I watched Episodes I and II this week. I’m ready for all the Jedi to die…

I watched Episodes I and II this week. I’m ready for all the Jedi to die.

Consider:

1) The Jedi are emotional cripples. They can’t marry or have families, but are somehow expected to be role models and peacekeepers in galactic society. This principle of leadership through societal aloofness scales poorly, is demonstrably ineffective when compared to simple patriarchal/matriarchal orders (apologies to my Catholic friends), and we see its weaknesses demonstrated not only in the real world, but also in the Lucasverse where Anakin and Padme lie in an effort to have both Jedi power and family love. Those lies are just one more bolt in the coffin-armor of the rising Lord Vader.

2) The Jedi are institutionally stupid. For all their ability to see the future and sense the flow of current events through the power of the force, they still can’t believe that a Jedi would tamper with the archives and betray his fellow Knights. Dooku/Tyrannus has been playing them for ten years, and even though Mace Windu knows Dooku to be the leader of the separatists, he just can’t believe (until shown) that Dooku would resort to violence.

3) The Jedi fight like idiots. Perhaps, in the noble, royal heritage from which their now sadly corrupt and fallen order sprang, (PERHAPS) it made sense for great warriors to travel solo or in pairs, keeping the peace simply by being shining examples of nobility. In the down-and-dirty of the modern Galactic Republic, though, you need to be able to employ squad tactics, with the full panoply of principles like “rate of fire,” “flanking,” and “fallback positions.” Want to kill a Jedi? Roll a couple of droideka up to him/her, and start blasting. Jedi aren’t smart enough to carry shield-penetrating ranged weapons, and that “force push” trick only seems to work for a few of them.

Upshot… the Jedi Order in the last days of the Republic is a corrupt and ineffective warrior caste that NEEDS to be swept away. If they’d managed things correctly, perhaps Anakin could have brought balance to the force by quietly usurping power in the Jedi Council and instituting the Jedi Reformation. Sadly, they blew that chance, and their new Sith Emperor will reform their order a bit more dramatically.

I’m looking forward to Episode III. I’m ready for all the Jedi to die…

106 thoughts on “I watched Episodes I and II this week. I’m ready for all the Jedi to die…”

  1. Ah, so you hadn’t seen Episodes I and II before now? You’re quite right; both individually and institutionally, the Jedi are too stupid to continue, and fully deserve everything Lucas is about to unleash upon them in III. 🙂

    1. Oh, I’d seen them. I just watched them again to prep for Ep. III. The third movie promises to be a lot of fun, and it’ll only be better for having fully steeped myself in the first two.

      (Yes, it was painful watching Jar-jar again. Yes, I cringed again at both the immaculate conception and the mitichlorians. Yes, Hayden Christensen still acts like a wooden mannikin. Yes, mannikin rhymes with Anakin.)

      1. …it’ll only be better for having fully steeped myself in the first two

        Is this like the great wisdom, the first two movies are so bad, whatever comes next is bound to look great by comparison?

        But Satan had miscalculated! Because the logo was Google’s number one secret technological advantage, the one thing no one would ever think to copy: it was so bad that it always made their search look good, no matter what could happen. So they said, “begone, foul wyrm, destroyer of worlds!” Although they later invited him back as a consultant. And that is how Google became the Jennifer Lopez of the Internet.

        The Banality of Google

      2. “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

        If you think midichlorians were painful before, consider this:

        1) As you pointed out, Jedi are not allowed to marry.
        2) If the midichlorians really are what they say in Episode 1 (and ignore in every other chapter), then the means to control the Force appears to be hereditary.
        3) The Jedi’s abilities to manipulate The Force were waning, and the Jedi Council had been both concealing this fact and trying to figure out why.

        Now, okay, maybe I was corrupted by Doc Smith at an early age, but as I see it, if you’ve got Demonstrably Hereditary Mental Powers, wouldn’t you want to ENCOURAGE those bearing them to reproduce? In addition to all the other examples of their decadence that you present, add JUST PLAIN STUPID to the list.

        A friend of mine views the entire saga as the story of the Midichlorians acting as Dawkins-style “selfish genes”. Anakin’s parthenogenesis was a desperate attempt for the little parasites symbiotes to preserve their own genome…

        1. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

          Interesting. One wonders where the heck he got his Y-chromosome though. Maybe the midichlorians built one.

          1. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            But obviously not human. In humans, you need a Y chromosome for a male to develop. A 1X individual will develop into a female. There’s plenty of species where unfertilised eggs develop into males, yes, but not so for us. 😉 So anyway, although you COULD possibly in some way justify that Anakin was concieved through mitotic or meiotic parthenogenesis, there’s no way you can justify that he’s male. You could of course pretend he’s got some severe form of some syndrome that gives females male sexual characteristics, but in that case (s)he ought to be sterile.

            Oh, and AFAIK it’s an adjective – you’d say “he’s haploid”. 😉

          2. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            I don’t know…. it’s entirely possible that Anakin’s mother may have been a little crossbred… perhaps two or three generations back. Virgin birth among humans is scientifically a biological impossibility… Virgin birth in a human/alien hybrid is a unique and unexpected capability.

          3. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            He doesn’t need one. All fetuses start as female in the womb. An XY chromosome in the fetus should promote the release of androgens by the mother to cause male sexual development. The lack of the Y chromosome should suppress it. But it doesn’t always work that way, which is why there are XY females, XX males, and YY males.

