Jedi families were at one time a common thing but later they became a contradiction in terms. The Jedi Order were supposed to be guardians of peace and justice in the universe. To do this, they had to be unbiased and use the Force for knowledge of what a situation truly is, not what they wanted it to be. In different eras, the Jedi handled the challenges of remaining unbiased and focused while having family differently.
- Why did Jedi Families become a contradictory idea?
- Jedi Families in Ancient Times
- Jedi Families in Yoda’s Era (the Prequels)
- A Change of Plan regarding Jedi Families.
- Jedi Families and the Dark Times
- Jedi Families in the New Jedi Order
- The Famous Jedi Families
Why did Jedi Families become a contradictory idea?
Naturally, family bonds are complicated. Strong love is there, but also rivalries and often a natural loyalty to the family or home place. This can be an issue when a diplomatic conflict arises and the Jedi must face it without that bias. Family troubles can also distract from a Jedi’s duties. (See Anakin Skywalker, and even Luke during his training!)
The older the child, the more likely they were to have strong bonds. And to fall in love, marry, have a family, well, that was a distraction for the adult Jedi. Children and spouses of Jedi, if known, could be a dangerous tool of the enemy. They could be manipulated, threatened or kidnapped, in an effort to force a Jedi to compromise the goals of the Order. So Jedi families became a thing of the past.
But it was not always so. There was a time when Jedi faced these challenges head on, rather than avoid them. Jedi families used to be quite common.
Jedi Families in Ancient Times
In ancient times the Jedi families were a normal thing. The Jedaii of Tython, before they left Tython and served a Republic, had families. But even then there were issues as their children weren’t all born with the force, having to leave the planet for their own safety. In time their descendents often fought against them.
In the Pre-Ruusan reformation era, again Jedi often came of strong force lineage, Jedi families became established. the Sunriders, the Qel Droma’s, the Diath’s, were just a few. But after the Great Sith War the Jedi began starting the training at younger and younger ages. This gradually led to children being cut off from their family entirely until it was frowned on to have contact. That said even if the Jedi families with Jedi as parent were uncommon, there were still cases of siblings or cousins being force sensitive and Jedi families still had a foot in both worlds.
Jedi Families in Yoda’s Era (the Prequels)
By the time of Yoda the children were taken as infants and toddlers. A few were taken slightly older but those were orphans. Once in the Order it was next to impossible to get them out if the parents changed their minds. The training already have begun, along with their skills, meant the Jedi were reluctant to return them to civilian life.
There were several such cases of attempted contact or near contact:
- Baby Lidi. This child was found after catastrophe, all evidence she was orphaned. Her mother appeared only after training began. This went to court.
- Jax Pavan. His father, Lorn Pavan, who was on staff at the temple, could no longer keep the job after his son was given to them, lest they have contact. He couldn’t get him back and also lost his wife soon after, leading to years of bitterness.
- Whie Malreaux’s mother did not pursue him but sent a droid to watch for him at the Jedi temple on Coruscant, from a distance. She gave him up while drunk, after a murder in the household.
- Lorana Jinzler. Her parents didn’t try and contact her but did keep an eye out to see her from afar, and took their son as well. Nonetheless the Jedi were aware and kept them apart. The rest of her family was apparently not force sensitve.
The Jedi weren’t heartless regarding the families however, as when Shmi Skywalker heard rumors of Qui-Gon Jinn’s death and sent a message, they did reply to reassure her that Anakin had safely entered Jedi training. Some adult Jedi did seek out there family, or at least, didn’t avoid contact if sought out. Even so it still led to loss, as when Sharad Hett, who had grown close, found they’d been killed while he was away on missions. This led him to abandon the Jedi and join the Tuskens of Tatooine. His son, Asharad, eventually joined the Jedi when he was killed.
In spite of the need to have complete separation, many a family was happy to give a child to the order, either thinking it prestigious or out of desperate need given extreme poverty or a world with few opportunities for it to have a life that fulfilled it. Some simply recognized they couldn’t handle the child’s potential powers. The Jedi did not, in fact, force a family to give up children.
One exception regarding Jedi families and children is one the Council knew nothing of. Jorus C’baoth planned Outbound Flight without telling either the Council or the families aboard that they were chosen for their potential to create future Jedi and future Jedi families. He was inclined to violate both the rule on ages but also train the older children, using Anakin as an excuse that such could thrive.
Adult Jedi were no longer officially allowed to marry or have a mate. The few that did so took the risk of being cast out of the Order and had to keep it a secret (For instance, Nejaa Halcyon as well as Anakin Skywalker.) Or they had to veer off to a non approved branch of the Order (Djinn Altis Sect). Only one Jedi is known to have married with the Order’s permission, that was Ki-Adi-Mundi as the Cereans had such a very low male birth rate that all were needed to continue them.
