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

Published 2 years 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.


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.


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.’


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.


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.


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”).


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.


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.


Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. Please flesh out the Jedi vs Sith history. There’s too much black and white in the Star Wars universe. At least, on the surface.

    Evil or not, politically speaking, trying to kill an elected official is a *huge* deal.

    We see Anakin struggle with this, even though his real reason is because he doesn’t want Padme to die. This isn’t to say that Anakin doesn’t believe Palpatine needs to have a trial, I think he does believe this.

    Anakin then “easily” becomes Darth Vader, but you have to understand, he’s been pushed into a corner by his own actions at that point. Arguably, he could easily kill Palpatine at that moment, maybe a 50/50 to 70/30 chance in his favour, but if he’s so concerned about Padme that he’s made a deal with the devil, why would he take that risk? The way he sees it, he has no other option but to become Darth Vader. I don’t see why he’d be crying while killing people unless he was conflicted and putting on an act about it.

    The fact that he’s willing to take over everything, well, that kinda point to the hypocrisy in his beliefs. Basically, things need to be done right, or he and Padme need to take control.

    This is a man who instead of using Mace Windu’s gained trust for the best — he could have shown up and decided — “Psyche, Palpatine, you’re under arrest.” instead of being more concerned about one person versus the lives of hundreds of thousands, probably more. But even then, Palpatine controls effing everything. So, uh…yeah. What can Anakin really do at this point? Plus with his visions and whatnot, you could claim Anakin’s borderline insane. The death of his mother came true. She died in his arms. He went to work on all the sand people that just happened to be there. That was his descent into madness, when he promised himself that this sort of thing would NEVER happen again, and sadly for him, it did.

    I believe that the books make it clear that he intends to take over and always has intended to take over. The betrayal of Palpatine with regards to Padme just strengthened his resolve. In return of the Jedi, his plan comes to fruition, but by then, he’s accepted he has to die for Palpatine to die.

    Because the movies tend to present things as basically black and white, it’s hard to really see things at this level of depth. The prequel movies tried too hard to please younger audiences, so it was more prevalent in those. I hope the new movies find a good balance.

    I would like to see this at some point:

    There is no Dark Side, nor a Light Side
    There is Only the Force
    I will do what I must to keep the balance
    The balance is what keeps me together
    There is no good without evil, but evil must not be allowed to flourish
    There is passion, Yet peace
    Serenity, Yet emotion
    Chaos, Yet order
    I am the wielder of the flame, the protector of balance
    I am the holder of the torch, lighting the way
    I am the keeper of the flame, soldier of balance
    I am a guardian of balance
    I am a Gray Jedi

    Basically “Jedi” or “Sith” is defined by your actions.

    I believe there is another code that is the middle of Jedi vs Sith. Can’t seem to find it.

    • Actually I disagree with most of what you are saying but the Dark Jedi are the happy medium you are looking for. They are in the Jedi Knight Dark Forces video game and some books.

    • Also if you notice the Jedi Order refer to a chosen one bringing balance to force. Anakin disobeyed the Order and married and had children. All of these things could have turned out good but instead the Order and the Sith drove him to one side and he obviously would turn to the only one who would accept him. If the Order would allowed the Jedi to get married to anyone they wish then this would bring “Balance” and it eventually does according to the books. Luke rebuilds the Jedi but changes things, so in a way Anakin did bring balance to the force but having Luke and Leia. It was never truly established whether or not Luke or Anakin were the chosen ones. Anakin killed the Emperor which one truly did bring balance to the Force?

      • Lucas has said it himself, Anakin is indeed the chosen one, he also said that he brought balance to the force when he returned to the lightside and killed the palpatine. luke rebuilt the order but it was anakin who brought balance.

