The weapon of a Jedi was the lightsaber, a blade made of pure energy which have different colours. Jedi fought for peace and justice in the Galactic Republic, usually against their mortal enemy: the Sith, who wielded the dark side of the Force.
- "The Jedi are selfless. They only care about others."
- ―Anakin Skywalker to Chancellor Palpatine
The Jedi Knights focused on calmness and peace to channel their powers in the Force, using the light side of the Force to serve in the capacity of guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. Even so, the Jedi sought to preserve balance in the Force; the ancient prophecy of the Chosen One foretold one who would bring balance to the Force. In combat, whereas an enemy may grow impatient and rely on their overwhelming strength, a Jedi would meditate and find serenity in their mind to focus. A Jedi used their lightsaber only for defense, not for attack, and used the Force for defense and knowledge rather than use it to gain power over others. Because of this, some Jedi were capable of appearing after death as Force spirits. The Jedi fit themselves as peacekeepers during the time of the Galactic Republic, not soldiers.
- "For more than 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 to a young Luke Skywalker
The Jedi were of ancient origins, having been present in the galaxy for over one thousand generations. Originally established at the first Jedi Temple on Ahch-To, they established numerous sites throughout the galaxy on Coruscant, Ossus, Tython and Jedha. The Jedi eventually came to align with the democratic Galactic Republic and owed their allegiance to the Galactic Senate.
There were ten thousand Jedi in the galaxy before the Clone Wars, the first pan-galactic war in over a millennium since the rise of the Galactic Republic and the alleged extinction of the Sith. At the end of the war, however, which had secretly been engineered by the long dormant Sith in a bid for power, they were all but destroyed by the Sith during and after the execution of Order 66, leaving very few Jedi survivors. Nonetheless, a new age Jedi, Luke Skywalker, son of the fallen Anakin Skywalker, would be trained by Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda during the Galactic Civil War. Luke went on to redeem his father, who killed Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith and ruler of the Galactic Empire, and thus destroyed the Sith and brought balance to the Force. With his masters and father dead, however, Luke had become the last of the Jedi.
Skywalker worked to rebuild the Jedi Order in the years after the Galactic Civil War during the time of the New Republic, eventually gathering a group of Jedi students, among them his nephew, Ben Solo. However, Luke sensed a growing darkness in Ben and eventually went to confront his nephew in the night. When Luke peered into his nephew's mind while he slept, he saw the machinations of the mysterious dark side wielder Snoke and Ben's darkness, which would lead to death, destruction, and despair in the galaxy, and, in a moment of pure instinct, ignited his lightsaber. Luke, whose family had a history with the dark side, was quickly overcome by shame and regret, but before he could put away his blade, his nephew woke up, and, in the confusion of the moment, ignited his own lightsaber to clash with his uncle and brought down his hut on him. Ben went on to raze Luke's temple and slaughter most of his fellow Jedi students while taking the rest with him. Ben eventually joined the Knights of Ren and became Kylo Ren, a student of Snoke.
Sometime later, as war erupted between the First Order and the Resistance for control of the galaxy, an orphaned scavenger named Rey approached Luke at the first Jedi Temple on Ahch-To, seeking to be trained as a Jedi, having been sent by General Leia Organa, leader of the Resistance, Luke's sister, and Kylo Ren's mother. Though Luke rejected her at first, he eventually agreed to train her. A Force bond that connected Kylo Ren and Rey brought her to the Supremacy, where Kylo turned her over to his master, Supreme Leader Snoke. However, Kylo killed his master, and fought with Rey against his Elite Praetorian Guard. When Kylo usurped his master's power, Rey abandoned him and joined with the fleeing Resistance on Crait, where the Battle of Crait had erupted. As Rey helped the few Resistance survivors escape aboard the Millennium Falcon, Luke projected an image of himself on Crait to distract Kylo Ren and the First Order. He warned Kylo that he would not be the last Jedi, naming Rey his successor, before becoming one with the Force. Luke's tale went on to spread across the galaxy as a symbol of hope in a dark time as the First Order rose to power.
Members of the Jedi Order held various positions within the Order at times. These included:
- Jedi youngling: A young child who was Force-sensitive would be identified at birth and taken to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to be trained as a Jedi. They were to be put into classes of other Jedi younglings and trained together before being taken as an apprentice by a Jedi Knight. Younglings were not to be trained once they had reached a certain age, with the sole exception to this rule being Anakin Skywalker. Younglings would participate in the Gathering, which was the pilgrimage to the Ilum Temple to gain a kyber crystal for their lightsaber.
- Padawan: A youngling who had been chosen by a Jedi Knight or Jedi Master to train under their tutelage personally into becoming a fully fledged Jedi Knight. Their readiness was decided by the Initiate Trials. Padawans wore a braid.
- Jedi Knight: Once a Padawan has successfully passed the Jedi trials, they were be granted the rank of Jedi Knight and went out on missions of their own, no longer under the tutelage of a master.
- Jedi Master: A Jedi Knight was granted the rank of Jedi Master and offered a seat on the Jedi High Council when they had shown great skill, wisdom and devotion to the Force. When a Jedi Knight successfully led a Padawan to becoming a Jedi Knight themselves, they would also be granted the rank of Master.
- Grand Master: The leader of the Jedi High Council, the position of Grand Master was given to the oldest and considered to be the wisest member of the Jedi Order.
Some members of the Jedi Order had specific titles and roles within the Order. These included:
- Master of the Order: This position was assumed by the leader of the Jedi Order. He or she had to be voted unanimously into the position by the Jedi High Council.
- Jedi Temple Guard: Headed by Cin Drallig during the Clone Wars, these anonymous Jedi guarded the Jedi Temple with lightsaber pikes.
- Jedi investigator: Detectives aiding police with the use of the Force. They also used crime scene analysis droids.
- Consular Jedi: The ones who devoted themselves to the study of diplomacy or science, avoiding combat and warfare duties.
- Chief Librarian: The overseer of the Jedi Archives and Holocron Vault.
Jedi military ranks
At the onset of the Clone Wars, the Jedi, the guardians of peace and justice in the Galactic Republic, were chosen by the Galactic Senate, whom the Jedi owed their allegiance to, to lead the new Grand Army of the Republic. They were thus given either of the respective ranks in the Republic military:
- Jedi Commander: Granted to Padawans and Jedi Knights, who served as second-in-commands to Jedi Generals in the Grand Army of the Republic.
- Jedi General: Granted to Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters, who served as the highest ranking officers within the Grand Army of the Republic.
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Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ Nexus of Power
- ↑ Doctor Aphra 2: Aphra, Part II
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Fire Across the Galaxy"
- ↑ Bloodline
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- ↑ Star Wars 9: Showdown on the Smuggler's Moon, Part II
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Star Wars Rebels – "DUME"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Path of the Jedi"
- ↑ Heir to the Jedi
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Path of the Jedi"
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Jedi on Wikipedia