"From my point-of-view, the Jedi are evil."

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by NikkolasKing, Jul 10, 2009.

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  1. NikkolasKing Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Recently I ran into one of the many Anakin haters who was harping on about how dumb this line is. I gave it some thought and honestly, I can totally agree with Anakin there.

    For one, the Jedi are a cult. They travel the galaxy, snatch up anyone they please and raise them away from any other influences. The kids are indoctrinated and know only the way of the Jedi.

    If Obi-Wan in the Phantom Menace is to be believed
    ""If you would just follow the Code, you would be on the council"

    Then anyone who does not conform cannot be a leading member of the Jedi. Thus reform or innovation is impossible.

    The code implemented by the Jedi is a third point of how one could se them as evil. The Jedi in many ways deny what it means to be human (in the metaphorical sense). You cannot love, you cannot have attachment, you can not be allowed to "live."

    The final nail in the coffin then is the hypocrisy. Yoda and Windu, basically Head Jedi 1 and 2, did not even follow this code. Yoda loved Dooku and could not bring himself to kill his favorite student. Attachment and love. Windu went from '"let's arrest Palpatine" to 'kill him!!" after the Sith Lord killed his fellow Jedi.. So obviously he too was letting his feelings cloud his judgment.

    So a flawed, corrupt, brainwashing, hypocritical order. Sounds pretty evil to me.

    If you disagree or if I made some sort of error, please let me know. I'm just going off what I've read and seen.



  2. MissPadme Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Well, if I worked for someone who thought I didn't deserve a promotion even though I'd kicked all kinds of butt during the Clone Wars and trained a padawan, told me I couldn't ever have sex, and told me oh by the way, please spy on your friend for us, I'd start thinking that someone was pretty evil too :p.

    --MissPadme
  3. Obi-Chron Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2003
    star 4
    Back in '05 on a 'E' Star Wars ROTS special, Lucas called the Jedi order at the time of the movie "corrupt."

    Before anyone blows a gasket, what GL further explained was that the order was not evil, but that it failed to adapt to the changes around them, remaining static, becoming complacent and then showing a discernible degree of self-serving arrogance when faced with situations that they did not foresee nor anticipate.

    Compare those Knights that guarded the Republic when Yoda was a padawan to the long-established, unopposed Jedi of the PT, and the Jedi of the PT were indeed "corrupted." They did not evolve, and the chaos and evil of the galaxy-at-large permeated their beliefs. They tolerated slavery in the Outer Rim, they let the Trade Federation bully weak systems, and they plotted the overthrow of the Senate (to ostensibly restore democracy to the Republic). That said, compared to the Sith, the order we see at the start of TPM was relatively saintly. All things in the SW universe are relative.

    Stasis during Yoda's 800 years of service was key the orde'sr failure to adapt to the changing galaxy around them, Yoda failed in ways that go beyond his defeat to Palpatine. He had Sith lords existing under his little green nose his entire life and never once ascertained their existence. Yoda then loyally served Palpatine, taking his orders as a general of the Republic, and never once deduced that the Chancellor was a Sith lord. Finally, the Temple is ruthlessly attacked, its occupants decimated, and the order hunted to near extinction before Yoda finally realizes what was slowly brewing on his watch. He failed, and in a rather huge way.

  4. Dark--Helmet Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 2
    Just like Anakin in the movies,you really have to twist around the things the Jedi do to make them seem evil.Believing the opinion of a murderous psychopath who just turned on the Jedi isn't really a good idea.


  5. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Now, [face_shame_on_you] you're just tongue-in-cheek or going the opposite direction - the truth lies between.



    For one, the Jedi are a cult. They travel the galaxy, snatch up anyone they please and raise them away from any other influences. The kids are indoctrinated and know only the way of the Jedi.


