View Full Version : Needs of the few? or the many?

30 November 2002, 05:20 PM
Ok this is a new thread based on the discussion started in this thread (http://holonet.swrpgnetwork.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=10443). Since we got off topic I took the moderators advice and started a new thread.

Now my question; Why do you think Yoda let Dooku get away in order to save Anakin and Obi Wan? (aside from the obvious "GL needed him to get away to further the plot.)
I mean IMO the lives of millions that would get caught up in the clone wars would be worth more than 2 Jedi wouldn't they?

30 November 2002, 05:39 PM
Depends. If Anakin truly is the one who will bring balance to the force, he could be more important.
Besides, the clone wars would likely have happened with or without Dooku.

30 November 2002, 06:00 PM
It also seems plausible that Yoda is not completely above emotion and wanted to save one of his old friends and a young Jedi from dying needlessly.

Not to mention, script-wise, it just doesn't hold water. The good guys do not stand around letting other good guys get killed by falling equipment so they can smoke the villain. It's just not good storytelling.

30 November 2002, 06:35 PM
Even if Yoda wasn't completely above emotion (although I do like that thought), there is another consideration. He and Dooku were dueling in a fasion. The attack/defense of the large pillar was just another aspect of that fight. On top of that, if Yoda let Obi-Wan and Anakin die, he would be standing by letting more or less innocents die while he gave in to a temptation of the Dark Side to kill Dooku.

Rogue Janson
1 December 2002, 04:01 AM
If we work on the premise that by preventing Dooku from escaping, Yoda would have ended the clone wars, thus saving millions of lives, I can't see how letting him escape to save obi-wan and anakin would be a good thing.
What I suspect is that although Obi-Wan thinks and says that they can 'end this' by getting Dooku, Yoda knows the clone wars and the galaxy's other troubles will continue whether or not Dooku is around. Other than it not being good storytelling (you don't have time for moral debates in SW), this seems like the best explanation to me.

1 December 2002, 05:28 AM
Very good thoughts. I never really thought of it as giving in to the darkside. Since he had the pillar in his control wouldn't it have been just as easy to drop it on Dooku's ship, crippling it and trapping him for later apprehension?

Jim Williams
1 December 2002, 06:39 AM
I guess the only possible answer for not dropping the pillar on Dooku's ship is that he couldn't, or he didn't think about it :( He did seem to be struggling with it...I would like to think that Yoda did not let him get away for some ulterior purpose.

The fact that he saved the Chosen One has some merit, but I think Yoda would have saved just about anyone instead of letting them die.

Just to get my opinion on record here instead of "over there" where I participated in the hijacking too :( , I think that Yoda had a choice to make. Save life, or capture Dooku. It's dangerous for him to make assumptions about Dooku's choices. Assuming Dooku does decide to continue on his path and play a part in the deaths of millions or billions, those are Dooku's decisions, not Yoda's. Logic dictates capturing Dooku, but this may be a case where logic leads to the dark side.

Someone mentioned the Star Trek phrase, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". Let's remember Kirk's version, "The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many".

I guess Qui-Gon, whose veiws on the Living Force are well-documented, would definitely save the lives at the moment and worry about the future later.

To sum up, it's decisions like Yoda's that make them seem like pretty strange cats to the rest of the galaxy.

1 December 2002, 09:02 AM
When I saw that scene I thougth it would have been easier to move the fallen bodies across the floor than stop the heavy junk from falling on them. It might of been quicker too, allowing Yoda to stop Dooku from escaping.

1 December 2002, 10:25 AM
Bad Kobayashi... :D

You have stumbled upon one of the ouches of any kind of writing. Even with the short fan-fic I write I have to think - if I do X this way the plot will be ruined, but it will make more sence, if I do it another way it will not make sence but the plot will progress quicker. I can only imagine what it is like for entire books or movies.

You see it more then once in the SW movies, and in the books. Like in EP1- the shield scene where Qui-Gon dies, or placing your reactor in the middle of a flight bay. Examples in books include - Anaki';s lack of TK with in VP, and the sudden disaperence of th 5th fleet in Hand of Thrawn.

But back to the topic:

I agree the most with farr0095, when he said, Yoda letting them die = DSP. Why he chose to lift it up and why this seemed to take as much enegry as it did ( scrap VS X-wing?) I would have to say, Story Telling Device - If George kills Dooku now, he would have to think up another apprentice of Darth Sidious to help nudge Anakin the the Dark Side in EP3. :)

1 December 2002, 11:06 AM
I just have one question:

What lives were risked during the Clone Wars? Was it the Jedi you were talking about? Or the Clones? Because the only soldiers of the Republic's forces are in the Navy, not as ground troops. Besides, the citizens of the Republic wouldn't go and fight.

"Oh, those poor Clones!"

Rogue Janson
1 December 2002, 02:39 PM
What lives were risked during the Clone Wars? Was it the Jedi you were talking about? Or the Clones? Because the only soldiers of the Republic's forces are in the Navy, not as ground troops. Besides, the citizens of the Republic wouldn't go and fight.

At the battle of Geonosis you're partly right, the clones bore the brunt of the casualties, and whether or not this is morally significant is a moot point. Although you are forgetting that a whole load of geonosians live on geonosis and they may have suffered a bit (oh, also however many crew the trade federation ships have).

