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Kalbear

The Last Jedi (spoilers): Only a Sith deals in plot holes

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12 minutes ago, Martini Sigil said:

If this movie wasn't part of the Star Wars universe, most of us would hate it... and all of this is beside the fact that Luke has become a spectacular asshole...  I'm more than willing to suspend my disbelief, but once you establish your own rules for your universe, you really need to adhere to them... Just please write a movie that makes sense... is that too much to ask?

“would hate it”: No. It would just be a bad movie, with badly motivated characters, non-existent plot, meaningless dialogue, tonal inconsistencies, etc.—one among countless others. The fact that we “hate it” (I don’t, for the record) is exactly because it is Star Wars. We realise that all the cool scenes are something we’ve seen before, and we have a hard time reconciling the new values with the old ones. The movie makes the old ones worse.

“that makes sense”: You also aren’t getting it. Inconsistency is the point. This is a deliberately postmodern movie, and contradiction is a virtue. Your desire for meaning is exactly your moral failure. 

Sense is a Jedi value. It must die.

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7 minutes ago, Happy Ent said:

“would hate it”: No. It would just be a bad movie, with badly motivated characters, non-existent plot, meaningless dialogue, tonal inconsistencies, etc.—one among countless others. The fact that we “hate it” (I don’t, for the record) is exactly because it is Star Wars. We realise that all the cool scenes are something we’ve seen before, and we have a hard time reconciling the new values with the old ones. The movie makes the old ones worse.

I'd probably have less issue with the movie were it not related to Star Wars. I'll admit part of my disgust with TLJ is due to its tonal differences with the OT. Were it just some other other I wouldn't really bother comparing it to classics like ESB, I would just sigh and declare it a reasonable, not especially well made movie that I would instantly forget about. 

It doesn't make the old ones worse for me however, because I will never really accept these movies as canon, in the same way I can twist my brain to make it appear that the prequels never existed.

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Let me put it this way:

Jedi values are conservative: Discipline, knowledge, heritage, history, lore, books, training, mentorship. Suppression of emotion. Harmony. Meaning, goal.

The values of the postmodern, progressive left are SIth values: Emotion, focus on power, Hegelian discord, you. To a politically progressive person, Jedi values are a moral affront.

The genius of Last Jedi is to take this value conflict seriously and to resolve it by destroying the Jedi values, together with its symbols of masculinity (the sword). The movie is extremely explicit and pedagogic: we literally see Luke’s sword (his symbol of power, lore, learning, and individual skill) be deconstructed in a Hegelian conflict. What is left is a homo sovieticus: Rey. There are no value conflicts anymore, because the conflict between Jedi and Sith values is removed by removing both schools of thought. (We had no idea if Rey would join Kylo or not, or which values either of them represent, because the Sith values are Rey’s values.) 

All that is left is the conflict between two factions. Those in power (First Order, animal exploiters, rich people at Canto Bight) versus those suppressed (stablehands, rebels). White males versus everybody else.

Rey, and the authors of Episode VIII, represent the value of the Sith: Emotion, power, me-me-me (infinitely repeated, in a mirror).

Finally the values of the progressive, postmodern Left and the Sith are aligned. Thanks to Episode VIII, we have removed the conservative value of the Jedi from our cultural heritage.

The Last Jedi is the Revenge of the Sith

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13 hours ago, Ran said:

Actually, are the "reasons" given? Is this explained in one of the new books?

Yes. The Republic rotates its capital between different planets to prevent an ossified political elite forming, as it did on Coruscant. Forcing your senators to meet in a massive treehouse on Kashyyyk or in a reverse fishbowl on Mon Calamari presumably reminds them that they are representing the entire galaxy. not just Supermanhattan.

This is only practical because the Republic is so much smaller than either the Old Republic or the Empire. If you had three million member worlds or whatever the Old Republic had, it would be impossible to move them all around the galaxy every five years.

Quote

 

Why this left Coruscant off the list of planets to be destroyed, not sure.

