The Path Within the Jedi Code
Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy.
Jedi use their powers to defend and protect, never to attack others.
Jedi respect all life, in any form.
Jedi serve others rather than ruling over them, for the good of the galaxy.
Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training.
-from the Jedi Code
The Path Within the Code
Full comprehension of the Code is one of the keys to unlocking a Jedi’s mastery of the Force. As its most basic level, the Jedi Code is a set of guidelines explaining what virtues to prize and what flaws to avoid. Jedi instructors ask their students to always keep these words in mind.
Consider the first rule: “There is no emotion; there is peace.” It is plainly a contrast, distinguishing the confusion of emotional considerations from the clear thinking of peaceful meditation, but if that peace is rooted in simply being unaware of some factor that would otherwise cause a Jedi to feel an emotional reaction, then it is not so much peace as ignorance. This is why the Code contains the second rule: “There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.”
This teaches Jedi to strive to understand all situations, particularly before acting to avoid errors in judgment. Knowing a thing well can lead one to become engrossed in it. An obsessive focus leads to clouding of the mind. Thus, the third rule: “There is no passion; there is serenity.”. Knowing a thing objectively is knowing it as the Force knows it.
Still, students commonly argue that the only true objectivity is nonexistence…death. This is why there is the fourth rule: “There is no death; there is the Force.” The Force knows all things objectively; it is serene, and it is not swayed by emotion.
The Jedi Code teaches that before undertaking any action, the Jedi should consider the will of the Force. If a Jedi can act emotionlessly, knowledgeably, and serenely, then he or she is acting in accordance with the will of the Force. If a Jedi acts in all things without emotion, ignorance, or passion, then that Jedi is truely a master of the Force.Taken from P.154 of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Core Rulebook by Wizards of the Coast, 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd.
“With these other considerations aside, all that remains is the Force.”-Master Odan-Urr
Interpreting the Code
While the Code is a straightforward map to mastery of the Force, it can sometimes be frustrating when put into practice. The galaxy has changed a great deal since the Jedi Code was first defined. Although the secret to the Code is considering it thoroughly before acting, the universe often does not afford a Jedi the time to do so.
A Jedi can think through a great many things in advance, to better maintain the principles of the Code when the rest of the Universe is in a hurry. Over the millennia since the founding of the Order, Jedi Masters have recognized that there are eight conclusions a Jedi can reach before situations are thrust upon him or her: Meditation, Training, Loyalty, Integrity, Morality, Discretion, Bravery, and Fighting. A Jedi who understands these eight things will, when called to make a quick decision, already know the will of the Force.
“Every Jedi should spend time meditation 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.”
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 it thus lying to herself.Taken from P.155 of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Core Rulebook by Wizards of the Coast, 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd.
“The Jedi who heeds not the counsel of the Force, to the dark side listens.”-Master Yoda
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 not enough. To continue to grow, a Jedi should train each day.Taken from P.155 of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Core Rulebook by Wizards of the Coast, 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd.
“A Jedi’s training in the Force never ends.”-Master Vodo Siosk-Baas
Jedi can exist in this universe because the Force exists, but the 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.Taken from P.155 of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Core Rulebook by Wizards of the Coast, 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd.
“I will do what I must, Obi-Wan.”-Master Qui-Gon Jin
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 Jedi should be morally superior: “Many feel that a Jedi should be 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 not 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 such emotions.
Do not confuse this with “moral flexibility.” A Jedi does what needs to be done, but also remember that a Jedi is not above the law.Taken from P.156 of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Core Rulebook by Wizards of the Coast, 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd.
“You…you tricked me! You knew the boy was going to win, somehow you knew it! I lost everything.”-Watto
The most 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 that 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 judgment 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 the 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 the 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 judgment leads to vengeance, and vengeance leads to the dark side. This is easy to understand, though not so 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 to the Force since mediation leads to balance.Taken from P.156 of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Core Rulebook by Wizards of the Coast, 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd.
Though Master Odan-Urr believed in justice, he also understood that it was necessary for a Jedi to practice discretion. Some have seen this as a sign of Jedi partisanship. Others, particularly law enforcement agencies, believe that Jedi ignore small crimes in order to appprehend greater criminals. Obviously, neither of these 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 the 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.”Taken from P.156 of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Core Rulebook by Wizards of the Coast, 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd.
“The galaxy will live in tranquility if certain matters are a bit overlooked or left unheard.”-Master Odan-Urr
Younger Jedi commonly mistake bravery as the opposite of fear. Since fear leads to the dark side, they reason that 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 it is best to stand his ground, or flee or even to offer a truce. Remember that bravery itself is an emotion, and a Jedi should be at peace-even in a midst of war.Taken from P.156 of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Core Rulebook by Wizards of the Coast, 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd.
“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
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 a 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 for intimidation. This is what Odan-Urr meant. Do not use a lightsaber to create fear in an opponent. Use it to end the fight as quickly and mercifully as possible. If this means destroying a foe, so be it. But if a Jedi can end a fight without killing an opponent, so much the better. This 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 in keeping with the Jedi Code to use the Force instead.Taken from P.156-157 of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Core Rulebook by Wizards of the Coast, 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd.
“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
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 trivalize it. Using the Force isn’t the only solution to every problem; sometimes, it isn’t even the best solution. That’s where a Jedi’s other skills and talents come in. Jedi training consists of many exercises; mastering the Force is only a part 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 to the 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’s convenient, even when other methods might be more sensible, falls dangerously close to the dark side. It’s only one step removed from using the Force to achieve personal wealth and power, and that’s definitely a corruption of the Force.Taken from P.157 of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Core Rulebook by Wizards of the Coast, 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd.
“Do not come to rely on the Force to the detriment of your other senses and abilities.”-Master Odan-Urr
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