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What options did Jedi have to settle disputes?

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I have mainly only played in the 4 through 6 era and have seen much about the Jedi before the prequels.   I know the Jedi are suppose to mediate like Qui gonn does in episode one, but what to they have to negotiate with?

The republic has no army, they are not part of the Senate so they don't have the power to change laws.  Beside just using the Force to manipulate people what else could they offer?

If you have thought of what Qui Gonn could have done to stop the blockade, minus using lightsaber.

Thanks!

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Their role as negotiators/mediators was almost entirely driven by the Republic. When Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan went to Naboo, it was at the behest of the chancellor. The Jedi served as the leaders of the Grand Army of the Republic by request of the Senate. Virtually all the times we see the Jedi intercede in any affair, it's because a request was made by the government of the Republic to the Jedi Council.

So in that sense, they have the weight of the Republic behind them. They can't pass laws, authorize spending, or impose sanctions, but they're acting as the representatives of those who can. Jedi involvement is respected, in part because of their martial skill and their command over a mystical power no one else really understands. So when it seems like an official Republic delegation won't be respected, they call on the Jedi.

For what it's worth, recent stories—particularly in the comics—have indicated that the Jedi aren't entirely comfortable with this role. Not so much the "acting as good-faith mediators" part, but the "being used by the Senate for their own purposes" part.

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You gotta remember, they're a millennia-old organization, largely responsible for connecting the Galaxy - solar-system to solar-system - the first intragalactic travelers were Jedi, their organization transcends states and planets and systems - it spans a Galaxy, and (before Order 66) they DO have an army.

Really all they ARE is an army. An army of space wizards that has done whatever they wanted for 1000s of years, because literally no one - except other space wizards (the Sith) - have ever proved that they can stop them.

An army that, again, has 10s of 1000s of years of history of using that militaristic might to push around many many many different galactic bodies and organizations (albeit for what they see as "moral reasons").

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Posted (edited)

They are often not much different than any other diplomat or ambassador - someone with plenipotentiary power to negotiate. While the Republic can and does send regular old diplomats, the Jedi Order has a reputation for being mediators and fair-minded interlocutors, and tend to be pretty measured and, well, zen in their dealings.

So of course, not only do they have a diplomat's primary skillset in spades... they're also excellent at a diplomat's #2 skillset: espionage. They can sense emotion and intent, read between lines no one else can see, and get in and out of places a normal diplomat or spy would have trouble with. This in turn can not only provide leverage and information useful in negotiations (which is the purpose of a great deal of espionage in the first place, as opposed to nefarious poisonings or Mission Impossible heists), but also accomplish parallel goals or provide the Republic (and the Jedi diplomat) with more tools and options in a crisis. A Jedi Knight can simultaneously negotiate for the release of hostages while also acting as the guy to go in there and rescue them if things go bad.

As for Qui-Gon in TPM, that mission had a lot of things going on. It's possible that Valorum sent Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in 100% good faith, but unlikely. Real-world international negotiations almost always have more going on than appears at first glance, and it's not just about purely transactional "this lifted sanction for that concession" dealmaking. Even the act of meeting for a negotiation can itself be a diplomatic victory for one side or the other, or a ploy or a feint never intended to be followed through with. Valorum and his advisors probably suspected that the Trade Federation would fold at the mere "shock and awe" of two Jedi Knights showing up, and thus sent the Jedi as a diplomatic show of force to intimidate the Federation into backing down. However, this is further complicated by all of this very likely being part of Palpatine's manipulations, even if not everything went exactly as he planned. Palpatine was nothing if not arrogant, but he was prepared for the eventuality that his Federation stooges would fail to kill the Jedi. He probably wanted Valorum to send the Jedi to further brew up a crisis for him to pin on Valorum and seize the chancellorship for himself.

Edited by BCGaius

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19 hours ago, damnkid3 said:

I have mainly only played in the 4 through 6 era and have seen much about the Jedi before the prequels.   I know the Jedi are suppose to mediate like Qui gonn does in episode one, but what to they have to negotiate with?

