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Lit Should Jedi serve a government, or be independent from any government to serve all life?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Ghost, Oct 14, 2023.


Should Jedi serve a government, or be independent from any government to serve all life?

  1. Government-aligned (ex: the Republic, or other "rightful" governments whether it be one or many)

  2. Independent from any government in order to serve all life

  1. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Sep 2, 2012
    It's not till the Dark Nest, several years after NJO, that Luke basically made it a "choose - be a ruler or a Jedi" thing. Prior to that, it did seem like he felt she could balance the two.

    Destiny's Way (NJO)

    “As I name you,” Luke said, “may you step forward and be garbed in the robes of a Jedi Knight.
    “Tenel Ka!”
    The Queen of Sixty-Three Worlds, for good or ill, took formal precedence over the others. As the drums began a solemn march, she stepped from the line of apprentices and came to stand by the podium.
    “Remove your lightsaber, please,” Luke said. Two Jedi Masters, Kenth Hamner and Kyp Durron, stepped forward from the group of the Jedi Council carrying Tenel’s new robe. They pulled the robe around her, then buckled her lightsaber over it.
    Luke stepped away from the microphone. He hadn’t told Cal that he was going to do this, but he wanted a part of the ceremony to be a private thing, for the Jedi alone.
    He put his hands on Tenel’s shoulders and looked at her closely.
    “Yours is perhaps the most difficult task of all,” he said. “The path of a queen is different from that of a Jedi. Your duty as queen of Hapes will inevitably come into conflict with the simpler values of the Jedi.”
    He looked into her shadowed gray eyes. “I don’t tell you to choose one path over another. I only hope that you choose with your heart, and choose wisely.”
    Luke reached over Tenel’s shoulders, took her cowl, and drew it over her head. Tenel Ka returned to her place. Luke stepped back to the podium.

    Dark Nest III: The Swarm War

    “In the order I envisioned, we served the Force by following our own consciences. We taught our apprentices well, and we trusted them to follow their own hearts.” Luke looked directly into Leia’s troubled eyes. “It was a splendid dream, but it has been growing more impractical for some time now.”
    Luke returned his gaze to the other Jedi. “My mistake was in forgetting that good beings can disagree. They can evaluate all of the evidence and study it from every angle and still reach opposite conclusions. And each side can believe with pure hearts that only their view is right.
    “When that happens, it’s easy to lose sight of something far more important than who’s right and who’s wrong.”
    Luke fixed his eyes on Kyp, who managed to avoid looking away despite the color that came to his face. “When the Jedi are at odds with each other, they are at odds with the Force.”
    Luke shifted his gaze to Corran, who responded with a contrite lowering of the eyes. “And when the Jedi are at odds with the Force, they can’t perform their duty to themselves, to the order, or to the Alliance.”
    “I’ve meditated at length, and I’ve concluded that how we respond to a crisis—the one facing us now or any other—is far less important than responding to it together. Even with the Force to guide us, we’re only mortal. We are going to make mistakes.
    “But mistakes by themselves will never destroy us. As long as we work together, we’ll always have the strength to recover. What we can’t recover from is fighting among ourselves. It will leave us too exhausted to face our enemies. And that is what Lomi Plo and the Dark Nest want. It’s the only way they can defeat us.”
    Luke took a deep breath. “So I’m asking each of you to rethink your commitment to the Jedi. If you can’t place the good of the order above all else and follow the direction chosen by your superiors, I’m asking you to leave. If you have other duties or loyalties that come before the order, I’m asking you to leave. If you cannot be a Jedi Knight first, I’m asking you not to be a Jedi Knight at all.”

    Danni released Luke and embraced Mara and Leia and Han, then left the room.
    She was barely gone before Tenel Ka, the Queen Mother of Hapes, strode in. She held her dimpled chin high and her shoulders square, but the resolve in her eyes was more heartbreaking than reassuring.
    Tenel Ka flashed Leia a sad smile, then turned to Luke. “Master Skywalker, I would like nothing more than to place myself entirely at the Jedi order’s disposal.” She bit her lip, then reached under the Jedi robe she had donned for her visit and removed her lightsaber from its clip. “And if there were only myself and my daughter to consider, perhaps I would.
    “But that would be irresponsible. I am the sole able-bodied sovereign of an interstellar empire, and if I were to relinquish my throne, my nobles would spill lakes of blood fighting to take my place.” She held out her lightsaber to Luke. “It is with great regret that I must surrender this. I simply cannot fulfill the duties of a Knight in the Jedi order.”
    “I understand.” Luke accepted Tenel Ka’s lightsaber, then pushed it back into her hand. “But please keep your lightsaber. You earned the right to carry it, and that can never be taken away.”
    Tenel Ka managed a sad smile. “Thank you, Master Skywalker. Your gesture means a great deal to me.”
    “Thank you, Queen Mother,” Luke said. “You may have assumed other duties for now, but you carry within you everything that a Jedi Knight is. Perhaps one day you will be free to return to the order. There will always be a place for you.”
    Tenel Ka’s smile turned more hopeful. “Yes, perhaps that is so.”
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2023
  2. ConservativeJedi321