 

Starkiller Base was only able to destroy the Hosnian system, so only Hosnian Prime was hit and several of its moons. All of the other Republic planets - Coruscant, Mon Calamari, Bothawui, Sullust, Chandrila etc - are still out there and ticking along presumably just fine.

Quote

 

-They've *always* had light speed tracking technology... that is how they found the rebel base in the first movie... they tracked the millennium Falcon....

 

If I see this nonsensical claim come up one more time I'll...get annoyed and eat a biscuit.

As Ran says, they put a physical homing beacon on board the ship which Tarkin and Vader then have a conversation about using actual dialogue. Why people don't remember this I have no idea.

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

I do not trust anyone's gifs breaking up an interview. This Jar Jar Adams character also excerpted the same interview to prove the opposite point. :P

It would be unlikely, though - bordering on unbelievable - that Mark Hamill would have replied to that tweet in the way he did if he felt it misrepresented his views.

55 minutes ago, Ran said:

@Martini Sigil

Okay, reading on, Snoke wants to stop the Resistance from getting in touch with Luke. Did he see something about Luke teaching Rey, or doing something to spark a resurgence in the Resistance? That Luke would somehow lead to his doom? Ugh, who knows. I don't think Abrams did, in any case...

Isn't this addressed (to the extent it needs to be) by the lines in TLJ where Snoke assumes that the counterbalance to himself is Luke, and that therefore Luke would try to stop him?

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23 minutes ago, mormont said:

It would be unlikely, though - bordering on unbelievable - that Mark Hamill would have replied to that tweet in the way he did if he felt it misrepresented his views.

Finally found the interview. They cut it up to pieces too, alas:

Can't but note his final caveat, however, reflecting his remarks in other post-screening junkets, namely that he's basically just taken this Luke as being something different than what Lucas had planned and he himself envisioned. "It's just a movie", I suppose, is the ultimate answer to all this bloviating -- it doesn't really matter, end of the day.

 

Quote

Isn't this addressed (to the extent it needs to be) by the lines in TLJ where Snoke assumes that the counterbalance to himself is Luke, and that therefore Luke would try to stop him?

Sure. I still think Abrams didn't have any clear idea about the whys and wherefors when he handed off the baton to Johnson.

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4 hours ago, Relic said:

Fair enough. I'm honestly asking, not looking for affirmation of my own inconsequential opinion. For the record I left this movie really really liking it (aside from Poe's first scene and the casino shit), as I tend to do with Star Wars. It's only after the spectacle is over do the questions and doubts begin to arise.

I left this movie feeling cold, which is a first for a Star Wars film.  I am undoubtedly less excited about Episode IX, to the point where I'm only 90% sure I'll see it in theaters. 

For all of the flaws of TFA, it was still an incredibly fun movie, with some great scenes and a story that worked.  I cannot say the same about this movie.  In TLJ, the strong parts were mostly overwhelmed by the flaws.  There weren't any scenes that captured the magic of Star Wars for me (except the opening scroll, and that's a freebie).  Instead, the best parts were merely good, while the worst parts were bashing you over the head. 

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13 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I left this movie feeling cold, which is a first for a Star Wars film.  I am undoubtedly less excited about Episode IX, to the point where I'm only 90% sure I'll see it in theaters. 

For all of the flaws of TFA, it was still an incredibly fun movie, with some great scenes and a story that worked.  I cannot say the same about this movie.  In TLJ, the strong parts were mostly overwhelmed by the flaws.  There weren't any scenes that captured the magic of Star Wars for me (except the opening scroll, and that's a freebie).  Instead, the best parts were merely good, while the worst parts were bashing you over the head. 

Luke walking out to face Kylo, and then proving that he is a true Jedi by not actually using violence, sacrificing himself for those who could continue the fight against evil, and becoming one with the force, had all the magic of Star Wars to the max. But that's just me.

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9 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

Luke walking out to face Kylo, and then proving that he is a true Jedi by not actually using violence, sacrificing himself for those who could continue the fight against evil, and becoming one with the force, had all the magic of Star Wars to the max. But that's just me.

These conversations remind me of when the prequels came out and people were arguing that they were great because if you look at the story and the complex things going on with the trade dispute and the Emperor's clever plan then there is a brilliant story there.

On paper those things might be true, like when I read what you wrote about how great it was that Luke sacrificed himself and didn't use violence. The logical part of my brain thinks that is a good thing and so surely the movie must be good. But my actual experience of the movie was that by this point I had just seen the climax of the movie being about a big gun not shooting down a door, a climatic fight that involved no fighting (between two characters who relationship should be important but barely shared screen time together) and Luke dying in what felt telegraphed and overly sentimental. I mean by that point the movie had already annoyed me a great deal so I wasn't prepared to give it a lot of slack either.

Either way, I can see how you can look at those events and feel 'magic', but it left me absolutely cold.

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2 hours ago, Happy Ent said:

Let me put it this way:

Jedi values are conservative: Discipline, knowledge, heritage, history, lore, books, training, mentorship. Suppression of emotion. Harmony. Meaning, goal.

Wow. You're (lost) in the weeds here man, and not in a good way. 

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Suppression of emotion

I will say that to some degree the prequels clearly indicate that the Jedi lost their way largely because this specific aspect of their credo. They became too detached from feelings, and thus too remote from the people they served and protected. Luke, as the first of a new order of the Jedi, with his abbreviated training and his boundless hope and optimism, was clearly contrasted with the monastic Jedi of the prequels, and his father's fall was largely the product of the inability of the Jedi to teach a way of properly integrating his emotions with their purpose.

 

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29 minutes ago, Relic said:

Wow. You're (lost) in the weeds here man, and not in a good way. 

If so, put me right. Am I misrepresenting conservatism or Jedi in your view?

The Jedi code reads:

There is no emotion, there is peace.

There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.

There is no passion, there is serenity.

There is no chaos, there is harmony.

There is no death, there is the Force.

That gives me, from my list: knowledge, harmony, absence of emotion. I should have mentioned serenity myself, another conservative value.

What’s left in my own list is discipline, heritage, history, lore, books, training, mentorship, meaning, goal. I made those up, from watching the films. I may have completely misunderstood them. Heritability is beyond doubt. The training-related values (discipline, training, mentorship) I also find no-brainers – we see enough training scenes and padawan-relationships to get a feeling for this. Are you objecting to meaning and goal (anti-postmodern values, so I may have blinded myself here in my hatred)? Or to history, books, lore?

Disclaimer: I’ve never read a single Star Wars novel, nor played a video game, or watched TV shows. I entirely induce from the movies. I may be misguided. If so, please enlighten me. I like to learn.

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11 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Finally organized a baby sitter and got out for a movie night over the holidays. Had to choose between Thor Ragnarok and Last Jedi. After much deliberation, I chose Thor.

Afterwards I picked up the crux of what unfolds in Last Jedi from social media and have  decided not to bother watching it at the cinema. 

Sounds like they've destroyed a pillar of every 80's kid's cultural upbringing.

Ah well. Thoroughly enjoyed Thor Ragnarok at least, so not all is lost.

To me it does the opposite. They opened up the Universe immensely, after decades of making it smaller and smaller. It isn't all about Jedi, others are just as important. It isn't about conflict, it about doing good being kind (they are tracking parallel to recent Doctor Who here).

It destroys the tendency to focus on special families, heritage, showing everyone can contribute. Everyone has a chance to shine. We don't need to be Luke Skywalker anymore, since the force is everywhere.

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5 hours ago, Ran said:

@Martini Sigil

ETA: Hrm... I found what seems to be a transcript of the movie and in fact it's always talked about as a map to Luke. Then I guess the idea is that it's understood he went to the first Jedi temple, but no one really knows where it is, and Luke didn't deliberately try to provide a map to where he was.

Kind of funny to think that they could just have had Rey show up on Ahch-to... and no Luke; he decided to zip off to some random planet the next system over.

ETA the 2nd: So, how did Kylo know where Luke was, and how did he find out Lor San Tekka had a map that would help him get there? And why is he after Luke -- just personal animus, or did Snoke have some larger plan? I'm starting to think the whole map business was pretty half-baked...

Okay, reading on, Snoke wants to stop the Resistance from getting in touch with Luke. Did he see something about Luke teaching Rey, or doing something to spark a resurgence in the Resistance? That Luke would somehow lead to his doom? Ugh, who knows. I don't think Abrams did, in any case...

I can't help but laugh.  It's kind of like analyzing an episode of Game of Thrones. Everything on screen looks great until you stop and think about what is actually happening or what is being said.  And before you know it, the number of plot holes has cascaded out of control.

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4 hours ago, Happy Ent said:

Let me put it this way:

Jedi values are conservative: Discipline, knowledge, heritage, history, lore, books, training, mentorship. Suppression of emotion. Harmony. Meaning, goal....

And the prequels (with all their flaws) showed that these values had already destroyed the jedi, and destroyed the old republic.

After that the only way forward was a full break with that utterly flawed tradition that grew up. And Rey taking the foundational papers, being cut off from the ideas of the moribund tradition of late Republic jedi, finally shows a way forward. Something Luke could not do.

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

Yes. The Republic rotates its capital between different planets to prevent an ossified political elite forming, as it did on Coruscant. Forcing your senators to meet in a massive treehouse on Kashyyyk or in a reverse fishbowl on Mon Calamari presumably reminds them that they are representing the entire galaxy. not just Supermanhattan.

This is only practical because the Republic is so much smaller than either the Old Republic or the Empire. If you had three million member worlds or whatever the Old Republic had, it would be impossible to move them all around the galaxy every five years.

Starkiller Base was only able to destroy the Hosnian system, so only Hosnian Prime was hit and several of its moons. All of the other Republic planets - Coruscant, Mon Calamari, Bothawui, Sullust, Chandrila etc - are still out there and ticking along presumably just fine.

If I see this nonsensical claim come up one more time I'll...get annoyed and eat a biscuit.

As Ran says, they put a physical homing beacon on board the ship which Tarkin and Vader then have a conversation about using actual dialogue. Why people don't remember this I have no idea.

Whats weird is Leia suspects the Falcon is being tracked, and still leads the Empire straight to the rebel base anyway. Despite spending the whole film being tortured and having her home threatened to get that location.  On the off-chance the plans revealed a vulnerability.

(yeah Rogue One retconned things so thst the rebels knew there was a weakness, but they atill took it with a grain of salt. )

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6 hours ago, Martini Sigil said:

-The Maz Kanata scene was awful.... who was she fighting?... why?... and who was filming her?... 

[...]

-and finally... the new Jedi power of astral projection... it was dumb enough when Ren and Rey were playing inter planetary grab-ass... but a cross galaxy light saber battle? Ren couldn;t tell?... and Are the gold dice there or not? 

 

I suspect the Maz Kanata scene was a deliberate dig at the prequels. Maz said: "it's a union conflict. So complicated, I couldn't explain it".

For the record, I think the "trade dispute" mechanics of The Phantom Menace were actually in itself a strength of the prequels (which were ultimately not good, mostly because Anakin's turn and the Anakin/Padme relation weren't executed well). This time not a Death Star.

As for the astral projection: the Jedi council in the prequels was fooled by Palpatine (and by Anakin), Palpatine was fooled by the Vader/Luke turn, Snoke was fooled by Kylo cleverly abusing his overconfidence. That (emotionally unstable) Kylo himself was then also fooled by Luke is in line with all those events; even the most powerful people sometimes fail to see what's under their nose.

6 hours ago, Ran said:

@Martini Sigil

ETA the 2nd: So, how did Kylo know where Luke was, and how did he find out Lor San Tekka had a map that would help him get there? And why is he after Luke -- just personal animus, or did Snoke have some larger plan? I'm starting to think the whole map business was pretty half-baked...

