I felt a great disturbance in the Force yesterday as a Star Wars reference popped up in the unlikely context of a New York Times trend piece on how sometimes women with jobs get lunch together:
Carlos Quirarte, one of the three owners of the Smile, said he and his partners were obsessed with Michael’s, the Midtown fixture where the equivalent of the old media’s Jedi Council still holds court. The master of ceremonies there, Michael McCarty, is the father of one of their friends. “We loved the way Michael would walk into the room and he knew everybody and he connected people,” Mr. Quirarte said. “The idea kind of was that this would be a clubhouse for people who did that downtown.”
The strange thing is that this exact same reference popped up in a Jonathan Strong National Review article where he revealed that representatives of the right wing of the House GOP caucus hold regular meetings to plot ways to prevent any kind of fiscal policy compromise from becoming law. The group calls itself the Jedi Council.
Since apparently this is a thing now, it’s worth making a couple of points. First, if you watch the real Star Wars films (which I encourage you to do), there is no mention of any kind of Jedi Council. The whole idea of mainstreaming references to Star Wars prequels is pretty disheartening. But if you’re going to do it, at least think about what you’re saying. The Jedi Council was a terrible failure! The council was easily outwitted and outmanoeuvred by Chancellor Palpatine, mounted one of the most inept coup attempts in film history, and then got the vast majority of the Jedi killed within minutes. This should be a reference signaling dangerous levels of incompetence, not some kind of awesome cabal to control events behind the scenes.