- "Jedi do not fight for peace. That's only a slogan, and is as misleading as slogans always are. Jedi fight for civilization, because only civilization creates peace. We fight for justice because justice is the fundamental bedrock of civilization an unjust civilization is built upon sand. It does not long survive a storm.
- — Mace Windu
A noble order of protectors unified by their belief and observance of the Force, the Jedi Order hearkens back to a more civilized, classical time in galactic history. Their order is ancient, spanning over a thousand generations, and dedicated to being the guardians of peace and justice.
The Jedi have been through many changes and ideologies since their formation, but their creed of protecting the galaxy has always remained. They are the largest and most well known organization dedicated to the Light Side of the Force in the galaxy.
The newest incarnation of the Jedi Order, formed several years after the Battle of Endor, is sometimes called the New Jedi Order. While it is a rebirth of sorts for the Order, at its core it is still the Jedi Order which has persisted since the dawn of the Galactic Republic.
The Jedi Code
The Jedi Code is a rule of conduct that establishes the modes of behavior for all Jedi. Although changing in style through the generations, the main tenets, context and meaning of the code have stayed the same. The key portion of the Code is a five-line mantra. Several versions of the mantra have existed.
- Emotion, yet peace.
- Ignorance, yet knowledge.
- Passion, yet serenity.
- Chaos, yet harmony.
- Death, yet the Force.
The refined version of the Jedi Code is based upon the meditations of Odan-Urr and is perhaps the best known rendering. Even after the Code was rewritten for the New Jedi Order, many Jedi still refer to the Code as set down by Odan-Urr.
- There is no emotion, there is peace.
- There is no ignorance, there is knowledge
- There is no passion, there is serenity
- There is no chaos, there is harmony
- There is no death, there is the Force.
The Jedi Code was rewritten by Luke Skywalker upon reestablishing the Jedi Order in the Galaxy. In spite of this, Odan-Urr’s version is still the most recognized and preferred.
- Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy.
- Jedi use their powers to defend and to protect.
- 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.
Meaning of the Jedi Code
Despite the simplicity of the mantra, it can be difficult for many to interpret the Jedi Code in the way it was intended.
- There is no emotion, there is peace.
Emotions are a natural part of living. Jedi are not immune to feeling emotions. This tenet, which is most often misunderstood by outsiders – and even some Jedi – is not saying that Jedi should divest themselves of emotions, rather it is saying that emotions shouldn’t control one’s actions. Emotions must be understood, and it is a Jedi's duty to explore their feelings. Unless a Jedi can confront their thoughts and feelings, they will never achieve peace. Emotions, then, are not to be overcome or denied, but rather understood and dealt with.
- There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
A Jedi must be unbounded by preconceived notions and try to understand the galaxy that is surrounding them. Ignorance, in this case, refers to ignoring the thoughts and beliefs of other beings simply because it doesn’t fit with one’s viewpoint or understanding. This tenet also reminds the Jedi that knowledge can be taken from the most unusual places. In other words, this tenet points out that often a Jedi must use not only their rational mind but also their intuitive mind in order to ascertain the truth of a situation. Not all knowledge is correct, and not all beliefs are sound, but if a Jedi remains willfully ignorant of the galaxy around them, then they are ill-prepared to handle a given situation.
- There is no passion, there is serenity.
This tenet is not simply a repetition of the first. It refers more directly to situations of extreme stress in which a Jedi might be tempted to react strongly, or be so focused on the task that they lose sight of the goal. That a Jedi must draw their weapon only in defense is an expression of this tenet, keeping all other options open. While emotions and intuition must be understood and utilized in a Jedi's daily life, they must be checked, lest the Jedi act rashly and lose objectivity. Passionate use of power leads to the Dark Side. A Jedi must always act with a calm hand and an even temper; observing each situation as clearly as the Force sees it, and not clouded with unbridled passion.
- There is no chaos, there is harmony.
This statement reflects the cosmology of the Jedi Order. Whereas uninitiated beings see the universe as a chaotic and disconnected place, a Jedi realizes that all things are interconnected and, more importantly, interdependent, in a never-ending cycle of balance. While an uninitiated being sees sorrow and tragedy in the workings of the universe, through the Force, a Jedi is able to interpret and understand even the most painful of life's events. Minor inconveniences such as failure, disappointment, and disagreement are also inevitable and should be taken in stride. Jedi do not deny the fact that tragic and terrible things happen; they merely point out that tragedy is simply another part of life.
- There is no death, there is the Force.
