- "We are keepers of the wisdom of the Jedi. We maintain the Great Library, we oversee the teachings of the younglings, and we seek out the ancient histories and Holocrons that will bring us greater knowledge of the light side of the Force. But we are more than just caretakers. We are also guardians."
- ―Master Obba explaining the duty of the Council of First Knowledge
The Council of First Knowledge was one of the four Jedi Councils of the Jedi Order in operation during the rule of the Galactic Republic. The Council of First Knowledge met in the Council Chambers atop the northwest tower of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
The Council of First Knowledge was made up of five Masters selected to oversee the Jedi academy and the proliferation of knowledge and its storage in the Temple Archives. Additionally, the Council personally accepted the responsibility of eradicating any trace of Sith teachings and their artifacts throughout the galaxy. Meeting in the circular Council Chamber at the Jedi Temple, membership on the Council was granted through appointment after a vote of all members. A single permanent member sat for life or until he stepped down, and was known as the Caretaker of First Knowledge for this Jedi personally oversaw the protection of the Holocron Chamber located in the spire. The other four Masters rotated out after serving a five year term. Members of the Council often served on one of the other Councils simultaneously, or had retired from the High Council and retained their membership.
Maintaining the academy went hand in hand with preserving the knowledge banks at the Temple; if the base of knowledge did not constantly grow, the academy could not evolve and progress. Having direct oversight of the Librarian's Assembly, the Archives were presided over by a Chief Librarian who sometimes sat on the Council themselves. Members of the Council were granted access to the Holocron Vaults located within the Archives, a highly secured set of chambers used to protect the ancient holocrons and their secrets. While working with Jedi Initiates' schooling, the Council was not inaccessible to older Jedi needing a different perspective on a dilemma. The Council could be queried for assistance on troubling topics that needed analysis by individuals who had experienced many missions and problems in their lifetimes; members of this Council were often of long-lived species, though this was by no means a requirement.
Following the New Sith Wars, the Council dedicated itself and its shadow agents to the recovery of Sith artifacts. Deeming the possession of such material illegal, agents of the Council were sent out to virtually eradicate all traces of the Sith. They were responsible for the near elimination of Darth Andeddu from all text found within the Republic. Agents serving the Council worked primarily in the Tower of First Knowledge, consulting holocrons and making use of specialized chambers to seek out dark side activity. During the years in which this activity was concentrated, Knights working for the Council included many Jedi including Medd Tandar, Ma'ya, Pendo, Winnoa, and Set Harth. Before turning to the dark side, Harth stole several of the artifacts that the Order sent him to retrieve, hiding them away in his estate on Nal Hutta. During the end of the Republic's Golden Age, it successfully resolved the E9D8 Rebellion.
The earliest known members of the Council include the Ithorian Obba and Human Restelly Quist, the latter of which served as Caretaker and Chief Librarian simultaneously. Centuries later the rugged and scarred Lannik, Master Even Piell retired from his duties on the High Council and opted to sit on the Council of First Knowledge during the Clone Wars. While history is foggy on which Council Master T'un was a member of, his position as Curator of Records suggests he may have indeed sat on the First Knowledge Council.
The Council of First Knowledge existed nearly continuously throughout the history of the Order, right up until the end of the Clone Wars when the Republic was dissolved and reorganized into the Galactic Empire. With a Dark Lord of the Sith at the helm of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Council was caught unaware when Supreme Chancellor Palpatine issued Order 66 and began the Great Jedi Purge. Following the fall of the Jedi Temple, the members of the Council were hunted down and killed or else fled into self-imposed exile.
- Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil (First appearance)
- Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil audiobook
- Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight (Mentioned only)
- Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Episode I (First mentioned)
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
- Nexus of Power