Okay, so I was about to post this in a response to another thread on the Balance of the Force but eventually it ballooned and I just figured it deserved it's own post. Hope you enjoy reading (and before I begin -- no, I do not hate the Jedi, I like them quite a bit. But let's not gloss over their flaws, which are numerous and formidable.). I encourage everyone to feel free to post your own thoughts on this subject. The behavior of the Jedi indicates that they are so detached as to be both uncompassionate and unwise. Let's take a look at how they handled Anakin: - Anakin is an emotional 9 year old boy in an unknown environment for the first time. The Jedi tell him to his face in their first meeting that he will not be trained, that he's too old, and even on top of that, they chide him for being afraid and for missing his mother. Yoda strongly implies that this will lead him to the dark side, making him evil. All from simply missing his mother. Can you imagine the effect that would have on a 9 year old child? Learning that your natural healthy feelings are not only wrong, but dangerous, and will make you evil. That's encounter #1. Nice start. - Moving on, Anakin is treated the same as all the other padawans, even though he came from a radically different environment. Where's the wisdom or compassion in that? His feelings and dreams seem to be almost always dismissed as temporary or unimportant. Yet, isn't he the Chosen One? Shouldn't they take everything he goes through more seriously? Not only that but his mother, who is still in slavery, is not a concern for the Jedi. They got what they want -- Anakin -- so she can just rot. Do the Jedi seem to care about slavery? Or even, just in one instance, Anakin's mother? No. They more or less try to sever that bond. And beyond that, the Jedi live in a literal ivory tower. Lucas can not be more plain with his portrayal of the Jedi here. Not only are they out of touch, but they sew their own downfall by their own emotional ignorance. - On the emotional point, denying oneself relationships, close friends, lovers, family -- is this healthy? No. Taking young children from families while they are young to teach them without 'emotional interference'? That's what cults do. Sure, I bet having no other emotional entanglements makes for a more easily discipline-able Jedi -- because the young Jedi have been so indoctrinated into the way of things, they don't even consider another option. This sews the seeds of the long decay of the Jedi Order into detached moralizing. In fact, on the attachment scale, the Jedi consistently show the avoidant attachment style -- an insecure style that is too detached, unhealthy, and should be improved if possible. Anakin himself is ambivalent-preoccupied attachment (another insecure style that the Jedi only make worse). Only Luke and his mother Padme seem to evidence a secure style of forming and maintaining relationships in these films. It's no wonder they carry the key to Anakin's redemption. They are the moral heroes -- not the Jedi. - When Anakin first talks to Padme in AOTC, notice something. He tells her all about his feelings and troubles and insecurities. Now, why would he pour all that out to the first person that will listen? I think my question answers itself. The Jedi basically dismiss his feelings because they don't understand. He has no one to talk to about these things. Padme, 10 years ago, was the only one to validate his feelings of missing his mother. And how could the Jedi understand? They are celibate monks who grow up with no strong attachments of any kind. One can only imagine the loneliness, isolation, and confused passion of a young Anakin Skywalker living amongst stoic monks who never had families. When Anakin is starting to have fears of losing his wife, he goes to Yoda for help. What does Yoda say? In essence: get over it, don't mourn for those you lose, don't miss them. Don't have feelings about it. Anakin knows this is impossible and that's the last time he asks anyone for help until Palpatine gives him the Faustian bargain. Does that sound like wise teachings to you? To tell an emotionally intense person to just drop their emotions? Does that sound healthy or even realistic? Or compassionate? Not to me and probably not to any psychologist you ask. It's clear that between ROTS & ANH that Yoda and Obi-Wan have a lot to think about, and Yoda evidences a much stronger connection to the Living Force [as per Qui-Gon] to Luke, encouraging him to start a family and so on. But even they haven't learned everything from their mistakes. They encourage him to not try to help his friends -- leaders of the Rebel Alliance -- from possible death. And why is that? So he can fulfill his mission as a tool for the Jedi. Which leads me to the next big point. - And what is Luke's mission? To kill his father. Not to redeem him. To kill him, to murder his father. Now, considering this is a pretty big mission for anyone alive -- to commit patricide -- how do they deliver this news to young Luke? Oh. They don't tell him. That's right, they don't tell him that he's going to kill his father. They call him Darth Vader and make up this story about how Darth Vader killed Anakin Skywalker, so they can get away guilt-free while Luke never realizes the truth. Consider if Luke had actually gone and killed his father. Would they have told him afterwards? I doubt it. I doubt they would have even told him if Vader hadn't. If they did tell him, that might just send Luke right off the edge -- the people he'd cared for and learned from and trusted deceived him to kill his own father, who he admired his whole life and was the catalyst for him even becoming a Jedi in the first place. Sounds like something another person from the Star Wars galaxy would do. Who would that be.... Oh yeah, Palpatine. It sounds like something Palpatine would do. But at least Palpatine would be smart about it, expecting this to send Luke off the edge if he found out -- apparently the Jedi don't even think this through, because if Luke is the last Jedi and he turns to the dark side when he finds out he was just used as a tool by a religious cult to murder his own father, you can kiss your new Jedi Order goodbye. And if they didn't tell him period -- if Luke had just killed his father and they never told him -- that's almost worse. To say this is all morally reprehensible is just the tip of the iceberg. But what would you expect from Jedi who used Anakin to spy on his friend the Chancellor, while simultaneously distrusting him at nearly every opportunity? These people are not healthy people. I wouldn't call this compassionate or wise. This is deluded, with some wisdom sprinkled on top. GL weighs in: It is a good thing -- and the triumph of ROTJ and the saga -- that Luke's 'unspeakable moment' is his realization of his connection to his father, and his connection to his own shadow, which leads to the redemption of his father. Because the Jedi alternative to this, the old Jedi form of this 'unspeakable moment,' would be Luke killing his own father without knowing. Oops! Turns out our fairy tale ends in patricide. Good thing Luke said 'no' to both the Jedi and the Sith to form his own path. Luke is a hero precisely because he rejects the Jedi's uncompassionate way and the Sith's insane power grabs. He charts his own course and that's why he's the hero and redeems his father. This is the backbone of the whole series that everything leads up to. In summary -- the Jedi are far too detached in the prequels, but not only that, they are uncompassionate and unwise (in general, it would seem). They seeded their own fall and lived in a world of secrets, half-truths, and emotional-stuntedness of their own making. I didn't even get into their self-righteous hypocriticalness throughout the prequels (Mace: "We aren't soldiers, we can't fight a war for you." End of movie: Mace and all Jedi lead the war effort). Qui-Gon was probably the wisest of the lot, and it's no wonder Lucas has Qui-Gon instructing both Obi-Wan and Yoda in the dark times between Order 66 and Luke's arrival on the scene. Luke harkens back to that old teaching and the ways the Jedi had lost. He embraces his own shadow, something the Jedi refuse to consider an option (great article on that here that may deserve its own post at a later date). Looking at the prequels, it's hard to see how much easier the Jedi could have made it for Palpatine to corrupt Anakin. They basically did all the legwork, he was just the icing on the cake. Their behavior with Luke in the originals is slightly improved but still flawed. Fortunately Luke charts the new path for himself, one that embraces all the sides of oneself, including compassion. He, and his mother Padme, chart the moral backbone of the series -- not the Jedi Order. The Skywalker line is what brings the balance back to the Force and the galaxy.