Star Wars Characters Analyzed By IBM’s Watson Supercomputer

Just over a month ago, IBM's Watson made its commercial debut with an advertisement showing Carrie Fisher and the supercomputer interacting with a bunch of emotionally-disturbed robots. Since then, Watson has continued to make us feel its ever analytical presence. From dating tips to assisting customer service agents in analyzing phone calls, the supercomputer is becoming more popular and present in the modern world.

Last week, Watson took a stab at the world of fantasy by analyzing the Harry Potter universe. Now, it's dabbling in science fiction by doing an analysis of fan-favorite Star Wars characters from the original trilogy.

Tech Insider worked with IBM researcher Vinith Misra to have Watson analyze the characters.

IBM's Watson is able to anallyze traits by looking at written text and doing a run of that text on the popular Big Five personality test. The test rates its recipients on the 5 major dimensions of personality: Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Extraversion, and Neuroticism.

Check out the supercomputer's analysis of the personalities of Jedis, C-3PO, Obi-Wan, Luke, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Yoda, Darth Vader, the rebels, and the Empire.

On neuroticism:

Misra said Jedis are least neurotic.

If you look at neuroticism you see something really interesting — the Jedi characters are the least neurotic. Yoda is one of the least neurotic characters. Even Vader isn't that neurotic.

C-3PO is most neurotic, obviously.

There's no question about this. C-3PO couldn't stop worrying about anything and everything throughout the entire original trilogy. I think the only time I saw him not totally anxious was in The Force Awakens.

Luke comes after C-3PO, with Han third in line of neurotics.

Well, this doesn't seem as obvious as 3PO, but observing Han closely would show how he's a bit of a hothead, and that's one neurotic trait. There's also that carbonite freezing sequence, which no doubt is a stressful situation. In my books though, Han managed to handle that situation pretty calmly. His "I know" to Leia's "I love you" just about says it all.

On openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion:

Obi-Wan is top in intellect and modesty, but lowest in immoderation and cheerfulness.

Misra explained:

It's Jedi stereotypes that come up here — the zen-like equanimity. You're gonna be less friendly and open.

Perhaps it can't be helped. Jedis have this constant pressure to keep the balance in the Force.

Luke Skywalker is top in anger, dutifulness, and morality.

This is spot on. Luke's personality is at both ends of the spectrum. Just like his father Anakin, Luke is always frustrated, but his anger is geared towards the Empire, not the Jedi order. But of course, it's only natural after all the trauma and abandonment he's had to go through. Fortunately, he didn't follow his father's footsteps and he didn't let his anger consume him.

However, because of his sense of accomplishment and of what's right and wrong, he also ranks high on anxiety and depression. This analysis would point to the possibility of the rumors that Luke became a hermit because of depression over what happened to Kylo Ren after Ren became his student.

Han and Leia are at Top 1 and 2, respectively on friendliness and trust.

Misra said:

That makes sense, they get along with a lot of people. Han is full of optimism and can-do — he's definitely the American character of the film.

Despite this though, Han is extremely self-conscious, which would coincide his neurotic tendencies.

Misra said:

Personality insights is very good at reading between the lines. It's able to pick out things not readily obvious by what a character does in the plot but more of what they say and the way they phrase it.Harrison Ford's performance is full of swagger and there's no self consciousness... [and] that masks a lot of the stuff in the dialogue.

Just like Luke, Han is ranked high on depression and anxiety. This would explain why he seemed to have disappeared for a long time prior to the events of The Force Awakens. Meanwhile, Leia continued taking command of the rebels even after their son turned to the dark side.

As for Master Yoda. He's second to last in agreeableness, right before the Emperor. He's also last in sympathy.

Misra said he "is like a stuffed animal and seems agreeable, but if you look at dialogue... he's kind of jerk."

As much as I want to disagree, Yoda does have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, what with his position in the Jedi Order and all. He can't be making friends while teaching padawans how to be responsible Jedis.

However, both Yoda and Vader are high on intellect.

If anything, Watson's analysis shows how the line between the light and dark side is easily crossed. Both Vader and Yoda were powerful Jedis, but it's their decision in the end that counts.

The rebels are highest on achievement, while the Empire is highest for self-discipline, although last on emotionality.

This analysis of the Empire actually makes sense since they were based on the Nazis, which are an extremely disciplined group.

Unsurprisingly, Watson's conclusions were spot on. True blue Star Wars fans probably knew all these traits about these characters already, but it's refreshing to see them coming from a supercomputer.

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