Mystical scholars gathered on the harsh and mysterious world of Tython millennia ago to begin the first studies of the Force, but controversy among the scholars’ ranks created a cataclysm which nearly destroyed the planet. A small group of survivors fled to another star system, put their dark past behind them, and founded the Jedi Order.
Thousands of years passed, and the true legacy of Tython was forgotten.
Rediscovering the planet early in the Great War, the modern Jedi began exploring the mysteries of Tython’s history, and learning much about the earliest Force users.
When the Empire sacked Coruscant and destroyed their long-standing Temple, the Jedi Council chose to rebuild the Temple on Tython and train a new generation of Jedi to battle the Sith menace. They soon discovered, however, that Tython’s mystical power carried its own dark legacy, a pervasive taint of unknown origins…
Today, Jedi Master My’kl Gawlron walks up the steps of the Jedi Temple, he pauses for a moment and looks up the stairs to the grand opening of the building. He puffs on his cigar on last time, drops it and smothers it with his foot. Inside the temple, several large datacrons float in the foyer of the building while two ramps lead to the top floor where the Jedi Council meet; but he isn’t here to meet with Satele Shan, no, he is here to instruct a new generation of Jedi Padawans in the way of the Jedi Code. Some would say that Master Gawlron takes a very unorthodox – or orthodox – view on the Jedi Code and for his affection for one Master Odan-Urr.
Walking into the class, and taking side glances at the young Padawans he marched up to the front of the class and turned. “Welcome students.” A small nod of his head towards the classroom and the greetings and welcome politely echoed in the small room. “Please take your seats and allow me to introduce myself. I am Master My’kl Gawlron and today we will be discussing the Jedi Code.” With his arms down and his hands clasped together he clears his throat. “As most of you know, the current iteration of the Jedi Code was written by Master Odan-Urr.” A brief pause as he glances around the room to see the heads nodding in agreement. “Who would like to recite it for us?” A young Nautilan boy raised his hand. “Go ahead Padawan.” My’kl said as nodding toward him, the boy stood and began to recite the code.
“There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force.”
He sheepishly smiles and takes his seat again. Looking at the young man he thanks him. “Thank you,” opening up his arms and looking at the classroom he continues to speak. “…now this code has been recited by the Jedi Order since about three-hundred and sixty BTC. This is approximately when Master Odan-Urr became one with the Force.” My’kl changes his position, moving his hands behind him. “Does anyone see anything peculiar with the way this code is written?” Looking around at the Padawans, they are clearly confused by the question – after all, what could be wrong with it?
My’kl begins to nod his head in what may be understanding. “Allow me to recite the original Jedi Code, the code that was recited for over twenty-thousand years.” He clears his throat and begins.
“Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet the Force.”
Pausing for a moment to allow the words to sink into the pupils he asks again. “Now, does anyone see anything peculiar about Master Odan-Urr’s version of the code?” Looking around, still confusion in the face of the young pupils – seeing their questioning faces he continues. “As jedi, we must be flexible and not just be one with the Force, we must learn from the Living Force.”
“The Jedi believe the Living Force relies on their instincts and is attuned to other living beings around them. They are mindful of the future and the possible consequences of their actions, but remained focused on the present.” With a brief pause he emphasizes his next words. “Live in the moment. Jedi always has to be mindful of their actions to avoid the temptations of the dark side. The easy path…” He pause for a moment and takes a deep breath. “Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, and sometimes, doing the right thing feels very wrong.” Pacing now, he walks over to a stool and brings it before the class and sits on it.
“It is my opinion, the code, written by Master Odan-Urr is too inflexible, too ridged, too absolute. It does not allow for the Living Force or its’ Will. It really doesn’t allow for much. As Jedi, we do not deal in absolutes; only Sith deal in absolutes.”
He pulls out a datapad from his cloak and then reviews some of the notes in it. “I’d like to read you some information that I found on the Holonet regarding Master Odan-Urr.
Odan-Urr was a long-lived Draethos male, who served as a Jedi Master and Jedi librarian during the height of the Galactic Republic. He preferred reading and studying rather than combat, though he was a master of the little known Jedi art of battle meditation. He was trained by the Celegian Jedi Master Ooroo.
Odan-Urr was a Jedi Padawan in 5,000 BBY, and during his time as the Watchman of Koros, he had a series of visions depicting the impending Sith invasion. He and his Jedi companion, Memit Nadill, attempted to warn the Galactic Senate of the Sith attack, but the Senate refused to listen. However, Odan-Urr had the backing of the armies of Empress Teta, and participated in the Battle of Kirrek, where Naga Sadow’s Sith Empire attempted to crush the Republic. The Republic emerged victorious, though only at the expense of the life of Master Ooroo. In the aftermath of the war, Odan-Urr found an ancient Sith holocron—the only one known to have existed at the time—which he kept safely at all times. Shortly thereafter, he founded the Great Jedi Library on Ossus, where he became the Keeper of the Chamber of Antiquities for several centuries.
Odan-Urr presided over the Conclave on Deneba in 3,996 BBY, where the darksiders known as the Krath attempted to slaughter the Jedi. Odan-Urr was one of the survivors; however, the attack was one of several in the leadup to the Great Sith War—a galaxy-wide conflict which took the lives of hundreds of Jedi. During the war, Dark Lord of the Sith Exar Kun learned of Odan-Urr’s Sith holocron, and went to the old Master’s Great Library to claim it. Odan-Urr attempted to stop him, but the young dark sider lashed out at the Draethos with the Force, killing him.
