- "Because of our concern for the state of the galaxy and evidence that the dark side of the Force is gathering, the Council has made a decision to speed up the process of apprentices becoming Jedi Knights."
- ―Master Mace Windu of the Jedi High Council announces the new Jedi Knighthood acceleration initiative to the Korriban coalition team.
In 23 BBY, the Jedi High Council―due to the increasing presence of dark side energies throughout the galaxy, and because the Jedi Order's peacekeeper ranks had grown increasingly thin―established a new initiative whereby select Jedi apprentices were put on a fast-track to Jedi Knighthood. Based on holistic readiness, the program's participants, according to Master Mace Windu, would be able to take the Jedi trials much earlier than the traditional timeline of Jedi advancement dictated.
The first members of the Order to hear of the new initiative were the eight Jedi who had been chosen as a special task force to Korriban, where they were to track down and apprehend the galactic criminals Granta Omega and Jenna Zan Arbor. The potential for an explosive alliance of the criminals with the emergent Sith was too great for inaction.
The Knighthood acceleration program was a preemptive measure to contain the damage already inflicted by the agents of the dark side, such as the recent attack on the Senate Building, and to prevent further damage and infiltration by the same agents. Because the initiative constituted a major decision by the Council, its members had proceeded cautiously by their choosing of one "test case". It was only after much discussion, and consultation with all Jedi Masters, that the High Council chose Ferus Olin, the apprentice of Master Siri Tachi, as the first Padawan to undergo the trials early.
In making the announcement, the Jedi Council was careful to emphasize that its decision, while unanimous, did not reflect on any Padawan's fitness to be a Jedi Knight. They believed in all of their apprentices and simply needed a way to begin to fill the urgent galactic need for a strengthened Jedi force, and Olin was to fill that vanguard role. Each Padawan would be ready in his or her own time.
Ultimately, however―when the Council grew concerned over the conduct of certain Korriban coalition team members that led to the death of fellow Padawan Darra Thel-Tanis―the Jedi Knight acceleration program was canceled. Jedi High Council member Adi Gallia announced the decision, which Master Oppo Rancisis said was made because the Council simply could not "rush readiness," as they now could clearly see. "Our mistake, it was," Grand Master Yoda said of the reconsidered initiative, and this caliber of mistake in the perilous times in which they lived they could not afford. The traditional timeline for achievement of Jedi Knighthood was, therefore, maintained.
A tragic footnote to the short-lived initiative was that its first and only candidate, Ferus Olin, tendered his resignation from the Jedi Order because of his own involvement in, and self-perceived responsibility for, the death of Thel-Tanis. The Padawan actually responsible for both tragedies was the jealousy-ridden 18-year-old apprentice of Master Obi-Wan Kenobi―Anakin Skywalker―who, as the "Chosen One" of ancient Jedi prophecy, had desired of late to be "first" not only in his personal and avocational relationships, but also in virtually all that he did. Skywalker, while he was indeed first in his class and first in lightsaber training, had gone so far as to claim, before his Master, that he was "First in the Force".
- Jedi Quest: The Final Showdown (First appearance)