Sunday, May 08, 2005

Star Wars Philosophy


Counter-Insurgency and the Rise of the Empire
by Sean Dineen

Begun the Clone War has."1

What on earth do the government changes of a fictional society have to do with struggles that western nations have faced for nearly sixty years?

Both societies are connected by a struggle against the unique form of warfare known as an insurgency. Since the end of the Second World War, the powers that have exercised hegemony over this planet have avoided another such full-scale conflict in favor of indirect probing, and war through proxies. The Cold War and the more recent struggle against terrorism and the misuse of Islam have led to the diffusion of goals often seen in these type of conflicts – what former Malayan Defense Secretary Sir Robert Thompson called, "A world-wide front in which fifty people fight for different reasons and causes all relating to the same goal."

A similar state of affairs is true in the Star Wars universe as a leading member of the royal court reminds Senator Amidala, "
There hasn't been a full scale war for a thousand years, since the formation of the Republic."3 Local conflicts are vulnerable to exploitation because of a lack of large-scale protective forces. This is understood ten years earlier just prior to the battle of Naboo. Queen Amidala is reminded of that by her guard commander and protector, "We have no army."4 The Gungans, a formally isolated people, are transformed into allies by the Queen’s plea. "We beg you to help us, Boss Nass."5

Counter-insurgency is best understood as the attempt of a government to defend itself from an armed guerilla force that is posing as an alternative government. The government in power employs a strategy that is a combination of political and military means, which seeks not a mere defeat of opposing forces but the reintegration of the best of the other side into a purified society.

Many fans saw Cold War metaphors throughout the Original Trilogy.
The Empire was seen as both representing the United States’ desire for world hegemony and the political dictatorship of the Soviet Union. The Ewoks make use of hit and run, Viet Cong style tactics in the effort to defend their homeland of Endor. Their logs and catapults defeat the bumbling, technological, soulless Imperial military, an archetypical representation of the confused and sometimes brutal American military in Vietnam.
Return of the Jedi novelist James Kahn, himself an advisor to the New Zealand forces in that tragic conflict, makes a good point concerning the over-stretching of forces, and lack of local support that governments often face in trying to wage a counter-insurgency. "The Empire, bent on conquest, was fighting on a large scale front of unknown territory, it knew nothing of local natives or their talents; any large scale force fighting guerrillas is always losing unless it wins. While rebels, who know how to make friends, are always winning unless they lose."6

The newer films focus on a society in chaos, looking for a strong hand to impose order by almost any means on an isolated and unresponsive government. The Jedi, as protectors, have become in the minds of at least some, above the cares and systems that the average citizen must deal with and interact with on a daily basis. The Council in particular cannot bring itself to interact in political affairs, and in wanting to avoid corruption, they allow it to go unchecked. EDITOR'S NOTE: THEY DON'T JUST ALLOW IT TO GO UNCHECKED. THEY ARE SO OBLIVIOUS UP IN THEIR (LITERAL) TOWER, THEY DON'T HAVE A CLUE ABOUT THE DAY-TO-DAY LIVES OF THE AVERAGE GALACTIC CITIZEN. (OR A WILLINGNESS TO EVEN GET THEIR 'HANDS DIRTY', AS WITH QUI-GON'S INABILITY TO INTERCEDE IN THE SLAVERY ISSUES ON TATOOINE). THAT THE JEDI WEREN'T THEMSELVES TOTALLY CORRUPT BY THE TIME OF THE PREQUELS IS A MIRACLE, FRANKLY.

This corruption and chaos is of course being created by the soon-to-be-Emperor, Sith Master Sidious in his guise as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. EDITOR'S NOTE: NOT CREATED SO MUCH AS EXPANDED ON, KINDLED TO A MUCH BIGGER CONFLAGRATION. He understands that groups and individuals that are underrepresented or discriminated against by any government tend to wish to alter and change it for both selfish and noble reasons.
Sidious’s last two Sith Apprentices, Count Dooku and Darth Vader, were initially seduced by a desire to repair a galaxy in pain and collapse, only to find themselves using their gifts and powers to do so in ways that the Jedi do not approve of.
John Nagl makes a similar point about such yearnings in our world with his study of the Portuguese attempts to maintain their colonies in Africa. They failed despite past successes because they did not give an outlet to local educated Africans while others did. "Revolutionary movements always attract those whose talents have been ignored. Because they tend to be looser, aware of grievances, and drawn from locals, they promise a place and an outlet for the hungry and the useful."7 The Portuguese, while avoiding racism, restricted the vote to those who had embraced Catholicism and a long series of rules of assimilation. The reputation for fairness that had long allowed their colonies to survive was destroyed because they spent too much time punishing those who failed while ignoring those who helped.

Count Dooku, in his role as disenfranchised Jedi and Separatist leader, well embraced the desire for a change in government from both within and without. "The Republic cannot be fixed, it's time to start over."
8 He also realized, as did his Master, that "People are attracted to dictatorship because it promises unity, and quick, painless solutions to problems."9 Any political system of long standing resists change, because it sees itself as providing the greatest good for the largest number. This makes rebellion seductive because those on the other side are more flexible. "The leadership of any movement to destroy a system is effective because it usually arises out of true discontent. Its heads talk about the problems of the people, while the government talks about the rebels. It appears to care, and works tirelessly to sooth, while the current powers warn and chastise."10

Anakin is particularly vulnerable to Sidious’s theories because he has been cut off from his love and his mother by rules. As Palpatine, he promises Anakin the freedom to please himself after a lifetime of bossing. "You don't need guidance…in time you will learn to trust your feelings, then you will be invincible."
11 Palpatine sponsors an updated approach of the bullets and bread ideal of power. The population is fed, amused, and kept in line at all costs. Potential rivals are quickly, if not painlessly, dispatched. Anakin Skywalker has implanted in him from his early life as a slave a spirit of obedience. Unfortunately it is a spirit which the Jedi can use for noble purposes and the Dark Lord for evil ones. Of the two, Palpatine is the one who makes him want to obey because, like the Devil, he disguises his seduction as fatherly concern and a desire to help. By the time Darth Vader really understood what he had become, there was too much blood on his hands, it seemed impossible to change back to the light. "It is too late for me, Son."12

Obi-Wan truly cared for the welfare of his ward but was very bound up in following rules to the detriment of their relationship.
In contrast, Yoda and Qui-Gon, just as devoted to principles, seemed to find ways to create a bond between themselves and those they are teaching. Their work found the Padawan's inner needs and strengths, shaping them to the path of the Republic and the Order in a gentle way, without assuming a carping manner. Anakin, like so many today, needed constant reinforcement. If their talents go unrewarded, they become deeply hurt. The need for nurturing would be very powerful for someone who has suffered his kind of trauma. The Emperor, more than once and for his own purposes, gives our tragic hero a sense that his desires are very important. The Jedi could have learned much from the idea that "Government must not show a fist at the expense of a parent's embrace."13 EDITOR'S NOTE: WONDER WHAT THE STORY WOULD HAVE BEEN IF QUI-GON HAD LIVED? PONDERING THE WHAT-IFS......CHILLS.....

