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Did G. Lucas ever intend to portray the Jedi as a flawed institution in the prequels? Or was it added later in the EU? — Page 2

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I absolutely agree with you OP and it’s one of the things that makes me irritated to no end about the current state of Star Wars and its fans. It’s tied up in prequel apologism, people not understanding the Force or what balance in the Force means, the concept of “gray Jedi,” the concept of the “light side,” and people thinking the entire series is cyclical and predestined. It’s a fake problem inferred into the movies.

Part of the issue is that modern western people have no cultural connection with Buddhism or eastern philosophy, so the idea of not being obsessed with romantic love is alien and scary to them.

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Vladius said:

I absolutely agree with you OP and it’s one of the things that makes me irritated to no end about the current state of Star Wars and its fans. It’s tied up in prequel apologism, people not understanding the Force or what balance in the Force means, the concept of “gray Jedi,” the concept of the “light side,” and people thinking the entire series is cyclical and predestined.

That’s part of the issue for sure. The other is this:

Stardust1138 said:

The prequel trilogy is based on a back-story outline Lucas created in the mid-1970s for the original three “Star Wars” movies

It’s people believing he put anywhere near the thought into it back then that they continue to put into it 45 years later. He wrote A film. He didn’t write 3 films, 9 films, 12 films, or 6 films. Pick your interview because he gave plenty of them back in the 1980s, along with every answer he could come up with. If he had any thoughts on any other films back in the 1970s, he wouldn’t have hired two other people to write sequels.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Listen, it don’t really matter to me, baby.
You believe what you want to believe.

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 (Edited)

The unlikability of the Jedi as portrayed in the PT is the culmination of a process that seemed to start with TESB. In SW77 the Jedi are portrayed as a sort of intergalactic police; a cross between The Knights of The Round Table, the Samurai, and The Lensmen. In Empire we get the warrior monk view of the Jedi. I guess Lucas preferred this view…but I prefer his original concept.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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Servii said:

I agree with what SparkySywer said above.

I get what George is trying to say about attachment, but it bugs me that he considers emotional connection to your own mother, or simply the act of falling in love with someone, as something problematic. Anakin falling for Padme is portrayed as a dangerous thing, like it’s a “sin,” but Anakin’s behavior towards Padme doesn’t become overtly possessive until RotS. It’s hard to gauge what Lucas considers to be crossing the line from “good” love to “bad/possessive” love. And we don’t really see much of the Jedi showing that compassionate love to people. And maybe that was intentional, but I don’t think it was.

I understand the resistance to the ideas about attachments but that’s really something to take up with Buddhism/Hinduism more than Lucas who is being a pretty loyal messenger to the eastern view on such things, rather than misinterpreting or inventing.

From the Bhagavad Gita, I’m sure it will sound familiar:
https://panindiahindu.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/love-vs-attachment-in-the-context-of-gita/

“The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” - DV

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theprequelsrule said:

The unlikability of the Jedi as portrayed in the PT is the culmination of a process that seemed to start with TESB. In SW77 the Jedi are portrayed as a sort of intergalactic police; a cross between The Knights of The Round Table, the Samurai, and The Lensmen. In Empire we get the warrior monk view of the Jedi. I guess Lucas preferred this view…but I prefer his original concept.

I like it better too with the caveat that I don’t think ESB is where it started.

People say that about ESB because Yoda and Obi Wan tell Luke not to go save his friends. Some things with that:

  1. Not at all the same thing as the prequel prohibition on attachments. They never told him to not have friends or that having friends was wrong or not to get too attached to people.
  2. In this scenario they were absolutely right to tell him not to go: it was a trap, he lost his hand, his friends got away anyway without him, and he almost died (tried to commit suicide to get out.) The only thing questionable the Jedi do is Obi Wan not telling him that Vader is his father.

They’re still the same all the way through the original trilogy and remained the same in the expanded universe all the way until The Phantom Menace. The Tales of the Jedi comics and all the books (which Lucas signed off on!) depict them as decentralized knights in the context of sort of feudalism where they can take sides in conflicts and they work directly for monarchs, such as queens.
The prequels tried to bridge that it a weird way by having elected monarchs that are really just representatives or senators, and turning the Jedi into a cross between the FBI, secret service, diplomats, and modern military officers that are all centralized on the single capitol planet where they’re essentially a branch of government unto themselves.

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act on instinct said:

Servii said:

I agree with what SparkySywer said above.

I get what George is trying to say about attachment, but it bugs me that he considers emotional connection to your own mother, or simply the act of falling in love with someone, as something problematic. Anakin falling for Padme is portrayed as a dangerous thing, like it’s a “sin,” but Anakin’s behavior towards Padme doesn’t become overtly possessive until RotS. It’s hard to gauge what Lucas considers to be crossing the line from “good” love to “bad/possessive” love. And we don’t really see much of the Jedi showing that compassionate love to people. And maybe that was intentional, but I don’t think it was.

I understand the resistance to the ideas about attachments but that’s really something to take up with Buddhism/Hinduism more than Lucas who is being a pretty loyal messenger to the eastern view on such things, rather than misinterpreting or inventing.

From the Bhagavad Gita, I’m sure it will sound familiar:
https://panindiahindu.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/love-vs-attachment-in-the-context-of-gita/

Exactly. It’s very difficult for a secular, materialist, western audience to accept the idea of not leading yourself by your emotions or what gives you “fulfillment” or sexual desire.

