The Jedi are an organization of the Galactic Republic that enforces laws and peacekeeping the Galactic Republic. They fight for peace, justice, and democracy. The Jedi’s main enemy are the Sith, the Sith are the exact opposite of the Jedi. The Sith are a force of evil that are looking to oppress and dominate the universe. Only Jedi and some Sith (usually those that are former Jedi) have the ability to use the Force.
The Force is an energy force generated from all living organism and wield it into different abilities. Jedi draw their Force from organisms inside their own bodies called "midi-chlorians." The Jedi represent the good side of "The Force" whereas the Sith represents the dark side of "The Force."
As a major part of the Star Wars franchise all major credit for creation of the 'Jedi Order' goes to George Lucas.
The Jedi Code
The Jedi have a philosophical code that all Jedi members must memorize. It is basically an instruction enforces discipline to the Jedi. Throughout the history of the Jedi, there have been many different versions of the Jedi Code. The earliest known Jedi Code is recited as:
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. (added in the video game "Star Wars: KOTOR") There is no death; there is the Force.
After the fall of the Empire and the reconstruction of the new Jedi Order, Luke Skywalker establishes a new code for the Jedi. It has the same philosophies as the previous codes but was rewritten for better understanding from new generations of Jedi:
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 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.
This term is usually used for all young children. However, for the Jedi it is the lowest ranking in the Jedi ranks. These are usually children that have the ability to use the force. When they are discovered, the younglings would leave their home and family forever for training. They then train in classes with other younglings and are taught by a Jedi Master.
By the age of 13, a youngling will graduate from the academy and must be selected by a Jedi Knight to be their Padawan. If they are not chosen, the youngling will be placed in another role within the Jedi services.
After a youngling graduates from the academy and is chosen by a Jedi Knight, they become a Padawan and officially goes under training to become a Jedi Knight themselves. A tradition for human Padawans is they must then grow a long strand of hair then have it braided, after they pass the final test it is cut off as a sign that they have become a Jedi Knight. The Padawan would accompany the Jedi Knight on missions and gain lessons during from the Jedi Knight.
They will eventually become full-fledged Jedi Knights after they complete "the trials." The "trials" test the padawan's physical and mental toughness, as well as their knowledge and dedication to the Jedi. Another way for a Padawan to be promoted is by performing a heroic act.
A Jedi Knight is the title given to those who have been promoted from Padawan status. It is the most common rank amongst the Jedi. They are experienced Jedi that no longer need lesson, but in fact is the status to gain a Padawan and teach him the good side of the Force. Jedi Knights are very experienced with the Force and skills of the lightsaber. In order to be promoted to the next rank, Jedi Master, a Jedi Knight must successfully train a Padawan to become a Jedi Knight.
An alternative way to gain the Master status is if a Jedi Knight has become more powerful and gained more knowledge of the Force, the Jedi Council can nominate and vote if the Jedi Knight is allowed to take a new difficult trail. Also another alternative is to perform a heroic act as a Jedi Knight.
Jedi Masters is the rankings of powerful Jedi who have completed any of the tasks as a Jedi Knight. Jedi Masters are eligible to become one of the Jedi Council Members, however it is not required for Jedi Masters to become a part of the Jedi Council.
Jedi Council Member
The Jedi High Council is made up of 12 Jedi Masters, and occasionally a Jedi Knight can be a part of the council to give "a different perspective." Once a Jedi Council seat becomes available, the other Council members begin looking for a new candidate and nominate within the Council. The council is considered the gathering "of great minds."
The Council is perceived to be a conclave of equals, however when there is a council member that has been in that seat for a long time, they are usually wise ones that are considered "senior members" and their opinion are always taken into consideration. Examples of "senior members" would be Yoda and Mace Windu. Then during the reconstruction of the new Jedi Order, Luke Skywalker is considered a “senior member.”
Major Story Arcs
The term “BBY” means “Before Battle of Yavin” and the term “ABY” stands for “After the Battle of Yavin.” The Battle of Yavin is the battle that takes place in Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
Ancient Jedi Order
The Ancient Jedi Order is the earliest known Jedi Council, however there are other Jedi Councils previous to this council. The Ancient Jedi Order was shown in the video game “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.” It was formed around 4,000 BBY during the Mandalorian Wars and the Jedi Civil War. The council members of this time was made up of Atris, Zez-Kai Ell, Lonna Vash, Vrook Lamar, and Kavar.
The Mandalorian War
Prior to the Mandalorian War, the Mandalorians were defeated during the Sith War in 3,996 BBY. However, unable to accept the defeat, the Mandalorians began invading non Republic worlds for 20 years. Eventually the Mandalorians would decide to attack and invade Republic space in the year 3,964 BBY. The Republic begged the Jedi Council to enter the war and help them, however the Jedi declined. They stated that they believe a real threat, possibly the rise of the Sith again, has yet to surface and wanted to wait until they reveal themselves before the Jedi will enter the war.
