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Jedi Hypocrisy as Displayed on Tython

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Jedi Hypocrisy as Displayed on Tython

Krenzik's Avatar


Krenzik
04.29.2012 , 05:03 AM | #1
Rolled a Jedi knight (eventually guardian) last week, and after my first couple missions on the beginning planet Tython, I've noticed some genuine xenophobic and hypocritical behavior that runs directly against Jedi teachings, as either inferred or plainly stated within the game. This involves how the Jedi treat the indigenous Flesheaters and a settlement of Twi'lek refugees.

The flesheaters, as mentioned above, are indigenous to Tython. The Jedi landed and built their temple and training facilities there and have been in conflict with these primitive but sentient tribes for some time. The flesheaters view them as invaders and are acting to remove them from their home. As the story continues, its apparent the Jedi simply landed and moved right in without any sort of diplomatic overtures to the natives, nor any offers of technology, medicine, education, alliance, etc. In fact, in dialogues with Jedi masters, the natives are entirely disregarded as even people because they are not technologically advanced. The solution in dealing with their backlash is to simply kill them, perpetuating a violent cycle that they started.

The Twi'leks on the planet are religious refugees and are already a race that has been oppressed and enslaved for generations. The Jedi reaction to this community is at best indifference. The flesheaters attack the Twi'leks and the Jedi don't care to lift a finger to help them, concerned at the outset only with covering their own butts. Also, there is no effort in the form of relief such as medicines, the means to resettle on another world, or equipment to help them more rapidly build their infrastructure. The Jedi regard their settlement as illegal and encroaching on their territory.

The Jedi are supposed to stand for the freedom of democracy, as the protectors of freedom and the helpless. The order, like the republic are supposed to strive for tolerance and embrace multispecies diversity. We see none of that here on Tython in Part 1. If anything their behavior is borderline Sith in how they deal with the natives and the refugee camp.

If nothing else, you can say the Sith are more up front and honest about their elitism and their gunhand diplomacy.

What do you some of you folks think?
XIII - The 13th Tribe - - The Fatman Server
Neurok - Marauder/Lygia - Jug/Tyranee - Merc

AshlaBoga's Avatar


AshlaBoga
04.29.2012 , 05:43 AM | #2
This is a actually similar to some real life situations - but let's not bring RL into this thread.

1. The Flesh Raiders are extremely vicious. The Jedi don't look down on them because they are less intelligent, they look down on them because the Flesh Raiders MURDER PEOPLE. It's not how intelligent they are, it's how vicious and barbaric they are.
2. The Jedi underestimate their intelligence, but this is in part due to to the fact that the Jedi seem to equate brutality with stupidity - while this sometimes is the case, sometimes thugs can be intelligent (assumptions are bad).
3. The Jedi work to protect members of the REPUBLIC. If the SIS = CIA, and the troopers = military, then the Jedi = FBI/State Police (loosely). The Jedi are bound to follow the laws of the Republic - an illegal settlement means that aiding the Twi'lek pilgrims can be perceived as validating their presence, or condoning a crime. The Jedi Order CANNOT do that. Individual Jedi Knights on the other hand....

Jandi's Avatar


Jandi
04.29.2012 , 05:58 AM | #3
Why do you ask what some of us think? You've obviously decided already what the truth is, so why bother?

Really though, both the Jedi and the Sith are short-sighted and ignorant. Impractical and self-contradicting. Arguing which side is "right" or "better" is like arguing if cake is better than pie. It's completely subjective, there is no true philosophical or psychological consistency or sense in either.

Krenzik's Avatar


Krenzik
04.29.2012 , 06:07 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by AshlaBoga View Post

1. The Flesh Raiders are extremely vicious. The Jedi don't look down on them because they are less intelligent, they look down on them because the Flesh Raiders MURDER PEOPLE. It's not how intelligent they are, it's how vicious and barbaric they are.
Barbaric, yes, but the fact remains that the Jedi simply just moved in and made no overtures whatsoever diplomatically to get them to align with the republic or to help guide them into the fold with the Republic and their ideals. If they had sent a diplomatic envoy (with adequate protection to show that violence can be reciprocated) and the effort was met with Jedi heads on poles, then a police action policy is more understandable.