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Servii said:

I agree with what SparkySywer said above.

I get what George is trying to say about attachment, but it bugs me that he considers emotional connection to your own mother, or simply the act of falling in love with someone, as something problematic. Anakin falling for Padme is portrayed as a dangerous thing, like it’s a “sin,” but Anakin’s behavior towards Padme doesn’t become overtly possessive until RotS. It’s hard to gauge what Lucas considers to be crossing the line from “good” love to “bad/possessive” love. And we don’t really see much of the Jedi showing that compassionate love to people. And maybe that was intentional, but I don’t think it was.

As for politics, yeah, I get what George was trying to say, but the historical parallels he makes don’t really work. The politics in the prequels line up more with modern American politics, or rather George’s personal view of American politics. George is a great creative mind and a great worldbuilder, but he’s not a great political analyst.

I actually think it’s way more possessive in AotC then afterward lol
That’s where all the “creepy” lines come from. “You are in my very soul, tormenting me,” and all that.

The politics make a lot of sense for the story, it’s just that their execution is a little baffling and inconsistent. They’re supposed to be Roman, it’s a Republic turning into an Empire with a Julius Caesar figure in Palpatine/Anakin. (It gets muddled with Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War as well.) It’s meant to be Shakespearean in the Julius Caesar or Macbeth or Hamlet sense, which is where all the over the top dialogue comes in (“So this is how liberty dies.”)
But in concept it makes perfect sense that that’s what you would do if you’re doing a story about a Republic becoming an Empire.

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Vladius said:

act on instinct said:

Servii said:

I agree with what SparkySywer said above.

I get what George is trying to say about attachment, but it bugs me that he considers emotional connection to your own mother, or simply the act of falling in love with someone, as something problematic. Anakin falling for Padme is portrayed as a dangerous thing, like it’s a “sin,” but Anakin’s behavior towards Padme doesn’t become overtly possessive until RotS. It’s hard to gauge what Lucas considers to be crossing the line from “good” love to “bad/possessive” love. And we don’t really see much of the Jedi showing that compassionate love to people. And maybe that was intentional, but I don’t think it was.

I understand the resistance to the ideas about attachments but that’s really something to take up with Buddhism/Hinduism more than Lucas who is being a pretty loyal messenger to the eastern view on such things, rather than misinterpreting or inventing.

From the Bhagavad Gita, I’m sure it will sound familiar:
https://panindiahindu.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/love-vs-attachment-in-the-context-of-gita/

Exactly. It’s very difficult for a secular, materialist, western audience to accept the idea of not leading yourself by your emotions or what gives you “fulfillment” or sexual desire.

Though this is muddled by George himself saying that Jedi aren’t celibate.

Really, if a Jedi has been raised in the temple all their life and has the necessary wisdom and mental discipline to avoid selfish attachment, I see no reason why they couldn’t get married.

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Vladius said:

act on instinct said:

Servii said:

I agree with what SparkySywer said above.

I get what George is trying to say about attachment, but it bugs me that he considers emotional connection to your own mother, or simply the act of falling in love with someone, as something problematic. Anakin falling for Padme is portrayed as a dangerous thing, like it’s a “sin,” but Anakin’s behavior towards Padme doesn’t become overtly possessive until RotS. It’s hard to gauge what Lucas considers to be crossing the line from “good” love to “bad/possessive” love. And we don’t really see much of the Jedi showing that compassionate love to people. And maybe that was intentional, but I don’t think it was.

I understand the resistance to the ideas about attachments but that’s really something to take up with Buddhism/Hinduism more than Lucas who is being a pretty loyal messenger to the eastern view on such things, rather than misinterpreting or inventing.

From the Bhagavad Gita, I’m sure it will sound familiar:
https://panindiahindu.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/love-vs-attachment-in-the-context-of-gita/

Exactly. It’s very difficult for a secular, materialist, western audience to accept the idea of not leading yourself by your emotions or what gives you “fulfillment” or sexual desire.

Something which shouldn’t be ignored is that unlike the Jedi, the average Hindu/Buddhist can still practice their faith without having to become an ascetic. It’s not the doctrine that’s the problem; it’s the Jedi’s dogmatic adherance to it. Them taking children too young to give informed consent only compounds the problem.

90% blue, 10% pink.

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of_Kaiburr_and_Whills said:

I think its pretty clear that to Lucas, the Jedi were the ultimate good guys, and that they are not inherently flawed, but do not always make the best decisions. The more flawed view of them comes from the EU.

"As the situation develops in the Clone Wars they are recruited into the army, and they become generals. They’re not generals. They don’t kill people. They don’t fight. They’re supposed to be ambassadors. There are a lot of Jedi that think that the Jedi sold out, that they should never have been in the army, but it’s a though call. It’s one of those conundrums, of which there’s a bunch of in my movies. You have to think it through. Are they going to stick by their moral rules and all be killed, which makes it irrelevant, or do they help save the Republic? They have good intentions, but they have been manipulated, which was their downfall.” — George Lucas

“The idea was to establish Jedi as what they were, which is sort of peacekeepers who moved through the galaxy to settle disputes. They aren’t policemen, they aren’t soldiers; they’re mafia dons. They come in and sit down with the two different sides and say, “Okay, now we’re going to settle this.”
A lot of people say, “What good is a lightsaber against a tank?” The Jedi weren’t meant to fight wars. That’s the big issue in the prequels. They got drafted into service, which is exactly what Palpatine wanted.”
— George Lucas

When it comes to the Clone Wars, Lucas makes it clear in interviews that joining the war was not by their own will, but out of necessity to try to keep as much good and order as possible. They’ve also been drafted he says, and forced to fight, which aligns with the Vietnam draft that occurred during Lucas’ own youth.