Okay, reading on, Snoke wants to stop the Resistance from getting in touch with Luke. Did he see something about Luke teaching Rey, or doing something to spark a resurgence in the Resistance? That Luke would somehow lead to his doom? Ugh, who knows. I don't think Abrams did, in any case...

Given the reaction of Kylo when he first heard a sniff about a girl helping BB8's escape, as well as some specifics from Rey's force vision (Kylo, masked and red sabre in hand, turning and moving towards her in the vision) and Kylo holding back in their fight at the end of TFA, I suspect that either there is some kind of relation between Kylo and Rey (apparently not according to TLJ, but it's up to Abrams) or Kylo had some kind of vision about her before he ever laid eyes on her.

Snoke and Kylo did talk about an "awakening", but they didn't seem to know that it was specifically the girl involved in BB8's escape.

8 hours ago, Happy Ent said:

To expand on that:

Analysis 1. Rey is a naively-written, wish-fulfillment character in the same way that Luke or Anakin are. This is par for the course in speculative fiction, there are countless novels and movies in which the plucky young hero takes up a sword and fights off a bunch of orcs without training. Our genre is simply an embarrassment, and has always been. Rey is badly and lazily written, and anybody who reads serious literature (or knows actual humans) should own up to this. Adults cringe at each of Rey’s actions, just as we cringe when Anakin blows up spaceships by sheer luck or Luke is an awesome Jedi with way too little training. As Rubicante observes, we know this, because the training sequences (when we see them) make sense and are important to us. An entire movie was dedicated to Luke failing and training, and two movies are dedicated to Anakin training, and doubting, and failing. Likewise, the fact that Rey wants to learn, and we see her train, is pleasant to us. We do not cringe.

We just needed slightly more of this to believe in Rey. Some more training montages. Some self-doubt. Some failure. Some off-hand remark that she showed great promise already as an 8-year old. The films dropped the ball here, making Rey into an even more unbelievable character than Luke and Anakin. The first six movies are filled with main characters personal agonising and failing and training. It’s one of the tropes that did not make it into the new ones.

Rey’s character is just a storytelling and character development failure. Lazy, a call-back to countless other lazily written heroes. No big deal. Pay some more attention to her training, failure, doubt, and you can turn her into a non-embarrassing character in a later movie.

Analysis 2. There is personal agony, failure, and training even in TLJ! We have Kylo Ren! He has trained and failed all his life. He is the contrast to Rey. Rey trains not. She fails not. She doubts not. 

This is not a failure of storytelling, but a deliberate choice.

Training, failure, and self-doubt are, we are lectured, male values. These themes belong to the Jedi, to Anakin, to Luke, and to Kylo. The homo novus of TLF is a blank-slate female who is just automatically awesome. Her lack of training, her lack of doubt, her lack of heritage, her lack of discipline, her lack of failure: these are not the marks of bad storytelling; instead, they are the necessary characteristics to make her relatable for the intended audience. They are deliberate characteristics of a new heroic archetype, fit for the new generation. Rey’s vision quest shows just herself, infinitely and identically repeated. It’s about herself, even though she has not notable characteristics. She doesn’t want anything, she has not traits. She is just a perfect blank slate onto which everybody can project themselves. 

Rey’s character is a storytelling and character development success. Deliberate and careful, a vision of a hero for a progressive generation. This is a big deal. Pay some more attention to her training, failure, doubt, and you have destroyed her.

Rey being a straightforward hero, rather than a deeply conflicted antihero who acts "grey", actually seems more like an old-school thing to me. It's par for the course in Star Wars, anyway, as Luke was much the same in the OT. Such a larger-than-life wishful thinking hero is fine for Star Wars, IMO. It is supposed to be a fun, escapist movie.

