In this, our last class discussion for the Jedi, we look at the mediating group between the Guardians and the Consulars. This branch of the Jedi Order brought the darkness of the galaxy to light through investigation, non-Force skills, and good old fashioned ingenuity.
“Striking a balance between the Guardian and the Consular, the Jedi Sentinel is a class that combines both disciplines with civilian expertise. Because we don’t focus our time on lightsaber exercises or Force meditation, we Sentinels have acquired a host of skills that don’t require Force sensitivity – and we can accomplish tasks that neither the Guardians nor the Consulars could handle on their own.” – Morrit Ch’Gally, Jedi Recruiter
Of the three branches of the Jedi, I feel as though the Sentinels are the most difficult to “nail down.” This is partly due to the fact that they run the gamut between Guardians and Consulars. Some were adept fighters, while others took a more meditative approach. The Jedi Sentinels blended both schools of thought together to create an equilibrium between the two. One characteristic that defined the Sentinels was that they developed non-Force skills such as slicing and repairing mechanical devices. In many instances they relied on these skills more than their Force abilities to accomplish their missions.
Their role within the Jedi usually involved searching the galaxy far and wide for threats against the Republic. Sometimes these threats were from the dark side; sometimes they were from more mundane sources. In some ways I see the Sentinels as being “scouts,” identifying and locating threats and developing the best plan to deal with said threat.
Within the ranks of the Sentinels there were several specializations. These included:
- Jedi Watchmans were assigned to a specific planet or star system. There they were in charge of looking after that geographical place and defending it from threats both within and without. Jedi Master Arca Jeth who was Ulic Qel-Droma’s teacher was a Jedi Watchmen over the planet Onderon.
- Jedi Investigators were Jedi skilled in investigation. They usually worked with police forces to investigate crimes. This is different from the Jedi Peacekeeper, the Guardian specialization, in that the Investigator sought out the truth by following up clues that lead to the criminals behind the crime.
- Jedi Recruiters searched the galaxy looking for Force-sensitive children. When found they would test the potential student to see if they were suitable for the Jedi Order. If the child was strong enough in the Force to be considered, then the Recruiter would take the child to join the Order. This was one fact that earned the Jedi some justifiable scorn from the populace of the galaxy. No parent wants to give their child up, and letting them go with the Jedi would mean the parents would more than likely never see their child again. In some people’s eyes, this made the Jedi “baby snatchers” and there were more than one story about parents hiding their Force-sensitive child from the eyes of Jedi Recruiters. Interestingly enough, this same theme is prevalent in Dragon Age with the parents of mages who do not wish for them to join the Circle of Mages.
- Not really a specialization per se, but many Sentinels were highly trained in their non-Force skills. It was not unusual to see Jedi Tech Specialists working in the Temple to help maintain the machines that helped the building run smoothly.
Since this article is appearing on a Star Wars: The Old Republic site I feel it would be a great injustice not to go more in depth with a certain specialization of the Sentinels. We have covered the four Jedi Advanced Class choices, Guardians, Sentinels and Sages (I consider this Advanced Class to be the quintessential Jedi Consular). The last one to touch on is the Jedi Shadow. Jedi Shadows were unique in the Jedi Order and bear some closer examination. Mr TalN wrote a wonderful article about the Jedi Shadows and I encourage anyone who would like to learn more about them to check out his article here. To paraphrase him briefly, the Jedi Shadows were a super-secret group of Jedi who did the jobs that could not be asked of a typical Jedi, but nonetheless had to be done for the good of the galaxy. In his article he goes in depth with the story of Celeste Morne, the most well-documented Jedi Shadow of the Old Republic. In The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force, Morrit Ch’Gally, a Jedi Recruiter, had this to say about the Jedi Shadows:
“The elite Jedi Shadows are widely respected members of the Sentinels. The role of Jedi Shadows is to seek out and vanquish any traces of the dark side, requiring them to be both spies and saboteurs. Jedi Shadows prize the mission above all else, and often must make moral compromises that would be unpleasant for other members of the Order.”
The three branches of the Jedi Order worked together despite the differences between each. I can imagine a Sentinel traveling to a far away system that was in the midst of political and social upheaval. There he would identify the problems plaguing the stability of that system, such as a greedy head of state that treated the people cruelly for his own personal gain. The Guardians would then arrive to help the masses fight a revolution and overthrow the tyrant, removing him from power. The Consulars would then come to help the system get back on its feet, setting up a new administration and healing the wounds of the past. This example may be a bit simplified, but my point is that different people feel the Force in different ways. This is a wonderful idea, considering all the different perspectives it gives them; you can see how each branch of the Jedi Order brings its own skills to the situation to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy.
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Until next time may the force be with you all, and have a safe and happy holidays.