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How Do Jedi Ranks Work?

How Do Jedi Ranks Work?

Padawan. Jedi. Master. “General Kenobi!” We’ve heard and read these ranks a thousand times and know them by heart.

But what do they mean? Who decides who gets a promotion and when? And did they only follow one set of rules/circumstances or did they evolve over time?

In the prequels, we can see that the Jedi are more like military than a traditional Peacekeeper. But what does that mean for those in the Jedi Order?

What Are The Seven Ranks Of Jedi?

ALL 7 Jedi Ranks Explained - Star Wars Explained
  1. Youngling. Younglings (or sometimes called Jedi Hopeful or Initiates) are the children raised from infants and toddlers in the Order. They’re divided into clan groups and are trained together before taking trials to become Padawan. 
  2. Padawan. If the Youngling is successful (if they fail, they don’t become Jedi but are still part of the Order).
    In the old days, a Jedi would choose which Padawan to train. But around the clone war era, this was impossible, and the Jedi Council would assign a Padawan to a Jedi.
  3. Knight. This is where we have the most subdivisions, such as Consular, Guardian, and Sentinel.
    Though all carry the same authority as a Knight, each group has its own specialties and ways to get things done.
  4. Master. There are only two ways to achieve this rank. Either train a Padawan until they reach the level of Knight, or achieve enough feats that the Council will grant the rank.
  5. Council Member. We only see one of four councils during movies. The Council of First Knowledge, The Council of Reconciliation, The Council of Reassignment, and The High Council.
  6. Master of the Order. Despite the wording, this position is not all powerful, or belongs to a single Jedi.
    In the old days, many Jedi held this title, though once we reach the prequels that practice is no more. Mace Windu used to hold this title.
  7. Grand Master. This is usually held for the wisest and most skilled Jedi.

How Do Jedi Ranks Work?

Though the hierarchy is clear, many Jedi will help each other despite rank. It wasn’t uncommon to see Yoda teach the Younglings.

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Obi Wan, Yoda & the Younglings Lost a planet

Or for him to get several other Jedi to help with this task. A Council Member has the right to issue orders to anyone below them, but the High Council is the one with the most power.

A Knight’s main duty, (even when they’re training a Padawan), is to ensure peace. This is why we have several kinds of Knights.

  1. Counselors serve on The Council of Reconciliation and, once again, can be divided into several groups based on their talents. Mainly Seers, Healers, Ambassadors, Diplomats, and Lorekeepers.
  2. Guardians were the Republic’s first line of defense before the clone wars. They are also Peacekeepers, Temple Security, Starfighthers, and one Jedi may obtain the rank of Battlemaster, (they give the Younglings their first lessons in combat and are often in charge of outfitting Jedi for their missions).
  3. Sentinels are a bit different from their fellow Jedi. Whereas the Counselors and Guardians focus on the Force, Sentinels learn many kinds of non-Force techniques.

Such as computer hacking, and are mostly sent on missions that can involve assassinations. 

But all of the Jedi would be nothing without the unsung heroes of the Jedi Service Corps. Should a Youngling fail to become a Padawan or a Padawan be unable to become a Knight,  they can join the Service Corps.

The Rarest Ranks of the Jedi Order -- The Service Corps Explained

The Service Corps also welcomes Force users who were too old to be accepted into the order. Sadly, members of the Corps didn’t get lightsabers until the clone wars, and The Service Corps became militarized. 

And like the Knights, they also have different groups, Agricultural, Medical, Educational, and Exploration. Even though they weren’t part of the main Order, many Jedi would volunteer to help the Service Corps.

Who Is The Highest Jedi?

The highest Jedi is the Grand Master, as there is only one at a time, and they are the wisest, most skilled of Jedi. The Jedi must unanimously vote to receive this title, and their main duties are passing on knowledge to the next generation.

What Rank Is Yoda?

Yoda and his Force Vision

Yoda was the Grand Master during the clones wars era, and remained so after he went into isolation after Order 66. Despite the Jedi being scattered, Yoda was said to link with those in need with the Force and attempted to aid them in times of peril.

It’s been argued that other Jedi such as Mace Windu was stronger than Yoda, yet out of all the remaining Jedi. He wasn’t actively pursued by the Emperor.

Yoda became a hermit on the swamp planet, Dagobah, and would show Luke Skywalker that size matters not. His playful nature often hid his calculating mind and many underestimated him due to his size.

It’s also worth noting that Yoda proved what would happen if any member of his species turned to the Dark side. (And in doing so, scared his former Padawan, Count Dooku).

What Jedi Rank Is Luke Skywalker?

Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker became a Jedi Master after defeating Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. In legends, he became a Grandmaster and rebuilt the Jedi Order, (although he differed from the previous Order and would end by the Sith).

Though Luke Skywalker does pull off some amazing feats in the films, (like teaching Leia how to keep herself alive in space, and sending a slightly younger projection of himself to fight Kylo Ren from a different planet). Yet these skills pale in comparison to what he achieved in legends.

Other Points Of Interest

A common question is: who would win between Luke Skywalker and Yoda? (I don’t know but I want to see it)!

Anakin Skywalker was a Jedi Knight and was one of the greatest generals of the clone wars.

Though Leia Organa, (Luke’s twin sister), never officially became a Jedi, she did receive training from Luke. And would prove to be a worthy opponent and a temporary mother figure to Rey.

Everything We Know About Leia's Jedi Training

Luke Skywalker’s last name was originally going to be Starkiller. 

In Conclusion

The Jedi have seven main ranks with many subdivisions. Luke Skywalker and Yoda were both Grand Masters in their own right, and each did countless things to ensure the Jedi under their care flourished.

I hope the next time Disney makes a Star Wars movie, (because it’s not Christmas without Star Wars), they focus on someone from the Jedi Service Corps. Thank you for reading, and may the Force be with you.

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