On March 20th, 2019, I published a video called: “Kreia and Chodo Habat.” In the video Kreia says something that I found to be a very important quote when it comes to understanding her.
It’s a quote that I felt would prompt a lot of discussion, so I pinned it in the comments section. It did. I understand that, by it’s very nature, this topic is very divisive. The following is just how I personally see things.
I’ve said it before, in a previous video: If you want to start a conversation that will never end, bring up the subject of morality; right and wrong, good and bad. The questions come up: What is good and bad, how do you define them? Is it just a matter of perspective? Is there a universal rule book for what constitutes right and wrong?
The thing about the Star Wars universe is that, because of the force, good and bad have been rendered quantifiable and almost completely objective, at least in the eyes of the force. You don’t even have to be force sensitive. The force flows through all living things. It can just be more pronounced in those sensitive to it.
What’s more, the force gives you a mark, it brands you one way or another depending on your alignment. If you’re neutral in the force, unless someone is of the opinion that you’re exceptionally naturally beautiful or ugly, no one says or notices anything. When you’re on the light side, you’re seemingly rewarded with youth and “Beauty.” When you’re on the dark side, your outward appearance can change drastically in many ways, resulting in an overall “uglier” appearance. I placed quotations between beauty and ugliness because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, even in Star Wars.
Humans almost instinctively associate light as something that is “good” and darkness with something that is “bad.” Including Star Wars, it’s used in many stories to ascribe a dualistic nature to something.
It makes me wonder why this is. You could theorize that since human beings can’t see very well in the dark, back in our hunter gatherer days, the darkness was not desired, predators who hunt well in the dark could attack. Therefore dark it is bad, and light is good? Just a thought.
Another thing I’m wondering about is what exactly constitutes light and dark side points? Some say that If you can use the force and you use it selflessly, to defend others others and such, you’re granted light side points. If you use the force for selfish reasons, like premeditated violence, you’re granted dark side points.
I’m of the opinion that your state of mind also determines this. And you don’t necessarily have to even use the force. In the refugee sector of Nar Shaddaa, you can convince a sick man to commit suicide. I don’t use the force to accomplish this, but you’re granted dark side points regardless.
Kreia has to meditate to maintain her center, even though she says and does things that can, and probably does, net her both light and dark side points. Dark when she tells you to use your allies and discard them, and light when she’s scolding you against randomly killing people, like in the video above.
It’s probable that the force itself isn’t ascribing good and bad to people’s deeds, and to the light and dark aspects. We as human beings are defining light as good and dark as bad. The force uses both sides regardless, so it most likely doesn’t ascribe anything to the two sides beyond them just being the two different kinds of energies that they are. It takes a human being to assign descriptions and definitions.
If we attempt to define what is “good” then we already run into issues. Is a good trait or action something that is desirable because it benefits the collective or the individual? Can it be both at the same time? Would “bad” be the exact opposite? Especially if you’re a fan of KOTOR 2 then we can agree that there are degrees. We desperately want to simplify the world by splitting it into black and white, but we all know it’s saturated in gray.
In a society we have laws, and these laws are created and enforced by people. We do this because the majority has deemed certain actions to be detrimental to the progress of society. This is a black and white stance. But the people who break the laws are not punished the same. That’s where the gray comes in. Stealing an apple from a grocery store isn’t treated the same as robbing a bank. Murder isn’t treated the same as unsanctioned international migration.
There can be disagreements on what should and shouldn’t be against the law, how a law should be enforced, and what action should be taken against someone who breaks whichever law. It’s those disagreements that bring up the idea that what is good or bad is a matter of perspective. Unless it’s a verifiable fact, It only takes one person to disagree in order to turn a statement into an opinion. Some may argue that this can apply to science, and it can in theoretical science. The difference being that science is based on observation and calculation, it doesn’t begin with a conclusion.
Hydrogen is an element that exists in our universe. Humans are around to observe it, measure it, name it, experiment with it, etc. If human beings, or some other capable life form, didn’t exist, none of what I just mentioned would happen. But hydrogen would still exist. If a tree falls in the forest and no one was there to see it, did it still fall? I believe it’s hubris to think that an event only occurs if a human being is there to perceive it. Hydrogen is a thing that would exist whether we were here or not.