Like the government of Rhodesia, the old Jedi order sought to isolate its children from all temptations and most joy as a goad towards inner mastery. "Fear of disrupting Christian civilized standards caused the betrayal time and again of loyal Africans and mixed race members of the Rhodesian Nation."

The classic example of this benevolent reclamation mindset was given by C.C. Too, Chairman of the Psychological Warfare Department of both British and free Malaysia. "
One act of kindness, a propaganda of the deed, is worth a million fancy phrases. The wavering member of the rebel army will not be bullied by threats or seduced by promises, but will be won over if he can be shown he does have lasting value to his fatherland. This respect for his good intentions will be accepted by someone aware of but outside his current circle."15 Leaders of the South Vietnamese National Liberation Front, the official name of the Viet Cong, took great pains to publicize their welcoming arms to what they called misguided slaves of American imperialism and puppets of the Thieu clique.16

Counter-insurgency worked in Greece and Malaya, while it failed in Rhodesia and Vietnam, because the first two governments made use of defectors while the last rained down power at the expense of development and changing opinion.

I am truly pleased at the parallels between this flawed world of ours and the Galaxy Far, Far, Away.

Works Cited:
1. Salvatore, R. A. Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Delray, New York, 2002. 356.
2. Thompson, Sir Robert. Peace is not at Hand. Chitto Press, London, United Kingdom, 1974, 119.
3. Salvatore, 22.
4. Brooks, Terry. Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Delray, New York, 1999, 213.
5. Brooks, 224.
6. Kahn, James. Star Wars, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Bantam, New York, 1983, 109.
7. Nagl, John. Counter-Insurgency in Africa. Prager, South Carolina, 1997, 123.
8. Salvatore, 402.
9. Barbour, Noel. The War of the Running Dogs. Doubleday, New York, 1971.
10. Nagl, 45.
11. Salvatore, 56.
12. Kahn, 222.
13. Barbour, 55.
14. Ellert, Henry. The Rhodesian Front War. Mombo Press, Harare, Zimbabwe, 1986, 59.
15. Thompson, 66.
16. Nagl, 66.

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know:
The Case for Anakin Skywalker as a Byronic Hero

by Reihla
--> --> “'Twere long to tell, and sad to trace,
Each step from
splendor to disgrace;
Enough—no foreign foe could quell
Thy soul, till
from itself it fell;
Yes! Self-abasement paved the way
To villain-bonds
and despot sway
.” 1

Few other topics in Star Wars culture spark as much debate as the role of Anakin Skywalker in the saga.

As an innocent, idealistic child Anakin overcame slavery to play a key role in saving the planet Naboo from the Trade Federation. From there he grew to become a moodier, but still heroic, young Jedi apprentice. Despite a rebellious and impulsive nature, Anakin embraces his Jedi goals with fervor and becomes a larger-than-life hero during the Clone Wars. Nevertheless, Anakin remains a slave of his own human nature, and ultimately makes choices that result in his tragic fall from grace.

Anakin’s life story conjures up a complex range of emotions and sentiments. He was at different times loved and reviled, leaving some to label him as either hero or villain. I believe neither label is a good fit. True heroes are role models. They give us examples to follow. True to Byron’s determination not to write role models, Anakin serves as more of a warning than an example. Very real and human flaws plague him. He makes mistakes that cost him dearly. In that regard he is someone we can identify with. He shows us the darker side of human nature and gives us a reason to avoid those aspects of our own nature.

In this paper I hope to explore each of the characteristics of the Byronic hero and show how Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader measures up, both as an individual and as an ideal.
Almost every definition of the Byronic hero contains some version of the following criteria:

- Is supernaturally gifted, possesses great talent and great ego
- Is an exile, isolated from society
- Is rebellious, defies authority
- Lacks respect for rank and privilege
- Dislikes society, government or social institutions
- Is highly passionate and moody
- Hides something from the past
- Is ultimately self-destructive

Let’s begin our comparison with Anakin Skywalker as he is when we first meet him in The Phantom Menace. As a boy Anakin is definitely a child of nature in terms of his personality. Peter Thorslev, a Byronic scholar, describes such a child as “naïve, unsophisticated, impulsive, aggressive.”2 In addition, Anakin is supernaturally gifted. We are told that at the tender age of nine he flies podracers -- something normal humans do not possess the skills to do. When we do actually see him fly, we are told that his abilities leave even the Jedi in awe. He is also a gifted mechanic, as he tells Padmé Naberrie, “I can fix anything!”3 We see the skill demonstrated in the protocol droid he has built, as well as in the pod he manages to finish in time for the Boonta Eve race.

In addition to his extraordinary abilities, we see in Anakin an especially positive outlook. He is fond of using his gifts to help others. Early in the story we are told he is “engaged in building a protocol droid to help his mom.”4 Then, when Qui-Gon Jinn and his company are stranded, needing parts for their ship, he insists, “We have to help them.” In the novelization, we even see him giving credits to an old pallie vendor in Mos Espa so she can buy a cooling unit to help her tolerate the desert heat.5 It is precisely this desire to help others that most clearly displays Anakin’s passionate nature at this point in his life. From his words and deeds, we see that he knows slavery is a bad thing, that people have a responsibility to help each other, and that cheating is wrong.

In terms of being exiled, not only is Anakin a slave, thus isolated from free society, he is also relegated to the Outer Rim world of Tatooine, a planet very much cut off from the goings on in the heart of the galaxy. Though he doesn’t express an open dislike for the galactic government, he most likely shares his mother’s views that the Republic and its laws might as well not exist for all the good they do those who live in the Outer Rim.

A rebellious nature and disrespect for authority is something we don’t see at this point in Anakin’s life. He works hard for his master, Watto, accepting his lot as a slave with stoicism beyond his years. Likewise he shows great respect for his mother. Although he loves podracing, when his mother asks him to stop he promises that he will.

