Geek Rant: Star Wars, Pious Jedi, Their Own Downfall?
This blog is the first of my blogs covering some movie/book series that I have a geeky level of fandom over; it also serves as a kind of writers' respite from the monotony of writing on the state of the planet. So now and then, my Sabbatical from political nonsense and the like will be interspersed with some random fandom nonsense! First up under the microscope is Star Wars and in this blog, I will discuss what I feel is the Jedi's myopia and how their sad devotion to that ancient religion did not conjure up the ability to know they faced extinction or gave them Clairvoyance enough to ensure their survival. However, if you find my lack of faith disturbing, read on, and I shall hopefully elucidate my points clearer than a lightsaber!
For over a thousand generations the Jedi Order maintained peace throughout the galaxy until Anakin Skywalker learns of Chancellor Palpatine's plot, learning he is the Sith Lord architect of the Clone War. After informing Mace Windu, Windu and three further Jedi head to apprehend Chancellor Palpatine, who kills three Jedi off the bat. Mace Windu eventually overpowers Darth Sidious, only to be thwarted by Anakin (who mistakenly believes Sidious to hold the key that will enable Padme Amidala to survive). The Chancellor - pretending to be weak while pleading for Anakin to take his side - rallies his strength to slay Mace Windu (or does he? Many believe Windu is Supreme Leader Snoke... I'm not one of them). Anakin succumbs to the dark side, dubbed Darth Vader by Darth Sidious, who soon declares himself Emperor, with Darth Vader and storm troopers eliminate the Jedi Order... the rest is history in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes," Obi-Wan Kenobi says in castigation of his former Padawan Anakin - now Vader - before he then proceeds to slice the man he trained from the age of ten in half, leaving him to die on the banks of a lava river. Obi-Wan's reaction and instant write-off, screaming: "you were (WERE, as in past tense) my brother," before deserting the man with a body he'd mutilated, is itself absolutist, demonstrating the dogma of any established order. The Jedi were forced to be chaste, had only one way of using The Force. When Anakin came to train with the Jedi, they were extremely reluctant to accept him, and Yoda was even more hesitant to teach Luke. Jedi follow the same Master/Apprentice dynamic of the Sith, although before Darth Sidious implemented Order 66, 10,000 Jedi Knights existed throughout the Galactic Republic, the Emperor's slaughter reduced them to less than 100. Were they so blind and so couched in their ascetic ideals however that it was so easy for two Sith to orchestrate the murder of more than 9,900 Jedi in quick time? Furthermore, Anakin's treatment at the hands of his masters and trainers was less that of a Wunderkind and more of an inconvenience, his immeasurable Midichlorian count a barometer of their failings (especially as the Jedi increasingly failed to detect the Sith) rather than the marvels of The Force. Little wonder then that a kindly politician who seemed in awe of Anakin's potential managed to easily sway a lonely kid to his side... and who came to his aid, rebuilding his body when all turned against Vader? Palpatine of course. Where did Anakin's slide into the dark side start? It began on Tatooine with two major failings of Qui-Gon Jinn.
It was on Tatooine that Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn encountered a young slave boy Anakin Skywalker, spotted his potential and freed him after he won a pod race. The bargain Qui-Gon made with Anakin, and his mother Shmi's owner Watto only released Anakin, but not his mother, Watto is a slave owner, why honour someone who trades on human misery? Shmi Skywalker would have been pivotal in keeping Anakin from feeling lonely, would be the greatest thorn in Darth Sidious's side in manipulating him. It was where the anger and fear in the boy came from that Yoda was so cautious of, the thing that made Obi-Wan reluctant Anakin should receive Jedi training, inevitably some reservation must have leaked over into the training. Then there is Qui-Gon Jinn himself; he was the chalk to Obi-Wan's cheese, Jinn's last Padawan being a stickler for the rules, Qui-Gon had a lot more in common with Anakin. Obi-Wan says so himself in Episode I that if he played by the rules, Qui-Gon would be on the council, but he was a disciple of the Living Force and knowledgeable in eternal existence, retaining his form as a Force Ghost. Qui-Gon would have been on the Jedi Council if he was less of a maverick and instead of letting Darth Maul kill him (we witness his brief meditation before his death, much like Obi-Wan before Darth Vader kills him) he should have remained alive to train Anakin. Qui-Gon's lack of respect for the Jedi code, combined with wisdom would act as the counterpoint to Anakin's fiery temperament. I hold that if Shmi came to Coruscant with Qui-Gon as Anakin's master, he would have remained a Jedi and managed to pre-empt the rise of the Sith, making Yoda et al. and their blunder a mistake of the First Order!