These are the clone wars though, not just the battle of geonosis. There's no way the deaths are going to be that restricted for the rest of the time - even if for some reason the battles were always clones vs droids, the republic would have to divert major resources from peacetime projects to the war.
Of course there's no way that's going to happen, the wars spread planets are going to be devastated, armies destroyed and fleets decimated.

Anyway, back to the topic again.

First off, I don't see Yoda treating Anakin specially because he could be the chosen one. I think mainly that just doesn't feel right to me, perhaps because if I was Yoda I would be thinking "some chosen one, couldn't even take on a sith lord - obi-wan managed it and he's got a father."

How is it not acting to save 2 people = Dark Side while not acting to save millions = no Dark Side, good Yoda. If Yoda saw with any certainty that stopping Dooku would be worth it I reckon he would have resigned himself to Obi-Wan and Anakin's death. After all what sort of jedi master would he be if he couldn't see past the next 5 minutes and the deaths of two jedi.
That's roughly why I think Yoda doesn't believe stopping Dooku will have any significant effect, so he may as well save obi and ani.

I wonder if you can draw a parallel here with the destruction of Alderaan. Leia lies to Tarkin about the location of the rebel base - this might buy her some time while the empire checks it out, but she must know not going to stop Tarkin carrying out his threat to destroy Alderaan. So either a) she is willing to sacrifice the few to save the many (and that's a very big few); or b) she knows Tarkin is going to destroy Alderaan anyway (which doesn't seem to be the case), in which case she may as well not tell him.
Does anyone suggest Leia did the wrong thing? Not that I've ever heard.

So this is the sort of morality we're dealing with - in exceptional cases the few can be rightly sacrificed to save the many. The fact that Yoda doesn't do this indicates that it falls in the 'going to happen anyway' category.

1 December 2002, 03:16 PM
Yoda doesn't act on conscious motivation so much as the will of the Force. He may not understand his decisions intellectually afterwards and doesn't expect to.

There's a particular kind of morality in movies and fiction that valorizes short-term consequences over long-term ones. On the other hand Jedi must often have to make such judgements and sacrifices in their assignments.

1 December 2002, 08:27 PM
One major factor is being overlooked in this discussion: time.

Yoda had all of one second to react. If he has taken the time to consider what might happen if Dooku went free, Ben and Anakin would be dead. His only choice was to react: save his fellow Jedi, or allow them to die while finishing his duel.

The Clone Wars didn't enter into it. For that split second, it was a choice between saving the lives of two Jedi vs. killing a fallen Jedi. Not much of a choice there.

Rogue Janson
2 December 2002, 03:56 AM
I didn't realise my post was quite that long.
I think both the last two points are good, everyone agrees that in movie terms, letting anakin and obi-wan die would is something that wouldn't be done.

First off, Yoda was a bit rushed making the decision to save them, but you would think he would be prepared for the possibility that Dooku would attempt to finish off the pair - surely he must expected that situation and have dealt with that sort of thing before.

Now about Yoda following the will of the force. As I see it we have three possibilities here:

1.The will of the force isn't the deciding factor here, Yoda made the decision, conscious, rational or not. This has already been covered.

2. Yoda attempted to follow the will of the force, but failed, maybe letting his personal emotions intervene. This is sort of the 'touching the dark side' idea. Personally I agree that Yoda is meant to be the paragon of a jedi and that his actions are generally unimpeachable.

3. Yoda correctly followed the will of the force, which was to save Anakin and Obi-Wan and let Dooku escape. In which case we ask why is this the will of the force? Does the force value these two lives over so many others?
I'll put forward my favourite theory, that whether or not Dooku gets away essentially doesn't matter.
Unless we agree that the force does put the few before the many, the other option that I can see is that it is important to save Anakin because he's the chosen one. Peronally I'd say this is too subtle and unclear to be conveyed through the force, even to Yoda. However if it is the case, the Force is taking an even longer view than previously suggested, that the death and destruction of the clone wars are worth it for the eventual balancing of the force. But this sort of touches on another argument about what balancing the force actually is and whether the force can be wrong about Anakin.

3 December 2002, 06:15 AM
Yoda might not have even seen Dooku as a problem. He might have seen Anakin and Obi-wan as more important to the order.

Nova Spice
4 December 2002, 09:42 AM
Yoda might not have even seen Dooku as a problem. He might have seen Anakin and Obi-wan as more important to the order.

Oh I think Yoda saw Dooku as a problem. I think seeing a former apprentice rebelling against the Republic, raising a huge droid army, slaughtering dozens of Jedi, and using Force Lightning at Yoda himself, would definitely constitute a problem. I think Yoda saw that two more Jedi were about to die and he reacted to save them. It was the wise thing to do IMO. I think intentionally NOT preserving life is of the dark side and if Yoda had said: "Obi-Wan and Anakin, to hell with them. Capture Dooku I must," would have clearly been evil. You cannot weigh the value of two lives over two million. A life is a life and to the Jedi, all life must be protected. Yoda had the opportunity to preserve their lives, and he did. What kind of Jedi would he have been had he not done so?