No one should be called a true Bendu unless they desire for their brothers what they desire for themselves.
The Bendu Order was an ancient and noble monastic peacekeeping organization headquartered on Kal'Shabbol in the Ashlan Expanse. It was one of two great orders, the other being the Jedi Order, that emerged during a schism within the Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi fifteen thousand years before the Galactic Civil War. The Bendu Order was unified through its belief in Yahweh, the God of the universe, and his omnipotent presence known as the Force of Others. The wielders of that mystic energy and signature long swords made out of elements similar to cortosis, the Bendu Knights were revered as the guardians of an everlasting peace in the worlds of the Ashlan Expanse, particularly Had Abaddon, Ondus and Aquilae.
The Bendu Order rarely left their home planet of Kal'Shabbol to fight in conflicts that did not directly pertain to them, though there were three major instances when they did. Under the leadership of Ussej Padric Bac and Ussej Padric Bac II, and with help from Damien Nightblade of the Shadourian Order, the order successfully eliminated the dictatorship of Husen Al-Dubrir of Had Abaddon and Adena Qel-Droma during the Ashlan Civil War. Nearly fifty years later, Ussej Padric Bac III led a holy war with Shadourian Master Ein Nightblade against the Jedi Order, though when it indirectly led to the rise of the Third Sith Empire the Bendu returned to Kal’Shabbol and Ussej Padric Bac III sacrificed his life to destroy Emperor Invidius. Nearly four thousand years later, under the leadership of Ussej Padric Bac LXIV, the Bendu Order helped the Alliance to Restore the Republic destroy the Galactic Empire and the Order of Sith Lords. With the galaxy liberated, Ussej Padric Bac LXIV and Luke Skywalker forged an unprecedented alliance and formed the Second Jedi Bendu Order.
An order of highly religious people, the Bendu had an ancient set of prophecies that had been passed down from the time of The Skywalker, the founder of the Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi. Many of their own people, such as members of the Bac family, fulfilled many of the prophecies, while many others were fulfilled by Jedi Knights and Jedi Bendu Knights after the reunification of the Jedi Order and the Bendu Order. Because of the prophecies, as well as what the Bendu had done, the legacy of the Bendu Order lasted long after it had merged with the Jedi Order, even during the crisis with the Prophets of Lettow.
- 1 History
- 2 Path
- 3 Religion
- 4 Pillars of Strength
- 5 Hierarchy
- 6 Specialization
- 7 Prophecies
- 8 Behind the scenes
- 9 Appearances
- 10 Sources
- 11 Notes and references
- 12 External links
We have been told to either submit to the new way or find our own. I have chosen the latter.
Ten thousand years following the conclusion of the Unification War, thousands of star systems had pledged their allegiance to the Galactic Republic and had recognized the Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi, a group that had originated on Kal'Shabbol, as the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. However, many things began to change when a corrupt bureaucrat named Fillorean was elected Supreme Chancellor. He had his own beliefs of the past and wished to shape the Jedi Bendu Order in the image he desired. Through a great deal of manipulation of the Jedi Bendu Council of Masters, he was able to place Zoz Appenkee into the seat of Grandmaster of the Jedi Bendu. Grandmaster Apenkee also agreed with Fillorean’s views, hence his appointment.
Appenkee spent years amending the Jedi Bendu Code and the history of the formation of the order, offering what he claimed to be evidence from worlds such as Ossus. Therefore, the Jedi Bendu followed him, believing themselves to have been wrong for so long. However, two Jedi Bendu Masters on the council disagreed with objected each step of the way. These Jedi Bendu were Zios Malachor and Adena Qel-Droma. They were able to convince one hundred fellow Jedi Bendu of what was happening and they formed a non-violent resistance movement.
The renamed Jedi Order fought back, attempting to expel the non-believers from their order. The Supreme Chancellor resulted to somewhat violent means, attempting to forcibly arrest the one hundred loyalists for treason. Qel-Droma attempted to make a stand against him and his men, though she came to realize that the insurrection was pointless and would achieve nothing.
