Part of the appeal of the Star Wars universe is the epic battle between good and evil. The power struggle between the light and dark sides played out in detailed fight scenes with lightsabers flying through the air is one of the reasons so many fans continue to rewatch every film and series as they come out. However, there is an often overlooked detail that leaves many fans confused. What are the origins of the Jedi and Sith?
This history gets complicated quickly because Star Wars canon gets mixed with all the contributions of authors, fans, video games, TV shows, and even action figures. Then you have the highly contentious prequels that seemed to clarify some points, only to force the creators in the expanded universe to quickly try and overcome continuity issues. Let’s try to clarify things based on the films first as canon, and then any secondary sources as supplemental.
Where Did the Jedi Come From?
In the prequels, we see the Jedi Order at almost full power with numerous knights, temples, and outposts all over the galaxy. Here the Jedi act as peacekeepers moving from planet to planet, trying to maintain order in the universe. Throughout the original trilogy, the Jedi are fewer and far between because of the purge ordered by Darth Sidious. Eventually, in the most recent trilogy, we witness the last of the formal Jedi.
Outside of the movies, we need to visit the Legends universe. The problem here is this is no longer considered canon by Disney, who owns the Star Wars franchise. In the Legends content, the Jedi originated in 36,453 BBY when a group of Talid monks of the Order of Dai Bendu on the planet Ando Promiem felt the call of the Tho Yor. Basically, the Tho Yor gathered all kinds of force-sensitive species to study and learn together until they formed the Je’daii Order, which eventually became the Jedi.
None of that exists in the canon, and we actually do not know where the Jedi comes from. We are treated to the first temple of the Jedi Order at Ahch-To where Luke takes his pilgrimage in the modern trilogy, but that is about it. There is a subtle hint in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian where the planet Tython is reintroduced, suggesting that there may be an origin story on the horizon, but that is about it.
Where did the Sith Come From?
The red lightsaber-wielding Sith has just as complicated a history as the Jedi. In the non-canon material, hints of an alien race make up the Sith. However, Lucasfilm actually printed a compendium known as The Star Wars Book in which they describe the Sith as an order founded by a splinter group of Jedi who discovers the raw power that can be achieved by devotion to the dark side. The Sith pour their hate and rage into the kyber crystals at the core of their lightsabers, causing them to be red. Eventually, these crystals are synthetically made.
Inside canon, a new book was printed called Star Wars: Secrets of the Sith where it was revealed a grand plan was put into motion by the Dark Lord Darth Bane millennia ago during the split-off of Sith from Jedi. Essentially the Sith would wait in the shadows and corrupt the Republic from within until bringing an end to the Jedi. This was accomplished by Darth Sidious, who also became the last Sith Lord.
Is there a Simple Answer?
The sad reality is that until we get an origin story within the now Disney-owned universe, it will be next to impossible to pinpoint an actual beginning to either the Sith or Jedi. There are plenty of hints throughout the collective games, books, films, and more, but nothing to rest an actual date or original lightsaber-wielding being upon.
We would like to throw our hat in the race for voting for an origin story. With the recent success of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, it seems clear there is plenty of room for story expansion and development. Of course, the upcoming series featuring Obi-Wan could clear up some info, but to us, the origin of each order and the battle between them is fertile ground for a new film series.
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