As I have dispatched my duties to the disparate peoples of Skor II and assisted my wayward kin in repelling the First-Imperial invasion, Iâ€™ve finally found some time to access and add to my fledgling datacron. I spent many hours in the cockpit of this starfighter, wondering what I would speak of - and where I would begin. It was to this end, that I found my inspiration and wanted to start with my kindred; the Jedi.
From what has been recovered, and from the translated Sacred Texts in my possession, I have found that our Order held a humble - yet confusing origin. There are many sources that I have read in my travels that have pointed toward our religion being founded on the world of Tython, whilst the Texts stated that our first temple was erected on Ahch-To. While I suppose this was to be expected, as the Galaxy was a large place and there was bound to be different sects popping up on a myriad of worlds.
This, of course, is entirely up to interpretation as there have been several overlapping articles that came to the same resolution. I prefer to believe that there were two sects of Jedi - those that were birthed on Tython, and those that founded the first Jedi temple on Ahch-To. Over time, the two divergent sects began folding into one, where their overlapping beliefs blended together seamlessly and the moreâ€¦ radical aspects of each denomination were trimmed. As many of the source materials were lost to the ashes of history, or transcribed by anotherâ€™s hand, itâ€™s hard to tell whatâ€™s true and whatâ€™s not.
However, what is commonly accepted amongst my kindred, is that we as a religious body have grown - evolved - over the years. Well, before the Dark Times nearly wiped the Jedi from the face of the Galaxy, and again during the Darkness brought about by the Plague.
I believe our foundations began with the Jeâ€™daii, at least the philosophical foundations of what would later become the Jedi. They were, by my recollection, an order of scholars, warriors, and monks from around the galaxy - who had been spirited away from their secular temples to unify under a singular purpose and merging their disparate beliefs in harmony with their tumultuous surroundings. While I find this hard to believe; as would anyone would doubt the transcribed, and written word of those long dead, the Force worked in mysterious ways. Iâ€™ve seen those ensnared by the darkness of their own emotions pull gunships from the sky, by sheer spite alone.
Whoâ€™s to say that the Force itself couldnâ€™t call those ancient beings to Tython, or to Ahch-To for that matter?
Nevertheless, despite their peaceful beliefs and observance of balance - knowing that mastery over oneâ€™s emotions would allow them to live in harmony with nature - the Jeâ€™daii were supposedly shaken to their very foundations by the arrival of the Infinite Empire and their vast horde of Force Hounds. I guess they were literal hounds, who set out into the stars to locate worlds that were deeply-immersed with the Force. But, I digress. The Jeâ€™daii met their end after a bloody schism - where those ensnared by the dark side (known as Bogan in that time) fought against the followers of Ashla (who would later become the focus of those worshipping the Light.) in what has been considered to be the first â€œForce War.â€
Itâ€™s a silly name, I know, but I assume it held some meaning to those who survived. They were fighting for the very foundations of their beliefs, which coincidentally were found on opposite sides of the spectrum. In the aftermath of that terrible war, the progenitors of the Jedi took to the stars to hunt down the survivors and establish themselves on a myriad of worlds throughout the Galaxy. It was at this point, where my beliefs intersect with several versions of history, as I believe that one of those ships found themselves landing on Ahch-To; which led to the foundations of the first Jedi temple.
I know, I said that they could have been founded before that point - and itâ€™s entirely possible - but there is a part of me that believes one of those precursor ships could have landed on that ancient world. Like I said, itâ€™s all up to oneâ€™s interpretation.
Anyways, I wonâ€™t bore you with the details that followed after - as theyâ€™re not only too numerous but cyclical in nature. It was the eternal struggle between polar opposites, that would always end with one side or the other claiming dominance over the stars. Yet, that reign wouldnâ€™t last for long, as whenever the powers of darkness rose - the light rise to meet it. Weâ€™ve seen this happen time, and time again, throughout our history with the Jedi Civil War and the Great Wars that followed. There must always be balance in the Force. Those that serve and worship the Light and those that become enslaved by the Darkness.
The Jedi Order was forced to evolve in the Era thatâ€™s been come to be known as the â€œDark Timesâ€ - where the first Galactic Empire was founded and the Jedi were driven towards extinction. Our ways and our traditions had made us blind to the cancer that festered at the heart of the Galactic Republic and allowed the Sith to rise to power once more. They believed that through the light, and the light alone, that the Galaxy would be restored to harmony. Sadly, they had forgotten the tenets of their religious foundations, and that they werenâ€™t cognizant of the balance they were oath sworn to keep.
