A new Star Wars book is revealing that the Jedi had a recruitment practice that’s reminiscent of the First Order’s stormtrooper program.
In Star Wars — Episode VII: The Force Awakens, a big reveal was dropped about the new stormtroopers who were apart of the First Order. While we knew stormtroopers were humans in the original trilogy, a change from clones in the prequels, the First Order had done something far more nefarious. They were taking children from their homes and raising them to be a part of the Order.
Now, The Star Wars Book, an upcoming book full of Star Wars facts, is revealing that the Jedi nearly had similar practices while the Jedi Order was still around. According to StarWars.com, which shared a few facts from the book, the Jedi would actually recruit children younger than the younglings, if you can imagine.
Here’s the excerpt from the book that Star Wars shared:
"We all know the stages of a Jedi: younglings train to become padawan apprentices, padawans face the Trials to become knights, knights who successfully train padawans become masters, and the wisest of them become Grand Masters, like Yoda. There’s now a name for the youngest stage of being in the Jedi Order: Initiates. Recognized for their Force sensitivity by the Jedi and taken from their families, infants and toddlers (and sometimes even older children) become initiates, with their minds able to be steered away from fear and other dark emotions as they grow into childhood."
It’s no wonder Master Yoda thought Anakin Skywalker was too old to train. The Jedi have been recruiting children as young as infants to be trained. And while the fact doesn’t explicitly draw the connection between the First Order and the Jedi in this regard, you can’t help but notice the glaring similarity.
The only difference between this may be the fact that the First Order was taking children away from their families to serve in the stormtrooper program without their consent. We saw this with Finn and Episode IX’s Jannah. Though, when families noticed that their children could use the Force, they’d willingly give their children to the Jedi to be trained. Because, let’s be honest, the possibility of your child one day protecting the galaxy sounds pretty awesome.
But at the same time, in both situations, the children didn’t get to have their say. An infant or toddler certainly can’t speak up for themselves. And prestigious or not, it may be that the child would never want to be a galaxy-defending Jedi in the first place.
Speaking of “The Child,” it makes us wonder if this sort of thing has any connection to Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian. He, of course, is a Force-sensitive child, and he was born before the fall of the Jedi. Wookieepedia estimates The Child was born in 41 BBY, which is the same year Anakin Skywalker was born. Did Baby Yoda’s parents give him away to avoid joining the Jedi Order? It’s a stretch, but the evidence is certainly there. But that’s something season 2 will hopefully explore when it comes out later this month.
To read more Star Wars facts, you can buy The Star Wars Book, which is out now.