"We will not exceed our mandate": Acting against the Jedi Code

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Darth_Pazuzu, Nov 14, 2005.

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  1. Darth_Pazuzu Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2005
    star 4
    Something just occurred to me today.

    In The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan Kenobi argues with his master, Qui-Gon Jinn, about the necessity of following the Jedi Code. "Do not defy the Council again...If you would just follow the Code you would be on the Council." In this particular episode, Obi-Wan has the role of straight-arrow, while Qui-Gon is often the maverick with a penchant for bending the rules.

    In Attack Of The Clones, Obi-Wan has become the master, and Anakin Skywalker is now his student and apprentice. Once again, however, Obi-Wan is the one who follows the rules, while this time it's his apprentice who plays fast and loose with them. A good example of the conflict resulting from their differing attitudes would be the scene in Padme's apartment. When Anakin vows to Padme that they will discover the identity of the person attempting to assassinate her, Obi-Wan cautions that the role of the Jedi in this instance is strictly one of protection. "We will not exceed our mandate!" To which Anakin testily replies, "Protection is a job for local security, not Jedi. It's overkill, master. Protection is implied in our mandate!"

    However, in Revenge Of The Sith, the whole issue is given a very ironic twist. This time it's the Jedi who seem to be going against the Code. When Anakin is denied the rank of Master, his first and primary reaction is one of anger at being disrespected, but he also points out to Obi-Wan that for one to be put on the Council and not be a Master is something that has never been done before. And when asked by the Council to spy on his good friend Chancellor Palpatine, Anakin points out to Obi-Wan that not only would he be betraying the Republic as well as a friend, it would also be against the Jedi Code.

    It seems that much of Anakin's sense of divided loyalties stems from the fact that he perceives the Jedi Order to be drifting away from everything that he was taught. He tells Padme as much: "Sometimes I wonder what's happening to the Jedi Order. I think this war is destroying the principles of the Republic." Granted, Anakin's point of view is clouded by anger, ambition, and wounded pride. But what I find to be a very interesting story twist is that Anakin's doubts about the Jedi Order (however clouded they may be by personal concerns) largely stem from the fact that the Order, which before the Clone Wars always seemed to be so conservative and by-the-book, now seems to now be playing very fast and loose with the book.

  2. JMN77 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2005
    star 3
    Yeah, Which they should of started doing a long time ago!:D Good observations all around.
  3. Jedi_Momma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2005
    star 2
    Just because it's never been done before, does that mean it is definitely against the Code? Ani doesn't say so. I imagine having a member of the Council appointed by the Supreme Chancellor has never been done before and no one mentions the Code there either.

    Spying against a friend may be against the Code but is spying on a Sith Lord against the Code? If so, was Obi breaking the Code when he was sneaking around on Geonosis?
  4. Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2002
    star 6
    There are always exceptions. In Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan was right. It wasn't implied that they were to investigate who tried to assassinate Padmé, however, the facts kind of came to them in time so Obi-Wan investigated it anyway.

    In Revenge of the Sith, the Jedi had a completely different role. They didn't trust anyone else fully, so they took it upon themselves to be warriors.
  5. mjerome3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
    star 6
    I can't imagine that all throughout the saga that every single Jedi went by the code of the Jedi. Qui-Gon shunned the code. What Obi-Wan receieved were orders, which had nothing to do with the code. Anakin knew this but wanted to place more emphasis on their assignment only because he knew he was right since someone was trying to kill Padme. In Episode III the situation between the Jedi and Palpatine become one of mistrust with Anakin right in the middle of it. The problem with Anakin here is thinking that he was naive enough to believe that everyone should be on the same side and he was too blind to see things for what they were until Sidious reveals himself to him. So, by that time he was wrong because now he knows why the Jedi aren't using the code and he still betrays the Jedi Order.
  6. the_unknowable_jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2005
    star 4
    Well, first of all, EPISODE 1: Quigon Jinn was fast and loose about the jedi code because he earned the right to be. he was wiser by far than most of the jedi council members on almost all of the investigations that he was either sent on, or ran in to by accident. that was Quigon. Anakin however, is a different story. In EPISODE 2: Anakin was fast and loose about jedi code rules because of his emotions for Padme, his overconfidence in his abilities, and his arrogance in thinking that no enemy could stand in his way of saving and protecting the Republic he serves, and the people he loves. He had no right to break the jedi code. Anakin knew the sacrifices he would of had to make as a jedi. but he broke them.