The republic has no army, they are not part of the Senate so they don't have the power to change laws.  Beside just using the Force to manipulate people what else could they offer?

If you have thought of what Qui Gonn could have done to stop the blockade, minus using lightsaber.

Thanks!

It's never officially stated in the films, what the range and scope of their authority is, but since nobody seemed at all surprised by the idea of "sending 2 Jedi to act as mediators/negotiators" it's safe to assume they had some legal standing for their actions.  Otherwise what would be the point.   The ones most likely to be sent in such a capacity, are likely known to have significant knowledge in legal/cultural/republic matters, and would be able to suggest options in a tense situation.  I mean, they were sent there to negotiate the end of the embargo on Naboo, and a negotiator tends to have some measure of autonomy in saying what they can/can't give in the negotiation.   And if it was something much larger than they have the authority to approve, they can easily just call their representative and ask for approval of the proposal.

However in Phantom Menace, it's most likely they were sent as mediators, to facilitate the discussion between the Nabooians and the Trade Federation.   The two organizations had full authority to speak for themselves, as they are the two involved parties.  The Jedi would most likely have been there to try and keep things calm and civil, if tempers flared on either side.  Also to try and provide a third party viewpoint in case of an impasse, which is pretty much what a mediator does.    They would also be able to speak as a representative of the Republic, to give a thumbs up or down about how the Republic at large might view a certain point of the negotiations.   For example if one party suggested a compromise that had something very outlandish in it, that pretty much all members of the Republic would say no to, they could voice that opinion.  "I'm pretty sure the Republic would frown on the idea of forcibly relocating anyone indebted to the Trade Federation, for off-world labor camps, seeing as it's illegal on every planet.  Perhaps something a bit more civil, such as, garnished wages for a fixed timeframe, based on debt owed?"   etc etc.

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Posted (edited)

There's two things one should consider:

  1. The Trade Federation already know about their impending invasion, so they are acting as a guilty party might act towards otherwise unwitting peacekeepers, who have only been sent as mediators in a tense situation.
  2. The Jedi are mysterious. There are precious few of them at the time of The Phantom Menace, and their powers are the stuff of legend. It is readily apparent in the fear that the Federation types have for the pair of Jedi, the trepidation with which they treat the situation, the bumbling nature of their defenses. "Gas! Ah...battle droids! Ah...close the doors! Ah...close the blast doors!! Ah...send in the droidekas! Ah, that worked! Ha ha! See, they're no match for droidekas!"

Problem is, Neimoidians are already cowardly and scheming, obsessed with wealth, politics, and intrigue. And these ones here are under direct command of a Sith lord, who is actively trying to start a galactic conflict! So it's not that Qui Gonn would have taken drastic actions to stop the blockade; rather, the Neimoidians have allowed themselves to jump to that conclusion and are taking drastic measures to preclude that eventuality.

Edited by awayputurwpn

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The Phantom Menace is a complicated and very specific case, but I'll try and use it as an example framework to answer the question, which is what, if any, negotiating power the Jedi have in the framework of their role as diplomats and advisers.

At the start of the movie, we see Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi sent to the Trade Federation as Ambassadors of the Chancellor himself. We know this from the holotransmission Queen Amidala shares with Nute Gunray in the subsequent scene. She refers to them specifically in this capacity, "I'm aware the Chancellor's Ambassadors are with you now" and this is further confirmed by Senator Palpatine later in her communications to him, "The negotiations haven't started because the Ambassadors aren't there? How could that be true? I have assurances from the Chancellor... his Ambassadors did arrive."

Furthermore, we also know that the Jedi were there specifically to force a settlement. This is again specifically referenced by the remainder of Queen Amidala's statement to Nute Gunray, "I'm aware the Chancellor's Ambassadors are with you now, and that you have been commanded to reach a settlement." This would indicate that Qui-Gon Jinn was specifically empowered by the Republic to demand the immediate beginnings of negotiations with the Naboo. What specifically refusal of this order would entail is open to debate, but I think the movie outlines the extreme boundary fairly well - that extreme boundary of violent refusal (which is exactly what Sidious orders them to do). In this instance, immediately the Jedi are authorized to use force to resist the refusal. Qui-Gon Jinn shows no hesitation in the commission of property destruction up to and including the destruction of the battleship if necessary when he storms the bridge. The end result of his assault on the bridge would be the arrest of Nute Gunray and immediate dissolution of the blockade by force. When instead he encounters an invasion army preparing to take the planetary capital, he immediately shifts priority to a search and rescue operation of the defending leadership for evacuation to Coruscant.

