Sunday, June 05, 2005

Jedi Orthodoxy

Colby Cosh, who can raise an interesting point if and when he chooses, philosophizes on The Revenge of the Sith:
We live in a period in which churches are regarded as sinister in themselves, but "faith" of all kinds receives exaggerated deference and legal protection. So has anyone noticed that, er, the Jedi are a hierarchical militarist religious order that takes great pains to impose orthodoxy on its members from childhood onward? Or that the rhetoric used by Darth Sidious to befuddle and win over Anakin Skywalker is basically liberal-relativist? "Good is a point of view?" Helloooo? Obi-Wan Kenobi does make a remark at one point that "Only a Sith deals in absolutes"...but then he proceeds to mutilate the living bejeebers out of his heretical ex-acolyte. Which is a pretty "absolute" sort of thing to do, though nobody asked me. The Jedi, on the whole, seem like a funny sort of bunch for a generation of overeducated slackers with a distaste for "organized religion" to be cheering for. The Jedi virtues all seem to be particularly scarce in the contemporary age--obedience, humility, chastity, patience. And George Lucas, understanding the pervasive collective feeling (present in all human ages) that the world has gone wrong somehow, cannot be said to have chosen them unwisely. But how will he feel if his space opera turns a generation of dorks into crusading conservative Catholics?

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