MOVIES

The Worst Things The Jedi Have Ever Done

One of the most infamous parts of the Star Wars saga is when Qui-Gon Jinn tells Shmi Skywalker that despite his apparent duty as a Jedi, he didn’t come to Tatooine to free slaves. While he’s able to mind-trick Watto into giving up Anakin, he leaves the boy’s mother behind. We could talk endlessly about his attempts to free her, or about how any unauthorized attempt might have resulted in her hidden slave bomb killing her, but the point remains the same — slavery, while morally reprehensible, isn’t a Jedi concern when it falls outside Republic jurisdiction.

The evils that persist in the Outer Rim are clear. And yet, by the time of the prequel trilogy, the Jedi seem content to let them fester. Government jurisdiction only matters if you’re a tool of the Senate, which the Jedi repeatedly deny being. And yet, when push comes to shove, the moral purpose they claim to serve absolutely is trumped by their loyalty to a corrupt bureaucracy.

What’s more important to the Jedi than freeing slaves? According to “Tales of the Jedi,” tracking down the kidnapped children of corrupt senators who’ve failed their people and thrust them into poverty. That’s exactly the mission that Count Dooku and Qui-Gon, his apprentice at the time, are sent on during the animated series. Staying to help secure a better future for the citizens? Not in the playbook. The Jedi are ordered to leave as soon as the hostage is recovered, much to Dooku’s chagrin.

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