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Obi-Wan Kenobi: Great Jedi Master, Terrible Philosopher
Stand To Reason ^ | 06/02/2018 | J.T. Wynn

Posted on 06/02/2018 5:41:42 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

So now it’s finally upon us: Solo: A Star Wars Story! This stand-alone installment in the Stars Wars franchise features the adventures of a young Han Solo before he met Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi at the Mos Eisley Cantina in Stars Wars: A New Hope.

It will be interesting to see what veteran screenwriter of The Empire Strikes Back, Lawrence Kasdan, has imagined as Han’s backstory. Was Han always a charming, roguish smuggler, or was he once an idealistic recruit of the Empire who became disillusioned and turned into the Han Solo we’ve all come to know?

The exploration of the path from idealism to disillusionment is not new to the Star Wars universe, of course. The events immediately preceding Solo: A Star Wars Story centered on such a transformation in the form of Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith.

(Here’s where I usually issue a spoiler alert, but if you don’t already know by now that Anakin Skywalker eventually turns to the...left and walks up to the Mustafar Landing Platform to get away from the heat of the surrounding lava flow, then you’ll probably never watch Revenge of the Sith anyway.)

Anakin stands on the landing platform as Obi-Wan emerges from the Naboo cruiser to confront him. This is what it’s all been about. It’s the final fight. We know they won’t face each other again until master and student reunite on the Death Star decades in the future. They circle one another on the platform and argue, each expressing his worldview and trying to convince the other:

OBI-WAN
You have allowed this Dark Lord to twist
your mind until now…until now you
have become the very thing you swore to
destroy.

They circle each other until OBI-WAN is near PADME. He places his hand on her.

ANAKIN
Don’t lecture me, Obi-Wan. I see through
the lies of the Jedi. I do not fear the
dark side as you do. I have brought peace,
freedom, justice, and security to my new
empire.

OBI-WAN
Your new empire?

ANAKIN
Don’t make me kill you.

OBI-WAN
Anakin, my allegiance is to the Republic…
to democracy.

ANAKIN
If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy.

OBI-WAN
Only a Sith deals in absolutes. I will do
what I must. (ignites his lightsaber)

ANAKIN
You will try... (ignites his lightsaber)


Only a Sith deals in absolutes? Are you absolutely sure about that Obi-Wan? Master Kenobi seems pretty certain about his own statement, especially since he’s willing to ignite his lightsaber over it. If only a Sith deals in absolutes, then Jedi Master Kenobi cannot be absolute about his own statement, right? But if he’s not absolute about his own statement, then that means that the Sith are not the only ones who deal in absolutes! Obi-Wan actually refutes himself in the very act of expressing himself.

These kinds of statements are usually expressed popularly as: “There are no absolute truths.” It’s meant to sound profound, tolerant, and open-minded. But an astute observer will see that it is a self-refuting statement. A self-refuting statement is one that refutes itself in the very acting of expressing itself. Some examples include:

and of course,

If it’s true that there are no absolute truths, then the above statement is false since there is at least one absolute truth, namely, that “there are no absolute truths.” So you see the inherent contradictions in these self-refuting statements? If they’re true, then they’re false. But if they’re false, then they’re still false. Either way, they’re false. Therefore, they’re necessarily false no matter which way you turn. Did Jedi training include Intro to Logic 101?

Screenwriters insert these sentiments, as dialogue, into the mouths of characters all the time. More importantly, they’re not just placed in the mouths of any character, but they’re placed in the mouths of the protagonist. And since filmmakers want us to identify with the protagonist, this tells us the filmmakers want us to adopt the view of the protagonist. It’s a technique to make you accept the filmmakers’ views by using your empathy instead of your rationality.

The corollary is also true: Filmmakers will put views that they find distasteful into the mouths of the antagonist. And again, this makes us reject the view without thinking it through. It’s a technique to make us reject a view by using our antipathy instead of our rationality. “Well, if the guy that just force-choked his own wife, Padme, believes XYZ, then I don’t want to believe XYZ!” And in this instance, XYZ is the belief that “if you’re not with me, you’re my enemy.”

