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NomisTrialOfCourage

Nomi Sunrider, during her Jedi Trials.

What about the trials?"
"
I have spoken with them about this, too, and they agree that you have proven yourself many times over during your service on Ruusan. Assigning you to Valorum's guard was your final test.

Valenthyne Farfalla, as he knights his Padawan, Johun Othone, Darth Bane: Rule of Two

The Jedi Trials, also known as the Trials of Knighthood, Jedi rituals, or Jedi ceremonies, were the challenges by which Jedi Padawans were given as pre-requisites for achieving Knighthood, and were sometimes retaken by Knights to earn the rank of Jedi Master. The trials were administered by the Jedi Council to any Padawan they deemed worthy of becoming a Jedi. The primary trials were a set of four, and were the Trial of Skill, the Trial of Flesh, the Trial of Courage, and the Trial of the Spirit. Other less formal trials, often from the old Order for apprentices' promotions to Padawans, included learning and gaining a thorough understanding of the Jedi Code, and the construction of a lightsaber.

HistoryEdit

This is to be a test of your knighthood. You and your companions must make your own way through the difficulties you will encounter.

Arca Jeth, speaking to Ulic Qel-Droma, Tales of the Jedi (audio)

Jedi trials date back as far as 4,000 BBY, and very likely much earlier than that. It is known that, in the days when Jedi Masters trained multiple Padawans simultaneously, the trials were less formal, though all four trials were still implemented as preliminary exams for a Padawan's transition into Jedi Knighthood.[1] Upon successful completion of said testing, the Master would then declare their student a Jedi, Knight of the Galactic Republic.[2]

After the Ruusan Reformations (that marked the year 1,000 BBY) when enrollment into the Jedi Order became more institutionalized, the trials themselves became more formal as well. They were carried out in a special Jedi Trials Chamber within the Jedi Temple, overseen by the Jedi Council and also the Padawan's own Master. If the Padawan was successful in completing the series of challenges, the Master would then prepare their apprentice for the Knighting ceremony. Should the apprentice be unsuccessful in completing the trials, they were permitted to take them again, until they passed.

Trials ProgramEdit

You will need all of your skill to survive.

Spirit of Kento Marek, to his son, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (video game)

At the Jedi Temple, a computer program was created that would pit simulacrums of long dead Jedi and Sith against the prospective Jedi Knights. Using the specialized projectors in the Jedi Trials Chamber, the program would create an opponent that proceeded to attack and taunt the Padawan. Each test was created using specific parameters set by a Jedi Master. If the Padawan was able to defeat the simulacrum, the phantom warrior would dissolve, and the program cut out.

After the Temple was left in ruin, the Program went wild. Darth Vader reprogrammed the computer to project not only in the Trials Chamber, but in the Jedi Archives and the High Council Chamber as well. His apprentice Starkiller was able to overcome three different simulacrums, and pass the Trials.

Knighting CeremonyEdit

Main article: Knighting ceremony

Occurring in the Hall of Knighthood within the Jedi Temple, the Knighting ceremony was a special time for Padawans, who were transitioning from mere learners to officially be inducted into the Jedi Order. The presiding Jedi Master would first place his lightsaber above the kneeling Padawan's right shoulder, then the left shoulder, and then back to the right shoulder, severing the Padawan braid in the process. This ceremony would be held in the Hall of Knighthood. The following phrase was said to the newly ordained Jedi Knight:

"Step forward, Padawan. [Name of Padawan], by the right of the Council, by the will of the Force, I dub thee, Jedi (cuts braid) Knight of the Republic."

In times of turmoil, the trials could be bypassed at the discretion of the Jedi Council if the Padawan had shown great skill, courage, or dedication to the Order. In such cases the apprentice was considered to have passed the trials through their various accomplishments, negating the need for formal testing. For example, both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker earned the rank of Jedi Knight without participating in formal trials, but rather passed their trials through their actions: Kenobi, through his duel with the Sith Lord Darth Maul,[3] and Skywalker for his heroism during the Clone Wars.[4]

The New Jedi OrderEdit

This one has been watching. She is very proud."
"
Proud? I could've been killed!"
"
No. This one taught you too well.

