“We don’t have to win, we only have to fight.” - Guardian and Jedi Master Mace Windu
Guardians are the most visible and numerous of the Jedi. They are frontline masters of the lightsaber and martial arts. They have been an instrumental part of galactic history - saving planets, civilizations, and even galactic-scale organizations like the Old Republic. They have fended off numerous threats, including the Mandalorians, the Sith Empire, the Separatist armies, and even the Yuuzhan-Vong.
Those who choose to become members of the Guardian Order follow in the footsteps of such notable past Jedi as Lord Hoth, who led the Army of Light to defeat the Brotherhood of Darkness in the New Sith Wars, Mace Windu, who created the Vaapad form, Anakin Skywalker, who, prior to falling to the Dark Side, was one of the greatest pilots in the galaxy, and his son, Luke Skywalker.
Guardians follow a strict and rigid training program and they never stop refining their skills in all styles of combat. A Jedi Guardian will battle against superior numbers and, unless their foe is proficient with the Force, they are likely to emerge the victor. A lightsaber in the hands of a Guardian is an instrument of peace which they can use with a skill unmatched by nearly any Consular or Sentinel. They are also excellent pilots since Jedi Guardians apply the same training to their piloting skills as they do to their lightsaber forms. Their abilities are so well known that the mere possibility of facing Guardian-piloted starfighters has kept many conflicts from escalating out of control.
These skills are not without their price. Most Guardians die in combat, and, in times of war, their Order is the one that suffers the brunt of the casualties. A Jedi who chooses to become a Guardian knows that, one day, he or she will succumb to that fate.
“We Guardians are the Republic’s first line of defense against the thousand enemies who seek to destroy it.” - Jedi Master and renowned Jedi Ace Crix Sunburris
As the course has already noted, the Guardians are the Jedi most visibly present in times of conflict, and they are found in every conflict in which the Jedi Order has partaken. From the very first confrontations between the proto-Jedi on Tython to the Yuuzhan-Vong menace, they have served, fought, and died in hundreds of conflicts.
This section of the course is not intended to give a full review of all the events that the galaxy has seen, as doing so would be the subject of a book rather than a Shadow Academy course. Instead, this section will focus on a few of the most important events in which the Guardians have been involved, demonstrating why they have been instrumental in the continued survival of the Jedi Order.
The Light Side Order of the Guardians can be traced back to the Je’daii Order on Tython, where they kept the balance between the forces of Light (Ashla) and Dark (Bogan). That all changed in 25,793 BBY when an event caused the followers of Bogan and the followers of Ashla to wage war upon each other in what became known as the Force Wars. The proto-Guardians, not yet known by their proper name, did most of the heavy fighting at the time. The Force Wars ended in 25,783 BBY with the defeat of the Bogan followers and the creation of the Jedi Order. When the newly formed Jedi Order left Tython, the Guardians were at the Order's vanguard, trying to secure the galactic frontier for innocents.
As the Jedi Order gradually came into full existence, it was the Guardians who provided the Order with the protection they needed as it slowly built its temple on Ossus.
When the Great Schism came, no one was surprised to find that the Guardians comprised the majority of those who fell to the Dark Side. To them, one of the most attractive aspects of the Dark Side was that it offered far more opportunities for personal glory. The Guardians, many of whom had chafed under the Jedi Order's enforced humility, turned against their fellows far more often than either the watchful Sentinels or the scholarly Consulars.
Later, when the Jedi Order decided to intervene in the Tionese War, the Guardians first served as defenders of the Republic, dying so that it could live. This heroism was sufficient to cleanse the Order of the stain of their fallen members and allowed them to once again become fully accepted among the Jedi.
During the Crusades of Chancellor Contispex I, which began in 11,965 BBY, the Guardians led the armies of the Republic. The Jedi, disillusioned by the Chancellor’s persecution of aliens and endless warmongering, withdrew from the Old Republic and retreated to Ossus. As the Crusades increased in intensity and inquisitions were launched within Old Republic space, seeking to root out alien sympathizers, the Jedi Council debated fighting against the Republic they had protected for millennia. The Guardians did not wait, disobeying the Council and fighting against Contispex’s heirs. When the Jedi finally intervened, the Guardian Order provided the most members to the strike team sent to arrest Chancellor Contispex XIX.
During the Hundred-Year Darkness, which raged from 7,000 BBY to 6,900 BBY, the Guardians were the ones who field tested the newly designed protosaber. They loved the device but knew it would need to be improved before it was ever going to be a truly effective weapon.
The full strength of the Guardian Order was once again needed with the discovery of the Sith Empire, kicking off the Great Hyperspace War in 5,000 BBY. The Battle of Coruscant saw the deployment of a new subset of the Guardians in the form of the Jedi Ace. These Guardians used the Force to enhance their piloting skills, which was extremely helpful when Naga Sadow created the illusion that his Navy and his ground troops were far larger than they actually were.
