Why Dismemberment in 'Jedi: Fallen Order' is Such a Big Deal

People are always losing limbs in the Star Wars universe. Luke lost a hand, Darth Maul lost his legs, and Anakin lost all his limbs. Lost limbs and their robotic prosthetic replacements are such an intrinsic part of the brand that it has its own entry on the official Star Wars website and Wookiepedia—a wiki dedicated to all things Star Wars.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/5974xb/why-dismemberment-in-jedi-fallen-order-is-such-a-big-deal
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i was thinking of that exact line in reference to nonsense happening in cyberpunk 2077. “more machine than man”. a backwards and harmful view of humanity as merely how much of your “original” meat is left.
yet how many droid characters are there in this setting alone, that no one questions their personhood? they’re allowed to be machines, they’re allowed to be dismantled and remade and will still be recognized, and as equal to human at that.
like star wars is perpetually on the edge of understanding and just refuses to make the last step.
i’m only really familiar with the movies (except solo) and the kotors though so maybe there’s extended universe material that does? i don’t know.

i guess it’s just never occurred to me all this time to look at dismemberment in star wars this way. couldn’t perceive it for want of better awareness, or context, or something. a lightsaber was just an exceedingly deadly weapon that was never drawn without reason, and never put away without fulfilling its singular function.
it’s kind of disturbing to think it is actually meant for cutting away humanity, moreso if this intent is understood in-universe.

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It’s funny that you skipped Solo, because it’s really the only film to feature a droid that questions those issues. It’s annoying that they’re paired with Lando, because Lando for some reason just rolls his eyes when she talks about wanting equal rights.

It’s unfortunate that they handle it so poorly in the film though. I like her character, but they treat her desire for equal rights as a joke through most the film.

Also, her ending is… Not cool either.

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And in terms of the comic canon, I always recommend people check out Dr. Aphra.

Not only is there queer rep in a Star Wars thing, the rarest thing EVER, there are two of some of the most interesting characters in the new Star Wars canon, 0-0-0 and BT-1.

They are… VERY evil however, but there is an agency you see with them that you don’t get with other droid characters. Besides, everyone in the Ahpra series is working within the ‘evil’ alignment chart. Aphra herself is more lawful evil while 0-0-0 is chaotic.

There’s an entire arc where these two droids basically control one of the most dangerous crime syndicates in the galaxy.

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As a kid this is how I took that moment, sure.

Buuut…

Yoda and Obi-Wan want Luke to straight up murder his own dad for them, the only person who acts like Vader being heavily cybernetic is part of what makes him evil is notable Obi-Wan himself, during a scene that’s an entire conversation about how he’s full of shit. And afterwards we got an entire trilogy of movies about how Obi-Wan and the take on the Jedi he comes from is full of shit.

Luke is about to kill Vader and then looks at his hand and doesn’t, not because he lost his physical biological hand, but because he gained perspective on Vader’s situation. It’s hard for me to look at that scene any other way even just with using their scenes in Return of the Jedi together as context. And I can’t look at it any other way a all when when the other movies are taken into account.

The franchise’s first look at its main character is him and is uncle buying slaves, like, many droids in this case have a slave circuit to keep them in line, it’s a major plot point in A New Hope. The setting’s always been one where droids that are able to just roll around doing whatever like a biological person are the exception rather than the rule.

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this is true.
but like, i feel like it’s not in question that droids are people, right? i feel like star wars wants us to believe that, regardless of what else it says.

To me it’s not a question at all and that’s what the movies are explicitly saying all the time. But there’s a pretty significant amount of people that do not think this is the case. :frowning:

I know people have a lot of issues with Lucas himself (understandably) but I respect that way before The Terminator and WHAT IF A ROBOT COULD FEEL IT’S ALMOST LIKE IT’S A METAPHOR FOR A PERSON THAT CAN FEEL was a regular thing in mainstream pop culture he was already consistently touching on this stuff in a lot of different ways in basically everything he was in charge of. And while I am in the camp that the prequel movies aren’t very good overall I appreciate that he never strayed from that and did the right thing and consistently showed that the Jedi were a bunch of elitist chumps (that literally reside in an Ivory Tower).

People often take a really reductive view on how the entire franchise addresses this stuff just based on that one line of Obi-Wan’s when it’s like, explicitly wrong even in just its own movie.

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I think a lot of it comes from Lucas’ original story. R2-D2 and C-3PO, the first droid characters we see, are primarily based on the two peasant characters in Akira Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress. So, I’m thinking Lucas probably went, “Hmm, ok. Peasantry wouldn’t exist in space really… Maybe robot slaves?” And then promptly ran with it.

