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The Jedi // are the main protagonists in the fictional Star Wars universe. They are an ancient monastic, spiritual, and academic meritocratic organization whose origins dates back to circa 25,000 BBY (Before Battle of Yavin; the destruction of the first Death Star).
The Jedi Order mostly consists of polymaths: teachers, philosophers, scientists, engineers, physicians, diplomats and warriors, who value knowledge and wisdom above nationality. By serving others, the Jedi give of themselves through acts of charity, citizenship, and volunteerism. After the Great Jedi Purge, most sentients displayed Anti-Jedi resentment, hostility and phobia despite the Order's altruistic endeavors. Their traditional weapon is the lightsaber, a device which generates a blade-like plasma controlled by a crystal. The organization has inspired a new religious movement, Jediism.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Background and origins
- 3 Organization
- 4 Personnel
- 5 New Jedi Order
- 6 Notable affiliated characters
- 7 Equipment
- 8 Dark Jedi and the Sith
- 9 Analysis
- 10 Impact and critical response
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes and references
- 13 External links
As depicted in the canon, the Jedi study, serve and utilize a mystical power called the Force, in order to help and protect those in need. The Jedi members, known as Jedi Knights, respect all life by defending and protecting those who cannot do it for themselves, striving for peaceful and non-combative solutions to any altercations they encounter and fighting only in self-defense and for the defense of those they protect. Like their counterparts, the Sith, their main weapon is the lightsaber. By training the mind and the body the Jedi seek to improve themselves by gaining unfettered access to the Force while also seeking to improve those individuals and groups they come in contact with.
- "Jedi", the name of the ancient knighthood, is a tip of the hat to Burrough's Barsoom, where lords bear the title of Jed or Jeddak.
- The word "jedi" is thought to have been derived by George Lucas from the Japanese word jidaigeki, a genre of historical dramas, such as The Hidden Fortress, which influenced the development of Star Wars.
- The term "padawan" appears to originate in Sanskrit and can be understood as “learner," both in Sanskrit and by contemporary native speakers of Sanskrit-based languages.
Sources and analogues
George Lucas acknowledged Jedi concepts have been inspired by many sources. These include knighthood chivalry, paladinism, samurai bushido, and related institutions in feudal societies, Hinduism, Qigong, Greek philosophy, Greek mythology, Roman history, Roman mythology, parts of the Abrahamic religions, Confucianism, Shintō, Buddhism and Taoism, not to mention countless cinematic precursors. The work of the mythologist Joseph Campbell, especially his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, directly influenced Lucas, and was what drove him to create the 'modern myth' of Star Wars.
Background and origins
The Jedi's history before and after the timeline of the films is established within several novels, comic books, television series and video games in the Star Wars expanded universe.
According to the official Star Wars Expanded Universe, the Jedi came into existence shortly after the Ashla Knights, the precursor-race to the Jedi Order, and the Galactic Republic were created circa 25,783 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin). Before the creation of the Jedi Order, a number of Force-sensitive sects including the Followers of Palawa, Chatos Academy, and Order of Dai Bendu studied the Force scientifically, including the science of midi-chlorians, on worlds from Had Abbadon to Ondos. For many generations the Jedi served as a paramilitary for the Galactic Republic and the galaxy at large to prevent conflict and political instability; including partaking in a pivotal role during the Clone Wars.
As sanctioned guardians of peace and enforcers of justice in the galaxy, they mediated negotiations among planets and rival factions and, if necessary, use their formidable martial art skills, agility and wisdom to quickly end unrest or neutralize dangerous individuals or threats. The Jedi are governed by a Council, consisting of twelve of the wisest and most powerful "force-sensitive" members of the Jedi Order; they are bound to a code of ethics.
The Jedi are trained to use the Force through deistic reasoning, passive meditation and applied academics. They are proactive in the virtues of abstinence, altruism, mercy, gaman, and honor. They are conditioned to reject negative or dangerous emotions (such as love, passion, greed, fear, anger and hate) as these desires inevitably lead to suffering, and believe that true balance and happiness is best achieved when they are content with themselves as they are.
The Jedi's self-denial philosophical way of life contrasts with their archenemies, the Sith, another monastic organization who used the dark side of the Force. They believe the fulfillment of desire is the path to happiness, and they embrace passion and individualism as a means of achieving personal goals of freedom, power and victory over physical restrictions and thereby attain perfection.
The Jedi Code was a mantra of moral and ethical conduct expected to be adhered to by all members of the Jedi Order. A Draethos Jedi Master named Odan-Urr studied the Jedi Code in great detail, making a revised version circa 5,000 BBY, which was adopted by the Jedi Order. This is the edition of the Jedi Code that was used until Order 66 and the Great Jedi Purge that occurred in 19 BBY: "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."
