Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jedi Lies - Summary and Conclusion

1LR has closely examined all seven Star Wars films to evidence to Jedi lies and deception. According to the Jedi Code, is it acceptable behavior for a Jedi to lie? Here is what we can conclude:
  • The Jedi think of themselves as noble and honest. 
  • The Jedi think of the Sith as inherently deceptive.
  • When Jedi make a promise, "swear," or give their word they are truly honest (Only one documented case of a Jedi breaking his word - Anakin's broken promise to Rex in the animated SW movie). 
  • Jedi sometimes lie to non-Jedi, but it is usually with good intentions.
  • It appears that when a Jedi lies is not a cause for rebuke by other Jedi - meaning this behavior is accepted informally if not formally.
  • Jedi are mostly truthful to other Jedi. This doesn't stop Obi-Wan and Yoda from lying to Luke as he trains to become a Jedi, however. It's interesting to note that once Luke has "completed his training," they finally tell him the truth.
  • Jedi sometimes deceive other Jedi but this appears to be extremely rare (as evidenced by Obi-Wan's deception of Anakin concerning the arrival of Ahsoka Tano).
  • Before completing his training as a Jedi, Luke was primarily honest but after his training is completed, Luke lies and uses deception.
  • Jedi use the Jedi Mind Trick. By it's very name it denotes deception and trickery. Its victims are often forced to accept untruths as reality. 
  • The Jedi Mantra and the associated tenets make no mention, direct or indirect, about honesty and dishonesty.
  • Young Jedi are taught to be honest but this is primarily focused on honesty to other Jedi. 
So, in conclusion - Is it against the Jedi Code for a Jedi to lie? Well, the answer is, "No." It isn't against the code. So, yes, it's okay for a Jedi to lie, primarily to non-Jedi. And they do. They do lie.

Does this make the Jedi bad people? Perhaps not. But it does tarnish the image of Jedi a little bit in my mind.

To be fair, I believe that the original intent of George Lucas was for the Jedi to be noble, honest, and pure. It is only when you consider the greater backstory of the prequel trilogy that Obi-Wan and Yoda are revealed to be dishonest (in most cases). Some of these apparent deceptions in the original trilogy can most likely be chalked up to sloppy filmmaking and failing to properly account for established continuity.

So what? What does this mean?  Does this make Obi-Wan and Yoda selfish manipulators? Did the institutionalized deceptions of the Jedi contribute to the fall of the Jedi Order? Could Anakin's decent into the dark side have been prevented if only he had been honest with Obi-Wan concerning his feelings toward Padme (Anakin isn't sent on the mission with Padme, they don't go to Tatooine, he doesn't kill the sand people, they don't get secretly married, she doesn't get pregnant, Anakin doesn't feel he needs to save her)?

I'll leave that for you to decide. But I know for myself I wouldn't trust a Jedi.

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