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?
With 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 propaganda 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. 😉