Lessons From: Star Wars Prequels

The tragic irony of a strict dogma

The Star Wars prequels are widely seen as one of the worst mistakes to come to the silver screen, and even then, a few aspects of it are brutally torn apart by the fans of the original saga. I know, I know, Count Dooku should've genuinely been an independent separatist neither Jedi nor Sith, Darth Maul should've lived through the trilogy, or at least been shown to do so in the movies because he actually did, and Jar Jar Binks was a mistake.

The interesting thing about the whole Jedi vs. Sith debate is that it tends to be pretty easy to seduce someone on the light side to come over to the dark side, because it all has to do with emotions. Although the Sith encourage not only freedom but the constant use of anger and hatred in order to increase one's power in the force, the Jedi are, in fact, pretty repressive.

Of course, you can see them express a range of emotions including joy, sadness, anguish, and they're pretty stoic with preventing their actions from being guided by their feelings. In fact, they tend to be excellent negotiators which requires a thorough understanding of the other party's emotions. Why is it, then, that many Jedi wind up leaving the order?

Although there is some freedom, they don't exactly lead healthy emotional lives. The most famous example is Anakin and it's the one we'll use as well. He had a rough childhood, having been born a slave, and though eventually won through a bet by his first master Qui-Gon Jinn, his constant fear for his mother and infatuation with Padme Amidala were encouraged to be repressed by his second master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he was generally berated, even in front of others, in order to be humiliated so he wouldn't get too big for his own shoes.

This means that Anakin never really learns to deal with his emotions and is therefore pretty easily influenced when it comes to them, especially by Chancellor Palpatine, who through his deep knowledge of politics and the force eventually becomes emperor. His leverage points are pretty predictable as well, being his love for Padme, for he would do anything to prevent her death, his deep-seated anger, which in itself was an impressive force, and his ambition, which you can see time and time again even in the Original Trilogy.

You could probably argue that the Jedi were pretty much using a strictly textual interpretation of the code instead of looking at the actual intention or the means of the code, and that they should have been more liberal, but the fact of the matter is that they weren't and that other were so cool and collected while Anakin had a storm inside his head wasn't probably much of a help for him either, after all, how did they do it?

What can we learn from this?

It's like starting a diet or pretty much doing anything cold turkey. It may work, and for most people it probably does, but if you fail you tend to rebound pretty hard, and sometimes even end up worse than how you began, instead of taking incremental changes in the way you think, act, do, essentially your habits.

Thus, try to avoid having a strict dogma, and if it is what you're aiming for, then don't do it from the beginning because most of the time you're setting yourself up for failure. Had Anakin learned to control his emotions and deal with them one at a time, instead of just putting them away, he would've been an excellent Jedi.

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