- "First comes the day
Then comes the night.
After the darkness
Shines through the light.
The difference, they say,
Is only made right
By the resolving of gray
Through refined Jedi sight."
- ―Journal of the Whills, 7:477
The Jedi Order was an ancient, monastic peacekeeping organization united in their observance of the Force, specifically the light side. A noble order of protectors noted for their lightsabers and ability to tap into the power of the Force, the Jedi served as guardians of peace and justice in the Galactic Republic for over a thousand generations. Like the Republic, the Order was headquartered on Coruscant—the political center of the galaxy—where thousands of Jedi Knights studied, trained and lived within the walls of the Jedi Temple, which additionally housed the Jedi Archives and by extension the Order's accumulated knowledge. The Jedi High Council, the highest governing body of the Order, consisted of twelve Jedi Masters including the Grand Master and the Master of the Order. The training of Jedi was one of the most important traditions in the history of the Order, with Padawans learning the ways of the Force and the Jedi Code from the more experienced Jedi who held the rank of Knight or Master.
Over the millennia, the Jedi fought against the Sith—another ancient monastic order, but one whose members harnessed the power of the dark side—until the latter was all but destroyed due to internal fighting approximately one thousand years before the Invasion of Naboo. Unknown to the Jedi at the time, the Sith survived and—governed by the Rule of Two—conspired to gain absolute power over the galaxy by overthrowing both the Jedi and the Republic. Thereafter, the Jedi served, strictly, as peacekeepers by maintaining law and order during a thousand years of peace under the rule of the Galactic Senate.
During the final years of the Republic, the galaxy was beset by political instability and social unrest, resulting in a secessionist crisis that ultimately led to the formation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. In lacking the sufficient manpower needed to protect the galaxy, the Jedi became commanders and generals in the newly-formed Grand Army of the Republic. For roughly three years they commanded armies of clone troopers in a conflict known as the Clone Wars, engaging the Confederacy's battle droid forces led by Count Dooku—a former Jedi Master who became a Sith Lord—and General Grievous. Though the Jedi fought to preserve the Republic, the government that they served had been secretly taken over by Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith who rose to power under the guise of Sheev Palpatine, a former senator of Naboo and the last Supreme Chancellor of the Republic.
The chancellor's machinations culminated in the execution of Order 66, a secret protocol that turned the Jedi's clone soldiers against them, leading to an all but total extermination of the Jedi Order. With the Jedi eliminated, Sidious supplanted a thousand years of democracy with a new government known as the Galactic Empire. In addition, Sidious succeeded in turning Anakin Skywalker—the prophesied Chosen One whom the Jedi believed would bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith—to the dark side and anointed him Darth Vader. As a Sith Lord, the former Jedi Knight served the self-proclaimed Galactic Emperor by hunting down the few surviving Jedi who dispersed into hiding across the galaxy.
In spite of the Sith's efforts, however, the Jedi continued to endure. Within a generation of the Empire's rise to power, Luke Skywalker—the son of Vader—was trained in the Jedi arts by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, both of whom survived the initial purge of the Order. Redeemed by his son's love, Anakin returned to the light and fulfilled his destiny as the Chosen One, destroying both himself and his Sith Master during the Battle of Endor. By the end of the Galactic Civil War, the Empire surrendered after the Battle of Jakku; the Republic was restored in the form of the New Republic; and Luke emerged as the last of the Jedi, a status he attempted to change by training a new generation of Jedi.
Eventually Skywalker began training his nephew, Ben Solo, as one of his apprentices in the years preceding the cold war. Solo, however, ultimately turned to the dark side and renamed himself Kylo Ren, becoming the master of the Knights of Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke's apprentice. Following the second destruction of the Jedi, Skywalker—once again the last Jedi—exiled himself to Ahch-To while Ren went on to become a warlord in the First Order. Despite undermining Skywalker's attempt to restore the Jedi Order, Snoke and Ren endeavored to find him, believing that his return would herald the rise of the new Jedi.