By interviews with him, I really do think that’s how his brain works.

I can understand the thinking behind that original choice, seeing as how he could have never predicted his Buck Rogers rip off/parody would gain such passion behind it, but there have been whole series of films and off-shoots to establish more droid civilizations and communities, and they never attempt it. I mean, fuck, if Bender’s robot people from Futurama have more depth as a community than Star Wars, you’re obviously doing something wrong.

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ACTUALLY Obsidian did do just that in KOTOR 2 - the problem is the world was dummed out because they severely underestimated how long it would take to make the game (It’s literally unfinished). You can experience what little they did finish through modding that puts that content back in.

I have to give Bioware and Obsidian both credit for trying to push the franchise in their own ways (we almost had our first lesbian Star Wars character in KOTOR 1 until LucasArts stopped it).

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The Clone Wars TV series (which Lucas had a very heavy hand in the development of) also covers just about everything you could want in terms of how the droids and clones are treated. Incredibly dark sense of humor too at times, even by kids show standards, it’s awesome.

Even the prequel movies go into this a lot though for their relatively limited run time though. I always wished there was more Star Wars TV instead of the prequel movies honestly.

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I would recommend the book “Last Shot” by Daniel Jose Older which covers a very similar story to this but much better. The Lando and robot bits are so much better. Honestly, everything about that book is so much better than Solo: A stat wars story.

My reading of the Luke scene was entirely different. I didn’t see him looking at his hand thinking he wasn’t human. I saw him looking at the hand he would consider using to murder his own father.

My initial worry when this game was first revealed was that it was going to involve a lot of gruesome mangling of storm troopers with the lightsaber. I’m glad that’s not going to be happening. I am not super into slicing dudes in half a lot either, but I guess this is unavoidable.

Robots are people in star wars. They’re a different form of sentience, but they’re people. It’s my favorite thing about star wars. I dont have to question R2’s humanity. It’s on screen. R2 is a dick. Everything in star wars is people. Roger roger.

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I always felt super bad for the Battle Droids of the prequels. They always seemed like they were kind souls at heart, but used for warfare.

I wish their destruction wasn’t a constant joke.

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Well I didn’t think I was going to cry over B1 Battle Droids today and yet…

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i generally think of myself as a decent person but i have to question that whenever these robot/humanity discussions come up.

R2 isn’t human, he’s a robot. he’s a dick (which humans can be, too) but he isn’t human. the battle droids, while corny just like humans, aren’t human.

see, i feel mean for just thinking these things. especially after that pastoral battle droid on a log picture

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‘human’ is not a synonym for ‘person’ (its a subset of it), though. Can you be clear about what you’re actually objecting to, as at the moment your sentence is as true and morally uncontroversial as saying “Jar-Jar is a gungan. he can be a prat (which humans can be too), but he isn’t human.”

human and person don’t mean the same thing? in all honesty, that’s news to me.

my objection was to the idea that R2 is human (or a person, which up until now i believed to be synonymous).

i’ve always thought of him as just a robut.

Right, but let’s unpack what you mean by that distinction.

You agree that R2 has a personality (he can be a dick), and apparently agree that he has agency as a result of that (including moral agency - you can’t be a dick without having some idea of bad/good).
R2 is also a constructed entity - a robot.

What do you think makes R2 “just” a robot - what is he lacking, relative to a “human”?

Why’d you go and do that to me? Star Wars is never going away!

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To go even more specific, they’re called droids in Star Wars, clearly short for android as in an a constructed person. As compared to a robot which is a word that has its roots in “robota” or “forced labor.” Droids in Star Wars are built, with personalities, and then immediately fitted with a slave circuit so that while they never lose that personality they still are bound by it to whoever is assigned to be their master or/and whatever they’re initially programmed to do.

Their treatment being used for dark humor throughout the Clone Wars series and prequels is kind of brilliant to me in that respect. As they themselves are immediately aware of how hilariously fucked up yet accepted their situation is. So they are definitely people of course.

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R2 was made in a factory! maybe “lacks” is the wrong term to use here, but what differentiates him from a human is that he is made out of metal, he has no blood, nothing like arms or legs or eyes or a mouth, no lungs, no heart, no biology. he is non-bio.

he has as much in common with a toaster oven as he does with you and i.

(i realize that this is likely a not-popular opinion here and i’m about to get educated). :slight_smile: