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wonder-woman-truth

Recently I’ve become something of a big Wonder Woman fan. Earlier this year DC Comics went through a universe reset and all the comic series started new stories. The first arc of the Wonder Woman series, written by Greg Rucka who should be familiar to Star Wars fans, is called “The Lies.” It takes Diana on a journey to uncover the truth of her past that has become nothing but a shroud of mystery. Naturally, this got me thinking about “The Lies” that permeate the Star Wars saga. Truth and lies are common elements that follow through all the films, shows, books, and comics.

Easily the biggest example of the truth and lies in Star Wars happens in Attack of the Clones.  While trying to figure out the hidden plotting on Geonosis, Obi-Wan is captured by the natives and taken prisoner for Count Dooku. The former Jedi turned away from the order after becoming dissatisfied with how the council had become. Dooku goes on to tell Obi-Wan how an undercover Sith Lord has taken control of the Republic senate and is influencing the way the Jedi Order behaves. Obi-Wan instantly tosses this aside and refuses to believe him because of Dooku’s working with the Separatists. What the Sith do is tell the truth while whoever is listening automatically takes it as fiction. Everything that Dooku tells Obi-Wan is true. Chancellor Palpatine is the Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. This is how Sidious is so easily able to come to power. His weapon is the truth that is often assumed to be lies. He uses the same tactic with Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. While exploring the deep connections of fact and fiction with the Sith, it’s impossible to not draw the same connections with the Jedi as well.

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It’s not surprising that Obi-Wan continues on with this sense of truth and lies. “From a certain point of view” is how he likes to describe it. In A New Hope after he rescues Luke from the sandpeople he tells him the story of his father. Or what Luke thinks he knows about his father. Obi-Wan tells Luke that Darth Vader betrayed and murdered his father. So while this isn’t completely true, it also isn’t completely false. At the time of the release of the movie, Vader’s complete backstory wasn’t revealed so there wasn’t any reference to the history of Anakin. After going through the prequels we are able to learn all about Anakin and realize that what Obi-Wan told Luke isn’t a complete fabrication. Sure, Anakin isn’t technically dead. He wasn’t literally murdered. In many ways Darth Vader did murder what was left of Anakin when he decided to become the new apprentice to Sidious. These half-truths are one of the factors that play into the ultimate downfall of the Jedi order. It’s clear why Obi-Wan couldn’t let Luke in on the full truth of it all but it still reflects the theme of truth and lies being ever-present in the Star Wars universe.  

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The truth hurts. Luke learns this lesson the hard way. After dueling Darth Vader on Cloud City, in which he loses his right hand, the bigger pain comes from the fact that his father is indeed, Darth Vader. Rather than succumbing to Vader and joining him, Luke willingly lets go and falls through Cloud City accepting that he would rather die than join that kind of evil. He gets saved by his sister Leia, which was unknown at the time, is just another example of lies. Obi-Wan and Yoda deliberately kept Luke and Leia away from the knowledge that Vader was their father or that they were siblings. Up until the Rebel Alliance was on the precipice of ultimately defeating the Empire, the realization of who they were and the truth their relationship was hidden away. It is not until the truth finally comes out that Luke and Leia are able to resolve what they need to do. Luke in his journey of truth is able to rid the lie of Darth Vader and reveal the truth that was Anakin Skywalker.

There are plenty of other examples of truth and lies within the Star Wars mythos. What are some that you can recognize? You can comment below or email in at mikea@coffeewithkenobi.com

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1 Comment

  1. Melinda
    December 8, 2016 at 07:59 Reply

    Great read, Mike! 🙂

    Isn’t it interesting how Luke — someone not very well-versed in the ways of the Jedi (just yet) — accepted that Darth Vader was his father pretty much from the get-go (his unwillingness not to join the Dark Lord notwithstanding), and yet those Jedi who were much stronger in the Force did not see through Dooku’s and Palpatine’s/Sidious’ lies? I never really thought about that until reading through this entry of yours. It’s evident that Luke believes Vader right away, and that notion is reinforced after Leia and Lando rescue Luke. Luke reaches out to Vader, through the Force, “Father…” No doubts. No wonderings. Just acceptance.

    Did Luke have a stronger (maybe unclouded) connection to the Force than even Obi-Wan, Yoda, and possibly his own father?

    The truth can be a tough pill to swallow. Even for the revered Jedi.

    MTFBWY 🙂

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