It’s Time for the Jedi to End

I’m back. At least, I think I am. The move is done, we are (slowly) settling in and I’m beginning to enjoy life once more without feeling completely overwhelmed. We love our new neighborhood and new house…but goodness, we do not want to move ever again.

I watched the TLJ trailer another time and I began thinking about when Luke says, “It’s time for the Jedi to end.”

I’ve mentioned before here that I do not actually believe that line will have much context within the movie. I think that it’s more along the lines of what happened when Luke went to train with Yoda: Yoda did not want to train him and gave many excuses before accepting him. I think Rey will show up and ask to be trained, he will give the history of why he went into seclusion and tell her he believes the line of Jedi should end with himself as he no longer wants to train future Jedi. (But he’ll be convinced to train Rey because she is awesome)

It got me thinking, however.

What if there were no Jedi? Kind of like how we were made to believe in ANH, but even more so.

What if we started with a blank slate with the Force? What would the galaxy look like?

Current canon is stuck in a bit of a rut as they try to figure out how to create an explanation of the Force that fits with the Original Trilogy and the Prequels. In the OT, Obi-Wan explains the Force as,

..an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.

We then jump to the Prequel Trilogy and have Qui-Gon explaining to us a scientific reason for the Force: there are a bunch of cells-within-cells (midi-chlorians) that are intelligent and work with the Force, which then allows some beings to access the Force’s powers if they are more sensitive to the Force.

Here’s where the explanation gets a bit murky. When trying to combine both of these understandings, you are left with questions of:

  1. Can anyone access the Force and does everyone have some form of midi-chlorians within themselves, or
  2. Do some beings not have any midi-chlorians at all, or
  3. If everyone has midi-chlorians, is it possible to have a high count and not be Force-sensitive?

Because looking at the OT explanation, we see that the Force was in all living things – this included nature. And the PT explanation is not specific enough to tell us if every single being has midi-chlorians residing within themselves.

The way I interpret it is (and I believe this is correct from what I’ve read online) that everyone has midi-cholorians within them but not everyone can access them to use the Force. Some people have more midi-chlorians and some have less. Those that have a lot, or more, tend to be Force sensitive and channel it’s powers even if they don’t know what they are doing.

The perfect example of this would be Anakin when we met him in TPM. As we know, he had the highest midi-chlorian count known at that point, yet he was still able to harness it and see things before they happen, though he never had formal training. It made him a good podracer.

If this is what we are working off of, the example of someone like Anakin at age 9, what would happen if there were no Jedi and no Sith in the galaxy?

It’s an interesting thought that I’ve been mulling over in my head the past few weeks.

Would the galaxy instead be controlled by beings who have the Force and not know it (but have an inkling)? Would they use their power to manipulate and control those around them and make their way to the top of the government through coercion? Would the entire government be held by Force users who would either use their power for good or evil?

If only certain people were Force sensitive, where would it take them? Not everyone would want to be in the government.

Would it turn into anarchy, with those using the Force for good or evil but not knowing how or why they had those special abilities?

Or, would there be those few who figure it out and create something like an Order anyway – and perhaps inevitably it would turn into light and dark side factions?

 

Knowing what we do about the galaxy, what do you think would happen if there were actually no Jedi or Sith but the Force existed?

Taken From Birth

A lot of my thoughts have lately been around my child (obviously) who is now three months old and how much they really do take over your life.  While the first eight weeks felt stagnant and like I was pouring in energy and getting nothing back, I now see changes each and every day and feel like she is growing so fast.

The first eight weeks was tough.  Yeah, it was really tough.  I began to think about how they did it in a galaxy far, far away.  Did they have droids to help them?  Like, babysitting droids?  Droids that somehow knew the magic touch to calm the baby?

All these meandering thoughts led me to think about the Jedi and the First Order Stormtroopers.

Qui Gon says to Shmi (in regards to Anakin):

Had he been born in the Republic, we would have identified him early, and he would have become Jedi…

General Hux counters Kylo:

My men are exceptionally trained — programmed from birth.