Following the collapse of the Galactic Empire after the death of the Emperor Palpatine in circa 4 ABY (After Battle of Yavin), Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker reestablished the Jedi Order. Termed the New Jedi Order, Grand Master Skywalker re-wrote the Jedi Creed: "Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy. Jedi use their powers to defend and protect, never to attack others. Jedi ferrets out deceit and injustice, bringing it to light. 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 New Jedi Order
In novels set after the events of the original-trilogy film series, The New Jedi Order was the restored and reformed Jedi organization, in the wake of the Great Jedi Purge and subsequent fall of the Galactic Empire. The Jedi Knights, reduced in number to only a handful, were slowly restored, primarily under the leadership of Grandmaster Luke Skywalker. Luke Skywalker abolished the traditional Master/Padawan system. He believed all Jedi should be both teachers and students; that they should both learn from and mentor each other, and not just from one Master. Luke Skywalker re-established the Jedi High Council as part of his New Jedi Order. Half of the council are made up of Jedi, while the other half consist of politicians. Following the Yuuzhan Vong War, the Jedi withdrew their support from any one political entity and relocated to The Great Library of Ossus, where a full Jedi Council was re-established.
The Lost Twenty
The Lost Twenty was the name given to a group of Jedi Masters—numbering twenty in total—who left the Jedi Order throughout its history. The first twelve of these ‘Lost Twenty’ left the Jedi Order before the Third Great Schism; these twelve Masters later became "Dark Jedi" who eventually founded the first Sith Empire. In the years preceding the Clone Wars, Jedi Master Dooku left the Jedi Order as a result of differences with his fellow Jedi, becoming the twentieth Jedi Master in the history of the Order to do so. To commemorate these former Jedi, memorial statue busts were displayed at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
The Old Republic
The Jedi are first introduced in the 1977 motion picture Star Wars as an order of warrior monks who serve as "the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy" and embrace the mystical Force. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) explains that the Galactic Empire had all but exterminated the Jedi some twenty years before the events of the film, and seeks to train Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to be the Order's last hope. Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) is also established as the Jedi's main enemy. By the end of the film, Luke is on the path to becoming a Jedi. In the sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, Luke receives extensive Jedi training from the elderly (and only surviving) Jedi Master Yoda (Frank Oz), even as he learns that Vader is in fact his father, former Jedi Anakin Skywalker. The third film in the original trilogy, Return of the Jedi, ends with Luke redeeming Vader and helping to destroy the Empire, thus fulfilling his destiny as a Jedi.
The prequel films depict the Jedi in their prime, dealing with the rising presence of the dark side of the Force and determined to fight their mortal enemies, the Sith. In Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) discovers nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), whom he believes to be the "Chosen One" of a Jedi prophecy who is destined to bring balance to the Force; the boy is eventually paired with Qui-Gon's apprentice, the young Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), who promises to train him. The sequel, Attack of the Clones, establishes that the Jedi forswear all emotional attachments, including romantic love, which proves problematic when Anakin, now a young adult (Hayden Christensen), falls in love with Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), whom Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi had served ten years before. In Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who is later revealed to be the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, manipulates Anakin's love for Padmé and distrust of the Jedi in order to turn him to the dark side and become his Sith apprentice, Darth Vader. Once corrupted, Vader helps Palpatine hunt down and destroy nearly all of the Jedi, leaving very few left, such as Jedi Master Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Great Jedi Purge
In accordance to Order 66, for crimes of "sedition and high-treason" against the Galactic Republic, the Jedi are nearly exterminated by the Clone Army under the orders of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda among a handful of survivors. The first person to be issued this order was Clone Commander Cody (who until then was under the command of Jedi General Kenobi). Darth Vader led Operation: Knightfall against the Jedi Temple with the 501st Legion while the rest of the clone army around the galaxy carried out Order 66. Palpatine convinced the people of the Republic that Jedi were corrupted warmongers responsible for prolonging the Clone Wars; the Jedi became universally hated with huge bounties placed on them. Darth Vader continued to hunt and execute surviving Jedi by the thousands during the first 10 years of the Empire's history.
Fall of the New Order
In the sequel-trilogy film series however, Luke's attempts to restore the Jedi Order took a turn for the worse instead when one of his apprentices, his nephew Ben, is drawn to the Dark Side by Supreme Leader Snoke and becomes Kylo Ren. He is convinced to destroy all that Luke has built, murdering the rest of Luke's apprentices in the occasion. Since Ren fell to the dark side of the force, a heartbroken Luke, as the last surviving Jedi, takes shelter in a reclusive planet in the edge of galaxy but leaves behind a map in case his friends need his help.