Malachor and the others decided to leave the known galaxy and travel into the Unknown Regions, hoping to re-locate the mythical world of Kal'Shabbol. Qel-Droma declined to go with them and Malachor tried for days to get her to reconsider, though it was to no avail. Before the Jedi Bendu could leave, Malachor watched as Qel-Droma was kidnapped by the Supreme Chancellor’s men and put into a cryogenic sleep. Though he had wanted to help her, he knew that he could not risk the lives of his people. Therefore, they boarded their ships and made a fast getaway out of Republic space.
After a year of traveling and searching, they found Kal’Shabbol. What they also discovered there, much to their surprise, was a group of Human colonies spread out across the planet. When the colonists heard the news of the return of the Jedi Bendu, they were more than willing to agree to be led by them once again. Not knowing how they would proceed, Malachor ordered a village for the Jedi Bendu to be built. There, he assembled a new council that would decide the fate of their people.
After days of deliberation, the council decided to form a new order based on the old ways of The Skywalker and the Jedi Bendu. It was unanimously decided to name it the Bendu Order, in honor of what was lost in the formation of the Jedi Order. In an effort to keep their numbers small and protected, it was decreed that only those who dwelled on Kal’Shabbol would be accepted into the order, though exceptions could be made on a case-by-case basis. After coming up with the plans for their own complex, called the Temple of Light, it was decided that Malachor would be the first of what they called Bendu High Priests.
When the Temple was completed, the Bendu began setting up their training programs and command structures more efficiently. After meeting with the leaders of the villages, it was decided to unite them under a formal government led by the newly appointed Bendu Council of Priests, with the High Priest as their King. At first, Malachor was opposed to such an act. However, the decision had been made by the village leaders and the formal government was set up, one that would watch over Kal’Shabbol and the Ashlan Expanse for as long as it could.
The Ashlan Civil War
Then upon the farther shore will land the voyager at last.
—The Prophecy of the Voyager
When the order had first been created, it had been decided to let the villages create the laws of the planet rather than the Council of Priests, as Malachor and the council believed that the people should be able to decide how they would be governed. However, over the thousands of years that followed, many things began to change. Religious laws were created by the council that overruled and sometimes cast aside the laws that the villages had created. Only some were aware of the implications of such actions, though even fewer chose to speak up about it. The Malachor family always remained aware of it, each of them trying to change it to no avail.
Almost eleven thousand years after the formation of the order, a group of travelers arrived on Kal’Shabbol with a woman in labor. The man who carried the woman in his arms introduced himself as Ussej Padric Bac and also introduced the woman as Aletra Jekkura. After the child was born, Ussej also introduced his son, Ussej Padric Bac II, and the child’s mother, Laili Jeyna Rendar. Shamus Malachor, the High Priest of the order at the time, asked why Ussej did not introduce Laili as his wife. When Ussej said that they were not married, despite having a child, many Bendu refused to speak with them or even acknowledge their presence.
Shamus, however, was not one of those people. He was hesitant after Ussej explained that he and the father of Aletra’s child were Sith Lords during the Great Territorial War that had just ended, though he found comfort in knowing that they had both been redeemed. Shamus explained that the laws of men had been lost and replaced by the laws of God, something his family had tried very hard to change to no avail. Shamus explained the story to the Council of Priests. After hearing about Ussej’s upbringing, they asked to see him. It was there that he presented them with the Medallion of the Saarai-Kar. They were shocked, to say the least, and after much deliberation believed Ussej to be the one spoken of in the Prophecy of the Voyager.
Nearly fifteen years later, the beginnings of the Ashlan Civil War, a major conflict in the Ashlan Expanse that saw the forces of the Bendu Order on Kal'Shabbol against the tyrannical forces of Shadows of the Phoenix on Had Abaddon, had become evident. The conflict was fought primarily due to the desires of Husen Al-Dubrir and Mathias Helsdain to conquer the Bendu and Kal’Shabbol and kill Ussej Padric Bac, though it was also to retrieve Al-Dubrir’s daughter.
The conflict traced its origins back to rise of Shadows of the Phoenix and the chipping away of the democratically elected government of Had Abbadon. As the Bendu, primarily Ussej Padric Bac and Laili Jeyna Rendar, feverishly negotiated with the tyrannical uprising in an attempt to restore the democratic government, a teenage Ussej Padric Bac II met and began lusting for the daughter of Al-Dubrir, Tesiana Al-Dubrir. Though he and his parents left Had Abaddon shortly thereafter, he never forgot about her.
