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Saga The Foibles and Flaws of the Jedi

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by xezene, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

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    Sep 2, 2012
    The point I'm trying to make is that regardless of how the Jedi phrase their "statements of fact" a kid is going to see them as personal criticisms - especially if their "statements of fact" are "reasons why we cannot let you join".

    And when those reasons are "emotions that Anakin feels" - the natural consequence is to make him ashamed of those emotions.


    The Jedi may not intend to "shame Anakin" or "criticise Anakin" but it seemed to me, pretty clear that this was what they were doing, regardless of what they wanted to do.


    Imagine yourself Anakin's age - put yourself in Anakin's head during both the "fear leads to the Dark Side" and the "he will not be trained, there is too much anger in him".

    Do you really think that, as Anakin, you wouldn't be feeling ashamed?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  2. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    Judging children and defining their future at such a young age has never been a very good thing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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  3. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 18, 2012
    Yup, and this is a consequence of Lucas' decision to make Star Wars about 'The Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker' (a preposterous idea when you consider some of his actions....you know, like consciously choosing to step into the temple and cut down his former colleagues, including 'younglings' - children in anybody else's vernacular. I can't really view such a character as tragic. Sorry)

    The OT was about Luke primarily. The original idea for the backstory was to be the story of Obi-Wan. At some point Lucas decided that, no, it was to be about Anakin - so everything about the story had to be bent around making his character and story 'tragic'. In order to do this everybody else has to come to be, in some way, to blame - at least as Lucas saw it. As Lucas decided he wanted to tell it, Anakin will become the victim...eurgh.

    This profoundly impacts upon how the OT plays out - as an aspect of the 'Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker' - and upon aspects of that story (the one told in the OT)...such that people believe that Luke introduces a "third way", rejecting the Jedi, where Luke's actions at the end of Return of the Jedi (the name kind of gives it away I think) encapsulate what doing Jedi is. His epiphany is precisely to understand the lessons he has been taught.

    Its a pity, as I see it, that Lucas decided to go that way, for all kinds of reasons. First, because due to that choice so much of the OT is subverted beyond recognition. Secondly, and because of the first reason, quite profound aspects of the OT are buried and lost to that wider, imo emptier, arc. Thirdly because, in order to make it work TPM is so disconnected from the other two PT movies and, because of this story elements are crammed and rushed in those later iterations - while the first is a sprawling mess padded out and going nowhere slowly. Fourthly because I think Ewan McGregor would have been much more able to sustain the leading role than Hayden Christensen ever could, and because that would have been a much more interesting story - with Anakin/Vader the background to his growth, his conflicts - in much the same way that Vader was for Luke.
     
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  4. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

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    Sep 2, 2012
    The Macbeth play could probably be stretched out to being called "The Tragedy of Macbeth". Nevertheless, he does consciously choose to step into his king's bedchamber and kill him - and by the later stages of the story, he's having an innocent family (Macduff's) murdered because he believes Macduff is prophesised to cause him trouble ("Beware Macduff, Beware the Thane of Fife")- and is having the whole family killed "just to be sure".

    Sometimes a tragic character (the star of a tragedy) becomes an out-and-out villain.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  5. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    The goodwill that the OT generated for the old Jedi order and the Republic turned out not just to be less than ideally supported (as one would expect) but to be almost completely unwarranted. And not just because of one quirk of one idiosyncratic blindspot. Due to institutional, collective and individual failures and hypocrisy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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  6. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 18, 2012
    MacBeth though suffers for his actions, MacBeth is a morality tale of what ambition and violence do to a man - MacBeth is not a victim of anything other than his own ambition and paranoia. What MacBeth is not is some sort of quasi Scottish Jesus who ultimately redeems himself and lifts the darkness from Caledonia.

    Hence:

    "The OT was about Luke primarily. The original idea for the backstory was to be the story of Obi-Wan. At some point Lucas decided that, no, it was to be about Anakin - so everything about the story had to be bent around making his character and story 'tragic'. In order to do this everybody else has to come to be, in some way, to blame - at least as Lucas saw it. As Lucas decided he wanted to tell it, Anakin will become the victim...eurgh."