One of the first hints of approaching darkness in Anakin’s character is seen when he becomes unreasonably angry at the thought that he might never see Padmé again once she leaves Tatooine. With very little provocation, he jumps into a fight with a young Rodian boy. ”Anakin was hitting him as hard and fast as he could, not thinking about anything but how angry he was, not even aware that the source of his anger had nothing to do with his victim and everything to do with losing Padmé.”6 In addition to anger, we see fear. Though the young Anakin convinces himself he isn’t afraid of anything, there is one thing that gives him pause, “He might not ever be afraid for himself, but he was sometimes very afraid for his mother.”7

It is in Attack of the Clones that we begin to see more of the darker Byronic characteristics emerge in Anakin. As a young Jedi Padawan, it is his quest for knighthood that gives Anakin a tie to Byron’s first heroic character, Childe Harold. The term “childe” was used to designate an eldest son and it was a title that son often kept until he achieved knighthood.8 Both Anakin and Harold were cynical, suffering and guilt-ridden. Yet a contrast is found in that Harold seemed to begin with these miens and lose them over time, whereas Anakin began without them only to take them on as time went by.

As a young Jedi Anakin remains supernaturally gifted, displaying an affinity for the Force that more seasoned Knights envy. Unfortunately, along with his skill comes a generous measure of pride and a great ego. He tells Padmé that although Obi-Wan is a great mentor, “in some ways -- in a lot of ways -- I’m ahead of him.” He takes his confidence a bit further, allowing us to see his rebelliousness and growing disrespect for his master. In Padmé’s apartment he readily challenges Obi-Wan’s authority by announcing they will seek the identity of Padmé’s would-be assassin. Then later, in the garage of the homestead on Tatooine he insists Obi-Wan is “just jealous of me…he knows that I’m already more powerful than he is.”9

Even so, this pride is not necessarily a bad thing. Peter Thorslev, an authority on the Byronic hero, writes “there is always something of rebellious individualism, of pride, of hubris, about heroes.”10 Anakin certainly doesn’t lack for pride in his abilities, and he makes that clear when his master tells him, “If you’d spend as much time working on your lightsaber skills as you do on your wit, young Padawan, you would rival Master Yoda!” to which Anakin replies, “I thought I already did.”11

Though little is said in Romantic era literature about physical appearance as a trait of the Byronic hero, it is worthy of note that the tendency was to make them dashing, brave, and handsome. One particularly beautiful description of the Byronic hero says he “has the appearance, the air of the fallen angel.”12 Indeed, Anakin Skywalker is physically attractive. One other item of his appearance stands out possibly more than his good looks to point him toward the Byronic. As Atara Stein points out “the contemporary Byronic hero is almost always dressed in black.”13 Once Anakin becomes a Jedi we never see him again without his trademark black overtunic or cloak.

One of the hallmarks of a Byronic hero -- the tendency towards self-destructive acts -- is only hinted at in this second installment in the Star Wars Saga. The first time we see it is during the speeder chase through Coruscant. Obi-Wan chastises his Padawan for his recklessness, commenting that Anakin almost got them killed. Anakin is unconcerned and immediately proceeds to jump out of the speeder, falling hundreds of stories through the Coruscant traffic lanes until he manages to latch on to a passing vehicle. The same recklessness, with little thought for the preservation of his own life and limb, is evident at the end of Episode II when he ignores his master’s warning and rushes in to confront Count Dooku on his own. He pays a hefty price in this instance with the loss of his arm.

At this stage, the young Jedi Anakin’s dislike of government isn’t readily apparent. He defends both Senator Amidala and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to his master. It isn’t until his conversation with Padmé at the picnic on Naboo that we truly begin to see his disillusionment with the Republic and its leadership. Initially he is teasing Padmé, but she stumbles on the truth when she asks him, “You really don’t like politicians, do you?” and Anakin replies “I like two or three.”

Their conversation continues and Anakin admits that he doesn’t think the galactic system of government works. Though he insists he was teasing when he alluded to a dictatorship, there is an undercurrent in the air that lets us know he wasn’t being as flippant as he would like Padmé to believe. Despite this growing cynicism towards the Republic Anakin continues to do his duty. Stein describes the behavior as Byronic when she says “He may well have a callous contempt for the people he serves, but he serves them, nonetheless.”14

That isn’t to say his disillusionment doesn’t have an effect because clearly it does. In Anakin’s case his feelings are tied directly to the creation of his own moral code. First, with his open disregard of the Jedi mandate in Padmé’s apartment, then later when he disregards orders so that he can go and rescue his mother, and finally when he loses control and kills the Tuskens on Tatooine. None of these things is usual Jedi behavior, but it is likely that Anakin’s negative feelings towards the system contribute to his repeated violation of the Jedi tenets he was raised to obey.

Byronic heroes are said to have highly passionate natures. Nothing better illustrates Anakin’s own passionate nature than his love for Padmé Amidala. It is very much a force beyond his control. In Attack of the Clones Anakin insists, “You’re asking me to be rational. That is something I know I cannot do.”15 Though the canon universe never states it outright, we are led to believe that Anakin loves Padmé so much he would have resigned the Jedi Order just to be with her. Nevertheless, Padmé is adamant that they must set aside their love so they can both fulfill their obligations to the systems they serve. She tells Anakin, “we live in a real world. Come back to it.” In that sense, Anakin and Padmé are very much like another traditional Byronic hero and his lady love. As Atara Stein describes Emily Bronte’s Heathcliff and Catherine -- “They are larger than life; their love cannot endure in a real world where…social considerations of necessity must preempt romantic love.”16

In Byron’s works we see passions of this sort as typical. The Venetian in “The Giaour,” Conrad in “The Corsaire,” and Lara in the work of the same name are all typical Byronic heroes in that they are passionate and steadfast in their love of one woman. In these cases, as in Anakin’s, passionate feelings ultimately lead to the keeping of secrets. Although marriage and attachment are forbidden to the Jedi, Anakin manages to convince Padmé that their love must survive. The two finally marry in a secret ceremony on Naboo. Of course, Anakin does not disclose this new bond to his master or to the Jedi Order. With that deliberate act of subterfuge, Anakin solidifies his journey into darkness and deception.

