- "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, later known as the Old Jedi Order and referred to as the Holy Order of the Jedi Knights, was an ancient monastic peacekeeping organization unified by its belief and observance of the Force, specifically the light side. The Jedi were the guardians of peace and justice in the Galactic Republic, and became the most famous of the various groups that relied on the Force for their power. Led by a series of Jedi Councils, the Order grew over the millennia despite facing many trials, most often threats from the Sith, wielders of the dark side of the Force.
During several Great Schisms, Dark Jedi broke away from the order. These schisms led to several wars, including the Hundred-Year Darkness, after which the Dark Jedi fled, and founded the Sith Empire. The Sith were eventually found by the Republic and their discovery led to the Great Hyperspace War, and a Sith invasion of Coruscant. The Jedi on Coruscant, led by Jedi Guardian Anavus Svag and Jedi Master Memit Nadill, successfully defended the planet and defeated the Sith. Their Dark brethren wouldn't stay defeated for long, however, and, during the next several thousand years, many wars would be fought.
A thousand years later, after the Great Sith War, the Mandalorians saw their chance and attacked the weakened Republic. After the war, the Jedi that had led the Republic's military, Revan and Alek Squinquargesimus, disappeared. When they returned, it became clear they had turned to the Dark Side, and during the war that followed many Jedi died. During the aftermath the Order was left numbering less than one-hundred Jedi, until it was rebuilt by Meetra Surik and the Lost Jedi.
Years later, the galaxy was again engulfed in a war between the Republic and the Sith. Led by Lord Hoth, the Jedi were able to regroup and push back the Sith, who eventually withdrew to the planet Ruusan. After seven long battles on Ruusan, the Sith were defeated and presumed wiped out. One of them managed to survive and reorganize the Sith Order. Though Darth Bane and the Sith Lords that followed in his footsteps remained hidden, they were patient. Millennia later, they revealed themselves, determined to have their revenge.
At the height of a separatist crisis, the Republic was split in two and a war once again engulfed the galaxy. During the Clone Wars, the Republic's armies were once again led by the Jedi. During the war's first battle, nearly two hundred Jedi died before Master Yoda and a Clone army arrived to assist them. However, nobody expected that the Supreme Chancellor was, in fact, a Sith Master. The Jedi eventually learned the truth, but it was already too late; the Order was virtually annihilated by the Sith and betrayed by the Republic they had served for nearly all of it's existence. Only a few survived the Great Jedi Purge. However, Anakin Skywalker, with the indirect help of his son, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, eventually defeated the Sith, and Luke formed the New Jedi Order during the time of the New Republic.
History of the Jedi Order
- "You must remember that there are over a hundred thousand inhabited worlds in the Republic, and there are now only a few thousand of us. Billions of beings have never seen a Jedi. Millions have never even heard of our Order. Or of the Force. When we do appear, we can be killers, but also healers. Thank the Force for that."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi to Anakin Skywalker
Tython and Force Wars
Many ancient and semi-legendary organizations have been proposed to be the forerunners of the Jedi Order, including the Order of Dai Bendu, the Followers of Palawa, and the Chatos Academy. Of all of the ancient Force traditions, though, the true origin of the Order was found on the lush planet Tython in the Deep Core. The galaxy's best philosophers, priests, scientists, and warriors were brought to Tython circa 36,453 BBY by mysterious, pyramidal ships called Tho Yor to discuss their discoveries involving the enigmatic and mystical energy known as the Force. These people, known as Tythans, eventually came to identify as the Je'daii Order, a group of Force-sensitives determined to keep an internal balance between the light side, or Ashla and the dark side, called Bogan.
For millennia the Je'daii Order flourished on Tython, erecting great temples and monuments to the Force and remaining ever vigilant to the lures of both the light and the dark. Ultimately around 25,783 BBY, several hundred years before the founding of the Galactic Republic, a splinter group formed within the Order. These Je'daii were enamored by the light side of the Force, or Ashla, and professed that it was stronger then the Bogan and the more virtuous path to walk. Abandoning the Je'daii teachings of balance, this splinter group began calling themselves Jedi and formed a Jedi Council consisting of the founding members; Jedi Masters Rajivari, Garon Jard, Cala Brin and Ters Sendon. Believing that they were given command over the Force in order to assist those in need, the Jedi wished to defeat those who used the dark side and vanquish all evil doers. During the Jedi's earliest days one of its founders, Master Rajivari, broke away and encouraged his followers to abandon the light and look to Bogan for guidance and power. Calling themselves the True Dark Sons of Tython, Rajivari's followers were attacked by the Jedi Order in a clash known as the Force Wars. Waged over the course of a decade, the wars took a terrible toll on the planet, sending Tython out of balance and destroying the ecosystem. When the True Dark Sons were scattered and leaderless, the victorious Jedi Order decided to abandon Tython, taking with them all surviving text and scriptures they could find.
Early interactions with the Republic
Traveling between the stars, the fledgling Jedi Order fled the Deep Core in favor of Wild Space, a wide swath of the galaxy which had yet to be explored. Discovering a verdant planet much like Tython had once been, the Jedi colonized the world and named it Ossus. Founding an academy on the world, the Jedi Order remained in seclusion on Ossus, devoting their time to the study of the Ashla and warning against the evils of Bogan. Having purposely distanced themselves from the newly-formed Galactic Republic, the Jedi Order welcomed members of other Force traditions to Ossus, merging their philosophies and assimilating many other groups into their fold. Carrying over traditions from the old Je'daii Forge, the Great Temple of Vur Tepe, the Jedi continued to craft durasteel blades as part of initiation ceremonies and imbue them with the Force. While these Force-imbued blades were the primary weapon of choice, the Jedi continued to work in secret to enhance the usability of a new weapon called the lightsaber. In the Order's final years on Tython, a mysterious man from beyond the system brought technology called a Forcesaber to the world. Through the study of the weapon, basically advanced off-world laser technology, the Jedi were able to "freeze" a laser beam which could cut through durasteel. By 24,953 BBY the Jedi agreed to join the Republic, remaining isolated on Ossus but supporting the Republic's goal of galactic peace.
As the Order welcomed others to Ossus, the leaders of the Jedi began to be influenced by other thinkers who had been involved in galactic affairs much longer then they had. The most prominent influence was a group of Caamasi who preached the principles of justice laid forth by Hespecia Tik'kla; these teachings would lay the framework for the Jedi Order's view of galactic justice and their role as peacekeepers. At the same time, the Jedi High Council began to assert its authority over the members of the Order, limiting individuality and crafting several exclusionary regulations. Around this time a Kashi Mer exile named Xendor gained a large following on Ossus, taking counsel from a Steel Hand of Palawa named Arden Lyn and eventually breaking peacefully from the Order to found his own academy on Lettow. As the Order witnessed a surge in renunciates following Xendor, the High Council deemed the so called Legions of Lettow a heretical group which strayed dangerously close to studies of the Bogan and the outflow of students was deemed the Great Schism. Pushing Xendor and his band of schismatics into open conflict, the Jedi Order quickly formed an army with which to crush the Legions of Lettow. Xendor attacked first, landing ships on Ossus before being repelled and driven into the core. Xendor attempted to spread propaganda about the Jedi throughout the Republic as the war broke out, warning against the Jedi and their guise as peacekeepers. The Republic saw through Xendor's attempts to discredit the strange monks from Ossus and so began aiding the Jedi in the war effort. As conflict erupted on Chandrila, Brentaal, Metellos and Coruscant itself, the war dragged on and on. Finally, Jedi Master Awdrysta Pina managed to confront Xendor at the battle of Columus and slay the leader of the Legions. In the following months, the rest of the Legions of Lettow were routed and the Great Schism finally ended.
Despite their brief allegiance with the Republic during the Great Schism, the Order was seldom thought of in the greater galaxy since their abandonment of Tython. Because of this the Order's warnings of impending war went unheeded by the Republic government until the Tionese were on their doorstep. As the Tionese War erupted across the Perlemian Trade Route, the Order's attempts to divide Tionese allegiances were abandoned and the Jedi withdrew again to Ossus to avoid involvement in the war. From their ancient fortress world, the Jedi contemplated the war, struggling to see how they fit into the galactic crisis at hand. After a long internal debate, the Jedi High Council declared for the Republic and entered into service as commanders in the Republic Army to crush the Tionese threat. As the war was all but won, the Republic sterilized the planet Desevro in an event which horrified the Order. Meeting above the ruined world, the Jedi struck a deal with the Republic that, while they could not serve the government, they would establish a network of watchmen to protect the Perlemian from the Tionese and Hutts from a series of fortress worlds including Ossus, Falang Minor, and Haashimut. When the war with the Tionese had been resolved, the Republic decided to disband its military and rely on sector- and system-based defense fleets, earning back the trust and allegiance of the Jedi Order.
The beginning of the Sith
In 11,987 BBY Republic Supreme Chancellor Pers'lya was assassinated and replaced by Chancellor Contispex I, a member of the Pius Dea faith. During his reign, the fanatical Chancellor began a series of crusades which would come in the form of war, purges, and genocide. Officially known as the Recusal, the Jedi Order declared itself independent from the Republic in 11,933 BBY and completely withdrew back to Ossus. Throughout the next millennium, the Jedi Order fought an internal struggle regarding the correct response to the insanity of the Contispex dynasty and the Pius Dea rule it had established. While the majority of the Order refused to fight against the very government it had protected for millennia, some Jedi served as Knights errant, taking the fight to the cultists without the permission of the High Council. Others declared for the Pius Dea, forming a splinter group called the Order of the Terrible Glare. It wasn't until the 11,100s BBY that the Order was approached by the Caamasi and were finally convinced to end their period of isolationism and intervene. The Jedi High Council joined with the Bureau of Ships and Services in seeding the cathedral ships of the Pius Dea with a crippling virus, and plotting to arrest the current Chancellor. In a stunning move, a Jedi strike team boarded Chancellor Contispex XIX's flagship, the Flame of Sinthara and arrested him on war crime charges. In accordance to the terms set forth by the Jedi Order at the start of their involvement, the Jedi High Council suspended the Galactic Senate and placed Grand Master Biel Ductavis in the position of Supreme Chancellor.
A few generations later, the Jedi Order had returned to their peaceful ways on Ossus upon seeing the Republic make a full recovery from the Pius Dea Era. However in 7,000 BBY the Jedi suffered a Second Great Schism, resulting in a time known to history as the Hundred-Year Darkness. The schism stemmed from the Order's reaction to a group of heretical Dark Jedi experimenting with forbidden alchemy. The monstrosities which arose were deemed abominations to the Force by the High Council and war was begun to end the practice of these dark arts. By this time the Order had managed to develop the lightsaber in a way in which it was useful in hand-to-hand combat. Used before as a siege weapon due to its massive power pack, the Order's scientists were able to create a transportable power pack which could be worn on the belt of the user. Crossing blades with the heretics, the Jedi Order finally saw the end of the conflict with the victory at the battle of Corbos in 6,900 BBY. There the Jedi Order arrested the twelve surviving Dark Jedi, led by High General Ajunta Pall, and banished them to Wild Space. Unknown to the Jedi, these Exiles would land on the planet Korriban, homeworld of the Sith species, and conquer the natives, deeming themselves the Dark Lords of the Sith. The Sith would eventually move their headquarters to Ziost where they would form the massive Sith Empire, an Order of dark side warriors who would dream of crushing their Jedi oppressors.
The Great Hyperspace War and aftermath
- "The Republic has grown and expanded for many generations, encountering no worse than a few interplanetary squabbles and civil wars…but if we should confront the fabled Sith Empire, we will experience a war so great, so devastating…it can cross the fabric of hyperspace, a conflagration spanning the Galaxy…"
In 5,000 BBY an attack on the Koros system by the Sith Empire introduced the Republic and the Jedi Order to the Sith and sparked the beginning of the Great Hyperspace War. The battle began shortly after a Jedi Knight named Odan-Urr had a nightmarish vision of the death of Sith Lord Marka Ragnos, and the war against the Republic that it would cause. He traveled to Coruscant with Jedi Master Memit Nadill and Teta, the empress of Koros, to voice his concerns in front of the Galactic Senate, though they did not take him seriously, and took no action. Returning to Koros, Jedi Nadill, Odan-Urr and Urr's master Ooroo were present when a young convict named Jori Daragon burst into Teta's chambers, telling the Jedi that she had seen the great Sith Empire, and that they were on their way to attack the Republic. Nadill learned as much as he could about the Sith Empire, then traveled to Coruscant to rally the support of the Jedi Knights.
The newly christened Dark Lord of the Sith, Naga Sadow, deployed his fleets to invade numerous Republic worlds simultaneously while he left his eye-shaped Sith Meditation Sphere near Primus Goluud and used Sith magic to create thousands of illusory soldiers, which made the Sith army seem far larger than it actually was. The Jedi Order played a huge role in the defense of Coruscant, with Memit Nadill leading a team of Jedi Knights, including Tuknatan and Sonam-Ha'ar. Meanwhile, another battle was raging on the planet of Kirrek, where Jedi Master Ooroo and his apprentice Odan-Urr were stationed. However, when Naga Sadow's concentration was broken, the illusory Sith forces disappeared and the Republic's forces' morale was bolstered. On Coruscant, the Jedi realized what had happened and launched a massive counterattack, easily defeating the Sith. The Republic also emerged victorious on Kirrek, however only at the expense of the death of Master Ooroo, who sacrificed his life in defeating a large force of Massassi warriors. With the Sith forces routed, Supreme Chancellor Pultimo ordered the sacking of Sith Space, liberating the Sith from the Dark Lords and ultimately dissolving the Empire.
In 4,400 BBY, the ambitious Padawan Freedon Nadd was denied Knighthood by his Jedi Masters. In an attempt to find out why this had happened, Nadd went to Jedi Master Matta Tremayne, who challenged him to prove to her that he was indeed a Jedi Knight. Nadd saw this as a threat and decided to attack and kill Tremayne. Furious at the Jedi Masters for making him kill his teacher, Nadd went looking for the Sith, because he felt that they were the only ones who would readily accept his apprenticeship and teach him about the Force. During his travels, Nadd discovered the Sith Lord Naga Sadow who was serving out his exile on Yavin 4. Awakening from his status chamber, Sadow trained Freedon Nadd in the ways of the dark side only to be killed by Nadd when his training was complete. Following Sadow's death, Nadd abandoned Yavin 4 in favor of Onderon, located outside Republic space, with hopes of rebuilding a stronger Sith Empire. After Freedon Nadd had made himself the leader of the capital city of Iziz, the Sith Lord began to exile all criminals from the city; some of whom managed to survive in the deadly jungles surrounding the city and organize into a tribe of hunter-gatherers. The world of Onderon suffered through the legacy of Nadd even after his death as a cult devoted to his memory, known as the Naddists, wreaked havoc on the people of the planet. When Jedi Master Arca Jeth attempted to move Freedon Nadd's remains to Onderon's moon Dxun the Naddists, led by Onderonian King Ommin, attacked and managed to capture Nadd's remains as well as Jeth himself. Ommin then fled to the city of Iziz. The Republic's army converged on the planet and attacked Iziz, but was too strong and devastated the city. After the battle, Freedon Nadd's remains were taken to Dxun and sealed in an armored tomb.
In 4,250 BBY the Jedi experienced a third Great Schism on Coruscant following Nadd's death. After a brief civil war on Coruscant, the surviving group of Dark Jedi retreated to the Vultar system, where they discovered that the planets of the system were artificial. The Dark Jedi could not control the huge Cosmic Turbine that powered the system and quickly annihilated themselves and the entire system.
The Old Sith Wars
The Great Sith War
- "Exar was a Jedi who was corrupted by ghosts of the old Sith, or so they say. He attempted to conquer the Republic and create a new Golden Age of the Sith."
- ―Jolee Bindo
Over the generations, Ossus had continued to thrive as a Jedi fortress world, holding many treasures and knowledge in Odan-Urr's massive archives known as the Great Jedi Library. The Jedi High Council began to take a more active role in the operations of the Order, and Four Masters oversaw the construction of a massive Temple on Coruscant to house members of the Order responsible for working directly with Republic representatives. At the height of Ossus' heyday in 3,996 BBY, the talented and curious Jedi Exar Kun, having learned about the Golden Age of the Sith, traveled from Ossus to Dxun where he found the tomb of Freedon Nadd. The spirit of Nadd corrupted Kun and the young Jedi surrendered to the dark side of the Force. After first traveling to Korriban, Kun then went to Yavin's fourth moon and took over Naga Sadow's ancient fortresses, enslaving the Massassi race to further his ambitious plans. Destroying Nadd's spirit for the last time, Exar Kun staked his claim as the true heir to the ancient Sith legacy, which was thought to have been destroyed. When word of this unsettling turn of events reached the Jedi High Council, a conclave was called on Deneba to discuss the growing foothold of the Sith. During the conclave, the secret dark side society called the Krath attacked the Jedi with war droids. Led by Aleema and Satal Keto, the Krath were able to kill the legendary Master Arca Jeth, who died while saving his student Ulic Qel-Droma's life. When the Krath were repelled, the Jedi regrouped and returned to Ossus.
