Kanan Jarrus’ View of the Jedi Order Part 1

Our good friend Ron and I were having a great discussion about what we thought Kanan’s outlook on the Jedi Order might be after it was destroyed with the Sith’s sinister plan, Order 66. We decided to turn it into an article. I will allow our guest to speak first and later in the week, I will have my prediction on Kanan Jarrus’ view of the Jedi way past, present, and future posted in response.

Kanan Jarrus – Fluid As Water

Legend (not the former EU kind) has it that in 1964 Bruce Lee engaged in a life changing duel with rival martial artist Wong Jack Man.  The details are murky, and for our purposes unimportant, but what’s clear is that following the fight, Bruce Lee abandoned his traditional fighting style of Wing Chun and sought out to develop a more practical style which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do.  According to Lee, traditional fighting disciplines were too rigid and impractical, and his plan was to create a style that was fluid and adaptable, “like water”

Rest assured, you didn’t accidentally stumble onto MakingKungFu.net.  This story applies to our beloved Galaxy Far Far Away, and in particular, surviving Jedi Knight, Kanan Jarrus.
Last week, Elaine tweeted a comment that has been bouncing around in my head for years with regard to Jedi after the Prequel Trilogy:

Our venerable EIC Jason responded as follows:

However, I would argue that regardless of how much insight Kanan has regarding Palpatine’s machinations, Order 66 and the betrayal of Anakin Skywalker, he should be a substantially different Jedi than those we saw in the Prequel Era.  This should be the case for two reasons:1) The Advantage of RetrospectionThe Jedi failed.  By the end of the Clone Wars, I believe that most, if not all, Jedi had realized that they had strayed too far from their original intentions and the war had successfully decayed the Jedi Order.  We see in the Yoda arc of The Clone Wars that Yoda recognizes and admits that the Jedi have been compromised by the war but sees no way out beyond trying to end the war as quickly as possible.  By the time of Yoda’s realization, the Jedi Order was far too deeply ensnared by Palpatine’s trap to make any meaningful change.

Kanan on the other hand managed to survive and would presumably would have a chance to look back, identify the variety of ways the Jedi had failed and make necessary changes.  The external details of the downfall are not necessary because the Jedi contributed substantially to their own destruction.  Kanan should be able to recognize, in retrospect, that the Jedi had become too rigid and impractical.  They had become too comfortable, overconfident and ensnared by galactic politics.  They had come to rely far too much on legalism and strict rules instead of the will of the Force.  With the advantage of hindsight, Kanan would reasonably adjust his own beliefs and actions and potentially pass along those evolved Jedi teachings.

2) The Necessity of Survival

Any Jedi with the intelligence and savvy to survive 15 years beyond Order 66 would realize that the old Jedi Code would not be enough to avoid the Empire.  We already know that Kanan is styled as the “Cowboy Jedi,” and carries a blaster, which immediately indicates that he is not your traditional Jedi.  Indeed, in the post Order 66 era of Star Wars, a Jedi on the run would not have the luxury of mindlessly adhering to the arbitrary rules of a Jedi Council sitting in their ivory tower.  Instead, Kanan would need to be adaptable, creative and understand how to utilize all available resources merely to survive.  The circumstances would necessarily dictate Kanan’s need to go beyond the old Jedi Code.  In doing so, I believe Kanan would realize the impractical nature of the old Jedi ways.  If the old Code couldn’t stave off the Empire and couldn’t help him survive against the Empire, what good is it?  Kanan would likely be forced to adapt the old Jedi teachings to fit this new era in the galaxy.

The Evolution

The one thing about the Star Wars film saga is that we have never seen the Jedi in their prime.  By the time we are introduced to the Jedi Order in The Phantom Menace, they are already ripe for their eventual downfall.  When Qui-Gon Jinn is killed at the end of Episode I, I believe we see the literal and symbolic death of the true Jedi way.  The Jedi in the remaining episodes of the Prequel Era are clouded by the Dark Side (as admitted by the Jedi Council) and have lost their way in no small part due to their rigid and impractical rules.The prohibition against attachment, and in particular marriage, arguably best represents these rigid, impractical rules that contributed to the destruction of the Jedi Order.
As Amanda put it:

George Lucas once said that the Jedi were prohibited from marriage because marriage is a possessive relationship, and in marriage each spouse feels they have ownership of the other.  He was also famously not a fan of Mara Jade and her eventual marriage to Luke Skywalker in the EU…er…Legends stories.  I can’t help but wonder if Lucas’ view on marriage has changed following his own recent marriage to Mellody Hobson.Ultimately, I believe that in Kanan Jarruss, we will see the beginning of the evolution of the Jedi.  As I hope to cover in a future blog post, we see more of that evolution in Luke Skywalker of the Original Trilogy, and I hope that evolution will culminate in the Jedi we see in the Sequel Trilogy.

Stay tuned for my response to Ron’s thoughts and my predictions later in the week. Feel free to lave your thoughts and predictions in the comments below!

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Jason Ward (editor-in-chief)

Owner, Editor and content supervisor of MakingStarWars.net

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