- This article is about the historic Jedi Order. You may be looking for the restored Jedi Order or the defunct Jedi Praxium.
The Jedi Order 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.
The Chosen One
The prophecy of the Chosen One was an ancient Jedi legend that foretold the coming of a being who would restore balance to the Force. The idea of balance of the Force, a central tenet of the Jedi Order, refers to the ideal state in which the Force exists in nature, which the Jedi believe to be the light side. The presence of the dark side corrupts and destroys this natural balance, and the Jedi viewed it as their duty to restore it.
At present, it is believed that the Chosen One has yet to reveal him/herself much like the Sith'ari mentioned in Sith lore.
- 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
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.
As the Jedi instructed their members in the ways of the Jedi Code and the Force, each member progressed through four basic levels of rank.
- 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. The title of Grand Master was a title used to describe the recognized head of the Jedi Order.
- 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 Padawan - After being selected for individual tutelage under a single Jedi Knight or Jedi Master, Initiates were given the title of Padawan. 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 jewellery, a tattoo, or other body modification. A Jedi Knight or Jedi Master could have only one apprentice at a time, and 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.
- Jedi Initiate - Traditionally the youngest members of the Order, these Force-sensitive children 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.