The Jedi Guardians played pivotal roles in the wars that followed, leading the charge in many of the Republic's later conflicts. They also operated as a police force in more peaceful times, keeping the Galaxy in check when local forces proved insufficient. It was a great honor when two Jedi Guardians helped oversee the construction of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
During the Great Sith War, the vast majority of the Jedi lured from the temple on Ossus by the Dark Lords Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma were of the Guardian Order. These fallen Jedi formed the backbone of the army the Sith Lords later used to attack Coruscant. Both Sith Lords were eventually defeated and captured mainly through the Guardian’s efforts, ending the war and putting the Sith to rest for another 300 years.
At the start of the Great Galactic War, the Jedi Temple on Coruscant was partially destroyed during the Sacking of Coruscant in 3,653 BBY. This was the result of a fake treaty proposed by the Sith Empire, and whilst talks were being held on Alderaan, Sith forces led by Darth Malgus attacked the temple in order to shut down Galactic City’s security network.
The next two wars nearly saw the Guardians brought to extinction. The Mandalorian War spiraled out of control, culminating in the Jedi Civil War that split the Jedi Order and nearly destroyed it. The Order partially recovered, and the Guardians continued to lead the armed forces of the Old Republic into battle in a series of galactic conflicts known as the New Sith Wars, which spanned from 2,000 BBY to 1,000 BBY.
The New Sith Wars culminated in the Battle of Ruusan, which saw the legendary Guardian and Jedi Master Lord Hoth lead the Army of Light to defeat the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness on the battlefield. Lord Hoth ultimately perished in the last desperate act of the Sith - a thought bomb that destroyed the Brotherhood of Darkness and killed a hundred Jedi Masters and Knights. The Jedi’s pyrrhic victory at Ruusan is pivotal not only to the Guardians but to the Jedi and Sith, as well. Following Ruusan, Darth Bane instituted the Rule of Two that controlled the Sith until after the Galactic Civil War in the modern era. The Galactic Senate instituted the Ruusan reformation, which radically altered and governed the Jedi Order until the Clone Wars and the fall of the Old Republic.
Following the Ruusan Reformation, the Guardians and the Jedi Order as a whole renounced all military rank, disbanded their military forces and placed themselves under the supervision of the Supreme Chancellor. During this period, the Guardian Order rose to prominence not as armored generals on battlefields but as peacekeepers working with local law enforcement agencies to police the galaxy. Guardian Peacekeepers toiled endlessly to bring law and order to the wild areas of the Outer Rim and along the Republic’s borders. The Guardians maintained their role as peacekeepers until called upon to lead the armies of the Republic once again during the Clone Wars.
As with the other Jedi Orders, the Guardian Order’s history within the Brotherhood is relatively short, starting a few years after the human colonization of the planet Harakoa (later known as New Tython).
Fleeing from the Empire, a group of humans settled on this planet in 3 ABY and started creating an infrastructure that would allow them to survive away from the reach of the Empire. A few years later, in 7 ABY, rumors about this world spread to neighboring systems and more colonists started arriving to the planet, increasing the human population exponentially.
Due to this increase of population, the peaceful relationship between humans and the native species of the planet, the Harakoans, started to get disrupted by the increased needs of the expanding human population. Minor conflicts emerged across the planet around 10 ABY in boundary disputes, and the Jedi Guardians, who had lived reclusive lives during these years, returned to partially restore the order between both races.
However, the efforts of the Guardians proved insufficient, and as the conflicts escalated, more Jedi started arriving to the planet to help with the efforts of the Guardians. It was only when the number of Guardians grew enough to establish a fragile peace that the government of New Tython created a set of laws to set the rights of humans and Harakoans and a legislative body to supervise these laws called the Colonial Guaranteed Protection Committee.
These measures proved not just insufficient, but more harmful than helpful to the situation. The laws created gave the human colonists even more rights and didn’t have much consideration towards the Harakoans. Outraged, the Harakoans resumed their fight, and both sides, humans and natives, asked for the intervention of the Jedi.
The Guardians established themselves in a neutral position in the conflict, trying to stop the conflicts without adhering to any of the sides. Though partially successful, the efforts of the Guardians couldn’t stop the growing conflict which threatened to become a full scale war between the two species on the planet.
Attacking the root of the problem, the Colonial Guaranteed Protection Committee was replaced by the Consulars in 27 ABY by a more egalitarian legislative body known as the Friendship Committee. The Guardians took the role of law enforcers during this time, making sure that Harakoans and humans were provided with the same rights and extinguishing the conflicts between both sides.
By this time, the Jedi had created an organization to manage their ranks called the Acolytes of Odan-Urr. After the efforts of the Guardians to restore peace to the planet, the Acolytes enjoyed peace for several years, with only a few minor flare-ups of the old conflicts between colonists and natives.