In the Star Wars prequel trilogy saga, the Jedi Temple is located in the capital planet of Coruscant. It is the headquarters, academy, library, and monastery of the Jedi Order. It was originally built atop an old "dark-side nexus" shrine during the birth of the Republic, so as to be symbolic to the Coruscant people that the tyrannical rule of the Sith was over.
In Revenge of the Sith, the Jedi Temple is attacked by clone troopers of the 501st Legion, led by the newly christened Darth Vader, who butcher the Jedi within and set the Temple alight. Even though the Temple was severely damaged, it was not completely destroyed, and is visible in the celebrations on Coruscant at the end of Return of the Jedi over twenty years later. The New Jedi Order indicates that the Jedi Temple on Coruscant is no longer standing but it is rebuilt as a gift to Jedi for their services and achievements during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. The new temple is in the form of a massive pyramid made from stone and transparisteel that is designed to fit into the new look of Coruscant, though internally it is identical to the design seen in Revenge of the Sith.
Architects' Journal rated the temple third on its top-ten architecture of Star Wars list behind the second Death Star and Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine, and ahead of Coruscant, capital city of the Old Republic. The temple is described in the article as adapting "the robust typology of Mayan temples, with durasteel cladding specified for the external stone walls for improved defensive strength" and said to be a ziggurat that "is built above a Force-nexus and has ample room for training facilities, accommodation and the Jedi Archive." The temple has five towers, the tallest is Tranquillity Spire, that are stylistically similar to the minarets surrounding the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Star Wars Insider listed it as the one hundredth greatest thing about Star Wars in its one hundredth issue special.
The Jedi Archives, known as the The Great Library of Ossus or The Great Library of the Jedi, contained the galaxy's most priceless and ancient of texts sacred to Jedi scholars and archaeologists. The original archives was a massive library and training ground erected by the Jedi Order on the planet Ossus. Commissioned by the Jedi Master Odan-Urr following the Great Hyperspace War, the Draethos Jedi assembled ancient documents and scrolls detailing every detail of sentient history and ingenuity. Home to the Order after leaving their homeworld Tython in the Deep Core, the Great Library of Ossus became a symbol of the Jedi and the greatest storehouse of knowledge in the galaxy. Over the ensuing centuries Ossus thrived as the home of Jedi wisdom, encouraging visitors from across the Galactic Republic to visit and study at the archives.
After centuries of peace and growth, the Library was raided by Exar Kun, the Dark Lord of the Sith, and his Sith followers. Storming the "Chamber of Antiquities", the Sith stole the forbidden Sith artifact, known as the Dark Holocron, from Master Odan-Urr before slaying the venerable Jedi. As Kun grew stronger and gathered his forces, the Sith unleashed the devastation of Naga Sadow's ancient battleship, the Corsair, detonating the stars of the nearby Cron Cluster in 3996 BBY.
As the Jedi desperately tried to empty the Library and ship its contents offworld, Kun and his minions returned in a bid to steal the last bits of knowledge from the Jedi. Before long, the world was irradiated by the supernovas, eradicating the planet's major cities and entombing more than half of the Library's knowledge within its halls. The Library stood abandoned for the next three millennia, while the surviving Ysanna Jedi kept constant vigil in the ruined world. The Jedi who made it offworld transported the surviving artifacts to Coruscant; they were kept in the new Archives that served as a smaller version of the lost Library for centuries. These Coruscant archives would later be destroyed by Yoda, to prevent them being pilfered and exploited by Palpatine during the Great Jedi Purge. Luke Skywalker and Kam Solusar rediscovered the world and begun to study the ruins. After several decades more had past, the Jedi Order returned to the now-habitable planet and established a new academy on the world, erecting a new Archive to replace the Great Library.
The Jedi archives of the Jedi Temple in the movie Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones bear a startling resemblance to the Long Room of the Trinity College Library in Dublin. This resemblance resulted in controversy as permission had not been sought to use the building's likeness in the film. However, Lucasfilm denied that the Long Room was the basis for the Jedi archives, and officials from Trinity College Library decided not to take any legal action.