Resting the datapad on his lap now he looks to his students and states. “It is interesting that he had in his possession for so long a Sith Holocron, possed and twisted by the darkside of the Force.” A brief pause as he looks down at the tiled floor of the classroom and then back up. “Who here has heard of Master Atris and Master Kreia?” Letting out a sigh and showing some frustration. “Don’t you guys read? Atris and Kreia were both Jedi Master in the Order, about three-hundred years ago – give or take. Both had in their possessions Sith Holocrons, both fell to the darkside and held the title of Darth Traya.” He stops and lets out a sigh. “The point is – the Sith Holocrons twisted them to the darkside, and Master Odan-Urr had in his possession one for almost one thousand years.” Letting his point get across. “You can learn more about Master Atris and Master Kreia from the Jedi Archives, or by speaking …” pauses for a moment almost forgetting that Revan’s return had not yet been made public. “…to no one … ”
He raises his right hand with his index finger in the air “I imagine, that one day, the code will be changed again – by someone who will have great communion with the Force, but it will be at a great cost.”
Licking his lips and trying to refocus on his purpose here at the Temple today, he looks at the class “I will continue my discussion of the Jedi Code, using the original code, and not that of Master Odan-Urr.”
“Emotion, yet peace.”
“Emotions are a natural part of living. We are all creatures of feeling; there is no real way for any of us to escape emotions. Emotions must be understood first, and it is a young Jedi’s duty to explore his feelings. Unless a Jedi can confront his thoughts and feelings, he will never achieve peace.” A quick pause in his lecture. “Emotions, are not to be overcome or denied, but rather understood and dealt with.”
Looking at some of the students in the eye, almost as if he was accusing them of having wild emotions right there and then. “We all have emotions; we must control our emotions and temper them with reason and logic.”
“Ignorance, yet knowledge.”
Nodding his head slightly and looking around he continues. “A Jedi must be circumspect and try to understand the world that is surrounding him.” He begins to chuckle at the sheer foolishness of his next statement. “That ignorance does not exist is, of course, a flat-out lie or gross misunderstanding. Or a perfect example of true ignorance – but this isn’t philosophy class.”
Making himself more comfortable and tiring of holding his datapad in hand, he slips it back into his cloak. “Simply ignoring facts that do not fit with one’s viewpoint is equally foolhardy. Ignorance is a part of life but it must not be feared.”
Clearing his throat My’kl continues. “Passion, yet serenity. ”
Again looking at his students. “This refers more directly to situations of extreme stress in which a Jedi might be tempted to react strongly, or be so focused on the task and not the goal.” Patting his lightsaber and states “That a Jedi must draw his weapon only in defense is an expression of this tenet, keeping all other options open. While emotions and intuition must be understood and utilized in a Jedi’s daily life, they must be checked, lest the Jedi act rashly and lose objectivity. A Jedi must always act with a calm hand and an even temper.”
He looks around and points to his forehead “Use your head;” then holding out both arms “remember to look at things clearly as the Force would see it.” My’kl cocks his head “Like all emotions,” Walking over to a table glasses and a carafe of water, he pours himself a glass and takes brief moment to sip his glass of water “passion must be understood.” Turning to look over his shoulder he smiles and states “That way you can identify it” he pauses to look at some of his students in the eye “and think rationally.” No turning around to face his class, he leans up against the table holding his glass to his lips as a large grin begins to form. “I encourage a little passion now and then… if you know what I mean?” My’kl lets out a chuckle and takes another sip of his glass and puts it down on the table.
Walking back to his perch at the front of the room he quotes. “Chaos, yet harmony.”
“This statement reflects the cosmology of the Jedi Order. Whereas uninitiated beings see the universe as a chaotic and disconnected place,” My’kl looks around at the young and notices that his audience has grown to include some of the passing Jedi Knights and Masters. “…a Jedi realizes that all things are interconnected and, more importantly, interdependent, in a never-ending cycle of balance.” He states as he interlocks his fingers together to help visualize his words. “While an uninitiated being sees sorrow and tragedy in the workings of the universe, through the Force, a Jedi is able to interpret and understand even the most painful of life’s events.” He stated while looking out as though into the souls of everyone in the classroom. “Every event has a purpose. Even the horrible ones.”
Taking a deep breath, he states the last line of the Jedi code “Death, yet the Force.” My’kl bows his head for a moment in silence as memories of fallen comrades, friends, and family race through his mind. “A Jedi,” a brief pause as he stands clasping his hands behind his back. “…like many ancient feudal knights of various empires, we must be ready for death, and not obsessed nor be ruled by it. As a warrior not only in combat but also in day-to-day life, it is easy to fail and fall, then rise up without distraction or attachment holding the Jedi back.”
He strokes his beard. “The sense of loss is often even greater for one who feels it with the Force, and it is difficult to maintain equilibrium. Death, however, is not a tragedy and is merely a part of the life cycle.” Stating as a matter of fact. “Without death, life could not exist.”
He smiles softly. “The Force in us, still lives on after we die.”
“This tenet represents the view of the Jedi Order that accepts, indeed embraces, death and life, rot and growth, corruption and purity, not as opposites but as dual pairs, each can’t exist without the other, as nature intends. As such, Jedi do not fear death nor do they mourn it. A Jedi, after all, must celebrate death if he is to also celebrate life.”
Pacing back and forth now. “Through the Force, existence continues both as a constant state of connection to all living things as well as through the state of afterlife which follows death. Death, as perceived by the living, is an illusion and the Jedi must strive to remember this, as it removes what is often seen as the ultimate instinctual fear. When the Jedi have accepted the natural place of their own ending as well as the knowledge that whether they prevail or fall, the Force will remain with them,” He takes a moment to let the words sink into those who are listening to him and then continues. “…it becomes easier for a Jedi to put those fears aside and focus on the matters at hand.”
My’kl takes a deep breath “And that ladies and gentlemen is the Jedi Code. I now open the floor for discussion.”
Sources: SWTOR.com; STARWARS.wikia.com
Notes: Used without permission.