There are few fandoms that spark more debate than Star Wars. The cultural impact of George Lucas’ film series and subsequent expanded universe have had on pop culture is truly immeasurable. The adventurous nature of the movies and the familiar good vs. evil theme between the Jedi and Sith resonated heavily with audiences of all ages.
With the widespread fandom came some backlash. Some felt that the series has gained an undeserved amount of love and were quick to write the Star Wars universe off. Even fiercer than the debates between fans and non-fans are those amongst Star Wars lovers. With the well of knowledge found in the constantly evolving expanded universe, there’s no shortage of topics for people to argue about.
A hot source of debate for fans is the Jedi. The white knights of the Star Wars universe, the Jedi have a very long and rich history. The basis for the Jedi is very similar to the basis of any ancient religion . As such, the beliefs and practices of the Jedi may have started out simple, but have become more complicated, more specific, and more confusing.
Maybe an event from a new Star Wars movie makes a Jedi’s previous actions seem hypocritical. Maybe your preconceived ideas about how a Jedi is supposed to behave or act isn’t even considered canon anymore. With all the new information added to the Star Wars mythos, a lot of what we thought we knew about our favorite Force users is untrue.
With that in mind, here are 20 Things Everybody Gets Wrong About the Jedi.
20 Have the Jedi Gone Extinct?
“Now the Jedi are all but extinct.” We all remember Obi-Wan Kenobi’s grim description of the once-powerful Jedi in A New Hope. As we come to find out through later events, Obi-Wan was embellishing just a little bit. But what about this point in the Star Wars universe?
The Last Jedi raised some interesting questions about the future of the Jedi. Luke's passing at the end was enough for some viewers to subscribe to the idea that the Jedi were extinct, for real this time. However, Rey’s but of Jedi training throughout the movie and her acquiring of the sacred Jedi texts blur the lines significantly.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
19 Jedi Aren’t the Only Ones Sensitive to the Force
Based on what’s been depicted throughout the Star Wars franchise, it’s easy to see why someone might think that the Force is something only felt by the Jedi and Sith. While it is true that these two are the only ones we see using the Force, it can be felt by everybody.
Rogue One’s Chirrut Îmwe is a great example of a non-Jedi who is sensitive to the Force.
The blind monk is never seen using the Force throughout the movie, though he holds a tremendous amount of trust in its power.
The Force is not just limited to humans and other creatures, either. The Shattered Empire comic series introduced Force Trees. These trees were formed from pieces of the Great Tree at the Jedi Temple and give off a great amount of power.
18 Jedi Aren’t the Only Ones Who Can Use Lightsabers
This one is pretty understandable. In A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi describes the lightsaber to Luke Skywalker as “the weapon of a Jedi Knight.” It stands to reason, then, that the rest of the galaxy’s use of blasters and other weaponry isn’t exactly a choice.
While it is true that we almost exclusively see Force users employing lightsabers as their weapon, that’s not to say that others couldn’t wield one as well. Revenge of the Sith saw General Grevious battle using a lightsaber while The Empire Strikes Back saw Han Solo using Luke’s lightsaber to slice open a Tauntaun.
Maybe it’s not so much a question of ability so much as it is of availability.
17 Not All Jedi can Become Ghosts
If you’re reading this list, we’re sure you remember the end of Return of the Jedi. Having defeated Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and co. rejoice on Endor as the ghosts of Vader/Anakin, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Yoda watch over them. Heck, you might even remember seeing Sebastian Shaw as the Force Ghost Anakin before Hayden Christianson was edited in.
After seeing Yoda as a Force Ghost again in The Last Jedi, it’s understandable to think that all Jedi have this ability.
As it turns out, this can only be done by Jedi who have completed a very intense training.
The Clone Wars TV series showed us that Qui-Gon Jinn had not been able to complete said training before he passed.
16 The Line Between Light and Dark Isn’t Always So Clear
While the prequel movies take a lot of flak, they do a lot of things right, like the depiction of the grey area between the light and dark side in Revenge of the Sith. Not only do we see Anakin’s transition from light to dark, but a serious blurred line between the two.
Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of Mace Windu shows that Jedi are not above spells of hypocrisy, as he attempts to eliminate Emperor Palpatine.
The most recent attempt to convey the conflict between the light and dark side came in the form of Rey and Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi, though it’s a bit of a step backwards. While the internal struggle is interesting, the movie seems to bring back the definitive line between Jedi and Sith.
We’ll have to see what Episode IX brings.
15 “The Force” was Created by the Jedi
We’ve already established that the Force is felt by those outside the Jedi Order. Across the galaxy, different groups of people and alien species, recognize this unifying, well, force.