Quote:
2. The Jedi underestimate their intelligence, but this is in part due to to the fact that the Jedi seem to equate brutality with stupidity - while this sometimes is the case, sometimes thugs can be intelligent (assumptions are bad).
The problem here is that they show all the hallmarks of an intelligent primitive tribal society. They have a chieftan-based social structure, they can make fairly complex tools given their low tech, they show the early beginnings of writing, and they have a polytheistic religion. The fact they turn their warlike tendencies on the Jedi is because the order never even bothered to respect the fact they were moving right in to an indigenous species home. In other words, they never gave the Flesheaters a chance and just decided to mow them down.

Quote:
3. The Jedi work to protect members of the REPUBLIC. If the SIS = CIA, and the troopers = military, then the Jedi = FBI/State Police (loosely). The Jedi are bound to follow the laws of the Republic - an illegal settlement means that aiding the Twi'lek pilgrims can be perceived as validating their presence, or condoning a crime. The Jedi Order CANNOT do that. Individual Jedi Knights on the other hand....
This does not explain why there is no effort to provide basic humanitarian aid and the Jedi Council is content to sit back and just let the Flesheaters tear them apart. If they don't want to endorse this splinter group just moving into their space (note the Jedi did the same thing to the Flesheaters) and set a precedent that could come back to haunt the Republic later on, they should airlift them out. Basically your point conveys that they're not Republic so so their ideals don't apply, Whether it's the Republic government or the Jedi Order itself. If they want to keep Yavin a secluded Jedi incubator, the best solution, if they care at all about the most basic ideals of their order and the society they pledged to protect, is to help them relocate to another world in the Republic.
XIII - The 13th Tribe - - The Fatman Server
Neurok - Marauder/Lygia - Jug/Tyranee - Merc

Krenzik's Avatar


Krenzik
04.29.2012 , 06:13 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Jandi View Post
Why do you ask what some of us think? You've obviously decided already what the truth is, so why bother?
Because it makes for good conversation.

Quote:
Really though, both the Jedi and the Sith are short-sighted and ignorant. Impractical and self-contradicting. Arguing which side is "right" or "better" is like arguing if cake is better than pie. It's completely subjective, there is no true philosophical or psychological consistency or sense in either.
To a degree I'm with you on the above, but I'm not debating which one is better over the other, but rather how the Jedi can treat the natives and the refugees the way they do that contradicts their core ideals in such an obvious way. If the Sith were faced with the same situation and didn't just steamroll over the Flesheaters and either kill the refugees outright or sell them into slavery to ease the financial burden of their building projects on the world that's just as diametrically opposed to their core ideals (in a huge and very obvious way) that the Jedi treatment of these groups is.
XIII - The 13th Tribe - - The Fatman Server
Neurok - Marauder/Lygia - Jug/Tyranee - Merc

jgelling's Avatar


jgelling
04.29.2012 , 06:13 AM | #6
The Jedi return to their very ancient home world on Tython, dealing with other religious refugees and aggressive reaction from the natives bears very obvious comparison to well-known real life political history. It's fair to point out both sides have legitimate claims to the planet, that Jedi/Sith/Tythonians have been deeply involved in the planet's history for tens of thousands of years, and that even if the Jedi left the legacy of that interference lives on with droids, temples, and Force development.

Regardless, the Jedi do not believe in some sort of Star Trek Prime Directive of non-interference with sentient beings and their civilizations - quite the contrary. Jedi are explorers, diplomats, Republic soldiers and emissaries, so they're not being hypocritical on Tython at all. You're simply misunderstanding Jedi values and confusing them with Star Fleet - they go all over established space and while they don't commit genocide against the native species of Tython, their values in no way require non-interference or avoiding contact with other species.

Tython is a former Jedi planet within the boundaries of Republic space, and even if it weren't Jedi wouldn't avoid contact with any species, especially where there wasn't any indication of anti-Jedi hostility until the PC shows up for training. And maybe it's worth pointing out, too, that the Jedi assumed the Flesh Eater hostility was directed against the Twi'leks because the Twi'leks are the ones stealing their farm lands (which is another part of the reason Jedi avoid intervening to protect the illegal Twi'lek colony).