    As for the jedi council breaking the jedi code in EPISODE 3: THEY SHOULD HAVE done so at the first appearance of the sith. It was their responsibility to do so because they knew that the sith was too dangerous for anyone else to handle, except them.

    overall, there was a time you could break the rules, a time you shouldn't have, and a time you had to. this all pertained to the PREQUEL TRILOGY.
  7. KennethMorgan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2004
    star 2
    I have to disagree with one idea expressed here: It was certainly against the Code to have Anakin spy on Palpatine. The argument that it was permitted since Palpatine was a Sith Lord doesn't really work since they had no idea he was one.
    Remember, Mace seems surprised when Anakin tells him he believes that Palpatine is a Sith Lord. Further, Mace doesn't accept it completely; he wants more proof. His initial reason for arresting Palpatine is abuse of power and exceeding his authority, not being a Sith Lord.
    In real world terms, this is like the FBI deciding on its own to spy on the President, without clearing it with the Attorney General. They don't have that kind of power. Neither did the Jedi, not without clearing it with the Senate. As a result, this just gives Anakin more reason to doubt the integrity of the Order and believe Palpatine's lies.
    Which is exactly what Palpatine was aiming for...

  8. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Actually, I think Mace did believe it to a good degree...when he first tells Anakin he's going to go make sure Palpatine returns the emergency powers, I think he really expected Anakin to try to defend the Chancellor. He knew that Anakin had a strong relationship with Palpatine, and for him to throw all that away and say that he's a Sith Lord means he has to be pretty dead serious about it.
  9. Carnage04 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2005
    star 5


    At times I feel that Obi-Wan speaks these lines to benefit any ears that may be listening. Obi-Wan has quite a bit of distrust for anyone that is not a Jedi. He had that "Shut the hell up you idiot" look on his face that I give to my friends when they are about to spill the beans about our latest Strip Club trip in front of my wife. ;)

    I know that this was NOT the intended meaning, but I feel it is reinforced by the ensuing Politician discussion outside of Padme's bedroom (Where Obi-Wan expresses his distrust for politicians, Padme herself included.) Also, he surely jumped out the Window fast enough. Usually when someone is running away from their intended victim, the job of security is over. Padme was safe, poison worms dead, attacking droid was fleeing, job well done. Obi-Wan turned it into an investigation really fast.

    Carnage
  10. lovelucas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2004
    star 4
    not quite the right place for this but the post didn't warrant a separate thread:

    watching the deleted scenes - the scene with mace and obiwan when obiwan expresses his recognition that the council was right in rejecting qui gon's request to train anakin .....obiwan agrees that he was indeed too old. mace admonishes him with the probability that anakin is indeed the chosen one.. obiwan reminds mace of the arrogance, over-confidence and impetuousness of his padawan, that he's not ready for a solo assignment and that he has formed an emotional attachment with padme. these are major revelations IMO - i know some of this was discussed in an added scene in the temple with yoda....but not everything was included.....obiwan's awareness of anakin's feelings towards padme and sharing that with mace is rather substantial.

    plus it was fantastic to see the exact same visual set where anakin attempts to persuade mace to let him accompany the posse to confront palapatine. and also see the take-off/landing site that unfolded for obiwan in AotC but also for anakin in RotS. hadn't seen this in quite awhile and i welcomed the familiarity
  11. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    First off, Qui-gon did not shun the Code. The thing with him was that he was so hellbent on training Anakin, that he was willing to break the Code. In the past, he had tried to break the Code to get something done. It rarely succeeded it seems. Not enough to expel him, but enough to deny him a seat on the Council. However, Qui-gon was not as nearly concerned about it as Obi-wan was. Anyway, back to Anakin. Qui-gon felt that it was important to train Anakin, because of who he believed that he was. The Council only changed their minds for two reasons. 1. The Sith are back and if they find out about him, they could use him if he's returned home. 2. It seems that he is the Chosen One and so they let him be trained as a result of that. When it comes to the Naboo situation, they are allowed by the Senate and the Council to protect Padme. But they cannot lead her army without permission of both the Council and the Senate.

