anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (luke and leia)
[personal profile] anghraine
Day 27: What is the most heroic moment?

As always, I'm divided between Luke and Anakin. For Anakin, it's obvious -- giving up his life to destroy the Emperor and save his child, freeing himself from the Dark Side and destroying his cause at the same time.  

Luke throwing away his lightsabre -- well, actually, that's part and parcel of the whole thing.  He deliberately gets himself captured on the off chance that he can save his father, knowing perfectly well that he'll die in the extremely probable scenario that he fails.  Incidentally, he's trying to save his father's life as well as his soul; Luke firmly believes that his own side is about to destroy the Death Star, taking out everyone on it including Vader.  It's no coincidence that his 'quit the Dark Side!' intervention isn't a request to, say, protect him, or even simply to turn back, but specifically to get off the Death Star.  

Luke's risking his life to protect his father from the Rebels as well as the Emperor.  Even this much is skirting very close to treason.  If he'd actually succeeded and they'd each abandoned their allegiances to go fight crime or something ... um.

(I'm not sure when Anakin realised this -- not right away, certainly, but I like to think he did, at some point.  For him, I think, it would have been huge.  A lot of people talk about doing anything for love, but I suspect Luke is the only person in Anakin's life -- aside of Anakin himself -- for whom "anything" actually means anything.)

<tangent>

Luke's affiliation with the Alliance seems to have definitely weakened over the course of the series.  He begins as an Alliance fanboy, promptly enlists and fights as a soldier and then an officer for at least several months (if not years), goes AWOL on the promptings of a ghost -- seriously, how well could that have gone over?  It's no surprise that we almost never see him in uniform after that -- and to all appearances spends several more months/years presumably training himself before briefly rejoining them, only to go AWOL again to the surprise of no one.  I wouldn't be surprised if he's already resigned his commission or whatever.

In fact, by ROTJ, his position in the Alliance seems roughly equivalent to Vader's in ANH.  He's certainly aligned with the Alliance, but he seems to occupy a place largely outside of the command structure.  He periodically shows up and kicks ass, then wanders off to pursue his own agenda, and everybody just rolls with it because he's Luke Skywalker.  Yet another way he's essentially good!Vader in ROTJ.

(In my headcanon, incidentally, this results in Luke formally leaving the Alliance after Endor, to go rebuild the Order and be a Jedi full-time.  I don't think Leia is particularly thrilled about this, though I expect Han gets it, and takes him to Coruscant since Luke no longer seems to have a ship of his own.  Also, a number of people suspect Han's using this as an excuse to get out himself and be a free agent again, and are rather surprised when he comes back.  Leia isn't. 

Anyway, It becomes awkward, because Luke feels strongly that the new Order ought to be politically neutral and really-and-truly guardians of peace and justice, which for awhile is this huge point of contention between him and Leia. 

Leia is also somewhat outside the command structure, and she's strongly tempted by the idea of being a Jedi -- even as a little girl at the Imperial court, she thought having Darth Vader's powers would be the coolest thing ever, only she'd use them FOR GREAT JUSTICE -- but she's deeply committed to the Alliance, and she's also tired and now that they're not fighting for their lives every minute it's catching up with her, and and and.  For his part, Luke is (1) dealing with students 24/7, (2) trying to keep them from the Dark Side, (3) kind of making things up as he goes along, and (4) bringing up a baby who is actually a clone but nobody must know about that. 

So all of these things get tangled up in their frustration with each other, and it becomes this ginormous elephant in the room that nobody talks about at family gatherings.  Usually.  Occasionally there'll be a scene like this:

COMFY ROOM SOMEWHERE

[HAN, JAINA and JACEN are happily playing with JAINA's model starships.  LUKE and LEIA are absent, and HAN seems slightly proccupied.]

[cue distant raised voices]

JAINA [jumps]:  What's that?

HAN:  Er. 

JACEN [puzzled]:  Is that Mama and Uncle Luke?

JAINA:  Are they fighting?  Like us?

HAN:  Even grown-up brothers and sisters fight sometimes, sweetheart.  I told you that this morning.  Even twins.

JAINA:  'Specially twins, you said.

JACEN:  But ... Mama?  And Uncle Luke?

[LEIA and LUKE's voices become louder and more audible.]

LEIA:  The Alliance needs --

LUKE:  It's not a military academy, Leia!  I'm not having my students turned into child soldiers, whatever the --

LEIA:  If you could stop putting words in my mouth for one minute --

JAINA and JACEN:  o_O

HAN:  Um.  Who wants to take a ride in the Falcon?

