Jedi Characterization

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Jane Jinn, Aug 5, 2002.

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  1. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Jan 12, 2000
    Here's a topic I've been curious about for a long time, though for a while, I felt a bit shy about posting this. But I've read a lot of JA fanfics over the course of the years, and I've seen the characterizations of the Jedi run from one extreme to another.

    How do you characterize the Jedi, and why? For instance, do they use the Force in a 'religious' way or are their Force powers just a 'cool' addition to their lives? (Which brings me to the tangential question of what they actually use the Force for? Is it only to benefit themselves, i.e. in battle, or is it to help others on a grander scale, i.e., the Jedi uses his powers to survive the battle against evil so that he can do good?) Do you see them as voluntarily celibate, even though George Lucas says they're officially not, or do you see them as even more, um, passionate than ordinary people? Are they deadly serious, or are they hysterically funny? Do they use swear words in times of emotional distress (or even in everyday conversation), or do they have more self-restraint? Are they more prone to emotional angst than other people, or does having the Force make them more optimistic and trusting that everything will work out for the best?

    What do you think?
  2. Aanix_Durray

    Aanix_Durray Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 29, 2001
    I don't think that one method of explaining or writing a Jedi is at adequate. Jedi number in the thousands, and each has a unique personality, thus each would have different views on life, the universe, and everything ( :) ). To say that all Jedi view the Force the same way is comparing all people and saying we agree on religion, which would be a stretch. It's shown in the official books that Jedi often have different "points of view" on the Force, and in the NJO it becomes a bit of a problem. I personally like to characterize a Jedi's view on the Force after his or her personality is solid, and base his/her use of the Force and opinion of it on that.

    My two cents,

    P.S. Great thread idea :)
  3. Jedi_Anakin_Solo

    Jedi_Anakin_Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Nov 27, 2001
    If it is an established character, I build off of and follow the characterizations in the EU or Movies. If it is an OC, I do whatever I want b/c the character is a unique individual, Jedi or not :).
  4. Herman Snerd

    Herman Snerd Jedi Master star 6

    Oct 31, 1999
    From the fanfics I've read, Jedi behavior is somewhat dependant upon what era the author is writing in.

    Prequel Jedi are usually written as more rigid and conforming while post-ROTJ Jedi are usually written as more independent and impulsive.

    This seems to fit, since the prequel era Jedi are the culmination of a thousand generations of teachings and traditions, whereas the post-ROTJ are seemingly starting over with a blank slate, given that Jedi teaching and history was supposedly lost during the time of the Empire.
  5. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 1, 1999
    My simple answer is: It depends.

    The explanation: depends on the being, like with everything else in the universe.

    I'm certain there are Jedi who curse, just as there are those who would never, ever even have nightmares about being so vulgar, even if it's not in public.

    As for the celibacy, you've touched on a sore spot with me. The whole 'A Jedi shall not love' thing is garbage. A being cannot control what or who they love, anymore than they can control any other emotion. They can certainly control how they are going to handle or react to their emotions, but the emotions themselves are out of their hands, so to speak. Forbidding love is foolish, like forbidding someone to wear anything other than, oh say, black. There will be times where that rule just can not be adhered to and still accomplish mission objectives.

    Someone pointed out to me that just that sort of rule showed how ridged and inflexible the Jedi Order was becoming, heralding the beginning of their downfall, so I don't mind that so much anymore. End of tirade.

    But as far as the celibacy thing goes, it's obvious that Force ability is hereditary, i.e. that whole 'the force is strong my family' bit that Luke goes through. That tells me that the easiest way to get new Jedi to help keep the galaxy running smoothly is to breed 'em. And sure, a creche can work wonderfully well, but there's certain things you learn from living in a family environment that you just can't learn anywhere else, and I really doubt the Jedi would pass up on the opportunity by fobidding Jedi couples to keep and raise their own children, provided their not going on dangerous mission anymore.

    I've always seen Qui-gon as a very passionate man when it comes to his convitions, willing to toss aside lesser concerns in order to do what he feels is right. And then I see Mace Windu as a more cool, analytical Jedi, adhereing to rules because of his strong belief in law, knowing jolly well that there is a reason those rules were put in place and not willing to bend without a great deal of proof that an exception should be made. This doesn't make one better than the other, just different and more suited for different types of missions entirely. Both have their place in the GFFA.

