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. Dark Lord Tarkas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2011
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    Hahahahaha, I wouldn't have worded it quite like that, but I pretty much agree. They took the path of least resistance at the existential expense of one of their own trusted members.
  2. Kualan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2008
    star 4
    But that's what they did. She had to be removed from the Order to stand trial in the Republic court (a new piece of law that I don't think has existed in previous EU canon, but there you go), so they did that. They chose not to disobey the Senate's request, but nor did they seek to find Ahsoka guilty. They stepped aside to let the justice system - the system they uphold and to which they swear servitude - do its thing. That the entire Council was present for the trial itself suggests they were taking a very keen, very focused view of the whole event as it unfolded and had not simply brushed it aside.

    Of course, they could have had a Jedi standing in the defence pulpit instead of Padme, and the decision not to do that certainly seems like a bit of PR management (but OOU we know it is just to have Padme involved in the plot). But the Jedi did not refuse any kind of further investigation - Anakin was pursuing the matter with the full knowledge (and presumably approval) of the Council. At no point does anyone treat Anakin's investigation as some rogue operation, simply one concurrent with the trial.

    It's the same in RL. When a trial takes place tends to be governed by the point in time that the prosecution has enough evidence to start pushing their case (which Tarkin has at that point). A defence is constantly continuing to root out more evidence to support their case even as a trial is unfolding.
    Last edited by Kualan, Aug 3, 2013
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  3. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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  4. Darth_Xeres Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 3, 2010
    star 2
    She had to be legally removed from the Order in order to stand trial in a Republic court? When/where is that mentioned?

    They did seek to find her guilty – by ignoring any and all evidence that could have cast doubt as to her guilt. Alternatively, they could have declared her membership in the Jedi Order suspended until the verdict of the Republic trial, which would have signaled to all that regardless of their personal feelings for her, the Order still stood by her but would support, or at least abide by, whatever decision the Republic court rendered. But instead, they hastily cut all ties to her and basically threw her to the wolves.

    That's your interpretation. Mine is that the Council wanted to make sure everyone understood that the Order was cutting all ties to Ahsoka, legal and otherwise, and that her fate now rested solely upon the outcome of the Republic trial.

    They didn't call off the investigation, but, as I and others have pointed out several times already, the Council did not consider any of the evidence that could have cast doubt about Ahsoka's guilt. Instead, it distinctly seemed they were willing to consider only the evidence that made her look guilty, and that amassing such incriminating evidence was the true goal of the investigation.
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  5. Dark Lord Tarkas Force Ghost

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    @Kualan @anakinfansince1983 That's trying to avoid the choice they had to make. They didn't have to do what they did, it was a choice. They could have done an internal investigation, and sure some people could have complained, but that happens in real life too and guess what - there are still internal investigations. People having the impression that internal investigations are inherently corrupt doesn't change the fact that they're common.

    The Jedi Council had the choice to have an internal investigation that would be fairer to Ahsoka but take a hit in the public/Senate's eye (which would actually be perfect for this arc because it sets ups the public distrust of the Jedi and accepting that they betrayed the Republic) or banish her from the Jedi Order without so much as an internal investigation so that the Republic could give her a trial (that they couldn't know would be as unfair as it was, but had to know it'd be less fair than if they did it) and not take the public/Senate relations setback.

    They took the path of least resistance, hanging one of their own out to dry for fear of what the perception might be. Seems pretty selfish to me, the opposite of what Jedi philosophy is supposed to be, which I believe is supposed to be the point.
    Last edited by Dark Lord Tarkas, Aug 3, 2013
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  6. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    I don't see their choice (which arguably everything is a choice) as the "path of least resistance" so much as looking at the bigger picture, the relationship between the Republic Senate and the Order as a whole as well as their overall mission to serve the Senate, as opposed to deciding this situation was all about Ahsoka and nothing was as important as her feelings.
  7. Dark Lord Tarkas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2011
    star 4
    How would having an internal investigation be "deciding this situation was all about Ahsoka and nothing was as important as her feelings"? I don't know if you really think that's what I'm saying or just being rhetorical, but that's not the choice they had. An internal investigation by the Jedi Order could find her guilty, you're setting up a false dichotomy.
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  8. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
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    The refusal to hand her over when there were non-Jedi victims would have looked suspicious; that's what I meant. The Jedi had no way of knowing that the Republic trial would be a farce.
  9. Darth Valkyrus Force Ghost

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    Apr 12, 2013
    star 4
    How did they have no way of knowing? Are you implying that the Republic courts were perfectly fair and impartial up until then, with none of the slide towards totalitarianist / ultra-statist show trial hijinks that one might expect as Palpatine slowly consolidated his power... and then suddenly out of nowhere Ahsoka was the first person to get slapped with a full on Banana Republic kangaroo court?