    ConservativeJedi321 Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 19, 2016
    I honestly feel like Luke in the DNT has a rather strong point.
    And to his credit he is never harsh about it, and leaves it open for her to rejoin at a later date.
    Dawud786 and Vialco like this.
  3. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    Luke is absolutely in the right here. Sooner or later if you're going to be part of an organization(especially a religious order), you have to decide "is this the first priority in my life or not?" if it is, then everything else is secondary and should be discarded if it can't be placed down the line, if its not, then maybe that life isn't for you.

    This is the case with monks and nuns and priests today, as well as things like say the military or being in the intelligence community. Certain professions and callings demand one's full devotion and attention. You can have a life outside of it, sure but you cannot place any other concern or obligation above it.
    ConservativeJedi321 likes this.
  4. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Chosen One star 5

    Dec 28, 2006
    That's precisely why the Jedi even had a non-attachment rule in the first place. A spouse, children, parents, extended family can and probably would become obstacles to Jedi being able to be neutral parties in conflicts that they are supposed to be mediators of. If they have loyalty to family, country etc that interferes with the mission of the Jedi Order and/or the will of the Force or the greater good... It comes at great cost. As we saw with Anakin/Vader.
  5. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Oct 13, 2003
    I disagree.

    The Jedi aren’t really a religious order, and they don’t necessarily need to be an order at all.

    Even if so, many religious orders don’t make you swear fealty to the order above all else. It’s to their definition of a higher power, and up to them to follow in the way they are called. As for the example of military/intelligence, that brainwashing total obedience is immoral. What Luke says in that DNT quote is similar to how the Nazis tried to justify themselves that they were only following orders from their superiors. The will of the order doesn’t mean the will of the Force.

    To disagree is a natural part of life, and of the Force, and should be natural of Jedi. It’s only when management of conflict becomes negative (for example, violent) does it become a bad thing. In that Luke quote, if the entire order is staying united together if they go down a darker path, there should definitely be people disagreeing and opposing. Yes, staying united would make them more powerful… but if there centralized leadership is misguided then it should be less powerful.

    They don’t need resources from the government, and shouldn’t be bribed into allegiance if they accept them as gifts.

    They don’t need government legitimacy. They can also earn trust to be mediators without it, individually or collectively, and there could always be individual Jedi who join a government and become its official ambassadors.

    The Jedi shouldn’t necessarily defend any government. They should defend the people, they should defend nature, they should follow the will of the Force. That’s how to be true guardians of peace, justice, and freedom in the Galaxy.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2023
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  6. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    They absolutely are. They serve the force, a supernatural or preternatural entity, that only they and a few select other groups have any real relationship with. They have certain rituals, and beliefs about the nature of the universe, as well as general codes of behavior for their members, certain requirements to join must be met, standards of discipline as well as generally being cut off from the "laity". That's a religious order.

    They are an order because they have a shared history and set of beliefs and traditions. As well as the accumulated experience and knowledge such a collective entity brings. Including training and education techniques. Something Luke was sorely lacking because there was no order.

    You are dramatically misunderstanding the passage. Luke is saying he understands people have lives but that for the Jedi to function and overcome challenges, its members must be 100% committed. Not halfway or a quarter, or a third. It must be their life and duty. Given the Dark Nest crisis already had Jedi joining the Killiks, creating a political nightmare with regards to the GA and the Chiss, Luke's insistence is more than reasonable.

    I don't think you're really grasping what the Jedi do. The reason why UN peacekeepers in RL aren't immediately fired on by both sides in a conflict is because the UN is an institution of legitimate authority, the reason people entertain social workers is because they have the government behind them and so on. The Jedi are wise, and respected but without a government's backing they are just interlopers. Likely to be dismissed off the bat or shot at. Having the backing of the government obligates warring parties or parties in a dispute to listen to them and respect their word. And even then violence or rank dismissal is a risk the Jedi have to accept.

    What do you mean "the people"? Do you mean every single soul? The wealthy and well connected? The poor and downtrodden? What about species locked in existential wars? Do the feelings and needs of CEOS exploiting worlds in the corporate sector mean as much as the species they are driving to extinction? Presuming you mean "those in the right or oppressed"-who determines this? What if order has broken down in a sector and the Jedi need to help bring a stable government into being that is guaranteed to be rejected by at least half the population? Do the people include droids?

