To Err is Jedi

I´ve been watching a lot of Moviebob/In Bob We Trust/Game Overthinker. Bob Chipman's dissertations on movies I´ve seen are always somewhat smart, and the videos are short, so I can watch the whole thing on my busted ass LG Venture.

One that caught my attention, though, was his dissection of the prophesy element in the Star Wars prequels. While I disagree that it was a well done element within a vastly not as well done series of movies, I think there is something to the rest if what he said.

The thesis, as it where, he presents, is that the Jedi's strict adherence to the vaguely presented and discussed prophesy within their world of one who would bring balance to the force and or destroy the Sith led them to turn a blind eye to things that where a bit more obvious to the audience: That Palpatine was an evil Sith playing them the whole time and that Anakin was a ticking, expertly hairdressed time bomb. That this is a subversion of  the types of Destined Savior kind of stories that  offers parallels to the story of Jesus.

Ok. Most people know the story of Jesus, Son of God born of Flesh who came to offer humanity salvation, and as a part of that plan, wound up hanging from a cross. But if you go beyond that synopsis(and trust me a lot of people don't) there is a loooot of stuff to discuss in there.

Jesus(ok, in my faith we call him Yashua because it's an actual name an actual Israelite might have had during that time. So I'm calling him that from now on. ) was one of many men who claimed to be the Meshiac, more commonly known as Messiah, a prophesised savior. But they where not expecting a savior of souls back then. Israel had been going trough a rough couple of  centuries, having been manhandled by the Greeks, Persians, Babylonians and at Jesus' time, the Romans. The Messiach was believed to be the one who would finally  pull a combo breaker on those conquerings and establish himself as King of Israel, finally bringing the nation to it's former kingdomey glory.

While that's a noble enough goal in like a movie or something, the biblical account of the actual kindgom isn't all glory. Allowed begrudgingly by the then defacto rulers The Judges, Prophets and God on High, the story of monarchy is resumed in two books that don't agree on everything(and with lots of hooks for a 3rd book that appears to include more detail, but is lost, apparently), but do agree it was all downhill after David and Solomon where out of the picture. King after King is described as having done against god's will, lead the people astray, died, and nothing else remarkable.

The God described in the Old Testament was highly fond of taking all the glory for things. His preffered method of government was a direct form of Theocracy where everything was run by him first. Eventually the monarchy ends abruptly after the king is killed and his heir taken captive. After that, the aforementioned empires took turns battering Israel, deporting it's people, and it's all described as being a result of their bad behavior.

And THIS is where the prophesies of a Messiach  begin. Between berating them for doing no good and being stoned to death, prophets alluded to a savior. And I wouldn't fault them for assuming the saving in this case was "from the skin ripping Persians, faith ruining Greeks, and economically exploitative Romans."

Now that's where it gets interesting.  Messhiach, in the form of Yashua arrives, and instead of offering them the kind of salvation they expected, he offers them advise on their corrupted religious leaders, calls for a return to faith roots as opposed to various  rituals that held no part of the scripturally ordered ones, offers the foreigners a simpler way in on the faith  and tells them that not only is he not about to get on a horse and  eliminate Roman rule, but that he's going to personally see to it that the temple they worship in currently is turned into a parking lot. They didn't take to that all that well.

Now, back to the Star Wars. Anakin is often presented by fans and the actual George Lucas as having EVENTUALLY fulfilled the prophesy by destroying the last of the Sith i.e. Palpatine and himself. While this seems a bit of a backward way to establish that a character fullfilled a prophesy; by having him do the action first, and then later saying it was part of a prophesy, it wouldn't be the first time a character unconventinally fullfilled a destiny. It's very common for characters to create their own destroyers by trying to ensure a prophesy of their own destruction doesn't come forth. But I see a bit more than that.

If we see the Jedi as being purposedly inept and not as part of a series on how George Lucas doesn't know what he's writing, and if we  truly take onto the "your dependence on a prophesy actually wrought about your own demise" narrative Bob describes, we could sort of see a bit of a parallel between the "Dark messiah" Anakin and the Jedi Coincil and Yashua and the Sadducees of Yashua's time.

The Jedi, much like it happens to Saduccees in biblical scripture, are bathed in authority and scriptural know how, but lacked a lot of not being fucking inconsiderate piece of shit people. Their wisest leader advises a young insecure man having terrible and well founded fears of  his mother dying after another Jedi completely opts to leave her in a desert planet and none thought that, with this being the chosen one and all, taking a bit of a trip over there and securing her mother. If there's something you see a lot in the bible, it's helping the foreigner, the orphan and THE WIDOW.

