Aug. 18, 2022

The Redemption of Darth Vader (SOMC Crossover)

The Redemption of Darth Vader (SOMC Crossover)

Was Darth Vader truly redeemed at the end of Return of the Jedi?

Was Darth Vader redeemed at the end of Return of the Jedi? Listen to one of the best Star Wars conversations I've ever head on this episode from our cousin podcast, THE SECRET ORIGINS OF MINT CONDITION.







[00:00:00] JOSH:

[00:00:02] Welcome to Trash Compactor. I'm Josh. And this week we're presenting an episode of our cousin podcast, The Secret Origins of Mint Condition in a discussion that I participated in back in May about the redemption or lack thereof of Darth Vader. This was one of the best Star Wars discussions I've ever been a part of.

[00:00:17] And it touches on a lot of topics that we've talked a lot about here on Trash Compactor. And in a lot of ways, it feels like it could be a missing episode. But it's not, it's an episode of another podcast and I'm very jealous and proud and thankful that James has allowed us to share it here on the Trash Compactor feed.

[00:00:34] Just a quick note. This episode was recorded before the release of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney plus,

[00:00:39] so keep that in mind as you listen, though, the bulk of what I say would I think remain unchanged. So without further ado, I'm gonna turn it over to James who leads this discussion about the redemption of Darth Vader. Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode of the Secret Origins of Mint Condition. I am one of your hosts, James, and with me as Joe and Chris and we have, uh, a returning guest friend of the show and host of Trash Compactor, a Star Wars podcast, which officially launches its season one debut today. Josh Bernhard is here.

[00:01:18] Hello there.

[00:01:19] JAMES: Thank you for coming on Josh. We really appreciate you being on, especially when we're talking all things, Star Wars.

[00:01:24] So, um, we're really excited to have you on today.

[00:01:27] JOSH: I'm excited to be here. I've been looking forward to this podcast for, uh, months. I think

[00:01:32] JAMES: Yes, I've been, we've been teasing this for a while. Um

[00:01:36] JOE: thanks for being here, Josh. We really appreciate it.

[00:01:39] JOSH: No, I'm I'm really, I said it twice. I'll say it again. I'm really excited to be here. I'm looking forward to this one.

[00:01:45] JAMES: Excellent. Well, so I'll give, give a little history before we launch officially into the podcast because, um, you know, I would say the topic that I, I put forth today for this, uh, Star Wars episode would, would be the original podcast topic. Uh, even before I, I decided I wanted to do a podcast. And even before I, I, I approached Joe and Chris about doing the podcast.

[00:02:05] Um, so I just give a little back history on, on this is our topic is gonna be centering around Darth Vader and I'll get into the more specifics around it. But as Josh has said, like, uh, when he first met me, I, I, he saw me wearing a Darth Vader shirting condition, uh, Darth Vader growing up. I, I really liked the character and, you know, thinking about approaching this episode and the character of Darth Vader, um, I kind.

[00:02:31] This is my adult version of why I thought that way. But I guess in my mind, I like Darth Vader because the, you know, the last impression you ever have of something sometimes is what's left with you. And the last impression I have of Darth Vader with the original trilogy is that he kills the emperor, um, to return to the good side and ends up before ghost at the end of Return of the Jedi.

[00:02:51] So in my mind, all the things that we'd seen in a new hope and empire, I guess for my young mind, liking the character were kind of a race because in the end he, he, he was a good guy. So I guess that, that's my justification. Now as an adult, I, I can't go back in time and, and figure out any other way. So there, there could be differences in that, uh, in my younger self, but so I had that going for a while and then the prequels come out and the prequels, um, number one is not what Anakin, I thought Anakin would be, uh, as a starter.

[00:03:18] Uh, but that's a whole separate podcast, I think. And, um, and then when we get to Revenge of the Sith Anakin Skywalker now, Darth Vader, Really crosses the line and, and murders as we joked about, um, young wings, but it's really in the Star Wars universe. That's not a joke. He literally kills at, I think at least 10 to 20 young Jedis.

[00:03:36] If not more, I don't even know if we know the count, but he kills a whole bunch of young children in his efforts to fulfill his role as Darth Vader and, and be the emperors, uh, right hand. So all of that, like, and the prequels, we could, again, hold their podcast topic about what the prequels are. The prequels kind of like, I wouldn't say ruined Star Wars for me, but I took a break from Star Wars for a long time.

[00:03:57] But, um, but as I, as Disney started re-promoting Star Wars and I was into the expanded trilogy, I got back into it and I started rethinking my thoughts about the character Garth Vader. Uh, obviously it's one whole saga. So episodes one through three to, you know, uh, you know, four, uh, through six all count.

[00:04:15] So my like liking this character as I grew up changed into like, this is a really bad guy. I mean, what we saw in screen him do in revenge in the Sy and everything else. And. If you're a person like me who reads like the, in Canon Marvel comics and stuff that Marvel started to, once they acquired it, he's done terrible thing, you know, hunted down and killed rebels and Jedi.

[00:04:35] And that. So my real question for this episode, and, uh, you know, Chris and I talked about this, this was like, Chris has mentioned on previous podcast. This was the topic that rekindled our friendship after like

[00:04:46] CHRIS: Yeah,

[00:04:47] JAMES: years. I, I went

[00:04:48] CHRIS: multiple con phone conversations. Yes, it.

[00:04:50] JAMES: yes, this was a long philosophical topic. And I've discussed this with Josh as well, many times.

[00:04:55] Um, so this is the podcast to finally have our thoughts out. And Joe, I have not discussed this podcast topic with you, but, um, I'm really interested in your thoughts. So the, the conversation is at the end of Return of the Jedi Anakin Skywalker appears as a Force ghost, which kind of implies to you that all is forgiven with the Force, I guess, cuz he's there with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.

[00:05:19] And if you watch clone wars and Rebels, you know, Qui-Gon is not there in the scene, but he's also attained that. So it means like you to be a Force ghost you've attained a certain amount of enlightenment and balance or whatever piece with the Force. And, and it seems like all is forgiven. So I, I have to ask.

[00:05:34] And, and Joe, since I have not talked about this with you, I'll have you go first does is Anakin Skywalker slash Darth Vader worthy of that redemption at the end of Return of the Jedi

[00:05:44] JOE: I'm still wrestling with this James. I know this is gonna be the question, and I've been thinking about it and thinking about it. And, uh, maybe by the end of this podcast, I might be able to answer that question, uh, in affirmative one way or the other. But, uh, right now I would have to say I'm leaning towards no,

[00:06:04] JAMES: that's.

[00:06:04] JOE: of all the, all the, all the things you just, uh, uh, enumerated.

[00:06:08] Um, but that said, you know, he's, he's, you know, when you talk about cinema villains, when you talk about the greatest films in cinema history, of course, art Vader is one of them. I mean, he's right up there with Hannibal lector, um, nurse ratchet, um, Mrs. Dank from Rebecca, which. An incredible villainous, Michael Coone.

[00:06:30] So he's, and they all, you know, and some of, you know, some of them though, we, we talk about, um, especially co is, is he, is he a big guy? He's a good guy. Does he redeem himself at the end? But he loses everything, loses his family, but he kills all his enemies. So, uh, this is a great, um, a great question you have posed and, uh, I'm gonna sit back for a bit and, and, and listen to, uh, the other answers from, uh, you and, uh, Jo, Josh and Chris.

[00:06:55] And maybe you'll push me in the other direction. Maybe you won't, but, um, that's where I stay right now. I'm um, I'm straddling in line right now.

[00:07:03] JAMES: I, I, I like this, Joe.

[00:07:04] JOE: oh, like another great villain and Chris will appreciate this. Um, I hope I get this right. Um, uh, the vacillating Richard was that Richard, the second Richard, the third Chris,

[00:07:15] CHRIS: Ooh. I honestly couldn't tell you offhand

[00:07:17] JOE: uh, that's the, that's the premise of that place because you cannot make up his mind, you know?

[00:07:21] So, uh, you know, that's constantly vacillating, so I, I am a, I am a Shakespearean, uh, Uh, character at this point right now, bef uh, try wrestling with this answer.

[00:07:31] JAMES: Well,

[00:07:32] CHRIS: that said, I appreciate that you have now put it into my head that I desperately need to see a version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest with Vader in it, as well as, you know, version of, uh, A New Hope with nurse nurse Ratchet in it. So thank you for putting that head, Joe.

[00:07:48] JOE: Nurse Ratchet is.

[00:07:50] She's scum and villainy.

[00:07:53] JAMES: Well, Joe, I appreciate you being, I like the, the audience that has like a kind of be swayed in this argument. So, um, but, uh, Josh, since you are a guest, let me, let me turn it over to you now. What are, what are your thoughts on, on what I've proposed?

[00:08:06] JOSH: I have so many thoughts. Um but to stick with this question, , I, actually, my thought process is actually almost beat for beat the same as Joe's. I struggle with this a lot as well, but I ultimately come down on the side of, he's not redeemed, at least in my eyes. Um, I do think the films are saying, I think the, authorial intent is to say he is redeemed. Um, but I don't know that I buy that. And you know, it is interesting because I think it's ironic, you said that seeing the Anakin Skywalker of the prequels, , actually made Vader less redeemable or, um, more, more irredeemable as the case may be when ironically, I think the intent was the opposite. I think George Lucas's expectation was through seeing who he was as a young man and the good man that he was, you would be more apt to, accept his redemption or know that he has good in him.

[00:09:10] When, ironically, as you point out seeing him murder a bunch of kids, a room full of helpless kids in Episode is kind of what for you. And I would say probably for me as well, um, is kind of beyond the pale. I think that, and, you know, slaughtering the, the, the tribe of Tuskens in Episode 2. Who I actually, by the way, I have made a point not to refer to them as sand people or Tusken Raiders, um, since seeing their more rounded depiction in The Book of Boba Fett where, you know, it's really framed as like they are the native inhabitants of, of Tatooine

[00:09:49] so to call them, you know, raiders is, is kind of unfair because, you know, any raiding that's going on is because of all of these, colonizers who have shown up on their planet and set up shop, and they're just like, what are you doing? Uh, but I digress.

