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Jedi and Violence


Cavell's Avatar


Cavell
07.27.2012 , 12:57 PM | #1
There's a line in KotOR II where HK-47 refers to Jedi as "pseudo-pacifists," and the more I think about it, the more I think the droid was right. The Jedi code states that a Jedi will use the Force only for knowledge and defense, never for aggression or personal gain.

This is true only if we interpret "defense" in the absolute broadest possible sense. We routinely see Jedi on the offensive, leading attacks, commanding armies, and, most certainly, killing without offering the opportunity to surrender and repent, both in the flicks and in the EU. Jedi Shadows exist in large part to grant the Council first strike capability - to expressly strike the first blow of a conflict.

Jedi, in other words, are "aggressive" with their use of the Force quite frequently, so it seems to me that the "defense" aspect of their code is either something they simply pay lip service to, or else is interpreted so broadly as to almost be meaningless, no?

epicfear's Avatar


epicfear
07.27.2012 , 01:30 PM | #2
The jedi code states that, yes. no one ever said jedi were good at following that code.

that's why im a sith. I don't have to be a hypocrite to go on the offensive.

additionally, they can technically get away with mass murder via a loophole called "preventative defense."
Copy this signature if you believe Timothy Zahn should take over the Star Wars EU

Maaruin's Avatar


Maaruin
07.27.2012 , 02:03 PM | #3
Jedi are the "Guardians of peace and justice for the republic". A guardian can use force and will use force when what he guards is under attack. They are not only allowed defend themself, they also allowed to defend the republic and and those in need.

It is Jedi Knight, not Jedi Monk (even if they are a monastic order). The duties of a knight were to defend the weak and to follow his king/overlord in war. The Jedi are most likely no pseudo-pacifists and certainly no pacifists. They don't even claim to be pacifists. HK-47 just doesn't like that they try to find peaceful solutions if possible.

Quote: Originally Posted by epicfear View Post
The jedi code states that, yes. no one ever said jedi were good at following that code.

that's why im a sith. I don't have to be a hypocrite to go on the offensive.

additionally, they can technically get away with mass murder via a loophole called "preventative defense."

I am Jedi and I don't have to be hypocrite to use offensive tactics either. So either you were fooled by the "Jedi are hypocrites"-Sith-propaganda, or it is not offense what you like, but starting wars at your whim.

And I know only one example about the Jedi commiting mass murder. At the end of the First Great Schism. They didn't kill the Dark Jedi who became Sith, they only exiled them. And the mass murder at the end of the Great Hyperspace War: That weren't Jedi, that were Republic Military.

But you as a Sith should have no problem with mass murder, I think.
"I was one of many. We were servants of the dark side… Sith Lords, we called ourselves. So proud. In the end we were not so proud. We hid… hid from those we had betrayed. We fell… and I knew it would be so."
-Ajunta Pall

BradTheImpaler's Avatar


BradTheImpaler
07.28.2012 , 04:32 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Cavell View Post
There's a line in KotOR II where HK-47 refers to Jedi as "pseudo-pacifists," and the more I think about it, the more I think the droid was right. The Jedi code states that a Jedi will use the Force only for knowledge and defense, never for aggression or personal gain.

This is true only if we interpret "defense" in the absolute broadest possible sense. We routinely see Jedi on the offensive, leading attacks, commanding armies, and, most certainly, killing without offering the opportunity to surrender and repent, both in the flicks and in the EU. Jedi Shadows exist in large part to grant the Council first strike capability - to expressly strike the first blow of a conflict.
Those who cross the line between being guardians of the Republic (which I do think presents problems for them the more corrupted the Republic itself becomes) and savagely hunting down those who pose no real threat, or showing no compassion for innocent lives sacrificed in war. Those who cross this line tend not to last as Jedi. It's not about whether you fight, but how you fight. There were certainly Jedi who rejected the idea of even stepping foot on a battlefield, but it comes down to the question of whether to refuse to fight until you are personally threatened, or to fight in order to protect innocents as is your sworn duty.

Jedi often give opponents a chance to surrender in personal combat. However, when you're facing a legion of opponents on a battlefield, you aren't going to be able to stop and ask each one personally to surrender. Whether Jedi should, then, even be on a battlefield is something that the Order itself has debated many times, but sometimes it was necessary to protect innocent people. Defence does not imply only self-defence, nor does it mean waiting to be shot at by someone walking toward you with a gun pointed at your head.

Quote: Originally Posted by Cavell View Post
Jedi, in other words, are "aggressive" with their use of the Force quite frequently, so it seems to me that the "defense" aspect of their code is either something they simply pay lip service to, or else is interpreted so broadly as to almost be meaningless, no?
Jedi who follow the Code do not use the force as a weapon, but more as a shield than anything. You can see it in their Force techniques which are more defencive than aggressive, anger-fueled techniques such as Force lightning or Force-choke.
In the Imperial Army, it takes more courage to retreat than to advance.

EnsignSorrow's Avatar


EnsignSorrow
07.28.2012 , 04:47 PM | #5
You're not looking at the bigger picture. The Jedi are defending the known galaxy from the Imperial invasion (sorry that's the story). Which was in most part individually governed, or governed by the Republic. So, any time a Jedi acts against the Imperial forces in one of these systems - it is in defense of that system. Do you really think the Jedi would attack the Sith if they were more into gardening than destroying, and enslaving everything in the Galaxy? I have never seen a Jedi use the force for personal gain, and remain true to the order.