    • The “middle” description would go something like this:

      The Sith are selfless
      The Jedi are selfish
      The Sith believe in selfishness
      The Jedi believe in selflessness
      But when the two join, they fight for their beliefs;
      And when one of either finds unity powerful
      They lose belief in one thing
      And we shall keep them safe
      For we are one of them
      For we mix the dark and light

      And their code would maybe be:

      The Jedi and Sith are opposites, and we keep them alive
      We can be selfish or selfless
      We can fight when needed
      We do not rule, We do not serve, but we watch.
      We do not seek to improve, but we seek to teach.

      And I guess they need weapons… Like:

      Mini lightsabers for throwing
      Double lightsabers that’s sabers cover the whole machine for spinning with the force and throwing at enemies: Act like a deadly boomerang
      Twin lightsabers, black and white, for fighting many
      A main saber, black and white, for fighting few
      Light”Grenades” for… well… doing things. (Infinite grenades. :P)
      And finally, three “double lightsabers” that they spin up with the force and use as backup when fighting many, many enemies while they have small numbers.

      I wouldn’t want to fight them.

    • Amazing new code to follow well said, if i were a jedi i would follow that code. I hope when Luke rebuilds the jedi order (it sounds like he’s coming back for the new trilogy) he develops a new code like that.

  2. Wow, a moral apologist for the Sith and the Jedi. Luke modified the code of the Jedi to include love and attachment, because it grounds the Jedi in the here and now. The Sith are a thoroughly evil bunch of tyrants that scheme and plan to kill, torture and remove any threats to their power or their advancement. The story you are looking for is Revan’s and the Jedi Exile’s story. That has already been told. Grey Jedi are explored in several novels and even Phantom Menance. Analin turned to evil because Qui-Gon was gone. Obi-Wan was too devoted to the traditional Jedi Code, and acted as as an instrument of prophecy to bring not only balance, but needed change. Witness the fact the New Jedi order brought the Yuuzan Vong, the worst enemy the New Republic ever faced, into the fold. Only the evil of his nephew caused the fall to happen. The Sith battle to advance what they have at the expense of others. The Jedi battle to preserve what is good in the past, but until post RTJ, fail to realize that preservation doesn’t always lead to effective harmony. Hence the reason why Luke has 13 new Jedi to train, does after being betrayed in his new order, and comes back to lead a new generation of Jedi to his new covenant. Hmm. Sounds like Jesus, doesn’t it?

  3. like I keep saying on every star wras article, bring in the story of Darth Bane. why?

    1) hes a sith (obviously)
    2) it describes why there is only one master and one apprentice in the sith order.
    3) it shows he took on and killed every sith he knew that trained him to be a sith and even killed a few Jedi and several republic troops.

    basically it shows his rise and fall as one of the greatest siths ever in star wars history (being number 3 on the list behind Darth Sidious and Darth Vader and it answers a lot of the grey areas in the movies that never got answered

  4. “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.” ~ Andrew


    …and, there lies the conundrum with Luke Skywalker and Leia Solo. Even though Yoda and Obi-Wan tried to push Luke away from emotion, he established a New Jedi Order (EU) based upon ‘emotion control’. Luke believed you can be married and be a Jedi at the same time.

  5. Andrew, thanks for doing this. :)

    Great read.

    • Of course! This idea’s always been on my mind, so after making the argument to plenty of friends, figured it should be shared with the world (and have more people tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about).

      Glad you enjoyed it :D

      • It was a brilliant article, thanks for sharing it :).

        makes me excited for more films tbh (where before I more just worried/trepidatious)! like there’s so much more to explore in this universe than one first thought :).

      • This article actually shows you know more than most people.