[00:10:04] so yeah, I don't think that Vader is redeemed just because he does, one final act of good, where he decides to do the right thing. And there's also a way that you can look at what he does in a very selfish way. Because now that we have the prequels, basically what he does when he intervenes when the emperor is, killing his son. He's basically with the context of the prequels flashing back to the failure, his failure to save Padme's life.

[00:10:37] And he's basically what must be going through his mind is, wait a minute, I've been here before I have an opportunity to save somebody I love. So I'm gonna take it. So it's kind of, you know, selfish in a sense. Um, I don't know that he's acting so much out of. You know, wait a minute. the emperor is evil and I have a chance to do the right thing once.

[00:10:57] And for all, I think there's a way to read it where he's doing it, selfishly, where, the whole catalyst or the final straw, depending on how you look at it for his fall to the dark side was his attachment to his loved ones and his inability to, let go, wanting to possess them.

[00:11:14] And ultimately the idea of not being with Padme or being without Padme, uh, you know, makes him crazy and makes him willing to, to turn to the dark side and do whatever tine says and just, you know, on a dime slaughter, his best friend and a room full of kids. And, you know, I think he realizes, wait a second.

[00:11:37] I don't want the emperor to murder my son. I love my son . Um, and you know, whether or not that is, I mean, which I certainly think is the right thing to do. Um, but, um, you know, hard to see what his, um, his motives are. I don't know that you can definitively say that there's so, , clear cut. It seems to me it's ano it's yet another act of selfishness potentially.

[00:12:01] And the one final thing I will say on this, in an upcoming episode of Trash Compactor: A Star Wars podcast, We have a long conversation about Return of the Jedi, where we do discuss very briefly. We kind of have a mini version of this discussion at the end.

[00:12:15] Um, and, we kind of landed on something similar. And then, , my friend, Jon who's, , a frequent. guest on Trash Compactor who was not on that episode, he heard the discussion and he pointed out that in his mind, , Vader's soul is what's redeemed there, not so much whether or not he should be forgiven by the people around him, or, you know, the galaxy , he really made the distinction that in that moment, Vader redeems his soul or, , he redeems the soul in the eyes of the Force, uh, whatever that means, which I think it's an interesting idea. And I think is certainly, um, what is there in the text? I think that's the intent. I think it is a very, Christian, notion about, souls and forgiveness and all of that, but, um, one interesting distinction though, that I want, , to make that occurred to me was, first of all, I'm, I'm Jewish. I'm not, very much practicing, but, some of the values in, , the Jewish faith that separate it from, you know, Christian values is, uh, really embodied, I think, in the observance of Yom Kippur, which is, the new year's, ceremony, um, when we ask, forgiveness for our sins, things that, we did, wrong, the mistakes that we made in previous year in preparation for a clean slate for.

[00:13:38] , the upcoming new year. And one of the things that, , you do in Yom Kippur is you need to ask forgiveness from the people you have wronged before you can ask forgiveness of God. Right? you basically have to, um, have to settle up with the real people who bore the brunt of your mistakes or your sins, or what have you, before God or the universe or whatever, can forgive you before you can even ask for that forgiveness.

[00:14:08] And so I think that, you know, approaching this question of does Darth Vader, redeem himself at the end of Return of the Jedi. It's kind of a cop out, but I think it depends on your point of view. I think it depends on where you're coming from. I mean, if you believe that, you know, your redemption, the, the tally is, between like your soul and the universe then.

[00:14:33] Sure. Okay. you know, maybe in the eyes of the Force or God or the universe, um, all, all it, uh, takes is one final change of heart. and you're good to go. Um, if you take a more kind of humanist material view of, good goodness and redemption, , Vader, while that's a good start to have a change of heart at the end.

[00:14:58] he will never be able to do right by the people that he wronged, uh, by the galaxy that he wronged. He will never be able, to make up in the material world for all the pain and death and destruction that he caused. So, um, I think, I think it's an, I think it's an open question. I don't, I think it depends on, where you're coming from and, you know, in a way he got off easy because he died.

[00:15:22] He's lucky he died, uh, because he didn't, uh, he didn't have to face those, um, you know, the reckoning, the, uh, you know, the rest of his life would., have had to have been devoted to making up for, or apologizing for, the destruction that he's responsible for. And, you know, um, who's to say that he would've been willing or able to stick with that.

[00:15:47] I mean, after years and years of, of trying to do the right thing and, you know, constantly being challenged or told, it's not enough, it's not enough, you know, who's to say he wouldn't just go right back to the dark side, which as we all know is quicker, easier, more seductive to get what you want.

[00:16:01] JAMES: No, those are so many good points, Josh. Um,

[00:16:04] JOE: they are great points,

[00:16:05] JAMES: I, you know, just to kind of, I mean, I guess I just do elaborate on, on, on your last point. What I want before I throw it to Chris is like, I guess if he had survived though, he would've, I mean, he arguably would be put on trial and possibly executed if the rebellion believed in that kind of justice, but, um,

[00:16:20] JOE: well, Josh, the way he put it, uh, very eloquently, uh, it reminds me of like the, uh, the 10 step program, an alcohol cause anonymous or, or, or drug program. And you have to forgive the people you've wrong before you can, uh, uh, forgive quote unquote maker before we make a make will forgive, forgive you. So you have to make right with the people you've harm.

[00:16:41] Physically end, end psychologically. And, um, that, you know, again, that's on a personal level. Yeah. You, you might find that that forgiveness, but it doesn't mean it wipes out what you've done. Um, so, uh, I'm still struggling guys. I'm still struggling. So, but, um, you made me think about some things, Josh. So, uh, go ahead, Chris.

[00:17:04] I just, just wanted to let you, you know, just wanted to get that out there.

[00:17:07] CHRIS: Yeah, no, I mean, I think, I think you've both brought up really, really good points. And I know James has, James has some more, I, for me, whether or not Vader is redeemed by the end of Jeti totally depends on the scale of the discussion. And the reason I say that is because I, I agree with Josh a hundred percent that the authorial intent is that Vader is redeemed.

[00:17:26] That's why he shows up at the end. He's now on like, once he's turned back to the light side, that's how he dies and that's how he stays. So I definitely think that was the, the intent. Um, I do think that if we just look at just the original trail, G episode's four through six, I do think Vader is redeemed.

[00:17:46] I say that because we talk about there's, there's all sorts of talk about what he did, but we don't entirely know what he did. Right. Um, you know, we know that he apparently killed Anakin that said, we also learned that he is Anakin. So it, you know, it's true from a certain point of view. So how much of the evil that we've heard Vader has done is, is actually evil versus the mythology spun around this creature of myth who is Vader.

[00:18:13] So I think that when you look at it, strictly from episodes four through six, I think Vader can be redeemed. Yes, he is part of trying to crush the rebellion. Uh, yes, he has every intention of killing Obi-Wan Kenobi, but you know, in those contexts, in those specific contexts, he's not the one who built or used the death star.

[00:18:30] He, uh, Obi-Wan allowed himself to be struck down by Vader. Um, you know, there are a number of ways in which we saw Vader, torture, Han and Leia. And that's, I, I obviously that's a bad thing. Um, but then he's the one who, he's the reason the emperor dies. He kills the emperor as far as we know. Right. So I think episodes four to six, he is redeemed.

[00:18:51] I think when you zoom out though, and you start incorporating other elements of his story, I think that's when it gets, I wouldn't even say it gets Murier because I don't think it does get Murier. I don't think he finds redemption. I don't think he can be redeemed for what he's done. I think we see that once he kills everybody that he kills in the first three movies episode, it's one through three, really episodes two through three with the Tuscan Raiders and, and with mace and with the youngling.

[00:19:19] Um, so I think he hits a point of, of not being able to be redeemed there on that scale. And also, I, I don't think the storytelling was very good from episodes. One through. so not only do I, am I disinclined to believe that Vader is, is redeemable, but also I don't like Anakin as a character, so it's not even like I care whether or not he is redeemed and I don't know how much that plays into, and I've got a couple of other things, but really quickly, I wanna put the question to the three of you.

[00:19:49] How much does your opinion of Anakin based on just episodes one through three, how much of that does plays into whether or not you think Anakin is redeemable is, is whether or not you, I mean, do you even want to see him redeemed based on the character that we've been introduced to in episodes one through three?

[00:20:06] JAMES: well, that's a, yeah, that is a complex question. Um, If we're only taking episodes one through three into consideration, I don't really care enough about the character akin and he's not my favorite at that point. Like I'm, I'm actually at that point, rooting for him become Dar theater. Cause he's a lot more interesting once he send the

[00:20:22] CHRIS: Yeah. See, uh, that, and that to me is really interesting. Joe, Josh, what do you guys think?

[00:20:27] JOE: Oh boy, I don't know. That's that's a tough, that's tough one, Chris, but you, but the way you framed it though, if you're just looking at the, the middle trilogy, and we don't know his horrendous horrific background then yeah. Maybe he's redeemable, but, uh, once we learned these things that he did in the past, uh, yeah, I mean, no, he's not, again, you can, you can ask for forgiveness, you can ask for those of your loved ones and friends and, and, and, and even your maker, but, doesn't mean you're gonna get it.

[00:20:55] And, um, so no, I don't, I'm, I'm starting until, you know, not worry for as much. And I don't think he's, you know, he's not, I don't think he's, uh, redeemable

[00:21:06] CHRIS: Well, and, and whether, I mean here, even without the, the middle three movies, you know, whether or not you're rooting for a character, I think makes it, you know, makes it relevant. I mean, Josh, what do you, what do you think with your storytelling experience and, and your movie consumption experience?

[00:21:20] JOSH: Well, I'm going to answer your question sideways. Um,

[00:21:25] CHRIS: Sure. Yeah. Means

[00:21:26] JOE: Sounds like me.

[00:21:28] JOSH: here's one thing I can't quite get over, when it comes to Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader, in a lot of ways, it's very hard to see the through line, the way he's depicted in these six movies, uh, because he's, he's, he's a composite character.