I’ve always admired the Jedi, though as I have gotten older I have seen their many flaws as an organization.  But all this thinking led me to wonder: how different are the Stormtroopers from the Jedi?

jedi younglingsWith the Jedi, I found some information online that says the parent’s permission was always asked, but once the child’s mind was opened to the Force, the parent could not take them back.  However, all this was wiped out with the new Disney canon so we essentially don’t know much about the subject of how the young were actually initiated into becoming a Jedi.

The Jedi Order is supposed to be good and uphold justice in the galaxy.  Yet they had a way of identifying young babies, or children, and taking them from their parents to become a Jedi.  I feel conflicted about this.  It seems almost selfish for a parent to refuse to give up their child to become a Jedi since it’s for the greater good of the galaxy.  When you think of how large the Star Wars galaxy is and how few Jedi there are in relation to the number of sentient beings – there aren’t that many Jedi.  At the same time – it’s your child.  How could you be expected to give it up?  Ever?  I look at ARM and I sometimes wonder to myself if I would be able to give her up if Jedi came knocking on my door.  I understand Shmi’s pain a lot better now when she said, “Don’t look back.”

It’s not just your child you’re giving up, you’re giving up your future.  Dreams and plans you had for them.  Little moments that you’ll never get to see.  You’re not allowed to visit them and they will never know who you are.

Then I began to think…is that more or less cruel than General Hux and his stormtroopers?

I’m assuming that Hux doesn’t give a choice to the parents and he wrenches the babies from them.  Then those children are spoon fed First Order young stormtrooperspropaganda day in and day out to make them completely loyal to the First Order.  Their whole life, all they know is the First Order and they live, breathe, and die for the First Order.

Is that really so different from the Jedi?  There are nuances but I find that they feel eerily similar to me.

Both are taken from birth to serve a higher order and both are entrenched in the doctrine of what they serve.  Creepy, right?

In the end, what slightly mollified me was remembering Ahsoka leaving the Jedi Order at the end of The Clone Wars.  I realized that despite the similarities, the Jedi offered something the First Order did not: a choice.  As a Jedi, you had the option to leave the Jedi Order.  If you wanted to give up your life as a Jedi when you got old enough, you were allowed to leave.

I have now begun to wonder if the Jedi who left ever went back to find their family.  If they found them, would they ask why they made the decision to let them go?  Or how hard it was?

The more I think about the Jedi Order, the more jaded I become with them at times.  But did the Jedi do what was right for them as an organization?  Had this been tried and tested many times over the years and they realized that younger children were better to train than older?  Yet, couldn’t there have been a balance between allowing them to know and love their parents while also training to be a Jedi?  Though attachment was forbidden, could it possibly have made them better Jedi in the end (an argument I strongly stand by)?

I don’t have any answers but I do realize now how hard it would be to let my child be taken by strangers, even if they were Jedi.  I’m not sure I could do it, even with how much I love Jedi.  Perhaps that’s the real reason why they had such small numbers – maybe more people had the Force than we know, it’s just that their parents didn’t want to give them up.  😉

Friday Fives: Characters That Deserved More Screen Time

The Star Wars universe is amazing, we can all agree upon that.  There are so many characters, planets, ships, that our imagination can be taken beyond hyperspace and we know we could live in that world if we wanted to (oh, hell, I would love to live in the Star Wars universe).  But the stories we’ve seen in the saga thus far only focus on one family and the people that touch their lives.  Which is great and all, but unfortunately, we don’t get to see the background stories of other characters.  Here are 5 characters that I think deserve more screen time and wouldn’t mind if they were honored with a standalone movie.