- "Anakin, training to become a Jedi is not an easy challenge. And even if you succeed, it's a hard life."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn, to Anakin Skywalker
The Jedi Knights were a noble order of Force-sensitive protectors—united by their ability to use the Force—who upheld peace and justice in the Galactic Republic for over a thousand generations. As keepers of the peace, the Jedi Order undertook diplomatic missions on behalf of the Galactic Senate, and pursued interplanetary criminals across the galaxy. In contrast to the Sith, the Jedi's historic foes who harnessed the dark side, the Jedi drew their power from the light side of the Force. The Jedi Code, along with a collection of other foundational texts, served as the mantra of the Jedi way of life, governing the behavior of individual Jedi to the philosophy and training regimen of the Order as a whole.
As the Jedi were instructed in the ways of the Order and the Force, each member progressed through several different ranks. With the exception of Anakin Skywalker, prospective Jedi were identified a short time after birth by the quantity of midi-chlorians in their blood, a factor which indicated the level of a subject's Force-sensitivity. Training began at the level of the Jedi youngling; at some point in their training, younglings were expected to find their own Kyber crystal—the heart of the lightsaber, a distinctive and elegant weapon of the Jedi—in order to pass an ancient rite of passage known as The Gathering.
Younglings who succeeded in their trials graduated to the level of Padawan, the apprentice of a more experienced member of the Order such as the Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters. In accordance with the Jedi Code, a Master could instruct only one student in the ways of the Force at any given time. The Padawan braid, a symbol that represented a Jedi apprentice's status in the Order, was worn in the hair or head, depending on the Padawan's species.
The Jedi Trials were a series of tests that ultimately determined whether a Padawan was worthy of the rank of Jedi Knight. After becoming a full-fledged member of the Order, a Jedi could choose to adopt a Padawan of their own as part of the Order's tradition in training the next generation of Jedi. The more powerful and legendary members held the rank of Jedi Master. Again, with exception to Skywalker, the Jedi High Council—the highest governing body of the Order—consisted of Masters throughout the history of the Order. Among the Council, the title of Grand Master was conferred on the oldest and wisest member of their group, while overall leadership rested with the Master of the Order.
- "I can't believe a Jedi would attack a place this sacred."
- ―Ahsoka Tano
The Jedi Temple was the home of the Jedi Order on Coruscant, the capital world of the Galactic Republic. Over the millennia, the Temple served as the central hub of all Jedi activities in the galaxy; it was a school, a monastery, and the headquarters of the Jedi High Council. As a school, the Temple was the largest active Jedi training center in the galaxy where younglings trained to become Padawans and ultimately full-fledged Jedi Knights. The Jedi Archives, the source of all knowledge accumulated by the Order, was located inside of the Temple.
A symbol of the Order, the Temple signified the Order's status on galactic capital; and while access to the Temple was not restricted to just the Jedi, all non-Jedi personnel were required to undergo compulsory entry tests before becoming employed at the Temple. Those who worked in Temple often dedicated their whole life to serving the Order. Having sustained extensive damage during the fall of the Jedi, the Temple was renovated and renamed as the Imperial Palace, with only the original structure's corpse and five skyscraping towers remaining intact.
In addition to the Temple on Coruscant, the Order maintained several ancient temples spread across the galaxy. One such temple was located on Lothal, and was only accessible if both the Master and Padawan were present. The Lothal temple was where Padawans were sent to confront their fear without the support of the Masters, some of whom ultimately died while waiting for their students who never returned, leaving the temple's antechambers littered with their skeletal remains. Other Jedi enclaves included the Temple of Eedit on Devaron, the Temple of Vrogas Vas, and the Temple of Ilum where younglings were sent to participate in The Gathering.
While Ilum was regarded as the most sacred planet to the Jedi Order, the desert moon Jedha—a holy site and home to one of the first civilizations that explored the nature of the Force—was considered a spiritual home of the Jedi. Like Ilum, Jedha contained the kyber crystals that the Jedi used to create their lightsaber. It was also a holy site for pilgrims throughout the galaxy, who sought spiritual guidance in the Holy City of Jedha. At one time it was an important world to the Jedi.
- "This lightsaber was stolen from your Jedi Temple by my ancestors during the fall of the Old Republic."
