“It’s time for the Jedi… to end.”
That line uttered by Luke Skywalker of all people, formerly an optimist who grew as person and Jedi by trial and tribulation, marked something which increasingly grows obvious: modern Star Wars fans want the Jedi gone.
That is, gone or adapted to suit a modern sense; the “Grey Jedi” (sometimes spelled “Gray”). An anti-hero, basically; one who doesn’t commit to the light and can still claim to be “the good guy” while utilizing the same means as the bad guy.
In our current age of Star Wars media, this demand is met so far by lone gun desperados, warrior clans, and spies getting the spotlight and the increasing demand of the average fan. We see more and more stories in which Jedi are story props to be wiped out to near extinction. Inevitably, the desire for more anti-heroes in Star Wars will forever change the path of the Jedi and this will likely take shape in the upcoming movie projects announced during Star Wars Celebration 2023.
“The New Jedi Order”
There will be at least one movie, likely spawning more in a new “Skywalker Saga”-style series. It’s to star Daisy Ridley reprising her role as Rey who must now restart the Jedi Order. The real fun will be the inevitable “realization” I predict Rey will have: that the only way to heal the galaxy and protect the Force is for there to be neither Sith nor Jedi. I’d bet all my beskar that this new storyline will emphasize that many an “edgy” Star Wars fan’s dream to be a Grey Jedi can now come true!
Because why should anyone have to choose between light and darkness in life? Why, when you can skip the example of the Original Trilogy asking spiritual questions, exploring the philosophy and the making of a decision between good and evil? Instead, you can just remain in the middle, say “the ends justify the means” as you use dark and wicked measures to accomplish things for “the greater good”; all while NOT committing to that obsolete, weak, and (more to the common point) boring path that is the Jedi?
It’s not like any of the Sith became so because they too believed the ends justified the means as their basis for drawing from the dark side… No, never happened like that out of one’s own hubris; much less one’s desire to seem cool in front of other fans of the anti-hero.
“Dawn of the Jedi”
Then there’s James Mangold’s Dawn of the Jedi movie; set to explore the goings-on of the first Jedi ever. An IGN Facebook post summed up the Dawn of the Jedi movie as: “The movie by Logan and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny director James Mangold will be a ‘Biblical epic’ that tells a story about ‘the dawning of the Force,’ set 25,000 years before the Galactic Empire.”
I’m going to just guess that it lays the groundwork that the Jedi were founded upon a lie, we never knew the full truth of these “guardians of peace and justice”, and there will be some back-stabbing resulting in the first Sith practitioners and how both are equally the same problem trying to cancel each other out. There will doubtless be faux philosophy which favors the anti-hero, placating the would-be “Grey Jedi” among the fans further.
Which Would You Choose?
In a poll conducted on Geek News Now group “The GNN Greats”, I asked fans which Force-practicing faction they’d align with: Jedi, Grey Jedi, or Sith. As of April 9th, 2023, non-surprisingly, Grey Jedi is in the lead at 42% with claims of this being the only balance. Jedi is in second place with 32%, Sith are surprisingly third with 21%, and 5% chose “none” under the idea that Force-wielders are a constant cause of conflict in the Star Wars galaxy.
Joseph Peter Zimmer, a fan, had this to say about Grey Jedi: “Although according to George Lucas the Grey Jedi are not cannon I think they would be the best faction. Living in balance is important enough in real life. Think of what the star wars could have been with grey jedi from the beginning.”
Nicholas Allen, another fan, said “Grey, I know I wouldn’t be using the Force for good intentions all the time. Many times for personal gain.”
The question becomes how these middle-of-the-road Grey types will become the future of Star Wars.
Nothing official is known for this Dawn of the Jedi nor for the Rey movie except the latter is set fifteen years after Episode IX and sees Rey rebuilding the order. I just don’t expect much more than all I’ve mentioned above and further bashing into our heads that Rey is without flaw and the perfect “chosen one” no-one ever saw coming because she’s a woman. And no, there is nothing wrong with a woman leading anything; I just expected some character development with a little trial-and-error in a flawed lead. But I digress…
Maybe it won’t go down this way at all; maybe the light of the Jedi will indeed not be snuffed out to appease the darkness within. Maybe I’m another new Skywalker; Panickin!
Somehow with all the Disney Star Wars content pumped out in the past decade which does seemingly focus more on lone cowboy anti-heroes (The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett), spies in time of war (Andor), and stories in which Jedi are story props to be wiped out to near extinction (Star Wars Episode VII-IX; Ahsoka; Tales of the Jedi), I doubt there will ever again be a focus on Jedi in a positive light; much less one which doesn’t serve this “Jedi are weak/cause the problems of the galaxy” notion. Shoot, consider the arrival of The Acolyte (2024); it will be Sith-centric!
Do you feel the Jedi are in good hands? Comment below! Check out this Geek News Now article about five Star Wars characters we need canonized!