  6. I find this article fantastic and very interesting with an important message in it. I actually was thinking a lot of the things in this article i always wondered that maybe some of the Jedi become Sith because the Sith actually are able to express emotion, they are at least aloud to love, and have friends the Jedi in my opinion believed that all of that emotion would distract them from doing the right thing and therefore they wouldn’t allow it. I find it interesting how this article shows how flawed the Jedi can be, i really liked the part that said they didn’t follow the original Jedi code and unfortunetaley thats kinda true and to be honest its interesting as hell to me because it shows that the people who are supposed to be the heroes of the universe have so, so, so, so much to learn about being heroes and doing the right thing, there’s an old saying that nobody’s born evil and i agree with that 100% but after reading this maybe nobody is born knowing how to do everything the fair and good way i guess thats just something we need to learn how to do and maybe thats what the Jedi need to do. Maybe Luke Skywalker can do that in the new movie (i personally believe Hamil and the original cast are returning) and maybe the old jedi spirits Obi-Wan Yoda will disagree with him and argue with him about it and in the end Luke will say we need to make a new kind of normal. Amazing article very interesting to read.

  7. jesus CHRIST the ‘star wars’ expanded (really, REALLY expanded, holy moly…) stuff is crazy. the first movie was about a bunch of scraggly rebels against an evil empire, and outer space was basically the wild west, just a big sandbox the good guys could fight the bad guys in. its wild to think how massive that universe has become, and how many stories have been told in it.

    hell, even those nutty prequels were huge and confused in their plots and the characters were as simple and flat as could have possibly been written, however…) lets hope things get simpler with the events, and interesting with the characters and dialogue in this new movie(s).

    • I miss the old “Wild West” feel of the original trilogy. The old Marvel Comics (especially the one with Han and Chewie on a ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ poster) captured that feel perfectly.

  8. I’m not sure if anyone has posted this (because I don’t intend to scour the comments to find out) but the entirety of the sixth point is completely wrong. The Jedi had every legal right to perform their military coup, as given executive orders by Palpatine himself. Contingency Order 66 gave military commanders the mandate to remove their Jedi Commanders with lethal force. Contingency Order 65 gave military commanders that same right to remove the Chancellor if he was found to be unfit to lead the Grand Army of the Republic. I would argue that being discovered to be the man who is the de facto leader of the Confederacy of Independent Systems (as the GAR knew Darth Sidious to be at least two years prior to Revenge of the Sith) would be enough to consider him unfit to lead the GAR. If George Washington had been discovered to be King George III in disguise, it’d be the same situation.

    • Foltliss, did you read what you wrote? Your statement did not even support your argument.
      You say that the Jedi WERE sanctioned to arrest Palpatine because of Contingency 66/65?
      Because those Contingency Orders, by how you wrote them out, are clearly stated for forceful removal of Jedi/Government leaders by military personnel.
      The Jedi were stripped of their military power. So, they would be unable to arrest Palpatine. They could have influenced a coupe, but that would have created a whole new trilogy.

      • No, Tuna, 65 sanctioned the removal of the Chancellor, not the Jedi. It doesn’t even reference the Jedi specifically, leaving the more ambiguous phrasing of military commanders. The Jedi weren’t relieved of that position until after the failed coup.

      • the Jedi held military rank during the clone wars they were a part of the GAR while still part of the order

  9. I for one feel that the Introduction of Midichlorians castrated the Jedi mythos. I always wondered if the force was like an addictive drug. It would explain a lot about both parties…and their methods.

  10. I guess you could do a story about the Nazis as just a bunch of good guys that want to further society and the world by engineering the perfect race…and if a few million innocents that are unworthy of this New World Order are slaughtered than it’s all for the greater good. Those darn Allies just keep interfering and messing up Adolf’s plans.
    You could make that movie, but will anyone want to watch it? Probably not. Same goes for the Jedi as the bad guys…unless it takes place during the Jedi Civil War before the discovery of the native Siths

    • Keep drinking that Jedi Kool Aid.

      • Swish!

    • I, for one, would love to see a movie where Adolf is the hero. Not that I condone the atrocity of the Holocaust, mind you. It’s just that I’ve always found, even as a kid, that the one-sided nature of the vast majority of stories told in any media was pretty stupid. I’ve always wanted to see/read the bad guys’ point of view.

      • bfg666 please don’t ever jump in on my side again. Sincerely.

        • Huh?

