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Lit How centralized/decentralized should the Jedi be?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Ghost, Feb 20, 2022.

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How centralized/decentralized should the Jedi be?

  1. Jedi should be a highly-centralized organization, led by one Supreme Leader or High Jedi Council

    21.4%
  2. Jedi are a decentralized organization, multiple temples, no clear leader, but somewhat organized

    50.0%
  3. multiple Jedi organizations, not all necessarily working together

    28.6%
  4. completely decentralized, no Jedi organizations, each following the Force, wandering do-gooders

    21.4%
  5. OTHER option for Jedi centralization/decentralization (please describe)

    7.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Darth Dnej

    Darth Dnej Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 27, 2013
    I would like an Order with some organization and leaders, but not to the extent we saw during the end of the Old Republic and such. And then I want there to be people who don't take orders from a central Jedi Order while still being recognized as a Jedi (provided they don't turn to the dark side or do certain other things that make them too removed from a Jedi).
     
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  2. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    I'm saying they shouldn't be a centralized organization at all.
     
  3. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Well that presents a problem. Namely who organizes the Jedi in times of actual war, who liaisons with or works with the government? Also if the Jedi are all going their own way, what happens to any sort of unified discipline, standard of conduct or purpose?
     
  4. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    That’s what this thread is about.

    No one organizes Jedi in times of war, under this example. If they want to fight, they join the military of the side they’re called by the Force to support.

    No need for anyone to liaison or work with the government.

    Avoid a unified Jedi war discipline, avoid a unified Jedi standard of conduct or purpose.

    You can have Jedi warriors, but no Jedi army. Jedi can individually respond, but there is no official Jedi response.

    It would be like asking all polymaths with photographic memory to have their own army, their own separate code of conduct, their own unified war strategy. That makes no sense. Just like it doesn’t make sense to say Blonde people or left-handed people need to have the Blonde Army or the Left-Handed People Army. If they want to fight, they join the army they want to fight for. If there is no army and some want to lead/create one, then those interested can do that, if they really think that’s what the Force wills. But the Jedi don’t need to be centralized.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2022
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  5. AusStig

    AusStig Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    I think they should be organised like Space Marine Chapters. Each 'Chapter' of jedi, run their own affairs with their own focus but in the need arises they can be called upon the to aid the greater Order.
     
  6. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Hmm, I just picked up TOTJ and I've been going through it, and something I found notable was that there doesn't seem to be any Jedi Council or Jedi leaders of any sort. When Odan-Ur has his premonitions of a Sith attack, he's not able to pass this information up the chain of command because there isn't one. Rather, it's up to him to petition other individual Jedi for aid.
     
  7. MercenaryAce

    MercenaryAce Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Yeah - if I remember correctly, there is a mention in Redemption of Nomi helping found the jedi council in response to what happened with the great sith war. It seems like before that, jedi either acted on their own, or had to call all the jedi together to conclaves to decide things.
     
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  8. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Nomi calls a Jedi Convocation, much like was called in Dark Lords of the Sith.

    Still, there's a pretty clear Jedi Council analogue in DLOTS.[​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
     
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  9. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    This, to me, has always been a very fundamental argument and one that is hard to come up with a satisfactory answer to. I would suggest that even the authors of the books and movies (or even Lucas) cannot agree upon a workable answer. Because the route to becoming a Jedi is, in many ways, a very internal (very Buddhist-like) journey, the thought of actually Centralizing such an idea seems to be at odds with what it means to be a Jedi. However, because the Jedi seem to have always been, at least in some form, sponsored by a government, this does imply that a centralized authority structure is needed.

    Obviously, in a war, a clearly defined command-structure is needed...but what of times of peace? Surely a more flexible model would be useful? In peacetime, it is useful to allow the on-scene asset to become semi-autonomous.

    I've touched on this in other threads, but why not allow 'part-time' Jedi? There is no reason that Tenel Ka or Danni Quee cannot be a 'reserve' Jedi, other than the fact that Luke (through Denning) didn't want that.

