KEYBLADE MASTERS VS. JEDI

Theme Song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records

Don’t we all love Star Wars? It captured our imaginations whether we saw it in its original releases or on home video.  The epic adventures that took place “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away” changed how we make films, how we watch films, and how we tell stories. It was the greatest modern myth of the 20th century. A key part of what made Star Wars great was the group of elite warriors called the Jedi. As Obi- Wan Kenobi put it in Episode 4 “the Jedi were the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy….”. They were extremely wise, powerful and dedicated and in a lot of cases gave their lives to protect the galaxy. They were the great epic heroes.

But now we are in the 21st century. What next great modern myth can sit comfortably next to the Iliad, the Odyssey, Lord of the Rings (books), and Star Wars? Well the answer would probably lie with Square Enix’s videogames. The reason for this is because the people at Square Enix are huge Star Wars fans. If you play their games you will spot a lot of similar themes, styles and references to Star Wars. Final Fantasy is another excellent mythology that could sit very comfortably with Star Wars, but I believe that the representative myth of the 21st century is the Kingdom Hearts series.

 

A crucial aspect of Kingdom Hearts is that all of our playable characters are Keyblade Masters. The Keyblade Masters are the Disney universe’s equivalent to the Jedi. They are very similar and very different, but have the same goal of keeping peace and justice. As I played the Kingdom Hearts games and watched the Star Wars films (even the prequels) I started to compare the heroes of my childhood to the heroes of my young adulthood and early adulthood. I have to say that the Jedi are not as cool or as heroic as I once thought they were. This isn’t so much a Vs., but more of me explaining why Keyblade Masters are superior in every single way compared to Jedi. I still like the Jedi, but I don’t think they’re the greatest heroes of epic fiction at all. I know that there’s going to be a lot of Star Wars fans contacting a Mandalorian Bounty Hunter to kill me. Let’s just hope he’s more competent than Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones! This is Keyblade Masters vs. Jedi! BEWARE OF SPOILERS IN THE VIDEOS AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Star Wars Theme

Dearly Beloved Birth by Sleep Version

IDEALS

JEDI: This is what bugs me about the Jedi the most. A key part about being a Jedi is the denial of emotions. They are forbidden to fall in love and have personal happiness or self fulfillment. If a Jedi has this they turn to the Dark Side. The problem is that I personally think that this ideology is bullcrap and it’s inconsistent. There are times where the Jedi are following their denial of emotions rule and are completely stoic and often very cold. That’s not heroic in any way. It’s as if they don’t care about anything even the people their supposed to be protecting. How can they properly fulfill their duty if they purge the emotions that heroes are supposed to have such as kindness, compassion, love, friendship etc. and don’t give me any of that “we need to purge emotions to be objective crap” because when the heroes abandon the emotions behind being a protector and a hero they forget why they are even Jedi in the first place and in some respects their coldness makes them worse then the villains. I mean when you’re so stoic to the point where Mr. Freeze and Spock would say lighten up you guys have a problem. When I say inconsistent it’s because all the Jedi emote multiple times in the saga!!!!!!! Pick your ideologies Lucas!!!!!!!!! They’re forbidden to love yet Obi- Wan says to Anakin WITH TEARS IN HIS EYES after their battle on Mustafar “You were my Brother Anakin! I LOVED you!” WHAT THE HELL?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also Yoda’s “Fear Leads to Anger” speech is incredibly flawed because that scenario is not an absolute truth at all. It only works in a specific situation!!!!! The Jedi are stoic and cold to the point where they don’t care about the people they’re supposed to protect because that’s apparently part of their rules and yet they constantly break it by emoting and when they do it’s not believable because of how they set up the very idea!!!!!!!!!!!! Also I find that there’s a class bias in the Jedi. It seems to me they only protect rich and powerful people. They constantly protect politicians!!!!!! I know that the politicians are constantly threatened and at risk, but seriously I’ve NEVER EVER seen a Jedi protect a common lifeform. There are plenty of innocents caught up in these wars and the Jedi are constantly seen protecting people that are politicians!!!!!!! Heroes and Guardians of JUSTICE are supposed to protect the little people more than the big people because the big people can take care of themselves better and the little people don’t have the defensive luxuries of the big people. I also hate the fact that Jedi are basically an arm of the Republic under its sway and scrutiny. The Jedi’s ideals were supposed to be above the petty political squabbling and to provide protection and negotiations to the galaxy when the Republic needed them. But they were tools of Republic and just a part of a Republic’s bureaucracy. No wonder they were cold hearted. There’s another thing that’s interesting. There have been a lot of Jedi that turn to the Dark Side. It’s not just Anakin, but Count Dooku and countless others. Some Guardians of Justice in the Galaxy if a fair amount of Padawan Learners turn to the Dark Side. This crappy track record doesn’t help their case. The only saving grace the Jedi have now is Luke Skywalker. Why? Because he broke all of these rules and took the good ideas of the Jedi and chose his own path! Luke chose not to abandon his emotions, but to channel his emotions properly and responsibly. He cared about everyone; his family, friends, fellow rebels from all walks of life not political elites, and most of all, the family member that went astray: His father Anakin! The love between a father and son is what killed the Emperor and brought balance to the Force and freedom to the galaxy. Suck on that prequel Jedi (Samuel L. Jackson is still awesome though!!!!)!!!!!!!!!!!

