Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Top 10 Coolest Jedi

Honestly? I don't always equate the term "Jedi" with "Cool". In fact, in a lot of representations the Jedi are anything BUT cool. They seem stiff, stodgy and kind of boring—not to mention self-righteous and pretentious. But...you can't really say that about all of them. Some have (for me) transcended the stigma attached to the Jedi. This list will explore the folks I consider the "Coolest" Jedi.

10. Kit Fisto
This is the guy with the tentacle-dreadlocks that we first see in Episode II. He stood out for me in seeming to..well 'enjoy' what he was doing. During the Geonosis Arena battle, it was he who 'defeated' C-3PO (while the latter's head was attached to a battle droid's body). And after blasting the droids with Telekinesis, he does a little satisfied grin. Yeah, it may not have been much, but it was different enough to cause me to remember him. His role was later expanded in the 2D Clone Wars series in a cool battle scene set on Mon Calamari. Unfortunately, he met a rather ignominious defeat at the hands of Palpatine in Episode III. He was one of the Jedi sent to arrest him—most of whom were cut down like... well, like "bitches" in the first few seconds of the combat. Alas. Well, he was cool enough while he lasted to make the list.

9. Shaak-Ti
No. I don't like her just because she's a hot tentacle-headed Jedi. If that were the only criteria, I'd have to pick Ayla Secura. Rather, Shaak-Ti first stood out to me in the Clone Wars 2D cartoon, where she battled General Grievous and his Magna-Guards. She had this AWESOME scene where, while fighting in a rail-yard, she used the Force to tie Grievous' cape to a train- then activated the train, yanking the cyborg off his feet and dragging him away. Awesome. She didn't have much part in the movies, other than appearing in the background a few times, but that one scene was enough to solidify her in the 'cool' category.

8. Mace Windu
He appears rather low in this list. Yes, I realize he is a badass and has a purple lightsaber and all, but overall, he was just too much of a jerk for me to really 'like'. Still, you have to give it to the man. He faced off against Jango Fett without breaking a sweat and would have killed Palpatine, too, if Anakin hadn't interfered. And again, I point to the clone wars series for a really cool scene in which Windu has to fight a bunch of battle droids while unarmed. Awesome Force Kung-Fu. Good stuff.

7. Bastilla Shan
Yeah yeah. I know. I'm showing my Fanboy colors by choosing Bastilla. On the surface, afterall, she represents almost all those things I find annoying about Jedi. Self-righteous, goody-two-shoes, by-the-book and boring. But in the Knights of the Old Republic video game, she completely took me by surprise by showing both a bit of attitude and humor. The scene where she trips up a fellow party member with the Force took me by surprise and solidified my like of the character—and upped her cool factor quite a bit.

6. Ben Kenobi
Again, Ben seems to represent everything stodgy about the Jedi. But he has his moments. Besides all the pretty impressive lightsaber duels he was part of during the prequels, Kenobi had one of my more favorite lines in the original trilogy- spoken to Han Solo: "Who's the greater fool? The Fool, or the Fool who follows him?"

5. Mira
Fanboy? You bet. But I don't go for the "bad girl instantly equals cool" thing that most Fanboys follow (the reason you won't find Mara Jade on this list). Mira was different, though. We only get a glimpse of the beginning of her "career" as a Jedi, but I think she was destined to be a VERY different kind of Jedi—the down-to-earth, says-it-like-it-is type that the Jedi Order NEEDS in order to avoid putting its head up its collective a**. You need non-traditional thinkers, I feel, or you stagnate. And Mira? She was non-traditional...just like another person you'll see later in this list.

4. Atton Rand
Okay, so there are times when I question his manhood (I mean, come on. He had the female Jedi Exile pining for him and he never went for it!? WTF!?). But setting aside his questionable guy status, Atton was cool—very much a "What if Han Solo was a Jedi" kind of vibe. He had some of the best lines and quips in the game. Plus, he had the whole 'dark background' thing going for him, too. Like Mira, above, he would have been a great, Non traditional Jedi. Someone who could have kept the order honest.

3. Yoda
A lot of folks were up in arms about Yoda's fighting style as depicted in the prequels. Some of the more rabid fans were aghast that Yoda would even USE a lightsaber at all. To that I say—whatever. He's a Jedi. He uses a lightsaber. Get over it. Of all the stodgy Jedi in the movie, he was (at least) the most likable. And he really proved the whole "don't judge me by my size" thing, too. I thought it was cool that Yoda WAS this calm, wise little man AND a complete badass when he had to be. Again, I have to turn to the Clone Wars cartoons (both 2D and 3D) for making the character a lot cooler. He is shown to be very inventive and clever in his use of the Force—AND he is shown to be caring and personable towards the Clone Troopers, treating them as people and not just 'things'.

2. Luke Skywalker
Is Luke Skywalker Cool? Hell no. At least, not in the 'traditional sense'. He's a farmboy who tries to do the right thing, but makes all kinds of mistakes along the way. His redeeming feature is the fact that he has a good heart. But he is no Han Solo. He never turns into a typical suave 'badass' hero. Oh sure, when he fights in Return of the Jedi, he seems to be quite capable (the battle on Jabba's barge was pretty badass), but he never seems to let it go to his head. And that is why I like him—and why I dislike what so many authors have attempted to do with him AFTER the movies. He will never be the cool guy hero, which ironically is what makes him cool. At least to me. But I seem to be in the minority.

1. Jolee Bindo
There are none cooler in my book. Jolee is about as a-typical as you can get for a Jedi. He first appears in the Knights of the Old Republic video game as a crotchety old hermit, but you later discover his rather checkered past, even as he worked for the Jedi. He was a smuggler for a cause, because he felt it was right, even though the order didn't sanction him. He followed his heart—which led him into a wonderful marriage that had a tragic end to it. He is gruff and plain-spoken and not afraid to say things as he sees them. He made me feel sorry for him, even as I began to "idolize" him. I'd better stop now, or I'll gush all day. Bindo is great. And I loved the throwback to him in the sequel game, where "Pulling a Bindo" is Jedi slang for not following the rules.

So, there you have it. My favorites. But I'm sure folks might question why others don't appear on this list, I'll explain my reasoning behind a few of the more obvious omissions:

Qui Gon
Honestly? I found him to be boring. He was close to the Jedi ideal. Unflappable. Calm. Rational. Zzzzz. Okay, so he bucked tradition by picking up Anakin. But come on. He should have freed the Kids mother. End of Story. Not cool in my book.

Mara Jade
She's way too "Mary Sue" for me. A Badass who is good at absolutely everything. Her personality, as conveyed through the initial novels where she appeared, just never struck a chord with me.

Revan/Jedi Exile
I was tempted to put both of these on the list, but you really can't—as the Character is essentially what YOU make out of it. In my case, both characters were pretty cool. Fun and positive. Revan had some GREAT lines and the Exile had that awesome moment where he/she walked out on the Jedi Council by driving his/her lightsaber right into their ornamental statue. That's a statement (and those pricks deserved it).

1 comment:

  1. You only like Bastilla because she puts out.