Fifteen years later, Ussej Padric Bac II returned to Had Abaddon with David Rendar for negotiations with Shadows of the Phoenix, as they had taken over the government on Had Abaddon. Ussej met Tesiana once again and they fell in love with one another. Ussej brought Tesiana back with them to Kal'Shabbol and, though Husen Al-Dubrir wanted his daughter back from the Bac family, he used it as an excuse to launch a war against the Bendu and Kal'Shabbol. In the end, however, Al-Dubrir’s forces were defeated, but not after costing the life of thousands on both sides of the war. Though the war was remembered as much as other wars had been outside of the Ashlan Expanse, those who fought in it such as the Bac family were known to the galaxy based on the other things that they did in their lives.
At the very end of the war, it was discovered that Adena Qel-Droma, the former Sith Empress Viea, had masterminded the entire conflict. She traveled to Kal'Shabbol as she desired vengeance due to Ussej’s hand in overthrowing the dictatorship and attacked him. After they made their way to the Holy Ridge of The Skywalker in the Ashlan Mountains, Ussej pulled Excelsior, the Sword of The Skywalker, from its resting place and killed Qel-Droma, though it also resulted in his death. Ussej’s death was one of the most significant events in the history of the order. The Bendu Sages recorded that he became the Shaman of the Whills as the prophecy said he would and dwelled, as a spirit, on Ashlan Four with The Skywalker and the Order of the Whills. Because of what Ussej had done, Ussej Padric Bac II named his newborn son Ussej Padric Bac III and decreed that all first-born male sons of the Bac family on Kal’Shabbol would be named “Ussej Padric” in honor of his father. This was a very significant event in the history of the Bendu Order as it created one of the more sacred traditions that they helped to oversee for thousands of years.
Years later, Ussej Padric Bac II was also killed. He had traveled to Dxun to retrieve a supposed Jedi Bendu artifact when he found himself in the middle of the final battle of the Great Rim Lines War. Ussej helped a young Colonel Cos Jonathan Dashin and the Jedi defeat the forces of the Sith Empire and the Mandalorians, though he was taken as a prisoner of war at the end of the battle and executed one week later. Once again stricken by grief, the Bendu mourned the loss of a beloved member.
Age of Awakening
One of the more important events in the history of the Bendu was, without a doubt, the holy war during the Great Sovereign Crusades. The Great Sovereign Crusades themselves were multiple conflicts throughout the galaxy during the same period of time, all of them linked together to form one galaxy war. The first of the conflicts saw the forces of the Republic and the Jedi fighting against the forces of the Sith Empire. The second conflict was the Bendu and the Shadourian Order fighting against the forces of the Jedi in a holy war and, finally, the third conflict saw the Bendu fighting against the Shadourians. The three conflicts resulted in the Sith Empire overthrowing the Galactic Senate on Coruscant, as the planet had lost its major defense against the Sith when the Bendu exiled the Jedi.
The Bendu had originally left Kal’Shabbol at the behest of the otherworldly Ussej Padric Bac, who revealed to High Priest Ussej Padric Bac III that he had, in fact, fulfilled the Prophecy of the Voyager and become the Shaman of the Whills. The Shaman told Ussej that although the Jedi had believed the Sith Lords to have been extinct at the hands of a Dark Jedi named Carden Mannux, they had returned under the watch of the Dark Lord Darth Viscerus and his apprentice Darth Dire. The Bendu ventured into Republic territory believing that their task would be to help defeat the armies of darkness. However, Ussej recognized that the Jedi Order had become complacent and, in the end, incompetent. Because of that, he knew he had to do something to rectify what he saw as a grave injustice against the people of the Republic.
Though the idea for a holy war was suggested by Ein Nightblade, the grandson of Damien Nightblade, it was Ussej Padric Bac III who truly took command of their joint war effort. The holy war involved the use of guerrilla warfare and terrorist attacks across the Galactic Republic, though all attacks were made against Jedi targets rather than civilian or Republic military targets. Thanks to Ussej befriending Supreme Chancellor Cos Jonathan Dashin, the colonel that his father had met, the Bendu received the backing of the Republic in eventually exiling the Jedi.
