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The Jedi // are a monastic, spiritual, and academic organization in the fictional Star Wars universe, and dates back to at least 10,000 years before the destruction of the first Death Star. The fictional organization has inspired a religion in the real world, Jediism.
As depicted in the franchise's canon, the Jedi study, serve and utilize a mystical power called the Force, in order to help and protect those in need. 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 playing a leading role in the later Clone Wars.
As sanctioned guardians of peace and 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, morality, principles, honor and justice.
The Jedi are trained to use the Force through passive meditation and applied academics, practicing the virtues of altruism, mercy, patience, and the commitment to justice while at the same time rejecting emotions such as love, passion, fear, anger and hate. Their traditional weapon is the lightsaber, a device which emits a blade-like controlled plasma flow.
The Jedi moral way of life contrasts with their archenemies, the Sith, another monastic organization who used the dark side of the Force to embrace passion as a means of achieving personal goals of freedom, power and victory over physical restrictions and thereby attain perfection.
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 Jedi are first introduced in the 1977 motion picture Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 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.
The Jedi's history before and after the timeline of the films is established within several novels, comic books and video games in the Expanded Universe of Star Wars media.
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.
In Revenge of the Sith, the temple is attacked. Even though the temple was severely damaged and most of the Jedi perished, 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, as 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 Archives to replace the Great Library.
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.
Members of the Order progress through four tiers of rank, at times referred to as levels:
Upon a Padawan's ascension to Knighthood-status, a Jedi pursued additional training in a field of expertise. Choosing based on preference and personal talents and skills, the opportunity to join the ranks of the Jedi Guardian, Jedi Consular, or Jedi Sentinel was open to all who passed the Jedi Trials. In addition to their specialization, the High Council could demand that the members of the Order assume military ranks in order to defend the Republic.
There are two additional tiers exclusive to Jedi Masters who serve on the Jedi High Council:
Qui-Gon Jinn is a wise and powerful 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 is the one who initiates Luke Skywalker to the Jedi arts and serves as a central character during the events of the Clone Wars. Obi-Wan proved himself an adept strategist and spy, as his leadership style heavily favored subterfuge and misdirection while commanding clone troopers, or wielding the Lightsaber and The Force.
Luke Skywalker, padawan to the Jedi master Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi, became an important figure in the Rebel Alliance's struggle against the Galactic Empire. He is heir to a family deeply powerful in the Force, the twin brother of Rebellion leader Princess Leia of the planet Alderaan, and the son of former Queen of Naboo and Republic Senator Padmé Amidala and fallen Jedi turned Sith Lord Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker). A powerful Jedi Master and eventually the Grand Master of the New Jedi Order, the father of Ben Skywalker, the maternal uncle of Jacen Solo and Jaina Solo and the ancestor of Cade Skywalker.
Jaina Solo Fel, wife of Jagged Fel, and the eldest child of Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo. She is also the elder twin of Jacen by five minutes and the sister of Anakin Solo. She pursued a life separate from her twin brother and becomes Mara Jade Skywalker's apprentice. Jaina progressed quickly as a Jedi and a pilot, eventually joining Rogue Squadron. She briefly becomes the apprentice of fallen Jedi Kyp Durron. Jaina's understanding and manipulation of Yuuzhan Vong technology causes them to associate her with their "trickster goddess". In Legacy of the Force, she senses a growing darkness in her twin. In Betrayal, Jacen falls to the dark side of the Force, and Jaina realizes her duty as the "Sword of the Jedi" requires her to stop him. She turns to Boba Fett to train her. In Invincible, Jaina duels and kills Jacen.
Mace Windu, Jedi Master of the High Council, is a Weapons Master and one of the last members of the order's upper echelons before the fall of the Galactic Republic. Windu was the most powerful Jedi and 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.
Yoda, Grand Master of the Jedi Order, was the oldest known Prophet (at least 900+ years) in existence, and considered the wisest and most powerful Jedi Master within the Star Wars universe. Yoda had mentored or trained almost every known Youngling, Padawan, and Jedi Master in the Jedi Temple throughout his years as a Jedi Grand Master, which includes: Count Dooku; Mace Windu; Obi-Wan Kenobi; Ki-Adi-Mundi; Kit Fisto; Oppo Rancisis; and Luke Skywalker.