Five Characters That Deserved More Screen Time

  1. Sabé. This woman was Padmé’s loyal bodyguard and decoy.  Sounds fun, right?  Uhhh, sounds dangerous.  How did she get to this position at such a young age?  What was the training like in order to learn all the young Queen’s Sabemannerisms, voice inflection, how to be a bodyguard, and learn all these secret ways of asking Queen Amidala for advice when you don’t know the answer?  Sabé showed great strength during the Battle of Naboo and was thrust into a position where she probably was always trained for, but didn’t expect to use in such a dire situation.  Was she even able to fool Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon?  She later fought in the Battle of Naboo and threw out the great line of “Viceroy! Your occupation here has ended!” Playing a pivotal role in distracting him so that Padmé could get the guns and corner Nute.  I would love to know more about Sabé, her past, and what the future held for her.
  2. Bib Fortuna. I haven’t talked about him much, and he’s clearly doesn’t have the strongest bib fortunamind, but I think he was actually a pretty savvy guy.  He was with Jabba for at least 30ish years (we saw him in TPM) so it shows that he knew the right things to say at the right time. Plus, he looked ugly meshed with evil.  The red eyes with greasy skin and lekku just made him this character I wanted to stay far away from.  According to the Legends, he actually really hated Jabba and tried several times to kill him unsuccessfully.  Poor guy.  To fail so, so, so many times.  But you know what?  Sounds like Jabba never knew or he wouldn’t have kept him on so it further proves my point that I think Bib was sly, cunning, and smarter than most.
  3. Syfo-Dyas. AOTC is not my favorite movie, but I was extremely interested in the clone army and how it was kept under wraps for so long.  The back story was explained to us slightly in The Clone Wars, sosifo dyas it fleshed out this mystery on who Syfo-Dyas was and how he kept the clone army hidden from others.  But I’d like to see a more robust version of this story and learn more about his Jedi past and the experiences that shaped him to make the decisions he did.  Why did the top Jedi not listen to him about the “growing darkness”?  Was this the beginning of someone being dissatisfied with the Jedi Council, even before Ahsoka?  Was there more unrest within the Jedi than we knew about and how did those seeds plant throughout the Order?  Knowing the ending of the movie (Spoiler alert!  He dies), could actually heighten the plot.
  4. Shmi Skywalker. Hear me out on this one.  We know a lot about Shmi already, but mostly just how she relates to Anakin’s story.  I’d like to see a more female centric Star Wars story that shmi skywalkerdeals with more everyday issues of life, with a sprinkling of Star Wars.  This could be a very interesting look at slavery in the Star War universe, something that is clearly abhorred by those closer to the center as implied by Padmé’s shock, but still very prevalent in the outer worlds.  Shmi was in slavery most of her life.  And imagine her shock when she became pregnant for no apparent reason?  This could be a very interesting movie/story, and if someone did it right, they could really do a good job with making it very separate from any Christ-like similarities.  Shimi doesn’t need to be visited by any angel or vision, she could just all of a sudden become pregnant.  Imagine the fear and confusion that lives with her for 9 months.  And when she gives birth, she devotes herself to her son and sees it as something happy, but he is taken from her at such a young age.  From there, she goes on to lead a happier life with Cliegg Lars.  This could be a very real life, tough and gritty, female-life story that I’d love to see on the big screen, even though I doubt it’ll ever happen.
  5. Nien Nunb. I have this this weird fascination with this character because I feel like they kind of dumped him in the nien nunbstory and then threw him away.  I mean, he got to be first mate to Lando during the final battle in ROTJ.  You have to be pretty good for that, especially as he doesn’t seem to speak a lick of Basic, but understands it.  According to Legends, he was once a smuggler and befriended Lando during one of his flights.  So much potential here!  Smugglers are always interesting so it would be great to see his adventures and the movie would be in all subtitles!  It would be a foreign action film, but Star Wars style.

All characters in a movie are there to serve a purpose, whether it be a decoy for a queen or the mother of the most important character.  But sometimes I think that they should get a little more time to show their side of the story and how they got where we saw them.

Who would you pick?  Do you have anyone from the movies you’d like to see more of?

Clone Wars Season 5 Finale: My Thoughts Part II

Final thoughts about the end of Season 5 of The Clone Wars.  There was a lot going on in these episodes, but what stood out to me primarily were the clones and their reactions to the events and just how messed up the Jedi Council had become.

I always had a problem in Revenge of the Sith with Order 66 and how quickly the clones turned on the Jedi.  And as I watched TCW over these few years, it seemed even more unlikely that the Clones would turn on the Jedi when they seemed to be mostly capable of independent thoughts and were quite close to many of the Jedi they served under.  You could see inklings of that in Revenge of the Sith with the banter between Rex and Obi-Wan.

