6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a ‘Star Wars’ Movie

Published 1 year ago by , Updated September 25th, 2014 at 2:11 am,

Star Wars Jedi Villains1 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

There’s no mistaking it: Star Wars is back and ready to return to the heights it once enjoyed. With J.J. Abrams at the helm of Star Wars: Episode VII, fans are looking forward to new films carrying on the legacy of the Rebellion’s heroes. But that’s not the only direction to take.

Now that confirmed standalone movies are also in the plans alongside major Episodes, the characters and stories that can be explored are far more numerous. We’ve already listed the Star Wars spin-offs we’d like to see, but the more we think about it, permanently relegating the Sith or ‘Dark Jedi’ to the role of villain seems to be making one massive assumption.

At this point, the whole ‘Light Side good, Dark Side bad’ idea is common knowledge; but that’s only according to the Jedi. History, as we know, is written by the victor. We tend to agree with the belief that the Sith were evil-doers and extremists, but it might be worthwhile to actually look at what drove them to that point, and see if a story can’t be told placing the Jedi in the role of antagonists.

Allow us to outline 6 Reasons Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie.

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The ‘Sith’ Weren’t Always Bad

Star Wars Jedi Exiles 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

What should be made clear off the bat is that the ‘Sith Lords’ didn’t just show up like boogeymen one day and start terrorizing the innocent. They were Jedi to begin with – only more radical in their views of the galaxy and what their gifts should be used for. The first Jedi Exiles – the group that would one day found the Sith – were simply one side of a civil dispute within the Jedi Order, known as the Second Great Schism.

Whatever extremes each side pushed the other toward, it should be known that at no point did the Sith huddle around a fire and decide to crush all life in the galaxy; they were conquerors in search of mastery over life itself, not genocidal maniacs. They even developed their own Sith Code, opposing that preached by Jedi. Rather than speaking of existence as it should be, they focused on the way it was. The Code reads:

-Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
-Through passion, I gain strength.
-Through strength, I gain power.
-Through power, I gain victory.
-Through victory, my chains are broken.
-The Force shall free me.

Star Wars Movies Sith Lords 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

While the Jedi taught their followers that love, anger or passion were forbidden, the Sith embraced the full range of human emotion; passion is what makes people powerful, and free. The original Star Wars movies clearly show that the Skywalkers don’t share the belief that love is to be avoided, and it’s arguable that most of humanity would relate more to the Sith’s view of passion as a good thing.

The first Jedi Exiles’ aims to revive dead worlds may not have been something their brethren believed in, and resulted in them being cast out, but it wasn’t spawned by malice.

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The Jedi Were Hypocrites

Star Wars Infinite Empire Technology 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

Fascist governments throughout history have proven that the denial of….unpopular progress on grounds that it challenges existing beliefs of what’s “right” is one of mankind’s worst habits: Galileo, for instance, was called a heretic for claiming the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the universe.

It’s no secret that the Jedi oppose anything – anything – to do with the Dark Side, since nothing good ever comes from it. What is less known is that before the Galactic Republic, the galaxy was largely ruled by the Rakata race’s 10,000 year Infinite Empire. Like many others, this empire was built on cutting-edge technology (like the first widely-used hyperdrives). And it was all thanks to the Dark Side.

Once the Rakata empire collapsed 25,000 years prior to the films, the technology was up for grabs, with the Corellians among the first to circumvent the Dark Side components of Rakata warp drives and sell the technology wholesale. The result was helpful, so no one batted an eyelash.

Star Wars Forcesabers History 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

Transportation’s one thing, but the trademark of the Jedi Order – the lightsaber – is one that could only be crafted by those in tune with the light side of the Force, right? Right. The Rakata called their version ‘Forcesabers,’ using the Force to channel dark energy into a solid blade. The Jedi, as they did elsewhere, saw the potential made possible through ‘ways of the Dark Side,’ and adapted it for their own aims.

Sure the technology was used by the Rakata for conquering and domination, but if every advancement that aided warfare was seen as inherently evil, the world would be a very different place. Maybe the Jedi actually meant that ‘nothing good comes from the Dark Side… anymore.’

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The Jedi Helped Commit Genocide

Star Wars Hyperspace War 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

If it’s possible to bring the morality of the Jedi into question, it’s in the way they treat their enemies. After the First Great Schism came to an end, and the last twelve ‘Dark Jedi’ surrendered, public demand for their execution ran high. Ever the merciful diplomats, the Jedi chose to spare the lives of their fallen brethren and their followers.

