Star Wars: 3 lessons from watching every film in chronological order

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights Reserved
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights Reserved /
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi..L to R: Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)..Photo: Jonathan Olley..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. /

Lesson Two: The legacy of the Jedi is failure

Lesson two here also happens to be the second lesson from Jedi Master Luke Skywalker to Rey in The Last Jedi.

"“Lesson two. Now that they’re extinct, the Jedi are romanticized, deified. But if you strip away the myth and look at their deeds, the legacy of the Jedi is failure. Hypocrisy, hubris. At the height of their powers, they allowed Darth Sidious to rise, create the Empire, and wipe them out. It was a Jedi Master who was responsible for the training and creation of Darth Vader.” – Master Skywalker"

Rey pushes back against Luke’s words, insisting on bringing up the positives in the midst of all of those failures, but the truth is that every word out of Skywalker’s mouth rang with devastating truth. Through ten films, the Jedi seem to excel at catastrophic failure.

In The Phantom Menace, it is the insistence of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi that helps make Anakin Skywalker a Jedi. It is their training indeed that creates Darth Vader. While Rey is correct in pointing out to Luke that it was him who saw conflict and eventually turned Vader back to the light, he only managed to do so after the Jedi were all but wiped out.

Not only that, the actions of the Jedi had left the entire galaxy in turmoil for decades. While we don’t know from the films exactly who was involved, Jedi clearly played a role in the creation of the clone army and the removal of Kamino from the Jedi Archives.

A massive army dropped into their laps for seemingly no reason, and the Jedi fought alongside them in The Clone Wars without even the slightest inkling that they would ultimately turn with the execution of Order 66. Mace Windu and other Jedi confront Darth Sidious in Revenge of the Sith, only for Sidious to easily take out all but Windu without breaking a sweat.

Jedi Master Windu has everything in hand. He can kill Sidious and end things right then and there, but it is another Jedi, Anakin Skywalker, who snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. Master Yoda attempt to finish Sidious as well, but also fails.

In A New Hope, Obi-Wan confronts Darth Vader for the first time since Revenge of the Sith. Vader kills him, which means Obi-Wan “fails,” but this is an indicator perhaps more than any other moment of the power of failure.

In The Last Jedi, Master Skywalker is visited by the Force spirit of Master Yoda. Luke is confronted about the very words that Yoda spoke to him during Return of the Jedi.

"“Heeded my words not, did you? “Pass on what you have learned.” Strength, mastery, hmm… but weakness, folly, failure, also. Yes, failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.” – Master Yoda"

As Yoda finally lays out word for word, failure is the greatest teacher. The legacy of the Jedi indeed is failure, but that includes the lessons these terrible failures have taught the Jedi.

The Jedi have been dealing with Darth Sidious since the very beginning, and in some way that still isn’t over. Now, with generations of lessons taught by failure, the Jedi have the opportunity to right all of their wrongs. They have the chance to weaponize their failure and bring balance to the Force the way they’ve intended to for so long.