One thing I always found interesting is the strong theme that The Jedi Order is corrupted by the time of the prequels. In interviews and such, Lucas seems to not intend this at all, but in the films themselves, it works so well. Of course there is the bit where The Jedi are turned into a military force, which is acknowledged as being wrong within the films, but then we also see them make multiple judgements that are incorrect, and since they're prequels, we know they're incorrect as they make them. Anakin IS the Chosen One, he does bring balance to The Force, but Yoda was going to disregard that and not allow him in. Qui-Gon, a hippie spiritual type who disregards the letter of the law in favor of its spirit, could sense further ahead and saw that, even though he would do terrible things as Vader, he ultimately still would fulfill his destiny. And not only does he end The Sith, but he also ends The Jedi, as if both were corrupting The Force. And given that we see the Jedi were corrupted, this makes sense. By the end, Luke is the only one left, but he didn't even finish Jedi school, and the Jedi school he dropped out of was obviously not the type that the Jedi Order used before their downfall. Not only was he older, and Yoda had to teach him in unorthodox circumstances, but by that time, Yoda seemed to see and learn from some of his own mistakes as well. Whatever Luke is, he is not the same type of thing that the characters of the prequels were, except for arguably Qui-Gon. Of course, the fact that Qui-Gon was an influence on Anakin is important as well, and a large part of what saves the day in the end, but the fact that he wasn't able to train him fully himself resulted in Anakin being corrupted by Jedi who were themselves already corrupted, notable Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan was better than most, due to his training by Qui-Gon, but was shown to never fully get Qui-Gon's teachings, and thus still had a bit of the corrupted, bureaucratic influence of the Order in him, and then this results in him being unable to properly train Anakin. It's not because Obi-Wan is a bad Jedi, he's better than most, but training Anakin was always going to be an extraordinary job, and while he did it well enough to save the day at the very end, it resulted in a lot of messed up stuff in the middle (Darth Vader). When Obi-Wan says that he failed Anakin, he might be hard on himself, but only a tiny bit. He didn't do as well as Qui-Gon would have done, even if he was second best. But of course we can sympathize with his very difficult situation.
>tl;dr: The Jedi Council was corrupted by bureaucracy and itself needed to be destroyed, along with The Sith, to bring balance to The Force, and that's precisely what Anakin did. Vader destroying The Jedi was actually the will of The Force. They, like Anakin, had good intentions, but were flawed, and their destruction was ultimately good. In the end, there is no organized religion dedicated to messing with The Force, for good or evil. Both take it out of balance. The movies seem to actually establish this quite well, but in interviews and such, it's like Lucas doesn't even realize he did it.
>the description of Vader's belief system as an "ancient religion" whereas the Jedi order collapsed only a generation prior.
This isn't complicated. It was ancient even when it was still practiced. Ancient doesn't have to refer to when it ended. If anything, in almost all uses it would refer to when it began.
>Yoda, who is old enough to have taught Qui-Gon or one of his predecessors)
Yoda did teach Qui-Gon, not to mention Obi-Wan. This seems like something that was almost a plot hole when they introduced Qui-Gon, until they established that Yoda teaches the younglings.
>Much like how Leia claimed to remember their mother's face in Episode 6
I can buy that this is just a vague memory from birth. That's believable, especially in context.
>Why doesn't everyone use a droid army?
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