They then proceeded to strip their former allies of their weapons and armor, boarded them onto unarmed transport ships, and sent them into Unknown Space. It’s hard to say what the Jedi intended to happen to the Exiles, but when the helpless prisoners found the race of red-skinned Sith on the planet Korriban, they did what Jedi do: shared their beliefs and technology, and laid the foundations of a new empire.

Old feuds die hard, so once the Sith had emerged as a suitable army for their Dark Jedi leaders – now Sith Lords – the unbelievably named Great Hyperspace War began. The Sith ultimately succumbed to infighting, and the Republic and Jedi were victorious. Clearly, their actions 1,900 years earlier hadn’t worked: the Dark Jedi had survived, and now ruled over a previously-unknown race of Force-sensitive humanoids.

Star Wars Galactic War Jedi 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

Republic Chancellor Pultimo looked upon an enemy that no longer posed a threat, and ordered the Jedi and Republic forces to invade Sith Space and destroy any remains of the empire and its citizens. This purge – known as the Sith Holocaust – ultimately failed, leaving the survivors to take refuge on Dromund Kaas. From here they would rebuild their empire, and not rest until they had their revenge on those who had tried to exterminate them.

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The Jedi Defended a Corrupt System

Star Wars CIS Droid Army 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

As so many galaxy-wide armed conflicts do, the Clone Wars all started with the passing of a Financial Reform bill. Well, attempted passing. You see, this is the part that gets glossed over in the clearly pro-Jedi films, giving the impressions that the Separatists were simply bad guys.

The truth is: the commercially powerful systems of the galaxy were only after removal of corruption in the Senate, and government deregulation in the name of capitalistic growth. Those wishes could be cast in a greedy or antidemocratic light, but they’re also the desires that shaped the creation of the western world. In other words, not inherently evil.

The taxation and corruption of the Senate from top to bottom pushed the larger corporations not to revolt, but introduce new financial reform to protect their interests. Before a vote could take place, the Senator representing the Commonality of trade planets was assassinated by a bribed Senate guard (apparently they weren’t kidding about corruption). Those who sent the assassin got their wish, and the vote was cancelled.

Star Wars Droid Army Grievous 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

Understandably, this was the last straw. The Commonality broke off from the corrupt body and formed the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Political movements are usually bigger than they’re made out to be their opponents. so while the films depicted the group as a table full of villainous characters, the Separatist Confederacy was made up of over eight galactic governments, dozens of Republic Senators, and spanned over 10,000 star systems. The Jedi and Republic didn’t even formally recognize the group’s existence, choosing instead to defend the corrupt government, and rather than address the Separatist concerns, simply wipe them out.

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The Jedi Betrayed Their Own Beliefs

Star Wars Jedi Council Betrayal 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

Have a look, if you will, at the stated beliefs of the Jedi Code around the time of Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace:

-Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy.
-Jedi use their powers to defend and protect, never to attack others.
-Jedi respect all life, in any form.
-Jedi serve others rather than ruling over them, for the good of the galaxy.
-Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training.

Of course, the Force-wielding, telekinetic, mind-controlling monks weren’t always so docile. When the Jedi put an end to the New Sith Wars 1,000 years before the films, they had grown to be so militarized that their beliefs were being jeopardized. As recognition of this danger the Ruusan Reformation took place, restructuring the Republic and disbanding the Jedi’s army and navy, as well as restricting their influence. This meant no longer sporting armor or military rank, and serving the Senate, not their own hierarchy.

Star Wars Jedi Order Betrayed 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

Rather than weakening the galactic government, having the Jedi to defend freedom and serve democracy ushered in the ‘Golden Age of the Old Republic.’ The films are set 1,000 years later – enough time for the Jedi to have shifted from realizing their religious order should only be used to defend, not lead the Republic to claiming that they knew better.

George Lucas could have at least included a scene where Mace Windu or Yoda debated the idea of instantly becoming generals, betraying their code and undoing legislation that brought a millenium of peace (fun fact: Luke Skywalker later removed the line about “never attacking others”).

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The Jedi Led a Coup Against an Elected Leader

Star Wars Chancellor Palpatine 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

Despite the fact that the Sith were not inherently evil, there’s no question the Jedi saw them as their enemy (even if they’d helped make them). So when Supreme Chancellor Palpatine was revealed to be Darth Sidious, believing in the quest for mastery over life that the Jedi so vehemently disagreed with, what would any peace-loving religious order do? In short, attempt to arrest or kill him.