    Or maybe you mean because it was a military trial it was much more unfair than a civilian trial would have been? Again, there were surely other military trials in the months and years leading up to Ahsoka's trial. They were in the middle of a large scale war, and no doubt others had committed war crimes, and other crimes that call for military trials as opposed to civilian trials, during that time. It seems very unlikely the Jedi Order had not observed a Republic military tribunal in action prior to Ahsoka.
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  10. Dark Lord Tarkas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2011
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    Right, I took both those points into account when I made my case:

    As I said in my last few posts, the choice was to give Ahsoka a fairer chance at justice and sacrifice some public/Senate relations points or make her their sacrificial lamb in order to stay in the good graces of the public/Senate, and they chose the latter, selfishly prioritizing public perception over justice for one of their own members in a betrayal of Jedi ideals. The whole story has much less impact (particularly where Anakin is concerned) without that component.
    Last edited by Dark Lord Tarkas, Aug 3, 2013
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  11. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    @Darth Valkyrus : because they aren't omniscient, and I have no reason to believe that the Jedi made a point of paying attention to any trials that did not involve the Jedi. Not to mention the fact that because Tarkin and Palpatine hated the Jedi so a trial involving a non-Jedi likely looked very different anyway.

    @Dark Lord Tarkas : I'm sure Anakin did see it exactly as you described, as he is loyal to individual people as opposed to ideals or a larger group. And every ounce of sympathy I have for anyone in this arc goes to Anakin, although I had some sympathy for Ahsoka until she walked out at the end.
  12. Kualan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2008
    star 4
    To summarise; because of the bigger scheme at work (of a kind that dwarfs any ambition Barriss may have had when she concocted her little plan) the Jedi Council, indeed the Order as a whole, were damned no matter what choice they made.

    Did they go for the most 'damage limitation' option? Sure, wouldn't disagree with that. People seem to feel they were doing it out of a selfish desire to protect themselves though. That the 'choice' they made was about keeping up good PR. It wasn't. It was about staring at a bunch of very damaging (to the Republic as a whole; Jedi-vs-Senate strife isn't about how complimentary the gossip columns are about the Council, it's about maintaining stability in the Republic) options and having to somehow divine the best of a very bad lot.

    This idea that the Council is corrupt at its core is silly. As characters, they are inherently good people, with the best of intentions. They are fallible, certainly. Indeed, it's pretty much stated that the Council has never been as fallible as it is in the Rise of the Empire era due to the Dark Side growing in strength. But at no point do I believe one of the twelve sat there and though "If we throw Ahsoka under the bus, we could make this all go away.".

    But the OOU reality is harsher; the writing for a show whose primary audience is kids is never going to be of a complexity sufficient to portray all this.
  13. Darth Valkyrus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2013
    star 4
    A tangent I thought I'd throw in...

    You know what one of the major things that KO'd the OJ Simpson trial was? When they found out the lead prosecutor was a closet racist who spewed venom about blacks when he thought nobody who mattered would find out about it.

    It makes one wonder: Did the Jedi Order know that Wilhuff Tarkin was a High Human Culturist, before this incident? And if they did, they ought to have immediately objected to the prospect of allowing him to prosecute a non-human defendant, such as Ahsoka Tano. That would have been justification enough for them to refuse to hand her over. In fact, even if they didn't know he would be the prosecution, the fact that he was apparently the lead investigator on the Republic side of the thing, and was the main frontman pushing the Republic/military case, should have been enough for them to say "no" if they knew about his speciesist beliefs.

    Of course, if he kept his speciesism secret until after the formation of the Empire, all of the above is irrelevant. But it's a thought. If they had any inkling that he thought that way, it certainly would warrant further PI type investigation of him to see what they could turn up.
  14. Kualan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2008
    star 4
    It's an interesting idea, but I doubt Tarkin espouses his Human-centric beliefs very openly at this point in the timeline. Certainly not enough for them to reach the ears of a notoriously multi-culturalist organisation like the Jedi Order. This is a point in time when the Republic still has many aliens amongst its upper echelons - and Tarkin is far too shrewd a career-climber to risk alienating (lolpun) anyone who might benefit his future prospects.
    Last edited by Kualan, Aug 3, 2013
  15. Circular Logic SWTV Interview Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2013
    star 4
    Now to be fair, the Wolf Pack clones do have some evidence to testify against Ahsoka; obstruction of justice.