This shifting of the mission parameters is very telling; if the Jedi were only allowed certain sanctioned actions, and didn't have autonomy with their decisions, then Qui-Gon wouldn't be authorized to rescue Amidala from the invasion, instead with negotiations having failed, the Jedi would be responsible for coming back alone, with all due immediacy. Rescue of native rulers would fall outside the parameters of their mission. Instead, Qui-Gon engages in a military action under his own discretion, and this shows that the Senate will support a wide latitude of decisions in support of the Ambassador's decision. While the there may be back-channel political ramifications of poor decisions exercised by the Jedi (which was actually the case in The Phantom Menace) the official standpoint of the Senate will be to support the Jedi in their commission of their duties in the field. This implies that the Jedi is (with limited oversight) authorized to act formally on behalf of the Republic, and that provided they stick to the general policies in place (most likely handled during their brief of the situation) any deal or decision they make will be endorsed and honored by the Senate. 

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@Kyla

Not sure rescuing a residing member of the Repulican Senate from a hostile invasion is "outside" his scope of authority.  As a representative of the Republic, especially a representative known to have martial skill of unsurpassed levels, that seems like something that would just be implied.  

If his authority includes open conflict and the arrest of the instigating party in said conflict is within his scope, I think "saving the government of a planetary member of the Senate" would also fall under that broad scope.

Personally though, I don't think they were "authorized" in their capacity as Ambassadors to do all the combat stuff they were doing.  I think they were just doing that under the "self-defense" rule that most sentients have in sci-fi settings.

They showed up in good faith to have a simple conversation, something Qui-Gon even points out when they are served drinks, about all this drama over a simple trade dispute.   They were trapped, held against their will and exposed to lethal gas in the hopes of killing them, and were under constant assault at every corner while on the ship.  So yeah, they were doing what they could to stop everything as quickly, and efficiently as possible.  If that meant storming the bridge and taking the commanders under arrest, that would be reasonable.   

Again though, this is all really fuzzy, we actually don't see them do ANYTHING in their capacity as Ambassadors, because it's an action movie, and people want to see laser swords and judo flips to John Williams' music.   So this is all really just speculation.  Plus, the real life comparisons don't hold up well either, since most Ambassadors are not mystical ninja-wizards with laser swords and magic powers.  They are bureaucrats who have spent years training on how to talk and negotiate.  So sending in someone like that, expecting them to go all John McClain on a bunch of badguys is just not feasible.  They would have a security detail for that, who wouldn't have the authority to negotiate, because that's not what THEY do.

Bottom line:  The Jedi have whatever authority the GM needs them to have.  We can infer some general ideas of what they could do on behalf of the Republic, but it's hardly a codified thing, and is subject to a lot of interpretation. 

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1 minute ago, AnomalousAuthor said:

I’ve always viewed the Republic using the Jedi as the proverbial nuclear option when it comes to negotiations. The Jedi are sent to dictate the Republic’s terms moreso than to negotiate a compromise. 

Considering the way Qui-Gon behaved up to the point they tried to kill him, I would disagree.  He was clearly taking the non-aggression route.   For all they knew at that time, it was a simple trade dispute, and no need to "go nuclear".  

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3 minutes ago, KungFuFerret said:

Considering the way Qui-Gon behaved up to the point they tried to kill him, I would disagree.  He was clearly taking the non-aggression route.   For all they knew at that time, it was a simple trade dispute, and no need to "go nuclear".  

I’m not saying that the Jedi themselves feel this way, but just the way the politicians within the Republic used them. There’s no doubt that the Trade Federation felt threatened by their presence. The mere presence of two Jedi makes a rather large impression.