But what about morality? Morality are thoughts, and thoughts don’t extend beyond the mind. If humans, or another being with the capacity didn’t exist, then would the concept of morality exist? Some, often religious individuals, believe that there is a universal right and wrong order in things. Depending on their religion, they will cite what is written in their corresponding holy texts.
But the fact that there are differing points of view in this area as well have resulted in many conflicts, some violent. Furthermore these differing point of views can be used as another indication that morality is simply another set of opinions. A set of opinions, widely adopted by a tribe either religiously, culturally or both.
But even if there was only one religion and only one set of scriptures in the entirety of humanity, people are eventually going to come along and have disagreements. That was the hallmark of the enlightenment age. People started asking questions. Questions like: “Why is that a bad thing? Who actually wrote the scripture? What was their mindset, situation, and environment like when they did?”
You may disagree with me, but humor me for a moment. If we continue down the path of morality being a human construct, then we have to wonder, what else is?
Earlier I mentioned that beauty is in the mind of the beholder. Whatever we as individuals perceive as being aesthetically pleasing is undeniably subjective. We largely cannot control what makes the chemicals in our brains react a certain way.
Many people believe in the existence of a soul. Some believe that all living things have one, while some believe that only humans possess a soul. I personally have a greater objection with the latter. It’s something that humans have always done. “Planet Earth is at the center of the solar system, galaxy, and universe. Everything revolves around us. We’re so special.”
Questions concerning the existence of a soul are frequently explored in science fiction stories, like Ghost in the Shell. How much of your body can you replace with cybernetics before you lose your soul? Can you interact with a machine in such a lifelike manner that you would say it has a soul?
If they were to create an exact robotic duplicate of you, to the point where it was impossible for anyone to tell the difference; how would you ever know that it has a soul or not? Or could it be that there is no such thing as a soul, and that’s okay? Even if you concede that there is no soul, besides your opinion, nothing else has changed.
Please understand that this is not an argument against morality, having a sense of morality, or living by a moral code. Some believe that the only sensible way to live is without rules, but they’re wrong, and it can be exhausting to even try. Should you have your own moral beliefs? Yes, you absolutely should. Even Kreia has her own sense of right and wrong.
On Dantooine, the local mercenaries are planning to attack the established government of Khoonda. They approach you with an offer of credits to help them. You can agree to help them, but you’re also given the option to tell them that you’ll help them, but as a lie. Either way, Kreia will praise your decision. The only difference between the two is that if it’s not a lie, then you’ll gain dark side points. If you lie, you don’t gain any points but either way you gain something infinitely more valuable: Options.
Ask your average person if lying is a bad thing, and they’ll say yes. I myself would agree that in general, I consider it to be a negative thing. Lying, killing, war, these are all things that hopefully most of you would say are bad things. I’ve mentioned in the past that a military is supposed to do the wrong things for the right reasons. That principle still applies.
In this situation on Dantooine, you’ve given yourself power. Power in the sense that you haven’t locked yourself down one path. You have time now to consider how to proceed, and to gather more information. It mirrors what Kreia tells you when she instructs you on the skill if stealth. You’ve given yourself the power to decide how this all plays out, and that is something Kreia values.
According to me, lying, stealing, and so on is, in general, wrong. However:
1. That’s me.
2. It’s never that simple. For example: It could be that technically, leaving Malachor V intact is the right thing to do.
3. I’ve done my best to make it so that my beliefs are calculations I made on my own or I, at the very least, seriously thought about whether I agree. It wasn’t just me adopting an opinion of what’s right and wrong from someone else, a book, the 10 commandments, or what-have-you.
No matter how a conflict unfolds, the “winner” will proclaim themselves as being correct. Not necessarily because of the conflict itself, but because they already believed themselves to be correct, and others simply disagreed. The best that we can all do, is what we think is right.
Papito Qinn is into the whole YouTube thing, is the winner of the 2016 SpookTAYcular Scary Story Contest, and a twitter incompetent. “One man’s wrong is another man’s right.”