Jedi Master Saba Sebatyne, after Leia Organa Solo's Trial of Skill, The Swarm War

In Grand Master Luke Skywalker's New Jedi Order, apprentices became Jedi Knights once their Masters felt that they had attained sufficient skill. The trials were a tour in the ruins of the Massassi temple, usage of Force powers in order to overcome obstacles, as well as practicing combat techniques with training remotes and Jedi training droids. They were also given missions to complete both with their Master and on their own.[5]

For instance, Padawan Jaden Korr was dubbed Jedi Knight in an informal conversation with Skywalker and Korr's Master, Kyle Katarn. Katarn explained to Korr that, in the light of his achievements during the crisis of the Disciples of Ragnos, promotion was warranted to the status of Jedi Knight.

During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Knights were known to have become so due to their great achievements during the war, and were able to forego any formal trials. The survivors of the Mission to Myrkr, who were dubbed Jedi Knights in a formal ceremony, are an example of this.

Jedi Trials of the Old RepublicEdit

Trial of SkillEdit

Now—A warrior's test! If you won't use the lightsaber…then use your Jedi power as you did to protect your daughter!

Master Thon, speaking of Nomi Sunrider's inherent skill with Jedi Battle meditation, Tales of the Jedi (audio)
MaulObiNaboo

Kenobi engaged in his Trial of Skill during a duel with Darth Maul.

The Trial of Skill usually consisted of a lightsaber duel with an adversary, or displaying particular skill in Force applications. The apprentice had to be sufficiently trained as a warrior, proving a working knowledge with the Force and basic mastery of lightsaber combat. Training for this trial was usually based on lightsaber combat training. Note that actually winning a lightsaber duel is not necessary, but survival certainly is.

Notable examplesEdit

  • Kazdan Paratus' defeat of a simulacrum using his knowledge of droids and technology.[7]
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi's lightsaber duel with Darth Maul on Naboo.[3]
  • Kyle Katarn's first lightsaber duel with Yun.

Trial of the FleshEdit

And he endured an atrocious Trial of the Flesh at the hands of Count Dooku.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, speaking of Anakin Skywalker, Clone Wars Chapter 21
No arm annie

Skywalker enduring a ferocious Trial of the Flesh at the hands of Count Dooku

The Trial of the Flesh involved the apprentice overcoming great physical pain, hardship, or loss. It could also test the Jedi's mastery of detachment from physical pleasure and people. It is not the loss itself that qualifies as a pass, but what the Jedi learns from the experience.

Notable examplesEdit

  • Sunrider not returning home and agreeing to complete her Jedi training, despite the pain of her husband's death, her fear of using lightsabers, and the dangers of the galaxy as a whole.[2]
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi losing his Master Qui-Gon Jinn, during their duel against Darth Maul on Naboo, and not giving into vengeance to defeat Darth Maul.[3]
  • Aayla Secura suffering through an ordeal where her memories were wiped with glitteryll and being sold into slavery on Ryloth.
  • Luke Skywalker's loss of his right hand on Bespin during his duel with Darth Vader.[8]
  • Kyle Katarn overcoming his anger after learning Jerec was the one who killed his father.
  • Tenel Ka overcoming the loss of her left arm and refusing to have a mechanical replacement.[15]
  • Mara Jade sacrificing her ship and opening her mind completely to Luke Skywalker for comfort.[16]
  • Most, if not all, Luke Skywalker's first Jedi trainees dealing with nearly losing him at the hands of the ghost of Exar Kun.[18]
  • Zekk being orphaned.

Trial of CourageEdit

One thing remains. Vader…you must face Vader. Then, only then, a Jedi will you be.

Yoda to Luke Skywalker, Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Luke vs Vader DS2

Luke Skywalker's Trial of Courage

To pass the Trial of Courage, apprentices would fight courageously in battle, complete missions with a low chance of survival, or defeat a superior enemy.

Notable examplesEdit

  • Sunrider finally agreeing to take up Thon's lightsaber, and using it to battle and defeat Bogga the Hutt's gang of thugs.[2]
  • Anakin Skywalker's bravery throughout the Clone Wars, which saw him dubbed "Hero With No Fear."
  • Katarn defeating Jerec and the six Dark Jedi.
  • Luke Skywalker's entire class of Jedi trainees facing and defeating the spirit of Exar Kun.[18]
  • Obi-wan Kenobi's challenging Darth Maul on Naboo.

