Katelyn continues to explore the balance of the force in “The Balance Series”
Hello, Future of the Force reader. Last time we went over the Background of the Je’daii Order. Let’s do a quick recap:
Dating back to 36,453 BBY, the Je’daii tried to live in balance between the light and the dark, Ashla and Bogan. For thousands of years, they were successful, for the most part. Dissenters were exiled and the Je’daii slowly developed a reputation of being secretive and unwilling to play fair with others. Their presence was seen as a cause for concern, not as an aid to the general population.
In 25,793 BBY civil war broke out as Je’daii that belonged more to the dark rose up to destroy those to ascribed more to the light. After 10 years, the light prevailed and the Jedi Order was formed. These two orders had the same basic ideals; to help protect the galaxy and lend aid where needed. Their day to day lives and missions, however, could not have been more different. Balance is a word thrown around in Star Wars constantly. Balance means different things to different people and has become a subject of controversy. It’s easy to look at balance as if it’s simply a mystical idea that happens only within the force itself. But what about everyday life?
So, today we’re going to play a game called “Where’s The Balance?” Between the Jedi and Je’daii Orders, where is the middle ground in their home lives, training, and mission capabilities?
The Je’daii were comprised of families. Just like a normal population, people married and had families. The majority of children would be force-sensitive, like their parents. Those who weren’t were, for lack of a better term, kicked off of Tython when they were old enough. Tython was seen as the home of the Je’daii and children who were not force sensitive would feel like the odd man out. So, they were told to leave.
Of course, the Order that we know wasn’t made of families. Attachments were forbidden and so having a wife and kids could prove…challenging. Both positions have their weak points. On one hand, the Jedi we know seemed to be detached because, well, they couldn’t have attachments. They were unable to have a relationship and be in the Order. While this seems harsh, the Je’daii had issues of their own. In The Dawn Of The Jedi, we can see how family attachments can throw off a mission. It can complicate things and put people in danger. The new Order saw the weaknesses of the old and went completely the other way.
So, where’s the balance here?
Je’daii children were not coddled. When they were old enough, children went on a pilgrimage to the different temples on Tython alone. The trip took two years and was seen as a right of passage. Each child called a Journeyer in this stage, would face the dangers of the trip, including unfriendlies, beasts, dangerous weather, and feeding themselves for days in the brush. It wasn’t unusual for some to die before reaching the final temples. Once they had been to each temple, a child could pick what area they would like to specialize in.
Jedi children would be tested at a very young age. If the Jedi testing, called a recruiter, sensed a force-sensitive child, they would insert their name into a kyber crystal. When the child was older, they would be tested again. If the child had promise, they would be brought to the temple. Each child would be placed into a clan-based on personality and learning style. They would learn with this clan until they were eligible to become a padawan.
Where’s the balance?
This is probably one of the largest gaps between the Jedi and Je’daii Orders. The Je’daii had much more leeway when it came to their missions. As a people who were in the balance between light and dark, they were allowed to use the dark when they deemed it necessary, as long as they could regain balance. This led to them using techniques that the Jedi strictly banned.
The Je’daii were also less concerned about the plight of the normal citizen. They were aloof and their lack of existence outside of the Tython system sometimes led to civilian casualties that a Jedi would have prevented. The lack of constraints did leave the Je’daii room to work and so they had an impressive closure rate. By being able to use the dark, they always got the job done. They were also unattached. The Je’daii answered to no one but themselves. They would be given missions by a council and each individual would see their mission through. This meant there were less politicking and more freedom for the council. It also meant no oversight. The Je’daii could do as they saw fit, which led to some nasty run-ins.
The Jedi were more concerned about the citizens in their galaxy and would be sent on an extended mission that could last years on the same planet. Yes, they were seen as mystical and, at times, an oddity but overall they seemed appreciated by the locals they were trying to help. The code the Jedi lived by limited them in some ways. They had rules and code. Using their hate and anger wasn’t allowed and so they sometimes lost battles because they were forced to back off. They were also limited because they worked within the Senate. There were politics involved, especially before and during The Clone Wars.
Where’s the balance?
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Katelyn Mathis is a Senior Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. She is a passionate Star Wars fan and is the go-to source for Force Knowledge. Follow her on Twitter @ForceKnowledge where she uses the force frequently!