Seeking retribution for his masters death Qel'Droma planned an unsanctioned mission to infiltrate the Krath in an attempt to destroy them from within. The Krath, suspecting he was a spy, injected him with a Sith poison and eventually Qel'Droma fell to the dark side and became a Krath general. Concurrently Sith acolyte Exar Kun traveled to Cinnagar to find and destroy Ulic Qel-Droma. However, their duel was interrupted by the spirit of Marka Ragnos, who commanded them to stop fighting each other and form an alliance, declaring them Dark Lords of the Sith. United, the Dark Lords waged war on the Republic, luring young Jedi from Ossus and subverting them to the dark side while in a stunning move, Exar Kun raided the Great Jedi Library and stole the Dark Holocron after murdering the legendary Master Odan-Urr. Elsewhere, Qel-Droma defeated Mandalore the Indomitable, the leader of the Mandalorians, and with their leader defeated the Mandalorian Crusaders agreed to join the Sith.
Qel-Droma's Krath and Mandalorian forces laid siege to Coruscant in an all out attack at the heart of the Republic. Jedi forces on the capital were few as their temple remained as just a small hermitage but infighting between Qel-Droma and Aleema Keto allowed for the Republic to score a victory through the capture of Qel-Droma and the retreat of his forces. In the custody of the Republic, Qel-Droma was tried before the Galactic Senate on Coruscant for war crimes. During the hearing, Dark Lord Exar Kun walked into the Senate Hall and executed the Chancellor before a shocked audience and later struck down the wise Master Vodo-Siosk Baas. Freeing Qel-Droma, Kun contacted his acolytes within the Jedi Order to assassinate their former Masters in a successful pogrom which left many Jedi dead. At the culmination of their attack on the Order, the Sith Lords made the suns of the Cron Cluster go supernova using Naga Sadow's Sith flagship, which they had discovered on Yavin IV; the exploding stars sent a devastating shock wave through space directly towards Ossus. Aware of their impending doom, the Jedi desperately tried to save as many of the artifacts stored on the world while a mass evacuation took place. In a stunning move, Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma arrived on Ossus as the Jedi scattered in an effort to loot the Great Jedi Library. In the upper levels, Master Ood Bnar buried several priceless artifacts just before the Sith arrived. As the Sith attempted to strike him down, Bnar called on the Force to transform his body into that of a tree, a technique which came natural to the Neti. Meanwhile Qel-Droma dueled his brother Cay and killed him in his anger. When confronted with the finality of his actions, Qel-Droma's will was shattered and was then cut off from the Force by the Jedi Nomi Sunrider. A broken shell, Qel-Droma surrendered to the Republic and was escorted off of Ossus as it was swept clean by the supernova's shock wave.
With Qel-Droma in the hands of the Jedi Order, Exar Kun knew that his secret forces on Yavin 4 were in peril. To prevent his ultimate defeat, Kun committed a ritual which took the life from every Massassi on the planet to separate his spirit from his body and bind it to his temple. When Jedi forces arrived on the planet they unleashed a Force-assault on the world, trapping Kun's spirit within his temple indefinitely. With both Sith Lords defeated and the Mandalorian Crusaders defeated on Onderon, the Jedi Order had finally brought an end to the Great Sith War. With many great Masters dead and the fortress world of Ossus uninhabitable, Master Nomi Sunrider called a conclave on Exis Station to formally address the Order and begin the healing process. With the entire Order in attendance, Sunrider accepted the leadership role within the Order and set to rebuild the High Council. Additionally, the headquarters of the Jedi was to be relocated to Coruscant, with major expansions on the existing enclave there to accommodate the entire Order. Relics and texts which had been stored at Exis Station after the destruction of Ossus would be transported to Coruscant as a new Jedi Archives was compiled within the Temple. In addition to her work in rebuilding the Order, Master Sunrider ordered the creation of an underground city on the planet Yavin 4 to aide the recovery of the planet's ecology as well as to ensure that Kun's spirit never returned again.
The Mandalorian Wars
- "It was not your ships or your men or your vaunted 'fight for freedom' that won this, the final battle of the war. It was by the actions of one person—the Jedi Revan—that you prevailed. Revan's strategies and tactics defeated the best of us. Even Mandalore himself was taken aback by the ferocity of his attacks, the tenacity of his defenses, and the subtlety of his plans. Revan fought us to a standstill and then began pushing us back. We didn't really have a chance."
- ―Canderous Ordo
As the Order settled in on Coruscant, the renowned Jedi Seer Krynda Draay saw it as her duty to prevent another war like the one that had just plagued the galaxy and taken so many lives, including that of her husband, Barrison Draay. Resigning from the Order and holing herself away within her late husband's massive Galactic City Estate, Draay began the length process of training an army of Seers without the knowledge of the High Council. As the Order grew complacent in the eyes of Draay, the respected Master created the Covenant, a shadowy organization devoted to spotting and dealing with any shatterpoints that could cause the Sith to emerge again. With her own son, Lucien Draay, as head of the First WatchCircle, Draay and her faithful retainer Haazen guided their movements on Taris as they sought a dangerous weapon of the Sith called the Murr Talisman.
The events of the Mandalorian Wars would begin the decline of the Jedi Order. They coincided with a vision seen by four Jedi Masters—the Consular members of the First WatchCircle of the Draay's Covenant—who saw visions of chaos in the Jedi Order and the Republic as well as signs that the responsible party could be one of their Padawans. The Masters decided to strike, but only succeeded in murdering four of their own Padawans who were near Knighthood. Their actions also caused massive civil disorder on Taris—which later made the planet easy prey for the Mandalorians—alienated Padawan Zayne Carrick from the Order, and inadvertently dissolved even their own group, being split up by the High Council and assigned to different postings around the galaxy. As each of the WatchCircle members began to die through mysterious circumstance which resembled their vision of impending doom, one of their number, Master Xamar, revealed the truth of the Covenant to the High Council and confessed his crime. As the High Council moved to secure the Draay Estate, it became clear that the venerated Master Krynda Draay was no longer in command; Haazen, her retainer, had taken over and descended into madness. Sending members of the Covenant against the Jedi Temple and hijacking ships from the Republic Navy, Haazen ultimately and inadvertantly destroyed the estate and himself through an orbital bombardment.
The Mandalorians, led by Mandalore the Ultimate, began to conquer planets that were left defenseless after the Sith War. By adding the weapons and technology of their victims to their own the Mandalorians soon built a large army, and their territory grew fast. The Republic's efforts to stop the Mandalorians were ineffective, and soon Mandalore took advantage of this weakness by directly attacking Republic space. The Jedi High Council refused to help the Republic, believing that caution was necessary and unwilling to bloody their hands after the last war. The Council's decision set poorly with many young Jedi who, under the leadership of Master Revan and his apprentice Alex, openly defied the Council and leading the Republic's forces in battle. Revan used Mandalorian tactics against his enemies: he was willing to sacrifice one planet if it meant securing victory at a more important one. Under the leadership of Revan and Alek the Republic liberated many planets, and the final battle of the war was fought at Malachor V.
During the battle, Revan killed Mandalore in hand-to-hand combat and obliterated the remaining Mandalorian forces. The war with the Mandalorians was over. The Mandalorians had been defeated by a worthy opponent, and destroyed their armor and weapons as a sign of respect. While the Republic failed Revan and Alek, who went by the name Malak, as heroes the High Council was deeply enraged. Ordering all so called Revanchists back to the Coruscant Temple for judgement, the High Council's summons were only respected by General Meetra Surik. Appearing before the Council to await judgement, the Council stripped Surik of her titles and banished her for her role in the destruction of Malachor V. In addition, Jedi Master Kreia, Revan's former mentor, was exiled as the Council felt her 'gray' stance on the Force had led her students, most notably Revan, down the path of the dark side.
The Jedi Civil War
- "The reason the Jedi Civil War was named such was because few in the galaxy can recognize the difference between the Sith and the Jedi. To them, they are both Jedi—with different philosophies."
At the close of the Mandalorian Wars, the Jedi Revan and Malak mysteriously disappeared into the Unknown Regions, supposedly pursuing the last remnants of the Mandalorian fleet. Unknown to the Order or the High Council, the two Jedi had traced clues to the planet Dromund Kaas where they discovered that the Sith Empire lived on in secret and was ruled by the mysterious and incredibly powerful Sith Emperor. Unable to stop him, the Emperor reprogrammed the Jedi and sent them back to the Republic as the Sith Lords Darth Revan and Darth Malak. Returning to the Republic with their loyal followers in toe, the newly christened Sith Lords began to wage a second war, preying on a Republic already weakened by the Mandalorians and taking full advantage of the immense number of Jedi who were still willing to follow the pair.
