ByThe Lafayette, writer at
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The Lafayette

With the recent release of the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there has been a lot of conversation about the concept of “Gray Jedi.” This was perpetrated by the following quote in the trailer:

Luke Skywalker: "Breath. Just breath. Now, reach out. What do you see?"

Rey: "Light. Darkness. A balance."

This quote seems to indicate that there is much more to The Force then just the Jedi and Sith. Moreover, the two opposing orders may be just the tip of a very large iceberg regarding The Force and its place in the universe. With the mention of balance between the light and darkness in the trailer, many began to wonder if was bringing in the controversial Gray Jedi.

The idea of the Gray Jedi is very prolific in the old Expanded Universe and in the MMO, The Old Republic, which may or may not be in the new canon. Much of the idea of balance — which is being discussed in the new canon under Disney — has its roots in the philosophy of the Gray Jedi. So, for those who are unfamiliar with the concept here is EVERYTHING you need to know about Gray Jedi.

Gray Jedi Is Not A Title

'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' [Credit: Lucasfilm]
'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' [Credit: Lucasfilm]

Gray Jedi is not a title for a Jedi knight but rather a description of how they use The Force. Typically, it is used to describe a Jedi that dabbles in both the light and dark side of the force. Gray Jedi call on the dark side of the Force, but are not corrupted by it and do not embrace it entirely. A good example of this is Mace Windu, a Jedi who uses the dark side when in combat but abandons it when the battle is finished. Though it is debated, many have called Qui-Gon Jinn a Gray due to his dabbling in immortality. In fact, Tyvokka once said:

"Jinn always does things his own way, always sure he is right, always incredulous if we do not see it his way. Some think he is a Gray Jedi."

A Gray Jedi Is Still A Jedi

'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' [Credit: Lucasfilm]
'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' [Credit: Lucasfilm]

Gray Jedi are not another order like the Sith, they are Jedi who embrace both views of the force and use both dark and light to their advantage. To a Gray Jedi the Force is just the Force; it is the individual that creates the dark side and the light side. In the acclaimed game, Knights of the Old Republic II, Gray Jedi are described as such:

Gray Jedi are those who, though having completed the teachings of the Jedi, operate independently and outside of the Jedi Council. They are typically seen as misguided, though they have not necessarily succumbed to the dark side.

Their Use Of The Force

'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' [Credit: Lucasfilm]
'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' [Credit: Lucasfilm]

All Gray Jedi display the use of both light and dark side Force abilities, and demonstrate skill in techniques common to both Jedi and Sith. These included: Force choke, Force lightning, healing, mind tricks, controlling animals and Force throws. While Gray Jedi do not adhere solely to the light side of The Force, they are free from the malevolent influences of the dark side. It is important to distinguish that Jedi who have suffered any corruption from the dark side — even if they are redeemed — are not considered to be .

Examples Of Gray Jedi

'Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith' [Credit: Lucasfilm]
'Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith' [Credit: Lucasfilm]

The Imperial Knights: These were an order of Force practitioners loyal to the Emperor of the Fel Empire. They used the force in combat and leaned towards the light side. The Jedi council tolerated them and viewed them as Gray.

Mace Windu: Mace used a form of lightsaber combat known as Vaapad. It was a form that channeled the dark side in allowing the user to feel the thrill of battle and victory. Windu was the only user to not fall to the dark side of The Force.

Qui-Gon Jinn: It is up for debate if Jinn was truly considered a Gray Jedi. He was at odds with the council for many years and was known to study arts that were frowned upon by the Jedi (such as the path to immortality).

Jolee Bindo: A self-described Gray Jedi, Bindo separated himself from the Jedi council and operated as a smuggler and ally of the former Jedi and Sith Lord Revan.

What Does This All Mean?

The Gray Jedi sought to expand the understanding of The Force and how it operates. The order was created to show that just because someone was a Jedi or Sith did not make them fully evil or good. It began to show that the Jedi were not all white knights and the Sith were not always the black hats. While much of this information is found in the old canon, Lucasfilm has been converting much of the old Expanded Universe into the new canon. Much of the philosophy of the force found in Star Wars Rebels and in the Force Awakens is from the old canon.

Do you think that Gray Jedi are coming to the film universe? Let me know in the comments below!


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