Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Ahsoka Tano is space Gandalf

These are some of my thoughts after seeing the two part finale of Star Wars Rebels, “Twilight of the Apprentice.”

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

This isn’t a review, it is my thoughts as I might share them with a friend who is already conversant with Star Wars lore as far as the 6 movies plus The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. As well as being familiar with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

If this is all Greek to you, you can catch up at wookiepedia, but more satisfying will be to watch The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels first. See you next month in that case.

Let me just lay out the character correspondences I see between the principals in LotR and Rebels.

Ezra = Frodo
Zeb = Samwise
Chopper = Pippin
possibly that other new droid = Merry (if the comically sociopathic Chopper doesn’t kick him off the ship from a great height like he did the last new droid)
Kanan Jarus = Aragorn
Ahsoka Tano = Gandalf
Rex = Boromir?
Hera = ???
Sabine = ???
Maul = Gollum
Vader = The Balrog
Emperor Palpatine = Sauron
The Inquisitors = Orcs, the cave troll
The Sith Holocron “containing all the knowledge of the Sith” and great destructive power = The One Ring

Star Wars intentionally follows the heroes journey particularly as described by Joseph Campbell with the main characters such as Yoda, Anakin, and Luke. Each has a “descent into the Underword” experience during which they come near the brink of death and arise as it were from the grave, now infused with great spiritual power and innoculated against fear of death which is one of the great temptations of the Dark Side. So too, at Moria, Gandalf falls, to later be reborn as Gandalf the White.

So if you want to trace the narrative of the Fellowship of the Ring at Moria vrs the three (former) Jedi from rebels, it would be as follows.

Yoda/Elrond sends the company on a quest which will lead them into darkess in order to evade the snares of the enemy.

Initial fight with the inquisitors/Chamber of Mazarbul.

Ezra becomes separated from the group and meets a denizen of the darkness who has been trapped there a long time. Ezra and Maul parallels Bilbo and Gollum in The Hobbit here.

Second fight with the Inquisitors/Cave troll and orcs. The Seventh Sister/cave troll and the other Inquisitors/orcs are soundly defeated. Ezra/Frodo is saved from being skewered.

Now comes the big bad, Darth Vader/The Balrog. Everyone is scared. Only Ahsoka/Gandalf can stand unafraid and alone.

There’s also another direct callback to the Lord of the Rings here with Ahsoka/Eowyn defying the spirit of evil with I am no Jedi/I am no man.

You shall not pass! Protecting Ezra/Frodo.

Ahsoka force pushes Ezra out of the fight at the last moment/Gandalf: Fly you fools!

The company flees, disconsolate at losing their most moral, most powerful member and leader.

Meanwhile, Ahsoka/Gandalf and Vader/The Balrog fight. Long fight. Vader is severely injured/The Balrog is destroyed.

There is a last vision of Ahsoka descending deeper into the Sith Temple/Gandalf:

‘Long I fell, and he fell with me. His fire was about me. I was burned. Then we plunged into deep water and all was dark. Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart. […] Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things…’
“‘Ice fell like rain. I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin. Then darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads that I will not tell.
“‘Naked I was sent back – for a brief time, until my task is done. And naked I lay upon the mountain-top. […] I was alone, forgotten, without escape upon the hard horn of the world. There I lay staring upward, while the stars wheeled over, and each day was as long as a life-age of the earth. Faint to my ears came the gathered rumour of all lands: the springing and the dying, the song and the weeping, and the slow everlasting groan of overburdened stone.’ ”

So Ahsoka will return, of course. But not unchanged, and not until things look very bleak indeed for the company.

Of course Disney can throw a monkey wrench into all this. Indeed it seems they have insisted the Ahsoka be written out of the story at this point. Ahsoka is so not a Disney princess. She isn’t girly, she wears practical, not sexy armor, she doesn’t need rescuing, and she isn’t going to get married and live happily ever after. Despite that she is the character that the youngest generation of Star Wars fans have come to know and love above all others for the past ten years, Disney seem to instead want to go the Abrams route. For more on that see my article, Force Awakens is a snide parody of Star Wars.

However, the force is strong with Ahsoka and her legions of fans, so I think it more likely than not that we will see her in the live action movies at some point.

As far as in-universe, what does Ahsoka do next?

I would suggest that she gains knowledge of future events enough to know that not only will all of the known Jedi either fall or turn to the Dark Side, but that Luke’s New Jedi Order will fail and fall to the Dark Side and be destroyed as well.

What would she do in such a circumstance?

Probably much like Satele Shan in the Knights of the Old Republic era, I suggest she will get as many force sensitive kids as she can and head back to Tython to begin a new order, which will be effectively a Grey Jedi order dedicated to the living force, like the predecessors of the Jedi, the Je’daii Order and the Dai Bendu.

There are a number of callbacks to the Old Republic in Twilight of the Apprentice, notably the Sith temple on Malachor and the female who made the great Sith Holocron, who would then be Jedi Master Arren Kae/Darth Traya/Kreia.

By going back to the homeworld of the Jedi, Tython, Ahsoka would be following in the footsteps of another female Jedi Master from the Old Republic era, Satele Shan. Shan went to Tython after the Sith defeated the Republic and sacked the Jedi temple on Corescant during the Great Galactic War.

This will take her off the stage indefinitely but not put her out of play if things get really bleak and suddenly the space cavalry needs to ride to the rescue as it were. Maybe literally if she can commune with the Purgill space whales like Esra. Or the Duinuogwin space dragons mentioned in early histories of the Old Republic.

