Monday, February 23, 2015

Heroes and Villains Project - Madman Writings

Madman Writing #1: Who do people call heroes?

Many people refer others as heroes who make inhuman football catches, play an instrument, or an author who writes a book. Others call our president, generals, or figures with high authority heroes. However, many do not recognize the people who fight and keep us healthy and safe. Firefighters put themselves at risk by saving people trapped in fires. Police officers deal with insane and villainous people to prevent others from being harmed. Other heroes could be the one that make us smile, laugh, and/or cry with joy. For example, one's best friend can be a hero. It's not only the big, famous names who are heroes - they exist within our society, whether they be doctors, police officers, and soldiers, to our mother, father, best friend, or brother.

Madman Writing #2: Is Luke a born or made hero?

I believe that Luke is a bit of both. Naturally, he had the desire to leave Tatooine and become a pilot. By his character in the original Star Wars film, he had a big heart - a great trait for a born hero. However, he never naturally had in mind to blow up the Death Star, or to redeem his father from the dark side - some of the things that make Skywalker heroic. Luke would have never done these things if he wasn't saved by Ben Kenobi, or found out that Vader was his father. In those cases, Luke is a made hero as he wasn't born or prophesized to do the great things he did (unlike his father who was the Chosen One).

Madman Writing #3: From where does courage come in trying times?

I'll answer this question using the ending of "The Empire Strikes Back." At this point in the film, all of the protagonists are at their lowest point. Luke is emotionally destroyed from his battle with Vader and lost his right hand. Leia (as well as the others) is emotionally destroyed because the love of her life, Han Solo, is frozen in carbonite and taken prisoner to Jabba the Hutt. Although these setbacks appear to put the characters in a bad state, the final scenes of the film show a glimmer of hope - Luke talking to Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca as they start their journey to find Solo, and Leia/Luke/R2/C-3PO watch the Millennium Falcon fly into space without a tear shed. The audience knows that they're not ready to give up.

Madman Writing #4: Are heroes/villains born or made? (Is Darth Vader a born or made hero?)

To me, some heroes are born - for example, Darth Vader. Though he joined the dark side from temptation (desire to save his wife), his son and wife both sensed some good in him - foreshadowing for Vader's future to come. The ending scene to "Return of the Jedi" with The Emperor electrocuting Luke puts Darth Vader in emotional conflict - he has the implied choice of saving his son, or supporting his master. The good in him tells Vader to save his son - his only link to Padme. Vader's love for his family overrides his loyalty for Palpatine and overthrows him. Darth Vader dies as Anakin Skywalker, a naturally born hero prophesized to bring balance to the Force and destroy the Sith.

Madman Writing #5: How do decisions shape our identity?

I'm going to use Anakin again for this. His actions as an impatient, whiny Jedi Padawan/knight led to his downfall as Darth Vader. He let his emotions get to him (especially anger) which allowed Palpatine to pull his strings with ease. To him, Skywalker is now an emotionless, cruel, figure with no heart anymore due to the loss of his wife and the presumed death of their child. Later, Palpatine tells Vader that Luke Skywalker is growing strong in the Force. I infer that this awakened Vader's good side, as he found out that a part of his family is still alive. Darth Vader attempts to turn Luke to the dark side with temptation to overthrow the Emperor and rule the galaxy together, but fails. Luke senses the good in Vader and due to events explained above, Vader's decision to overthrow Palpatine shapes his identity as Anakin once more.

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