 

KEYBLADE MASTERS: Keyblade Masters are very similar to Luke’s path however their power, abilities and worldview are all based on emotion. The Heart is their Force and that gives them strength and peace of mind. They are nice people. These are people that know there is pain and evil in the universe and they want to do their part to help. They recognize that emotions are what make us human and to abandon emotion means giving up a part of our humanity and to forget the ideas behind their cause. Unlike Jedi Keyblade Masters are warm, kind, compassionate, dedicated, and strong willed people and it’s consistent throughout the entire Kingdom Hearts saga!!! They are also not tied down by any government. They have their own world called the Land of Departure where Keyblade Masters train and where light and darkness are in perfect balance. It’s much more inviting and optimal for training as opposed to the stale, hollow and lifeless Jedi Temple.

The Keyblade Masters keep watch over the worlds and when there’s trouble they go to that world and resolve it. Now you’re probably wondering doesn’t that make them disconnected to their charges? No because when the Keyblade Masters go to other worlds they befriend the populace (they just can’t say where they’re from because they need to protect the World Order). The more friends they make the more powerful their bonds are and the more dedicated and passionate the Keyblade Master is to fulfill their duty. They can sense really powerful Light as well as Darkness (Xehanort is an exception because it’s implied that he has transcended to a higher plain of darkness and has the ability to hide his darkness). Unlike the Jedi the Keyblade Masters are also constantly aware of their weaknesses. Even when there was a Sith Lord causing trouble in the Republic there seemed to be no real effort on the Jedi’s part  to find the Sith. Not even any real worry or concern of what this threat is capable of doing to them and the Republic. The Keyblade Masters always know that Darkness resides in every heart and they can fall at any time which is why it’s important that anger and hate be managed properly and never fully used. I could ramble more, but I think it’s best I let them show you what it takes to be a Keyblade Master. The videos are what the ideas of these people are all about. The first is a mission briefing from a master named Master Eraqus (voiced by the only interestingly by the best Jedi ever Luke Skywalker!!!/ Mark Hamill) it also contains a much better version of the “Fear Leads to Anger” Speech and it has a conversation that is relevant to the Tragic Hero. The next 3 videos are of the retired Keyblade Master Yen Sid giving advice to two different generations of Keyblade Masters. It shows Yen Sid’s wisdom as well as a Keyblade Master’s understanding that as much as the heart can empower, inspire and bring people together it can also blind, distort and corrupt if the negative emotions are not used properly. The next video is an example of a Keyblade Master assisting Cinderella who is a commoner at this point in time and not a princess even though she is a Maiden of the Purest Heart. The next one is a video that has a character that fell for the temptation of darkness, but now succeeds where Anakin and so many other Jedi failed. He embraces the Darkness, but refuses to submit and the results are very rewarding. It’s Darkness used responsibly in service to the Light. It is the true balance within the Heart. And the last one is where the ideas of the Keyblade Master truly beat the Jedi’s because this passionate speech by the young Ventus is about the idea that it’s the love and friendship and caring between people that truly defines a hero and a warrior of peace!!!

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Mission briefing

Yen Sid’s Mission Briefing

Terra Visits Yen Sid

Leaving Yen Sid’s Tower

Terra Escorts Cinderella

Riku’s Dark Strength

Ventus’s Resolve

WEAPONS

While the last section was more of a philosophical argument in favor of the Keyblade Masters this one is more technically concrete that the Keyblade Masters are superior in terms of weaponry.

 

LIGHTSABERS: I should point out that many people think that the Kingdom Hearts universe is convoluted which I think is ridiculous because Star Wars is way worse. If you get an Average Joe who has only seen the six films and you put him on Wookiepedia to look up something as basic as a Lightsaber (this happened to me) he’ll be confused within 10 seconds!!!!!!!!! It’s that bad!!!!!!!!! Anyway the Lightsaber has evolved throughout the Star Wars universe and it’s basically a sword that has a crystal installed in the hilt along with various other gadgetry to channel the crystal’s energy into a blade shape with a containment field to keep the blade shape. It can cut through most materials (many of the things cut are people’s hands) and is a standard weapon of the Jedi.

