‘Star Wars’: Why Jedi Would Actually Make Terrible Therapists

Since 1977, the world has been enamored with George Lucas’ hit series Star Wars. The series is built around different concepts and influences worldwide, including cultural customs of social interaction and mental illness treatment. Some fans believe the movie series famous Jedi sect, initially intended as a neutral party offering wisdom to leaders and governments, would make absolutely horrible therapists.

Fans post about the Jedi as therapists

A statue of the Jedi Yoda at in a 'Star Wars' Comic-Con display
A statue of the Jedi Yoda at in a ‘Star Wars’ display | Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

In a post on Reddit, a user asked the forum the questions: “Why is it that the Jedi are such bad therapists?” and “Was mental health not taken into account by the writers?” The original poster also mentioned a quote from George Lucas indicating the Jedi were essentially therapists.

Lucas told Bill Moyers on a video interview, “They aren’t an aggressive Force at all. They try to — conflict resolution, I guess, is what you might — intergalactic therapists.”

The responses received by other fans include defenses about the original movie’s time frame when mental health was not a widely spoken health concern. Other posters cited the wars and their effect on the Jedi themselves, reducing their ability to assist others. Some blamed their lack of honesty.

Other fans posted about the book series The High Republic, which addresses the lack of emotion that a Jedi must master.  While compassion is one of the key attributes a Jedi must possess, they don’t want their members to feel any emotions. As Yoda said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Therefore, the Jedi were discouraged from actively feeling their emotions to prevent the slide to the dark side.

For a therapist to help others, there is an emotional journey to go through. Therapists can’t do their job if they are lied to. They also won’t be successful if they don’t know how to properly read the emotions of others.

Mental Health themes in ‘Star Wars’

As noted by IESO Digital Health, there are several mental illnesses displayed by Star Wars characters. Included in the mix is Yoda, a Jedi who could be dyslexic or have Williams syndrome, as evidenced by his abnormal speech patterns and unusual appearance. Darth Vader may be the most afflicted of the characters who appear to suffer from coping mechanisms of splitting, projection, and infantile illusions of omnipotence which could be signs of a personality disorder or PTSD.

Positive mental health view of the ‘Star Wars’ saga

Serenity Mental Health Centers believes there are some positive messages to be heard by the Star Wars movies and through the Jedi characters. Its fans can catch inspirational quotes to overcome their anxiety, depression, and insecurities. They listed four quotes by characters that addressed changing times, believing in yourself, seeing other points of view, and how focus can change mindsets.

The story of a young man who turns to the Dark Side to save his family, only to lose what he loves, has become a household name. The theme remains the same through the generations that have watched the story unfold, and the character’s lineage follows through to the end of the Empire. Faith, love, and family can help you overcome the Dark Side, no matter how strong they seem.

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