[00:21:44] He's never, portrayed by this same, the, his, so in episode one, he's portrayed by one actor who only portrays him in that one movie. And then, he's played by a completely different actor or who's a completely different age in the next movie. So at least for me, I'm not, there's, there's a disconnect for me, in my head and my, you know, recognition of the continuity of that character.

[00:22:12] Like in my mind, it's very hard for me to see the young boy who we see in that first movie episode one. As the same character as Anakin Skywalker in episode two, which so if you're, doing the math, if you're playing along at home, one third of the character's arc, in the prequel trilogy for me, , it's completely gone, because, I have a hard time seeing that as, uh, a part of the journey of this one character, then you have, one actor who portrays him for two movies.

[00:22:44] and those two movies are arguably the only time that we are seeing this, fully formed conception of the Anakin Skywalker character, where he evolved to this conception of the character, right. Then once you get to episode four to Star Wars A new hope, he's played by two actors.

[00:23:05] Well, really three actors, if you count, Bob Anderson, the stuntman, and that the idea that he, he was Anakin Skywalker, wasn't even there when they were, making the movie.

[00:23:16] so, so it's literally not intended to be the same character when it was made, you know, retroactively, it like, you know, kind of works in you.

[00:23:25] You can kind of paper it over, but the point stands that, it is literally not the same character. So you're, now two thirds of the way in to the story of this character, he's been portrayed by three different actors, four different actors, if you count, the voice separately and where we're at at this point, he's not even supposed to be that same character. And, by the time you actually see him his mask off, by the end of episode six that's yet

[00:23:51] another

[00:23:51] actor who, who you don't, who you don't associate, you don't see in your mind. Oh, like that's the same guy who I last saw in episode three on the, volcano planet Mustafi after, , battling with Obi-Wan.

[00:24:04] So, my point is, is that a lot of this, a lot of this arc. is really an intellectual exercise. And you don't feel it from the movie. You don't, you're not brought along this journey with the characters, Uh, with the character, excuse me. in the movies themselves, you are, you, you, you are told these things and you can resolve them, , to see that continuity, but it's an intellectual exercise.

[00:24:28] It's not, it's not something the movies have, you know, given you, so in that sense, I would have to say than to answer your question. I would say I'm more willing to entertain the possibility of redemption if we're just including the original trilogy. Uh, because I think it's more straightforward, a journey.

[00:24:48] And again, as you pointed out, we don't see these horrible things that, Vader did when he was younger and actually, Chris, , you bring up a really good point. The are the things that we hear about him, in the original trilogy, uh, you know, now we have that seed of doubt that we learn that he didn't literally kill Anakin Skywalker.

[00:25:06] It's sort of playing fast and loose with the truth. So that kind of calls into question. Okay. Like what else about this guy, or we just, kind of making assumptions about based on what we're told. I think there's enough, like gray area there that, you know, you can kind of squint and not look too close and you can kind of buy it.

[00:25:25] Um, I still think you could make a case that, Vader hasn't done anything to really, deserve full redemption. but once you introduce the prequels, I just think the whole thing is just, so much more muddled. And I don't mean complicated. I mean,

[00:25:44] muddled, that I would have to say that I'm less inclined to, give Vader slash Anakin the benefit of the doubt when you take the, the prequels into consideration.

[00:25:56] CHRIS: Right. And that's, and that's where I'm, and I'm gonna, uh, close out sort of where I was at, because there's one more time that I sort of wanna zoom out before I'm, I'm done sort of sharing, you know, where I think where I am on Vader. And that's because I, if I zoom out one more time, right. For me personally, and I know there are other, there are other ways to look at Vader, but if I zoom out one more time and I take into account the clone wars, the cartoon series, now it's a different beast again.

[00:26:25] Um,

[00:26:25] JAMES: Chris, I I'm glad you brought that up. I was gonna say like, like as much as like the judge, you said the prequels were meant for us to like Anakin, I, I did dislike them more, but the clone wars actually that actually made me like Anakin.

[00:26:37] CHRIS: And that's exactly what I was gonna say is I like Anakin in the, in the cartoon series and we see more of him being a great pilot and he's not just cocky. We see him growing and that's something we don't really get in the movies. We don't get to see him grow in the movies, which is one of the reasons I don't really like him.

[00:26:54] One can make the argument that he does, but I don't see any growth in him. And then specifically I wanna sort of draw everybody's attention to season three, episodes, 15 through 17. They take place on this planet called mortis. Basically you have Obi-Wan Anakin and a soca are sort of abducted to this planet where we meet the ones, the father, the daughter, and the son, and the father strikes a balance between the daughter who is of the light side and the son who's of the dark side and strikes a balance there.

[00:27:22] And all three of them are trapped on this planet to retain balance in the force. And, um, and it gets upset while they're there. And in the, in that, um, in the, the, that, all that happening and all the happenings, um, Anakin is made aware of his future. He becomes aware of what he will become, and he is so distraught by what this is, that he is lured to the dark side, in the hopes of avoiding it. And that is temporary because when he loses, when the father removes those memories, he says, my son broke the laws of time. That is not meant to happen and makes ane can. And it can sort of return to the light side, but, but the clone wars, those three episodes, I think do a really great job of fleshing out Anakin in his personal struggles, but the clone war series in general really gets us to a point where we're going, the Jedi don't know what they're doing and they're dabbling in things.

[00:28:12] They really shouldn't be dabbling in. And they only really see the trap until they're in it. So, excuse me, I still, with that context, I still don't think that, excuse me, Vader is redeemable, but now he's more relatable and because he's more relatable, the idea of him being redeemed later doesn't necessarily bother me as much.

[00:28:32] But my final point is sort of in relation to that season three, episode's 15 through 17 on mortis. um, which is that ultimately, I, he, what is the redemption that we see at the end? Right? Cause Josh mentioned earlier that it's very, it's a very Christian take on, on redemption and, and the afterlife and life after death.

[00:28:53] Um, and I, and I agree with that because redemption generally means something good that said the force doesn't actually care about good or bad. It cares about balance. And so I think from the Force's perspective so much as in so much. And so as it has. Um, Vader is in that moment Anakin is redeemed. And the reason he's redeemed is not because he suddenly did a good thing and turned back to light side, but because he finally managed to bring balance to the force through saving Luke and evidently killing the emperor.

[00:29:25] Um, and so he is finally fulfilled the prophecy, everything is finally in balance. And I, and so I think that in terms of, if we wanna look at it that way, I think he is redeemed, but not because he did a good thing, but because he did the thing he was meant to do. So, so I think it's a very complex, interesting question.

[00:29:43] Um, but it just depends on the scope.

[00:29:46] JAMES: I agree. I agree with the points you, you made Chris about that. I mean, I, that yes, audience, if you have, you know, Disney plus and can get the clone wars, I, I do. I recommend those episodes as well that Chris pointed out. Cause I thought that's

[00:29:57] CHRIS: guess we probably should have said spoilers ahead. Right?

[00:30:00] JAMES: yeah, well, I, you know,

[00:30:02] CHRIS: little, little bit.

[00:30:03] JAMES: well, but uh, I mean, still the rest of the series is worth watching, but, um, but if you haven't seen those episodes, there's a lot of nuance that happens in those three episodes that I think is still worth watching, even though, you know, the outcome that we've summarized here.

[00:30:13] But, um, yeah, I, um, it's, it's a scope thing, but, uh, before I, I, before I go further, my points, Joe, you've had your hand up for a while. What, what were your thoughts?

[00:30:22] JOE: Well, Josh, uh, that's what I like about these, these, uh, podcasts there's revelations are always, always coming forth and just, uh, you're what you spoke about. Uh, so beautifully and eloquently was a revelation to me. I never thought of Vader in the new hope as being that character without subtext. And without nuance because it wasn't thought of it, the character, that way, the prequels weren't even, you know, they weren't, uh, maybe they were, they were in the back of, uh, uh, Lucas' mind, but yeah, Vader is, VA's just the guy in a black hat in the first movie, in, in the new hope.

[00:30:55] Right. And, and later on, be, uh, because of, uh, the, uh, uh, the, the prequels Vader is basically stitched together, like the Frankenstein monster, so to speak. And that's why maybe it is difficult to, uh, to, uh, uh, to relate to him. Uh, so yeah, that's, um, you blew my mind Josh with that and, uh, thank you.

[00:31:16] JOSH: No. Well, so, uh,

[00:31:17] uh, so Joe,

[00:31:18] you actually invoked, Michael Corleone, which I think is a, of all the villains that you mentioned. I think the Michael Corleone example is the closest analog to who. The prequels were trying to make Anakin into.

[00:31:31] It was supposed to be a Michael Corleone thing where, you know, he starts off good. And then we see through the course of, especially that first film, we follow him through this journey. We see all the choices he makes. We understand why he's making these choices until all of a sudden we realize, oh shit, he's the bad guy now, like he's fallen someplace and you can do that when, you know, setting the writing aside for a second, you can do that when you have the actor who, you're relating to you're, you're, Patino is really, , bringing you along for the character of this man.

[00:32:08] And, I mean, it's really amazing. Like you were really. you feel like you're seeing what's behind his eyes and, you're really kind of, filling in the inner life that this character has. whereas with, the prequels, you don't really get the opportunity, , to do that. Like the illusion that cinema, , is able to create when it works is this illusion of interiority is this illusion of continuity is this illusion of, you know, of closeness with a character who doesn't actually exist.

[00:32:41] And it's so easy to break the spell of that illusion. And I think that Anakin in the prequels and in , the first six movies in general, just has so many things working against it, working that again, I think. It's really an intellectual exercise like this whole fall and, redemption of this character, because it never really connects emotionally for, for so many, technical reasons that you can argue you're blue in the face.

[00:33:08] That those things shouldn't matter, but they do,

[00:33:12] JOE: No, they do you're right. And, uh, you know, and The Godfather reference just made the Michael only reference, uh, at the beginning and the, during the, the wedding Stan's wedding. Uh he's um, he tells Kate that's my family, Kate. That's

[00:33:24] JOSH: it's not me,

[00:33:25] JOE: Yeah. And we know, you know, right then and there, you know,

[00:33:28] JOSH: Yeah.

