S3 TCW #17 - GHOSTS OF MORTIS - 02/11/11

Chris Wyman

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The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Ghosts of Mortis

"He who seeks to control fate shall never find peace"

Synopsis: The Jedi remain stranded on Mortis, and the Son aligned with the dark side of the Force renews his efforts to convert Anakin as the Jedi prepare for a decisive confrontation.

Director: Steward Lee
Writer: Christian Taylor
Key Characters: Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Father, Son.
Key Locales: Mortis



The Mortis Trilogy wraps up with the most thought-provoking Clone Wars episode yet, The Ghosts of Mortis. Fulfill your destiny and listen as we discuss this Force-heavy finale with a couple of roundtable all-stars Kyle Newman and Paul Bateman.

Click here to listen!

Panelists:
Jason Swank
Jimmy Mac
Kyle Newman
Paul Bateman
 
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THAT was Qui-gon. I knew it. WOW, what an exposure, I am speechless.
 
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Wow, where do you begin on this episode?

At first with Anakin joining the Son I was thinking that it was kind of lame that we were basically re-watching ROTS and the whole Anakin knows his fate, etc. But then when Anakin got his memory wiped, it all made a lot more sense to me. Essentially Anakin made the same choice here that he will make in ROTS, he joined the dark side for peace and to save the ones he loved.

I was iffy with it at first, but by the end of the episode I was with them.

The ending was as I expected it to be. It was a very Star Trek ending to match the very Star Trek feel to the whole arc. Not meaning that in a bad way, but there are a number of Star Trek episodes that basically followed that same type of structure.

The sacrifice of the father was very touching and I liked that he did disappear.

The ending did add a lot to the whole arc and really completed the story.

Plus, how freakin' cool was it to see Alderaan exploding there in the vision!
 
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Okay. Well that episode changed the premise somewhat however not completely. In fact, as with the last episode, this has gotten even simpler. In nature balance exists between light and dark, however this is impossible for intelligent beings due to our ability to be corrupted. The Father attempted to maintain the balance of nature for intelligent beings however, as he said, he was a fool for thinking this was possible. As such the basic Yin-Yang exists in nature however the Dualistic ‘good and evil’ is what this transforms into for human beings. As such bringing balance to the Force means the complete destruction of evil. So essentially:

Overlords: The uncorrupted balance of nature
Altar of Mortis: The corruption of humans through the creation of evil
Ghosts of Mortis: Balance of the Force is brought through the destruction of evil

So ‘bringing balance to the Force’ does not involve nature. The natural ‘Yin-Yang’ of nature exists whether we like it or not. ‘Bringing balance to the Force’ is the destruction of the human corruption of darkness into evil...

Anyway apart from that this arc was exceptional... the final dramatic ‘bringing of balance’ where everything essentially shut down was really cool and well produced. I think that this entire arc was essentially showing Anakin how the prophecy is to be fulfilled if he continues on his path... effectively a ‘sped up’ mirror of the saga.

Also the 'time' thing with Rex at the end seemed much like Contact.
 
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The character design of the Father reminded me of the older Transformers cartoon, especially the Transformers movie (not that Michael Bay nonsense, the original Animated movie).

Here's a sample
 
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Anyone seen Star Wars in 60 minutes? The Mortis story arc does a really good job of covering Anakin's rise, fall, and redemption with a foreshadowing realm. One thing that I immediately thought of, when this episode finished; the Father wanted Anakin to take his place, but the Father ended up taking his Son's power to balance their world, and making the true Balance of Power/the Force upon his death. I love the new irony that these episodes bring to light, Anakin was destined to bring balance to the Force via redemption, even with the clean slate the 'Father' gives him, and Anakin still makes his nightmares come true...
 
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Why can the Son block a lightsaber with his arms and still be able to be hurt by one?
 
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Taliax said:
Why can the Son block a lightsaber with his arms and still be able to be hurt by one?
He did the saber blocking before The Father stabbed himself with the Mortis Blade which weakened The Son enough for Anakin to stab him in the back. I also think blocking a lightsaber blade is something he had to consciously be channeling the power of the dark side toward in order to pull if off. I don’t think he was full time saber proof, it was just when he concentrated on it.
 
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Here is an illustration (GIF) of what I was basically talking about:

Wider GALACTIC Balance:


Interior IN ONES SELF Balance:


Now before anyone says ‘why does dark need to exist’; it simply needs to exist for nature (as the Father says). Humans however, because of our intelligence, must possess it however must confine and be wary of it. So Anakin is not destroying the Dark Side to bring balance but is rather destroying the Evil which is the Sith. The Dark Side is what leads to Evil... the Dark Side will always exist the challange is to defeat those who use it creating evil (the Sith)...

