Jedi High Council
Jedi High Council
Founder(s): Rajivari, Garon Jard, Cala Brin, Ters Sendon
Leader(s): Grand Master, Master of the Order
Headquarters: High Council Chamber, High Council Tower
Location(s): Jedi Temple, Coruscant, Jedi Temple, Tython
Formed from: Assembly on Tython
Date founded: c. 25,783 BBY
Date fragmented: 3954 BBY
Date reorganized: 3951 BBY
Date dissolved: 19 BBY
Date restored: c. 35 ABY as the High Council of the New Jedi Order
Affiliation: Jedi Order, Galactic Republic
"With all of us may the Force be, and may the peace of this temple be ours, a place open to thought and speech, a realm of mutual respect, and a haven of shared noble purpose. Let us take these seats together, with no one above the others. May we work together, free from the restraints of ego and jealousy, at this gathering and all others to come."
―Jedi Council Members speaking the traditional oath during the Gathering
The Jedi High Council, simply known as the Jedi Council, was the primary Jedi Council of the Jedi Order during the rule of the Galactic Republic. The High Council met in the southwest tower of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
The High Council was a group of twelve wise and powerful Jedi Masters who were elected to guide the Order as well as to serve as an advisory body for the Office of the Supreme Chancellor. The Council was made up of five-lifetime members, four long-term members, and three limited-term members. This organizational structure had evolved from the earlier assemblies of Jedi Masters, and during the Great Hyperspace War may have been nothing more than an "inner circle" within the assembly. The Council originally had no set meeting place and met irregularly on planets such as Ossus, Alderaan, and Chandrila. With the relocation of the Order from Ossus to Coruscant, the Council was permanently established in that world.
History of the High Council
The Jedi High Council just after the Mandalorian Wars.
"A Sith Lord could walk right in front of the Council and they would lecture him about neutrality!"
―Raana Tey expresses her thoughts on the Council's effectiveness.
The origins of the High Council could be traced back to the founders of the Jedi Order who assembled on Tython to contemplate the role of the Jedi and the structure of the Order, with Jedi Masters Rajivari and Garon Jard among its first members. The Council was established as meeting of several trusted Jedi Masters, was set up to create a loose hierarchy in the Jedi Order. As of the time of the Great Droid Revolution, a High Council had been formally created, making pertinent decisions by the time of the fall of Exar Kun. Following Kun's death and the end of the Great Sith War, Jedi Nomi Sunrider was acknowledged as overall leader of the Jedi Order at the Conclave at Exis Station and held the title of Councilor on Coruscant, indicating she may have served on the High Council.
As of the Mandalorian Wars, the High Council existed in its permanent, twelve-member form, headquartered in the High Council Chamber in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. With several satellite councils overseeing different regions of the galaxy, the Council established a traditional Chamber of Conclave in the Jedi Temple, requesting members of these satellite councils report to the High Council annually. During the Mandalorian Wars, the Council advised all Jedi not to involve themselves in the war. While trying to keep the Order together, the High Council was forced to deal with the repeated failures of the Tarisian Jedi Council in capturing one of their charges "responsible" for the death of his classmates. Recalling the Tarisian Jedi to Coruscant, the High Council dissolved the administrative body and closed the academy on Taris. Unbeknownst to the Council, the group was secretly a part of a secret society within the Order, led by the retired Jedi Seer Krynda Draay. Not long after, the Council appointed Master Draay's son, Lucien, to the High Council on the recommendations of Draay's advisor, Haazen. Council members Vrook Lamar and Vandar Tokare reasoned that this appointment would help them get to the bottom of the massacre on Taris, which had remained unresolved as the Council continued to temper the growing number of Jedi that wished to engage the Mandalorians.
Soon after Draay's appointment, another Tarisian Council member, Master Xamar, confessed the truth of the Padawan massacre and the existence of the Covenant. Giving Master Krynda Draay full immunity in exchange for Xamar's confession, Master Lamar led a strike force against the Draay Estate, intent on arresting the traitorous Jedi and quelling another schism. During the assault, Haazen revealed his intent to control the Jedi Order and supplement it with Sith by eliminating the High Council, executing Operation: Vindication, which saw the destruction of the estate, and his death. Following the debacle, the Republic and the High Council both agreed to cover up the incident as a Mandalorian terror attack, and also exonerated the accused Padawan Zayne Carrick and his associate Marn Hierogryph.
