In Star Wars, the road from youngling to Jedi Master is long and tough.

In Star Wars, the Jedi must undergo many trials before achieving the rank of Master, with their process beginning in infancy as Jedi Initiates, also known as Younglings. Progressing through these ranks is often an arduous task, with many prospective members leaving the order before achieving the rank of Padawan or Jedi Knight. Let’s take a look at these ranks and their roles in the Order.

Jedi Initiate/Youngling

Jedi Initiates were first discovered by the Jedi Order through a midi-chlorian blood test, which allowed them to identify Force-sensitive infants throughout the galaxy. The identity and location of these Younglings were historically kept within a Kyber crystal that was only accessible via holocron. After these infants were confirmed as Force-sensitive, many were brought to the Jedi Temple Crèche 0n Coruscant where they began their training.

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Initiates were separated across 10 clans filled with 20 students each, where they lived, trained and studied together as a unit. During their training, Younglings learned basic lightsaber combat with low-energy practice sabers and elementary level Force-powers. Their skills ultimately culminated into a ritual known as the Gathering, where Younglings constructed their own lightsaber using the Force and the Initiate Trials, a series of tests that allowed Younglings to become Padawans under one instructor. Jedi Grand Master Yoda taught Youngling clans for centuries, while Tera Sinube and Huyang also served as the children’s mentors.


Padawans are usually selected by a Jedi Master or Knight before their teenage years and remain in that role for years, usually into young adulthood. During this part of their training, they were often sent on missions with their Masters for one-on-one lessons. Padawans were typically known for growing and wearing a rat tail braid to signify their rank, which was the case for Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.

By the time of the Clone Wars, the Jedi Council began to assign Padawans to their Masters, while the Republic gave them leadership roles to lead Clone troopers. Only one Padawan could be trained by a single Master according to the Jedi Code. Before attaining the rank of Jedi Knight, Padawans usually had to undergo the nine steps of the Jedi Trials: teamwork, isolation, fear, anger, betrayal, focus, instinct, forgiveness and protection.

Jedi Service Corps

Not all Younglings and Padawans passed their trials and many returned to the homeworld after failing. However, those who wanted to remain in the Jedi Order were sent to the Council of Reassignment, which placed them into the Jedi Service Corps. Unlike traditional Jedi, Service Corps members did not wield lightsabers but played integral roles in other Jedi Council functions. In Legends, many Jedi Consulars transitioned into different roles within the Service Corps, such as Jedi Healers under the Medical Corps branch and Jedi Researchers under the Exploration or Educational Corps.

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Jedi Knight

Jedi Knights were full-fledged members of the Jedi Order, and, arguably the most well-known members of the organization throughout the galaxy. As the galaxy’s peacekeepers, Jedi Knights were often sent on missions to restore order across the Galactic Republic. Jedi Knights were no longer attached to a Master; however, they could select their Padawans or choose to collaborate with other Jedi on peace-keeping missions. Many Jedi Knights served as generals during the Clone Wars and were virtually eradicated following the execution of Order 66. Jedi Knights who wished to attain the rank of Master usually had to train a Padawan and help them successfully complete their Jedi Trials.

Jedi Master

The highest rank of the Jedi Order, Masters were often held in key leadership roles, serving as integral mentors or on the Jedi High Council. As the most devout and skilled members of the Jedi Order, Masters were essential toward keeping the balance of the Force. Although Jedi Masters were the most esteemed members of the Jedi Order, their selection wasn’t exclusively based on raw power or strength in the Force, but rather their ability to solve a problem with unique insight. Jedi Masters often taught Youngling clans, while Knights or other Masters would lead more specialized training for the young learners.

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Jedi Grandmaster

This rank was bestowed upon the oldest and wisest member of the Jedi High Council, who often served as the public face of the organization and the leader of the Jedi Order. The most prominent grandmaster was Yoda, who served as a Master for nearly 800 years, training over 20,000 Jedi in the process. After the near-collapse of the Jedi Order following the Great Jedi Purge, Yoda was one of the few Jedi to survive and was fundamental in reestablishing the order by training Luke Skywalker. Besides Yoda, the two best-known Grandmasters were Pra-Tre Veter and Lahru, who each served as the Order’s leader for an unknown period of time.

Non-Canon Ranks

Several other ranks existed in Legends media, such as the Jedi Sentinel, Guardian and ultimately Jedi Consular, which itself had sub-roles like the aforementioned Jedi Healer and Researcher, as well as Jedi Ambassador, Seer and Lore Keeper role. Guardians were noted for their excellent combat skills, Consulars for their wisdom in the Force and Sentinels for merging both schools of thought, often using complex critical thinking skills to solve problems. For more specific Consular roles, Ambassadors typically represented the Jedi Order for diplomatic missions, Seers interpreted Force visions and Lore Keepers collected Jedi archives. Star Wars: The Old Republic held two other classes, Jedi Sages, who were Consulars that focused on healing and telekinesis and Jedi Shadows, who were elite Sentinels sent to destroy anything connected to the Dark Side of the Force.

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