I don't agree that Rey has no discipline, though. Rey was shown from the beginning as an accomplished scavenger, able to navigate dangerous surroundings (like the decrepit Star Destroyer) while coming back alive with the required booty. She was shown to have acquired skill in fighting as well, with the staff. We may not have seen her train with that per se, but then we didn't see Obi-Wan train with his lightsabre in the original movie (nor Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan in The Phantom Menace). We may simply assume they are good because they trained.

In this movie, it is Rey who explicitly asks to learn, Rey who is seen training herself (with the sabre, at least) when Luke is less than forthcoming and Rey who saves the (very small) Jedi archive (in a place where people can actually read them, rather than on a pedestal hidden from everyone). And it is Rey who risks her life for a chance to save and turn Kylo, much like Luke once did for Vader.

We don't see Rey making much mistakes, but over both movies she does get captured by Kylo in TFA, owned by Snoke in TLJ and she also misreads Kylo's state of mind in TLJ (Luke arguably being in the right with his view on that). And we do see some doubts as well, one instance in either movie. Did Luke really have much more failures and/or doubt than that? They're both supposed to be white heroes, larger-than-life.

I would also argue that the Jedi of the prequels lost Anakin exactly because of their stupid rules concerning emotions. The prequels made a decent case that the Jedi of that time were hardly any better than the Sith (which have their own stupid dogma's). I don't see emotion as either a conservative or progressive value; every human has emotion and most people tend to show it.

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6 hours ago, Ran said:

@Martini Sigil

In ANH, a tracking beacon was actually placed on the Millenium Falcon. I mean, Leia and Rey have their hyperspace tracking beacon thing as well. The "new" tech is that the First Order has figured out a means of tracking any ship jumping into hyperspace without first getting a tracking device aboard. 

The map thing, the explanation is that the map is to the location of the first Jedi temple, not to Luke. It was just assumed Luke would be there, because... ? I don't know, actually, I don't remember how the map became about Luke.

ETA: Hrm... I found what seems to be a transcript of the movie and in fact it's always talked about as a map to Luke. Then I guess the idea is that it's understood he went to the first Jedi temple, but no one really knows where it is, and Luke didn't deliberately try to provide a map to where he was.

Kind of funny to think that they could just have had Rey show up on Ahch-to... and no Luke; he decided to zip off to some random planet the next system over.

ETA the 2nd: So, how did Kylo know where Luke was, and how did he find out Lor San Tekka had a map that would help him get there? And why is he after Luke -- just personal animus, or did Snoke have some larger plan? I'm starting to think the whole map business was pretty half-baked...

Okay, reading on, Snoke wants to stop the Resistance from getting in touch with Luke. Did he see something about Luke teaching Rey, or doing something to spark a resurgence in the Resistance? That Luke would somehow lead to his doom? Ugh, who knows. I don't think Abrams did, in any case...

This wookiepedia entry may answer some of your questions regarding the map. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Lor_San_Tekka

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2 hours ago, Seli said:

And the prequels (with all their flaws) showed that these values had already destroyed the jedi, and destroyed the old republic.

After that the only way forward was a full break with that utterly flawed tradition that grew up. And Rey taking the foundational papers, being cut off from the ideas of the moribund tradition of late Republic jedi, finally shows a way forward. Something Luke could not do.

My point exactly. It is time for the Jedi to die exactly because their values are conservative. The values of the Sith are emotional, individual, and require no learning/teaching/discipline. 

The values of the Sith are those of X Factor, of unskilled and stupid generation, of the progressive left. No skill is ever learned nor taught. You are the center of your own universe. Emotion is the core value. And an unknown mighty and magical “Force” has as the only goal to ensure balance, much like redistributive economic politics. It fits so well it hurts.

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1 hour ago, Wouter said:

I don't see emotion as either a conservative or progressive value; every human has emotion and most people tend to show it.

I am utterly shocked by this statement from an otherwise reasonable poster. Suppression of emotion, discipline, self-control: those are core conservative values. The very fact that every human has emotion makes its control a value instead of a triviality.  

You are extremely welcome to disagree with the value, or with conservatism, or Jedi values. (I do, to a large extent.)

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