Lesson Seven takes us back to the Keys to the Kingdom archetypes and has us identify them with a Sith flavour. This is also one of the few times Miles invokes the films into the lessons. For a reminder of the Keys archetypes, see the previous lesson. This one, despite being called ‘The Self’, made me think a lot about labels and labelling others. It’s a good one for developing perception. But let’s get onto it, because it’s one of the longer lessons.
What might be characteristics you could use to identify a Sith in the “Page” stage?
I would identify a page by his actions. A Sith Page would be a relative newcomer, seeking more esoteric ideals than the Order teaches. Maybe even justification for evil acts. A page would surround himself with Sith trappings; a ‘Darth’ title with some ludicrous moniker that plays on a ‘dark’ word, or even that word in Latin or German. That title is undeserved and the Darth ‘name’ would be unsuitable for them. They would be eager to learn and have a strong ideal about the way of the Sith, or more likely, an interpretation they read somewhere.
What might be characteristics you could use to identify a Sith in the “Squire” stage?
I would identify a Sith Squire by who and what they fawn upon. A Squire might show disappointment that their Page-like ideal of the Order was incorrect. They may also seek apprenticeship from or merely fawn over a particular member of the order, studying their lessons and notes, maybe even considering that way to be the true way. A Squire would be a Sith yet to embrace the Self, who is yet to realise that the Sith ‘Way’, and ‘darkness’, are interpreted by each Sith for themselves.
What might be characteristics you could use to identify a Sith in the Knight” stage?
I would know a Sith knight by their levels of completion. A Knight would still hold to their ideals of darkness, maybe not accepting the flexibility of the dark aspect. A knight will have at least a few books under their belt, as well as decent or complete progression in the Lessons. Maybe even a few philosophical concepts of their own.
What might be characteristics you could use to identify a Sith in the “Prince” stage?
A Sith Prince has identified his passions and formed his own interpretation of the Code. He would be working on furtherance of the self and his own Sith works. They would be more learned and flexible. They would be carving out their own niche in the Order and working towards their goals. In terms of the Code, a prince would have gained Power through Strength.
Miles doesn’t touch the movies much. Force Realism, I’ve noticed, rarely mentions the Star Wars setting the majority of the time. But having the movies there for an exercise like this is helpful, and gives me a lot to think about. It’s why I’m enjoying the Popular Culture Psychology books so much. Talking about Anakin and the Emperor is good, and referencing the movies is fairly universal. I’ve read the Revenge of the Sith novel by Matthew Stover so I have more insight into their characters than some, but the movies portray the charaters fairly well. The Anakin in the novel exhibits a lot of inner conflict and a great deal of fear, resentment and insecurity. I highly recommend Revenge of the Sith and James Luceno’s Plagueis novel, by the way. I’d be interested in seeing more Star Wars conversation though, particularly for the expanded universe (outside the movies).
One of the few times we touch upon the movies; what stage do I think Anakin Skywalker was at when he fell to the dark side?
Anakin Skywalker fell to the dark side inside the Squire phase. His opinion of the Order was falling, and his own self-entitlement drove him to lose his faith in his Master and make a rebellious decision for himself. He was sorely disappointed by the Order and felt that he deserved more. Turning to the dark side occurred as a Squire but it changed him to a Knight. He began his quest for power and was free to embrace his passion in a roundabout way. Fear of social rejection drove him to the Dark Side, seeking power to control those around him to have what he wants.
What stage do I think Palpatine was at when he became Emperor?
This one was difficult for me but I see him as being a Knight before he became the Emperor. The death of the Jedi Order and the corruption of Anakin Skywalker could be though of as his quest. When he announced the formation of the Galactic Empire, he’d fulfilledthose goals and then sought to build up his kingdom to maintain control of the galaxy. However, another of his goals was eternal life. If we chose that as his main goal we could identify a man trapped in the Knight phase. But I choose to see the Revenge of the Sith as his key goal, and his search for immortality as part of building his Empire.
Next lesson is Lesson 8; the Role of the Force.