    I have to say, honestly though, that I don't see them angsting nearly as much as people seem to write them. Having the Force, knowing it is there, guiding you and helping you would make you a whole lot more optimisitic and hopeful then the rest of the galaxy at large, if you ask me.

    But that's just my opinion. :) Feel free to disagree.
  6. JediGaladriel

    JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 3, 1999
    Well, I think it's obvious that being a Jedi is a religion--they gather in a Temple and take vows, and that's certainly enough to establish that. Like any other religion, I'd guess that mileage varies on how devout people are, but clearly, we're talking about a religious order.

    I have no problem at all with celibacy as a religious rite--it's a voluntary sacrifice for the sake of service. (And yes, the "voluntary" is deliberate; I'm sure that, like any other community, they would hit a person with some guilt if he or she wanted to leave, but people can leave, or be expelled, as Anakin was threatened with in Clones.) We as a society have largely lost sight of sacrificial values, and that makes me sad, so I always try to write the celibacy angle with sympathy for the difficulty and nobility of the effort, but understanding of the failure to hold to it. (And I don't understand "A Jedi shall not know love" to mean not knowing it in the sense of compassion and so on; I think it just refers to possession--aka sex--and attachment. I think the attachment issue is more problematic than the sex issue. Attachment is an unconscious thing, and I don't think it can be truly avoided--and, as my friend puts it, a person who can't love in the particular will never love in general.)

    As to Force powers just being a "cool addition"--well, if they are, I'd say the person isn't a Jedi, just a random Force-sensitive person. Being a Jedi implies accepting the discipline and instruction of the Order to one degree or another.

    EDIT: Realized that saying we don't understand sacrificial things might be misconstrued. Of course people still make sacrifices. I mean voluntary symbolic sacrifices, like remaining celibate for religious reasons, or taking a vow of poverty even when money is available and there's no reason for it. Even a simple ritual like an annual fast is subject to people saying, "That's ridiculous, do you really think you're accomplishing anything?" Until very recently, the decision to do such a thing may have been questioned in individual cases, but was not questioned as a viable path.
  7. jodiwent

    jodiwent Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 11, 2000
    Chaos_______middle ground_______Order


    ____bounty hunter____rebel fighter

    ________our favorite pirate (maybe)

    I don?t know if my little diagram makes sense. I see the Jedi and the Sith as being representations of not just good and evil but order and chaos. The two are always in constant struggle, like the seasons. A plant grows and bears fruit, that can be seen as the order stage, the plant withers and dies that can be seen as the chaos stage. No matter what part of the cycle you?re in you know the other one is on the way, they keep each other in a strange kind of balance.

    As for individual characters, even within the part of the spectrum I?m calling order, there can be a wide variety.

    I see the jedi as a cross between samurai and sholin and a little good old medieval knight. All of those groups had rules that they followed.

    I think I?m rambling.

    Being ?passionate? can mean having a zest for life, I think even reserved jedi can show that. In my stories the jedi can marry, and often have loves in their lives. They are not supposed to be attached to people. The reason they are taken to the temple when they are young is so they will not show favor to their family or planet if they have to go on a mission where they may have to negotiate something that will effect them. If they came from a greedy family, that family might try to influence them into taking action that would only benefit them, not what was really needed.

    What I don?t like is stories where the jedi are seen as just plain ?randy? and wanting to jump into bed with anything that walks by.

    I also wanted to mention something about jedi and simplicity. Simplicity doesen't have to mean depravation. I like the idea of Japaneese style that enphisizes a beauty in simpilcity. I kind of see the jedi that way too.
  8. _Derisa_Ollamhin_

    _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2000
    jodi, it's interesting that you would equate the Jedi with Order and the Sith with Chaos. A while ago, I did some real serious thinking on this and it seems pretty clear to me that the Sith represent Order, while the Jedi better represent Chaos.

    Consider: The Emperor has created a new order in the galaxy, a clear hierarchical structure, with himself at the apex. Dissidents and sentients who cannot think like him are systematically destroyed, and the corruption of the Old Republic is curtailed.

    The Jedi, on the other hand, have become the enforcement arm of the galactic Senate, guarding peace and justice in the Galaxy. They follow the dictates of the Force, an energy field created by life itself. Life is very diverse, and diverges continuously, so it is inherently chaotic.

    The most orderly system of government is the dictatorship, and the least orderly is the equal representation democracy. The more votes and discussion, the more chaos. Since the Jedi are dedicated to preserving the principles of the old system, they seem to me to be closer allied with Chaos.

