Warning: contains minor spoilers for Light of The Jedi ~ Star Wars: The High Republic. George Lucas first introduced us to the notion of the Force in 1977’s Star Wars. “It’s an energy field,” Obi-Wan Kenobi told a young Luke Sykwalker, “created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” It was what gave the Jedi their power. We learned even more about the Force in The Empire Strikes Back from Jedi Master Yoda. Let go your fear and hate and avoid attachments, Yoda imparted to Luke. That was the Jedi Code. Now, it seems, Yoda may have been a little rigid in his instruction.
In Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi, we get to see the Jedi at the peak of their power. They number in the thousands, helping to guide the light of the Force out into the galaxy. What’s interesting in this new era, centuries before the events of the original trilogy, is how the Knights of the golden age of the Republic interpret the tenets of the Jedi Code. Surprisingly, many Jedi of the era do not adhere to its teachings nearly as stringently as Yoda suggests, to both Luke and his father Anakin, is necessary.
Jedi Code: More like Jedi Guidelines
In Revenge of the Sith, Yoda tells Anakin “attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed, that is. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” It remains to be seen if Yoda held as true to that ideal centuries prior (during the High Republic). He has not yet appeared in the new storytelling arcs as of yet. In Light of the Jedi alone, however, it’s quite clear that attachment is not nearly as big a Jedi Code issue for other Jedi as Yoda makes it out to be later on.
To the contrary, two main characters (we won’t name for spoiler reasons) focus on their affection for each other more extensively than expected. It even gets to a point that they contemplate a life together when their time with the Jedi Order is done. Likewise, one of the Jedi outposts in the story even has a resident mascot/pet. (A fire-breathing dog, no less!) Ultimately it becomes especially attached to a Jedi padawan, who in turn grows quite attached to it.
Light of Jedi reveals a whole new side of the Order
It’s not just the Jedi Code teachings on attachment that differ in the heightened age of the Jedi, either. Some of the Knights and Masters dabble with powers we’ve never seen before. Among those powers are some that drift closer to the Dark Side than we might expect. This new perspective on the Jedi is certainly enlightening. It will undoubtedly will give us a much broader view of the Order as a whole as the High Republic storytelling moves forward.