Hrm. I’ve been meaning to write something of a serious piece on what I consider the Jedi Order’s greatest flaw, and how that nearly contributed to their destruction twice in a period of four thousand years, but that’s less of an unpopular opinion and more of me illustrating how much of a nerd I am by illustrating how seriously I take a fictional universe. Oh well.
You see, before Lucas directed the prequels and illustrated much of what the Jedi Order was like, at least in the period of the Old Republic’s decline and the Rise of the Empire, the EU writers and the fans had to speculate what the order was actually like based on what little we saw of the Jedi from Obi-Wan and Yoda. As a result, if you read the older material (much of which is non canon now thanks to the new trilogy) you might see a very different picture of the Jedi than you might expect. Instead of the one master per apprentice tradition, there were singular masters who taught many students, later titled Jedi Watchman who oversaw the security of whole star systems, and their philosophies weren’t always singular. Another example that goes against the grain of the prequel era Jedi was the presence of Jedi Lords who existed a thousand years before the films. A Jedi going so far to call themselves a “Lord” as their Sith archenemies might, would be considered anathema to the Jedi of Yoda’s era.
There are other examples, such as groups of Jedi that integrated with the culture of their native system, such as the Corellian Jedi of Han Solo’s homeworld and the Teepo Paladins, a sect that broke off the order due to discarding their lighstabers in favor of blasters (they could use the Force to alter the physics of their blaster bolts to due some Matrix style stuff).
But the greatest difference between the Jedi of Lucas’ prequel era and the Jedi that already existed in the speculated fiction was that many of them had whole families of their own. Nomi Sunrider, the woman who would become Yoda’s equivalent in her Age, had been married prior to becoming a Jedi, and had a daughter Vima who would eventually follow in her mother’s footsteps to become a Jedi herself. Nomi’s husband, Andur, who’d originally planned on being a Jedi instead of Nomi, had fully expected that he’d be able to train Vima himself before his murder at the hands of gangsters. In the same time period, the Qel-Droma family was famous for having many members present among the Order, with at least three cousins involved in the business of being Jedi.
One of the core plots of the prequels was that the Jedi Order didn’t permit its members to be married and have families. Recruitment of new Jedi was done through the adoption of children who were strong in the Force randomly among the citizens of the galactic republic. This is a rather huge gap in beliefs and practices among the Jedi. So, how to address the difference in beliefs?
The way they ended up illustrating how these differing philosophies coexisting proved fascinating to me. It also highlighted what I began to see as the greatest flaw of the Jedi, and why I have so much faith that Luke Skywalker’s going to be able to shed that weakness once and for all.
Lets begin with what’s considered to be the Old Republic Era, specifically the ten year period that began with Mandalorian Wars, reached its peak during the Jedi Civil War, and finally concluded with a number of unseen but bloody conflicts called the Dark Wars. Just prior to the beginning of the Mandalorian Wars, the Jedi of this war were recovering from a major conflict with the Sith Lord Exar Kun, their numbers diminished to the point that even decades later they hadn’t quite recovered. As a result, many of the traditions that stressed individual strands of Jedi culture and formation of families were discouraged but not totally censured by the High Council. Given time, it’s likely that we’d see many of the practices of the prequel era Jedi take root in the order. But the onset of the Mandalorian Wars ensured that the Jedi would never find out.
A massive invasion against the Republic by the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders, a revival of the Mandalorian warrior culture that was led by their supreme leader, Mandalore the Ultimate, in the hopes of conquering the Republic and testing their might against the Jedi. Except, the Jedi did not fight. Still wounded from the last major war, the Jedi Council was hesitant to be drawn into another, along with warnings from the Force that their was something dark on the horizon that went beyond the Mandalorian Crusade.
Whether the Council was right or not, a group of Jedi led by a charismatic figure who would one day be known as Revan refused to the let the Republic fall without their assistance. They split from the Order, forming what was initially called the Jedi Crusaders in direct contrast to the Mandalorian invaders. Revan defeated the Mandalorians, breaking their fleet at Malachor V, and personally defeating Mandalore the Ultimate in single combat.
He should have returned to the Republic a conquering hero. Instead, Revan vanished, and later returned as a Dark Lord of the Sith, at the head of a massive invasion fleet consisting alien technology and manned by fallen Jedi and Republic soldiers. Thus began what would later be called the Jedi Civil War, for though Revan, and later Malak ,his apprentice, called themselves Sith, to the greater galaxy, it was as though the Jedi Order had turned on itself, with the Republic being trapped between them.
