Also, spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett ahead.
*More breaths, because Jesus Christ.*
Ok. So. Din Djarin’s trip to visit Grogu at Luke Skywalker’s fledgling Jedi academy in Episode 6 of The Book of Boba Fett made it real clear that Disney’s intent on revisiting one of the biggest themes of the prequel trilogy: the idea that Jedi are not allowed to form attachments because that way leads to temptation and possibly a visit to the Dark Side.
I hate this so much.
Sure, rejection of strong relationships is established Jedi orthodoxy, but yo–was Luke Skywalker paying any attention at all to the events of Return of the Jedi? Luke’s love for his deadbeat dad was the entire catalyst for the events in Palpatine’s throne room during the Battle of Endor. He refused to believe that Darth Vader was irredeemable because he loved the guy. Similarly, Vader turned on the Emperor because he loved Luke. Without attachment, without family, Palpatine and Vader survive and the Galactic Civil War drags on.
But all right, let’s pretend for a second that Luke’s kind of dense and dead set on rebuilding the Jedi Order exactly the way it was before any of them had ever met Jar-Jar Binks. There’s one more problem here: Ahsoka Tano shows up to hang out. Even though it’s not exactly pleasant lunch banter, I can’t imagine Anakin Skywalker’s former padawan didn’t tell Luke everything she knew about Palpatine’s corruption of his father. Imagine how different the prequels would’ve been if Anakin could’ve been open about his relationship with Padme and if he’d been able to go to the Jedi Council about his visions of her death. That story would’ve gone so differently if Yoda and Mace Windu hadn’t been a couple of dogmatic dipshits.
Given Luke’s own experiences and his family history, his insistence that his new Jedi are not allowed to form attachments makes no sense. Doubly so when you consider Grogu is his one and only student. Triply so when you consider how useful Grogu’s memories of the old Jedi temple could be Quadruply so when everybody who looks at Grogu thinks “oh, that’s probably Yoda’s kid.”
Even leaving the actual story reasons aside, in terms of pure storytelling, this approach stinks. We did the “Jedi can’t care about anyone” thing in the prequels; do we really need to do it again? And do we need to arbitrarily limit the range of Jedi stories by imposing such limits on the order? A lot of the best parts of the Expanded Universe would not have been possible if that version of Luke had played it as conservative as the Disney+ version seems to want to. Yes, I’m still sore all those stories got wiped out. Fight me.
Although I’ve enjoyed all the recent Star Wars series, this is a narrative direction I just can’t approve of. Perhaps there’s a long game here where Grogu’s departure teaches Luke to be more flexible, but I will believe that when I see it. For now, may the Force be with you…and may it lead to better use of the characters we all love.