Jedi are assholes

| Wednesday, August 14, 2013
It's a common sentiment among those not sensitive to the Force that Jedi are arrogant and distant.  I tended to regard these sentiments as stupid. Of course they're arrogant relative to the weak and unwise. Who wouldn't come across as a bit arrogant when they can predict the future, read minds, and use a lightsaber?

Yet now I understand. I'm playing through Knights of the Old Republic II again. I'm noticing things that apparently escaped my notice the first time around. Such as how absurdly arrogant and douchy the Jedi are.

I see one in a cage and break him out. He yells at me about how I just rushed into action and didn't think about the consequences. What? Apparently I was supposed to know that they were allied with the Exchange and planning to attack the settlers. And that they were only delaying attacking because they had a Jedi prisoner. Because somehow that makes sense. And somehow leaving him in the cage was going to fix the problem.

I'd played KOTOR before and should have picked up on this, that many Jedi seem to regard any action, ever, as hasty action happening too soon. They'd rather sit around and see what happens. The Mandalorians were destroying the Republic and the Jedi response was to wait. And then exile anyone who went to defend the Republic. I wonder how things might have gone if the leadership had joined the war, had been there to provide some guidance. War might have still been corrupting, but if that corruption had been noticed and dealt with, things might have gone better. Surely it is better to know what is going wrong than to reject all opposition and then be caught off-guard when it turns on you.

Maybe it's the medium. I do not think the Jedi in the movies were quite so stupid. When apprehending Palpatine they correctly determined that the smart thing to do was to kill him on the spot, and moved to do so. Though they were stopped from doing so by a ridiculously impulsive and arrogant little brat. In The Empire Strikes Back Yoda tried to keep Luke from rushing off, which, far from being excessively cautious, was smart. Even if it hadn't been an intentional trap, the travel time involved meant that by the time he got there he'd be too late. Better to plan things out a bit, train some more. Maybe Yoda would have helped if it looked like something more than an impulsive suicide mission.

Maybe it's excessively far sight. The Jedi know that impulsive action will eventually become a really bad, dangerous, awful thing. So starting thousands of years in the past they work to remove impulsiveness. Unfortunately, they end up just being slow-moving idiots. Perhaps they were too quick to not be quick.


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