I'm enjoying the heck out of your old meta. Re: Obi-Wan and snobbery -- and I say this as a huge fan of his -- holy god is he. The whole Order, though, have the hypocrisy thing down to a fine art: They, all of them, dehumanize the Nightbrothers, who they *know* are born slaves on Dathomir. Yet they're very quick to call Maul and Savage animals, monsters, etc. (And Maul's another Force-powered mechanic, like Anakin; also another one who gets a LOT of shit about being half cybernetic from the-
-so called good guys. I dunno, that’s always drove me bonkers. It seems that the line between ugly ableism and when you’re considered a living thing with feelings is where you are in league with the Jedi. And the second Anakin isn’t under their control, the entirety of humanity is written off and he isn’t given a clean death, either.
Thanks for the compliment! I’m glad you’re enjoying the meta. ;)
I absolutely agree that the Order as a whole suffers from snobbery. Obi-Wan’s attitude isn’t something he just picked up out of nowhere; it is a product of the environment he grew up in. I think the problem all comes down to complacency. The Jedi Order grew comfortable on Coruscant. They started to confuse the Light Side with Core World centrism. There is no Ignorance; there is knowledge: Alright, let’s “educate” those Outer Rimmers! I’m sure many people in the EduCorps got it right, but others would have used that platform as a means to enforce cultural colonialism.
As for the sense of superiority over the Nightbrothers, and the treatment of cyborgs, and fallen individuals, that is entirely rooted in fear of the Dark Side, I feel. Most of the Jedi were so afraid of any hint of Darkness, they refused to see the individual who manifested it as sentient, or human. It’s understandable, (even if it isn’t acceptable), as before the Republic that lasted “a thousand years” was formed with the Jedi to defend it, (the Ruusan Reformation), they had won a centuries long war against the Dark Side, and went overboard trying to prevent it from ever happening again. It is easier to look at the enemy, and see the few differences you condemn, rather than to look, and see the many commonalities you share. This fear of darkness is what had them blind to the plight of the Nightbrothers, and is also what Obi-Wan was drawing from when he faced Vaderkin. If you fall, you cannot be saved. You are lost. It is easier to fight an adversary if you believe that you cannot help them, and as Obi-Wan was raised that way, so he believed. He was wrong. Having said that, I believe the reason Anakin’s death was slow was that Obi-Wan partially couldn’t bring himself to do it, and was partially just so enraged at Anakin, and so hurt by him, he also felt Anakin might deserve to burn. Ideally, I think most Jedi would kill the Sith they encountered quickly and cleanly. That Anakin burned on Mustafar was a by-product of the brokenness of his relationship with Obi-Wan, and the brokenness of Obi-Wan himself.
On that note, I wouldn’t go so far to say that the Jedi were ableist, as that suggests discrimination of all disabilities. I don’t think the Jedi would take issue with the blind or the deaf, for instance. However, they are discriminatory against cyborgs, and even most forms of technology. Anything that does not have the Force, they will dismiss. I discuss these issues in Mechu-Deru: Anakin’s Relationships With Machines and the Force, and Flesh and the Force. Essentially, the Force is the Jedi’s deity, for lack of a better term. Thus, the lightsaber is sacred technology, as it has the Force in it, and everything else is “uncivilised.” However, as I point out in the Mechu-Deru post, Anakin and other Forcefuls can channel the Force into technology. Hence, while it is not organic, and is not a part of the Force, it can have the Force deposited in it, and it can flow through it. Most Jedi don’t have the talent though, and even if they did, most wouldn’t know as they are very skeptical of it. Why interact with it if it doesn’t have the Force? Worse still, the Sith used the technique to mix metal and flesh in grotesque ways, and as a result Jedi view people with cybernetics with either pity, disgust, or disdain. Adding metal to your body like that must diminish your ability to touch the Force. It must, because it’s “unnatural.” Worst case scenario you’re “more machine now than man, twisted and evil.” Cyborgs are associated with the Dark Side, as far as the Jedi are concerned, and the Jedi struggle to remain rational where the Dark Side is even remotely associated. (For more details read the linked meta.)
It’s quite ironic really. The Jedi say “fear is a path to the Dark Side,” and it is. What they don’t realise is that their own fear of Darkness is what lead to their destruction by it. Sure Anakin was afraid, but so were they, and they handled it poorly. If they hadn’t feared the Darkness, would they have rejected Anakin? He was only a child, when he first came to them. If they hadn’t feared the Darkness would they have manipulated him, gas-lighted him, shown no faith in him, and beaten down his self-esteem? Most of their flaws, at least in regard to Anakin, are rooted in their own, refused-to-be-acknowledge-or-at-least-talked-about, fear of the Dark Side. I will never go so far as to say they deserved it. My goodness! (I like these characters too.) The children especially didn’t, but the Council, and the majority of the Order that followed them definitely created the toxic environment that lead to Operation Knightfall.