The decisive confrontation came when Ussej realized that the Bendu had made a mistake in fighting against the Jedi and told Nightblade that the holy war was over. Two weeks later, Ussej and the Bendu arrived home on Kal’Shabbol and returned to their normal duties. However, the Shadourian Order attacked Kal’Shabbol four months later and destroyed most of the Temple of Light. Deciding to strike back, Ussej led a force to Shaderon where the Bendu destroyed the Shadourians and Ussej killed Ein Nightblade. The Bendu then returned to their home, though their High Priest headed back out into Republic space where he helped bring down the Sith on Coruscant and kill Carden Mannux. The latter of the two conflicts saw to his death.
Three weeks later, the newly elected High Priest Josiah Rendar was the host to Cos Jonathan Dashin, Kalel Esunkit and his infant daughter Kathryn. Dashin and Esunkit had ventured to Kal’Shabbol, as Ussej’s final request was for them to return the Sword of The Skywalker to its resting place. After doing so, Josiah saw the travelers off and immediately began working to restore the place of the Bendu Order in the region and to change the way the order operated.
Under Josiah’s leadership and the memory of the mistakes of the Bac family, an age of awakening was brought about on Kal’Shabbol. During that time, the Bendu Order rebuilt itself from the ground up. Not only were there changes in appearance to a more formal and sometimes monk-like style, but there was also a change in the way the order viewed itself. The Bac family had helped the Bendu realize what happens when pride got the better of people, especially those held in such high regard.
Kal’Shabbol itself also went through many changes. Fearing annihilation, a few dozen citizens began protesting the Bendu-led government. They stated that the recklessness of the Bendu during the war was what caused the attack on Kal’Shabbol. Though the Bendu certainly could not deny those claims, they were not prepared to sacrifice their mandate as the protectors of Kal’Shabbol. They had already done that during the war and there were massive consequences. The few dozen protesters were eventually exiled by the citizens of Kal’Shabbol to Had Abaddon where they were not heard from again. Following the incident, the Bendu returned to their old ways of peace and harmony, only involving themselves in conflicts within the Ashlan Expanse.
Galactic Civil War
The Galactic Civil War was a major galactic conflict fought mainly between the Galactic Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic, a rebel faction dedicated to the revival of the Galactic Republic that the Empire had supplanted. The conflicted traced its origins back to dissent in the Galactic Senate during the Clone War and the authoritarian power of Supreme Chancellor Malus Palpatine. At the outset, the Empire viewed the Alliance as a political threat rather than a military one. Because of this, the Alliance realized that they needed assistance from a powerful force. To do this, former Imperial Senator Mon Mothma, the leader of the Alliance, contacted the Bendu and requested their assistance. High Priest Ussej Padric Bac LXIV initially refused, but after speaking with his father, Ussej Padric Bac LXIII, and the Shaman of the Whills, he decided to bring the Bendu into imperial space and help the Alliance in their efforts against the Empire and the Sith.
After intercepting an Alliance transmission, the Bendu realized that the Alliance was planning on attacking a world called Endor. The Bendu arrived a day before the Alliance planned on and managed to infiltrate the base disguised as members of the Imperial Army. The next day when the battle was launched, the Bendu were able to acquire most of the imperial database. During the battle, the Bendu came into contact with the Dark Guardians of Lettow, the order created by Carden Mannux, as well as Dark Commander Kane Starkiller. After a brief confrontation, Ussej ordered his men to destroy the bunker, and quickly after the Empire issued a retreat. The Alliance soldiers transported the Bendu back to their flagship and Ussej met with Mon Mothma aboard her vessel. Ussej gave her the data disc, and when they arrived on Dantooine the Alliance and the Bendu officially formed an alliance with one another.
The Bendu spent the next six months being brought up to speed on the situation and major galactic events since the Great Sovereign Crusades. Once they were done, the Bendu led a mission to save Bail Organa from prison on Coruscant. Ussej led the mission and freed Organa from prison, and after a short chase through the skyline they were able to escape with the Alderaanian Viceroy safely. Days later, the Bendu helped defend Alderaan against the Death Star prototype during the Second Battle of Alderaan. By the battle’s end, a Bendu Knight had flown a hijacked TIE Fighter into the weapon’s matrix of the prototype and partially destroyed it, sending it limping back to where it came from.