- ―Pre Vizsla, to Obi-Wan Kenobi, regarding the Darksaber
At the dawn of their order, the Jedi came into possession of Ilum, an ancient planet encased in ice and littered with kyber crystals, the heart of the Jedi lightsaber. Considered the most sacred world to the Jedi Order, its ancient Temple would eventually host the Gathering, a tradition that would continue up until the fall of the Order. As the Jedi were spread throughout the galaxy, they acquired a vessel called the Crucible that would ferry students to Ilum so that they could perform the Gathering. It would become the base of the architect droid, Professor Huyang, for over a thousand years as he instructed on lightsaber designs and kept records of every single Jedi weapon created.
During the Hundred-Year Darkness, the Sith were born. Once brothers in the Force, the Sith Order was founded by a rogue Jedi who had come to the understanding that the true power of the Force lay not in contemplation and passivity, and instead sought abandon and strength through the dark side of the Force. The Jedi Council at the time balked at this new direction, and the fallen Jedi was outcast, but he eventually gained followers to his new order. The power-hungry Sith sought to control the galaxy and opposed the Jedi, against whom they waged a series of wars which brought destruction to many worlds—including the Sith homeworld of Moraband, which the Sith were eventually forced to abandon. On another occasion, the Jedi Order and the Sith fought a battle on the planet Takodana. These wars also saw the construction of ancient superweapons powered by giant kyber crystals which possessed the power to destroy entire planets. These weapons, along with the crystals, were destroyed and a thousand years later believed by many Jedi to be merely legends.
About five-thousand years before the Battle of Yavin, the Order eventually came to be headquartered at Coruscant, wherein they built a Temple that would pose as their main hub for thousands of generations. Underneath the structure lay buried an ancient Sith shrine, the inherent power of which was believed by the contemporary Jedi to have been neutralized and successfully capped. In truth, that power had seeped upward and outward since its entombment, infiltrating the hallways and rooms above, and weakening the Jedi Order for millennia without their knowledge.
It was during this time that the Jedi Order came into the service of what would be later called the Old Republic. Promising to uphold its ideals, the Jedi fought to maintain peace and freedom. When the Old Republic outlawed slavery, the Jedi set about to free those held, notably under the Zygerrian Slave Empire. The Jedi declared war on Zygerrians, whose economic success had resulted from enslaving beings from all corners of the galaxy before selling them at auctions. The Jedi Order managed to put an end to their practices, destroying their empire and exiling them to their homeworld, Zygerria. The Zygerrians developed a fierce hatred for the Jedi as a result.
At one point, a Jedi sect known as the Ordu Aspectu broke off from the Jedi Order. Led by the enigmatic Rur and his second in command, Amon, they sought to achieve the secrets to immortality. Eventually, a conflict broke out between them and the orthodox Jedi. The conflict ended with the signing of a peace treaty. The treay allowed the Ordu Aspectu to continue their research but under Jedi scrutiny. During his experimentation, Rur attempted to copy his intellect into his citadel's computer core, only to accidentally transfer his very sentience as well. When the Jedi sought to investigate the computer closer, the computer activated the citadel's security droids, killing all members of the Ordu Aspectu and Jedi alike; but not before it was deactivated by Rur and Amon, before they died themselves, thus ending the Ordu Aspectu.
Conflicts also arose between the Jedi and the inhabitants of the world of Mandalore who had rapidly developed into a warlike culture in which strength was valued above all else. Their beliefs of continual warfare went contrary to the Jedi's mission of protecting the weak, they quickly mobilized to stop the destructive Mandalorians from expanding in the galaxy. The constant warfare was a strain and, as the Old Republic crumbled, the Mandalorian warriors sacked the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, an event during which Pre Vizsla's ancestors stole the Darksaber.
Prior to 1032 BBY, the galaxy entered an era known as the Dark age. During this time the Jedi–Sith war occurred. Early on in the war, the Sith attacked and captured Coruscant and with it the Jedi Temple. Towards the end of the war the Jedi reclaimed the Republic capital and their temple during the Liberation of Coruscant.
