PDA

View Full Version : Kidnapping or will of the Force?



Tony J Case, Super Genius
21 February 2002, 02:10 PM
This is a real simple question - do you think recruitment into the Jedi order is mandatory - assuming that you meet all the proper requirements, that is. If a child tests high enough during the midicholorian testing, do the Jedi swoop down bing-bang-boom end of story, of do the parents have any choice in the matter? Can the parents, in short, tell the Jedi to piss off?

I'm going to be bold, and say no - the parents donít have that right. From the one instance I've seen where this has come up, it looks like the call of the Force has higher priority then the rights of the individual. In the kids book Episode 1 Adventures - Jedi Emergency, Yoda and Mace (two odd choices for a courier mission like this) are sent to find an orphaned infant with tremendous Force potential. Her legal guardian won't release the baby to the Jedi - instead wanting her for his own sinister purposes. Sinister purposes aside, the Jedi arrive with the intent of taking the child overriding the guardian's rights.

(This also raises an ethical question for the doctors of the Republic. Since it would require an ARMY of dedicated Jedi agents to process all the babies throughout the republic, presumably itís the doctors that administer the Midi tests on the newborn along with the battery of other tests they do. The doctors probably donít even know the purpose of the Midi tests, since finding someone tested positive would almost make him an accessory to kidnapping. Surely the SW Hippocratic oath might have something to say about that. But I digress. . . .)

I'm not sure where I'm going with this - thinking out loud, mostly. But it seems to me that this policy is just loaded with story potential. Anything from your Jedi PCs encountering an NPC inexplicably hostile towards them (bitter parent angry at the order) to protests from activists groups (the SW version of the ACLU), to bounty hunters hired by the parents to infiltrate the Temple and re-kidnap their child. Imagine the crisis of faith when the Jedi have to go into battle against someone whose only goal is to recover a lost child for a distraught parent.

Heavy stuff, huh? What do you guys think?

DirkGreystoke
21 February 2002, 02:37 PM
I agree with you Tony. I get the impression that Jedi-potential children have no choice, and neither do their parents. In fact, my current chacter's father is bitter toward the Jedi for taking my character, who would be an heir to the planet {Tales of the Jedi Era.} I really don't have anything to give as basis for my opinion, it is just the overall sense that I get after watching The Phantom Menace. I am hoping Attack of the Clones will tell more about this topic. But yes, this opens a can of worms that can make an RPG quite interesting.

BrianDavion
21 February 2002, 03:05 PM
stories I've read suggest that parents are given the choice when their child tests positive (I'm sure if they refuse the Jedi keep a watch over the kid carefully:)

that being said it proably depends. I mean if they discovered an Anakin skywalker.. would they take him? YOU BET!

dragonseye
21 February 2002, 03:10 PM
Well, personally, I would say no. To me at the least, it seems as though this would go against many ethical and moral codes (including possibly the Jedi Code) of humans and most other species. At least partly my reasoning in thinking it woud be against the Jedi Code is that it sounds more like the Jedi's arrogance over their own superiority over all other Force traditions and belief systems. (And it doesn't take very long for arrogance in oneself to lead you to the Dark Side.)

I've never read the book, so I can't be a judge on the story, but at least to me (from what you've said,) it sounds more like the Jedi wished to take the child in order to protect it from the "sinister" plot that the leagal guardian was planning.

Even if it's not a common practice among the Jedi, I could see instances where they would prefer to take the child, no matter the results. More than likely, the reason would be the same as above that was in that Epdisode 1 book. In any case, they would most likely take the child only if s/he was in a severe circumstance of falling wholey to the Dark Side.

No matter the opinion, such a practice could very easily make an interesting adventure.

Wade Trenor
21 February 2002, 03:18 PM
According to the Jedi Apprentice series, the parents are given the choice. It's a tough one, because all ties with their child will be cut.
I'm not sure how Force Sensitive children are identified in the Old Republic, but there are methods of finding them - even on backwater planets.

Tony J Case, Super Genius
21 February 2002, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by dragonseye
I've never read the book, so I can't be a judge on the story, but at least to me (from what you've said,) it sounds more like the Jedi wished to take the child in order to protect it from the "sinister" plot that the leagal guardian was planning.


Yeah - that's the problem with that series of books. They were only available via mail order for a short time. Kind of pricy, too - which all added up to nobody really reading them.

