Clone Wars Jedi Legal: fair shake, or kangaroo court?

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Darth_Pevra, Jul 29, 2013.

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  1. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I'm not particularly interested in a "what if" scenario. This entire discussion got started under the premise of someone saying that Mace sucked because he "made" Ahsoka leave the Order, and my point was that I didn't see anything wrong with the way Mace behaved and I have no sympathy for Ahsoka when she folded Anakin's hand around her braid.

    I actually did have some sympathy for her during the trial process, but lost every bit of it during that final scene, and my anger during the trial was directed at Tarkin, never at the Jedi. Tarkin is the one who mistreated Ahsoka and gave her the "kangaroo trial".

    @Legolas Skywalker , yes, I think the Jedi were obligated to hand Ahsoka over for trial because they were under Republic orders to do so and they have not been shown to refuse a direct Republic order. Not even one to put Anakin on the Jedi Council.
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Jul 29, 2013
  2. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    This "what if" scenario almost happened, as you will recall. Only because Anakin was right on time was Ahsoka not convicted and executed afterwards. It also proves how foolish the Jedi council acted the entire time because they certainly didn't help clear matters and Mace was part of that.

    And again, I don't give a hoot about your dislike of Ahsoka. Whether she is holier than thou or not changes nothing about the Jedi councils gross incompetence in the matter.
    Last edited by Darth_Pevra, Jul 29, 2013
  3. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    And I don't think the Jedi Council were "grossly incompetent." Not at all.

    Where are we going with this again? If it's "nowhere," is there really a point in continuing it? A good discussion would at least end in mutual understanding if not mutual agreement, and this is looking like a stalemate.
  4. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

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    May 21, 2008
    star 5
  5. Togruta Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2010
    star 4
    It was a difficult situation, but I wonder if people would still think Ahsoka was treated so unfairly if it turned out in the end that she was guilty..
  6. 07jonesj Force Ghost

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    Aug 16, 2010
    star 4
    Whether she is guilty or innocent shouldn't affect being given a fair trial.
  7. TaradosGon SWTV Mod - Like Palpatine with animals

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    My feelings are that the Jedi mistreated Ahsoka in their "trial" which was entirely fabricated and unnecessary.

    I think the Jedi had their hands tied in given Ahsoka over to the Republic courts for trial.

    I can't really think of a good real-world analogy with which to compare the Jedi and Republic. The closest I can think of is that in the Ottoman Empire, certain religious groups were allowed to conduct their own laws and carry out their own justice, generally in exchange for a tax. If the Christians held to certain laws and wanted to punish one of their own for breaking such a law, my understanding is that the Sunni Ottomans would allow this. But I highly, highly doubt that if a Christian say murdered a Sunni that the Ottoman Empire would defer to Christian courts.

    And here I think it is the same. As Tarkin points out, Republic soldiers were killed and thus it is a Republic matter, not merely a Jedi matter. I don't think the Jedi could do anything about it. My biggest issue is that the Jedi did not just tell Ahsoka this. They could have leveled with her and told her that since Republic personnel were injured and killed, that the Republic courts would handle her case. Instead they conduct their own trial. The outcome of this trial is completely irrelevant, since even if the Jedi found Ahsoka innocent, she was still going to face a Republic trial.

    Not only this but the Jedi make no effort to look at any kind of evidence. They just talk for awhile that the Dark Side clouds everything, which should inherently make the Jedi uncertain of Ahsoka's guilt, and if courts operate at all like they do in the U.S. this should theoretically lead to a non-guilty verdict (though again, this verdict would still be irrelevant).

    Basically, I just feel like they should have cut that Jedi trial scene out completely. I don't see the relevance in it, it seems like the Jedi are bullying her needlessly as a justification to expel her so that she could face trial in the Republic.

    I don't see why they couldn't just expel her and be straightforward as to why. Or just not expel her at all. It's not like the universe is going to implode if a Jedi is tried in the Republic Courts. The Jedi Council is the authority on Jedi matters, nobody was twisting their arm to make them expel Ahsoka. They could have handed her over to the Republic without expelling her and without their needless trial.
  8. 07jonesj Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 4
    I wonder if the Jedi Council were unwilling to show how weak they'd become, and that's why they expelled Ahsoka? To make it look as if they willingly handed her over to the Republic courts?