    [IMG]
    Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting
    Those kicks were fast as lightning
    In fact, it was a little bit frightening
    But they fought with expert timing

    Credit to ImNotAStarWarsFanboy for the awesome GIF!
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  16. Darth_Xeres Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2010
    star 2
    The Jedi Council's members using considerations such as "looking at the bigger picture" and "overall mission to serve the Senate" to justify what they did to Ahsoka is the path of least resistance. Because as much as the they had a duty to the Republic, they also had a duty to a member of their Order. Yet instead of seeking to balance the two duties as best as they could, for example by just suspending Ahsoka's membership in the Order and publicly announcing that the Order would abide by whatever verdict the Republic court handed down, they chose to fully prioritize their duty to the Republic and throw their duty to Padawan Ahsoka Tano out the window. To me that is the path of least resistance, and the path of moral cowardice.
    Last edited by Darth_Xeres, Aug 3, 2013
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  17. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
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    Their duty to the Republic trumps any duty to one person in their Order; there is no "balance" there, and that is the point. It is not "moral cowardice" to not put one person's needs over the needs of the entire group.

    There is a great discussion between Obi-Wan and Yoda in the ROTS novelization about how each of them would willingly sacrifice the life of the other one for the greater good, because that is their duty--but Anakin, who was loyal to people and not ideals, would never do that.
  18. Darth_Xeres Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 3, 2010
    star 2
    I've already pointed out how the Council could have done more for Ahsoka from a legal standpoint while still fulfilling their duty to the Republic, and thus better balance their conflicting duties. That they chose not to do so and instead sought to distance the Order as much as they could from Ahsoka is IMO indicative of moral cowardice.

    Sacrificing another person for the so-called "greater good" is a path that should only be taken when all other options have been exhausted. The Council had other options regarding Ahsoka's legal status and their duty to her, and yet they still chose to sacrifice her. That's not noble, that's selfish and cowardly.
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  19. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    And I pointed out that they don't have "conflicting duties." They have a duty to serve the Republic, period. This duty to individual people is a value that we as westerners hold, not one that the Jedi hold.

    Again, that is your expecting the Jedi to follow your personal code and not that laid out by the Order. "When all other options have been exhausted" never entered into Obi-Wan and Yoda's discussion, only 'for the greater good'.
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  20. 07jonesj Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 4
    I agree with this, actually. This is why we like Anakin and Luke so much after all, because they have more humanity, they are easier to relate to.
    Last edited by 07jonesj, Aug 3, 2013
  21. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
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    Anakin definitely would disagree with me and agree with you guys...and that's kind of the point.

    But are the Jedi terrible people because they don't agree with Anakin? Because their value system is not "people before ideals" or "individuals before groups"? I don't think they were.
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  22. Darth Valkyrus Force Ghost

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    Apr 12, 2013
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    That's a good point actually. Ahsoka was acquitted of the temple bombing, and of the murder of Letta, but they could probably still have pinned Assault and Battery of officers of the Grand Army of the Republic on her. Just for spite's sake.
  23. 07jonesj Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 4
    No, they just have a different ideology to the most prominent one in the western world, you're completely right.

    It's just that as someone who has been brought up how I have, emotions are a huge part of life. That's obviously not the Jedi way (at least the PT Jedi).
  24. Togruta Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2010
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    This arc probably wouldn't have been the same if the intention wasn't to make Ahsoka into the victim. I guess a lot would have depended on just what the Council would have done if Ahsoka was found guilty and planned to be executed.
  25. Dark Lord Tarkas Force Ghost

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    The "individuals before groups" point doesn't apply because if the Jedi did an internal investigation it wouldn't have brought their organization down, regardless of the outcome. It's not a choice between Ahsoka going down alone or the whole Jedi Order going down. It's also not at all about Ahsoka being treated differently than how any Jedi should expect to be treated; regardless of the Jedi involved, the choice is between a fair trial and a good public image. Making the individual a sacrificial lamb for the sake of political intrigue (i.e. Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, etc.) instead of upholding the institution's professed values (the US Constitution in the case of Manning and Snowden) is the quick and easy path of least resistance, and a real betrayal of Ahsoka (or the individual in question).
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