A Change of Plan regarding Jedi Families.
At the fall of the Order, Yoda admitted that he’d failed. The Sith evolved, the Jedi did not, so they weren’t ready for the new tactics and strategy that defeated them. There were other ways a child might grow in discipline that might prepare them for Jedi training later in life. Hence sending Luke to his moisture farmer step parents.
Jedi Families and the Dark Times
Anakin Skywalker’s fall was a matter of being torn apart. His devotion torn between his wife and the Order. In ancient times, perhaps he would’ve been taught to deal with this. But in this era of forbidden marriage, when he was in trouble he did not feel he could truly share the depths of his pain. Between Palpatine (the secret Sith) and Yoda (the Jedi Master) only one knew the cause of his struggle and therefore only one offered a solution directly to it.
During the Dark Times even relatives who had given up a child were likely hunted, as the force can be passed on in families. Even so, some of the survivors did move into civilian life and marry and have offspring. New Jedi families were therefore created, such as the Sibwarra family that came to a tragic end.
Jedi Families in the New Jedi Order
When Anakin Skywalker cast the Emperor down into the reactor to kill him, he opened the door for his son, Luke, to restore the Jedi. Luke had to rediscover what was lost or destroyed. He’d had only a brief time with Yoda, and what Obi-Wan taught him before he was killed (and what his force spirit told him.) Still, they left out a lot, some of it intentionally.
As Luke rebuilt the Order, some of his students came of Jedi families. They were the children and grandchildren, of those who had forbidden marriages, or gone into hiding from the Empire and started normal lives with families. They also started as adults so they came with all the baggage of relationships. This sometimes was there downfall, but they learned to work out this challenging balance.
While later there were Jedi that felt returning to the no family route was the way to go, the Jedi apparently never chose to do this. What they did do was learn from past mistakes. In so doing they kept the door open so that instead of forbidding it, they could talk through the challenges together instead of bearing secret burdens alone.
The Famous Jedi Families
“The Force runs strong in your family.”Yoda to Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi
Skywalker is surely the most famous. But have you ever wondered how Yoda knew the Force runs strong in Jedi families if such is forbidden? The Jedi history was long, over a thousand generations. And it was trail and error that had gotten them to the point of forbidding the Jedi to have families. Fortunately, Jedi having families had a bright side for their restoration. While Anakin’s fall out of fear of losing his wife might seem to prove the rule, it was in fact the secret Jedi children, that were among the first to rejoin Luke Skywalker and be trained as a new generation of Jedi.
“The Emperor knew, as I did, if your father were to have any offspring, they would be a threat to him.
Force spirit Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi
The Jedi Order had evolved through the generations. They didn’t start out with a no attachment rule. They invented due to the challenges they found having a familial relations caused among the Order.
Jedi Knight Andur Sunrider had a wife and a daughter, both of whom were Force sensitive. He himself had kin were were force sensitive. After his death, Nomi, his wife, underwent training to become a Jedi Knight. She became one of the most famous Jedi of her time as she fought in the Sith Wars against Exar Kun, the Mandaloreans, and the Krath. She was a member of the Jedi Council of it’s day.
Andur and Nomi’s daughter, Vima, had some basic training but her mother’s constant business as a leader of the Jedi meant she had little time to teach her. Vima chose to go seeking another Jedi, the infamous Ulic-Qel-Droma, who had fallen to the dark side but returned and was now in exile.
Generations later, her descendent, Vima Da Boda, outcast herself from the Jedi Order after violating the code and having a daughter, who was in turn sensitive. Unfortunately, she was a rebellious girl who ran off with the a warlord. The warlord betrayed her and had her killed. Vima Da Boda took revenge on the warlord before going into exile. This happened before the Empire turned on the Jedi. She encountered an Kenobi fleeting to Tatooine with baby Luke on Nar Shaddaa and lived by selling prophecies to strangers, including Han Solo. After Luke became a Jedi she assisted him, once saving his life and otherwise offering advice, based on the teachings she’d turned away from.
Alderaan’s Qel-Droma was a protector of the people and is the first known of her Jedi family. Her children were Ulic and Cay.
Ulic was the eldest and often frustrated by the snobbish attitude the nobles had toward him. He was bold and reckless. He and Cay were sent to be trained by Arka Jeth on Arkania, alongside the twilek Tott Doneeta.
Cay was very adept with machinery, when he lost his arm in battle, he replaced it with a droid arm.
