I began to distrust the Jedi religion when the first prequel was released.
Qui-Gon Jin controlled dice so that he could save Anakin from slavery but not his mother. He did not want to save Anakin’s mother from slavery because he thought it would be better to train Anakin without a mother around. He happily agreed to a wager in which he could get just one – and then turned the dice with the Force to take Anakin, the only one he wanted.
It was such a horrible thing – leaving someone in slavery – that I could never quite shake it when I thought of the Jedi after that.
And then the second prequel, Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi of my childhood, used the Force to control a man’s mind and change his entire life.
“You want to go home and rethink your life.”
I mean, sure, the guy was trying to sell “death sticks.” But does that make it OK for someone to brainwash him?
Time after time, Jedi were shown as the know-it-all arbitrators of their own sense of morality, often defined as “whatever would suit their personal needs.”
By the end of the prequels, I felt like they’d ruined the franchise because Jedi just seemed so corrupt. They started wars, they killed the wrong people, they didn’t save the right people, and they seemed wholly divorced from the original idea of a Force that flows through all of us.
I thought Lucas had written all of that as a mistake.
But now, having seen The Last Jedi – surely you realize this was leading to spoilers – I know I am not alone. Lots of people, including Luke himself, think the Jedi religion went astray. What had been an acknowledgment of the living force in all of us had been turned into a source of power.
When Luke and Yoda put an end to it, I cheered.
I only hope Rey learned the lesson Luke tried to teach her.