    It's a very common thing these days to equate Order with Good, so we'd like to put ur heroes on the side of Order, but it doesn't fit with the picture of the Jedi within the political system conflict of the GFFA.

    Good or evil has very little to do with it, I think, it's more like Order vs. Chaos. Order cannot co-exist with Chaos, whereas Chaos contains all things, even order. (Hope I haven't lost too many people with that apparent contradiction...)

    And on to Jane's questions:

    How do you characterize the Jedi, and why?

    Those Jedi I have added to the mix, I try to portray realistically as individuals within a galaxy-spanning Order. They have great power, and some of them are aware that with great power comes great responsibility. However, they are mortal and thus mortally flawed, in some cases tragically, in others, their flaws are overcomeable.

    For instance, do they use the Force in a 'religious' way or are their Force powers just a 'cool' addition to their lives?

    I try to imagine how it would feel to be able to tap into the vast power of all the life in a Galaxy. On the one hand, there should be this incredible sense of awe, that you are a part of this, and on the other, there's a certain amount of ego, that you have some sort of ability to direct all that power. I suspect the Jedi need to meditate merely to remember their place in the grand scheme of things, or else that ego part gets too strong, and they begin to slip, and do things for the wrong reasons.

    what [do] they actually use the Force for? Is it only to benefit themselves, i.e. in battle, or is it to help others on a grander scale, i.e., the Jedi uses his powers to survive the battle against evil so that he can do good?

    I think there may be difffering degrees of Force contact. Sometimes, the Jedi reach out to the Force to get a wider perspective on an issue or a situation, or to augment their own perceptions or skills to deal with a particular issue. Other times, I think the Force must make its will known through the Jedi, placing them where they may act pivotally to the Force's own goals: the continuance and thriving of life in the Galaxy.

    Do you see them as voluntarily celibate, even though George Lucas says they're officially not, or do you see them as even more, um, passionate than ordinary people?

    Actually, celibacy doesn't really make sense for every member of a Galaxy-spanning order. There are likely cultures out there that communicate or legally bind contracts with what seems like sex, it's not unknown in human society for sex to be a binding of a contract (witness Catholic marriage, for example: one way a marriage can be annulled is if it has never been consummated...)

    Sex is a normal and healthy part of being alive, and while I can understand the idea of not allowing traditional marriages and families within an Order as focussed and dedicated (and powerful)
  9. JediGaladriel

    JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 3, 1999
    If soemone can explain to me how abstinence is of benefit to the Jedi, I'd very much like to hear it,

    Learning to control one's impulses is always important, but particularly for people who are dealing with a vast amount of power. If Jedi get in the habit of saying, "What the heck, I feel passionate, let's jump in the sack," then they're more likely to say, "What the heck, I feel angry, let's Force-choke someone." It's a measure of self-control as a training tool.

    It is also, as I mentioned, a sacrificial act. It is not rational or explicable, it is simply a rite, a vow. This is not required to have a rationalistic explanation. It's done because it is traditional, and because it means something in the context of the Order. They are vowing themselves to the service of the galaxy through the Order, and they are asked to be monogamous to that vow. I'm not sure where that's a negative. No one is forcing them to make the vow, and they can leave the Order any time.

    Also, if attachments are forbidden--which you said you do understand--then the only sex left would be of either the tawdry one-night-stand variety or the clinical reproctive variety. How is it possibly healthy to say, "Well, you can mess around, but for heaven's sake, don't love the person you're doing so with!" I could understand your anti-celibacy statements (not agree with them, but understand them) if you also said that you didn't understand the attachment rules, but allowing sex while forbidding relationships just isn't healthy. So even if sex per se weren't prohibited, the prohibition against relationships and attachments ought to make them de facto celibate if they have anything resembling feelings. To suggest that they should have sex without relationships isn't suggesting that they be more emotional, it's suggesting that they be less so.

    Of course, metatextually, the purpose of it is to draw a distinction between two possible kinds of lives, both valid, but incompatible with one another. It's on the point of this choice that Anakin is torn in half. It's not supposed to be an easy choice, but I think it's a much more interesting love triangle than other triangles proposed in this context.
  10. jodiwent

    jodiwent Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 11, 2000
    Derisa you're right, it could be looked at that way too. I look at it the other way because I don't see nature as chaotic or random. I see the sith as wanting to restrain things, manipulate them to fit into a world view that puts them on top of everyone and everything else. I am into art, and if you know about fractals you can see that underlying seemingly chaotic patterns is order. But that is just my opinion.

