Archive for quotations

Favorite Darth Vader Quotation

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , on 17 July 2014 by Megan

Well, this is awkward. My favorite Darth Vader quotation coincides with my favorite Episode V quotation.  Now what am I supposed to do?

No, I guess that’s okay. I have another Vader line that I like very much that I can use!

The original Anakin vs. Obi-Wan

The original Anakin vs. Obi-Wan

The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner — now I am the master.

And then in the style of the ancient webcomic Surf Rat and Spencer, I have to quip, “What circle?” “You and me, we make a circle.” “No, we don’t! Two points make a line, not a circle!” “Ugh, let’s just fight!” “Fine! You were always a terrible student!” Man, I miss Surf Rat. . . .

Not actually visually stunning

Not actually visually stunning

Anyway, while this is the least visually stimulating duel in the entire saga, there’s a lot of emotion that goes on with it. Vader’s “Your powers are weak, old man” is another great line. More than the emotional culmination of the encounter that has been brewing for 20 years, this duel always sparked off in my imagination as I used to watch it and wonder about their last encounter, the duel over a lava pit where Vader was so horribly damaged in the first place. Episode III fulfilling my mind’s vision hasn’t reduced the drama of this moment.

Favorite Yoda Quotation

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , , , on 10 July 2014 by Megan

I don’t think I can do this. Yoda is not my favorite zombified toad — he taints everything he comes in contact with. Sort of like Thomas Jefferson, he’s a hypocritical old bat with a few highly quotable catchphrases. People get caught up on the Yoda train without thinking about it: he’s cast as the wise mentor, Obi-Wan bounces out a recommendation his way, and our minds (trained by generations of fairytales) accept him in spite of the fact that he never demonstrates the wisdom that we supposedly admire him for.

An entire generation misled

An entire generation misled

In the prequels, Yoda is like the worst boss ever. It’s not noticeable in Episode I because he doesn’t do much at all, but in Episode II, he twice goads Obi-Wan into speaking before promptly rebuking him saying anything! He would have done well to take his own advice about the trap of arrogance, because in Episode III, after encouraging Anakin not to care when others die, he insists on keeping the more glorious mission to himself. Even though Obi-Wan is better matched against Palpatine and Yoda could kill Anakin in a heartbeat — Anakin, whom Obi-Wan is incapable of killing — Yoda insists on going against the Emperor himself. When he fails, he arrogantly decides that killing the Emperor is impossible, dusts the fate of the galaxy off his hands, and hops on the speed train to exile. This in spite of the fact that there is no conceivable reason why Obi-Wan couldn’t make another attempt himself, thus preventing Palpatine from saving Anakin in the first place!

(Also — not really against Yoda, but it drives me nuts at the end of E2 when he mutters, “Begun the Clone War has.” How can he possibly know the name of the war? This is like English Prime Minister Lloyd George reading about Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination and saying, “I guess that’s the start of World War I!”)

In the trilogy, Yoda is at his most tolerable in Empire as he amusingly harasses Luke. However, everything he does in that movie is pointless and dumb. I know, I thought it was mystical and cool, too, until I really thought about it. He wastes Luke’s time for about a week, berating him for not being able to use the Force to lift an X-wing fighter out of the swamp after a mere couple days’ training, and continually throwing his faults and failures back at him. I know I learn best when constantly being rubbed with, “Hey, remember how you didn’t do that right? Remember how you did it WRONG?” He even tries to recreate Vader by telling Luke he should sacrifice the lives of his friends for the sake of his training.

No, shut up, or shut up!

No, shut up, or shut up!

The famous

Do or do not. There is no try

is probably the most-quoted line from Star Wars, and probably what the majority of people answer this question with. But this line has troubled me since day one.

First of all, I know this looks good on a bumper sticker, but there’s a reason we say “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Repeated efforts increase the chance of success. If Yoda had simply answered “Okay” to Luke’s “I’ll give it a try,” Luke would have continued working at lifting the ship until he did it. But because Yoda said you can only succeed or fail, Luke couldn’t do it on the first try and opted for failure. Yoda then berates him and shows him up, resulting in obvious discouragement and huge setbacks in his training. Imagine if this is how your parents taught you to tie your shoes! This is a terrible way to teach anybody to do anything. (Honestly I think Yoda was less trying to produce a new line of Jedi and more trying to set Luke up for ultimate failure in order to prove that if he couldn’t defeat Palpatine, nobody could.)