[00:33:29] JOE: There's a journey ahead. Once he, those lines, he was show college at the beginning. And then we see his, his rise to power and his fall as a human being.

[00:33:38] CHRIS: If somebody, if you're gonna do a tragic fall, it needs to stick. You need to stick landing on a tragic fall, because if you don't, it's just tragic. like, it's, you know, you've gotta, you've gotta see the fall of the hero in order for, you know, the hero, the, the hero turning into villain is a very compelling storyline, but only if you stick the story and, and, um, I think what was meant to be a tragic fall to the dark side, the prequels just utterly demolish any possibility of.

[00:34:03] JOSH: and it's also really interesting because I've been reevaluating. , what happens in attack of the clones in episode two? Um, you know, really in, uh, the aftermath of the book of Bobba fed and how the Tuskens are portrayed, because arguably, he turns to the dark side in episode two, he slaughters an entire.

[00:34:22] of men, women, and children,

[00:34:24] and he brags about it. I mean, he doesn't brag about it, but he, he, um,

[00:34:28] CHRIS: He's certainly righteous about it.

[00:34:30] JOSH: yeah. And he's like, you know, look at what I did. And, Padme's reaction to hearing that is kind of inexplicable and inhuman.

[00:34:38] The, the only way that, that everyone's reactions and the film's reactions, the way the film handles it makes sense is if you accept that the Tuskens are something less than human, or I guess humans is the wrong word. , but like less than sentient that on some level, they are literally savages or whatever you want to call them.

[00:35:01] And that, reading, Is incompatible with, the way they're depicted in, The Book of Boba Fett and actually also in, The Mandalorian. I think just learning that they are able to be reasoned with and, you can communicate with them. we get that, , first in, I think, season one of Mandalorian, it kind of makes you reevaluate the whole thing.

[00:35:22] so I mean, it's kind of weird because, you know, if you accept that, which I think is, the correct quote unquote reading, because I'm not really comfortable with the idea that is Given in the first six films that, the Tuskens are literally savages and, you know, it's a fictional universe.

[00:35:40] So, so that's just what they are. like even then I think that that's an uncomfortable reading. So it rings more true to me that they're, more multifaceted and, either not quote unquote Savage, mindless animals. as Anakin says in episode two, it's sort of strange, like the way the movie, the way Attack of a Clones wants us to read that is It's like it's okay. I know he, he murdered men, women and children. but there were only savages. So, like, there's some wiggle room there and that's like kind of weird, because by any measure, that's when he falls to the dark side.

[00:36:14] JAMES: Right. Which I, yeah, I agree with agree with that. Well, one before I elaborate on a larger point that I know is gonna open lower discussion. I just wanna say both for Chris and, and Josh, you're taking into account just the episodes four through six and how we don't really know what Vader really, how dark he is and stuff.

[00:36:28] It just, the analogy came in my head. Well, I guess Vader's kind of like the dread pirate Roberts then. Um, we don't, we don't really know what he did, but, uh, but to, to get to this, like the, the bigger point, like Josh on, on, I think on that episode, you let me preview of Return of the Jedi. You had mentioned in the text that George Lucas's idea of the dark side is that once you're down that path, you're down that path.

[00:36:48] Is that that correct? In his, in his interpretation of the force?

[00:36:52] JOSH: Yeah. So this was something that was kind of a late revelation to me. I didn't understand this when I was a kid and this is only something that I actually, I only learned from reading JW, Rinzler's making of Revenge of the Sith, which, came out, not long after the movie came out. So we're talking about like 2005. And, they're talking about the reshoots that they did, to put some more meat on the bones of Anakin's fall and kind of retool the movie a little bit, because originally, basically the way the dark side works, is. the more evil things you do, the more times you you give in, to greed and, you give in to your anger. there's sort of like a, um, there's like a force meter, right? And so every time you, do that, you give into your anger or you do something evil, you tick a little further over into the red, a little further over into the dark side until finally, you do one thing that makes you cross the threshold.

[00:37:53] And then it's like, it's like flipping a switch, all of a sudden you're on the dark side and you're consumed with hate and anger and evil and all this. And then like, you're a bad guy. And, If you accept that, , version, those mechanics of how the force works, then all the movies make sense.

[00:38:11] the way that, you know, Vader and the emperor are trying to make Luke fall to the dark side, they are trying to go him into, giving into his anger. And they're trying to go him into attacking so that, his force meter will, cross over the dark sideline and then, and then he'll be bad.

[00:38:29] and if you accept that, then, Vader doing one last heroic act, one good thing. Would hypothetically be enough? to put him back into the light side territory. The only problem with that is, dramatically on screen that doesn't really work. because, you know, if you look at episode three, the episode three that we got, even then a lot of people said that Anakin's fall his turn, his acceptance of, being on the dark side and, becoming Vader is like, it's sort of like a very quick heel turn.

[00:39:04] It seems very sudden and unexpected. and that's because what they were trying to soften was an even more, You know, abrupt heel turn, that they apparently, you know, once they saw, the first cut of the movie, they realized wasn't really working, because you don't understand why he's all of a sudden doing that.

[00:39:23] So then they retooled the movie, to really make his motivations more clear. They really, focused it to be more about he's scared about losing padme and the only way, he can see to save her is through learning this forbidden knowledge that Palpatine has.

[00:39:40] And that's sort of, the carrot that he uses, to, convince him, to follow him and that, the Jedi or bad. so,

[00:39:46] so it does, it does kind of soften it a little bit, But that issue is still there.

[00:39:51] CHRIS: because the problem is I, I think they tried to invent a new thing. They didn't, when they didn't need to invent a new thing. I think what they needed to do was they, because ultimately they showed us a lot of big battles and they showed us. What was happening on, on the scale of the galactic Republic, right?

[00:40:07] They were showing us such a big, so much of a big scale. They were showing us because we had to find out what happened with the droids and what happened with Yoda and what happened with Obi-Wan. And so they were trying to tell us too many stories at once. You know, when you look at, when you look at something, a story like say Macbeth, you know, every time there's like a war or a big battle, it happens off screen.

[00:40:29] It happens off stage. You don't see any of these things happening. And the reason you don't see them happening in my opinion is because they need to stay focused on Shakespeare as a writer need. And our attention as the audience, our, our focus has to stay on Macbeth. We need to be able to see what's happening with him and with lady Macbeth in order to understand why he falls in the first damn place, right.

[00:40:53] We need to be able to see the arc of his character. And so that's why so much of the action happens behind closed doors with him, with his wife, um, As opposed to, Hey, we're gonna show you a really big battle. Now that's gonna last for, I don't know, 20 pages of the script, even 10 pages of the script. Right.

[00:41:10] And so I think that in my opinion, that was part of the problem, is that as ridiculous as it probably sounds to some of our listeners, I think they didn't spend enough time on akin because there, they ended up with no room for nuance. And without that room for nuance, I think you get what we.

[00:41:25] JAMES: Right. And also, I would say it's probably, again, we, we could discuss this on and on, but the, the writing, uh, and the handling of the character acting wise, didn't give away to a lot of nuance that probably could have been there. And I'm not playing anything against Hayden Christiansen. Um, because you know, like he's working with the script.

[00:41:41] And as you know, we've said that George Lucas was hooking for less emotion in his actors. So, um, that was kind of, you know, doing, maybe he, maybe he couldn't give the nuanced emotion of Anakin checking these boxes to fall to the dark side, but I'd also say, so that, that description of how you turn to the dark side almost, you know, is, is sort of a form of possession and not, uh, like you do things obviously, but then once you've done them, you are, you are in the dark side, which is like the dark side's possessing.

[00:42:10] You.

[00:42:11] JOE: Hmm.

[00:42:12] JAMES: Is sort of like, um, I don't like the description because it kind of takes away that it's, that it's not, it's not solely Anakin's fault. He did these bad

[00:42:21] CHRIS: There removes agency.

[00:42:22] JAMES: it removes agency, which I don't

[00:42:24] JOSH: Exactly. It kind of gets you off the hook.

[00:42:25] JAMES: Yeah. So with that in mind. Yeah. I guess he could be redeemed because he finally did a good act and he's overall a good person.

[00:42:31] Um, but I, I don't know if I like that as, as a ticker thing, because like I said, takes away agency takes away free will. And I thought the force is kind of like, and who, how you wield the force is sort of like it's based upon the, the Jedi or SI who's wheeling it and their personality and intention.

[00:42:46] CHRIS: Well, and now the question becomes, okay, so what's the threshold because Luke uses the dark side in Return of the Jedi at the very beginning, when he forced chokes the Gamar pig guards, and then you haven't attacked him, they didn't do anything. Oh, they're a threat to him, but they didn't actually do anything, but he very callously and casually used, like just forced chokes them.

[00:43:05] So what's what exactly is the threshold target?

[00:43:08] JOSH: In my head cannon, I choose to believe that he didn't actually kill them. He just kind of, closes their airways and they just kind of passed out. I mean, that's not they're here nor there

[00:43:16] CHRIS: No, no, no. I mean, and, and it's true. He didn't, he didn't kill them. He didn't take life. Um, but you know, I, I, I, that's, what I mean is I just, I don't know exactly where the threshold is because technically, you know, because he is using, um, and I know there are arguments that, okay, we're talking about gray force powers as opposed to dark or light.

[00:43:33] Um, but you know, it's where where's the threshold. Can you use it so many times before you turn over or does it have to do with how many people you kill or whether or not you killed them in anger? Because Luke kills some, you know, some tie pilots and some Imperials. He blows up, uh, an at Walker on H like

[00:43:49] JOSH: And the sale barge

[00:43:51] CHRIS: and, and the sail barge.

[00:43:53] JOSH: Uh, but not, but not, uh, I'm the death star.

[00:43:57] Yeah.

[00:43:57] CHRIS: , and so I'm not, you know, my argument is not that, oh, it's this flawed storytelling. And so it doesn't make sense that that wouldn't be my argument because I think. I think it can make sense depending on how it was intended. I just think that, you know, some of the, some of the, the places that we found ourselves, Josh, I, I, I can't remember where it is that you said this, but for anybody who doesn't listen to trash compact, or you really should, because there's some really, really good, interesting conversations on there, and it's gonna cover a lot of stuff you've thought about before, but from angles you didn't anticipate.

