The Jedi Council: Meet the Masters

Learn about the members of the galaxy's most exclusive club.

One of the spires of the majestic Jedi Temple on Coruscant housed the Jedi High Council Chamber, a room where 12 of the wisest Jedi Masters formed the highest governing body of the Jedi Order. Twelve seats, with different heights and formats, were positioned in an almost full circle with plenty of light entering the chamber through large transparisteel windows. There had been a time when Chief Librarian Jocasta Nu had her seat on the Council as did Sifo-Dyas before he mysteriously vanished on Felucia. However Sifo-Dyas was removed from the Council because of his extreme ideas, the same reason why Qui-Gon Jinn was never chosen to sit on the Council.

Let’s have a closer look at the different members of the Jedi Council, starting at the moment when Anakin Skywalker stood as a young boy before the intimidating Jedi Masters up until the moment when the Jedi Order was disbanded by the Sith.

Invasion of Naboo

The first time we saw the Jedi High Council chamber was during the invasion of Naboo by the Trade Federation. Plo Koon was a Kel Dor from Dorin, forced to wear a breath mask and goggles in certain atmospheres. Plo Koon found Ahsoka Tano and became one the leading Generals during the Clone Wars until he was shot down on Cato Neimoidia during Order 66. Mace Windu was the most senior Jedi Master after Yoda and was concerned by the possible return of the Sith. Master Windu was one of the leading Generals during the Clone Wars until he was killed by Darth Sidious — with the help of Anakin Skywalker, christened Darth Vader right after Windu’s demise. Yoda was the Grand Jedi Master and the most senior Jedi. Already over 850 years old, Yoda was one of the few Jedi that survived Order 66. Together with Obi-Wan Kenobi, he taught Luke Skywalker the ways of the Force many decades after Luke’s father first set foot in the Council chamber.

Council1

Ki-Adi-Mundi was a Cerean from Cerea with a binary brain who reacted with skepticism when Qui-Gon told the Council that the Sith may have returned. He was a respected Jedi General during the Clone Wars, but was betrayed and killed on Mygeeto by Commander Bacara and the 21st Nova Corps. Saesee Tiin was an Iktotchi and a brilliant starfighter pilot. This austere Master was killed by Darth Sidious when the Jedi have discovered that Sheev Palpatine was the secret Sith Lord. Yaddle belonged to the same unknown species as Yoda, but she was only 477 years old when Naboo was invaded. The Lannik Even Piell was small in stature, but not in courage. Together with Wilhuff Tarkin, he was locked up in the Citadel on Lola Sayu during the Clone Wars. Piell didn’t survive the rescue mission. Oppo Rancisis was a snakelike Thisspiasian and a tactical mastermind. He was born in 206 BBY and once was the Padawan of Yaddle. Adi Gallia was a female humanlike Tholothian and also an excellent pilot. In the Clone Wars she helped to rescue Master Eeth Koth from General Grievous. Yarael Poof was a tall Quermian and the Master of the Ithorian Roron Corobb. He was known for gently waving his neck during Council sessions. The Zabrak Eeth Koth was captured by Grievous during the Clone Wars, but was rescued by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Adi Gallia. Depa Billaba was a female Chalactan. She was the Master of Padawan Caleb Dume, who took the name Kanan Jarrus after he survived Order 66.

Start of the Clone Wars

Ten years later, right before the start of the Clone Wars, the Jedi High Council had hardly changed. Only Yaddle and Yarael Poof were no longer present, replaced by Shaak Ti and Coleman Trebor. Shaak Ti was an experienced Togruta Jedi Master who took up the supervision of the clone trooper training on Kamino during the Clone Wars. The Vurk Coleman Trebor tried to kill Dooku during the Battle of Geonosis, but was gunned down by Jango Fett.

Council2

The Clone Wars had a lasting effect on the Jedi High Council. During the conflict, many members of the Council became Jedi Generals and were often found on mission. Whenever possible, they participated at Council meetings as holograms. Despite countless Jedi casualties, the High Council remained mostly the same until the very end of the Clone Wars, though some members were known to switch positions.

