The Jedi protected the galaxy for a thousand years – but the Sith Lord Palpatine learned they had more enemies than they had ever realized.
Star Wars has finally explained why the Jedi really have so many enemies – and why so few people were willing to help them survive Order 66. The Jedi brought the Sith to the brink of extinction, but Darth Bane reinvented them based around the principle known as the Rule of Two. These new Sith worked from the shadows, striking countless alliances to ensure their enemies would eventually be defeated. Their plans came to a climax with Order 66, the culmination of a thousand years of planning, and afterwards the Sith turned the galaxy against the Jedi with shocking ease. Few people were willing to help the handful of Jedi who survived Order 66, and indeed most of the galaxy believed Palpatine’s lies about them.
Zoraida Córdova’s novel Convergence finally explains why the galaxy was willing to turn on the Jedi. It is set 350 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, during the High Republic Era, and it shows how some Jedi struggled to empathize with the people of the galaxy. One character, Axel, remembers the moment he and his father were caught in a terrorist attack; a Jedi saved Axel, but was unable to do the same for his father. Unable to understand what the youth was feeling, the Jedi simply told him it was the will of the Force, and then went on their way – never even recognizing Axel when they crossed paths again.
Why The Relationship Between The Jedi & The Galaxy Broke Down
The Jedi pursue peace and serenity above all else, and – fearing attachment – they have cut off the relationships that define so many others. This is why the Jedi were so bad at politics, a point made by Padmé’s former handmaiden Sabé in E.K. Johnston’s novel Queen’s Hope. “They don’t even get upset when their friends die,” Sabé observed. “It’s all about balance and the eternal Force. That’s why they’re so bad at politics. They value all life, and they lack practicality.” The Jedi could not truly understand the emotions roiling within the hearts of the beings they served – and those beings could not understand them either. It is a truism that people fear what they do not understand, and it is as true in Star Wars as it is in the real world.
The Galaxy Was Ready To Believe The Worst About The Jedi
All this means the galaxy was primed to believe the worst about the Jedi. Palpatine orchestrated Order 66, and subsequently told the galaxy the Jedi had attempted to overthrow the senate. He portrayed the Jedi as traitors to the Republic, and the people believed him. The Clone Wars were presented as a grand conspiracy, with the Jedi as the ones responsible for them; after all, the Separatists had been led by Count Dooku, a former Jedi.
There were still those who trusted the Jedi, of course – notably the Wookiees, who helped Yoda survive Order 66. But they were few and far between, and the Jedi inability to understand emotions meant they struggled to figure out who they could really trust. They may have served as guardians and peacekeepers for generations, but the galaxy turned on them with shocking speed. The Jedi Code that lay at the heart of their order proved their downfall in the end, a tragic irony at the heart of the Star Wars story.
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