Star Wars: the Jedi explained

In the world of Star Wars, there are two sides to the Force, and we're going to break down all you need to know about the Jedi here

Star Wars Jedi explained: Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi

What are the Jedi in Star Wars? The vast history of the most iconic science fiction movie franchise of all time is essentially built upon the concept of good versus evil, or more specifically, the Jedi versus the Star Wars villains, the Sith. But what are the Jedi all about exactly?

You’d be hard-pressed to watch a Star Wars movie and not hear the word Jedi thrown around, and the same now goes for the abundance of Star Wars series in the world too. Some of the most popular Star Wars characters are Jedi, so it’s essential you know what the Jedi actually are.

Well, fear not, dear reader, we have got the Jedi explained and can tell you where they came from, what they believe in, and who the most important Jedi are too.

The Jedi explained

The Jedi are a group of Force-sensitive warriors who devote themselves to fighting evil in the galaxy and bringing balance to the Force.

They have been around for over a thousand generations, and are largely pacifistic people, only using their incredible combat skills when absolutely necessary.

Generally speaking, the Jedi are the good guys in the intergalactic science fiction movies. They stand up for the little guy, fighting for the preservation of democracy. The strict rules of the Jedi Code can lead to some morally grey areas though, such as the problematic detachment from emotion for example, but they mean well.

Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars

Their sworn enemy, the Sith, uses fear and hatred to indoctrinate powerful young people into joining the Dark Side of the Force, while the Jedi promote peace and patience as the key components of the Light Side of the Force.

Jedi use a weapon known as a lightsaber, which is essentially a sword made of light energy, capable of devastating damage. The Jedi normally have green or blue lightsabers, though they have been known to have other colours, such as white, yellow, and purple.

Yoda and Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Who are the most important Jedi?

Perhaps the most important and most famous Jedi of all is Luke Skywalker, son of Darth Vader. I mean, the Skywalker saga is the heart and soul of the Star Wars franchise, so it figures that Luke would be integral to the story. He is also the character who does the most in helping the Rebellion to defeat the Galactic Empire and Emperor Palpatine.

Luke is pretty much the only Jedi we spend any time within the Original Trilogy, but he does meet a couple of legendary heroes along the way. First of all, there’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Jedi Master turned hermit who went into hiding after Order 66 and seeing his former apprentice, Anakin Skywalker fall to the dark side of the Sith.

Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Then, there’s Yoda, who we’re pretty sure everyone has at least seen a picture of before. This little green guy first appeared in the ‘80s movie The Empire Strikes Back. He is one of the most powerful and wisest Jedi of all, having seen pretty much all there is to see in the galaxy.

In the prequel trilogy of 2000s movies, Qui-Gon Jinn is a notable Jedi who is the master of Obi-Wan Kenobi, serving on the Jedi Council alongside Yoda and Mace Windu. Qui-Gon also identifies and insists that a young Anakin be trained in the way of the Jedi, which ultimately leads to one of the most fearsome Star Wars villains of all time being created.

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More recently, in the Disney sequel trilogy, we were introduced to Rey. After escaping Jakku, Rey discovers she is Force sensitive and trains in the way of the Jedi under Luke Skywalker and later, his sister Leia.

There’s plenty more Jedi in the galaxy, but we’d be here all day if we told you about every single one of them. It might help to prepare for the Ahsoka release date, though where we will learn a lot more about another popular Jedi. Or, dive into our guide on the Star Wars cast and Andor cast to see which actors have been a part of the franchise and who will be in the upcoming Andor season 2.