Is this lost on anyone?

The basic premise of this entire arc is metaphorical. It demonstrates to Anakin not only a literal illustration of the Force within the galaxy as a whole (and how balance is brought about) but also how balanced is reached within himself. Everything that happens in this arc corresponds and reflects the ‘galaxy’ while not in any way affecting it. It shows the natural balance in nature, how beings are corrupted by their dark aspects and how evil can destroy light. The story itself also literally illustrates the Star Wars saga. An example of this can be seen in the Father bringing Anakin to Mortis, thus attempting to manipulate the future; only to have it destroyed because of this. This mirrors Anakin’s attempt to control his future which ultimately leads to the destruction of balance within his own galaxy. Such is the meaning of the episodes ‘fortune cookie’. Other parallels are evident (still good in the Son, the Fathers sacrifice, etc) however I won’t list them all here.

Taliax said:
Why can the Son block a lightsaber with his arms and still be able to be hurt by one?
When the Father stabbed himself he lost his power.
 
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bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha , forgeticus!!!!! lol literary genius at its best.
so this is the force, a conscious motivated thing with an agenda, capable of creating cunning plans and tricking people with false images to do its bidding.
cant wait to hear the jimmy maxplenation for this one,
and it was all a dream, except some other bits which you can remember but may or may not forget later, or perhaps pretend to forget or forget to remember
 
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What if the mystic sword is a metaphor for Luke (and Leia)?

The sword was kept secret and hidden by the Father (Obi Wan)

It was obtained the Brother (Darth Vader) which he intended to use to kill the Father (Your powers are weak old man).

The Father (Obi Wan) takes the sword from the Sister as she lie in state (Taking twins from Padme on her death bed) and literally takes the blade from off her womb.

Originally the Father (Obi Wan) and the Sister (Padme) intended the sword to be used to kill the Brother (Darth Vader) but failed.

The Father (Obi Wan) gave in to self sacrifice to distract the Brother and help the greater cause to destroy him. The Sword (Luke) did not end up killing the Brother, Anakin Skywalker killed the Brother (like Anakin destroys Vader as he kills the Emperor)

Anakin is the arbiter of both revolts and could not destroy the Son without the Father using the blade as Anakin could not overcome Vader and the grip of the darkside without Obi Wan interjecting Luke into the conflict.
 
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And I would like to add that it doesn't surprise me Anakin chose to join the darkside to, in his perception, save the galaxy and restore peace because he made that choice in RoTS it's a clear indication that he would be prone to making that choice over and over on Groundhog Day.

I always think, when people say "If I could do it all over again..." that if they didn't have the future insight they would have done the same exact thing because that's who they are in that moment again.

I also makes his turn in RoTS more believable. Now I can think 'of course he does. He did before, it's his disposition.
 
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I like that Cramer. So much of this arc can mean a million different things to a million different people that see it and I like that. That is “The Force” I personally like best.

^
^
Another Great review Eric. I am also baffled by some of the negative feedback this arc is now getting. It may have not totally have been my cup of tea but I like very much that the writers had the cojones to even attempt going there. I don’t wish to see many more or any episodes like these but I am glad they were made and I very much enjoyed them for the wicked fever dream they are.
 
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So did I and I did not see it until late Friday night. I think anyone with half a Sherlock in their Holmes could have deducted that this would have been the most likely outcome considering what we already knew about how things turn out in the end.
 
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Here is the fixed GIF with the Chosen One included:



If anyone disagrees with this I would really like the alternate opinions. Thanks.
 
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I think IndianaKenobi's got it. To me, this makes sense.

Anyhoo, I absolutely loved this arc. Like Jimmy Mac said, we'll be watching and re-watching these episodes for years to come. I'm amazed that they even thought to attempt something like this. I think the Nightsisters trilogy and the Mortis trilogy are my favourite all-time episodes of TCW. This arc was very different for Star Wars, but it was so brilliantly done that it worked. How can they up the ante for the next few episodes and the season finale? Can't wait to find out.
 
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Sorry to post this stuff again, however I have made an amendment to the diagram.