    It is the manner of Lucas' 'tragic' Anakin that I am addressing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  7. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Obi-Wan does hint at his own failings in the OT, rather than simply pinning all the blame on Anakin: "I thought I could instruct him just as well as Yoda- I was wrong."

    And even in the ANH novel, a criticism of the original Jedi Order comes up:

    "In many ways they were too good, too trusting for their own health. They put too much trust in the stability of the Republic, failing to realise that while the body might be sound, the head was growing diseased and feeble, leaving it open to manipulation by such as the Emperor."
     
  8. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 18, 2012
    Again, yes...as Lucas decided to tell it, Anakin was the poor, blighted victim of what everybody else did...awww bless him.

    The institutional and collective failures and hypocrisy are invented by Lucas precisely for that purpose and the concepts 'Jedi' and 'republic' (you know, democracy, freedom - as opposed to militarised, totalitarianism/Empire) are rendered meaningless. Agency has no place in this tale as 'Jedi' and 'Republic' become simply facets of 'Empire', the latter being almost an inevitable consequence of the former.
     
  9. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    Who said that?

    The issue I have with the the portrayal of the republic in the Jedi that appeared PT was clearly not what the OT was setting us up for. It's only with the ST that these issues are being acknowledged.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  10. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 18, 2012
    Indeed, but I think, firstly, what Obi-Wan says there probably says far more about the sense of duty and responsibility of a Jedi than about the culpability of Obi-wan . And the section from the novel references their being too trusting, not hypocritical and institutionally flawed and cold.
    Lucas says it numerous times, he refers quite regularly to Anakin as "victim". I'll pull a few out.
     
  11. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    I had no idea that Lucas said that. I keep getting Lucas quotes thrown at me that are supposed to define Anakin as inherently selfish and the only one who is remotely responsible for what he chooses to be and do.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  12. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

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    Sep 2, 2012
    The Republic being rotten in its last days had already been hinted at in the novelizations:

    Another galaxy, another time.
    The Old Republic was the Republic of legend, greater than distance or time. No need to note where it was or whence it came, only to know that ... it was the Republic.
    Once, under the wise rule of the Senate and the protection of the Jedi Knights, the Republic throve and grew. But as often happens when wealth and power pass beyond the admirable and attain the awesome, then appear those evil ones who have greed to match.
    So it was with the Republic at its height. Like the greatest of trees, able to withstand any external attack, the Republic rotted from within though the danger was not visible from outside.
    Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals within the government, and the massive organs of commerce, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected President of the Republic. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the Republic.
    Once secure in office he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace. Soon he was controlled by the very assistants and boot-lickers he had appointed to high office, and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears.
    Having exterminated through treachery and deception the Jedi Knights, guardians of justice in the galaxy, the Imperial governors and bureaucrats prepared to institute a reign of terror among the disheartened worlds of the galaxy. Many used the imperial forces and the name of the increasingly isolated Emperor to further their own personal ambitions.
    But a small number of systems rebelled at these new outrages. Declaring themselves opposed to the New Order they began the great battle to restore the Old Republic.
    From the beginning they were vastly outnumbered by the systems held in thrall by the Emperor. In those first dark days it seemed certain the bright flame of resistance would be extinguished before it could cast the light of new truth across a galaxy of oppressed and beaten peoples...


    Back in the days when he was merely Senator Palpatine, the galaxy had been a Republic of stars, cared for and protected by the Jedi Knighthood that had watched over it for centuries. But inevitably it had grown too large - too massive a bureaucracy had been required, over too many years, in order to maintain the Republic. Corruption had set in.
    A few greedy senators had started the chain reaction of malaise, some said; but who could know? A few perverted bureaucrats, arrogant, self-serving - and suddenly a fever was in the stars. Governor turned on governor, values eroded, trusts were broken - fear had spread like an epidemic in those early years, rapidly and without cause, and no-one knew what was happening, or why.
    And so Senator Palpatine had seized the moment. Through fraud, clever promises, and astute political maneuvering, he'd managed to get himself elected head of the Council. And then through subterfuge, bribery, and terror, he'd named himself Emperor.


