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The Jedi Symbol Means More Than You Think

During the Clone Wars, the Jedi Order changes in a big way. No longer peacekeepers, the Jedi stand on the front lines of the conflict as the Galactic Republic’s battlefield leaders, commanding legions of clone troopers in heated battles against the Confederacy of Independent Systems. In doing so, many even turn in their sacred Jedi robes for clone armor. Some Jedi, like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, for example, incorporate the Jedi crest into their armor, likely to remind themselves and others of the old ways. While this is a fine gesture, in reality, public opinion of the Jedi shifts dramatically as the battles rage on. This completely recontextualizes the emblem itself.

In addition to CSI representatives working overtime to paint the Jedi as untrustworthy, the sheer size of the galaxy leads the Order to develop a negative reputation. The Jedi participate in the Clone Wars conflict on a grand scale, but the majority of the galaxy’s citizens never see them in action nor understand their intent behind joining the fight. As a result, many brand the Jedi Order as elitist, positing that it consists of warmongers and those who care not about the common folk. In 2016’s “Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy,” readers learn that the Jedi crest is actively mocked in propaganda pieces by those who believe the Jedi and the Republic they serve are corrupt.

To some, the Jedi crest carries feelings of hope, safety, and community, though in the eyes of numerous others, it’s an oppressive symbol weighed down by war and destruction.

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