt save luke, he fix his is mistake that he did years ago by taking care of palpatine like he should be, after all papatine did exploid is concern with the galaxy and his family and vader finally get up of that grips.
I will get part of star wars is kinda inmerse in methaphysic of the soul and a little of critian soul in that vader clean himself of his main sins by helping palpatine and installing the empire in the first place, it also help that he never enjoy his evilness, but this broken by being darth vader, he is less than a man and this allow him something of is soul to depart.
I think part of what is complicated is that we expect a sort of retribution that equals the evilness wh did and if I take a hot take, redemption cant be carry as sort of democratic process in which ti said "I said he isnt" mark he isnt because is a personal property of the person, Vader save that part of is soul and goes back to be anakin, as trade off, nobody will remenber him as hero and...that is okey.
And with zuko, the complain is that he didnt personally commit part of genocide, he is evil but because he grew evil, his is not redemption indeed.
Aight, I had more to say on the matter of redemption so I'm glad the topic went back to that more generally.
I remember Charles asked what fate would await someone who geniunely repents in an hypothetical afterlife. I think that's an interesting question because it's one of those the answer fundamentally depends of personnal axioms we can't prove but are some of the most important parts of our convictions.
I'm myself an atheist so I don't really believe there's anything after death, but I do have the reflexion regularly enough that the only conception of God I have some respect for is one that would give all assholes the same choice, regardless of their crimes and attempts to redeem themselves in their life : Repent now, or repent later. Here's what you've done wrong in life, do you want to repent for those ? If yes, welcome to heaven, if no, it's okay, take your time in the endless void. Ping me if you need to talk or if you change your mind.
That digression aside, I find the idea that someone could at some point cross some kind of line that would make them forever ireedeemable to be both incredibly pessimistic and petty. M84 put it really well earlier in the exchange, to me : it should never be too late to do some good, and no one should ever provide an excuse not to do that, and arguing some people are just too far gone is doing just that.
I also think that, unlike fiction where people can routinely be the personification of evil or hatred that nobody would ever miss, even the biggest real-life asshole has someone who cares for them, and denying a shot a redemption if asked for is just perpetuating a cycle of hurt and hatred somewhere.
As for the distinction between redemption and rehabilitation tobias made earlier, I really feel like it takes the problem completely backwards, because the problem with redemption isn't the idea, but the execution.
Redemption isn't doing one good deed and then excusing being an asshole, nor is it stopping holding someone's present shittiness against them, but stopping to be an asshole and never doing it again. Finding a couple of poorly executed examples throughout fiction to define an entire concept is disingenuous at best and outright arguing in bad faith. Starlight glimmer having botched writing doesn't invalidate the entire concept in fiction.
The problem with redemption as depicted in most fiction is actually that the writer don't want to commit to showcasing the character atone for the error of his ways for the rest of the show and therefore death becomes a good way to close that plot point. But that's precisely why rehabilitation wouldn't work in fiction any better than redemption - because it's entire concept goes against the very reason Redemption Equals Death is so common in the first place.
There's also a second problem with that idea, being that once again, fiction can only be a metaphor for reality, not a guidebook. When a fictionnal character whose inner thoughts we get to know decides to stop being an asshole and become a better person by rehabilitating, we know he means it because that's how fiction works. In real life, judging whether someone is genuine about wising up or not is a critical part of whether or not you choose to rogive someone and only time can help you tell if it was geniune.
Similarly, because of the very way a story works, having a character go through either a redemption and live for it, or a rehabilitation that would be successful, at the extreme least is giving the impression to the audience they should forgive this character, which is not something they might agree with and might take them out of the story entirely if they hate the character hard enough.
Redemption Equals Death / One big moment that is meant to make up for the bad isn't a way to cement a redemption, it's a safe way to state an asshole would have liked to repent but now that he's dead you don't have to stop watching the show if you happened to disagree, and an easy way for the writer to wrap up a plotlines. It also makes those redemptions far less impactful than if they could live through it and back up their words, but those same issues would arise with rehabilitation because a rehab as you describe it is merely a redemption done properly.
As an aside, the idea the universe can forgive you and declare you redeemed gives a sense to the process of rehab even if no one forgives you, which is the kind of thing you would need to go through rehab in the first place. It works well as a metaphor that striving to be a better person is it's own reward. Also, for those who believe in an afterlife, it's also a valid notion to hold on to.
which brings me to Tobias's recent post about how the asshole doesn't get to have a say as to whether or not he's rehabilitated. While I do agree that someone not forgiving themselves is a lazy fix to Easily Forgiven that doesn't work, I find the idea that their opinion doesn't matter and shouldn't matter at all to be frankly short-sighted.
