Search your feelings to discover the truth about which of the Jedi Masters is the most underappreciated.
One of the great things about Star Wars is that it inspires endless debates and opinions on a wide array of topics. Best bounty hunter? Most powerful Jedi? Does Salacious Crumb have the best haircut in the saga? In that spirit, StarWars.com presents From a Certain Point of View: a series of point-counterpoints on some of the biggest — and most fun — Star Wars issues. In this installment, two StarWars.com writers use their words to battle it out over the most underrated of all the Jedi.
Shaak Ti is the most underrated Jedi, says Amy.
Think about the Jedi Order. Consider the Jedi traits you most admire, the ones you aspire to emulate in your day-to-day actions. Me? I strive to be more compassionate, like Shaak Ti. And I would argue that it's her considerate treatment of the clone troopers that makes her the most underrated Jedi.
The Jedi made a decision when they brought clone troopers to Geonosis and that choice positioned the galaxy's guardians of peace as generals at the head of battalions of soldiers. A member of the Jedi Council, Shaak Ti was on the ground at the Battle of Geonosis, the first struggle of the Clone Wars. She went on to supervise the training and development of clone cadets on Kamino, a role her patience and strategic sensibilities served well. She played a key part in guiding rookies through exercises and ensuring they prepared for the combat ahead of them. She also fought alongside them when the Separatists attacked Kamino in an effort to cease clone production.
But most importantly, Shaak Ti advocated for the clones. She pushed back against the Kaminoans who were content to treat the clones as property to be used for experiments and tests, quick to suggest termination as a way of handling clones not deemed good enough. Shaak Ti put an emphasis on clones being valuable individuals rather than blaster fodder. In teaching the clone forces, she used the Jedi Order as an example, bolstering a stronger relationship between the two groups. Additionally, she held her ground when it came to caring for the clones. She didn't hesitate to stand up to Kaminoan leaders, like when chief medical scientist Nala Se wanted to eliminate Clone Trooper Tup after his breakdown. Because Shaak Ti flexed her Jedi authority in the clones' favor, Fives was able to make at least a few clones aware of the control chip implants.
Shaak Ti could have merely put the clone cadets through their paces. She could have thought only of the Jedi generals leading the clones into conflicts and not of the clones themselves. But she chose to work with the clone troopers from a place of empathy and respect. Her approach undoubtedly contributed to success on the battlefields of the Clone Wars.
And one more thing: the Togruta Jedi Master didn’t despair as Order 66 fell across the galaxy. In her final moments, she recorded a pleading message to future generations on a holocron that Luke Skywalker would discover years later:
"Whoever is seeing this...it's up to you now. Don't let our deaths have been in vain. Don't let this be the end of the Jedi." - Shaak Ti, Marvel's Star Wars, Issue #9: "Showdown on the Smuggler's Moon"
The most underappreciated Jedi is Plo Koon, says James.
There are many Jedi well-known for their deeds of heroism and dedication to the ideals of the Jedi Order, but there are even more who simply faced the challenges that came their way without seeking fame or glory. One of the most skilled Jedi who doesn’t get enough credit is Plo Koon.
We see the Kel Dor in the prequel films as a member of the Jedi Council, and silently seated he exudes a level of mystery -- who is this reserved Jedi Master? As one of only a handful of Jedi on the Council from the time of The Phantom Menace all the way through Revenge of the Sith, it was clear he was not just a passive leader in a chair.
He participated in the Jedi assault on the arena on Geonosis, and lived to tell the tale. While many Jedi perished in that ill-fated attempt to free Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padmé, Plo Koon survived and then immediately took part in the larger battle, leading clone forces. Regarded by his fellow Jedi as one of their top pilots, he was a hands-on general during the Clone Wars, inspiring the loyalty of Commander Wolffe and the clones of the 104th Battalion. When his task force was annihilated by General Grievous’s secret weapon, the Malevolence, he kept hope alive inside the escape pod, and after being rescued, helped lead the fighter attacks that led to the disabling of the ship. And he was the Jedi who discovered the young Force-sensitive Togruta Ahsoka Tano, and served as a mentor to her even when she became the Padawan of Anakin Skywalker.
Plo Koon has proven he can survive when others fall, and he comes to the rescue when he's needed. While calm and rational, Plo Koon isn’t an emotionless machine -- he cares about his men, his fellow Jedi, and his little ‘Soka, and will do whatever it takes to fight for them, whether with his lightsaber, from the cockpit of his Jedi starfighter, or from the bridge of a Republic cruiser.
What do you think? Are James and Amy both wrong? Would you have chosen Kit Fisto, Aayla Secura, or someone else? Let us know on social using #FromACertainPOV!
Amy Ratcliffe is passionate about Star Wars and coffee. She always has her nose stuck in a book. She's the author of Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy and a co-host of the podcast Lattes with Leia. Nerd out with her on Twitter at @amy_geek.
James Floyd is a writer, photographer, and organizer of puzzle adventures. He’s a bit tall for a Jawa. You can follow him on Twitter at @jamesjawa or check out his articles on Club Jade and Big Shiny Robot.