    Mon Mothma entered the room. A stately, beautiful woman of middle age, she seemed to walk above the murmurs of the crowd. She wore white robes with gold braiding, and her severity was not without cause—for she was the elected leader of the Rebel Alliance.
    Like Leia's adopted father—like Palpatine the Emperor himself—Mon Mothma had been a senior senator of the Republic, a member of the High Council. When the Republic had begun to crumble, Mon Mothma had remained a senator until the end, organizing dissent, stabilizing the increasingly ineffectual government.
    She had organized cells, too, toward the end. Pockets of resistance, each of which was unaware of the identity of the others—each of which was responsible for inciting revolt against the Empire when it finally made itself manifest.
    There had been other leaders, but many were killed when the Empire's first Death Star annihilated the planet Alderaan. Leia's adopted father died in that calamity.
    Mon Mothma went underground. She joined her political cells with the thousands of guerrillas and insurgents the Empire's cruel dictatorship had spawned.
    Thousands more joined this Rebel Alliance. Mon Mothma became the acknowledged leader of all the galaxy's creatures who had been left homeless by the Emperor. Homeless, but not without hope.

     
  13. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    Things started to be problematic when Lucas chose the Jedi to be the cognizant of the Republic's corruption but satisfied with their own aloofness and passive aggressive approach to politicians who they do not trust but are obligated to act only on their authority. Thereby abdicating any responsibility when it all goes butt over nut.
     
  14. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 18, 2012
    Absolutely not going to disagree with you on that, and indeed the Republic being subverted by the greedy and powerful is a part of the story I would be surprised not to find.

    But. Where in that is there any reference to the Jedi being culpable, institutionally unsound, hypocritical, cold? The fact that the Jedi knights were exterminated through treachery and deception suggests that they were seen as a threat to the Empire. There is no suggestion that the Jedi were undone by anything other than the machinations of the future Imperial leadership and their lackeys.....certainly not because of any inherent and collective failure or hypocrisy. No hint at all, exactly the opposite is suggested by their extermination.

    The shearing off of systems rebelling against the new Empire is something else that has been subverted into a dichotomous Republic vs. monolithic Separatist enemy, there's no real addressing of systems refusing the Republic of itself - and given the leadership of the Separatists there would be little purpose in leaving an increasingly corrupt Republic (as referenced above) to join the overtly corrupt PT Separatists
     
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  15. CLee

    CLee Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Jun 18, 2017
    I think bottom line the films show us that one Jedi (well two Dooku and Anakin) going bad have horrible consequences for both the whole of the rest of the Jedi and the whole galaxy (although the government having a Clone army also if not primarily hurt both). Given that it makes sense that the Jedi are very cautious about who they accept and how they're trained and disciplined but maybe that they aren't cautious enough? Or is the whole institution pretty badly flawed if just two of them going bad had such negative effects?
     
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  16. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jun 28, 2001
    It's not that the whole institution is flawed or the problem. Dooku was trained the correct way and he still fell. Anakin was unconventional and he fell. Years before they were born, a number of Jedi had become Sith and started the war that lasted a thousand years. There's no way to prevent dark side users short of not training anyone in the ways of the Force, but sooner or later, someone will learn. That's how the Jedi came about in the first place. In the end, it comes down to the people who were being trained. They failed themselves first and foremost. Dooku and Anakin made the choices that they made, willingly and with full knowledge of how wrong it was.
     
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  17. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 18, 2012
    Ok, so from the featurette on ROTS: "I like this idea that the person you thought was the villain was actually the victim, and that the story is really about the villain trying to redeem his humanity"

    ...which is weird because I don't see Vader trying to redeem his humanity during the OT, I see him denying it right up until his last act.

    I'm trying to find earlier references. I know that he described why Anakin had to be so young in TPM in order that his leaving his mother would have a greater emotional impact...and I'm sure he used the term victim during that as well. Everything that occurs in the PT is designed, very deliberately, around Anakin being hard done to - if that means casting the Jedi as cold and uncaring, so be it. If that means spending the first of 3 movies padding out a movie about finding a child, so be it.
     