    Come on, now, the Jedi don't snatch up kids - they ask the parents to relinquish them. Is IS quite possible that SOME folks believe the Jedi snatch up kids (the bogey-man to their offspring) but nothing suggests that is accurate. (If - and I say if - EU contradicts, well, take that with a grain of salt.)


    If Obi-Wan in the Phantom Menace is to be believed
    ""If you would just follow the Code, you would be on the council"

    Then anyone who does not conform cannot be a leading member of the Jedi. Thus reform or innovation is impossible.


    Ah, but can Obi-Wan be believed (and I say this as an Obi-Wan fan)? He's fiercely loyal; perhaps he believes that. There are probably dozens of qualified Jedi masters who could sit on the Council and THEIR padawans might feel the same way. There's only room for 12. Many won't make it on the Council. That Obi-Wan believes it so does not mean it IS so (or is not, of course). Perhaps Qui-Gon doesn't even WANT to be on the Council (I suspect he'd rather follow his own path, not be one of 12, myself).


    The code implemented by the Jedi is a third point of how one could se them as evil. The Jedi in many ways deny what it means to be human (in the metaphorical sense). You cannot love, you cannot have attachment, you can not be allowed to "live."


    Debatable as has been debated for years on these boards. What do the Jedi mean by "attachment?" I won't try to paraphrase others' thoughts but in short, one does not elevate others above all other considerations to the detriment of other equally compelling interests.

    That is a different definition of attachment than most folks think of it. If you're willing to sacrifce many for the life of one (as did Anakin, you're rather attached - Padme's life is worth more TO ANAKIN than the lives of anyone else.)

    I find the argument compelling that the Jedi definition is more like what Anakin said in AoTC: Jedi are encourage to love (all - rather than fixate on one).

    Obi-Wan mourned Qui-Gon's death. It looked to me like the Jedi are allowed to be fond of each other.

    The final nail in the coffin then is the hypocrisy. Yoda and Windu, basically Head Jedi 1 and 2, did not even follow this code. Yoda loved Dooku and could not bring himself to kill his favorite student. Attachment and love. Windu went from '"let's arrest Palpatine" to 'kill him!!" after the Sith Lord killed his fellow Jedi.. So obviously he too was letting his feelings cloud his judgment.


    Hey, they're not saints and no one said they were. They do the wrong thing, don't do the right thing, but they try to be the best possible.


    So a flawed, corrupt, brainwashing, hypocritical order. Sounds pretty evil to me.


    Umm, if you can persuade yourself that IS all the Order stands for - you must be Anakin after listening to Palpatine's twisted truths. ([face_talk_hand] tongue-in-cheek sentence, it's the rhetorical "you" I am referring to.)


    If you disagree or if I made some sort of error, please let me know.


    If we didn't disagree, we'd have nothing to discuss, would we? I don't think you've made an error, I think you're looking at only one side of the evidence and going, "umm, right." Am I doing the same? Perhaps, or maybe I'm just being my usual devil's advocate here.

    But personally I don't think it's accurate to slot any actions into "good" or "bad." There's good and bad in all of us, in what we do and say. So too with the Jedi and Anakin.
  6. NikkolasKing Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Well all we have is our own subjective ideals and that determines how we perceive things. (moral relativist here)

    Let me clarify. Do I personally think the Jedi were inherently evil or did absolutely no good? Not at all. I was just trying to explain why, as Anakin said, one could easily see the Order as evil.

    They did good in the Galaxy and fought to defend the Republic against monsters like Grievous but in the end, what happened to Anakin is largely their own doing. They reaped what they sewed with their impossible to uphold beliefs, rigidity and ignorance.
  7. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    I think that as an organization, the Jedi could be seen as corrupt in some of their mass decisions. However, on a personal level, the Jedi were not evil individuals. The were good people at heart, but imperfect and together made a lot of imperfect decisions. Their goal was right, but their means were not always on the up and up. Individually, they all had to tangle with the dark side now and again and made errors - not only Anakin - but all of them. But that didn't make them evil - that didn't make Anakin evil either.