Okay I have changed this somewhat. Essentially I now think the destruction/reformation of the Jedi Order is, in some way, part of the ‘bringing Balance to the Force’. It was Anakin’s decision whether he destroy the Order or whether it be reformed by Qui-Gon’s spirit later, however it never-the-less needed to be restructured. In that I think that because the Jedi are flawed they need to be rebuilt after destruction or by Yoda heeding Qui-Gon’s advice. This flaw is the inability to be the ‘pivot point’, or Balance, of the Force. It has been noted that the there is a reason the Father disappears as Obi-Wan and Yoda do; I believe this is because he, like Obi-Wan and Yoda (in the OT), is a pure balanced being. By extension this means that Qui-Gon is the ideal Jedi, and what the Jedi should aspire to be. The Jedi in the PT, while they do not cause imbalance, they are flawed with imbalance in the order itself (thus why they don’t ‘disappear’ after death). Anakin likewise achieves this because of his ability to ‘face his guilt’ and find balance. The destruction of the Jedi enables Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Yoda and Luke to rebuild the order once Anakin brings balance – it was not necessary however it helped bring balance. By building the new Order on balance they in turn, in some way, prevent the dark side from taking root within the Order... because the Sith have been contained it is thus implied that if they are to rise again they must do so within the Jedi Order (because the Jedi take them from birth they can’t develop powers independently). If the Order is balanced without significant flaw the Sith will not rise again and they will not influence the Force to create Evil.



And regarding anyone who says ‘but evil will exist anyway, its what humans do’:

Essentially, as we all know, Evil will manifest in humans anyway. It is an unnatural part of humanity, but it can develop none-the-less, and there is no stopping it. So yes, by destroying the Sith you will not destroy serial killer Bob down the road... however remember the Prophecy says the Chosen One will bring balance to the Force. As such, while the general ‘evil people’ (like the Hutt’s) in the universe won’t be destroyed by the Prophecy, at the same time they don’t need to. Only those who can ‘influence the Force’ (Force-Sensitive’s) can use the Dark Side in such a way they create an ‘Evil Force’, thus creating imbalance. So while the Evil non-Force-Sensitive’s will exist they will have no connection, and thus no influence over, the Force. Thus they can’t knock it out of balance.

The point is then brought up about Force-Sensitive’s using the Dark Side after the Sith (or a re-emergence of the Sith). Firstly the Jedi take every Force-Sensitive child from birth; this thus means that there shouldn’t be others which can ‘develop Force Powers’ independently (especially since they have no way of learning it). The Sith themselves were a break away from the Jedi Order... by re-containing them the Jedi eliminate the ‘Force Organization’ which creates an ‘Evil Cancer’ in the Force. Once they are contained the flaws which in a way caused the Sith to break away (no true Jedi balance) will be eliminated by Luke Skywalker. Thus he creates a ‘balanced’ Jedi Order. This in turn, once they have gathered the Force-sensitive’s in the galaxy, should prevent any ‘break away’ from the Jedi Order.
 
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Cramer said:
And I would like to add that it doesn't surprise me Anakin chose to join the darkside to, in his perception, save the galaxy and restore peace because he made that choice in RoTS it's a clear indication that he would be prone to making that choice over and over on Groundhog Day.

I always think, when people say "If I could do it all over again..." that if they didn't have the future insight they would have done the same exact thing because that's who they are in that moment again.

I also makes his turn in RoTS more believable. Now I can think 'of course he does. He did before, it's his disposition.
You could say it was his Destiny. It's inevitable that is he to become Darth Vader. It's the will of the force.
 
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So Anakin watches a DVD of ROTS and the Special Edition and goes into a nerdrage?

I don't want to type much. By now, it's pretty clear my opinion of this arc so far, and this episode didn't exactly improve my opinion.

Just a few points:
1) If this whole thing were "just metaphorical" like Luke's experiences in the cave, then how come the camera cuts to sequences where none of our three main characters actually are?

2) Anakin seems awfully eager to join the Dark Side every time he gets an offer. He's given a confusing, incomplete vision of the future by someone whom he knows he cannot trust...and immediately signs on as if aligning with evil isn't the fastest way to make the prophecy become true? Or are we supposed to assume that the Son inflicts some kind of Force rabies magic like he did on Asokha?

3) Don't we sort of have the father to blame for the rise of the Empire now? If Anakin could have been converted by Obi-wan and Asokha and still retain the knowledge of Palpatine's plans...maybe he wouldn't have been duped so easily. Now, he's doomed to fall again. Maybe the Father could have just given him the neurological equivalent of Norton Antivirus so that Anakin could flush out the Dark Side allegiance (seriously, the Dark Side is like mental malware for these people)...but still retain the memories.

Maybe the fortune cookie should have been: "Those who have their mistakes erased from their memories are doomed to repeat them."