But what if you heard a similar view coming out of another mouth:

These words come not from a Sith Lord but from the Truth Lord, Jesus of Nazareth.

It’s important that as active viewers of films, we be aware of these storytelling techniques. It’s not a far cry from saying, “Only a Sith deals in absolutes,” to saying, “And that’s because there are no absolute truths.” Don’t be fooled by this seemingly “open-minded” and “tolerant” denial of the existence of absolute truth. It’s neither open-minded (since they’re not open to the possibility of there actually being absolute truth), nor is it “tolerant” (notice Obi-Wan didn’t tolerate the dark side).

One of the motivations behind denying the existence of absolute truth is the desire to deny the existence of objective moral truths. If there are no objective moral truths, then morality is relative. But if morality is relative, then can there really be such a thing as objective sin? And if no sin, then why need a savior from said sin? And if no savior, then where does that leave a Christianity that teaches the absolute truth that an objectively morally perfect Savior saves humans from objective moral sins? I hope you see that denying absolute truth is one of the first steps in absolutely(!) falsifying Christianity.

Don’t be seduced by its pretensions to open-mindedness. Remember that the purpose of an open mind is the same as that of an open mouth—that is, to eventually close upon something solid, substantive, and nourishing; in the former, nourishing to the soul, and in the latter, nourishing to the body.

So be careful, my Padawan learners. Spend less time making rocks float and more time learning how to spot self-refuting statements. May the Truth be with you.

J.T. Wynn sits on the Board of Stage & Story, a ministry that teaches Christian actors, writers, and filmmakers how to integrate a Christian worldview with the narrative arts. He is a speaker, writer, and media producer with a passion for integrating theology, apologetics, and media. J.T. holds a CPA license, a B.S. from USC, a Certificate in Foundations of the Faith from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and most importantly, a Christian Ambassador Certificate from Stand to Reason. He is currently pursuing graduate studies at Regent Divinity School. 


TOPICS: Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: absolutes; philosophy; relativism; starwars
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1 posted on 06/02/2018 5:41:42 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

2 posted on 06/02/2018 5:52:36 PM PDT by Jim 0216 (MAGA by restoring the Gospel of the Grace of Christ and our Free Constitutional Republic!)
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To: SeekAndFind

“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” - Obi-Wan Kenobi, first Star Wars film

I hate to break it to the author, but “Star Wars” was already pagan mysticism in the very first film. I knew Star Wars was rooted in non-Christian beliefs during the first week it was shown.


3 posted on 06/02/2018 6:23:41 PM PDT by Mr Rogers (Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools)
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To: SeekAndFind
There are no absolute truths if one moment Obi-Wan can say "Darth Vader killed your father", and the next "Darth Vader is your father". Does it just depend on your point if view, or is he lying his ass off?
4 posted on 06/02/2018 6:52:05 PM PDT by Telepathic Intruder
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To: SeekAndFind

I really liked the first two. I suspected there were hidden messages but didn’t care. The movies were fun.

Then came the third one and the Ewoks. There was a message and the whole thing was incredibly stupid.


5 posted on 06/02/2018 6:58:40 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: SeekAndFind

The second trilogy is basically the story of what incompetent boobs Obi-Won and Yoda are, the worst Jedi masters ever. They both mentored the dark side Jedi that destroy the Jedi order, the one played by Chris Lee who had something to do with commissioning the clone army and Darth Vader who murdered child Jedi and hunted Jedi to extinction.

They chose to use the clones, a slave army with no free will to fight the droids as far as I can tell. That’s the whole point of having a clone army conditioned to fight. They let a Sith Lord rise to power right in plain sight. They caused the republic to fall. No wonder Yoda chose to cower alone on a swamp planet.

Freegards


6 posted on 06/02/2018 7:06:09 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: yarddog

Well... if nobody like the new Star Wars movie, then I am going to have to see it.