    In terms of Star Wars, I don't think the Jedi could be called "evil" because then what would you call the Sith? The Jedi as a group was corrupt at times, but not to the point where their goal became an evil one - it is just that their means were tottering on the edge of evil at times, imo. Sometimes the greater good ideal was granted a premiere position and small infractions allowed in light of that - but those small infractions add up when they are committed by thousands of Jedi.

    I truly don't think that Anakin meant that the Jedi were evil in the sense that their stated goal was evil - or all of their ways. I think he was specifically talking about their means - and those did reach (and likely sometimes cross) the boundary separating good and evil. In that regard, Anakin was right. However, the answer is not to join a group with an evil goal, like the Sith. He did that - although it would seem that he considered it a temporary measure as he planned to rule the world with Padme. Nonetheless, it was a bad decision in the wake of his recognition that the Jedi were not living up to their own moral values.
  8. NikkolasKing Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2009
    I agree with that assessment. The Jedi were not seeking to do harm but they did it anyway.

    And I'm no fan of the Sith and I don't think Anakin was either at this point. They were just a tool to be used to save the one he loved.
  9. EmeraldBlade Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2008
    star 2
    I agree and I wish it was fleshed out in the movies but all I get is that Padme is going to die and Anakin has to save her.

    If you read the ROTS novel you will see that much of what Palpatine says about the Jedi is correct.
  10. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    They can have sex, they just can't get attached.

    Which, depending on one's POV, could be construed as kind of awesome.:p
  11. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    NikkolasKing: I used to feel the same way you do about the Jedi. Now I no longer see them as "corrupt," just static and unwilling to change with the times.

    And as sad as this makes me--as my screen name says, I'm a huge Anakin fan--I'm not sure he was cut out to be a Jedi. On the other hand, I do have to wonder if he would not have been more successful with a more specialized type of training for his situation, a type of training the Jedi were not prepared to give. Because they had taken children as infants, the infants had not formed attachments. So the Jedi only had to teach them not to form attachments, whereas Anakin needed to learn to relinquish the ones he already had. If that would have even been possible, because he was not exactly willing to let go of his attachment to his mother or to Padme. I'm not sure he could have been taught to do so.

    Luke was trained when he was older, however, as someone recently mentioned in a thread in the Saga forum (I believe), Luke had made a clean break from all the attachments he ever had. He flat-out told Obi-Wan, "Take me with you, there's nothing here for me now, I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father." He had resisted going with Obi-Wan initially, and only agreed to go after everyone binding him to Tatooine was gone. Quite the different situation from Anakin, who wanted to become a Jedi and have his mother there too. (Not saying I blame him, I don't think I could leave my mother in slavery.)

    So maybe the Jedi needed to adapt a bit, but the fact that Palpatine played Anakin like a violin wasn't really their fault.
  12. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Anakin's telling himself a lie, which he is forced to believe, as Lucas states. Anakin knows that he himself is evil, deep down. But he cannot accept that and so he rationalizes it by saying that the Jedi are evil, because they want to turn the Republic back into his failed and flawed self. Whereas Anakin believes that he is doing the right thing, by siding with Palpatine, to take control of the galaxy with the Empire. This does not mean that the Jedi are evil. Far from it. He wants to bring order and so does his friend. They just go about in different ways.

    And no, the Jedi do not take the children. Watch TPM. Qui-gon gives Shmi and Anakin the choice. All Jedi give the parents a choice. No mind tricks.

