Theory: All the Jedi Had to Die
We always think of the Jedi in the Star Wars stories as being near perfect; peacekeepers and the upholders of light in a massive universe that needs the caring hand of the spiritual sentients to guide them.
And what are the Sith? The Dark side, of course. The ones in the galaxy the simply want to rule through power and fear and they’re some of the few powerful enough to actually do it.
And because of this, they’re the bad guys. And the Jedi are the good guys.
…Aren’t they?Throughout all of the prequel trilogy (Hard to watch, I know), the “Prophecy” is spoken of; When the “Chosen One” will bring balance to the Force. Qui-Gon believes that Anakin Skywalker is that chosen one and this prophecy is often spoken of to bring balance by ridding the galaxy of the malicious Sith.
it’s what drives Qui-Gon to free Anakin, it’s what leads Obi-Wan to train him over the course of a couple decades…and it’s what gets all of the Jedi murdered, their council and academy destroyed, along with Palpatine taking power and creating the Death Star and we all know how that ended.
Eventually Palpatine dies and then Vader succumbs to his own wounds- and dies. Ta-daaa! Prophecy fulfilled, the Sith are dead! …And so are all the Jedi.
Many have just chalked this up to another aspect of the prequels and originals that just don’t really mesh and used it to take more verbal dumps on George Lucas, the man who had been king of our nerd lives.
But hey, the prophecy was still fulfilled, right? Sure the cost was high but what’s right is right. But how can this prophecy be worth it’s salt if you have to kill all the good guys to make it come true? That’s where things get tricky and we delve into the idea that the Jedi were the problem with the galaxy in the first place.
Yes, I know. Reading those words is like someone trying to make you believe that Santa Claus exists in your adult life.
“Mommy, what’s he saying? Make him stop, I don’t like this!” you might be saying. To which your mother will respond to you by saying “Good God man, stop calling me ‘mommy.’ You’re thirty-two and have your own kid.”
And then you will be directed back to this article where I elaborate with my first point by saying that the Jedi needed to be gotten rid of because they were too powerful.
1. Too Powerful (Physically)
Imagine living in a world where one type of person has the only real power you would ever want. Sure, you could be a senator or hold some other form of political power, but to have the abilities of psychokinesis alone is something many would kill for.
We’re shown that users have the ability to alter a person’s mind with the wave of their hand, levitate objects with their own mind and the lightsaber itself is a weapon only given to Jedi that seems to be their most dangerous tool when used properly (which they train rigorously for).
The list of their abilities really does go on too long for me to post here, so here’s a link to what they can do and a short list-
- Force Healing
- Force Speed
- Alter Environment
- Force Ghost
Get the idea? These guys are ridiculously powerful as it is, but that’s not where it ends even though we’re talking about guys that could literally turn you inside-out and shove you back up your own butthole. All without even being in the same room of that repulsive crime.
2. Too Powerful (Socially, Politically)
But having superpowers isn’t the only problem (Even though they could choke you without touching you). The real problem is that while these guys all have vague and powerful abilities, they have something that in many cases, money can’t buy- influence. These guys are planted all throughout the galaxy; bodyguards, advisers, and often close friends of those at the pinnacle of status. What these guys want to do, they do.
And can we really believe that these guys are all incorruptible beings of benevolence? I’m no pessimist but it just seems that an elite group of warriors that really have no equal and no limit on their numbers or influence wouldn’t be able to keep their power in check. Heck, isn’t that what the Sith are? But we’ll get to that.
They have their Jedi temple in the middle of the planet city Coruscant too. If you didn’t know, the Jedi temple is a monastery, a school, and training ground.
Who pays for all this? Where does it end? How many Jedi can there be in the universe? There doesn’t really seem to be an end to what they’re allowed to do which would be fine if not for the fact that nobody but the select few can be Jedi. If you don’t have the medi-chlorians (D’oh!), it’s possible you might just go on wishing you were a slave boy loser with a dad.
3. Jedi are the only ones that can be Sith (i.e., there should be no Sith)
So then this prophecy is about bringing balance to the Force by simply killing the two Sith that pop up for the first time in a millennium? The Jedi that seem to number in the low hundreds? Do they need that many? Sure, if the Chosen One is on their side.
If the Chosen One is really doing what he’s supposed to “bring balance,” he does the (ultimately) right thing by getting rid of the most powerful and influential beings in the galaxy. Absolute power corrupts absolutely as we know, and there’s only one type of person that can even become a Sith. And here’s a hint- it ain’t the normal people.
No matter how many Sith are exterminated, there will always be more as long as there are Jedi. In fact, there don’t seem to be any Sith we’re aware of without a tragic backstory as to why they became a Sith. Imagine a dirty cop with reasons for why he’s as nasty as he is. “I’ve gotta pay for my kid’s hospital bills! That’s why I’m stealing drugs from the evidence locker! And soliciting sex from that prostitute!”
Look there’s a reason everybody gets surprised again when yet another priest has been outed as a child sex offender. Whether you have the same beliefs or not, they’re held to a higher standard than others so more is expected of them- yet they’re still human.
But that’s in the real world. We’re dealing with an ancient race (more or less) of beings more powerful than anyone no matter how you look at it and just occasionally one of them (or two) go bad and they become nothing less than little Satans in human form. Heck, Anakin killed a family of Sand People in Episode II (Ugh) and that didn’t even count as a full turn to the Dark Side.
So how is all of this dealt with? The Prophecy of course! The Prophecy has Anakin getting everybody down to the last two Jedi in the galaxy, save for a couple excommunicated ones, and they all die by Return anyway.
The only thing that’s left is Luke and Leia, who go can start over and bring it all back to basics. I’d like to throw in that they may have not even gone further than living out their lives as we last see them, dancing with teddy bears and exchanging smiles with dead friends but the novelizations will tell you otherwise.
And it’s all thanks to Anakin fulfilling the Prophecy and clearing out the galaxy.