            If the midichlorians could clone Shmi in her own womb, then manipulating her hormones shouldn’t have been too hard for them…

          4. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            Have any sources for this? I don’t claim to be an expert on any of this, I’m just a biology student. 🙂

            My coursebook “Developmental Biology” (Scott F. Gilbert) has this to say about sex determination in mammals: Primary sex determination, the determination of the gonads (testes/ovaries), is “strictly chromosomal and is not usually influenced by the environment”. Furthermore, every individual “must have at least one X chromosome”. This is because the Y chromosome is basically just a very small chromosome mostly filled with junk DNA, but carrying a gene that encodes a testis-determining factor. A human with XXXXY will develop male gonads, but an individual with no X at all will not develop, period – because there are genes missing. Not having an X chromosome would be like lacking any other chromosome.

            Depending on your definition of male/female, I guess you could be right about there being XX males and XY females. I’m not sure I would agree with you though, as these individuals would most likely only display the secondary sex characteristics (breasts, vagina, penis, prostate etc etc) of the sex you’d attribute to them – their primary sex organs would be ovaries for XX and testes for XY individuals. So, to put what I wrote somewhere already in a different wording, Anakin could be an XX individual displaying male secondary sex characteristics, but his gonads would be ovaries if any and he’d be sterile.

          5. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            I’ve seen articles about XX males (no idea where, sorry). The explaination in the article was that the testis-determining gene can occasionaly crossover to an X chromosome.

          6. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            Hey, that makes sense. 🙂 I’ll keep an eye out for info about it, seems interesting.

            Still *trying desperately to keep on topic*, seems a bit of a contrived explanation for Anakin’s gender 😉

          7. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            Especially considering that for Anakin to aquire a testis determining gene via crossover, his mother would have had to have one.

            Perhaps the virgin birth thing was just a little white lie, and Jar Jar is really Anakin’s father.

          8. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            Or maybe a roaming, wild-oats-sowing, not-yet-a-senator Palpatine was the father.

            It wouldn’t surprise me if THAT revelation was sprung on us in Ep. III.

          9. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            “Anakin… _I_ am your father.”

            (Everyone’s thinkin’ it, oi’m jus’ sayin’ it. And tbh, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if Lucas reused that line… :P)

          10. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            Doh. *facepalm* That too. Writing lab reports has obviously dulled my mind. -.-

            …now THAT’S just SCARY…

          11. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            Sorry, I was only as serious as the topic of mitichlorians deserved in this post…

            I don’t recall exactly where I read this, but it was in several places.

            This is the closest I could find on the subject:

            http://www.upd.edu.ph/~updinfo/archives/novdec2000/tilapia.htm

            I do recall that double-Y chromosome males were a subplot in one of the Alien(s) flicks…

            There is some evidence that stress can cause a woman to produce higher levels of androgens, but I don’t know how solid it is.

            There is a lot of talk on the net about hormones being a factor in sex determination in the womb, but a lot of it seems less scientific and more political…

          12. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            The fish article is very interesting, but sex determination in fish and humans is rather different so I’m not sure how it’d apply here.

            AFAIK, it’s possible for a human male to have multiple Y chromosomes, but he needs at least one X as well.

            Hormones are very important for the development of the human embryo, but mostly for the secondary sex characteristics – as I wrote. My point was, you can have a female that looks entirely like a male (or vice versa), but “he” won’t be able to reproduce.

          13. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            Point taken. I’m no expert.

            But since the mitichlorians are such a clever plot device species, I’m sure they can work it out…

        2. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

          Actually, they never say “aren’t allowed to participate in conceiving children” they say “aren’t allowed to form normal relationships” I always envisioned them as having their equivalent of Gregor Mendel and artificial insemination. After all, the kiddies in the creche had to come from SOMEWHERE. Somehow they were finding the little darlings before they learned fear and love and other icky touchy-feelies like that. What better way than breeding your own either through clandestine orgy or through artificial means?

          That said, the whole point of Anakin was to “bring balance to the force” If you’ll notice, Luke’s training allowed for both “dark” (emotional, id and ego) and “light” (superego) sides. A great upheaval was needed to clear the way for the exploration of the complete person, not just one or the other.

          You’ll notice that the “force ghosts” were all Jedi who had “faced their dark side”…indeed, Luke was encouraged and even required to face his dark side as part of the new training regimen.

          You’ll notice Yoda never told Luke “ya aren’t allowed to get laid”. New order, proper balance. Zen!

          Bryan “just my take on the philosophy” Paschke

          1. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

            You’ll notice that the “force ghosts” were all Jedi who had “faced their dark side”…

            And here I thought they’d gotten their “magical ghost bodies” because they died in front of Luke.

        3. Re: “Think Of It As Evolution In Action.”

          Sounds a lot like Wheel of Time, dunnit? In there, the Aes Sedai (female wizards) have systematically killed off male wizards because they go insane, and are not allowed to marry to prevent creating more males able to use the One Power. As a result the total magic potential of the human race is in decline.

          Anyhow. There’s significant evidence that force sensitivity is not, in fact, hereditary. A lot of people assume it’s implied when Luke tells Leia, “I had it, my father had it, my… sister, has it…” but if that were the case, you would expect to see only a handful of races able to use the Force in that way, rather than Forceless races being the exception. Among a population of quadrillions of sentients, however, the Jedi Order consists of a measley 10,000 members. Even if the population was pure human, no genetic trait could possibly survive at such rarity. Granted, there are many times that many who wash out of the Jedi program or who are never picked up in the first place because their powers are so minor, but a double-recessive gene that occurs once in 1,000,000 individuals would still produce something like 10,000 times that many Force users in that size of population. And remember, this is assuming all quadrillion are humans… Twi’leks and Cereans are much, much less common.
          General consensus is that Qui-Gon was smoking crack and midichlorians, if anything, are benign parasites that multiply in proportion to their host’s Force sensitivity.

      3. The third movie promises to be a lot of fun, and it’ll only be better for having fully steeped myself in the first two.

        For certain values of “fun” and “steeped”, I suppose so.