    I see the idea of non-attachment as the Buddhist idea of 'living in the moment'. You could fall in love with someone and in that time and place have a physical relationship that does not have to only be a meaningless one night stand or just procreative. The question is, if you have a physical relationship with someone do you own them? Do they own you?
  11. JediGaladriel

    JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 3, 1999
    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying--that someone can fall deeply in love for one night, then not still be in love the next day? This doesn't strike me personally as being feasible, at least not as actually being love. And at any rate, it's still an attachment--love is always an attachment. (Like I said, I'm fine with the celibacy requirement, but lack of attachments seems counterproductive. Love of parents and friends and siblings is the beginning of the love of community and the love of the galaxy which they hope to serve.)

    I guess I hear "possession" and assume that it is a euphemism for sex, in which people possess one another's bodies, so that would cover that. (It's a common metaphor, anyway; another meaning for it would need more to establish itself than we were given.)

    I also don't understand the utter hostility toward voluntary celibacy. I can't imagine it being levelled at any other alternative lifestyle with impunity, and I guess it bugs me a little bit that people who choose to remain chaste (or to be a part of a religious order that requires and enforces it) for whatever reason are subjected, essentially, to being called inhuman and unnatural. I apologize for getting snippy on the subject.
  12. _Derisa_Ollamhin_

    _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2000
    You haven't been snippy at all, JG, in fact you put into plain terms something I had asked about.

    I agree with you about the attachments thing, but I think the exhortation about the Jedi not being allowed attachments is more so that they will deal equally with every culture or individual they are faced with in the course of their duties.

    I think the difficulty with the defining attachments as specifically meaning marriages and traditionaly family arrangements is that we are binding ourselves to the Western family definbition, and even if that were to work for the majority of humans (and there isn't really the evidence to say that it does) it can't be assumed to work for every alien race out there.

    It is possible to love more than one person at a time. We love our kids differently but equally, our friends the same, and even our pets, and there is no limit on the number of loves we have, so why the limit on the number of carnal loves? It just seems to me to be a bias of our own particular culture.

    Food for thought at any rate. I appreciate the honest answer, JG!:)

  13. Various

    Various Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 15, 2002
    Galadriel you have not bee snippy about it but you do seem to hit the issue quite a bit. I can't remember ever coming across someone who thought celibacy was evil or unnatural.

    I said once before that the main difference I see between the Sith and Jedi is how they seek to obtain order. Jedi seek to obtain it within themselves by having patience, understanding, acceptance and compassion for others. Sith seek it by creating it around them, by violence if necessary but not always so, because they are unable to create it within because they can't or are simply unwilling to try. The Jedi create stability within, the Sith use their powers to controll and force it to exist around them.

    The religeon behind the Jedi isn't necessarily what allows them to use the Force. They guard the secrets of training it because of the great power it can give to a single individual. Their religeon isn't so much a belief in a deity or anthing like that, it's more of a way of thought and guidlines to using the Force responsibly.

    Anakin was strong with the Force as a child and the Council did not want to train him. They sense his inner turmoil and we unsure that he'd be able to resolve it.

    The thing about not loving is about not having extremes of emotion. Love can easily turn into hate, I've seen it enough myself to know that much.

    I'd could go on and on with this but I won't. They key thing is that the Jedi have guildlines that must be learned in order to use the Force responsibly. The Sith have no such guidlines which may or may not make them evil depending on how they view the world and their own willingness to use their powers against others or not.
  14. Knight_Dilettante

    Knight_Dilettante Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 24, 2002
    Heads up. I can go on a bit when I get started and this is one of my current hot buttons. Hopefully it all makes sense (and is what I meant to say) and is spelt correctly.

    While I have yet to post a story here (with or without Jedi characterizations) I have been giving this subject a lot of thought since first hearing the "love is forbidden" stuff pre-EP2. Personally, regardless of what GL may have intended with those 3 phrases ("A Jedi shall not know hate. Nor anger. Nor love." iirc) I take the meaning to be that a Jedi shall not let any of those emotions (or any others for that matter) drive their behavior but rather will act in accordance with the dictates of the Force and according to the rules of the Jedi Order. Some will likely follow the Force and others will follow the Order if there is a conflict between the two. I see the prohibition against possession as being a prohibition against feeling ownership of anything including people and against wanting to protect it/them inappropriately. I see the prohibition against attachment as again being a prohibition against being attached to someone (or some cause etc.) to the point where you cannot do your duty. Or even hesitate before you do it. So I do not believe that love and marriage are forbidden or unattainable for a Jedi. But I do believe that it is not very common or easily approved. I believe it likely that the council would have to approve such a relationship because they would need to know that the couple would understand the need to put the greater good first at all times and that the Jedi could put his/her/their commitment to the order and the mission etc first.