The Jedi are at worst a bit short-sighted in not reaching out to the Flesh Eaters and underestimating their intelligence, but they're not being evil or hypocritical.

Krenzik's Avatar


Krenzik
04.29.2012 , 06:21 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by jgelling View Post

Regardless, the Jedi do not believe in some sort of Star Trek Prime Directive of non-interference with sentient beings and their civilizations - quite the contrary. Jedi are explorers, diplomats, Republic soldiers and emissaries, so they're not being hypocritical on Tython at all. You're simply misunderstanding Jedi values and confusing them with Star Fleet - they go all over established space and while they don't commit genocide against the native species of Tython, their values in no way require non-interference or avoiding contact with other species.
I never asserted that the Jedi philosophy was a "prime directive." Note that I cited the lack of introducing technology to them to give them incentive to assimilate. Also I fail to see how the core values of helping others in need, like the refugees and not steamrolling over native peoples without an actual reason other than saying "it's ours, too bad how sad" can be justified by the Jedi or the Republic government. What am I misunderstanding here exactly?

Also, I said nothing about non interference or avoiding contact. My entire point was there should have been an attempt at diplomatic contact before deciding to run them through first and ask questions later. Using your mindset, Luke Skywalker would have still been on the righteous path if he had decided to start killing ewoks because, hey, the Republic needed to gain control of Endor.
XIII - The 13th Tribe - - The Fatman Server
Neurok - Marauder/Lygia - Jug/Tyranee - Merc

jgelling's Avatar


jgelling
04.29.2012 , 06:34 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Krenzik View Post
I never asserted that the Jedi philosophy was a "prime directive." Note that I cited the lack of introducing technology to them to give them incentive to assimilate. Also I fail to see how the core values of helping others in need, like the refugees and not steamrolling over native peoples without an actual reason other than saying "it's ours, too bad how sad" can be justified by the Jedi or the Republic government. What am I misunderstanding here exactly?

Also, I said nothing about non interference or avoiding contact. My entire point was there should have been an attempt at diplomatic contact before deciding to run them through first and ask questions later. Using your mindset, Luke Skywalker would have still been on the righteous path if he had decided to start killing ewoks because, hey, the Republic needed to gain control of Endor.
Except of course the Ewoks speak. Until the one Flesh Eating Force user makes his appearance, no Flesh Eater has ever shown the power of speech. How can the Jedi have been expected to negotiate with a species that seemed to be about at the level of great apes?

As the story unfolds, it's obvious the Jedi Council on Tython is unable to see clearly what's going on - perhaps because of the strong dark side history there from the original Force wars. They misread the Flesh Eaters, couldn't detect the dark side apprentice, the PC's Master gets ambushed, and make painfully slow progress in their search for clues about the planet's past.

I'm just saying, being "hypocritical" means deliberately acting contrary to one's stated values. The Jedi on Tython are blinded, or perhaps distracted by you know, galactic politics, but the game clearly explains what their intentions are, why they mishandled the Flesh Eaters, why they didn't help the illegal Twi'lek colony, etc. I mean, you've made up your mind that the Jedi are hypocritical for some reason, but the game explains everything the Jedi do according to their own values. To summarize what happens:

Spoiler

Velaran's Avatar


Velaran
04.29.2012 , 07:56 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by jgelling View Post
Except of course the Ewoks speak. Until the one Flesh Eating Force user makes his appearance, no Flesh Eater has ever shown the power of speech. How can the Jedi have been expected to negotiate with a species that seemed to be about at the level of great apes?
Many other creatures in the SW universe can't communicate with words, and the Jedi don't view them with contempt.

Mutive's Avatar


Mutive
04.29.2012 , 08:15 AM | #10
I was under the impression that the whole point of Tython is to prove that the Jedi aren't exactly paragons of virtue.
Spoiler


I (personally) find the Jedi to be rather condescending (as a group - obviously there are a lot of different individual members). The order is convinced that they know what's right for everyone, and pretty much force their beliefs on others - whether they like them or not. They're better than the Sith, sure. (Who are pretty evil in either origin.) But are they all wise, all good, and all knowing? Hell no. I was of the impression that this was the *point*.