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Return of the... who was that again? - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Return of the... who was that again?
Chapter 35 of Shifts ("Infiltration") went up at the Quill. I don't remember whether or not I made any significant edits!

I can't express how sick I'm getting of the weird dichotomy on the Jedi. Why is it either, "They were perfect" or "They had to be purged to bring balance"? They're not perfect. I think that surprised some people when TPM came out. That doesn't mean that one has to go to the other extreme and say, "Well, obviously, they needed to be wiped out and start all over again." That doesn't make sense with the already-known fact that the triumphal moment is not titled, Luke Starts With A Clean Slate but Return of the Jedi. The Jedi are part of the natural balance. That they have a blind spot in the Republic trilogy is clear, but...

Aaargh. Just things I'm getting sick of. It's getting to the point of being equivalent to the Maruaders v. Snape stuff--yeah, we saw the Marauders being highly imperfect... so all the sudden we're supposed to forget that James died to protect his family, Sirius defends Harry with every scrap of his being, and Remus showed heretofore unsuspected levels of attention and kindness to a lonely kid? Of course... they bullied Snape! They must be teh E3IL and the rest is just cover. They must be purged.

:headdesk:
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Comments
rabidfangurl From: rabidfangurl Date: June 10th, 2005 12:13 am (UTC) (Link)
::sigh:: This is why god created the AU. And differing interpretations of fanon. Because there will be silliness like this, and it will annoy the fandom.

Were the Jedi perfect? No. They were arrogant and blinded by their own view of the Force, the Code, and the prophecy. Did they all have to die? Again, no. Not every Jedi suffered from the flaws that were present in the Order, and it is theorectically possible that the Order could have been reformed without bloodshed. It would have taken greater flexibility on the part of the Council, but it could have been done.

Besides, we don't even know exactly what was meant by balance. It could mean that number of Jedi and Sith would be equal. It could mean that the power of the Light Side and Dark Side would be equalized. It could be the recognition that the dichotomy created between the two was false. Or it could simply be the restoration of the values of love and compassion to the Jedi way. Lucas never tells us exactly what balance means. We have to figure it out for ourselves.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2005 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, just given what we see and what Lucas has said off camera, bringing balance to the Force meant destroying the Sith, who were the embodiment of imbalance. That explanation fits the facts and tone of the movies better than any other.
rabidfangurl From: rabidfangurl Date: June 10th, 2005 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Ok, fine. There could have been Sith smiting without having to kill off all the Jedi.
laureate05 From: laureate05 Date: June 10th, 2005 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)
It's really hard for people to deal with imperfection, especially when expectations of perfections exist. I think that's why a lot of people end up "hating" their parents.

When it comes to the Jedi, I think they had to be...reduced to bring about the prophecy. Story-wise, I guess their elimination was necessary, and the corruption apparent in the Order makes that easier to accept. But if I had been there at the time, of course I would have fought tooth and nail to keep the Sith from taking over, even if it meant supporting the Jedi of Questionable Nobility. Lesser of two weevils sorta thing.

Even I, as an adult child who sees her parents as humans with flaws, have a hard time dealing with the Marauders v. Snape. I think that's what Rowling intended. But is there really a faction of purgers out there? I bet they're mostly young persons who don't like their parents much.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2005 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
When it comes to the Jedi, I think they had to be...reduced to bring about the prophecy.

Well, if you interpret balance as "equal numbers," but that doesn't seem to have much to do with it, story-wise, since at the end, the score is, Sith 0, Jedi 1... in other words, the Jedi have the full count, instead of just an overwhelming majority. And it's their return that signifies that the prophecy has been fulfilled. Balance seems to be about keeping the peace, not being, er... off-balance. The whole galaxy, Jedi included, got knocked off the balance beam by the Sith (to use an analogy from the A.S. Homepage forums); it's restored when they get back on it.
laureate05 From: laureate05 Date: June 10th, 2005 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Hrmm...I'm trying to think of the right way to phrase this so that I'm not contradicting you because I see what you're saying. The Jedi didn't deserve to die; that's a no brainer. Good people doing iffy things. But maybe they still needed to die. Even if the balance was completed with the return of the Jedi, the elimination of the Jedi in the first place still seems to be an important part of bringing the prophecy about. If that makes sense.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2005 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
It really doesn't make sense on a story/mythic level. The fact that they died was a symptom of the imbalance, so in story terms, yes--it would be like trying to tell the story of WWII without showing the Holocaust. It was one of the worst things the Empire did, so there was a dramatic necessity for both the destruction of the Jedi and the destruction of Alderaan to show just why the Empire was really, really evil.