Meanwhile, the Council was dealing with several outspoken members of the Order who disagreed with the High Council's neutrality in the ongoing war. Preaching patience and restraint against the Mandalorians, the Council originally condemned the impetuousness of Jedi Revan and Malak until a group of Masters experienced a vision of the Mandalorians massacring the people of Cathar. Sanctioning the splinter group, the Revanchists led the Republic to a victory against the Mandalorians. Following the war, a single Revanchist returned to Coruscant to face the Council's judgment. Voting unanimously, the Council excommunicated the Jedi from the Order for disobeying their original call to neutrality.
Having disappeared on another crusade following their victory against the Mandalorians, Revan and Malak returned to known space, having been corrupted to the dark side by the hidden Sith Emperor and formed the Sith Empire. The Council was forced into a confrontation with the Sith Lords, gaining an upper hand when Malak turned on his Master. Jedi Padawan Bastila Shan was able to capture the wounded Sith Lord and bring him before the High Council for judgment. Using this opportunity to gain the upper hand in the war, the High Council decided to reprogram the Sith's mind and sequester his memories as a Sith Lord. Taking him to the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine, Shan and the Council of Dantooine helped to retrain Revan as a Jedi and aided him as he slew Darth Malak and destroyed the Star Forge, ending the Jedi Civil War. Encouraged by the victory in a war that had dwindled their numbers, the High Council was hit by another blow as Revan left Republic space indefinitely.
When entire groups of Jedi began to disappear, the High Council called a conclave on Katarr to root out the threat that seemed to be hunting members of the failing Order. During the Conclave, Darth Nihilus attacked the world and killed every living being on it. The Order, completely decimated, disbanded and the remaining Council members began their exile on separate worlds. With the Order out of the way, the Sith Triumvirate began to take over the Republic but was stopped by the actions of the Jedi Knight Meetra Surik, also known as the Jedi Exile. Searching out the remaining Council members as she killed Sith all over the galaxy, she was able to bring the surviving Councilors to Dantooine's ruined enclave. There, the Jedi Masters attempted to strip the woman of the Force but were stopped and killed by Master Kreia. Following the defeat of the Sith Triumvirate, Meetra helped rebuild the Order and the High Council, before eventually leaving the known galaxy herself.
Some members of the High Council conferring with Galactic Senators during the Great Galactic War.
With the reestablishment of the High Council, the Order went through some reform as the disciples of Meetra helped to eradicate teachings that led to the Order's fall to begin with. One of Meetra's own disciples, Mical, was believed to have been made a Master and placed on the governing body in its first years after its reorganization. Several years later, the Sith Emperor returned to known space and began to harass the Republic. Little did the Council know that it had already been infiltrated by Sith spies; it wasn't long before the Temple and Coruscant fell to the Sith during the Great Galactic War, a conflict in which half of the Council was killed, including Grand Master Zym. Following their defeat at Coruscant, Knight Satele Shan rediscovered the Jedi birth world of Tython, and established a new Temple there. Relocating to Tython, the High Council appointed Shan as their leader and Grand Master of the Order.
This Jedi Council, established on Tython during the Cold War, would include masters such as Giffis Fane, Wens Aleusis, Oric Traless, and Nikil Nobil. Master Tol Braga, peace-lover and warrior master would also gain a seat on this council, as would the Togruta Jedi Master Bela Kiwiiks, the Jedi Master, healer, and warrior during the Great Galactic War Syo Bakarn, warrior Jaric Kaedan, and revered master and warrior during the Great Galactic War Orgus Din. A very powerful Jedi Consular, who became the third Barsen'thor of the order eventually replaced Syo Bakarn on the Jedi Council after winning numerous essential victories for the Republic, and after the latter was exposed as the First Son of the Sith Emperor, and was defeated and redeemed by the former.