“The Giaour” offers us another similarity to Anakin. Byron himself describes the Venetian as seeking revenge for the death of his lover, a female slave.17 When Anakin’s mother is killed by a band of Tusken raiders, he exacts vengeance by killing the entire Tusken village. Words penned by Byron could just as easily be used to describe his actions: “And I, alas! Too late to save! Yet all I then could give, I gave, ‘twas some relief, our foe a grave. His death sits lightly; but her fate has made me -- what thou well may’st hate.”18 In the end both Anakin and the Venetian achieve their goal -- atonement for a wrongful death -- but both are forever changed by the act. In Anakin’s case such a massacre is clearly not heroic. Even so, we can sympathize with such dark desire for retribution. It is our sympathy which disguises the horror of the act itself and leaves us believing Anakin is still worthy of the hero moniker.

Though little is known at this point of Episode III, there is one aspect revealed by the movie trailer that bears inclusion here. Faust, a romantic precursor to the Byronic Hero, represented the thirst for infinite knowledge. It is commonly known that Anakin felt responsible for his mother’s death. He believes he should have been there to prevent it and even goes so far as to tell Padmé that someday he will find the means to “stop people from dying.” In the recently released theatrical trailer we see Anakin questioning Palpatine about the secret to sustaining life in the face of death, surely representative of a quest for knowledge of the infinite. Palpatine tells him he cannot learn this secret from a Jedi and we, the audience, are given our first real glimpse into Anakin’s darker future.

Once Anakin surrenders to darkness and becomes Darth Vader, some argue that he becomes a true villain. I find that label difficult to accept because his motives are seldom, if ever, self-serving. Alexander Walsh describes well why one might believe Vader doesn’t fall into the traditional villain category: “[h]e acts with deep feeling, and his intentions are 'good,' though fierce and mistaken.”19 Although we find fault with Vader’s methods we still find ourselves being convinced that he believes he is doing the right thing.

As a Dark Lord of the Sith, Vader is fearsome and solitary. His presence inspires fear in the men around him. Lucas describes it thus, “The cloud of evil which clung tight about this particular one was intense enough to cause hardened Imperial troops to back away.”20

Anne Radcliffe, an author thought to have influenced Byron, describes a character very similar to Vader in The Italian. “Among his associates no one loved him, many disliked him, and more feared him. His figure was striking, but not so from grace; it was tall, and though extremely thin, his limbs were large and uncouth, and as he stalked along, wrapped in the black garments of his order, there was something terrible in its air; something almost superhuman…His was not the melancholy of a sensible and wounded heart, but apparently that of a gloomy and ferocious disposition.”21

Vader is at once repulsive and attractive. Along with his dark cruelty he carries equal parts of power and mystery. “The Giaour” is likewise described in terms that are both lovely and dark: “His floating robe around him folding…with dread beheld, with gloom beholding.” And later in the same stanza, “If ever evil angel bore, the form of mortal, such he wore: By all my hope of sins forgiven, such looks are not of earth or heaven.”22 Once again, we see the trademark black garments. In fact, black is so much a part of Vader’s appearance that one could almost say he becomes the color itself.

In addition to a powerful physical presence, we are shown that Vader has retained both Anakin’s supernatural powers and his ego. In a moment of rare introspection we are privy to Vader’s thoughts, “while he would have preferred the company of equals, he had to admit reluctantly that at this point, he had no equals.”23 Alongside the obvious arrogance it is surprising to see a hint of loneliness in that statement. It gives us a rare glimpse into the isolation Vader experiences by virtue of his position and his power. It makes us almost sympathetic to him.

Along with his emotional isolation, it is easiest to show Darth Vader’s exile in a physical sense -- his suit makes normal interaction with people around him impossible. Though he is surrounded by his officers at all times, he is very much set apart from them in terms of normal human interaction. In fact, in the novelization of Return of the Jedi Vader’s own thoughts about his mask are very telling. He mentally describes it as “his voice, and his breath, and his invisibility -- his shield against all human contact.”24

Although Vader serves the Empire, we are given the impression that he does so because it is the will of his master. His disdain for Imperial officers is clearly demonstrated when he tells them that their ultimate weapon is “still insignificant when set against the Force.”25 When General Tagge argues against that viewpoint, Vader thinks nothing of giving the man a small taste of Sith power by using the Force to constrict his windpipe. While that may not display an actual dislike for the Empire, it definitely indicates defiance, rebelliousness and a lack of respect for others who serve it. The fact that Tagge is a General doesn’t faze Vader in the slightest, especially when he feels called upon to defend his own beliefs.

It is this very defense of himself and his values that show Vader as equally passionate as Anakin. We shouldn’t be surprised, however, that Darth Vader gives off a more dispassionate air. Though he appears to have more success than Anakin at actually controlling his passions, we must remind ourselves that the very nature of the Dark Side of the Force resides in allowing one’s passionate feelings -- in Vader’s case, anger, fear, hate -- to have free reign. In the realest sense, Vader is the dark byproduct of Anakin Skywalker’s passionate nature. EDITOR’S NOTE: OOOO….NIFTY CONCEPT!

Oddly enough, despite his obvious power over officers of the Empire, Vader prefers not to take on the leadership role. Manfred, one of Byron’s heroes, also eschews the leadership role for himself. He seems to feel as if it is almost beneath him. “I could not tame my nature down; for he must serve who fain would sway; and soothe, and sue, and watch all the time, and pry into all place, and be a living Lie, who would become a mighty thing among the mean -- and such the mass are; I disdained to mingle with a herd, though to be a leader -- and of wolves. The lion is alone, and so am I.”26 We are never quite certain why Vader has never sought a more powerful position within the Empire, but this theory -- that he prefers to remain solitary and unaccountable to that system -- probably works as well as any.

In Atara Stein’s work the Byronic hero is described as “an agent of oppressive…authority, who yet draws the admiration of his audience due to his awesome abilities. He then becomes transformed into an agent of revolt against the institutions that created or employed him.”27 We see that twice in Anakin’s life, both in his time as a Jedi Padawan -- when he turns to the Dark Side and takes part in the destruction of the Jedi Order -- and again as Darth Vader -- when, in one final impulsive act, he saves his son by destroying the very master he left the Jedi to serve.

It is this final valiant gesture of self-destruction and sacrifice that succeeds in destroying Darth Vader forever, thus returning Anakin Skywalker to the status of hero. It is a victory made tragic when we realize that he has returned to humanity only to die of his injuries moments later. One of the most touching scenes in the original trilogy takes place once Vader has cast aside his dark master and asks Luke to help him remove his mask. Knowing that his death is certain, he seeks that last moment of human contact, that last exchange of words and glances with his son.