While this power is felt in similar ways, there are some notable differences between different Force users. A key difference in these groups of those sensitive to the Force is in what they refer to it as.
An alien race called known as the Lasats refer to the Force as “The Ashla,” while several other groups across the galaxy simply refer to the Force as “It.”
Referring to it as the Force is a trademark of the Jedi and those familiar with their teachings.
14 Are the Jedi a Myth?
The idea of the Jedi being a myth is a fairly new one, first gaining traction following the release of 2015’s The Force Awakens. In the movie, Han has to reiterate to Rey that the stories of the Jedi and Sith are all true. Why would she need this kind of confirmation?
In A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke of the teachings of the Jedi but is sure to mention that their time has long since past. Even before the events of The Force Awakens, it seems, the actions and ideas of the Jedi were mere legend. The Jedi teachings are passed on through the generations much in the same way that the teachings of ancient mythology are.
13 The Reason Behind the Color of a Jedi’s Lightsaber
It may seem that the different colored lightsabers was a simple aesthetic choice. A Sith’s red lightsaber certainly seems more menacing than a Jedi’s blue or green one. While the different colors do help to add to Star Wars’ visual storytelling, there is a deeper reasoning behind them.
Kyber Crystals are Force-attuned shards that are used in the construction of a lightsaber. Because they are in touch with the Force, the Kyber Crystals can sense the personality of its user and shines accordingly.
A pure-hearted Jedi’s lightsaber will reflect their inner being, shining a bright green or blue.
Should a Jedi turn to the dark side, however, the Kyber Crystals would “bleed” into a deep red.
12 George Lucas’ Inspiration for the Jedi
There seems to be a misconception that George Lucas thought up the characters and events of the vast Star Wars universe long before A New Hope hit theatres. While this is true to a certain extent, Lucas will be the first to tell you that he didn’t just come up with everything.
The idea for the Jedi came from one of Lucas’ most beloved films. The Hidden Fortress was a 1958 samurai movie from Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.
Put side by side, the Jedi are essentially a galactic version of the samurai Kurosawa put on screen. Between the strong belief in a specific code of conduct and the Jedi’s use of what are basically laser samurai swords, it should come as no surprise that the films of Kurosawa had a strong impact on Lucas.
11 Just How Long Does Jedi Training Take?
With the inclusion of the Jedi Younglings in the Star Wars prequels, it became even more apparent that Jedi training was an intense, long-lasting commitment. With such rigid guidelines in place for training, the chronological introduction of Luke Skywalker in A New Hope presents a bit of an issue.
Compared to the Jedi before him, Luke’s training takes almost no time at all, as he's highly attuned to the Force shortly after learning what it is.
Similarly, in The Force Awakens, Rey is able to wield a lightsaber and manipulate the Force almost immediately.
A Jedi’s connection to the Force seems highly individual. While training is paramount in learning the ways of the Jedi, it seems that a standardized training method is impossible.
10 The Jedi Weren’t Always Rebelling Against the Empire
A key theme to the Star Wars franchise is the battle between good and evil – the Jedi vs. the Sith, the Rebels vs. the Empire. There was a time before the events of the main saga films, however, when the Jedi were rebelling against themselves.
It’s no secret that the Jedi live by a strict set of guidelines. This didn’t sit well with a number of up-and-coming Jedi, who argued that the dark side of the Force could be harnessed to further their cause. This disagreement spawned the Great Schism, a 100 year civil war amongst the Jedi. The dissonant members were exiled, eventually forming the Sith.
In effect, then, the Jedi created the very group they would be rebelling against.
9 Jedi and their Views on Negative Emotions
The Jedi have a bit of a reputation for being a stoic group. From our first introduction to Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, we’re given the impression that the Jedi are calm, cool, and collected.
Although the Jedi do strive to attain a greater level of emotional control than their Sith counterparts, that isn’t to say they see no value in extreme emotions.
The Jedi view negative emotions as an inevitability and a learning experience.
By accepting their feelings, a Jedi can analyze them and find a positive resolution. As long as a Jedi doesn’t allow these emotions to overtake them, they cannot corrupt their being.
8 The Jedi Weren’t the First to Use the Force
If you’re not well-versed in the Star Wars expanded universe, and we don’t blame you, there are countless events, races, and concepts that you’ve probably never heard of.
Consisting of a constantly growing number of animated films and television series, novels, and comic books, the Expanded Universe is a well of knowledge for those looking for further context on the movie series we all hold so dearly.
