They might be fictional but there are few organizations more recognized and respected as the Jedi from Star Wars. Many fans grew up wanting to become a Jedi in the same way that a younger generation, perhaps, wanted to get their acceptance letter to Hogwarts.
It’s hard to be a Star Wars fan and not be enamored with the Jedi. For a completely original creation, though, the Jedi have some real-world influences. The Jedi have an incredibly impressive popularity and a large amount of depth. However, they’re not perfect and thus there are more than a few details about Jedi that just don’t make sense.
Some of the entries on this list are undeniable nitpicks. These are issues that hardly impact the quality of the Star Wars franchise. Many of them even ignore that Star Wars is, at its core, fun fantasy and doesn’t need to make sense to be effective. However, when looking at the Jedi with a purely logical and real-world perspective, some things do not line up.
For simplicity’s sake, this list focuses totally on the movie franchise and the TV series of the Star Wars Universe. While other sources, some in a dubious state of canon, explain certain elements of the Jedi, this list is concerned just with what is left unexplained or is otherwise confusing about The Order on the big and small screens.
Here are the 15 Things About Jedi That Make No Sense.
15 Neutrality Should Mean Pacifism
The Jedi, with all their talk of balance, neutrality, and not taking sides do an awful lot of fighting to the death. For a group of people who are meant to embody perfect peace, the Jedi really do like killing their enemies. This seems just a little problematic.
It’s certainly true that the Sith have a vendetta against the Jedi-- the two forces will always be in conflict and it’s right that the Jedi engage in self-defense and choose to protect those who are innocent. However, for all their talk of balance and the dangers of aggression, the Jedi seem just as bloodthirsty as their enemies.
The talk of neutrality seems like more of a convenient excuse than anything that is a core belief of the Jedi. Granted, if the Jedi were true to their beliefs, it would make for an incredibly dull series. However, the Jedi are a little too militaristic for members of a “peaceful” religion.
14 They Can Rise to the Rank of Generals
The state of the Jedi in the Republic is more than a bit confusing. However, it’s their role in the army that is, if possible, even more perplexing. The Jedi appear to be a completely autonomous organization. They're politically neutral and have their own governing body, but during the prequels it’s firmly established that Jedi can become generals of the Republic forces.
It’s not just an honorary title, either. In The Clone Wars, Jedi are shown to be the commanding officers. They have responsibility and command over clones and other army officers. There’s no logical way to make sense of this given that the Jedi and the Republic are two independent bodies.
It’s fine that the Jedi align themselves with the Republic, but to be given responsibilities over their soldiers makes no sense whatsoever. That’s like a private paramilitary group ruling over the US Army.
13 The Jedi Mind Trick Should Definitely Be a Dark Side Power
There are very clear-cut Light Side and Dark Side Force powers and, for the most part, this distinction makes sense. Force Lightning, while cool, is undeniably evil-looking and full of anger. Yet one of the Jedi’s most famous powers, The Mind Trick, should also be given Dark Side designation.
While there's a kind explanation for The Trick, which states that it's just a suggestion, The Mind Trick still seems incredibly insidious. The Jedi use their powers over other sentient beings to control them or, at the very least, make them do what they want. It’s a total violation, and the subject of the Mind Trick is completely at the mercy of the Jedi.
There’s nothing inherently “good” or Light Side about this power. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. The Mind Trick might only be used against villains but their minds are still being played with like Play-Doh.
12 Love Leads to the Dark Side
It could be easily argued that the story of Anakin Skywalker proves that the Jedi’s assertion that love and attachment leads to the Dark Side is, in fact, true. However, that’s not really the case.
While love did lead Anakin to become Darth Vader, he was always more than a bit emotionally unstable. Anakin led himself to the Dark Side-- the cause was not his love for Padme.
It would make sense if the Jedi preached that lust and desire led to the Dark Side, as those emotions can easily be twisted. However, love should be something that the Jedi embrace and nurture, not disavow.
Love follows the Jedi’s teachings of peace and harmony. Pursuing love would only lead to the Dark Side in certain cases, like Anakin’s, and thus not as a general rule.
There’s no logical reason why Jedi preached and practiced celibacy, besides the fact that many real-world religions have celibacy in their rules as well.