[00:44:28] So it's good, but I can't remember. But you mentioned at some point in answer to somebody said something about the ideal, the quote, ideal watching order, and you said no Lucas meant for them to be watched one through six straight through. And, um, and that

[00:44:43] JOSH: or he does.

[00:44:43] CHRIS: not it's, it's odd because it really undermines the power of the revelation and empire.

[00:44:49] And maybe we only feel that way because we, you know, because of when, you know, when we grew up, those were the only movies we had, whatever. But I just, I think that, you know, I think that a lot of the parts of the storytelling here undermine other parts. And I think that was the problem. Ultimate problem I had with the prequels is that there were parts of the, that storytelling that undermined, uh, the storytelling done in the original trilogy.

[00:45:12] I know that one of the things that always bothered me about the sequels was this idea of being able to jump two or from planets, as much as I enjoy rogue one, they managed to jump to hyperspace from the plant planet side, which they shouldn't be able to do. Cause the gravity well stops, hyperspace jumps.

[00:45:28] And that's what theor technology is based on inter pull you out of GRA hyperspace by creating a gravity. Well, It's none of it's real, but if you set the rules, I need to understand exactly why it is. You're breaking them and how, and that's, I feel the same with stories and storytelling is, are you undermining yourself?

[00:45:46] And I think that's what we run into here, because you know, then you could have four fools such as us sitting around and arguing whether or not, uh, Vader is actually redeemed when that doesn't again, or, you know, the author's intent here, as you mentioned, Josh, is that he is redeemed. So you didn't intend for us to debate it, but that's what we're doing because I think you're storytelling undermined your own storytelling.

[00:46:09] JOSH: You know, you bring up a really interesting point actually. Um, in terms of the watching order, I think similar to how, when you haven't seen the prequels and you're just talking about episodes four to six, , you kind of accept Vader's redemption. I think similarly, if you watch four to six and then one to three, I think it also still kind of works for a similar reason, because you've seen the redemption and then you see the fall, so you don't then have to be confronted with the redemption again, having seen the fall.

[00:46:38] Right. So,

[00:46:40] CHRIS: It doesn't necessarily invalidate it because you can't go back to how you felt.

[00:46:43] JOSH: exactly, which, uh, which I think tracks with the thought process of the creator who made them right. So. he did the redemption first, before really like, you know, you can imagine if he made one through three, he would have maybe depicted the redemption in a different way or, or made the redemption a little more complicated because he would've had to wrestle with, Hey, I showed this guy murder a room full of kids a couple movies ago.

[00:47:14] Um, how do how do I feel about that? So,

[00:47:18] so, once again, like, I think, I know I keep saying this, but this whole arc is an intellectual exercise. That only, works, if you, if you impose this outside logic on it,

[00:47:28] JAMES: Well, I mean, I, I think my, my feelings about like watching the prequels and then, and obviously in the context of our discussion, it seems like Lucas was like, I'd really gotta show that he's bad. So let's do these things that are way out of proportion. Well, I wouldn't say way of proportion. Yeah. The way outta proportion for what you want this character to be like slaughtering, Tuscans, murdering children, um, you know, and every everything else he's done in the prequels, um, is, is like way outta proportion for the level of redemption that, that at least we're talking about.

[00:47:59] JOE: Well, I try to say you, you keep blowing my mind. Um, and this goes back to a little bit, what you said a few minutes ago. You when we were talking about the heel turn. Um, so I was thinking about this and, and how, how that could work. And so maybe what we should be talking about, and, but the force in Star Wars, what is that?

[00:48:21] So you, but you just jogged into my head or just blew my mind. Was it, the force is temptation. The force is, is everything. And because it's temptation, you, you know, you can't have a villain without choice, villains make poor choices. And then when you tied it all together with what you were talking about earlier about the Juda Christian, um, overtones in this film will then free will enters into it.

[00:48:48] Right? So I'm, I'm thinking right now that, you know, yeah, this it's Vader made the choice, uh, because it was out there that everything is out there to be had I E the for force. And he makes the choice to do these Villa acts. And therefore, okay, I'm gonna put my vote in now. He's not redeemable because he's made the choice to do the things he's done.

[00:49:11] But, um, I, I'm starting to look at the force differently now through this discussion that we've been having and

[00:49:17] JAMES: Joe I'm I'm so glad you, you brought up the force and the nature of the force. Cause that kind of led, led to me back to something that Chris, Chris brought up and I kind of want to see like thoughts on this. If we, and I know like, I mean, I think we could all say like, you know, if we only take episodes four through six as, as like the story, then this all makes sense.

[00:49:37] But like, obviously this is written into a larger cannon. I'm gonna dip my toe now into the sequels and say that if we take the sequels into mind and that the force is the thing, that's this judging Vader's soul redeemed by his actions. Is he redeemed because the emperor doesn't get killed and he's still around by episode nine.

[00:49:54] JOSH: yeah, I think, I think you have to, however you come down on the redemption question of Vader, I don't think that you can really factor in what happens with the prequels because I would say by episode seven, I think the force is done with Anakin right. I think that, what, the emperor was doing you know, and he even says it in, rise of Skywalker.

[00:50:18] He, um, the reprise of, of his line in episode three, the dark side is a pathway to many abilities. I considered to be unnatural. I think this is not the will of the force, whatever that means, but to have the emperor still be alive, I think it's counter to the will of the force.

[00:50:34] And I think, you know, that was, a last gasp of Palpatine trying to, pull a fast one and cheat, which, the Sy seem want to do, uh, but yeah, I do take your point though. I think a lot of this really does hinge on the nature of the Force and how the Force works, before we can, really definitively answer this question.

[00:50:56] And unfortunately, this is something that George Lucas was intending to get more explicit about in his sequel trilogy, which, I mean, your mileage may vary in terms of, your enjoyment or your judgment of quality for the prequels and also for the sequels we got, um, I would've liked to have seen George Lucas's version of the sequels, not. Because I hate the sequels that we got, but just because, I kind of wish he had had the opportunity to finish the thought. and I think that, I think he would have come down definitively on some of these questions and given us more to, chew on in terms of what the intention was and how the force, worked.

[00:51:46] I know that, you know, demystifying the fors, I think in the eyes of many fans was one of the, biggest flaws quote unquote of, of the prequels. But that said, I would've liked to have seen him. follow through on the train of thought that he started in the Phantom Menez by introducing the LOR. he did an interview with James Cameron, a couple years ago where he talked about, the sequels we're going to get into like the LORs and like how they are the wills. And we are really, you know, vessels for, carrying out their will and they kind of create the force, through their interaction with us or whatever it is.

[00:52:21] And then, this idea that, I mean, as I'm saying it, it sounds very kooky, but I would have loved to have seen

[00:52:27] what the, yeah, no, no, no, but like, like, I would've loved to have seen the totality of the tapestry he was weaving. And I think that, it's hard to factor in the sequels with these questions because, again, whatever you think of George Lucas, whatever you think of the unfiltered George Lucas Star Wars that we got with the prequels, there was a consistency of logic and vision, even when he, he reversed course or changed his own mind.

[00:52:56] Like there was still, it's still all the point of view, the thesis of one mind. And I would've liked to have seen the resolution of that.

[00:53:08] JAMES: No,

[00:53:09] JOSH: I

[00:53:09] think a very off topic now. I don't even know what I'm talking

[00:53:11] JAMES: no, no, no. It's

[00:53:12] CHRIS: I dunno. I

[00:53:12] mean, that's fair.

[00:53:13] JAMES: I mean,

[00:53:14] CHRIS: No, I can, I can hear, I can hear where you're coming from, because I think, you know, for anybody who, who hasn't seen, um, The Good Place, it's fantastic. If you haven't watched it, you really should, but you know, the premise of it. Um, and spoilerish, but the premise of it is that these people are in the good place after they've died.

[00:53:32] Um, except it turns out one person doesn't belong. She does not belong in the good place they screwed up. And all I could think is I was watching it. I was enjoying it for the first, I don't know, I'd say half, half of the first season. And then I started thinking, okay, but at some point, like, they're gonna figure out you don't deserve, you don't deserve this reward.

[00:53:50] You don't belong here. So like, how are you going to, how are you gonna, you've written yourselves into a corner? How are you gonna fix it? and they do remarkably. They, they take care of it in a great way at the end of the first season. And then it happens at the end of every season where like, I'm going, okay, you're writing yourselves into a corner again, how are you gonna resolve it?

[00:54:06] Is this gonna be the time of disappointment? And they never ever do. There's always a way they write themselves out of it. So it certainly is possible that whatever he was going to write for the sequels would've I don't wanna use the word redeem. Maybe it's too big, but would've redeemed all of the choices he made previously and I would've gone.

[00:54:24] Okay. I didn't love it, but I get what you were doing. So sure. It's not an incomplete story with the context, you know, contextually I'm sold. Um, so that's definitely a possibility, but I've, I also have to an age where usually if I'm about a hundred pages into a book and I still don't like it, I don't finish it anymore.

[00:54:41] I quit on it. so, so, uh, like you said, mileage may vary.

[00:54:46] JOE: Okay, my, my, my train's completely gone off the rails here, but this, I mean, this is a great discretion. So now I'm thinking, you know, okay, the force is neutral. You, you leave your impressions on it. You make what you will. It's like sunlight. It gives you life. But if you're doctor evil, it becomes a weapon of death.

[00:55:04] So, you know, so I'll just this, I'm loving this. This is great. Let's keep, let's go on Sunday night with this.

[00:55:10] JAMES: Joe, Joe and Chris, before like Josh, I know you wanted to elaborate, but I will just say, and Josh, I apologize, cuz I'm, you're probably, you're not gonna be familiar with this reference, but to Joe and Chris, the, the, the force almost sounds like the speed force in many, many ways terms. Well, the wormhole is yeah, Josh.

