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how-do-i-turn-this-thing-off: This tiny detail speaks volumes to Padawan Ben, his training, and his...

December 21 2017, 10:36pm

how-do-i-turn-this-thing-off:

This tiny detail speaks volumes to Padawan Ben, his training, and his inner conflict.Obviously the primary use of a calligraphy set is to copy out scrolls.  Why, in the Star Wars age of advanced computers, would they need to?  Because your brain learns better if you write the words out yourself, especially if you do it more than once, as any panicked student the day before a test will tell you.But that simple explanation disregards the use of calligraphy in Eastern cultures and religions.  It’s not just for normal writing, it’s a tool to train the mind, learning focus, discipline, steadiness, and patience.  Really well-written brush calligraphy means every stroke must be smooth and perfect, exactly the right amount of pressure, with no smearing or staining of the ink.  One serenity exercise requires the person to write a single word- often something relevant, like ‘focus’, ‘peace’, etc.- over and over again until they are calm and get it perfectly right.  In Bhuddism there’s a similar exercise, in which you try to draw a perfect circle with a single perfect stroke.  Not easy with a modern pen, much less brush and ink, and if you try it it’s VERY easy to get frustrated or irritated when you’re on your thirtieth circle and it still lists slightly to the left.Given what we know about Ben, consider this prop in this context.  He feels a strong pull towards the dark he can’t deny or control.  In desperation he takes up calligraphy.  Imagine him sitting cross-legged late at night, drawing imperfect circle after imperfect circle, reaching for the calm, the sense of inner quiet and balance, that Luke promises he will feel when he gets it right.  He never does.