Secondly, I proved in my high school logic class that this statement is itself a logical fallacy. I actually took this quote and used it as the basis of my final paper. I don’t have the paper anymore, or I’d quote it. Suffice it to say, it’s a fallacy.

I’m sorry, I tried to think of any line from him that could qualify as a favorite, but he just made me so mad, I can’t do it. See also: A Character Everybody Else Loves That You Hate.

Favorite Obi-Wan Quotation

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , on 3 July 2014 by Megan

Two of my all-time favorite quotations come from Obi-Wan (seen here), so I’m really working to avoid redundancy. I really love both of those lines.

I'd much rather dream about Ewan

I’d much rather dream about Ewan

Well, that’s a nice face for inspiration. When I first saw this question in the challenge, I had a brief but dim hope I might find an OT quot of his I like. But after realizing just how much I dislike old Ben, I knew that was never going to happen. Since I gave him a quot from E2 and E3 already, fairness should have me pick one from E1 — but surprisingly, one line did pop into my head here and keeps going around.

The sober Jedi master

The sober Jedi master

Dreams pass in time.

There’s something vaguely annoying about this line. Like the serenity is forced. Or it’s a brush off. But at the same time, I’ve always been drawn to this line.

Ewan said in an interview that George Lucas told him he was very Alec Guinness with that line. And there is a certain depth to it, where Obi-Wan is trying to offer his Padawan something, but Anakin’s problem is so far beyond the league of anything Obi-Wan has ever had to deal with that he can only offer this bit of Jedi insight. Anakin prefers to change the subject. And really, that’s the best his master can give him? The tautology that eventually he won’t have the dream because he’ll stop having the dream?

But there’s more to this fraction of a haiku than initially meets the ear. Ignoring the fact that these guys are tuned into an energy field connecting all life in the galaxy into a single organism, which means they should have trotted out to Tatooine as soon as Anakin started having extremely detailed visions about his mother’s death. Skipping that mumbo jumbo entirely and focusing on the truth of it — it’s one of those statements like This too shall pass, a statement that can’t be wrong.

One more for good measure

One more for good measure

You could also start thinking of dreams in their metaphorical sense, not the merely literal — Anakin told Qui-Gon he dreamed of being a Jedi who came back to free all the slaves. We all have aspirations of one sort or another, toward greatness of one definition or another. (Even the humblest life’s dream can be great to the one dreaming it.)

I know the kneejerk response when someone says “you’ll stop wanting it eventually” is to be defensive or depressed. After all, the only acceptable way to stop wanting something is to get it, so you don’t need to want it anymore. But this is myopic.

A New Hope focuses a lot on dreams, I came to notice as I listened to the radio drama. “You can’t begrudge him his dreams!” Aunt Beru flares at Owen. Luke’s dream was to go to the Imperial Academy and become a pilot — that dream was replaced by the dream to see his father avenged by killing Darth Vader, and that dream also passed when he began to dream of seeing his father, Vader, redeemed. At the end of the trilogy looking back, do you think even the slightest part of Luke wishes he hadn’t given up becoming an Academy-certified pilot? Of course not.

My own dreams have been on a roller coaster for the better part of a decade. And for awhile there, I was getting fairly apathetic about wanting anything, about dreaming anything at all because the more I wanted something, the more likely I was not to get it. First I wanted to be a novelist; then I wanted to be an English professor; then I wanted to go to school in Scotland; then I wanted to not be alive anymore; then I wanted to be a library director. Now I’m a cataloger. I’m dreaming of going to Washington DC now; although I feel I have only a slim chance, my sister observed to me that it’s not a one shot deal. If I don’t get it this time, I try again. Dreams pass in time, but they don’t leave a void behind them. They’re like hermit crab shells — as you grow, you get new dreams that better accommodate your maturing self.

Except if your dream is that your mother is getting tortured to death by a savage tribe on a remote desert planet — maybe don’t wait for that dream to pass. Maybe go ahead and call her right now and make sure she’s all right.

Favorite Quotation

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , , on 3 April 2014 by Megan

Well, in last year’s challenge, I said I was urged to do a favorite quotation from every movie, but would have to put it off for another day.

Today I was going to take the lazy way out and tell you my favorite quotation from E1, but I guess since I already did that, today is the day I give you my favorite line from each film. You can see my last answer (here).

Episode I, the Phantom Menace

No, they won’t! What do you think, you’re some kinda Jedi, waving your hand around like that? — Watto

Mind tricks don't work on me! Only money.

Mind tricks don’t work on me! Only money.

