Segment 1: Hope – A Realistic View
Segment 2: Interview — David Brin: Jedi Knights and Star Wars On Trial
- Buy Star Wars On Trial
- Read David Brin’s charges against Star Wars (link no longer available)
- Enjoy an excerpt from Star Wars On Trial (link no longer available)
- Learn more about the new animated series The Clone Wars
Segment 3: Bringing Chivalry To Life At Camlann Medieval Village
- Learn about visiting Camlann medieval living history project
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2 thoughts on “Episode 23: Chivalry, Jedi Knights and Star Wars On Trial”
I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I feel I’ve derived a great deal of value from the series. I also think some of David Brin’s comments are a bit off base, and I’ve had a hard time verifying his claim that George Lucas holds a benign dictatorship as a governmental ideal. Anyways, as regards some of his criticisms of the Jedi Knights and especially Yoda… I got from the full scope of the series that Yoda is, frankly, wrong on so many counts. The end of Return of the Jedi has Luke essentially rebelling from the directive his mentors gave him to kill his father. One way to interpret Darth Vader’s redemption is that it’s all about his son and saving him… and I’m not sure that’s the only message that we can take or even necessarily should take from that. Rather, I prefer to see Vader has realizing his fatal flaws in that moment and throwning the Emperor to his doom for greater reasons than just to save Luke from death, but to eliminate the single greatest threat to… well, since the introduction of the prequel trilogy, the entire universe. The very balance of the Force. The Republic fell in part to corrupt senators, and their willingness to sacrifice freedom and democracy for security, and also in part due to the incompetence and loss of value of the Jedi Knights. Their willingness to sacrifice their values to preserve an obviously corrupt Republic, while ignoring the complaints of the Seperatists simply because they knew the head of the Seperatists was a Sith Lord was a fatal flaw.
The Phantom Menace kind of gives us the Qui-Gon Jinn(Liam Neeson) character as the most ideal Jedi hero. He cares more about people than he does necessarily adhering strictly to his orders. Unfortunately he’s enamored of who he believes to be the Jedi messiah and doesn’t work to get the boy’s mother out of slavery. It all culminates in Qui-Gon being the otherworldly mentor to both Yoda and Obi-Wan in their exiles, and their eventually training of Luke Skywalker that results in both Luke’s defiance of his teachers’ own prejudices and flawed judgements as well as an improved version of what it means to be a Jedi Knight. Luke Skywalker, utlimately, is THE representation of the ideal Jedi hero at the end of the Saga. Not Yoda, and not Obi-Wan Kenobi. It’s interesting that David Brin interprets Luke as being the most ideal, and I think that’s George Lucas’ point ultimately. Anakin Skywalker is an imbalanced version of Luke, in so many ways. Luke’s desire to help the oppressed is really rather unselfish, utlimately, while Anakin had it but it ultimately was hampered by his own selfish regard for those he loved(seems he treated them rather more like possessions to me than people) and his own desire for glory in battle and heroic fame. Luke Skywalker is the new template for a Jedi Knight by the end of Return of the Jedi, and he’s been instructed to pass on what he has learned.*
I should note, in the Star Wars Expanded Universe of books and comic books, Qui-Gon Jinn is actually said to have sent a great deal of money to Anakin Skywalker’s mother before he died which she gave to Cliegg Lars(her husband in Attack of the Clones) so he could use it to buy her freedom.