But in terms of balance, it came when the Order was restored, not when it was destroyed, so the question of whether or not the Jedi had to be destroyed to bring balance seems to be pretty clearly "no." Like the rest of the Republic (of which they are only a part), they needed to learn a few lessons of life, which I'll grant, and of course they were purged in the way things figured, so it's impossible to say for sure what another outcome would have been. But it's very easy to conceive of an AU where the Order wasn't destroyed (probably fought and depleted in battle, but not destroyed), but the Sith were, and things are still balanced. They learn to reach out more, the Senate learns to be less complacent, the people of the galaxy learn to be more compassionate to strangers.
laureate05 From: laureate05 Date: June 10th, 2005 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I know I have an intelligent reply to this, but I can't find it right now. I think my cat ate it. I'll get it for you tomorrow maybe.
amelia_eve From: amelia_eve Date: June 10th, 2005 12:53 am (UTC) (Link)
The other thing that disturbs me about the Marauders vs. Snape bickering is the notion that High School Is Destiny. I like to think that people can grow up!
leeflower From: leeflower Date: June 10th, 2005 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
this is actually related to your last subject, because I finally figured out what I was trying to point out re: Anakin and Obi-Wan's sibling v. parent relationship.

I don't know if you've seen the Clone Wars, but I know Lucas was heavily involved in the happenings of the second season, becasue he considered it the animated version of the opening scroll for RotS. In any case, in the first episode of the second season, (which is twelve minutes long and can be found on cartoon network's website) Anakin is knighted.

Obi-Wan meets him outside the council chamber, and scolds him for being late. They get into a bit of a tiff, and Obi-Wan ends it by saying something along the lines of "I know I'm not perfect." He follows the statement with "It's time for us to set aside our roles as master and apprentice, and become brothers." That's when he leads him into the room where the council is waiting. It's fairly obvious watching it that the line is meant to tie into the statements he makes in episode three (they do a buttload of that in Clone Wars), so the brother thing might be fairly new and not date back to episode two.

Don't know if that helps or if it's late or anything, but thought I'd put it out there.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, it still doesn't address Anakin's perception, and the fact that Obi-Wan would or could say it is that brotherhood is what he interprets it as all along.
leeflower From: leeflower Date: June 10th, 2005 01:04 am (UTC) (Link)
true enough. I don't necessarily think you're wrong (I'm still considering it. Entish that way... it'll be a few weeks at least before I form an opinion), but it ties into the subject, so I thought I'd share. If you've got fast enough internet to support it, I strongly recommend watching the episode, because that conversation ties into your essay.

During aformentioned tiff, Anakin points out Obi-Wan's imperfections by saying "You're no Qui-Gon Jinn!" This could easily be interpreted as "You're not as good a father figure as he was." In any case, it highlights Ani's veiw of Qui.
todayiamadaisy From: todayiamadaisy Date: June 10th, 2005 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I find the whole "they were perfect" thing a bit odd too. I've always thought of them as having similarities to members of a religious order - they know they're not perfect, and they're striving to be better. They just took a wrong turn, which allowed the development of the imbalance that was the Sith.
chocolatepot From: chocolatepot Date: June 10th, 2005 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)
After the first two paragraphs I was thinking of the HP parallels, too. Really, it seems to be just Snape vs Sirius, and not the others. Maybe it's just the ones that I'm looking at--the ones where Sirius rapes Snape and fosters an mpreg...although James and Peter also raped him in school in that one... (sorry, sorry! No more squick.)