4) I don't see why trying to control Fate means you will never be at peace. If you fail, at least you can say you tried. And you can always blame your failure on Fate. I could be at peace with that.

At this rate, it looks unlikely that I will be buying a Season 3 box set.
 
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As a 3 episode arc, this was interesting, thought provoking and entertaining.
As to how this fits into my personal Star Wars canon, it doesn't, and will remain outside of it along with the midichlorians.

I guess we're just to assume that Obi-Wan doesn't remember Anakin attacking him eh?
 
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Obi-Wan was not attacked by Anakin. Anakin just pushed his little Jedi segway scooter into the lava. The Son was the one who attacked him. Anakin just stood by and watched it but he was not the one actually doing the attacking.
 
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kevinupstairs said:
As a 3 episode arc, this was interesting, thought provoking and entertaining.
As to how this fits into my personal Star Wars canon, it doesn't, and will remain outside of it along with the midichlorians.

I guess we're just to assume that Obi-Wan doesn't remember Anakin attacking him eh?
Why shouldn't he remember it? Most likely, he'd chalk it up as the same kind of Dark-side posession suffered by Ahsoka.
 
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Jorbex said:
kevinupstairs said:
As a 3 episode arc, this was interesting, thought provoking and entertaining.
As to how this fits into my personal Star Wars canon, it doesn't, and will remain outside of it along with the midichlorians.

I guess we're just to assume that Obi-Wan doesn't remember Anakin attacking him eh?
Why shouldn't he remember it? Most likely, he'd chalk it up as the same kind of Dark-side posession suffered by Ahsoka.
If I were Obi-wan, I'd be ragging on the two of them pretty hard: "Somehow I managed to be the only Jedi on this mission who didn't get to turn to the Dark Side. I rather felt like I was missing out on all the fun."
 
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Cramer said:
What if the mystic sword is a metaphor for Luke (and Leia)?

The sword was kept secret and hidden by the Father (Obi Wan)

It was obtained the Brother (Darth Vader) which he intended to use to kill the Father (Your powers are weak old man).

The Father (Obi Wan) takes the sword from the Sister as she lie in state (Taking twins from Padme on her death bed) and literally takes the blade from off her womb.

Originally the Father (Obi Wan) and the Sister (Padme) intended the sword to be used to kill the Brother (Darth Vader) but failed.

The Father (Obi Wan) gave in to self sacrifice to distract the Brother and help the greater cause to destroy him. The Sword (Luke) did not end up killing the Brother, Anakin Skywalker killed the Brother (like Anakin destroys Vader as he kills the Emperor)

Anakin is the arbiter of both revolts and could not destroy the Son without the Father using the blade as Anakin could not overcome Vader and the grip of the darkside without Obi Wan interjecting Luke into the conflict.

This is awesome!
Go Cramer.
 
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Sheldon said:
Cramer said:
What if the mystic sword is a metaphor for Luke (and Leia)?

The sword was kept secret and hidden by the Father (Obi Wan)

It was obtained the Brother (Darth Vader) which he intended to use to kill the Father (Your powers are weak old man).

The Father (Obi Wan) takes the sword from the Sister as she lie in state (Taking twins from Padme on her death bed) and literally takes the blade from off her womb.

Originally the Father (Obi Wan) and the Sister (Padme) intended the sword to be used to kill the Brother (Darth Vader) but failed.

The Father (Obi Wan) gave in to self sacrifice to distract the Brother and help the greater cause to destroy him. The Sword (Luke) did not end up killing the Brother, Anakin Skywalker killed the Brother (like Anakin destroys Vader as he kills the Emperor)

Anakin is the arbiter of both revolts and could not destroy the Son without the Father using the blade as Anakin could not overcome Vader and the grip of the darkside without Obi Wan interjecting Luke into the conflict.

This is awesome!
Go Cramer.
Greatness
 
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Thanks guys! Actually I rewatched it and see I made an error in my comparison. The *Son took the sword from the Daughter in her tomb. The *Father took the sword from her body (like Obi Wan took Luke from Padme)
 
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We could twist an allegorical reading all sorts of ways.

It seems to me, though, that Ahsoka is a mini-Padme. The death of the daughter foreshadows how Anakin is will to abandon the Light in order to preserve the life of someone close to him. The Daughter represents the Light Side of the force -- or at least that what the show actually says. When Anakin lets her destroy herself so that Ahsoka might live, it is like Anakin renouncing the Jedi order to find a way to save Padme.