Within the Star Wars universe, the Jedi are usually portrayed wearing simple robes and carrying specialized field gear for their missions.
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 Attack of the Clones-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 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 concept of "Dark Jedi" is not endorsed anywhere within the movie trilogies. They exist by that name only in the Expanded Universe, including video games such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the Star Wars: Jedi Knight series; the term is never used in any of the six Star Wars films. So called Grey Jedi and Rogue Jedi are terms that refers to Jedi who don't follow the Jedi Code and/or the decisions of the Jedi Council, or who have defected from the Jedi Order and/or have rejected the Jedi Philosophical concepts of "Lightside" versus "Darkside". Fallen Jedi refers to former Jedi-turned-Sith who were seduced by the Dark Side (such as Revan or Anakin Skywalker).
Dark Jedi and Grey Jedi are a label to a specific archetype of characters in the Star Wars Expanded Universe defined as Force-attuned beings that meet two requirements:
Dark Jedi in the Expanded Universe typically refer to pupils of Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy who have fallen victim to the dark side. Dark Jedi are also extremely common in the Knights of the Old Republic series in league with the Sith Empire and are often fallen Jedi from the Mandalorian Wars. Dark Jedi also appear in the Jedi Knight series of Star Wars video games, where Kyle Katarn uncovers Imperial plots linked to Dark Jedi. In Jedi Outcast, Katarn faces an entire army of Dark Jedi, cloned and lightly trained force users who follow the main antagonist. Dark Jedi have distanced from Sith in more modern Star Wars media. They are not sworn enemies of the Jedi Order and do not consider destroying it a priority as Sith do. Dark Jedi do not always appear in pairs with a master and apprentice and often work alone.
Because the term Sith was never spoken in the original trilogy (although Darth Vader was described as "Lord of the Sith" in the published screenplay), 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.
Dark Jedi use the Force for their own ends while attempting to utilize both sides of the Force, owing no allegiance. They do not exclusively bond themselves to either the light or dark sides of the Force. While a Dark Jedi can use Jedi and Sith Force arts with ease, they rarely obtain the mastery of either side. Force-sensitive individuals seem to arise spontaneously and may become adept at the Force without Jedi or Sith involvement. Many notable Dark Jedi have received at least some Jedi training.
Palpatine did not consider himself bound by Sith traditions: he had begun training his first apprentice, Darth Maul, prior to the death of his own Master, Darth Plagueis, which was a violation of Darth Bane's Rule of Two. Under Imperial rule, Palpatine trained many Force-sensitive beings in the ways of the dark side of the Force, but most were never initiated into the rites and secrets of the Sith. Palpatine planned to eventually do away with the Rule of Two entirely in order to have legions of Sith spies, assassins, and bodyguards at his disposal.
While most Dark Jedi may believe themselves to be acting for a "greater good," the Dark Side of the Force's influence ultimately leads to self-destruction (as was the case when Ulic Qel-Droma, Revan, and Anakin fell to the dark side of the Force), regardless of the motives or misguided morals of those who use it. Mara Jade is another primary example of a Dark Jedi who served evil, but still mistakenly believed her actions to be justified. Eventually, she turned from the dark side, but still carried the teachings of the Emperor with her, such as her lightsaber techniques. Contrary to the Jedi method of purging emotion via meditation and training, Dark Jedi, like Sith, allow their emotions to empower them.
Mace Windu is a unique case and the only known exception. He created and mastered a style of Lightsaber-combat called Vaapad (Form VII), in which the combatant maintains meditation while simultaneously harnessing the Dark Side — without giving into its temptations — by actually enjoying the fight and the thrill of victory. (All others who attempted to master the form either gave in to the dark side or were unable to properly master the technique.)
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 Knights have made their way into certain areas of pop culture, such as in: "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "The Saga Begins", a parody of "American Pie". The Jedi influence begins with the lyrics from "American Pie", This'll be the day that I die changed to Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi.
The 2009 film The Men Who Stare at Goats stars Ewan McGregor as a reporter named Bob Wilton who follows a former soldier (George Clooney) who claimed to be a "Jedi warrior", a nickname for psychic spies in the US military. McGregor previously starred as Jedi Knight, and later Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy.
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.
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