They became too involved with the Republicâ€™s affairs and too complacent as they rested on their laurels. After the horrors of Ruusan, the Jedi believed that the Sith were extinct; wiped out by their own lusts and desires for power. Their greatest enemy was defeated, and the Jedi Order entered into a supposed Golden Age that would last for generations. It was these beliefs that damned us and eventually allowed our Order to reborn anew in the days that followed the demise of the Galactic Empire.
Like our storied origins, this Era of a New Jedi Order was shrouded in confusion and mystery - which Iâ€™m told is thanks to the degradation civilization suffered after succumbing to the Gulag plague. While Iâ€™m not fond of the name, it was - like the Force Wars - an incredibly apt name for such a devastating calamity. With such an event in mind, I find myself at odds with what could be considered the truth, despite the various resources at hand. Some sources state that there was a great war that spread from one side of the galaxy to the other, where an enemy from beyond the Outer Rim brought the New Republic to its knees, and eventually gave birth to the Galactic Alliance - an intergalactic organization that managed to survive until the death of civilizationâ€™s light. Others, state that around the same time - the first incarnation of the First Order had risen to command control over the entire Galaxy. Yet, the result of the New Republic falling prey to an enemy was the same.
So, as you can see, there are many discrepancies in our history - no doubt causing years of debate among various historical scholars.
Regardless of what was true during the events before the Plague, what came from those discrepancies has spawned another schism of sorts within the Jedi of the present Era - each fractious portion of the whole believing that their ideas and tenets are the right way to honour our ancestors, and combat the ever-present threat of the Darkside. This, Iâ€™m afraid, is where I shall become biased in my interpretation of my wayward kindred - since I prescribe to a different set of beliefs than they do. Therefore, I believe it is only fair to speak first of the Silver Jedi and their cousins within the â€˜Shatteredâ€™ Jedi Order, as both bear similarities to one another; but are capable of standing alone under any scrutiny.
From my interactions with those that were oath-bound to the Silver Jedi cause, find themselves sharing many features and philosophies with their ancestors - where theyâ€™ve adopted a more militant stance on those ensnared by the Darkside. Now, this is entirely from an outsiderâ€™s viewpoint, as my previously stated interactions with the Silver Jedi havenâ€™t been over tea - like they have with several members of the Shattered Order. However, with that being said, I find them to be the most troubling Sect within our religious body - as they seek to fight the fire that threatens to engulf the galaxy with more fire; rather than extinguishing it with water.
Theyâ€™re quick to act when faced with a threat. Theyâ€™re also the cause of several atrocities that have transpired over the last few years - which have seen multiple planets permanently scarred by their actions. Korriban was bombarded from orbit by someone who supposedly paid for their crime afterwards, and the same could be said from the individual responsible for the terrible acts that transpired on Mirial; painting the Jedi in a terrible light. They seemingly donâ€™t believe in the consequences of their actions, how the Force moves darkly around those who intend on committing acts of violence, but Iâ€™m sure that they believe theyâ€™re doing the right thing. If I was wearing their shoes, and enduring everything theyâ€™ve endured, Iâ€™d consider their path to be the right one.
However, I was brought up under different circumstances and different beliefs that have taken me down a different road.
Violence, to me, is the last resort - one that should only be employed when there are no other options available. I know itâ€™s not the most ideal stance to take when it comes to the intricacies of warfare, but itâ€™s my belief that there is always a mutual desire for peace that can be attained through conversation. Something that has, sadly, gone by the wayside during these last few years. No one is seemingly capable of forgiving the mistakes of our predecessors, and through this generational hatred - the fires of war have been continuously stoked time and again.
This line of thought leads me to the New Jedi Order, or as theyâ€™ve begun to style themselves after recent, and tragic events, the Shattered Jedi Order. They assisted the second incarnation of the Galactic Alliance in combating the threat of the One Sith and their ailing Empire. Had I not chosen to go into self-imposed Exile after the events of the Fourth Battle for Tanaab, it was likely that I wouldâ€™ve joined my wayward kin in their endeavours - as the Jedi of the third incarnation of the Republic had seen fit to become more like Lords, rather than being the guardians of the people. It was that generally adopted mindset that had seen my tenure to the Galactic Republic severed, as I am not comfortable with the idea of a Jedi lording his powers over those that held no such sensitivity.
