I thought of maybe writing about a film like “Inception,” “Matrix,” or “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” However, because this class talks a lot about identity as well, I thought I would write about Star Wars because this film franchise (specifically A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi) talks a lot about the identities of its characters, both the good and the bad.
Luke Skywalker is a character who learns more about himself as he goes through the classic hero’s journey. His identity is complicated; he wants to be a Jedi to oppose the oppressive Empire and be a keeper of peace like his father, just like how Obi-Wan Kenobi described his father to be. However, this becomes increasingly complicated as it is revealed that Darth Vader, his most personal enemy, is actually his father. The identity of good and evil is blurred in the movie; there are characters who clearly represent good like Obi-Wan and Yoda, and those who represent evil like the Emperor. However, there are those who seem ambiguous; Darth Vader is evil, but he clearly has other intentions that just simply being “bad.” After all, he tells Luke that he is plotting to overthrow the Emperor and end the destructive war to unite the galaxy. Then there are characters like Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and Boba Fett, with no exact alignment. Those characters are not clearly identified with being either good or bad, because the line between good and evil is balanced, but not stable.
This is clearly defined with the training at Dagobah. He learns that the path to the Dark side is not stronger, but easier, a path that fits well with Luke’s anger and passion. Identity is a hard thing pin down; Luke’s inner struggle with his own anger is shown at the Cave Scene. After he cuts down Darth Vader at the cave, he realizes that he is the one under the helmet. It shows how easily people can be switched.
It also reminds me of Hagel’s Philosophy. A lot of Hagel’s arguments have a thesis, and then an antithesis, to show both sides. He also makes an argument that many objects cannot exist without the acknowledgement of the other. This is shown in Star Wars. Both the light and dark side must be balanced, and they must coexist because there is no way around it. Everyone has its own good and bad, and by balancing it, it becomes their primary identity. Luke struggled with balance, as did Han Solo and Darth Vader, and they eventually found peace with the identity they accepted. Only then did they they show their true colors, and eventually, their true character and powers.