Centuries later during the New Sith Wars, the High Council created and served in the Army of Light; a military organization designed to combat the Brotherhood of Darkness. Under the leadership of Lord Hoth, the Army of Light was successful in defeating the Brotherhood and brought lasting peace to the Republic. In the following months, the Galactic Senate ordered the disbanding of the Army of Light as one of the stipulations of the Ruusan Reformations. Returning all ships that were purchased by tax-payers, Council member Valenthyne Farfalla championed the actions of the Senate and Supreme Chancellor Tarsus Valorum and accepted the deal. Over the course of the next decade, Master Fae Coven was appointed as head of the Council and Grand Master, leading reform in the Order as it moved away from its militant teachings and back to peacekeeping. Formalizing many traditions lost over decades of warfare, Coven and fellow luminaries of the Order authored the Temple guidebook, The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force. Coven sat on the High Council for at least the first century of the Republic's Golden Age, eventually stepping down or dying post-896 BBY.
Near the Republic's end
Jedi High Council members Eeth Koth, Saesee Tiin, Yarael Poof, and Depa Billaba during the Invasion of Naboo.
Over the next few hundred years, the High Council continued to govern the Jedi. Assisting the Galactic Senate to keep the peace and settle diplomatic disputes, the Order grew extremely lofty and deeply settled in their philosophy, maintaining their Temple on Coruscant. The High Council was made up of many scholars during this time, differing from the military leaders that made up its membership during the periods of war. Chief Librarian of the Temple Archives Jocasta Nu, historian Thame Cerulian, and scholars Omo Bouri and Tor Difusal all made up the Council's rank at varying points towards the end of the Republic's Golden Age.
When Yoda was made Grand Master, the august body began to feel the ripples of the dark side creeping back into the Force. The young Mace Windu was appointed as Master of the Order sometime during this time, serving alongside some of the greatest Jedi of the era. Pre-44 BBY the Council appointed another scholar, T'un. As the dark side grew stronger, more conflicts cropped up across the Republic. The Council lost many of its own during this time: the legendary Wookiee Tyvokka, during the Stark Hyperspace War, and the portly Master Micah Giiett during the Yinchorri Uprising. Also, Jedi Master T'un stepped down from the ranks of the Council, and he was succeeded by Master Depa Billaba.
Between 39 BBY and 36 BBY, Master Qui-Gon Jinn was appointed by the Council to oversee the Wookiee colonization of the moon Alaris Prime. Jinn regularly reported the Wookiees' progress, including their growing conflict with the Trade Federation's competing presence. When a holocron was found in one of the Wookiee camps Jinn received permission from the Council for the Wookiees to build a Jedi temple on Alaris Prime to store the holocron for safekeeping. Jinn also petitioned the Council to personally join the Wookiees in their final battle against the Trade Federation, which was approved with the condition that the Wookiees build a fortress.
Following the Invasion of Naboo and the death of Jinn at the hands of a Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Maul, the High Council became acutely aware that their long-thought extinct enemy may have returned. Quelling rumors about a Sith resurgence, the Council obscured information surrounding the death of Jinn, swearing his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Queen of Naboo to secrecy. Signs of a Sith return seemed to increase; the attacks of Dark Jedi Xanatos years prior and the constant troubles posed by Granta Omega, including his involvement in the death of Council Master Yaddle constantly caused problems for the High Council. Following former Jedi Master Dooku's departure from the Order, the enigmatic idealist organized a Separatist group which caused a crisis in the Senate. As these problems intensified, the Council lost another member, Yarael Poof, and struggled to keep up with the constant assassination attempts on Senators and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Appointing Master Coleman Trebor to the Council in hopes that he could serve as a spokesbeing for the body, the Council was constantly barraged with accusations of corruption and even kidnapping.
Jedi High Council in 22 BBY.
This crisis culminated in the Battle of Geonosis, during which Master of the Order Mace Windu took over 200 Jedi to Geonosis to rescue two captured Jedi and Senator Padmé Amidala from their captors. Many Jedi died in the fighting, though the tide was turned upon the arrival of the recently discovered Grand Army of the Republic and Grand Master Yoda. The start of the Clone Wars wasn't the only result of this confrontation; the High Council realized that the shroud of the dark side had completely blinded them to see the creation of such a large army, from sensing the growing dangers of this Confederacy and its leader, Count Dooku, and his fall to the dark side of the Force.