The problem here is that Chancellor Palpatine was, without question, the democratically-elected leader of the Galactic Republic. The Jedi had the right to be angry that he had kept his beliefs and religion a secret, and suspicious of what he had planned for the Republic, but…remember that bit in their Jedi Code that said they served the Republic’s government, and that they were not in charge of determining who was fit to lead and who wasn’t?

Anyway you look at it, the Jedi attempted a military coup, wishing to depose the elected leader of a democracy based on a personal vendetta. They had many diplomatic methods of bringing his Sith origins to the attention of the Republic, but instead decided to act without consent. The result: the Jedi were judged by the Republic’s leader to once again threaten freedom and exert control over the Senate, and had to be eliminated (poetic justice fans will note the Jedi Purge as a reversal of their genocide against the Sith).

Emperor Palpatine with Force Lightning 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

One could argue that Palpatine had manipulated democracy to settle an old score himself, but that means that he knew the Jedi wouldn’t hesitate to remove the head of the Senate by force. The bottom line: marching into a Head of State’s office with guns drawn after discovering his racial, religious or philosophical background is a hard pill to swallow.

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Conclusion
Star Wars Universe Episodes Spinoffs 6 Reasons The Jedi Could Be Villains In a Star Wars Movie

Hopefully we’ve made our case for why the story being given to Star Wars audiences may not be the full one. That’s not to say one side of the Jedi/Sith conflict was more in-the-right than the other, but clearly both groups were willing to get their hands dirty.

Could this make a film set in the Old Republic, or any of the numerous wars between factions a chance to provide a completely new perspective? It’s hard to know how those entrusted with Star Wars‘ future feel about playing with morality, but if they do, we’ve obviously got some ideas.

How do you view the Jedi after reading our argument? Still see them as the upholders of what’s right and moral, or are the Sith not as bad as they may have been portrayed? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

Star Wars: Episode VII is tentatively scheduled to open in theaters by 2015.

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Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

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  1. Count Doku did try to convince other jedi of the problem with the Republic. No one would listen, because he held the title of Darth.
    Khongor, To say you would be Sith in that universe but not want to follow in what makes a Sith Lord a Sith Lord?!? No you wouldn’t be a Sith. A dark jedi maybe. A confused jedi for sure.
    The Sith code is based on fact, not some hopeful dreams, like the jedi code.

  2. After reading this I would hire you to write, or at least consult, on the Star Wars films.

  3. Thats interesting, but the Jedi only serve the force in the intrest of peace and good.
    The basic good versus evil idea.

  4. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one obsessed with the “dogmatical view” , as said by Palpatine, and it’s lack of sense.

  5. I think you should use your arguments for REAL causes, the real world… This is just a movie! A very good movie by the way… And the expanded universe too! But… man… don’t do that… If you really read the stories THEY (the sith) are facists, and the jedi are not much better, just like many systems we know… you can say… governments, religions, istitutons… just like the republic (in the movie and in the real world), just like the democracy (in the movie and in the real world), just like the democracy of USA, the “democracy” we all know! There is no bad or good, but try to observe the minds behind that stories, the movies and the “canon” expanded universe, and you will see that every whitter of the books, hqs, videogames and the movie.

  6. There are also those Jedi and Sith who believe in the Unifying Force.
    They see the force as a whole and don’t believe in light or dark.

  7. Actually, the only true “good” Jedi, are the grey one.
    Even before reading this, I said the Jedi Order is wrong and betraying themselves.
    One point is about suppressing or denying their feelings.
    They actually feared their own kind if they have shown too much feelings, which is said to lead to the dark side.
    I assume they feared the dark side in some way, and they feared that their own kind would turn to the dark side because of feelings.
    Also that they mostly kill Sith instead of imprison them or just let them be, shows they are similar to the known religions.
    If you compare the Jedi Order with the Catholic Church, you would recognize some parts of the crusaders. They started wars because of force-user not living after their Code, they lead invasions on Civilizations because they were the Opposition of the Republic, and they tried to convert neutral civilizations into the Republic.
    Not to forget that they took force-sensitive children away from their parents to teach them, and force them to live upon their code.

    The Sith on the other side were partly more free, but you still got easily punished which in most times ended in grievous bodily and mental harm or simply death.
    Though you were free in many ways, the Sith almost compelled each other dedication oneself to their feelings. And they had less qualm to harm or enslave other living beings.