    One of the things the PT era does well is demonstrate what you are saying is not near that easy, or simple. There are countless competing interests at every level of galactic society, bad actors and self-interested actors. Being "guardians of peace and justice" without delving into the specifics is nothing but empty rhetoric. What exactly do you think guarantees this? Sapient goodwill? The galaxy is vast, there are countless ongoing conflicts, disputes and disagreements. Many of which can't be resolved with a gentle lecture and an exhortation to kindness. Species fight for worlds, for resources, corporations struggle against each other and governments, different constituencies insist their leaderships pursue war or secession or agitation against peace. What allows the Jedi to have any effect at all, beyond their reputation is a government's backing.

    Okay should the Jedi require every member contribute to some sort of fund? How about extracting taxes from a local population? How will you pay for the ships, computers, machinery, training droids, clothing procurement, educational materials, holocomm installations and everything else the Jedi need?

    Disagreement is healthy and natural, but any organization if it wants to be effective as an organization must enforce a degree of uniformity in action amongst its members. They may have the right to protest, to leave if they cannot be reconciled, or even for leadership to be obligated to listen to their opinions but once a decision is made, being a member obligates one to obey. That's true in a corporation, a religious order, a government, a military, even families.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2023
  7. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Oct 13, 2003
    The Jedi shouldn’t be an organization. Only Jedi who want to join an organization, but not required to be an organization itself.

    And no, an organization does not require uniformity that obligates all members to obey. - that’s dictatorship. There are many organizations I think we both could think up for not requiring uniformity and obedience above all.

    As for those resources, you’re the only one saying they’re necessary. The Jedi shouldn’t require blood money for fancy toys. The oath of good may be more difficult and require more patience, but it’s the right path. They can get by on their own and with friends.

    And yes, the Jedi should serve and defend all the people, all life, all sentients. There’s a reason why the Jedi think even killing the Sith is wrong. Serving them doesn’t mean fulfill their every wish.

    No, the Jedi should not be UN peacekeepers (and your social worker example is too weird to even debate). I understand what the Jedi’s role in the PT was, I.m a political science major and have a MPA and have worked for the government. Let the Jedi be interlopers, who have just earned a reputation and are there to help. Or an individual Jedi could join the diplomatic corps of one government if they really want the “legitimacy.”

    Yes, I do understand that quote from Luke in DNT. I disagree with it. They should NOT be 100% committed to the order, or any government or organization. Just to the will of the Force… which means doing the right thing no matter how hard it is, no matter how ineffective it might seem compared to the quick and easy path that leads to darkness.

    The Jedi aren’t religious, the Force is not supernatural, it’s a scientific phenomenon. And what you described is a culture, not a religious order.

    The Jedi may have been an order, and organization, at some points in their history.. but they should not be. And you’re right, Luke didn’t have an order, but he was still a Jedi… and in ROTJ, he surpassed all previous Jedi of the Jedi Order.

    @Darth Invictus
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2023
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  8. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    But they are though. Where do you think they will get their training and institutional backing?

    That's absurd I'm not going to bother responding to it.

    That's...naive in the extreme. You may as well insist the Jedi stay on Ossus or Tython. As they'll lack the ships to leave the system.

    Actually, Jedi views on this throughout Legends history have varied depending on the time. Jedi have absolutely been willing to kill Sith during times of war. Even during the films, Yoda and Obi Wan are trying to kill Sidious and Vader. Beyond that, the "people" aren't real. If you mean some unified collection. What there is, is a mass of sapient life divided in innumerable ways that simply being kind or respectful too will not always (or even most of the time) prevent conflict.

    And I have a history degree, as well as one in education. How long do you think it takes to "earn a reputation" when there is a crisis ongoing right then right there? Or why certain parties should just...respect the Jedi because they were patient? What you're proposing I would charitably call naive and pollyannish, someone less charitable might call it nonsensical fantasy.

    Again, when lives are on the line, right here, and right now. Will you let worlds burn because you fear the dark? Inaction, or lack of commitment can mean the differece between minimal pain and galactic tragedy. Taking that obligation is part of what being a Jedi means. Risk and all.

    What you're proposing amounts to passivity and dereliction of one's responsibilities.

    I'm sorry, this is just...nonsense. The Jedi absolutely are religious. The force exists, yet the Jedi don't treat it with the same detached curiosity a scientist does a particular phenomenon of nature. The force also exists outside of nature, and has blatantly supernatural elements-such as providing visions of the future, and allowing a few to retain their identities after death.

