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The Grey Jedi
May the Fourth Be With You
I grew up on Star Wars. One of my earliest memories was my dad taking me to see The Empire Strikes Back when I was a child. We watched the movies out of order for some reason, so a few days after Empire, we watched A New Hope at the dollar theater. I suppose my Star Wars experience has been mostly downhill since 1980.
In my twenties, I took a “dream job” working on the “dream team” at LucasArts, where I created a level-editor tool called LEIA for a game called Star Wars: Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight and also implemented animation systems, gameplay logic, Force powers, and weapons, including lightsaber combat for that game. Our team ushered in a new era of 3D rendered glory for Star Wars and LucasArts.
The Force was strong in those days.
Until the employee screening of the Phantom Menace, where the fall of the Jedi began, and culminated with the latest Disney sequels that feel like they failed on some deep archetypal level. I still went on opening night for each of these films, and my inner child grasped at the magic and nostalgia of Star Wars, but was ultimately left disappointed, and sad.
Generation X loves to use Jedi references, and as I’ve gotten older, the constant duality of Red vs. Blue, and the inevitability of Light and Shadow has expanded in my awareness and understanding.
Ultimately, the Jedi and Rebel Alliance, in the new sequels, have felt hollow, like an empty version of the Hero’s Journey. Meanwhile, the Sith and Empire have deteriorated into a gang of tantrum-throwing, cartoonishly incompetent manchildren that seem incapable of achieving any sort of Order. Not seeing much “Code” of any sort in those movies, or for that matter, in the “real world.”
The non-order of the Daoist Jedi, following the Grey Code, and focused on Balance and non-Duality has, for me, become the most resonant part of the Star Wars Universe, and it’s barely canon.
In our upside down world, it’s time to restore balance to the Force. Grey Jedi, rise. May the Fourth be with you.