At war’s end, barely a hundred Jedi were left, and they found themselves targeted by Sith Assassins, reducing an already reduced order to barely a few. When the Dark Wars, as this period was known, ended, what few Jedi were left essentially had to start over from scratch.
The key part I took away from this age, which were illustrated in the Knights of the Old Republic series, was that the Jedi had a serious flaw in that many of their own number, including some of their greatest number such as Revan, fell to the Dark Side. The second of the two games, KotOR 2, the SIth Lords, was a powerful deconstruction of the Jedi and the Star Wars universe, much of it focused on the Force and its sometimes contradictory nature. Kreia, a fascinating character inspired by both the Emperor and Obi Wan Kenobi, was the mouthpiece for much of this deconstruction, forcing the player to reevalute their beliefs on the Force, the Jedi, and the Sith. The Jedi of this age were ultimately destroyed because of their inability to examine the flaws and their teachings, and more importantly why they were falling to the Dark Side. The survivors, the majority of which consisted of the Students of a Jedi who’d been exiled from the Order for following Revan to war, and yet had been the only one to return to justify their decision to fight the Mandalorians . Her teachings proved the bedrock of a Jedi Order that was able to restore itself in the three hundred years prior to the next major conflict of the Dark Side, and was open to to varying interpretations of the Force and its meanings.
Fast forward three thousand years, and history repeats itself. The Sith have returned and conquered much of the galaxy, ruling from individual kingdoms across the Galaxy, trapping those within their rule from rescue, and once again the High Council seemed slow to intervene. In frustration, many Jedi went off on their own to fight the Sith, and the they did so spectacularly. Their efforts were so successful that in gratitude, many thankful citizens gave the Jedi the keys to their individual kingdoms, providing the onset of the age of the Jedi Lords, a schism of Jedi who held baronies and titles across the galaxy, formed families, and even managed to occasionally hold political office as the Supreme Chancellor multiple times! They even formed what was unoffically known as the Jedi Grand Council in direct contrast to the more traditional High Council.
The Jedi of this era were written for the background of the popular Jedi Knight Games that starred Kyle Katarn, a rebel turned Jedi Knight. Katarn’s adventures would lead him to the Valley of the Jedi, which came to be during the end of the Age of the Jedi Lords , or New Sith Wars as they are more commonly. The original Jedi Knight was when the title of Jedi Lord was first introduced. I can only assume after reading the lore of the Jedi in these particular storylines, that the writers assumed that the ancient Jedi must have shared to traits with western knights, including families, noble titles, and a very martial stance on fighting the Dark Side.
I confess I wouldn’t have minded if this turned out to be the case for the Order, as much of their attributes, a dedication to going into dark places for the sake of the innocent, tight bonds of loyalty, and being not unlike many of the Paladins on this blog. But having them being a rival schism of the more traditional Jedi provides some interesting story opportunities.
Opportunities that manifested in the Battle of Ruussan, where two massive armies of Jedi Lords and Sith destroyed each other in massive blast of Force energy, forming the Valley of the Jedi. This seemingly ended the Sith once and for all, and severely weakened the Jedi who did not follow the High Council, their diminished numbers swiftly turning those who still lived into a minority. A minority that found itself censured as the High Council brought the Jedi back to their way of thinking, drawing the Jedi together to the Temple on Coruscant, which would become a the primary training center for the next thousand years, along with enforcing the one master, one padawan rule to prevent any one Jedi from having significant influence over the Order’s future.
Ironically, the Sith were reforming at this time as well. Darth Bane, partly due to recognizing that the treacherous nature of the Sith and his own personal beliefs on the nature of the Force, instigated the Rule of Two, ensuring there would then only two Sith Lords at any given time. One master to hold the power, and an apprentice to crave it. The Sith then retreated into the shadows, and would not resurface for a thousand years.
And finally we enter the age of the films. The Jedi of this era, though they don’t initially realize it, are under attack from the most devious Sith Lord to ever live: Darth Sidious, or as he’s known from his kindly facade, Sheev Palpatine.
As of yet, how much of what occurred is due to Palpatine’s singular cunning or was part of the thousand year plan that began with Bane’s reformation of the Sith is uncertain. But the fact of the matter is that he crippled the Jedi well before he ever revealed his true nature, taking advantage of every weakness the Order had given itself in the aftermath of the Battle of Ruussan. He blinded them to future by clouding the Temple itself via an ancient Sith Shrine that was hidden beneath it. He took advantage of their isolationism to ferment resentment among the Republic for the Jedi. He orchestrated a war that was meant solely to grant him massive political power, and slowly bleed the Jedi over a long conflict, and finally, his ultimate coup was turning an emotionally vulnerable and desperate young man to his way of thinking.
