Rian Johnson tore down what we believe about the story George Lucas provided for years, displaying the flaws of the Jedi…
Ah, the righteous Jedi. When we think of the Jedi we immediately think of them as the bonafide good guys. They protect the galaxy from evil, they believe in displaying right actions rather than wrong actions, and they are always portrayed as the protagonists in these stories. And yet, as these films continue, my belief in the Jedi being the all-powerful, all-good people that they are, has been altered.
This is, in large part, thanks to The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson tore down what we believe about the story George Lucas provided for years, displaying the flaws of the Jedi and humanizing Kylo Ren rather than turning him into a de facto villain. And, to be honest, it is partly the fault of the Jedi that the galaxy has found itself in the state that it is in now. This is why.
Rian Johnson presented a new element of the Force in The Last Jedi. It’s called the Cosmic Force. The Cosmic Force is the balance between the light and the dark, good and evil. Where there is great light there will always be great darkness. Or, as Snoke said, “Darkness rises, and light to meet it.”
The Jedi believed in only the light. They “destroyed” the Sith, sending the galaxy into an age of peace that involved no wars. But, the Cosmic Force would not be silenced. A new agent of darkness needed to rise to restore balance, hence Darth Plagueis, then Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, and finally Darth Vader. Four Sith lords singlehandedly destroyed everything the Jedi had worked to build over hundreds of years. And what makes it all the more ironic is that the decimation of the Jedi Order would be through the fall of one of their greatest Jedi Knights; Anakin Skywalker.
But why? Why did he fall to the dark side? What was it that twisted his heart to the point where he would listen to an obviously untrustworthy man like Emperor Palpatine? Simple, the Jedi.
First, why exactly did Anakin Skywalker turn to the dark side? To save his wife from dying from childbirth. Who was the only person who said they could teach him the secrets to saving her? Darth Sidious. Now, get this, the Jedi believed in celibacy. No Jedi padawan, knight, or master could fall in love with an individual and marry them or definitely have a child, for they viewed that deep connections to those they loved would send the individual spiraling to the dark side. But it was this ONE rule that actually led Anakin Skywalker to the dark side.
First off, he had to leave his mother behind, never to see her again, for that was too strong an emotional connection. Of course, that would prove difficult for young Skywalker, especially once he began to receive visions of her imminent death. He went to her despite his teachings and in his grief killed her tormenters, the Tusken Raiders.
In his anger that he wasn’t able to save her, he began to harbor a hatred for the Jedi and their ways, most importantly his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Then, to make it worse, he began to fall in love with Padme Amidala. Remember, Jedi aren’t supposed to have romantic relationships, so this only drove him to defy the Jedi more and more. When he began to dream of her death he didn’t have anyone to go to because if he told any one of the Jedi what was happening they would’ve dismissed him from the Jedi Order, exiling him. So, like I said before, he had only one person to talk to; Darth Sidious.
If the Jedi weren’t so strict on loving relationships would the fall of the Jedi Order happen? Would Anakin Skywalker have killed Mace Windu if Windu had been there to help him in his time of need? It’s most likely that none of the terrible things that happened to the Jedi would’ve taken place.
Anakin would’ve been able to go to his mother when he felt a disturbance in the Force and would’ve, most likely, saved her life. He would’ve married Senator Amidala and there would’ve been no secrecy, leading to the Jedi’s ability to help him when he began to freak out that she was going to die. Darth Sidious’s dastardly plan would’ve probably been discovered, he would’ve been killed or imprisoned for life, and Luke and Leia’s story could’ve turned out to be a lot different.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, leading to the events of The Last Jedi. Luke Skywalker is now the last Jedi and his teachings aren’t similar to Yoda’s. He teaches Rey of the Jedi’s faults, which are partly his own as well. I mean, think about it.
When he saw the darkness in Ben Solo he immediately thought to kill him, going as far as to even ignite his lightsaber, but then hesitated once he realized what he was doing. If his thought process was open to the inevitable darkness in certain individuals rather than his opposition to it he would’ve never thought of killing Ben but would’ve tried to help him. Of course, that wasn’t the scenario, and Kylo Ren was born.
If you look at Kylo Ren and Rey in the sequel trilogy they represent neither the Jedi or the Sith. We can always paint them as such because that is what we have grown up knowing when it comes to Star Wars but honestly, they are something more. They are true representations of the Cosmic Force, the light and the dark.
Both characters have grappled with their power, unable to fully understand themselves and to hone their strength with the Force. Rey has ventured to the dark a number of times and Kylo has struggled with the light. What has made them all the more confused is their masters’ teachings who are both stuck in the ways of old; light versus dark.
For the war to truly come to an end balance must be found in the Cosmic Force in the forms of Rey and Kylo. Only then will there be true peace in the galaxy.
So, are the Jedi to blame for the decades of war, sorrow, and pain that has transpired in the galaxy? Definitely. They were so blinded by their “greatness”, their dogmatic views, that they never stopped to think they were destroying their own legacy.
Of course, the Sith helped bring about their destruction but that would’ve never happened if the Jedi weren’t, for lack of a better word, naive.
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