The Pussification of the Star Wars Jedi
December 9, 2003 14 Comments
With apologies to Kim du Toit.
My email to Chris:
So Jango Fett was my favorite character in Episodes I and II. “I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.” Bad guy or not, he was more noble than all of the dickless Jedi in the first two episodes.
Chris Range replies:
He and Anakin are the only two people whose psychology makes any sense – and of the two Jango’s outlook is probably the most sane.
Anakin is a ball of nerves with an inferiority complex that leads him to want to be a bully. Call me ignorant but a big “noble” outfit like the Jedi order abandoning his mother in slavery at the dark end of the universe might have had just a little bit to do with that. When his mom dies (at the pre-planned plot point to be sure) and he goes on a rampage and kills all the Tuskens in the camp – I’m like “OK this is the first thing I’ve seen in this movie that made any fuckin sense at all.”
Of Obi-Wan, Alec Guinness once said that all he could do was say the lines, because the character had no connection to the psychology of any real person you’d meet on the street.
Jango accepts that there are shifting alliances and that everybody is out for himself under the current regime. He tries to operate above this in a way. Like C.S. Lewis says, judge him by his actions. He takes a contract, delivers the goods and draws his check. Then he goes home to the most spartan apartment in the known Republic. He is indeed a simple man.
Exactly. When Anakin’s mother died, I didn’t blame the Tuskens. I blamed the Jedis for not freeing her from slavery when they had the chance. If Anakin had lost the pod race, what were they going to do, let Queen Amadala’s planet remain occupied and leave Anakin in slavery? I would have killed that blue flying fucker and stolen his hyperdrive.
While we’re on a rant :-), are Jedis the worst-equipped fighters in the universe or what? They have a single, close-range weapon with no backup. What’s worse, they don’t even put a tether on the stupid thing. Have you noticed how many Stars Wars fight scenes revolve around the idiot Jedi dropping his light saber and becoming defenseless? Yoda needs to amend the Jedi training to include a course in weapons retention.
>I would have killed that blue flying fucker and stolen his hyperdrive.
“We’re not soldiers, we’re keepers of the peace. We’ve no choice but to respect his individual property rights, especially those concerning human chattel.”
Talk about your mercenary attitude. At least Jango only kills you if he’s gettin’ paid. These guys screw you totally by means of good intentions.
>Have you noticed how many Stars Wars fight scenes revolve around the idiot Jedi dropping his light saber and becoming defenseless?
Considering that Jedi drop their sabers as surely as rain falls in May, we can forgive Jango for his fatal assumption that Mace couldn’t retrieve his from the ground.
On Jedi in general: Until the prequels came out I thought I knew what Jedi were. The alluded backstory was that they were some sort of wandering paladins. The prequels ensconce them in the establishment. But what the heck do they do?
They’re keepers of the peace, but they actually won’t take any action unless they’re attacked, and then it’s only for defense.
They’re policemen but they won’t investigate a crime unless it is specifically spelled out in their mandate.
They apparently condone slavery – even though it’s illegal throughout the Republic. And speaking of slavery – what else would you call the clones?
Do the frikken Jedi know what they are, or what they stand for, or even what the heck they’re supposed to be doing at all?
I know what the Jedi are. They’re French. They’re prissy, arrogant and completely clueless as to their true standing in the universe. Which is probably why a bunch of jack-booted thugs in alpen grey and stahlhelms took over the whole Republic. <g>
When Lucas re-released Episode IV, he had the chance to change anything he wanted. Other than sprucing up the 1970s special effects, the one thing he chose to change was the bar scene. In the original, Han shoots first and kills Greedo. Hooray! In the re-release, Lucas has Greedo shooting first. Greedo misses, and Han shoots and kills him. Hooray! But what if Greedo hadn’t missed? Oops! Han wouldn’t have been able to save Luke’s bacon, and Luke wouldn’t have destroyed the Death Star.
In the Hollywood view of the world, you’re never justified in pre-emptive action, or even equal action. It’s not enough that the good guy is the good guy. He has to be the come-from-behind underdog, too. That’s why he has to wait until the bad guy shoots first. That’s also why he has to hope that the bad guy is a lousy shot. The Jedi and the Old Republic were doomed as soon as they ran up against bad guys who could shoot straight.
A Day In The Life of a Jedi Puss
It’s 6 o’clock in the morning. As the twin suns rise into the sky above Tattooine, our protagonist, Poo Cee Wan-Jablowme, awakes. He rousts himself and pulls on the flowy robes he has grown to hate so much. Just before breakfast he writes down a few thoughts in his Jedi journal…
I hate myself. We’re supposed to be the most elite fighters in the galaxy and look at me – still in my bedsheets. And this is how I’m supposed to show up at work. Why do we wear these stupid robes? C’mon. We fly around in spaceships. These bedouin robes would be useful if I found myself hiding out on a desert planet someday (like this one). But they make no frikken sense at all for flying around in spaceships. What if the artificial gravity shuts off? Even for just a second? I’m gonna be totally screwed because I’ll be socked up in 18 yards of wool like an unwanted kitten in a potato sack.
You know what would make sense? A black, pressurized jumpsuit. That would be just the thing for rambling around a Star Destroyer. A cape could keep me warm and add a little theatrical flair – just enough to say ‘I’m a Jedi’ – but I could attach it with a chain. That way I could throw it off in a jiff if need be.
Another thing that would make sense is a breath regulator. That would allow me to move through airless locks and do other things you’d need to do in space.
Oh well, I’m here now. In a few minutes I’ll amble out to my Jedi Starfighter to head to work. After I remove the Chinese take-out menus from under the windshield wipers, I’ll start up the checklist for takeoff.
- Enable anachronistic Tetris display that will help me navigate through the stars. Check.
- Scrub off graffiti spray-painted on the fuselage by local Tusken punks. Check.
- Listen carefully to R4 D5’s safety instructions for the millionth time as his little mechanical arms show me how to fasten my safety belt. Check.
- Affix EZ Pass tag to the canopy with strong adhesive. Check.
- Spare pack of AA batteries for lightsaber. Check.
- Tether for it, since I keep dropping it. Who am I kidding?
- Confirm call-sign isn’t now on list of terms for gay sex. Hmm, I’ll have to ask Dexter Jettster about that.
You know just last night there was a slender form laying next to mine. The slim, supple skin of a young government employee occasionally peeked from behind a white jumpsuit. Dolly, Dolly, Dolly I moaned as I tried to draw closer.
Suddenly the form leapt from the bed. “Hey man” Jango’s virtual twin shouted at me. “I ain’t that kind of clone!”
Look there’s no shame in it, of itself. I’ve worked with individuals of all persuasions, even some species that procreate asexually. It’s just that I’m an idiot. I couldn’t tell the difference between Anakin Skywalker and Anna Kournikova.
Maybe that’s why I blew it with the queen. Padme’s turned me down so many times I think I’ve become a bedsheet instead of just wearing one. These days I’d give anything to just be covered with fur. Because like the Young Senator from Naboo says “Once you’ve had Wookie, you never go back.”