Well those are my thoughts thus far. What do you think?

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

5 April, 2016 Posted by | Ahsoka Tano, Gandalf, Jedi, scanlyze, scaylyze, Star Wars, Tython | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vote for Hillary Clinton to continue these Bush-Obama policies

Vote for Hillary Clinton to continue these Bush-Obama policies:

Eternal, undeclared, illegal, aggressive war. In Libya, Syria, Iraq, Mali, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Chad, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen. Universal surveillance. General Warrants. Secret courts. National Security Letters. Endless imprisonment without trial or charge. Effective abolition of the writ of habeas corpus, notwithstanding that it is in the US Constitution Article I, Section 9. Black sites. Rendition. Special Ops death squads. Assassination of US citizens without trial or charge. Including juveniles. Robot bombs sent to assassinate more than 2,000 civilians so far in neutral countries with which we are not at war. Mercantilist trade policies such as TTIP, TPP, NAFTA. Okay, Hillary was for TPP and helped write it, until she was suddenly against it a few months ago. Fracking. Bailing out Wall Sreet, AIG to the tune of $318 thousand million dollars, then also bailing out big banks like Citi, who were already re-insured by AIG. But Obama could not find $20 billion to bail out Detroit’s pension funds, nor $60 million for public works to replace all the lead pipes in Flint.

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

30 March, 2016 Posted by | election, eternal war, hypocrisy, media, politics, scanlyze, US, USA, war | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Western Counter-terrorist strategy is a failure

The counterforce, counterintelligence military strategy of the Western Powers in the Middle East is a complete failure.

Maybe we should stop bombing people in their own countries for no reason other than profit.

What if ISIS was dropping flying robot bombs and killing people near your home every week.

Would that make you want to surrender to them and let them install a new puppet government? That is the model the western powers are following.

It only serves the interests of the super rich industrialists who profit from eternal war, and the giant bloated militarys designed to fight the Soviet Union which had ten thousand nuclear weapons, 50 thousand tanks, and six million men under arms.

The media has managed, through selective reporting and selective outrage like that over the atrocities on Belgium this week, to get people so scared that they treat IS, which is 2-3 divisions worth of light infantry and press-ganged, barely trained conscripts, as though it is an existential threat on the scale of the old Soviet Union.

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

23 March, 2016 Posted by | couter-terrorism, drones, Middle East, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton is in jeopardy of felony charges

Hillary Clinton is facing possible indictment on Federal felony charges of unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material under 18 U.S. Code § 1924.

Clinton’s secret basement server’s sysadmin, Bryan Pagliano, has been granted immunity from prosecution by the Justice Department in order to testify against her. DOJ doesn’t grant immunity unless they feel certain a crime has been committed and there is a reasonably good chance of a conviction.

Pagliano is or was reportedly a GS-15 who was moonlighting for HC and did not report this engagement to his superiors nor did he report the income she paid him under the table.

Now they are both in deep, deep shit. But Brian has the get out of jail free card, but only if he brings down Hillary. She’s fucked, to put it bluntly. Whether she is charged, or convicted, or not.

The statute says nothing about whether the information was classified when it was first retained. If it was classified at any point, and it was on her server in her basement, and she was aware of this at any point, Clinton is in jeopardy of being found guilty of probably multiple felony counts.

Most likely scenario is HC pleads guilty to a single felony charge, and gets a non-custodial, or home-confinement sentence. As was done with General Petraeus and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger.

Her best outcome is to get a pardon from Obama before he leaves office, joining such notable patriots as Admiral Poindexter and John Ashcroft. That will still destroy her career and injure the Democratic Party.

If Clinton was someone lower in the bureaucracy she would be facing heavy time, like John Kiriakou, William Binney, Jeff Sterling, Chelsea Manning, Susan Lindauer, Barrett Brown, Thomas Drake, Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, and Shami K. Leibowitz. And others.

10660078_1091308747574114_3362537831133610147_n

Pagliano is the dude on the right.

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

20 March, 2016 Posted by | Department of Justice, election, felony, politics, scanlyze, security, USA | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Marvin Minsky

While I was working at One Laptop per Child, I noticed a small, birdlike man perched over my shoulder looking at my two screens. Hmmm he looks familiar from one of my books maybe, oh shit, it’s Marvin Minsky!

Henry, what are you doing?

!He knows my name!

This to me was roughly the equivalent of being a fair to middling painter tending to your business and suddenly Leonardo da Vinci shows up and is asking you what are you doing, by name.

SO I explained well I am doing this that and the other thing and then I said you know Marvin, 90% of what I am doing is repetitive in nature and goes in through standard in and out through standard out. When can I have an AI that can do this 90% of the work for me?

And without pausing he said. “Five years.”

Beat.

We both busted out laughing.

The same answer, I suppose, he had been giving since 1959, when he co-founded the predecessor of CSAIL, the year he became an MIT Professor and the year I was born.

I also had a long conversation with him in another instance about how AI needed to use the basic story structures of folklore in order to construct narratives about events that humans would remember and regard as credible and later I gave him a copy of Propp’s Morphology of the Folktale.

A great mind, an excellent listener and a lovely gentleman.

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

Marvin Minsky, Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence, Dies at 88

29 January, 2016 Posted by | AI, Artificial Intelligence, folktale, Marvin Minsky, Rememberence, scanlyze, Vladimir Propp | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers