PT The Jedi should have abandoned the Republic

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by The One Above All, Sep 9, 2017.

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  1. The One Above All Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2017
    I've often thought about this quote from the Legends novel, Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader:

    Anyone who thought that the Jedi were responsible for having brought the empire down on Kashyyyk had no understanding of the nature of power. From the moment the troopers of commander Gree's brigade had turned on Yoda, Unduli and Vos, Chewbacca, Tarfful and the elders of Kachirho had grasped the truth: that despite all the rhetoric about taxation, free trade and de-centralization, there was no real difference between the Confederacy and the Republic. The war was nothing more than a struggle between two evils, with the Jedi caught in the middle, all because of their misplaced loyalty to a government they should have abandoned, and to a pledge that had superseded their oath to serve the force above all.

    This paragraph should be an indicator that that the Jedi were not the villains in this scenario. They were simply doing what they thought was best for the galaxy and it's people. The most interesting part about this paragraph is the implication that the Republic was no different from the Empire that it eventually became, and that the Jedi should have quit trying to save it. They were better off going back to their roots of focusing on the will of the Force, rather than being tangled in bureaucracy. Ultimately, that's their tragedy, that they felt loyal to a government which, at the end of the day, turned on them and sided with the real villain.
    Last edited by The One Above All, Sep 9, 2017
  2. Dread Pirate Roberts Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2017
    star 2
    I could not be a bigger supporter of the idea that the Jedi should have abandoned the republic. I believe the republic was flawed, but still a good thing. The problem with it though is that it failed! The Jedi tied their fate to something that wasn't permanent.

    The Jedi should serve the force, not a man-made entity. Qui-gon did so, and that is what led him to the chosen one. The Living Force, not the Chancellor. I believe Luke has more in common with Qui-gon, because Luke followed the force and his heart. He saved his friends when Yoda said not to, and he surrendered to Vader when Yoda and Obi told him to kill Vader.

    The republic was a good thing, and the Jedi did well to serve it, but the moment they declared their allegiance to the republic, they placed an expiration date on themselves.
  3. Darth Mikey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2015
    star 3
    Couldn't agree with you guys more! I posted something about this in the Mace windu is a Traitor thread eons ago,but it went something like this, from what I can remember:

    The Jedi should have been above government, above politics. By tying themselves to a government, they made it so they would rise and fall with it. I'm sure they started with good intentions, but thy became subject to it's laws and procedures. there should have been NO need for Supreme Chancellor Vallorum to send 2 Jedi in secret to negotiate a settlement of the Trade Federation's blockade of Naboo, because the Senate would never approve of it because of corruption. They should have needed NO permission from any level of government. If something was wrong,they go and fix it,period. Instead they were beholden to rules and committees, stuff outside the Jedi Code.They stopped following the Will of the Force, and started following the Will of the Republic. They stopped being TRUE Jedi, and instead were the Republic's Special Ops Team. Even the Clone Wars, they should never have got involved, or fought in it. You had the Galactic Government and a Secessionist group going to war, basically over who should govern the Galaxy ( a ruse, but they didn't know that). The Council should have excused all Jedi from the fight, and waited on the sidelines. Because whatever governing body took control, it shouldn't have concerned them . But, they had an open secret - the Order had an attachment, even though it was forbidden. They were attached to the Republic. and let's not overlook the perks being in bed with this government gave them. They had seemingly unlimited funds to have the best vehicles, equipment, a palatial fortress to live in. Things you would think would go against the Jedi code.
  4. Oissan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2001
    star 7
    You do realise that sitting out a war at the sidelines isn't going to make Jedi look like guardians of peace and justice, yes?
    What do you think are the citizens going to say? They see a civil war brought onto them by seperatists who were clearly aiming to take things by force, and all the Jedi would do is sit back and let this carnage happen. Nothing would errode the public trust into the Jedi quicker than that.

    They protected the ideals of the Republic, and by this they defended the corrupt version it had become, but that isn't really their business. They stood up for democracy, which the Republic is the embodiment of. If they don't stick up for the Republic they will easily be vilified for it, some could even suggest that they are in league with the seperatists.

    I don't see how the temple or the equipment they use go in any way against the Jedi code. Nor how they were "attached" to the Republic. As mentioned above, they are the protectors of what the Republic is supposed to stand for. They can't help it if the entire senate becomes more and more corrupt, nor is it their job to clean up that corruption, as to do that they would need to get involved far deeper into politics. All they can do is to protect the ideals of democracy, which is by far the best form of government to reach a peaceful situation, and hope that democratic elements will make sure that democracy works as intended. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Jedi standing up for democracy, especially when you consider that it were the seperatists who tried to leave the democratic path of negotiations and opted for war.


    In a way, not participating in the war would have been like the situation in Knights of the Old Republic. First you had a few Jedi turn dark, causing fights between the now Sith+Mandalorians and the Republic. The Jedi fought in that situation. A few decades later, the Mandalorians invade the Republic, the Jedi remember the rift that happened the last time around, and decide to stay out of it, seeing something else coming up. In turn, some Jedi join the Republic to fight and fend off the Mandalorians. They succeed. Only for them to return as Sith a few years later and threaten the Republic.

    So the Jedi were both wrong and right. There was something coming up, and participating in the war directly caused the fall of Jedi and the next war. On the other hand, not particpating meant that the Mandalorians would likely have succeeded. In staying out of politics, you basically bring up the people against yourself, because they are under attack and you sit and wait, leaving them on their own. That's the best way to cause people to side with anyone against you.

    Simply put, a Jedi Order that stays out of things will quickly become meaningless and unable to function as intended. The Jedi need to be seen as guardians of the people and democratic institutions.

    Beyond that, I really don't see how anyone can claim that the Jedi should stay out of things - or that they left their original role behind - when their role is to protect peace and justice in the galaxy. Protecting peace requires active participation in current events.
  5. Jester J Binks Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2016
    star 4
    The Jedi went from a police force / diplomats to general not because of democracy, but essentially because of the suspension of it (granting Palpatine emergency powers).

    Actually going to Palpatine to arrest him essentially hours after a report that Grevious was defeated (but still not the Separatists hierarchy) was probably their most bone headed decision. Let the Senate come to the conclusion that "hey. This Palpatine guy isn't laying down those emergency powers as this crisis has abated." The Jedi just helped to create a new fake crisis instead of giving the Senate anywhere from a few days to a few months to realize Palpatine's "emergency powers promise" lie on their own.

    So they reacted incorrectly when they didn't know the scheming and then reacted incorrectly when they found out the scheming. Both times, they could have responded simply with "We can only protect you. We cannot fight a war for you."

    The only saving grace is that people do stupid things ALL THE TIME. If I had known then what I know now. But these were the wisest group of *elders* *in their prime* in the galaxy, so the Urkel "Did I do that?" seems a bit ... 90s sitcom.
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  6. Darth Mikey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2015
    star 3
    Going on secret missions for the Chancellor is not protecting the peace.

    I could be wrong, but didn't Lucas or Rick McCallum say something like, once the Jedi decided to fight, they had already lost?

    They should get involved, in situations THEY decide to. Matters of the Force. It used to be that they would listen to the currents of the Force, and follow what it told them. By the PT, they listened to the Chancellor or Senate, and used the Force to enhance their abilities. By ROTS, they're openly talking to each other about removing the Chancellor from office, and TAKING CONTROL of the Senate! These are matter the Jedi should not be involved in, at all!

    The Republic had its own army to fight against the Seperatists, the Clone Army.

    To be blunt, they should not have cared about public opinion. But by putting themselves in bed with the Republic, they needed to have a positive public image to be able to function effectively, since they became the Republic's Police Force, rather than being above such things.
    Last edited by Darth Mikey, Sep 10, 2017
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  7. The_Phantom_Calamari Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4
    Maybe there's a middle ground between serving as generals in a morally murky civil war, and completely abandoning the democratic republic they swore an oath to protect? I dunno, maybe I'm just crazy.