    When thinking about the prohibition against attachment I think of a scene in the 40's movie O.S.S. where there is an American spy team working undercover in France. He (Alan Ladd) is out on a hill sending important intelligence info by radio signalling to a plane that is scheduled to fly by to pick up anything they might have each night or every Thursday or whatever it was. He has to signal for a certain length of time if, as on this night, it is too cloudy/stormy to see the plane acknowledge the signal (by dipping wings or something I don't recall exactly) or not. So he has to signal for something like 20 minutes in case they are late or whatever. Meanwhile the Gestapo has found the woman agent at the house they have been staying in. She is arrested and a boy who knows about them sees this and runs to tell the man so the man can rescue her before she is tortured and killed. The man knows she will be tortured brutally and likely will die unless he leaves right then to go rescue her. But he cannot leave his post for 10 more minutes because he still doesn't know if the plane has gotten this information. They could have already gotten it and left or they could be not coming at all or they could be almost there and just starting to get it. But it is important that the Allies have this information so he's doing his duty by standing at the top of the hill with the radio rotating himself in circles to maximise the chance the plane will get the signal and when you see his face you know he's dying inside. I think I remember that there are tears streaming down his face which is otherwise frozen in a calm that would be envied by a Jedi Master. But he does not leave until the time at which the plane will leave, if it is even there. I can't recall off the top of my head if the woman dies in the end or not. But I do seem to recall that she knows it is her duty to not let the Gestapo go looking for the man and she knows she is likely to be tortured and killed but she does her duty too. I may have some of the details wrong since it has been far too long since I've seen this film. The point being that his attachment to her cannot exceed his attachment to his duty or he fails. The scene where he stays on the hill doing his (possibly pointless, which is what makes it so hard) duty in spite of the boy's entreties to him to rescue the woman is so powerful it has stuck with for the at least 10 years since I last saw t
  15. jodiwent

    jodiwent Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 11, 2000
    No that is not what I ment.

    I give up, it seems no matter what I say someone on one side of the argument or the other takes it the wrong way.

    I hope the comment 'I also don't understand the utter hostility toward voluntary celibacy.' wasn't directed towards me. Anyone would be very mistaken to think that I think that way.

    Dilettante you said what I wanted to say much better than I did.
  16. JediGaladriel

    JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 3, 1999
    Oh, it was directly generally. This thread has been mild.
  17. Knight_Dilettante

    Knight_Dilettante Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 24, 2002
    <Dilettante you said what I wanted to say much better than I did. > *blush* I don't know about "better" but certainly "longer" would fit.

    I may not have made myself clear on the chastity issue either. I personally do not see that as a requirement for the Jedi life but I have no issue with someone feeling it is. Voluntary chastity is a fine thing. Of course once it is part of the rules of the order it is not exactly voluntary anymore. Particularly since you commit (or are committed) to the order before you can even spell chastity. Still, I can see there could be an argument for it. Certainly if "attachment is forbidden" is supposed to mean no long term loving relationships (regardless of sexual elements), then I think that would bolster the argument for the Jedi as a chaste order. Personally I feel that there is a lot to be gained from a mature, deep, love relationship that may (or may not) also involve a sexual relationship. Strength and resolve for example. But I can see getting those from some form of faith in the Force or even directly from the Force.

    And another side of the "attachment" coin (this must be an interesting coin I think it has at least 3 sides in my mind already) is that while it would be hard but doable to leave a mate at risk in order to fulfill a mission, it would be so much harder if it were your child (or even your padawan if you come to look on them as your child and in some ways probably even any child) that I think it would be very difficult for Jedi parents to raise their own children. Or even know which child was whose. You'd be creating potential hostages even if they could treat all children equally.

    Of course in the GFFA people of an age that I still think of as children are elected rulers of their planet and do such a good job their people want to change the rules to keep them in office. So perhaps I should be thinking of padawans as more like your college age child. Or your draftable age child. And initiates are perhaps kept safe in the temple. In theory at any rate.

