Monday, June 06, 2005

May the force be with you

What makes one turn to the Dark Side? Is it lust for power? Or blindness to deception? Or the desire to save a loved one?

The 3 prequels to the Star Wars saga tell us the story of Anakin Skywalker, who became Darth Vader. His is a very sad story. I have to admit, I shed a tear towards the end of Episode 3, when Padme gave birth to the twins and lost the desire to live. Or it could just be me. I always cry when I watch a woman give birth. But nonetheless, I still felt sorry for Anakin. We knew that eventually, he would turn to the Dark Side. But we saw this happen slowly and we understood why.

In "Attack of the Clones," we watched him agonize when his mother, Shmi, died in his arms and we felt his wrath when he slew her killers, the Sand People.

In "Revenge of the Sith," he was haunted by nightmares of Padme dying in childbirth and he was determined to stop her from dying, no matter the cost, which lead him to the dark path.

Ryan said, “Now it all connects.” We now have a better understanding of the series. The movie explains why Darth Vader had to wear that suit and why we hear him breathe. We also learned how the twins got separated and why Luke ended up at Tatooine and Leah with the Organas.

I now know why it’s not suitable for young children. How many times did I try to cover Ryland’s eyes with my hand, which he always brushed off. Of course it just made him more curious. I just didn’t want him to see the sometimes gruesome fighting scenes with arms being cut off. I was afraid that he’d get scared of Chancellor Palpatine’s face after he almost died when Mace Windu battled him. The visual effects are so good that they look so lifelike. I kept asking him if he was scared, to which he always replied, “No.” Sure, he was not. He knew that it wasn’t real.

"Revenge of the Sith" has such a universal theme. It is about the choices we make and the consequences of our actions. Sometimes we have to make life-changing decisions. But when we are young, like Anakin in the movie, we let our emotions take over and we make harsh decisions - decisions that could lead to pain, loss and suffering. I hope that my children can see beyond the breath-taking lightsaber duels and take this lesson with them.

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