    My opinion is, the best way of the force, is the harmony of the light and dark side of the force.
    That’s why I played a Light-Side Sith (Pureblood-Sith) in SWTOR, and a neutral Jedi (Pureblood-Sith, would be the daughter of the former regarding to RP).

    Both the Jedi Order and the Sith are just two extremes, which makes both of them being wrong.

    • The Jeeday was something diferent, diferent times (before the republic), diferent cultures, diferent societies.

      Star Wars is just amazing, its not an allegory of a specific society, but it have elements of our society (as humanity) . We interpret in different manners. The autors interet in different manners, they whrote what they know about the world. I like star wars because is anthropological, is philosophical, sociological, historical, archaeologycal… it is a GREAT story.

      Hope Disney don’t blow everything…

  8. i still believe that the Jedi as a guardian-order had to take radical decicsions to maintain peace… if someone invades your country, you use violence to draw him back… yes, the Genoside was really negative for them, but they were ordered to do so… and yes, they served a corrupt system but would it be better to cast a rebellion and take the lead? it would be good, but it wouldn ‘t be a republic any more… too many things to have in mind, i still believe the Jedi have made mistakes being unable to see the truth (really, would you know that Palpatine was an evil lord before he was revealed? it was logical to support him) but they always fought for the peace… by your thinking, the rescue mission in star wars episode II was an invasion in a foreign planet, so as to say, an attack…

    my conclusion: radical time demand radical decisions. when you are the guardian, you have some really harsh decisions to make to maintain what you guard..
    Thank you for reading :)

    PS: The Jedi aren ‘t holy, but they try with (most of the times) respect to any form of life.. Sith don ‘t

  9. I think the jedi and the sith and the force, and all the force users, and all the cultures and societies in the movies and in the expanded universe ( canonic) deal with our vision of the world, it is a classic, even most of the hq and books and video games of the expanded universe (canonic) tell a story about us, our society, the western vision of humanity, even with elemnts of eastern cultures religions and civilisations, is still a WESTERN way to tell stories. It is not better then others.

  10. Being that I role-play on Star Wars: The Old Republic online as a Light Side Gray Jedi Master I knew some of this history already and I understand why the Sith wanted revenge against the Republic along with the Jedi Order for nearly wiping them out. I also understand that the Jedi Council wasn’t always completely sound it’s moral chooses, but I think it is fair to say no one is perfect and that the Jedi despite perhaps the believes of some of the Jedi Masters in the Order where not prefect. I actually have a greater love for Luke Skywalker’s New Jedi Order then for the original and also agree a lot with the beliefs of the Jedi Legend Revan on the Force. I believe a person must learn to understand the difference between good evil in order to understand their own true nature. I do believe that Sith might not be completely evil, but many of their practices are evil and their desire for personal gain rather then the for a world that servers everyone is evil. My real world beliefs are liberal and I also don’t believe that absolute capitalism is a good thing as this person who wrote this does, but I also don’t believe in communism. I believe that there should be more laws protecting the consumers of products and that companies should not be able to take advantage of people for the sake of greed. To me a utopia is possible, but only if we as human beings try to hold the line against those who only care for themselves over others. I know however that to think we can completely destroy all the evil in the world or in the universe is short sighted to say the least, but I do believe that their is a humane way to solve all our problems and that it is important for use to seek that way and that is what the Jedi do because it is the way of the Jedi to love others without even knowing them. The way of the Sith is an easy one because it far harder for a person to learn how to care about others then for a person to learn to care mainly about themselves. To me the only type of Sith I would trust if I lived in the Star Wars Galaxy is one who disagrees with most of their ways. I think the worst thing to be in this life is an extremist in any form of the word because such ignorance blinds people to one narrow view of the world and complacency breads contempt.

  11. I think we’re forgetting that most of this is based on information given in an expanded universe that has officially been deemed NOT CANON. Only what is in the films, Clone Wars cartoon, and upcoming novels can be used to accurately predict anything moving forward.
    EXAMPLE: The Financial Reform Act being “glossed over in the clearly pro-Jedi films”. Do you mean the films that were made by the creator of the SW universe versus a comic book that has been reduced to professional fan-fiction? I don’t think JJ Abrams was looking to Dark Horse for inspiration.

