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A Guide to the Jedi Order


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The Jedi Council (and Discord Usernames)

 

Master of the Order, Armiena Draygo - Jedi Ace (DoktorOblivious#5589)

Master Sandy Sarna - Jedi Counselor (Scout#6019)

Master Kirlocca - Jedi Guardian (TrosArdell#3468)

Master Leena Kil - Jedi Healer (Watcher#1906)

Master Kyrie Eleison - Jedi Exorcist (FieldgreyFox#6967)

 

Introduction to the Jedi Order

 

“Even the Sith are not our enemy. Not really. Our enemy is power mistaken for justice--the desperation that justifies atrocity. The Jedi’s true enemy is the jungle.

 

Jedi do not fight for peace. That's only a slogan, and is as misleading as slogans always are. Jedi fight for civilization, because only civilization creates peace. We fight for justice because justice is the fundamental bedrock of civilization: an unjust civilization is built upon sand. It does not long survive a storm.

 

--Jedi Master Mace Windu, 21 BBY

 

To the rest of the galaxy, the Jedi are fundamentally a paradox in motion. We are the heroes of a thousand cheesy holodramas, and we are the unseen hand that nurtures civilization and justice. We are swordsbeings of unsurpassed lethality, striking down fiends with every strike of our terrible swift sabers… and many of us are Healers as effective as a full team of medtechs. Some of us are pacifists. We are diplomats and starfighter pilots and soldiers and scientists and explorers with decades of experience… and lastly, some of us are hermits who will go years without speaking a word to another sapient.

 

It’s a bit… difficult to be everything to the galaxy.

 

The truth is more simple. The Jedi are the servants of the engine that sprang life into motion: the unseen Force. We serve it by helping to create the conditions required for civilization: just governments and peace. To that end, we prepare ourselves in whatever way necessary to serve it, whether that means study and meditation to polish our minds or physical training to sharpen our bodies. We will travel anywhere that is necessary to serve it, whether that means the seats of governments, a negotiation room, a lecture hall, a hospital, or a battlefield. Whatever the environment, our duty is to nurture sound, just government--to protect the powerless and innocent--and to end the predations of the venal and bloodthirsty. It’s a nomadic service and a difficult life by necessity. It’s not just the constant need for self-improvement and introspection, but learning how to quiet your own will and listen for the whispers of The Force is… unintuitive to most. The reward is extraordinary--we get to share that struggle with a brotherhood that is emulated by none other in the galaxy.

 

 

The Jedi Philosophy:

 

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.

 

So wrote Odan-Urr many centuries ago in an attempt at clarifying the Jedi Code. Many are the Jedi who wish that they could have listened to the old Draethos expound on his ideas--including yours truly. And those five lines were supposedly an explanation of the original Jedi Code from even deeper in the memory of time.

 

Emotion, yet peace.

Ignorance, yet knowledge.

Passion, yet serenity.

Chaos, yet harmony.

Death, yet The Force.

 

Truly, it is an intersection of poetry and philosophy. I have no doubt that the evocative nature of the Jedi Code has had something to do with many of the misconceptions concerning the Jedi--for example, whether we are allowed to display emotion, or if our training does not strip away the ability to feel it at all. Or to experience the deep, consuming passion of an artist, or to love a friend or companion, or even to grieve for those that we have lost. Those last have been especially harmful and are patently untrue. The very idea of surrendering your own will to follow that of The Force is a consuming, passionate notion. And I would argue that a Jedi, living the difficult life of unbiased service is incomplete without love--whether this is the passionate love of romance or the abiding, unconditional love of another sapient being for the mere fact that they are another feeling, thinking creature in a vast, empty galaxy is immaterial. But I am digressing. Numerous philosophers have attempted to elaborate on these lines with more prosaic guidelines or tenets, one of which can be summarized briefly::

 

The life of a Jedi is one of service to those in need.

Jedi are the guardians of civilization.

Governments change with time, but justice does not. Jedi act in the interests of the latter, not the former.

The Jedi train to use and understand The Force, parallel to uncounted traditions throughout the galaxy.

A Jedi values all sapient life, whether that is one million, one thousand, or one person.

A Jedi uses The Force for knowledge and defense, not for conquest or personal gain.

A Jedi is a thinking, feeling being like any other. They are mindful of their emotions, but do not allow themselves to be used by them.

Living beings are more than mind and matter; death is not the end of existence.

 

As Jedi, we have chosen a life of service and self-abnegation for the greater good of the galaxy. This life would be difficult enough in times of peace where we would be spending months or years as nomads away from our homes. But we are not at peace--in the current state of emergency in the galaxy, we are all going to face traumatic experiences that can break less disciplined beings. It will be impossible for us to deny the intense emotions of the days before us. A battlefield is a whirlwind of intense emotional experiences, and with the political upheaval and atrocities that we are sure to witness, we will have to find a way to let our emotions free and expel our pain so we will be able to even function. Our service requires a life of endless self-improvement, of constant training and study to better serve The Force and our fellow Jedi. In the chaos of battle, amidst intense suffering and when passions are running wild, a Jedi will have to find a way to be the eye of the storm.

 

I don’t have an answer for the final line of the Jedi Code. We’ve all lost friends in our time. I can only hope that when this life is done, mine will be waiting with a smile and a bad pun.