An almost empty Council at the start of the Clone Wars

An almost empty Council at the start of the Clone Wars.

When the Council met during the first months of the Clone Wars, only a few members were usually present. Around 21 BBY (TCW Season Four) we got a better view of the Council during the Clone Wars. Plo Koon, Mace Windu, Yoda, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Saesee Tiin, and Shaak Ti still resided on the Council, while four seats were empty. Two new members were Obi-Wan Kenobi and Kit Fisto, who replaced Coleman Trebor and, most likely, Depa Billaba. As the Master of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi has been at the center of the galactic events since the invasion of Naboo. Kit Fisto, a Nautolan from Glee Anselm, was a respected General in the Clone Wars who participated in many battles. Fisto died when he confronted Darth Sidious at the end of the Clone Wars.

The Jedi Council worries about Yoda at the end of the Clone Wars

The Jedi Council worries about Yoda at the end of the Clone Wars.

Early in 20 BBY (TCW Season Five) we see that Adi Gallia and Eeth Koth are once again present. One seat remained empty and the only newcomer was the Ongree Coleman Kcaj. Almost nothing is known about Master Kcaj, who hailed from the planet Skustell. After Master Gallia was brutally murdered on Florrum by Savage Opress, her seat became empty. Later in the same year (TCW Season Six), Master Rancisis was once again present on the Council. We can assume that Gallia, Koth, and Rancisis kept their seats during the Clone Wars, but were often not able to participate at meetings. It’s still unknown who replaced Adi Gallia.

End of the Clone Wars

During the very last meetings of the Jedi High Council, the seats of Masters Rancisis, Koth, and Gallia were taken by Agen Kolar, Stass Allie, and Anakin Skywalker. Agen Kolar was another Zabrak Master and the third member of the Council who joined Mace Windu to arrest Palpatine. This didn’t go as planned and Kolar was killed right away. Stass Allie was a Tholothian, killed by Commander Neyo on Saleucami during Order 66. The final newcomer on the Jedi Council was Anakin Skywalker.

Possibly the last Jedi High Council meeting

Possibly the last Jedi High Council meeting.

As the emissary of Palpatine, Anakin’s admittance was not taken lightly by the Council, and therefore they did not grant him the title of Jedi Master. The fact that the Supreme Chancellor could appoint someone in the Jedi Council is a fine example of the diminished independence and influence of the Jedi Order during the Clone Wars. It would not be long until Palpatine declared the Jedi as traitors of the Republic and announced the foundation of the first Galactic Empire.

Art by Anton Van Dort

Jedi Council seats and positions (Art by Anton Van Dort).

When we compare the Jedi High Council from 32 BBY to the final one from 19 BBY, we see that five Jedi Masters had permanently been on the Council in the last decades of the Jedi Order: Plo Koon, Mace Windu, Yoda, Ki-Adi-Mundi, and Saesee Tiin. After Order 66 Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker (as Darth Vader) were the only survivors of the Jedi High Council. It will take several decades until a new hope emerged under the watchful eyes of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Special thanks to Dutch artist Anton Van Dort who created the Jedi Council composition artwork.

Tim Veekhoven (Sompeetalay) from Belgium is president and co founder of TeeKay-421, the Belgian
Star Wars Fanclub. He has contributed to Star Wars Insider (Rogues Gallery), is an administrator for Yodapedia and has written four character back stories in ‘What’s the Story?’.

Sources:
Dressing a Galaxy (Biggar, 2005)
Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels (Hidalgo and Sansweet, 2005)
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (Lucas, 1999)
Star Wars Episode I: The Visual Dictionary (Reynolds, 1999)
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (Lucas, 1999)
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Lucas, 1999)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Filoni, 2008 – 2014)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode Guide (Fry, 2013)

TAGS: ,