Even as the Old Republic collapsed, the Jedi emerged victorious from their wars with the Sith. In their constant thirst for power, the Sith had weakened themselves through infighting until only one Dark Lord of the Sith remained: Darth Bane. Setting out a new guiding principle for the Sith called the Rule of Two, Darth Bane declared that there could be no more than two Sith in existence: a master and an apprentice, to prevent the infighting of the past from ever destroying the Sith again. Despite discovering his principles, when he was defeated, the Jedi believed in their hubris that, with Darth Bane dead, the Sith were extinct from the galaxy.
Keepers of the peaceEdit
- "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."
- ―Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi
It was after these events that the Galactic Republic was formed and ushered in a new era of democracy, peace, and prosperity under the Galactic Senate and its elected leader, the Supreme Chancellor. Due to the Galactic Republic's demilitarization, the Jedi Order fully embraced their responsibilities as peacekeepers and rejected their roles as soldiers. Assisted by the Republic Judicials, the Jedi were responsible for maintaining law and order, namely by mediating conflicts to bring about peaceful solutions between various rival factions and planets, as well as serving as interplanetary law enforcement by pursuing wanted and dangerous criminals, pirates, and smugglers. While they ultimately collapsed, the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order were able to preside over a thousand years of peace sustained without major warfare. One of their philosophical sayings was "the simplest gesture of kindness can fill a galaxy with hope."
However, as the Republic reached its zenith and disputes became more common between the Republic's member worlds, tensions arose between Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas and the rest of the High Council. Foreseeing an upcoming full-scale conflict, he started advocating for the creation of an army for the Republic. His fellow councilors deemed his ideas too extreme and Sifo-Dyas was removed from his position. Even though the other Jedi had rejected his project, he found a way to carry it out without their consent. Sifo-Dyas contacted the Kaminoans, who were reputed for their clone hatcheries, and secretly commissioned them to grow a clone army for the Republic, which he pretended was a request of the Senate. Unbeknownst to Sifo-Dyas, the Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, plotted a conspiracy with the Prime Minister of Kamino, Lama Su, to implant a control chip in all clones so that they would turn against the Jedi and bring about the destruction of the Jedi Order when the time was right.
To silence Sifo-Dyas, Jedi Master Count Dooku, who had fallen to the dark side and had become one of Sidious' apprentices under the name of Tyranus, paid the Pyke Syndicate to kill Sifo-Dyas on his mission to Oba Diah as assigned by Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum. When Sifo-Dyas was assigned to a mission on Felucia and his negotiations with the Pykes were postponed, he and Aide Silman left Oba-Diah for Felucia. Subsequently, the Pykes shot down their shuttle over the moon. Although the crash killed Sifo-Dyas, Silman survived; captured by the Pykes, they kept his survival a secret in case they needed leverage. The Pykes turned over Sifo-Dyas's corpse to Dooku, who brought the body to Felucia. There, the tribal inhabitants cremated his body. The Jedi Council, being led to believe that Sifo-Dyas had been killed by the Felucians, closed the case.
Invasion of NabooEdit
- "At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge."
- ―Darth Maul
In 32 BBY, the Jedi Order was requested by Chancellor Valorum to assist in negotiating a dispute between the planet Naboo and the Trade Federation that had resulted in a blockade of the world. The Council dispatched Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, to negotiate with the Trade Federation. However, Darth Sidious, whose public persona was Senator Sheev Palpatine of Naboo, insisted that the Trade Federation, which was under his sway, initiated an invasion of Naboo and overwhelmed the Royal Naboo Security Forces. Circumventing a trap by the Federation, Jinn and Kenobi were able to escape to Naboo and arrive in Theed in time to rescue the Naboo Queen, Padmé Amidala, who was being held captive by Federation forces. Together with the Queen's Handmaidens and her close security detail, the Jedi fled the planet but their ship was damaged in the escape, causing them to land on the desert planet of Tatooine.
