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The Last Jedi

Why I think the Jedi shouldn't end.

The trailer of Star Wars 8 fuelled some speculation when Luke Skywalker uttered the words "I only know one truth: It's time for the Jedi to end." Were the Jedi being written out of the films?

With the release of the Last Jedi it became a little clearer that Luke was probably just disillusioned with the religion over his failure with Ben Solo, and that Rey had the potential to be the Jedi order's new start.

I'm glad the future of the Jedi is a little less uncertain. I really like the idea of the Jedi and identify with them on a philosophical and “spiritual” level, like man (I’m such a bloody hippie), so I feel personally invested in their existence, so I'm a bit defensive of them…

I've noticed that some bloggers have argued that the Jedi were either failures or were almost evil. But to me these were definitely the good guys in a Science Fantasy fairy tale. They belonged to a flawed organisation that lasted for "over a thousand generations". I felt Lucas had written an interesting pastiche of eastern spiritual beliefs (he was interested in the Samurai, so mainly Taoism and Zen Buddhism) and nice ideas on morality, written for 12 year olds.

Yes, the Jedi took Force-sensitive infants away from parents, but I think this was a toddler Force chocking safety feature! Yes, the order stopped Jedi having attachments to people and things, as do many Earthly monastic orders. I felt the idea here was to ensure the Jedi were always thinking of others equally and of the greater good... and not just selfishly thinking of themselves or a privileged few. I think the Jedi had a strict code of self-sacrifice to enable them to help the most people and prevent darker emotional outbursts, which with their dangerous powers makes sense to me. Also, the Jedi were always free to leave the order, they chose to accept the rules to be compassionate, help people and prevent harm. Those bloody snowflake liberals :-)

The galaxy didn't have a standing army but was protected by the Jedi, "the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic", as Obi Wan put it. They were regularly despatched and authorised by the democratically elected Senate. It's interesting how the Jedi can be interpreted as perhaps dangerous, absolutist and authoritarian by some bloggers. I'm sure that wasn't Lucas’s intention. Yes our world is full of shades of grey and not absolutes of good and evil, but this is a fantasy universe. Even so, the Jedi way of a calm, thoughtful, peaceful mind-set seems a rather positive and compelling philosophy to me. It wouldn't be too hard to write about the return of the Jedi (which is a good name of a future sequel) in the new films and reform them, maybe with a more moderate leadership. I think getting rid of the Jedi would be a pity and remove a unique aspect of the films.

I’m also not convinced with the argument that the Jedi weren’t so good at bringing balance to the Force. Why then was Lucas's intention to have them return? They proved they were effective for thousands of years only to be manipulated and defeated by the Emperor, the ultimate Sith. I think it was an ultimate baddie that caused the Jedi’s downfall, not their deficiencies.

I hope in the future, that Walt Sithney keep the magic space hippies and the spirit (or spirituality) in Star Wars.

I rather liked the story lines and ideas behind the original trilogy and even the prequels (don't judge me) and I hope Disney doesn't move away from the author's original ideas about the Jedi being bastions of the Light side of the Force. That’s the danger of an author selling their work to another corporation, anything can be changed.

I guess if the Jedi order do eventually go from the Disney Star Wars franchise, the films will just become another reboot (or alternative reality) that I can ignore. Like any film I can always choose to not watch them. I can enjoy the old films I like, and new original franchises when they appear. Yay!

Any way I like the Jedi. So there.

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