The Six Jedi Order Ranks Explained

The path to becoming a Jedi is made up of a few different ranks. This is especially evident when, in Revenge of the Sith, Mace Windu says the notorious line, "You are on this Council, but we do not grant you the rank of Master." Some of the ranks are fairly obvious simply from watching the prequel trilogy, but the newly published The Star Wars Book outlines all six ranks of becoming a Jedi, as pointed out by Screen Rant.


So what are these ranks? Well, the earliest one might not be the first thing that comes to mind. That first rank is Initiate. These are the toddlers who are measured for their potential as future Jedi. We knew that the Jedi try to find potential Jedi when they are very young, but it might not occur to most that Initiate is the rank name for them.


The next rank, however, is probably more obvious and well-known, and that is the Youngling rank. These are the kids, of course. In Attack of the Clones, we saw Yoda training kids with the classic training remotes, and he refers to them as Younglings. Of course, the moniker has a more tragic connotation when one thinks of the events of Revenge of the Sith and how the word is used there. Regardless, these children are broken up into clans, and they are given instruction even before they are given masters. In The Clone Wars, we saw the Younglings arc in which a few children are taught by the droid Huyang about lightsaber construction. In this arc, it is a rite of passage for them to construct their lightsabers on the ice world of Ilum.


When they are assigned Masters, they are then considered Padawans. These are adolescent Jedi, and their masters could be either a Knight or a Master. The term was first used onscreen in The Phantom Menace, where we got to see Obi-Wan Kenobi as Qui-Gon Jinn's Padawan, and then we later saw Anakin Skywalker as Obi-Wan Kenobi's Padawan. Though Anakin, being 9-10, was too old to join by the Order's standards, he was a special case, becoming a Padawan as he was believed to be (and was) the Chosen One.  Another notable Padawan is Ahsoka Tano, who is paired with Anakin in The Clone Wars.


After passing some trials, the Padawans are then knighted, becoming--you guessed it--Knights. In the Clone Wars microseries, we saw Yoda move his lightsaber over Anakin's shoulders (like knighting in our world) and cutting off Anakin's Padawan braid. While that microseries is considered Legends, we got to see Kanan Jarrus get knighted in pretty much the same fashion with the same wording (without the Padawan braid being present) in Star Wars Rebels.

Notably, the blurb for the upcoming junior novel Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage mentions that Vernestra Rwoh has become a Knight at the age of 15. This seems like a much younger age than one might expect for one to become a Knight, so one cannot help but wonder whether she may be an anomaly. Then again, Ahsoka was almost knighted as a teenager, at the age of approximately 16 or 17. Maybe she was a special case, or maybe being knighted as a teen was common in the two centuries between Vernestra and Ahsoka. It just feels odd taking this into account when Obi-Wan Kenobi himself was not knighted until the age of 25. And when Anakin was knighted at the age of 20, it seemed like it was done out of necessity, as the Republic needed more Jedi Knights on the war front.


A Knight may become a Master, though training a Padawan to knighthood is a pre-requisite, which would explain why Anakin was not granted the rank of Master. Had Ahsoka returned to the Order and accepted her knighthood, things certainly would have played out differently. But anyway, Masters are generally well respected, and some may be lucky to be among the 12 who sit on the Jedi Council.

Grand Master

The final rank, Grand Master, seems to be given to only one person at a time, the oldest and wisest, apparently. Guess Yoda held that title for a really long time. In Legends, Luke Skywalker became Grand Master, which is fitting, seeing that he created the New Jedi Order. The Star Wars Book claims that Rey is a Master, so perhaps she could become a Grand Master at some point.

So there are the six ranks, thus outlining how the path to becoming a Jedi could be a challenging one, but also rewarding if those who approach it seek to use their power to help others around the galaxy.

Source(s): Screen Rant