    I don't think the proper role of the Jedi is to set themselves up as interstellar vigilantes answering to no democratic authority.
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Sep 11, 2017
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  8. Darth Mikey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2015
    star 3
    Protecting refugees leaving war zones, helping bring aid and supplies to people and life forms in need, that type of stuff I could see.

    Rather than vigilantes , I prefer to think they should have been like monks. Monks that could kick ass if necessary, if pushed,but only as a last resort.
    Last edited by Darth Mikey, Sep 11, 2017
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  9. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    You can't at the same time take funding from a government, and also refuse to serve it. If the Jedi were self-funding they would have ground to stand on. But that giant temple in the galactic capital looks pretty expensive to maintain...
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  10. Pacified_llama Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2017
    star 2
    They pretty much were monks, if we are going by observations/continuity in TFM - so this would be advocating a continuation of their current agenda into the Clone Wars.
    The problem with the Clone Wars is that the Jedi were tied in from the beginning - the formation of a clone army lead back to their request (legitimate or no), Dooku was a former master of theirs. So it was a Jedi issue to begin with - they couldn't just sever ties to it.

    I also don't think it compromises the more aloof "above and outside the republic" ideal of the Jedi to have them interact more and more with the senate as events progress up to and during the war. The Jedi were never pressing for more power/involvement. I'm sure the republic at large and Palpatine in particular were within their rights to say, "Hey, can you give us a few pointers on what Dooku is up to? And, you know, work your Jedi magic and put an end to all this?"

    They were still arbiters/advisers right up to Geonosis and after that were obliged to wage the war because of the clones programming, and that, more importantly, not doing so would have simply crippled the republic, and thus the best chance at peace etc.
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  11. ObiWanKnowsMe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2015
    star 4
    They should have abandoned Palpatine , not the Republic. Maybe they could have gone back to being in charge of the Republic like they were in EU
  12. Kenneth Morgan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 27, 1999
    star 5
    That was what the Jedi were planning in ROTS. They were going to overthrow Palpatine and take charge of the Senate until they decided the danger was passed...whenever that would be. Unfortunately, that fit in perfectly with Palpatine's plans, as he could now label the Jedi as dangerous traitors out to stage a coup. Thus, Order 66 happens and appears perfectly justified.
  13. Gigoran Monk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2016
    star 5
    This is the kind of nonsense that justifies autocracies as “no worse than” flawed democracies. No, there is no moral equivalency between a representative Republic and the authoritarian Empire. The former has the moral high ground, and the Jedi would have been negligent cowards to abandon it. It’s like saying that if the Jedi were advising the Weimar Republic, that they should’ve abandoned it and let it fall to the Nazis. Because the Nazi government was no worse than the Republic? Nonsense moral relativism.
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  14. Jester J Binks Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2016
    star 4
    Now that I think about it, the problem was they did everything as verbal agreements. They should have drawn up actual legislation (Sponsor: Jar Jar Binks).

    "Cool. Cool. Looks good. Where's the section on how to return those powers and under what realistic conditions? There aren't any? The legislation will literally just say Meesa ......? No. No. No. I can't sign that. Actually, I can't have my name on anything that says Sponsor: Jar Jar Binks. I'll never win another election again."
  15. The_Phantom_Calamari Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4

    Kind of like the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists? Oh wait.

    Anyway, the reason the Emergency Powers resolution is visibly depicted only as a verbal proposal is for purely dramatic reasons. Surely there would have been some proper legislation drawn up in-universe to formalize it. I assume you're being facetious, but to seriously make an argument using this as a basis would obviously be quite silly.
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Sep 25, 2017
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  16. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2014
    star 3
    The Republic was built around the Jedi Order which made it impossible for them to leave. A galactic law enforcement agency or army would have been needed to replace them. Really the Jedi should have sensed what the Sith were doing. But Palpatine and the Sith before him had manipulated things so the Jedi couldn't correctly detect what was going on through the Force.

