Last of the old Jedi, first of the new: The Force Awakens’ Jedi shouldn’t be the same as their predecessors

spoilers-swirl-helmetFirst it was ‘why aren’t stormtroopers clones?,’ now it’s ‘Luke Skywalker’s Jedi should be carbon copy of the Old Republic Jedi, right?’

Over at /Film, and in light of the latest rumor regarding possible Skywalker offspring, Germain Lussier gives his view on the rumors, and Jason at Making Star Wars has a response as well. (Possible spoilers at all those links, though I’m trying my best to avoid them here.)

I don’t agree with ether of them entirely (okay, I really don’t agree with Lussier and, full disclosure, went a-ranting on Twitter this morning over it) but there’s something kind of funny about all this: The old arguments never die, do they?

I suppose this is inevitable. It was inevitable way back on the “Who Will Luke Marry” board back in the ’90s (where should Luke marry was just as frequent a topic as the various candidates) and with the Expanded Universe in Legends limbo it was bound to come up again. At least there’s not a side of racism with this one, I guess.

I don’t believe that Luke Skywalker’s Jedi – if he’s even trained any Jedi – need to be an exact recreation of the Old Republic’s Jedi Order. If there’s one thing the prequels make very clear, it’s that the Jedi were out of touch. They were hidebound, lacking in compassion, and that led directly to their fall via Anakin Skywalker. The Jedi failed Anakin, Palpatine took advantage, and that’s what destroyed them.

What brought Anakin back from the dark side? Compassion and love for his family, via Luke – the same things that (when mismanaged and exploited) led to his fall. Luke may not know the exact details of what happened in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, but I really doubt he forgets what brought Anakin back, in any version of the universe.

The attachment rule as we saw it in the PT is a relic of the old Jedi Order that deserves to be discarded – one of many. And, as Jason puts it, that decision is something they’ll have 30 years of story time before Episode VII to explore. Luke’s Jedi Order absolutely should be something new, something that looks to the Old Republic but isn’t slavishly devoted to it.

The Old Republic Jedi needed to evolve and change – but didn’t want to, or didn’t realize they needed to in time. They failed, to the verge of nearly dying out. Luke’s Jedi would have more flexibility, a total clean slate… And who’s to say he hasn’t spent 30 years recreating at least some of their mistakes? (The rumor could certainly be read that way.)

In any case, we now have a whole trilogy, and probably more, in which to explore a restoration of the Jedi Order. Maybe today’s debate is one of the things the new movies will actively be exploring?

One thought on “Last of the old Jedi, first of the new: The Force Awakens’ Jedi shouldn’t be the same as their predecessors

  1. Mark Newbold and James Burns

    Love the concept of a different kind of Jedi and feel that’s where Qui-Gon would have led the order. He was seen as a renegade but he was a visionary, and I can see Luke unknowingly having more in common with him than Yoda or Ben.

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