7 posted on 06/02/2018 7:08:57 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lost my tagline on Flight MH370. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: UCANSEE2

Oddly, the ones nobody seemed to like were the ones with Jar Jar Binks. I thought they were OK tho I do agree that Jar Jar was dumb.

I have not seen the last few. I did start watching the one with the storm trooper with blood on his helmet but it got so boring I just turned the channel.


8 posted on 06/02/2018 7:14:06 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: Telepathic Intruder

I really have yet to see sci-fi with decent writing that holds itself together.

I understand that “The Expanse” is good, but I haven’t seen it. Other than that, it’s just non-sense all around.

Fun nonsense that I like, but nonsense nonetheless.


9 posted on 06/02/2018 7:44:02 PM PDT by Celerity
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To: Celerity

I know what you mean. Just about every sci-fi has inaccuracies or plot holes you can pick the show apart with. Star Wars is loaded with them. Star Trek has more science but it’s mostly fake science. For one thing, most directors are scientifically illiterate. James Cameron is an exception, but he’s also an environmental wacko who has said that environmental terrorism is justified. Hence the Avatar stereotypes of trees good humans bad. They don’t really make scientifically sound sci fi movies, you have to read books. Too bad, because no one has tried making a sci fi with real science. I guess they think it’s too much of a risk.


10 posted on 06/02/2018 7:55:46 PM PDT by Telepathic Intruder
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To: Mr Rogers
Luke told Rey something very similar to this in The Last Jedi.
11 posted on 06/02/2018 8:11:28 PM PDT by TBP (Progressives lack compassion and tolerance. Their self-aggrandizement is all that matters.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Don’t be a frog in the mountains of Kansas.


12 posted on 06/02/2018 9:10:47 PM PDT by jim_trent
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To: SeekAndFind

The trading cards for SOLO are horrible. No story line on the backs like the others. Even the card subsets/color listings are wrong.

Oh well, I’m still finding Rogue One and Two cards, plus The Last Jedi, around. My “fortune” is in the original SW cards I bought for my son in 1977-79. Now if only I can find them.


13 posted on 06/02/2018 10:04:52 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: SeekAndFind

bookmark


14 posted on 06/02/2018 10:43:55 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: SeekAndFind

OBI-WAN
Anakin, my allegiance is to the Republic…
to democracy.

ANAKIN
If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy.


Recall at the time Lucas et al were portraying the later installments of that trilogy as an indictment of GW Bush.

Those quotes/arguments are right out of the media post 9-11...


15 posted on 06/03/2018 3:51:29 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Ads for Chappaquiddick warn of scenes of tobacco use. What about the hazards of drunk driving?)
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To: yarddog

And they made 2 subsequent Ewok films before coming up with Episode One.

in 1984 and 1985


16 posted on 06/03/2018 3:55:37 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Ads for Chappaquiddick warn of scenes of tobacco use. What about the hazards of drunk driving?)
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To: Telepathic Intruder

A more accurate phrasing might be “Darth Vader consumed your father...”

or more dramatically, “Since the rise of Darth Vader, your father is no more”


17 posted on 06/03/2018 3:57:47 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Ads for Chappaquiddick warn of scenes of tobacco use. What about the hazards of drunk driving?)
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To: SeekAndFind

I stopped watching to Star Wars movies after the third one (how long ago was that)

the term “Exploited to Death” now comes to mind.


18 posted on 06/03/2018 4:10:32 AM PDT by elbook
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To: a fool in paradise

How about “Anakin Skywalker was a petulant whining teenager Jedi who always complained, while Darth Vader was a badass bad guy who never complained, just killed anyone who got in his way. They were nothing alike”? I think that would have better explained it.


19 posted on 06/03/2018 4:11:39 AM PDT by Telepathic Intruder
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To: Telepathic Intruder

Didn’t one of the modern Star Wars films have Darth Vader whine, “Noooooo!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWaLxFIVX1s


20 posted on 06/03/2018 4:13:24 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Ads for Chappaquiddick warn of scenes of tobacco use. What about the hazards of drunk driving?)
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