However, two Jedi Knights named Revan (A military genius) and Malak decided to defy the Jedi Council and enter the war themselves. Revan was very popular amongst the Jedi, and his actions to defy the Jedi Council to enter the war inspired other Jedi to follow him. One most notable Jedi Knight that joins Revan is known as “The Exile” as his or her name is never revealed (The Exile is the playable character in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II). Once some of the Jedi joined the Republic, the war truly began. Jedi followers of Revan automatically became Generals of the Republic Army and would lead them to battle against the Mandalorians.
The final battle of the war was at Malachor V. The Exile is the general of this Republic army and leads them on an assault against the Mandalorian space fleet. Unknown to most of the Republic soldiers during the battle at Malchor V was that an engineer named Bao-Dur created a weapon called the “Mass Shadow Generator.” The Exile would give the command to Bao-Dur to activate the weapon and it ends up destroy everything and everyone, Mandalorians and Republic soldiers, on Malachor V.
After the war ended, the Exile would severe his connection to the force because of the horrors that he has done to Malachor V. The Exile is then met in front of the Jedi Council, where they officially exile him for “following Revan.” However, the Jedi Council exiled him because he is a fallen Jedi who defied their teachings, and felt it could be a threat to the down fall of the Jedi.
Meanwhile, Revan and Malak were celebrated as heroes to the Republic. Revan and Malak then took a Republic Fleet and claimed that they were going to go after the remaining Mandalorian fleets. However, they were actually searching for the “Star Forge” after learning secrets about it and the Jedi temples on Malachor V. One year later, Revan and Malak returned as the Dark Lord of the Sith. This begins the Jedi Civil War.
Jedi Civil War
Around 3,959 BBY, Revan and Malak returned as Sith Lords, and Revan took the mantle of the Dark Lord of the Sith since he was stronger then Malak. Revan and Malak declare war on the Republic, the Jedi, and all those who follow their ideals. During the Jedi Civil War, many Jedi would switch over to the Dark Side. This leads to the deaths and conversions of many Jedi. Revan became one of the most powerful Sith Lords of all time during this era, he and Malak would continue to conquer many Republic space in the galaxy.
The Republic and Jedi knew how powerful Revan was, as they believed that it was through his sheer will and force that they were the victors of the Mandalorian War. The Republic knew that they cannot keep the Sith from winning the battle, so they decided to set a trap for Revan. The Republic sent a Jedi Padawan named Bastila Shan and a group of other Jedi Knights to board Revan’s flagship.
The Republic believed that the only way to win is to use Bastila’s “Battle Meditation” (a rare and powerful technique) on Revan. Revan is so powerful that he could easily kill Bastila and the other Jedi on the ship. However, Malak decides to turn on Revan in order to take the Dark Lord of the Sith mantle. Malak shoots at Revan’s flagship in an attempt to kill the Jedi and Revan at the same time, however he would unknowingly be unsuccessful.
Revan was still dying from that attack though, and the code of the Jedi forces Bastila to use the Force to save Revan’s life. They end up forming a bond between each other. Revan would be brought back to the Jedi Council, who took the advantage of his damaged mind to reprogram it in order to keep his Dark Lord memories from Revan.
When Revan reawakens, he does not know anything about his past. Eventually he learns that he has the ability to use the force. After meeting with the Jedi Council, and as wary as they were of Revan’s abilities, they allowed him to undergo the Jedi training. After he completes the Jedi training, Revan, Bastila, and their companions travel the galaxy in search of the Star Forge, which is said to be the key to ending the war. Eventually Bastila would be kidnapped by Malak, who was threatened by her “Battle Meditation.” He eventually forces Bastila to fall to the Dark Side and became Malak’s new apprentice.
Revan would later confront a dark Bastila, who was tempting him into becoming one of the Sith again and retake his mantle of the Dark Lord of the Sith, revealing to Revan that he was once the Dark Lord. However, Revan would be able to reject the temptations and Bastila would flee to the Star Forge. On the Star Forge, Revan and his companions fought their way to Malak, but just before Malak, Revan had to battle Bastila. Revan would be able to convince Bastila to return to the light side due to the powerful bond the two had, that eventually became love.
Revan then proceeded to confront Malak. Revan would engage against his former friend Malak in an epic battle. However, Malak was not strong enough to win and Revan ends up defeating Malak, and killing him with regret. One year after the fall of the Sith Empire, Revan decided to leave the Republic after he discovers an ancient Sith threat, he decides to go end it himself.