Days later, the Alliance and the Bendu received word that Kane Starkiller requested an audience with them on Alderaan. It was approved, and they learned that Starkiller had supposedly been redeemed after finding out the truth about his past with the Sith and the Lettow. With Starkiller’s help, the Bendu put a plan into action to infiltrate the Lettow Temple on Coruscant while they were all there. The next day, the Bendu invaded the Lettow Temple and destroyed the Dark Guardians of Lettow. However, the Dark Guardian of Emperor Palpatine’s Lettow, Mara Jade, still lived, but Starkiller swore that he would deal with her in time.
Within the next few days, the Bendu infiltrated a secret base on Polis Massa and stole the plans to the Death Star weapons. After sending them to Princess Leia Organa on her consular vessel, the Bendu made their way to the rebel base on Yavin IV. After only a few days, a group led by Luke Skywalker arrived with a rescued Leia Organa. The Bendu met with Luke Skywalker who told them that he was the son of Annikin Skywalker, the supposed Son of the Suns. The Bendu took a great interest in Luke, and their views on the Jedi Order changed significantly when they heard that Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of only two remaining Jedi Masters, had sacrificed himself so that the Alliance would be able to press on. However, their contemplations on the matter were cut short when one of the Death Stars arrived in the Yavin System. While the Alliance took to space, allowing Luke to destroy the Death Star, the Bendu led the ground forces in guerrilla attacks against the imperial forces. After the destruction of the Death Star, the Empire retreated.
In the next few months, the Bendu spent a great deal of time contemplating Kenobi’s sacrifice and came to realize that their ideas about the Jedi being selfish and self-centered were not entirely accurate and did not apply to all members of the fallen order. During their contemplations, they helped the Alliance construct a new hidden base on the ice-world of Hoth. Despite remaining on Hoth for several months, the Bendu realized how low their morale was and that they needed to return to Kal’Shabbol, if only for a few days. For two weeks, the Bendu traveled to their homeworld where they were greeted as heroes by their families and the planet’s citizens. Ussej, however, lost his father when he arrived and the Bendu commemorated his life in a ceremony before spreading his ashes across the Ashlan Ocean.
After Ussej came out of his self-imposed exile one week later, the Bendu agreed that it was time to leave their home once again and traveled back into imperial space. On the final day of their journey, they had nearly arrived on Hoth when they were intercepted by a ship that belonged to Kyle Katarn, one of Han Solo’s smuggling partners. Katarn told them that he had received a distress signal from Leia Organa on Bespin and that Alliance ships were preparing to head there. The Bendu altered course and arrived at the Cloud City just in time to rescue Luke, Leia, Chewbacca and a man named Lando Calrissian from the imperial garrison that had been stationed there. They also were able to rescue Starkiller, who was locked in combat with Mara Jade and a few Lettow warriors that had managed to survive the Lettow purge. After rescuing them, the Bendu made their way back to the Alliance fleet and headed to neutral territory.
Six months later, the Bendu helped plan a rescue of Han Solo from the gangster Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine. Ussej traveled with a few Bendu, Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian and two droids named See Threepio and Artoo Deeto to rescue Solo. After the successful operation and the death of Jabba the Hutt, Ussej ordered his men to stay on Tatooine, as there was a plan in the works to liberate Tatooine and other notable worlds from the Empire in one final, decisive campaign. While these Bendu worked on Tatooine, Ussej assigned others to travel with him to Korriban where they would destroy the tombs within the Valley of the Dark Lords including, but not limited to, the tomb of Marka Ragnos, Ajunta Pall and Darth Myst to ensure that their spirits, if they dwelled on the planets, would not be able to help the Sith rise up once again when they were destroyed. The Bendu were successful in both liberating Tatooine and destroying the tombs, and when they left the worlds they learned that Coruscant had been liberated, Palpatine had been killed, Annikin Skywalker had been redeemed just before his death and the Empire had fallen, effectively ending the war and paving the way for the rise of a New Republic.
