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Were the Jedi good or flawed?

Discussion in 'General Movie Discussion' started by Lukestarbucker, Jun 5, 2020.

?

Did the Jedi lose their way?

  1. Yes

    78.6%
  2. No

    21.4%
  1. Lukestarbucker

    Lukestarbucker Rebel General

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    We all know that the Jedi were Peacekeepers, but once the Clone Wars began, the Jedi started serving as war generals and led clone armies into battles all over the galaxy against the Separatists. Some say that the Jedi, at this point lost their way, but others say different. What do you think?
     
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  2. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Rebel Official

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    Listen to bariss, she was right. Also read dark disciple
     
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  3. Lukestarbucker

    Lukestarbucker Rebel General

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    To me, the Jedi were protecting the Republic during the CW, but that is my view
     
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  4. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    You can be both good and flawed.
     
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  5. Slave of the Republic

    Slave of the Republic Clone Commander

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    For in fighting the battles, the bloodshed, already lost we have.

    ―Master Yoda
     
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  6. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    Star Wars was created by George Lucas to function as a parable - a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. The lesson inherent to the prequels is that an institution, no matter how well intending, can become corrupted when it looses sight of why it was formed to begin with. The Republic, which stood for liberty, traded away that liberty for a sense of security and became its antithesis. Similarly, the Jedi, who were the guardians of peace and justice, were complicit in a war that was purpose built to eliminate both.

    “We're keepers of the peace, not soldiers.” But that’s exactly what they became. They’d become more about the artifice of the institution itself rather than what the institution stood for. This was something George Lucas himself had run into multiple times in his own personal and professional experience. The artist guilds (for example), which exist to protect and promote artists, also enforce seemingly arbitrary rules that in some cases actually stifle artists instead. That’s why he removed himself from their number.

    The Jedi were ‘good’. What they aimed to do was noble and worthy. But they’d lost their way by marginal imperceptible increments over the generations, to the point that they ultimately allowed themselves to become the architects of their own demise. Palpatine’s scheme was the catalyst, yes, but the scheme only worked because of the existing corrosion of the Jedi institution to begin with. It was preventable. It’s George’s cautionary tale. That’s my take anyhow.
     
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  7. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    I am almost positive we can draw a correlation for this with modern times but I'm struggling to put a finger on it.

    EZmrzr7XQAAqaC9.jpg
     
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  8. MandoChip

    MandoChip Hater of squid
    1030th Captain ** (Mod)

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    Here you go:
     
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  9. Olivia Kenobi

    Olivia Kenobi Rebel Commander

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    There we're jedi of all sorts; some who lost their way (Mace Windu), some who hadn't (Qui Gon), some who didn't identify with either side of the argument (Yoda... kinda), some who had no idea what people thought (Obi Wan), and then there was Anakin... he wasn't any of these so...
    Anyway, we can't just say one thing about the jedi themselves, but we can talk about the organization as a whole. That makes it very easy.

    Yes. They screwed up big time.
     
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  10. Philo

    Philo Clone Trooper

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    Taking a close view on the jedi ways in the PT I tend to agree with an important message of TLJ: the jedi were caught by their own hybris, they failed at that time. A failure that can be the best teacher. I don't know if it was Lucas' intention to make the Jedi Order of the Clone Wars flawed. Here are a few observations anyway:

    - The way they reject Anakin in TPM and make him feel unsuited. Was it a self-fulfilling prophecy? The Jedi Order had no faith in Anakin, thus Anakin didn't trust them and ultimately betrayed them. This contrasts Leia's attitude towards Rey, despite knowing the possible risks of training a powerful Palpatine, she still did.
    - The rigidity of their code. Is it really dangerous to love, to have a relationship? What if marriage was actually allowed? The fact that Anakin and Padme had to keep it a secret might have given fuel to Anakin's frustrations. There are off course parallels with the question of celibacy in the Catholic Church (which I will not discuss here).
    - Shouldn't the Jedi Order have started the dialogue with the Separatist leaders? Okay, maybe Count Dooku wasn't open to dialogue (he was a Sith apprentice after all) but what about the others? If the Clone Wars were prevented, Palpatine had to move to another plan.
    - Not to forget the way the jedi indeed became soldiers instead of peacekeepers. Yoda must have been really desperate to use the Clone Army to save his buddies, an Army ordered without the consent of the Jedi Council. Already during the battle of Geonosis Yoda seems to regret his choice.

    Sure the jedi were the good guys, they had good intentions. But their mistakes were a big part of their downfall.
    Failure to become the greatest teacher. And the lesson is not: the jedi should end. The lesson is: We need the jedi to look for new ways, a new structure, the same old ways will lead to the same old problems. The same with the Republic, btw. You cannot just restore the Republic as it was, a new kind of government might be necessary.

    Looking at today's world: lessons can be learned for politics and religion (but then again, no discussion here)
     
    #10 Philo, Jun 5, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  11. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Jedi Commander

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    We often think of the Jedi as flawed just in the prequels, but it's worth noting that this goes all the way back to the OT.

    Ben and Yoda straight up tell Luke not to try saving Vader. They tell him he has to kill his father.

    Luke refuses. His choice saves the galaxy.
     
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  12. Lukestarbucker

    Lukestarbucker Rebel General

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    The jedi had good intentions and had good morals, but in terms of their religion, they were slowly turning away. But can you balme them? Were they just going to sit and watch the CW happen? Lol. No, but I do understand.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jun 5, 2020, Original Post Date: Jun 5, 2020 ---
    But in terms of the Jedi religion...
     
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  13. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    Religion isn't inherently good or bad. It just is. It's how it's used and wielded. So they are good but flawed in how they wield it.
     