While stranded on Tatooine, the two Jedi discovered a young slave named Anakin Skywalker, whom Jinn believed to be the Chosen One. While betting on the boy winning the Boonta Eve Classic, Jinn was able to secure both Skywalker's freedom and the needed parts to repair the Queen's ship to reach Coruscant. It was after this that Jinn was attacked by Darth Maul, apprentice to Darth Sidious, who had dispatched Maul to kill the Jedi. As the Sith had been believed by the Jedi to be extinct, Jinn was at first unsure of who Maul was except that he had been trained in lightsaber combat. Arriving at the Jedi Temple on the Coruscant, the Council refused to accept Skywalker for being too old according to the Code, and sent Jinn and Kenobi to keep protecting Queen Amidala on her return to Theed. At the same time, Amidala called for a Vote of No Confidence in Chancellor Valorum, which would eventually end in the election of Palpatine to the chancellorship. Jinn and Kenobi then assisted Amidala and her forces during the ensuing battle against the Trade Federation, when Maul killed Jinn in combat, only for the Sith to be defeated by Kenobi. Given the status of Jedi Knight afterwards, Kenobi took Skywalker as his apprentice, despite Yoda's reluctance, and the Jedi Order was left in the dark as to what the Sith's actions were for ten years.
- "I will not let this republic that has stood for a thousand years be split in two. My negotiations will not fail."
"If they do, you must realize that there aren't enough Jedi to protect the Republic. We're keepers of the peace, not soldiers."
- ―Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and Mace Windu
Having broken all ties to the Jedi Order, secretly replacing Maul as Sidious' apprentice, Dooku was believed to be a mere "political idealist" by his peers at the Jedi Order. For eight years, Dooku was scarcely heard about until he staged a theatrical return to public life by delivering a rousing speech that condemned the Republic and essentially set the stage for the Separatist Crisis. At the same time, he fomented political turmoil in many worlds, including Ryloth, Kashyyyk, Sullust, and Onderon, or tried to convince their leaders to leave the Republic, as in Eriadu's case. Soon enough, Dooku became the face of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, convincing several thousand systems to leave the Republic.
As the Jedi Order was overwhelmed, whose limited numbers made it difficult for them to maintain peace and order in the increasingly volatile galaxy, the Republic's Senate debated a Military Creation Act to form a standing army for the Republic's protection against the Separatist threat. As the vote to decide for the Republic became imminent, assassination attempts on Senator Padmé Amidala―who opposed the army's creation―soon led Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi to trace bounty hunter Jango Fett to Kamino, where he discovered the clone army's creation at the request of Sifo-Dyas, and reported it to the High Council. After a small confrontation, Kenobi followed Fett to Geonosis, where his capture and intel on a Separatist droid army prompted the Senate (with the High Council's approval) to give Chancellor Palpatine emergency powers so as to raise the Grand Army of the Republic. Soon enough, a Jedi task force and a contingent of clones troopers, led by Mace Windu and Yoda respectively, arrived to participate in the Battle of Geonosis against the Confederacy's army, marking the beginning of a galaxy-wide conflict known as the Clone Wars.
The Clone WarsEdit
- "Victory? Victory, you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen. Begun, the Clone War has."
- ―Grand Master Yoda after the Battle of Geonosis
With the Republic now at war with the Separatists for control over the galaxy, the Jedi Masters and Knights were dispatched as Generals, and their Padawans as Commanders, leading the armies from the front. During the Clone Wars, the Jedi were victorious in battlefields such as Christophsis, Ryloth, Umbara, and Geonosis.
By the last year of the war, many Jedi had been killed, and several had turned to the dark side, such as Pong Krell and Barriss Offee, who arranged a bombing at the Jedi Temple, believing the Jedi had deviated from their course as peacekeepers, and framed fellow Padawan Ahsoka Tano. She, in turn, left the Jedi Order unable to trust the Council after turning its back on her during her trial. Eventually, the High Council came to be aware of Dooku's hand in the creation of the clone army, and of the lies and mistrust that surrounded them, both inside the Temple and the Senate. Grand Master Yoda even foresaw that the Jedi would not win the Clone Wars, just as public support for the Jedi weakened due to their management of the conflict.
