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12inch Lando
01-31-2003, 02:19 PM
By all real world standards the followers of the “Jedi way” would be considered cult members and not followers of a religion. This cult never did achieve the critical mass necessary to earn the “religion” status yet Tarkin refers to it as a religion when talking to Vader in ANH. It could have been the politically correct thing to say at the time even though Tarkin clearly outranked Vader. Was it common knowledge at the time that Vader was a Jedi? Are Jedi/Sith practitioners of the same cult/religion? Two sides of the same coin? Catholics vs. Protestants? Does that idea fit into the latest E.U. theory that neither the light side or dark side is good or evil but merely shades of gray? What is the name of this cult/religion anyway? I seem to have a lot of questions and not enough answers. Your thoughts?

Patient Zero
01-31-2003, 02:29 PM
All religions begin as cults. However I do not believe that once the status of religion is reached it can ever go back to being considered a cult. Religions that are long gone are always spoken of as Ancient religions as does Han in ANH.

"Ancient religions and hooky superstitions are no match for a good blaster at your side."--Han Solo (I think that is how it goes)


Does that idea fit into the latest E.U. theory that neither the light side or dark side is good or evil but merely shades of gray?

I haven't heard this one before, but the concept of good and evil are just the illusion of duality by which people find a justification for their own actions and causes.

Not to start this thread off track, but I want to just make an example of my statement. Bush has stated that Sadam Hussen and his actions are evil because they conflict with the idea of what Bush believes is right and in turn Hussen has stated that Bush's possible future and current actions are evil because they conflict with what Hussen believes to be 'right' or is most benificial to him. Good and evil all depends on where you are standing; your perceptions. They have no real value unto themselves because they have no Absolute Truth to them. By Absolute Truth I mean to say that a thing is only absolutely true when it can not be proven false. Hence, if said thing can be seen as both one thing and it's opposite by different people, it is neither good or evil in the sense of Absolute Truth. The Truth, by definition, can not be false.

All individuals do or do not do things because the action or inaction benefits the ego-self. Don't trick yourself into thinking any differently.

And as always this rant has been brought to you by yours truly!:crazed:

El Chuxter
01-31-2003, 02:42 PM
I think they use the term "religion" as a reference to the belief system of the Jedi, not the Jedi Order. It's probably a result of propoganda on Palpatine's part, trying to discredit the memory of the Jedi. To say they were practicioners of a "hokey" or "ancient" religion has a completely different connotation than what Obi-Wan tells Luke about the Jedi in ANH. And it sort of diminishes the once-known fact that the Jedi were running around the universe doing some pretty amazing things with the Force.

Sith and Jedi, two sides of the coin. . . . Yeah, I think so. The earliest Sith Lords were fallen Jedi, though later Sith Lords most likely were only trained as Sith. However, since there's only one Force, the method of using it would have to be fundamentally the same.

Darth Vader and Palpatine supposedly destroyed any record of the existence of Anakin Skywalker, leaving only the memories of a few individuals who knew him. Palpy, Yoda, and Obi-Wan definitely knew that Vader and Ani were the same. Tarkin may have as well. It's possible, though not likely, that Boba Fett was also in on this information. Otherwise, I don't think anyone else knew at the beginning of the original trilogy, unless Padm&eacute was still alive then.

12inch Lando
01-31-2003, 02:46 PM
But by definition, wouldn’t you worship something or someone in a religion? Maybe the Jedi “religion” would be better described as a philosophy or an art form of the martial variety.

Patient Zero
01-31-2003, 02:56 PM
Originally posted by 12inch Lando
But by definition, wouldn’t you worship something or someone in a religion? Maybe the Jedi “religion” would be better described as a philosophy or an art form of the martial variety.


True. Perhaps it is more like Buddhism than a typical religion.

Or perhaps, Jedi do worship something (in a round about way).
They worship life by protecting it.

stillakid
01-31-2003, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by 12inch Lando
By all real world standards the followers of the “Jedi way” would be considered cult members and not followers of a religion.
The problem with relating anything having to do with the Force as a religion is that "force-powers" are observable (in that universe) and can be proven/disproven...the prequisite for scientific theory.

Take the current silliness of "Intelligent Design" that fundamentalist Christian groups are fighting to sneak into our schools. They are saying that because life is so complex, that it must follow as fact that it was created by an intelligent entity. Well, it may be true or may not be, but it is neither observable nor able to be proven/disproven. You can't "back track" through time and trace our origin to something that ultimately measurable or observable. Therefore it isn't science. We can, however, trace the origins of the subatomic particles that exist now back to a sliver of a moment after "everything" was created. Scientific methods cannot go beyond that threshold.

Jedi guys are moving stuff around all the time and claim it's "the Force." Now, there may be "force detectors" in that universe to prove it's existence, but probably not, so we have to take their word for it that it is "the Force" that allows them to do that. While not entirely fitting the definition of pure science, the distinct lack of any other plausible explanation for that telekinetic ability makes up for it.

So ultimately, it's probably safe to conclude that the Jedi are in fact not basing their belief system on some "intangible." Rather, because they've learned to harness what amounts to a scientific discovery and prove it's existence by using it in an observable manner, then they should be considered to be scientists more than anything else.


Originally posted by 12inch Lando
This cult never did achieve the critical mass necessary to earn the “religion” status yet Tarkin refers to it as a religion when talking to Vader in ANH.
Lucas set up a situation where only the "blessed" with enough Midichlorians :rolleyes: could potentially recognize and harness the Force. We have no idea how prevalent these parasites are, so there's no telling just how many people could be a part of this elite group.

In the old days, before the Prequels, we were led to believe that anyone could "reach out" and feel the Force. This would have left the door wide open for anyone who wished to become a member of the Jedi Order. If not the official Order, then at least they could have enjoyed the same "lifestyle," what with impressing girls with telekinesis and all.

But with the Prequels, the galaxy has a limited number of people who could really "join" this collection of "force" users, so the appeal for most to really give a damn wouldn't be there. If they are not ever able to "join," then what's the point in "believing" any of the "religious" aspects of the Jedi, if there are any. As you see above, the "Force" is a scientific entity, not a religious one, so I don't actually recall any distinct intangible "religious" lessons that the Jedi teach.


Originally posted by 12inch Lando
It could have been the politically correct thing to say at the time even though Tarkin clearly outranked Vader. Was it common knowledge at the time that Vader was a Jedi?
Tarkin was definitely old enough to have lived in a universe with 5000 Jedi spread across the galaxy. What kind of influence they had on him is unknown, but there's no reason to suspect that he was oblivious to them. So he would have known and accepted that Vader was a Jedi, but again, wouldn't have really given it much credence beyond staying on his good side so he didn't lose his airway like Motti did. :)


Originally posted by 12inch Lando
Are Jedi/Sith practitioners of the same cult/religion? Two sides of the same coin? Catholics vs. Protestants?
The films don't come right out and explain this in black and white. However, I believe it is safe to assume that yes, you are correct. The "Force" is just a tool, like a hammer or a gun. You can use it for good or evil purposes. It just depends on who picks it up.


Originally posted by 12inch Lando
Does that idea fit into the latest E.U. theory that neither the light side or dark side is good or evil but merely shades of gray? See above. I don't know that I personally would characterize it as any color. They call it the "light side" because our symbology equates good with light. Black or darkness equals the unknown or evil. Again, the Force is just a non-denominational entity/tool.


Originally posted by 12inch Lando
What is the name of this cult/religion anyway? I seem to have a lot of questions and not enough answers. Your thoughts? "Gozer Worshipers" ;)

No really...uh, Jedi? I don't understand the question.