On their first mission to Onderon, they failed to discern that the city dwellers who’d petitioned the Republic were controlled by the dark side, led from the descendents of Freedon Nadd and his spirit, a fallen Jedi. War between them and the outcasts who had challenged them broke out, forcing the Qel-Droma’s to choose sides. Cay lost an arm in this conflict, replacing it with a mechancial one. Ulic proved his courage in battle and sense of when to summon help. But he also got the attention of the Dark Side spirit of Freedon Nadd.
Unfortunately, some of the Sith writings mad it off world and were used by the Krath Satal and Keto Aleema. Ulic went against all advice and tried to infiltrate them, to learn their secrets and defeat them from within. In doing so he fell to the dark side. He became the apprentice of Exar Kun, a sith lord. They made war on the Republic and Jedi knights.
Ulic became one of the few Jedi to ever fall to the dark side and return. Unfortunately it cost him dearly. He and Nomi had a budding relationship that was destroyed by the betrayal. He killed his own brother and only then realized how far he’d fallen. Nomi in turn used her rare gift and training to strip the Ulic’s powers. Ulic led them to Exar Kun and then spent years trying to regain his powers before Vima Sunrider came to him to help him to be trained. She helped hieal his emotional wounds before his death.
Duron Qel Droma – the cousin of Cay and Ulic fell in love with another Jedi and both were accused by their companion, the Jedi Guun Han Saresh, of giving into passion. He was one of the Jedi’s greatest hunters, sent to clean up the terentek unleashed after the Great Sith War. He died in a battle with one but saw a vision that gave him hope of the Jedi Revan using Qel-Droma’s robe in his quest to defeat Malek and stop the Sith.
It’s known that all the way back in the ancient days of the Republic, this Corellian family of Jedi protected the Republic.
Nejaa Halcyon served in the Clone Wars after years of protecting Corellia itself alongside Corsec, from criminal elements. He worked both against and for the Freedom’s Sons (due to them starting as vigilantes) and apparently died right before the actual end of the war.
Nejaa had a secret family, as during these years it was forbidden. His best friend, a Corsec officer named Rostek Horn fell in love with his friends wife as they grieved and married her, adopting his son Valin. He hid them and Nejaa’s belongings for decades.
Years after, when Luke Skywalker re-established the Jedi Order, one of the first to join was Corran Horn, Valin’s son and Nejaa’s grandson. The information on the Jedi that Nejaa had possessed and Rostek hid was therefore passed on to the new Jedi.
The family line continued as Corran was married to Mirax Terrik. They had two children, also force sensitive, named Valin and Jysella.
Sidrona Diath of Tatooine died sometime before the Sith Wars started by Exar Kun. But his son, Dace Diath was there for much of them, fighting alongside Nomi, Tott Doneeta and the Qel-Dromas. He was killed trying to defend Ossus.
Generations later, Nico Diath would train his nephew Tay during the Clone Wars era. Both would die in the conflict, Nico fighting alongside Kenobi. Tay was at Jabiim, the battle of which Anakin Skywalker was the Jedi survivor, as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine had ordered him to lead the evacuation as the other Jedi fought on.
There are no doubt other Jedi families out there, for there are known bloodlines of force sensitives belonging to other sects. These include the Dathomir witches, Kel Dor,
Skywalker’s Legacy and what it reveals of Jedi Families
Anakin’s family continued in the best and worse ways through many generations of Jedi. The best was they were an inspiration due to their courage and commitment. The worse, in that foes of the Jedi knew exactly who to target. His grandchildren and their descendants were frequently targeted for kidnapping attempts by those who would try and turn them to the dark side, as Palpatine had once turned him. Yet Jedi families continued, with some becoming new hope in dark times among the Jedi, others, would become Imperial Knights. It’s likely other Jedi families continued as well.
- Star Wars The Phantom Menace (movie/novelization/comic adaptation)
- Star Wars Attack of the Clones (movie/novelization/comic adaptation)
- Star Wars Revenge of the Sith (movie/novelization/comic adaptation)
- Star Wars A New Hope (movie/novelization/comic adaptation/radio drama)
- Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back (movie/novelization/comic adaptation/radio drama)
- Star Wars Return of the Jedi (movie/novelization/comic adaptation/radio drama)
- Tales of the Jedi
- Tales of the Jedi Companion (WEG)
- Holonet News (Baby Lidi) issue 46 Jedi Watch, issue 47 Jedi Watch, issue 48 Jedi Watch, issue 50 Jedi Watch, issue 51 Jedi Watch, issue 52 Jedi Watch (web archives)
- Jedi Trail
- Yoda: Dark Rendeazvous
- Truce at Bakura
- Courtship of Princess Leia
- Tatooine Ghost
- Thrawn trilogy
- Children of the Jedi
- Junior Jedi Knights
- Young Jedi Knights
- Legacy of the Force
- Fate of the Jedi
- Jedi VS Sith The Essential Guide to the Force