In Part I of this article, I took a look at some reasons why we might not see a return to the Old Republic style of galactic government in the Sequel Trilogy and, more to the point, why we may not see a return to the old ways of the Jedi Order. Both had the potential for corruption hardwired into them, and it would be logical that Luke Skywalker, especially, would do his best to learn the lessons of the past and to avoid re-establishing the Jedi to include the same “small thermal exhaust port” that doomed the Jedi of the Old Republic.
So, if Luke does not use the Old Jedi Order and its Jedi Code as the template for his training and organization of the new generation of Jedi, just what might a “New Jedi Order” look like in Episode VII?
In my opinion, a lot depends on how much (if at all) the “Balance of the Force” prophecy is used in the Sequel Trilogy and how it’s interpreted. Given the amount of emphasis that we’ve heard that the Episode 7 production has placed on emulating the best aspects of the Original Trilogy, and how little we’ve heard about Episode 7 tie-ins with the Prequel Trilogy, it’s quite possible that the prophecy will simply never be mentioned again.
If it is brought up in the Sequel Trilogy, however, then I suspect that the interpretation might go something like this:
The Force was wildly out of balance at the time of the Clone Wars. First and foremost, the Sith were an obvious cancer on the Force, with their obsession with using raw power to alter the natural flow and order of life and of the Force itself. From their reliance on deception, betrayal and murder to their more recent dabblings in unnatural dark side practices designed to prevent death and to create life in direct opposition to the nature of the Force, there is no question that the mere presence of the Sith was itself enough to throw the Force out of balance.
But consider also the fact that the Jedi Order had their own obsession with denying themselves the very natural and positive experience of love, family and emotional attachments. This was all done with the best of intentions, but what the Jedi failed to recognize was that they were essentially acting out of fear – fear that love and attachment would lead some of their number to the dark side. And rather than delving more deeply into the mysteries of the Force and exploring love more closely in order to discover the natural balance within it, they merely shut it out and denied it, as though it could somehow be treated as something separate from themselves and from the Force.
So, in their own way, the Jedi themselves were also acting in opposition to the way of the Force. I believe that this may be why the Force “balanced itself” by eliminating both the Sith and the Jedi Order. It wasn’t about a mathematical need for one-to-one parity in terms of Jedi and Sith existing in equal numbers, as some have speculated over the past decade or so, but rather about ensuring that the sentient beings who learned the ways of the Force did so in complete harmony with the nature of the Force itself.
If this is how the Sequel Trilogy story treats the relationship of the Jedi to the Force and vice versa (and again, I have to emphasize that this is all merely speculation on my part, just for the fun of it) then I could see Luke having trained the new Jedi in such a way that they are far more empathetic and connected with people – Jedi and non-Jedi alike – than were the members of the Old Jedi Order. It is possible that the new Jedi might even choose to marry and have children – which could certainly mean that Luke himself might have a wife and children.
In addition, I could see the new Jedi not necessarily being bound to a centralized Council. For all of their pretenses at independence, the Jedi Council of the Old Republic often seemed almost like an extension of the Senate, especially once they’d been militarized during the Clone Wars. And this certainly made them a much fatter and easier target for Palpatine once he was ready to make his move.
The new Jedi could very easily be “knights errant”, wandering the galaxy and allowing the Force to guide them to where they are needed the most. Not that they might not keep in contact with one another, but they wouldn’t simply be given assignments by a High Council in coordination with the Chancellor and the Senate, as in the old days.
In other words, I believe that we may very well see Jedi in the Sequel Trilogy who are more directly and emotionally involved with the people and the world around them, who understand and embrace the power of love rather than shutting themselves off from it, and who allow the Force itself – and not a bureaucratic government organization – to lead them on their quest to bring peace and justice to the galaxy.
(As always, time will tell!)