The Jedi academies were established to train Force-sensitive beings accepted into the Jedi Order in the ways of the Force. Overseen by the Council of First Knowledge, each academy was governed by an advisory Council appointed by their superiors on Coruscant. Mainstreaming the majority of teachings at the Temple, certain practices were permitted to vary from world to world. However, at all sanctioned academies, a group of Jedi Masters would instruct Initiates to the Order in the ways of the Force. The size of the school varied from world to world; some as small as to consist of a single clan of younglings, and as the large as the main academy housed within the Jedi Temple of Coruscant. Many academies had been established during the Old Sith Wars and were located in the Galactic Rim. Some were located on or near Force-wellsprings or places significant to the Order like crystal caves or nexuses of dark side energies that needed constant monitoring.
In addition to the traditional academies established by the Order, the Exploration Corps maintained several spacefaring mobile academies such as the Chu'unthor so that roaming the galaxy and exploring new worlds could be achieved while still teaching traditional doctrine.
By the fall of the Galactic Republic in 19 BBY, many of the ancient academies had been shut down for decades, with the Council of First Knowledge preferring the central teachings of the Coruscant Temple. After the dissolution of the Order during the Great Jedi Purge, all orthodox Temples and academies were routed and burned in order to prevent any more Jedi from learning the secrets of the Force. However, the Galactic Empire's choke hold on Force-education did not last and the Order was reformed following the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War. When Grand Master Luke Skywalker began to expand his Order from a single class to the size of the old Order, he opened several old academies, as well as new facilities to promote education and growth within the Order.
The exact size of the Jedi's membership and operations are never specified. However, in the Star Wars Rebels episode "Path of the Jedi", Kanan Jarrus stated: "...There were around 10,000 Jedi Knights defending the galaxy. Now, we are few. But in those days, we had small outposts, temples spread throughout the stars. The Empire sought out these temples and destroyed many of them..."
The Jedi High Council (or Jedi Council) is a fictional institution from the Star Wars universe. It is the main ecclesiastical leadership of the Jedi Order, which is a spiritual, philosophical and paramilitary organization. The Jedi Council is made up with some of the strongest, wisest and most powerful 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, in Revenge of the Sith, 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, Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin. Members were who killed are Plo Koon, Eeth Koth, Aayla Secura, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Stass Allie, Yaddle, Oppo Rancisis, Even Piell and Adi Gallia. Shaak Ti, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Yoda survived the order, but Shaak died in the events of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. (In the movie Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Shaak died in a deleted scene, where she was murdered by General Grievous; however, this is not considered canon.) Obi-Wan went into hiding on Tatooine after taking baby Luke Skywalker there, 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 Luke had a full Jedi Council was re-established.
There are two additional tiers exclusive to Jedi Masters who serve on the Jedi High Council:
- Grand Master of the Jedi: The Grand Master is usually the oldest, most experienced and best trained of all Jedi. A Grand Master is chosen by the Jedi High Council. The Grand Master dictates the organization's general policies while providing direction and guidance to the entire Jedi Order.
- Jedi Master of the High Council: The Master of the High Council is elected by the Jedi High Council, which acts as chairperson. It's chief responsibilities include; presiding over High Council meetings of the assembled group, conducts Jedi businesses in an orderly fashion, managing the particulars of the day-to-day administration of the Jedi Order, act as representative or spokesperson to the Galactic Senate, and serving as the Grand Master's junior partner.
Members of the Order progress through four educational stages, at times referred to as levels:
- Jedi Initiates: An Initiate is the first part of Jedi training; they are mentored by Jedi Masters in rudimentary control over the Force and basic self-defense techniques.
- Most Initiates were typically a Youngling (a child Jedi-in-training) receiving early and first-class education. When Jedi Sentinels discover or test a suitable "force-sensitive" candidate, they are taken to the Jedi Academy at the age of 5 (depending on the species) with the parent's permission. Jedi scholarship educations are considered prestigious, as most parents are portrayed as either happy or proud for the opportunity, but sad since they are unlikely to see their child again before adulthood. Younglings were seen training under Jedi Master Yoda in a scene on Attack of the Clones and hiding during the assault on the Jedi Temple in Revenge of the Sith.
- Jedi Padawan: An Initiate who successfully completes "fundamental training" is given a second-class education and then undergoes Padawan training under the tutelage of Mentor (usually a Jedi Knight or Jedi Master). They are also called "Apprentices" and "Padawan learners". As a rite of passage and the final test before the trials to knighthood, Padawans must build their own lightsabers. In the Old Republic, Padawans usually wore a hair braid on the right side of their head which was removed with a lightsaber upon attaining knighthood. They also served as Commanders in the Clone Wars. The term Padawan appears to originate in Sanskrit and can be understood as “learner," both in Sanskrit and by contemporary native speakers of Sanskrit-based languages.