    Your definition here is skewed to the point of meaninglessness. Using a general idea of a religious order.

    Separate from laity.
    Requires specific criteria to join.
    Members are held to different standards of conduct and have higher expectations placed on them.
    Forms of behavior, from dress to sexual conduct to how they behave around outsiders are regulated strictly.
    All members are required to abide by its rules and share its beliefs.
    Answers to a higher power.

    I'd say the Jedi fit the bill definitively. Perhaps you are simply uncomfortable with the notion the Jedi are in fact a religion.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
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  9. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Oct 13, 2003
    @Darth Invictus
    They should not be an organization. They don’t need institutional backing. They can get their training one on one, master to apprentices.

    And I don’t know why it’s absurd to say not every organization requires uniformity and total evidence anyways.

    Luke, Ezra, Kanan, Cal, Obi-wan got by fine.

    Well you seem to have missed a major message of Star Wars.
    And I’m not even sure what you’re saying with the second half… yes, individuals are real? I don’t think it’s that controversial to say that Jedi should defend all life, all people, all sentients, not just one government? Read the thread title. Read the first post.

    Again that’s how we’ve seen it work in the several stories where a Jedi order didn’t exist. They as individuals can earn a reputation, and use their abilities to show what they can contribute to help mediate. If they can’t do that, then they wouldn’t be good mediators anyways… and that isn’t the path of every Jedi, either.

    As I said, an individual Jedi could join the diplomatic corps and earn becoming an ambassador/mediator in the same way as any other person applying for that job.

    They should not be entitled to any respect just because they’re Jedi. No one should be.

    UN Peacekeepers you brought up are a joke, and the Jedi should not be modeled after them.

    How did you take that away from my post that the Jedi shouldn’t be united if they’re being led into corruption or darkness?

    Yoda himself says a Jedi should follow things the right way, and not take the quick and easy path (ex: what might seem most effective at the time).

    I said they should be committed to good, committed to the Force… but never 100% committed to any order or organization.

    And that’s somehow your takeaway?

    They are not a religion like anything on Earth. Religion can have a fuzzy definition, so this may be the one area I could budge in, but you’re not describing a universal definition of religion here.

    We see the common people treat the Force with reverence, even “May the Force be with you” is a common saying.

    The Force is part of nature. It’s just a part of nature we here on Earth in the 21st century don’t understand, but it’s clear in the GFFA that they very much view it as a part of nature, as an energy field generated by all living things.

    You keep saying “separate from laity” — that’s not even true for many religions here on Earth. And there are many non-religious organizations, like the already mentioned military and intelligence, where that is true. But it doesn’t need to be true to be a Jedi - again we see how that’s true for Obi-wan, Luke, Ezra, Kanan, Cal, Sabine, Ashoka. The same for the rest of your list… where do you even get that from? It doesn’t fit even many religions here on Earth.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
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  10. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    Do you know in RL the "master and apprentice" system required guilds or other institutional bodies with specialized knowledge, traditions and skills to be useful?

    Where without an organization will they acquire these things? Any organization that doesn't is ineffective at its purpose. Why are UN peacekeepers a joke? Because they're the sort of organization you're describing.

    You mean, Luke in Legends who founded a temple and had the NR's support? Or Obi Wan who was a hermit and needed to pay a shifty smuggler for passage off world. I can't speak to Rebels characters. Before the praxeum, Luke was a rebel alliance soldier and he outright deserted with an X-Wing to get to Dagobah.

    What message? I say this as a SW fan btw, SW has no real discernable themes. What themes you can draw from any source may be contradicted by implicit or explicit themes elsewhere? None of these themes are pacifism btw. No my point is different individuals, cultures, species and organizations have conflicting interests, goals and values. Which leads to conflict, which due to that, are not easily resolvable.

    At the beginning of TPM, Qui Gon and Obi Wan arrive to try and negotiate between Naboo and the TF. The TF blows up the ship. In the Bane trilogy, a Jedi tries to negotiate between striking miners and their employer, said employer hired the Huntress to kill them all. The Jedi require Republic support so they don't get shot at every time they try to encourage mediation. And even then it happens.

    By working with the Republic, they already are diplomats.

    Why not? I know I if encountering someone who had access to something I did not, and knew things I did not-I would defer to their expertise in that regard. Same with the Jedi.

    I fail to see how being committed to "good" and "the force" means not committed to an organization. That's Luke's point. Jedi in good conscience will disagree, and this inevitably leads to schism and paralysis. So organizational uniformity is necessary.