    Now, when it came to the issue of Padme, there is both a right and wrong answer. Obi-wan's right in saying that their job is only to safeguard her. Neither the Council nor the Chancellor has told them to conduct an investigation. If they were to attempt to, they would be in trouble. Anakin does have a point that it's implied, but until they are given the go-ahead, they cannot do anything other than protecting her. That's why after the whole deal with Zam Wessel, the Council has been granted leave to investigate and choose Obi-wan to conduct said investigation. But Anakin is wrong for making a promise that he could not keep, prior to this. Much less for pushing the matter as far as he did.

    In regards to the Council membership in ROTS, this is a whole different matter. As Anakin said to Palpatine, it is the Council who decides on membership. Not the Supreme Chancellor. The Council makes Anakin a member, but it is done their way. Not Palpatine's. Under normal circumstances, Anakin would have to be a Master. But since Palpatine is insisting that he be there as a personal representitive, that is what Anakin will become. Nothing more. Anakin's only having a fit because his greed and pride are clouding his judgment. He has yet to prove that he is worthy of the rank of Master, much less willing to sit on the Council. There appears to be no hard and fast rule saying that a Knight couldn't sit on the Council. But the Jedi have never put a Knight on. Only a Master.
  12. mandragora Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2005
    star 4
    That's what they thought. Unfortunately, they did it exactly Palpatine's way. Of course he knew very well why the Jedi hadn't made Anakin a master and he very likely banked on them to continue refusing Anakin the master title - thus pissing him off and driving a wedge between him and the order. And it completely worked out. By doing it "their way" they played right into the hands of Palpatine.
  13. voodoopuuduu Classic Trilogy Trivia Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2004
    star 5
    There appears to be no hard and fast rule saying that a Knight couldn't sit on the Council. But the Jedi have never put a Knight on. Only a Master.




    Wasnt Anakin wrong on this point and Ki-Adi-Mundi was a knight on the council in the TPM ??
  14. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    I believe the implication of early prequel-era EU was that Ki-Adi was a knight, but I think we have to assume that Anakin and Obi-Wan know what they're talking about in the movie, so that part of the EU has been contradicted. The stuff about the Council having five permanent members, four long-term members, and three short-term members also seems to have been contradicted by the films.

    Regarding the main topic, though, I don't think the Jedi Council was playing it fast and loose with the rules, not at all. They agreed to put Anakin on the Council only under extreme duress from Palpatine. I don't think they had any other choice but to do what their beloved leader asked, given that some people already suspected the Jedi of treason and they couldn't afford to raise further doubts. And as for the Jedi deciding to spy on Palpatine and work behind his back on some missions, again, they did it only because they really, truly had to. Remember, they've known for years that something is seriously wrong in the Republic, and we know they've been harboring suspicions about the Chancellor. It never should have taken them so long to become suspicious of him and learn not to apprise him of everything they were doing. If anything, they waited too long because they were far too obsequieous in their reverence for rules. (And besides, as Obi-Wan says, the Jedi are supposed to serve the Republic, not the person who happens to be its current leader. It was not a violation of the Jedi Code to choose to mislead the Chancellor and eventually plot against him for the good of the Republic.)

    I think one of the main themes of the PT is that the Jedi fell because they had too many rules and weren't willing to be flexible when necessary (as Qui-Gon was). If they hadn't been so strict about the no-marriage rule, for example, the entire situation that led to Anakin's fall to the dark side might have never existed. But because there was no flexibility and Anakin had to conform to Jedi protocol, Anakin (and presumably many other would-be Jedi as well) ending up falling by the wayside. It just happened that it took a few thousand years before one of the disenchanted Jedi happened to bring about the downfall of the order.
  15. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Ki-Adi-Mundi being a Knight has probably been retconned.

    Anakin falls because he's greedy. He only makes excuses like the Jedi don't trust him or don't give him what he wants, to cover up the fact that deep down he knows the truth. He cannot accept that death comes to people.
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