So perhaps there is no coincidence that the Jedi can't see the evil rising to wipe them out right in front of their stupid Jedi faces. One character describes how The Dark Side of the Force is clouding their ability to peer into the future, which taken at face value would indicate that Palpatine is somehow both more powerful than all of them, and constantly able to shroud their powers from often lightyears away. But perhaps it isn't the dark side of the force. After all, the Vanilla Force IS strong in Anakin, and he basically wounds up causing them all to die and the Galaxy to be griped by an empire. What if the force is, much like God is shown to do in Bible Stories like the Exodus, directly guiding people towards a course of action that winds up being their undoing?

In the Bible, it states quite clearly that Pharao would have been good to let the Israelites go after a handful of plagues, because, come on. Bloody rivers and plague of frogs are more than enough for any reasonable man. But God himself hardened his heart, so events would play out  as intended.

If the Force is an extrapolation of mysterious, godly power that subtly shapes the direction of things while occasionally giving people super speed and lightening powers, it seems reasonable that, if it wanted to, say, get rid of a corrupted Jedi Order that has completely lost track of what they truly should be doing, it would obviously not tip it's hand and let them access the knoweledge of a future where the problem is solved and the problem is also them being alive.

The Arc of the Covenant, haphazardly described by a character in Indiana Jones as "A Telephone to talk with God", is said to have been long gone by the time Jesus rolled around, hidden from the seemingly endless series of conquerors  tripping into what was left of Israel. Perhaps in the same way The Saduccees and Pharisees could no longer have that direct contact with God, Jedi wound up having no access to the Force's WILL and, to call it something, mind. The Jedi, desperate to finish what they percieve as their true enemy, cling to the notion that it's probably the dark side, because it's better than admiting they are now obsolete, impotent and cull worthy.

So in comes the Proto Messiah Anakin Skywalker, who is initially outright rejected for training for being too young, and also too emotional, even though they mostly agreed this was the THe ONE. And you don't see that in movies often. "You are the One we expected. Fuck you. Get the fuck out."

It is not until the death of Qui Gon Gin, that Anakin is begrudgingly allowed to be trained in the ways of the force. However, the Jedi doctrine is one that leans heavy on "feelings are bad", and Anakin enters those years where feelings of all kind start to manifest themselves. The oft remembered Yoda saying that "fear leads to anger and anger leads to hate" is dumb if it's for serious, but it's smart if the Jedi are supposed to be complete idiot dullards that say that even feeling afraid is evil. HE'S A KID WHO WAS SOLD TO A MONK BY A SLAVE TRADER AND IS NOW BEING QUESTIONED ABOUT JOINING A GROUP OF MONKS FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE, WHAT THE HELL FEELING IS HE SUPPOSED TO HAVE?

If Anakin hadn't been The Chosen One, if it had been, say, Kit Fisto who took up a wife, the Jedi's complete inability to handle "people feel stuff, you know" would have maybe just ended in Kit Fisto leaving the order at most. But they took their chosen one and emotionally repressed him and treated him as less than an equal.

I sustain that George Lucas was trying to say some not so nice things about the Jedi, until George Lucas got in the way and ruined all that. Emotional and sexual repression can indeed be very damaging if mishandled, and a lot of organized religions kind of call for less exaggerated but non the less difficult to follow emotional regimens. Is this a criticism of that?

On the other side of the spectrum are the Sith. Sith embrace their darker desires with no measure. True Sith, anyway. Maul and Palpatine love the pain and suffering they cause, but Dooku and eventually Darth Vader are not presented as such. Dooku is a "political idealist" who left the Jedi order. It's not clear in the movies what his entire motivation is, but The Jedi order at that point had done such things as fail to send official aid to the invaded planet of Naboo. This is the kind of thing an older, seasoned Christopher Lee might see  happen a few times and go "I hate this club. No nookie, no emotions, and we don't even do good where we should be. Fuck everything."

Again, we don't have the full account of what Darth Maul is about, but if this character has anythign to him it's the appearance of outright evil. Many young men during their rebelious years enter a phase of image modification. Piercings, tatooes, dark clothing. Darth Maul looks like what an angsty teenager would look like if he could  change his appearance to something truly mom-upsetting. He clearly enjoys what he does.

Darth Vader, however, never seems to enter a mad cackling phase. He's not turning into The Joker or anythign like that. His descent into darkness is propelled by emotional frustration of not being able to have anything to love or anything resembling a life while also being told he's destined for great things but treated like dangerous garbage. The Jedi's FEAR led him to anger, and his anger gave way to hate, and the hate gave way to suffering.

In this way, Anakin Skywalker isn't a Dark Messiah that  was fullfilling the will of the force in a different way than expected, but like Yashua he is clearing the table from the thing that's actually wrong with the so called Light side of the force. Not the hopelessly evil Sidious, who is more like the way Rome is brought about to punish Israel for disobeying God's will, but rather the stagnant and unkind Jedi Council who have failed to live up to their task. Perhaps, had they actually done what the Force expected them to do, the prophesy would have come trough the way they expected, I.E. their enemies eliminated. But they didn't so it didn't.

Shit guys, I may have looked too much into it. Or not enough.


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