This Jedi Civil War pitted masters against students, fathers against sons, and friends against best friends, making it one of the most emotionally powerful wars in galactic history. While the early stages of the war were indecisive, it soon became apparent that Revan's Sith armada was growing at a steady rate, and in a short time the Republic was overwhelmed with the seemingly limitless forces of the enemy. World after world fell to Revan's vast fleets and masterful strategies. Determined not to make the same mistakes they had in the Mandalorian Wars, the High Council devised a plan to eliminate the enemy at its source: Revan. During one fateful battle a small Jedi strike team led by Bastila Shan, a young Jedi Padawan with the remarkable gift of battle meditation, infiltrated Darth Revan's command ship to capture the Dark Lord. During the confrontation, Darth Malak, who was stationed aboard a different ship, realized that Revan could be easily defeated and that he could then assume the title of Dark Lord of the Sith, fired upon his own master's vessel in the hope of killing both Revan and the Jedi fighting him. The Jedi managed to escape with Revan's body, but Malak had achieved a crucial victory, for he was now the Dark Lord of the Sith and commander of the entire Sith armada.
Malak continued to wage war against the Republic, relying exclusively on brute force as opposed to subtle strategies. Following the Sith tradition, he took an apprentice of his own: former Jedi Darth Bandon. As the situation for the Republic and the Jedi became more desperate, they began to rely more and more on the battle meditation of Bastila Shan to gain an advantage over the ever-growing Sith Empire. Consequently, Darth Malak began to target Jedi Shan specifically, hoping to crush the Republic's last chance of standing against his armies. During one battle in orbit above the world of Taris, Jedi Shan's vessel, the Endar Spire, was crippled beyond recovery, and the young Jedi was forced to evacuate to the planet below. As fate would have it, two other survivors eventually caught up with Jedi Shan on Taris: Carth Onasi, a decorated soldier and war hero of the Republic, and another lowly officer who Shan recently had transferred to her command. The key to the rest of the war, however, lay in the identity of this single, seemingly insignificant foot soldier.
Onasi and Shan continued to gain more companions, managed to escape the destruction of Taris, and fled to Dantooine's secret Jedi Enclave, where their third companion was inducted into the Order and they discovered the existence of the Star Forge. The Jedi Council commissioned their small band to seek out Star Maps from various planets in order to discover the location of the Star Forge, which they believed was the key to Malak's power. During their quest, the group encountered and defeated many Sith minions, including Darth Bandon. The biggest interruption to their mission was the groups capture by one of the Sith fleet's command ships. After a frantic escape attempt, Onasi, Shan, and the new Jedi Padawan encountered Darth Malak himself. This confrontation revealed a startling truth: that Darth Revan had not been killed, but had instead been rendered comatose by Malak's attack and saved by the Jedi, specifically Shan. The Jedi Council had inserted over his destroyed mind a new identity, that of a lowly officer who was now a Jedi Padawan. Darth Revan had been traveling with Shan and Onasi the entire time.
Upon escaping Malak and realizing his true identity, Revan was determined to complete his mission and destroy his old apprentice. Eventually, he and his companions discovered the location of the Star Forge and launched an attack in collaboration with the Republic against it. Revan managed to infiltrate the giant factory, which was the source of the Sith's limitless armada, and defeated his old apprentice Malak once and for all. Despite the victory over Malak and the apparent defeat of the Sith, the High Council and the Order in general kept Revan and his wife, Bastila Shan, at a distance. Regarded as outsiders, Revan and Shan remained outside of the walls of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant while an increasingly strained relationship with the Order wore on them. Revan, suffering from crippling Force visions, eventually left for the Unknown Regions in search of answers.
First Jedi Purge and aftermath
The Jedi Civil War took a huge toll on the Jedi and the Republic, leaving them incredibly vulnerable to attack. In the wake of the war, the High Council called a conclave on the planet Katarr to regroup and refocus the Order. It was at this conclave that Darth Nihilus, a member of the Sith Triumvirate, attacked the world and wiped all life from the planet's surface. The attack on the conclave would see the near-destruction and death of the Order, with all but a hundred individual Jedi surviving throughout the galaxy. Immediately after, Triumvir Darth Sion committed his legions of Sith assassins to hunting down the surviving Jedi in the first Jedi Purge. Realizing that the threat was greater when Jedi gathered in numbers, the surviving members of the High Council disbanded the Order, with the remaining Jedi Masters going into hiding on planets across the galaxy in the hopes that this would allow them to discover the true origins of the new Sith threat without endangering everyone around them. The Jedi Temple on Coruscant was completely abandoned, and the badly damaged Jedi Enclave on Dantooine was left nothing but a hollow shell.
A former Jedi, Meetra Surik, also known as the Jedi Exile who had been cut off from the Force and exiled by the High Council years earlier, sought out the remaining Councilors who were in hiding, in an attempt to form a group to defeat the threat of the Sith Triumvirate, who were threatening to annihilate the Jedi completely. As she traveled the galaxy in search of the hidden Jedi, Surik trained several of her companions in the ways of the Force. She found Vrook Lamar on Dantooine, Zez-Kai Ell on Nar Shaddaa and Kavar on Onderon. The three former Councilors then met with Surik once again in the rebuilt Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. They decided to once again exile her, as well as sever her completely from the Force, as they felt she was a threat to all living beings around her. As they attempted to carry out their plan, Kreia, Surik's mentor, killed them, and after revealing herself as the third Sith Lord, Darth Traya, she left Surik on Dantooine. Surik's revival corresponded with the Sith attack on the Republic, and she traveled to Telos IV to fight the Sith Lord Darth Nihilus. Surik defeated Nihilus on his flagship above Telos, before traveling to Malachor V to kill Darths Traya and Sion, the two remaining Sith Lords.
Eventually, the group of individuals Surik trained, known as the Lost Jedi, would, as Darth Traya prophesied, come together to re-establish another Jedi Order. As the Order was slowly reformed, Surik was able to convince Masters Shan and Atris to return to Coruscant and the abandoned Jedi Temple there and slowly rebuild. Training a new generation of Jedi, Surik reestablished the High Council with the assistance of her companions from the war and the Order and the Galactic Republic began the long, slow process of rebuilding. Within time, Surik saw the Jedi Order flourish once more, but was haunted by reoccurring dreams and a beckoning from beyond known space. Leaving the Republic and the Order behind, Surik departed Coruscant to search for Master Revan and the darkness he had sought to find beyond the galactic rim.
Resurgence of the Sith Empire
- "Our time has come. For 300 years, we prepared. We grew stronger. While you rested in your cradle of power, believing your people were safe… protected. You were trusted to lead the Republic but you were deceived, as our powers over the dark side had blinded you. You assumed no force could challenge you and now… finally… we have returned."
- ―Darth Malgus
The Great Galactic War
- "The Great Galactic War dragged on for decades. Thousands of Jedi and Sith were slain. Countless star systems were ravaged."
- ―Jedi Master Gnost-Dural
The Republic and the Order had thought that the Sith Empire had been completely destroyed in the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace War; unknown to them a single Sith Lord managed to escape Chancellor Pultimo's attack on Korriban and established himself as the new Sith Emperor and continued the rule of the Sith Empire in the Unknown Regions. It was this Emperor who had corrupted Revan and Malak' the same Emperor who would imprison Revan for a second time after his return to Dromuund Kaas following the Jedi Civil War. In 3,681 BBY the Sith Empire came out of hiding and attacked the Republic and the Jedi, taking both by complete surprise. Unknown to the Republic, the Sith had already infiltrated several planetary governments, the Republic and the Order itself, allowing it several victories. As Jedi and Republic forces fought back, the Mandalorians, under the leader ship of Mandalore the Lesser, entered the conflict on the side of the Empire. The war would eventually last 28 standard years. In 3,653 BBY with peace talks commencing on Alderaan, the Sith launched a surprise attack on Coruscant, devastating the planet, killing the Chancellor and nearly destroying the Jedi Temple. With Coruscant in their hands, the Sith presented the Republic with the Treaty of Coruscant. The Treaty sued for peace but was heavily biased towards the Sith, demanding that the Republic turn over several long time territories and Republic forces had to withdraw from current battlefields leaving the planets defenseless to Imperial occupation. With little choice, the Republic accepted ending the Great War.
The Cold War
The Cold War officially was only border skirmishes between rogue elements of the Republic and Sith Empire, yet all across the galaxy both sides were supporting coups, revolutions, assassinations and even all out civil war. Without the Temple on Coruscant, the Order drifted homeless for a short period before Jedi Knight Satele Shan returned from the Deep Core with coordinates to the lost planet Tython. As Jedi scouts prepared the planet for recolonization, the Order dealt with the loss of Grand Master Zym over the ruins of the Coruscant Temple and the defection of Master Dar'Nala to terrorism. As a new Temple emerged on Tython, the Jedi resettled their ancient homeworld and began to slowly rebuild. As Shan was appointed Grand Master, Jedi explored Tython forests and ruins, reconnecting with their roots and growing stronger in the Force. Elsewhere in the Republic, planets like Balmorra and Alderaan were major battlegrounds where both sides suffered from treaty-breaking, but unofficial backing; all across the galaxy the Great Galactic War was igniting a second time.
Several new heroes emerged in this time period; these heroes were both of the Republic and the Sith Empire, and they grew more powerful and significant over time, eventually becoming the main fighters for their respective sides, as many significant ones fell in the Cold War. Members of the Jedi Order who remained on Coruscant made up a special Jedi delegation within the Senate, while others tried to protect the ruins of the Jedi Temple and protect any of its remaining treasures. The new heroes which emerged were believed to be the ones that would lead the Republic and Sith Empire to an all-out war that would be more devastating and dangerous than any other in the past.
Second Great Galactic War
- "We are at war! The Dark Council has placed me in charge and battles are being waged across the galaxy."
- ―Darth Baras
The sham known as the Cold War came to an inevitable end and the Second Great Galactic War erupted on galactic scale, but was even more brutal than any other war in the past. The Jedi Order quickly mobilized to compete with the Sith Empire and various third parties, all of whom where at their peak and with many mighty heroes. Engaging each other in full-scale war once again, Sith and Republic forces clashed, while the constant specter of betrayal loomed over everyone. Yet despite the copious amounts of traitors and third parties, they did little to stop the Republic and Empire from continuing their war. The Great War saw some of the Republic and Empire's bravest and mightiest heroes emerge, and this only created more tension and alarm, adding to the chaos already generated by the Great War.
The immense clash would lead to the defeat of various third parties and their leaders, such as Darth Malgus, leader of his own rebellion, and Bouris Ulgo, leader of House of Ulgo of Alderaan. The Dread Masters of the Sith Empire would be freed, and the destructive nature of this new war would radiate throughout the galaxy, slowly ravaging it. After a long, drawn out conflict, the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic proved victorious and the Sith Empire of old was finally defeated. The Jedi Order would return to Coruscant, abandoning Tython indefinitely, and rebuild the Jedi Temple slowly with financial aid from the recovering Republic. A new era of peace began, but was to be short lived.
The New Sith Wars
The horrors of the Old Sith Wars and the near extinction of the Jedi Order that had resulted from the conflict were remembered in the Republic for generations. Few could have guessed, however, that a much larger conflict would soon engulf the galaxy. From within the Order's ranks Jedi Master Phanius, one of the Order's brightest members, became entranced with the forbidden knowledge of the Sith and, defying the High Council, absconded into deep space with a Sith holocron stolen from the Jedi Archives. Phanius took up the long vacant title of Dark Lord of the Sith as well as a new name and identity: Darth Ruin. In the ensuing years, Ruin gathered together a large number of dark side followers and surviving Sith clans and founded the New Sith Empire. With this army Ruin planned to bring the Republic, and the Jedi who served it, to their knees. Beginning what would be a thousand year war, Ruin's empire quickly became fractured, tearing down the Republic and the Jedi Order while ravaging itself from the inside out. The Order was plagued by ineffectual leadership throughout the conflict, constantly held back by a politically-minded High Council. To counter the poor management of Order, several Jedi left Coruscant to establish baronies and kingdoms on the Rim, protecting their subjects while demanding fealty and military service. These so-called Jedi Lords established a loose confederation under the guidance of a Jedi Grand Council made up of the most powerful Lords, waging wars against the Sith Empire and killing any Sith minions who intruded on Jedi space.
In 1,010 BBY, the High Council raised their protege Skere Kaan to the rank of Master, dispatching him into the galaxy to cripple the Sith Empire; the High Council did this despite their knowledge of Kaan's extremist views and his belief that the Order and the Republic were responsible for the state of the galaxy. Taking with him a group of like-minded Jedi, Kaan declared himself Dark Lord and organized a Brotherhood of Darkness, issuing a warning to all surviving Sith: join the Brotherhood and bend the knee or die. Holding true to his promise of death to all who did not join the Brotherhood, the High Council sent their congratulations to Kaan for his swift work of the worst of the Sith Lords. Kaan openly mocked the Order and the thanks, declaring war on them and promising to burn their Temple to the ground. Furious at the Council ineptitude, Lord Hoth rallied the banners of those loyal to him and raised a great host called the Army of Light. Gaining the support of the last Grand Council of the Jedi and every last lord, Hoth harried the Brotherhood along its flank until the Army of Light had enough practice at warfare to strike at the Brotherhood's heart. Meeting the Brotherhood in open combat during a series of campaigns at the planet Ruusan, the conflict ground on for seven fierce battles costing many lives on both sides. At the conclusion of the seventh battle, Lord Kaan—near defeat and driven insane by the power of the dark side—unleashed the horrors of the thought bomb in a cave system, engulfing every single Force-user on the world.
The New Sith Wars were over. The Jedi Order had survived once again despite the deaths of nearly every member of the Army of Light on Ruusan, and the Sith were presumed wiped out to the last individual. One, however, had survived: Darth Bane. He and his successors would hide from the Republic and the Jedi, planning revenge in utter secrecy under the Rule of Two..
With the Sith presumed extinct, the Jedi believed that they had at last forged a long-lasting peace in the galaxy. With the Ruusan Reformation passing the Senate and receiving the High Council's blessings, both the Jedi Order and the Republic renounced militarism, disbanding their vast armies and navies. From that point on, the galaxy would rely on smaller Planetary Security Forces and the Judicial Department to help the Jedi keep the peace.
The wave of change sweeping the Republic enabled forward-thinking Jedi to make vast strides in the Order' setup during the first years of peace. Under the leadership of Grand Master Fae Coven, the Jedi High Council became more influential, and many loose rules were codified. Adults were banned from entering into the Order after Ruusan proved them to be too volatile and susceptible to the dark side's sway. They would renounce all ties to the outside world—to wealth, material possessions, and even family. Training would now be undertaken on a strict one-to-one basis and centralized on Coruscant. With the far-flung academies of the past, the temptation of delving into forbidden knowledge was considered too great for members of the order. Many far-flung, satellite training facilities were closed and the Temple on Coruscant became the heart of the Order. The Trials of Knighthood were firmly put in place to ensure all Knights were tested on a fair and equal scale. Coven was also ensured that her changes would be known by every Jedi by drafting and putting into circulation throughout the Order personal copies of The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force, a guidebook given to each and every member of the Order.
Along with Master Coven's quest to set the Order on a firm footing, Caretaker of First Knowledge Restelly Quist and the other members of the Council of First Knowledge were determined to completely eradicate all memory of the Sith to ensure they never returned. Dispatching Shadows to find and locate all Sith artifacts, relics, and even history books detailing past Jedi-Sith conflicts; the Order essentially erased all memory of the Sith in under five decades.
The Sith return
- "At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge."
- ―Darth Maul
Over the ensuing millennium, the Jedi Order enjoyed a Golden Age in which training flourished and the Galactic Republic enjoyed peace. Following the disaster on Almas involving fallen Padawan Kibh Jeen, the Order was made aware that a Sith had survived Ruusan and a new Rule of Two had been established. Believing the Sith to be a minor threat, it wasn't until the machinations of Darth Tenebrous and his apprentice Darth Plagueis in the Fobosi District circa 53 BBY, that the Jedi Order felt the dark side of the Force on Coruscant for the first time. in nearly one thousand years.
In 32 BBY, the presence of the Sith once again became clear by the Jedi. The Sith Lord, Darth Sidious had secretly contacted members of the Trade Federation, including Nute Gunray and Daultay Dofine, and saw to it that Gunray was made Viceroy of the Federation by using a special battle droid to kill the members of the Federation Ruling Council. Along with a series of other devious plots, Sidious was responsible for manipulating Gunray to show the Republic that they could not bully him with trade embargoes by blockading the remote planet of Naboo. The Supreme Chancellor dispatched Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, to negotiate a Trade Federation withdrawal.
However, the Neimoidians attempted to murder the Jedi, and so the pair was forced to hide on an invasion craft which carried them down to the planet. There Jinn met and rescued a Gungan by the name of Jar Jar Binks. Binks led Jinn and Kenobi to the Gungan city of Otoh Gunga. The Gungan High Council, while rather difficult at first, at last allowed Jedi to take a bongo to the capital city of Naboo, Theed. There the Jedi rescued Queen Padmé Amidala from a droid escort. The group then fled to Tatooine, where they repaired the Queen's ship, and from there to Coruscant. When Amidala realized that the Senate could not solve her problem, she returned to Naboo. There, with the help of the Gungan Grand Army and a young boy named Anakin Skywalker the Queen and her Jedi protectors defeated the Federation's Droid Army; however, in a climactic lightsaber duel between Jinn, Kenobi, and Sidious's apprentice, Darth Maul, Jinn was killed. Stung by his master's death, Kenobi threw himself at the Sith, seemingly killing him. After Darth Maul was defeated, the Jedi knew that there was still at least one member of the Sith active, but they were unaware of the identity of Sidious.
The Clone Wars
- "Victory? Victory, you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen. Begun, the Clone War has."
- ―Master Yoda after the Battle of Geonosis
During the ten years following the Invasion of Naboo, Jedi Master Dooku, the Count of Serenno, left the Jedi Order and became the leader of a group of corporations, such as the Trade Federation and the Commerce Guild, known as the Confederacy of Independent Systems. However, unknown to the Jedi, Dooku had been recruited by Darth Sidious and had become his apprentice, renamed Darth Tyranus.
In 22 BBY, Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, his Padawan Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala, a young Senator from Naboo, were captured by Dooku on Geonosis in the Outer Rim. The trio were scheduled for execution; however, they were saved when a group of over two hundred Jedi arrived, led by Mace Windu. In the Petranaki arena most of the Jedi perished, and the few remaining formed a circle in the center of the arena, surrounded by hundreds of Confederacy droids. However, before they could be killed, Grand Master Yoda arrived with thousands of clone troopers, who had secretly been ordered by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas. The clones rescued the remaining Jedi, and so the First Battle of Geonosis, and thus the Clone Wars, began. The Jedi attempted to stop Count Dooku from leaving Geonosis. Obi-Wan Kenobi was injured in a duel with Dooku, and Kenobi's apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, lost his arm. Master Yoda led the clones and the Jedi to victory, and when the battle was all but won he traveled to meet Dooku. After a short duel with Dooku, Yoda was forced to let the Separatist leader escape in order to save Kenobi and Skywalker. Of the hundreds of Jedi in the rescue team, less than fifty survived the opening salvo of the war.
The Clone Wars escalated into one of the largest wars in galactic history in a matter of weeks. The members of the Jedi Order played a pivotal part in the war, acting as generals to the vast Grand Army of the Republic; an act which caused the deaths of thousands of Jedi during the war. To combat the Force abilities of the Jedi, Dooku enlisted the help of several Dark Jedi, as well as Gen'Dai bounty hunter Durge. Dooku had many Force-using subordinates, though the most feared of them were Sora Bulq, Aurra Sing, Asajj Ventress, as well as Quinlan Vos, who served as a double-agent.
Four months after Geonosis, the Jedi Order faced their biggest threat in the war against the Confederacy: General Grievous. On Hypori, Grievous was revealed to the Republic and the Order as a killing machine, slaying several Jedi and wounding several other high ranking members of the Order. On Jabiim, the Jedi suffered heavy losses, and although they managed to evacuate the planet, all except one of the Padawan Pack, a group of Padawans orphaned when their Masters either were killed or disappeared, perished. The sole survivor was Anakin Skywalker, who was slowly becoming more famous.
Towards the end of the war, the Separatists retreated from many of their bases in the Core Worlds and the Colonies, to Fortress worlds in the Mid and Outer Rim, after being defeated by the Republic in a series of battles. This boosted the morale of the Republic, and Chancellor Palpatine and the Jedi deployed almost every fleet available to CIS worlds in the Outer Rim, laying siege to the Separatist strongholds in an attempt to force the Confederacy to surrender; however, the Sieges left many senior Jedi dead. On Boz Pity, the Order lost several members but were able to remove Asajj Ventress from the war while Sora Bulq and his Morgukai Shadow Army were defeated on Saleucami. The citizens of the Core were led to believe that the end of the war was near, and that the Confederacy would be brought to justice in the near future. In truth, the Sieges were the work of Darth Sidious, intended to lure forces away from Coruscant
In 19 BBY, with most of the Republic's army and the Jedi fighting in the Outer Rim Sieges, the Separatist fleet, led by Grievous and Dooku, launched a week-long siege against Coruscant. Thousands of Vulture droids and Droid tri-fighters rained down on the capital, and Confederacy C-9979 landing craft unleashed hundreds of millions of battle droids and tank droids on the capital's streets, causing much damage to lives and property. In response, the Republic deployed its clone forces against the CIS droids. With the battle raging on in space, Grievous and his IG-100 MagnaGuards kidnapped the Supreme Chancellor, after defeating several Jedi and wounding Council member Shaak Ti. Grievous then transported Palpatine to his flagship, the Invisible Hand. Several Jedi piloting starfighters attempted to intercept Grievous on his way to the flagship, but they failed. After realizing that they had been lured away from Coruscant, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi returned from Tythe to join in the attempt to rescue Palpatine, who was being held aboard Grievous' flagship, the Invisible Hand. Although Dooku injured Kenobi, Skywalker disarmed him, and at the Chancellor's command, the young Jedi Knight ruthlessly beheaded the Dark Lord, and released Palpatine, dealing a tremendous blow to the Confederacy.
Last stand of the Jedi Order
After the battle over Coruscant concluded, the Jedi learned from Anakin Skywalker that Palpatine was in fact Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith, and had been responsible for the war to begin with. Mace Windu led a group of Jedi Masters to arrest Sidious, but Sidious managed to kill all four Masters with the help of Anakin Skywalker, who fell to the dark side and became Darth Vader. This was later propagandized by Palpatine as an attempted coup by the Jedi and provided the reason for the start of the Great Jedi Purge in which most of the Jedi were killed.
Just after Order 66 was issued, telling all clones to kill their Jedi commanders, Darth Vader went to the Jedi Temple to kill the remaining Jedi situated there. Accompanied by the 501st Legion, Vader killed all of the Jedi, including the younglings, and changed the signal given off by the Temple's emergency beacon to tell Jedi to return to the Temple. Then, Sidious sent Vader to Mustafar to wipe out the last of the Confederacy's leaders, then ordered him to send a deactivation signal to shut down the droid forces, ending the war. Order 66 was successful in wiping out 99% of the entire Order and wiping out the High Council, officially concluding the Order's position as the dominant Force tradition in the galaxy and destroying nearly all of their temples and academies across the galaxy.
In a final attempt to save the Republic and the Jedi Order from complete extinction, Jedi Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, two of the most notable survivors of Order 66, embarked on a desperate mission to destroy the Sith. Master Kenobi went to fight Darth Vader on Mustafar while Yoda went after Darth Sidious within the bowels of the Senate building. Vader was defeated, losing much of his organic limbs after suffering grievous lightsaber injuries, necessitating the majority of Vader's body being kept in a mobile life-support system to keep him alive. The battle between Yoda and Sidious ended in a stalemate: Yoda was forced to flee with Sidious keeping his life. With Grand Master Yoda and Master Kenobi going into exile, Darth Sidious declared himself Emperor of the Galactic Empire, and saw the Sith rise to galactic dominance again.
Great Jedi Purge
- "The remaining Jedi will be hunted down and defeated. Any collaborators will suffer the same fate."
Despite the fact that many of the most senior Jedi had been killed, many Jedi survived Order 66. Sidious, now the Emperor of the galaxy, used Darth Vader and the Inquisitorius to hunt down and kill the remaining Jedi. Some Jedi decided to fight the Empire, such as Roan Shryne and those at the Conclave on Kessel. Some hid, like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Grand Master Yoda. Many Jedi fell to Vader, Inquisitors, Emperor's Hands, and even bounty hunters who were bent on ending the Order's grip on the galaxy. Sidious, in his guise as Palpatine, used the rumors of what had occurred at Master Shadday Potkin's failed conclave on the planet Kessel to cement the image of Vader as a symbol of the Empire to fear, and a further warning to all who stood in his way. The official report regarding the events on Kessel prepared by Sate Pestage stated that a large group of Jedi had attempted to kill Vader but descended into madness and killed each other in a power struggle while the others were executed for numerous crimes.
During the Purge, Vader raised a secret apprentice in a hope to overthrow Palpatine. In 3-2 BBY, the apprentice was sent to find and kill surviving Jedi such as Shaak Ti, Rahm Kota, Maris Brood, and Force-sensitives on Felucia as a means of training. In 1 BBY, Emperor's Hand Mara Jade discovered Jedi Master An'ya Kuro, also known as the Dark Woman, hiding on the planet Cophrigin V. Darth Vader arrived on the planet to kill Kuro personally. By this time, the Great Jedi Purge was over, and the Empire would, but still deal with another conflict, the Galactic Civil War. The most prominent survivors of the Great Jedi Purge were Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi,, Rahm Kota, A'Sharad Hett, Empatojayos Brand, K'Kruhk and Ood Bnar.
Despite the great loss of life, the former Grand Master had set in motion a plan, a final hope for the Order. Unknown to the Sith, Anakin Skywalker had fathered two extremely powerful children. His son, Luke Skywalker, was trained in the Force by Master Kenobi and Grand Master Yoda, eventually sending him to defeat the Sith. In a climatic battle, Skywalker defeated his father and the Emperor over the Sanctuary Moon of Endor, and brought an end to Darth Bane's line of Sith. In the decades following the Sith defeat, Skywalker would begin the slow rebuilding process as he gathered together the last remnants of the Order's membership and artifacts. Training a new generation of Jedi, Skywalker's Order materialized, struggling to gain a foothold in a galaxy rife with war and violence.
