Hey, I haven’t offended Star Wars fans in a while. Let’s fix that! Here are six reasons it sucks to be a Jedi.
1. The Jedi uniform. The Jedi look like they dressed for their local Renaissance Faire in the dark. Thick robes, ill-fitting pants, tunics, clunky boots — it’s as if millions of fashion designers screamed out in terror and were suddenly silenced. And yes, I get that the Jedi are supposed to be a form of monastic order so they’re not going to go in for flashy colors or sharply tailored suits. But, look. Sartorially speaking, if you’re a representative of an order meant to help keep civilization from running off the rails and you meet with people who run entire planets to convince them not to do stupid things, maybe it’d be helpful not to dress like a stable boy all the time.
3. The dourness. In The Phantom Menace, Jedi padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi makes a couple of sarcastic remarks and his master, Qui-Gon Jinn, looks at him like he just farted in church. Indeed, if Qui-Gon smiles at any point during that movie, it’s escaped my memory (it’s possible that actor Liam Neeson accidentally smiled at one point, but then Lucas digitally took it out). And you think, Maybe it’s just Qui-Gon being a sad sack. But no, watch the entire series and you’ll note that all the Jedi are all serious all the time; even Yoda saves his humorous moments for when he’s in exile on Dagobah. This suggests to me that the toughest gig in the galaxy is being a standup comedian at the Jedi Temple’s “comedy club” night.
4. The whole “being taken away from your family at an unfathomably young age” thing. In Attack of the Clones, we’re treated to a scene of adorable Jedi younglings fiddling with lightsabers (and in Revenge of the Sith, we’re treated to a scene of adorable Jedi younglings being slaughtered by Anakin Skywalker), and we’re told that typically these kids are taken by the Jedi at a very young age — near birth, in fact — to be trained in the Jedi ways. I can’t help but think how this goes over with the mothers involved:
SCENE: A Galactic Republic medical facility. A woman has just given birth and is holding her newborn. Suddenly, a JEDI enters the room.MOM: Why is there a stable boy in the maternity ward?JEDI: I’m not a stable boy, I’m a Jedi. And I’m here to take your child, to which you have just given birth, to become one of us. She will be raised in a barracks and live a life of ascetic deprivation, after which she’ll probably be killed by a rogue member of our order. As frequently happens.MOM: Is this a joke?JEDI: The Jedi have not told a joke since the Old Republic, ma’am.
5. The whole “oh, yeah, we’re not supposed to have sex, either” thing. Technically it’s not that the Jedi are forbidden to have sex, but they are forbidden to have strong emotional attachments, and sex is frowned upon as something of a self-indulgence. So it’s really “you can have sex if you want, you’ll just be a really bad Jedi if you do.” Which on the one hand is fair enough: You try to get some action while dressed in burlap and looking like a Flowbee has attacked your head. But on the other hand is guaranteed to make Jedi all weird about sex and relationships. See: Anakin Skywalker.
6. Lightsabers. I know, I know. Lightsabers are cool. I want one, too. But Han Solo was right: Ancient weapons are no match for a blaster by your side — especially when, as happens in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, the ratio is something like 200 blasters for every lightsaber. No matter how many bolts you deflect with your spinning saber gymnastics, one is going to get through sooner or later. And anyway, in Sith, we see Obi-Wan happily use a blaster to take out an enemy, and then toss it aside in disgust, is if he just touched a bug. Dude, that blaster just saved your life where your pretty, pretty lightsaber availed you not. Stop being a snob.