The Jedi Order is a key part of Star Wars history and helps drive the narrative forward. This ancient powerful Order was built up over thousands of years based on shining yet imperfect ideals that focused on peace, a pacifist lifestyle, and the preservation of life.
But the Jedi can’t be described in just one paragraph. It’s important to focus on the main historical events that defined the Order over hundreds and thousands of years. So here we will talk about the victories as well as the defeats that defined the Order.
It’s important to remember that they managed to persevere at the end even in the face of complete extinction. That’s how resilient and powerful they are:
Thousands of years before Luke Skywalker was born, the followers of the Jedi Order were taking their first steps into the larger intimidating world. Their main aim was to try and unlock the powers and understand the mysteries of The Force.
They were the ones who slowly laid the first foundation of the Order. This would have larger and long-lasting implications on the rest of the galaxy. These descendants came to be known as the Dai Bendu.
It was a religious order that was featured in the 2019 movie Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker. The Order set up a monastery on the Kijimi planet. They were called Dai Bendu because it was a reference to the original screenplay of George Lucas where the Jedi were called “Jedi Bendu.”
This original screenplay isn’t deleted by the way. It was later on adapted into a Dark Horse comic.
There are two origin stories of the Jedi Order. And they do conflict with each other. The first story takes place in the Expanded Universe that has been given the Legends status by the house of mouse. In that origin, the now revered Order was founded by 4 Jedi Masters.
They laid the groundwork for its traditions, customs, ideology, etc. But in the now-canon Disney timeline, the Prime Jedi founded the Order about 25,000 years before the Battle of Yavin in the original Star Wars movie.
This version of the Jedi made the first temple on the Ahch-To planet and highlighted the importance of having balance in the Force. This would go on to become an important recurring theme.
Over time, the Jedi grew in strength and size. Also, they increased their knowledge over the centuries. However, their years of prosperity came to an end after they faced their first catastrophic event called the Hundred-Year Darkness.
This was the time when there was a schism in the Jedi Order, thus giving rise to what’s known as the Sith- an order we still don’t know everything about. It all began when a Jedi called Ajunta Pall, as called in Legends canon began messing with the Dark side of the Force.
Over time, the darkness was able to corrupt him, and he believed that ultimate power could only be achieved through aggression and passion. This belief led to him getting exiled from the Order. However, several acolytes joined him, and so the Sith were created.
The Jedi Order created its major temples on various worlds, but they made the official shift to Coruscant 5,000 years before the Battle of Yavin. It was done to integrate the Order inside of the galactic hub.
From there, the Order worked closely with the Old Republic as advisors and peacekeepers. But this wasn’t going to be the start of a peaceful era for the Jedi. Instead, this was just the start of their troubles.
As per the Tarkin novel, the Temple was constructed on the foundation of an old Sith shrine that gave off dark powers. So, it spread the dark powers all over the Jedi temple. Thus, debilitating the entire Jedi Council for years to come.
Star Wars is full of legendary breathtaking battles. But only a few of them were able to destroy on a wide scale like the Mandalorian Wars. It began when the Old Republic came into direct conflict with the Mandalorians.
The Mandalorians were being aggressive in expanding across the galaxy. As the war dragged on, eventually the Jedi got dragged into it. But this wasn’t the first time that the Jedi got involved in galaxy troubles, however, it was one that had long-lasting effects.
The war was brutal and resulted in multiple Jedis turning to the dark side. The most notable of the lot was Malek and Revan, 2 of the very best and strong Old Republic-era Sith Lords.
Together, they took the fight to the Old Republic, and this resulted in its collapse. This, in turn, led to the Great Jedi Purge, which almost led to the extinction of the order.
After the Mandalorian Wars, both the Republic and the Order rose from the ashes to begin anew. For some time there was prosperity and peace. But that stopped a thousand years before the Battle of Yavin.
The Sith were able to conquer Coruscant, and then capture the Jedi Temple, thus causing a huge setback. Thankfully, the planet was once again liberated after a battle that destroyed the Sith Order. In theory that is.
Lust and infighting had already weakened the Sith long enough for the Jedi to get the victory they wanted. This prompted Darth Bane to hide and reform the Siths with his Rule of Two.
Not much is known about Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas. We just know that he contributed to the downfall of the Jedi Order without even realizing it. Know that the Jedi Order and the Republic presided over a long stretch of galactic peace.
Instead of thinking of it as a golden moment, Sifo-Dyas thought that it was just a precursor to a huge disaster. So he told the Council to begin an initiative to make an army for the Republic to use.
He was taken off from his place in the council for this extremist view. But that didn’t stop him. In fact, this just prompted him to take matters into his own hands. This is because, after this, he contacted the Kaminoans and told them to make a clone army.
He ordered them to make it on behalf of the Senate. Darth Sidious took advantage of this and later took the army for his use, after killing off Sifo-Dyas.
Darth Bane’s famous Rule of Two ensured that the new Jedi Order would be made up of one master and one apprentice at any given time. Sidious capitalized on this when he got the position of the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic.
He got it under his birth name, Sheev Palpatine. Sidious was a cunning manipulator and a master strategist. He was the one who orchestrated the Clone Wars secretly. This was a conflict between the Separatists and the Republic.
As such, this thing spread the Jedis thin, and in essence, leaving them vulnerable. After seducing Anakin Skywalker to the dark side, Darth Sidious started Order 66, which would effectively end the Jedi Order by culling nearly all of the Order. This allowed the Galactic Empire to rise. The Empire was a totalitarian regime that had two Sith Lords at the helm.
For years, the Galactic Empire ruled over the galaxy with a strong iron fist. They eroded the rights of Sovereign worlds and oppressed numerous people. Slowly, they built up a draconian war machine.
Darth Vader worked with Emperor Palpatine in the background to gradually get rid of the Galactic Senate while working on the Death Star as a fail-safe against any rebellion. During this time period, Luke Skywalker, who had descended from Darth Vader joined the conflict.
He destroyed the Death Star and captured Palpatine’s attention during this. However, Palpatine failed to turn Luke to the darkness and was subsequently murdered by a wounded Darth Vader who was on his death bed.
This stopped the Sith stranglehold on the galaxy and slowly paved the way for a new Jedi Order to rise.
After the end of the Galactic Empire, the Order had to deal with its own challenges. In the Disney timeline that’s canon now, the Jedi once again were hunted down to almost extinction by the First Order.
This story wasn’t really liked by the longtime fans who felt like the Legend events and timeline would have fit better narratively. In the Legend series, Luke Skywalker makes a new Jedi Order on Yavin IV. There he trained Leia and Han’s Force-sensitive children.
Also, there he faced the spirit of the dreaded Sith Lord Exar Kun and fought against the Yuuzhan Vong as well as their galactic invasion. In the aftermath of this fight, Yuuzhan Vong separated from the Galactic Republic as a result of strained relations.
This was because Jacen Solo went to the dark side and became Darth Caedus, one of the most powerful force wielders in the galaxy in the Legends canon.
There are a lot more events that have defined the Jedis. But these are the most notable ones that have had the most impact. What Jedi event do you think has had the most impact on the revered Order?