How 'The High Republic' Affects Our Views On The Jedi
Do You Agree?
One of the promises of the High Republic is to show us the Jedi at the height of their glory. This is what Obi-Wan Kenobi thinks about when he talks about the golden age of the Jedi and how they were the guardians of peace and justice throughout the galaxy for a thousand generations. This is a promise that has been fulfilled thus far through the series and beyond.
The High Republic when viewed from a wider perspective changes the way we think of the Jedi. How they were good, and how they were once an organization that one could be proud to be a part of. Though the story is not yet done we can see the seeds of their fall and the ways it could have been prevented.
Open to Dogmatic
In the prequel trilogy, we saw the decline of the Jedi. It had become insular and dogmatic. They would rather stay mostly on Coruscant, and not go out there in the galaxy, exploring new worlds, taking in new ideas and ways of thinking. In the High Republic, we saw a Jedi Order that seemed far more willing to get out of the temple and mingle with the people. We saw Jedi like Avar Kriss, who viewed the Force not as a power, but in some cases as a beautiful music to listened to, and be inspired by. It is fascinating to see the Jedi in this state. While they were still very much loyal to the Republic, they were less like a police force as we would see them in the prequel trilogy and more like mythic warriors in some ways. They commanded forces, not for war, but for heroism. As Mace Windu once said, they were keepers of the peace, not soldiers.
The Sith had been defeated centuries earlier. The Jedi no longer needed standing armies. Now they were free to go out and chart course through the various unexplored parts of the galaxy, or to help rebuild places after the devastation of the last war. In many ways, it was a more open time for the Jedi, a time where they are less afraid of the new, and more open to novel ideas.
Even the time of the High Republic was different. The galaxy was at peace and right now the only thing the Republic was doing was trying to expand and bring its influence to other worlds. Although many of its critics would argue that the High Republic was acting on colonialism principles, the Jedi, for their part, were still acting with the best of intentions. The Republic did not seem to be as corrupt as many would have thought, thus making it a worthy government to be defenders of.
However, what we still do not know was how the Nihil would affect the Jedi, at least not yet. They were already unleashing horrors that the great champions of the Force have never been up against. Perhaps fear would drive the Jedi to centralize and seclude themselves in the Temple on Coruscant. Thus, they began to lose their ways.
Same Jedi, Different Times
It is hard to say whether or not the Jedi changed their way of thinking. So far it seemed that the their principles remained the same regardless: defenders of the Force and the natural balance of the universe. However, it was clear that they were far more open than the one we saw in the prequel trilogy. They were willing to explore, and accept new ideas and different ways of doing things. They were a very loose organization that was not always bound to the whims of the Jedi Council. In many ways one would say this was the Jedi Order that Qui-Gon would not be considered a maverick, and something of an average member.
Perhaps it was not that the Jedi as a whole had changed since the time of the High Republic. It was more that their methods had changed. Thus, the High Republic could explore how their modus operandi had evolved over the many years.