"A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack"

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by CrAsHcHaOs, Apr 6, 2008.

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  1. CrAsHcHaOs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 7, 1999
    star 1
    I was pondering these words recently... More specifically, relating to how the Jedi moved from the zen-like mysticism they held in the OT to a an arrogant and hostile pantheon in the PT, little more than an extension of the ineffective and corrupt Republic that they defended.

    And I realized, after some reflection, that no true Jedi ever attacks anyone in the films. Yes, Luke, a Jedi-in-training, uses his force powers offensively at several points during the films, but those are all excusable.
    -In ANH, Luke is not yet trained in the ways of the Force.
    -In ESB, he attacks Darth Vader against the wishes of Yoda
    -In RotJ, he is struggling against the dark side for most of the movie and, thus, not acting like a proper Jedi.

    But a by-the-book Jedi never attacks anyone. Think about it for a second: what was stopping Yoda or Obi-Wan from going out and actively helping the Rebellion? To assist in taking down the menace to the galaxy? Absolutely nothing. If he'd wanted to, Obi-Wan could have hopped on the first transport out of Mos Eisley, made his way to the rebels and assisted them. But he did not. Instead, he waited patiently and only when the rebels felt the need for his guidance (and not his force-imbued brawn) did he move to assist them. His fight with Vader was never about aggression; indeed, he never makes a move to attack his former apprentice and stands calmly as he is struck down.

    Same deal with Yoda. At any point he could have gone out and joined the rebels in their fight, lending what expertise he could, but he never did. Why? I have a sneaking suspicion it's because the Jedi were never meant to be adventurers, skipping across the stars on swashbuckling adventures. They were meant to be humble, wise and, most importantly, non-violent. If you think about it, that would explain why Obi-Wan said that he could not interfere with Luke's duel with Vader and why he never acted as some glowing blue spy: not because there was some supernatural Dues ex Machina barrier keeping his spirit from supporting Luke or materializing in an enemy command post to glance at some sensitive information, but because those would both be forms of attack. Well-intentioned and completely justifiable attacks, but attacks nonetheless.

    So what point am I trying to make? I think one of the reasons the Jedi seemed so different in the PT, aside from their crappy attitudes, was that they were doing something the OT Jedi would never do: they were fighting. They were not defending themselves from street thugs or using mind tricks to avoid violence... they were leading assaults on enemy positions, participating in battles against other soldiers, hunting down ridiculous four-armed asthmatic droids who learned lightsaber arts from a drunken Count Dooku doing his best impression of a windmill. They were ATTACKING! The Jedi were meant to be monks, not warriors, and that is what the PT changed.

    Not that Lucas would ever admit this of course. Whether or not he ever thought that, he clearly changed his mind by the time the PT rolled around. I suppose, to give him credit, the concept of Anakin fighting in the clone wars is as old as Star Wars itself, but the OT never really goes into his capacity in that respect. It could be that he, like Obi-Wan, was originally intended to be a general, offering advice from afar, or just defending worlds that were under attack. Given that the details of the Clone Wars weren't even concrete at that point, it's possible they were originally going to be a totally different type of conflict altogether, one where the Jedi may have been forced into combat due to circumstance (say, a galaxy-wide genocide by clones).

    Just my observations. And me trying to start up a discussion.
  2. Eternity85 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2008
    star 3
    Yes, there is definitely a big difference between the Jedi we see in the OT, and those we see in the PT movies. In more than one way. But im not sure what the Jedi in the PT should have done when the clone wars was forced on them, the darkside was clouding their vision, they werent able to see the big picture, or assist the republic in any other way than to aid them in battle.

    If they could use the force to "see", like they used to do before they were blinded by the dark side, then they probably wouldnt have to fight at all, because then they would have seen the truth.

  3. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    "For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were guardians of peace and justic in the Old Republic."

    If the Jedi were supposed to be monks, then why carry a lightsabre?

    Mace said it best himself: "We're keepers of the peace, not soldiers."

    So the Jedi in the PT do think along the same lines as Yoda in the OT, but a galaxy wide conflict changed all that. Did you expect the Jedi to just sit on the sidelines of the most destructive war the Republic has seen? They didn't ask to be soldiers, it was just forced upon them.

    The reason why Yoda and Obi-Wan aren't fighting in the OT isn't out of some pacifist ideals, but because they know they are the only two Jedi left. If they start fighting, the Emperor will hunt them down and destroy the Jedi order forever. They go into exile, waiting to Luke to come of age so that they may begin training him.