Edited by AnomalousAuthor

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1 minute ago, AnomalousAuthor said:

I’m not saying that the Jedi themselves feel this way, but just the way the politicians within the Republic used them. There’s no doubt that the Trade Federation felt threatened by their presence. The mere presence of two Jedi makes a rather large impression.

Yes, but when Padme meets the Jedi, her first response isn't something like "Did you make them pay?  Did you force them to set us free?"  She asked if the negotiations didn't go well, to which Qui-Gon said "they never took place."   So she clearly assumed that the attempt would be made to try and talk, when meeting the representatives from the Republic.  

I agree that the Trade Fed felt threatened, but they felt threatened by Sidious too.  They were just nervous people.  

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1 hour ago, KungFuFerret said:

Yes, but when Padme meets the Jedi, her first response isn't something like "Did you make them pay?  Did you force them to set us free?"  She asked if the negotiations didn't go well, to which Qui-Gon said "they never took place."   So she clearly assumed that the attempt would be made to try and talk, when meeting the representatives from the Republic.  

I agree that the Trade Fed felt threatened, but they felt threatened by Sidious too.  They were just nervous people.  

I don’t disagree with you on those points. However, Padme was told that the Chancellor ordered the Jedi to demand a settlement. She told the Trade Federation as much.

The Jedi are dispatched to negotiations that are vital to the interests of the Republic. They are authorized to do what they need to do in order to get the job done. If that means negotiate, sure. If that means taking a more aggressive line of action, then that is an option that Jedi are supremely capable of accomplishing.

The Jedi don’t  view themselves as the Republic’s enforcers, but you gotta believe that some senators/chancellors aren’t beyond the implication. They’re politicians afterall. Heck, Valorum sent the Jedi to demand the Trade Federation cease their blockade.

The Jedi don’t much like being used in this manner but they do it in order to keep the peace. Although, to be honest, Qui-Gon didn’t seem too bothered by the task.

Just the impression that the prequels always gave me.

Edited by AnomalousAuthor
Extra info added for context

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That's just it really. I am also one who believes the Jedi are the enforcers of the republic, whether they see themselves as such is irrelevant. If the Jedi are being sent then that indicates that the matter is being taken really seriously; if you deny the Jedi the opportunity to force negations between the two parties then you are denying the will of the Republic itself and there will be consequences, including potentially war/sanctions. In that regard, the Jedi are the ultimate nuclear option, since otherwise the debates would be handled within the senate itself. The Jedi even have the authority to act with the full authority of the republic to carry out that edic with force (hehe) if needs be; it's the only explanation that they felt the need to storm the bridge of the trade federation ship because up to that point they believed that the planet was only being blockaded and only later found out that the Trade Federation were also invading Naboo.

 

The issue was that the trade Federation called Valorum's bluff; they tried to have the negators executed and invaded the world forcefully to attempt to force Naboo to ceed to it's authority before the Republic could decide it's next move. It almost worked as the Republic had no standing military effectively and Valorum couldn't convince the republic to take a stance against the trade union quickly enough to matter; millions would have starved to death by then. This slowness to act and lack of a follow up was exploited in the no-confidence call from Naboo. It basically had no follow up action to the Jedi being sent as they had relied on them to act as the ultimate diplomatic deterrent.

 

Put bluntly, the Jedi in this era didn't serve the people, they served the republic as their diplomatic enforcers and their ultimate weapon to bring factions back into line. It was that contrast between their duty between the republic and the apathic distance from the galaxy and it's people that resulted in the clone wars and their systematic destruction. I mean the council meeting said it all; they intended to do absolutely nothing about Naboo's plight because it wasn't their duty, they only act when the Republic required them to. So to me they were a very long way off being the protectors of the galaxy that they once were, they had become as complacent as the politicians who really didn't care as long as the doodoo wasn't on their turf.



Funnily enough, it wasn't even the C.I.S alliance that declared war on the Republic, the Republic via proxy of the Jedi order had declared war on the seperatists. Food for thought really.

Edited by LordBritish

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I think this thread has thought through things more than Lucas did.  Or Republic laws are extremely complex and Byzantine so much so that he cannot quickly explain it via dialog or have it make natural sense.