When the Bendu returned to Coruscant, they arrived just in time to witness the toppling of the statue of Malus Palpatine and the raising of the Alliance flag, the very flag that would go on to become the flag of the New Republic. When Ussej met with Luke Skywalker, Luke told him exactly what had happened with Annikin and how he destroyed the Sith, thus fulfilling the Prophecy of the Son of the Suns. At that moment, Ussej revealed that it meant that Luke was the one spoken of in the Prophecy of the King of Kings, as the King of Kings was foretold to be the son of the Son of the Suns. Because of that, the Bendu kneeled down before Luke, thus setting the stage for a reunification of the Jedi and the Bendu. When the Bendu stood once more, Luke and Ussej, along with Dash Rendar and Kyle Katarn, walked up the steps of the Jedi Temple and opened its doors for the first time in nearly twenty years. Bail Organa proclaimed that the Jedi had finally returned, but Ussej corrected him. In truth, the Jedi Bendu had returned.
Within the following months and years, the prophetic reunification of the Jedi Order and the Bendu Order became a reality. After a great deal of hard work and even more time hammering out the details and the way the new order would be constructed and run, Luke and Ussej officially proclaimed that the Jedi Order and the Bendu Order had been replaced by the Second Jedi Bendu Order, one that would not repeat the mistakes of the past and would thrive for thousands of years to come. Many of the same principles from both the Jedi Order and the Bendu Order remained, though some were omitted and combined to make entire newly beliefs and ways that the Force of Others was viewed.
Three years after the fall of the Empire, the New Republic also officially rose. Bail Organa was elected Supreme Chancellor of the New Republic and Ussej, Luke and the other Jedi Bendu were invited to attend his official inauguration, which coincided with the signing of the treaty between the Republic and the Empire and the official signing of the New Republic Charter. Echoing the words spoken twenty-five thousand years earlier by Jonathan Bac, the first Supreme Chancellor of the Old Republic, Organa pledged that the Republic would work side by side with the Jedi Bendu and that he would be honored and privileged if they would accept the mandate of being the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. Without a second’s hesitation, the Jedi Bendu agreed and the reunification was officially complete.
Becoming a Bendu required profound commitment and an astute mind. For one to have even been considered for training, they would have normally had to have been born on Kal’Shabbol. However, exceptions were made for those who showed a great deal of promise from Had Abaddon, Ondus and Aquilae. The other most notable exception was the acceptance of Ussej Padric Bac after he had been a Jedi Knight and a Sith Lord. The Bendu firmly believed that anyone who had experienced worlds outside the order’s immediate influence would have been tainted by a plague of corruption so great that it could not be rectified. This mindset continued on even after the age of awakening.
The life of a Bendu was one of sacrifice. Those that showed an aptitude for the Force of Others began their training no later than their thirteenth birthday either in the Bendu Temple of Light or with one of the priests within the villages. Very rarely did one teacher have more than one apprentice at one time, as masters wanted to devote as much time to their students as possible. More often than not, an apprentice who successfully completed their training would become a Bendu Knight between their eighteenth and twenty-first standard year of age. Those who completed their training later generally did so because they either felt that they needed more work or their teacher had additional things to teach them.
From the beginning of their training, an apprentice was always expected to keep a strong sense of self-discipline, faith and prayer in their lives. Emotions such as hatred, anger and fear were expected to be used only at the proper times, if ever. Emotions such as kindness, compassion and love were expected to be used at all times. Unlike the Jedi Order, the Bendu did not believe that those emotions were self-destructive, but rather healthy when used properly as they would not build up and unleash themselves in great quantities at the wrong time. Because of this, very few Bendu ended up falling prey to the Bogan. Those who did normally did so because they craved power.
As an apprentice, a Bendu was taught the powers of the Force of Others, the intricacies of the Ashla and the Bogan, the history of the galaxy and the philosophies that all Bendu lived and died by. They would be taught the art of the sword, though that would not be done until the latter years of their training. The Council of Priests, following the beliefs of the Jedi Bendu Council of Masters, believed that the more one knew about philosophies and powers, the more naturally the student would be able to perform with a sword.