The result is devastating for both the Jedi and the galaxy. The Order is betrayed, its future destroyed by the man who was destined to bring balance to the Force. Democracy is willing destroyed, and replaced with a tyrannical Empire that will rule the galaxy with an iron fist.
And two small children are hidden away, tiny lights hidden in the dark. Their planned destiny is to restore galaxy when the time is right. They do, but not in the way their mentors expect, and galaxy is better for it. Luke Skywalker does not slay Sidious, or his father. Because he is not afraid of either either death nor darkness, he redeems Anakin Skywalker, and the Galaxy is given the chance to heal.
Looking back at all of it, all the history and the events that led to so many deaths, and war on massive scale, I recognized one common thread, a reason why history repeated itself.
Fear. The answer is fear. Specifically, fear of the Dark Side. Rather than risk any interaction with it, large sections of the Order have over the eons have insulated the Jedi and reduced the risk of corruption by preventing conflicting teachings and isolation from the greater galaxy.
This isolationism made them vulnerable to Sidious’ manipulations, and gave him the opportunity to turn Anakin Skywalker by utilizing his fear of loss. The lack of any varying branches of philosophy also made them predictable, and unable to adapt to a changing political situation. Essentially, what one disillusioned Jedi called Council’s “Damnable sense of over caution” made the Order stagnant and crippled while their greatest enemy only grew stronger in the shadows.
Yet, I have hope for the Jedi of the future. Luke was instructed with the bare essentials on becoming a Jedi Knight, and unlike his teachers was still able to see the kernel of light in Darth Vader’s heart. As this quotation from one of my favorite Star Wars books illustrates, whatever new shape the Jedi take in the future, under Luke’s guidance, they won’t have the same weakness that destroyed them before.
Kar Vastor:I have known Jedi. Many, many years ago. That knowing was not a gladness for me. I believed I would never know another, and I rejoiced in that belief. But it is a gladness for me to be proven wrong. I am happy to have known you, Jedi Luke Skywalker. You are more than they were.
Luke Skywalker: That’s–I mean, thanks, but I barely know anything.
Kar Vastor:So you believe. But I say to you: you are greater than the Jedi of former days.
Luke Skywalker: What makes you say that?
Kar Vastor:Because unlike the Knights of old, Jedi Luke Skywalker… You are not afraid of the dark
Do you remember in COS when was Valentine’s day and harry received that valentine from ginny? Well, it was not ginny who wrote it. Why do I think so?
“ (…) I wish he was mine, he’s really divine, the hero who conquered the Dark Lord.“ That’s why. “The hero who conquered the Dark Lord.”
Only the Death Eaters call Voldemort “the Dark Lord”. Or their children.
Plus, Draco Malfoy was there when harry received the poem. And when that happened, he yelled at Ginny “I don’t think Potter liked your valentine much!“ and how did he know it was from ginny?? I think he didn’t know anything bc it was he who wrote it and it can be easily explained like a defense mechanism because he knew that harry didnt like the valentine at all and that hurt. Ginny never admitted that was she who wrote the poem, neither, and she was having lots of problems with the diary to have time to write it
And, well, let’s be honest, “
I wish he was mine” really sounds like something that Draco would say bc everybody knows he always wanted harry
In some ways, Harry’s rescue of Ginny at the end of CS was textbook knight-in-shining-armor-rescues-the-damsel-in-distress.
Ginny is in danger, Harry puts himself in an extremely dangerous situation to save her, Harry defends Ginny’s honor, Harry fights with Tom, Harry defeats Tom, and Ginny wakes up to see Harry standing victorious. On one level, it looks like this grand storybook rescue.
Only it totally wasn’t.
Ginny has spent the last year imagining Harry as this grand romantic hero. He’s “the hero who conquered the Dark Lord” after all. But when Ginny woke up in the Chamber of Secrets, she didn’t see a perfect hero. All she saw was this grimy and exhausted-looking 5-foot tall 12-year-old standing there with a 3-foot long sword. He’s got blood on his robes and debris in his hair.
And Ginny doesn’t feel like the damsel in distress either. She feels violated, embarrassed, guilty, exhausted, and overwhelmed. She can’t stop crying and apologizing. She doesn’t even want to be comforted by Harry, she just wants her mother.
The following year, Ginny still holds some residual embarrassment, but we see her starting to treat Harry like a human rather than a mythical hero.
Because there’s nothing like actually being an unwilling participant in one of Harry’s various altercations with Voldemort to show you how very unglamorous and nightmarish it actually is.