[00:55:25] Yeah. The force seems like wormhole aliens. Like you can encounter beings and stuff in there.

[00:55:30] CHRIS: but that's also, it's one of those things where it's not actually neutral, right? Like we've seen at least again, depending on what the scope is, because if you're looking at it from the, the, from the focus of, um, From the perspective of the clone wars cartoon. It's not that it is neutral.

[00:55:45] It's that it has an agenda. It does have an agenda and the agenda may, may veer towards balance, but that doesn't necessarily mean the balance of good and evil, you know, like it might be over a course of totality, like, so, so I hesitate to say that the force is neutral because I don't think it is. I think it just has its own agenda.

[00:56:03] JOE: Like Chris isn't balanced the way of the university in the yang. I mean, isn't that, so can can't that be conceived or considered neutral because it's just a way of things.

[00:56:14] CHRIS: But it's a human imposed balance. So when we talk about neutral, like I, you know, the human imposed balance of neutral, it's sort of like good Niel, right? Because that's why I say, like, I think in the eyes of the force Vader, maybe Aquin is redeemed because he has now served his purpose. He's done, he's written his part of the story as the force wanted it to be maybe.

[00:56:34] Um, but the reason he can't really be redeemed in my eyes is because he didn't do a good thing that canceled out bad things. He did. He saved his son. But, and that's great, except that doesn't undo all the bad that he did, that wouldn't have been necessary to save a son in the first place. If he had only just not killed mace window and had gotten rid of the emperor.

[00:56:54] So well at the, at that time, the chancellor. So I would argue that because it's, and this is where we get into. Okay. But how much doism are we're really gonna get into here? That sort of thing. Like, you know, when we're talking about neutral, it's it's, this is sort of, you know, when, when God does an unfair thing and we say that's not fair, and we have to be reminded that life isn't fair.

[00:57:16] So is neutral, really a balance between good and evil. Is it an overall balance of the universe? Is there a, a, you know, somewhere across the universe, is there a galaxy that's suffering because, and they're IMB. They're out of balance because we're out of balance too. Good. So now we need to be made worse so they can balance out like it again, for me, it really just depends on scope and perspective of the story.

[00:57:40] And that's why I say I have a, I have a difficult time saying that the force is neutral because you know, we, we talk about the force having tenants that are almost, I don't wanna say your, uh, uh, uh, that are difficult or impossible to reconcile, but like, but you're, you know, when you're on the, if you're a light side user, if you're a Jedi, you're not supposed to have these earthly attachments yet.

[00:58:04] And yet Obi-Wan who we acknowledged to be a Jedi master. And even if we didn't, even if we go, man, you got promoted, tend to quick, he's a Jedi Knight. He says he loved Anakin like a brother, but, but all one never flirted with the dark side. So is he actually a good Jedi? Is he actually a bad Jeti and that's why Anakin fell

[00:58:21] JOSH: Well, that's interesting because I do think there's a distinction to be made between the will of the Force, whatever that is and what the Jedi do.

[00:58:29] CHRIS: Right, right. Absolutely.

[00:58:31] I think that's, that's

[00:58:32] absolutely accurate, because they're in, they're acting, the Jedi are acting in a different interest. I think.

[00:58:37] JOSH: well, it's sort of, if you want to use the analogy of the force is God and the Jedi R whatever organized, religion, whatever, like codified belief structure, that's sort of the interface between the unknowable and of the material world.

[00:58:53] when you get that sort of, organization that, you know, middle man as it were, you get all of the, you know, Follies and foibles of, human affairs, right? So you get, , the downsides of, a bureaucratic institution and group think and the inertia of the way things are done and, you know, precepts and traditions and rules are installed.

[00:59:19] And then over time, you forget what the intention behind the rule was. And it becomes about the adherence to the rule, because it's a rule and less, you know, you lose why that was a rule in the first place. And I think that that's what you get with. The Jedi. and I think that that's the intention there and the prequels though, again, I think it's a little bit muddled because I I think George Lucas, loved his creation so much that he didn't really have the heart to make them not at the end of the day heroes.

[00:59:49] He wants to give the Jedi sort of the benefit of the doubt and give them that escape hatch so that they don't get too much, , stink directly on them.

[01:00:00] JAMES: I just wanted to like add to your point, like as Chris and I have added, if you go, if you watch the clone wars though, I think they do a lot more nuanced in their latter seasons of,

[01:00:09] JOSH: Yeah, but that's later. So, but that's what I'm saying. Like, that's Like,

[01:00:12] that's that's like a RET con, right.

[01:00:15] So, so what I'm, so what I'm saying

[01:00:17] CHRIS: was totally, a wreck

[01:00:17] JAMES: Yeah.

[01:00:18] JOSH: yeah, so what I'm saying is, is that, is that I don't know how much of that was there when he was making the prequel films. I think when he sees what.

[01:00:30] He did. And he has an opportunity to elaborate, especially when, he's collaborating with other creative voices who have their own thoughts. And it's sort of a give and take, and again, you know, I say this all the time, like, I don't think retcon is a dirty word. I know, I know, I know that it kind of is like one of the fun things about, you know, sequels or prequels or expanded universe material.

[01:00:54] , one of the great things, the fun things that I like about them is the ability to, recontextualize what

[01:01:01] you've already seen. Like that's cool and fun. And when, and when it's it's done well, it can be really great. so, I'm not somebody who says, oh, well that they obviously never had that in their heads when they were making this, or they were making that, or when they wrote that, I'm not a stickler for, textual originalism or, or whatever you wanna call it.

[01:01:19] Like, I don't, Really care about that. my only thing is I think you can look to theorial intent to get clues, to try and understand what you're meant to come away with. And then you can kind of evaluate that on your own. Like, okay, well, do I buy that or do I think that, you know, this actually works more if you read it like this instead?

[01:01:46] JOE: Josh. Yeah, I agree with that. Cause I, I mean, at the beginning, Lucas was obviously painting in broad strokes. Right.

[01:01:52] We could say, so it wasn't, he wasn't sir. Employing pointalism to,

[01:01:58] JOSH: Right.

[01:01:59] JOE: exactly. So, right. So I mean, so what I'm seeing is, you know, I keep trying I'm jotting down, looks like crazy here guys.

[01:02:08] Um, you know, it makes me think about the force again and, and how, because he's painting such broad strokes. As he gets further down the narrative tale, he has to bring all these disparate parts together and make it work in, in, in the prequels. So, you know, Chris earlier I said, the force is neutral, but if it's not neutral, maybe it is maybe it isn't, but maybe the force is just sheer will.

[01:02:31] And once again, it's what you bring to it that sets you down the path you take. So, you know, Luke on Deba, right?

[01:02:39] You know, you, you bring with you only what you take, you, you find there only what you bring with you,

[01:02:44] JOSH: don't take the gun, Luke. Don't take it.

[01:02:46] Why does he do that? Sorry,

[01:02:48] JOE: So, you know, again, this all goes back to James's original question and I, this is trying to get back on the path.

[01:02:55] I've been man Mandering around like crazy, but, uh, yeah, I, I think he's not, I'm gonna say I'm good. He's not reading the rule because he chose this path. Um, there was this power out there that, that was there to be had the force, whether it's neutral, whether it's will, whatever the hell it is. It's just, it's some, it's a tool to be employed.

[01:03:16] And people constantly, since the Dawn of, uh, history have, have, have used tools to, to make their way and put their stamp on the world. And, um, and Vader took this path and he, he took this tool and he, and he ran with it and he, and he used it, um, in an IADs way. I, I, or evil way. That's not, that's not even sugar.

[01:03:37] CHRIS: It's funny the way that you say that, because this is a conversation that Josh and I had about last Jedi and rise of skywalk. One of our biggest problems was that, you know, Ben, Ben solo, Kyle Ren was offered, not one, but two opportunities for redemption. One in, uh, force awakens by Han and one in, uh, you know, last Jedi by Ray.

[01:03:59] And, uh, and he turns them both down. He decides he's going to be the, the source of power in the universe. And so that's it that that's all the shots you get. So when they UN did that in rise of Skywalker, even though that was one of my many complaints, it was a very central one because it was this idea of, okay, well, you know, sometimes you make mistakes and we see that in it's.

[01:04:17] One of the things I love about avatar, the last air bender is we see a character who makes mistakes. Um, and there's still room for redemption, but Kyle run us past that point. I feel the same way about Anakin invader is like, no, at some point you make your bed and he got a line at they're just redemption.

[01:04:31] We still expect you to do. The right thing when it comes along, but doing the right thing, isn't gonna get you anywhere. It's one of my, my central problems with Christianity is this notion of, and obviously a conversation for another time, but this notion of do good on earth. So you'll be rewarded in heaven.

[01:04:46] Okay. But then is it really good? Like, this is where we get into what is altruism actually. So, um, you know, if you're doing the thing just for the reward, did you actually do a good thing and, um, you know, different, different story for a different day, but

[01:04:58] JAMES: Here. Here's where we can plug.

[01:05:00] JOE: The.

[01:05:01] JAMES: Yeah.

[01:05:02] CHRIS: yeah,

[01:05:02] JAMES: mean, and then, and Chris, I mean, Chris, with what you just said, we could also plug the good place again, because that's exactly what the good place talks about is what you just extrapolate on. But I do wanna like wrap up kind of with like a point that. In my mind, just to kind of go upon and Chris, you just touched upon, and Joe, you touched upon like, if you're, if you're going by this lens and Josh, you mentioned it too, that this is written sort of with, I guess, a Christian sort of maybe mindset, then I am okay.

[01:05:27] That maybe killing the emperor and saving your son is this first step into redemption. But I would've, I think, and obviously this is not what the sequels are about and it wasn't even touched upon the expanded universe, but I would say that Doro Fedder would be in a sort of force purgatory until, until he found, I guess like soul wise had made up for.

[01:05:50] JOE: Yeah.

[01:05:50] JOSH: how cool, would a sequel trilogy have been? if we had the ghost of Anakin Skywalker, like, trying to intervene, in galactic affairs so that he could get his redemption.

[01:06:03] JOE: Hmm.