- Jedi Knight: Disciplined and experienced, Jedi Knights become so only when they have completed "the trials" (final tests) and may continue to pursue a third-class education (see below) to obtain the equivalent of a habilitation or post-doctoral degree. As the most common rank, it is interchangeably referred to as "Jedi", "Jedi Knight" and "Master Jedi" (although the latter are honorifics used only by Younglings and Padawans when addressing Jedi Knights or above).
- The five tests are usually known as Trial of Skill, the Trial of Courage, the Trial of the Flesh, the Trial of Spirit, and the Trial of Insight (or Knowledge). In Return of the Jedi, Master Yoda gives his apprentice, Luke Skywalker, the trial of confronting Darth Vader for a second time so he might become a full-fledged Knight. Occasionally, performing an extraordinary (usually heroic) act can earn a Padawan learner Jedi status, such as when Obi-Wan Kenobi defeats the Sith Lord Darth Maul. By the time of the movies distinct "battle classes" were not necessary as the Republic had not seen war in over a thousand years, and the title of Knight was simply a rank once again.
- Jedi Master: A term of respect used by beings who respect the Jedi. Regarded as among the most recognized polymaths in the known galaxy. Upon completion of vocational or postgraduate education, a Jedi Knight becomes a Jedi Master after successfully training a Padawan learner to Knight status. Though this is the most common manner, there are other ways of attaining the rank.
Classes, specialists, and military ranks
Opened to all who passed the Jedi Trials, and upon a Padawan's ascension to "Knighthood-status", a Jedi pursued higher education or vocational education and training in a field of expertise. Before the Great Jedi Purge, Knights would choose a career based on preference, personal talents and skills, and were given the opportunity to join the Order of the Guardian, the Order of the Consular, or Order of the Sentinel. In addition to their specialization, in times of war the High Council could demand that the members of the Order assume military ranks in order to defend the Republic.
- Jedi Guardian: Jedi Guardians focused all aspects of combat as an extension of their being, and trained on combining and perfecting their athletic, aviation and martial art skills with mastery of the Force. The Force skills studied by the Guardians were typically those used for quickly disabling an opponent and aiding in agility and stamina. Many were stationed within Republic planetary or sectoral government's security agencies where they worked as special peacekeepers and law enforcement agents, helping to quell riots and capture terrorists. The highest ranking Jedi Guardians were stationed at the Jedi academies as instructors tasked with passing down their experience to the young students of the Order. Those Jedi who mastered lightsaber-combat techniques (such as Mace Windu) were dubbed Weapon Masters and were among the greatest warriors of the Order.
- Jedi Consular: Jedi Consulars focused on further mastery of the Force and the sharpening of mental faculties, and wielded a lightsaber only for self-defense. Overseen by the Council of Reconciliation, Jedi Consulars were often called upon to act as impartial advisers, diplomats, and historians. Most Consulars specialized as historians, archivists, librarians, archaeology, geology, biology, mathematics, and astronomy; they contributed to the growth and preservation of the Jedi Archives as "Lore Keepers" directed by the Librarian's Assembly. Some Consulars worked closely with the Republic bureaucrats to assist in greeting unaligned governments and helping them join the Republic and given the authority to hammer out a compromise or treaty during tense negotiations, backed by the full support of the Senate and Jedi Order. Some Consulars joined the Circle of Jedi Healers (headquartered out of the Coruscant Temple's Halls of Healing) and focused on the medical and humanitarian aspects of the Force, manipulating the Living Force to perform the art of healing. Those Jedi specifically predisposed to receive visions through the Force were known as "Seers", maintaining and updating the Order's holocrons; the most perceptive of these Jedi (such as Yoda) were known as Prophets and foretold the future of the galaxy.
Notable affiliated characters
Yoda was the wise, knowledgeable, experienced, and powerful Grand Master of the Jedi Order, and a Jedi Master on the Jedi Council. He was a high-ranking general of Clone Troopers in the Clone Wars, and later trains Luke Skywalker to fight against the Galactic Empire, and further carrying on in his after-death existence as a Jedi Ghost using his influence to help Jedi that live after his passing.
Mace Windu was a male human Jedi Weapons Master of the High Council and one of the last members of the order's upper echelons before the fall of the Galactic Republic. Windu was one of the most powerful Jedi and possibly the greatest swordsman of his time, able to defeat Darth Sidious in lightsaber combat, a feat which even Yoda could not achieve. Windu had the unique talent of seeing "shatterpoints", or faultlines in the Force that could affect the destinies of certain individuals, and indeed the galaxy itself.