 

KEYBLADES: Keyblades are special weapons that in some ways have a mind of their own. The blades CHOOSE their weilders. The qualifications are a strong and dedicated heart. The blades are tied to their wielder and can’t be taken away from the wielder under any circumstances. If someone snatches the Keyblade from its wielder the blade will go right back to the wielder’s hands. Unlike a lightsaber the Jedi would actually have to use the Force to grab it. Even though that there are in universe documents that say Keyblades are man made I don’t believe that’s true because these blades have been used to cut down Gods and immortals multiple times (Hades, Cerberus, Titans) and anything man made would break on contact because they’re Gods. I believe the Keyblades are created from the fundamental forces of light and darkness forging a blade that is created with a strong bond and connection to the heart of its wielder. As the name implies Keyblades have the ability to lock and unlock any door. What took Qui Gon Jin several minutes and still failed to do in opening that blast door in Episode 1 a Keyblade Master would unlock in about 10 seconds and it would just open. The blades also come in many different shapes and forms because the blades are custom to the wielder and even those forms can change if you attach a keychain to the hilt. There are so many creative designs as opposed to the monotonous colors of the lightsaber (red, blue, green and only 1 purple). With a deep attachment to the master, more creative designs, and origins from divine forces that would conceivably break a lightsaber and the ability to lock and unlock any door the Keyblades are a superior weapon. Here is a tiny sampling of various Keyblades.

 

Kingdom Key

Oblivion

Two Become One

Ends of the Earth

Way to the Dawn

Ultima Weapon

ABILITIES

This is more of an even round because the basic abilities of these two groups are very similar which is why I’m not going to break this into two sections. The Jedi and Keyblade masters have superhuman agility and endurance, but the Jedi only display this in jumps, running  and extremely basic moves while the Keyblade Masters display this all the time in jumping, dodging, running, and other evasive and defensive maneuvers which shows this power in a more practical way. They both have the power to sense things, but the jedi’s powers of sensing feelings and futures is better. They still lose because despite having these sensing abilities it doesn’t seem like they use it effectively enough to actually be effective in their duties or even when seeking wisdom in the Force. Also early Keyblade Masters didn’t need to use ships because they activated their armor and their Keyblade turned into a vessel to travel the worlds. Another cool thing about the armor is that the Master has the ability to temporarily telepathically control the armor and if the emotions are strong enough a Master could send parts of his/ her emotions into their armor and control it autonimously from their body in case it was knocked unconscious and they can continue the fight!!! The jedi’s best weapon is the Force, but all they really do with it is lift objects big and small and push people back. The Keyblade Masters do incalculable and creative things with magic and the light and darkness within them and the player really feels like they’re tapping into a mystical force and bending it to their needs. A video below shows this.

Birth by Sleep Ability Showcase

COMBAT

This is also going to be in just one section. Both Jedi and Keyblade Masters are very skilled swordsman and they both exhibit flashy over the top moves that are very entertaining to watch and to play. But if you strip away all of the flash and flair the Keyblade Masters still come out on top because the Keyblade Masters are simply the more well rounded fighters. The Jedi fighting in the prequels are fun to watch, but they can’t hide the fact that it’s merely people banging swords together and calling that fighting. That’s pretty much it. They bang their lightsabers together in a way that looks like swordfighting, but lacks the power, emotion and sense of strategy of fighting.  Keyblade Masters have a lot more dynamics to their fighting. They use blocks, dodges and other evasive maneuvers. they combine their magic with fighting and use special abilities that cause major damage and even attacks that make them invincible. There is also inherent strategy in the gameplay to defeat the bosses. You as the player need to exploit enemy weaknesses and look out for the enemy’s special attacks. Also since Keyblade Masters actually use emotions there is an emotional investment in the fighting and that this fight is important. The jedi’s fighting is just empty fun (exceptions are Luke and Vader’s fighting).

Darth Maul Fight

Darth Vader vs. Luke

Kingdom Hearts 1 Riku Battle

Kingdom Hearts 2 final boss

King Mickey Gameplay

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep final boss

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

even though I have heavily criticized the Jedi I still lke them and I still like Episode 3 and I love the original trilogy. I just think that the Keyblade Masters have the better ideals, the better weapons, and more diverse and dynamic abilities and combat skills. Join me Next time where I have finally reached my destination for the next World Showcase!!!!!!!!!! That’s right I’m about to be swallowed by Monstro!!!!!

 

All videos and characters are property of Lucasfilm LTD. or Disney and Square Enix.

Star Wars music composed by John Williams and owned by Skywalker Sound

Kingdom Hearts music  composed by Yoko Shimomura and owned by Walt Disney Records and Square Enix music

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