    Dude, the force allows for an afterlife. It gives visions of the future. Force powers have been able to allow one to do things well outside of natural restrictions. Sith magic for example is blatantly supernatural. The Force is a panentheistic entity. Its not just static electricity.

    The very idea of the "will of the force" even if distinct in nuance from that of a deity in the western sense, implies something more than your definition which treats the force as a mundane natural phenomenon. Sith "commune" with the dark side, Jacen Solo totally "submitted" to the light side. You don't use those verbs when dealing with natural phenomena, you do with supernatural ones.
  11. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Oct 13, 2003
    @Darth Invictus , some of this is getting away from how government-aligned they should be, to how centralized and organized they should be. Which is a different thread, here:

    But to just respond one more time here:

    -See above.
    -Master and apprentice doesn't require a centralized organization.
    -UN peacekeepers are a joke - limited, can't do anything meaningful because they need the blessing of basically the whole UN and all the veto powers, usually plagued by corruption. They're nothing like what I'm saying?
    -You seem to be really misunderstanding me, and I don't know how I can be clearer. They don't need to be an organization- but again, another thread. This is about government allegiance.

    No, I'm talking about canon.
    Luke in canon.
    Obi-wan in the Obi-wan Kenobi show.
    The Rebels show... which has been around like a decade now.
    (also, Luke in the Bantam times explicitly said he wasn't sworn to obey the NR, and no him going to Dagobah wasn't desertion and wasn't treated as such, not sure why you even brought it up)

    I don't know what to say to this.
    Jedi are meant to respect life.
    As the ROTS novel says, the Jedi are supposed to love the Sith.
    Obi-wan, Yoda, Anakin, Mace all tried to kill Sith.
    Luke becomes a greater Jedi than any of them, when the throws away his lightsaber and refuses aggression or attacks against the Sith.

    What do you think this proves? Why do you think it shows the Jedi need Republic support?

    My point is somehow getting lost... the Jedi don't need to work for the Republic, they shouldn't be another branch of the Republic, they shouldn't automatically be the biased diplomats of the Republic. If the Republic is currently on the good side of a dispute, the Jedi can work with them and support them, but not work for them and lose their independence. If an individual Jedi wants to, let them go through the application and training process and get some experience and earn it.

    No one should be entitled to privileges and respect, respect should be earned and privilege is immorally hierarchical.

    Because no organization or individual or government is 100% good?
    It's good that Jedi disagree, so if their leadership is corrupted then the whole organization isn't.
    Organizational uniformity is not necessary.

    You want to take the quick and easy path of getting everyone to agree under some fascist dictatorial leadership command structure. That's dark side.

    And there can be no schism or paralysis if they aren't an organization, and not trying to gain power over others to do what they want them to do. Then it's just a bunch of Jedi with different opinions all doing what they think is best. As long as they hold true to the Force and the Jedi way, those disagreements won't become violent.

    The Force is pantheism, nature understood at a higher level, but not beyond it. There's parts of it not understood, but in the galaxy people treat it like a scientific fact, and not just Jedi and Sith. If there's an afterlife in the real world, it would be scientifically understandable, even if we never get to uncover that science on our own. Nothing is really required to be supernatural. Someone from a few thousand years ago would probably call airplanes and lightbulbs and the International Space Station as supernatural things. Also, you can have things supposedly dealing with the supernatural and it not be a religion. But anyways, this is really its own whole other topic.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
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  12. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    No because the UN is a divided body without real teeth. And the Jedi have been most effective as an organization.

    I genuinely don't pay attention to canon. So IDC less honestly.

    You mean Luke refuses to give into his anger and strike down his father? Despite Obi Wan ghost's insisting on it? There was no guarantee btw Vader would redeem himself. What Luke did required a degree of faith. And yet, despite this abiding love Jaina cut down her brother without compunction. Obi Wan was planning on doing the same, and Cade Skywalker killed Krayt. Loving someone does not prevent you from doing what is necessary for the good of all.

    Because without Republic support, it would be the response of literally every party the Jedi deal with, if not being ignored and told to leave. It is the Republic's authority which causes most parties to listen to the Jedi.

    Privilege is a consequence of inequality. Which is a fact of life. I don't begrudge a physics PH.D having more leeway in how he cites his papers, that's something he has earned. Same with a sixteen-year-old who gets straight As, being allowed to stay up late at night, as opposed to a fourteen year old whose parents rightly insist can't handle that and demand he goes to bed at 9. There is nothing wrong with privilege.

    That's...not what the dark side is.

    Panentheism. Not pantheism. Notice the "en" which means beyond or "outside of". The force exists outside the physical universe, as much as it is the physical universe.