Originally mentored by Count Dooku, Qui-Gon Jinn was a wise and powerful male human Jedi Master and the teacher of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Unlike other, more conservative Jedi, he values living in the moment as the best way to embrace the Force. While other Jedi respect him highly, they are frequently puzzled by his unorthodox beliefs and ultimately deny him a seat on the Jedi Council despite being among the most powerful of the Jedi.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was a male human Jedi Master who initiated Anakin and Luke Skywalker to the Jedi arts and served as a central character during the events of the Clone Wars. Obi-Wan proved himself an adept strategist, dueliest, and spy, as his leadership style heavily favored subterfuge and misdirection while commanding clone troopers, or wielding the Force.
Luke Skywalker was a male human Grand Master of the Jedi who founded the New Jedi Order and the protagonist of the Star Wars original trilogy. As the last Padawan of Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi, he became an important figure in the Rebel Alliance's struggle against the Galactic Empire. Luke is heir to a family deeply powerful in the Force, the twin brother of Rebellion leader Princess Leia of the planet Alderaan, the son of former Queen of Naboo and Republic Senator Padmé Amidala and fallen Jedi turned Sith Lord Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker), the maternal uncle of Ben, the maternal uncle of Jacen and Jaina Solo and the ancestor of Cade Skywalker.
Ki-Adi-Mundi was a Cerean Jedi Master serving as a member of the Jedi Council during the last years of the Galactic Republic. He was among the Jedi participating in the Battle of Geonosis. He became a Jedi General in the Clone Wars and took part in such conflicts as the Second Battle of Geonosis. Unlike most Jedi he was allowed to marry a female and start a family even while obeying the Jedi code, mainly because his species have a small reproduction rate. While he was leading a contingent of Galactic Marines on Mygeeto, he was executed by his own forces under Order 66.
Plo Koon was a Kel Dor Jedi Master serving as a member of the Jedi High Council during the last years of the Galactic Republic. He frequently undertook dangerous missions. He was the Jedi who found Ahsoka Tano, with whom he would, from that moment, share a special bond. He was among the Jedi who participated in the Battle of Geonosis. He became a Jedi General in the Clone Wars and took part in such conflicts as the Battle of Abregado and the Battle of Felucia. While he was leading a squadron of ARC-170 starfighters on Cato Neimoidia, he was ruthlessly destroyed by his own troops after Order 66 was executed by Emperor Palpatine.
Kit Fisto was a Nautolan Jedi Master during the last years of the Galactic Republic. He was among the Jedi who participated in the Battle of Geonosis and was one of the few survivors out of the 200 who traveled there. He became a Jedi General in the Clone Wars and took part in such conflicts as the Mission to Vassek's third moon and the Battle of Mon Cala. He was also involved in a mission with his former Padawan Nahdar Vebb to capture the escaped prisoner, Nute Gunray—however, the two ended up facing the notorious Jedi hunter General Grievous inside his lair. While Vebb perished at the hands of the General, Fisto very nearly bested him in combat, and escaped with his life, but without Gunray, ultimately making the mission a failure. At some point during the Clone Wars, Fisto accepted a seat on the Jedi Council. He also had a romantic-relationship with Aayla Secura, but due to the Jedi-code denying romance the two never exactly dated. While he was at the Jedi Temple, Anakin Skywalker revealed to Mace Windu that Chancellor Palpatine was a Sith Lord. Windu and Fisto, alongside Jedi Masters Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin flew to Palpatine's office to arrest him. In the following duel, after Kolar and Tiin had perished, Fisto was killed by the Chancellor.
Ahsoka Tano is a female Togrutan. During the Clone Wars, she was taken as a Padawan by then Mentor, Anakin Skywalker, and the two developed a big brother/kid sister relationship which ultimately foreshadowed Anakin's tragic future. She developed uncanny courage, tactical skills, leadership and trust, which was proven after she refused to abaddon other Padawans kidnapped by Trandoshan slavers. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars fifth season, she was framed for bombing the Temple and murdering a suspect-in-question by her friend Barriss Offee. She was then expelled from the Jedi Order and turned over to the Republic for trial. After proven innocent, the Jedi Council personally invited her to rejoin the Order, offering to reinstate her to "Jedi Knighthood", but she declined. Ahsoka understood that the Council didn't believe in her; stating that she needed to follow her own path, without the Order and Anakin, she left the Temple in tears. She resurfaced 14 years later in Star Wars Rebels, where she is revealed to be the mysterious "Fulcrum", and allied her rebel cell, Phoenix Squadron, with the crew of the Ghost. In "Shroud of Darkness", she is forced to accept Darth Vader is her corrupted former master. In "Twilight of the Apprentice," Ahsoka takes Ezra and Kanan to Malachor to search for Sith knowledge. She later sacrifices herself to buy Ezra and Kanan some time to get away from Darth Vader, forcing him to fight her as a temple collapses on top of them; her ultimate fate is left unknown.