I don't understand why people can't have good points and bad points. Why can't Snape have been bullied a bit in school and also be completely irrational to Harry? Why can't Sirius have done some stupid things but have also undergone some RATHER EXTREMELY traumatic things himself?

Grr. Snape apologists. (Not that I'm saying Sirius is perfect, either, of course--the reason I almost never post on the SQ is that I agree with everyone.)
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: June 10th, 2005 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
This wouldn't have anything to do with some of the recent discussion on a certain website, does it? Heh heh.
neotoma From: neotoma Date: June 10th, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Luke does start with very little, though. He's got the bare bones of Jedi training, and maybe six koans for Jedi philosophy. It's enough to build the Jedi up again, but they are going to be radically different from Old Republic Jedi.

The problem with the Chosen One prophecy is that *all* prophecies are unpredictable, and that they tend to bite you in the butt. In my opinion, the Jedi should have sat up and taken notice when Anakin appeared. When it looks like a prophecy is about to be fulfilled, you should always look around you and say "is this really what I want? What am I willing to lose to gain the promised result? What can I do to mitigate the propehcy?"

After all, from what the characters say in the movies, the Chosen One prophecy only promises that the Chosen One will destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force. Nothing else is guaranteed -- not that the Jedi will survive, not that the Chosen One will not join the Sith, not that the Republic prospers.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2005 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
After all, from what the characters say in the movies, the Chosen One prophecy only promises that the Chosen One will destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force. Nothing else is guaranteed -- not that the Jedi will survive, not that the Chosen One will not join the Sith, not that the Republic prospers.

Yes, but unlike the prequel characters, we have the advantage of knowing what's meant--balance is brought with the destruction of the Sith and the return of the Jedi. They don't know it, but we do.

I think Luke would probably take some pains to find out how the Order worked while trying to re-form it. I know I would, at any rate, and it seems the logical thing to do. He also has at the very least the ghosts of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin to continue guiding him as he needs them, and probably has Qui-Gon as well. (So much for the EU idea that the ghosts will disappear quickly. That bit about defeating death sounds to me like we're talking immortality as ghosts.) They would be able to offer him differing perspectives--though I'm sure Anakin would be uncomfortable at being asked advice on such a thing--but all of them (yes, including Qui-Gon) were Orthodox Jedi, even if Anakin didn't actually obey the rules (he didn't make any noises about not believing in them; he just disobeyed them).
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2005 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. I think I'd peg him more as modern Orthodox, though admittedly of an anarchic bent. He doesn't break any of the rules of the Code that we're aware of; he's just not especially concerned with taking things to the bet din, unless he really has a question he thinks he can't figure out for himself. ;)
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2005 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
1) Seems not to be something that's against the code, precisely; it's just not done.

2) I assumed that he was planning to send Obi-Wan on to his trials--his response is sort of, "Well, duh, of course Obi-Wan is ready to move on."

And Obi-Wan says something like, "Don't defy the Council again. If you would only follow the Code, you would be on the Council." And Qui-Gon says, "I will do what I must."

Well, that's the Council's mistake. ;) Defying the Council is not the same thing as ignoring the Code.

Qui-Gon actually strikes me as a more holistic version than any of the movements. He's not in rebellion against the Code, neither does he focus on one part over another. Balance. He's a Hillel Jedi.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2005 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
And yeah, Yoda says "immortality." B'bye, "I can't stay and talk to you, Luke."
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2005 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: PsiCorps and Rangers

Taking children from their families and raising them entirely within the Order

Er... that's called adoption, and I doubt that adoptive father George Lucas intends it to be seen as anything sinister.
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: PsiCorps and Rangers

There's no indication that the Jedi used any kind of strong-arm tactics to remove children from their homes, or would not have accepted a refusal if one were given. I'll grant that it's a non-traditional family structure, but it is a family structure (despite their valiant efforts to pretend otherwise), and it's not terribly unusual. If you're squicked by it, I guess you probably wouldn't send your kids, but since I doubt you'd get hacked up for it, that's okay. ;)

I don't know (or particularly care) about the B5 stuff; from what you're saying, it doesn't sound similar to me.
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