- See also: Grand Master
- "Once you embrace the Republic, the power of all Jedi is ready to serve you."
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma
During the Force Wars, the first Jedi formed a central political entity called the Jedi High Council. The High Council was a gathering of great minds that acted as a governing body for the Order, eventually serving as an advisory board for the Office of the Supreme Chancellor following the Order's joining the Republic. The High Council was made up of twelve members at a time, a tradition established as early as the Great Hyperspace War.
Membership on the Jedi High Council was decided by the standing Council and was made up of a series of different terms. Consisting of five lifetime members, four members who stayed on the Council until they chose to step down, and three short term members, who changed regularly and sat on the Council for a relatively short period of time, this method kept the voices and opinions of the Council fresh and focused. While membership was usually restricted to Jedi Masters, exemptions were sometimes made; allowing a Knight to sit on the Council should certain insight be needed or if they are in the transitional stage before formal elevation. A notable example was Anakin Skywalker, who was appointed by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in 19 BBY during the Clone Wars. While the Council accepted the appointment, they refused to make him a Master.
For several generations, the Order was overseen by three additional Councils that oversaw various responsibilities within the Order. The Council of First Knowledge oversaw the Jedi academy housed within the Coruscant Temple, in addition to direct oversight of satellite training academies and libraries. The members of the Council of First Knowledge were looked upon for advice in situations needing to be contrasted with the past. Jedi on this Council were sometimes former members of the High Council, and could give a different perspective on current events based on past decisions and mistakes. Instead of advising the Supreme Chancellor, the Council of Reconciliation worked closely with the Galactic Republic Diplomatic Corps in order to assist in the acquisition of new member worlds in the Senate. Assigning Jedi Diplomats and Ambassadors to implement treaties and welcome new people into the Republic, the Reconciliation Council's members worked very closely with the Senators on Coruscant. Finally, the Council of Reassignment oversaw the Jedi Service Corps and the placement of individuals who failed the Jedi Trials or were deemed unfit to continue along the standard path of the Jedi Knights.
The decisions of these four Councils have shaped the progress of the Republic as well as the Order. When the High Council of the era refused to enter the Mandalorian Wars and took a more passive stance on the issue until they could assess it, a group of disenchanted Jedi known as the Revanchists rose up and incited the Jedi Civil War nearly wiping out the Order. When the Order had managed to recover, the Council took a slightly more aggressive stance, culminating in the New Sith Wars where they actively ruled the Republic as a quasi-military dictatorship. The First Knowledge Council took the time following the Ruusan Reformation to purge all references to the Sith from the minds of the galactic populace, ensuring that within a few years of the war, the dark siders' legacy was all but forgotten. A millennia later during the Clone Wars, the twilight years of the Galactic Republic, the Jedi acted as generals, soldiers and military advisers in the conflict before being nearly destroyed once again, by the newly resurgent Sith menace.
- "Confer on you, the level of Jedi Knight, the Council does. But agree with your taking this boy as your Padawan learner, I do not!"
- ―Yoda to Obi-Wan Kenobi
As the Jedi were instructed in the ways of the Order and of the Force, each member progressed through several different ranks.
- Jedi Initiate (or Youngling or "Jedi Hopeful") – The youngest members of the Order, these Force-sensitive child were given the rank of Initiate when they began their communal training in clans. Recruited from worlds throughout the galaxy where blood testing was required upon birth, Initiates were removed from their families and brought to a Jedi academy for formal training.
- Jedi Padawan – After being selected for individual tutelage under a single Jedi Knight or Jedi Master, Initiates were given the title of Padawan; a word derived from the Je'daii Order. Eligible for this rank following the successful completion of the Initiate Trials, Padawans were typically taken at adolescence and completed their training away from the academy. Per tradition, Padawans of a hair-growing species would wear a long braid of hair behind their ear; non-haired Padawans were encouraged to wear a type of jewelery, a tattoo, or other body modification. A Jedi Knight or Jedi Master could have only one apprentice at a time. The Padawan had to be promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight before another apprentice could be chosen, a practice that was formalized following the Great Sith War. While in place, the policy could be revoked should the Order see a decline in number, and necessity forces the apprenticeship of several students to a single master. Following several unsuccessful attempts at the Initiate Trials or if a student is not chosen by a Master, the Council of Reconciliation would place the student within the Jedi Service Corps. Depending on where the student's talents lay, this might be the Agricultural Corps, the Medical Corps, the Educational Corps or the Exploration Corps. If this role did not suit a particular student, they could chosen to leave the Order entirely.
- Jedi Knight – Following a period of nearly a decade of one-on-one training with a master, a disciplined Padawan was eligible to attempt the Jedi Trials. Upon successfully completing all tests put forth, a Padawan's braid was severed by the High Council and their life as a Knight began. No longer attached to a master, Knights were free to accept missions from the Council, pursue specialized training on one of the three branches of Knighthood, or take their own Padawan.
- Jedi Master – A Knight who showed great understanding of the Force and managed to instruct a Padawan and train them successfully to the level of a Jedi Knight was elevated to the rank of Master by the High Council. Self-declaration of the title was frowned upon and rare practice in the latter days of the Order, but not uncommon during war times or periods of disbandment. Amongst the Order's Masters, only a select few were appointed to one of the Jedi Councils. Made up exclusively of wise, experienced Masters, the Councils of the Order had different levels of membership, ensuring fresh perspectives were expressed as new events occurred. The High Council was made up of 12 masters, five of them holding life terms, four holding long-terms, and three holding short-terms. The elected leader of the Council was known as the Master of the Order and was often bestowed upon the acting Grand Master; the recognized leader of the entire Order.
Jedi Service Corps
The Jedi Service Corps was a group of organizations overseen by the Council of Reconciliation that was maintained as an alternative or a supplement to traditional mission assignments from the High Council. While the majority of the Corps was indeed made up of Initiates who had failed to pass the Jedi Initiate Trials, there were many Padawans, Knights, and Masters whose specializations brought them to the Corps.
The Agricultural Corps was the largest of these organizations. Members of the AgriCorps would use their Force powers to care for crops all over the galaxy, aiding in the feeding of several million citizens of the Republic. Working with the Republic Agricultural Administration, the AgriCorps spread the idea that the Living Force can overcome the horrors of drought and famine. Made up mostly of life-long members that had failed their trials, the AgriCorps had bases on Salliche, Taanab, and Ukio.
In the Medical Corps, young Jedi learners who were not chosen as Padawans used their healing powers to tend for sick beings in the galaxy. Unlike the AgriCorps, the MedCorps maintained only a few dozen students and their instructors at any given time. Maintaining an infirmary in the Halls of Healing on Coruscant, MedCorps members worked alongside the Galactic City Medical Center's doctors and specialists as they helped treat citizens of the planet-city.
This Educational Corps consisted of students who were still in training. Overseen by the Chief Librarian, the EduCorps members stationed at the Temple on Coruscant cataloged and translated data within the Archives.
The Exploration Corps was responsible for exploring the Unknown Regions as well as the study the history of the Jedi and the galaxy. With refueling centers on nearly every Republic Ordinance or Regional Depots, the galaxy was their territory for exploration. Working closely with the Republic Survey Corps and the Intergalactic Zoological Society, the ExplorCorps had the highest number of Knights and Masters working in its ranks.
The Jedi Order during its history has often been confronted with schisms regarding the interpretation of the Jedi Code, which sometimes created new thinking minority within the Order. These currents for the most marginalized and ostracized were sometimes tolerated, despite the fear of the return of the Sith and the Dark Side.
Altisian Jedi Founded by the Jedi Master Djinn Altis, the Altisian faction held several precepts frowned upon by the orthodox Jedi Order, including the taking of multiple apprentices by one master, initiating adult Padawans, and allowing families. Leaving the Jedi Temple during the last decades of the Temple, Altis and his followers moved about the galaxy serving as relief workers on underdeveloped worlds and backwaters.
Corellian Jedi Faithful to the reputation of rebels of their people, Corellian Jedi were strongly attached to their natal star system and unwilling to respect the rules of emotional detachment of the Order. So a waiver was granted to them, allowing them to remain in the Corellian system, to raise families and take their own children as Padawans. They soon developed their own cultural identity within the Jedi Order , with traditional green robes, commemorative medals and famous dynasties like the Halcyon family.
Paladins Founded by the Jedi Master Teepo during the New Sith Wars, the Teepo Paladins and later the Gray Paladins acknowledged that a Jedi could be no more independent of the Force than of nourishment or air; nevertheless, they had developed skills and techniques that did not utilize the Force's "flashier" aspects. They didn't eschew the use of lightsabers completely, they simply believed that a Jedi should use which ever weapon he or she felt the most comfortable with, but many chose instead to rely on proficiency with blasters and other forms of combat, both armed, and unarmed. They became Masters in various forms of martial arts like Teräs Käsi, as well as esoteric weaponry such as spinsticks, rather than rely on Force-augmented gymnastics and speed. Teepo and his followers were ostracized as potential dark siders. Though not a formal part of the Order, some still maintained residence at the Jedi Temple.