The war would come to an end in 19 BBY, following the rescue of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and the death of Count Dooku aboard the Invisible Hand in the Battle of Coruscant, and the death of General Grievous in the Battle of Utapau, as carried by the Jedi Generals Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, Skywalker's turmoil clouded his judgment. Though he informed Windu of his discovery of Palpatine's identity as Darth Sidious, allowing Windu to assemble a team composed of himself, Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin, to arrest Palpatine, the young Jedi Knight intervened in their duel against the Dark Lord of the Sith. Skywalker chose to save Sidious, leading to Windu's death, and became his apprentice as "Darth Vader" to save his secret wife, Padmé Amidala.
Order 66 and Jedi PurgeEdit
- "The time has come. Execute Order 66."
- ―Darth Sidious
Branding Windu's actions as "treason", Palpatine declared the Jedi to be enemies of the Republic and sent Vader to kill the ones who still were in the Jedi Temple, including the Initiates, and later to eliminate the Separatist Council on the Mustafar system. Palpatine soon personally contacted clone commanders and told them to execute Order 66, causing them to turn on their Jedi Generals and execute them on the spot. Throughout the galaxy, thousands of Jedi were killed by the obedient clones including Ki-Adi-Mundi on Mygeeto, Aayla Secura on Felucia, Plo Koon on Cato Neimoidia, Stass Allie on Saleucami, and Depa Billaba on Kaller.
Of an estimated number of ten-thousand Jedi, barely a few survived to see the proclamation of the New Order, marking the inception of the Galactic Empire and the rise of Palpatine as its Emperor. Survivors included Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Caleb Dume, Ahsoka Tano, and at least initially, Uvell, Luminara Unduli, and Shaak Ti. During their self-imposed exile, Kenobi and Yoda, along with Senator Bail Organa, hid Vader's newborn children, the Force-sensitive twins Luke and Leia, from the Sith, hoping that in time they would become the key to the Jedi Order's future.
According to Imperial Admiral Rae Sloane, the Jedi that had survived Order 66 made a last stand on a planet called Madar or Morad. In the matter of short five years since the Order had been eradicated, with the Empire's policy of silence about the Jedi, the extensive hunt by the Inquisitorius that followed Order 66, and the generalized destruction of their temples, the Jedi already seemed a distant memory. Educational studies concerning the Jedi were prohibited, with instructors who specialized in Jedi history (such as Sava Korin Pers of the University of Bar'leth) losing their positions. Any Jedi survivors were captured and brought to Mustafar for interrogation and execution, but also to the Spire on Stygeon Prime, wherein the body of Luminara Unduli was preserved to lure out any surviving Jedi. Among the last reservoirs of knowledge of the Order were Antron Bach's vault in an abandoned colony, created at Uvell's behest, and Grakkus the Hutt's private collection on Nar Shaddaa. Safeguarding holocrons, lightsabers, journals, archives, and other artifacts, they partially preserved the teachings of the fallen Order.
Fugitives from the EmpireEdit
Eight years after the end of the Clone Wars, Caleb Dume, who had assumed the identity of Kanan Jarrus, joined forces with the Twi'lek rebel fighter Hera Syndulla. Together, the two established a small rebel cell based on the starship Ghost. Fifteen years into the Imperial era, a number of inaccurate tales about the Jedi started to appear. For example, the bounty hunter duo Gowski and Fissol were under the impression that Jedi aged backward, were able to fly, and had unusually dense bones. About five years before the Battle of Yavin, Kanan took on a Force-sensitive teenager named Ezra Bridger as his apprentice.
Kanan's decision to ignite his lightsaber on Kessel drew the attention of the Grand Inquisitor; whom Vader had tasked with hunting down Jedi and recruiting the "children of the Force." Under Kanan's tutelage, Ezra trained as a Jedi while evading the Grand Inquisitor and other Imperial agents. Ezra completed his Jedi Trials at the Lothal Jedi Temple under the guidance of Master Yoda, who also counseled Kanan to continue training Ezra. At the instigation of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, the Grand Inquisitor and Agent Kallus concocted a trap that captured Kanan. However, Ezra and the other rebels mounted a mission to rescue Kanan and killed the Grand Inquisitor. In the process, they encountered other members of the rebellion including the former Padawan Ahsoka Tano, who had become a key rebel leader.
Legacy and returnEdit
- "I am a Jedi, like my father before me."