The end of the Council
"The Jedi believed in shades of gray...when there is only what benefits the Empire, and what does not."
As the Order was forced to militarize once again, Master of the Order Windu stepped down as leader of the Council so that he could serve more of a role on the battlefield. Grand Master Yoda took over as head of the High Council, remaining on Coruscant to better interact with the Office of the Supreme Chancellor and coordinate war strategy. During this time, the High Council kept secret the location of the Prism on the 6th moon of Diab from the Senate and a few Jedi. The make-up of the Council was in constant flux throughout the war, as Masters died or retired. In the final days of the war, the Council had become increasingly suspicious of the Supreme Chancellor's office as mysterious coincidences began to suggest a connection with the mysterious Darth Sidious. Leading the investigations, Master Windu and Shaak Ti traced a trail back to the basement of 500 Republica, the apartment complex of some of the most prominent senators, including the Chancellor. Before the investigation could continue, Coruscant was attacked by General Grievous, forcing the Jedi to the surface. The ensuing conflict and capture of the Chancellor postponed the investigation indefinitely as the events of the next few days prevented Windu or the Jedi from returning to the trail. As Coruscant recovered from the attack and Palpatine was returned to his office, the Council's power was limited with the passage of the Enhanced Security and Enforcement Act. Due to their suspicions of the Supreme Chancellor at the very least being influenced by the Sith Lord, and also for ulterior motives of separating the then-recently and informally included member Anakin Skywalker from Palpatine's influence, the Jedi High Council also opted to use Skywalker as a means to spy on the Supreme Chancellor to determine his activities. Although Skywalker's master and fellow high council member, Obi-Wan Kenobi, was personally against the idea to use Skywalker in that manner due to knowing that Skywalker was not a good fit for spying on the chancellor, he ultimately relented on the plan due to being outvoted.
High Council members in 19 BBY—Ki-Adi-Mundi, Plo Koon, Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin, and Kit Fisto.
Increasingly troubled, the High Council was given news of the death of General Grievous at the hands of one of their own members, Master Kenobi. Along with Count Dooku's death, the Council believed this sufficient grounds to ask the Chancellor to step down from office and allow an election to take place. Motivated by the fear that he was a puppet of the Sith Lord, Master Windu took three other members of the Council with him to encourage Palpatine's resignation. However, Windu was informed by Knight Anakin Skywalker that Palpatine and Darth Sidious were indeed the same man; with this knowledge, the Masters set out to arrest the Sith Lord. Arriving at his inner sanctum, the four Masters confronted the Sith, with Windu's comrades, Kolar and Tinn falling within moments. Fisto put on a brave fight but was cut down soon after. Alone now, Sidious and Windu fought a vicious duel, with Windu gaining the upper hand and disarming the old man, also redirecting Sidious' Force Lightning back at the Sith, deforming the latter. Before Windu could deliver the killing blow, Skywalker entered the fight and, both deluded by Sidious's promises of power and fearing that Windu's act is also an act toward the Dark Side, disarmed Windu, with Palpatine capitalizing on this to induce a lethal dose of Sith Lightning on the Jedi Master and tossing him out of the window.
With four Council members dead and one, Anakin Skywalker, fallen to the Sith, the other members were unaware of what had transpired on Coruscant; though Grand Master Yoda had sensed a disturbance through the Force. To circumvent an organized Jedi reaction, Sidious used his position as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army to execute Order 66 across the galaxy. With all active clone commanders receiving orders to terminate their Jedi generals, nearly all Council members were wiped out in the sudden massacre. Meanwhile, Sidious had sent his new apprentice Darth Vader to the Jedi Temple to slaughter all within. With the Order in shambles, the High Council was disbanded with only three members surviving in exile. Over the years, the last members of the Council were hunted down or otherwise died; Master Shaak Ti on Felucia, Master Kenobi on board the Death Star, and Grand Master Yoda on Dagobah. Yoda and Kenobi did not die before ensuring the continuance of the Order; both had a hand in training Luke Skywalker, the boy who would go on to take down the Galactic Empire and the Sith, and eventually, rebuild the Jedi Order.