    I have developed the theory of attachment that I described partly because I feel there would have to be some limits on forming relationships or impulsive Jedi like Anakin would be running amok dropping their missions to rescue anyone they want whenever they want regardless of the total cost. And partly as a way of maintaining internal consistancy between Episode 2, the Qui-Gon and Tahl stuff from the JA books and the hints I am seeing about Ep3. Of course Lucasfilm probably calls Jedi Apprentice "extended universe" for a reason and has no intention of worrying whether or not anything in the films contradicts anything in any book.

    And of course, you could be chaste and still have formed an attachment to someone and even feel a deep romantic love for them. And boy that could get you into trouble.

    I guess I am a literalist. I took the phrase "possession is forbidden" to be both completely literal. A Jedi does not "own" even the clothes on his or her back. They belong to the order if they "belong" to anyone or anything. And somewhat symbolic. A Jedi does not overly concern himself or herself with the crass physical world.

    Actually, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that any single post on this board involved more thought into the characterization of the Jedi Order than GL put in and now he is trying to write himself out of the corners he has written himself (and others have written him) into. I could be wrong. I'd like to be wrong. It could turn out to all be beautifully internally consistent once Episode 3 comes out. Being a "I don't care if the glass is half full or half empty. I'm thirsty, so hand it over." kinda gal I'll take just about anything I can get.

    Because GL's characterization is so vague it makes almost any viewpoint taken in fanfic valid I think.

    Here's a question: Why do we feel the way we do about these issues? Is it because we are developing the kind of Jedi Order we are comfortable living in/with? Or is it to investigate how we would deal with one that otherwise we as an individual wou
  18. JediShampoo

    JediShampoo Jedi Master star 1

    May 5, 2000
    JediGaladriel says:
    Also, if attachments are forbidden--which you said you do understand--then the only sex left would be of either the tawdry one-night-stand variety or the clinical reproductive variety. How is it possibly healthy to say, "Well, you can mess around, but for heaven's sake, don't love the person you're doing so with!"

    Of course, this is assuming that in the GFFA, one-night stands are considered "tawdry." They might not be in the galaxy of the Old Republic, on one of the many thousands of worlds, with thousands of customs, that comprise it. But I understand that it is hard not to impose the standards of our society on the GFFA, because the movies and books that define it were created by regular old everyday humans right here on good old planet Earth.

    As this all applies to the Jedi, well then no matter my personal writing preferences, I am forced to agree that random sex is probably a bad idea, especially for "human" Jedi. We have the example of Anakin to show us that human hormonal urges can drive some of them to defy the well-planned Order, sparking a chain of events that may eventually lead to havoc being wreaked upon the universe by Chosen Ones. And there was probably a really good precedent or two in the far-flung Jedi past to make the "no love/no attachment" rule a good idea. But even the best of the Jedi can't control EVERY urge EVERY time, that we've seen, at least.

    If in writing fanfiction we are expanding on the universe that LFL has given us, then practically anything goes (depending on the forum you're in). In fact, I think there have been some pretty darn strange mating rituals already described for us in the EU.

    Who's to say the Jedi don't have their own little release valves in place for those kinds of urges? Maybe they have special meditations, or special places to go. I hesitate to write this for fear it will inspire yet another bad slash or cheesy bondmate fanfiction ritual, but there it is. If Jedi are not celibate, as GL tells us, then maybe they have somewhere to go to take care of business or some rules they must follow when doing so. IE:

    Rulebook heading 114, sections 1-652: Rules to follow when encountering a new species.
    Rulebook heading 115, sections 1-45: Rules to follow in sexual situations.

    Yeah, I know, it sounds silly, but hey.

    As for the Force: Strangely, on the whole, I might tend to agree with "Various." I see the Jedi as believing themselves to be the chosen ones who have been granted use of the Force (as opposed to your everyday midichlorian-free galactic citizen). With great power comes great responsibility, etc. Thankfully, seeing the level of power the Force gives to one who has it and knows how to use it, they have developed methods of meditation to temper it and rules to follow when using it. The Jedi Council are the gatekeepers, of sorts, who make sure the right type of person is allowed to develop their use of the Force. And thankfully, their training programs are good enough to ensure that most developed Jedi use their powers for good and not evil. Of course, some Jedi are more spiritual than others, but that just depends on their personality. Overall I think the Jedi Order is just a way to control the midichlorians rampaging across the galaxy and direct them in a positive manner. They may see it as developing a Jedi's potential, but it's also a bit of a control issue.