Kanan Jarrus (born Caleb Dume) is a male human taken as a Padawan by falsely-rumoured fallen Jedi Master Depa Billaba during the Clone Wars and a character of Star Wars Rebels. Surviving the Great Jedi Purge at age 14, he exiled himself to the Imperial-controlled planet Lothal and became the de facto leader of the crew of the Ghost. Though still a Padawan, he has taken Lothal street urchin Ezra Bridger as his Padawan. When he found himself in Lothal's Jedi temple, he was put through a trial and ended up passing the test, becoming a Jedi Knight in the process.
Within the Star Wars universe, the Jedi are usually portrayed wearing simple robes and carrying specialized field gear for their missions. Their philosophical lifestyles mirror those of real-world religious vows and evangelical counsels, as their personal possessions are provided exclusively by the Jedi Order, and are only meant to allow self-sufficiency.
The most notable instrument wielded by a Jedi is the Lightsaber. Both Jedi and Sith use lightsabers as their main weapon. The Jedi's lightsabers emit cool colors, usually blue or green blades (sometimes yellow, or purple, as seen in the case of Mace Windu), while the Sith emit warm colors. Lightsabers can be of many different colors depending on the crystal fixture. Although a Jedi's class used to be defined by the color of the lightsaber, by the events of the theatrical trilogy films, most Jedi choose to make their lightsaber any color they see fit. Most Jedi use naturally formed crystals, whereas Sith tend to use synthetic crystals, which are usually red in color.
Eta-2 Actis Jedi Interceptors first appeared in Revenge of the Sith. Delta-7B Aethersprite Jedi starfighters appear in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. In Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan Kenobi travels via Jedi starfighter to Kamino to investigate the attempted assassination of Padmé Amidala; he also flies a Jedi starfighter to Geonosis in an attempt to track down the bounty hunter Jango Fett. Lacking a hyperdrive, the starfighter relies on an external sled to propel it through hyperspace. Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) fly updated Jedi starfighters (called Jedi Interceptors) in the opening sequence of Revenge of the Sith. Later, Plo Koon (Matt Sloan) flies an Revenge of the Sith-era starfighter when he is shot down by clone troopers carrying out Emperor Palpatine's (Ian McDiarmid) Order 66.
The Jedi starfighter's triangular shape in Attack of the Clones stems from the shape of Imperial Star Destroyers in the original Star Wars trilogy. Industrial Light & Magic designer Doug Chiang identified the Jedi starfighter as one of the first designs that bridges the aesthetic between the prequel and original trilogies. Chiang noted that viewers' familiarity with the Star Destroyer's appearance and Imperial affiliation gives added symbolism to the Jedi craft's appearance and foreshadows the Empire's rise to power. The starfighter seen in Revenge of the Sith is a cross between the previous film's vessel and the Empire's TIE fighters from the original trilogy. Hasbro's expanding wings in the Attack of the Clones Jedi starfighter toy inspired the opening wings in the Revenge of the Sith vessel. The starfighter in the Revenge of the Sith is called a Jedi Interceptor Starfighter.
Dark Jedi and the Sith
Not every "Dark Side"-user is a Sith; nor is every "Light Side"-user a Jedi. Dark Jedi is the unofficial name given in the Star Wars universe to antihero fictional characters attuned to the Force and adept in its dark side. The term "Sith" originally referred to a species of Force-sensitive sentients indigenous to the planets Korriban and Ziost; these people were later enslaved and ruled by exiled "Dark Jedi" from the Galactic Republic. Following centuries of interbreeding and mixing of cultures between the aliens and the exiles, the Sith would no longer be identified by their race, but by their dedication to the ancient Sith philosophy.
The term and concept of "Dark Jedi" is never officially used nor endorsed as Star Wars canon anywhere within the seven Star Wars saga films. They exist by that name only in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, including video games such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the Star Wars: Jedi Knight series. Darth Vader was described as "Dark Lord of the Sith" in the published screenplay. Because the term Sith was never spoken in the original trilogy, early Expanded Universe products usually considered the "evil Jedi," those who joined the dark side of the Force, as "Dark Jedi." In his novel series The Thrawn Trilogy, author Timothy Zahn labeled Sith Lord Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine as Dark Jedi, and the term "Sith" was never mentioned in the series until later reprints of the novels.