    If you also look closer at Yoda's statement he talks about only using the Force for knowledge and defense. That is why you never see the Jedi using offensive Force abilities such as Force choke or lightening.
  4. DARTH_BELO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    Yes, the Jedi could be viewed as monks, but I would say more like Shaolin monks particularly. And keep in mind, Shaolin monks were also very skilled martial arts fighters as well-carrying weapons. The Samurai are also another example of this, too. So it would make perfect sense that they would carry lightsabers.


    I totally agree with these other points...The Jedi were more forced into fighting, than anything else. They aren't supposed to be soldiers, but also have a responsibility to the Republic's protection.

    I think that not only was it crucial to the survival of the Jedi that they remain in hiding, (even Yoda can be defeated if greatly outnumbered as he was at the climax of ROTS) but I also think that the dramatic turn of events in that last 20-23 years had caused them to re-evaluate HOW the Jedi look at things. Such an event would indeed change their point of view, and maybe their methods/philosophies that they previously lived by.
  5. skgai1 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2005
    star 2
    Now everything you said up to here was on target, but here I must strongly disagree. This was the whole point Lucas was trying to make (throughout all the movies), violence won't actually solve anything. That's what the PT is so much darker than the OT, because the Jedi have broken their codes and the Dark Side is winning (both literally and metaphorically in that people are doing the opposite of what they preach). When Obi-Wan is talking about the Clone Wars in ANH you can sense his, firstly, hesitation to telling Luke and then his cool feeling on the subject. You can tell he's not proud of them, because the Jedi weren't acting like Jedi. This helps sum up another thread I had started about whether or not the Jedi had to change and I think this answers it. Of course they did, they do things differently in the OT than in the PT.

    Another point, in the PT, the Jedi are always saying one thing and doing another. You're quote: "A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack." "We're keepers of the peace, not soldiers." "We can't fight a war for you." And more poignantly Obi-Wan's "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Anakin and others are dealing in absolutes) If you missed this whole theme throughout the saga go back and take a look and you'll see that Lucas is showing us the consequences of everyone's actions, he's not supporting them.
  6. the_Mexican_Jedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2008
    i agree, if teh jedi could see thru the sith's smokescreen they could take him down, stop both sides from fighting, expose the truth and never have to go to war, but sidious had the upper hand i guess
  7. the_Mexican_Jedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2008

    the jedi are more like knights, or cops, police don't normally go on offensive like the military, they wait till needed and then fight, th knights in europe are the same noble men defending ideals and innocents, the crusades were something they were dragged into by the pope believeing it was a just cause and were even killed after by those in charge check out the end of the knights templar, in regards to pacfism, obi-wan and yoda were wating on the will of the force to act, obi-wan was to train luke when he was ready, and yoda was to mediate in order to figure out the ways of the force. the jedi using healing and mrore unlike the sith who use choke and rage
  8. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    Right. It could never be called an "attack" because they were always doing it in defense or in defense of a third party (theoretically of course. Individual Jedi vered from the code in that regard for sure.)

    Where it gets tricky is revenge. While Jedi are not supposed to attack for purposes of revenge - they really do. They call it "stopping a person from doing more damage" and that justifies the attack, but it is just revenge by another name. When Obi-Wan attacked Anakin by drawing his lightsaber first, that was his motive - to stop Ani-Vader from doing more of what he'd already done (killed and/or colluded to kill many of the Jedi). Obi-Wan's 'attack' is considered the right thing to do.

    On the other hand, Anakin killed all the Tuscans - the unarmed women and also the children, at least some of whom were likely innocent of ever having done anything. Anakin's 'attack' is wrongful. But if we take the "stopping a person from doing more damage" theory to its limits, Anakin had to kill all the women and children in order that they would not give birth to more Tuskans and/or grow up to be Tuskans who would go out and do more damage. By killing them all, he stopped that particular tribe of Tuskans.

    Anyway, how the "attack" is characterized by the Jedi makes all of the difference. Yoda felt "so much pain" when Anakin killed the Tuscans. Did Yoda feel "so much pain" when Obi-Wan struck down Anakin?
  9. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    Obi-Wan drew his saber first, but it was Anakin who attacked first.