One interesting bit of information from the EU is the fact that Jedi were not the first Force users. Despite being the only ones mentioned in the main saga films, the Jedi were actually quite late to the party.
In the Before the Republic publishing era of the EU, the Order of Dai Bendu is mentioned as being Force users thousands of years before the Jedi.
7 There are Multiple Jedi Councils
When you hear of the term “Jedi Council,” your mind probably jumps to the council from the prequels – Yoda, Mace Windu, etc. While you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that, they aren’t the only game in town.
The previously mentioned council is known as the Jedi High Council and they are the primary rulers of the Jedi Order, but they aren’t the only game in town.
The Council of First Knowledge is in place for matters that require the use of ancient Jedi wisdom.
The Council of Reconciliation is aptly named as it is in place to settle inter-planetary disputes. Finally, the Council of Reassignment is there to, you guessed it, reassign Jedi Younglings who were not destined to become Padawans.
6 The Sith Didn’t Always Operate in Pairs
The history of the Sith is just as rich as the history of the Jedi. Having been around for just as long, the Sith embody everything that the Jedi seek to eliminate in life. Among the many differences between the two groups of Force-users is a notable difference in their structure.
Whereas the Jedi operate in, at times, large groups, the Sith have operated only in pairs throughout the main Star Wars films. But that wasn’t always the case. The Sith only started doing this following their near extermination at the hand of their rivals. Darth Bane put the pairing system in place to better focus their collective power.
5 The Jedi and Sith Access the Force in Different Ways
We’ve all heard time and time again throughout the Star Wars films of once-Jedi “giving in” to the dark side of the Force. What exactly does that mean?
Whereas the Jedi access the force through extreme discipline, the Sith access the Force in a much less respectful way.
By allowing themselves to be overcome by extreme emotion, a would-be Jedi can access the power of the Force without all that boring training. These emotions aren’t necessarily bad ones, either. Despite their association with evil, a Sith can use extreme positive emotions to access the Force too.
Come to think of it, maybe this is where the Jedi’s view on negative emotions confusion came from.
4 The Jedi and Celibacy
The Star Wars prequel trilogy introduced a lot of background information on our favorite Force-users, including a curious rule regarding a Jedi’s better half.
In Attack of the Clones, Anakin tells Padme that attachment and possession are forbidden concepts to a Jedi. A key reason for this, according to Yoda, is that any harm that comes to a Jedi’s loved one could tempt them to access the dark side of the Force.
The Jedi’s strong disapproval of attachment lead many to believe that, like many religious figureheads, they were celibate. George Lucas himself dispelled this myth, claiming that the Jedi’s rule on the matter extends only to the emotional attachment associated with love.
3 Anakin Was the Chosen One
The debate on who the Jedi’s Chosen One truly was is a favorite amongst Star Wars fans. In the prequel series, and other instances in the Expanded Universe, we learn of a prophecy that tells of a chosen Jedi who will be able to destroy the Sith.
By the end of Revenge of the Sith, the idea of Anakin Skywalker as the Chosen One was seriously called into question. Having turned to the dark side, many came to think that Anakin’s son Luke was the true Chosen One.
George Lucas, however, nipped this idea in the bud. Destroying Emperor Palpatine and, in doing so, sacrificing himself, Anakin successfully destroyed the Sith and fulfilled the Jedi prophecy.
2 Not all Dark Jedi are Sith
We’ve already established that the line between the light and dark sides of the Force isn’t always so clear. Once a Jedi goes over to the dark side, they’re a Sith, right?
It turns out it’s not as cut and dry as a lot of us think.
The biggest thing preventing all who succumb to the dark side of the Force from being Sith is the Rule of Two. Set in place well before the Clone Wars, the Rule of Two states that only a Sith Master and Sith Apprentice can exist at one time: Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, Darth Sidious and Darth Maul, and so on - until the demise of Darth Sidious and Darth Vader.
One of people’s absolute least favorite things about the Star Wars prequels is the introduction of Midi-chlorians. In short, Midi-chlorians are microscopic lifeforms that reside within all living things. The Jedi have an exceptionally high Midi-chlorian count, with Anakin Skywalker’s measuring above 20,000.
While some fans found the concept just plain dull, others felt it took away some of the magic of Star Wars, particularly the idea that all of us must have had at one point – that any of us could be a Jedi.
Fortunately for us, the Force and Midi-chlorians aren’t as directly attached as they once seemed. Many creators in the Expanded Universe have disregarded the previous definition, stating that while they are broadcasters of the Force, they do not define it in the way once thought.
What misconceptions about Star Wars' Jedi drive you up the wall? Let us know in the comments.