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  18. Mandalorian Riddler

    Mandalorian Riddler Jedi Master star 4

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    Feb 27, 2018
    Feel as if the Old Order I.E Old Republic were more in control than there where before the fall.
     
  19. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

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    Jul 7, 2009
    You have no evidence that a kid takes facts (specially in statements like 'fear leads to suffering' and why it matters for a potential Jedi) as personal criticism. Nobody said he should be ashamed for fear missing his mother or fear losing her. They merely explained why fear is a problem for a Jedi, which is what Anakin asked.

    No. The natural consequence is for him to understand why his attachment and fear of loss is a reason not let someone join. Which was the whole point of Yoda's answer.

    Again, how exactly were them shaming him? Unless the definition of shaming changed recently, they did no such thing.

    Nobody said he had anger in him. And the "fear is a path to the dark side" statement is the answer to his question. There was no shaming nor blaming. Simply an answer.

    I do. And he didn't. The only thing I would probably feel is disappointment. But what any of us would feel is irrelevant. What you're arguing should be supported by the movies, and what you're claiming his "feelings" are is not. Nor what you're claiming the Jedi have done.
     
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  20. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

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    Sep 2, 2012
    I was thinking of the novelization:

    "Finished, we are, with our examination of the boy," Yoda advised in his guttural, whispery voice. His eyes were lidded and sleepy, his pointed ears pricked forward. "Correct, you were, Qui-Gon."
    Mace Windu nodded his concurrence, his dark, smooth face expressionless in the dim light. "His cells contain a very high concentration of midi-chlorians." There was emphasis on the word very as he spoke.
    "The Force is strong in him," Ki-Adi-Mundi agreed.
    Qui-Gon felt a rush of satisfaction on hearing the words, a vindication of his insistence on freeing the boy from his life on Tatooine and bringing him here. "He is to be trained, then," he declared in triumph.
    There was an uncomfortable silence as the Council members looked from one to the other.
    "No," Mace Windu said quietly. "He will not be trained."
    Anakin's face crumpled, and there were tears in his eyes as he glanced quickly at Qui-Gon.
    "No?" the Jedi Master repeated in disbelief, shocked almost speechless. He tried hard to ignore the I-told-you-so look on Obi-Wan's young face.
    Mace Windu nodded, dark eyes steady. "He is too old. There is already too much anger in him."
    Qui-Gon was incensed, but he held himself in check. This decision made no sense. It could not be allowed to stand. "He is the chosen one," he insisted vehemently. "You must see it!"
    Yoda cocked his round head contemplatively. "Clouded, this boy's future is. Masked by his youth."


    I know how touchy kids can be - because I was touchy when I was a kid.

     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  21. Merry dog

    Merry dog Jedi Youngling

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    Feb 9, 2018
    If the Jedi don't forbid emotions why is the first line of the Jedi code "there is no emotion there is peace"
     
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  22. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Technically, there are two versions of the Jedi Code, both of which are used interchangably:

    There is no emotion, there is peace.
    There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
    There is no passion, there is serenity.
    There is no chaos, there is harmony.
    There is no death, there is the Force.

    The second one has been recited by both younglings, and Masters.

    Emotion, yet peace.
    Ignorance, yet knowledge.
    Passion, yet serenity.
    Chaos, yet harmony.
    Death, yet the Force.

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jedi_Code
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  23. CLee

    CLee Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Jun 18, 2017
    I wonder how Anakin felt about the view that the Force denied or at least really modified death, he seems to have pretty much ignored it or considered it meaningless.

    Really not sure how passion and serenity can be not in conflict.
     
  24. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jun 28, 2001
    When a Jedi uses the Force, they must do so without emotion fueling their power. That's why Yoda warns the Skywalker men about not using fear, anger and hate to fight. To not be motivated by those emotions. It is why the Sith try to provoke the Skywalker men into using those emotions, which in turn leads to the emotional outbursts that they endure.

    DOOKU: "I sense much fear in you, Skywalker. You have hate, you have anger. But you do not use them."

    VADER: "You have learned to control your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me."
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  25. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Still not in the movie.

    And I wasn't a kid once? Just because you were touchy regarding certain things as a kid doesn't mean all kids are the same.