August 19th 2022, 5:59 pm
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Dissecting Legacy #1: Cade Skywalker's Ending Growth
https://readcomiconline.li/Comic/Star-Wars-Legacy-2006/Issue-43?id=12325#2 (this issue and the next two)
Darth Maladi lures Cade Skywalker into a trap by imprisoning his lover, Deliah Blue, within an Embrace of Pain. Cade has recently been "staggering on the edge of the dark side abyss," but Maladi wants Cade to “give in to [his] anger, [his] fear, and let the dark side flow through [him]” so that he can "reach a threshold in [his] power where [he] will either kill her or cure her.” Maladi also tells Cade to “unleash your anger and let it take you into the darkness, where power is unimaginable!” Maladi believes that Cade currently has “no discipline” and that his “will is weak” but that he can “embrace the darkness holds -- the true power within you” to save Deliah. Cade embraces the dark side enough to repulse and scare away Maladi, mocking that Maladi “cannot command” and “cannot master” what she “has wakened.” Wolf Sazen arrives to stop Cade. Cade says that he has “pushed [himself] as close to the edge as I can” but that he plans to “draw [himself] deeper into the darkness” to save Deliah. Cade asserts his belief that the light side is “not strong enough” and that there is “more power in the dark side.”
Wolf says “that is a lie” and tells Cade to “trust the bonds you once felt within the Force” when he was his apprentice and when he was with his father. Wolf tells Cade to “trust in the power of the light side above the dark” and to ultimately “trust in the power of the Force.” Cade agrees, repeats his father’s motto that “we take what is given,” and tells Deliah to “let the Force flow through me into you.” Cade says that although “Sith poison” and “hate and fire burns bad, love burns brighter.” Cade identifies Deliah as “the Force that binds [his] life together and as what “keeps [him] on course -- the one constant star in [his] galaxy,” saying, “All the best in me lies in you.” Cade says he previously tried to “keep [Deliah] out” and was ‘afraid of what might happen” because he “didn’t want to hurt” her but now he “can’t pretend, can’t lie” to her or to himself and that he loves her. Cade uses this newfound power of love to heal Deliah’s injuries and Force shield them from the point-blank detonation of the Wayland Facility. Emerging from the rubble, Cade tells Wolf that he “tapped into the light side” and that Wolf was “right” in what he said about it. Wolf tells Cade to “come back to the Jedi,” but Cade says, “Can’t. I know now what I am. Not Jedi. Not Sith. I am what the Force has made me… the Sith’s worst nightmare. Time to make war.”
(A) Maladi claims that Cade must fully embrace the dark side to unleash the “true power” within him and save Deliah. Although Cade initially believes this is the only way and that the dark side is stronger, Wolf says that is a lie and that the light side is the true expression of the power of the Force. Cade ultimately agrees, saying love burns brighter than dark side emotions and later saying Wolf was “right.” Thus, Cade can now draw on power through a new source even more powerful than the dark side. This is consistent with George Lucas and Fact Files stating Darth Vader was engorged with the “super energy” of love to destroy the Emperor.
(B) Cade says his relationship with Deliah involved fear, pretending, and lies. Resolving internal conflict makes Force users more in-tune with the Force. Moreover, Cade now, for the first time, “knows what he is” and has a general plan for the future. Ergo, Maladi’s criticism that Cade has a weak will should be at least partially fixed. Cade now has less doubts and more conviction.
