Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Kit Fisto -- they were our heroes growing up. With their lightsabers and Force pushes, the Jedi battled evil and made the galaxy a better place. But did they really? Here are six things about the Jedi that ... look, we're really sorry about this, but we're about to ruin your image of Kit Fisto.
6 The Jedi Mind Trick Is Fucking Terrifying
Early in the first movie (and this counts for both "firsts"), we're introduced to a Jedi mind trick -- a way for Jedi to manipulate others. It's explained to viewers that The Force gives "power over the weak-minded." Apparently, being stupid in the Star Wars universe is a serious enough crime that your free will can be taken from you by some dick wizard.
"You're attracted to older men. You don't need that shirt. You have a latex allergy."
The thing is, there's no real indicator of what the Jedi mean by "weak-minded." It's not just stormtroopers who pulled Tatooine checkpoint duty. Powerful monarchs are apparently susceptible, while mob bosses and junk salesmen are immune. When you think about it, the "good guy" Jedi ability to control minds really seems to work only on the exact minds it shouldn't.
When you think about it more, you realize those incompetent stormtroopers that let Obi-Wan drive through the droid checkpoint were almost certainly killed later by their supervisor. We doubt Darth Vader would have taken, "Some old guy vouched for those robots," as an excuse. And while on the subject, would they even remember? A Jedi mind trick is probably like getting blackout drunk. Later that day, those two stormtroopers were being pulled into the air by their throats and shitting into their plastic armor with absolutely no idea why it was happening. It might have been nicer to just run them over with the landspeeder, Obi-Wan.
"You caused the accident. You don't have insurance. You think the old man will go away if you pay him."
And that's the thing -- it's never made clear the limits of this power, either in its scope or where it's appropriate to use. In Episode II, Obi-Wan runs into a sleazebag named Elan Sleazebaggano (no, really, Elan Sleazebaggano). Elan tries to sell him a drug called "death sticks," which would have the stupidest name ever put on a page of a screenplay if it wasn't sitting there next to the words "Elan Sleazebaggano." Obi-Wan uses his Jedi mind trick to tell him to go home and rethink his life.
"From now on you'll be Elan Notsuchabadguyalthoughhecouldstandtogivemoretocharityo."
But wait ... if that works, it raises a question: Why not do that all day? Wouldn't that eventually cut galactic crime by around all? Couldn't you save billions more lives a second if you had a TV show where you mind-tricked viewers into being good rather than cutting a bad guy in half every few weeks? But that just brings up the larger point ...
5 The Jedi Have No Official Policies, Regulation, Or Accountability
If you sat down and watched all six Star Wars movies, you might have some vague notion of a Jedi Code. It seems like they should have one, right? They certainly wouldn't train people and Muppets to control minds and crush throats without giving them strict guidelines on when it's OK to do those things, would they?
"One quick thing: This sword cuts through fucking anything. All right, that's the end
of the safety briefing. Get out there and have fun!"
If there is some kind of Jedi Code, it seems to be a loose suggestion at best. In the prequels, Qui-Gon Jinn doesn't follow the code, and the only consequence is not being allowed on the Council. Is that even a punishment? The Jedi Council looks like Sam Jackson and a room of radiation-poisoned dildos, and they seem to have all the political power of a U.N. ambassador's wife's book club.
"I'm Yarael Poof! I'm anal-safe and machine washable!"
Is there a system in place for when a Jedi starts doing whatever the hell he wants? For instance, if one of them were to mind-trick his way through a police checkpoint to get to a bar where he cut your arm off during an argument ... is there someone you can call? In Episode II, after Obi-Wan casually flings himself into space traffic, it's up to Anakin to steal a car and save him. Is that the Jedi Code? Grand theft speeder? He doesn't flash any kind of Jedi badge -- the owner of that car can simply suck it, courtesy of The Force.
In Episode III, Anakin seems to go against the Code pretty hard when he mutilates and murders Count Dooku. He even mentions several times that dismembering and decapitating people in cold blood isn't the Jedi way. And then what? There's no investigation ... no paperwork. Anakin doesn't have to turn in a report, but you know the Jedi Council heard about it. Even if they weren't clairvoyant wizards, the galaxy's worst forensics investigator would have figured out the murder weapon was a lightsaber and given them a call.
"Hey, Jedi Council. I'm looking at a big pile of laser-sword cauterized human parts.
You ... you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?"
Compare this to our world, where you have to go through months of applications just to sell tacos out of a street cart. But, we guess the system works for them. After all, when in these movies do you ever see a Jedi go rogue and start causing problems for everyone?