When the Father relinquishes his power and embraces the Son, that is Anakin relinquishing his power and pride, and accepting that he has done something horribly wrong his whole life. One has to accept one's shadow-self if one is to overcome it.

Still...it does bug me that we have yet another image of a Jedi killing an unnarmed opponent when Anakin destroys the Son, but whatever.

If this is some kind of "dream state," then all of the characters are aspects of Anakin -- his light side, his dark side, his locus of control. The children are Anakin's id (his "dark" desire for power and independence but also his "light" desire for peace and a father's approval). I'd be inclined to make the father the superego, since one generally associates the superego with the voice of the Father...Really, the father seems to be a psychological defense mechanism, since it is the father that teaches Anakin to transfer life to Ahsoka, who erases Anakin's memory, and who keeps things "balanced." It's also the Father who distracts the Son so Anakin can function apart from him. The Father, then, represents Anakin's psychological transference--his ability to project his desires and fears onto other persons and objects so that he can avoid his personal trauma.

Obi-wan and Ahsoka become elements of his psyche as well. Obi-wan is a better fit for Anakin's super-ego since he is all about following the rules and adhering to protocol, and Ahsoka represents Anakin's infantile attachments (she even ends up embodying Anakin's childhood affinity for technology).

That leaves Anakin to be his own ego.

So, one more time...

Obi-wan = Super-ego (conscience/morality, authority)
Anakin = ego, conscious self (choice)
Son/Daughter = divided id (latent desires)
Father = transference mechanism (psychological defense against imbalance of desires or between id and superego)
Ahsoka = unresolved childhood attachment complex

The dream then, is a fantasy in which Anakin gets to live out his desires -- to be center of the universe, to gain the power over life and death, to taste the powers of the dark side, and play the hero of the republic. He even gets to live out his fantasy of fatherhood -- he is offered the opportunity to become the stepfather of the Son and Daughter. He also gets to fulfill the desire to come clean about his marriage to Padme.
 
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TresobYr said:
...it does bug me that we have yet another image of a Jedi killing an unnarmed opponent when Anakin destroys the Son, but whatever.
Perhaps it's symbolic of Anakin "facing his guilt".
When he actually does, he brings balance.
 
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a few have touched on this but let me elaborate. this entire story arc if is GL's answer to all the main force questions we have had. next take 2 things into account, unlearn what you have learned and 2 look at it from a certain point of view. GL sets this up by this taking place outside known time and space sense the they were only gone a moment and no one other then ahsoka, anakin, and obi wan saw it.

the comment about this being the entire saga in 60 minutes is true. Anakin shows up and told of his destiny..but resists. He tries to do good by helping the daughter but yet winds up helping the son and the darkside becomes much stronger. he falls to the darkside..and later redeemed.

ok few points:
1 the father must sacrifice himself to bring balance to the son..vader sacrifices himself to kill the emperor.

2 at this point what is left? daughter leia son luke. both in balance. which is what "Father" was trying to have anakin do all along balance daughter and son and die.

3 why are only some force ghosts. we have now seen qui gon, obi wan, yoda, and anakin as force ghosts. all of which were follwing the living force's will to help and allow the prophecy to be come to pass. which also goes along with what GL has said only those so intuned with the force can come back as force ghosts.

4. 3 sons now come into play of the prophecy. "Son", Anakin, Luke...the son of sons chanted in the trilogy.

Based on this point fo view GL could have answered the force ghost question, the prophecy son of sons, how anakin brings balance, and what is balance in the force literal and metaphorical. Top top it off he did it in a trilogy story that still leaves it open to interpitation. Can be seen as its own story arc. And as one huge answer.

let me know what you think guys
 
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shazbazzar said:
TresobYr said:
...it does bug me that we have yet another image of a Jedi killing an unnarmed opponent when Anakin destroys the Son, but whatever.
Perhaps it's symbolic of Anakin "facing his guilt".
When he actually does, he brings balance.
Perhaps...

Although, if the Son represents facing guilt, Anakin's attack on him is a fantasy of destroying guilt.

This, of course, proves impossible. Anakin doesn't actually face the son...he stabs him from behind after his power has left him.

Stabbing the Son results in having him turn around and hurl further accusations of treachery on Anakin's part.

Really, one wonders if destroying the son has more to do with Anakin saving the universe, or Anakin trying to eliminate someone who could blackmail him.

So the Son might be the opposite of facing guilt and restoring balance. Destroying the son is about trying to cover up or erase guilt, and therefore still carrying an unresolved burden.
 
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