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The Mandalorian "Ruined" Yoda for Me...and I'm OK with it.

Discussion in 'The Mandalorian' started by Jayson, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

    Dec 24, 2015
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    With Star Wars reviving into a new throw of itself, there has come, as always happens, a row of frustrations with changes to the interpretations and meanings of long loved identities and values.

    The prequels were the first experience of this in large volume, and the sequel trilogy has its own variation of this.
    I have been extremely lucky in this regard, as I haven't really had such experiences too much aside from the prequel's Midichlorians bit, and a few other things with the prequels, but for the most part, these were easily ignored and rather minor.

    The prequels, in fact, began a degradation to the very thing that I now have a problem with in regards to Yoda, and in fact, the entire mythological stature of the Jedi lore as it was first impressed upon me back in the early 1980's.

    Now, the circle is complete, and the final straw holding that old impression of this aspect of the mythology has been undone due to The Mandalorian.

    ...And I'm alright with that.
    And I'm not only going to outline in what way this occurs for me, but also how I'm alright with this loss for myself, and my reason for doing this is to make an argument that anyone who experiences such alterations which remove an interpretation or value once perceived can be at peace with it as well.

    That it's OK for more than one truth to exist in Star Wars, and for that truth to change over time.

    So let's begin.


    Firstly, let me say that I greatly enjoy The Mandalorian, and I wouldn't change what it is.
    I'm so overly thrilled to have a science fantasy western, and in Star Wars no less!

    With that out of the way, let's get down to how The Mandalorian has "ruined" Star Wars mythology for me.

    The issue involves this guy.

    And the consequences of this little guy.

    In the original trilogy, when this scene happened...
    ...with the values and lessons that were told in the manner of how they were told and the air surrounding Yoda and his relationship to the Force...

    In lieu of this later scene...
    Where he discusses his age and the nature of this death where he fades away...

    Given the context of what we learned of the past from this scene with Ben...
    ...and how it juxtaposed to the current era. The past being elegant and noble - the present being crude and degraded.

    Which was reinforced with this...

    ...juxtaposed against this...

    Which reinforced the mythological symbolism of the Jedi.

    To understand the problem, I first have to explain what the mythological impression I had was.

    Yoda was 900 years old, and the old era was one that was whole and the state of the universe had fallen into degradation since then, and the old ways of the Jedi were the last bastion of the holistic era of old.

    This was a strong mythological retelling of an ancient mythology found scattered all across the Middle Eastern regions.
    It's littered in just about any culture which had a flood legend - Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Israel, Judah, and India, to list a few.

    Basically the have one thing in common.
    The flood begins a physical cataclysmic divide between the era of the old and the era of the present, and the old era was idolized until it was defiled and one individual, or a small number of people, become the last hope of the old ways carrying forward.

    In the case of Star Wars, Lucas definitely struck upon the Judaic mythology for this.
    Yoda became the Noah of the Antediluvian's.

    Noah wasn't just important in the Judaic mythology for being a righteous and pious person worthy of saving my their god, El, but he was also the last person of the aforementioned Antediluvians.

    That is, those who existed prior to the flood.
    In this mythology, those who existed previously lived incredibly long years, and mostly experienced harmony with the world - though there were troubles, and there were those who fell away and became the beginning of the separatism and further caused the derivation of the world to its current state, such as Seth.

    Yoda, in fact, is not very hidden in his Judaic ties.
    "Yodh" is the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and holds a rather special place in mystical meanings.
    It is said that all letters begin and end with Yodh, because Yodh is the smallest character in the alphabet and is present in nearly every other letter in some respect.

    It has also has a meaning of righteousness, which pairs with the other meaning of "Yod"; Yo-dei-ah, or yeda.
    Which isn't odd to a Yiddish eye to see "Yod" as a variation of this (Hebrew is a language with lots of variation).

    Secondly, his speech is right down the nose of Hebraic grammar. Verb, Object, Subject.
    Which isn't how English works.

    For example, "Judge (verb) me (object) by my size, do you (subject)?"

    This is more common in "Biblical Hebrew" or "Ancient Hebrew" than modern Hebrew.

    He dies at 900, not because his species is just one that lives forever. He dies that old because he is one of the original bastions from the old era and is living one with the Force, which gives him - through his piousness - an extensively long life.

