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Saga The Jedi Order and the Sacred Texts - Flawed from the Start?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by PadawanGussin, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. PadawanGussin

    PadawanGussin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 6, 2017
    In the new Poe Damerom comic we see Rey asking C3PO to translate the Jedi Texts that she had taken from the tree.

    The very first translation is -

    "The Force is the Light , The Force is the Dark , The Jedi chose the Light for all it reveals."

    Most fans I have spoken to over the years believe that the Jedi became more flawed over the years. That as time passed the essence of the core Teachings was lost and replaced by a focus on politics and maintaining the Republic.

    However, it seems that the Jedi, At least in the new cannon, made a deliberate choice to ignore one entire half of he Force.

    To me, this would be like focusing solely on general relativity while completely ignoring the quantum world and then wondering why your real world efforts to understand what is occurring around you continue to fail.

    So, if looked at from this perspective, the old Jedi order was doomed to fail from the very start.

    Taken a step further, if Luke had this realization while on the Island it could very well explain his mental and emotional state when Rey found him.
     
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  2. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 6

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    Oct 4, 1998
    I don't see it that way at all. The dark side stands for death and destruction, fear, anger, hatred, suffering. When the Jedi chose Light, they were choosing life. Life creates the Force and makes it grow, so by choosing the light, they were choosing to help the Force grow. Darkness perverts the Force and turns it against itself, and that's what the Jedi were opposed to.

    Also, even though they chose the Light, that doesn't necessarily mean they totally ignored the Dark. That would be foolish. They had to be aware of it in order to resist it. I'm guessing they were wise enough to study Dark without practicing it or using it.
     
  3. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

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    Mar 4, 2011
    The Jedi made mistakes, particularly in tethering themselves too strongly with the Republic and becoming too dogmatic. But ignoring the Dark Side was not one of those mistakes.
     
  4. yodaman_reborn

    yodaman_reborn Jedi Master star 1

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    Feb 7, 2009
    I don’t think the Jedi ignored the dark side of the Force, but rather chose not to incorporate it into their own philosophies. Listening to Yoda talk about the dark side shows they know and understand it well enough.
     
  5. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

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    Jul 7, 2009
    I don't know about any 'new canon', but the Jedi have always recognized the dark side from the beginning. The evidence is in all six movies. And it's precisely because they recognize it that they avoid it and don't give into it. That's the opposite of ignoring. Ignoring would be to pretend it doesn't exist.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
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  6. firesaber

    firesaber Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 5, 2006
    Comic Spoiler much? :p There is some precedence to your point though, particularly in the Old Canon with Jedi like minded as Qui-Gon taking a more Living Force approach as opposed to clear cut black/white. There is another thread that I can't seem to link to for seem reason that goes into whether the arrogance of the Jedi played a part in their downfall.

    I don't think they ignored the Dark Side as a concept or a peril but certainly underestimated it's resurgence as embodied by a new breed of Sith.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
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  7. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Qui-Gon never denied the fact that there is a dark side to the Force. The living Force and the sides of the Force are not mutually exclusive realities. The Force has a living and cosmic aspect, and also both a light and dark sides. That's something that all Jedi know and acknowledge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  8. PadawanGussin

    PadawanGussin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 6, 2017
    What I wonder though is this -

    In her first lesson with Luke Rey is able to see both the beauty and brutality inherent in nature. Birth followed by death, the calm of rest followed by the attack of a predator, warmth and cold. In their focus on one side only the Jedi were literally ignoring one side of nature in favor of the other side. This mindset is even more pronounced as the Jedi have the ability to tap into the fundamental core structure of reality and to manipulate that reality in ways that non Force sensitive people cant. Imagine if a scientist studied only predator species but ignored the information available about prey species. Any attempt toward conservation or ecological intervention would be doomed to failure.

    On the other hand, Palpitine seemed to be able to use some abilities that were light side based but twist them to his own ends. He seemed to be using Force Healing on Anakin / Vader after his loss to Obi Wan, He could be charming and a "fatherly figure" when it suited him etc. As he stated, it was imperative to study the Force in all of its aspects to effect change as is the case with studying nature in the real world. To simply say that you are aware of half of nature but make a choice not to study that half in a meaningful way would be shortsighted.
     
  9. PadawanGussin

    PadawanGussin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 6, 2017
    sorry about the spoiler, good point
     
  10. yodaman_reborn

    yodaman_reborn Jedi Master star 1

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    Feb 7, 2009
    I think it gets difficult when trying to decipher what Lucas's intention was to what new directors/writers are doing with the Force. I believe that Lucas has incorporated many different religious philosophies in creating his vision of the Force, though I believe the one that becomes the most prominent is the Gaia Principle. It's the belief that the planet, as one large ecosystem, is itself, a living organism.

    I believe many people are already aware of Joseph Campbell's influence on Lucas's Star Wars. This Gaia Principle seems to also to have rubbed off on James Cameron as seen in his Avatar movie. The main idea is that organisms live in a symbiotic world that balances each other out. Yes there is death and destruction in this world. There are predators to that kill their prey. There are flood and fires. But these all fall into the context of nature itself and maintain that balance that keeps this a constant, self-sufficient entity. The darkside of the Force is a subversion of this idea of symbiosis. It is selfish, singular and destructive. It is not the beaver cutting down one tree, but rather a bulldozer leveling an entire forest. It is this large level selfish destruction that ultimately leads to the loss of balance and the eventual death of the ecosystem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 6

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    Oct 4, 1998
    ^ Good point, @yodaman_reborn. Natural death is part of the cycle of life, not of the Dark side. Murder and hatred are Dark, unnatural, aspects of the Force, and ultimately must lead to weakening the Force by destroying the life that creates the Force.
     
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  12. PadawanGussin

    PadawanGussin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 6, 2017
    Good points

    To use your analogy though - Imagine a well meaning environmental group working to protect that beaver and its habitat from a corporation that wants to bulldoze that area. Not only would the environmental group need to understand the impact on the beaver , they would need to have a good handle on both corporate structure and how the corporation could influence the courts etc to its own ends. To be truly effective in reaching their stated goal this environmental group would need to be well rounded and employ lawyers, accountants and others who had a very good grasp on what the other side could and would do. To simply rail at the CEO and say that the corporation was bad would lead to failure.

    I think the Jedi did somewhat the same thing. They gave lip service to how fear anger and hate were negative things and certainly were able to help on a small scale but did not seem to want to do a deep dive into Sith ideology as they thought it could tempt people down the Darkside path. When the large scale Sith plan moved into its final phases and the Force started to shift the Jedi lacked the understanding they required to effectively fight back.
     
  13. yodaman_reborn

    yodaman_reborn Jedi Master star 1

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    Feb 7, 2009
    I think we are mixing up the premises of understanding the enemy as opposed to practicing ideology of the enemy. The films seem to suggest that the Jedi are well understanding of the Sith and the darkside. While they understand the darkside, they choose not to practice it which does make sense. To go to your analogy, it would be like that environmental group, even after understanding the corporation they are trying to stop, saying that they need to level a couple of rain forests of their own in order to really understand the corporation. The environmental group can just say that destroying forests is wrong. They don't need to destroy forests themselves in order to understand that. Nor does a Christian need to practice Satanism in order to understand evil. This is not to say that the Jedi ideology is perfect and I do believe that there were many mistakes made along the way. Having said that, refusing to practice the darkside was not one of their mistakes. And I don't believe that they were trying to have people completely avoid the darkside. Look at Luke's trial in the cave. He was forced to face in that cave what he brought into it. What he did bring was fear, doubt and aggression. In the end Luke was shown to become the thing he was fighting against and ended up destroying himself.
     
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  14. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Nov 10, 2011
    A true Jedi recognizes and acknowledges the dark within himself, but exercises control over it. This is one of the lessons Yoda learns in the final arc of TCW, which does indeed imply that the Jedi had lost their way during the Clone Wars by conceptualizing the dark entirely as an external force that can be combated physically, rather than an internal force to be contended with spiritually.

    But I would hesitate to posit that this error in thinking was part of the foundational philosophy of the Jedi, nor that the Jedi erred in not giving free reign to the darkness within themselves.
     
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  15. Steve McGarrett

    Steve McGarrett Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Jun 1, 2017
    There will always be, and must always be, the dark side. To some extent darkness defines light. Sadness, happiness. Night, day etc. I don't think the Jedi ignored this fact. What is undesirable is when the darkness becomes all consuming, which is what the Sith looked to bring about.
     
  16. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

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    Jul 7, 2009
    I disagree. There is a dark force at work that must be fought against and dealt with and there is a dark side to the spiritual self that must be controlled and dealt with. The Jedi are aware of and deal with both. It's what they are about.

    I also don't think Yoda learns anything new in that story arc. He's merely shown recognizing something that he, as a Jedi, inherently had to know. The story arc is more of a guideline to the audience in order to make it aware of what's required to retain one's spirit in the Force.
     
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  17. darth-sinister

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

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    Jun 28, 2001
    Yet, Yoda does learn. He learns that he has not totally mastered his weaknesses and that just because he had passed the trials years ago, doesn't mean that he was free and clear. A Jedi should always strive to learn and grow, which he had forgotten as a fundamental aspect of Jedi training. That's why after his encounter with his darker self, he admits to his belief that there was nothing more to learn.
     
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  18. PymParticles

    PymParticles Cruel but Fair Tyrant of New Films star 5 Staff Member Manager

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    Oct 1, 2014
    A good Jedi recognizes that they contain both Light and Dark, and that's why they're relatively more stable than the Sith, who actively seek to snuff out any Light within themselves in an attempt to give themselves fully to the Light. That said, the Jedi as an institutional whole don't deal with the Dark Side, or any of its related emotions, in a way that I would consider to be particularly healthy. A lot of this is embodied in Yoda's "Mourn them do not, miss them do not" spiel to Anakin, which while well-intentioned, is hugely disastrous advice. It's human, natural, and healthy to mourn those we love when they pass. Dwelling on it, not so much, but grief is a part of life that we're all going to experience, or have experienced, at some point, and burying it deep within ourselves can cause a lot of internal damage.

    It's almost as if the Jedi believed that by giving themselves fully to the Light Side, they could rid themselves of human weaknesses that they associated with the Dark Side. But all they really did was attempt to deprive themselves of experiences that are essential to a balanced life. I truly don't believe the Dark Side is inherently evil, any more than I think the Light Side is inherently good. Too much of one can lead to becoming nothing but your passionate emotions, too much of the other prevents you from feeling the full spectrum of your emotions, and thus cuts you off from the full experience of life and, in turn, can make you numb to the experiences of others.

    In fact, there's plenty of evidence to support the idea that the Jedi had become dispassionate and detached from the struggles and suffering of others. They seem completely disinterested in eradicating slavery that exists in the Republic's farthest, most ignored systems, and there is a routine, condescending contempt displayed towards "pathetic life forms." Look at how Obi-Wan treated Jar Jar, or the supposition he made when it occurred to him Qui-Gon would be bringing Anakin along. Look at the condescending, uncaring way the Council treated a 9-year-old boy, a boy who had just been liberated from slavery and who had selflessly helped one of their own, for something as basic as missing his mother, something they saw as being beneath them. The Jedi see themselves as above others, heightened by their piety, and would rather maintain a corrupt status quo in order to preserve order, than risk the chaos that ensues with actually trying to create a better world by righting wrongs.
     
  19. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

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    Jul 7, 2009
    There's nothing "hugely disastrous" in his advice. It's actually very on point. What Yoda tells Anakin (who declares that he's willing to act on his fears) is to let go of his greed and fear of loss. That means aiming for the ideal of not mourning nor miss them. They are at they core selfish emotions. People mourn and miss because they are not able to let go (on the short term at least).

    Your argument is based on the premiss that something being "human" or "natural" makes it okay or good. That's false. Revenge is 'human' and 'natural'. Fear is 'human' and 'natural'. Greed is 'human' and 'natural'. Anger is 'human' and 'natural'. Hate is 'human' and 'natural'.

    It's not about getting rid of anything. It's about choosing the right path over the negative path. To not give into it.

    Like what, exactly? How is the life of a Jedi imbalanced? If anything, the Jedi way is a balanced life reduced to the very essentials.

    That's completely false, in more ways than one. The Jedi are not dispassionate, nor are they passionate. They are compassionate. They aren't attached nor detached. They are simply not-attached.

    There's no slavery within the Republic. And it's the Republic that gives them permission to serve within it.

    Wait, you're taking the pretty obvious flaw of a Padawan and baselessly extrapolating it to the whole order?!

    "Condescending"?! "Uncaring"?! "Beneath them"?!

    Where are you getting this from?

    ?!?!
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
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  20. PadawanGussin

    PadawanGussin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 6, 2017
    Every religion or spiritual system incorporates methods to deal with fear, IMO , Yoda was attempting to teach a young child a valuable lesson. As the vote seemed to be against allowing Anakin to train , Yoda had only a few moments to give a core teaching to someone he expected to never see again. So he did his best to give a child a push in the right direction.

    As for Obi Wans pathetic life form comment. That was directed at his Master, note Jar Jar. Here they were on an important mission that had just literally blown up n their face and here was Qui Gon dealing with the hurt feelings of a local.

    I don't see any evidence that the Jedi had become uncaring about others. There were Jedi all over the galaxy helping Beings in need. A certain level of detachment is needed when you spend your whole life helping people in dire need. This does not make you uncaring but allows you to remain effective. While powerful, The Jedi could not simply end slavery by the Hutts or take away all of the suffering in the galaxy. They helped where they could and tried to live in a way that would inspire others to live in a better way.

    Even at the very end, when they realized something was so very wrong, the concept of simply taking over a democratic government was a place they struggled to reach. Of course Palpitine had already essentially taken almost complete control but to impose control of he senate and the courts was a very slippery slope.
     
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  21. darth-sinister

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

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    Anakin has the methods to deal with fear. That's what his Jedi training entails. Learning to deal with fear as it comes about in tense situations and to not give into that fear, because it will join you quickly in a fight. Training himself to let go of his fears is the only advice that any Jedi Master worth their salt can give him. Anakin, however, was impatient. He didn't want to go through the difficult task of letting go of his fears and instead chooses to act on them. The Jedi do not deny fear, anger and hate. They reject it because it leads to the dark side. That has been clear since day one.
     
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  22. PadawanGussin

    PadawanGussin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 6, 2017
    In the broad stokes Anakin certainly had the training to control his fear in a combat or other crisis situation.

    But this type of fear is very different than Anakuns fear over losing his mother and all of the baggage associated with being an abused slave for ten years. This was Anakins shatterpoint , the loss of people he loved, the fears of his early life and the Jedi seemed to miss it completely. Yes they sensed it, but then ignored it completely
    Instead Anakin was subjected to the same training of any other Padawan without regard to his background.
     
  23. darth-sinister

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

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    The Council was aware that Anakin still had attachment issues, but they didn't ignore it. That's why they gave him the extra responsibility of training Ahsoka, in the hopes that he could be more grounded and aware of his own issues, thus he could move past it. But Anakin was not willing to tell the Council, Yoda especially, that he was married and was going to be a father. Now was the time to get it out there, so that Yoda could have all the information and then he could possibly do more to help. I mean, if you go to the doctor and you don't tell them everything, is it their fault or your fault that something unknown to them was brought to their attention earlier?
     
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  24. BigAl6ft6

    BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost star 6

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    Nov 12, 2012
    While I'm not particularly enamored with Grey Jedi ie. just a weeeeee bit evil, I do think there's a few lines that point out there is more than simply the Jedi's POV as the only right way (Which is a big part of Last Jedi anyway)

    Luke: "At the height of their power the Jedi allowed Darth Sidious to rise, create the Empire and wipe them out. It was a Jedi who was responsible for the creation and training of Darth Vader."

    Also Luke: "And this is the lesson. To say if the Jedi dies the light dies is vanity."

    And Palpatine, decades before, "Anakin, to understand the great mystery one must study all of it's aspects, not just the narrow, dogmatic view of the Jedi. If you wish to become a complete and wise leader you must embrace a larger view of the Force."

    Also Yoda, "Failure, the greatest teacher, failure is."

    Basically Rey is the Last Jedi but whatever she does, it'll have be different from the Old Jedi Order. Luke tried to create his own Jedi order but that collapsed in on itself (Literally!) Maybe he overreached with multiple students? So maybe they should crib from the Sith and One Master, One Apprentice, no more, no less.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
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  25. PadawanGussin

    PadawanGussin Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 6, 2017
    IMO - This goes back to my original point. While able to help many people overcome suffering and to teach them the danger inherent to negative emotions, it seems that the Jedi had a blind spot when dealing with powerful Darkside users. Both Palp and Snoke were able to manipulate events right under the Orders nose, so to speak, without the Jedi being any the wiser.

    Beyond what might have been too much focus on politics, The focus on the light made it difficult to notice the shadow until too late.

    There was a great episode of Star Trek - TOS called "Mirror Mirror" where the crew got transported to an alternate , brutal, version of their lives. What nearly got them killed was not even considering what were some of the more dark tendencies of a place that was eerily familiar but opposite. In some ways the Jedi were in that same boat when dealing with he Sith.
     
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