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The Jedi High Council (or Jedi Council) was a fictional, military, and religious institution from the Star Wars film series. The Jedi Council was made up of the strongest members of the Jedi Order and are elected to lead the Jedi.
The Jedi High Council was a group of twelve wise and powerful Jedi Masters elected to guide the Jedi Order, as well as to serve as an advisory body for the Supreme Chancellor. The earliest known Jedi Council was around 3,965 years BBY. Conversations between Bastila Shan and Carth Onasi imply that there was a Jedi Council preceding the "Jedi Civil War era" council.
The Council was made up of five lifetime members, four long-term members, and three limited-term members. The Council's organizational structure evolved from earlier assemblies of Jedi Masters and, during the Great Hyperspace War, may have been nothing more than an "inner circle" within those assemblies. The Council originally had no set meeting place, and it met irregularly on planets such as Ossus, Alderaan, and Chandrila. With the relocation of the Order from Ossus to Coruscant, the Council was established on that world.
The Jedi Council alone chose promising Jedi to join them. No outside body attempted to appoint a member to the Council against its wishes, until Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, when Supreme Chancellor Palpatine appointed Anakin Skywalker to the Council.
Towards the end of the Clone Wars, the majority of the Jedi High Council (along with the other Jedi) were killed by Clone Troopers enacting Order 66 at the behest of the Supreme Chancellor who also killed Mace Windu. Members included Plo Koon, Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin, and Ki-Adi-Mundi. Shaak Ti survived the order, but she died in the events of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. (In the movie Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Shaak Ti died in a deleted scene, where she was murdered by General Grievous; however, this is not considered canon). Obi-Wan Kenobi went into hiding on Tatooine, only to be killed by Darth Vader nineteen years later. Four years after the Battle of Yavin (4 ABY), Yoda died in the Dagobah system at 900 years old.
New Jedi Order
In novels set after the events of the film series, Luke Skywalker re-established the Jedi High Council as part of his New Jedi Order. The most notable difference between the format of the new council and the old is that only half of the council are made up of Jedi, while the other half consisted of politicians. Following the Yuuzhan Vong War, the Jedi withdrew their support from any one political entity and relocated to Ossus, where a full Jedi Council was re-established.