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How Do Jedi Ranks Work?

How Do Jedi Ranks Work?

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We’re of course all familiar with phrases like Jedi, Master, and Padawan, but what do they actually mean? How does a Jedi get promoted and when does this occur?

Are the rules for Jedi promotion set in stone or do they evolve over time? In this article we’ll take you through the seven ranks of the Jedi so you can see clearly how Jedi progress over time, but first, let’s take a look at how Jedi ranks work.

Jedi Ranks

Although there is a clear hierarchy among the Jedi, Jedi will assist each other when they need each other regardless of rank. For example, Yoda teaches the Younglings and even recruits other Jedi to assist him.

A Council Member is able to give orders to those in the lower ranks, although the High Council are still the most powerful. The main duty of a Knight is to uphold peace, and this is the reason Knights are such a varied rank in the Jedi.

Counselors sit on The Council of Reconciliation and are also organized into several subcategories according to their skills, such as Ambassadors, Diplomats, Healers, Lorekeepers, and Seers.

Guardians acted as the first barrier of defense for the Republic during the clone wars. They also act as Peacekeepers, Starfighters, and Temple Security, and a Jedi might even reach the Battlemaster rank.

These Jedi teach the Younglings combat lessons and are regularly responsible for equipping Jedi for their missions.

Yoda Training Younglins

Sentinels are pretty unique, as while the Guardians and Counselors concentrate on the Force, Sentinels acquire a variety of non-Force skills like computer-hacking, and Sentinels are often sent on assassination missions.

The Jedi Service Corps are the underrated heroes of the Jedi, and if a Youngling isn’t promoted to a Padawan, they can become a member of the Service Corps instead.

The Service Corps also accepts Force users who may be too old to join the order. Unfortunately, members of the Corps weren’t giving lightsabers before the clone wars.

Much like the Jedi Knights, there are also different categories within the Service Corps such as Agricultural, Educational, Exploration, and Medical.

The Seven Jedi Ranks


Younglings are sometimes referred to as Initiates or Jedi Hopeful are children who are raised in the Order. They’re placed into clan groups and are taught in a group before they undergo Padawan trials.


Successful Younglings become Padawan, but if they are unsuccessful, they remain in the order but don’t become Jedi. Traditionally, Jedi chose the Padawan they would like to train.

But in the clone war era this wasn’t possible, and so the Jedi Council would assign a Padawan to a Jedi.


This rank has the most subcategories such as Sentinel, Guardian, and Consular. While they all have the same amount of power, each category has their own specialties and own methods.


There are just two ways to reach this rank – training a Padawan to the rank of Knight, or achieving enough feats so the Council grants you the rank of Master.

Council Member

In the movies, we see just one of four councils. These four councils are The Council of First Knowledge, The Council of Reassignment, The Council of Reconciliation, and The High Council.

Master Of The Order

Unlike what the title suggests, this isn’t an all-powerful position or a position that can be ascribed to a single Jedi.

Mace Windu with purple lightsaber

Traditionally a lot of Jedi have this title, but in the prequels this was no longer the case. Mace Windu once had the title of Master Of The Order.

Grand Master

This title is normally reserved for the most skilled and wisest Jedi.

Where Does Luke Skywalker Rank?

Luke Skywalker was promoted to a Jedi Master following his defeat of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. He became a Grand Master in Legends and rebuilt the Jedi Order.

While Luke Skywalker does achieve fantastic feats in the movies such as teaching Leia how to survive in space, and sending a slightly younger projection of himself to fight Kylo Ren from afar, these skills are nothing to what he achieves in Legends.

Where Does Yoda Rank?

During the clone wars, Yoda was a Grand Master and held this position until he went into hiding following Order 66.

Although the Jedi were dispersed, Yoda was able to connect with those who needed him using the Force and provided aid in perilous situations.


Some argue that Jedi like Mace Windu are a lot more powerful than Yoda, but out of all the Jedi that were left he wasn’t pursued actively by Emperor Palpatine.

Yoda was a recluse on the planet Dagobah and showed Luke Skywalker the ways of the Jedi. Many underestimated his strategic mind because of his kind, humorous nature and small stature.

It’s also noteworthy that Yoda predicted what would happen if his species went over to the Dark side, which stoked fear in Count Dooku, his old Padawan.

Who Are Some Of The Most Powerful Jedi?

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan didn’t just serve as a Master to Anakin and Luke Skywalker, but is also one of the most powerful Jedi.

As a young man Obi-Wan became the first Jedi to defeat a Sith Lord by overpowering Darth Maul following the murder of Obi-Wan’s master, Qui-Gon Jinn by Maul’s hands.

When Did Obi-Wan Become A Jedi Master

He would then play an essential role in the Clone Wars, leading armies and sitting on the Jedi Council.

He fought against Count Dooku many times, took down General Grievous, and prevailed against Anakin Skywalker when the Padawan succumbed to the Dark Side. He cut off three of Anakin’s limbs and left him for dead.

When Obi-Wan came face-to-face with Darth Vader later on in life, he knew he wouldn’t win so he sacrificed himself so Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo could escape the Death Star.

He came back as a “Force Spirit” to guide Luke on his Jedi Journey and eventually brought Anakin back from the Dark Side.

Anakin Skywalker

Anakin Skywalker was a creation of the Force, and grew up without a father. His Force sensitivity and sheer power was off the scale, and he caught the eye of Qui-Gon Jinn when he was just a child.

He had the highest recorded midi-chlorian count, and was believed to be the Chosen One, the Jedi who was said to bring balance to the Force.

However, Anakin would not fulfil this prophecy; he had fallen to the Dark Side and was reborn as Darth Vader.

Anakin fights Obi-wan

Anakin had a stubbornly independent streak, but proved himself countless times during the Clone Wars, and showed incredible bravery in many battles.

These deeds would earn him the title of Jedi Knight although he did not complete a formal Jedi Trial. Once Obi-Wan Kenobi was defeated by Count Dooku, Anakin was left to face the Sith Lord.

Anakin prevailed, cutting off Dooku’s hands before beheading him.

Anakin’s defeat at the hands of his old master left him maimed and confined to a mechanical suit, and this greatly diminished his capacity to duel his opponents, as well as made it harder for him to achieve his Force potential.

However, he was still able to bring down Darth Sidious, throwing him to his death while resisting the Force Lightning of the Emperor. He died shortly after in the arms of his son, once again at peace with the light side of the Force.

Final Thoughts

The Jedi are sorted into seven primary ranks and there are numerous subdivisions within these ranks. Yoda and Luke Skywalker were once Grand Masters, and both did many things to make sure the Jedi in their care thrived.

I hope more Star Wars media is released that explores the different Jedi ranks, especially characters in the underrated Jedi Service Corps. I hope my article has cleared up any confusion about the Jedi ranks!

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