- “For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire.”
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Jedi Order, simply known as the Jedi, is a monastic spiritual organization comprised of light side Force-users in the Star Wars franchise. The Jedi are often in tandem with the Rebel Alliance and the Resistance, and are opposed by the Sith, their opposite practitioners of the dark side of the Force.
The Jedi Knights study, serve, and use a mystical power called the Force and wield a traditional weapon named lightsaber, which emits a controlled plasma flow in the shape of a blade, in order to serve and protect the Galactic Republic and the galaxy at large from conflict or governmental instability. As guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, they mediate peace negotiations among planets and other factions and, if necessary, use their formidable powers, fighting skills, and wisdom to quickly end unrest or neutralize dangerous individuals or threats. Some Jedi also took Barash vows as a kind of penitence. The ones who took a vow separated themselves from everything save the Force itself until they had fulfilled the vow, only then would they return to active duty.
The Jedi were governed by a council, consisting of some of the strongest, wisest, and most powerful members of the Jedi Order. They were bound to a code of ethics, morality, principles, and justice. The Jedi were trained to use the Force through passive meditation, practicing selflessness, and commitment to justice while at the same time rejecting emotions such as fear, anger, and hatred. Their way of life contrasts with their archenemies, the Sith, another monastic organization who use the dark side of the Force to achieve their goal of ruling the galaxy.
A notable trait among Jedi who have obtained the rank of Jedi Master, is that they were arrogant, self-righteous and short-sighted, focused almost entirely on the future, giving the present little to no thought. They were also not only incapable of acknowledging their mistakes, but incapable of learning from them as well, and these traits were what eventually led to the Jedi Order's downfall.
Grand Master or Master of the Order, is one of the two separated titles given to the leader of the Jedi Order, and the head of the Jedi High Council.
Powers, Abilities and Equipment
- Power of the Force: The Jedi are skilled in the ways of the Force, particularly the light side of the Force.
- Meditation: All Jedi can further amplify their connection to the Force with a clear mind by meditating.
- Lightsabers: All Jedi are armed with blue, green, purple, yellow, black (only one called the Darksaber created by Tarre Vizsla), or white standard lightsabers, double-bladed lightsabers, dual-phase lightsabers, crossguard lightsabers, curved-hilt lightsabers, lightsaber pikes, cane lightsabers, training lightsabers, or shoto lightsabers that allowed them to win duels quickly and easily. However, they have more difficulty defeating their opponents who are Force-sensitive individuals, particularly fully trained lightsaber duelists.
- Jedi Holocrons: All Jedi use cube shaped-like information-storage datacron devices that contains information, teachings, and messages regarding the Jedi Order. It can only be opened by a Jedi or someone who thinks like one.
- Jedi robes: Jedi robes are white, cream, gray, light brown, dark brown, or black colored robes worn by the members of the Jedi Order (Jedi Youngling, Padawan, Jedi Knight, and Jedi Master alike) their clothes usually tended to follow a pattern, consisting of an undertunic, an overtunic, an outer robe with a deep hood and wide sleeves, loose-fitting trousers, a tabard, and a broad sash tied about the waist.
Jedi High Council
The Jedi High Council, simply known as the Jedi Council, was a council comprised of some of the strongest, wisest and most powerful members of the Jedi Order, who were elected to lead and guide the Jedi. All members of the Jedi Council were those who have the rank of Jedi Master. Grand Master is a title granted to a Jedi Master who is the elected head of the Jedi High Council.
The Grand Master could overrule the decision that the other members of the Jedi Council made, regarding matters of the Jedi Order such as expelling a member of the Jedi Order, also he/she could change the Jedi teachings or code.
The Jedi Code is a set of rules and teachings that governed the behavior during the period of the original Jedi Order. Unfortunately, some of these teachings as well as the code were flawed, as it eventually led to the Jedi Order's downfall.
The set of rules of the old Jedi teachings are as it follows:
- There is no emotion, there is peace: All Jedi are taught to control their emotions, as they believe by giving into their emotions, they would fall to the dark side. Unfortunately, this code was flawed, as Jedi suppressing their emotions, particularly their rage, can lead to disastrous consequences.
