The Jedi Order has a strict policy regarding its members and love, that being that platonic love is acceptable but not romantic love, because attachments like that can lead a person away from the light side of the Force, or some other stupid reason to ensure that Anakin’s and Padmé’s love is forbidden. Because every story ever needs forbidden love, as opposed to a developed and believable relationship. But I digress.
Looking up the whole Jedi-celibacy issue, it seems to be a rather new thing that didn’t get mentioned until the prequels, and that before the movies Jedi were allowed to marry and love as they pleased. I don’t know much about that, since I’m going solely by the movies and animated series, but if this is true, it does strike me as something added just for the sake of having a forbidden romance.
However, the prequels present this as though it had been a part of the code since the beginning of the Jedi Order. And to be perfectly honest, though living in an environment that expects and encourages celibacy is my asexual dream, there are so many problems with this setup. First of all, I would be amiss to say that I honestly believe Anakin was the first person to ever break this rule.
Before I go into that, let’s discuss briefly how the Jedi Order handles children, sexual education, and coed classes. None of these are ever explained in the films, which seems to be a poor choice, considering what the prequels are about, so everything following is pure speculation.
Force-sensitive children are brought to the temple at an early age to begin their training. I’m not sure why once a child reaches a certain age, training is rejected. I can only assume it’s because they don’t want people who have been exposed too much to the outside world, or it could just be to cause drama with Obi-Wan taking Anakin on as a Padawan learner. The children that are brought up in the temple have to live by the Jedi code, and one thing that entails is celibacy.
This is a terrible idea. These children know only the ways of the Jedi, so that is why they’re going to follow this rule, but they’re not given a choice in it. Infants are not old enough to make these kinds of commitments. Small children are not old enough to decide these kinds of things. And if they don’t agree, where are they going to go? Back home? That place they know nothing about to live with people they know nothing about? After having all this dogma of no personal attachments shoved on them for the majority of their lives? Celibacy isn’t a choice for them. It’s not their beliefs; it’s the code’s. And they’ll be frowned upon for not following it or kicked out.
Furthermore, how do the Jedi even go about teaching them sexual education? It’s well established that a lack of education in this regard does not help prevent sex from occurring. I realize that I’m in the minority when I say that if my mother hadn’t told me about it, I would never have discovered sex existed on my own. Most children start feeling for their peers, and they don’t always start doing this around the same age. Some mature faster than others. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people would realize how to sate certain urges regardless of not understanding them.
I sincerely doubt that there has never been a time when two Padawans explored each other growing up, simply because no one taught them not to. Unless of course, this is a dogma their Masters shove on them all the time, but if not explained properly it won’t do much. And that would also mean being taught about sex before hitting puberty. At that time, the thought of sex isn’t really desirable, so of course they wouldn’t want to touch each other, but I refuse to believe that having coed classes among teenagers would never create any problems.
We know they have coed get-togethers from that one scene in Attack of the Clones, but what about when they’re older? Separating them sure as hell won’t fix this problem, especially when you take into consideration the rebellious nature of teenagers.
This is why I believe Anakin cannot have been the first person to break this rule, and considering how few Sith there are by this time, it’s logical to conclude that loving someone romantically isn’t going to completely corrupt a person. But even then, I could get behind the idea of the Jedi forbidding love for fear of what the attachment might cause, but that still doesn’t explain the celibacy.
Yes, a lot of people connect sex with emotional intimacy, but a lot of people don’t. What if there was a Jedi that was simply looking for a good time? Romanticism doesn’t always accompany sex.
In the end, I think George Lucas added celibacy into the story for the sake of Anakin and Padmé, but I don’t think he really needed to. Not only could the story have gone without, it created an implausible situation. If celibacy is involved with the Jedi Order, it probably should be something that Masters pursue in order to better focus on the Force, not something forced upon every initiate.