A Jedi Guardian was the name given to one of the three distinct branches of Jedi, the other two being Jedi Consular and Jedi Sentinel. The Jedi Guardians' skills and talents lay in battle, a light side mirror of the Sith Warrior. Their role in the Jedi Order had remained largely consistent throughout its history but was first written down by the Guardian Jedi ace Crix Sunburris in the text, The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force.
- "Guardian the title is, not warrior. Remember this, all Jedi should."
- ―A footnote written by Yoda in a copy of The Jedi Path
Mainly concentrating on martial training and combat, Guardians engaged in combat more than either of the other two classes of Jedi; the Consulars or the Sentinels. Descended from the Order's founders on Tython whose role in the galaxy was to defend the weak and uphold the laws of the Galactic Republic, the Guardians were often seen as representatives of the Order and the classic Jedi weapon: the lightsaber.
Focusing all their time and effort on honing their martial skills, Jedi Knights who chose to pursue the role of Guardian often built their lightsabers using a blue crystal; symbolizing solidarity and uniformity among this class, though it is not a requirement. Master Sunburris recommended spending three hours a day on running, unarmed combat, and lightsaber practice. Highly necessary during the Republic's early years of instability and strife, following the Ruusan Reformation the Guardians took on an even larger role; the Republic Army was disbanded and the Jedi were thrust into the role as defenders of the Republic. Policing the galaxy and working closely with sector and system law agencies, the Guardians worked tirelessly along the Outer Rim Territories and along the borders of Wild Space to maintain law where slavery and illegalities ran rampant. While carrying the basics of Jedi equipment, Guardians were often known to carry wrist binders for when they made an arrest.
While there were many sub-branches to the Guardian class, the most skilled and learned Jedi Masters were granted the honorific title of "Warrior Master". It was two Warrior Masters that were said to have joined two Sage Masters in the founding of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant circa 4000 BBY. These Four Masters were honored with bronzium depictions on the main entrance stairs at the terminus of the Processional Way.
There were several different paths a Jedi could take in order to hone their individual skills. Separated into four major divisions:
Exotic Weapons Specialists
Deciding to adopt a different weapon than that carried by other Jedi, Weapons Specialists sometimes worked with tools other than a lightsaber to defeat their foes. A rarity in the Order; Weapons Specialists worked with double-bladed lightsabers, lightsaber pikes, flails, whips, and blasters.
Vital to the training of Jedi Initiates at the Temple, lightsaber instructors were chosen by the current Jedi battlemaster after having served many long years on the front lines of battle. While the title battlemaster was taken up by many Jedi during the New Sith Wars, it was eventually once more used to represent a single Jedi at each academy, recommending potential instructors to the Jedi High Council for appointment.
Organized under the Jedi Starfighter Corps, the Jedi aces were highly adept pilots and dogfighters. Piloting a variety of different starfighter models over the Order's history, those specializing as Aces used their battle awareness to increase their firing accuracy and precision far beyond what a non-Force-sensitive pilot could achieve. Early on, the Aces served side by side with the Republic Navy, but after its dissolution they worked closely with local defense fleets.
The Jedi Peacekeepers were specialists in the art of policing the galaxy and ensuring that laws are enforced along the Outer Rim. Probably the most recognized branch of the Guardian class, these individuals served alongside Sector police and local militias to ensure peace was kept amongst the stars. The branch of Peacekeepers serving on Coruscant made up the Temple Security Force, the protectors of the Jedi Temple and the greater Temple district.
Behind the scenes
The use of the term Jedi Guardian was originally limited to the Star Wars Roleplaying Game. However, the term was canonized in The New Essential Chronology and Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force.
In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jedi Guardian is one of the Jedi classes that is available to the player on Dantooine. The class is also present in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, along with two prestige counterparts: Jedi Weapon Master for light side, and Sith Marauder for dark side.
It should be noted that even though Jedi Guardians concentrated most on combat and lightsaber mastery, some Guardians were naturally so strong in the Force that they had Force ability to the degree of the Jedi Consulars. Examples include Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Luke Skywalker. Likewise, certain Consulars were skilled enough with the lightsaber to fight on par with Guardians such as Yoda, Shaak Ti and Kit Fisto.
In the Star Wars Miniatures set Champions of the Force, the Jedi Guardian figure resembles Atris. The earlier Jedi Guardian miniature produced by for the Star Wars Miniatures resembles the Rodian Jedi Weapons Master from the art on the inside of the Jedi Academy Training Manuel.
The Jedi Guardian is an advanced class for the Jedi Knight class in the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO video game. This advanced class specializes in the use of heavy armor, inspiring allies, and greater stamina in battle. The Imperial counterpart for this archetype is the Sith Juggernaut.
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