Although tragic, we seem to realize that Vader could have come to no other end. Stein describes this Byronic phenomenon by pointing out that the such heroes are destined to remain isolated from society: “he cannot be reintegrated into society, even if he has benefited that society with his heroic actions; he must be rehumanized, then exiled or destroyed.”28 In that sense, Anakin Skywalker comes full circle. In my mind, it is the entirety of the journey -- from innocent child to evil Sith Lord to rehumanized champion -- which solidifies Anakin Skywalker as a Byronic hero.

Note: the author reserves the right to add additional content to this paper at some future time pending the release of Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith.EDITOR’S NOTE: YES, I WOULD THINK SO.

Works Cited:
1. Byron, G. G. The Poetical Works of Lord Byron, Hurst & Company, New York. 207.
2. Thorslev, P., The Byronic Hero. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1962. 21.
3. Brooks, T. Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Ballantine Books, New York, 1999. 131.
4. Brooks, T., 21.
5. Brooks, T., 192.
6. Brooks, T., 184
7. Brooks, T., 77.
8. The Collaborative International Dictionary of English, v.0.44, . 2005.
9. Salvatore, R.A. Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Ballantine Books, New York, 2002. 283.
10. Thorslev, P. 16.
11. Salvatore, R.A. 94.
12. Clarke, J., The Influences of Pushkin and Byron on M. Yu. Lermontov’s “The Prisoner of the Caucasus,” Stanford University, 1972. 15.
13. Stein, A., “Immortals and Vampires and Ghosts, Oh My!: Byronic Heroes in Popular Culture.” . 2005.
14. Stein, A., The Byronic Hero in Film, Fiction and Television. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 2004. 7.
15. Salvatore, R.A. 205.
16. Stein, A., 13.
17. Byron, G.G., 206.
18. Byron, G.G., 215.
19. Welsh, A. The Hero of the Waverly Novels, with New Essays on Scott. Princeton UP, New Jersey, 1992. 40
20. Lucas, G., The Star Wars Trilogy, Episode IV: A New Hope. Ballantine Books, New York, 1993. 8.
21. Radcliffe, A., The Italian. 1797, 2005. 23.
22. Byron, G.G., 214.
23. Lucas, G., 106.
24. Kahn, J., The Star Wars Trilogy, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Ballantine Books, New York, 1993. 24.
25. Lucas, G., 31.
26. Byron, G.G., 339.
27. Stein, A., 2.
28. Stein, A., 2.
Princess Leia and the Woman Warrior
by lazypadawan
One of the rarest but also one of the most fascinating archetypes in literature is the fabled woman warrior. The reason why it is intriguing and rare is because women are traditionally life-givers and nuturers. Fighting and violence are antithetical to this role.

Nevertheless, the woman warrior arises from time to time. Greek mythology gave birth to the famed Amazon warriors. Ancient Hawaii had the sister of the goddess Pele, Hiiaka, who fought demons with "a bamboo knife in one hand and a lightning skirt in another."1 Celtic lore had the warrior queen Medb.2

History had a few real-life women warriors. Boadicea (also known as Boudiccea or Boudicca) led the ancient Celtic Iceni tribe in a violent two-year uprising against the Romans.3 There is of course the very famous Joan (Jeanne) of Arc, the young teenage girl who went from being an illiterate peasant to leading armies against the English and their Burgundian allies.4

Modern popular culture had comic book heroines like Wonder Woman (herself an Amazon) and JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series featured a woman warrior, Eowyn. 1990s television brought about Xena: The Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But the character who popularized the woman warrior in modern cinema was Princess Leia Organa. In many ways, Leia follows this old archetype and in other ways, she is different. "(The princess in peril) is the one we have seen time and time again in fairy tales and legends of knights in shining armor with their damsels in distress; this is Leia's starting point. This is the one we thought she was until she opened her mouth."5 As Carrie Fisher has put it, Leia isn't so much a damsel in distress as she is a distressing damsel.

Most woman warriors arise out of necessity, since it has generally not been a traditional role for women. Usually, women have been pressed into warrior or defender roles if there is a shortage of men or there is no strong male leader. Amazon society was a matriarchy, ruled by two queens.6 The women rarely associated with men, except to produce more Amazon offspring.7 Boys born to the Amazons were killed, crippled in some way and kept as slaves, kept and raised for mating purposes, or given to a neighboring tribe.8 EDITOR’S NOTE: THERE’S A SOCIETY THAT HAS ITS PRIORITIES IN ORDER! Boadicea's husband, the King of the Iceni, died in 60 AD. The Romans publicly beat Boadicea and raped her daughters during a dispute over distribution of the king's lands after his death.9 Joan of Arc would never have donned armor had the voices of St. Catherine, St. Michael, and St. Margaret not asked her to do so.10 EDITOR’S NOTE: OR SO SHE TOLD THE MEN. France at that time had a dauphin meant for the throne, but the English and the Burgundians controlled a significant amount of territory, including its capital Paris. Resistance to the occupation was weak and disorganized.11

There are plenty of men present in the Star Wars galaxy, but before the Battle of Yavin the rebellion against the Empire was small, outmatched in resources and firepower. Leia grew up on a pacifist planet. ("Alderaan is peaceful. We have no weapons.") According to the radio version of A New Hope and other background sources, she did covert missions for the Alliance, using her status as an Imperial senator as cover. A New Hope however, shows her clearly at home with using a blaster when necessary. The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi show her as a full-time fighter since she no longer has a home planet or a position with the dissolved Senate. She emerges as a leading figure within the (mostly male) Alliance, which is itself led by a woman, Mon Mothma. Her mother Padmé also came from a pacifist planet, vowing not to take any actions that would lead to war, until realizing it was going to take a lot more than talk to save her world. It is noteworthy that while Queen Amidala had the protection of two male Jedi Knights, sought help from the heavily male Senate, and had mostly men serving her, none of them besides young Anakin Skywalker had the power to defeat the Trade Federation. It was mostly because of her ability to form an alliance with the Gungans and her plan to capture the Viceroy that the Naboo were victorious.

What made women warriors heroic was the nobility of their cause, which drew others --especially men -- to follow them. Boadicea and Joan wanted to free their people, just as Padmé and Leia wanted to free theirs, although Boadicea was also driven by revenge and Joan was driven by her faith as well as her patriotism. Before fighting their last desperate battle against the Romans, Boadicea "and her daughters drove round in her chariot to all her tribes before the battle, exhorting them to be brave. She cried that she was descended from mighty men but she was fighting as an ordinary person for her lost freedom, her bruised body and outraged daughters. Perhaps as a taunt to the men in her ranks, it is said that she asked them to consider: 'Win the battle or perish: that is what I, a woman will do; you men can live on in slavery if that's what you want.'"12 EDITOR’S NOTE: SNICKER. YOU GO, GRRLLL!