        And please, don’t get me started on Christensen’s acting. It was my biggest complaint about Episode II. Watching him, you’d think the guy had never had so much as a crush on a girl, let alone any kind of grand passion.

    1. I don’t know if you’re the pirating type, but it’s really not that hard to find on mininova. Just a 1.4 GB torrent. And television piracy is even more murky morally and legally than music piracy.

      If you’re interested in being legal, you can buy the first 20 episodes (out of 25) for $14 + S/H on Amazon. I’d suggest pirating the last 5, still, because they won’t be out before the 3rd movie, and they actually show what happens in the scrolling text before it, apparently.

      The whole thing really fills out the clone war much better than I imagine the short blurbs at the end of II and beginning of III will.

      1. No pirating necessary

        starwars.com has the last 5 available for free viewing, in the small size for non Hyperspace members, large if you’re a paying member.

  2. I happen to like the Star Wars Extended Universe more then the Movies as a general rule.

    If you get a chance, rent “Republic Commando” for the ‘box. No force, no Jedi, just four Clones and alot of ass-whoopin’.

    1. Republic Commando

      Republic Commando is Halo with a Star Wars license. That said, it’s fun, because it’s Halo.

      (And isn’t it at least as fast to type xbox as ‘box?)

    2. I really need to go and play through Starwars Knights of the Old Republic here. I bought it and then never actually played it.

      I suspect it’s just NWN with a star wars setting though.

      1. I wouldn’t say it’s NWN with Star Wars – it’s more like a third-person Baldur’s Gate 2 with Star Wars, or ‘almost exactly like Jade Empire’ if you’ve played Jade Empire, right down to the dumb minigames.

      2. KOTOR

        Having played both NWN and KOTOR/KOTOR2 I feel I can say that the similarities between NWN and KOTOR are purely systematic.

        If you don’t like D20 to the point where it ruins your fun, well first you have my sympathies, but second, you can skip out on these truly great games.

        If you are looking for gameplay experience comparisons, well apples and oranges.

        KOTOR has an interesting moving plot, great character development and interaction, immersive progression, and fun oozing out of every pore.

        NWN was bland stale plot on top of a system where fighting was the only thing you really did. Little to no character development or interaction and quite frankly no fun anywhere to be found.

        I really feel that comparing the two cheapens KOTOR a good bit and serves NWN an undue compliment.

        1. Re: KOTOR

          I was mostly referring to the engine that it was developed with. Since then though I have read up on jade empire more. Other than storywise KOTOR is definitely using a more NWN style game system and engine. It may be lightyears ahead of NWN though. Jade empire is closer to a real action rpg like Dark Cloud where you actions are more immediate rather than happening in a pseudo-turnbased command stacking manner.

          So, yeah. I probably agree with you. NWN’s strength was its multiplayer play and ability to generate new scenerios. KOTOR takes the same style engine and makes a vastly better single player game from it with a much better story.

  3. Heh, the concept that “bringing balance to the Force” might have been Tacitus’s definition of peace obviously eluded the Jedi – but I have always wondered: what could they have expected? A big happy Jedi/Sith commune? Or did “balance” somehow get interpreted as “the bad guys will all come over to our way of thinking”? (Apparently it somehow didn’t cross their mind that “the Jedi are all seduced to the Dark Side” is an equally valid method.)

    And it’s not just the Jedi who fight like idiots – everyone seems to. It’s generally institutionalized in the space opera genre and certainly the SW universe. Helps the dramatis personae survive – but it does mean that it’s inherently a very cinematic reality rather than a gritty one, and Star Wars is more fantasy than sci fi.

    Various superhuman feats aside, though, the Jedi seem stunningly mortal; barring their ability to leap aside and vaguely precognitive ability to parry incoming attacks with lightsabers, they aren’t immune to normal hand weapons.

    (Though arguable, no one in the SW universe is immune to normal hand weapons or even modestly protected against them – Ewoks and Gungans seem to be able to use stone-age weaponry to take care of “the Empire’s best” storm troopers, droids, and AT-ST mecha.)

    1. And it’s not just the Jedi who fight like idiots – everyone seems to. It’s generally institutionalized in the space opera genre and certainly the SW universe.

      When Frank Herbert decided he wanted sword fights in Dune, he devised personal force-shields that stopped high-velocity attacks and reacted destructively with energy weapons.

      Though arguable, no one in the SW universe is immune to normal hand weapons or even modestly protected against them…

      Switching over to Star Trek for a moment, the Borg’s Instantly Adapting Personal Deflectors seemed incapable of adapting to bullets (even from replicated tommy-guns) or bat’leths. If the Federation had just tossed out their damned phasers and issued everyone assault rifles (and maybe Lensman-style Space Axes), resistance would have been a whole lot less futile.

      1. Well, yeah.

        Pure energy — of any sort — is easier to disperse with energy-manipulation than kinetic energy which has a crude physical carrier.

        The proper way to take on the Borg would have been with solid blocks of trititanium equipped with impulse and maybe small warp drives that just rammed the hell out of the ships.

      2. The Borg are stupidly simple to kill. Transporters work. Simply transport antimatter aboard the ship. Transport chunks out of the ship. If you only get one before they adapt, who cares? That phenomenal shield will hold all their Borg goo in place as it’s cooked into superheated slime.

        Use tractor beams to throw large rocks at them at .99c…doesn’t matter if they don’t get hurt, with a good computer you can ricochet until they hit a star.

        For that matter, with tractors/pressors, transporters and antimatter, I can tear someone apart, grab the ship and shake it, beam out structural members or the engine core, blow them to smithereens…

        I won’t even start on Forager…sheesh.