    Yoda does try to kill Dooku. He doesn't hold back at all. He even says that this is the end for him. Dooku escapes because he endangers the lives of Anakin and Obi-wan, knowing that the compassion Yoda feels for all life will force his hand. A Jedi will help someone that they care for and someone that they do not know. Love is not forbidden by the Jedi, as Anakin said. Attachment and possession are forbidden. What the Jedi are encouraged to do is love unconditionally, which is called compassion. Lucas says that the Jedi cannot love. They must learn to love the right way. Mace's changes his mind because as Lucas states, Palpatine is indeed too dangerous to live. Not because the Jedi Posse were killed, but because Palpatine attacked him again and proved to him that he could not be stopped. Anakin only interferes because he is selfish. He wants Palpatine to live so that he can pump him for information. Note that he was going to kill Sidious not more than a half hour ago, because he was a Sith Lord and it was the right thing to do.
  13. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    That is not what Lucas said - he said that Anakin was rationalizing his own actions under the guise that the Jedi were corrupt. And that is a far cry from the Jedi being evil (corrupt) being a lie. Seeing as Lucas said that also, we know it is true. Anakin's lie to himself was that his own actions were cool in light of what he truly believed about the Jedi (and it was entirely true that they were messing up big time). Anakin had no justification for joining the Sith and becoming a murderer of Jedi and others though - that is why he had to rationalize his acts. The Jedi being corrupt or evil does not justify his response to that - but his response does not make that truth a lie either.
  14. Game3525 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2008
    star 4
    Are the Jedi corrupted, yes. Did they need to make some adjustments, hell yeah. But they are not evil, Anakin when he says that is trying to justify his own actions. He knows deep down what he is doing is wrong, but he keeps saying to himself that it is for Padmé and to save the Republic, it is pure arrogance to say the least.
  15. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Because they don't adapt, the Jedi Order becomes remote, arrogant, out of touch, lacking in compassion and ultimately make themselves irrelevent. Which allows Palpatine to get away with smearing them as evil dictators and lets him destroy them "to thunderous applause."

    Like so many people, groups and nations that were once important and powerful, through their mistakes the Jedi set the seeds for their own downfall.
  16. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    The Jedi didn't lack compassion. They had unconditional love for everyone. It just comes across as indifference to Anakin, because of his emotional plight.


    "So we have this little picnic where Anakin brings out the uncomfortable subject of previous boyfriends which boys have a tendency to do, and then we get into this political discussion which allows us to get a little insight into Anakin and Palpatine's influence over Anakin and some of his thought process."

    --George Lucas, AOTC DVD Commentary.


    Anakin's point of view about the Jedi being evil, falls under the rationalization of what he has done. It also falls under his own beliefs about the galaxy and what it is that Palpatine wants to do, versus what the Jedi will do. This is the lie that he tells himself. That he's doing it because the Jedi are part of the problem. That they are evil for wanting to continue the chaos and mayham, while Palpatine wants to bring order. And that he killed the Jedi in the Temple, because they will do what they must.
  17. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    They take a boy from his mother and leave her to languish in slavery. Obi-Wan regards poor Jar Jar as a "pathetic life-form" and spends the first part of TPM looking down on him and Anakin. Yoda informs Anakin he must not mourn or miss someone who dies and is close to him - A completely flawed and inadequate response even if it is the "correct" one. I think there are demonstrations throughout the PT that the Jedi either are, or have become uncompassionate.

    I certainly agree the Jedi aren't evil, but they are flawed and its their flaws that partially allows Palpatine to destroy them.
  18. Obi-Chron Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2003
    star 4
    OT Kenobi tells Luke that much of what we hold as right or wrong depends upon one's point of view.

    So what can we surmise was Jinn's point of view when he decided to leave Shmi in slavery on Tatooine, where the Republic held no sway as it is, instead of doing a noble (if not abjectly 'wrong' thing in the view of the Hutts and other Outer Rim outlaws) and doing everything possible to take her with them?

    Oh, sure, she and Anakin had implants that would kill them if they tried to leave. But then the Jedi were very insightful, quite resourceful and incredibly influential (except apparently with the Jedi mind trick against Watto).