Joan wrote in a defiant letter to the English on May 5, 1429: "You, men of England, who have no right to this Kingdom of France, the King of Heaven orders and notifies you through me, Joan the Maiden, to leave your fortresses and go back to your own country; or I will produce a clash of arms to be eternally remembered. And this is the third and last time I have written to you; I shall not write anything further."13

Leia never had to give a grandiose speech to her fellow Rebels, but Leia had a way of rallying others to her cause. Luke joins the Alliance as a pilot, and eventually, even a rogue mercenary like Han Solo finds himself a general by the time it's all over. Lando joins not only in Han's rescue, but also in the attack on the second Death Star. It's also through Leia that the Ewoks, who helped turned the tide of the Battle of Endor, became allies.

Women warriors are often noted for their cunning and ruthlessness in battle. Medb of Connacht was considered "wild and willful" and "slaughtered many heroes."14 Boadicea's two-year fight against the Romans included sacking and razing cities (modern Colchester, London, and St. Albans), and even going as far as killing women and children.15 Roman historians put the number killed during the uprising at about 70,000.16

The Amazons' own bravery and ferocity made them legendary. Myth tells of how they cut off a breast in order to make fighting, particularly with a bow or javelin, easier.17 EDITOR’S NOTE: OWW. They fought on horseback and also used swords and double axes.18 Homer in The Iliad wrote about the Amazons going to Troy in aid of King Priam during the Trojan War, and in another instance, the Amazons invaded Attica and fought in Athens to reclaim their abducted queen.19

Leia is never afraid of challenging her enemies or throwing herself into the thick of things, and it has been frequently noted by fans that she's probably the best shot of any of the main characters. EDITOR’S NOTE: THAT BEING RELATIVE TO ALL THOSE GUYS WHO CAN’T HIT THE SIDE OF A STAR DESTROYER. When Imperials capture her ship at the beginning of A New Hope, she isn't captured without a fight and she's not afraid to argue with Darth Vader. After Luke frees her from her cell aboard the Death Star, Leia immediately takes charge of her own rescue. In The Empire Strikes Back, she is clearly in command, giving orders and staying almost until Hoth base is captured. Han practically has to drag her out of the command center. Later on, she attempts to save Han at Cloud City and in Return of the Jedi, she takes an active part in his rescue. Jabba the Hutt learns the hard way not to underestimate the strength or righteous anger of the princess. She then takes part in a dangerous mission on Endor. She's the first to pursue fleeing scouts on speeder bikes, barely waiting long enough for Luke to join her. After she is shot outside of the Imperial bunker, she is prepared to go down fighting, even in the face of impossible odds. However, Leia never would resort to Boadicea's brutality, especially not against civilians.

Because for a long time they bucked tradition, woman warriors are frequently killed or vanquished by their enemies. "It would appear that all through literature that a strong woman must be tragic or evil or sexual, as Ishtar, Aphrodite, Lilith, and all of the other seductresses, good hearted (and bad hearted) hookers, femme fatales, and sensual heroines."20

This is true in real life as in legend, myth, and literature. The ninth labor Hercules had to perform was securing the Girdle (belt) of Hippolyta, the Amazon queen. Hippolyta was killed in the process.21 The Athenian hero Theseus abducted Hippolyta's sister Antiope (in other versions he abducts Hippolyta) and married her; the Amazons went to war to get her back. But at Athens they were defeated and Antiope was killed.22 After the Iceni were defeated, Boadicea is said to have poisoned herself to avoid capture, but other sources say she died of disease in her cell.23 She is allegedly buried beneath Platform 9 at the King's Cross station in London.24 EDITOR’S NOTE: IS THERE A HARRY POTTER CONNECTION IN HERE? Joan of Arc was defeated in battle, left to her fate by the people she supported, sold to the English, accused of heresy, and burned at the stake.25 EDITOR’S NOTE: HELP THE PEOPLE AND THERE’S THE GRATITUDE FOR YA, EH?!

But even though she is put through her own share of perils and trials, Leia doesn't die a horrible death at the hands of her enemies and she never compromises her ideals. As Star Wars: The New Myth says of Padmé, "The Star Wars universe allows her heroic spirit to thrive by accepting her for herself, not her gender."26 Leia is not a tragic figure who must suffer a terrible fate for defying the conventions of her time and place. She is never "punished" in the story for simply being a woman fighter.

Her role is also more integrated than what has been found in tradition. This might have to do with the real life changes in sex roles over the past 50 years in Western culture. "Between 1965 and 1975 about ten million women entered the workforce (compared to only seven million men), and by 1975 nearly half of all American women held jobs outside the home. Leia...was a most appropriate heroine for her time."27 Because Star Wars is a product of the late 20th-early 21st century, it features women with "a more developed animus" or male spirit.28 Joan of Arc famously dressed in men's clothing, but it was done more to protect her modesty among men by playing down her femininity rather than to make a statement against gender roles.29 Leia takes part in missions, works the command center, gives pep talks to her troops, and can turn any situation into an impromptu diplomatic mission. She is just as comfortable in a uniform as she is in a dress, and is just as comfortable as a symbol of the Alliance as she is an active participant in it.

Unlike most women warriors who are singularly devoted to their tasks, Leia and her latter-day progeny must balance other concerns. As the book Star Wars: The New Myth puts it, "the female must become the warrior, yet remain a mother figure, be a comforter and an aggressor, and utilize them concurrently in her exploits."30 EDITOR’S NOTE: A WOMAN’S WORK IS NEVER….WELL, YOU KNOW…. In A New Hope, no sooner does Leia help blast her way out of the Death Star than she is comforting Luke, almost in a motherly way, when he mourns Ben Kenobi's death. She becomes the comforter again just before Luke goes off to attack the Death Star. In The Empire Strikes Back, Leia and her companions fight their way out of Cloud City, she rescues Luke, then she leaves the Falcon's cockpit to go comfort him. Return of the Jedi shows her again as a battle-hardened warrior, but she is still there for Luke in the moments before he leaves to confront Darth Vader and is there for Han when he is brought out of carbon freeze. Some of the other women warriors of the 1970s and 1980s also had familial concerns. Ellen Ripley briefly flirts with a familial arrangement in Aliens with young Newt and Sarah Connor of the first two Terminator films raises a son.