[01:06:03] JAMES: Yeah, I think that would be, I mean, that's, that's like the that's would be the, that would make the Jedi that would make the whole six episodes more palpable for me. Like, I, I would see, like, if he's, like you said, if he's influencing how galactic politics are going, if he's sort of guiding along in the next generation of Jedi to rebuild the thing he Tor, that's what I would be looking from, I guess, from my background.

[01:06:26] Um,

[01:06:27] but the will of the force as we just had a discussion about maybe different. And, but I that's, that's like that would be satisfying to me in terms of a redemption story arc.

[01:06:36] JOSH: Uh, you know, what's interesting. We keep talking about the will of the forest and again, you know, maybe it's defined a little more, um, in clone wars. And obviously I think George Lucas had his own ideas that, would've worked their way into his sequel trilogy that I'm sure would have, , comported with, whatever was laid out in the clone wars.

[01:06:54] But, setting all of that aside, because I don't know exactly, what that conception was, but you talk about the will of the force. You talk about, wanting. A balance and whether that means explicitly good and evil, or like , some kind of a, balance that, manifests as good or evil, the way that we define it, but like, what if the force is like, the tide, right?

[01:07:15] it's like a force of nature literally. And it goes in and it, goes out and it comes in. Right. And, the real secret is to just ride the wave. you can try to fight what the force is doing. but when you do that, you will inadvertently cause a lot of suffering in the material world, because this is a force of nature that this is where the galaxy or where the world is going.

[01:07:36] You can't fight that. but you can sort of, turn into the spin. Right. Chris, you said something before about how, the balance is something we are imposing on the force. I don't know about that. I think we're imposing morality on the force and that, made me think of like this analogy of the tide going in and out.

[01:08:00] Whatever the force is, it's just kind of doing what it's doing. And I think if you think of it as a force of nature, , and all of like the invocations of good and evil and all like the value judgements, I think that is what we are imposing on the force. , and again, it's also tricky because, you know, this is something fictional, it's a fictional world.

[01:08:21] So there is an element of, human imposed morality and intentionality, because it literally is created, by, , the mind of a human being. so it may have that intentionality and that morality sort of, baked into it. I mean, I don't know,

[01:08:36] JOE: That's a good, um, I like that job moving the force is just more reflection then,

[01:08:42] JOSH: Yeah.

[01:08:42] JOE: right? I mean, that's we get this deep this is great. I love

[01:08:48] JAMES: no, this is

[01:08:49] JOSH: no. Yeah. I'm getting a headache.

[01:08:51] JOE: yeah, me too.

[01:08:54] JAMES: Um, well, I I'm gonna pro I don't know if you guys and, uh, would be up for it, but as a, as a sequel to this podcast, I I'm gonna propose a future podcast down the road where maybe we could talk about our own ideas of what Vader's journey or Anakin's journey would be

[01:09:12] JOE: Okay. Oh,

[01:09:13] JAMES: we, as a, cause we're all creatives in this, in this podcast and I'm, I'm, I'm, I think we've explored a lot of different things here.

[01:09:20] And I think, um, a further exploration of maybe how, how his journey and the prequels could have gone differently to make it all make sense, would be an interesting exercise for the future. So if you guys are up for that for coming back to this topic.

[01:09:34] JOSH: no, absolutely

[01:09:34] though. Um,

[01:09:36] CHRIS: I don't know that it won't be, I mean, I can't promise it won't be hot, garbage, but I'll

[01:09:39] JOSH: I would love,

[01:09:42] JAMES: Oh, that's okay. Okay.

[01:09:43] JOE: Ah, pontification is my middle name.

[01:09:45] JAMES: yes.

[01:09:47] JOE: So

[01:09:47] JOSH: I would love to join for that. I would love to join for that discussion, but the cheeky side of me is really tempted to just mail you all a DVD box set of the godfather one and two.

[01:09:59] JOE: My two favorite movies of all time.

[01:10:01] JAMES: Well, I mean, and, and to go, like, to kind of like button it up, I agree. That's, that's probably the best, like fall from grace storyline. I will also say like, um, you know, as, as Kristen, you, Chris pointed out and like the force awakens and, um, you know, the, um, the last Jedi Kyle Rens story is a pretty like good fall story that could have been Darth Vaders as well.

[01:10:23] If done that way as well.

[01:10:25] JOSH: Well, what I thought they were going with Kyle Loren. I thought that they were doing the, like, there's no wiggle room here. Like he is choosing , as Chris pointed out, he gets a chance to come back. Once he gets a second chance to

[01:10:36] come back and he, he doubles down then triples down on the evil.

[01:10:41] And, whereas you can say that Anakin went down the dark path for good. , quote, reasons he was well intentioned and you can see it's like, love it's it's fear of loss. you know, it's all this stuff. with Kylo Ren, they were sort of saying, no, he's knowing he wants to be bad.

[01:10:57] He's choosing to be bad.

[01:10:59] CHRIS: Right.

[01:10:59] JOSH: he's choosing it again and again. , there's no coming back from this, like your destiny is in your hands. He

[01:11:06] CHRIS: Not everybody gets redeemed.

[01:11:08] JOSH: Yeah. And one of the, frustrating for me, things about rise of Skywalker is, that's not where, they ended up taking the character, um, is not what I thought they were setting up.

[01:11:23] JAMES: I agree with that. I mean, again, we, we, there's a whole other conversation either on this podcast or maybe in the future, Josh, in your podcast about the sequels and their intention and, and love of that. But yes, I, I agree that, you know, talking about being just joint in multiple hands in the, in the soup of a narrative, like the, the sequels are all of that. Um, so I thought, um, I guess to wrap this up and to kind of give our thoughts, Joe, so where, where do you sit with the initial.

[01:11:53] JOE: Oh, after this, um, Intelligent, uh, professorial discussion, this lecture, this, uh, you know, I, I, no, he's not redeemable he's um, he made, you know, he, he, he didn't make his bed, Chris, he, and he has to light it now. And, um, uh, I'm not on the fence anymore. He's um, he's irredeemable.

[01:12:16] JAMES: All right. Uh, Josh, you having a, a solid opinion at this point?

[01:12:21] JOSH: You know what? Fuck it. He's redeemed.

[01:12:25] CHRIS: He wanted to be, he said he wanted to be cheeky. He tipped his hand.

[01:12:30] JOSH: Oh, let me explain. Well, let me explain, because, frankly, like at the end of the day, it's really up to you, whether you want to, forgive somebody and, call me, uh, softy or whatever. But I think as long as you are saying the right things or appear to be doing, , the right things in the right direction, I will allow you to move in the direction of becoming , the person you want to be now moving forward.

[01:13:00] I think the word redeemed is kind of loaded. Like the implication there is so all is a race and everything is all good. , I wouldn't go that far. So if that's your definition of redeemed? no, but I would like to think, you know, at the end of the day, the same way, it's, Anakin's choice, the same way it's Kyla Re's choice to do evil.

[01:13:19] if you have it within you to give this man who has done horrible things, some grace and you can, not forget what he did, but sort of allow him or, you know, help facilitate, him, choosing to do good and, recant. Then I would like to think that I would choose to do that.

[01:13:41] JAMES: All right, Josh. That's very, that's very fair. Alright, Chris, Chris, what's your way in.

[01:13:46] CHRIS: Yeah, no unde irredeemable um,

[01:13:49] JAMES: okay.

[01:13:50] CHRIS: it's no, I mean, you know, it's, it's one of those things where, um, Where he does the right thing at the end, but not necessarily. We, we don't know if it's for the right reasons or not for all we know it was some misguided I want my genes to live on. So fuck it, Luke lives and the emperor dies.

[01:14:07] Um, you know, there's any number of reasons, but at the end of the day, I, I agree with Josh. I think redemption is a, is a very loaded word. Um, but I, I don't, I don't, you know, uh, I, I think that it's, it's interesting in the context of the story, but since I do tend to look at Star Wars as a whole, um, given the context of everything, I don't see it as a moment of redemption.

[01:14:32] I see it as the, the dying gasp of somebody who, who finally finds their way to, to the surface for a breath of air before they, before they die. That's my opinion.

[01:14:41] JOSH: Yeah. Yeah, no, that's a good point.

[01:14:43] JAMES: that is a good point. Um,

[01:14:45] JOSH: I mean, again, I think it's really tricky because he dies.

[01:14:48] So, so he doesn't have the chance to reckon the world doesn't have the chance to reckon with what he, he wrought and, he has no chance to, do anything else. So, so this is all we got.

[01:15:01] CHRIS: Right. And it's one of those things where you said it yourself. That be because he, because he, and, and we don't know if he's intentionally taking the easy way out or not. This could just as easily have been a suicide by cop situation. Right. Like, um, so, so who knows, you know, maybe he, he started to the, for all, we know the, the horror of what he had done began to unfold in front of him.

[01:15:22] And he just decided, Nope, can't deal with it, Bob. You know, I'm going down with the ship. Um, there's any number of reasons. So, so since we don't have that again, I think, you know, for me, it's all in the, the framework, but since I tend to look at it from the, the greater scale of, of here's the other material that's out there, I, I.

[01:15:39] Uh, excuse me. I say he is, he is not redeemed. Thumbs down.

[01:15:42] JAMES: All right. So, uh, I'm going, if we were just, if we're going like strictly, um, by the storytelling that we have, I'm, I'm gonna go, he's not redeemed. However, I will, I do allow for, and as I said, like Josh's interpretation. If we, if it's a first step on a path to redemption, I am for, he's not redeemed, but he's taking a first step into, so.

[01:16:07] Down the road that he has to work towards would be my final judgment. But if I had to go based upon the cannon, I do not think he's redeemed, but I, I, I same as you, Josh, I would leave the door open if, if it's a gateway to redemption down the road.

[01:16:20] JOSH: Yeah, I agree. So, so I would amend, my fuck he's redeemed to, not redeemed ellipsis yet. Question mark

[01:16:27] JAMES: Yes, yes, yes. Which, uh, which again, a very compelling sequel is the ghost of Anakin Skywalker trying to redeem himself.