With the New Jedi Order, they didnâ€™t take on the authority over their lessers that their cousinâ€™s seemingly enjoyed but wholly embodied the militant ideas that were akin to the ancient Jedi Templars, or even the Jedi Crusaders. They aggressively pursued the dark side, wherever it could be found, and sought to destroy it by any means necessary. There were several cases of reformed Darksiders that found themselves serving in this Coven of warriors, but the manner in how they had been reformed is entirely suspect. Iâ€™m told that there were specialized chambers beneath the caverns of Sullust - which forced the occupant to come around to the other side - lest they are left within to burn alive.
Naturally, such claims are nothing but rumours - as I have no proof and would deeply regret making any salacious declarations. However, the behaviour in how they were eventually defeated has left me wondering if such alleged information holds merit. Perhaps, that might be worth further investigation at a later date - before the First Order follows through with their claims on that sector. But, I digress. The Jedi were never meant to be aggressively violent in combating the dark side, as fighting fire with fire only ensures that the cycle of violence continues until one side eventually capitulates; through attrition or annihilation. I am in no way saying that we should lay down our arms, or symbols of our Order either, as to do so would allow innocent people to die.
Weâ€™re meant to be defenders, and entirely respectful of life - even if it belongs to someone whose soul is ensnared by Evil. I cannot stress how important it is to a Jedi to seek out those Slaves to Darkness and see that they are set free. Not through violent means, no, but through patience and understanding. They made the choice to become one with their emotions, and inevitably become enslaved by them - itâ€™s our duty to see that they are given the guidance needed in order to free themselves. All of us that prescribe to the religious tenets of the Jedi - shouldnâ€™t define ourselves by extremes. Ideally, we should always seek the middle ground or attain a balance in things, if you will.
Some call us Heroes or inspiring figures, and I believe that such monikers are ill-befitting for us. It serves little purpose outside of oneâ€™s vanity and places us on a pedestal far above the people we are meant to defend. The same could be said of such titles as Master, as it brings with it the ideals of slavery and servitude. Others may relish such lofty labels of self-absorption, but I am not fond of them. Theyâ€™re like a loose pair of boots, that are too wide at the heel and too narrow at the toe.
Anyways, Iâ€™m drifting again from my intent. Sadly, speaking to a lifeless cube in the confines of a starfighter is not how I thought Iâ€™d spend my day travelling back to the Praxeum.
I suppose a fitting end to this recording would be to touch upon my thoughts regarding our Jedi code and itâ€™s various facets and interpretations throughout the Eras. As far as I know, there have been four variants throughout the ages that were viewed either as a ruleset for our religious body to follow - or guidelines. These words were encouraged to be kept in mind during a Jediâ€™s day-to-day business, allowing the sentient being to overcome personal obstacles and to understand their small, yet important place within the Galaxy. Those words were also meant to give equal consideration to every possible viewpoint; allowing the sentient to understand and act as an unbiased mediator in any conflict.
Sadly, not all Jedi ascribed to every aspect of the Order and have subsequently bent the wording to befit their personal pursuits. Itâ€™s all too easy to justify oneâ€™s position when the wording of oneâ€™s beliefs are casually omitted. I suppose itâ€™s in that respect that I have come to admire the Sith for their steadfast adherence to a single code - albeit with various ideological modifications throughout history. However, please note that while I admire their faith, I do not condone their actions; nor would I ever renounce my oath as a Jedi. I find myself being a better person when I see myself as a shield, rather than a sword. It is possibly why the Sith have become a galactic power, as we Jedi are too busy fighting amongst ourselves - or fleeing from their slow and steady advance.
I canâ€™t say for certain, but the fact remains - as we are - the Jedi cannot balance the scales if weâ€™re too concerned on whoâ€™s interpretation of the Code is correct. We must become tolerant of one-another if we are to survive, let alone serve as guardians to those that cannot defend themselves. But, such dreams are that of an old man, who's become tired of warfare and simply wants the extinguish the fires that now beset the galaxy. Well, I suppose Iâ€™ve rambled on for long enough regarding my brief thoughts on the Jedi and our present predicament. Perhaps in a future entry, I can further break down my thoughts on the intricacies of our beliefs - rather than just the biased viewpoints of history.
Until then, I hope that youâ€™ve garnered some insight into the troubles of this homely Jedi and the galaxy that he resides in.
May the Force be with you, my friend, always.
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