    Yoda sensed Anakin killing the Tuskens because of the hate flowing through him. Obi-Wan did not fight Anakin out of hate.
  10. henchman24 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2008
    star 2
    You can't live by a list of doctorines, and serve a government whose descision making body is comprised of thousands of planets each with its own agenda. All the idealistic quotes or situational defenses of the Jedi won't change that. The Jedi will always come to a crossroads by trying to play both sides.

    Lucas did a fine job of showing this to us in the PT, and then showing us the other side of it in the OT.

    and WTH is the deal with "aggressive negotiations"?
  11. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    I could swear I read that exact post in another thread somewhere. And what do you mean about aggressive negotiations?
  12. Gharlane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2000
    star 2
    Thats absolutely ridiculous. Violence is the key factor that changes everything in Star WARS. It's violence done by the clones that topple the jedi, it's also violence that destroys the Emperor's Death Star and its violence that finally destroy the Sith and the Empire in ROTJ. To say that violence solves nothings in the GFFA is absolutely false since good triumphs because of violence not because it's hugs and kisses.

    The dark side was winning because the Republic had elected a Dark Lord as the Supreme Chancellor who had his toadies go about stirring up a separatist moment so that he could eventually become Emperor. It had nothing to with the Jedi. Their only mistake was to believe that the politicians of the Republic were as faithful and loyal as they were to the Republic.

    As they say, aggresive negotiations.

    Which is absolutely true since it's an army of clones that fight most of the war.

    Thats normally called cause and effect. I don't think people need George Lucas to tell them about it.
  13. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    I consider Obi-Wan drawing his weapon as an intent to attack - I don't know another way to look at it. That is what Anakin apparently thought too. Prior to that, Anakin was trying to get him to stand down and join him.

    In my opinion, Anakin killed the Tuskens out of revenge with the idea that he would put a stop to their activities for once and for all. He fought with hatred and anger, I agree.

    Obi-Wan loved Anakin and fought in the name of justice, with the idea that he would to put a stop to his activities for once and for all. He fought with determination and purpose.

    I do see the distinction completely - but it is purely an emotional one. Both are instances of attacking another who is doing bad things and I see the emotional/philisophical justification for Obi-Wan as shallow. I realize that is how it is in Star Wars, but it still seems rather weak to me.
  14. Rossa83 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2005
    star 4
    OBW drew his lightsaber first - but his intentions of attack were aimed at defense - same as Yoda attacking Sideous. You often hear that attacking is the best defense (particularly in sports: soccer for instance) but here the Jedi had come to a crossroad where they had to attack in order to defend what they had sworn to defend. When OBW asserts to Anakin that he had become the very thing he once swore to protect, he is also proclaiming that he (OBW) would never succomb to that! OBW and Yoda are the ideal Jedi (per se), and thus their actions are manifested in their beliefs and their oaths - not by emotions. OBW laid down his emotions when he drew his saber on Anakin - it was not something he wished to do. Emotionally it was torture to him...

    The Jedi can attack, but only for defensive purposes...
  15. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    Yeah, but that logic fails because Obi-Wan could try to say that he was defending the world against the Sith, but Anakin would just respond that he was defending the world against the Jedi. So if you want to construe it all in terms of defense, that is fine, then we would just say Obi-Wan was the first to attack in defense.
  16. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Try this one: Anakin was the first to attack. That's what actually happened.
  17. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    I suppose it is just a matter of interpretation. Obi-Wan called the fight on, imo, that is an attack. But I do see that it can be interpreted in various ways depending on one's point of view.
  18. Rossa83 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2005
    star 4
    Anakin knew, at least subconsciously, that he was not defending the world against anything. He cared about himself. OBW defended his principles, oaths, and his beliefs - what were Anakin's principles by this point? To become as powerful as possible - to kill younglings?
  19. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    It's not a matter of interpretation, just look at what happened. Obi-Wan did not want to fight. He originally wanted to try and turn Anakin back, and Anakin wanted Obi-Wan to join him.

    "If you're not with me, then your my enemy."

    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes. I will do what I must."

    "You will try."

    Obi-Wan ignites his saber as Anakin jumps, ignites his saber, and attacks.

    Obi-Wan did not attack.
  20. YYZ-2112 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2004
    star 4
    Good Thread.

    The actions by the Jedi in the PT is a direct result of what the Jedi become in the OT. Fundamentally they never changed, but they allowed the government of the Republic to alter they're mandate.

    "We're keepers of the peace, not soldiers." Mace Windu.