    "Nothing is required to be supernatural"-this doesn't make any sense. The resurrection of Jesus Christ, or Sodom being destroyed with ash and sulphur, or Constantine's vision of a cross-all are "supernatural" if you believe them that is. They are events that are interruptions or intrusions into the natural world. Existing outside of natural possibilities and laws.

    I'm done with this debate, as its clearly going nowhere.
  13. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Oct 13, 2003
    @Darth Invictus

    "Effective" doesn't mean "good."
    (and you were the one bringing up the UN)

    Yes, Luke refused to strike down Vader, that was good. Obi-wan striking down Anakin, Jaina striking down Jacen, are less morally pure. It didn't matter if Vader was redeemed or not, if Luke died in that moment or not, it was the most morally pure and right thing to do in that circumstance, regardless of the outcome.

    People have listened to the Jedi when they didn't have government support. See: every time period in canon and legends when the Jedi were on the run or behind enemy lines. That's usually when the Jedi shone brightest.

    Yes, commanding others to follow you with obedience and not question orders is dark side. I don't know how you can't see that?

    You saying there's "nothing wrong" with privilege and inequality... what??

    And yes, I noticed the "en" in "panentheism." That's why I corrected it to pantheism. In nature, not in it and beyond it.

    Yes, I truly don't think any of that is supernatural.

    And if you're going to ignore canon, I don't know what kind of debate we can have anyways.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
  14. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    How is creation ex nihilo not supernatural? Are we arguing semantics? Because this is ridiculous. Are we arguing definitions or beliefs? Feeding five thousand people with five loafs of bread and two fish is supernatural. The force exists outside of the universe. We know this because the netherworld of the force exists.

    The Jedi aren’t strict deontologists. Where are you getting this from? That’s the entire point of Traitor, there is no perfect option and one that always leaves one a clean conscience.

    You mean enemies of the government in question. Imperial loyalists didn’t listen to Luke Skywalker or Imperial officials the Exile.

    Ineffective and good is a contradiction in terms.

    Lol no it’s not. The dark side refers to negative emotions and ambition. Not hierarchy or structure. Both of which the Jedi have had for 36,000 years.

    Panentheism means both nature and beyond it. The way your arm is part of you but you are more than it.

    I’m not in the mood to debate to political ethics. But your contention there is something inherently immoral about either of these things is not a universal law.

    This debate is exasperating as you’re shifting definitions constantly, making bold proclamations that can be refuted with 30 seconds to find a counter example and then forcing me to respond to your constant goal post shifting.

    It’s pointless and is going nowhere.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
  15. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Oct 13, 2003
    I'm not even sure what you're talking about for the beginning of that post.

    The netherworld of the Force is within the Force, which is within the universe. And I know what panentheism is, I'm just saying that's not the Force, it's more like pantheism.

    I'm not sure what your point about Imperial loyalists is in response to.

    You can try to be more and more effective, but that can take you away from being good. The dark side is the "quick and easy path." And while it's not Star Wars, Tolkien writes quite well about how Sauron fell to evil because he wanted efficiency, and lacked patience to see how things would go organically. It articulates well what's already in Star Wars.
    [Sauron] still had the relics of positive purposes, that descended from the good of the nature in which he began: it had been his virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall, and of his relapse) that he loved order and co-ordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction. (It was the apparent will and power of Melkor to effect his designs quickly and masterfully that had first attracted Sauron to him.) Sauron had, in fact, been very like Saruman, and so still understood him quickly and could guess what he would be likely to think and do, even without the aid of palantíri or of spies; whereas Gandalf eluded and puzzled him. But like all minds of this cast, Sauron's love (originally) or (later) mere understanding of other individual intelligences was correspondingly weaker; and though the only good in, or rational motive for, all this ordering and planning and organization was the good of all inhabitants of Arda (even admitting Sauron's right to be their supreme lord), his 'plans', the idea coming from his own isolated mind, became the sole object of his will, and an end, the End, in itself.

    Yes, the dark side is about trying to force your will upon others, like in demanding complete loyalty and obedience. The "I was only following orders" excuse was used famously by Nazis in the Nuremberg Trials, and dismissed.

    Yes, inequality and privilege are immoral.

    @Darth Invictus - I have not shifted any definitions or goal posts, and you've failed to refute any of my points.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
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  16. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    You’re engaging in semantics about the word “supernatural”. I’ve provided a definition.

    Come on man, it’s outright said Exar Kun was banished from the “physical universe”. The force exists beyond time and space yet also is these things. Are you just uncomfortable with the word “supernatural” or religion in general? The force has a Supra existent “will” which isn’t just “the universe” indicating it is more than just matter or time. It has a “plan” or a teleology. Which means it does exist outside of the universe.

