With Star Wars‘ cinematic future set to contain a film about Rey’s new Jedi Order, Lucasfilm’s current president Kathleen Kennedy has hinted at a significant change for one aspect of Rey’s Force users. That difference comes in the form of public perception in-universe. Throughout Star Wars, the Jedi have often been shown as the benevolent, peacekeeping group dedicated to stopping the evil forces of the galaxy – at least in the original trilogy. Subsequent stories, such as George Lucas’ prequel trilogy and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, delved much deeper into how the galaxy feels conflicted about the Jedi as soldiers.
With Rey’s Jedi Order then, Kennedy has hinted that the galaxy may not actually care for the Jedi anymore, with the overall question being whether the citizens of Star Wars even need the Jedi. As per an interview with the Dagobah Dispatch podcast, Kennedy had this to say regarding the public perception of Rey’s new Jedi Order, 15 years after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker:
“The question that we’re gonna ask with New Jedi Order and with Rey, is does the galaxy need them anymore? Do they want them back? So there’s a lot of food for thought in what we’re doing, whether it’s in the past, present, or future.”
These comments certainly make it seem that Lucasfilm is following in Lucas’ footsteps in regard to the ideas of the prequel trilogy, exploring a similar concept of whether the Jedi are a force for good in the galaxy or not. This will be one major difference for Star Wars’ future from the beloved view of the Jedi shown in the original trilogy, with others coming in the form of Rey’s Jedi Order having new Star Wars Padawans, and potentially new villains that move away from the Sith.
Have The Jedi Truly Been A Force For Good In The Galaxy?
Kennedy’s comments beg the question then, of whether the Jedi have ever truly been a force for good in the galaxy. As mentioned, Lucas’ prequel trilogy was certainly focused on the idea that the hubris and dogmatic beliefs of the Jedi led directly to the rise of Emperor Palpatine and the Empire. After all, the Empire did form in blatant plain sight of the Jedi, with the Sith managing to defeat the Jedi with little to no opposition during the waning days of the Clone Wars through Darth Sidious’ plan. Order 66 was almost perfectly executed, with only a handful of the thousands of Jedi that served the Republic surviving.
While it can certainly be argued that the Jedi Order as a whole was unsuccessful, certainly during the prequel era, there is no denying that individual Jedi have made good cases for the space wizards’ effectiveness. From Luke Skywalker – and Anakin – defeating the Emperor in the original trilogy to Rey Skywalker almost single-handedly opposing the First Order and overthrowing the Emperor for good in the sequels, the Jedi have certainly proven their merits. This also extends to the era of the High Republic, which saw the titular Republic thrive due to the effectiveness of the Jedi Order at the peak of its powers.
With Rey’s Jedi Order though, it is clear that exploring the Jedi’s effectiveness provides a wealth of great storytelling options. Given that the Jedi have had such a repetitive history of rising to power and falling to darkness, the idea that the galaxy at wide begins questioning their usage is an interesting concept to explore in Star Wars‘ future. With this idea confirmed by Kathleen Kennedy to be part of Rey’s new Jedi Order film, the excitement for Daisy Ridley and Rey’s return to the franchise only continues to grow exponentially.
Source: Dagobah Dispatch podcast