Not sure if I posted this essay before, but it was written back in 2001 concerning Episode I. I thought it was interesting when I read it because it seems to anticipate Traitor and The Unifying Force:
"Lao Tsu constantly uses water as a metaphor for the Tao - it is gentle, yielding, and always flows to the lowest accessible spot, despite the fact that over time it can cut through mountains. In The Phantom Menace, for the first time fans see Jedi not as hermits flowing to the lowest possible spots, inhabiting swamps and deserts on Outer Rim worlds, but in the position of power. The Jedi Council is at the center of government and technology in the Old Republic, two things associated with the Empire in the original trilogy. Its members sit atop a literal ivory tower, and from a Taoist viewpoint, it is a precarious place to be.
"Qui-Gon Jinn, like Chuang Tzu, elected to walk the sagely path rather than to take a seat in government and become mired in bureaucracy. He stands as a curious figure, a wise and compassionate Jedi Master, yet one who is deemed a maverick by those in power. Likewise, he seems to have a different perception of the Force altogether.
"Always confident that 'the Force will guide us,' Qui-Gon follows his own path which takes him to Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine. All the Jedi have such faith, but unlike them, Qui-Gon never lectures on the light side and the dark one. Also unique is his sense that the Force has a will of its own, which perhaps implies a conscious entity.
"Qui-Gon is closer to the Taoist sage than most of the other Jedi in the Star Wars mythology. 'Feel, don't think. Use your instincts,' he instructs young Anakin, and Lao Tsu often spoke of how the sage is guided by his feelings. Qui-Gon also views something as being true only 'from a certain point of view,' suggesting a kind of relativity essential to understanding the works of Chuang Tzu. Both of these ideas will of course be inherited by Obi-Wan Kenobi.
"It is also with Qui-Gon that the Force and the Tao most closely resemble one another, or at least best illuminate the other. Each are thought to be symptomatic of mystical realities, what might be thought of as the ground of all being. Qui-Gon's philosophy makes sense if the dual parts of the Force, like the opposing sides of the Tao, are ultimately illusionary and are transcended by a hidden, deeper agreement buried somewhere in the energy field. The light and dark sides are characterized by charity and hate, neither of which are exhibited by energy fields in and of themselves. They could best be seen as temporal manifestations of the Force in the field of action, but with an underlying harmony supporting them.
"Many have had problems with the idea of the Force having a will, both because of the light and the dark sides, as well as the personal nature it implies. Yet the will of the Force could very much be like the way of the Tao - it is the eternal aspect and therefore transcends favor of either side. It simply is. It is the part a Jedi merges with when they become "one" with the Force after death, a return to the undifferentiated source, much like in Taoism. the will of the Force might also be thought of as a Taoistic concept, that of "tzi ran," literally interpreted "of itself so." It is the action of the all-flowing universe, and as such could produce a Chosen One to bring about balance without personal intent."
There's also a popular essay by Katana Geldar written about Vergere, and how none of the EU authors really seemed to get what Stover did in Traitor:
I don't necessarily think Vergere's depiction in Destiny's Way is inconsistent, but it's been a while since I read it. Or the essay, for that matter. I know that The Joiner King completely misconstrues everything concerning Vergere, and that Luke does in The Unifying Force (by agreeing with her). And The Joiner King misconstrues Luke from The Unifying Force! It honestly wouldn't surprise me if Denning hadn't read The Unifying Force when he wrote The Joiner King.
As for how I think Vergere's perspective aligns with the prequel Jedi, I think it aligns with Qui-Gon Jinn. Of the prequel Jedi, he's the one that is completely unconcerned with the bureaucracy that the rest of the Jedi are -- and this is the thing that I am presuming that you take issue with, Werehunter. A regular Jedi would have not concerned his or herself with the plight of the Skywalkers because safeguarding the Queen and getting her to Coruscant would have been the mandated priority. The Jedi Council didn't mandate Qui-Gon to find the Chosen One on Tatooine.
I think that Luceno put some hints to this similarity of philosophy in Cloak of Deception when he wrote Qui-Gon. Heck, Vergere is in Cloak of Deception. Pretty sure that Luceno invented the character -- she appears in Rogue Planet by Greg Bear first, but I recall reading that Luceno invented her during NJO story meetings.
Anyway, there's a reason why Qui-Gon is Yoda's master at the end of Episode III. It's a shame that we didn't get the Qui-Gon side of the Darth Plagueis novel -- I think that would have provided further illumination.
Edit: Here's where I read that Luceno created Vergere:
|Tell Katana I saw the Matt Signal.
To assert that Vergere displays, or is a proponent of, any particular philosophy in Traitor is, in my opinion, a misreading of the text. This opinion, however, should not be taken as having any special significance. Your mileage may vary.
Also, for the record: as far as I know, Vergere was Jim Luceno's character originally. She does have a cameo in Greg Bear's Rogue Planet (which as we know ties in rather intimately with the NJO), but I believe she was Jim's in conception. I could be wrong -- this was, you know, a few years ago, and my brain is not all it used to be.
I have considerable affection for that character, and a great deal of pride in my contribution to her story; it was my first Star Wars novel, and by my peculiarly skewed personal standards, it's still my best. Which is why I occasionally lurk in threads about her, or about the book. And I've even once in a while ridden along on a particularly snarky Trip With Jacen Solo.
Also: for people who believe that categorical good guy/bad guy characterizations -- and handy deep-fried good/evil dichotomy -- is what Star Wars is about, well . . . I'd like you all to meet a friend of mine. His name is Anakin Skywalker.
And you know what else? Han shot first. I was there.
On or about June 15, 1977. The Fischer Theater on Vermilion Street in Danville, Illinois.
Not sure if the original thread is still around, only found it quoted. I read it when he posted it though!