    2. Well, remember, they thought that they’d killed the last of the Sith until new ones started popping up. And Anikin (with the help of his son) did bring ballance to the forces. The forces of the lightside were way stronger than the forces of the darkside before he killed them off. It’s just that the Lightsiders were, as Howard points out, terminally stupid.

    3. Heh, the concept that “bringing balance to the Force” might have been Tacitus’s definition of peace obviously eluded the Jedi – but I have always wondered: what could they have expected?

      Seriously. When I first saw Ep I, I kept repeating to myself “But (nearly) all the Jedi now are good/light Jedi. Bringing ‘balance’ would be a bad thing…” You’d think some of the greatest philosophers of that age would have figured that part out, and shot Anakin in the head.

    4. How about, “Balance to the Force means the practicioners of the Force will be emotionally balanced, instead of either repressive emotional cripples or anger-and-hate-dominated lunatics”? That is, a universe with equal numbers of Phantom Menace-style Jedi and Sith (say, the situation at the beginning of A New Hope, with Yoda and Kenobi vs. Palpatine and Vader) would still have an unbalanced Force.

      In which case, Qui-Gon Jinn, who wasn’t in accord with the Jedi of the time, was trying to save the Jedi from their own fatal flaw . . . but with Anakin’s training left in the hands of an orthodox Jedi, the result was tragedy instead of a Jedi transformation.

      The prophecy comes true anyway, though – Luke neither gives in to hate nor severs his emotional attachments. And even though the result is that even though only a light-sider is left at the end of RotJ, the Force is balanced.

      1. > even though only a light-sider is left at the end of RotJ

        BK: “That boy is our last hope.”
        Yoda: “No… there is another.”

        But yeah, Luke and Leia are probably both light side. I’m told some of the SW books have Luke slip over to the Dark Side; I haven’t read ’em.

        1. Dark side luke

          Actually Luke DID dabble in the dark side in one of the comics at least. I rember skimming the last panels of it whenI was younger

          He actually studied under Palpatine (One of his clones…) before swinging back to the light side to destory palpatine’s spirit forever.

    5. immunity to hand weapons

      Err..actually I think Vader is Immune provided he can see ti coming. He blocked Han’s blaster fire in ’empire strikes back’ rather easily with just his hand

  4. 1) (George Lucas) is an emotional cripple. He insists on being a ‘benign despot’ — to be the sole power in the creation of his universe that was clearly better in the days when he was forced to collaborate.
    2) (George Lucas) is institutionally stupid. He created Jar-Jar. He brought Jar-Jar back. He screwed up his classics… the list goes on.
    3) (George Lucas) fights like an idiot. He ignores the reviews of his movies, rather than taking them into some consideration. He refuses to release the original, untainted trilogy on DVD. He fights his own FANS.

    I’m ready for (George Lucas) to die.

    1. And yet George Lucas has you talking about his work and infuriated because he spoiled it. You and countless others are spending hours of time and energy debating how angry you are with Lucas. I’m afraid Lucas wins this round.

      1. No no! He won rounds 1 and 2, but THIS time, THIS time I won’t be buying tickets opening day! C’mon! Who’s with me? Let’s put Lucas in his place!

        But seriously, I think he loses in that his name will forever be tainted with these last 3 films, rather than revered for the first 3.

  5. 1) Even though the Jedi know that the force is a matter of bloodlines the reason they forbid family/martial relationships is the attachment to them. Anakin and his mother are a good example of that: She’s killed by Tusken Raiders and he in turn wipes all of them out in a fit of rage. Considering the hazardous lives Jedi tend to live having family might be something an enemy might exploit. I would think that if a Jedi wanted to settle down and have a family they’d probably leave the order and live someplace out of the way.

    2) The Jedi ability to see the future was being clouded by the dark side of the force. Mostly due to the machinations of Darth Sidious. As for Dooku, the Jedi Code lends itself to optimism which in this case lead to denial until proof was staring itself directly in the face.

    3) Droidekas are tough SOBs no matter if you’re a Jedi or a grunt trooper. They best way to take them out is with Heavy vehicle mounted weapons. Also 1-on-1 a Jedi could probably defeat a Droideka by using the terrain against them. The big problem is that Droideka are deployed in large groups.

    You should check out some of the expanded universe stuff. Between Eps II and III the Jedi adapt to the role of General pretty quickly. The trouble is that even with the clone army they are still badly outnumbered.

    1. Between Eps II and III the Jedi adapt to the role of General pretty quickly.

      Yeah. Yoda seemed to know what he was doing at the end of Episode II. Admittedly, his first military move was pulling out the dozen or so Jedi who’d gotten trapped in the Geonosis stadium – honestly, that’s a strategy that didn’t work so well. You notice they seemed to intentionally congregate in the middle and let themselves get surrounded? Dumb idea. They’d have been a lot better off securing the exits and tunnels in the audience section of the stadium, using the restricted space to their advantage, and pressing inward from there.

      …No, wait. That would have required more than thirty soldiers to pull off! My mistake.

      1. You notice Yoda’s troop combat tactics seem to revolve around “throw expendable troops at them until we get into the position we watn to be in?”
        Granted, I’ve never watched the Clone Wars series, but in EII he really throws a lot of clones into the wringer.

    2. Anakin’s destruction of the tuskan raiders was not the inevitable conclusion of his attachement for his mother. Anakin destroyed the raiders in a fit of selfish anger. They took his mother away from him and he wanted them to suffer. What Anakin displays is selfish obession and desire for posession, not real love. Love should ennoble and make people stronger.

      Jedi are supposed to put the good of all people, the republic, and the Jedi order before any individual person. This is supposed to be a grand compassion and is probably the reason why individual attachments are discouraged. But there are several mentions of “former Jedi” perhaps Jedi are supposed to retire before they marry and reproduce.