 

 

Service Becomes Leadership

 

There is a significant paradox of the Jedi Order that needs to be addressed: that of the political position of the Jedi in the secular galaxy. Jedi are discouraged from seeking public office or assuming command positions in the military, and yet we are often seen as the leaders of the galaxy. Example–no one remembers Valorum save as the very definition of mediocrity, but any Coruscanti can rattle off a bunch of trivia about Kenobi or Yoda. When conflict erupts that no politician or diplomat or–Force forbid–a fleet of warships can resolve, who is called to intervene?  A Jedi is almost invariably seen as an acceptable mediator to both parties. A series of meetings and an arbitration later, disaster is averted. Or during an active battle, with artillery thundering and trenches and countertrenches being dug in and great batteries of shield generators rendering the horrible bloody affair a terrible stalemate, two Jedi can slip through no man’s land and render a position untenable with a lightsaber thrown into the a vital weakpoint. Such an intervention necessitates a negotiation and a peaceful end to the conflict before the sheer volume of the bloodshed makes anything but decisive victory unacceptable to either side.

 

Or another example: a plague befalls a continent and millions of sapients are put in danger. A Jedi Healer is dispatched to assist in studying the contagion, tend to the afflicted, and comfort the bereaved. The Jedi are implicitly trusted in these scenarios–it doesn’t matter where the Jedi needs to go, what resources they expend, or what security clearance they require–people tend to accept without question that their actions are in service to the collective good. And in those remote spans of the Unknown Regions, where starcharts are unreliable or completely unavailable, the Jedi are especially valued as the guidance of The Force assists with the perilous task of navigating those stars at faster-than-light speeds. So many colonies and vessels in the farthest reaches of the Unknown Regions owe their survival to the timely intervention of a single Jedi and their Padawan.

 

By necessity, we cannot simply follow our shortsighted political preferences or some moronic personal prejudices–our service is to The Force. We must carefully weigh the merits of all parties regardless of our predilections. The great irony of our position is that through centuries of dedicated, selfless service to the galaxy, taking no note of political affiliation or economic status or language spoken, the Jedi Order was transformed from an obscure cloister of ascetics into an essential component of the galaxy’s political order. We are something of an unquantifiable factor to the rest of the galaxy–every terrible endeavor involving billions of sapients or trillions of credits must take into account the following variable: what if the Jedi intervene? We cannot simply be predicted to act towards the benefit of any government or even the Order itself. Over the course of millenia, through continual service to noble values, our service became leadership.

 

–Armiena Draygo, Master of the Order

 

 

Ranks in the Jedi Order (In Draft)

 

Hopeful: While some prospective Force-Sensitives are discovered by deployed Jedi Knights and taken on as Padawans, it’s more common for Jedi to begin their ways by making their way to one of our Praxeums. It’s often not an easy journey these days, with the aggression of the Sith Empire and the spacelanes clogged with refugee traffic. They have few official duties outside of attending classes and drills and learning as much about the Force as they can without direct one-on-one training. They even have access to most of the Archives--outside of Holocron guardians--hangar facilities and the mechanists. It’s a charmed existence.

 

Padawan: The teachers in the Praxeums do their best, but learning to use The Force typically requires a more personal relationship that can be difficult to achieve in a drill environment. Such is the necessity of the Padawan-Master relationship--typically a Jedi Knight or Master taking a single apprentice into the field, to learn through empirical experience and one-on-one training. It’s a difficult time in the life of a Jedi. Even a prodigy in The Force needs the tempering of experience, and as far as self-defense… the Sith love to prey on those that they perceive to be less capable of defending themselves or less certain of their own convictions.

 

The real difficulty of the training, of course, isn’t the drilling. Or the endless hours of meditation, or the constant travel. It’s coming to grips with the fact that, as a Jedi, you will have chosen a difficult life--a significant one, to be sure, but a third of the galaxy is going to want you dead, a third will hop to their feet and call you “Master Jedi”, another third will take cover and hope the shooting stops soon, and a last third believes the nonsense from the latest holovids.

 

This is where, on a quiet night with trusted company, I start to rant. To choose the life of a Jedi is an inherently irrational decision. Our lives are frequently dangerous, constantly on the move, sometimes hunted by adolescent bastards who follow a philosophy that isn’t even a proper antithesis to our own. To choose this kind of life requires more than just conviction--it requires passion--it requires believing in something with such ferocity that it consumes your life and if you’re not willing to crumple it up and throw it away in pursuit of those beliefs…

 

I’m digressing again. By the time a Padawan is ready to take their Trials and make their first acts as a bona-fide Jedi Knight, they need to be armed with more than a lightsaber.

 

Jedi Knight: In draft

 

Jedi Master: In draft

 

Jedi Grandmaster: Hello there. The most important thing that I’ve ever learned about leading these people is that the Order does not belong to me. True, I frequently have to order Jedi into the field for an uncertain future, risking life and limb, but I’m just borrowing it for a short time. It existed for a long time before I was born, and Force willing, it will continue long after I’m dust.


I would find this leadership position were it not for the assistance of my Jedi Council. From the very beginning, I chose four Jedi whose judgment I trusted implicitly. I did not particularly care whether they were Jedi Masters or Knights, or whether I had served with them personally or not. I would trust these extraordinary people with my life, or with someone else’s life, and as far as I’m concerned, their presence in any crisis might as well be my own. One of my personal endeavors established something of a virtual Council Chamber on the HoloNet, to be used in the frequent event that we were not present in the same location… and this is where my author breaks the fourth wall and advises frequent out-of-character coordination with the Council for significant in-character and out-of-character matters, and even the Dark Lord of the Sith for generating entertaining content for other players.

Edited by ObliviousKnight
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