Star Wars, and non-violent communication

Largely spurred by the memes on Reddit, I recently happened to watch The Mandalorian. Didn't particularly enjoy it - the plot is full of devices I've seen many times before, and it's basically an action series - I prefer to watch things that make me laugh and/or think, some examples of which would be Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Ghost in the Shell movies, and to some extent Attack on Titan and Code Geass. 1 Hm…why are all of these anime? 🤔 At best, the culturally detailed and diverse universe is an interesting spectacle, but one that fails to be as breathtaking as, say, the worlds of Interstellar or Inception.

However, it did serve to remind me of how the Jedi are perceived by most of the Star Wars universe. And I saw some parallels between them and Marshall Rosenberg's system/process of "non-violent communication", AKA "the language of peace", AKA "giraffe". (a term used both for the language as well as its speakers)

Both the Jedi arts and NVC seem to involve unlearning what you have been taught by the world your whole life, which requires massive dedication, time, and effort.

Both emphasize being mindful of one's thoughts and feelings.

Both categorize anger and hatred as products or symptoms of the "other side" - for NVC, "jackal" (the language of moral judgements; the opposite of giraffe), and for Jedi, the Dark Side. (Although for giraffes, anger, depression, guilt and shame are "the four friends" - four valuable feelings which let you know that you are thinking in a way which creates violence.)

Until they have seen the capabilities of a Jedi, Star Wars characters do not believe there is such a thing as the Force; the very idea of the capabilities conferred by mastery of the Force - telekinesis et al - is something miraculous, something laughably impossible to the unaware.

Likewise, until they have seen a giraffe, those educated in speaking jackal can hardly believe that an alternative can exist, let alone be practically applicable and effective. Indeed, had I not had the fortune of closely knowing a giraffe already, 2 Someone who arrived at similar principles themselves, independently of Rosenberg. perhaps I too would have dismissed it as "utopian fantasy fluff".

And yet, a single Jedi is able to utterly outclass a group of the best of the "mundane" - is capable of doing things they had never dreamed possible. And similarly, I have had in my life the fortune of observing the miracles worked by a giraffe.


PS - the similarities are perhaps not surprising. NVC and the Jedi both seem to be inspired by Taoism.

Also, if anyone wants to learn about non-violent communication, there are books about it, but this is the video that started it all for me. It is equal parts hilarious and enlightening. =>