    And like the rare pious of this branch of mythology, Yoda, like Ben, disappear with no body to find.

    Luke, then becomes the last bastion of hope for this old way when
    That's the impression given from the mythological symbolism of the Jedi, or yehudi (Hebrew of Jewish - pronounced, y'-hu-dee, and means from the Kingdom of Judah).

    That is the mythological impression I grew up understanding in the symbolism, and it made what was being asserted and phrased in Star Wars have a certain slant and meaning (not a Christian or Judaic meaning, either - just a certain slant to it due to this being one of the mythological aspects).

    However, it didn't remain that way forever....

    The prequels began the "ruining" of this mythological understanding of the Jedi by firstly showing the era of the past in TPM and it wasn't lining up with the way that Ben spoke of it in ANH for me, and it wasn't what I had come to understand these wise old pious sages to be a part of.

    Blasters were everywhere, technology was more rampant than in the original trilogy, and the Jedi council was nothing like a modest and pious group of Antediluvians.

    However, I could somewhat squint and ignore Ben's timeline and speech to Luke and keep the mythology alive by imagining that the prequels were just the tale end - the era of the proverbial flood, when degradation had already reached its prime tear from the Antediluvian era.

    Which was fine...it just made Ben's whole monologue to Luke a bit off and more like he was pining about an era he didn't experience himself, but one he had idolized.


    And then The Mandalorian came in and took the final remaining stable Jinga block and the whole mythological tower came tumbling down.

    This happened because Baby Yoda is 50 years old.
    This immediately means that their race just ages slowly.

    Which, consequently means that Yoda didn't reach his age by being a righteous, pious, knowledgeable servant of the Force which he lived in tune with.
    He just lived to be 900 because his whole species lives to be hundreds of years old.

    As a result, this removes the only remaining string holding the Antediluvian mythology together in Star Wars.


    I'm OK with that.

    Why? How?

    Because nothing changes that this was true for a while, and that I experienced that interpretation and meaning, and the value from it.

    And the new interpretation brings a new mythological world, fresh with its own meanings.
    It's not better, or worse.

    It's new. New life and a new experience.

    So while The Mandalorian killed the old mythology for me, it also gave birth to a new one and gave back life to Star Wars in a way that allows it to live on and grow. And further, it didn't take away the old mythology from me. I still have that. I can see it anytime that I want to, and the impact of that mythology had its impact and effect in my life; it has ran its course and served its purpose.

    And in that way, Star Wars itself as a creation of art is its own mythology of creation, death, and rebirth.
    Like a phoenix.

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  2. oldbert

    oldbert Guardian of Coffee Breaks

    Jan 15, 2016
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    I know a lot of creating a whole world full imagination, symbols and idealistic interpretations.
    It's bitter sweet when I think of how I was hovering persons, idols and worldviews that all crambled over the time.
    It's like you said.
    Things change, live goes on and the universe doesn't really care about everyones smaller or bigger irritations.

    For me it's always helpful to recognize that I am only one of a million people who tries to find a good and meaningful way and therefor I am happy that there is always a opportunity to care for sthg or someone that is bigger than my little ego, a so called "greater good", if want to give it name.

    Being a SW fan implicates quite the same dilemmas :D
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  3. Xeven

    Xeven Rebel Official

    Oct 20, 2015
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    I always though Yoda came from a race that lived longer. I am 51. I also thought Ben and Yoda were speaking of ancient times not just last 30 to 50 years.

    Wookies live into the thousands of years so don’t be surprised.
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  4. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

    Jul 11, 2015
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    I guess I had a similar view, but then Yaddle came along in the PT and took that away. Fortunately I like Yaddle enough to not question it.

    Yoda was old - he was always old and his connection to the Force may have helped him live longer but I never thought it was the only reason.

    To me Baby Yoda isn't a problem so long as an answer is never provided. Yoda's species can still have that mystic connection to the Force. (It just came to me, but I'm like the idea that Yoda's species is a "watcher" species of the Jedi. There has to be one with every age. And now it's time for Baby Yoda to watch over the ST era).
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  5. Mcbee

    Mcbee Rebel General

    Jan 8, 2016
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    This was such a great read!
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  6. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

    Dec 24, 2015
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    Thank you all for the responses.