JAINA, instantly distracted:  Meeeee!

JACEN:  Me too?

Yeah.)

</tangent>

Back to heroics, I don't know if I can really choose between the two sacrifices.  They're both risking the same thing, pretty much (DEATH) out of ... pure love, pretty much.  However, Luke only risks his life; he does actually live, while Anakin not only consciously chooses to do something that will inevitably fatally damage him, he also consciously lets himself die.  So I'll give this one to him.

Day 28:  What is your least favourite moment?

The prequel trilogy

In the OT, the twin reveal.  It accomplishes nothing -- by ROTJ, it's obvious that Leia is fully committed to Han and Luke is fully committed to being a space monk.  The ship is effectively sunk; making them siblings is not only a really awkward retcon (really, Leia, you always knew?), it accomplishes nothing. 

So Leia has Force powers.  Does she ever use them?  No!  Are they even relevant to the plot?  No -- Luke doesn't even telepathically tell her that IT'S A TRAP, and we knew that was possible even before we knew she had them.  Everybody says she needs to be trained, but she never actually is.

So Leia is Vader's daughter.  Does this affect either of them?  Not really.  Does it cause them to do anything they wouldn't already have done?  No!  The only real importance it seems to have is that threatening Luke's sister sends him hurtling towards the Dark Side for about five minutes.  Threatening Luke's best friend wouldn't have done that?  IDEK.

Also, it makes it seem very odd that Vader -- who took about thirty seconds to pick up on Luke's Force potential -- never noticed Leia's.  Also, it makes her part of the Skywalker family dynamic but doesn't give her any greater role in it than she already had, so that she's only really significant in how her existence influences the men in the family.  It's a sharp contrast to her roles in the Rebel vs Empire plot and the Luke/Leia/Han BFFship, where she's central in her own right.  Also, it makes Obi-Wan seem even more of an asshole than he was already, overlooking Leia to the point of forgetting about her existence and even then viewing her only as a Plan B in case Luke doesn't work out.  (Also, using Luke's crush on her to manipulate him when it's only possible because, supposedly, Obi-Wan kidnapped and separated them?  Not cool.)

And, for the last also, it seems like a sort of lighter version of the reveal in ESB.  Only that one was huge because it had a tremendous impact on the characters and the plot and even what kind of story we were dealing with.  This one ... meh.

So, to sum up, the twin reveal:

(1) Sunk a ship that was already comprehensively sunk,
(2) Retroactively made their every interaction smack of incest,
(3) Introduces large plot holes,
(4) Has no real effect on the characters and little on the plot
(5) Reduces Leia to an object to be fought over by her father and brother, making her peripheral to her own story, and
(6) Structurally, simply echoes the previous reveal, but provides none of the framework that made that one so significant.

I know, I should tell you how I really feel.

As for the prequel trilogy, I don't know where to begin.  I can only say that my feelings about the Luke and Leia twist are nothing to the many, many scenes I loathe in the PT.  The justification for the podrace is one of my least favourites (exchange money with a smuggler! simply pay a smuggler to get them out! OMG THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF STAR WARS sell the ship and buy a cheaper one!), along with the midichlorian scene, all of Anakin and Padmé's scenes in AOTC -- but particularly the one in front of the fireplace and her reaction to his confession of mass murder (but they're only Sand People, so it doesn't matter, right?) -- almost any interaction between Anakin and Obi-Wan outside of the Battle of Coruscant, most of Yoda's scenes, Anakin and Padmé's scene on the balcony, Obi-Wan and Anakin's final duel (especially everything Anakin says and Obi-Wan leaving him to fry), and Padmé's death by childbirth despair.  Also, most scenes involving two or more Jedi, because I always loved them before, and the PT made me almost happy when they died.

:(

Plot holes, continuity gaps the size of a Star Destroyer, or excruciating dialogue?  How do I choose?

I think I'm going to go, however, with Yoda's reaction to Anakin's terrified account of his vision, simply because I never dreamt anything could make me hate Yoda.  Seriously -- for all my issues with his characterisation (and they are miles wide!), Anakin kept trying to do the right thing.  Repeatedly!  For a long time!  And it kept not working.  "Miss them, we do not?  Mourn them, we do not?"  WTF, Yoda?  And he definitely wasn't mourning when the people he cared about died.  Not at all!

Yoda, I only wanted to love you!

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