    3. I think the reason for the prohibition of Jedi reproduction is very similar to the reason for the prohibition on priest reproduction. Higher up catholic leaders held immense power in the olden days, and could basically bring down a king of a country if they wanted to. The prohibition was to prevent dynasties in the church and keep important jobs from being handed off by tyrannical holy men to their even more tyrannical children. The Jedi have immense power, and the republic is afraid of them so they probably passed that rule for a similar reason. To prevent overthrow by a Jedi dynasty.

      1. I have never heard before that the prohibition on marriage of priests was made or enforced by a governing body outside the church, if that’s what you’re suggesting. On that point, however, I lack the historical expertise to debate you.

        As long as we’re talking about fantasy, though… I doubt the Jedi would have accepted any such restriction from the Republic. If it ever came up, a few Jedi would just wave their hands and mutter, with their characteristically odd word emphasis, “Jedi reproduction will be fine.”

        1. Perhaps not enforced by a governing body outside, but it was heavily requested by the ruling forces outside the church. Of course, since the lesser nobles and younger siblings of the firstborn nobles that became the clergy, the nobles did have some degree of power over the church.

  6. Well, they aren’t THAT horrible

    As much as I loathe the newest additions to the Star Wars universe (Episodes 1 and 2. I’m assuming 3, but we’ll see.) there are a few things that save the Jedi from your evaluation of them.

    Firstly, they weren’t warriors. Yes, they had lightsabers, and yes there were warriors among their ranks. But Jedi weren’t soldiers. They were religious nutjobs. 😉 Many Jedis were teachers, healers, etc. So when they’re all called into battle to protect their collective skins, it’s at least somewhat understandable that they fight like idiots. Granted, it stretches believability HOW badly they fight, but still, some considerations have to be made.

    Secondly, this isn’t a weakness of the Jedi. This is a weakness of George Lucas. (Randy is absolutely correct. Amen.) Lucas was able to conceive of a world in which there were a handful of people with the force. Episodes 4-6 show that he’s not bad at coming up with a world where there are four or five active Jedi. However, he never really seems to have given much thought to exactly how the Jedi were extinguished (storyboarding it is NOT the same as writing out the whole story). He basically just wrote “The Emperor wiped them out.” and moved on. Now that he actually has to SHOW how they were defeated, he’s forced to resort to making them very, very stupid.

    Thirdly, midichlorians (sp?) are just stupid. They have no place in the universe in any way, shape, or form. The idea of explaining why Jedi were Jedi is simply a horribly stupid one and should never have been acted on. If Lucas was forced to collaborate this wouldn’t be an issue. Let us never speak of them again when criticizing the Jedi. This is another one of Lucas’ brain-farts and it’s not fair to his creation to blame them for his own shortsightedness.

    In short, it’s not the Jedi’s fault they suck, but yeah. They suck. *sigh* Stupid George Lucas.

    1. Re: Well, they aren’t THAT horrible

      But Jedi weren’t soldiers. They were religious nutjobs.

      I was expecting another end to this sentence, but hey.

      The Jedi weren’t soldiers… oftentimes, they were diplomats. Look at the first part of Episode I, and what their role was in holding off the Trade Federation (trading what? stupid name) from attacking Naboo. They weren’t supposed to hold them off with force; they were supposed to negotiate with the Federation and try to end the conflict that way. I suspect that oftentimes, when that role failed, they would often act as assassins (or perhaps abductors) in a bid to decapitate the leadership of the offending force. We saw them in the complementary role of bodyguards on Naboo and Coruscant as well.

      But this goes back to the elitism problem the Jedi have – the only way they’re really effective is in dealing with leaders, be it through negotiation, protection, or intimidation. Which works well when you’re capable of bypassing your opponent’s rank-and-file forces, or when the opposition is willing to play ball. When neither is true, you end up with one soldier – a specialized, very talented soldier, but still one soldier – having to deal with an entire infantry.

      No wonder they needed a Grand Army of the Republic. I’m surprised it took them that long. Though I suppose when everybody was still in the Republic in the first place, they were more willing to “play ball”.

      I wonder if these sorts of problems will end up casting Vader as a more sympathetic character than before. Putting aside issues of acting, I certainly found myself sympathizing – if not agreeing – when Anakin put forth his viewpoint of “totalitarianism for the people’s good” in Episode II. Cause obviously, this Jedi crap ain’t workin’ right anymore.

    2. Re: Well, they aren’t THAT horrible

      Firstly, they weren’t warriors.

      My only problem with this is mainly a semantic one. I mean, the term “Jedi” is often used only as a shorter form of the term “Jedi Knight.” How can you give someone a title like that and not expect at least a good number of them to be decent warriors and have at least some grasp of basic strategy? I think a better statement would be that the Jedi had been in power so long that they had become complacent and allowed the military aspect of their order to atrophy. Makes sense, but it’s still frustrating.

      Howard’s right. It’s time for the Jedi to die… Anakin brings balance to the Force.

      One other thought, just a little one that’s run through my head a few times. Perhaps the bringing balance to the Force is a reference to the birth of the twins? One boy, one girl? ‘Cause after the deaths of Obi-Wan, Vader, Palpatine, and Yoda (extended universe aside), Luke and Leia are the only known Force users left, aren’t they? Just a thought, and not a very developed one I know, but I just wanted to put it forward.

      1. Re: Well, they aren’t THAT horrible

        How can you call someone a Jedi Knight and not expect them to fight? The same way the British knighthoods are awarded now to singers, writers, and actors who probably couldn’t fight their ways out of paper bags. 😀 It really does seem more of a religious or political title than an actual designation of a soldier or fighter; and those lightsabres seem to be more for show than anything.