Main article: Jedi High Council (New Jedi Order)
Following the death of both Vader and Sidious, Skywalker took his basic knowledge of the Force and began searching for artifacts from the Old Jedi Order. Establishing a training academy on Yavin 4, Skywalker's fledgling Order would eventually grow to be a thriving organization. Serving the New Republic much as the Old Order had served the Republic for centuries, the Knights of the New Republic fought and died valiantly during the Yuuzhan Vong War. Up until the end of the war, the Order had been very informal, with Knights seeking out their own way as opposed to taking assignments. This mode of service had worked during the Order's early years but became too uncontrollable by the time of the Dark Nest Crisis, and Skywalker was forced to act. Declaring himself Grand Master, Skywalker decreed that all Jedi would answer to a reformed High Council and accept missions at its pleasure. The body was made up of twelve Masters per the old template and convened in Chambers at the newly erected Temple on Coruscant and the academy on Ossus.
The Council suffered some deficiencies during the Second Galactic Civil War as its members deferred many of its decisions to Master Skywalker. This proved detrimental in their mishandling of Knight Jacen Solo who went on to become the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Caedus and joint Chief of State of the Galactic Alliance. After committing several atrocities and violating countless civil rights, the Council moved against Caedus' government and assisted in his removal, but the damage was already done. Newly appointed Chief Natasi Daala blamed Skywalker for Colonel Solo's actions and charged him with negligence. Agreeing on terms that would banish Skywalker from Coruscant indefinitely, Master Kenth Hamner was appointed as acting Grand Master and leader of the High Council. Master Hamner himself was later replaced by Master Saba Sebatyne after the latter killed him in an unfortunate duel. Saba then was unanimously voted by the Masters to take over as acting Grand Master in Hamner's stead.
The High Council continued to deal with the Alliance and the Imperial Remnant for nearly a century; this quasi-peace was ended when the One Sith, under the leadership of Darth Krayt, emerged from hiding on Korriban and overthrew the Alliance and the Order. Through the machinations of the Sith–Imperial War, the Council members were forced into hiding, locating the Hidden Temple on Taivas and attempting to slowly rebuild the Order.
Organization and politics
As the governing body of the entire Jedi Order, the High Council's decision was final and to be respected by all Jedi. Membership on this august body was limited to twelve Masters at a time, with each member appointed by unanimous vote of the current members. Dealing directly with the Office of the Supreme Chancellor, the High Council would offer the sitting Chancellor advice on political maneuvering and insight through the Force. As both the High Council and the Office of the Chancellor served as an executive branch of sorts for their respective organizations, they sometimes came into conflict as the High Council supposedly served at the discretion of the Chancellor. Perhaps the most prominent occurrence of overstepped bounds was Chancellor Palpatine's appointment of Knight Anakin Skywalker to the High Council in 19 BBY. Because of the recently passed Enhanced Security and Enforcement Act, this appointment was made legal, but the High Council only accepted the appointment to gain a spy in the increasingly corrupt office, both because they were suspicious that Darth Sidious was somehow influencing Palpatine, and partially because they didn't want Palpatine to influence Anakin Skywalker.
The terms of service on the Council were divided into three different lengths. Five members would serve indefinitely; giving up their seats upon passing away or stepping down. Four long-term members had the opportunity of stepping down at any time, though they did not have to leave until they reached an approved end date to their service. To bring new perspectives and ideas to the Council, three limited-term members served during certain crises or to bring the voice of different Temple organizations to the forefront. With the passage of time, any of the long- or limited-term members could be elevated to another position within the Council, increasing the length of time served. When a lifetime member died, a long-term councilor might succeed them, though this was not always the case. Members of the High Council were addressed verbally by either the formal title of "Your Grace" or simply the honorific of Master. Besides, it was reputed via the Jedi Archives and testimonies by previous sitting members extending as far back as before the Invasion of Naboo that the Jedi High Council would enter quiet, mutual contemplation with the Force until all of the Council was of a single mind in the matter when making decisions. However, by the time of Obi-Wan Kenobi's brief time on the High Council nearing the late stages of the Clone Wars, the Jedi High Council was more prone to entering into fierce arguments between the members and entering a vote, with actually entering contemplation with the Force being a rarity, if it ever occurred.
