I’ve been thinking about Star Wars and damn I wannabe a Jedi!

I think that having a lightsabre and the ability to deflect lasers (or bullets) right back at an enemy would be the coolest part, then again there’s also the mind control aspect, fantasies about how that power could best be used go on forever. Of course the problem with being a Jedi is that you might as well take all of those powers and throw them in the garbage since as a Jedi you’re not allowed to use them for anything other than the good of the galaxy you’re not even allowed to get laid…no wonder Anakin chose another path!

With the Sith on the other hand it’s a completely different story. With the Sith you get the superhuman powers AND you’re actively encouraged to use them in any way you see fit. Of course the problem with them is you’re always having to look over your shoulder for fear either that your master is going to kill you or that your apprentice will and although you’ll probably be able to deal quite easily with all of the enemies you make having fun along the way, there’s always the chance they’ll band together, form a rebel alliance and end your reign of terror.

So you’re faced with a choice, use your power responsibly and be rewarded with a safer world to live in or enjoy the delights of using your power as you wish and be faced with the turmoil of never feeling safe and secure, not to mention indirectly being responsible for the death of your wife.

I’m sure there was much racism (speciesism?) in the Galactic Empire and even in the Old Republic but it seems that the Force did not discriminate to whom it bestowed special powers. There were both Jedi and Sith who came from every part of the Galaxy who took on every shape, size, skin colour, number of arms, heads, noses etc, in short in the Jedi Temple a vast range of peoples were represented as Jedi Masters and one only needs to glance at Darth Maul to see that the Sith were hardly a ‘humans only’ cadre.

Some Sith used to be Jedi and some Jedi used to be Sith, as their outlook changed they made either the easy journey to the Dark Side or the tough one back to the light side of the Force. Those who became Sith faced a long but fun road ahead of treachery and evil, those who made it back to the light found redemption. As Yoda himself said

“Fear is the path to the dark side, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

So if being afraid of your enemies leads to the dark side then not fearing them and by extension being able to deal with them objectively ensures not only remaining in the light but also being able to effectively end the terror of your enemies without becoming like them.

This is a lesson Anakin Skywalker never learned, particularly when that fateful moment came during Attack of the Clones when he found his mother. She had been tortured for over a month and died in his arms. No one said being a Jedi was easy but Anakin crossed over to the dark side as he later admitted when he told Padme that:

“I killed them. I killed them all. They’re all dead. Every single one of them.And not just the men, but the women, and the children too. They’re like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals! I hate them!”

At this moment the hope of the Jedi had switched sides, allowing his rage to dictate his actions, destroy his objectivity and ultimately plunge the whole galaxy into darkness. No one could argue that he didn’t have a good reason, he had the very best reason of all, those animals had murdered his mother, but nevertheless the affect this had was to make him the instrument of evil through which untold millions were made to suffer and this is where we get closer to home.

Perhaps you think your side is the Jedi and the enemy side is the Sith but the likelihood is that if you view the world through that lens al all you ARE a Sith.

The Force bestows power on everyone and yet they make the choice as to whether or not to use their power for good or for evil. Simultaneously there are many powerful people amongst us who are unable to control the gifts they have. Power goes to their head, they allow their hatred to control their hearts and bring chaos to their own peoples as well as their enemies while invariably gaining personally in the form of status, wealth, power (the usual things) while doing so.

The truth is that there are Jewish Sith and there are Palestinian Sith, you’ll know which one you are if your hatred dominates your actions, if your need to cause pain to the ‘other’ overcomes yourdesire to bring peace and prosperity to your own and by extension to your enemy also, since peace benefits all of us. The Sith don’t want peace, they want chaos, confusion and war. This is how they are able to manipulate those around them, how Palpatine managed to bend an entire galaxy to his will.

“So this is how democracy dies…to the sound of thunderous applause” (Senator Amidala Episode III)

The words of Obi Wan Kenobi to his former padawan ring as true now as they did when first spoken a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away;

“The most difficult trial a Jedi must face is to look inside oneself. Often we see things we don’t like. But these aspects are not set in stone. It is our decisions that shape our destinies.”

Each of us has the power to make this world better or worse regardless of upbringing, education, race or religion. We humans have the beautiful ability to make their own choices an ability that is wasted when we allow our hatred to dictate our actions. This is the surest way to bring tragedy down upon the very people that we love the most.

Too often have I heard people say “we should kill them all!” Too often have I heard words of hatred and seen motivation to kill come from fear to have any real belief that things will simply be okay. It was a famous Jedi Master who remarked that you should

“be the change you wish to see in the world” (Gandi) a lesson each of us must learn.

The fact is that there are both Israeli Jedi and Palestinian Sith as well as Israeli Sith and Palestinian Jedi.The Sith of each side have far more in common with each other than they would ever admit and they will continue to drag all of us into perpetual conflict that will enrich while destroying us all unless the Jedi amongst us stand up and take our very much shared destiny’s back.