-EDIT- stupid, stupid me. There's one more example to support the 'Child Snatching' Jedi theroy: the Darth Maul book. The con man (who's name escapes me now) was orignaly a paper pusher for at the temple. Very low level clerk, if memory serves me correctly.

He was bitter and angry at the Jedi for losing his job and losing control over his child - but I dont recall if it was said that the child was taken forceably or not? It's been a while since I've read the book. Looks like I've got a mission tonight.

Anyway - back to my point. It seems to me that the Jedi would have a PR disaster on their hands if they constantly skulked about snatching chilkdren out of their cradles. The first time the parent said "no" and the Jedi forecably pressed the issue, the newsnets would have a field day.

Perhaps that's one small portion of the Palpatine Anti-Jedi propaganda campain? Breaking the news that Jedi Ninjas with the "This is not the child you are looking for" mind trick are plundering your innocent children.

Lord Diggori
21 February 2002, 04:45 PM
All the EU stories I've read show the parents choosing or leaving the decision to the child, if they're old enough. Jedi can persuade but thats about it. Mace and Yoda taking this infant from an evil guardian makes sense still cause saving a child from sinister purposes is very Jedi. What is right isnt always whats legal.

Dark Horse had a series about Ki-Adi-Mundi, a Jedi Master who was Cerean. His species gives birth to male infants only 10% of the time so he was seen as very special by his family. Still his father chose to give him over to the Dark Lady to be trained as a Jedi.

Fab
21 February 2002, 05:20 PM
In the Jedi Apprentice series, Xanatos' father was given the choice. He made the tough choice to let his son become a Jedi.

The same was true with Lorn Pavan's child in Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter. He decided to let his son become a Jedi student, after which he was let go from working in the Temple.

So I would think they have the choice. It would be very un-Jedi to steal a baby away from its rightful parents.

Donovan Morningfire
21 February 2002, 05:30 PM
I haven't read a lot of the books dealing with the RotE era, but I always figured the Jedi would give the parents the choice of sending their children of to one day become Jedi. About the only time the Jedi might 'abduct' a child would be if the child were an orphan with no living family connections, and even then they'd probably still go through the proper channels for 'adoption' and all that.

Sabre
21 February 2002, 07:41 PM
Even if the books say the parents are given a choice, that seems dubious. Perhaps they are given a choice in the same way you can choose whether or not to pay your taxes. The reasons for the Jedi needing to coerce the parents or steal the children are both for the good of the order, and for the good of the galaxy.

First, the good of the order. Parents do NOT simply give up their children, even if they think the child might have a better life because of it. Especially when they're just born and still kinda cute, parents just get attached to the things. The Jedi could lecture them about the good of the galaxy all that they wanted, but without incentives they MIGHT get one or two acceptable candidates once in a blue moon. Think of the requirements. The child must be located early. The child must be Force sensitive. The child must be strong enough to warrant a place in the order. The child must be unwanted by the parents or the parents must be persuaded to give the child up. The odds are against the Jedi to begin with taking into account the first three requirements. It's best to just eliminate the last by simply taking the child.

Second, for the good of the galaxy. Force sensitives are dangerous. To themselves, and to others. Falling to the dark side is easy. Staying on the light side is difficult. Without proper training and discipline, a rogue Force user could become a darksider. From there, they are a danger to themselves and to everyone around them. As such, the Jedi code might be silent on the morality of taking the children, as it isn't just the parents or the child who will suffer if they do not. On the flip side, the more Jedi the order can train, the more powerful the Republic's elite peacekeeping force will be. So, at the very least, they're going to want to make sure that the children won't grow up to become darksiders. Additionally, they want their numbers to grow to keep the order strong. Even Jedi aren't immortal. They have to replace a certain number just to keep their heads above water.

So, it just seems to make more sense that the Jedi would steal babies.

Master Dao Rin
21 February 2002, 11:37 PM
For my part I think that the parents are given the choice in whether to donate their child to the Jedi Order or not.

My reasons?

1) As others have said, not giving the choice would fly in the face of current moral and ethic principles of the Republic. We wouldn't see this happen in a Star Wars movie as a normal everyday occurence, and so we can be certain in knowing that the answer to this question is therefore pro-choice.

