In the battle of Jedi versus Sith, I'll take the Sith every time

Jim, I deeply appreciate your attempt at a revisionist history of the Galactic Empire, but I fear that you’re missing the forest for the trees. The central conflict of the entire Star Wars universe isn’t rebellion versus empire, but rather Jedi versus Sith. And while the Galactic Empire was but one expression of Sith rule, I think it’s fair to say that the Jedi Order as portrayed in the prequels represents the fullness of Jedi ideology. And it’s not pretty.

The Jedi — as portrayed in the movies and in many of the books of the expanded universe — are basically the lightsaber-wielding jihadists of an intergalactic bureaucratic caliphate. The Galactic Republic is the Hotel California of interstellar governance. You can check out, but you can never leave — at least not if you want to keep your head on your shoulders. And the Jedi commitment to exterminating – yes, exterminating — the Sith is total. Notice how quickly the Jedi turned to summary execution when Palpatine was at their mercy. It was that lawless act that pushed Anakin Skywalker to revolt.

(Oh, and spare me any rhetoric about “younglings” — what a sympathetic way to describe the Jedi’s child soldiers.)