As for their rules and beliefs? Lucas never intended for them to be wrong about anything like that, especially attachment. Lucas considers himself a Buddhist Methodist, and used Zen Buddhist Monks and their philosophies as the fundamental basis for the Jedi Order. One of those major ideas is forgoing attachments, which does not really mean the same in the Buddhist tradition as it means in the West.

“The message [of Attack of the Clones] is you can’t possess things. You can’t hold on to them. You have to accept change. You have to accept the fact that things transition. And so, as you try to hold on to things or you become afraid of – that you’re going to lose things, then you begin to crave the power to control those things. And then, you start to become greedy and then you turn into a bad person.” — George Lucas

“The fact that everything must change and that things come and go through his life and that [Anakin] cannot hold onto things, which is a basic Jedi philosophy that he isn’t willing to accept emotionally and the reason that is because he was raised by his mother rather than the Jedi. If he’d have been taken in his first years and started to study to be a Jedi, he wouldn’t have this particular connection as strong as it is and he’d have been trained to love people but not to become attached to them.
“But he become attached to his mother and he will become attached to Padme and these things are, for a Jedi, who needs to have a clear mind and not be influenced by threats to their attachments, a dangerous situation. And it feeds into fear of losing things, which feeds into greed, wanting to keep things, wanting to keep his possessions and things that he should be letting go of. His fear of losing her turns to anger at losing her, which ultimately turns to revenge in wiping out the village. The scene with the Tusken Raiders is the first scene that ultimately takes him on the road to the dark side. I mean he’s been prepping for this, but that’s the one where he’s sort of doing something that is completely inappropriate.
“He’s greedy in that he wants to keep his mother around, he’s greedy in that he wants to become more powerful in order to control things in order to keep the things around that he wants. There’s a lot of connections here with the beginning of him sliding into the dark side. [….]
“Because of that, and because he was unwilling to let go of his mother, because he was so attached to her, he committed this terrible revenge on the Tusken Raiders.”
— George Lucas

“The Jedi are trained to let go. They’re trained from birth,” he continues, “They’re not supposed to form attachments. They can love people- in fact, they should love everybody. They should love their enemies; they should love the Sith. But they can’t form attachments.” — George Lucas

“The thing with Anakin is that he started out a great kid he was very compassionate, so the issue was how did he turn bad. How did he go to the dark side? He went to the dark side, Jedi aren’t supposed to have attachments. They can love people, they can do that, but they can’t attach, that’s the problem in the world of fear. Once you are attached to something then you become afraid of losing it. And when you become afraid of losing it, then you turn to the dark side, and you want to hold onto it, and that was Anakin’s issue. Ultimately, that he wanted to hold onto his wife who he knew, he had a premonition that she was going to die, he didn’t know how to stop it, so he went to the dark side. In mythology you go to Hades, and you talk to the devil, and the devil says ‘this is what you do’ and basically you sell your soul to the devil. When you do that, and you’re afraid and you’re on the dark side and you fall off the golden path of compassion because you are greedy, you want to hold on to something that you love and he didn’t do the right thing and as a result he turned bad.” — George Lucas

“The fact that everything must change and that things come and go through his life and that he can’t hold onto things, which is a basic Jedi philosophy that he isn’t willing to accept emotionally and the reason that is because he was raised by his mother rather than the Jedi. If he’d have been taken in his first year and started to study to be a Jedi, he wouldn’t have this particular connection as strong as it is and he’d have been trained to love people but not to become attached to them." — George Lucas

Now, whether Lucas did a good job conveying these ideas, or whether one agrees with these ideas, is another debate altogether. I do not believe that Lucas meant the Jedi to be seen as a flawed institution, though they sometimes made mistakes, and many Jedi were prone to arrogance just like any other person. Again, whether he did a good job conveying these ideas is up to debate, and though I like what Lucas was going for, I think it could certainly have been brought out better within the films themselves.

EU authors like Karen Traviss for example, were the ones that really started the idea that the Jedi Order was inherently flawed within official (albeit EU) stories. I’ve seen authors like John Jackson Miller, Karen Miller, and others continue with these ideas, though not as critically. Dave Filoni also has his famous analysis of The Phantom Menace, which I have always viewed as him seeing what he wanted to see with the prequels, and him interpreting them his own way. To make it clear: this is perfectly fine, I’m not arguing against it at all and again I see validity to it since the prequels leave a lot open to interpretation as any good art should. But when we are talking about what Lucas himself intended, and how he views the Jedi, I think its very important to make this distinction.

I really appreciate your answer, and all the quotes you provided really help me better understand what Lucas was going for, even if I’m not sure I agree with his ideas lol. Thanks!

