Let's get this party started!

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Nick replied the topic: Let's get this party started!

My thoughts and incite for this book is posted here:

instituteforjedirealiststudies.org/forum/44-book-reviews/24026-lessons-from-i-jedi-by-michael-stackpole

Text from my post below:

This is not really a review of “I, Jedi” by Michael A Stackpole, but more about the Jedi lessons one could take from reading the book. I totally recommend reading the book before reading my post as there are some spoilers.


Win the Battle Within
Pg 62, 63 – Iella tells Corran, “the person you’re really in competition with is yourself.”

  • “Yes, you would, Corran.” She shook her head at me. “Once you heard about the academy you would have been going—even if Mirax wasn’t missing.”
  • “I was your partner, remember? You’re very competitive, which can be cute and endearing at times, as long as someone stays out of your way. You want to know why you were the first person ever to escape from Isard’s Lusankya prison? Because there was no way you were going to let her beat you.”
    “What’s that got to do with the academy?”
    “You’ve always wanted to be the best, and becoming a Jedi Knight will be that for you. Look at yourself. You’re already beginning training before you begin training. You’ve figured out that Master Skywalker will be bringing in folks who are younger than you are, and you’re already figuring out how to be better than they are.”
  • “The one thing you haven’t figured out yet is that the person you’re really in competition with is yourself. Luke Skywalker will be a tough master. Of that I have no doubt. And I know Wedge was, but they weren’t as hard on you as you’ll be on yourself. I know you well enough to know you won’t back off, so I just hope you remember that when you feel all that pressure on you, the majority is coming from right inside your thinkbox.”

If you've read my post about "Win the Battle Within", then you can guess what Iella is getting at. Corran constantly sets the bar high for himself. He pushes himself harder than anyone else could. This is an excellent Jedi trait.

The contrast is Gantoris, another Jedi student. Gantoris starts a competition with Corran during Jedi training (page 105-106), because he needs a scale to measure himself and his accomplishments. This has a negative influence on his training as develops resentment towards Horn. With every success for Corran, Gantoris feels threatened, which causes fear and hate within Gantoris. With every set back for Corran, Gantoris ego grows. Later, Gantoris is easily seduced by the Dark side.

Initially, Corran subjects himself to Gantoris's competition, but quickly he realizes that this is blocking his ability to effectively train in the Force. Instead, he focuses on his own training and progress, which leads to great successes.

The lesson, as I see it, is that it is best to look within for motivation rather than outside sources.



Physical Training for Jedi
Pg 71 – Luke’s intention is to have little to no physical training as he feels connecting with the Force is the primary focus of Jedi training.
Self-Defense and Fitness Training for Jedi
Pg 71, 72 – For defensive foundation of lightsaber training.
On Page 71, Luke's intention is to have little to no physical training (outside of lightsaber training) as he feels connecting with the Force is the primary focus of Jedi training.

During Luke's training with Yoda, Luke does do physical training, but each exercise is related to his Force training. He doesn't do any weight training, self defense training, or even any lightsaber combat training. His physical training mostly evolves around endurance and balance training, which are essential to Force training. (I do need to read the novelization of the Original Trilogy to confirm this)

Back to "I, Jedi," Corran is puzzled about not including combat training. With a bit of logical argument, Kam, Corran, and Luke agree to add self defense training to the Jedi training agenda as a foundation for lightsaber combat training only.

Also, Luke stresses to Corran that it is important that each Jedi not change their routine or self to become a Jedi. Jedi is an extension of a person, not an identity of its own. This allows for a diverse group of Jedi.

For Jedi of planet Earth, many of us have little use for combat training, and no practical use for lightsaber training. Self defense training has its merits as last resort tool, but is not a necessity for Jedi training, according to Luke. Instead, Jedi training should focus on the Force.



