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  1. #1

    ...guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic

    LUKE
    What is it?

    BEN
    Your fathers lightsaber. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster.

    Luke pushes a button on the handle. A long beam shoots out about four feet and flickers there. The light plays across the ceiling.

    BEN
    An elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.


    It's no secret that George Lucas meant to model the Jedi Knights after the Samurai of old Japanese culture. Even some of the production design is meant to evoke familiarity with the imagery of that era.

    "That era." That's really what I want to talk about here. The era of civilization that allows and is conducive to having it's "guardians" be armed primarily by close-quarters hand to hand weapons, like swords and knives. Anyone who has seen the motion picture, The Last Samurai , or has studied the history of the Samurai is familiar with the change in society which brought about their demise as a force for law and a force that was respected by the population.

    In short, the introduction of projectile weapons...specifically, musket and bullet propelled rounds in the hands of an enemy would (and did) provide an end to the ways of the Samurai. Technology changed everything.


    Which brings us to Star Wars and specifically, the Prequels. Naturally, it would be difficult to set up a society in which there were no "blasters" given the timeline leading up to Episode IV. And this isn't to suggest that there wasn't a time in the last "thousand generations" in which the Jedi were the dominant and respected force of justice in the Republic. But the question really is, why didn't their kind die out when the "blaster" came into its own in the Republic? Much like the Samurai on Earth, we see in ROTS just how helpless the Jedi really are when faced with too much firepower. While they are indeed skilled at deflection, they aren't invincible.

    So by my estimation, the reign of the Jedi should have ended long before we even get to the time period described by the Prequels. They outlived their usefulness and clearly don't have the respect that they probably once did. When I first heard Old Ben's words, I conjured romantic images of imposing lightsaber wielding figures walking through city streets as the crowds parted in utmost respect and perhaps a little fear. It was the Jedi who were not only the tip of the sword...the were the sword and anyone bold enough to break the law would have to face the firm judgement of the Jedi Order.

    With this universe that Old Ben implied, we never would have been witness to this kind of statement:

    ANAKIN
    Jedi business. Go back to your drinks.

    No. In almost the same way as Old Ben need not request that people return to their own affairs in the Cantina (ANH), the Jedi of legend would never have had to utter words similar to that of a prime-time cop show on NBC.

    What happened to the Jedi that we were promised?

  2. #2

    Re: ...guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic

    Thats a very good question there Stillakid. My thought is that things are going downhill both in the Republic and for the Jedi, this wasn't a snap your fingers and things have changed type operation rather it was a 'slow grind' to get to that point. Everything that we see is right on the cusp of that change thus Anakin has to say "Jedi business go back to your drinks" instead of people giving the Jedi a 'wide bearth.' To see the 'guardians...' that Obi Wan is speaking of and the ideas that you said (which I think would be really cool btw) we would likely have to go back a pretty good amount of time to see these things. Maybe several hundred years? I think Obi Wan was "waxing philosophically" to Luke about ye ol' days of yor inorder to get him to tag along.

    Jim Jam

  3. #3

    Re: ...guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic

    I agree. I think Obi-Wan was talking about the prime of the Jedi, the height of the Republic. As Lucas has said, the Republic actually ceased to exist long before Palpatine declared it reorganized as an Empire, we (and the citizens of the Republic) just didn't recognize it yet. It is the decline in respect for the Jedi & their role that helped make Palpatine's machinations easier, especially when they are portrayed as "traitors" in EP III. I think it is Obi-Wan essentially just telling Luke what a Jedi was supposed to be and what they were at one point.

  4. #4

    Re: ...guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic

    You read waaaaaay too much into that.
    An elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.
    And that is exactly what we got.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua]He passes to Moses - He shoots, he scores![/FONT]
    Mummy of the raincoat is a gigantic trollop.
    DOMINATE!


  5. #5

    Re: ...guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketboy
    You read waaaaaay too much into that.
    No, I didn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketboy
    And that is exactly what we got.
    No, it isn't.

  6. #6

    Re: ...guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic

    Both are you (Stilla and Rocketboy) are correct we see a glimpse of what "was" but we don't really see what it was truly like. So you both are correct.... from a certain point of view

    Jim Jam

  7. #7

    Re: ...guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Spectre
    I agree. I think Obi-Wan was talking about the prime of the Jedi, the height of the Republic. As Lucas has said, the Republic actually ceased to exist long before Palpatine declared it reorganized as an Empire, we (and the citizens of the Republic) just didn't recognize it yet. It is the decline in respect for the Jedi & their role that helped make Palpatine's machinations easier, especially when they are portrayed as "traitors" in EP III. I think it is Obi-Wan essentially just telling Luke what a Jedi was supposed to be and what they were at one point.
    Life imitates Art? The democracy actually ceased to exist long before our government declares it reorganized as an Empire, we (The People) just didn't recognize it. Sorry I'm reading Way too much into this.

  8. #8

    Re: ...guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by stillakid
    No, I didn't.

    No, it isn't.
    So tell me, where exactly does Ben say the Jedi were feared and respected samurai-style warriors?


    The Jedi were only based on samurai, they weren't actual samurai.

    the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic.
    Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon in TPM: attempting to settle a conflict.
    Obi-Wan and Anakin in AOTC: solving an attempted murder.
    (both of which happened to become much more than just that)

    Boy, those 2 examples sure sounds like "guardians of peace and justice in the old Republic" to me.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua]He passes to Moses - He shoots, he scores![/FONT]
    Mummy of the raincoat is a gigantic trollop.
    DOMINATE!


  9. #9

    Re: ...guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue2th
    Life imitates Art? The democracy actually ceased to exist long before our government declares it reorganized as an Empire, we (The People) just didn't recognize it. Sorry I'm reading Way too much into this.
    Yeah, you are...LOL. Nothing personal, but I am WAY sick of people making the Bush/Palpatine analogy crap. The Empire in SW is closer to the 3rd Reich than any other regime, though it resembles how many Empires came to be.

  10. #10

    Re: ...guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketboy
    So tell me, where exactly does Ben say the Jedi were feared and respected samurai-style warriors?


    The Jedi were only based on samurai, they weren't actual samurai.


    Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon in TPM: attempting to settle a conflict.
    Obi-Wan and Anakin in AOTC: solving an attempted murder.
    (both of which happened to become much more than just that)

    Boy, those 2 examples sure sounds like "guardians of peace and justice in the old Republic" to me.
    Those two example sound more like a third rate cop show, like CHiPS.

    Look, I see what you're saying and how one could diminish expectations and merely accept the mediocre version of the Jedi that we got. But the OT films and the ANH novelization prologue hinted that there was more to it. That's what I was getting at here, not a strict literal interpretation of the films (in this case).

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