It was a chance encounter in a crowded nightclub.
A young looking alien, down on his luck, spotted the man sitting at the bar and approached him. Maybe the man looked a little tense and needed something to help him relax. Or perhaps the alien was just desperate to make a sale. Regardless, he approached the man and made clear his intentions.
“Would you like to buy some deathsticks?”
“No,” said the man, with a wave of his hand, “You don’t want to sell me deathsticks.”
A funny feeling came over the alien. “I don’t want to sell you deathsticks,” he replied.
“You want to go home and re-think your life.”
“I want to go home and re-think my life.”
Then as calmly as he had approached the man, Elan Sel'Sabagno–“Sleazebaggano” to those that bothered to risk any association with him–left the nightclub and went home to consider the destination his life was headed.
So what happened to him?
According to Wookieepedia, not much. Elan tried to kick his drug dealing ways for a moment, failed miserably, and ended up doing back on the streets peddling a drug with the worst, yet most appropriate, name in the history of narcotics. Eventually he kicked the habit and spent his time educating others on the dangers of drug abuse.
I don’t buy it.
I like to think that Elan went home that night and thought long and hard about the mire his life had sunk into. Then I like to believe that he decided to make a positive impact on the world. Maybe it started with helping others get over their addictions and that blossomed into him becoming an outstanding role model for the community. Perhaps he ran for a political position and became a mayor or city councilman. My mind then imagines him using his power to fight the injustices of a newly formed Empire and then, in his old age, he joins the rebellion and is part of a highly esteemed council that makes decisions that will determine the course of the entire galaxy.
All because some random stranger told him to re-think his life.
Concerning that stranger. What are the ethical implications of Obi-Wan’s actions that day? When Sleazebaggano came to him, Kenobi set his entire life onto a new track with a flick of the hand and little to no concern for the consequences that might have. He didn’t care about what happened later; he just wanted to get rid of a pest as quick as possible.
Obi-Wan stripped the alien of his own free will. Even if it could have had a positive influence, is it morally justifiable to use a Jedi mind trick to change a person’s character? I say no. Everyone is entitled to set their own course, for good or for evil. The moment that any person, or group of persons, decide what others can or cannot do, liberty is lost.
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