    My point is the Jedi when on the run or in resistance movements worked with people that shared their goals anyway. Which doesn’t mean they “shined” at all.

    There is no contradiction between effectiveness and goodness. Being effective at one’s job and being “good” are two entirely different categories. And your conflation of them speaks poorly to your understanding of these concepts.

    No it’s not. And it never has been. The Dark side is negative emotions and selfishness. “Imposing one’s will” on other has no real reflection in the Force. Try to use this argument at any job. And tell me how long you last.

    Citation needed.

    Dude, you are making a bunch of categorical assertions. I’ve corrected your erroneous definitions at least four times now, brought up voluminous counter examples to your poorly considered points and then had to argue semantics with you.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
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  17. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Oct 13, 2003
    @Darth Invictus

    I'm not talking about legends, but physical universe is different from the universe, and none of that discussion is relevant to this at all.

    I don't see how you don't think the Jedi shone when in rebel groups??

    I'm not saying there's a contradiction between effectiveness and goodness... just that when they are in conflict, goodness should be prioritized. Which is why the Jedi shouldn't be forced together, so if they make a mistake or fall at least they're still strong, which was the Luke DNT quote. If the whole order makes a mistake/fall, it's good that there are those not in the order, and that the order isn't more powerful, so any mistake/fall is more limited and doesn't take the entire Jedi down with them. If Troy Denning thought this was right (and not just storytelling potential), then Troy Denning was also wrong.

    Umm... the dark side is totally about forcing your will upon others. Yes, also about negative emotions too... like the desire of greed to possess and control others, also driven by fear of not being in control to keep your attachments. Legacy comics also make this quite clear when Cade learns how to light-side heal Deliah, in contrast to Azlyn and others, since you like Legends examples. (And that's a bizarre example, but you can leave a job, and if you can't that's slavery and obvious immoral).

    Yes, inequality and privilege are evil. If you don't understand that, then we have a fundamental disagreement in values.

    You have not "corrected" anything, or brought up any valid counter-examples, nor proven how my points are poorly considered. We obviously have a disagreement on fundamental values and worldviews.

    Also, more Lucas quotes, showing why it's not always good for the Jedi or anyone to blindly obey the Republic:

    "I wanted a more sophisticated kind of villain. Dooku’s disenchantment with the corruption in the Empire[Republic] is actually valid. It’s all valid. So, Chris plays it as, ‘Is he really a villain or is he just someone who is disenchanted and trying to make things right?"

    “But as often happens when wealth and power grow beyond all reasonable proportion, an evil fueled by greed arose. The massive organs of commerce mushroomed in power, the Senate became corrupt, and an ambitious named Palpatine was voted Supreme Chancellor. By promising an alternative to the corruption and greed that was rotting the Republic from within, Dooku was able to persuade thousands of star systems to secede from the Republic."

    "[This scene gives us] a chance to talk a little bit about politics and the Jedi’s disenchantment with the political process, due to the corruption and the ineffectiveness of the Senate."
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
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  18. VexedAtVohai

    VexedAtVohai Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 4, 2020
    I would really like for The Acolyte to show this corruption and ineffectiveness creeping in, in ways much more relatable and perhaps mundane than the more extreme examples we see in TPM and TotJ. That is, if there's room for it in the story.
  19. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    I am, (and the films). So are we even on the same page?

    You said the Jedi shine when operating as individuals without government authority. My response is Jedi worked with other organizations and people(often you know organized) along shared goals. This doesn't indicate at all the Jedi's virtues shine brightest when alone.

    What if the organization is right? And the dissenters or contrarians are wrong? The notion moral goodness requires this sort of free spirited arena you're describing is fallacious. Organizations can be right, and individuals wrong. And in the case of DNT, Luke's centralization helped stop another galactic crisis.

    ConservativeJedi321 likes this.
  20. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Oct 13, 2003
    I'm also including the new canon.

    I didn't say it's the only time they shine, but that we have lots of great examples and often the times the Jedi shine brightest (in movies, legends, and new canon) have been in those times. But not exclusively. I brought it up to show the order isn't always needed.

    Yes, they can be right. They can also be wrong. They should never demand complete uniformity and obedience, or try to force all Jedi to operate under them.

    That doesn't make it good, or desirable. The Jedi should strive for the ideal.

    I've brought up many Star Wars examples.
    And yes, the points where I'm asking people for my opinion and sharing my own, are clearly then... my opinion. That's what these threads are about.
    But I've mostly backed them up with Star Wars examples.

    There we agree.
  21. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 6, 2012
    This is a great thread that books and movies still haven't been able to answer with any sort of satisfaction.

