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Emotional Bonds and The Jedi or Why Emotion is Good

Updated on September 20, 2014

Odan-Urr's Code

Odan-urr writing his code
Odan-urr writing his code

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Introduction: The Jedi Codes

The Jedi are fools. At least, the ones at the end of The Old Republic were. They were following a very stupid code, and all one has to do is look at their history to see that this code is foolish. The part of the code that I have the biggest problem with is the first line. It says, “There is no emotion, there is peace.” This code was apparently created by Odan-Urr, one of the foolish Jedi, who supported a military conqueror in The Tales of the Jedi series. It is a change from the original code, which states, “Emotion, yet peace.” There is a big difference between those two lines.

The original code suggests emotion under control, but Odan-Urr’s code demands no emotion whatsoever. It seeks the complete rejection of emotion in favor of whatever is being referred to as peace. The acceptance of Odan-Urr’s code is what leads to my major problem with The Jedi Order in Episodes I, II, and III. It makes them a far more problematic organization.

Stop and think about it for a moment. The Jedi Order does not want Jedi to have emotional bonds. How would one best go about preventing this? The Jedi Order’s solution was to take children from their parents at a young age, thus preventing them from forming emotional bonds with their parents. They then indoctrinate them into their entire philosophy while not letting them see their parents. This is a horrific way to run a society, yet it seems to be the only way to avoid emotional bonds.

However, the Jedi’s history clearly demonstrates that they are totally wrong about emotional bonds. Here are five examples where emotional bonds between two Force users saved the day.

The Brothers Qel Droma

Ulic's sorrow at killing Cay
Ulic's sorrow at killing Cay

Example #5: Ulic Qel Droma and Cay Qel Droma (The Brother Knights)

While I can think of a whole host of problems with the comic book series, Tales of the Jedi, it does have a telling scene about the usefulness of emotional bonds. Cay Qel Droma is determined to save his brother Ulic Qel Droma, who has fallen to The Dark Side and become a Sith Lord alongside Exar Kun. The attempts to save him annoy Ulic. In one encounter, they duel, and Ulic kills Cay. This duel happens because Cay’s emotional bond to his brother compels him to try to save him. Because their emotional bond is mutual, Ulic is suddenly overcome by guilt, regret, and sorrow for what he has done. In his moment of grief, another Jedi, Nomi Sunrider, strips him of The Force. Ulic Qel Droma is saved from The Dark Side and reveals Exar Kun’s hiding place on Yavin 4. None of this would have occurred if not for the emotional bond between these two brothers.

The Jedi Twins

Luke and Leia on Endor
Luke and Leia on Endor

Example #4: Luke and Leia (Vader’s Children)

The next example is also from a terrible series, The Dark Empire. Apparently, Emperor Palpatine has cloned himself and is able to transfer his mind into these clones. He successfully convinces Luke Skywalker to join him. Luke Skywalker appears to be following a foolish plan similar to Ulic Qel Droma’s “Join The Dark Side to defeat The Dark Side.” Palpatine eventually uses The Dark Side to make Luke his obedient guard dog. But Palpatine is mainly after Leia and Leia’s unborn child. Leia eventually goes aboard Palpatine’s ship because of her emotional bond with her brother. She is able to appeal to Luke’s good side and draw him out of The Emperor’s dominance. The two of them together defeat Palpatine. Yet again the emotional bond is the driving force behind the character’s return from The Dark Side.

The Emperor's Child

Kira Carsen
Kira Carsen

Example #3: The Jedi Knight and Kira Carsen (The Hero and The Emperor’s Child)

This is one of the weirder episodes in Star Wars because it has a bit of an ick factor to it since Kira Carsen is the Jedi Knight’s apprentice. The relationship does not have to be a romantic one. Since it is a game, the Jedi Knight can be male or female. The main point here is that the two characters have an emotional bond. Kira Carsen is apparently one of The Children of the Emperor (not biologically speaking). She is a person with whom the immortal Sith Emperor has formed a Force connection that allows him at times to control her. The Jedi Knight and Kira Carsen take on a Dark Lord of the Sith and win. Then The Emperor reaches out and takes control of Kira Carsen. He forces her to attack the Jedi Knight. But using the emotional bond between them, the Jedi Knight is able to strengthen Kira and allow her to throw off The Emperor’s control. Because they care about each other, they are able to save each other.

Revan's Ally

Bastila Shan
Bastila Shan

Example #2: Revan and Bastila (Former Sith Lord saves friend from The Dark Side)

In the game, Knights of the Old Republic, Revan, a Sith Lord before he lost his memory, is fighting Darth Malak, another Sith Lord. One of his companions is Bastila, a Jedi Knight. At the point in the game where it is revealed that the main character was formerly Darth Revan, Bastila is captured. Darth Malak then tortures her, breaks her, and turns her to The Dark Side. On The Star Forge, Revan and Bastila face down against each other, and Revan successfully uses his emotional bond with Bastila to draw her back from The Dark Side. Because he cares for her, he does not kill her, but instead he saves her. With her help, he then defeats Darth Malak’s Sith Empire.

Example #1: Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker (Father and son)

This is the example par excellence of the entire argument. It is also still canon. Now, I’m sure that many of you readers have already seen this scene, but we can always watch it again.

The Salvation of Vader

Father and Son

Vader looks on Luke with his own eyes
Vader looks on Luke with his own eyes

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As Palpatine strikes at Luke, Vader is drawn back to The Light Side. Why? He cares for his son. This emotional bond draws him back. But there is more going on here. Luke’s emotional bond to his father is also important to drawing Vader back. Notice what he says when he throws away his lightsaber, “I am a Jedi like my father before me.” He identifies with his father. He declares his father a Jedi. He forms the bond. Therefore it is the emotional bond between father and son that saves the galaxy from Palpatine and will lead to the rebirth of The Jedi Order. Hopefully, Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Order will reject Odan-Urr’s code.

Now, I’m sure there is one objection to my final example. Many people could point out that Anakin originally fell to The Dark Side because of an emotional bond. I will both have to agree with and disagree with that statement. Anakin fell to The Dark Side because of the need to cover up an emotional bond with Padme for fear of what would happen if it was revealed. If The Jedi Order had been more willing to let their Knights form emotional bonds, then Anakin could have gone to them with his worries over Padme. But since The Jedi, who raised him, reject emotion, he has not been taught how to deal with emotional problems and has no one to turn to for counsel on the matter except Palpatine, a Sith Lord.

The Trilogy that Started it All


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