    Considering the protests against the war shown in the very same story, it would seem to be counterproductive to show that they basically had no power.
    Last edited by 07jonesj, Jul 29, 2013
  9. Togruta Force Ghost

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    Oct 30, 2010
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    Exactly. The point is we the audience knew she wasn't guilty, but the characters don't.
  10. TaradosGon SWTV Mod - Like Palpatine with animals

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    IMO it wouldn't be a matter of looking weak. The Jedi are not peers of the Republic government, they are supposed to be in service of the Republic (ruled by the senate and Chancellor). So if the Republic government asks them to hand Ahsoka over, they should on all accounts agree IMO.

    It would be one thing if Tarkin demanded Ahsoka be handed over with no justification. Tarkin is a character we're supposed to hate, so it's tempting to try and oppose anything he says, but if we pretend like we have no foreknowledge of how bad of a character he truly is and any ulterior motives he may have, he does have a point in that Republic soldiers were harmed and so it's not merely a Jedi matter anymore. So I don't see the need of Jedi chest-pounding to appear strong. Handing Ahsoka over to the Republic, IMO would seem like the right thing to do, rather than wrongfully insisting that they conduct Ahsoka's trial themselves (which could appear corrupt).
    Last edited by TaradosGon, Jul 29, 2013
  11. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Thank you. That's the point I've been trying to make.
  12. 07jonesj Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 4
    Every time the Republic forces the Jedi to do anything, the Council is clearly unhappy. From my point of view, they dislike having anything to do with the Senate or the military.

    That's what made it so believable that people would truly think the Jedi attempted to usurp the Chancellor.

    While, yes, Republic troops were harmed, the Council were very reluctant to hand Ahsoka over to them. I don't particularly think there is a "right" course of action here. Like so many things in the Clone Wars, events have been manipulated so that things go wrong no matter what the Jedi do.

    They keep Ahsoka: they're directly disobeying a Republic order. They give Ahsoka: a Jedi is given what is effectively a death sentence, given that no real trial was taking place. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, they were.
  13. Kualan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2008
    star 4
    The thing is...there was enough evidence for the matter to go to court. This wasn't Tarkin just rambling and pointing fingers and the Jedi Council appeasing him. There was plenty of evidence. She was framed remember. When you frame someone, you don't just dash a little bit of speculation in the wind. You go all out to make sure that person looks as guilty as possible. Which is what Barriss did, successfully. We, the audience, know Ahsoka is innocent. But IU, every avenue to make her look guilty has been exploited.

    Now the evidence is largely circumstantial, and any one piece of it on its own would have left more than enough reasonable doubt for Tarkin to be unable to prosecute and for the Council to stand their ground in their instinct that Ahsoka would not do this. However there was a lot of it. It is the sheer quantity of the evidence, that continues to pile up after as the arc unfolds, that makes any attempt to declare Ahsoka innocent without a Republic trial a futile endeavour.

    The injured clones outside her cell, the fact that she ran (and more clones turning up dead as a result with mere seconds between Ahsoka being in the area and Commander Fox finding them - Occam's Razor), resisted arrest, was seen in company of a known Separatist terrorist, was caught in the presence of nanotech robots linked directly to the Temple bomb, etc. The only defence that an actual guilty person could have if caught with all that against them would be to claim that they are being framed - the down side is that an innocent person who has been framed is also stuck with that as their only plausible defence.

    The Jedi Council were right to do what they did, with the knowledge they had. They weren't leaping to the assumption that Ahsoka was guilty - someone had systematically manipulated events to remove any other explanation.
    Last edited by Kualan, Aug 3, 2013
  14. JackG Force Ghost

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    Aug 15, 2011
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    Did we ever get an explanation as to how Barriss could kill that woman inside the prison?
  15. Kualan Force Ghost

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    Dec 4, 2008
    star 4
    "Force did it". About as much as we can hope for in that regard. :p

    I'm still trying to work out why she would frame the person who was arguably her best friend in the Order rather than, Padawan Average from the Generic Clan.
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  16. JackG Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2011
    star 4
    "But it was such a sad arc for 'Soka"/the consensus which overlooks the flaws of the episodes
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  17. Darth Valkyrus Force Ghost

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    Apr 12, 2013
    star 4
    That's fine and dandy, but what about all the other evidence that just gets ignored, like nobody ever saw anything?

    Take the warehouse in which Ahsoka was found, and the condition in which she was found. She was badly beaten up, pounded, bruised and bloodied... I distinctly remember when she is sitting in the gunship being taken away in chains you can actually see a lot of blood over her shoulder area up around her neck. Why did not one person even think to question why this was the case?