- There is no ignorance, there is knowledge: Because the Jedi are the protectors of the galaxy, they gathered as much knowledge as they can.
- There is no passion, there is serenity: All Jedi are taught to connect to the Force via serenity and other peaceful emotions.
- There is no chaos, there is harmony: All Jedi are taught to end conflicts via peaceful ways.
- There is no death, there is the Force: All Jedi are taught to accept that death is inevitable, and that the those lost to it merely become part of the Force.
- No Attachments: All Jedi are forbidden from forming attachments such as marriage, and other specific, individual bonds such as family and romantic love. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Mace Windu are the only known Jedi from the old order to have secretly broken this rule on more than one occasion. Rey and Ben Solo are the only known Jedi from the new generation who have broken this rule as well.
- Life is Precious: All Jedi are taught to respect all forms of life in general, as they do not believe in assassinations, and only kill in self-defense or to save the lives of innocent individuals.
- Mercy: All Jedi are forbidden to attack or kill unarmed opponents. Anakin Skywalker is the only known Jedi to have secretly broken this rule at least once; albeit Palpatine encouraged Anakin to kill Dooku on the spot, but he was uncomfortable about what he had done, as it was against the Jedi Code. Mace Windu once attempted to break this rule; when he knew that Palpatine was too dangerous to be kept alive, Mace prepared to execute the Dark Lord of the Sith, but Anakin stopped Mace by cutting off the hand wielding his lightsaber.
- One Master, One Apprentice: A single Jedi Knight or Jedi Master is forbidden to have more than one Padawan at a given time.
- Age Restriction: Force-sensitives at certain ages are not allowed to join the Jedi Order as trainees. Anakin Skywalker was nine years old at the time Qui-Gon Jinn requested that he be trained as a Jedi, so most members of the Jedi High Council (except for Ki-Adi-Mundi and Eeth Koth) believed Anakin was too old to begin training as an apprentice, and refused to train him. However, they later reversed their decision, albeit reluctantly and with caution, by allowing Anakin to be trained by Obi-Wan Kenobi. They allowed it mainly because Obi-Wan had made it clear that he intended to train Anakin with or without the approval of the Jedi High Council, as it was Qui-Gon's dying wish, but also because the Sith Order had come out of hiding and Anakin's potential made him someone who could one day defeat them.
- Jedi Youngling: Jedi youngling is a rank granted to Force-sensitive children who have been accepted into the Jedi Order as trainees. During the period of the original Jedi Order, they would be the children between the ages of four and eight. They would also undergo their training in the Force, particularly at the Coruscant Jedi Temple, and would remain under the tutelage of a Jedi instructor until they are selected or assigned to a Jedi Knight or Jedi Master as their apprentices.
- Jedi Apprentice or Padawan: Jedi apprentice, also called Padawan, is a rank granted to Jedi younglings who have been selected or assigned to a Jedi Knight or Jedi Master as their apprentices. During the period of the original Jedi Order, they would be the those with the age of eight or in their early teenage years, and they would remain under the tutelage of their mentors until the Jedi High Council believed they were ready for the Jedi Trials.
- Jedi Knight: Jedi Knight is a rank granted to the apprentices who became full members of the Jedi Order. During the period of the original Jedi Order, the apprentices would have to pass the Jedi Trials (The Trial of Skill, the Trial of Courage, the Trial of the Flesh, the Trial of the Spirit and the Trial of Insight) to acquire this rank. It is the second highest rank in the Jedi Order.
- Jedi Master: Jedi Master is a rank granted to a few Jedi Knights, depending on their experience, intelligence, wisdom, mastery of the Force and skills in lightsaber combat. It is the highest rank in the Jedi Order.
Jedi Military ranks
Although the Jedi Order is not a military organization, in times of need its members became part of the Republic Army. Only if it is absolutely necessary, the Jedi get involved into a war.
- Jedi Commander: Jedi Commander is a military rank granted to Padawans and Jedi Knights that take leadership positions within in the Republic Army and serve as the second-in-command to a Jedi General. It is the second highest military rank in the Republic Army that a Jedi can achieve.