However, this relative peace would not last long, as 28 ABY saw a new threat appear on New Tython. An organization of Dark Jedi calling themselves the Dark Brotherhood appeared seemingly out of nowhere and started landing on the planet. The Guardians were ready to fight for their planet's survival but were surprised when the Consulars negotiated a peace with the leader of the Dark Brotherhood, Grandmaster Muz Ashen. The agreement on which they eventually settled stipulated that Brotherhood dominion over the planet be recognized and that the Acolytes of Odan-Urr be incorporated into the organization as House Odan-Urr. The Guardians, fearing that it was a trap, tried to convince the Consulars of the dangers of this treaty but quickly changed their minds as they realized that it was their only way to survive against the forces of the Brotherhood.
The Guardians were proven right in 29 ABY. Just a year after the treaty, the combined Brotherhood forces attacked New Tython in an attempt to annihilate the Jedi completely. The Guardians, aware that their survival chances were slim at best, readied themselves to die protecting their fellow Jedi and the inhabitants of New Tython.
They proved themselves to be a formidable defense, and while they could not stop the Brotherhood, they were able to slow them down long enough for other Jedi to escape. These Jedi, most of them members of the Consular Order, hurried to find a way to reinforce the fighting Guardians. As a result, an alliance was formed with the late Jedi Master Michael Halcyon and the forces of the Mandalorians of Clan Ordo. United with their new allies, the Guardians managed to succeed in forcing a stalemate with the forces of the Brotherhood, which soon abandoned the conflict and returned to their own space.
Revak Kur First Aedile of House Hoth
Tistito “Tisto” Kingang Knight-Commander of Knight of Allusis. Lead the Knights through the destruction of New Tython, and the rebuilding of the Clan in the Kiast System.
“Guardian the title is, not warrior. Remember this all knights should.” - Jedi Master Yoda
So far, this course has covered the general role played by the Guardians within the Jedi Order, but a Guardian is expected to choose a path to master instead of being a jack-of-all-trades. Some of the paths that are available to the Guardians are outlined here, along with a brief explanation of their expected tasks.
Unlike most Guardians, the Peacekeepers are rarely seen on the front lines of conflict. Instead, they operate as a police force, making certain that the laws of their jurisdiction are followed and enforcing whatever punishment is deemed necessary to those who break them. However, they do not work alone and are usually found leading, cooperating with, or advising local law-enforcement in order to keep the peace.
Very similar to the Peacekeepers, but with a much more specific purpose, the Guardians of the Security Corps are in charge of protecting buildings that are important to the Jedi. Though this might be seen as a boring job for the action-oriented Guardians, this is one of the most important paths that a Guardian can follow. They are the first and most important line of defense against direct attacks on the Jedi Order as a whole.
A few decades ago, a young farm boy from Tatooine piloting a small starship was able to destroy one of the most terrifying and devastating weapons ever created. It propelled that young farmer to untold fame across the galaxy and was the first true blow to Imperial power.
Like Luke Skywalker, Jedi Aces are Guardians who use the Force to enhance their piloting skills far beyond their natural limits – increasing reflexes, targeting precision and battle awareness. They are often seen as leaders of starfighter squadrons or elite units in space battles and take on missions that normal pilots could not even conceive of.
Those who have proven themselves on the battlefield and who excel in their skills with the lightsaber are occasionally prevailed upon to perform this role. The lightsaber instructors are responsible for the education and training of the different lightsaber forms to Padawans and Knights alike.
Being a lightsaber instructor is a privilege rather than a right. Only the most superb duelists can muster the drive to gain this much skill without falling to the Dark Side. Unlike other paths, which are vocational, usually this path is open only to the best Guardians within the Order.
"I dreamt that I would single-handedly defeat the Dark Side, that I would make a difference, change the galaxy… the galaxy, however, has changed me." – Lord Hoth, Jedi Master and General of the Army of Light during the New Sith Wars
With this course concluded, the student should now have some knowledge of the role of the Guardians within galactic history, as well as their primary roles and duties.
A wise Guardian will know when his skills are required. He will likewise know when he should leave a situation to his fellow Orders. Many Guardians have been lost when they tried to dig too deep into an investigation best left to a Sentinel or entered into a conflict that a Consular could have solved peacefully.
A Guardian should likewise remember that, even though they are the defending arm of the Jedi, violence should still be used only as a last resort. Those who charge into battle mindlessly or solve every situation with their lightsaber are walking a path that can only lead to the Dark Side of the Force. Of all the Jedi Orders, the Guardians are those most in need of restraint. With that in mind, there is no better way to end this course than with a copy of the Jedi Code, which every Guardian needs to keep in his thoughts with every action.
“There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no death, there is the Force.”
- The Jedi Code
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