EXTREMES & WAR:
https://readcomiconline.li/Comic/Star-Wars-Legacy-2006/Issue-48?id=12333#2 (this issue and the next two)
https://readcomiconline.li/Comic/Star-Wars-Legacy-War/Issue-1?id=77062 (all six issues)
Luke’s spirit criticizes Cade for having “no plan” and that if he completed his Jedi training, he could “focus [his] thoughts and perhaps anticipate” what is to come. Later. Cade notes to his friend that he is permanently off deathsticks, which suppress his Force powers. After Darth Krayt is resurrected and reaches out to “all who have touched the dark side,” Cade’s “mind reels.” Cade sees a “vision of his life’s future” in which he battles Krayt, but the vision ends in a black nothingness. Cade complains that he “can’t sense nothing afterwards” and wonders whether “that is where I die?” Cade gives it greater consideration and says, “I get it now. Everything that’s happened all my life… you shaped me to do this… everyone has a destiny. This one is mine. I can feel it in my gut. So, me and Krayt… one final round.” Cade finishes saying, “Never expected to get old. Never figured to die in bed. I got a job to do -- even if it’s my last.” Cade explains to his friends that “the Force has been driving me toward something” and that “now I know what the Force has been preparing me to do -- Krayt is alive and I gotta kill him.” Cade then devises a “plan to draw Krayt into single combat and face the dark lord alone.”
Krayt tells Talon via hologram, “When I called to the One Sith through the Force, I felt Skywalker’s presence. As much as the boy believes he walks in the light, darkness still shrouds him. Find him. I want to open a path for Skywalker that will lead to me. Find him and make a gift of your broken Imperial Knight.” Cade then sends a hologram to Krayt saying, “Krayt. I’m coming for you. I’m going to kill you, Krayt… You’re going to die. Once and for all. Guaranteed.”
Cade is later confronted with his ruthless and emotionally unavailable mother, Morrigan Corde, who had been mortally wounded and poisoned. Cade explains that he does not love her enough to heal her through a light side application of Dark Transfer like he did Deliah. Kol Skywalker’s spirit tells Cade, “One of the greatest lessons of the light side is forgiveness. Through it we find redemption. Your anger hurts you, Cade, more than it has ever hurt her. Let it go. I have.” Cade cries, tells his mother he forgives her, and successfully heals her.
Cade devises a strategy to lure the Hidden Jedi Temple on Taivas. During the battle, Shado Vao tells Wolf Sazen to “sense where the dark is” to find Cade. Cade is shown slaughtering large groups of One Sith as he mocks them. After additional fighting, Krayt deploys his Sith Troopers. Cade and Nat Skywalker (aka Bantha) are shown surrounded by at least seven living Sith Troopers and three dead. Cade tells the other Jedi, “Don’t worry about me. I can’t die here. Still got a Sith Lord to kill!” Cade continues fighting more Sith Troopers across several panels. Cade is almost killed by a suicide bomber, but Nat Skywalker pushes Cade away and is killed instead. Cade screams and curses. A furious Cade is confronted by a group of three injured Sith Troopers. Cade tells them that it is a “bad idea” to come at him now. One immediately Force pushes Cade but he is saved by his mother, who shoots the Sith Trooper dead. Cade shoots another Sith Trooper dead. Cade duels a final one and is shown to injure him, but the Sith Trooper says, “You tire. I don’t you die” as he swings close enough to choke Cade’s cheek. Cade says, “Enough,” and instantly defeats the Sith Trooper with Force lightning as his eyes turn yellow.
Leaving the battle, Cade remembers that “we lost so much today” and that he can “feel loss so keenly.” He fears that losing Nat will be a “wound that will never heal.” Cade tells Jariah Syn that he “got [Nat] -- and lots of others -- killed” and it’s his “fault” that [Nat] died. Jariah rebuts that Cade has “been laying the blame for everything that goes bad in the galaxy on [himself] since” his father died. Jariah continues that he hates to tell Cade “but it ain’t about” him and that everyone who died did so because "they made their own choice.” Cade responds that he must fight Krayt alone but needs a way to get to Krayt. Jariah tells Cade to “work on some sweet Sith-killing moves” as he makes improvements to his ship to get Cade to Krayt.
On his way to fight Krayt, he speaks to Wolf and Shadow and says, “You’re the one always talking about destiny, Master. Time I owned up to mine.” Sazen says, “I’m proud of you, my former apprentice. The Force will be with you.” Darth Talon intercepts Cade and says that he ‘burns hot with [the] intent to kill Krayt.” Talon also says that she “senses the darkness in you” and that he “never walked in the light.” Talon pleads for Cade to join her, but Cade says he “rather eat a fuel cell.” Cade then telekinetically dominates Talon. Talon realizes that “Cade is stronger than he was” and that she “must warn Lord Krayt.” This greater strength is also described as “Cade’s new mastery of the Force.”