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My recollection is that the “intentionally flawed Jedi” idea evolved from fan discussion/debate on the Internet in the early 2000s, stemming from early criticisms of the Prequels. I remember SO many conversations on various old-school web forums that went something like this:

Person A: OMG the Prequels suck so bad, why didn’t the Jedi ever send anyone to rescue Anakin’s mother? It literally would have taken them a few hours to pick her up from Tatooine. I mean Qui-Gon wanted to do it anyway but couldn’t at the time, so why didn’t anyone just come back for her later?

Person B: OMG you’re so stupid you don’t understand George Lucas is a genius. Did you even WATCH the movie? The Jedi are SUPPOSED to be shown as flawed - they didn’t want Anakin to have any attachments so that’s why they never went back to pick up his mom. Idiot.

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Servii said:

I get what George is trying to say about attachment, but it bugs me that he considers emotional connection to your own mother, or simply the act of falling in love with someone, as something problematic. Anakin falling for Padme is portrayed as a dangerous thing, like it’s a “sin,” but Anakin’s behavior towards Padme doesn’t become overtly possessive until RotS. It’s hard to gauge what Lucas considers to be crossing the line from “good” love to “bad/possessive” love.

act on instinct said:

I understand the resistance to the ideas about attachments but that’s really something to take up with Buddhism/Hinduism more than Lucas who is being a pretty loyal messenger to the eastern view on such things, rather than misinterpreting or inventing.

The idea behind attachments, I think, is a good idea poorly executed. The Force gives mere humans immense power, and humans are fallible and make rash decisions based on emotion, greed, and self-interest. Trying to eliminate any potential motivation to slip away from righteousness is probably a good idea. The distinction between “good” love and “possessive” love needed to be way more clear, but if the PT leaned further into this idea, the distinction becomes more clear. Anakin’s love for Padmé isn’t healthy because of what it motivates him to do. Simply, it clouds his judgment. He isn’t making rational decisions because he’s afraid to lose her.

If I were to do the PT, I’d lean way further into the no attachments rule than George did. I’d even keep the idea that the Jedi are separated from their parents. The emotional connection to your own mother isn’t evil in and of itself, but humans are animals and the emotional connection to your family, especially between parent and child, is extremely strong and on a preconscious level. It comes from the id, and the id can be very difficult to reason with.

Imagine a Jedi in a trolley problem where they have to pick between allowing their mother to die, or allowing three other people’s mothers to die. A clear mind would see that there’s nothing special about your own mother, and that the three other people would be just as devastated as you would be if your mother died. But the whole point the trolley problem was originally meant to bring up is that people generally don’t make rational moral decisions based off of which of their options causes the least amount of harm. The Jedi would at least have an extremely difficult time weighing their options. Better to nip the problem in the bud and not have to cross your fingers and hope they don’t kill 3 people out of selfishness.

The problem with this, though, is that no human is capable of living a life without sin. George Lucas is a Buddhist Christian, and if heaven is where the righteous come to live with God in the afterlife, and sin is antithetical to God’s very being, heaven should be entirely unpopulated. An infinite being has infinite moral standards, and no human is perfect. Drinking soda is a sin. Driving a car is a sin. And those are just baby examples, there’s so much worse stuff that everybody contributes to simply for existing, it’s just that maybe it isn’t tone appropriate to bring that up on a Star Wars forum. Even being associated with anything like this, though, makes you partially morally responsible for great harm.

There’s some Hindu story IIRC about a guy who lived a perfectly sinless life, except for one time where he accidentally stepped on a bug, which is what sends him to hell. These kinds of stories were the action movies of their day so he fights his way out of hell, but you get the point. Even though it was a bug, a bug is a holy creation no different from a person. Even though it was a mistake, his carelessness still caused a death.

Maybe this would be resolved in the ST by whatever comes next focusing less on the unattainable goal of teaching people how to totally avoid the dark side of the Force, and more about teaching people how not to let it cloud their judgment. You could then ease up on the high restriction the Jedi put on the Force, allowing for the democratization of the Force which is a popular idea for the ST.

The Novelization of the Force Awakens said:

First comes the day
Then comes the night.
After the darkness
Shines through the light.
The difference, they say,
Is only made right
By the resolving of gray
Through refined Jedi sight.

Death of the Author

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SparkySywer said:

The problem with this, though, is that no human is capable of living a life without sin. George Lucas is a Buddhist Christian, and if heaven is where the righteous come to live with God in the afterlife, and sin is antithetical to God’s very being, heaven should be entirely unpopulated. An infinite being has infinite moral standards, and no human is perfect.

That’s where the mitigating factors of infinite love and infinite patience would come in, presumably.

Maybe this would be resolved in the ST by whatever comes next focusing less on the unattainable goal of teaching people how to totally avoid the dark side of the Force, and more about teaching people how not to let it cloud their judgment.

Leigh Brackett’s TESB draft took this route, IIRC. I may be misremembering; it’s been so long since I read it.

90% blue, 10% pink.

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Vladius said:

theprequelsrule said:

The unlikability of the Jedi as portrayed in the PT is the culmination of a process that seemed to start with TESB. In SW77 the Jedi are portrayed as a sort of intergalactic police; a cross between The Knights of The Round Table, the Samurai, and The Lensmen. In Empire we get the warrior monk view of the Jedi. I guess Lucas preferred this view…but I prefer his original concept.

I like it better too with the caveat that I don’t think ESB is where it started.

