This article covers the Canon version of this subject.  Click here for Wookieepedia's article on the Legends version of this subject. 
TPMCGYoda.jpg

Master Qui-Gon, more to say, have you?

It is requested that this article, or a section of this article, be expanded.

See the request on the listing or on this article's talk page. Once the improvements have been completed, you may remove this notice and the page's listing.

"So, the Jedi are Force users united in our quest to understand the mysteries of the Force and to serve as guardians of peace and justice throughout the galaxy. […] we ground ourselves in a spiritual existence and give up individual attachments in order to focus entirely on greater concerns."
"So, that means no sex."
"Basically."
―The Jedi Padawan Reath Silas and Affie Hollow[src]

The Jedi Code written in High Galactic

The Jedi Code was a set of rules that governed the behavior of the Jedi Order. It taught its followers to not give in to feelings of anger toward other lifeforms, which would help them resist fear and prevent them from falling to the dark side of the Force.[1]

Amongst other dictates, the Jedi Code forbade Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters from taking on more than one Padawan at a given time;[2] and forbade Jedi from forming attachments.[3] Grand Master Yoda stressed that emotional detachment was essential to prevent Jedi from becoming vulnerable to feelings of jealousy, greed, and the fear of loss, all of which were paths to the dark side.[4] Ahsoka Tano also regarded attachment as dangerous, and rejected Grogu as an apprentice due to the foundling's bond with the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin.[5] Few understood that this practice of non-attachment did not mean the Jedi were strangers to compassion when, in fact, they believed that all lives were precious.[6] While Jedi did not marry,[7] the Jedi Code banned neither romantic feelings[8] nor familial love.[6][9] The code forbade the Jedi from killing unarmed opponents[4] as well as seeking revenge.[3][10]

During the Clone Wars, there were those in the Grand Army of the Republic, such as Wilhuff Tarkin, who believed that the Jedi Code prevented the Order from doing what was necessary to win the war against the Confederacy of Independent Systems.[11] Shortly before the end of the Clone Wars, the Jedi High Council, through Obi-Wan Kenobi, asked Anakin Skywalker to spy on his friend, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, something which Skywalker felt was against the Jedi Code.[4]

In 34 ABY, on Ahch-To, Rey heard the soft chanting of the Jedi Code emanating from the tree library that contained the original Jedi texts. The chanting compelled her to enter the library, where she found the texts and began learning more about the history of the Jedi Order from Master Luke Skywalker.[12]

The Code[edit | edit source]

A Jedi such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, trained in the ways of the light side of the Force, could take comfort in the words of the mantra of the Jedi Code:

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.[6]

There also existed an alternate version of the Code, recited by Jedi younglings during their Initiate Trials, and by Depa Billaba during her full fitness re-assessment after waking up from her 6-month coma:

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet the Force.[13]

Following the Code[edit | edit source]

Conquering the dark side[edit | edit source]

"Part of me you are, yes. But power over me you have not. Through patience and training, it is I who control you."
―Yoda, to the shadow of his soul[src]

Jedi were taught to accept the inherent dark side within themselves and conquer it, and not let it conquer them. Fear of loss, anger, hate, jealousy, greed, and aggression—all of the dark side—had to be stripped from its influence over a Jedi through patience and training.[14]

Love and attachments[edit | edit source]

"Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden."
―Anakin Skywalker, to Padmé Amidala[src]

While the Jedi Code forbade possession and attachments, the Jedi were encouraged and trained to love in terms of compassion. Attachment was the inability to accept change as the fundamental characteristic of life; to accept death as the natural part of life; the inability to let go. Feeding into fear of loss and greed, leading to jealousy, attachment was selfish, a shadow of greed and thus a path of the dark side of the Force. Therefore, attachment was forbidden for a Jedi, who had to train themselves to let go of everything they were afraid to lose; to renounce all attachments. Thus, they could be compassionate and loving and caring, but not be possessive and grabbing and holding on to things, trying to keep them frozen in time, accepting the transitional nature of life. This allowed them to love the totality of life unconditionally without selectively choosing individual life-forms to become selfishly attached to.[4][15]

Personal Relationships

Members of the Jedi Order considered each other their family and sometimes were truly related by blood.[9][16] Jedi Masters developed strong, trusting and loving bonds with their apprentices whom they raised, being like a parent to them.[17][18] However, they were not supposed to form attachment - for the greater good, they had to be able to let go of them, to not to lose a thousand lives just to save one.[19] The Jedi considered romantic feelings natural and as such, they did not prohibited them, but for a Jedi Knight it was essential to make the right choice for the Order and not neglect their Jedi duties in the favor of their beloved, even if that would mean the end of the relationship.[20][21]

