“What if I told you that the Republic was now under the control of a dark lord of the Sith?” — Count Dooku
“No, that’s not possible. The Jedi would sense it.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
“The dark side has clouded their vision. Hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith lord called Darth Sidious.” — Count Dooku
After re-watching The Attack of the Clones for this month, I noticed something strange that I’ve never fully paid attention to before and it stuck with me throughout the entire film and that’s just how often Yoda and Mace Windu are in the same room with or in close proximity to Chancellor Palpatine aka Darth Sidious and the future tyrannical Emperor of the galaxy himself. I’m not sure how I missed it before, though it probably had something to do with me being preoccupied with the Ani/Padme affair or the Ani/Obi-Wan drama, but this time, right from the beginning I noticed that our two best known and loved Jedi Masters were definitely in the room with arguably the greatest evil in the galaxy…and they didn’t seem to register or notice anything odd…which when you think about it, is odd in-and-of itself.
As a politician, Palpatine is presumably used to keeping himself tightly under-wraps at all times, and as a Sith even doubly so, but Yoda and Windu are the best the Jedi Order have to offer and they’re sitting two feet from the metaphorical-font of all darkness and villainy and death, and they don’t notice anything? Not even a flicker of the Force saying that something is not right?! And this pairing doesn’t happen just once, but multiple times throughout the film – to the point we even see the Masters in the Senate itself during the vote that allows Palpatine to have emergency executive powers which he then uses to “create” the of the Republic army (i.e the clonetroopers)! They are in the epicenter of Palpatine’s powerbase itself, present for the moment he is given almost unlimited political power and still it comes as a surprise to them in the ROTS that he is the Sith lord they’ve been “searching” for? I’m sorry but I don’t buy it.
The Jedi are tapped into the essence of the Force itself, feeling it’s pull and sway and searching out it’s truth and defending the good in the galaxy and yet we’re to believe that it’s two best representatives and most learned, experienced, and wise Masters are blind to what’s right in front of them, because Sidious is that powerful? That may have been more likely had they not so often been in close proximity but again, we see them in the same room at the same time, several times throughout the film. The Force is something that is felt in and around all things but most especially it’s active users, we see this time and again in the movies. Luke even teaches Rey how to access and interprets it in The Last Jedi where within just moments she understands and feels enough to know that Luke has shut himself off from the Force and that there is a lack of something around him and it’s noticeable. So even if Palpatine was shutting the Force off when in the presence of the Jedi Masters, it should still have registered for them that this lack of connection was highly unusual considering the Force is in all things.
“And this is the lesson: That Force does not belong to the Jedi. To say that if the Jedi dies, the light dies is vanity. Can you feel that?!” — Luke Skywalker
“But I didn’t see you… Nothing from you. You’ve closed yourself off from the Force.” — Rey
Yoda notices Anakin’s pain from across the Galaxy when Shmi died, he feels the loss of each Jedi when Order 66 occurs, and yet he doesn’t notice what’s sitting across from him staring him in the face? Unlikely. And why were Yoda and Windu in the Senate that day anyway, do the Jedi have representation on the Senatorial floor, and if so, are they the Jedi Senators? Because considering how much overall disgust, distrust, and you-can’t-trust-politicians-because-they’re-power-hungry-monsters speeches are thrown around and repeatedly hinted at during AOTC and ROTS then that’s saying something about the Jedi Masters. Even if they are not elected officials, they are the only Jedi we see on the senatorial floor – if not the only non-political people we see in the Senate that I can remember – and that makes them the Jedi senatorial representatives to the audience if nothing else.
“And don’t forget: she a politician, and they’re not to be trusted.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
So again, if they supposedly harbor no real suspicion of Palpatine, why are the Jedi Masters present in the Senate…on the very day the creation of the Republic Army becomes legal. An army that was created by a Jedi Master (Sifo-Dyas) and recruited for by a Sith (Tyranus aka Dooku) ten years previous…just about the time that Anakin Skywalker was brought before the Jedi Council and acknowledged as the Chosen One… from the prophecy that foretold the destruction of both the Jedi and the Sith.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and nothing brings together warring fractions like the idea that they will both be destroyed by a third power now on the rise. For all the talk of good vs. evil, light vs. dark, we are shown our “heroes” and our “villains” together again and again and again and now an army that they both had a hand in making comes into play, just as Anakin becomes old enough to become disillusioned and noticeably dissatisfaction and angry. I mean talk about a coincidence of galactic proportions… but then “all is as the Force wills it” – there are no coincidences in Star Wars.
The greatest Masters of the Jedi Order knew their time was running out, their reckoning had come in the form of a child who had endured slavery and poverty and still faced the world with love and acceptance, and short of killing him outright and proving themselves to be the villains of the galaxy, they had no way of stopping him. So, they united with the only other people who had a stake in the game and were equally threatened: the dark lords of the Sith themselves. Together these two factions created an army that consisted of a cloned Mandalorian Bounty Hunter, i.e. one of the most dangerous sorts of fighters in the galaxy, all to keep themselves safe from a child created by the Force itself with one purpose: to restore balance to the force. In the end, the Jedi Masters made a deal with the devil to stay alive but didn’t pay attention to the fine print – Palpatine would help them, but he had a contingency plan of his own…