        There was a point when the Jedi were vital and decent fighters – several thousand years prior, during the battles with the Sith. Of course, they nearly got wiped out back then too… 😀

        1. Re: Well, they aren’t THAT horrible

          The same way the British knighthoods are awarded now to singers, writers, and actors who probably couldn’t fight their ways out of paper bags.

          Haesslich’s right. It’s time for Sir Elton, Sir Paul, and Sir Ian to die. 😉

          Just kidding, I’m actually a big fan of both singers, and Gandalf/Magneto? He can be knighted, I guess. 🙂

      2. Re: Well, they aren’t THAT horrible

        There was hundreds of generations of people called “knights” and “warriors” who had nary a grasp of combined combat strategies. Knights and Warriors generally concentrate on the art of battling with a handful of opponents alone and generally require innate skill and individual talent, whereas a Soldier is trained to work with other soldiers to fight an army and takes constant drilling on following orders and with teamwork. Oddly enough, A bunch of soldiers could probably wipe out a group of warriors or knights any day just because of the teamwork advantage.

        It’s kind of like having one extremely fast and efficient Athlon processor in your system, vs. dozens of multicore less efficient/powerful athlon processors in parallel.

  7. The problem…

    … is that they’re trusting YODA. Who is the bad guy. As I demonstrated conclusively some time ago. Hell, in a court of law the circumstantial evidence alone would get him the chair.

  8. Yeah, the Jedi are about as interesting as Galahad, in the Arthurian mythos. When you look at him, you realize, he is not human. He goes around and pisses off people but the real hero of the grail saga is Percival, an all to human protaganist. Much cooler. Down with tyranny, up with meritocracy! Brin article

  9. Consider…

    …it made sense for great warriors to travel solo or in pairs, keeping the peace simply by being shining examples of nobility. In the down-and-dirty of the modern Galactic Republic, though, you need to be able to employ squad tactics, with the full panoply of principles like “rate of fire,” “flanking,” and “fallback positions.”

    Do consider that I don’t think there ever were enough to send them in groups larger than two, maybe three…

    If you don’t have the manpower, and are supposed to cover an entire galaxy, you start to spread yourself pretty thin…

  10. You All Der Funny Peepl.

    It could be worse. I mean, the Jedi could actually be smart, employ effective squad tactics and leadership, and then get killed. Worse still, you’d already know that they’d be as good as dead from Episode I.

    Yeah. Motivating.

    The sort of folly that the Jedi engage in? Useful for narrative context. Like all good myths, it has a lesson embedded in it, mainly through the exaggerated consequences of the exaggerated actions of exaggerated characters and institutions.

    I mean, you can point out to your kids and say, “Now, see? This Is What Happens When An Important And Heroic Order of Protectors Get Lazy, Rigid And Somewhat Incompetent. Don’t Be Like Them!”

    It’s not supposed to be science fiction in much the same way that the Ring of the Nibelung or Lord of the Rings was meant to be historical fiction. They’re all myths, and yeah, there are times when you feel insulted because the myth starts talking down to you. Congratulations, you’re not at all completely ignorant.

    Now learn to turn off your intellect and enjoy the movie as much as you can.

    1. Re: You All Der Funny Peepl.

      Now learn to turn off your intellect…

      No. Never. Sorry, but I do not want to be a sheep, and as the wise man noted, “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”

      1. Re: You All Der Funny Peepl.

        There is such a thing as over-thinking something, you know. Besides, I thought there was a whole continuum of behaviour between ‘turning off your intellect’ and ‘Being a fan of Total Request Live.

        1. Re: You All Der Funny Peepl.

          I’m going to betray my ignorance, then, and ask what Total Request Live is before I make any other comments. 😉

          1. Re: You All Der Funny Peepl.

            The best part is that I haven’t even scraped the bottom of the barrel. At least these shows adhere to some fairly strict quality standards. We haven’t even come close to Eurotrash or Banzai yet.

            Yes, almost two years in London, and this is the kind of stuff I bring back.

  11. Balance and Reformation . . . .

    Let’s consider – both types of Force wielders, at the time of Phantom Menace, are unbalanced emotional cripples. The Sith are angry, emotion-indulging monsters, obviously.

    The Jedi, however, are an overreaction to the Sith. They are emotion-supressors who have never had a personal relationship – they were taken from their parents so early they have no real memories of family life, and are prohibited from forming romantic relationships. They never learn how to handle emotion, and are unable to guide Anakin in handling his appropriately; this is what leaves the path open for Anakin to fall to the Dark Side.

    This is most clearly seen when we see what happens in movies IV-VI. Raised to adulthood in a normal family relationship, Luke is emotionally balanced compared to the Jedi of old. He first refuses to surrender his obligations to his family, even given the prospect of adventure and a beautiful girl; he only goes with Ben when the Empire leaves him without family. When faced with his friends in peril, he explicitly rejects emotional detachment on Dagobah, ending his training to intervene and (successfully) save his friends. And its his refusal to give up on his emotional attachment to his father – despite the advice of both Yoda and Kenobi – that redeems his father from the Dark Side and inspires Anakin to kill the Emperor.

    In the end, the only Force-wielder left in the universe is the balanced Luke Skywalker, who was born of a Jedi-defying emotional attachment and who in each of three movies said “no” to a Jedi urging him to give up his emotional attachments – but who also never gave into rage and emotional indulgence. This is balance in the Force.

    Now, how could it have turned out better? Let’s assume that Qui-Gon Jinn doesn’t get killed by Darth Maul, but lives to train Anakin. Qui-Gon has been at odds with the Jedi Council over something for years; let’s assume that it was the question of emotional attachment. In this case, then, the maverick Qui-Gon rescues Shmi Skywalker from Tatooine at first opportunity, rather than forcing Anakin to obey the strict abandonment of previous life doctrine of the Council (which Kenobi, young and not understanding of him mentor’s objections, accepted).