Trial of the SpiritEdit

File:Lukes vision.jpg

Facing the mirror.

Even Piell, Star Wars: Clone Wars

To pass the Trial of the Spirit, apprentices had to look deep within themselves, on a quest of self-discovery. Often times, apprentices did not like what they saw, and it could be a highly traumatic experience.

Notable examplesEdit

  • Revan resisting the temptation of the dark side that Bastila gave him on the Rakatan Temple.[6]
  • Juhani coming to terms with the death of her Master Quatra by her own hand, before following Revan back to the light side and learning that Quatra was alive and just testing her ability to deal with failure and the lure of the dark side.[6]
  • Aayla Secura's ultimately successful struggle with her desire for revenge against Quinlan Vos, which triggered her descent into the Dark Side as the thrall of Volfe Karkko on Kiffex.
  • Katarn resisting Jerec's temptation to give into the dark side by striking down his partner, Jan Ors.
  • Zekk's turn from the Dark Side, with the help of Jaina Solo.[24]

Other trialsEdit

Isn't it the test of a Jedi to build his own lightsaber?

Gantoris, Dark Apprentice
File:NomiMeetVodoAndDace.jpg

During the days of the old Order, there were less formal trials for Initiates to become a Padawan. The first was a test of one's knowledge of the Jedi Code. This was usually done periodically throughout the Initiate's training with the master asking the Initiate occasional questions until he/she had proven to the master a thorough understanding of the Jedi Code.

The second was the trial of lightsaber construction in which the Initiate meditated with the Force and constructed his/her own lightsaber. During the time of the Galactic Republic, Jedi Padawans were required to construct their own lightsabers before becoming Knights.[2]

There were two other notable trials that were usually undertaken in concert with the others.

Occasionally, an Initiate would be called upon to perform an additional task or quest. This could take the form of solving a judicial case, providing aid to a citizen in need, or similar situations.[25] Another trial would be for the Initiate to complete a task to see the dark side for themselves and find a way to conquer it. Revan did this when he redeemed the fallen Cathar apprentice Juhani.[6]

After completion of these trials and the promotion, Padawans were often taken on as formal apprentices by a Knight or Master, or they would continue training until taken under tutelage. As the centuries passed up until the Great Jedi Purge, these trials were eventually abandoned and Initiates could only become Padawans when taken under tutelage by a Knight or Master. Also, the practice of sending Padawans to other branches of the Jedi corps began after the trials were abandoned.

The Almas AcademyEdit

The Jedi apprentices of the Almas Academy underwent an alternative series of trials, that included the Test of the Lightsaber and the Test of the Droids. During the Clone Wars, Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi was sent to the Academy, to review its trials and decide whether or not to continue with the Academy's program. He decided in favor of keeping it.[26]

Notable variations on Trial practices and special casesEdit

In certain extraordinary circumstances the precise aspects of the trials were not strictly adhered to.

Examples of this:

  • The Padawan Darsha Assant was assigned a mission to protect a Black Sun operative from assassination and it was implied that this mission would count as her Trials. Padawan Assant was killed by Darth Maul during this mission.
  • The promotion of Obi-Wan Kenobi to the rank of Jedi Knight immediately following his victory over the Sith Lord Darth Maul. This accomplishment as well as other circumstances surrounding this event such as the death of Qui-Gon Jinn and his wish for Obi-Wan to train Anakin Skywalker, was deemed enough to warrant the promotion of Kenobi to Jedi Knight.[3]
  • The promotion of Barriss Offee following her actions on Drongar and the subsequent Republic withdrawal of the planet. She did not suffer any loss, faced no Sith or Dark Jedi, but looked internally when discovering the bota-induced state of mind, realizing that the misuse would be of the dark side.
  • Revan was already a Knight before he led some of the Jedi in the Mandalorian Wars, and became the Dark Lord of the Sith. When he became an amnesiac after the war, he was made into a Padawan when he was taken in for Jedi training again. His actions throughout the war with Malak served as his new trials to allow him to re-achieve the rank.[6]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes & referencesEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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