Jedi Code

Conclusion Lessons for Staying True to the Jedi Code

Over the millennia since the founding of the Order, Jedi Masters have recognized that there are number of conclusions a Jedi can reach before situations are thrust upon them. A Jedi who understands these conclusions will, when called upon to make a quick decision, already know the will of the Force. The following nine part series is transcribed from the WotC Star Wars RPG.

  • Conclusion #1: Meditation:

    "Every Jedi should spend time meditating each day on the will of the Force. The reason for this is simple: if one has unwittingly acted contrary to the will of the Force, recognizing the mistake soon after may still give one time to make amends." - Master Odan-Urr

    What Master Odan-Urr left unsaid was that by regularly examining one's own motivations, a Jedi could be certain that she was not allowing emotion, ignorance, or passion to intrude upon her clarity. A Jedi who has no time to meditate may more easily become lost. More to the point, a Jedi who refuses to meditate may already know that her motivations are not pure, and is thus lying to herself. As Master Yoda once said: "The Jedi who heeds not the counsel of the Force, to the dark side listens."

  • Conclusion #2 - Training:

    "A Jedi's training in the Force never ends." - Master Vodo Siosk-Baas

    A wise Jedi should strive to remember that there is always something more to learn about the Force. The Force reveals itself to those who have the desire and knowledge to see it, and merely heeding the Force's will is much the same as looking at a bantha's toe and saying: "Now I understand banthas." To continue to grow, a Jedi should train each day.

  • Conclusion #3 - Loyalty:

    Jedi can exist in this universe because the Force exists. But a Jedi Order needs more: it requires loyalty. It goes without saying that Jedi should be loyal to one another. They should not squabble or fight. More importantly, though, each Jedi should be aware that he must act in accordance with the wishes of his Master, who must in turn act in accordance with the wishes of the Jedi Council. This is not a question of seniority, but rather of understanding the will of the Force, and in this regard, the members of the Jedi Council are the recognized experts.

  • Conclusion #4 - Integrity:

    A Jedi's responsibility to the Force is to be honest with himself. So long as the Jedi is not acting for his own self-interest and observes the Code, he is obeying the will of the Force. Master Odan-Urr lamented the misperceptions of those who believed that the Jedi should be morally superior: "Many feel that a Jedi should be scrupulously honest, never taking advantage, and never withholding information. This is nonsense."

    A Jedi can and should offer advice to those who need it. From a certain point of view, a Jedi is not being dishonest if he allows people to believe what they wish to believe. It is incumbent upon the Jedi to convince anyone to follow his advice.

    When a Jedi is serving the Force, he may employ deception, subterfuge, misdirection, and even fraud, if he does so with a righteous aim. Although most sentient beings have a distaste for such practices, the Force is without emotions.

    But take note - do not confuse this with "moral flexibility." (see the next conclusion on morality) A Jedi does what needs to be done. But also remember that a Jedi is not above the law.

  • Conclusion #5 - Morality:

    The most dangerous - and debated - words ever uttered by a Jedi Master are: "A Jedi is not a creature of morals." This statement has unfortunately been translated, often by Jedi, to mean a Jedi can do no wrong.

    What it actually means is that Jedi are not enforcers of morality. While Jedi can bring or restore order and justice, they cannot themselves sit in judgement of others. There are two reasons for this.

    First, the galaxy is a vast place, full of cultures that no one Jedi can completely understand. One famous story tells how a Jedi learned that a companion had been devoured by a cannibalistic Colicoids. When asked why the Jedi later bargained with the very same beings for starship components, she responded: "Because eating the flesh of sentient beings is not forbidden by the Jedi Code - but to Colicoids not eating the flesh of sentient beings is considered a sign of insanity."

    This Jedi recognized that punishing the Colicoids for following their nature would be acting out of emotion and ignorance. Similarly, not procuring a badly needed engine part would have been punishing herself out of guilt.

    The second reason is that judgement leads to vengeance, and vengeance leads to the dark side. This is easy to understand, though not easy to practice. Should a known murderer be allowed to go free? Should a man intent on murder be killed? To answer either question, a Jedi must first know the will of the Force. Neither decision can be made hastily, except where lives are threatened by inaction.