    From what I gather -- historically the Jedi's role was to defend peace and justice against armies of evil Force users with the Sith being their most deadly foe. The Jedi did this for over 1,000 generations. In that time the galactic government was conquered or collapsed a few times. But no matter how hard their enemies tried the Jedi always survived and in time came back to restore freedom to the galaxy and balance in the Force. Finally a huge army of Sith toppled the "Old Republic" to control the galaxy. But the Jedi fought back and 1,000 years before The Phantom Menace the last Sith Empire was defeated and it was thought the Sith had been wiped out once and for all.

    From the ashes of this conflict the government we see in the Prequels was formed with the Jedi Order directly becoming part of the executive branch. My guess is the Jedi took on this role in order to prevent whatever folly had doomed the "Old Republic" from ever happening again. The citizens, senators and Chancellor of this fledgling Galactic Republic were grateful for the protection and safety the Jedi provided and gave the warrior monks a huge amount of power. Where before the Jedi had fought back from the edge of extinction to restore balance to the Force, in peace time they took on a bureaucratic role to help govern the galaxy by listening to the will of the Force to carry out the law of Republic. And for 1,000 there was peace.

    In that peace the Sith became a legend as the galaxy forgot what the Jedi really defend them fromi. The number of Jedi steadily decreased which was okay as there was less need for individual Jedi in peacetime. The Jedi Order settled into a routine unaware of the lone pair of Sith always working against them in the background hidden in the Force, slowly and imperceptible clouding the Jedi's ability to connect with the Force while building a new Empire. Instead of using soldiers and warships to conquer the Republic, this new Sith Empire would corrupt the virtuous new government from the inside slowly over time until it controlled everything. Even the Jedi would take orders from the Sith Lord. And instead of a Sith Army, the Republic itself would be used to wipe out the Jedi once and for all. And the free people of the galaxy would welcome the subjugation of this new Empire with open arms. Most of them never knowing it was a Sith Empire.
  17. Pacified_llama Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2017
    star 2
    "Abandoned the Republic" - that's abandoning peace because you think it will fail - rather than striving to protect it anyway out of goodness.

    Should they have re-evaluated the relationship with the Republic? Yes - and this is what doomed them. And it is tragedy - one in which the republic/Jedi relationship is only one component.
  18. QsAssistant Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 2
    I agree that they shouldn't have been involved in the war or any war that wasn't directly against the Sith (meaning back in the days of the Old Republic when there were thousands of Sith running around trying to take over the galaxy). They should've still kept peace in the parts of the galaxy where they could and only stuck to "Jedi business." However I don't really agree that they were "attached to the Republic." They served the Republic to keep the peace, not fight in wars, and in return the Republic provided them with credits so they could live and travel. Without those credits the Jedi would be stranded on one planet and wouldn't even be able to travel far on that one planet without credits. If they wanted to go anywhere the Jedi would have to pick up second jobs (outside of the one they work for free). I can't really picture Yoda being the host of a diner and Windu being the chef.
  19. CLee Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2017
    star 1
    It certainly seems as if the Jedi hadn't made much of an effort to negotiate with the Separatists or facilitate negotiations, either with the top leadership or individual planets, and that could have been their best role (acting as honest middlemen, peacebrokers). Maybe their ties to the Republic left them without enough credibility in the Separatists' eyes.

    If the Republic and Confederacy were both acting and would both act as oppressive forces in the conflict, neutrality as well as urging both sides to stop the conflict would probably seem the best option.
    Last edited by CLee, Oct 2, 2017
  20. Pacified_llama Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2017
    star 2
    The key here, of course, is "should". It is almost a question of hindsight.

    There are many reasons for why the Jedi couldn't separate themselves from the Republic - their established history as its defenders was ingrown and self-evident.