The Thousand Year Peace
In the year 1,000 BBY up to the Battle of Yavin, it was a time of peace for the Republic and the Jedi. The Jedi Order accepted new laws that were laid out and began enforcing them. Many great Jedi would be born during this period including Yoda, at the year 896 BBY, who is arguably the greatest Jedi Master of all time. Other notable Jedi born were Mace Windu in the year 72 BBY, Count Dooku in the year 102 BBY, Obi Wan Kenobi in the year 57 BBY, and Anakin Skywalker in the year 41 BBY. The time of peace would lead to a time of war starting with some Mandalorian problems, then the Sith are beginning to rise again.
The Old Jedi Order
This Jedi Council consisted of 12 of the most powerful and most wise Jedi Masters. Yoda Mace Windu Obi Wan Kenobi Anakin Kit Fisto and Shaak Ti and more. They serve as the Chancellor's advisers of the Galactic Republic. This group of councils were made up of five lifetime members (two of them were senior members), four long-term members, and three limited-term members. This Jedi Order would fall during the Great Jedi Purge.
The Rise of the Sith (Star Wars Prequel Trilogy)
The presence of the Sith is once again noticed by the Jedi in the year 32 BBY. The first Sith to show his face was Darth Maul, an apprentice of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious. While protecting the Princess Padame, Qui-Gon Jinn crosses path with Anakin Skywalker, who is said to have been born from the Force which means he is “the Chosen One.” Qui-Gon Jinn would ask the council to allow Anakin to train and become a Jedi. After debating back and forth, the council members decided to allow Anakin to undergo the Jedi training.
Later, Obi-Wan Kenobi defeats Darth Maul, the Jedi’s suspicion of another powerful Dark Lord in existence became true. Eventually, Obi-Wan Kenobi would decide to accept Anakin as his Padawan. Count Dooku would fall to the dark side after the death of Darth Maul and become Darth Sidous’ new apprentice for the next 10 years.
The Chosen One
The chosen one is first mentioned in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The “Chosen One” is a prophecy Jedi believe that someday, someone will be born and bring balance to the Force. Qui-Gon Jinn believed that the “Chosen One” will bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith.
Many fans have been confused with what “The Chosen One” is and what he was supposed to do to bring balance to the force. George Lucas has confirmed that Anakin Skywalker is the Chosen One. George Lucas also confirmed that in order to bring balance to the Force, the Chosen One must destroy the Sith. This is true since in the Empire Strikes Back, Anakin does destroy the Sith and redeem himself when he kills Darth Sidious and then he dies right afterwards, bringing balance to the Force.
Count Dooku and Palpatine began creating a massive army of clones and chose to clone Jango Fett after he agreed to it. The Clone Wars was started because Senator Palpatine (Darth Sidious) took advantage of the star systems that decided to separate themselves from the Republic, dubbing them the “Separatists.” Palpatine plotted both the Separatists and the Republic against each other. Palpatine acted as the senator towards the Republic and acted as the Dark Lord of the Sith towards the Separatists. Eventually, as Senator Palpatine, he proposed to the senate for a Military Creation Act, it allows them to create a large army themselves.
While most of the senators supported the act (except for Padme), it never came to a vote because of the discovery of the Confederacy of Independent Systems’ (Separatists) army on Geonosis. This led to the Battle of Geonosis, where many Jedi Knights lost their lives. Due to this, Palpatine was given the emergency power of the Republic Senate. Palpatine was now able to approve of the mass production of a clone army by himself. The Clone army would then come to save the remaining Jedi and Republic soldiers.
Three years after the Battle of Geonosis (Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones) and during the Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine was kidnapped by the Separatists. Palpatine would eventually be rescued by Obi-Wan Kenoni and Anakin Skywalker. Duruing the Battle of Utapau, General Grievous (leader of the Separatists) was killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi. The battles would spread across the entire galaxy. Eventually Anakin Skywalker would fall to the Dark Side after he discovers Mace Windu and Chancellor Palpatine battling. Palpatine had promised Anakin that the Dark Side of the Force would help him save Padme.
After Anakin cuts off the hand of Windu, allowing Palpatine to kill him, Anakin completely fell to the Dark Side and was soon dubbed Darth Vader. Palpatine then convinced Darth Vader that the Jedi are the threat of the galaxy and are planning to overthrow the Republic. He then sends Vader over to the Jedi Temple to kill all the younglings. Vader’s next mission was to kill the Separatists leaders, meanwhile Palpatine issued “ Order 66.” This alerted all clone troopers to kill their Jedi commanders, leading to the “Great Jedi Purge” and the rise of the Galactic Empire.
The Great Jedi Purge
The Great Jedi Purge happened right before the end of the Clone Wars. It is the massacre of the entire Jedi Order by Darth Sidious. Sidious intended to kill all of the Jedi once and for all in order for him to become the Emperor of the galaxy. Prior to the Purge, Palpatine was just discovered as the Dark Lord of the Sith by Anakin, who in turn alerted Mace Windu about the Chancellor. During the battle between Mace Windu and Palpatine, Windu had Palpatine begging for his life until Anakin interrupts. Anakin had already been tempted by the Dark Side earlier by Palpatine, who told him that it was the only way to save Padme. Anakin would severe Windu’s lightsaber hand and then Palpatine would use his Force Lightning and kill Windu. Anakin fully falls into the Dark Side and is renamed Darth Vader.