People say that about ESB because Yoda and Obi Wan tell Luke not to go save his friends. Some things with that:

  1. Not at all the same thing as the prequel prohibition on attachments. They never told him to not have friends or that having friends was wrong or not to get too attached to people.
  2. In this scenario they were absolutely right to tell him not to go: it was a trap, he lost his hand, his friends got away anyway without him, and he almost died (tried to commit suicide to get out.) The only thing questionable the Jedi do is Obi Wan not telling him that Vader is his father.

Did they really get away “without him”? Vader probably could have kept them from escaping until Luke’s arrival, but once Luke arrived they had served their purpose, so why bother? He was busy with Luke. Let the troopers deal with his friends, and if they fail, no big deal.

 

Time is running out for the Rebels. Antilles upcourt to Skywalker. He’s being paced by Darth Va— the bone-jarring pick by Solo! He came out of nowhere! Skywalker’s open from way outside, he launches at the buzzer... Good! It’s good! The Rebels win on a sensational buzzer beater by Luke Skywalker! Let’s take another look at that last shot. He just does get it off in time. Wow, what a shot. That’s why they call him Luke Legend.

 

That may be the most exciting battle I have ever been privileged to broadcast. Certainly the most dramatic finish. We’ll get you an update on the Artoo Detoo injury situation in just a moment. Right now let’s go courtside where SuperShadow is waiting with Chewbacca.

 

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act on instinct said:

SparkySywer said:

act on instinct said:

There’s enough evidence for me that it was intentional, Lucas is fascinated by the fall of Rome and what happens to societies preceding their collapse.

There’s some quote by Lucas comparing the fall of the Republic to the fall of the Roman Republic (comparing Palpatine to Caesar), and he comments that dictators don’t come to power at the head of a conquering army, but by turning institutions in on themselves.

So this guy’s fascinated enough by the fall of the Roman Republic to base a trilogy off of it, but not enough to know that Caesar actually did come at the head of a conquering army? The Senate gave him dictatorial powers after he conquered Rome, and it was an attempt to limit his power, not to give him power.

Palpatine also seized power through a coup via order 66, and with an army he created. I’m not sure I see the contradiction.

I’m not sure that even counts as a coup. The Senate approved these of the Clone army, and I’ve always been under the impression (though it’s admittedly not established canonically) that the “emergency powers” they gave him authorized him to order the targeted killing of enemies of the Empire.

 

Time is running out for the Rebels. Antilles upcourt to Skywalker. He’s being paced by Darth Va— the bone-jarring pick by Solo! He came out of nowhere! Skywalker’s open from way outside, he launches at the buzzer... Good! It’s good! The Rebels win on a sensational buzzer beater by Luke Skywalker! Let’s take another look at that last shot. He just does get it off in time. Wow, what a shot. That’s why they call him Luke Legend.

 

That may be the most exciting battle I have ever been privileged to broadcast. Certainly the most dramatic finish. We’ll get you an update on the Artoo Detoo injury situation in just a moment. Right now let’s go courtside where SuperShadow is waiting with Chewbacca.

 

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Here is my take on the PT Jedi.

They have taken the events of the past and built a dogma on it that is skewed. To avoid the Dark Side they have forbidden attachments. Rather than teach their students about the Dark Side and how to avoid its temptations, they seem to be practicing avoidance. It relates to other things where in the desire to avoid something those who fear it just say avoid it when in reality what you need to avoid it is knowledge and skills to help avoid it. In the PT this comes down to Qui-gon vs. the Jedi Counsel. The Jedi Counsel want to avoid any hint of the Dark Side. Anakin has some fear. Rather than address his fear, they do not want to train him. Qui-gon sees no such obstacle and is willing to train him. What Lucas told Filoni is that the Qui-gon/Maul duel in TPM was a duel for the fate of Anakin. Williams called the music Duel of the Fates for that reason. Had Qui-gon won, Anakin would have been taught differently and would have had the tools to deal with his fear and attachments. Instead he got Obi-wan who went along with the typical Jedi Counsel methods. Obi-wan blames himself and thinks Yoda could have done better, but Yoda was on the counsel and I don’t think he would have taught what Anakin needed. I don’t think those on the counsel really understood him, just like they didn’t understand Qui-gon.

So the Jedi had gotten off track. Probably recently. Probably in Yoda’s life. Mace feels like the face of what is wrong with the Jedi. How he treats Anakin feels in the story like he is driving Anakin to the Dark Side.

Plus there is Palpatine. He is in constant contact with all these Jedi, younglings to masters, and they are unable to see that he is the Sith Master. Their ability to access the force is weakened. So the PT Jedi are not the Jedi they once were. They are not the Jedi they should be. How much is Palpatine’s direct interference and how much is due to how powerful he is I cannot say. But his influence of these events is not insignificant.

And then the Jedi get embroiled in the Clone War (in ANH Kenobi calls it The Clone Wars, plural). They go from being ambassadors and guardians of peace and justice to warriors. They take on additional titles like General. Even the Padawan outrank the clone troopers.

