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I’m Sick and Tired of the Jedi Cult

Marge, I think I hate the Jedi.

The second to last episode of “The Book of Boba Fett” just cemented it. Spoilers: At the end, Luke Skywalker offers Grogu (Baby Yoda) a choice. Choose the lightsaber (something Jedis aren’t supposed to get until later in their training) and become a great Jedi. Or choose the little chainmail shirt that the Mandalorian dropped off as a gift (he wasn’t allowed to see Grogu — that would interfere with his “training”) and leave, forsaking the Jedi training.

What kind of sick organization says “either stay and dedicate yourself to me and never see any family or friends or I kick you out”? A cult that’s who. What was it Obi-Wan Kenobi said? “Only a Sith deals in absolutes?”

Didn’t Luke learn anything from Episodes 4, 5, and 6? He couldn’t have survived without his friends. Han Solo saved his ass in the Death Star trench, saved his ass again on Hoth, saved his ass on the bottom of Cloud City, the list goes on. And it was Vader’s attachment to his son which led him to betray the emperor.

And Luke did the same thing — he stopped his Jedi training with Yoda (sacrificing it really) so he could zip to Cloud City and save his friends. And it didn’t seem to hurt his training at all.

I’m glad Luke is a hermit in The Last Jedi. He deserves it. He screwed over Grogu, he screwed over Ben Solo. It’s the only way to make sense of the sorry state of the Jedi. Some people are great learners but terrible teachers and that’s Luke. The Jedi should die out with him.

Attachments are what make life worth living. It’s literally the moral of It’s a Wonderful Life and Casablanca and Citizen Kane. The Jedis’ downfall in Revenge of the Sith was inevitable. They made their bed and lied in it while Order 66 was executed. That’s what happens when you carelessly recruit an army of mindless drones.

And that’s what happened in Episodes 1, 2, and 3. The purpose of those movies was to show what happens after the good guys win. When they run out of enemies to fight and get (metaphorically) fat and lazy in their ivory tower. They spent millennia fighting the Sith, but with no competition to force them to think and innovate they became conservative, parochial, and unwilling to change, handing forth edicts from up on high that did not connect to their fellow man (sound familiar? Like life imitating art?)

Case in point, Qui-Gon Jinn asks to train Anakin Skywalker. They say no because he is “too old”. (Too old?! His voice hasn’t even broken yet.) Then Qui-Gon dies and they suddenly change their minds. They don’t let him get married. They don’t make him a Jedi Master. Why? They don’t say. They refuse to say. They’re not to be questioned. They’re the council.

They always think they’re right about everything. When Ahsoka was framed for murder, the Jedi Council threw her in jail without a trial. It led to her leaving the Jedi forever. When Qui-Gon was forbidden from teaching Anakin the ways of the Force, he did it anyway. It seems like the only way to get things done is the break the rules and go behind the council’s back.

Maybe it’s because they were afraid of the darkness within him. Well, gee, war does that to a person. It’s what happens when you let peacekeepers be used as soldiers in a galaxy-wide conflict. But instead of trying to fix that, they just handed down arbitrary rules and raised their chins. They enforce their own laws and values and then stick their nose into government business. It’s like they don’t want the actual job of ruling the galaxy but they all think they can do better.

Anakin gave everything to them and they screwed him over. No wonder he sided with Palpatine. That’s where the love is. It’s how people get drawn into hate groups.

BTW, what does “bring balance to the Force” mean? The Jedi believe “balance” means elements at each extreme. Without the Sith, they were out of balance. But balance should mean a meeting in the middle, at the fulcrum. This is why I like the idea of “gray Jedis”–Jedis that walk the twilight path between good and bad. It’s what I think should have happened to Rey in Episode 9. The key there is that people must use the dark side and the light side of the Force together. Because it’s all in how you use it.

But if you want to be part of the Jedi, you have to join the no-fun club. You can’t use your powers for anything but defense, like a martial artist. They take children from families, split up siblings, don’t let them visit loved ones, don’t let them get married or have children. Doesn’t sound very compassionate. It’s brainwashing. I mean, they literally have mind control powers.

I don’t get why fans want to be Jedis. Maybe it’s for incels and losers who want to feel special because they can be part of an exclusive club. Admittedly it’s a club for people who have godlike powers, but from a fan POV, it feels culty. Everyone wants to feel special and cults are experts at that. And they’re experts in acting like bullies to anyone who isn’t in their exclusive club. They’re insufferably self-righteous. And they believe their way is the only way. At least a Sith will tell you the truth.

The Jedi are better when they’re wandering gunfighters or samurai ronin. (Example: Star Wars: Visions on Disney+) Not when they’re enforcing their values onto others because they can control the Force. Which, admittedly, is a godlike power, but you don’t have to be a snob about it. Absolute power corrupts.

They should just be rogue space wizards or solitary monks. It seems like a lot of the Jedi is about a teacher-student relationship. The Clone Wars, the prequels, Star Wars: Rebels. I know the Jedi kinda have to be heavy on recruitment these days or they die out. But I’m sick of seeing that story over and over. I liked them better when they were vagabond knights, able to have emotions and relationships.

Also, if you’re a Jedi, you’re probably going to get your hand chopped off.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at http://www.ericjuneaubooks.com where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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