    As for being funny or angsty, well, I guess like others have said before me, that depends on the Jedi. The only thing I ask is that people think about the character they're trying to write. Obi-Wan is a pretty by-the-book guy, but he gets a littly dryly silly at times. And he's definitely not the screaming and yelling or weeping and moping type. I think a writer would have a little less leeway with such an established and "staid" character than with someone they've created on their own, who can act however they wish, within the limits of not going Darkside on everyone.

    Just my agreements, mixed in with my four or five cents. Nice
  19. jodiwent

    jodiwent Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 11, 2000
    I posted this in the jedi code thread, but I think it can go here too.

    I just got a new book at the store, it is a role playing guide (The Power of the Jedi Source book) it is all Jedi stuff. There is a section on the jedi code. I am going to list the main points, in the book each of these points have a paragraph after them going into more details of each one.

    I still think authors should make the characters their own, but this is a good guide for how your Jedi character's should act.

    This is directly from the book : to good Jedi conduct. Transgressions of the code, while cause for concern, should never be confused with turning to the dark side.

    Conquer Arrogance
    Conquer Over Confidence
    Conquer Defeatism
    Conquer Stubbornness
    Conquer Recklessness
    Conquer Curiosity
    Conquer Aggression
    Conquer External Loyalties
    Conquer Materialism

    Practice Honesty
    Honor Your Promises
    Honor Your Padawan
    Honor Your Master
    Honor the Jedi Council
    Honor the Jedi Order
    Honor the Law
    Honor Life

    Duty to the Republic
    Render Aid
    Defend the Weak
    Provide Support
    This could give an author a lot of ideas for character flaws that their Jedi character might have to overcome in their stories.
  20. Knight_Dilettante

    Knight_Dilettante Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 24, 2002
    Thanks Jodiwent,

    I'm going to have to look into getting that book. I'm still trying to come up with a reason beyond the obvious for the inconsistancy I see between what happened in the JA books with Tahl & Qui-Gon (JA14 I think) and what is said in AotC. Maybe this book will enlighten me. When I try in my mind to create an explanation that covers both I end up with my theory that Jedi can have relationships but there's probably some sort of test like there is for knighthood and if you are too intense (like Anakin) or you can't do your duty as a Jedi before your duty as a life partner (which almost tripped up Qui-Gon and would have tripped up Anakin if Obi-Wan hadn't straightened him out) then you will be told you have to give up either the relationship or the Jedi.

    The obvious reason being that Lucas never even reviewed (or rather had someone review) story lines let alone character arcs for the JA books and certainly didn't have them read before publishing to make sure they didn't contradict something he was doing later. Or he didn't know he was going to do it later and it was only after it was too late that he decided "a Jedi shall not know love".
  21. JediGaladriel

    JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 3, 1999
    Actually, I seem to remember on the original hype for the novel (you know, that "We have the first word on the next novel" sort of thing) where Qui-Gon and Tahl decide they love one another, the word "forbidden" was brought up. But when the actual novel came out, it wasn't there anymore. So maybe it was taken out for fear of being a spoiler? (I think it quite possible that Watson came up with the forbidden idea on her own--it seemed rather obvious after TPM--but then was told not to spill the beans. After all, LFL was pretty much trying to prevent spoilers on the obvious fact that, yes, Anakin and Amidala get married! Shock of shocks!)
  22. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    Something that occurs to me on the "Jedi Sex purely for procreation" (and the reason I cannot buy into the Ki-Adi-Mundi's harem of wives backstory, because his people are extinct) is: artificial insemination. If it is so important to a species/race/people to preserve bloodlines, artificial insemination or egg donation by a Jedi makes much more sense than marriage.

    That would enable a Jedi to fullfill the celibacy rule (or lack of attachment rule, since the celibacy rule seems to be a topic for debate) while still complying with the demands of his/her/its native homeworld for his/her/its genetic material.

    If GFFA can grow clones in artificial wombs, I'm betting they can grown actual fetuses. Or find surrogates, like they are doing now in zoos to preserve rare and vanishing species; an ova is fertilized and implanted in the womb of another, non-rare species. Indeed, it would make much more sense for a Jedi female, who would either have to continue her duties while pregnant (and we know Jedi get into perilous situations) and thus endanger the child or take a leave of absence to carry and bear the child (and if there are so few Jedi, would that truly be viable?)