What these episodes of TCW helped me realize is that the key lies in the fact that the Jedi were labeled as “traitors”.  In TCW, Ahsoka was labeled as a traitor for (supposedly) bombing the Temple and though Anakin gave orders Clone trooper clone wars s5ep18to the Clones to bring her in alive, they followed higher up orders from Tarkin to stun her and I believe at one point, kill her.  It shed light on how the clones were able to easily kill the Jedi in ROTS with no hesitation.  “Traitor” is a word they do not suffer lightly as their allegiance is to the Republic (later Empire) and whoever is in charge of it (Palpatine).  How easy it was for me to think they served the Jedi and forget that they were trained to serve the Republic. This helped me to understand the clone’s mentality better and if you watched these episodes closely, you notice that the whole arc mirrored ROTS and Order 66…probably on purpose.

Secondly, with these episodes, I got to see how involved the Jedi had become in politics.  When Grand Moff Tarkin said that Ahsoka would stand a trial by the Senate, Yoda barely argued.  He seemed to briefly state that he wanted to a fair trial in the order of “Jedi Tradition” (whatever that means), but Tarkin quickly overrode him.  What happened to the Jedi?  I was so disappointed to see themjedi council observing ahsoka's trial s5ep20 walked over, but understood it was necessary for the downfall of the Order in the Republic.  Briefly Yoda mentions to Ahsoka that the Dark Side was clouding everything, but it was a lame excuse at the wrong time.  Throughout all these episodes they seemed to be going along with Tarkin’s assumption that Ahsoka was in the wrong.  The funny thing about Tarkin too, is that you get the impression that he was behind the attacks in some way.   Unfortunately, that’s never proven but I wonder if he knew it was Barriss all along.  There were plenty of evil smirks and grins coming from him whenever he accused Ahsoka.  Or maybe he was just really out to prove that the council was not as powerful as it once was and the whole situation played nicely in his hands.  The whole trial of Ahsoka really showed how weak and less influential the Jedi Council had become as a group.

Slowly and reluctantly, I’ve begun to realize that I like how TCW ties into the movies and fills up some back stories.  Sure, I’ve had problems with it – namely Darth Maul returning from the dead, too much time on main characters, but overall I have appreciated their attempts to answer lingering questions that may not have been covered in the prequels.  In these episodes, we see the Jedi slowly losing their influential power as well as the Senate/Republic/Palpatine/Tarkin gaining more ground.  It’s easier for me to understand now that when Palpatine accused the Jedi of attacking him and creating his disfigurement, people of the Senate bought into it so willingly.  Not only did the Clones turn against a Jedi, but it all makes a lot more sense in how this reflects back onto ROTS.  As Palpatine/Tarkin folk get stronger, the Clones allegiance is tied more closely to them and further away from the Jedi.  So when Order 66 is issued, it was really not that hard to execute it.

Ahsoka, Anakin, Tarkin, Barriss clone wars s5ep18

Ahsoka’s Departure: Clone Wars Season 5 Finale Part I

Yup, my post was so long that I will have to split it into two parts to get all my thoughts on the latest episode out onto this blog.

Ok, ok, everyone.  Let’s stop crying.  Let’s stop acting like this is the end of the world.  It’s a TV show.  Yes, the finale involved a major moment for Ahsoka and Anakin, but it’s still an animated TV show.

I can tell you, though, that these past 4 episodes have been a fresh of breath air for The Clone Wars.  After spending most of December with a boring side plot line that involved droids and a little frog character, TCW got back on the right footing with the Darth Maul/Death Watch story line.  I mean, they even killed off a semi-main character (Duchess Satine, if you’re wondering)!  But it wasn’t until these past four episodes of TCW that it began to get interesting and intense.  I’ve been holding off writing on it only because I wanted to know what happened in the Season 5 finale episode.

In a nutshell, this is what has happened in the past four episodes:

A portion of the Jedi Temple is blown up.  Jedi’s die and so do civilian workers.  Is a Jedi behind this or a civilian?  Investigation begins, led by Anakin and Ahsoka.

