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How Young Do Jedi Start Training?

How Young Do Jedi Start Training?

Some Jedi start training when they’re infants, and it was rare to see any beginning beyond five years of age. For the Jedi Order, the younger one began training, the better, as it allowed them to understand and master the Jedi Code. 

The Jedi believed that those who started training later were often more prone to falling to the dark side, since they were more likely to possess emotional connections and other traits the Order saw as negative. 

Exceptions existed, like Luke Skywalker, who used his emotions to develop a greater connection to the light side of the Force. 

How Young Do Jedi Start Training?

Why Jedi HAD To Be Trained At Such a Young Age - Star Wars Explained

Many Jedi start training slightly after birth or within the first two years of their life. And while this was disheartening to parents of Force-sensitive children, they also realized they were handing their kids to a powerful organization that would serve the galaxy for the greater good. 

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So why do they need to start training at such a young age?

One reason is that the Jedi Code prohibits emotional attachments. Jedi can love, but they can love only out of compassion. If a Jedi grows too attached to something or someone, it’s an easy path to the dark side, as Anakin Skywalker showed. 

To negate such emotional connections or even develop emotions that could lead to self-serving interests, the younger one started training, the happier the Jedi were. 

While it was no guarantee younger Jedi Younglings universally embraced the Order’s teachings, those who started training at an older age were prone to struggle. 

Examples of Older Jedi Falling to the Dark Side

Anakin Skywalker started his Jedi training when he was nine, and his emotions, especially fear and anger, showed during trying times. Sheev Palpatine knew Anakin was emotional and he exploited those emotions, leading Anakin to resent and betray the Jedi Order. 

Anakin Skywalker

In Star Wars Legends, one of Qui-Gon Jinn’s former apprentices, Xanatos, also over aged like Anakin, experienced the same resentments toward the Jedi. 

As a child, Xanatos gained an emotional attachment to his father, sister, and his home planet. And with Jinn taking him to Coruscant, Xanatos had to give them up to become a Jedi. 

After confronting his increasingly corrupt father with Jinn, Xanatos fell to the dark side. 

Did Any Older Jedi Not Embrace the Dark Side?

In Star Wars Legends, Yoda joined the Jedi Order at an older age. Initially seeking employment, he and a human friend left his home planet. After crash-landing on a remote planet, N’Kata Del Gormo found and informed the duo of their Force-sensitivity. 

Luke Skywalker is the most noteworthy Jedi who did not start his training at a young age. Upon completing  his training, Luke helped redeem Darth Vader to the light side and resurrected the Jedi Order in both Canon and Legends. 

Luke’s experience also proved that emotional attachments don’t always lead down a dark path. In Empire Strikes Back. After realizing his friends were in trouble, he went after them despite Yoda’s and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s protests. 

Luke dueled Darth Vader and resisted joining the dark side before using the Force to call out to Leia to rendezvous via the Millennium Falcon. 

How Old are Jedi Younglings?

Jedi Younglings’ age ranges from infancy to five, a record Rael Aveross held before Anakin Skywalker joined at nine. As with Skywalker, Aveross had a tough time conforming to the Jedi Code, with Obi-Wan Kenobi describing him as “controversial.” 

During childhood Jedi Younglings underwent foundational training in meditation and basic combat instruction before venturing to Ilum to find a Kyber Crystal and construct their lightsaber. Around adolescence, they took their Initiate trials to advance to the rank of Padawan. 

Since this occurred in adolescence, the age of a Jedi Youngling rested between when they first began their training and their early teenage years. 

After training for 10 years, Obi-Wan Kenobi received promotion to the Jedi Knight rank at 25, the age of 15 is a good marker of when the Youngling stage ends. But this is not set in stone. Vernostra Rwoh was even younger given her early promotion to Knighthood. 

Jedi younglings

What is the Ideal Age to Begin Jedi Training?

Given the hardships overaged Jedi like Anakin Skywalker and Rael Aversoss faced in mastering the Code, the ideal time to begin Jedi training was for the Youngling to be young enough to master the Jedi Code without questioning it. Ideally, before they developed attachments. 

Who is the Youngest Jedi?

The youngest Jedi to reach the rank of Knight was Vernestra Rwoh, who reached the rank at 15. Besides becoming the youngest known Jedi Knight, Rwoh also became a Padawan at an unusually young age, long before most if not all of her peers. 

Like Anakin Skywalker, who, despite starting his Jedi training late also earned the title of Jedi Knight early, Rwoh was beyond Force-sensitive, once demonstrating the ability to turn her lightsaber into a light whip. Those she crossed labeled her a “Child Prodigy.” 

Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh: Characters of Star Wars the High Republic


How Old was Luke When He Started Jedi Training?

Luke’s age for when he started Jedi training is up for debate. In A New Hope, he receives his father’s old lightsaber and training tips from Obi-Wan Kenobi when he invites Luke to accompany him to Alderaan to deliver intercepted Death Star plans to Bail Organa. 

Given the events of A New Hope, Luke never gets much out of Obi-Wan. The Jedi Master let Darth Vader strike him down to give Luke, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Leia Organa a chance to escape the Death Star. 

Since Luke gained far more instruction under Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, some state he started his Jedi training under Yoda in 3 ABY at age 22. 

However, his training was non-traditional, and he also completed it on the fast track, with the ultimate confrontation with Darth Vader a short time later serving as his “Jedi trial.” 

Why Ezra & Luke Weren’t ‘Too Old’ for Jedi Training?

Luke was the penultimate hope for the Jedi’s return, with Leia serving as a close second. Given the dire circumstances surrounding the future of the Jedi, Yoda ultimately had no choice but to train Luke despite his protests in The Empire Strikes Back. 

While Kanan Jarrus did not see Ezra Bridger as a last hope, he grew inherently critical of the Jedi Order. Following Order 66, while still embracing the light side of the Force, Jarrus’ understanding of the former Order’s teachings dwindled. 

Given the distance Jarrus placed between himself and the Order’s teachings, Ezra’s older age mattered little.

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