    If we have a Centralized command, what happens when that 'Grand-Master' (a term I've always hated) is misguided? Or wrong? Or evil? What are the checks on her/him? And this doesn't even touch on what the role of government should be regarding the Jedi? Or the role of Jedi with the government...for they are clearly two different problems.
     
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  10. AusStig

    AusStig Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    This speaks to a larger issue with the Jedi order. They seek internal improvement on an individual level, but also to improve others lives. They seek to both be a part of the world and apart from it.

    Your buddhist example is a good one since there was an example of warrior buddhist monks, the Ikko-Ikki. Even then they were more decentralised with each monastery operating more or less on it's own. Which might be an endorsement of my 'chapter' idea.

    I do think the Jedi so operate more independently in times of peace but have the systems in place to come together when war happens. That could limit the power of a corrupt or wrong Jedi Grandmaster (like Luke in Denningverse).
     
  11. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2006
    When I think of Buddhist warrior monks, I think of Shaolin warrior monks. They definitely were/are not decentralized. Their primary purpose was defending their temple and surrounding areas. Not being wandering swordsmen necessarily righting wrongs.

    As internal as the Buddhist teaching and practice is.... it's always been fairly highly organized around core monastic communities.

    Taoism, even more so, would have an independent spirit but they still ended up with highly organized and regimented temples and monastic systems and priesthood. They also have a long and well established martial arts tradition.

    One of the problems we have in understanding the Jedi Order is essentially that nearly all our stories about them are at times of deep crisis where Jedi engaging in violence or even warfare is seeming impossible to avoid. We have never really gotten to see the Jedi operate purely as protectors and negotiators in peace time.

    High Republic rushed us headlong into a nearly apocalyptic conflagration right off the bat. We unfortunately didn't get a better picture of how the Jedi are operating with numerous Temples and outposts throughout the galaxy, and how much independence they have or how the majority of a given Jedi's time is spent at a Temple or outpost. Maybe they do equitably solve local squabbles like Joruus C'Baoth was doing badly in DFR. Perhaps they spend more time in quiet contemplation to broaden their connection with and understanding of the Force. For the vast majority of Jedi, the lightsaber is mostly a ceremonial tradition and another means of meditation through martial arts, rather than something they actually expect to have to use.

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  12. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Which, obviously, places limitations on what a 'Jedi micro-society' looks like when they're constantly being mobilized for war. Indeed, this has always been my gripe with the EU: the CONSTANT wars. Luke and Leia were pretty much fighting some battle somewhere for their ENTIRE adult life. What does that do to a Jedi? To a society?

    I would argue that this creates a 'worst-of-both-worlds' scenario. They accept government funding, but gripe when the government wants some control. They say that they want to remain free of political entanglements, but then form a 'Politburo' where they're part of the political leadership.

    None of this, of course, helps answer the centralized control question; which is really my point. If even the Jedi cannot decide whether they're a quasi-military institute or a quasi-religious order, then certainly the centralized control issue cannot be answered.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2022
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  13. AusStig

    AusStig Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    I agree. The PT Jedi are maybe the worst at this (and the worst Jedi aside from Saba and Dennings Luke), since they don't understand people due to their cult structure AND they try to interfere in the world.

    The Old Republic decentralised Jedi were free from this kind of institutionalised control, largely because they didn't have an institution. In SWTOR and Lukes early days the Jedi were more like like allies to the Republic.

    I think having the Jedi be based on the capital of the Republic is not a good situation.

    Based on this I think both could work, but it depends what you want more, more in the world or more in the force?
     
  14. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Bringing this thread back up since this topic was coming into the "how government aligned should the Jedi be" debate.
     
  15. VexedAtVohai

    VexedAtVohai Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2020
    A decentralised Jedi post-TRoS would certainly make it easier to tell stories about Grogu, Rey, Cal, Jacen, etc. without necessarily having to have them frequently intersect.
     