    Jinn was right in ascertaining that Anakin was the Chosen One, but far less impressive in determining all the pieces that made Anakin the amazing boy that he was. Shmi played a huge part, if not a bigger part than the force, in making Anakin tick. Jinn negated her from the equation completely, because that is what the Jedi had always done . . . removing promising candidates from their parents and loved ones. This was done to prevent attachments within the monk-like ordre, but Anakin had already formed those. yet so too, did Luke by the time we see him in ANH, and he seemed to get by in that trilogy, with some bumps along the way, to be sure, but his attachments saved him -- and his father!

    By the time we meet them in TPM, the council was arrogant, believing their collective insight led the order down the righteous path. That arrogance kept them from sensing the survival of the Sith order for almost 1000 years, from seeing that they were behind a slow and malicious devolution within the Republic. It also kept them from believing Jinn when he reported he was attacked by what he believed was a Sith.

    Jinn brought Anakin before the council claiming the boy was the prophesied one. Since the Jedi "had not felt" the return of the Sith, then this boy could not be the Chosen One, despite Jinn's claim that the one who had attacked them was -- he believed -- a Sith. Additionally, they collectively believed that the Chosen One would come from within their order -- more arrogance.

    The Jedi became generals in the Clone Wars, something Lucas admits "they were not trained to do." They had led expeditions in the past, but never in what they believed were post-Sith times had they commanded armies on a galactic scale.

    The order quizzically decides that, if it must, it will replace senators to maintain galactic order. This moved them into the dark, murky realm of politics, another area well outside of their area of expertise.

    Mace abandons his legal warrant to arrest Palpatine and unilaterally decides he must kill him instead. Not quite the constitutional thing to do . . . otherwise we people of modern Earth nations would have no qualms with our armies or bands of citizens killing rulers without a proper trial because they believed them evil. Anakin unhands him, turning to the dark side with Mace's blunder a contributing factor. Anakin was right before he was very, very wrong . . . killing Palpatine was not the Jedi way.

    Only after the order suffers its humiliating near-total demise, and Jinn returns in spirit form to instruct Yoda and Kenobi in new found ways of the force, does the order (such that it is) begin to adapt. That adaptation is the catalyst for redemption, with Luke the redeemer and Anakin the redeemed. When Luke throws down his saber and stands for all that a true Jedi embodies, the Jedi truly have returned.



  19. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    =D= Great post.

    And this moment still has power to move, despite all the times I've seen ROTJ. It truely is the moment the Jedi return.
  20. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Qui-gon could not free Shmi. He was not there to free slaves and Watto wouldn't have it. He couldn't afford to free her with the funds from the Boonta Eve Classic and expect to leave for Coruscant. The Jedi cannot go back and free her because Tatooine is outside of their jurisdiction. That is why Qui-gon does not fight to free her. He adheres to the law of the Republic, just as the rest of the Jedi Order. Obi-wan does not look down upon Jar Jar, nor Anakin. His statement has to do with Qui-gon's habit for picking up stragglers and helping them, which seldomly turns out to be beneficial to their mission, nor to the person in question. They are compassionate. Compassion is love unconditional, as per Lucas' own words. Compassion entails, among other things, learning to let go of your fears in the face of losing your loved ones. Something Anakin didn't want to do, because of Palpatine. Not because of the Jedi.

    No, it is his compassion for his father that saves the both of them. Not his attachment. His attachment was to Han and Leia, which he feared losing that nearly damned him as we see in TESB and ROTJ. His unconditional love for his father, that despite all the evil things he had ever done and would ever do, were easily forgiven by Luke. Simply on the basis that he loved his father unconditionally. Compassionately. Anakin saves Luke through the same reasons.

    In other words, they stop being selfish and start being selfless. Compassion=unconditionally love and selflessness. Attachment=selfishness and conditional love.
  21. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Nice defence of the Jedi there Sinister, but I'm still not buying it! [face_laugh]
  22. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    Interesting question, Arawn_Fenn. *spins the discussion toward a more G-rated turn*

    The Jedi are the defenders of civilization, but they can't have families, despite the fact that kinship is the entire basis of society, and therefore civilization. I personally think it's hypocritical of them to deny the importance of family while calling themselves the defenders of civilization.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Flames?
  23. Jovieve Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 4
    What Darth Sinister said.

