Holy Star Wars!

Holy Star Wars!

After almost a month of sacred readings of Star Wars, I have been thinking a lot about how to ensure that my writings are as accessible to a...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


The Fortification of Asgard/ The Clone Wars S5E2-5 (The Onderon Arc)


A War on Two Fronts, Front Runners, The Soft War, and Tipping Points
(The Onderon Arc)

       Separatist takeover complete! Another Republic planet has fallen. Onderon has seceded to the Confederacy of Independent Systems under the rule of a new king. However, a small band of rebels have taken refuge deep within the vast and savage wilderness. 
       From an abandoned outpost, they plot to take back the heavily fortified capital city of Iziz and end the Separatist occupation...

The Fortification of Asgard

       Opportunity knocks! The Asgardians fear invading giants. A seemingly friendly giant offers to build an impenetrable wall around Asgard but at a heavy price.
       Having agreed to the giant's terms, they gods of Asgard quickly recognize the error of their arrangement and seek to upend the support they thought they were receiving...

We cannot do everything on our own. We need all the support of others from time to time, whether physically or emotionally. Asking for support can be one of the most challenging to have to do. The humility required is unparalleled. The very same can be said of relinquishing support once it has been acquired. The crutch that support can become is a dangerous enabler for atrophying skill and motivation.

A particularly interesting tale in Norse mythology is that of the Fortification of Asgard. Within that tale are numerous layers of support to be investigated and divulged. The first layer is the most apparent; the wall itself that was constructed around Asgard. The gods of Asgard commissioned the construction of the wall in order to protect themselves from attacks by giants and other adversaries. The wall serves as both physical support in the defense of the realm, as well as a symbol of admission that perhaps the denizens of Asgard are not entirely secure without it.

When Onderon was overtaken by the Separatist Alliance, the rightful king was disposed and some of Onderon’s citizens refused to accept the repressive new regime. In their burgeoning fight against their new government, the Onderonian rebels pleaded with the Jedi council to send support. The debate that succeeded that communication was not only on whether to intercede but even more so on what the negative repercussions of doing so would be for the long-term ability of Onderon’s rebels to be successful. Similarly to our galaxy’s Vietnam War, some on the Jedi Council feared that having Jedi merely play an advisory role in an attempted secession would lead to both a dependence upon the Jedi to win, as well as draw the Jedi and the Republic into another battle they are unsure they should engage in. Ultimately, the Jedi decide to provide training and supplies to the rebels on Onderon with the intended hope of helping them achieve self-sufficiency in their efforts.

The giant who bartered with the Asgardians for possession of the Sun, the Moon, and a wife in the god Freya in exchange for a mighty wall would have been unable to complete his construction project without the support of his horse, Svadilfari. The giant’s bargain was accepted under the condition that the wall is completed before the end of a single winter. Mighty as the giant was, his horse was able to work twice as hard. Yet, the faith the giant placed in his horse would become his very downfall. When eventually the gods conspired against the giant to prevent his success, they targeted specifically Svadilfari, for, without him, completion of the wall was impossible.

There is an immense vulnerability in receiving support. On the one hand, it allows us to reach greater heights and accomplish steeper tasks than we otherwise would be able to, and yet it leaves us open to devastation should that support be prematurely retracted. In the fight for Ondeeronian freedom, the rebels worked hard to prevent that same vulnerability that the giant suffered. Not only did the Onderonians train hard to be adequately equipped to fight the King Rash’s forces and the Separatist droids, but they recognized the vitality of gaining the support and trust of all the people of Onderon, not just those already part of their cause. They quickly learned that their cause would be seen as terrorism by the masses and not as the rebellion they intended to be.

Eventually, the rebels did manage to gain the favor of the planet’s citizenry, but not before learning another lesson about support. During their training, the three leaders of the rebel cell, Saw, Steela, and Lux found themselves strifing with one another and themselves over conflicts of leadership, emotion, and skill. The success of their entire operation was at risk until they learned to find support in their own self-confidence and confidence in the support their squad members will provide. They had to come to appreciate that they each brought a particular skill and style to the fight and that in acting as one body, their support for one another complemented and compounded their efforts.

The gods of Asgard tried to rely on the specific skills and styles that they each brought to the table when seeking support from within on how best to gain from the giant’s offer without being made to lose just as much. Unfortunately, their source of support was the god of mischief and trickery Loki, and  as a result of Loki’s dastardly manipulation, the rest of the gods nearly were made to pay an irrecoverably heavy price. Not only is seeking support challenging as it's own isolated act but accepting the proper support even more challenging.

The gods of Asgard were left so vulnerable by their predicament that they were either willing to forgo the risks inherent in partnering with Loki, or they were rendered unable to recognize those risks by the sheer emotional and physical desperation they found themselves in. Onderon’s former king Dendup was faced with the same crisis when he was faced with needing to seek support from either the Republic or the Separatists. His vulnerability left him open to be misguided and abused by the Separatists that he turned to for support. What seemed at first like an opportunity to unburden himself or prevent or delay the onset of war on his planet became the very factor that led to King Dendup’s failure to secure his people.

Sometimes too, support comes from the places we least expect it. The final saving grace in the fight for a free Onderon came in the form of a munitions delivery facilitated by the pirate and often adversary of the Republic, Hondo Ohnaka. The final saving grace for the Asgardian gods against losing the Sun, the Moon, and Freya came from (though forced) Loki who went to very extreme lengths to distract Svadilfari from performing his duties.

Whether support is coming from within, from friends, or from the least expected of places, it is something terribly irresistible, especially when solidarity feels too overwhelming. It is important to be willing to ask for support, whether physically or emotionally, when necessary. It is also crucial to recognize as the supporter that your job is not to do the job for the one you are supporting. Rather, your job most often is to facilitate the ability of who you are supporting to eventually succeed on their own. As the ones receiving support, it is imperative that we remain vigilant in our distress that we are not being taken advantage of, nor that we become weakened in our abilities to be our own support.

Next time:

Look out for a short, special edition post of a reading of the original trailer for Rogue One through the theme of "Weapons" in honor of the release of the new film that night. Expect a review of the film on Sunday (spoilers or not TBD), more chronological Clone Wars on Tuesday heading back to S2E2, and a wrap up of the current reading of James Luceno's Tarkin.

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