  12. FOR ME STAR WARS END WITH DISNEY!!!

    Man… They blow everything… for me i can divide star wars before disney (REAL STAR WARS WIHT THE CANON EXPANDED UNIVERSE – IN THE TIMES OF GEORGE LUCAS) AND AFTER DYSNEY (THIS b******* OF WHAT IS NOT CANON), IN OTHER WORDS, THE DEATH OF STAR WARS…

    IT WAS A GREAT STORY, but it ends here (FOR ME)… DISNEY HAVE OTHER INTERESTS…

    THE NEW DIRECTOR IS ACTUALLY VERY GOOD, BUT… FOR ME, IT ENDS HERE… IT IS A BIG CORPORATION… HE WILL NOT HAVE CHOICES TO DO WHAT HE WANT TO DO…

    MY OPINION…

    HAVE FUN IN THE MOVIE THEATER…

    FOR ME IT IS OK, IT HAPPENS TO SPIDER MAN, AND A PLENTY OF OTHER STORIES THAT WAS KILLED IN ADAPTIONS TO THE MOVIE THEATERS.

    AND YOU CAN SAY WHAT YOU WANT, BUT I DONT LIKE DISNEYS STAR WARS…

    GEORGE WANTS MONEY AND WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE, JUST LIKE OTHERS, LIKE STAN LEE LOVE MONEY (WHO DONT LIKE?)

    TO THE REAL FANS OF STAR WARS: MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

    STAR WARS EPISODES I, II, III, IV, V and VI. THE CANON (FOR ME IS CANON, WHO CARES FOR DISNEY?) HQS, BOOKS AND VIDEO GAMES (BY THE WAY STAR WARS 1313 WOULD BE AN AWESOME GAME…)

    • Oh, because Lucas didn’t blow everything with his prequel trilogy? At any rate, this new trilogy sounds like it’s going to be a return to form, so at least we have to thank JJ and Disney for that.

      Also, you don’t have to shout, you know…

  13. AND TALKING ABOUT JJ ABRAMS… EVEN IF HIS IDEAS ARE REALLY GOOD, THE MOVIE WILL NOT HAVE GEORGE LUCAS AS “THE BOSS”.

    STAR WARS ARE JUST DEAD TO ME

  14. THE NEXT MOVIE OF STAR WARS:

    STARING “DISNEY TEEN ACTORS FROM TEEN SERIES” AS LUKE, LEIA, AMIDALA, OBI WAN, ETC…

    JUST KIDDING… :p

  15. DISNEY’S FANS…

  16. SHOUT?

    And I don’t think the prequels were bad. I just don’t trust Disney…

    • Internet etiquette. Typing all in capitals is akin to shouting and can be considered rude by some people. It’s OK to capitalize one or two words to emphasize an idea (it’s like underlining), but capitalizing whole comments is a no-no.

      Disney has allowed Pixar and Marvel to remain themselves, so why do you suppose it’ll be any different with Lucasfilm? Interfering with what made this company what it is would be like shooting themselves in the foot.

  17. But i don’t like Marvel anymore, before Disney bought it. And even if i like some movies by Disney, and wathed some animations and cartoons, i don’t trust them to rule star wars universe…

    And Dark Horse will stop the star wars comics?

  18. Well…

    I knew that, just didn’t know that someone would really care about that and would be sensitive about that… But yes, i was pissed off, but i didn’t realise the capital letters were there until you told me (Caps lock was activated…). Because of that, i thank you.

    And talking about Marvel and Star Wars:
    In my opinion, Marvel comics are very worse that was (that begins before Disney bought it);

    And Star Wars ( I didn’t like the animated series…)

    And Disney… i simply don’t like Disney… I know they would never make something stupid, but, i don’t trust them… please, this is MY opinion. Others think like me, and i have a friend who thinks like you… she tried to convince me, but… lets wait and see… maybe i’m wrong about that feel… well, i really hope i’m wrong, because star wars is the only hq, and movie series that i really like.

    May the force be with you

    • I’m not sensitive about it but some might.

      True, Marvel Comics are a bit messed up since they launched their Marvel NOW! line but as you said, it has nothing to do with Disney and more importantly, the comics are NOT the movies. Similarly, the Clone Wars series was made before Disney bought Lucasfilm. Disney has done a great job preserving the identity of the studios they bought so far, so there’s really no reason to think that the new Star Wars trilogy will be “Disneyfied” in any way. Furthermore, JJ is 1) an absolute SW fan and in itself, it’s more than enough to give me hope, and 2) returning to the way they made the OT, in contrast with the CGI-heavy prequels. In a nutshell, all signs are good. Like you said, we’ll just have to wait and see…

      With you may the Force be, young padawan.