    The warehouse in which she was found, had been literally less than a minute before the scene of an intense combat between Ahsoka and Barris Offee. In the course of this battle, large amounts of collateral damage were inflicted on the surroundings, as is typical of jedi-on-jedi (or sith) duels. Many of the objects scattered around would have showed clear evidence of lightsaber cuts. Given how soon after the duel Anakin and the clones arrived, many of these should still be sporting hot, glowing edges. Another thing that happens during lightsaber duels is that when the blades clash, the intense sparking discharges, much like lightning or electrical arcs, give off large quantities of ozone (o3). Ozone has a very distinct smell, a sharp metallic tang, and anyone who's smelt it before would be apt to recognize it again. Anakin, who has been in plenty of lightsaber duels himself, should have picked it up immediately and been alerted to the fact that intense lightsaber combat had recently been conducted in the warehouse. On top of this, IIRC during the duel, at one point Barriss detonated a number of barrels containing some form of volatile chemical, in a pretty large explosion. The after effects of this should have been well in evidence, parts of the warehouse should have actually still been on fire, smoking debris littered around... That the clones and Anakin apparently noticed none of the multiple indications that they'd happened on the scene of a just-finished duel is preposterous. Or if they did notice, why didn't they file a full report on this with the council? Why was that not considered at all? No questions were even asked about it! Why were there no people from the order out going over the warehouse with a fine tooth comb right after Ahsoka was found(but before the Jedi hearing)? They would immediately have been confronted with the abundant evidence of the duel lying everywhere.

    Either procedure was thrown out the window, or the Jedi Order's standard investigative procedure was garbage to begin with.
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  18. Kualan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2008
    star 4
    All evidence that could have constituted part of Padme's defence (and may well have been, for all we know. It's implied that a lot of the more jargony-stuff was done, just off-screen). But that doesn't negate all the evidence against Ahsoka. Neither set of evidence cancels out the other automatically, they are in direct competition with one another.

    What would be ideal, is if there was some kind of institutionalised system where both sets of evidence could be put forward and analysed by an impartial set of observers, who could then make an informed decision as to which evidence is more credible. Some kind of test...trial...thing.

    :p
    Last edited by Kualan, Aug 3, 2013
  19. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Yeah, that was pretty much the entire point, we're supposed to be sad for Ahsoka or risk having the "wrong" opinion of the arc. The rest of it was just details.
  20. Dark Lord Tarkas Force Ghost

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    Apr 29, 2011
    star 4
    This is an interesting debate. I don't remember which episode it was, but I remember Mace giving me the impression that taking away Ahsoka's Jedi status and handing her over to the courts was what they felt like they had to to keep up public appearances, not what they really thought of as justice. I believe it is portrayed as an error on the part of the Jedi Council, driven home by them directly apologizing at the end of the arc. Yes, it is hard to conceive of what the alternative would be, but to turn your back on someone you've put great trust into for years simply to keep up public appearances or appease the Galactic Senate is not the moral choice in my opinion. For me, that's one of the biggest take-aways from the arc and one of the biggest ways the show evolved by its end, to start seeing the Jedi Council do immoral things for the wrong reasons. They're supposed to be guided by the will of the Force, not political intrigue, and Star Wars has always focused on friend relationships. I think when children watch this they probably focus more on the friendship aspect and feel that Ahsoka is betrayed, whereas we as adults (in body if not mind) start thinking of the closest real-life parallel to the legal situation.

    Putting my personal opinion aside, this is probably the best argument to make on the subject.

    Eh, we don't know how physically far away Barriss was when that happened. I don't see it as the sort of thing that needs a full explanation, it's not inexplicable. And I think you know I'm no Ahsoka fan, so that's not impacting my opinion on that.
  21. Darth Valkyrus Force Ghost

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    Apr 12, 2013
    star 4
    Maybe she had fallen further to the Dark Side than we think, and was actually in league with Palpatine.

    If she was in league with Palpatine, him ordering her to frame up her best friend, with the goal of getting that friend railroaded all the way to a firing squad, is exactly like something he would do, in order to make her prove her loyalty. Remember when he ordered Dooku to kill Ventress.

    It would certainly be in character for Palpatine to in some way be behind what happened to Ahsoka. Of course, one way of looking at what happened is simply to assume that Barriss was not in league with Palpatine. She acted of her own volition, and Palpatine simply jumped on what was then an extremely convenient thing for him, but was otherwise entirely coincidental. Politicians do this all the time. Never let a good crisis go to waste, and all that. But... another way of looking at it is to consider the possibility that Barriss had already joined Palpatine, and he then through her deliberately set in motion events against Ahsoka.

    The reason for this would be simple of course: Anakin. Palpatine wants Anakin for his apprentice. He's the chosen one. His Force potential is like no other, his midi-chlorians off the scale. Palpatine has had his eye on him since he was first brought to Coruscant, after the battle of Naboo. But first, he has to break him.