- ―Luke Skywalker, to Darth Sidious
For over nearly twenty years, the Empire was able to expand without opposition of a disbanded Jedi Order. A few of its former members, however, stayed true to their code of honor and continued to fight the Empire's injustice, albeit in different ways. Though former Padawan Ahsoka Tano had become disillusioned by the Council's actions, and no longer identified as a Jedi, she came into contact with Bail Organa from Alderaan, with whom she worked to coordinate the efforts of a rebellion under the codename "Fulcrum," fifteen years after the fall of the Republic. Under her advice, Hera Syndulla and former Padawan Kanan Jarrus operated in Lothal, where Jarrus met the Force-sensitive Ezra Bridger, whom he mentored to pass along the teachings of the Jedi Order. During a mission, they inspired not only the people of Lothal to fight the Empire, but also the Organa-Tano network to finally organize an operation to bring several Rebel cells together, paving the way for the Alliance to Restore the Republic. An underground faith known as the Church of the Force emerged in support of the Jedi and their ideals, believing that only their return could restore balance to the Force.
In 0 BBY, Obi-Wan Kenobi emerged from his exile on Tatooine, not only to help deliver the plans of the Death Star to the Rebel Alliance as requested by Rebel leader Princess Leia Organa, but to begin training Luke Skywalker to become a Jedi Knight, in the hopes that Skywalker would be able to defeat both Vader and the Emperor. Through Skywalker, with Kenobi's guidance, the Rebel Alliance achieved a significant victory in the Battle of Yavin, which meant a turning point for the Alliance in the Galactic Civil War. In 3 ABY, Skywalker received training from Yoda on Dagobah, allowing him to defeat and redeem his father, Darth Vader, and bring about the death of Emperor Palpatine during the Battle of Endor. Hailed as "the last of the Jedi," Skywalker was told by Yoda to pass on what he had learned, so that the legacy of the Jedi Order could go on.
Sometime after the Battle of Jakku, Skywalker acted on his plans to rebuild the Jedi Order. Establishing a new temple, he started to train a new generation of Jedi Knights, among them his own nephew, Ben Solo. However, Solo's obsession with his grandfather's legacy and the nefarious influence of Snoke eventually turned him to the dark side. Assuming the name "Kylo Ren" as a Knight of Ren, he ended Skywalker's hope of rebuilding the Order by killing all his fellow apprentices, and joined the First Order. Blaming himself, Skywalker went into exile and eventually disappeared—and those who knew him best believed he had gone in search of the first Jedi temple on Ahch-To, possibly seeking guidance from the ancient Jedi on how to rebuild the Order. At the same time, both the Resistance and the First Order sought Luke out; the first for the hope he represented, and the latter to end the threat he and the potential return of the Order represented.
Skywalker found some of the earliest Jedi texts on an island on Ahch-To, but he struggled with the magnitude of his failure. When visited by the Resistance messenger Rey, he told her that the Jedi Order's legendary honor merely concealed their ambition to possess the Force for themselves, an ambition that would always bring their downfall. He resolved to stay and die on the island and thus to end the Order forever. As he attempted to destroy the Jedi texts, the ghost of Yoda appeared and told him that it is the burden of masters to sometimes fail in their efforts. Skywalker then accepted that the future of the Jedi lay not in his hands but in the Force, and that those after him would be better for their knowledge of past mistakes.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Jedi Order first appeared in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. The lore of the Jedi Order and of the Force was greatly expanded upon during the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series. The role of the Jedi Order in preserving the peace of the Republic and later the controversy of them stepping into the role of military leaders is a pivotal plot point that eventually leads to the Order's downfall in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Prior to that they had been mentioned indirectly as the Jedi in the original trilogy as Luke Skywalker encounters Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and later Master Yoda. In Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, Yoda charges Luke with carrying on the lessons and legacy of the Jedi Order.
The Jedi Order originated in the rough draft of Star Wars as the Galactic Emperor's bodyguard. They became affiliated with the Republica Galactica in the second draft. Later, when composing background information for licensees in 1977, George Lucas described the Jedi Order as being "several hundred thousand" strong before the Purge.
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