Phantom Menace has a great example: Padme takes her case to the senate and declares that Naboo has been invaded and the Trade Federation disputes it and off it goes into the bureaucratic weeds.  She can't say, "Hey I can produce 2 Jedi Knights who saw it happen.  And the trade federation tried to kill them too.  They can testify to the senate" for some unexplained reason.  I get that part of TPM is that the bureaucracy really ran things and was corrupt so there was only so much Valorum could do (though this is also inconsistent with Palpatine's rise to power, certainly he accrued more power to the Chancellors office in the name of expediency/war/security/etc at the end of Attack of the Clones, but we really don't see a chancellor this crippled again).  I could go on and on and fans love to fill in all the blanks left in the story.

It's safe to say the Jedi had some civil police/paramilitary authority, and in TPM's case they were also ambassadors (deputized to represent the Chancellor) which gave them some political clout (which it appears they don't have by default but were likely given when needed).  There was also probably a widespread public belief that the Jedi were neutral and trustworthy arbiters (who could read thoughts/intent) so they were likely sought out by conflicting parties for resolution.

But this is also epic space opera so if your group needs a more detailed outline of their authority then make it explicit by getting requests from civil authorities or the Jedi High Council or even move an adventure outside the bounds of typical civil authority like a village in the outer rim where the Jedi/Party is being asked by villagers/village elders to deal with some issue and then it's up to them to use charm, negotiation, coerceion, violence, etc to resolve things as they see fit.

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7 hours ago, LordBritish said:

That's just it really. I am also one who believes the Jedi are the enforcers of the republic, whether they see themselves as such is irrelevant. If the Jedi are being sent then that indicates that the matter is being taken really seriously; if you deny the Jedi the opportunity to force negations between the two parties then you are denying the will of the Republic itself and there will be consequences, including potentially war/sanctions. In that regard, the Jedi are the ultimate nuclear option, since otherwise the debates would be handled within the senate itself. The Jedi even have the authority to act with the full authority of the republic to carry out that edic with force (hehe) if needs be; it's the only explanation that they felt the need to storm the bridge of the trade federation ship because up to that point they believed that the planet was only being blockaded and only later found out that the Trade Federation were also invading Naboo.

 

The issue was that the trade Federation called Valorum's bluff; they tried to have the negators executed and invaded the world forcefully to attempt to force Naboo to ceed to it's authority before the Republic could decide it's next move. It almost worked as the Republic had no standing military effectively and Valorum couldn't convince the republic to take a stance against the trade union quickly enough to matter; millions would have starved to death by then. This slowness to act and lack of a follow up was exploited in the no-confidence call from Naboo. It basically had no follow up action to the Jedi being sent as they had relied on them to act as the ultimate diplomatic deterrent.

 

Put bluntly, the Jedi in this era didn't serve the people, they served the republic as their diplomatic enforcers and their ultimate weapon to bring factions back into line. It was that contrast between their duty between the republic and the apathic distance from the galaxy and it's people that resulted in the clone wars and their systematic destruction. I mean the council meeting said it all; they intended to do absolutely nothing about Naboo's plight because it wasn't their duty, they only act when the Republic required them to. So to me they were a very long way off being the protectors of the galaxy that they once were, they had become as complacent as the politicians who really didn't care as long as the doodoo wasn't on their turf.



Funnily enough, it wasn't even the C.I.S alliance that declared war on the Republic, the Republic via proxy of the Jedi order had declared war on the seperatists. Food for thought really.

This is interesting food for thought. 

I do think you've hit on something that the Jedi were dealing with - their attachment to the Republic.  I don't know that it came into conflict with being protectors of the galaxy and serving the people (as opposed the Republic/Senate).  Unilaterally (without Senate 'approval') going to war with the Trade Federation would have serious consequences.  It could very well have meant that the Republic would severely sanction the Jedi and harmed the Jedi Order's ability to be protectors in the future.  But maybe the Jedi shouldn't have cared about that, but on the other hand maybe they didn't want to get into the declaring/waging war business because that would lead them in a very bad direction too (but they went to war in the Clone Wars because galactic civilization was on the line).

