Guardians of the Whills

07 Jun 2018 16:11 #322528 by Manami
Manami replied the topic: Guardians of the Whills
I found the Imwe character - and the presentation of the Guardians of the Whills - very intriguing, especially as a contrast to the Jedi order, which was shown in Episodes 1-3 as having the kind of issues that plague institutional religions when they get too big and rigid. The influence of practitioners allied with the Whills on Qui Gon Jinn also piqued my curiosity - he's one of my favorite Jedi, mostly for the fact that he's apparently out there seeking avenues to learn more about the Force than just the Jedi way, but taking it on his own terms. I really like the idea of a more shamanic way of working rooted in the local, living energies, so the idea of the Whills in general really appealed to me.

It's also interesting to me, as historian, how this story parallels the monastic differences and difficulties that resulted in the creation of smaller military religious orders such as the Iberian orders protecting the Santiago pilgrimage road and the Knights Templars. The Cistercian influence that marked the KTs was a reaction against Benedictine opulence and close relationship with the nobility - a sort of "back to basics" attempt that refocused on the principles of monastic work, and, in the military orders, a clear and simple mission (though that part didn't stay uncomplicated very long, as history shows).

So, in playing with this theme, it's been fun to consider what the Guardians' understanding of the Force would look like in comparison to the Jedi, and what would become their core religious principles after the main object of their orders' existence - the Temple and its pilgrims - had been taken away from them. It raised for me (given that I'm going through my own version of this) the question: "What is the foundation that we truly stand on when all the outer form is removed?"

I also saw Imwe as an even more developed example of the "doing without doing" ability to move with the Living Force and the randomness of events that Qui Gon Jinn frequently hinted at. This brings up, for me, a strong connection between the esoteric concepts of the Universal Will (Western) and the Tao (Eastern) and what we're seeing presented through "the Whills".

Interesting things to explore, in any case. The modern conceptions of the KTs are frequently heavily based in fictions, but there's a lot of organizations out there inspired by the myth that are very active in the world in various ways. So, see where it takes you!

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."
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07 Jun 2018 23:36 - 09 Jun 2018 01:22 #322547 by Adder
Adder replied the topic: Guardians of the Whills
Weapons and armour of all the different groups do serve as a useful indication of how they were meant to be employed in the fiction. The staff implies hardship perhaps, yet impenetrability within close range. The long ranged handheld directed energy weapon seems to imply a mobile firepower support role but this is juxtapositioned by the lack of armour, which indicates either etiquette or a balance between climatic considerations and likelihood of threat. One thing is for sure, they failed at protecting the Temple... seemingly not scaling up their capabilities to the threat. Perhaps that is why the Jedi got so big, because they did try to meet the threat. Those things speak to their intended roles, and eventual roles in events.

In comparison Imperial troopers were clearly soldiers, with heavy armour, and various configurations of weapons in a team dynamic with supporting arms. And Jedi were a blend of diplomacy and special forces... with no obvious weapon, no obvious armour, yet known to have a highly capable defensive weapon which was so capable in the right hands it served offensively as well - not much translates to reality there unfortunately except the approach to the concept of the Force if associated to their conduct, and their expeditionary focus.

The Guardians of Whills seem to be more like sentries then anything, but they seem to be the easiest analog to reality, on the surface, as anyone can have a walking stick legally pretty much.... and they do serve a versatile real form of self defence. They seem to follow the 'Force', going off the movie, and have a thing for a type of crystal. Which makes me wonder what would the Earth version of a special crystal be!! Perhaps a combination of a few cut in a special way and assembled :unsure:

It's easier for me to view them in the fiction as part of the Jedi Service Corps, for those aspiring Jedi who did not pass to Initiate but were good at combat. Hence they they were just 'Guardians' and not 'Jedi Guardians'. This way they did not fail at their duty but rather the Jedi Order failed....

As I see it a sentry meets and identifies the threat at the boundary of the site, so that supporting forces can reinforce to remove the threat. Versus a guardian who defeats the threat more broadly and totally, and a sentinel who ranges out of the site for early detection of the threat. So we find Imwe, a defeated but surviving sentry still waiting for his reinforcements to arrive.... which is why he spots Jyn so acutely (no pun intended, in this interpretative context) :D
Having lost his eyesight in duty at some point, his continued pursuit and dream of being a Jedi led him in unconventional ways to truly find the Force and serve the Force. He couldn't save his Temple, but he helped take down the 'temple' of those who destroyed his!!

'The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed.' ~ William Gibson
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med
Joined: Aug 2011..... TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
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Last Edit: 09 Jun 2018 01:22 by Adder. Reason: wrong heroine
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08 Jun 2018 04:28 #322555 by JamesSand
JamesSand replied the topic: Guardians of the Whills

but no one denies there are non-fictional (real) secret agents.

Except for possibly the secret agents, who have no idea what you're talking about. :dry:

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14 Jun 2018 13:35 #322975 by Streen
Streen replied the topic: Guardians of the Whills
Adder, if I interpreted what you said correctly, I don't think of the Guardians as wanna-be Jedi. From what I've read, they are simply people who had faith in the Force, but couldn't touch it. Some were warriors, like Imwe (who, by the way, was blind since birth), others were Disciples of the Whills; equally knowledgeable in the Force, but lacked combat ability.

From what I've gathered, the Guardians protected the Temple of the Kyber, where the crystals that powered a Jedi's lightsaber were held. Obviously, for such a place to exist, it would need protecting. Enter the Guardians.

I am hoping that these ideas are expanded upon in more books or movies. It would be nice to have a more relatable group of individuals in the Star Wars universe.

"The Force is with me
and I am one with the Force;
and I fear nothing,
for all is as the Force wills it."

—Mantra of the Disciples of the Whills
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