What are ‘Bokken Jedi’ in Star Wars? One of the real joys of watching Ahsoka is experiencing the ways in which Dave Filoni and his creative team are subtly changing what it means to be a Jedi in the galaxy far, far away.
In this spin on Star Wars, the fact that Sabine is not Force-sensitive doesn’t prevent her from working towards being a Jedi. We’ve seen plenty of the best Star Wars characters wield the Force throughout our rewatches of the Star Wars movies in order, but the Ahsoka cast are bringing something different to the table.
The latest shift comes from a single line in Ahsoka episode 6, in which Baylan Skoll refers to the idea of ‘Bokken Jedi’ throughout the galaxy. That has to be worth digging into, right? So what is a Bokken Jedi, and have we met any of them before? Let’s consult the archives at the Jedi Temple and find out everything we can about the Star Wars series‘ newest revelation.
What is a Bokken Jedi in Star Wars?
A Bokken Jedi is someone trained to use Jedi techniques outside of the traditional structure of the Jedi Order, with ‘bokken’ referring to the wooden training swords we’ve seen these characters use.
In the real world, a bokken is a wooden sword – often made of oak – used in Japanese martial arts training. Given how steeped Star Wars has always been in samurai ideas, this connection is clearly something that has always fascinated George Lucas. We’ve seen characters, including Sabine Wren, train with bokken in both animation and live-action.
In Ahsoka episode 6, Baylan Skoll and his apprentice Shin Hati are discussing Ezra Bridger. Skoll says Bridger is “too young” for them to have crossed paths, adding: “He comes from a breed of Bokken Jedi, trained in the wild after the Temple fell.”
Shin asks Skoll whether she herself would fit this description, to which Skoll explains that she was trained to be “something more”. This is yet another wrinkle to the idea of Jedi, with Skoll establishing a hierarchy – in his mind, at least – between the Jedi trained during the heyday of the Order and those who have emerged in the years since Order 66.
In some ways, this provides us with a bit more information about Skoll’s ideology. He sees the current iteration of the Jedi as somehow less pure than those who were trained in the Temple, which explains why he was so conflicted about the idea of killing Ahsoka Tano – one of the few Temple-trained Jedi left.
Have we met other Bokken Jedi before in Star Wars?
Luke Skywalker and Rey could be called Bokken Jedi as they were trained away from the Jedi Order in the wake of Order 66.
Given that the Original Trilogy of Star Wars movies began after Order 66, most of the new Jedi we’ve seen in the franchise’s best movies could be referred to as Bokken Jedi. The likes of Luke Skywalker and Rey were never given formal training as a Padawan, which makes them Bokken Jedi.
While these characters have never been given a formal classification before, it’s clear that Baylan Skoll has a problem with them being thrown into the same category as him and his fallen former comrades. Is that why he chose to join the ranks of the best Star Wars villains?
If you want to know even more about Ahsoka, take a look at our guide to the Nightsisters of Dathomir and find out how Ahsoka survived Order 66 in the saddest way possible. We’ve also explained why we don’t care about Thrawn as much as Dave Filoni.
For more on the best TV series and new movies coming to the galaxy far, far away, find out about the Andor season 2 release date, The Acolyte release date, and all of the new Star Wars movies. Elsewhere, check out everything new on Disney Plus and look ahead to more sci-fi with our guide to Avatar 3.