  11. I like the idea of adding moral complexity to the series in a more profound ways. We have seen Luke question Yoda and Obi-Wan’s commands to not go to Bespin. While thy have a sound logic Luke definitely acted through an emotional moral core. Luke cannot simply wait with the hopes his friends will survive when he has already seen their fate. And although the rescue ended badly still with an dark revelation- Luke keeps his moral compass unchanged by the next film. He no longer acts in haste as he did before but he will not kill his father believing he could be saved. This contradicts the commands if Obi-Wan and Yoda but it works out in the end. In this respect Luke resembles most like Qui-Gon Jinn. The latter could have been on the council but he believed in being on the field and was not afraid of rejecting specific orders from the council to do what he felt was right. Obi-Wan never ubderstood this concept. Personally I think Qui-Gon if he had lived and train Anakin, Anakin would never have turned to the dark side.

    We got revelation that the council was not always the most noble. Not to say they were corrupt or evil by any means but they definitely were not like we may have imagined. They made questionable decisions and seemed disconnected with the matter at hands by focusing on the politics or beaucracy of the situation. So its not much of stretch of exploring the gray concept of what defines light and dark.

    Plus this analysis can be done in an entertaining way. It can be examined through the trilogy. Today’s audience need to be reminded of clear good and bad distincion but exploring the concept in a mature complex way challenging the concept of we the audience accept as good and bad. The Avengers did this and Batman, and those are popular entertaining film franchises, it all depends on the writing.

    • I liked your comment and all, everything you said is truth but, except that Avengers had no depth at all

      • Not really talking about depth but the film at least did mention and show the moral ambiguity that is SHIELD and their Council. The film had it flaws but there was an intent in there and hopefully it will develop in the future films. The Dark Knight film really did sink its teeth in that moral complexity theme and really painted a haunting moral and philosophical conflict with each major character intimately involved in varying degree and their choices driving the story and conflict to a satisfying ending yet ambiguous enough to let people come to their own conclusion so to speak.

        The Star Wars trilogy that is to come should be entertaining but at least plant these moral complex ideas–building from what has happened in the course of the series to appear organic rather than just an abrupt idea–and develop throughout with audience being entertained and getting satisfying films yet one that caters to both escapisms and intellectual pursuit.

  12. I have to disagree with the part about palpatine, he was directly responsible for a war that lasted 3 years and all of the death and destruction it caused being the top dog in charge of both sides, and for that the jedi had every right to arrest him, because im pretty sure even in a galaxy far far away its still illegal to orchestrate an entire war from both sides

    • It would be like if FDR was secretly telling hitler what to do during WW2

      • He was. Well, maybe not FDR specifically, but Hitler was put in power and funded by Western corporations – the same ones who pulled the longest strings in Washington DC. Hitler was essentially a puppet meant to hold back Communism & provide a convenient justification for the creation of the Zionist state in Palestine, who got too big for his boots, tried to take too much for himself and was violently removed. There were no “goodies” and “baddies” in WW2. Just a lot of corruption and deception, on both sides.
        Which brings us back to the article – neither the Jedi nor Sith philosophies should be seen as absolute good or bad. The truth is that both are deeply flawed, the Sith are power-hungry & ruthless, the Jedi are dogmatic hypocrites. Nothing is ever so simple as good vs evil, especially concerning war and politics.

      • He was. Well, maybe not FDR specifically, but Hitler was put in power and funded by Western corporations – the same ones who pulled the longest strings in Washington DC. Hitler was essentially a puppet meant to hold back Communism & provide a convenient justification for the creation of the Zionist state in Palestine, who got too big for his boots and was violently removed. There were no “goodies” and “baddies” in WW2. Just a lot of corruption and deception, on both sides.
        Which brings us back to the article – neither the Jedi nor Sith philosophies should be seen as absolute good or bad. The truth is that both have positive elements, but are deeply flawed. The Sith are power-hungry & ruthless, the Jedi are dogmatic hypocrites. Nothing is ever so simple as good vs evil, especially concerning war and politics.

