First, some harmless questions: what color + blue = green? Which Jedi did Palpatine, and other Sith Lords, fear?
What’s the deal with the cloaked guys in masks outside the Jedi Temple?
And finally: Why does a group of space monks need its own assassins?!
(They’re supposed to be the good guys, but I keep finding things that aren’t good about them.)
Don’t worry, I’ll go more in detail further down.
Table of Contents
About Jedi Sentinels
Jedi Sentinels are a subclass of Jedi Master that specialize in (more normal?) tasks like investigating, tracking, hacking (computers), repair, and the law. And unlike most Jedi, Sentinels didn’t always use a lightsaber.
They didn’t wear the traditional Jedi robes, and they spent their lives blending in with the populace. (Kind of like undercover police that only answer to the Council.)
The Sentinels were the Jedi’s first line of defense against the dark side, and its pipeline to every world. Sentinels often acted as recruiters and would escort Younglings (Force-sensitive children) back to Coruscant.
Unlike other Jedi, Sentinels didn’t have to be strong with the Force, and some may have become a Jedi after reaching adulthood (more on this later). This means that you or I can truly call ourselves Jedi Sentinels!
Most Sentinels have a yellow lightsaber (especially if they’re Temple Guards), but this isn’t always the case.
And, of course, they also have subclasses.
Which Jedi Were Jedi Sentinels?
Artisans, Investigators, Recruiters, Shadows (assassins), Temple Guards, and Watchmen are the Sentinel subclasses. With three possible members being Plo Koon, Yaddle, and Rey (based on their yellow lightsabers).
The Temple Guard has a unique part in Jedi society. They’re the only ones who have a uniform.
Not only do they wear special robes (mostly white and gray), they also wear ornate masks that cover their faces — keeping their identities hidden, even from each other.
Unlike other Jedi, the Temple Guard are shuffled around every year.
Their members stem from other Sentinels, and they each receive a double-bladed yellow lightsaber during their term (but they still kept their original lightsaber).
(It’s been said that the double-bladed lightsaber is more for show, and not meant for battle, though we do see the Temple Guard use them in the Clone Wars).
But not all Sentinels have a moral job.
Meet the Shadow. A Jedi trained to be a Sith’s worst nightmare and not afraid to use dark side techniques like Force Choke.
Shadows did what other Jedi didn’t. They spied. They sabotaged. They used mind tricks (and worse) on anyone that posed a threat to the Republic.
They were meant to be used against the Sith, but often worked behind the scenes to ensure peace. (You can play as one in Star Wars: The Old Republic.)
This made them a double-edged sword as, once the Order fell, Palpatine had them hunted down first, starting with the Temple Guard.
In Canon, the Temple Guard were all but wiped out before the newly named Darth Vader, and the 501st legion came to the Temple for Operation Nightfall.
This was done by The Grand Inquisitor, (real name unknown), who was a Temple Guard until Order 66.
(It’s not clear if Palpatine had a hand in this, but he did welcome the Grand Inquisitor with open arms.)
In Legends, they get a more heroic (yet final) stand, as they holed up inside the Temple and attempted to get the remaining Jedi and Younglings to safety.
Both the Temple Guard and the Shadows would make excellent Sith assassins, due to their unique set of skills. Most of the Inquisitors (in Canon, so far) were from the Jedi Order.
Who Was the First Jedi Sentinel?
The one who founded the Sentinel subclass is Morrit Ch’gally. A Jedi Master who served in The Army of Light in the Jedi-Sith war.
He was in the Acquisition Division before that, which is all we know about him.
How Many Jedi Sentinels Are There?
We don’t know. The exact number of Jedi at any time has never been confirmed.
But it’s believed that around 9,800–9,900 were killed during Order 66.
With about 100–200 survivors, the Sentinels were the smallest group at the time (due to arrogance and lack of common sense).
Is Yoda a Jedi Sentinel?
During the Clone Wars, and up to his death, Yoda was the Jedi Grandmaster.
This is my own theory, but I don’t think he would have been.
Despite his carefree demeanor, Yoda stuck by the Council and, even when he admits he makes mistakes, he still doesn’t do anything to fix them.
It’s possible he could have been a Temple Guard at one point, since they would take Masters from other branches (he might have made a Holicrom as well.)
But, I don’t believe Yoda would have been a Sentinel. (Though Disney might prove me wrong in the future.)
Are Sentinels Gray Jedi?
Yes and no. The Sentinels were allowed to use Force Choke, while other Jedi weren’t. (Force Choking is considered to be an entry level dark side move, and anyone can learn it.)
Sentinels are more sensitive to the Force and can feel when the dark side is close. (Which puts them right up there with the Jedi Seers.)
We can argue the finer points of this group, but it’s up to all of us. A Sentinel isn’t traditional, but they’re still very much respected by the Order.
If used properly, they could have stopped Palpatine before the war started.
Other Points of Interest
Sentinels played a crucial role in society by blending in, and not being afraid to do what they had to do to finish the job.
The role of Sentinels (and Shadows) were made popular in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Virtually any Jedi moving forward from Rey’s perspective can be a Sentinel. (Since Yoda decided to beat Luke to the punch and burn a tree down.)
The Sentinels were the unsung heroes of the Jedi Order. They made things and rarely needed to use a lightsaber.
Since they were so good at hiding (and often had the trust of ordinary citizens), the Sentinels could be anyone and everyone. Any master could have joined their ranks for a term in the Temple Guards.
A Sentinel’s main objective was to ensure peace. Even if it meant getting their hands bloody.
I believe Palpatine spent so much time hunting Sentinels, that he didn’t consider the other surviving Jedi to be a threat.
Here’s hoping Disney makes good use of this group.
Thank you for reading and may the Force be with you.