Anakin Skywalker fell to the dark side for selfish reasons. He said he sought power to save his wife, Padmé Amidala, from dying, but it was never about saving Padmé for Padmé’s sake. He made that very clear when he told the Emperor, “I can’t live without her.” But Anakin was never given the best advice from the Jedi Council. So with the recent buzz about Gray Jedi and how they could relate to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a question arises. Could the Gray Jedi path have saved Anakin Skywalker?
What do Gray Jedi believe?
There are two things that should be made clear in any discussion about Gray Jedi. The first is that, in official Star Wars lore, Gray Jedi don’t actually exist. Lucasfilm considers the term an oxymoron, because Jedi are meant to be inherently on the light side rather than on a middle path. But when you think of the Gray path in a broader perspective, it’s easy to see how the Jedi could have done well to be influenced by some of their beliefs.
That leads to the second point, which is that there are no strict Gray Jedi beliefs. Gray Jedi don’t believe in dogma. They make their own path. The will of the Jedi Council or any other organization is irrelevant next to the will of the Force. But there are some fundamental ideas in Star Wars lore.
Jolee Bindo, a main supporting character in the 2003 video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, was often a fountain of wisdom for the other heroes he traveled with. Talking to Revan, the game’s protagonist, Jolee disagreed with the Jedi belief that love leads to the dark side. He cautions about how unchecked passions can lead to rage and fear, but he draws a distinction between passion and love. “Controlling your passions while being in love, that’s what they should teach you to beware,” he says. “But love itself will save you, not condemn you.”
How could this save Anakin?
Anakin was taught from a young age that love was forbidden by the Jedi. That it could turn a Jedi to the dark side. Palpatine preyed on that fear. He manipulated Anakin towards the Sith because he knew Anakin would get no help from the Jedi in saving Padmé. And how could he? The Jedi Council could have expelled him from the Jedi Order for his secret marriage.
If they had been influenced by Gray beliefs, however, the Council could have taught Anakin how to control his fear. Instead, it was Jedi dogma that indirectly instilled in him an inability to control his fear. He had no one but Palpatine to turn to because of Jedi dogma. That same Jedi dogma is what the Gray path rejects.
Could Luke be influenced by this?
In The Last Jedi teaser, Luke Skywalker strikes an ominous note: “it’s time for the Jedi to end.” He is probably suggesting the Jedi have done more harm than good. Assuming this isn’t just first act jitters that Rey helps him get over, Luke still sets off to train Rey. Could he be training her in a new way? Could something reminiscent of the Gray Jedi path, without explicitly being the non-canonical Gray Jedi, be an influence on Luke? It stands to reason that Luke might cast some of the blame on the Jedi Order for his father’s fall and his mother’s death. Who better to right those wrongs than Luke Skywalker and Rey?
Do you think the Gray Jedi path could have saved Anakin? Join the discussion on Wookieepedia and tell us what you think!