For the gist of what led to this piece, you can read Kanan Jarrus’ View of the Jedi Order Part I by clicking here.
For a post-Order 66 Jedi to eschew the Jedi way and feel romantic love was possible, it would require ignorance of events that lead up to Order 66. Logically, how could a Jedi during the age of imperialism, look back and the love affair of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala and decide it was okay to participate in a romantic relationship?
It appears in Star Wars Rebels Kanan is a man that was once a participant in the Jedi Order. Order 66 forced Kanan into hiding, or to at least put his laser sword away, in which he became sort of a cowboy type. It appears sometime during the years he has no affiliation as a Jedi, he meets Hera Syndulla, the hot-shot pilot of the starship “Ghost.” There has been subtle hints a flirtation begins between the two heroes. With that, we see the first complication for Kanan and Hera to give their character’s some interpersonal struggle. Regardless, I still believe Kanan upholds the Jedi way from the prequel era in which he came of age.
Something happens to Kanan that makes him pick up his lightsaber again about fifteen years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Apparently, after chasing Ezra Bridger around and saying “who is that kid” a bunch of times, he remembers his calling as a Jedi Knight that lives by a code. Kanan is to train Ezra in the ways of the Force. His aimless life is corrected and he has true purpose once again when he decides to defy the Empire. “The Jedi will rise again” if Kanan has anything to do with it. I doubt in that reformation, he plans to make a stipulation he can hook up with sexy green women like he’s Captain Kirk.
Can Kanan ethically have romantic love for Hera? I say the tension and the struggle will likely be there, but no he can’t. If he has any knowledge of Anakin Skywalker’s fall, he certainly can’t. The one thing that led to Anakin’s demise was the weakness of giving in to his desires and allowing his secret enemies to use that against him until it destroyed him and the one’s he loved. Being a Jedi is about being selfless and romantic endeavors should be selfless, but in reality, rarely are they such things. As the struggle between Kanan and the empire’s Inquisitor heats up, the lessons of the past will no doubt be on Kanan’s mind.
Kanan has one advantage over the Jedi before him. The Jedi that trained him where an arm of a corrupt Republic. Because of that, they too were vulnerable to corruption. Kanan is not fighting as an arm of a political body but instead he’s fighting for a valid rebellion which barely has any structure. So if Kanan knows any of the details of what led to Order 66, his place in the galaxy is better off than those Jedi before him because he is fighting for justness outside a dominant power structure and answers to no one but his own innate sense of morality like Qui-Gon Jinn, a Jedi that helped people regardless of the state’s mission. But that requires selflessness and giving one’s self to their duty.
If Kanan has Revenge of the Sith on Blu-ray and knows everything that caused the state of the galaxy he currently lives in during Star Wars Rebels, the lessons learned in that era would surely dictate the Jedi he is. If he knows anything of Anakin Skywalker’s fall, he won’t embrace romantic love. How could he after it led to the galaxy’s worst regime in a thousand years via Darth Vader? Still, even if he doesn’t understand what happened to Anakin and what gave rise to Darth Vader, what in that history would make him embrace romantic love as an ethical choice for a Jedi Knight?
When Darth Vader dies and Anakin Skywalker throws the Emperor down the shaft, the lesson is apparent. The familial love between a father and a son saved the galaxy. The love between parent and child is stronger than anything the Sith could imagine. That relationship was the product of romantic love. So therefore family via romantic relationships could be seen as something of a positive and affirming idea for a reformed Jedi Order. However, that example via Luke Skywalker hasn’t come to fruition yet during the impetus of the rebellion itself. Kanan Jarrus only has what he was taught and perhaps the example of how Darth Sidious used romantic love to destroy Anakin Skywalker. I see no reason for the character to find a relationship with Hera as just or correct. I think his romantic feelings will be his struggle as he attempts to give rise to the Jedi Order once again by training Ezra Bridger in the ways of the Force. It was never the old Jedi code that failed, it was that the Jedi themselves stopped following the Jedi code in the first place.
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