Star Wars: Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones (2002). Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights ReservedThe Jedi Stop Being Peacekeepers and Become Soldiers
The juxtaposition of the Jedi’s intended roles as peacekeepers with their actions as generals in an army is one of the most fascinating subplots of the Star Wars Prequel trilogy. Watching the Jedi ideals of peace and harmony deteriorate into chaos was pure tragedy and fantastic storytelling.
But the Jedi order really made some poor choices.
Mace Windu explicitly said the Jedi were keepers of the peace and not soldiers. So of course, the Jedi become soldiers and lead their clone army into battle, fighting side by side with their eventual executioners. Just about every sign pointed to this being an all-time terrible decision and leading to their mass extinction (more on that later).
It was flawed logic. The Jedi had this fundamental belief that its order’s allegiance was to the Republic and preserving democracy, which is a fine sentiment. But what happens when the Republic spawns an army out of thin air, shows obvious signs of systematic corruption and brings destruction to planets, all in the name of “Democracy”?
Of course, the Republic was under the control of the Sith, which was absolutely the worst-case scenario. But why weren’t the Jedi prepared for the worst-case scenario, especially after Sith made their presence known 10 years earlier?
The Jedi Order’s blind loyalty to a government institution clouded the big picture— they were pawns in a misguided war, protecting a corrupt government system, which put them in prime position for their eventual destruction. In other words, they messed up.