Force Sculpting
Pg 80-82 – Corran struggles to use the Force in lightsaber defense.
On page 80-82, Corran practice lightsaber combat with Gantoris. Corran struggles to use the Force in lightsaber defense. His anticipation of Gantoris's movement and strikes leads Corran to receive many bruises. He finally overcomes this set back when he makes the realization below:

Perhaps it is not for me to sculpt the Force’s flow to my purposes, but for me to be sculpted into that which more easily works with the Force.

This is a lesson all Jedi should live by.
[/i]

Love vs the Dark side
Pg 85, 86 – Luke discusses redeeming his father and himself and how it was love that saved them, that brought them back to the light.
Love is the most powerful weapon against the Dark side. On page 85-86, Luke tells his students about his father and his experience in redeeming him. He also talks about his own redemption through his sister. He explains that it was a father's love for his son and a brother's love for a sister which saved them from the Dark side, which brought them back to the Light side, which helped them defeat the Emperor.

Size Matters Not
Pg 87-92 – Luke conducts a rock dancing exercise with his students. Corran learns pace and progress in Force training and development is not directly related. Success and failure are a part of training and should be expected.
On page 87-92, the Jedi Academy students participate in an excercise in which they are to close their eyes and use the Force to move a small rock close to a fellow Jedi student's hand without touching. The object for the second student is to detect the movement of the rock with the Force without feeling it or seeing it. Corran struggles with this task emmensely. "I'm not moving the dust off this rock," he says [paraphased]. Luke reminds the students that size matters not with the Force. Pace and progress are not directly related in Force training and development. The pace of successes in Jedi training does not correlate to progression in Jedi status as focus and philosophy are dictate that.

Also, intensity and progress are not related. Corran could train hard and make little progress, or train easy and make great progress, or even train hard and make great progress. Your training intensity is not as important as your focus, mentality, and philosophy.

Luke also notes that success and failure are a part of training and should be expected. Failure leads you to progress and success displays that progress. When he refers to size matters not, Luke is also telling his students that little successes can be just as important or influential as grand ones.



Let go of Doubt
Pg 93 –
A Jedi training to be a Knight must sacrifice themselves. They must unlearn who they are and the world around them to access the Force. They must rebuild their identity as Jedi.


Gantoris’s Competition with Corran
Pg 105-106 – Gantoris needs a scale to measure himself, but it is a negative influence on his training and also makes him easily seduced by the Dark side.


Punishment is replaced by Forgiveness
Pg 118 – Luke tells Corran that Gantoris will not be punished for his attack on him. He says, “Retribution leads to the Dark side.”
Corran believes that punishment should fit the crime. Two times a Jedi student commits a punishable act and both times Luke decides that no punishment is needed. The first is on page 118 where Gantoris attacks Luke. Luke tells Corran that Gantoris will not be punished for the attack or building a lightsaber. Instead, Luke will offer Gantoris forgiveness and accept him back into the academy without retribution. Luke says, "Retribution leads to the dark side."
The second is with Kyp Durron who hijacks a Sun Crusher and destroys a solar system.



Just because an experience does not take you where you want to go does not devalue the journey
Pg 279 – Corran believes he has been wasting time training to be a Jedi instead of saving Mirax. Rostek corrects him.
Rostek brushed his hands off, then posted his fists on his hips. “I should make this very clear for you, Corran. I don’t think you’ve been a fool. What you’ve learned is what you needed to learn. It may well be that not everything you studied at the academy will help you find and save Mirax, but you could not have known that before. I saw Nejaa do many things to solve cases that had nothing at all to do with the Force or his training as a Jedi—except where that training made him a better person. Going through that training and being able to make the decision you are to abandon it takes a maturity I’ve never seen in you before. Granted, your adventures with Rogue Squadron and your marriage to Mirax probably imparted much of the maturity to you; but you shouldn’t devalue your training. Just because it did not take you where you wanted to go does not mean the journey was not good for you.”

"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err."

--Mahatma Gandhi
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