Unlike the grieving widow Boadicea or the modest Joan of Arc, Leia allows romance into her life. Initially she does so reluctantly, because like her forebears she puts the job at hand first. But as a modern heroine, she is permitted to explore other aspects of her life, including romantic love. Other modern heroines like Xena, Wonder Woman, and Buffy have had their love affairs. Leia is fortunate in that she is able to integrate her love for Han into her life instead of having her romance endlessly interfere with her mission and vice versa, which seems to be a recurring theme for other modern women warriors. Many latter day heroines are faced with fears of commitment, falling for the wrong man, and finding difficulty balancing personal desires with "career." This perhaps reflects real-life contemporary concerns among young women.

A fascinating and unique aspect of Leia's character as a warrior is that she combines what was best about this archetype in the past with a modern understanding of women's roles in society. Yet unlike her modern or ancient sisters, Leia is allowed to find personal fulfillment and indeed live happily ever after. EDITOR'S NOTE: AND, WHEN LAST WE LOOKED IN ON HER (IN THE EU), SHE WAS STILL IN THE FIGHT, EVERY TIME THE DURN GALAXY NEEDS RESCUING.

Works Cited:
1. Hanson, Michael J. and Kay, Max S. Star Wars: The New Myth. Xlibris, 2001, 386-387.
2. Hanson and Kay, 355.
3. "Boadicea Queen of the Iceni";
"Boadicea the Victorious"
4. "Joan of Arc"
5. Meluch, R.M. "In Search of A Princess." The Princess Tapes, Krystarion Press, 1982, 11.
6. "Amazons"
7. "Amazons"
9. "Boudicea Queen of the Iceni"
10. "Joan of Arc"
12. "Boudica Warrior Queen of the Iceni"
13. Letter from Joan of Arc ("Joan the Maiden") to the English at Orléans, May 5, 1429;
14. Hanson and Kay, 355.
15. Burke, Jason. "Dig Uncovers Boudicca's Brutal Streak." The Guardian. December 3, 2000.,6903,406152,00.html.
16. Burke,,6903,406152,00.html.
17. "Amazons"
18. Leadbetter, Ron. "Amazons."
19. Leadbetter,
20. Meluch, 10.
21. Leadbetter,
22. Leadbetter,
23. Burke,,6903,406152,00.html.
24. Burke,,6903,406152,00.html.
25. "St. Joan of Arc." Catholic Encyclopedia.
26. Hanson and Kay, 354.
27. Henderson, Mary. Star Wars: The Magic of Myth. Spectra, 1997, 158-159.
28. Hanson and Kay, 387.
29. "St. Joan of Arc." Catholic Encyclopedia.
30. Hanson and Kay, 353.
Always Three There Are
Lady Aeryn
Few myths have as strong a visible influence on the Star Wars saga as that of the one surrounding King Arthur Pendragon and his fabled kingdom of Camelot.
The comparisons between the two sagas could span a series of essays.
Both are tales of a war-ravaged world populated with knightly and magical figures, of a young man with an epic lineage and a fallen father, whisked away at birth from any knowledge of that lineage or the destiny it entails, and who is one day swept up by a wise mentor and set on the journey to fulfill that destiny. Each is also the tale of the downfall of a man and a world, a downfall that at its heart involves the betrayal of a son and the doomed affair of two forbidden lovers.

It is little wonder, then, that the most famous element of Arthurian myth should be a critical story element of the Star Wars saga as well.
For years the idea of a love triangle in the prequels between Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Amidala, and Obi-Wan Kenobi was a common and hotly debated fan speculation. Like the epic triangle of Arthur, his queen Guinevere, and his knight Sir Lancelot du Lac which had brought down Camelot, the theory's proponents argued, this triangle would be the downfall of all three people involved -- particularly Anakin -- and also herald the fall of the Republic.

These fans would be right, though not in the way most of them imagined.

Many variations on the Arthur myth -- the triangle included -- exist, but the basic story remains the same.
Arthur arranges to marry the beautiful Guinevere against warning from the wizard Merlin that she will love someone else. When Lancelot arrives at Camelot and becomes the greatest knight of the King's Order of the Round Table -- as well as Guinevere's sworn champion -- he and the queen do fall in love, embarking on a forbidden and secret affair. Out of love for Arthur and desire to uphold their responsibilities, neither lover is willing to run away together; nor does Arthur acknowledge the affair, knowing he would have to punish his beloved wife and his best friend. Arthur's bastard son Mordred forces the issue when he publicly reveals the affair out of spite; Guinevere is sentenced to death for treason and Lancelot is banished from Camelot. Lancelot rescues her and spirits her away, and the remaining knights of the Round Table push Arthur to make war against him, resulting in the Order's disintegration. During this battle Mordred attempts to seize control of Arthur's kingdom, after which Arthur meets him in a duel, where they kill one another. In grief over the fall of Camelot and her husband's death, and her guilt over the affair which was the catalyst for the fall, Guinevere spends the rest of her life in a nunnery in penitence, begging Lancelot to never see her again.1 EDITOR'S NOTE: THANK HEAVENS FOR THOSE NUNNERIES, OR WHERE ELSE WOULD FALLEN ROYALTY GO WHEN THEIR PERFIDY BECOMES KNOWN? (NUNNERIES WERE SORT OF LIKE B&Bs FOR DISPLACED ROMANTICS?)

The reigning Star Wars triangle theory called for the prequel trio's relationship to be a carbon copy of the dynamics of the Camelot triangle: It was a practically foregone plot element that Padmé would be engaged/married to Anakin, which meant that for this trio to 'truly' duplicate the Camelot triangle, Padmé and Obi-Wan had to be the tragic lovers. This theory died with the release of Episode II, the film in which the prequel triangle's true arrangement also came to the fore.

Without any injection of romance between Obi-Wan and Padmé, the love triangle in the prequel trilogy and triangle in Arthurian myth already share very strong likenesses in both the natures of the individual characters and their interactions with one another. Each trio consists of an older and good-hearted but somewhat naive hero figure, a passionate and gifted young knight, and a beautiful noble lady. Each has the knight and lady playing tragic lovers caught between love and their sworn duties to the outside world -- duties represented by the third person in the triangle -- in a battle that will be at the heart of their downfall.

