Episode: "Ghosts of Mortis"
Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Season 3, Episode 17
Original Air Date: February 11, 2011
Now, the entire drama has played out. The Son's advantage is temporary. He converts Anakin, though not permanently. The Father sacrifices himself in order to prevent the Son's domination. Anakin kills the Son and thus balance is achieved. He is the Chosen One after all. The Mortis arc is, essentially, the entire Anakin story played out in miniature.
Following Star Wars in episode order, the prophecy regarding Anakin is made in Phantom Menace, he is converted to the dark side in Revenge of the Sith and he destroys the Sith from within in Return of the Jedi. In so doing, he brings balance to the Force and fulfills the prophecy. As the audience, we were fed this story in a frustrating, disjointed order but it does all fit together nicely in the end.
All of this is easy enough to follow in the Mortis arc. The more subtle side of the story is that of the Daughter. In the movies, too, the rise and fall of the dark side is obvious. The path of the light is quieter. Yoda assures Luke - and us - the dark is not stronger but it's difficult to believe most of the time. The dark wields its power through fear. It feeds off of anger, greed and jealousy. None is ever in short supply. How does the light manage to hold its own? When Obi-Wan duels Vader in A New Hope, he says "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." It's a badass thing to say but what does it mean? Surely, it must mean more than becoming a ghost in order to play Jiminy Cricket to Luke's Pinnochio.
Mortis offers clues. All seems lost when the Daughter is killed. With no one to counter the rise of the dark, what hope is left for the galaxy? But has the Daughter's power actually diminished with her death? Perhaps her martyrdom only strengthens her symbolic significance. There are obvious real world parallels, after all. Even the Son mourns her: "you were the only one I ever truly loved," he says. The Father is finally able to defeat the Son through his own self-sacrifice.
Thus the conflict between dark and light is reduced to that between the selfish and the selfless. The battle is waged across the galaxy and within the heart and mind of each character. It is the story of Star Wars and perhaps that of our own world, too.
!!!END OF SPOILER!!!
Last week, I criticized the story for its too explicit connection to the broader Star Wars saga. Now that it's over and the relationship between events on Mortis and the rest of the galaxy is less clear, I'm more comfortable.
Liam Neeson was born June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. He was a gifted athlete in his youth, an accomplished boxer and football (soccer) player. He dropped out of university to work as a fork-lift operator for the Guinness Brewery. As is the case with so many Hollywood A-listers, his acting career began on the stage, joining the Lyric Players' Theatre in Belfast in 1976. Film work came in the '80s: Excalibur, The Bounty and The Mission among others. Of course, the big break came when Steven Spielberg offered him the lead role in 1993's Schindler's List, for which he received his first and so far only Oscar nomination. In 1997, Empire magazine included Neeson on its list of the top 100 movie stars in history.
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