    In this case, with his mother secure on Coruscant and with a mentor tolerant of emotional development, Anakin becomes an emotionally-mature adult who enters an adult relationship with Padme. Though under criticism from the Jedi Council, and subject to the same fears and temptations as before, the emotionally more-mature Anakin rejects Sidious/Palpatine’s offers and is a major contributor to the defeat of the Sith. As a new age of peace begins in the Galaxy, Anakin is accepted as a Jedi Master and his experience is used to reform the Jedi Order . . . establishing balance in the Force.

    This, of course, sets up Anakin bringing balance to the Force as a true prophecy, but one that didn’t have to be such a tragedy, if only the Jedi had understood . . . .

    1. Re: Balance and Reformation . . . .

      Oh, now THAT’S interesting. Makes a whole lot of sense, too! It’s no wonder, then, that Anakin fell to the Dark Side–he was taken into training far later than usual, so he had the chance to know a mother’s love, childhood friendships, and the joys and disappointments of growing up. He wasn’t sufficiently emotionally stunted to fit into the structure of the Jedi Order, and so he chafed at it and eventually rebelled completely.

      I like your alternate timeline! I had always assumed that the ‘balance’ in question turned out to be annihilation–after all, zero is balanced. I was thinking that the Jedi represented an imbalance toward the light side, and so the prophecy to bring balance really meant the destruction of both sides. Another interpretation is that Luke brought “balance” by calling Anakin back from the Dark side, but I like your explanation better. A prophecy unfulfilled, you might say…

    2. Score.

      That really does make sense.

      You know, funny as it sounds, I think a lot of my complaints and grumbles about the Prequel Trilogy have come from the fact that I haven’t really put it into context with the Classic Trilogy.

      You’ve even managed to cast it in a light that makes it something more than “a civil war to see which elite aristocratic bloodline gets to run things”.

    3. Re: Balance and Reformation . . . .

      I love this. Perspective!

      Mmm, this really does make a lot more sense, and a has pleasing sense of symmetry to it. Kudos!

  12. HAHAHA! Yes, pretty much. The Jedi wound up–over the last X-thousand years since they whooped the Sith and forced them into hiding–in a police role that pretty much consisted of looking for and stopping dark wilders. Against someone like that, a trained Jedi would have no problem.
    So why WERE they leading the army? I could see sending out Jedi commando squads, but the Jedi are explicitly seperate from the Republic command structures. I’m rather reminded of the power the Catholic Church weilded during the Crusades. Jedi Masters are elected only from and by their own ranks and have to complete a rigorous indoctrination period before being recognized. They’re not allowed to question the orders of their superiors, and answer to no group outside their own. Despite this, they weild enormous temporal power and–apparently–have the authority to arrest a senator.

    All told, I suppose that DOES make them very vulnerable to the exact kind of political machinations Palpatine engineered.

    1. Well, the Lensmen had that kind of authority over the Galactic Patrol — but they’d all been through the same training as the rank and file. The Patrol picked the Lensmen from the best students in the Academy — not merely the smartest and toughest, but the most ethically-solid, strong-willed examples.

  13. It always seemed darned odd that they fight with swords. Even if they’re super electric glowy plasma-filled swords or whatever.

  14. Jedi Stooges

    For people who are supposed to be the embodiment of wisdom, the Jedi are staggeringly moronic. The Clone Wars are the result of Jedi stupidity more than anything else. Let’s start with the crisis on Naboo. A sovereign entity, the Trade Federation, invades a member planet of the Galactic Republic. The Jedi Council sends one Jedi they don’t particularly like or trust and his apprentice, without escort. They are effectively chased off the enemy command craft by two or three advanced droids (the ones with shields and rapid-fire blasters) and sneak down on an invasion craft (despite carrying only droids, for some reason the landing craft had life support systems, so they didn’t suck vaccuum during planetfall).

    The proper response would have been to send a full Republic Navy Battle Group with a few Corps worth of ground-troops (mercenaries, if need be, since it seems damn near everyone in Star Wars knows how to use a blaster and starfighter and has one) and break the blockade of Naboo by force. The Trade Federation, given as they are supposed to be cowardly, would have more than likely cut their losses and broke off communication with Darth Sidious – or even more likely, given his existence up to the Jedi as a token of good faith. No Senate crisis, no Chancellor Palpatine, no Geonosis, and no neo-mitochondria… I mean midichlorians. Totally different thing. Lucas never steals (Hidden Fortress) from the Japanese. 😐

    Let’s fast forward to Geonosis. A couple dozen Jedi vs. a planet full of hostile alien insectoids and millions of battle droids, with armored cavalry, artillery, and air support. Exactly what was the Jedi plan there? They were outnumbered a few thousand to one, and they’d have to destroy every drone and most of the Geonosians (at least that tribe/clan/nation) to get out alive. Yes, the army of Clones showed up, but the Jedi sure as hell seemed surprised, for people who were supposed to be precognitive. And yet, despite having no sense of strategy, tactics, or intelligence of the situation, the Jedi are put in charge immediately upon contact. This of course leads to another pair of instances of stupidity. Jango Fett – despite being evidently a canny and lethal fighter earlier in the movie, suddenly becomes retarded. A lightsaber is held at his throat, and though he has numerous dart weapons and a pair of blasters on him, he does not take advantage of the Jedi concentrating on someone else and in fact, turning in such a way that they’d be unable to swing their lightsaber at him. Yet, instead of drawing a pistol and vaporizing the Jedi’s kidneys with a hipshot, or zotting them with a paralytic dart, or something, he just kind of stands there for a few minutes. I guess he was on a cigarette break. Following that, the gunship carrying Anakin & Co chasing Dooku can’t seem to yaw to either side enough to allow those ball-turrets to fire at Dooku’s escorts. Or for the craft to use it’s own forward blasters, for that matter. It just plods along, waiting for the escorts to circle around behind it… and then it just keeps in the same straight line, letting them shoot it. “We’re out of rockets” is the clone’s excuse, so obviously they were Jedi-trained. For that matter, why don’t the two master Jedi on board use their lightsabers to deflect the blasts back at the little pods? Because they’re idiots.