Yes, the opinion of the asshole matters. I'd care about it if I was in such a situation. Redemption should feel good. Cause if Good Feels Good, it's all the incentive you would ever need not to fuck up again. It boils down to a pretty straightforward question : do we want people to get along with each other and avoid as much bad shit as possible or do we want to enforce an-eye-for-an-eye, consequence be damned ?
What afterlife would be appropriate for someone who genuinely recanted in his final moments?
Like. It wouldn't feel right to send them to The Bad Place if they've realized the error of their ways and want to change who they are. A genuine, meaningful atonement means they aren't the same person they were when they committed those crimes.
But it also wouldn't feel right to reward them with The Good Place for a lifetime of horror and atrocity. It's cool that you felt really bad about it in the last five minutes you were alive but you were still a dumpster fire of a human being up to that point.
The problem is that they died before any of it could mean anything. Dying for something is the easy way out. "Whoop-dee-doo, I recanted and then died without ever having to be challenged on changing my beliefs!" It's super easy to die for things because death is a punctuation mark on all of life's struggles.
Living for something is the challenge. An asshole might genuinely want to change, but they were an asshole for a reason and falling back into old asshole habits is one of the biggest risks that assholes trying to change will always face. If you die for your redemption then you never have to face those hurdles, and that makes it a pretty token gesture compared to people who had to genuinely change as people and live their lives as the new people they changed into.
So maybe you might have become a better person if you had more time. Or maybe you would have kept right on doing the shit you were doing. Who f*cking knows? You died. There's no way to know how much your redemption actually meant.
So that brings us to reincarnation. The only fair thing to do with a soul like that is to put them back in and let them try again. See who they become in the next life.
Edited by TobiasDrake on Jan 14th 2020 at 3:20:32 AM
"So maybe you might have become a better person if you had more time. Or maybe you would have kept right on doing the shit you were doing. Who f*cking knows? You died. There's no way to know how much your redemption actually meant."
Well, god would. That's the bit where being omniscient comes in.
hey, now that you mention it, that's a question I didn't thought about. Is the christian god usually depicted as capable of knowing in advance the fate of men (well, more like the possible futures had they not died, but semantics), or is it one thing he cannot know ?
Reincarnation is a good solution, gotta admit.
Edited by Yumil on Jan 14th 2020 at 12:13:55 PM
> Is the christian god usually depicted as capable of knowing in advance the fate of men, or is one thing he cannot know ?
Above all he's meant to be all knowing so yeah,he knows the fates of men
I think there's a few real world belief systems where if you were a terrible person in life, you spend an indeterminate amount of time in basically spirit jail where you serve your punishment and have your soul purified of its sins. After that you're either let go and fade into nothing (and so at last have peace), or go The Good Place.
Reincarnation is also a good solution though.
Edited by Draghinazzo on Jan 14th 2020 at 7:17:23 AM
Yeah that's what I would expect from what I absorbed of christianity through proxy, but then I remember stories from the old testament like abraham and go "wait a minute, did he made him do that fully knowing the result in advance ?" But I guess it's just old testament god for me.
Edited by Yumil on Jan 14th 2020 at 12:20:42 PM
He know, is part of omniscient comes after all.
Reencarnation is sort of good but it also have the issue that your new life is diferent which is kinda like saying "so im paying because some assholes before me did what?"
I mean that is kinda sorta the plot of steven universe in general.
Purgatory? Its where one goes to purge the sins of one's life and work to redeem themselves on a spiritual level. I don't honestly remember if its a part of Catholic doctrine anymore, but it was at least at some point.
yeah reincarnation without knowing what you fucked up or at least having a general sentiment of what you should not fuck up again is eeeeeeeeeeeh but i would assume there's at least one system of reincarnation that says that your soul essentially retains the lessons learned in past lives even if you don't know where they come from.
@Tobias That or purgatory.
For another possible redemption story (though itís not finished yet) Iíd say look at The Order of the Stick and how Belkar has changed, heís not redeemed, not yet, itís an incredibly slow process and his chance is incredibly slow, which is what makes it such a good arc.
Edited by Silasw on Jan 14th 2020 at 11:27:48 AM
I dont know if belka is a good example because while is a sort of amoral asshole, he never join the villians, him fall more into a extreme version of rehabilitation.
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