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  16. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2006
    That's just a bunch of Jedi wayseekers. Which no doubt has limitations in attaining the Jedi goal of promoting symbiosis.

    It could be helpful to have Jedi taking opposing stances in a dispute, if they both keep level heads. If one or both get overly emotional, however, it could easily fuel the fires of conflict well beyond what they started at.
     
  17. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    It would be good to have a lot more Jedi wayseekers. There could still be a Jedi order, but they're not all the Jedi or even most of the Jedi. There could also be multiple order, with slight variations, along with a lot of wayseekers.

    Jedi training is about keep level heads... and they probably train better at it than "normal" ambassadors, so yeah I see it being beneficial.
     
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  18. AusStig

    AusStig Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    isn't that the same flaw as large organisations? The people in them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
  19. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Which is why variety is better than uniformity.
     
  20. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    The Jedi have functioned fine as a uniform order. Is it true this causes blind spots? Absolutely! And even during the PT era, (one of the more dogmatically centralist times) there were Jedi like An’ya Kuro and Qui Gon who went their own way.

    What a unified council allows for is a unity of purpose. Compare this to the early NJO where you had Jedi vigilantes going off on their own, with no supervision. Kyp’s dozen and the like.

    Jedi operating on their own may be free to follow their own conscience, without the restrictions of the council. But this can result in other problems-Jedi barging into a conflict they don’t understand, and making it worse. Or Jedi alienating and provoking governments by going after “preferred” criminal organizations.

    Jedi have the capacity to do a lot of harm, even unintentionally, especially when they act unilaterally.

    For this reason, I’m of the opinion that some degree of order is necessary. So you don’t have Jedi going off to join the Killiks and initiating war with the Chiss, or hunting smugglers in the outer rim and thus provoking a political crisis with the government.

    One of the key themes of the EU(being generous enough to say any can be derived) is the question of can the Jedi serve galactic society and the force? What happens if these things conflict? What if the government is in the wrong? What if it’s in the right but your calling is meditation? What if the government is in the right morally but this is political suicide to say?

    Cal Omas asks the Jedi directly what they are, and Mara gives an answer “”more firepower than diplomats and less than a star destroyer”(paraphrasing). To do this the Jedi must be centralized as an organization. But with that, comes the problems this role brings.

    But if they are decentralized then they don’t have the capacity to solve problems.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
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  21. ConservativeJedi321

    ConservativeJedi321 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Its worth restating that these ideas are not absolutes.
    Diversity without uniformity is anarchy.
    Uniformity without diversity is a cult.

    I personally think the PT Jedi hit a good balance for the most part. If you want to argue that there is room for improvement fine, that is always the case.
    But Jedi can be free to express themselves, to have flexibility on missions (Say rescue a slave boy from the Hutts when they are supposed to be protecting a Queen), while also not going off and doing their own thing on a whim. Even with the force guiding them no Jedi can ever be perfect, and trusting your instincts won't remove bias or partisanship from the equation. It's better to have structure in order to prevent Jedi from coming to blows with each while taking sides in sectional conflicts and exasperating them in the process. Particularly relevant considering the obviously addictive nature of the dark side, some supervision is good to limit the risk of Knights being ruled by their emotions, whereas if everyone was off doing their own thing who knows what any given Knight could get up to. At that point what is to define a Jedi at all? It becomes a meaningless term attached to individuals who have nothing in common besides their affiliation in the force.

    I definitely fall on the more structured side of the spectrum, but that does not mean it should be blindly so. It shouldn't be a monarchy, or a personality cult centered around one person. It should be an Order united for a common purpose, serving an ideal, and working together towards a common purpose: a more peaceful galaxy modeled in the light side of the force.
     