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  14. Lukestarbucker

    Lukestarbucker Rebel General

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    Thank you. I understand. I just think that becoming a general in terms of a jedi during the CW wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it did not follow the religion in a way.
     
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  15. Obi5Kenobi

    Obi5Kenobi Rebel General

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    Why-Not-Both-meme.png

    As others have said, you can be good and flawed simultaneously, and the Jedi were.

    In their defense, the Jedi order successfully kept the peace and prospered for a thousand generations (or years depending on who you quote) and their system worked. It wasn't until the Sith and the the dark side of the force made some huge moves that the Jedi got tripped up. The Sith also played an extremely long con on the Jedi, giving them a false sense of security. When your enemy is believed to be extinct for a thousand years, you may have trouble understanding them.

    Also, there's a saying that you can't prove a negative. I feel like the dark side of the force is a negative you can't prove. I got the impression that the dark side was more like a vacuum instead of an overwhelming presence. Palpatine interacted with the Jedi on a regular basis and wasn't detected. Yoda said that the dark side clouds things. It's almost not a fair fight for the Jedi. It's like fighting someone with the same power you have but you have to wear frosted goggles and earplugs. This is why the Sith and the dark side are so incredibly dangerous. That and its ability to corrupt otherwise good people.
     
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  16. Lukestarbucker

    Lukestarbucker Rebel General

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    Great response!
     
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  17. Pernicious-Jawa

    Pernicious-Jawa Rebelscum

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    A flawed institution, filled with moral people, with the best of intentions - However, the perceived role of that institution changed over time, morphing into something almost unrecognisable by the end. Their focus shifted form meditating on and studying the will of the force and using that for the benefit of all beings, into fighting a gruelling and painstaking war ( I don't think they had much of a choice). Throughout the duration of this conflict, they were constantly aware and weary of the shroud of the dark side rising around them.

    • That focus on the rising tide of the dark side influenced how they perceived Anakin, which in turn was a factor in their downfall. What if they truly treated Anakin with compassion? What if Mace saw the darkness in Anakin ( as he had within himself) and tried to understand, empathise and console him - rather than berate him and treat him distrust, only fuelling frustration and disillusion within Anakin.
    • Qui-Gon was one of the only prominent Jedi whose focus remained centred on the Living Force, and trying to determine and be an instrument of its will. For his focus on this, he was seen as unorthodox, which shows how rigid the council were at this time. Jedi like himself and Sifo Dyas, whose focus was more on the mystical aspects of the force (Sifo Dyas was expelled regarding his belief in the visions he had, I think ??) , were ostracised from the more politically minded council - except, both were vindicated in their beliefs.
    I was thinking about whether the way in which they recruit Jedi was questionable. However, I don't think it would be fair to entirely criticise how they take force sensitive beings at a very young age. All Jedi are fully aware of the power that you wield when you are force-sensitive. They're also aware how alluring the dark side is. Therefore, they seek to give that person full understanding of their own power, to then use it for the betterment of all beings (which is still true to their original purpose) - all before that can use that power for selfish desires.
     
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  18. Philo

    Philo Clone Trooper

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    Indeed, a religious practice or institution that works in a certain era might reach its expiration date centuries later. People consider religion to be something static, unchangeable. But the history of religion teaches us that all religions, while maintaining some basic fundamental ideas, have evolved over time. Off course the Jedi should evolve too. Maybe they failed to do that in the PT-era.

    Rogue One showed us other morally good force users like Chirrut Imwe. The ST showed us Maz Kanata, who isn't a jedi but knows the force. Wasn't Lor San Tekka a member of the Church of the Force? How about a Jedi Order that maintains good ties with these other Force users?
    Both in the OT and the ST force sensitives start their training at the age of a young adult. Situations are different, so religion evolves.
     
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  19. Lukestarbucker

    Lukestarbucker Rebel General

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    Great! That is indeed such a good point!
     
  20. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Star Wars locks the Jedi into Good solidly.
    If you move them from there, then everything goes off the rails for the allegory of the story.

    They are flawed, as well. That is the point.
    Lucas is very good at getting ontological paradoxes and dilemmas into a story's allegory. I would venture he's better than anyone in the industry at that.
    He may be weak in other areas, but in that area I feel he's basically unmatched.

    The reason I point that out is because what Lucas does brilliantly well is throw an absolute down allegorically, and then muddy it up with complications, because THAT is the entire basic thrust of Star Wars.
    The fundamental message threaded through the entire series is always the same: Be good. It's hard as hell, and you'll have faults and obstacles that seem impossible, but through all of your failures, slip-ups, and doubts, try to do good. Even when you're not sure what good is, try.

    If you move the Jedi off of the pedestal of the GOOD archetype card, then that narrative point just falls apart immediately.
    Then you just see a sea of blind people delusioned about being good when they're not, and the message becomes about how trying to do what you think is good leads to horrid outcomes of your own making that take great loss to undo and though many may cheer at the success over evil, ultimately, you created that evil, and it would be ultimately better if you just didn't do anything in the first place.

    Basically...where Luke is in TLJ. But note...the story doesn't leave Luke like that. He comes back and realizes that while that complication is part of the reality of trying to do good, you still have to try to do good. Which places the Jedi back on to being Good, because it defines Good, then, as those who try to do good; it removes the definition of Good as being those who don't cause problems.

    That's why Luke in TLJ is important. It is through Luke that we forgive the Prequel's Jedi and permit them to still remain good, despite all of the flaws we see in them, and the horrible consequences of their faults. Luke basically becomes a sort of Jesus of Star Wars in TLJ, sacrificing himself to show forgiveness recognizes the good in the flawed.

    So...yes.
    The Jedi are good, and they are flawed.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #20 Jayson, Jun 7, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
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