Now, I’ve heard some complain about the concept of gray Jedi. But now in canon we have one in Rey. A gray Jedi is a Jedi that does not fear or ignore the dark side. This is a Jedi in balance with the force. This is the origin of the Jedi before the rise of the Sith. This is not a Jedi that would necessarily deliberately tap into the dark side and flirt with its temptations, but it is a Jedi who knows how to navigate the full force. Remember, Filoni worked closely with Lucas and many things he did in Clone Wars or Rebels was based on what he learned from Lucas. We get the father son and daughter and Bendu. The father and Bendu are both in balance where the son is the dark side and the daughter is the light side. Then we have the Jedi Temple guards. And while the light saber colors have accidental origins, they have come to have meaning. Red means they are on the Dark Side. Blue are for noble warriors. Green are for those wise in the Force. Purple is for those who are firmly on the light side. Yellow is for those in balance. White is for those who have more than one role. We see each of these colors in the canon sources. The Jedi Temple guards and Rey have yellow. Only Mace, the most extreme Jedi and the harshest on Anakin, has purple. Most are blue or green. Qui-gon, Luke, and Yoda are green. Ahsoka’s sabers turn white after she leaves the Jedi order.

There are some things that have come out of all this that Lucas has said he doesn’t like, but he hasn’t done anything to negate them. In fact as the universe expands, these things just get more firmly established. He has said that the Jedi light and dark is not like the eastern concept of yin/yang, but yet when it is described, it really is. The best I can see is that the world of Star Wars is very influenced by eastern philosophy, but it isn’t quite the same.

So I feel that Luke’s assessment of the PT Jedi in The Last Jedi was spot on, if a bit harsh. The PT Jedi found themselves weakened in the force and called on to fill more warrior roles than their typical guardian one. Rather than deal with the issues, they pulled inward and tried to pretend that nothing had changed (something Luke labels hubris). Luke learned the old Jedi way from Kenobi and Yoda and he feels that this way led to Ben’s fall like it did Anakin’s fall. Luke is a bit harsh due to his own history, but the PT really does show the hubris of the Jedi. They fear to let it be known that their ability to access the force is diminished. So it really is hypocritical of them to refuse to train Anakin because he has a bit of fear. But this is all likely caused by Palpatine and his machinations. He has twisted some Jedi into following him (definitely Dooku and possibly Syfo Dias and later Anakin). So some of their issues might not be there fault, but I think it is certain that the way the Jedi are portrayed in the PT are not the glorious Jedi of the past. They are flawed and no longer as powerful as they once were.

Most of my opinion stems from the PT films themselves. I have not read the books or explored the PT era EU. I have not read the comics. I have just watched the films and TV series. The flaws are not really covered in the Clone Wars, only Anakin’s power and arrogance and weaknesses. But the films to me make it very clear that the Jedi are not what they once were and are a problem. They need a refresh. I’m sure it could have been done without wiping them out, but they do get wiped out and then so do the Sith. Imperfectly in ROTJ and then more completely in TROS.

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Superweapon VII said:

Vladius said:

act on instinct said:

Servii said:

I agree with what SparkySywer said above.

I get what George is trying to say about attachment, but it bugs me that he considers emotional connection to your own mother, or simply the act of falling in love with someone, as something problematic. Anakin falling for Padme is portrayed as a dangerous thing, like it’s a “sin,” but Anakin’s behavior towards Padme doesn’t become overtly possessive until RotS. It’s hard to gauge what Lucas considers to be crossing the line from “good” love to “bad/possessive” love. And we don’t really see much of the Jedi showing that compassionate love to people. And maybe that was intentional, but I don’t think it was.

I understand the resistance to the ideas about attachments but that’s really something to take up with Buddhism/Hinduism more than Lucas who is being a pretty loyal messenger to the eastern view on such things, rather than misinterpreting or inventing.

From the Bhagavad Gita, I’m sure it will sound familiar:
https://panindiahindu.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/love-vs-attachment-in-the-context-of-gita/

Exactly. It’s very difficult for a secular, materialist, western audience to accept the idea of not leading yourself by your emotions or what gives you “fulfillment” or sexual desire.

Something which shouldn’t be ignored is that unlike the Jedi, the average Hindu/Buddhist can still practice their faith without having to become an ascetic. It’s not the doctrine that’s the problem; it’s the Jedi’s dogmatic adherance to it. Them taking children too young to give informed consent only compounds the problem.

The Jedi aren’t completely ascetic either and there are clearly people that believe in the Force without becoming Jedi. But anyway, their dogmatic adherence isn’t a problem at all. The problem is Anakin’s refusal to follow the dogma. Like I said that’s really uncomfortable for westerners (especially Americans) who love individuality and rebellion above all else, which is ironic given how Star Wars started with being about rebellion.

The thing is that Anakin (or any of the younglings) could have chosen to leave the Jedi at any time. There’s nothing forcing them to stay. Anakin’s problem is that he can’t leave just to be with Padme, he wants to have it all. He’s ambitious. “I want more, and I know I shouldn’t.” He wants to be the big hero, to be on the Jedi Council, to be a master, to make people do what he wants. So Palpatine offers him the chance to save Padme by being more powerful, not less.

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SparkySywer said:

Servii said:

I get what George is trying to say about attachment, but it bugs me that he considers emotional connection to your own mother, or simply the act of falling in love with someone, as something problematic. Anakin falling for Padme is portrayed as a dangerous thing, like it’s a “sin,” but Anakin’s behavior towards Padme doesn’t become overtly possessive until RotS. It’s hard to gauge what Lucas considers to be crossing the line from “good” love to “bad/possessive” love.

act on instinct said:

I understand the resistance to the ideas about attachments but that’s really something to take up with Buddhism/Hinduism more than Lucas who is being a pretty loyal messenger to the eastern view on such things, rather than misinterpreting or inventing.