Once established the High Council was the sole distributor of the title of Knight to its members; this rule was sometimes loosened during times of war out of expedience. Known to communicate with some of the private training academies situated around the galaxy, the practice of ordaining Knights goes as far back as the Old Sith Wars, when the High Council approved Barrison Draay and Krynda Hulis for knighthood.
Because so many satellite academies existed on worlds far removed from Coruscant and the watchful eye of the High Council, smaller councils were created to have direct oversight of each academy and acted as watchmen for a large region of space. In some instances, members of the High Council sat on smaller Councils, as was most notably seen with members of the Council of the Dantooine enclave during the Mandalorian Wars. Other bodies known to exist throughout the Order's history were the Council of the Almas Academy, the Council of the Taris Academy, and the Council of the Telosian Academy.
"Every Master of the High Council arrives in their proper time and place, in accord with the will of the Force."
―Jedi Master Garon Jard
Known Masters of the Order and Grand Masters are listed in bold.
Before the Republic era
Rajivari (c. 25,783 BBY—)
Garon Jard (c. 25,783 BBY—)
Cala Brin (c. 25,783 BBY—)
Ters Sendon (c. 25,783 BBY—)
Old Republic era
Awdrysta Pina (—24,500 BBY)
Biel Ductavis (10,966 BBY—)
Unidentified Chagrian Jedi Master (c. 4000 BBY)
Unidentified Human Jedi Master (c. 4000 BBY)
Unidentified elderly Jedi Master (c. 4000 BBY)
Nomi Sunrider, (c. 3986 BBY—), head of the Jedi Order (c. 3986 BBY—)
Atris (c. 3963 – 3951 BBY)
Kavar (c. 3963 – 3951 BBY)
Zez-Kai Ell (c. 3963 – 3951 BBY)
Vrook Lamar (c. 3963 – 3951 BBY)
Lonna Vash (c. 3963 – 3951 BBY)
Vandar Tokare (c. 3963 – 3952 BBY)
Dorjander Kace (—3963 BBY)
Lucien Draay (3963 BBY)
Mical (3951 BBY—)
Belth Allusis (—3671 BBY)
Zym, (—3653 BBY), Grand Master of the Jedi Order (—3653 BBY)
Satele Shan, (3651 BBY—) Grand Master of the Jedi Order (c. 3651 BBY—)
Oric Traless (—c. 3638 BBY)
Syo Bakarn (c. 3651—3641 BBY)
Jaric Kaedan (—3641 BBY)
Orgus Din (—3643 BBY)
Tol Braga (—3641 BBY)
Barsen'thor (3641 BBY—)
Rise of the Empire era
The emblem of the Jedi High Council.
Fae Coven, Grand Master of the Jedi Order (—896 BBY)
Yoda, (—19 BBY), Grand Master of the Jedi Order (—4 ABY), and Master of the Order (22 BBY)
Yaddle (—26 BBY)
Oppo Rancisis (—19 BBY)
Omo Bouri (115—103 BBY)
Tor Difusal (89 BBY)
Thame Cerulian (—82 BBY)
Jocasta Nu (62–52 BBY)
T'un (c. 94 – 44 BBY)
Tyvokka (—44 BBY)
Mace Windu, (44–19 BBY), Master of the Order (—22 BBY)
Yarael Poof (—27 BBY)
Micah Giiett (—33 BBY)
Sifo-Dyas (—32 BBY)
Saesee Tiin (—19 BBY)
Even Piell (—c. 21 BBY)
Eeth Koth (—c. 20 BBY)
Adi Gallia (—20 BBY)
Purple-skinned Jedi (—20 BBY)
Gran Council member (—20 BBY)
Plo Koon (44–19 BBY)
Depa Billaba (—22 BBY)
Ki-Adi-Mundi (33–19 BBY)
Coleman Trebor (27–22 BBY)
Shaak Ti (26–19 BBY)
Kit Fisto (22–19 BBY)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (22–19 BBY)
Agen Kolar (c. 20 BBY—19 BBY)
Coleman Kcaj (c. 20 BBY—19 BBY)
Stass Allie (20–19 BBY)
Anakin Skywalker, (19 BBY), representative of the Supreme Chancellor (19 BBY)