The Gray Paladins were a sect of Force-sensitives stemming from the Teepo Paladins. However, unlike Teepo and his followers who believed in immersing oneself in the Force the same way as the Jedi Order, the Gray Paladins held to the radical philosophy of minimal dependency on the Force. Gray Paladins were known to be active even after the rise of the Galactic Empire despite being targeted along with Jedi in Order 66 in 19 BBY. Laranth Tarak was one such Gray Paladin, and was a childhood friend and ally to Jedi Knight Jax Pavan.
The Gray Paladins were an offshoot of the Teepo Paladins that emerged after they had been censured by the High Jedi Council for the advocation of offensive weapons like blasters, in addition to the traditional lightsaber. Teepo and his followers were ostracized as potential dark siders, though some still maintained residence at the Jedi Temple. With the execution of Order 66, the Gray Paladins scattered and were hunted down by the Sith. When Luke Skywalker rebuilt the Order, it is unknown if any lived to rejoin the Order.
The Gray Paladins acknowledged that the Force suffused all things, and in turn gave life to all things. In this way, they acknowledged that a sentient could be no more independent of the Force than of nourishment, air, or sleep. However, the Gray Paladins did not see the Force as a means to an end, but rather as an influencing component in their daily lives. Nevertheless, the Gray Paladins were not against the concept of the Force; they simply argued that skills should be developed with a minimum dependency on it, as to allow the will of the Force to work unhindered in their actions. Because of this, Gray Paladins tended to develop skills and techniques that did not directly tap into the Force, but rather allowed the Force to augment existing skills. This led Gray Paladins to be much more militaristic than the Teepos, or even the mainstream Jedi, as Gray Paladins would often resort to military tactics and conventional weapons to achieve their goals.
Gray Paladins didn't eschew the use of lightsabers completely, though they did not believe them to be dependable weapons. Rather, they believed that a Jedi should use whichever weapon he or she felt the most comfortable with, with many choosing instead to rely on proficiency with blasters and other forms of combat, both armed and unarmed. Many became masters in various forms of martial arts like Teräs Käsi and Stava, as well as esoteric weaponry such as Sallisian throwing whorls and spinsticks, rather than rely on Force-augmented gymnastics and speed. Most Jedi felt that the Gray Paladins' philosophy was heterodoxy as well as pointless. Since the Force encompassed all living things, they argued it was impossible for any scenario to exist where it would be necessary to act independently of it. In addition, they insisted that it was through the use of the Force that they communed with the will of the Force, thus bringing them closer to their goals. In this aspect, they viewed the Gray Paladins as being counterproductive.
Powers and abilities
Gray Paladins generally regarded the Force as a secondary aspect of their life, and not the primary. As a result of this, Gray Paladins generally eschewed the use of the Force in any physical manifestation, relying rather on militant skills, both armed and unarmed, to achieve their goals. Despite this, Gray Paladins frequently allowed the Force to act in an auxiliary fashion, such as guiding their actions; in combat, this afforded them incredible quickness and accuracy.
Gray Paladin Laranth Tarak exemplified this ability, having such accuracy and quickness with her twin blasters that she could intercept blaster bolts, slugs, and even shrapnel from an explosion with her own blaster bolts, either deflecting or destroying them in the process. So great was her accuracy that she was even able to send one of her own bolts straight up an enemy's blaster barrel. During unarmed combat, her strikes were much more powerful and precise than an unaided attack. Beyond this reliance on the Force for aid, Gray Paladins disregarded any of the "flashier" aspects of Force use, including Force-aided gymnastics and speed.
Regardless of Force use, Gray Paladins consistently remained far more militant than their Jedi predecessors, many times being well trained in martial arts such as Teräs Käsi and Stava, as well as military tactics like guerrilla warfare, urban tactics, espionage, and infiltration. Some even had expansive weapons and vehicle training. This was primarily the result of the Gray Paladins deciding to rely on the Force as little as possible, as well as the knowledge that they must be ready for nearly any situation without reliance on the Force.
- Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight (First appearance)
- Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows
- Coruscant Nights III: Patterns of Force
- The Last Jedi