    At the same time, while not judges, Jedi can be mediators. It is a role they are suited for, and one that works in accord with the Force since mediation leads to balance.

  • Conclusion #6 - Discretion:

    "The galaxy will live in tranquility if certain matters are a bit overlooked or left unheard." - Master Odan-Urr

    Though Master Odan-Urr believed in justice, he also understood that is was sometimes necessary for a Jedi to practice discretion. Some have seen this as a sign of a Jedi partisanship. Others, particularly law enforcement agencies, believe that Jedi ignore small crimes in order to apprehend greater criminals. Obviously neither is true.

    The truth is that Jedi Knights are suffered throughout the galaxy-despite their facility with the Force. This is because they do not actively interfere with the lives of the common people. Jedi stand for order and justice, and these qualities do not begin with the misdeeds of a few. The goal of the Jedi should be to create and preserve an atmosphere where justice can flourish, rather than to try to create justice themselves."

    Master Yoda often said that, should the Republic ever challenge the Jedi Order's right to exist, the support of the common citizen would see them through: "If fear us they do, help us they will not. If hate us they do, hunt us they will."

  • Conclusion #7 - Bravery:

    "To be brave in battle proves nothing. Bravery itself proves nothing. A Jedi should be prepared to put aside fear, regret, and uncertainty and either fight, run, surrender, or die." - Master Odan-Urr

    Younger Jedi commonly mistake bravery as the opposite of fear. Since fear leads to the dark side, they reason bravery is armor against the dark side. This isn't so. If a Jedi is mindful of the will of the Force, he will know whether to stand his ground, or flee, or even to offer truce. Remember that bravery itself is an emotion, and a Jedi should be at peace - even in the midst of war.

  • Conclusion #8 - Fighting:

    "If a Jedi ignites his lightsaber, he must be ready to take a life. If he is not so prepared, he must keep his weapon at his side." - Master Odan-Urr

    Conflict is a fact of life in the galaxy for far too many beings, and no Jedi can hope to remain apart from it. But Jedi need not embrace conflict. As Master Yoda teaches: "If a weapon you show, "A warrior am I!' you say. And who is best must all other warriors know of you." So, to avoid unnecessary fighting, a Jedi should not advertise his skill.

    But when is it necessary to fight? The Force will show a Jedi when he has no other options, and a wise Jedi trusts the Force in this regard.

    When fighting, is it necessary to use one's lightsaber? The answer is no, A lightsaber is an intimidating weapon - but it is not a tool of intimidation. This is what Odan-Urr meant. Do not use a lightsaber to create fear in an opponent. Use it to end a fight as quickly and mercifully as possible. If it means destroying a foe so be it. But if a Jedi can end a fight without killing an opponent, so much the better. The best Jedi can avert injury altogether, with only a word.

    In the past, some Jedi have taken this to mean that they should carry a second less deadly weapon. There is no such thing. If a weapon cannot kill, it is not truly a weapon.

    While a blaster can let a Jedi attack from a distance, it is just as effective - and more keeping with the Jedi Code - to use the Force instead.

  • Conclusion #9 - Dependence:

    "Do not come to rely on the Force to the detriment of your other senses and abilities." - Master Odan-Urr

    While not part of Odan-Urr's Jedi Code commentary, this bit of wisdom from the Jedi Master is often added to any instruction using his words and methods. It warns Jedi students to develop their other talents and abilities, to not rely solely on the Force. To use the Force to accomplish every mundane task is to trivialize it. Using the Force isn't the only solution to every problem; sometimes, it isn't even the best solution. That is where a Jedi's other skills and talents come in. Jedi training consists of many exercises; mastering the Force is only apart of that training. The student also learns to run, jump, climb, fight, swim, and think. These exercises could be made easier by using the Force, but this would be a detriment of the Jedi's overall experience. A Jedi needs to learn his capabilities without the Force so that he can truly know himself and also understand what those without the Force are capable of accomplishing.

    Using the Force because it is convenient, even when other methods might be more sensible, falls dangerously close to the dark side. It is only one step removed from using the Force to achieve personal wealth and power, and that is definitely a corruption of the Force.

    This concludes the nine part series on Conclusion Lessons for Staying True to the Jedi Code.