    Obviously Anakin is rationalizing his actions. It's hard to believe that Lucas can directly imply that Anakin kills children to show how low he's fallen and some people still try to defend him and his actions. I guess he'd have to kill puppies before some people get it.

    Everything Anakin does is for selfish reasons. He was right. He doesn't feel like a Jedi because he isn't a Jedi in any sense of the word.

    GL might have said that the Jedi were stagnant, but weren't they right in the end? Anakin was too old to train. He was damaged goods from the start.

    Attachment didn't save Luke in the end, compassion did - or one might even imagine that it was Anakin's selfishness that saved him. Anakin wants to save his son. The one he thought would make a good partner once they got rid of the emperor.

    Being the Chosen One didn't mean the person had to be a saint, and Anakin certainly wasn't. In the end, Anakin balances the Force by murdering yet another person who trusted him - Sidious. Basically you could say that the Chosen One's destiny was to be a murderer, to kill the right people at the right time.
  24. Jovieve Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 4
    Well, that's where the attachment thing comes in. If one has a family, to who does one owe one's first loyalty?

    That's right, the family.

    You saw what happened in AotC when Anakin was all into Padme. In the middle of a firefight, trying to stop the leader of a rebellion that is killing thousands, he wants to bail and go rescue his girlfriend. Is that that sort of person you want fighting a war for you?

    Now imagine in the modern world if our soldiers, police, emergency workers, etc., were more concerned about their own families rather than the people they're supposed to serve when things started to get bad.

    I'd prefer that an emergency worker be true to his duty rather than tell me he'd like to rescue me, but his son needs a father.
  25. obi-rob-kenobi4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2007
    star 4
    The jedi order **by the time of TPM** was absolutely not what it once was. Showing this was one of the points made throughout the PT. In the thousand years since the sith had disappeared the jedi had grown arrogant, ignorant and too caught up in there own ways to ever be as good as they once were. Lucas himself has said that he wanted to show the "last age" of the jedi and the "last age" of the republic meaning that by the time we see them (as SPECIALLY the senate) in TPM they are both in-perfect and corruptible things.

    Anakins POV line was one of the top ten best lines in the PT.

    There was a very good reason for anakin to say the line "from my point of view the jedi are evil" in that point during there fight because now it suggests that that's where obi-wan first learned that "many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on are own certain point of view" as we hear him famously say to luke in ROTJ witch would explain why he thought it was a very important thing for luke to understand. Its a great line because it really enriches that whole statement in ROTJ a lot and gives the viewer more to think about and reflect on than before ROTS came out. Its a lot of little things like this between the PT and OT that really "complement" each other back and forth.

    Also, for obi-wans line "Only Sith deal in absolutes" i would have to say that even IF it seems contradictory it was purposefully done to show both the jedi's narrow view as i mentioned above and just how hard it really is to say that palpatines beliefs are truly wrong (even though we know he IS wrong) just to show the viewer that there really is a lot of gray area and it truly is hard to know what is right and wrong sometimes witch would add EVEN MORE to anakins turn and as specially just how powerful palpatines seduction really is making EVEN THE VIEWER think twice about the jedi because just as the opining crawl says "there are hero's on BOTH sides". and it ALL goes back to what point of view you have witch would then determine what "truths" YOU would cling to...see!? In that fight Obi-wan clings to the "truths" he believes in witch "from a certain point of view" are not wrong, just as Anakin clings to the new "truths" that he now believes in witch also "from a certain point of view" are not wrong. This is backed up again by the strong symbolism of them both using blue lightsabers against each other in that fight.

    ...Brilliant.
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