In Star Wars and Philosophy, William Stephens compares the Jedi to Stoicism
To recap, the virtues the Jedi shares with the Stoic sage are patience, timeliness, deep commitment, seriousness (as opposed to frivolity), calmness (as opposed to anger or euphoria), peacefulness (as opposed to aggression), caution (as opposed to recklessness), benevolence (as opposed to hatred), joy (as opposed to sullenness), passivity (as opposed to agitation), and wisdom. Given all these virtues, Yoda certainly resembles what the ancient Stoics described as the sage—the ideal person who has perfected his reason and achieved complete wisdom.
Impact and critical response
The United States Army had a group of officers in the early 1980s who promoted maneuver warfare tactics, and who were derisively referred to as Jedi by more conventional officers who were satisfied with attrition tactics and methods.
Jedi have made their way into certain areas of pop culture, such as "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "The Saga Begins", a parody of "American Pie". In the film The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009), a reporter follows a former soldier who claimed to be a "Jedi warrior", a nickname for psychic spies in the US military.
One of the enduring influences the Star Wars saga has had in popular culture is the idea of the fictional Jedi values being interpreted as a modern philosophical path or religion, spawning various movements such as the Jediism (religious) and the Jedi census phenomenon.
On April 6, 2015, thousands of Turkish students raised their voices in campaigns to build Jedi and Buddhist temples at their universities, after a series of mosques were constructed on their campuses by rectors who stressed “huge demand.” A number of Dokuz Eylül University students in the western province of Izmir have demanded a Jedi temple to be built on their campus. "There are less and less Jedi left on the Earth... the nearest temple [is] billions of light years away," the petition says. It adds that "uneducated Padawan" are moving to the dark side... To recruit new Jedi and to bring balance to the Force, we want a Jedi temple,” said the petition that received more than 6,000 signatures on change.org, referring to the famed knights of the fictional Star Wars universe. The page on Change.org also features a still of Jedi Grand Master Yoda from "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones" teaching young Jedis how to use a light saber. The petition was started by Akin Cagatay Caliskan, an 18-year-old computer science student from Ankara: "We want freedom of worship. There are mosques everywhere, but no Jedi temple!" Caliskan says he is surprised by the impact his petition has made: "I did not expect so many supporters. I thought maybe it might (have) 100."
Notes and references
- "Jedi Order". StarWars.com. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- Chryssides, George D. (2011). Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 978-0-810-87967-6.
- "The Names Came From Earth". New York Times. 1997-01-26. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- "john carter versus starwars". SciFiNow.
- "Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed". 2007-05-28. about 90 minutes in. The History Channel. Missing or empty
- Klaus Glashoff. "Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit". Spokensanskrit.de. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
- Klaus Glashoff. "Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit". Spokensanskrit.de. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
- "The Mythology of Star Wars with George Lucas and Bill Moyers". films.com. Films Media Group.
- "Star Wars @ NASM, Unit 1, Introduction Page". Nasm.si.edu. 1999-01-31. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Stafford, Nikki (2009). Finding Lost. ECW Press. ISBN 1554905591.
- Pallister, James (15 June 2009). "Top 10: The Architecture of Star Wars (pt II)". Architectsjournal.co.uk.
- "Kerry invaded by evil galactic empire in class Star Wars mockup". Breaking News. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- "Visit the Jedi Archives in real life – at Trinity College, Dublin". Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, 1999 ("If you would just follow the Code, you would be on the Council.")
- "Jedi starfighter (The Movies)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
- "Jedi starfighter (Behind the Scenes)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
- "Wedgie 'Em Out" (QuickTime video). Making Episode II Webdocs. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
- Stephens, William O. (2013). "Chapter 2: "Stoicism in the stars: Yoda, the Emperor, and the Force". In Decker, Kevin S.; Eberl, Jason T.; Irwin, William. Star Wars and Philosophy: More Powerful than You Can Possibly Imagine. Open Court. ISBN 0812697014.
- Woodward, Bob (2012). Commanders. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9781471104749. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
- Kaplan, Fred (1991-03-17). "Schwarzkopf's war plan came from Army's Jedi Knights". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. p. A13. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
- Woolley, Jamie. "A New Religion". BBC News.
- "Turkish university students demand Jedi, Buddhist temples amid mosque frenzy - LOCAL". Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- Mairi Mackay, for CNN (8 April 2015). "Turkish students petition for Jedi temple - CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- "Turkish Students Demand Jedi, Buddhist Temples Alongside Mosques - The Daily Caller". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- Ludovica Iaccino. "Turkey: Students demand Jedi temples after surge of mosques on university campuses". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- "Thousands of Turkish Students Demand Jedi Temples On Campus". Newsweek. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- "Build Jedi, Buddhist temples next to mosques in Turkish universities, students say". RT English. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
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