At the end of her fist year, Ginny learned that being the damsel in distress wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. And being the hero wasn’t exactly a fairytale either.
Darth Malak was a Human male who reigned as a Dark Lord of the Sith during the Jedi Civil War. Before becoming a Sith Lord, Alek was born on the planet Quelii in the Outer Rim Territories. When the Mandalorians attacked his homeworld, he escaped the battle and fled to the Galactic Republic, whose immigration records assigned the name of his home village as his surname. He was trained in the ways of the Force by the Jedi Order, and was nicknamed Squint by his fellow Jedi, before eventually becoming a Jedi Knight. During the Mandalorian Wars, Alek, Revan—his closest friend and fellow Jedi Knight—and their faction of Jedi disobeyed the Jedi Council and aided the Republic’s war effort through scouting missions in the Outer Rim. He befriended the Jedi Padawan Zayne Carrick and, after taking the name “Malak” in order to avoid an arrest warrant issued by the Council, assisted Carrick in defeating the secretive Jedi Covenant. As the war progressed, Malak became a military general and gained a reputation as a headstrong warrior who recklessly charged into danger. Malak and Revan ultimately defeated the Mandalorians in the war’s final battle at Malachor V, and pursued the surviving Mandalorians into the Unknown Regions. However, the two Jedi encountered the Sith Emperor of the reconstituted remnants of the ancient Sith Empire and fell to the dark side of the Force under his tutelage, becoming Sith Lords.
The newly christened Darth Malak and Darth Revan were given a mission by the Sith Emperor to find the Star Forge, an ancient Rakatan space station, which would help to destroy the Jedi Order and the Republic. Malak helped Revan track down the Star Maps that led to the Star Forge and, after finding the superweapon above Rakata Prime, Revan assumed the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith, with Malak becoming his Sith apprentice. A year after their disappearance from known Republic space, the two founded their own Sith Empire, returned to the Republic, and declared war, determined to end the Jedi Order’s supposed tyranny. At one point during the conflict that became known as the Jedi Civil War, Malak’s entire jaw was removed by a lightsaber strike from Darth Revan, forcing him to wear a large metal prosthesis. A short time later, after the Jedi dispatched a strike team to capture Revan and Malak, the latter betrayed his Sith Master, ordering the guns of his flagship to fire on Revan’s vessel. Convinced that his Master had died, Malak usurped Revan’s mantle of Dark Lord and ruled the Empire unchallenged, brutally conquering territory after territory and taking the fallen Jedi Darth Bandon as his Shadow Hand. It was not long until Malak was proven wrong about his beliefs regarding Revan’s death.
The following year, after destroying the planet Taris and razing the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine, Malak intercepted Jedi Knight Bastila Shan and an amnesiac Revan, whose memories as the Dark Lord had been replaced with an identity loyal to the Republic by the Jedi Council. After Malak revealed to Revan his former identity as the Dark Lord, Shan allowed herself to be captured by Malak so that Revan could escape. Malak corrupted Shan, whom he had once considered a threat, and convinced her to become his apprentice, replacing Darth Bandon, whom Revan and his companions had previously killed. Now assisted by Shan’s battle meditation, Malak considered his Sith Empire to be invincible. However, when the Republic fleet attacked the Star Forge, Revan—a redeemed and retrained Jedi—boarded the ancient superweapon and confronted Malak in a lightsaber duel that resulted in the Dark Lord’s death. With that, Malak’s reign as the Dark Lord ended, and the Republic eventually emerged victorious from the Jedi Civil War.
• Scorpius and Albus are so gay for each other
• seriously there is so much sexual tension between them
• that’s because I’m so pissed at the Scorose final cliché
• DRARRY FINALLY BEING FRIENDLY TO EACH OTHER AND DRACO TRYING TO BE A BETTER PERSON WERE AMAZING
• I loved Hermione being the minister of magic and Ron being the one who stays more with kids
• Scorpius Malfoy is my new favorite character
• “How to distract Scorpius from difficult emotional issues. Take him to a library.” Scorpius is me
• I actually cried during Dubledore’s scene and I was very emotional when Draco told Harry about Astoria
• I liked the play but I was a bit too messed up
• I think that they could focus more on “the kids go back in time” and cut that thing about Voldemort’s daughter or maybe something just about the Dark Lord heir trying to conquer back “her father’s kingdom”, cutting the part about the TimeTurner; one thing or another
• too many things mixed up together
• and come on, the daughter of Voldemort and Bellatrix would have been much more stubborn than that
• I really enjoyed the characters and their interaction, a bit less the story, that could have been much more inventive and with less clichés
• also 100000 points for Profesdor McGonagall