The idea behind attachments, I think, is a good idea poorly executed. The Force gives mere humans immense power, and humans are fallible and make rash decisions based on emotion, greed, and self-interest. Trying to eliminate any potential motivation to slip away from righteousness is probably a good idea. The distinction between “good” love and “possessive” love needed to be way more clear, but if the PT leaned further into this idea, the distinction becomes more clear. Anakin’s love for Padmé isn’t healthy because of what it motivates him to do. Simply, it clouds his judgment. He isn’t making rational decisions because he’s afraid to lose her.

The problem with this, though, is that no human is capable of living a life without sin. George Lucas is a Buddhist Christian, and if heaven is where the righteous come to live with God in the afterlife, and sin is antithetical to God’s very being, heaven should be entirely unpopulated. An infinite being has infinite moral standards, and no human is perfect. Drinking soda is a sin. Driving a car is a sin. And those are just baby examples, there’s so much worse stuff that everybody contributes to simply for existing, it’s just that maybe it isn’t tone appropriate to bring that up on a Star Wars forum. Even being associated with anything like this, though, makes you partially morally responsible for great harm.

I thought that first part was already pretty explicit.

You’re describing Christianity without Christ. The whole point is that Christ redeemed humanity’s imperfections and allows people to become more perfect than they were and reach heaven with his help. I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve here by trying to point out problems with Christianity.

I think you’re also stretching the definition of sin. Why is drinking soda or driving a car sinful? Contributing to something just by existing isn’t a sin either because sin requires an actual choice being made.

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I wish an anti-theist was the franchise creator, one who very clearly saw the flaws of faith/belief as a concept and realized that people would better off without any of it.

The Force would just be a genetic abnormality that some humanoids can use for foresight and telekinesis. The Jedi and Sith both ascribed religious power to it and abused said power for millennia. Luke, being the first to divorce religion from this power, leads in a new enlightened age of discovery.

Nah, that sounds really pretentious and cold.

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I find it hard to draw a line between any intentional criticisms of the jedi order and simple bad writing making them look inept. I don’t believe Anakin’s fall is supposed to be seen as a failure of the jedi, but that is an impression you can have as an unfortunate by-product of their weirder rules. The forbidden love angle confuses things, as does the jedi way of seperating young children from their family. Anakin has understandable attachment issues that seem to stem from being a human being while adhering to the code, but the films don’t acknowledge those factors for the most part. Anakin could have left the order, but it’s not as clean and simple as that when he has been raised from a young age in that system, surrounded only by others in it, actively discouraged from having meaningful relationships and therefore having nowhere else to go.

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Superweapon VII said:

SparkySywer said:

The problem with this, though, is that no human is capable of living a life without sin. George Lucas is a Buddhist Christian, and if heaven is where the righteous come to live with God in the afterlife, and sin is antithetical to God’s very being, heaven should be entirely unpopulated. An infinite being has infinite moral standards, and no human is perfect.

That’s where the mitigating factors of infinite love and infinite patience would come in, presumably.

In Christianity, that’s correct.

Vladius said:

You’re describing Christianity without Christ. The whole point is that Christ redeemed humanity’s imperfections and allows people to become more perfect than they were and reach heaven with his help. I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve here by trying to point out problems with Christianity.

I am describing Christianity without Christ. I’m not pointing out problems with Christianity, I’m talking about why the Jedi might behave they do. The Jedi don’t have infinite love or infinite patience, and Jesus isn’t from Star Wars.

Death of the Author

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cap said:

act on instinct said:

SparkySywer said:

act on instinct said:

There’s enough evidence for me that it was intentional, Lucas is fascinated by the fall of Rome and what happens to societies preceding their collapse.

There’s some quote by Lucas comparing the fall of the Republic to the fall of the Roman Republic (comparing Palpatine to Caesar), and he comments that dictators don’t come to power at the head of a conquering army, but by turning institutions in on themselves.

So this guy’s fascinated enough by the fall of the Roman Republic to base a trilogy off of it, but not enough to know that Caesar actually did come at the head of a conquering army? The Senate gave him dictatorial powers after he conquered Rome, and it was an attempt to limit his power, not to give him power.

Palpatine also seized power through a coup via order 66, and with an army he created. I’m not sure I see the contradiction.

I’m not sure that even counts as a coup. The Senate approved these of the Clone army, and I’ve always been under the impression (though it’s admittedly not established canonically) that the “emergency powers” they gave him authorized him to order the targeted killing of enemies of the Empire.

It’s a coup because it’s a violent military sabotage, there wasn’t a plot by the Jedi to overthrow the Republic, the Senate is only complicit based on lies.

“The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” - DV

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Want to add to my comment from earlier and explain some of my opinions behind this. The ultimate issue here is that Lucas thinks the Jedi are unquestionable ultimate heroes, but they did not come off that well for most of the audience, and I have to agree.

This is my biggest issue with the prequels, that Lucas did not really convey what he thought the Jedi to be very successfully. Yeah, we get a few lines of dialogue here and there, but nothing that really sticks with the audience unless they are thoroughly examining the films like we are. Of course even then there are still certain major plot points that don’t make the Jedi look too good. Anakin and his enslaved mother is a prime example. Why couldn’t the Jedi free Shmi? Why wasn’t Anakin allowed to see her for a decade?