Another scenario, one we don't know much about (in canon), is the Jedi's destruction of the Zygerrian (slavers) Empire.  We don't know if the Jedi took it upon themselves or if the Republic was invovled.  It could be that in days of yore the Jedi were large enough (and had a will to) to do such things in such circumstances.  Maybe that's how they become the protectors of the Republic - they were the most powerful military force in the galaxy and the Republic's basic philosophy was compatible (e.g., the Republic was worth defending).

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1 hour ago, Jedi Ronin said:

I think this thread has thought through things more than Lucas did.  Or Republic laws are extremely complex and Byzantine so much so that he cannot quickly explain it via dialog or have it make natural sense.

 

Given the complications inherent in real world politics, simply on the level of a single country, and then the layered complexity above that for our global level of government, yes I think it's safe to say that a galaxy spanning Republic, with thousands of planets as members  would likely be "extremely complex"  :D  

And yes we've thought this out more than Lucas did, that goes without saying, this is a Star Wars fansite for gamer nerds.  Every detail will be over-analyzed to the point of absurdity.    I do think it's kind of fun to try and actually flesh out the laws and authorities of a government of that scale.   But yeah Lucas just came up with whatever reason made the tiniest of sense to justify having 2 Jedi there so he could start blowing stuff up.  And we know this, by the fact that he proceeded to do exactly that without ever bothering to have any political talks take place.  "Asplody stuff on Naboo!  Need reason for Jedi there.  Why Jedi there?  Trade dispute!  They negotiators!  Go there stop dispute!  Things go boom!  Laser swords and boomy things!"   

I am 100% confident that that is the level of care and consideration that went through Lucas' brain when thinking out that plot element.  :P  

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I think you guys are selling Lucas short. Near the top of any prequel hater's list of things to hate about the prequels is "Too much space politics! Wah!" One of the most underappreciated things about the prequels is that parallel to the central character arc of Anakin Skywalker's fall is also a broader moral tale about the corruption and collapse of democracy itself. That tale starts, very deliberately, in TPM even if one can (justifiably) argue that Jar-Jar hogged a little too much screen time instead (but then the "Wah, space politics!" people would complain about that too, so you can't win, really).

While Anakin's story is personal and emotional in many respects, he also serves as an on-going barometer for the health of the Republic (or, more allegorically, democracy and republicanism in the abstract). The Padme-Anakin scenes on Naboo in AotC are admittedly insufferable, but one of the key discussions they have is about the role of the democratic process and the rule of law, with Anakin clearly and blatantly supporting an authoritarian vision. Despite his good intentions at the time, the theme of a huge part of his arc throughout the prequels is the inherent corruptibility and inevitable descent into tyranny he represents through his views, in parallel with the more immediately salient metaphor of the Dark Side. Just as he becomes twisted into an evil Sith Lord in a personal sense, so too does his Republic turn into an evil Empire, and I cannot praise Lucas enough for giving us a trilogy of movies exploring a far, far too neglected facet of civic philosophy. A significant amount of thought very clearly went into the backstory of the collapse of the Republic.

Say what you will about his ability to direct an actor (nonexistent, by all accounts), but the man can craft a beautifully relevant fairy tale world and the prequels don't miss a beat on this note.

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5 hours ago, BCGaius said:

I think you guys are selling Lucas short.

No I'm actually not.  For one, that was said in jest, something I thought was pretty obvious, but apparently not.   And two, you don't have to hate the prequels to find them flawed.  Because I think the prequels are just fine as films, but they have some MAJOR problems.  Not just JarJar, which is the only thing you seemed to consider as a bad part in the first film, based on your first paragraph.   And there are so, SO many other things wrong with those films.