[01:16:34] CHRIS: I, the other thing that I'll say too though, is that, you know, I don't, I don't need him to be redeemed anymore. Um, and I think that's why I'm, I'm, I'm okay with sort of like condemning him to irredeemable to is because, because I don't need him redeemed there. Sometimes we end up with stories and sometimes we have like, uh, storylines that we might see in sports, you know, whether somebody's won a championship or not, uh, after all these years of, of not quite making the cut, whatever the storyline may be.

[01:17:03] There are times when I want to see redemption. And then there are other times where I don't, um, you know, at the end of, at the end, very end of Harry Potter, uh, not the movies, but the books. Um, Harry makes it clear to Voldemort that he, he could, he could, if he feels some remorse, he can come back from where he is.

[01:17:21] Nobody was interested in him feeling remorse for that. Nobody was interested in the redemption of Voldemort. What mattered was he tried. He tried to, he offered the path to redemption knowing full well, he wouldn't take it. And I think ultimately that's why I. You know, for me, it doesn't matter whether he's redeemed or not.

[01:17:39] I don't need to see him redeemed because ultimately it wasn't about whether or not Vader is saved. It's about whether or not Luke makes the choice to offer him the path and Luke does. Right. So I think that's why, like, for me, it's all very academic and it's all very interesting. Um, and, and part of, for audience members, part of where this, you know, the other part of where this conversation sprung up out of in the first place is that, you know, so many of us either did like Vader or currently like Vader as a really cool, a really cool character.

[01:18:10] Right. And it can be hard to reconcile that sometimes, uh, knowing what he has done, like how do you justify liking a villain who has done these things? It helps that he's make believe, right? This isn't, this isn't idolizing somebody, um, in the real world who did these, these horrible things. And it's so hard to reconcile.

[01:18:27] Um, you know, like you, you, you look at, um, You know, you look at characters or characters. You're talking about people in real life who really, um, who sort of have that like larger, larger than life, um, that presence. And, you know, for example, I was recently reading about Joe Pater. You know, the coach at Penn state and how he was bigger than life.

[01:18:50] And he defined Penn state and to learn that he oversaw Jerry Sandusky, and that was not the only instance of continued sexual abuse happening under his watch. It was really hard for people to cope with that because it really clashed with their values, but also who they viewed as a hero. And so it's different with someone like Vader because he's made up, he didn't actually kill children.

[01:19:11] Right. So, um, so I do think it's possible to still enjoy Vader. Um, even if he's not necessarily redeemed, it is possible to have our, our minds changed as to whether or not we still like him, or if he still holds that, that place of value for us. Um, so it's not always just about the, the redemption of him in the story, but redemption of him in our, our own personal zeitgeist of characters we enjoyed and, and influences we found, I think.

[01:19:36] JOE: Oh, fiction needs villains. You know, whether it be narrative, whether, you know, movies, TV, whatever you need, villains. I mean, otherwise you have, you don't have conflict.

[01:19:45] JOSH: And you just gave me a thought actually, Chris and Joe, um, uh, sorry to just drop this in there, but, maybe one of the reasons why we accept the redemption a little more, when you're just speaking in terms of episodes four to six, is that, , VAERS fall and quote unquote redemption was less about redeeming Anique Skywalker and was really more about, about informing Luke's story about showing that there was a

[01:20:13] counter example of what could happen and also helping, not only Luke, but also the audience realize this lesson of, we all have the capability for good and for evil within us.

[01:20:27] And it's up to us to choose which, and by showing that Vader, this the, of the black hat of the story of this galaxy, , the biggest villain there was to show that even he had a spark of light still left in him,

[01:20:42] CHRIS: Yep.

[01:20:42] JOSH: that shows that, not only are transformations possible, but that even the good guys have that spark of evil of the darkness within them and that good and evil is not, something that's inborn. It's not something that you are it's that every day you have to choose to do good.

[01:21:01] You have to work hard, not to do bad. Like you need to, it's not like one thing you wake up, you decide one day, okay, I'm this like you like, which is another reason why I. I don't wanna get into this whole thing, but, one of the reasons why Luke in the last Jedi resonates with me is that it shows that to be a hero is hard and it's constant work. You constantly have to work hard to do the right thing. That's not, it's not something automatic. You have to work at it and we can falter.

[01:21:34] And we can question ourselves when we fail, , to live up to that, like hero mantle. and, so I think in the context of the original trilogy, one of the reasons why VA's redemption works, you go with it is because it's not about Anakin it's not about Vader. It's about Luke.

[01:21:51] CHRIS: right, right. A hundred percent, a hundred percent.

[01:21:54] JAMES: Yeah, well, I, I think I, this is exactly the episode I thought it would be and what we would get into. So I I'm, I'm so happy, um, that, that everyone could be here for it and that it went the way it went.

[01:22:07] CHRIS: Yeah, it was a, it was a nice tight 96 minutes. real tight. It was good.

[01:22:15] JAMES: In, in lieu of our normal recommendations, I am, I'm gonna recommend the, the trash compactor, uh, for us. And, and Josh, would you take a, would you take a moment and just plug it, everything about it and what you would want people to looking, looking forward to in this

[01:22:29] CHRIS: yes, please.

[01:22:31] JOSH: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, thanks so much, James. I really appreciate, this opportunity to come on and, talk Star Wars and to plug, Trash Compactor, a Star Wars podcast, which I do have to say, James, you're the reason that I embarked on this podcast because, when you decided to do this show, it really inspired me to, to get off my own and to do something that I've been thinking about doing for a long time.

[01:22:53] So thanks for that. But, Trash Compactor is really, you know, one of the things that I enjoy most about Star Wars in this age of Star Wars everywhere all the time is, , talking about Star Wars with my friends and a podcast is a really great way to do that.

[01:23:07] I love conversations like this, and I hope that if you enjoyed this conversation, you'll give trash Compactor a shot. Chris and James are guests on one of the first episodes and Joe is a guest on a really great episode that

[01:23:19] we

[01:23:19] recorded. Yeah. About Star Wars versus Star Trek, which,

[01:23:24] CHRIS: I'm really excited to hear that.

[01:23:25] JOSH: no, it was great. It was great, Joe, like. I really, really loved that discussion. I can't wait for people to hear that.

[01:23:33] JOE: Looking forward to hearing again.

[01:23:34] Yeah.

[01:23:35] JOSH: so, , trash com and we're trash com pod on all social media. , and, you can search for trash compactor on your podcast platform of choice and it should come up and, we have some good stuff, coming up for the next 13 weeks of season one.

[01:23:52] JAMES: Oh, that's

[01:23:53] CHRIS: Exciting stuff, man. Exciting.

[01:23:54] JAMES: stuff. And Josh, let me just say that I'm, I'm very, um, happy I could be a, an influencer or an inspiration, uh, for the, for our, for our cousin podcast, as we've called it trash compactor. And then I, uh, and that I it's quickly become, I'm glad I inspire something that I've said to you off offline is that it's become quickly.

[01:24:12] My favorite podcast thing to listen to you, listen to cuz you've been kind enough to share the, um, the, the early cuts or the, you know, the early additions of the podcast before they drop. So, um, I'm very happy for you. And, um, I look forward to all the success that trash, uh, compactor will have.

[01:24:28] JOSH: I'm humbled that you would say that, I'm very happy that it seems to be, resonating with its intended audience.

[01:24:34] JAMES: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, so once again, Josh, thank you for being here. You will be back again. Um, and, uh, and in case you guys don't know, Josh also is on the reaction show for, for ProCard and star Trek on, on this podcast network. So, um, you can listen to him, um, a lot this week

[01:24:50] CHRIS: Yeah. Not, not, not just. Rodeo

[01:24:52] JAMES: this is, this, there'll be this episode.

[01:24:54] Yeah. Vias episode, hi launch of his podcast. And I think this week, cuz we're recording this in advance is also the wrap up episode of Picard

[01:25:02] season two. So, so Josh can be

[01:25:04] JOSH: I'm sorry everybody. I'm

[01:25:06] I'm sorry everybody. Yeah, I'm so sorry, everyone. I don't mean to subject you to my stylings. This much.

[01:25:16] JAMES: I know you're being humble, but everything that you say is, is very insightful and stuff. I mean you've blown, Joe's mind many times on this episode, so, uh,

[01:25:23] no

[01:25:24] JOSH: Stop. I

[01:25:25] CHRIS: excited. Joe, James and I go on takes over the podcast for,

[01:25:29] JAMES: right.

[01:25:31] JOSH: I know how to work a register. You can leave me mind the store

[01:25:34] CHRIS: is it, this is what

[01:25:35] I'm saying.

[01:25:35] JOSH: mostly, , assured everything will be where you left it.

[01:25:40] JAMES: the store will still be here when we get back.

[01:25:43] JOE: Yeah.

[01:25:43] Put the toys back in the toy

[01:25:44] CHRIS: are assure you. We are open.

[01:25:46] JAMES: Yes . So Josh, thank you for being here.

[01:25:50] JOSH: My

[01:25:51] pleasure.

[01:25:51] JAMES: Uh, Joe, always thank you for being here with your insight and I, I especially appreciate your, your insight coming into this fresh for today's discussion. So thank you.

[01:25:59] JOE: This was great, James. Thanks. Thanks Josh.

[01:26:02] JAMES: And, uh, and Chris, as always thank you for being the impetus for this original conversation and leading basically the, this talk to the podcast that we are now in.

[01:26:11] So thank you so

[01:26:11] CHRIS: That has been my great honor.

[01:26:13] JOE: Chris.

[01:26:14] JAMES: And I thank you all for listening to this episode. If you've enjoyed everything you've heard or have thoughts and comments of your own, about what we discussed today, you can, uh, leave comments on the Facebook group, secret origins. I mean condition, if, uh, you want, uh, email us your thoughts, uh, that we could share or discuss

[01:26:36] We thank you as always for listening, and we will talk to you next time.



JamesProfile Photo


Artist/Wellness Expert/Podcaster

Host of THE SECRET ORIGINS OF MINT CONDITION podcast, featuring the kinds of discussions you used to have in your local comic shop.

JoshProfile Photo



Sometimes I make things.