    So for me the whole "sex for preservation of the species" doesn't ring true as an excuse for Jedi romance. :) It would be a very interesting plot bunny, if anyone wants to tackle it.

    I also think, too, that many alien species are probably governed by purely hormonal cycles, and only have interest in sex/mating at certain times during the year. Humans, of course, are able and usually willing to do it at any time. But think of, say, pandas. A female comes into season only once or twice a year. Only then does she show any interest in the male. And only then does the male show any interest in her. The rest of the time, they have no interest in each other sexually. I'm willing to bet that a lot of alien races operate like this.

    Now for me, personally, I vary from George's canon in my fics, though they must be AU: I do like to envision Jedi romances and attachments within the Order, where both partners are aware of the needs of their duty and the Force, and knowing that their personal relationship might have to be sacrificed at any time to meet those needs. I somehow just don't see Jedi "one-night stands" or romances outside the Order, because I cannot see the other partner accepting the reality that "Duty comes First." Just think about the stresses and high divorce rates in the military and in police marriages.

    As to Qui & Tahl, she was so arrogant and turned out to be such a hypocrite, I simply can't buy that he'd ever be attracted to her! Apart from physically...
  23. Knight_Dilettante

    Knight_Dilettante Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 24, 2002
    Spoiler warning - next paragraph for JA 15-18 or something like that.

    I kinda liked the idea of Tahl (though not necessarily Tahl herself - I can take her or leave her) as a sort of "horrible warning" that makes a big impression on Obi-Wan. Which would tend to make him consider a serious relationship between Anakin and anyone even/especially Amidala as a Bad Thing (tm). Obi's seen his Master, who while he may not have always *snicker* done what the Council wanted did seem to always follow what the Living Force was telling him. And who was described as always compassionate etc, not go to help endangered people right away, even though it was what they should do as Jedi, because he felt the need to go get Tahl. Qui-Gon turned around from the wrong path but only after he had started down it. And to top things off then Obi sees Qui-Gon in a great deal of emotional pain after her death to the point of nearly losing it. I'd bet he decides there is no way he is going to let himself be vulnerable in that way (bummer). And he wants to protect his padawan from that pain just as much as from the reaction of the Order.

    I tend to think that in the whole history of the Jedi Order they would be likely to have considerably more than 20 leave voluntarily if they do absolutely forbid all marriages etc. 20 out of a population of 10,000 Jedi in the order times however many generations the losses of the 20 cover has got to be a lot less than the rate at which priests leave the Catholic church in order to marry. I have seen numbers for priests leaving to marry as high as 1 in 3. And if they are that much better at surpresssing or removing those sorts of needs/desires than normal humans are then that should hold true for other needs/desires and we don't have much to run with anymore do we? Not to mention that I don't think that fits with the images of giving in to lesser stressors than love that we have seen in just the two most recent films.

    If we are very lucky GL will give us a definitive answer in 2005. But I'm not holding my breath.

  24. Knight-Ander

    Knight-Ander Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 19, 2002
    Yeah, but tell us how you really feel. :D

    This is a pretty interesting, and insightful forum. I think I'll stick around for awhile.
  25. Renton Kenobi

    Renton Kenobi Jedi Master star 4

    May 24, 2000
    I think there are many ways you can come to Jedi characterization.

    First- If you are working with original characters from the films, you can be as true to the character as you see fit. However, you may not agree with some of the characters traits and can tweek their attitude in moderation. (It's fanfiction ladies and gentlemen, you could do the characters anyway you see fit.) But you must keep in mind that the characters are set into the minds of everyone who is reading your work, and most will not tolerate characters that act some way the original character wouldn't.

    Second- For your own original characters I usually find it interesting to throw in some imperfections into my Jedi. (Example: My character Anen Li has always struggled with her anger.) My own personal preference is to see Jedi that are not flawless. They may be Jedi Knights but they are human too. (This may come from the fact I appreciated alot of Qui-Gon Jinn's outlook on the order, but I dunno.)

    Lastly- It's all in how you percieve the order. I personally don't see it as some holy thing, it has its own problems and things to deal with. Don't worry about trying to fit it into the perfect adaption of it. No one could really pull it off I think.

    Anyway, ignore me like you want to. Or take into consideration what I said.

    -Renton Kenobi
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