Complete Me, Please

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By G.P. Avants

 

What do Anakin Skywalker and the Force, a teeter totter, and every math equation answer have in common? They all are supposed to have a state of balance. So, does every hero need who his or her nemesis to truly be complete?

As Lex Luthor says of Superman, “You and I need each other. We complete each other.” You can ask other foes and heroes hear the same line over and over again.

Batman has Joker.

Indy has Belloq.

Gandalf is at odds with Saruman.

Superman has a lot of nemeses, but Lex Luthor continually fights for that coveted spot.

Popeye and Brutus always match fists,

While Seinfeld and Newman match whits.

Snoopy vs The Red Baron.

Even jolly Mickey Mouse has cantankerous Donald Duck.

And even Sheldon had his issues with Wil Wheaton (AKA Wesley Crusher).

Gandalf Vs Saurman

Can you ever think of our hero without thinking about their more sinister other half? In some ways they are an odd soul mates that somehow complete who they are and who they can become. I would like to say that it is always a healthy give and take and that both halves of this equation become better people because they knew each other. I guess in a perfect world that might be the purpose.

 

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I guess in this imperfect world we all try to be heroes and not someone’s nemesis. Wait, if you try and do the right thing you will be someone’s nemesis. I guess the best thing to do is to give your best, endure the test, don’t worry about what you can’t change in the other person. Let your character become its best.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Michael J. Miller says:

    This is a fascinating thing to consider and I think about the theological implications often. The Joker does tell Batman all the time that they complete each other – two sides of the same coin. But I wonder, does true balance come from having the good balance the bad…or when the potential for evil is there but not being used? I wrestle with that with Anakin. Was he the one to bring balance to the Force because he used both the Light and Dark Side? Or did he bring balance when he turned back to the Light and vanquished the Dark? Sorry for the lengthy (and maybe rambling!) comment but I think about this issue a lot. Thanks for the post on it!

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    1. gpavants says:

      Never apologize for a long comment. I love responding back.
      Actually, you gave me an idea for another view of how a nemesis work with Magneto and Dr. Xavier. Even though they were often polarized on topics and they fought, these two were friends. They had relationship that began well and on the end was stronger and united. The struggles they had defines them both. Like Anakin I think that he has to learn that balance would come if he learned he needed others and he needed God. What got him out of balance was that he lost his focus. He put it in attention on himself and his duty to be the Chosen One. That should have drawn him back to the one who called him for guidance and strength. That would also help him see those who were truly trying to help him and those who were trying to use him. It’s what you use as balance of you know what I mean. He could have been the one to bring balance for others to base their life on. I think. Luke is going to try and do that with Rey. I hope this helped to explain it better. If I write a pice about this, can I say a reader inspired me?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michael J. Miller says:

        Of course you could! I’d love to help inspire a future piece of yours. I love the writing/reflections you offer here.

        I also love what you said about Anakin – how he doesn’t realize he needs to trust in something bigger. I love that moment in ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ on Mustafar, where he tells Padme, “Love can’t save you! Only my new powers can do that!” While his love for Padme may’ve led him to the Dark Side, he truly embraces the Dark Side when he gives up his faith in love. In that moment there is nothing left in him save a dark, narcissistic love of self and his power. While they are often maligned (and while I certainly don’t like them as much as the originals) I still think the prequels offer us some powerful moments and give us a great deal to reflect on from their narrative – this being one of the most important ones.

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    2. gpavants says:

      Sorry, one more thing. I was talking with my colleague about putting a book together that dealt with a lot of these topics we learned from heroes. We will let you and our readers know when that happens.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michael J. Miller says:

        That sounds great! I think it’s an important area to mine. The theological/mythical part of superheroes is something that’s always fascinated me. I write about it a lot on my own blog and it’s always been a part of my teaching. I’m actually designing a class right now with a co-worker about Star Wars and Contemporary Myth-Making. Your text (or parts of it at least) would be a fun future inclusion in the course!

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      2. gpavants says:

        We should talk. I also have sci-fi series that we are hoping fits with all of this. I feel a real calling to have a ministry to geeks, nerds, and their families. We are also talking about a podcast that might be a great way to connect all these folks together. I want to read your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Michael J. Miller says:

        That sounds great! My blog is mycomicrelief.wordpress.com and there’s some fun, general piece but then also the longer ones exploring the theological/mythic significance of comic books as well as the social justice themes they explore. Also, you can feel free to email me sometime too and we can talk about all this as well. You can reach me at mmiller@mpslakers.com. I used to do Youth Ministry myself and I found this genre (as well as being a great passion of MINE) was a great way to get people THINKING about all these higher issues. So your calling is something that resonates deeply with me. I’ll be sure to keep you and your efforts in my prayers too!

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      4. gpavants says:

        The Lord bless your efforts.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Michael J. Miller says:

        And yours as well. My prayers are with you!

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