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  22. HMTE

    HMTE Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2021
    My ideal would be a loose federal model. Each sector would, ideally, have at least one Jedi Outpost with a dedicated group of Jedi based there permanently (or, at least, on rotation). These Jedi would be be focused on the needs of the individual planets and peoples in their sector of responsibility, and have some degree of independence when it came to responding to whichever problems arise in their main area of jurisdiction. There would be a central Temple or headquarters and some sort of High Council with wider reach, but that Council's authority would be more of a coordinating body rather than an unchallengeable High Command. This way there is a central authority that can cooperate with the needs of the galactic government and focus on the big problems without allowing local issues to slide through the cracks.

    In my opinion most of the problems caused by the Prequel Era are due to the structural issues of the Jedi Council.

    If there is going to be a central authority, a Jedi High Council, the Council would have to undergo serious structural reforms.

    Firstly, term limits for the High Council would definitely have to be overhauled. The seats of the Council in the Prequel Era were staggered between short term, long term, and life term appointments.

    I'd get rid of the life time term altogether. If the Council was kept at 12 members, I'd say 7 short term members and 5 long term members. How long should a term be? I don't know. Maybe 4 years for a short term, and 20 years for a long term, with no term renewals.

    That way, there is a long term goal and a short term perspective being addressed in Council sessions.

    Problem two is that the Council elects its own members. Anakin makes that clear in Revenge of the Sith. This leads to the same mind set being ingrained as doctrine. You're less likely to appoint someone to the Council if they're going to make things difficult for you.

    So, how do you get on the Council? I say have Jedi Convocations scheduled every four years. That way representatives of the Order as a whole meet, debate, discuss the issues that address them, and yes, elect the Council themselves. Who gets a vote? Knights and Masters. Apprentices would probably get an advisory voice, but not a vote.

    The problem with the Convocations as they were historically is simple; you can't really have all the Jedi drop what they're doing and meet as a whole. Especially if you schedule it regularly. The enemies of the Jedi would love to get them all in one place at one time to wipe them out. The Conclave at Deneba was a prime example of that.

    So, if that's the case, then this is where the proposed federal model would come into place. Each outpost would send a representative to a main deliberative Convocation that would meet every four years. This representative would come with their Outpost's ideas, problems and perspectives. That way you have the needs of the Rim, the Core, and everywhere in between being discussed when it comes to appointing the Jedi Council.
     
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  23. ConservativeJedi321

    ConservativeJedi321 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2016
    I can respect that as a pragmatic compromise.
     
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  24. HMTE

    HMTE Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2021
    Thanks. The way I see it is that the lion's share of the Order's problems stems from how top heavy the Council was in the Prequel Era. Yoda as Grand Master may have acted as a first amongst equals, but the reality is, from what we see on screen, that a lot of the decision making power was concentrated in Yoda and Mace's hands. The rest of the Council just seemed to go along with whatever their decisions were.

    And, at the risk of blaming Mace Windu for everything that went wrong, it seems to me Yoda was not as hands on as he could have been. He was a teacher, first and foremost, and it seems he let Mace actually make the major decisions and push them through the Council. Had Yoda been a bit more forceful in his admonitions of the arrogance and complacency he was seeing in the Jedi's ranks, they might have had fewer problems.

    According to Wookieepedia 5 members of the Council stood for life (or until resignation), 4 served long term and three served short term. So there is a built in supermajority that favors Councilors who stay in office as long as possible. Is it any wonder there weren't many new ideas percolating in the Council chamber? Such an unwillingness to change? Especially when some of the people on that Council had been in power for centuries?

    Add onto the fact that the Council's decision was final, and that there seemed to be no mechanism of appeal beyond trying to get them to change their minds, and you are left with an organization that is self perpetuating and unable to bring into its ranks anyone who could seriously challenge them intellectually.

    Sitting in a room with 12 people who agree with you isn't a conductive means of resolving problems that require a diverse array of viewpoints. It is a recipe for stagnation.
     
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  25. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    That would be good if there has to be a singular order.

    What's your opinion are there being multiple orders in the thousands or tens of thousands, and several hundred independent Jedi (with many just passing that down master to apprentice(s)?
     
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