    • You’re right. Saying this is all about some old man’s religion being different is irresponsible. The guy started a completely fake war to keep everybody off balance, got millions of people killed, and was secretly the Number One domestic enemy of the Republic.
      Obi-Wan killed Grevious on sight (granted that was self-defense) and Anakin executed Dooku at Palpatine’s command, to protect his secret identity as Sidious. Anakin said the Jedi way involved a trial, but then Sidious did pull a lightsaber on Mace, didn’t he? So it was more like Obi-Wan’s situation than the Anakin vs Dooku fight.

      • “You’re right. Saying this is all about some old man’s religion being different is irresponsible. The guy started a completely fake war to keep everybody off balance, got millions of people killed, and was secretly the Number One domestic enemy of the Republic.”
        You mean like George W. Bush started a war to get re-elected, so he could continue a war of terrorism against the middle east. You know, a place filled with people of a different color, religion, and way of life than his own. Oh, and they have oil, and his family and friends love oil.

  13. Totally agree with what’s been written in this article, I’ve always sided with the Sith side of the story especially after reading/studying their history published in the comic book series. The only downside to the Dark Side is when certain Sith have let their powers go to their head and they develope an unhealthy lust fro more power.

  14. I really hope this aspect gets included into the upcoming movies, (if Disney doesn’t punk out).

    I don’t think it is at all far-fetched to include moral ambiguity in the argument of the force because there are instances in the prequel trilogy that allude to this; it is hinted that Qui-Gon has been offered a position with the Jedi council, yet he can’t seem to morally identify with them enough to become so extremely committed to the light side of the force. Even Count Dooku express a similar hesitancy to refer to the Jed as the ultimate “good guys” in the Galaxy. Of Course he’s a Sith, but he USED to be a Jedi trained under Yoda. Count Dooku tells Obi-Wan that his endeavors are misunderstood and that if Qui-Gon was around, he’d understand. Now I don’t know a WHOLE lot about Count Dooku, but just by looking at his associates-having Yoda as a master, arguably one of the most knowledgeable Jedi at that time, and even he can’t teach Dooku enough about the Light side to convince him to stay a Jedi; and having Qui-Gon as a close associate, the guy who cannot commit to the Jedi Council, yet delivers the chosen one to them….I think that says a lot about the flaws in the Jedi Order, I would love to see Luke Skywalker being a marriage of the sides, and potentially have that integration break down when his kids try to understand it. Maybe the new trilogy will be about Neo-Dark Side Sith vs. Neo-Light Side Jedi, in other words, it could be a reflection of the zeitgeist of today,

    • That is what I am saying. These moral complexity of the Jedi have been planted if not directly targeted since the Classic Trilogy. Luke Skywalker is more like Qui-Gon Jinn as a Jedi Knight than he is Obi-Wan or Yoda for that matter.

      Personally I can see a storyline in which the new Republic while grateful of Jedi may be hesitant or fearful of them due to their power threat as a whole and past wars being really centered around this Jedi v.s Sith conflict. There is many different directions to be taken with this.

  15. so wait, lightsabers spring up into rods by the force and not just a switch/button.

  16. I would also like to say that I like that writers here at ScreenRant are trying to see the different directions these new films can go in that feel organic and familiar yet bold and fresh. Star Wars has played out as a morality play of sorts. Dealing with different factions is a good way of showing the different shades of morality while still aiming to distinct the two poles-the dichotomy- of good and evil.

    I would also like to say these stories should expand the world. I want to explore the Jedi Knights and Sith Lord Origins and conflict better on screen and the mysteries of the Force, but this should be the backbone or the catalyst of other parts, conflicts, factions, civilizations in the galaxy. I want to see smugglers, soldeirs, bounty hunters, different class of aliens (Mandalorians) etc. The films always talked about different people uniting for the common good, well lets show and focus on everybody!