    Anakin already had his mother die in his arms after being kidnapped and tortured for days. He is full of anger, regret, pain and fear of loss. So the best thing to do from Palpatine's POV is to take away, take away, take away some more. This goes back to the lessons taught to Palpatine by his own master, Darth Plagueis, to wit:

    Emphasis mine. Palpatine is living his master's teaching to a T.

    Anakin has lost his mother. He fears loss of those dear to him like nothing else. He has Padme, which Palpatine is one of the few people to know about, and now he has also gained Ahsoka, whom he has come to love, platonically, like the little sister he never had. So they must be taken away from him, and in the most gut wrenching way possible. Later will come Padme, via the nightmares that Palpatine will cause Anakin to have. First up though, is Ahsoka. She will be destroyed and ruined and falsely convicted after a frameup by her best friend. And finally taken out and shot. One can only imagine how that would affect Anakin, especially considering how a Jedi can sense the death of another person in the Force, particularly someone they're close to. I imagine if the thing had actually got as far as an execution, Anakin would have to be locked up somewhere like a rabid dog surrounded by Jedi guards to prevent him attempting a rampage to save Ahsoka at the last minute.

    It didn't quite work out as planned, because the determinator focus of Anakin led to him uncovering the real killer and getting Ahsoka's trial stopped. But it still was a victory for Palpatine anyway, in that it caused Ahsoka to lose faith in the order, walk away, and thus Anakin did lose her anyway, even though she still lived. The icing on the cake is that it began driving a wedge of distrust between Anakin and the Jedi Council. One that had probably first reared its head around the time they tricked him into thinking Obi-Wan was dead, but now after how they handled Ahsoka, his distrust and inward hostility towards them goes into hyperdrive. And the feeling is mutual, hence why by the time of RoTS they put him on the council but don't make him a master. Something which has never happened before in Jedi history apparently, and that isn't lost on him - he considers it a further insult. And the whole thing is sliding steadily in the direction of Palpatine, the great master of puppets himself.
    Last edited by Darth Valkyrus, Aug 3, 2013
  22. Darth_Xeres Jedi Grand Master

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    The Jedi Council totally botched the situation. Not only was Ahsoka going to face a Republic trial regardless of the outcome of the Jedi trial, but the Jedi did not consider any of the evidence that Darth Valkyrus pointed out and that could have helped to, if not outright exonerate Ahsoka, then certainly cast doubt as to her guilt/involvement. Instead of supporting one of their own at least until she was judged guilty in the Republic trial, the Jedi Council found it more convenient to distance the Order from Ahsoka as quickly and as much as they could. Thus, a hasty Jedi trial where evidence that could cast doubt as to Ahsoka's guilt isn't even mentioned, and that results in her expulsion from the Order.
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  23. Kualan Force Ghost

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    star 4
    This is an interesting concept, and one that comes up a lot in this debate. People seem to forget that the Jedi live by the idea that they have no emotional or sentimental attachments to other individuals. That Ahsoka is a Jedi has no bearing on the Jedi Council's decision in a "okay gang, she's part of the team, let's try and sweep this under the rug" sense. The Jedi Council approach this as objectively as they can; even when the likes of Plo Koon and even Obi-Wan express their belief in Ahsoka's innocence, they are doing so by using their familiarity with her as evidence of a greater understanding of her as a person, not simply because she's "one of the gang".

    Only Anakin espouses his viewpoint from an emotional, sentimental standpoint. So again, by their own rules and teachings, the Council acts as one would expect them to.
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  24. Darth Valkyrus Force Ghost

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    The Jedi order were cowards. They saw Tarkin was going to use Ahsoka's supposed crimes as a stick with which to beat the Jedi Order as a whole, and instead of standing up and trying to put their position with forceful and reasoned argument for all to see, they just went into the worst kind of panic stricken, sycophantic, suck-up, cut throat damage-limitation there is, dumping Ahsoka at Tarkin's feet and running away as if she were infected with plague. "Here you go! Take her! See, we're being good, honest!"
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  25. Darth_Xeres Jedi Grand Master

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    That wasn't about emotional attachment. It was about standing up for/supporting a member of their organization, "one of the gang" if you will, at least up until she was declared guilty in a Republic court of law. IMO, that would have been the objectively correct thing to do. Especially since, as Darth Valkyrus pointed out, there was evidence that cast doubt as to Ahsoka's guilt - evidence that, to all appearances, the Jedi Council completely and willfully ignored because they wanted to distance their organization from Ahsoka.
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