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