Aside from fitting into similar archetypes, each character even shares a comparable fate to that of their other-triangle counterpart.
Anakin and Lancelot both have mystical backgrounds, are raised by solitary female figures (Anakin his mother and Lancelot a sorceress.2) and grow up with the potential to be the greatest Knights either of their realms ever knew. Each will truly love only one woman his entire life, a love that will be forbidden and cause his downfall as well as hers. Both fail in their ultimate quests (Anakin becoming a true Jedi, Lancelot achieving the Holy Grail) because of attachment to those women, but father pure and chaste sons who do succeed in those quests.3 Padmé, like Guinevere, is a beautiful noble lady who spends most of her life dedicated to serving a greater purpose4, who finds passion with a young knight but because of it later loses both him and the world she dedicated herself to.5 Obi-Wan, like Arthur, is the oldest, wisest, and least impetuous of the three, the embodiment of duty and responsibility, though each seems to have/turn a blind eye toward the forbidden love affair happening before him.6 He is the one who, though of noble intent, still ends up with his life and the world he spent his own life upholding unraveling. Like Arthur, his greatest betrayal -- and eventual death -- comes at the hands of one he'd known as a son.7

Thought the general structure of both triangles is the same, there are a couple of slight structural differences.
One is that in the prequel version, the married couple and the forbidden love couple are one and the same. Padmé and Anakin are their saga's Guinevere and Lancelot, and Obi-Wan the symbolic Arthur not in any sort of marriage to Padmé, but as the embodiment of the obligations of the lovers that made a relationship between them impractical and forbidden. (As a Jedi in service of the Republic he represents both orders, whom Anakin -- whose oath expressly forbids an attachment to anyone outside the Jedi -- and Padmé both have previously sworn loyalties to. Guinevere swore an oath to Arthur by marrying him; Lancelot swore one to Arthur when Arthur knighted him.) Anakin and Padmé choose to pursue the relationship but keep it a secret, but, as with their Arthurian mirror, this decision will not lead to a happy ending for the lovers.

With Padmé and Anakin comprising both the married and the forbidden couple of the triangle, it also meant that she, the woman, was not the one at the main point of division between the three people -- the second major difference between the triangles. Their romance is, as in its counterpart, a crucial driving force of the triangle, but someone else is the focal point, wherein lies an arrangement that makes this triangle just as destructive - perhaps even more so -- than the Camelot one.

"He feels very passionately about becoming a great Jedi, but at the same time he feels so passionately for Padmé, and it's that confusion that really causes him all of his anxiety," says Anakin actor Hayden Christensen about his character in Episode II
8, laying out the true love triangle of the prequels: it is Anakin caught in the middle, torn between two separate but equally important lives. The prequel trilogy story is essentially how the Camelot triangle might have unfolded with Lancelot instead of Guinevere as its focal point.

Anakin's fall to the Dark Side comes not from the woman he loves loving someone else, but from himself being the one in the middle.
With Padmé Anakin has the possibility of true love and a family; with Obi-Wan and the Jedi he has the ability to fulfill his dreams of power and adventure, to make a difference in the galaxy.
By choosing to still remain in the Jedi Order but marry Padmé in secret, Anakin shows his great flaw in being unwilling/unable to part with either her or his life as a Jedi. The circumstances of his society do not allow him to remain on this fence, and by the time of the original trilogy of Episodes IV through VI he has lost both his love and his life as a Jedi, becoming a machine enslaved to a dark power. The irony is that had he chosen one relationship and given up the other, he would still have been incomplete, as -- like with Lancelot -- the other two in the triangle represent equally important needs of his character. Largely due to the circumstances of his time, however, true balance eludes him, and will elude him until his son Luke -- who does successfully manage to reconcile love and duty in his heart -- comes into his life. EDITOR'S NOTE: HE BRINGS BALANCE TO THE FORCE, BUT SORT OF THE LONG WAY 'ROUND.

Both triangles are a model of a sense of completeness that can only come about when their three parts are present and balanced, a balance which the laws of both triangles' societies greatly hinder any chance of.
The Camelot triangle is also actually more equilateral than the Star Wars one in this regard: to take any one of the Camelot three away from the other two would leave those two equally incomplete, as displayed when Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot are each equally incapable of choosing between the two other sides and resolving the triangle.
The Star Wars version maintains this only as far as Anakin is concerned: to take either Obi-Wan/the Jedi or Padmé away from him would leave him an incomplete individual, and to take Anakin away would -- and ultimately does -- leave Obi-Wan and Padmé incomplete as well. However, the loss of Obi-Wan would not -- at least as of the end of Episode II -- significantly diminish Padmé, nor vice versa. But both triangles still represent the inevitable collapse of those involved when nothing is successfully done to resolve an existing imbalance, instead making it worse.

The triangles in both epics are triangles of the most classic sort, pitting love and passion against duty and brutally highlighting the consequences that befall those who do not resolve the battle.
The prequel triangle is a symbol of the conflict of the entire Star Wars saga, the conflict Anakin was prophesied to resolve: bringing balance to the imbalanced (in this case, the Force), a balance that is achieved only once Anakin is able to find the right balance within himself.

1. Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur [The Death of Arthur], in Don Nardo, Heroes and Villains: King Arthur. (Lucent Books, 2003.) Pg. 80.
2. "Lancelot du Lac."
Timeless Myths: Arthurian Legends.
3. "Lancelot does not achieve the Grail himself, because of his adulterous love, yet ironically the same sin has produced Galahad, the knight who does." Lacy, Norris J. and Geoffrey Ashe. The Arthurian Handbook. (Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, 1997.) Pg. 307.
4. Green, Thomas. "Arthurian Characters: Gwenhwyfar [Guinevere]."
Arthurian Resources.
5. "I was a queen, and he who loved me best / Made me a woman for a night and day, / And now I go unqueened forevermore." Teasdale, Sara. "
Guenevere." (poem)
6. The events on Geonosis near the ending of Episode II leave significant room for the possibility that Obi-Wan is
aware of mutual feelings between Anakin and Padmé. Various pieces of film-supplementary literature taking place between Episodes II and III, such as issue #2 of the Dark Horse comic Obsession, follow the idea that Obi-Wan is indeed aware of a P/A relationship (though perhaps not of the true depth of it), even covering somewhat for it.
7. Wolfson, Evelyn. King Arthur and his Knights in Mythology. (Enslow Publishers, Inc., Berkeley Heights, NJ, 2002.) Pg. 112-116.
8. Hayden Christensen, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones "Love" DVD featurette. (Lucasfilm Ltd., 2002.)


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