    Firstly, I wanted to apologize for the typos and sloppy unfinished sentences in a few spots in the original post. Unlike usual, I wasn't writing this thread's opening post in dedicated writing time, and was distracted (happily) with conversation with my wife, and had to get running right after I posted it, so I didn't have time before the hour limit is up to proof and edit.

    There is one errata that I wanted to clarify that was a victim of this writing environment.

    This should have read:

    And this line:
    Should have read:
    With the errata out of the way...


    I'd like to note that I'm not really arguing that my original interpretation of the original trilogy is the way it should be understood.
    Star Wars is an abstract mythology which uses common symbols and themes, along with aesthetics to imply supporting contexts which flavor the meanings of the overt dialogue and actions.

    It is a mythological Rorschach test.

    The importance of what I understood the mythology to be isn't that it's right, nor that it's wrong. It's that it's what I understood it to be, and subsequent iterations of the film series 16 and 36 years later made that interpretation become impossible in the way that I had seen it.
    Thus, the one-two punch of the Prequels and The Mandalorian "ruined" (that is, removed) my version of the original trilogy's mythology from being present going forward.

    Yes, there are things folks know like the age of Wookies, or the details of Yaddle, but from the films alone, these aren't known ideas or notions.
    When watching Return of the Jedi in the theater at 4 years of age, and subsequent viewings of the whole trilogy over the rest of my childhood, it wasn't like I knew anything about the lifespan of a Wookie. It wasn't stated information in the movie. I knew one Wookie.

    Yaddle didn't tell me anything outright either because her age was never really addressed, and her horrible Nicholas Cage in National Treasure 2 with a mid-life crises over losing hair and trying horrible fake options didn't tell me much about her age as a total.

    Yaddle's name wasn't even mentioned in the film. It was just another Yoda species. For all I knew that just meant there was another one, but clearly they were not as old as Yoda, and I never saw them again, so I can't say what their lifespan was.

    From the film alone, this didn't present any information that itself caused issue.

    The issue was the world of the prequels begin with the Jedi in their heyday, as Ben states...

    Ben hands Luke the saber.
    This painted an image to me where the Old Republic was a civilized world with more elegant weapons belonging to noble Knights; not filled with hover cars and blasters flinging everywhere, and that "Dark Times" were not only the fall of the Old Republic, but the shift from purposeful weapons which required poise and dedicated direction to do harm - specifically targeted choice - to a world where violence could be wielded around by a whimsical pointing of blasters, killing and wounding people accidentally, nor without requiring the personal ownership face-to-face of taking that life.

    This is the classic philosophical and moral issue that you can regularly read in historical texts during the overlapping period between older eras of hand-to-hand weapons and the newer age of firearms; though more common in writing after the age of firearms occurred and people idolized the previous age after seeing the "horrors" of the firearm (this became quite a common tangent following World War I, and the rise of the machine gun and magazine rifle).

    And the world of The Phantom Menace didn't look like the impression I got from hearing Ben talk about the Old Republic in ANH to Luke.

    That all said.....


    The focus wasn't accuracy or rightness.
    It was on agreeableness.

    That even though that original understanding has been removed, I can still love this new version of understanding that I am now receiving because the alteration doesn't actually take from me my experience of what I originally understood the mythology to be, and what it therefore implied and symbolically meant.

    That is to say that The Mandalorian didn't ruin the mythology for me - it replaced that mythology with another one.

    Further, my proposition was that anyone who has some view and understanding of Star Wars which is subsequently made to be complicated or impossible going forward as still part of the Star Wars identity can be agreeable with the change because we don't need to demand that Star Wars remain a fixed identity of what it meant to us at one point in time, and how we understood it.

    Our understandings and views of Star Wars are permanently ours. That can never be taken away.
    What we receive are even further understandings and views over time - additions.

    They do not remove, because we already experienced it. They, instead, give us a new idea and way of looking at it, and I think we can take that and appreciate it.

    It's what, if anything, allows Star Wars to continue to live anew generation over generation.
    Values don't stay the same over generations. They slowly shift and even meanings change.
    Sticking to the same exact moral and mythological pallet is ultimately certain death for a legend of myth.

    Additions which revive the vigor of life within the mythology by altering the perspective and adding a new slant and view isn't only preservation; it's social beauty artistically.

    #6 Jayson, Dec 16, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
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