Time for the Jedi to End


“Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.”
-  Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

It's been a rough journey for Luke Skywalker. He's gone from "I am a Jedi, like my father before me" to "it's time for the Jedi to end".

With The Last Jedi not out for several months I find myself unable to avoid some fanboy speculation regarding Luke's declaration.

It seems unlikely that Luke is totally ending the idea of an order of Force users who protect the galaxy. After all, from the teaser we can see he is training Rey. There's been some speculation that he'll bring balance to the Force by embracing both the Light and Dark Sides of the Force. I think there's something to this, but not in the sense of some order of "Grey Jedi". I'm pretty certain that Luke will remain a good guy - he was tempted by the Dark Side of the Force and survived by learning not to fight. 

Looking at the Jedi Knights it seems they are a flawed organization. They have the best of intentions but I think they live in denial, constantly fighting against fear and anger. Looking at the yin and yang symbol of Taosim, a clear inspiration for the Force, we see balance - there is both light and dark. And in the midst of both there is a small element of the other.



The problem I see with the Jedi is while they aspire to achieve a balance, they seem to do so by too much denial as opposed to managing their emotions. Which I believe makes them susceptible to excesses when they finally act on them. Probably the two best examples of what the Jedi should have been (and what I suspect Luke will try to build) are Qui-Gon in The Phantom Menace and Luke in Return of the Jedi.

Qui-Gon is the only Jedi who was a major character yet never mentioned the Dark Side of the Force.To him it was just the will of the Force. He went where the Force took him. He lived in the moment, doing what he felt was right. 

Luke himself went through a difficult journey in Return of the Jedi. He gave into his anger, nearly letting it consume him. But like the symbol for yin and yang, in the midst of all that anger and hate there was a bit of peace. He saw where that path had taken his father. And he realized there was no course of action he could take. He could not kill his father without giving into the Dark Side. He could not kill the Emperor. So he chose to do nothing, trusting in the Force. He allowed himself to stop worrying about the future - the flaw Yoda had pointed out in The Empire Strikes Back. Doing so nearly killed him but in the end it is what led to the demise of the Sith. This doesn't mean he didn't feel anger or hate - he clearly did. He likely felt fear too - perhaps not fear for his own life, but rather what would happen to the galaxy were he to die in his confrontation. In the end he moved past all of that.

However, too much on the other side could be harmful as well. The Jedi knew this - consider how Anakin's love for his wife had within it the seeds of hate, fear, and jealousy. Luke's love for his sister provoked him into nearly giving into the Dark Side. However, Anakin's love for his son finally allowed him to escape from the Dark Side.

What does Luke need to build? I believe he needs to build an order that does a better job of acknowledging and managing emotions. Love is not always good, fear is not always bad.

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