2) There is plenty of movie evidence to suggest that FS individuals will grow up without ever tapping into anywhere near their full potential with the Force - even if they try real hard to do so. The Jedi aren't worried about a kid they missed growing up and turning into some psychotic monster using the Dark Side of the Force to be nigh unstoppable ... because it just doesn't happen. What strikes me with the Force is that it takes YEARS of dedicated training to able to tap into the Force and use it consciously.

3) The Jedi have a monopoly on the Force and they are in no particular hurry to bring every Tom, Dick, and Harry into their "exclusive club". Lets face it, the Jedi are rather snobbish, when you get right down to it ... at least, if Kenobi and the Jedi Council members are any judge. Heck, even Qui-Gon - who is a "maverick" - is rather curt, what with not even saying hello or goodbye on his comlink with his own apprentice! :) Granted, this could just be Jinn, but I'm betting the other way. :D

And,

4) There is no possible way to track every birth occuring everywhere within the Republic at any one moment, so really - they're going to be choosy with whom they test. The Jedi Order would quickly realize that many are going to be falling thru the cracks, as it where, so what's one more? Obviously, then, just being FS is not the chief determinant in deciding whether or not a hopeful will be trained.

------------

Now, of course, local law is going to have a large say in what goes on too. So, obviously, a system can outlaw this practice by the Jedi Order, and the Jedi would have to respect this.

However, I do believe that the vast majority of the Republic's population would view the Jedi Order knocking on the door of the maternal ward as a high honour and a miracle. My guess is that the Jedi Order is hardly ever refused an invitation to take their child away - this is basically ensuring that your child will receive the best at everything - food, clothing, shelter, education, species rights, spiritual growth, and whatnot, so that their parents can be rest assured that their Jedi hopeful offspring will be set for life.

I bet many poor family's parents flock and beg the Jedi to test their newborns, in the hopes of providing their 15th child with a better future. This is another factor to consider with #3 above, and I'm sure the Jedi Order actually has to beat down the masses from sending in orphans and such to their temples (which I'm sure they are taken in, and given a purpose in life, even if they aren't FS).

I'm betting that the Jedi Order really doesn't need to do much at all in recruiting replacements for their ranks. I imagine FS infants just sorta fall into their laps, so to speak, and I don't think that there is some massive galaxy spanning Doctor testing going on throughout the Republic on behalf of the Jedi.

What I do think happens, when the Order finds that orphans are a scarcity that year, is that they look to their own members first and follow up on family and relatives for newborns, and get infants that way. They would also look at noble / ruling families, since (in mythic stories) nobility is a sign of divinity (The Force); so mind you don't fall victim to 20th century mores and rule out this facet of the Star Wars story structure. Of course, the more important and prosperous and "advanced" systems would probably take priority over some backwater or industrial world (I'm tempted to say "Western" as opposed to "Developing" for a real world analogy).

Only after they tapped these two knowable and concrete sources would they then make the rounds at the local hospital and recruit mundane medical help in finding the next golden child.

Thats what I think, anyway. :)

Tony J Case, Super Genius
22 February 2002, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by Master Dao Rin
1) As others have said, not giving the choice would fly in the face of current moral and ethic principles of the Republic. We wouldn't see this happen in a Star Wars movie as a normal everyday occurence, and so we can be certain in knowing that the answer to this question is therefore pro-choice.


Of course, the whole galaxy is going to hell in a handbasket. The Jedi themselves, although not corrupt and amoral like the senate, has lost it's perspective. They've locked themselves away from the rest of the world in their ivory tower (both literally and figuratively), they've become passive and complacent - is it that far of a stretch for the order to justify kidnapping by chalking it up to being motivated by a greater destiny?



2) There is plenty of movie evidence to suggest that FS individuals will grow up without ever tapping into anywhere near their full potential with the Force - even if they try real hard to do so. The Jedi aren't worried about a kid they missed growing up and turning into some psychotic monster using the Dark Side of the Force to be nigh unstoppable ... because it just doesn't happen. What strikes me with the Force is that it takes YEARS of dedicated training to able to tap into the Force and use it consciously.


Granted - missing a child is not like leaving a loaded gun just lying about. They could have (and probably would have) missed Annie and he'd never be any the wiser.



3) The Jedi have a monopoly on the Force and they are in no particular hurry to bring every Tom, Dick, and Harry into their "exclusive club".