Like yeah, you could try to explain that in different ways and try to reason it out, but on top of other scenes and plotlines, mixed in with a lack of clear details, its not looking too good. (And this is all coming from someone who grew up with prequels if that means anything.)

I tend to think the main culprit is the sheer amount of other things going on in the films. We really don’t get the Jedi explained as Lucas wanted them to. George Lucas is a talented guy, but I think the prequels would have been better off it were in two parts. One fully explaining the political issues, and another fully exploring the Jedi Order. Seriously, all of the ways Lucas describes the Jedi in the interviews I had brought up never come through that clearly in the prequels. Some things came through in The Clone Wars, but that doesn’t excuse much.

I used to try to reason out all of these things and try to see the prequel Jedi under the most positive light I could, but I always came to the issue that the films themselves don’t show these things. No matter how I tried to rationalize the Jedi’s decisions, and how much I listening to Lucas’ quotes that came out after the fact, they just aren’t present enough in the films.

Lastly, while Lucas is “Buddhist” and were influenced by extremely devoted Buddhist Monks, some consider the Jedi a bastardization of those ideas. So while he may have wanted to base some ideas off of Buddhism, him and his Jedi should never be used as a 1:1 metaphor for Buddhist people and monks. It is fiction over all, and many practices of the Jedi are certainly there for the story only.

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Vladius said:

Superweapon VII said:

Vladius said:

act on instinct said:

Servii said:

I agree with what SparkySywer said above.

I get what George is trying to say about attachment, but it bugs me that he considers emotional connection to your own mother, or simply the act of falling in love with someone, as something problematic. Anakin falling for Padme is portrayed as a dangerous thing, like it’s a “sin,” but Anakin’s behavior towards Padme doesn’t become overtly possessive until RotS. It’s hard to gauge what Lucas considers to be crossing the line from “good” love to “bad/possessive” love. And we don’t really see much of the Jedi showing that compassionate love to people. And maybe that was intentional, but I don’t think it was.

I understand the resistance to the ideas about attachments but that’s really something to take up with Buddhism/Hinduism more than Lucas who is being a pretty loyal messenger to the eastern view on such things, rather than misinterpreting or inventing.

From the Bhagavad Gita, I’m sure it will sound familiar:
https://panindiahindu.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/love-vs-attachment-in-the-context-of-gita/

Exactly. It’s very difficult for a secular, materialist, western audience to accept the idea of not leading yourself by your emotions or what gives you “fulfillment” or sexual desire.

Something which shouldn’t be ignored is that unlike the Jedi, the average Hindu/Buddhist can still practice their faith without having to become an ascetic. It’s not the doctrine that’s the problem; it’s the Jedi’s dogmatic adherance to it. Them taking children too young to give informed consent only compounds the problem.

The Jedi aren’t completely ascetic either and there are clearly people that believe in the Force without becoming Jedi. But anyway, their dogmatic adherence isn’t a problem at all. The problem is Anakin’s refusal to follow the dogma. Like I said that’s really uncomfortable for westerners (especially Americans) who love individuality and rebellion above all else, which is ironic given how Star Wars started with being about rebellion.

The thing is that Anakin (or any of the younglings) could have chosen to leave the Jedi at any time. There’s nothing forcing them to stay. Anakin’s problem is that he can’t leave just to be with Padme, he wants to have it all. He’s ambitious. “I want more, and I know I shouldn’t.” He wants to be the big hero, to be on the Jedi Council, to be a master, to make people do what he wants. So Palpatine offers him the chance to save Padme by being more powerful, not less.

The problem with that is what Lucas told Filoni. It wasn’t just Anakin’s need for power, it is how he was taught that led to that. The duel between Qui-gon and Darth Maul was the duel for Anakin’s fate. Had Qui-gon won, Anakin would have turned out different. Qui-gon is portrayed as a rebel against the Jedi council. Anakin needed an unorthodox teacher teacher like that. Instead he got the by the book teacher in Obi-wan (his comments to Qui-gon both point out how out of step with the council Qui-gon was and how in step he himself was). That plus Palpatine whispering in his ear for thirteen years.

Also, the feeling I get from the PT is that the Jedi are flawed. I stopped reading the EU materials long before the PT came out so I have no clue if they support or contradict the impression I get from the PT itself. The flaw in the Jedi teaching does not lie in their dogma. It lies in the tools they teach their younglings and padawans to resist the temptation of the dark side. What we get is that they don’t teach them anything. They teach dark side abstinence and avoidance. So when the dark side comes calling, they have no defenses to resist it. Fear lead to anger which leads to hate which leads to suffering. Anakin is too old at 9 and has some fear of leaving his mother. So instead of addressing his fear, the Council doesn’t want to teach him. Obi-wan has what Yoda taught him as a youngling and what Qui-gon taught him as a padawan, but we clearly see that Anakin never loses his fear of losing the ones he cares about. There is this wonderful meme someone made of Grogu long after Din Djarin was gone that sums up what Anakin needed. It is not the attachment that is the problem, it is the fear of losing the attachment. Everyone dies so a properly trained Jedi must be prepared to accept the loss and carry on. If you don’t fear the loss, an attachment cannot lead to the dark side. One simple tool, though probably a hard lesson. So I’ve always felt the flaws in the Jedi teachings were there in the films without need to refer to an outside source. Though what Filoni had to say was very enlightening.