Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hot debate: Why do Jedi wear robes?

Photo: Sunset Boulevard (Getty Images)

True to its name, Star Wars is known for getting its fans into heated battles. While many fights are started over small series details—Did the Kessel Run timing metrics make sense? (No.) Did Han shoot first? (Sure.) Was Luke drinking alien milk or alien semen in that last movie? (Depends on that day’s nipple.)—others center on key movie motifs that are impossible to ignore. Like, for instance, the Jedi warriors’ trademark robes.

Author (and A.V. Club contributor) Dennis DiClaudio addressed this last subject on Twitter recently, airing what’s turned out to be a pretty contentious viewpoint: that the Jedi costumes post-A New Hope are stupid.

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His opinion makes a lot of sense. Basing the design of the universe’s famous magic knights on the shitty rags one of them wore while hiding out in the first movie doesn’t really seem like a great idea. As the thread’s responses point out, it also shows a lack of creativity in a film series that’s meant to be appealing, at least in part, for its wild imagination.

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Rising up to counterbalance this great swell of darkness in the Force, illustrator Kevin Tong brings a convincing rebuttal to DiClaudio’s robe-pinions.

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Tong’s thread continues by discussing, too, how the Jedi dress code is inspired by traditional Japanese clothing—specifically what samurai would wear beneath their armor—and is deliberately less flashy than the movies’ royal and aristocratic figures in order to highlight the asceticism central to their philosophy.

He concludes:

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And DiClaudio responds:

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But luckily, the Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker of this debate (you decide who is who) put down their laser swords and make sure each other know that the discussion is all in good fun. Which is a nice conclusion, given the complete horrorshow characterizing the worst elements of pop culture fandom elsewhere on the internet.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.