Iron Knights Founded by the Jedi Master Aqinos, they were Force-sensitive crystalline Shard trained as Jedi, who required droid bodies as their hosts to interact with the world. The Jedi Council, however, was horrified that Aqinos had taught inorganic crystals about the Force, and felt that they could not truly understand the Force. Aqinos was excommunicated, and the Iron Knights went with him.
Potentium Founded by the Jedi Master Leor Hal, the Potentium claimed that there was no inherent evil in viewing the Force. They claimed that what others called the light side was actually just the Force itself, which is inherently good. What others therefore called the dark side was a perversion of the Force, twisted by those who used it. Believers of Potentium said that the potential for light and dark sides resided in the user, not the Force itself. And since there was no dark side, there were no dark side actions or Force techniques; in effect any action, good or evil, could be performed without risk as long as the intent was not evil. The followers of Potentium were expelled from the Jedi Order and some of the outcast followers colonized Zonama Sekot.
Members of the Jedi Order, from Jedi Masters to Padawans, were encouraged to follow a set of guidelines, including self-discipline, responsibility, and public service. These principles were put simply yet effectively in the Jedi Code:
- "''Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy.
- Jedi use their powers to defend and protect, never to attack others.
- Jedi respect all life, in any form.
- Jedi serve others rather than ruling over them, for the good of the galaxy.
- Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training.''"
- ―The Jedi Code
Derived from the Code of the Je'daii Order Master Homonix Rectonia is credited with transcribing the code in its classic form. Later, Odan-Urr refined it to omit the fourth line, though Grand Master Fae Coven restored the Code to its classic form.
The Code was not necessarily a strict set of rules, but a general set of guidelines that Jedi were encouraged to keep in mind as they went about the business of the Order. Numerous Jedi teachings interpreted and expounded on the Code in subsequent millennia. These rules, created and embraced by the Jedi Masters, were essential tools in a Jedi's growth. In them, Jedi were encouraged to overcome personal obstacles such as pride and materialism, to understand their small yet important place in the galaxy, and to give every being and point of view equal consideration.
From a historical context, the Coruscant Jedi Temple was the Order's last great headquarters, serving as its governmental center and home to the largest active Jedi academy in the galaxy and the great Jedi Archives. In addition to the Coruscant Temple, the Order had been headquartered on Ossus for the greatest number of years before the planet's devastation during the Great Sith War, and only briefly on the Order's homeworld Tython, both at the Order's conception and during the Cold War. In addition to the main academy the Jedi Order had outposts on many worlds and operated mobile academies throughout its history.
The Jedi Temple on Coruscant was the main Jedi headquarters from the end of the Great Sith War in 3,996 BBY until the beginning of the Great Jedi Purge in 19 BBY. Despite its impressive appearance, the Jedi Temple was a relatively modern building in comparison to some of Coruscant's others—the temple was built on a plot of land which had been awarded to the Jedi Order by the Senate after Naga Sadow's attempted invasion of the capital in 5,000 BBY. The Senate hoped that having such a large Jedi presence on the capital would leave the planet less susceptible to invasions. From this site, the four Jedi Councils took care of the administrative, strategic, and spiritual needs of the Jedi Order, ensuring that it met the needs of the Republic and its vast multitudes of citizens.
When the land was awarded to the Order by the Senate, the Jedi were at first reluctant to build a citadel there—they held the belief that the Order was not a military organization, and that a military-oriented building would be a contradiction to their code. Instead of taking the Senate's proposition, the Council authorized the construction of a meditative and training center instead, some of which helped preserve the rapidly diminishing nature of Coruscant. Eventually, the original meditative and training center grew vastly in size and complexity, until it began to resemble the sprawling world on which it was located. New chambers within the Jedi Temple included the Room of a Thousand Fountains, which contained a huge greenhouse, flowing waters and cascades. Also included in the expansive temple were lightsaber training areas as well as areas which provided views of vast holographic star maps.
The Jedi Temple had five spires; one for each of its four Councils, and a larger spire which contained the sacred manuscripts of the founding Jedi. The Jedi High Council chambers were located in the southwest tower, while the Council of Reconciliation chambers were located in the southeast tower. The northeast and northwest towers were occupied by the Council of Reassignment and the Council of First Knowledge. While the Temple was sacked many times throughout the Order long history, the facility was last abandoned by the Old Jedi Order following Operation: Knightfall. As part of the execution of Order 66, Darth Vader led the 501st Legion into the Jedi Temple, intent on destroying the Jedi. Although the Jedi Temple was not destroyed, it was badly damaged, with smoke billowing out for all to see. The structure proved to be the most virulent of all Jedi temples, as it would continue to be the Order's home following Luke Skywalker's rebuilding of the Order. The rebuilt Temple would serve as home to the Order on an off for several generation until finally being occupied by the One Sith at the end of the Sith-Imperial war.
The great fortress world of Ossus was the home of the Jedi for the longest, continuous time span; beginning with the Jedi migration from Tython circa 25,000 BBY until the world's ruination during the Great Sith War. The crown jewel of the Jedi-controlled planet was the Great Jedi Library, an immense library for Jedi students constructed under the direction of Odan-Urr around 5,000 BBY. The library was a repository for knowledge of all kinds, while the world served as a training center for many Jedi students. The vast amounts of information the library contained were sorted in various different ways, depending on age and importance. Most of the data was contained on reader tapes and holographic media, although some of the more ancient knowledge was stored on traditional paper scrolls and books. Although the ancient books and scrolls were eventually translated onto electronic forms, the Chamber of Antiquities preserved the ancient writing for historical purposes.
The library also held knowledge forbidden to the Jedi, such as ancient Sith holocrons, which Odan-Urr had decided to keep. The Draethos Jedi Master's reasoning was that all knowledge—even knowledge of evil—would be useful in the defense of justice. Only those who had been approved by the Jedi Council, as well as Odan-Urr (as the Keeper of Antiquities), were allowed access to these holocrons, and even then they were only permitted to do so under strict supervision. During the height of the Great Sith War in 3,996 BBY, fallen Jedi Exar Kun visited Ossus to recruit new members to his cause. While there, he entered the Chamber of Antiquities, slaying Odan-Urr to get to one of the Sith holocrons. Afterwards, Ossus became a battlefield for the Jedi/Republic army, which eventually defeated the Sith Empire. Meanwhile, a supernova was threatening to devastate the planet. After Ossus had been evacuated, Exar Kun and his apprentice, Ulic Qel-Droma, arrived at the Great Jedi Library, looking to plunder the remaining artifacts before the supernova's shockwave destroyed them. However, Neti Jedi Master Ood Bnar managed to foil the two dark siders, metamorphosing into a powerful tree; he sacrificed his life to protect a vault of lightsabers from Kun and his apprentice.
The Jedi Enclave on Dantooine was a secret Jedi training center located on Dantooine prior to the Jedi Civil War. The Enclave consisted of several levels, the first of which included a council chamber, sparring rooms, and dormitories, while the sublevel consisted of common rooms, classrooms, and a medical bay, as well as an archive room only accessible by Jedi Masters. The Enclave was built upon a courtyard, which led out into Dantooine's plains. At the center of the building was a circular open-air room, with several trees at the center of a walkway.
The Dantooine Jedi Enclave Council held its meetings in a small council chamber, similar to the one on Coruscant and had jurisdiction over the Jedi in the part of the Outer Rim that included Dantooine and Taris. Around the time of the Jedi Civil War, the Council was responsible for healing Darth Revan's destroyed mind and inserting a new identity into his brain, and after the destruction of Taris, retraining him in the ways of the Jedi. The Council was dissolved after Darth Malak's bombardment of the Jedi Enclave during the Jedi Civil War, which left the Enclave as ruins which would be abandoned and reoccupied over the next few centuries.
The birthplace of the Jedi Order, Tython was devastated at the close of the Force Wars and swiftly abandoned by a Jedi Order which wanted nothing to do with a growing Galactic Republic. Tython would not be revisited for many long millennium as the Order grew on Ossus and later Coruscant. Forgotten by many, it wasn't until the Cold War that Jedi Satele Shan repaved the hyperlanes to the lost world and established a new Temple there. As the Jedi Order relocated form Coruscant to their lush new home, Tython's mysteries were explored in depth by eager young Padawans and curious Jedi archaeologists. Despite an enormous recolonization effort by the Jedi during the Cold War, Tython was eventually abandoned once more and left an ash-covered waste.
Behind the scenes
The Jedi Order originated in the rough draft 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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