    I'm a little late, but how is Luke not being harsh? His whole demeanor in that section is ' is my way or the highway...' Tenel Ka cannot change the fact that she was Chume'da of the Hapan Consortium, and Luke is kicking her out because she decided not abdicate.

    Let's think on this for a minute: If Tenel Ka abdicates, who's going to run the Consortium? Ta'a Chume? Perhaps, but we all know how vile she is. Isolder? Probably not -- he wasn't considered as in line for the Crown in COPL, so there is no reason to believe he would be now. By abdicating, Tenel Ka would be forcing her father to re-marry -- something it appears he was never eager to do. Hapes would be thrown into political chaos if she decides to leave. Which is why Luke's 'offer' to her rubs me the wrong way. She really can't leave, something that he knows, so he gives her this false choice to appear 'magnanimous'.

    I loved this book because the question were extremely valid and poignant. Luke's answer is incomplete and disingenuous. If you are not allied with a government but have all of this military hardware -- you are, in fact, a mercenary.

    To the larger point: Jedi need to be aligned with some sort of centralized government because if they are not, they're just a bunch of well-trained, well-armed monks.
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  22. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    I'd say a sizable percentage of the EU is dedicated to addressing this question in one way or another. Intentionally or not.
  23. ConservativeJedi321

    ConservativeJedi321 Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 19, 2016
    But that's the whole point, he never asks her to abdicate. He knew right off the bat she's having to step down as a Jedi, and he recognizes he's putting an unfair burden on her, but he is never unreasonable about it. He basically say's "Yes you need to prioritize being Queen Mother for now, keep your lightsaber and when the time is right rejoin us." I think that is extremely fair, he's not pushing her to abandon her duties, in fact he is encouraging her to put them first. Its seems to me that his words soften her a bit. As I read it at least when she enters, she seems to be holding some resentment towards him at forcing to choose and hides it behind a stiff formality. Yet when she leaves "Her smile turns more hopeful" and she seems to lighten a little as he speaks to her. At least that is how I read it.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2023
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  24. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 6, 2012
    Sure...but they've never really answered it satisfactory...or consistently. Hence this thread!

    This is actually a good way to read it. I was always too put-off by the '...for us or against us...' line previous. I'd argue that it's still a bit of a hollow comment from him...being Queen Mother is lifetime gig...but Luke does leave the door open as a conciliatory gesture knowing that she never wanted to be Chume.
  25. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    Two legends instances give somewhat...divergent implications for this question.

    When Xendor broke from the Jedi, he made an appeal to the Republic that the Jedi were a corrupting influence and were bad for the Republic-the relationship between the Jedi and the Republic had already been ongoing for centuries at this point. Xendor was rebuffed and the Republic aided the Jedi in prosecuting and winning the First Great Schism.

    In Legacy, after the Ossus project was sabotaged, the Jedi stood behind the Vong who were the recipients of the galaxy's ire. The Galactic Alliance in fact stood behind the Jedi.

    In one instance, this was very good for the Jedi-as it helped lead to Xendor's defeat, and further solidified the relationship the Old Republic and Jedi had. In another instance, the Jedi relied on the government(and the government backed the Jedi)'s defense of the Vong, after the Ossus project was ruined. This helped discredit the GA and lead to the One Sith's rise.

    From these two events, we get the impression that the Jedi can benefit from having the support of the government, but also that it can be ruinous-not just for the Jedi, if they are aligned with the government. In the case of Legacy, it wasn't just a question of right and wrong-the Jedi were in the right, and the government trusted them-but this wasn't what galactic public opinion believed. Political and emotional salient opinion was the Vong were trying to take the galaxy again, and the damned GA and the Jedi were covering for them.

    If the government had sided against the Jedi, then perhaps the GA would not have been broken so easily. This is an interesting example of the question of political expediency versus absolute morality-usually to take the former approach is condemned, but in this case, a government chooses to back the purveyors of absolute morality. And it cost them and the galaxy badly.

    I think this can show a downside to what happens when the GA and Jedi are too close. What might be in the government's interests is not necessarily in line with Jedi values and submission to truth. The same principle obviously works in reverse-when the Jedi go along with the government, simply because its the practical thing to do, it causes them to stumble. So perhaps some sort of separation between Order and State is necessary.

    At the same time-we see with Xendor, and with Daala, and Palpatine-that when rifts between the government and Jedi are formed, or wedges created-its usually not done with noble intentions in mind.

    Which leads me to conclude, the Jedi should absolutely work with the government and vice versa, but neither party should feel or be obligated to fall on their swords for the other. When either does, things tend to end very badly.