    Plus I want to see the Jedi Knights to be more “Knight”-like. Do not really know how to explain but I find something missing in the Jedi during the Prequel. Something elusive.

    • Not that elusive to me: they act more like a corps, with generals, cadets and bureaucrats, than the noble samurai/monk order hinted at in the original trilogy.

  17. Sounds like the writer is trying to play a Sith Mind Trick on us. Vader force chokes his own teammates to death while Luke tries to save furry little teddy bears…

    • Only Luke does not give up his attachments (to Leia, to his other friends and to his father), that is the one thing he refuses to do, but he still manages to find balance and not be destroyed by his own emotions.

      So he definitely does not follow the traditional Jedi teachings.

      • and i LOVE that. it’s far simpler. we need some mark hammill back into star wars. and carrie fisher…and yes, Harrison Ford.

        and YES, BILLY DEE WILLIAMS!!!!!

  18. Amazing article Andrew. You just blew my mind dude! ;)

  19. This galaxy should have kept church and state divided.

    • @ Choyce


      • Because it never goes well. History has proved it time and again.

  20. Moral Complexity.

    So you want to make the Jedi Evil and The Sith Good. Then neither is good or evil but are more like siblings fighting over the last piece of pie. If you go with one being good or one being evil, then you have just put Star Wars into every other Science Fiction movie to date, that went on to attempt to emulate Star Wars.

    So, if you take the dynamics, then you negate everything in the movies. Because you have just put in the minds of people, that there bad guys were the good guys going after the good guys who were the bad guys.

    Regardless, Star Wars is going to be beat to heck, stand alone movies or continuation. Disney has destroyed enough of movie franchises.

    I will wait for Star Wars to hit the redbox.

    • Disney has shown they can respect the spirit of the companies they buy (see Marvel, Pixar) and I don’t know why it would be different with Lucasfilm. It’s OK to have doubts, especially after the prequels debacle, but I think you could give them a little more credit than that. Plus, the main culprit isn’t on board anymore.

      I won’t even bother commenting on the inanity of the rest of your post.

      • But a lot of people want to make Star Wars a little darker.

        Marvel, as long as they been under Disney. They removed one key element in the Marvel Universe. The gun play.

        Iron Man and Iron Man 2 were rather violent. For Comic Book Movies, there was gun play and weapons used in mass in both movies.

        As Ironman came out before the merger and Iron Man 2 was already in development before the merger.

        Captain America, Thor, Avengers those movies were missing a certain style that would make them like their comic book counterparts.

        Like, taking one element from The Civil Warn, and registration act. Which Captain America was against taking off his mask, and ultimately shot and killed.

        Avengers, he was unmaksed and there is video, so people know who he is.

        Disney will do anything to protect it brand, and keep it image of Family friendly entertainment. Violence in Comic Book Movies will be toned down or eliminated.

        • Do you even realize how wrong you are? Just watch the trailer for Iron Man 3 and tell me you think Disney is censoring violence out of it. Disney owns so much that if they tried doing that to everything they own, every other movie would be the violence-free fairy tale you’ve described.

  21. Moral Ambiguity. To make the Jedi Wrong, or the Sith right makes absolutely no sense.

    There is always a line between good and evil because they are the same.

    It all matters on which one you develop more.

    • What makes no sense is this over-simplistic comment.

      • Evidently

        You do not know how doing something good or something right can make a person the villain.

        I personally think, Disney will beat Star Wars into oblivion like they did with their own Pirates the Caribbean franchise.

        They will have so many bad scripts and add stories the majority of people do not care about.

        • “You do not know how doing something good or something right can make a person the villain.” Seriously? Have you ever heard the saying “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions?” More than Palpatine, that’s basically what rushed the fall of the old republic. The Jedi were so full of their so-called moral superiority that they failed to see the loophole in their rationale.

          Anyway, what prompted me to react to your comment was your “good and evil are the same” nonsense.

  22. People.

    There is no history to the Jedi or the Sith or any characters. Star Wars is nothing more than a movie. When you actually start giving fiction fact, you are giving life to nothing that should have life.