Stop trying to justify the Sith. I play a Sith, and I'm full dark side. I'm not a care bear that tries to pass the buck on the Jedi Order. I'm proud to be relentless.

BE A MAN. GET REAL.
"To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night, Padawan: but choose!"

epicfear's Avatar


epicfear
07.28.2012 , 05:13 PM | #6
Dont forget, originally, the sith were a species, and the jedi let it get as bad as it did. this whole game could have been avoided by simply commitng genocide on the natives of korriban when they discovered how talented the sith were in the dark side, but noooooo.

and i never tried to pass the buck.

i just revel in genocide instead of hiding behind hypocrisy.
Copy this signature if you believe Timothy Zahn should take over the Star Wars EU

Rayla_Felana's Avatar


Rayla_Felana
07.28.2012 , 05:18 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by epicfear View Post
Dont forget, originally, the sith were a species, and the jedi let it get as bad as it did. this whole game could have been avoided by simply commitng genocide on the natives of korriban when they discovered how talented the sith were in the dark side, but noooooo.

and i never tried to pass the buck.

i just revel in genocide instead of hiding behind hypocrisy.
The Republic did exactly that but some Sith escaped, the primary group being the building blocks for this Sith Empire.

EnsignSorrow's Avatar


EnsignSorrow
07.28.2012 , 05:19 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by epicfear View Post
Dont forget, originally, the sith were a species, and the jedi let it get as bad as it did. this whole game could have been avoided by simply commitng genocide on the natives of korriban when they discovered how talented the sith were in the dark side, but noooooo.

and i never tried to pass the buck.

i just revel in genocide instead of hiding behind hypocrisy.
Yet, did the Jedi commit genocide on the Sith species because they were talented in the dark side of the force? No.

The Sith draw their power from anger, and the suffering of others. You may not see how wrong that is if you are the one causing the suffering.

If you don't understand that then you do not understand the teachings of the dark side, and therefore you are not a true Sith.

Quote: Originally Posted by Rayla_Felana View Post
The Republic did exactly that but some Sith escaped, the primary group being the building blocks for this Sith Empire.
I respectfully disagree. That's not exactly the whole story.
"To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night, Padawan: but choose!"

Cavell's Avatar


Cavell
07.28.2012 , 11:32 PM | #9
Stating that any action taken to protect the Republic falls under the umbrella of "defense" is, well, what I meant when I offered the option of "defense" being defined so broadly as to be functionally meaningless. Not to get too RL political, but the invasion of Iraq was an action taken under the auspices of self-defense.

ProfessorWalsh's Avatar


ProfessorWalsh
07.29.2012 , 01:06 AM | #10
Couple of mistakes here. I'll outline them the best that I can.

Quote: Originally Posted by Cavell View Post
There's a line in KotOR II where HK-47 refers to Jedi as "pseudo-pacifists," and the more I think about it, the more I think the droid was right. The Jedi code states that a Jedi will use the Force only for knowledge and defense, never for aggression or personal gain.
There are 2 things wrong with this particular paragraph:

1. The Jedi aren't "pseudo-pacifists" the Jedi aren't pacifists at all. There has never been a depiction of Jedi being unwilling to fight. In fact fighting is actually at the core of their teachings, which is why the symbol of the Jedi Order is the lightsaber. The Jedi don't like to fight to fight to kill or injure, but combat tournaments are the number one way Padawans are chosen and while the Jedi don't LIKE to kill or injure, they absolutely will if they feel it is needed.

Pacifists aren't people who don't like to fight, they are people who refuse to ever fight. So this is, like so many other examples, simply a spot where HK-47 doesn't know what he is talking about. The other one being how wrong he is about ways to kill Jedi, I can make a whole thread of why those ideas are rather silly.

2. The Jedi Code doesn't state that. Yoda said that... Also you are taking Yoda literally when you shouldn't.

The Jedi Code is simple:

There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force.

What Yoda said was accurate, unless you are trying to take the statement literally. A Jedi doesn't use the Force to attack (as in attack someone outside of the defense of oneself or another) but when they are defending (themselves or someone else) it is perfectly fine. If an enemy is going to kill someone it is perfectly acceptable to attack that enemy to protect the person they were going to kill, to defend them.

Quote:
This is true only if we interpret "defense" in the absolute broadest possible sense. We routinely see Jedi on the offensive, leading attacks, commanding armies, and, most certainly, killing without offering the opportunity to surrender and repent, both in the flicks and in the EU. Jedi Shadows exist in large part to grant the Council first strike capability - to expressly strike the first blow of a conflict.

Jedi, in other words, are "aggressive" with their use of the Force quite frequently, so it seems to me that the "defense" aspect of their code is either something they simply pay lip service to, or else is interpreted so broadly as to almost be meaningless, no?
It isn't so much that is is so broadly that it isn't meaningless. It has meaning. It literally means that a Jedi won't attack someone who isn't planning to, or partaking in the act of, directly harming someone else.

For example:

The Jedi won't attack a peaceful planet simply because they want to take that planet as territory.
The Jedi won't attack a wandering tribe unless that tribe is planning on hurting or killing someone.

Also... Remember... It isn't part of the Jedi Code.
"There is no room for compromise. We walk the path of the light side, or we fall into darkness. There is no gray area, Ben."
~ Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker (P. 187 FotJ, Book II: Omen)
Host of the Jedi Council stream also author of From the Journal of Val Starwind