    1. Re: Jedi Stooges

      Normally I just troll the Howard Tayler message boards.. but I felt this one needed a bit of a response.

      a) They went originally to negotiate a sessation of hostilities. At the time the Republic didn’t HAVE an army. It had been thousands of years of peace with the Jedi pretty much solving any odd situation that would come up. The clones were the ‘solution’ to ‘oh crud this is a war we need an Army’. An addition to support the whole ‘we have no army’ thing is that on most alien worlds at that point combat was usually done with fairly primitive weaponry that was updated a bit to take advantages of technology.

      b) Part of the whole pain in the butt of the Republic not wanting to do anything was that the senate was pretty much paralyzed by infighting. Palpatine was the Representative for Naboo, but with his powers he could have easily manipulated some Senators to be sure that it stayed that way.

      c) For the Jedi plan – I think there was quite simply an assassination(kidnapping)/rescue force. They went where they knew that Dooku was at and where Obi-wan was being held. After that they would get a ship to land, cut their way out, and take off. Though I don’t think they were really surprised by the Clones showing up from my recall of the movie (I’m having a hard time wanting to watch it again to check).

      d) Some Jedi are trained as battlefield commanders, others as teachers. There has been no war in the galaxy in years and years and while Jango Fett is a deadly hunter, he’s not a skilled commander. The Jedi at least have some training and perhaps a tiny bit of experience.

      e) Jedi have supernaturally fast reflexes. Fett could have had a lightsaber through his throat before he even twitched his fingers. Jedi don’t have to ‘see’ you to be able to see you move their fingers, they sense things through the force (Remember Luke with the blind helmet trying to block blaster bolts).

      f) Those ball turrets are really more for ground attack then air attack. They probably don’t have much motion to them as far as being anti-air. Could be wrong. Also the lightsabers, while powerful, can’t deflect vehicular blaster bolts. It’s just too ‘big’ for a light saber.

      Not trying to be combatative but it’s too easy to lose focus on the universe. I was originally going to post the whole that Howard is right in that the Jedi were cripples.. thats why Anakin fell and why Luke the emotionally balanced one who saved his father through his LOVE of him :).

  15. Played KoToR? The philosophy as presented in that game, although quite well written, eventually made me think “Ok, I’m really on the wrong side here.”

  16. At the risk of pushing the ratings…remember the Vietnamese prostitute in Full Metal Jacket?

    Now, think JarJar:

    “Meesa love you lllong time!”

    Sleep well tonight.

  17. I actually have to say that the whole “no-emotion” thing seems to me to be a slightly garbled version of bushido.

    The Jedi are supposed to put their mission and the good of the Order ahead of their own well-being; they are, blatantly and obviously, supposed to be space samurai. If it didn’t have to be family-friendly, Lucas would probably have introduced Jedi Seppuku.

    Not that this is a bad thing; it’s just that bushido (and by association, the Jedi Code) is a very, very harsh form of honor to follow. They have to be willing to die, to sacrifice their lives for their goal; a lack of emotional attachments would help with that.

    Also, given how easy it seems to be for Jedi to fall to the dark side of the Force, it makes more sense than it might seem. They need iron wills to keep from misusing their abilities.

    1. I saw some Bushi influence, but also a LOT of the Knights Templar.

      About which all kinds of rumors would lead to all kinds of dirty jokes about master and padawan.

      But rumors aside, the historically documented KTs had a lot in common with what I see in the Jedi.

      And then there’s the James Bond tie-in. They have underwater breathing gear, lightsabers with batteries the size of planets, rappeling wire, plenty of Republic Credits…they must have a Q Branch somewhere.

    1. If you’re a member at NationStates, I’d love it if you’d set this clown straight. He/she clearly plagiarized my post word-for-word, posting it as his/her own work.

      –Howard

      1. Yeah, and he’s getting praised for his “brilliance.”

        You might want to contact the board owner…trying to recall the author’s name, as that site is based on a game that was started to promote his “libertarian” novel that was actually a thinly-disguised PC lefty rant.

      2. setting the clown straight

        i sent him a private message asking him if he really thought he could get away with plagiarising from the author of a much read online comic strip and didn’t he think someone would notice.
        he messaged me back saying and i quote “you would be the first.”

  18. So glad

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thinks that way about the jedi. I also had a bit of a mini-rant in my lj about it in my star wars 3 entry. So, thank you. 🙂

  19. Me I kinda look at anakin helping to create the “balance in the force”
    Why? well look how many jedi were being trained etc. and how many sith? a half dozen or so, everyone diein down to a handful on both sides is more balance then the “good viewpoint” of balance essentially bein all the “bad guys” wiped out. When in reality the nice guy i am would prob wind up (if had some fancy powers) in with the sith (lower end though really)

  20. This isn’t exactly evidence that control of the force isn’t hereditary. It’s just that we aren’t working with the double-recessive probabilites, which are perfectly correct but not applicable because Jedi don’t have children. Force ability is actually a germline mutation. The rate of spontaneous mutation is much much lower, enough to account for the low number of Jedi, especially if you consider that there are probably people that are force-sensitive, but not enough to be trained as Jedi

    Unfortunately for us, we only have one genetic pedigree involving force use, from this very very very limited sample, force sensitivity looks like a dominant allele, since Poppa Skywalker gave it to both his children, and Padme doesn’t appear to be force sensitive

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