I’ve recently come to a rather grave conclusion about myself.
I’d be a horrible Jedi.
The power of the Force would be a waste on me. Blessed with the ability to command an invisible energy field to bend to my will, I’d most likely use it to summon the television remote control or open a can of beer (not a bottle, of course, because being a Jedi is all about sacrifice).
The lure of the Sith would be too much to resist. I’d turn to the dark side in a second. Of course, even then I’d be as horrible a Sith lord as I would a Jedi. Oh, sure. I’d engage in Sith hijniks: convincing store clerks that they still owed me five bucks in change, using my telekinesis to cause spontaneous wardrobe malfunctions, choking my enemies with nothing but a gesture of my black-gloved hand.
Which has gotten me thinking about the balance sheet between the Jedi and the Sith. What do you really get for your “membership” in the Order of the Jedi? A life of servitude, poverty, and (dare I say it) chastity. As for upward mobility, forget it. It’s about as hard to move up in the Jedi Order as it is to get to graduate from the folding card table to the solid oak table at Thanksgiving.
And when you do, then what? Yoda’s been a master for 800 years or so. Did he ever get a vacation? Is he racking up funds in his 401(k)? Is there even a retirement plan?
Apparently not. We never did see the retirement wing of the Jedi Temple. They probably take your lightsaber away from you and give you a job putting books away in the library.
Now, the Sith on the other hand…
They keep the overhead down by recruiting candidates that are already trained….by the competition no less. Upward mobility is simple: if you want a promotion, you have to kill your boss. Compensation is pretty much whatever you want to take. Let’s face it, a guy who can conjure lightning from his fingers is probably not going to have to wait for a table, much less pay the bill, at Ruth’s Chris. Retirement? You keep your eye on some poor schmuck at the Jedi Temple who seems to be spending a lot of time in the waiting room outside the Council Chambers with the other misfits. Put the balance sheet in front of him and make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Of course, there’s that unavoidable bit about what to do when he gets overly ambitious, but you’re a Sith Lord. You’ll figure something out.
“What’s that humming noise? Ouch! Hey! Why are my arms on the floor?”