Jedi training technically never stops. Even after one becomes a Jedi Knight or even a Jedi Master. However, one becomes a full member of the Jedi Order once they achieve Knighthood upon completing their Jedi trials.
While it takes most Jedi at least two decades to become a Jedi Knight from their youngling days, the exact length varies among each individual. For example, Obi-Wan Kenobi became a Jedi initiate at age three, and achieved Knighthood at 25.
Others, like Anakin Skywalker, became a Jedi Knight at 19 after just 10 years of training.
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How Old are Jedi When They Start Training?
Jedi are taken from their families when they display Force-sensitivity. They are often so young that they do not yet develop emotional ties to friends and family. The typical age ranges between six months to five years.
However, there are a few exceptions, such as Anakin Skywalker, who entered at age nine.
The young age makes it easier for Jedi Grand Masters to teach them to live by the Jedi Code, such as “there is no emotion, only peace.” Jedi Initiates, better known as Jedi younglings, are also young enough to be conditioned to the strict lifestyle of a Jedi.
Qui-Gon Jinn sums up the Jedi lifestyle when he tells Anakin Skywalker the following:
“It will be a hard life. One without reward, without remorse, without regret. A path will be placed before you; the choice is yours alone. Do what you think you cannot do. It will be a hard life. But you will find out who you are.”
From Younglings to Padawans
Upon entry, younglings are divided into groups that typically involve 20 peers. Training under a Grand Master, younglings learn to feel and interact with the Force. They also learn basic lightsaber skills.
Years pass before younglings venture to the World of Ilum, where they would construct their lightsaber, locate a kyber crystal, and begin their lives as Padawans.
When is the exact date that a Jedi youngling rises to the rank of Padawan? It varies among the skills Jedi younglings acquire.
Often, they rise to Padawans when the Jedi Order feels they’re ready for combat training and intensive, one-on-one instruction with either a Jedi Knight or a Jedi Master.
Training under a Jedi Knight or Master took several more years given the required intense learning curve. Again, the actual timetable depends on the Padawan. It took Obi-Wan Kenobi a decade with Qui-Gon Jinn. However, Vernestra Rwoh took between two and three years.
Now out in the galaxy, they gained first-hand experience on how tough life would get as a Jedi. As Padawans, they accompanied their Master on missions that would last for months and in some cases, years.
Death-defying missions, as both Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi embarked on.
How Long Does Jedi Training Take?
From youngling to Jedi Knight, training often took over two decades. A typical youngling rose to the Padawan rank during their teenage years. Once a Padawan, they often spent at least another decade training under their Master.
However, this varied from individual to individual. Not only did their Master have to approve them to face their Jedi trials, but the Order also had to realize a Padawan was ready to rise to Knighthood.
What are the Jedi Trials?
The Jedi trials are a test for Padawans seeking to ascend to the rank of Jedi Knight. These trials comprised the following steps:
While many Padawans passed the trials in their twenties, gifted Padawans could pass them during their teenage years. These weren’t a sit-down exam or even something a recruit would encounter in a military setting.
Instead, each step in the Padawan’s trial came at unexpected moments throughout the galaxy. As with their training as younglings and Padawans, the Jedi trials also took years to complete.
With the bar set so high, not all Padawans passed, which led to their departure from the Jedi Order. During each step in the trials, Padawans learned to deal with how to respond to each hardship when times are at their bleakest.
And how grueling did these trials get?
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s duel with Darth Maul following Qui-Gon Jinn’s fatal wound even stands as an example of a trial.
Do Padawans Become Jedi Knights Following Their Trials?
The short answer is no. Padawans must still face another five trials following the first nine:
It’s a definite unfortunate twist for any Jedi Padawan, believing they were finished after spending years facing nine grueling tasks. But, the upside meant that once they passed the five additional trials, they proved worthy of rising to the rank of Jedi Knight.
But how tough are these five steps?
For example, Luke Skywalker faced the Trial of Flesh in Return of the Jedi when he felt the pain of Force lightning. The lightning served as overwhelming pain, yet Luke remained persistent in his goal of confronting Darth Vader in hopes of turning him back to the light side.
Once a Jedi rose to the rank of Knight, they were then given a ceremony in which they knelt before the Jedi Grand Master, who then recited a passage and severed their Padawan braids. The new Jedi Knight then choose one of three paths:
Guardians served as the galaxy’s first line of defense. Think Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. They specialized in combat, and would respond to any threat at a moment’s notice.
For Obi-Wan and Anakin, this occurred during events of The Phantom Menace and throughout the Clone Wars.
Consulars dealt with politics and served as ambassadors, diplomats, and advisors to the Galactic Senate. They were master mediators regarding political disputes throughout the galaxy.
They were also scientific, embarking on intensive studies on the galaxy and the Force. They often learned more about the Force through meditation. The most well-versed Consulars could even envision future conflicts.
Yoda is the best example of a consular, demonstrating his ability when he sensed fear in Anakin Skywalker.
The best way to describe a Sentinel is as a hybrid between Guardian and Consular. Sentinels weren’t as combative as Guardians, however, often relegated to protecting the Jedi Temple or embarking on undercover missions.
They also lived among the masses, which prompted most Jedi to choose either the Consular or Guardian role.
Who is the Youngest Jedi?
Anakin Skywalker? Nope. According to Screen Rant, our tragic hero was not the youngest Jedi. Screen Rant cites Justina Ireland’s novel, A Test of Courage, and its story of Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh as the youngest Jedi.
This Mirialan Jedi Knight completed her trials at 15. And since most Jedi are not chosen as Padawans until at least their teenage years, it means Vernestra most likely spent between one and two years as a Padawan.
How Long Did It Take Anakin to Become a Jedi?
Despite Vernestra holding the edge over Anakin, he became a Jedi at a relatively young age. Starting his training at age nine in 32 BBY, Anakin would become a Padawan under Kenobi.
Attack of the Clones took place 10 years later in 22 BBY. And once the Clone Wars ignited that same year, Anakin became knighted and eventually took on Ahsoka Tano as his Padawan in the television series. Therefore, it took Anakin 10 years to become a Jedi.
Sion Fawkes has been covering Star Wars since January 2022, expanding his expertise in both Star Wars Canon and Legends. When not writing, you can find Sion in the gym or running trails. He also likes watching sports and listening to audiobooks.