    Somehow, some people are taking Star Wars a little to literal.

    • Star Wars isn’t just “a movie” (that would be 6, actually, plus countless other works in different media) but a huge fictional universe spanning some 25 millenia, with its own chronology, so yes, there is definitely a SW history.

      Though not the norm, there are some other fictional works that share this quality, one of the best examples being the Lord of the Rings. Tolkien even wrote by himself a sort of history book of Middle-Earth, it’s called the Silmarillion.

      A work of fiction that isn’t

      Somehow, some people

      • Sorry, something went wrong as I was typing. So, I was saying:

        When authors fail to breathe life into their works of fiction, these turn out to be no more entertaining than a balance sheet.

        Somehow, some people are taking fiction a little too seriously.

  23. Disney will never allow The Jedi to become Evil , or the Sith Good. They are not going to allow a movie, even Star Wars to go against it Mantra of family oriented entertainment.

    Look at the history of Disney Movies, tell me how much evil actually wins, then weigh that against every possible star wars you think you want to see, see if it flies against the beliefs of Disney.

    • Finally, a point I can agree with! I’d love to see this happen but I’m fairly sure it won’t. Though Hollywood did change a bit, it’s far from ready to go there, and there are far more daring and adult-oriented studios than Disney.

      To see this kind of stories, I’m afraid we’ll have to settle for the comics and novels…

  24. Reminds me of Buddhism.

    “[A]ccording to the Buddhist point of view, nonattachment is exactly the opposite of separation. You need two things in order to have attachment: the thing you’re attaching to, and the person who’s attaching. In nonattachment, on the other hand, there’s unity. There’s unity because there’s nothing to attach to. If you have unified with the whole universe, there’s nothing outside of you, so the notion of attachment becomes absurd. Who will attach to what?”

    Then you got the Dark jedi Pol Pot i Cambodia. He was once a Jedi (Buddist monk actually), but then turned to the dark side and commited genocide.

    • I really hope he stays at the door on this one. Can’t stand the guy.

  25. Well articulated page. Very interesting read. However, as was alluded to, the films completely failed to provide any counter perspective, watering everything down to a “good versus evil” level where nothing amenable could be found concerning the Sith (esp. Palpatine). Too bad more philosophy couldn’t have been injected into Lucas’ films, particularly since it would seem that such ideas have already been fleshed out on paper to an extent that Tolkien would be impressed with. Maybe the new films can ammend this.

  26. A brilliant article, thankyou for sharing. I too never saw the Sith as out-right evil, especially after delving into the rich history written for the Old Republic games. The backstory created for the MMO The Old Republic fascinated me, and is why my first character in that game was a Sith Assassin, though I soon released I needed to see the other side’s point of view and made a Jedi Shadow. Both factions were merely wanting to control the other with different values. And I found the side of the Jedi to be far more sneaky and secretive than the Sith.
    Sadly my interest in that MMO has now waned as it’s really not that a good a game.

    If the prequel movies had concentrated more on this power struggle (Sidious’s manipulation of the Senate and the Jedi), then I probably would have enjoyed them more. And yes I think the suggestions you have made would indeed make any new SW movie a hell of a lot better than the prequels. What we need is to get back to the fantasy of this galaxy far far away, not another story that is too busy and convulated to enjoy.

    • On a side note, I’d really like to see a new cartoon like The Clone Wars set in the timeline of The Old Republic!

  27. Star Wars isn’t about hand-wringing apologism, it’s about good vs evil. Take that away and you lose its main feature.

    Yes, they toppled an elected leader. Or tried to. But this doesn’t contradict Obi-Wan’s statement that he fights for democracy. Palpatine was usurping democracy himself.

    Perhaps there is some over-arching background dialogue that makes Palpatine the good guy, or anywhere near it, but it’s simply not the way things go down in the film.

    If the Jedi were completely non-aggressive why do they have lightsabers?