Jedi Suffering From Capgras Delusion

Posted: April 16, 2015 in Misc

The Fate of the Jedi series is made up of nine books set in the Star Wars universe revolving around young Jedi Knights slipping into madness — one-by-one they succumb to an unseen enemy and begin to manifest long-hidden powers of the Dark Jedi. Believing that everyone they see has been replaced by nefarious look-alikes, their fear and rage cause them to strike out violently against everyone around them, family and civilians alike. The onset of the delusion is so sudden that it can overcome the victim in the midst of a conversation, resulting in extreme panic…and there’s not much worse than a panicked Jedi, what with the flailing lightsaber and magical powers. Luke Skywalker and his teenage son, Ben, must go on a quest to uncover the truth behind the mysterious illness before the Jedi Order is destroyed.

Back in a galaxy right here and right now, Capgras Delusion, also called Capgras Syndrom, is a disorder in which a person suddenly believes that a loved one has been replaced by an imposter. Yes, this is a real disorder. I heard about it on a season 12 episode of Law and Order SVU (Thank you, Dr Wong!) where a mother believed that her daughter had been replaced by an imposter. While actual victims of this disorder don’t suddenly learn how to Flow Walk, it’s amazing that this neurological disorder can be based in reality. I can’t even imagine the terror that would be induced by suddenly believing that a loved one has been replaced by something evil, and the fear of not knowing what happened to the real loved one.

In the series, the madness is orchestrated by an insidious being awakened by Jacen Solo during his fall into the Dark Side. Abeloth, “The Bringer of Chaos,” had been imprisoned for thousands of years until Jacen unintentionally released her in his battle for control of the Galactic Alliance. Her twisted mind craved companionship, and she sought it out through the Force. Each time her mind touched another’s, the corruption was too much and the result was an apparent psychotic break.

“Once you were with me, here in the Maw. Once you were all with me. Now you are apart, but one by one, you are all awakening. And once awake, you can hear my call, and come to me.” ―Abeloth

The foundation of these delusioned Jedi is actually more frightening than fiction. In the Star Wars universe, good conquers evil and sets things right. But the reality is that the real-life victims of these delusions cannot be cured. The patients have visual memory of the loved one, but cannot access the associated emotional connection. As such, the patient recognizes the loved one, but there is a delusion that it isn’t the person.

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