Luke says Cade lacks a plan or focus. After receiving a Force vision fighting Krayt, Cade becomes singularly focused on what he believes is his destiny -- killing Krayt -- and explicitly devises a plan to achieve this. Cade says everything he has done culminates in this final fight. Although the Force vision does not show whether Cade survives or whether he kills Krayt, Cade determines on his own that he will kill Krayt “guaranteed.” However, Cade is unsure whether he will survive and seems to suspect he does not (as the vision ends in a black nothingness).
Cade moves back and forth between the light and dark. With the help of his father, Cade masters “one of the greatest lessons of the light side”: forgiveness. Just as he fixed his relationship with Deliah, Cade releasing his anger that had been deeply “hurting” him resolved some of his internal conflict.
However, his hatred for the Sith remains, and he is shown sinking into the dark side in battle. Although Cade is nearly killed by two separate Sith Troopers at the end of the battle, note that: (A) The Sith Trooper mocked that Cade was about to die because Cade tires and he doesn’t. Cade had fought potentially hundreds of Sith in battle prior, including dozens of Sith Troopers, without the slightest hint of difficulty. It seems he’s tired--hence why fatigue is explicitly mentioned. (B) Cade had been tapping into the dark side the whole battle but was not fully embracing the dark side. Cade then loses dozens of Jedi friends and his uncle, which he says may cause wounds that will never heal, and blames that all on himself. That unholy combination of being filled with negative dark side emotions but not yet embracing those emotions fully has ample precedent of resulting in a diminished ability to focus one’s powers. The instant Cade says “enough” and just submits to the dark side, he wins instantly. (Recall, though, that Cade is more powerful drawing on love than when drawing on the dark side.) (C) Cade seems to believe that he cannot die until he fights Krayt due to that being his destiny, which likely makes him more reckless in battles.
Jariah tells Cade to stop holding guilt over what he is not responsible for. Although Cade never explicitly agrees, he likely does as this is never again addressed later and logically the protagonist would resolve this key character weakness before the story ends. Cade internalizing this would bring further resolution to his internal conflict. In effect, the issues leading up to War can be Cade’s character letting go of all the pressure points and hatred that had been mentally holding him back.
What is the source of Cade’s greater strength and his “new mastery of the Force?”
Let’s look at all Cade has gone through leading up to his Krayt fight:
- Cade has released the fear, pretending, and lies of his relationship with Deliah
- Cade has released his anger toward his mother and forgiven her
- Cade (likely) released his own self-blame for all those he could not save
- Cade has accepted that the light side, particularly love, is more powerful than the dark side
- Cade has accepted the destiny the Force has given for him
- Cade has developed a specific plan and is singularly focused in fulfilling the plan
- Cade ultimately believes in himself and destiny and that he will kill Krayt -- "guaranteed"
All these are points that would weaken Cade’s connection to the dark but strengthen his connection to the light. They’re all about releasing sources of dark side emotion and strengthening his ties and understanding of the light side. And so, although Cade has not yet fully embraced the light side -- he is still walking along the knife’s edge -- he must be actively drawing on it to make sense of Talon’s realization Cade is more powerful than before--powerful enough that she must warn Krayt! But powerful enough to beat Krayt? No, because he's still refusing to fully embrace the light and accept that he is a Jedi. Once he does so, Krayt goes down, too.
Other blogs in the series:
- Dissecting Legacy #2: Darth Krayt vs Darth Wyyrlok
- Dissecting Legacy #3: Cade Skywalker vs Darth Krayt
- Master AzrongerModerator
August 20th 2022, 10:30 am
Good read. Even though I don't think the fight itself supports it, I can see where you're coming from with your "thematic" argument for Cade being in contention with Krayt.
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