The entire discussion has been about the legal authority of the Jedi in the Republic, that's it.   And in that capacity, Lucas did absolutely nothing to actually establish it in Phantom Menace.  Their position as negotiators was used entirely to get them to the point of conflict, so he could start blowing stuff up.   Which is exactly what happened.  That's the opposite of saying "wah politics bad! give me explodey things!"  The actual authority of the Jedi in TPM was basically totally irrelevant to what was going on.  Why?  Because Lucas wanted to hit action beats within the first 5 minutes of screentime.   Sure, later on ain the trilogy he went more into the politics of the Republic, but I didn't criticize that now did I?  I talked about that first scene, and that first scene, has zero political content to it, and is simply an excuse to get out the lightsabers and start hacking droids.  

5 hours ago, BCGaius said:

 Near the top of any prequel hater's list of things to hate about the prequels is "Too much space politics! Wah!"

Funny you say this, since I'm assuming you are commenting on my comment about Lucas.  Where what I complained about is the exact opposite of this point.   

5 hours ago, BCGaius said:

While Anakin's story is personal and emotional in many respects, he also serves as an on-going barometer for the health of the Republic (or, more allegorically, democracy and republicanism in the abstract). The Padme-Anakin scenes on Naboo in AotC are admittedly insufferable, but one of the key discussions they have is about the role of the democratic process and the rule of law, with Anakin clearly and blatantly supporting an authoritarian vision. Despite his good intentions at the time, the theme of a huge part of his arc throughout the prequels is the inherent corruptibility and inevitable descent into tyranny he represents through his views, in parallel with the more immediately salient metaphor of the Dark Side. Just as he becomes twisted into an evil Sith Lord in a personal sense, so too does his Republic turn into an evil Empire, and I cannot praise Lucas enough for giving us a trilogy of movies exploring a far, far too neglected facet of civic philosophy. A significant amount of thought very clearly went into the backstory of the collapse of the Republic.

Yes, he gave us a fall of a republic story, something that isn't unique to this trilogy, that doesn't mean he executed it well.   Execution beats out intent every time.  And Lucas' execution of his story about the tragic fall of a republic, isn't done well, regardless of his intentions on the matter.   Now again, I don't hate the prequels.  I think they are average scifi films, certainly way better than about 80% of the stuff that is produced in that genre, before or since.  But "not  being crap" isn't the same thing as "being good/great".    Lucas was too busy trying to get to the final goal of his prequel trilogy, that he didn't stop and think about how he got there, and the steps he took along the way.  He had plot elements that were in conflict with other points, poor character motivations for many of the key figures in the story, bad acting, poor direction decisions, and many other issues.   The few good points in the overall story arc (and the comment about sand I think is one, yeah that's right, I'm defending the sand comment, come at me yall! :P )  don't make up for the significant flaws elsewhere in the story.   Sure, Anakin is a physical representation of the decline of the republic, but I don't care when watching it because he's so unrelatable, and since we don't really see the actual republic as anything other than CGI background NPCs muttering and shaking their limbs, it doesn't really make the audience empathize with them at all.  We don't see how the decline is effecting Planet 278 in the republic, because Lucas didn't bother to show us any of those things.  He just glossed over them to focus on scenes with scripts that really needed a few more passes by the editor.

 

And I think that's all I'm going to say on this, as this isn't a The Prequels Suck thread, but a what authority did Jedi have thread.  So I'll leave it at that. 

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5 hours ago, KungFuFerret said:

Funny you say this, since I'm assuming you are commenting on my comment about Lucas.  Where what I complained about is the exact opposite of this point.  

It was a general statement about the prequel hate crowd, in support of my broader point about the political content of the prequels. If you think it was aimed at you, that's... well, that's up to you, man.

All I was saying was that TPM and the prequels in general are not brainless space action movies, and that the politics of what and who the Jedi were and why they were there (relevant to this thread) was probably pretty well thought-out.

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On 3/16/2019 at 3:26 PM, BCGaius said:

It was a general statement about the prequel hate crowd,

 

Not really, you flat out said "I think YOU GUYS are selling Lucas short".  that's not a general statement, that's directed at us, and thus, would most likely be my comment, since I'm the one who actually made a critical statement about the prequel political content.

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Yes. My broader point about the political content of the prequels was directed at you. The more specific statement about prequel haters complaining about space politics was, in fact, quite general and aimed at no one in particular.

Please invest in elementary reading comprehension and then try again. Thank you.

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