11 The Qualifications to Become a Master
The road to becoming a Jedi Master becomes an incredibly important plot point in the Star Wars universe. Anakin being snubbed from the Council is a huge step in his journey to becoming Darth Vader.
However, the movies never really explain what it takes to be a master and how someone achieves this rank. There’s no quintessential Jedi Master to be found in the franchise.
Some are wise like Obi-Wan and Yoda, while others have a wealth of combat experience and personality, such as Mace Windu. We’re even told that Anakin has made all the requirements to being a Master, despite having a rather illustrious career in the movies (and a very lucky one in the animated Clone Wars).
Furthermore, almost all of the Jedi Masters go out incredibly quickly during Order 66. It’s hard to buy why the Masters are the best of the best that the Order has to offer.
10 Everything About Force Ghosts
It’s true that, in novelizations and other reading material, the mechanics, powers, and training of Force Ghosts have been explained. However, within just the movies and TV series, everything about this afterlife for Jedi is headache-inducing in its mysterious and confusing nature.
It’s never clear how long the Force Ghosts can or do last. Are Obi-Wan and Yoda destined to forever follow Luke around, watch him, talk to him, but never be able to psychically effect anything? This seems like much more of a curse than a gift.
However, Anakin’s status as a Force Ghost might be the strangest thing. It’s implied in Revenge of the Sith that Obi-Wan received training on how to turn into one from Qui-Gon but Anakin was already Vader at that point. So how did he learn?
With that lingering question, it's not even worth asking why Anakin gets a "young" ghost.
9 Kill All Sith, All the Time
The feud between Jedi and the Sith / other Dark Side users is natural and intense. They’re a perversion of everything the Jedi believe. However, if the Jedi truly stuck to their ideal, they'd try to reason with Sith (and others on the Dark Side), trying to bring back to the Light but they almost never do this and often instead opt to fight to the death.
There are a few notable examples. When Obi-Wan first fought Anakin in Revenge of the Sith, he spends a lot of the fight trying to convince (or really just yell) at his former apprentice that he’s on the wrong side. Luke, years later, tries to redeem his father.
Yet for the most part, if a Jedi sees a Sith then they attack and never try to reason with them. Even Yoda wastes no time trying to kill his former apprentice Dooku in Attack of the Clones, hopping like a murderous madman.
8 They Completely Disappeared in Just 19 Years?
This really might be a logical issue with the whole Star Wars franchise but it’s still very much related to the Jedi. The Jedi were an organization that lasted literal centuries. Yet all it takes is less than two decades and one government’s vendetta against them to completely erase all knowledge of the Jedi from everyone’s memories.
The mythical status of the Jedi in A New Hope and afterwards simply doesn’t work. It’s true that Star Wars takes place over many planets, but in the prequels Jedi are everywhere and very well-known. Nine-teen years is not enough time to erase them completely from the popular lexicon.
The Empire was powerful and Palpatine did a tremendous job of crushing resistance wherever he found it. However, the Jedi should be much more well-known than they are after Order 66. The movies have yet to justify why they became so mysterious in such a short amount of time.
7 Padawan Braids are Really Just Rattails
The Star Wars franchise has a history of taking insane hairstyles and making them work. Leia’s hair “buns” have no business being so iconic. So, it’s understandable why the prequels introduced weird looking hairstyle. However, there is one notable example that didn't work at all.
The Padawan braids that made their first appearance in The Phantom Menace are ridiculously looking. They are so skinny, unnecessary, and out-of-place. Worst of all, they resemble an unfortunate hair trend from 1980s and 1990s-- the anemic male ponytail called the rattail. This association just makes the Padawan braid seem trashy, which is the exact opposite impression of the defined Jedi Order.
If the braid was a little thicker it would be less noticeable and would maybe add some visual connection to Eastern culture, which pervades Star Wars and the Jedi. As it is though, young Anakin and Obi-Wan just look childish and misguided, belonging in a '90s trailer park.
6 Mace Windu Is Incredibly Angry for a Jedi
Samuel L. Jackson is certainly one of the best actors of his generation. The fact that the prequels cast Jackson and made his character a Jedi Master are two of the best things about the trilogy. Jackson as Mace Windu is immediately interesting and fascinating to watch. However, there is one issue: he is way too angry to be a Jedi, let alone a Master.