    They allowed themselves to do this for a couple of reasons. For one thing their ability with the force had diminished at some point in the prequels and so they couldn't sense the Sith Master, not knowing he was right in the next building. Another thing is that although they we're attacking, for the most part they were destroying droids. And while this still helped sow the seeds of chaos that gave Palpatine his psychological edge over the civilians and the senate, the Jedi didn't see that connection because they had no idea that their prime enemy was the leader of the Republic. Theoretically, using the clone army, even though it was acquired by suspicious means, doesn't harm anything if it's being headed by the side that is good; the Republic. The Jedi simply underestimated the Sith Master just as the Sith Master underestimated the a farm raised novice Jedi some 20 years later. Another thing to consider is that there hadn't been a war in over a thousand years. So with the exception of Yoda, most everyone there was dealing with a situation that was foreign to them.

    With regards to using the clones: The Jedi knew that Dooku was probably the one responsible for the clone army and perhaps had Sifo Dios' help or his identity forged. In either case, from the perspective of the Jedi, they stumbled on the Separatist plot and captured separatist resources. Considering the cloners on Kamino would never sanction an army for anyone but the Republic, the Jedi assume that "this army of the Republic" is also part of the lie and intended for the Separatists, but in reality it was always intended for the Republic; just a Republic without the Jedi and without democracy. Also remember what Dooku told Obi Wan; that a Sith Lord was influencing the Senate. Part of Dooku's charade is that he appears to be against the Republic because he's against the Sith and his effort is in his own mind a righteous rebellion for the sake of the Republic. This was the game plan to lead all the clues to Dooku. It's only until we see Dooku allied with Master Sidious (penned Lord Tyrannus) that we see the connection. The Jedi see Dooku as an Ex-Jedi turned rogue Dark-Jedi in a misguided attempt to destroy the Sith. The opening crawl of Episode 3 says there are heroes on BOTH sides and this reflects, historically, that Dooku isn't whole heartedly seen as a villain.

    I agree, it would have been nice to have even a single line of dialogue to reveal to us what the Jedi believed was the conclusion to their investigation; but I think it wasn't written that way because they weren't sure. But still, they could have said that then. Still though, we see what they knew and for the most part, their actions seem to be in accordance to that knowledge. I think the only flaw in the Jedi thinking is that they never asked why a bounty hunter, hiding on Kamino, while working for an Ex-Jedi who erased Kamino from the Jedi Archives, would use a Kamino dart for the Jedi to discover. It's almost as if they wanted to be discovered. However, when we consider that Obi Wan had to use a source outside the norm to learn its' origin; coupled with the fact that the charade of war would still function with or without the Jedi knowing about it; it seems reasonable that Jango either had a lack of judgement in using the dart, or had no other method of killing his assistant; effectively silencing her; in that situation. But then there is no greater way to create interest in something than by formulating a mystery.

    I think the only time a Jedi uses the force for attack is when Mace intended to strike down Sidious. In all other cases, the actions were intended to either equalise the situation or capture the opponent. We even see the conflict with himself on Mace's face; he knows he's tr
  21. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    The Jedi knew that Dooku was probably the one responsible for the clone army

    I don't think so.
  22. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    The Jedi knew that Dooku was probably the one responsible for the clone army

    Yeah, no, that's totally incorrect. The Jedi did not know Dooku had anything to do with the clones. We may infer, probably, that after it became clear that Palpatine = Sidious, the Jedi guessed Dooku was Tyranus, but even then it would have been a mere guess.
  23. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    The remaining two Jedi, at any rate. :p
  24. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    You use the word "as" to make the actions simultaneous, but that is not the way it happened on screen.

    Actually Obi-Wan lit his lightsaber and struck a pose - THEN Anakin jumped lighting his saber in the process. It was not simultaneous and that is why I see it as Obi-Wan provoking by attacking first. Anakin said, 'don't make me kill you' - so I am not saying he wouldn't have attacked, but it just so happened that Obi-Wan attacked first. So I would have to respectfully disagree with your contention that it is not a matter of interpretation, because mine differs from yours; we just interpret things distinctly. :)

    My only point is that in the name of 'justice and ridding the planet of the Sith', Obi-Wan would feel justified in attacking because he would see it as defensive action - stopping Vader from destroying more people/Jedi. But an attack is an attack under any rational.
  25. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Igniting a lightsaber is still not an attack.
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