A common argument is merely observing a thing affects a thing, preventing those aware of their own finite existence from truly seeing the world as the Force sees it. A Jedi must always be ready for death, but not obsess or be ruled by the thought of it. The sense of loss is often greater for one who feels it with the Force, and it can be difficult to maintain equilibrium. Death, however, is not a tragedy and is merely a part of the life cycle. Without death, life could not exist. This tenet represents the view of the Jedi Order that accepts, indeed embraces, death and life, rot and growth, not as opposites but as dual pairs, each can't exist without the other, as nature intends. It is the balance of existence which must be preserved. This tenet is often quoted upon a Jedi's death, sometimes referring to becoming one with the Force, or even as living forever as a Force ghost.
The Jedi Order is led by the Jedi Council, an organization made up of some of the greatest masters and knights within the organization. The council itself is led by the Master of the Order and the Grand Master, who wield control over the Jedi Order.
Luke Skywalker is considered to be the spiritual leader of the New Jedi Order in the Exodus Galaxy, but in practice he doesn’t take a hand in running it as his duties often lead him elsewhere.
- Grand Master
Grand Master is the term given to the acknowledged leader of the entire order. Grand Masters generally sit on the Jedi Council before rising to this rank, and have accomplished great deeds in their time. They must also demonstrate impeccable leadership qualities and show a deep understanding of the Jedi Code.
- Master of the Order
Master of the Order is another rank exclusive to the Jedi Council and denotes the leader of the council. While technically below the authority of the Grand Master, in practice it is usually seen as roughly equal to the other title.
- Jedi Councilor
Jedi Councilor is a formal term given to Jedi who sit on the Jedi Council. While they rank above regular Jedi Masters, the term itself isn’t used much in practice. Many simply refer to themselves only as Jedi Masters.
- Jedi Master
Jedi Masters are Jedi Knights who show great understanding of the Force and who have usually managed to instruct a Padawan and train them successfully to the level of a Jedi Knight. This title can also be achieved through the performance of extraordinary deeds without the requirement of training a Padawan.
Self-proclamation of the Jedi Master title is rare and frowned upon by the Jedi Council, but was common in the early days of the New Jedi Order due to the necessity of most of the Jedi having been wiped out by the Empire’s purge.
- Jedi Knight
Achieving the rank of Jedi Knight hasn’t changed much in the New Jedi Order. Disciplined Padawans can become a fully trained Jedi once they complete a series of trials. These trials can differ depending on the Padawan’s master, but they often mirror the Jedi Trials of old. Another frequent requirement is for the Padawan to build their own lightsaber.
Padawans can also simply be deemed a Jedi Knight by their master, or the Jedi Council, if they have amply demonstrated abilities and understanding worthy of a Jedi Knight.
- Jedi Apprentice/Padawan
Prior to the New Jedi Order, Padawans were apprentices who began serious tutelage under a single Jedi Knight or Jedi Master. In order to graduate to Padawan status, an Initiate was required to be chosen by a Knight or Master and taken as their sole pupil. After the establishment of the New Jedi Order, the term Padawan has become a catch-all to describe any member of the Jedi Order who isn’t a Knight or above. Contrary to how the Jedi Order of old did things, Jedi Masters of the New Jedi Order may take on more than one Padawan if they so choose. It is still discouraged, however, for Jedi Knights to have more than one Padawan since they lack the experience of a Jedi Master.
- Jedi Initiate
Also known as Younglings, or Jedi Hopefuls, Jedi Initiates prior to the New Jedi Order were most often Force-sensitive children who were removed from their families and assigned to the Jedi Temple for training. These Younglings were then taught in communal groups known as clans.
After the establishment of the New Jedi Order, the rank of Jedi Initiate has fallen out of use. Instead beings of all ages are allowed to train at the Jedi Temple. Classes are still held for large groups of students. No formal name is given to them, but they are often colloquially known as Padawans.
Being a Jedi is a life of great variation as the Jedi Order has several responsibilities. While many Jedi are generalists, some specialize in one or more areas either in accordance with their own interests and preferences, or because they are delegated responsibility for an area that requires specialization. With these specializations often come specific Jedi ranks. Moreover, in certain periods of the history of the galaxy, some Jedi would assume military ranks fighting alongside Republic forces.
There are generally three types of Jedi classifications; Jedi Consular, Jedi Guardian, and Jedi Sentinel.
- Jedi Consular
A Jedi Consular (also called a Jedi Seer) is, like all Jedi, skilled in battle, but rarely enters combat, preferring to study the mysteries of the Force.