Darth Sidious then tells him that all of the Jedi must be destroyed. Vader had begun to suspect that the Jedi were plotting to kill members of the senate, and Palpatine would fully convince Vader that they are trying to overthrow the Republic. Vader is then told to go to the Jedi Temple with Clone Troopers to kill all the Jedi there. Palpatine then orders the clone troopers to initiate “Order 66,” which is an order to all clone troopers to kill their commanding Jedi. With Order 66 in effect, Jedi from all over the galaxy would be killed. However, even though many Jedi died, not all the Jedi would be killed during this purge. Some would survive due to the clone becoming so accustomed to serving that Jedi.
Now that most of the Jedi have been killed, Darth Sidious was able to stand in front of the senate, and declared himself the new emperor and ordered that the Republic become the Empire. With Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda being the only known Jedi alive, they sought out to end the Sith before it fully strengthens. Obi-Wan would confront the Dark Lord’s new apprentice, Darth Vader at Mustafar. While Yoda confronts Darth Sidious at the Galactic Senate.
Yoda and Sidious would begin fighting, however Sidious would come out the victor. Yoda was forced to flee and go into exile while the Sith became more powerful. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan faces his former pupil in the fiery mountains of Mustafar. Kenobi would successfully defeat Vader and handicapped him at the same time. After Vader’s body was repaired, Sidious gave Vader a mission to finish off the remaining surviving Jedi all across the Galaxy. Vader would accept the mission and travel from galaxy to galaxy to eliminate all the Jedi. Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi would be the only known surviving Jedi during the second trilogy.
The Galactic Empire, no more Jedi?
The Emperor knows that he has not destroyed all of the Jedi yet, so during this time he creates Jedi Hunters. The Jedi Hunters are to search and destroy all Jedi, including their friends and family or anyone connected to the Jedi. Meanwhile, the Emperor continued to train those he’d come to call “Hands,” his personal body guards that have the ability to use the Force. One most notable agent was Mara Jade, she would eventually become a Jedi Knight along with Luke Skywalker. These were dark times for the people of the Galactic Empire. Eventually rebellions would spark up and fight against the Empire.
Luke Skywalker is the most notable of the members of the rebellion. After the destruction of the Death Star, Luke travels to Dagobah in search for a great Jedi named Yoda. Yoda would accept Luke as his pupil after Obi-Wan (in spirit form since he was killed by Darth Vader in “A New Hope”) convinces him. Luke would eventually succeed in training and become a Jedi himself, despite his age.
The Return of the Jedi
Luke Skywalker is now a full fledged Jedi Knight, and with the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the recent death of Yoda, he is possibly the only Jedi Knight left in the entire galaxy. First, Luke would save his friends from Jabba the Hutt, then they all reorganized and came up with a plan to take down the Empire. While on Endor, Luke decides to turn himself over the the Empire for two reasons: He does not want to give away the position of the Rebels, and also he was hoping to convince his father to rejoin to light side of the Force. However, Vader rejects the offer to rejoin the light side, and takes Luke to the Emperor. Luke would reject the temptations of join the Dark Side and be forced to battle his father once again.
Luke becomes enraged his Vader threatens to turn Leia to the Dark Side, and Luke lashes out at Vader. However, after cutting off one of Vader’s robotic arms, Luke regains control of himself after realizing that he may do the exact same thing his father did. Sidious would then take advantage of the moment and strike Luke with Force Lightning. Luke calls to his father for help, and seeing his son suffer, Vader could not sit there and watch. Vader then throws Sidious into the reactor core, killing him. Then Vader does not allow Luke to try and save his life, eventually dying in his son’s arms. The Jedi prophecy is now complete, as the Sith have been completely destroyed.
The New Jedi Order
After the fall of Emperor Palpatine Luke Skywalker began to seek out others who were attuned to the force, in an effort to rebuild the Jedi Order. He found numerous candidates, His twin sister, Princess Leia, Rebel agent, Kyle Katarn, Former Hand of Emperor Palpatine, Mara Jade, The Bounty Hunter, Zuckuss, the Wookiee, Lobacca, and later the children of Han Solo and Leia, Anakin Solo, Jacen Solo, Jaina Solo, and later still he and Mara's son Ben Skywalker, just to name a few.
Though some such as Zuckuss chose not to remain with the order, and despite catastrophic events such as the Yuuzhan Vong War, the new Jedi Order persevered through many hard and seemingly hopeless times, and managed to rebuild what was lost due to the Empire's Jedi Purge.