Emotions and serenity[edit | edit source]

The Jedi were encouraged to rely on their instincts over their mind.[2] They held their emotions valuable[22][23] but were also warned to be mindful of them, for they could cloud their judgment. A Jedi had to maintain a serene, quiet mind in order to stand on the light side instead of the dark - thus, they were able to keep the Force within them in balance[24]

Peace with death[edit | edit source]

The Jedi knew that the universe is far from static, and the way of the Force is that all living eventually must die. They had a strong faith in the Force and found comfort in knowing that upon dying, they, just like all things that ever lived, will be transformed into the Cosmic Force, the wellspring from which the Living Force emanated, becoming one with it. Therefore, they saw death as the natural part of life; despite they were saddened by it, they were advised to remember, one day they will all pass on, and rejoice and celebrate those around them who passed away and become one with the Force, instead of grieving and missing them. The fear of losing the living to inevitable death was attachment, the shadow of greed.[25][26][4][23][22][27]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

"I, Luke Skywalker, do swear on my honor, and on the faith of the brotherhood of knights, to use the Force only for good, denying, turning always from the Dark Side; to dedicate my life to the cause of freedom, and justice. If I should fail of this vow, my life shall be forfeit, here and hereafter."
―Luke Skywalker's recitation of the "Jedi Oath"[src]

The Jedi Code was first mentioned in the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.[2] However, the Code's concept harkens back to early drafts for the 1980 film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, in which Luke Skywalker takes the "Jedi Oath" before traveling to Cloud City in order to save his friends.[28]

The "There is no emotion, there is peace" version of the Code made its first appearance in the 1987 Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game.[29] It was there accompanied by a set of practical rules, more akin to a code of conduct, such as not acting for personal gain or to try as hard as possible to preserve life (while also acknowledging that killing may at times be necessary).[29] While the "mantra" part of the code lived on in later material, the code of conduct passed on into obscurity. The "Emotion, yet peace" version of the mantra first showed up in the roleplaying game sourcebook Tales of the Jedi Companion from 1996.[source?]

The Jedi teaching on not forming attachments was misunderstood and misinterpreted in a number of Legends materials using "attachment" in terms of fondness, affection, love or loving commitment, making the misstatement that the Jedi are forbidding these emotional bonds.[30][31][32] On the contrary, George Lucas explained, the Jedi are trained, allowed and expected to love people, even their enemies, the Sith, but they are not supposed to form attachments and that's because attachment led to the dark side of the Force. When one was owning, having, possessing, getting or wanting and attaching to things, one become afraid to lose them, whether it to be pleasure, a person or experience. The fear of loss feeds into greed, wanting to keep things, thus, an attached person is selfish and unable to let go. The fear of loss turns into anger, what will lead to hate, and hate will lead into suffering, mostly on the part of the one who is selfish, because then one will spend their lives being afraid rather than actually living. Whereas compassion, the light side is caring and giving and thus it is love, and the opposite of attachment - it is everlasting joy, devoid of fear of loss and the pain of loss. "As long as you love other people and treat them kindly, you won't be afraid."[33]

George Lucas, identifying himself as "Buddhist Methodist" or "Methodist Buddhist" stated that his philosophy, depicted in his movies was influenced by the fact that he was from San Francisco, the "Zen Buddhism capital of the United States". In 2020, he indicated that the Jedi were "designed to be a Buddhist monk who happened to be very good at fighting."[15]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Ultimate Factivity Collection: Star Wars
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  3. 3.0 3.1 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  5. The-Mandalorian-logo.png The Mandalorian – "Chapter 13: The Jedi"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Dark Disciple
  7. StarWars.com Encyclopedia Anakin Skywalker in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  8. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Rise of Clovis"
  9. 9.0 9.1 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Unknown"
  10. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Lair of Grievous"
  11. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Counterattack"
  12. Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
  13. Kanan 7
  14. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Destiny"
  15. 15.0 15.1 The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I–III, 1999–2005
  16. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Gathering"
  17. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  18. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  19. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Jedi Crash"
  20. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voyage of Temptation"
  21. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Rise of Clovis"
  22. 22.0 22.1 Kanan 1
  23. 23.0 23.1 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  24. Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  25. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much"
  26. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voices"
  27. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Weapons Factory"
  28. Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays
  29. 29.0 29.1 Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game
  30. The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
  31. The Clone Wars: No Prisoners
  32. The Old Republic: Deceived
  33. Corliss, Richard; Cagle, Jess (2002-04-29). Dark Victory. TIME. Archived from the original on May 2, 2020.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.