While Ahsoka is interviewing a main suspect, the suspect is Force strangled in the air and it looks like Ahsoka killed her.  Conveniently, the security cameras had their sound disabled so we can’t hear Ahsoka crying for help as the woman is strangled.  We now know that a Jedi is behind the attacks, but it looks like Ahsoka is the culprit.

Image on Security Camera in Jedi Temple

Image on Security Camera in Jedi Temple

The Jedi want to bring Ahsoka in for questioning, but Ahsoka runs for it and every step she takes makes it look more and more like she is the one behind the attack.  Anakin seems to be the only one who believes she is innocent, but the council bans her from the Jedi Order.  Ahsoka meets up with Asajj Ventress and they try to get to the bottom of it.  Ahsoka finally ends up being captured and is put on a trial in front of Tarkin (yes, Grand Moff Tarkin when he was younger) and is given the death sentence.  Thankfully, Anakin comes in to save the day and you realize it was actually Ahsoka’s friend, Jedi Barriss, who was behind the attacks.  The Council ends up apologizing to Ahsoka and asks her to rejoin the Jedi.  Ahsoka declines and leaves the Council and Anakin.

Ahsoka Refusing to Return to the Jedi Order

Ahsoka Refusing to Return to the Jedi Order

Yup.  We see Ahsoka leave the Jedi Order for good – hence the many internet wails of sadness, real or otherwise.  I have to admit, I was a little surprised.  I’ve been wondering for a long time how they would get rid of Ahsoka on TCW since we all know she doesn’t end up in Revenge of the Sith.  I held the belief that she would fall in love with Lux and leave the Jedi Order for love, doing what Anakin could not.  But this is more poignant.  It’s a crash of beliefs and ideals that Ahsoka held so high.  Being a Jedi is your life.  There’s no turning away and why would you want to?  It’s a hard life, but also an extremely gratifying one and a life that not many people get the ability to experience.  You are the special elite – almost more so than high officials of the Republic.

The tables were turned in this episode where Ahsoka was once viewed as the deceiver, she now looks at the Jedi as traitors.  They did not believe her innocence and they were her family, her life.  She was betrayed by them, and now they are betrayed by her as she turns her back on them.  The mirroring was so perfectly done.

Ahsoka does what Anakin cannot, or does not, have the will to do. She leaves.  Anakin should have left when he married Padmé.  His life would have probably been better and easier without the pressure of the Jedi.   As things get worse within the Jedi Order and as the Dark Side begins to cloud everything, Ahsoka sees clearly enough to know that it’s time to get out of there and to figure things out on her own.

What’s great about Ahsoka’s departure is that you still root for her.  You know and understand that she cannot be part of the Jedi Order after how they turned on her.  She was basically treated as a prisoner and her only advocate was Anakin.  At the end of the episode, Anakin says to her, “I understand wanting to walk away from the Order.”  All Ahsoka says in return is, “I know.”  You get the feeling then that she knows more than she let on.  Does she know about Anakin’s marriage to Padmé?  Probably.  Does she understand Anakin’s frustrations with the Council, the inner Jedi politics, the outward politics affecting the purity of the Jedi?  I think she definitely does now.

What a great way to end TCW…especially as we don’t know what will happen next season.  Now that it’s in Disney’s hands, we still don’t know if it will continue to air on Cartoon Network or if it will continue to air at all.  If this is the end of TCW, they did it perfectly, which almost makes me hope they don’t keep the series going on.  We have an open page now for Ahsoka, which I’m sure the EU would love to expand upon.  She is technically no longer a Jedi so she may not be killed with Order 66.  Also with this ending, you see why Anakin never mentions his former Padawan in ROTS since it may be too painful for him.  It also sheds more light on how the Jedi react to events in the third prequel movie and to Anakin’s continuing frustration with the Jedi.  It provides a good foundation for Palpatine to start gnawing into Anakin’s doubts and uncertainties regarding the Council, Mace Windu, and Yoda.

Bravo.  Clone Wars – you definitely converted me.  From a fan who was enraged over Ahsoka and the choice of even creating an animated series, I am now a huge fan of hers and glad I came around.  Thanks Clone Wars!  Hope to see you soon, but if not, it’s been fun.

Ahsoka leaves Anakin and Jedi Order