    Yet, looking back, would abandoning the Republic truly have served any higher purpose? The Republic would have fallen all the more easily without them, and the Sith would have had the power at their command to hunt the Jedi notwithstanding, to wherever they had fled. Indeed, the Jedi did abandon the Republic, as a matter of fact, if we take it to mean that the democratic ideals behind the Republic had been gradually lost and pushed aside with the passage of time.
  21. The_Phantom_Calamari Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4

    Well, the thing is, Yoda ultimately does decide to give up the fight and let the Sith win. A common criticism of the Yoda/Sidious duel is that Yoda does succeed in stymieing Sidious, and looks like he could conceivably carry on the fight--but that's the point. Yoda could keep fighting, but it would be a futile battle. Yoda absorbs all of Sidious's hate and anger and throws it back at him, and they both get knocked back, but Yoda's fall is far greater because he doesn't have the benefit of evil's moral indifference. Meanwhile, Sidious is still up there cackling and having the time of his life. You can't defeat evil by using evil's methods. At a certain point, you have to surrender and trust in the Force--you have to be passive and trust that the moral arc of the universe will bend towards justice. This is ultimately what Luke does in Return of the Jedi, and the universe responds by eliminating evil through the fulfillment of a prophecy, using as its agent a Chosen One who is in possession of both the physical and moral strength to defeat the Emperor without succumbing to dark emotions.
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Oct 3, 2017
  22. Master Endz-One Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2017
    star 1

    I mostly agree, but I don't believe the Republic was no better than the Empire. The Republic is corrupt, but not as evil as the Empire. I do agree the Jedi should have separated from the Republic and focused on the will of the Force.
  23. Pacified_llama Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2017
    star 2
    @The_Phantom_Calamari

    Yoda does not give up, as much as he fails. There is an important distinction. Obi-Wan and Yoda do try, they give it their all as far as they can according to their knowledge and abilities. Obi-Wan wins out - as far as he knows, he defeats Vader on Mustafar. Yoda, however, doesn't have such luck. He realizes as he is fighting Sidious that the Jedi ways have fallen behind, that there is something missing from their belief. That he is doomed. But he cannot quite understand what he needs to do to defeat the Sith - he escapes barely with his life.

    Again we can all look in retrospect and think the Jedi should have gotten out sooner, but do we truly give consideration of the consequences of such an action?Could they really have done this and the Sith not win?

    It is in fact a very pure "Jedi" thing to do, to abandon the Republic - to base your actions on what is morally good and dutiful, rather than on the ends. That's what Sith do, they just play the whole "ends justify the means" argument. It's why the Jedi were flawed in the PT. It might have been Jedi like, but would it be the right thing to do? For that, all points towards the Chosen One, and his offspring in Luke.
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  24. Darth Mikey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2015
    star 3
    I don't have the novelization anymore, but I remember during the Sidious - Yoda duel, Yoda internally believes that he lost before he ever even started the duel. Because halfway through he realizes that not only himself as a Jedi, but the whole Jedi Order was trained to fight the Sith from the last war, but the Sith had actually evolved into something NEW, something the Jedi were not prepared for, The very act of fighting itself gives strength and victory to the Sith. So Yoda learns the key to defeating the Sith is NOT to fight.
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  25. Master Endz-One Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2017
    star 1

    I don't totally agree, but I see where you're going with this. Yoda has a vision of Order 66 in TCW series and plenty of evidence of Order 66 comes along with Clone Trooper Fives testimony. I think Yoda realizes his best chance to defeat the Sith is in the future. The Sith had 1,000 years to adapt, learn and plan to destroy the Jedi, they surprised the Jedi who didn't understand their enemy. Yoda looked to the future, learned from his mistakes and taught a different type of Jedi, one closer to Qui-Gon's ideology. The Jedi had over 20 years to learn this new enemy and find a strong open minded Force User to combat the Sith.
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