Amadeo asked: Bringing Balance to the force. The Jedi believed that Anakin was chosen to do this, however, at the same time they were just finding out that there was a living Sith Lord. They believed them to be extinct. It stands to reason that bring balance to the force during this time would have meant bringing forth the Sith or diminishing the Jedi. In essence, didn't Anakin fulfill the Prophecy?
Our response: The Jedi never believed the Sith to be extinct. After the final Jedi/Sith War about 2,000 BSW, Darth Bane was the only surviving Sith lord. He took one apprentice. Darth Bane understood very early that there was just too many Sith. They could not get along and were always fighting amongst themselves. The Jedi knew that Darth Bane still lived and had an apprentice but could not find him.
For the last 1,000 years before the Clone Wars, it seemed like the Sith just removed themselves from the galaxy. It is not until the near conclusion of the Clone Wars, did the Jedi realize the peril they were in. Unfortunately, the movies did not give the full prophecy. In The Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno, the prequel book to Episode III, Yoda states on page 64:
"The larger prophecy: that unfold the dark times would. Born into their midst the Chosen One is, to return balance to the Force."
In the book adaptation of EP III, there is even a hint that the prophecy may have been planted by a Sith lord. It definitely begs the question. During Ep III, Mace Windu finally realizes what's going on. He and Yoda realize that the entire Clone Wars was a set up to bleed the Jedi dry and make the public suspicious of them. But it's too late. The damage was done. The things were already set in motion.
Anakin did bring balance to the Force because he purged the Jedi. That's why the new series is called the New Jedi Order. Here they are allowed to marry and have children. They are allowed to study and travel as they please. We will learn that the Jedi of the Old Republic were flawed in several ways. many of you noted the concept of detachment and how terribly imperfect this is. If you read some of the prequel books and comics, you will note how the Temple seperated itself from the rest of the people. They ignored poor folks throughout the galaxy. This leads to our next question....
Michelle Pessoa stated: I’m troubled by the clones in the prequel movies. Simply put, the clones of Jango Fett are slaves. They were purchased from the Kamino government, they were bred to fight and they didn’t get to decide what they want to do with their lives.That’s the definition of slavery.If the Galactic Republic was worth fighting for, free people should have been fighting for it, not people who had been enslaved.Why was this okay with the Jedi? How come they didn’t object to becoming generals leading slave armies? Shouldn’t they have found that repugnant?
Our response: First, when Obi Wan "found" Kamino and stumbled upon an order of clone soldiers, it just does not seem like a coincidence. So we have to go over that. Master Sifo Dyas did order those clones. Sifo Dyas and Dooku were very close friends. Both knew that the dark side was growing and were upset at the fact that the Jedi did nothing but wait around for this Chosen One (this is explained in Luceno's "Labyrinth of Evil" which is now on paperback).
Sifo Dyas went ahead and ordered a clone army in preparation for this. By this time, Dooku was working for Sidious. Sidious asked Dooku to kill Dyas to prove that he was ready to come to the dark side. In doing so, the order of clones remained a secret until just the right time.
Now in Ep II, the Jedi were forced to use the clones. At the end, you can tell by Yoda's reaction that the first battle was actually a loss because the Jedi became something they were not. Mace Windu even states that in the Ep III book adaptation. We do learn that several Jedi left the order because of the stance that the Jedi took. Some felt that they should remain neutral. Many agreed with Dooku that the Jedi were just mercenaries for the corrupt Republic. Quite a few joined the Separatists whose argument was that the Senate was too corrupt. Of course, the Separatists had their own agenda but some systems joined for this reason alone.
Several of the Jedi who left the order survived the first purge. The later issues of Star Wars: Republic and the book series Coruscant Nights will deal with several Jedi who left the Order. Ferus Olin is a good example of a Jedi who disagreed with much of what the Jedi's were doing.
On the slavery question, I wholeheartedly agree. Clones are still sentient beings with feelings. They think, suffer, feel joy and pain. We see several Jedi creating lasting bonds with them (go figure). Some considered them flesh droids because they were programmed to do one thing. I think it's a tragedy that they only live for half the time that normal humans do. Just imagine knowing that you will die within 30 years and all you do is fight. Then again, they were not programmed to even think outside of that.