Jackson can do righteous anger like few other actors. He brings that intense energy to Mace but it just feels incongruent with the wise and measured Jedi. Throughout the prequels, Mace is perpetually scowling and has several angry outbursts.
It gets even more confusing since one of Mace’s biggest issues is Anakin and his own emotional stability. If Mace is concerned about anger in anyone, it should be himself. He’s one mediocre day away from joining the Dark Side.
5 The Fluctuating Power Levels of Jedi
Like any profession, there’s some amazing Jedi and others who are more than a little disappointing. Yet the fluctuation in power level-- particularly when it comes to The Force-- among The Order is incredibly confusing.
In Force Awakens, Rey can stand up against to Kylo Ren and summon a lightsaber to herself. Yet it takes Luke two movies to have such control of the force. Yoda can barely walk, but with The Force he can twist, hop, and jump like a Russian gymnast on speed in battle.
Phantom Menace maybe offered an explanation in terms of midichlorian count. Still the movie did almost nothing to explain why midichlorian levels fluctuate, assuming people even want to remember that bit of lore.
Besides the fact that some are main characters and other aren’t, it makes very little sense why some Jedi are near gods and others are just grunts.
4 Bringing Lightsabers to a Magic Fight
The Jedi and the Sith both have an incredible amount of Force Powers in their arsenal. They could easily engage in a battle to the death using just their mastery of The Force. When you can pick someone up with The Force and throw them around like a ragdoll, it makes very little sense why you’d use a lightsaber with its short range.
Of course, if every battle between the Jedi and the Sith was nothing but Force Powers, they would be a) incredibly expensive and b) likely a dramatically dull affair. It’s the intimacy of the lightsaber battle that makes the duels so incredibly exciting and the weapon so iconic.
Still, a Jedi’s first move should probably be using their magic control over psychics, not clashing with their little lightsabers. If they had, maybe Luke and Anakin would have both kept all of their appendages.
3 The Age Limit for Training
In Phantom Menace, it was established that Anakin, although being barely out of Kindergarten, was too old for Jedi training. Luke at 19 to 20 years old was only trained as a special exception and it’s likely that Rey’s training will be explained in a similar fashion.
However, this age limit on Jedi training hasn't been explained at all within the movies, other than others merely stating that "it’s just the way of things."
It’s not as if training to be a Jedi is like learning a new language-- it’s not easier when you’re much younger. It took Luke one movie and a few months to become a master. Only certain people can train to be a Jedi anyway, since only few are Force sensitive. Therefore there shouldn’t be an expiration date on said training.
2 Yoda Senses Order 66... But He's the Only One
There’s a lot of weirdness surrounding the execution of Order 66, as an entire group of all-powerful magic people are seemingly extinguished in a flash. However, one of the strangest moments is that the only Jedi who is seen sensing the danger of their execution is Yoda.
Yoda is firmly established as one of the most powerful Force Users in the entire Star Wars universe. Naturally, this would give him some extra abilities, but it’s hard to believe-- and not to mention strange-- that he’s the only Jedi Master who senses Order 66.
Yoda noticeably reacts when Jedi are being cut down across the universe. This forewarning allows him to save himself, but other equally as powerful Jedi, like Obi-Wan or other members of the Council, remain completely clueless... until it’s too late. Yoda is powerful but this makes him just a bit too special.
1 The Jedi Order And the Republic
To the prequels' credit, the house of cards that is the Jedi's position in the Republic does eventually come tearing down. However, everything should have come crumbled long before the Emperor took over the Senate.
The Jedi existed in the Republic as a mostly autonomous group of space wizards that were highly skilled with one of the most advanced weapons in the galaxy. No one likes to think about politics in Star Wars but there’s no reasonable governing body who would allow the Jedi to exist like this without restrictions-- especially when it was common knowledge that any one of those Jedi could go off the reservation and turn to the Dark Side if they wished.
Star Wars is a fantasy world, but logically, the Jedi shouldn’t have been so influential in the Republic.
Do you agree with our list? What things about the Jedi in Star Wars don't make sense to you? Sound off in the comments!