Consulars are the primary scholars and diplomats and seers of the Order, often becoming instructors. Jedi Consulars generally achieve their goals through words or the Force, and rarely by the lightsaber. Traditionally, they wielded a green lightsaber, but, like all Jedi, they were free to choose their own color for the blade. In the past, once a Consular attained the rank of Jedi Master, they were given the honorific title of Sage Master.
- Jedi Guardian
A Jedi Guardian is one whose skills and talents lay in battle, a light side mirror of the Sith Warrior.
Guardians often concentrate on martial training and usually engage in combat more than any other Jedi, though they are no less skilled at diplomacy. Like all Jedi, they are keepers of the peace. Guardians have traditionally wielded blue lightsabers, though this isn’t a set rule. In the past, once a Guardian attained the rank of Jedi Master, they were given the honorific title of Warrior Master.
- Jedi Sentinel
The Jedi Sentinel seeks a balance between the two extremes of the Jedi; the Jedi Consulars and the Jedi Guardians. They have adequate combat skills and somewhat extensive knowledge of the Force. The traditional lightsaber color of a Sentinel was yellow, but like the above types, this was not a requirement.
While the Sentinel doesn’t have the strengths of the Consular in the Force, or the skill of a Guardian in battle, they also don’t have the weaknesses of those types. Since Sentinels are open to wide range of skills, and are generally well-rounded, many Jedi end up falling into this classification.
Almost all youthful Jedi were initially called Younglings and instructed in "clans" by a venerable, experienced Jedi Master, learning the ways of the Jedi and the powers of the Force. After Ruusan it had become the norm that the Jedi trainees were always children. Once Yavin 4 had been established as Jedi headquarters, the Jedi initiates, which were no longer children, were trained first under the direction of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, and, in time, under another Master's direction in groups. With the New Jedi Order, the Younglings were trained in clans since childhood once more. (Refer to Apprentice ages)
"Patience, use the Force, think."
- —Obi-Wan Kenobi
When an individual student achieved satisfactory understanding of the Jedi way, they were usually taken under the wing of another Jedi member and instructed individually to complete their training. Masters typically brought their Padawans along on missions, and later sent them on missions on their own, for them to gain experience and learn from practice.
Lightsaber training "The crystal is the heart of the blade. The heart is the crystal of the Jedi. The Jedi is the crystal of the Force. The Force is the blade of the heart. All are intertwined: the crystal, the blade, the Jedi. You are one."
- —Luminara Unduli, during a lightsaber construction ceremony
The traditional Jedi weapon was the lightsaber, which, in the hands of a skilled wielder, could be deadly in combat, even against opponents armed with ranged weapons. To attain this level of skill, however, required great focus and training. Students practiced the rubrics of lightsaber combat with a remote, and children used training lightsabers. They also dueled fellow Jedi as a contest of their skills. Due to all the weight being in the hilt, Jedi needed heightened awareness, thus, such conditioning honed their attunement to the Force. Since the binding of a lightsaber's intricate innards and the initial charging of the power cell also required knowledge of the Force to implement, a Jedi was tasked with constructing their own lightsaber as part of their training, using special crystals that focused the lightsaber's blade. During the Jedi Civil War era, many Cerean Jedi used specially-forged Kasha lightsaber crystals as a meditational tool; by incorporating such crystals into their training regimens, they helped to clear the wielder's mind of distractions, even during tense physical combat. Further, it was a task in itself to find components for the lightsaber. Meditation in a crystal cave on a planet such as Ilum would often produce an image in the Jedi's mind about the lightsaber they were to build. The construction of a lightsaber was considered a milestone on the path to Jedi Knighthood, and took on a heavily symbolic meaning.
Way of life "The path of the Jedi isn't an easy one, and even if you succeed, it's a hard life."
- —Qui-Gon Jinn
In following the Code, Jedi behavior was rigidly structured to uphold self-discipline, responsibility, and public service. The Jedi conquered emotions and materialism. They honored life, the law, the order itself and the master-student relationship. Jedi rendered aid to support and defend the weak. Rules of engagement included such notions as understanding the dark and light in all things, learning to see accurately, opening their eyes to what is not evident and exercising caution, even in trivial matters. Above all, Jedi upheld their duty to the Republic and embraced the Force.
A New Jedi Order
Current State of the Order
Following the destruction of first, the Jedi Enclave on Taylon, and later the destruction of the Onderon Temple by Darth Trayus more or less all of the Jedi Order is based at the Temple on Ossus.
Notable Jedi Characters
Please see theJedi Character Roster