Spoiler Alert

In episode three of The Acolyte, we see a flashback to the planet Brendok, where four Jedi approach the local clan of witches to take the two children, Osha and Mae, to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. One child wants to stay, while another wants to go and become a Jedi Padawan. The practice of Jedi taking children from their families at a young age has always seemed problematic. But what if it’s actually a necessary evil? Star Wars as a franchise has never made a good case for why it must be this way. But over at Marvel, the X-Men comics and films have done something similar, in a way that makes sense.

“He’s too old. Yes, too old to begin the training.” — Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back


Ever since The Phantom Menace, we’ve learned that the Jedi Order begins training their Jedi Padawans at a very young age. In fact, the Jedi Council deemed 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker as “too old” in that film, and initially rejected him. In later canonical Star Wars content like Clone Wars, Tales of the Jedi, and even Obi-Wan Kenobi, we learn the Order typically takes children as young as three or four years old into the order, essentially separating them from their parents for the rest of their lives as toddlers. And it seems, for the most part, parents are doing this willingly. But why?

Thus far, Star Wars has done a poor job of explaining why it’s standard galactic procedure for parents to essentially give up their children for adoption to an organization that will never allow them to see their kids again. At the very least, not until they are adults. These parents are all seemingly ok with it. However, it actually does make sense. We’ve seen something similar in the pages of Marvel Comics. However, the X-Men franchise has done a much better job of explaining why than Star Wars ever has.

Jedi Children Have Midi-Chlorians, Marvel Mutants Have the X-Gene

In Marvel Comics lore, a mutant is born with the X-gene, allowing their powers to develop at puberty. In the case of some mutants like Nightcrawler of the X-Men, the mutation can develop at birth. That is rare, however. For most mutants, their abilities start to flourish at moments of heightened emotional distress, usually at puberty. These powers can be not only dangerous to themselves, but to their families and communities as well. So it makes sense that they would need to go somewhere to train in the use of their powers. Not only for the good of humanity, but to make sure no one around them gets hurt. That’s why the most powerful moments need to go to a place like Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters to train.


The Jedi in Star Wars are very similar. Except, for Force-sensitive children of the galaxy far away, their powers can emerge from childhood. We saw it with young Ahsoka in Tales of the Jedi. Even as a toddler, she could unconsciously wield the Force. If a potential Jedi child can do this, they can also hurt those around them. A small child is pure Id. They are all “want,” and not much else. If they don’t get that cookie they want, they may accidentally Force-choke their parent. If another kid is mean to them on the playground? Then they might use the Force to hurt them, or possibly even kill them. Whether they mean to or not.

We think that things like this probably have taken place around the galaxy. Young Force-sensitive kids doing damage without thinking. This explains why it’s standard procedure for parents to give up their Force-sensitive kids to ensure the safety of those around them, however painful that decision may be. Yet that’s something not well communicated in The Acolyte. Or, frankly, in any Star Wars. The Jedi come across as cold, recruiting small kids for the benefit of their own Order. In truth, it’s actually for their own protection and the protection of others. So how does the Star Wars franchise fix this?

The Jedi Temple and Xavier’s School, Are They One and the Same?

Twentieth Century Films/Lucasfilm

This is where Star Wars can take a cue from X-Men, from both the comics and in other media. In the comics, we’ve seen how the emerging powers of characters like Sunspot put the lives of others at risk. In the movies, we saw how Rogue put a boy who kissed her in a coma for weeks when her powers activated. For their own protection, and to stop a witch hunt of everyone with similar gifts, those with the greatest powers must go to a place like Xavier’s School. If only to learn to control their abilities, forget being a superhero of any kind. Star Wars needs to show the bad things that happen when a Force-sensitive child uses their powers for destructive reasons. Even if it’s not on purpose. Only then can we truly understand that what the Jedi Order does is by necessity.

Lucasfilm/Twentieth Century Films

Of course, there are differences. The students at Xavier’s School are not forced to never see their families again once trained. Actually, Star Wars isn’t really clear if adult Jedi are allowed contact with their loved ones when their training is complete. Hopefully, The Acolyte, or other future Star Wars projects, makes all that clear. If that’s the case, and seeing a loved one once you’ve learned to use your powers is against the Jedi Code, it doesn’t paint the Jedi in a forgiving light. But the idea they must leave home for the safety of all is something that does make sense. The folks at Lucasfilm just need to take a cue from the X-Men franchise though when it comes to showing exactly why this is all for the greater good.