However if your exclusive club offered up one new member in a thousand billion applicants, wouldn't you be inclined to swell your ranks by any means necessary?




4) There is no possible way to track every birth occuring everywhere within the Republic at any one moment, so really - they're going to be choosy with whom they test. The Jedi Order would quickly realize that many are going to be falling thru the cracks, as it where, so what's one more? Obviously, then, just being FS is not the chief determinant in deciding whether or not a hopeful will be trained.


Certainly not - I'd even venture that there's a large section of the natives on Courscant who get missed in the Midi screening. You think they care about that sort of thing in Down Below? Probably not.



Now, of course, local law is going to have a large say in what goes on too. So, obviously, a system can outlaw this practice by the Jedi Order, and the Jedi would have to respect this.

Of course the Republic (acting at the suggestion of the Order) can strongly suggest that their local doctors file all blood tests with the Galactic Health Database Net. If they don't, then all kinds of things happen to their favored nation status. They find themselves last in line for everything, and their paperwork tends to get lost in the shuffle - that sort of thing.



I bet many poor family's parents flock and beg the Jedi to test their newborns, in the hopes of providing their 15th child with a better future. This is another factor to consider with #3 above, and I'm sure the Jedi Order actually has to beat down the masses from sending in orphans and such to their temples (which I'm sure they are taken in, and given a purpose in life, even if they aren't FS).

Oooh - that's a good encounter/game idea that I hadn't considered - mendicants throwing their poor and starving babies at them, in hopes of a better life. Time to pile the guilt upon my players. Heh, heh, heh. . . .




I'm betting that the Jedi Order really doesn't need to do much at all in recruiting replacements for their ranks. I imagine FS infants just sorta fall into their laps, so to speak, and I don't think that there is some massive galaxy spanning Doctor testing going on throughout the Republic on behalf of the Jedi.

Not a specific isolated test mind you - but perhaps just a little something slipped in with all the blood testing, DNA identity recording and so on. Heck, after a thousand years (give or take a couple) of doing a midi test 'just because that's the way things are done', would a doctor give it a second thought?

The only thing that makes me think that there is some kind of Galactic Health Database is QG's line about how Annie would have been found if he had been born in the core worlds. Of course, that's just one interpretation of the line, mind you.


Thats what I think, anyway. :)

Hey, it's good to have a counter view point to bounce ideas off of.

Fab
22 February 2002, 03:23 AM
Originally posted by Sabre
So, it just seems to make more sense that the Jedi would steal babies.

I don't buy that. Like I mentioned before, that seems to run contrary to EVERYTHING taught by the Jedi from the movies and books. The Jedi seem respectful, why would they start their lives of respect in an act of utter and contemptuous disrespect?

And second, maybe they do give parents a choice and the vast majority say, "No thanks." Perhaps that's why there are only about 10,000 Jedi in a Galaxy that contains trillions and trillions and trillions of beings.

If one request in a thousand is granted, and the child is given to the Temple, then that's still pretty good odds.

Rick Vogt
22 February 2002, 04:17 AM
Well, this is definetly interesting. One thing that pops into mind straight away is that the Jedi are viewed more as the "protectors" of the people in the rise of the empire era more than they are seen as the "problem"(which is also a view of them). I think that most of the people realize that the force is a whole different realm of the universe to them and anyone without it, thus they are much more apt to let the child go. Kinda like sending their son or daughter off to the military. While this is definetly not the popular thought of the republics people I do feel that some of them do.

Just my 2 credits worth. :)

BrianDavion
22 February 2002, 11:11 AM
also you guys forget the cultural differances between the republic and say.. the US. keep in mind guys that for 30 THOUSAND years the Republic has likely been telling people that the Jedi are great guardians of the republic and becoming one is a great honor etc. culturaly people may feel a great honor to send their child off to train at the Jedi temple.


another possiability is a form of material enchouragement. perhaps the Jedi Temple offers to pay off someone's debts if they send their child to train with em. Just for example....
In a D&D world me and my friend are making, magic is fairly rare, and those with an apptitude for spell casting are fairly uncommon, The Church to get it's clerics and Paladins offers to pay off the debits of poor Pheasents in return for putting their magicly gifted child into the church.

perhaps the Jedi have a similer practice. (which would make most Jedi as having come from a fairly poor family.. which makes sense since it has hinted that Jedi from wealthy familys are rather exceptional in their background that way:)