- Jedi General: Jedi General is a military rank granted to Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters that serve as generals within the Republic Army. It is the highest military rank in the Republic Army that a Jedi can achieve.
- Jedi: Jedi is a title that is granted to individuals (Jedi youngling, Padawan, Jedi Knight and Jedi Master alike) who are members of the Jedi Order.
- Jedi investigator: Jedi investigator is a title that is granted to Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters who specialize in using their intuition and connection to the Force to perform detective work and prevent crimes. The Jedi investigators rarely use the Jedi Temple's cutting edge analysis equipment and facilities, including the Jedi Archives, decontaminated clean room analysis chambers and analysis droids to assist with their research or investigation. Tera Sinube is particularly a notable Jedi investigator.
- Chief Librarian: Chief Librarian is a title that is granted to a single Jedi Knight or Jedi Master who is elected to oversaw the vast Coruscant Jedi Temple archives and Holocron Vault. Jocasta Nu is particularly a notable Chief Librarian.
- Grand Master/Master of the Order: Grand Master, also known as Master of the Order, is a title that is granted to a Jedi Master who is the elected leader of the Jedi Order and the head of the Jedi High Council. It is usually granted to the strongest, wisest and most powerful member of the Jedi Order, as it is the highest title in the Jedi Order. Mace Windu and Yoda are particularly annotable Grand Masters.
- Jedi Temple Guard: Jedi Temple Guard is a title that is granted to Jedi Knights who are elected to guard the Coruscant Jedi Temple, and all Jedi Temple Guards commonly use yellow-bladed lightsaber pikes. The Grand Inquisitor was a particularly notable Jedi Temple Guard.
- Dark Jedi: Dark Jedi is an unofficial title that refers to Jedi who have gone rogue and fallen to the dark side, but are not actual Sith. Asajj Ventress, Pong Krell, Barriss Offee, the Inquisitorius and Kylo Ren are particularly notable Dark Jedi.
The Jedi Order was founded in or around 6000 BBY, on Ahch-To by an individual known as the "Prime Jedi", who was the first Jedi in existence, at the dawn of their order. They were known to have taken Ilum, the planet from which they gathered the kyber crystals to power their lightsabers, as a sacred place on which they built a Jedi Temple. During an event known as the "Hundred-Year Darkness", one Jedi broke away from the light side, and founded the Sith Order, gaining many followers. With the Sith as their eternal enemies, the Jedi took up the task of protecting the galaxy from their evil. The wars between Jedi and Sith would spread across the galaxy as the centuries passed and resulted in such travesties, such as the "Great Scourge of Malachor".
At some point in time after the end of the "Great Scourge of Malachor", the Jedi Order believed they had wiped out the entire Sith Order, which was helped along by the power-hungry Sith fighting among themselves, unaware at the time that there was still one surviving Sith, Darth Bane, who decreed there should be no more than two Sith at any one time to prevent infighting. Eventually, Bane was killed by the Jedi (when they learned of his survival and his new Sith philosophy, the Rule of Two). However, this victory made the Jedi arrogant. As such, this arrogance combined with their inability to acknowledge or learn from their mistakes would eventually lead to their downfall. Unbeknownst to the Jedi, Bane had secretly taken an apprentice and by letting himself be killed, had drawn the Jedi's attention away from the Sith, leading them to think that the Sith Order had been destroyed for good.
The Jedi then destroyed any Sith artifacts they found, but this was a mistake, because if the Jedi had kept the artifacts of the Sith, they may have been able to prepare for their return. By destroying any forms of existence and legacy of their enemies, they left themselves and the galaxy itself completely unprepared.
The Jedi Order had built many Jedi Temples throughout the galaxy over the years to serve as Jedi academies to train new generations of Jedi Knights across the galaxy. The Ahch-To Jedi Temple (considered to be the very first according to historians among their ranks) the Ilum Jedi Temple, the Lothal Jedi Temple, the Jedha Jedi Temple, and the famous Coruscant Jedi Temple, served as their headquarters. The Coruscant Jedi Temple was built over a Sith Shrine to contain the dark side of the force, but over time, the darkness from the shrine seeped up into the Coruscant Jedi Temple, causing the Jedi's powers to weaken and proving to be another sign of the Jedi's arrogance.
200 years before the Naboo Crisis, the Jedi were at their zenith and peak during the High Republic Era, a period when the Jedi helped colonial settlers into the Outer Rim Territories. However, they were confronted by the Drengir, Force-sensitive plant-like creatures, and the Nihil, an anarchistic group of marauders.
Around ten years before the Clone Wars, Darth Maul was sent to Tatooine by his mentor, Sheev Palpatine, to capture the queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala. During this mission, he was confronted by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, who realized during their duel that not only did his opponent knew the ways of the Force, but he was also familiar with the Jedi's art of lightsaber combat. Qui-Gon Jinn then concluded that the only viable explanation was that his opponent was a Sith.
After this encounter, Qui-Gon reported his concerns to the Jedi High Council. But some members of the Jedi High Council were skeptical to believe this such as Ki-Adi-Mundi who stated that the Sith have been extinct for a millennium, and Mace Windu who arrogantly stated that the Sith could not possibly return without them knowing. However, Yoda and most other members of the Jedi High Council knew that nothing was impossible and that the dark side of the Force was unpredictable. It was only after the Invasion of Naboo and Qui-Gon's death that the Jedi High Council finally accepted that the mysterious dark warrior was in fact a Sith, though they had no way of knowing whether it was the Sith Master or the Sith apprentice that Obi-Wan Kenobi had killed.
During the Clone Wars, members of the Jedi Order served as Jedi Generals and Jedi Commanders of the Grand Army of the Republic, particularly members of the Jedi High Council. They fought bravely alongside the Clone Troopers, but it was in vain. This was due to the whole war being part of the Sith's plot to rule the galaxy once more, thus serving to further weaken the Jedi and divert their attention from their machinations. Although the Jedi Generals, the Jedi Commanders and those who served under them were regarded as war heroes, much of the public opinion toward the Jedi had grown negative as many came to believe that the Jedi had abandoned their role as peacekeepers and massive protests were staged outside the Coruscant Jedi Temple, as a result, politicians like Wilhuff Tarkin, felt that their Jedi code kept them from doing what was necessary to win the war.
Jedi Knight-turned-Dark Jedi Barriss Offee believed the Jedi were losing touch with their commitment of maintaining peace throughout the galaxy, and staged a bombing in the Coruscant Jedi Temple in protest, all while briefly framing her friend, Padawan Ahsoka Tano, for committing the act before being exposed as the true culprit by Ahsoka's mentor, Anakin, as Barriss hypocritically believed that the Jedi had become an army fighting for the dark side - while she became corrupted herself. According to Caleb Dume, later known as Kanan Jarrus (a human boy Padawan) there were at least ten thousand Jedi Knights alive when he was fourteen years old, prior to the events of Order 66.
By the end of the Clone Wars, Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious, who is the Dark Lord of the Sith Order, initiated Order 66, ordering the clone troopers to turn against their Jedi comrades and kill them, beginning an event known as the "Great Jedi Purge". Only a small fraction of the Jedi survived this operation. The surviving members were hunted down to the brink of extinction, some managed to survive the initial order by evading the turned clone troopers or through isolation through their Barash vows. An example being Jedi Master Kirak Infil'a, who was killed by Darth Vader.
Out of arrogance, Sidious ended the purge, convinced that the few surviving Jedi were no longer a threat to him and the Galactic Empire. Adding to this, Sidious spread rumors that the Jedi were the Clone Wars' instigators, turning public opinion against them. In addition to Palpatine declaring the Jedi traitors, he forbade any mention of them and confiscated or destroyed any artifacts they possessed, allowing him to effectively erase them from galactic history. As time passed, the Jedi, and the Force became viewed as legend/myth by the public, further shrouding them in mystery. Those who remembered the Jedi were frightened or forced into silence, so the new generations of Imperial citizens under Palpatine's rule then grew up believing the Jedi were myths or over exaggerated stories.
Many years after the Great Jedi Purge, the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi found Luke Skywalker, the son of his former apprentice and fallen Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. Luke was trained by Obi-Wan and later by Yoda, becoming the first of a new generation of Jedi Knights. He would also help to redeem his father who was serving the Emperor as Darth Vader. By the end of the Galactic Civil War, most Jedi were killed or in Yoda's case, died of old age.
After Emperor Palpatine's death at the hands of the redeemed Anakin Skywalker, a hidden darkness appeared in the galaxy, a dark side Force-user named Snoke. However, the hidden darkness was actually Palpatine (as Snoke was his creation) as the Sith Master had resurrected himself via forbidden teachings of the dark side of the Force. He managed to transfer his spirit into an undead clone of himself years after being killed by Anakin, but he was left in a severely weakened state, as a result he was no physical threat to the galaxy. Thus, Palpatine needed Snoke and the First Order to accomplish his goals to conquer the New Republic and reinstate a new Sith Empire.
Sometime after the Battle of Endor and the Battle of Jakku, Luke Skywalker found the Jedi teachings, which were believed to be lost forever until him, with aid from the group known as the Church of the Force, discovered the Jedi Archives on the planets of Mimban, Toola, Dathomir, Dantooine and Ossus. Luke instructed his twin sister, Leia Organa, to become a Jedi, but she eventually abandoned her Jedi training due to the fact that she had sensed that her son, Ben Solo, would die if she continued her path as a Jedi. Sometime after, Luke Skywalker started to build his own Jedi Temple. While the temple was still in contruction, Luke trained a Force sensitive Mandalorian who ended up rejecting the Jedi path and decided to return to his adoptive father.
Once his Jedi Temple was built, Luke took on his nephew and several other Force-users as his apprentices. As there were no Jedi Masters left alive to officially grant Luke the rank and title, Luke was forced to promote himself to the rank of Jedi Master and started to train a new generation of Jedi apprentices at his Jedi Temple. However, Snoke, who was created by the revived Palpatine to cause Ben's fall to the dark side, preyed on Ben's internal conflict. Unknown to everyone, Palpatine himself would also whisper inside Ben's mind, as the Dark Lord was trying to further corrupt the Skywalker heir.
One night, when Luke went to visit Ben in his hut, he was already fast asleep, so Luke probed his nephew's mind and discovered how powerful his connection to the dark side of Force was growing. Terrified of how much of a threat he would become to the galaxy in the future, Luke activates his lightsaber as he initially intended to kill his nephew to prevent him from falling to the dark side, but immediately decides against it. Unfortunately, before Luke had a chance to deactivate his lightsaber, Ben wakes up, and sees his uncle's lightsaber ignited. Believing that Luke was going to kill him, Ben tries to defend himself by grabbing his own lightsaber, and collapsing the hut they were in.
Ben then apparently killed most of Luke's apprentices. Unbeknownst to anyone, Ben did not actually massacre all his fellow Jedi, as they were killed by a lightning storm that completely destroyed Luke Skywalker's Jedi Temple. The three survivors that were not in the Temple during the storm, pursued Ben that had gone to search for the Knights of Ren. Luke's apprentices confronted Ben for attacking their master, and they were eventually killed by Ben and "Ren", the former leader of the Knights of Ren. Ben joins the Knights of Ren and ends up killing "Ren", taking his place as the master of the Knights of Ren; he then became known as Kylo Ren.
Luke was the last Jedi that survived these events. In the aftermath of the death of his apprentices, Luke was deeply grieved and wracked with guilt, blaming himself for his students' deaths and Ben's turn to the dark side. Luke then mysteriously disappeared as he chose to seek out the First Jedi Temple on Ahch-To. He gave (for unknown reasons) two pieces of the map to the Ahch-To Jedi Temple's location, one to R2-D2, his astromech droid, and another to Lor San Tekka. Luke eventually found the Ahch-To Jedi Temple, and he wanted to remain in hiding on Ahch-To until the time of his death, so the Jedi would end with him.
This devastating tragedy would greatly delay his plan to restore the Jedi Order to its former glory, an after-effect of this is that any impact the Jedi might have had by this point was practically forgotten. Luke and his exploits by this time were considered to be legend and myth by the majority of galaxy at large. Only a few, such as Lor San Tekka and his organization, the Church of the Force, knew the truth thirty years after the Battle of Endor.
Approximately six years after the destruction of Luke Skywalker's Jedi Temple, the First Order, under the orders of Snoke, were to find and kill Luke, since Snoke knew that as long as Luke lived, a new generation of Jedi Knights could rise again. Under Snoke's rule of the First Order, the Jedi were decreed extinct to brainwash the First Order's citizens into believing that nothing could oppose them.
The Force-sensitive human girl, Rey, eventually would find Luke on the planet of Ahch-To and present him with his father's lightsaber, showing him that he was needed once more and that he stands as the last hope in the galaxy.
With Luke's return and Rey ready to train under his tutelage, the Jedi could set on the path to be restored, bring peace and justice to the galaxy once again. But Luke was not keen on training Rey in the ways of the Jedi as he was still ridden with guilt for his past mistakes and recognized the flaws in the Jedi ways, so he came to believe that the galaxy would be better without the Jedi. Despite this, after hearing an old recording of Leia from R2-D2, he reconsiders and instead, teaches her lessons about the Force and the Jedi.
However, upon discovering Rey contacting his nephew through their newfound Force-bond, Luke orders her to leave the island. After what she learned from Kylo, Rey furiously confronts Luke demanding to know if he tried to kill Ben on the night he turned to the dark side, which the elderly Jedi Master shamefully admits to be true, stating that the last thing he saw was a frightened boy whose master had failed him. Rey points out that he failed Ben in thinking that his fall to the dark side was a premeditated choice. After Luke refusing again her invitation to fight in the war for the Resistance, Rey leaves the Jedi Master stating that Ben Solo is the last hope instead of him.
Shortly after Rey leaves Ahch-To to find Kylo Ren, the spirit of Yoda appears before Luke. He states to the late Jedi Master that he would to end it all, the tree library, the Jedi texts, and the Jedi Order itself by burning it all. However, he was unable to go through with it, Yoda then summons a thunderbolt to destroy the library, the feat that Luke was unable to bring himself to do, doing this to make a point to the Grand Master. Unbeknownst to Luke, Rey had already taken the Jedi books when she left, after which, Yoda gently scolds Luke, pointing out that failure is one of the greatest lessons that a Jedi could learn from. This causes the Grand Master to finally forgive himself for what happened to Ben and his apprentices many years ago. He also realizes that his mistake wasn't for training Ben in the ways of the Force, but it was for not believing in his nephew's inner goodness. Yoda states to Luke that any student should grow beyond and surpass the master, and Luke should learn with his past mistakes to become a better teacher for Rey.
During Ren's assault on Crait to destroy the Resistance, Luke used his Force powers to project an illusion of himself to distract his nephew long enough to allow the Resistance and Rey to escape and live to fight another day. However, the effort it took to manifest such an illusion from such a distance took a tremendous toll on his body, which proved too much to bear and caused Luke to become one with the Force. Luke died peacefully knowing that he had ignited the revival of the Jedi via Rey and that his sacrifice was not in vain.
One year later, Emperor Palpatine who had cheated death after the Battle of Endor, announced his return to the galaxy. The citizens' fleet reinforced the Resistance in the Battle of Exegol, and Rey was helped by a redeemed Ben Solo (who had dropped the Kylo Ren persona after he was touched by his parents' and Rey's love) Rey received the aid from the Jedi from the past and managed to destroy the Sith Emperor while the Resistance was victorious in defeating the remaining forces of the Sith Eternal. Although it cost Rey's life to finally kill Palpatine, Ben decided to sacrifice himself to bring her back from the dead and the two shared a passionate kiss before he disappeared in her arms.
After the celebrations at the Resistance base of Ajan Kloss, Rey along with BB-8 buried both the Skywalker's and Leia's lightsabers at the Lars homestead. She then she ignited her own yellow-bladed lightsaber, and with the blessing of her mentors that watched her as Force spirits, she decided to adopt the Skywalker surname and became "Rey Skywalker". Thus, she will be the one to continue the legacy of the Skywalkers and the Jedi.