I love everything about this scene, and have for an age. (Literally, the timestamp on that picture on my hard drive is May 27, 2002.) I remember it in the theater: we knew what was coming, guy gives the Jed a hard time, Jed waves his hand, problems evaporate! But audiences get tired of the slick way out and suddenly bam. Watto’s not weak-minded. Qui-Gon has to find another solution. I love the furious look on his face, the way he falls abruptly silent, the singsong way Watto makes his demand for cash (without ever really questioning how this guy knows how to use mind tricks).

Episode II, Attack of the Clones

You don’t want to sell me death sticks. You want to go home and rethink your life. — Obi-Wan Kenobi

I want to go home and rethink my life

I want to go home and rethink my life

I know this is probably everyone’s favorite line from E2, simply because all I had to do to find the picture was type in the quote . . . But it’s a great line! A little bit of levity in the middle of the tragic. Plus it just goes to show you, you can’t ever take Obi-Wan to a bar. He always cuts people’s arms off!

Episode III, Revenge of the Sith

You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you. — Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar

Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar

This entire speech is one of my favorites. There is so much packed into it, and Ewan McGregor delivers (as usual). Anakin was his brother; he considered Qui-Gon the father figure to them both, but Anakin wanted Obi-Wan to be his father figure. Anakin ultimately turned to the dark side because the slave mindset he grew up with told him he needed someone to give him orders; Palpatine filled that role and Obi-Wan did not because Obi-Wan wanted them to be equal. The betrayal, grief, and rage in this line encapsulates Anakin’s fall entirely.

Episode IV, a New Hope

I want to come with you to Alderaan. There’s nothing for me now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father. — Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker on Tatooine

Luke Skywalker on Tatooine

His face! He is absolutely dumbstruck with grief — I mean, try to imagine the absolute raw horror of coming across the skeletons of the two people who were the only family you ever had, especially growing up in such an isolated place. Not just the dead bodies, no, but the charred skeletons — and one of those, the last conversation they ever had was an argument. He knows now that the Empire isn’t “such a long way from here”: it’s up close and personal, it’s taken everything he ever had and some things he never did, like his father. Obi-Wan tells him after he beats the remote that he’s taken his first steps into a larger world, but those steps were really taken here, when for the first time, Luke has everything stripped away and is left only with Purpose and Duty.

Episode V, the Empire Strikes Back

The Force is with you, young Skywalker. But you are not a Jedi yet. — Darth Vader

Duel on Cloud City

Duel on Cloud City

I used to sit by the TV with a tape recorder and record my favorite lines from movies and things. This is one I used to listen to repeatedly, and  when I got my niece to play Luke and Vader with me (where I had to be Vader because I was taller), we’d reenact this scene, me standing on the bed where I’d intone this line in my deepest possible voice before we waled on each other with the broomsticks covered in construction paper. The menace in his voice, the grim expression on Luke’s face, ah! It’s perfect.

Episode VI, Return of the Jedi

You rebel scum. — Lt. Renz

Battle for Endor

Battle for Endor

This line was spoken by an anonymous Imperial officer before the Battle for Endor starts. I have to say this is one of my favorite quotations of all time because I once used it for my bedroom password (I wouldn’t let my nieces in my room unless they knew the password, which was pointless because I always told them the password…) and also a voice clip of this was the error message “ding” on my computer for years and years. I used to quote it along with the actor whenever I watched the movie. (Barrie Holland, by the way, was the actor.)

Favorite Quote

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , on 4 July 2013 by Megan

Can I get hung up on grammar a moment and object that this should be “favorite quotation“; quote is a verb and quotation is a noun. It’s like asking “what’s your favorite eat?” If quotation is too long, you’re going to have to bite it and say quot. All right, English major out.

Honestly, it’s not fair to make me select one favorite line out of six films. I was hoping to be able to estimate the number of lines in the films all together, but my concordance — which I began in 2009 — is not complete enough to allow for this. I can’t even estimate it without it being a hugely time consuming process; I’ve only completed The Phantom Menace and it’s just not set up for line counting. (But I can tell you that Jar Jar Binks has slightly under 10% of the dialogue in Episode I.)

I really, really, really wanted to give you a favorite line from each film, but I think  that will have to be a project for another day. However, in order to do this, I’m going to have to sit down and watch all of them and take notes. I just don’t have the time. So instead, I will give you what amounts to my very favorite quotation from Star Wars of all time, a line I even bought on a bumper sticker and used as my online signature for years.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Qui-Gon Jinn

And as usual, Qui-Gon appears.


The ability to speak does not make you intelligent. — Qui-Gon Jinn