When a student did, in fact, reach the point in their training where they would be taught how to use a sword, they would be required to use far greater focus than was ever requested of them before. Students would practice the rubrics of swordplay against other students with soft blades. Due to the weight of the weapons, they would need heightened awareness to condition their attunement to the powers of the Force of Others. During training, Bendu would be tasked with crafting their own sword. After they constructed their personal symbol during the Trial of Wills, the symbol would be added to the sword hilt. The construction of a proper blade was considered a milestone on the path to Bendu Knighthood and it took on heavy symbolic meanings. The apprentice would also learn the legend of Excelsior, the sword of The Skywalker, specifically about how the legend stated that a member of the Bendu Order was destined to pull the sword from its resting place and use it to mount a crusade against evil.
At the end of the years of Bendu training, those who were ready to be promoted to Knighthood would be faced with the challenge of completing the Trial of Wills and the Trial of Fear, two rigorous ordeals that would test the student physically and mentally. Then, and only then, would they be able to become a Bendu Knight. All of the information would have been given to a hopeful when they were beginning their deliberations as to whether or not they were prepared to join. If they were prepared, their training would begin and their names would be added to the Holy Book of Names, but if they felt that they could not rise to the challenge then they would be allowed to turn back without anyone thinking less of them. However, that was only true after the age of awakening. Before the arrival of the Bac family, many of the more religious extremists within the order would shun those that turned away and make the rest of their lives somewhat miserable within the villages. It was one of many practices that the Malachor family attempted to rectify.
The religion practiced by the Bendu Order was much like the religion practiced and followed by the Jedi Bendu, and the beliefs of both were very much different from the Jedi Order. The Bendu recognized and worshiped Yahweh, the God of the Universe that dwelled on a planet called Heaven in another dimension of space and time. Yahweh was also the omnipotent presence referred to as the Force of Others by the Jedi Bendu and the Bendu, and the Force by the Jedi, Sith, Lettow and other dark groups that followed the ways of the Bogan.
Yahweh had spoken to a man named Jedi Bendu on the highest peak of Mount Sky on Had Abaddon and dubbed him The Skywalker, as he was the only one who was able to walk the snowy peaks of the mountain and live to tell the tale. Yahweh also allowed his chosen people, those being the people sensitive to the Force of Others known as the Ophuchi, to use his divine powers for good and noble deeds, which allowed them to form the original Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi. However, once Yahweh allowed the good and righteous to access his power, it opened the door to allow the darkness of the galaxy to tap into it as well. This led to the creation of groups such as the Sith Empire and the Dark Guardians of Lettow.
Many Bendu and non-Bendu alike challenged the existence of Yahweh throughout history, just as many Jedi Bendu had. Though it was universally recognized that the Force of Others did exist, as there was evidence of that everywhere, many did not believe that The Skywalker spoke to any divine being because, as Supreme Chancellor Fillorean put it, “no God in our existence would be foolish enough to allow mere mortals access to his unlimited power”. Such claims were always dismissed by the Bendu and religious scholars.
Despite recognizing that The Skywalker did speak to Yahweh on Mount Sky, many Bendu did accept the truth when it came to the passing of stories throughout the generations. Many spoke of how there would be situations when, if a collection of legends reached far into the past, the historical truth could be blended with myths, propaganda, inaccuracies, mistakes, omissions, additions and interpretations. Regardless, it was nearly unanimously agreed by the Bendu and scholars alike that the tales told by the proclaimed sons of The Skywalker were more or less accurate.
One major difference between the Bendu and the Jedi Bendu was that the Jedi Bendu did not have any sort of official Code of the Order, whereas the Bendu did. Instead, the Jedi Bendu utilized a set of sacred prayers that spoke of Yahweh, The Skywalker and various other religious events and individuals. The Bendu Code was as follows:
- Through the Ashla, we find emotion;
- Through the Ashla, we find peace;
- Through the Ashla, we find knowledge;
- Through the Ashla, we find passion;
- Through the Ashla, we find courage;
- Through the Ashla, we find eternal life;
- Through the Ashla, we find love;
- Love is the answer to the darkness.
- Love can ignite the stars.
The Jedi Bendu had believed that having a code, regardless of whether it was a set of rules like the Jedi Code that followed or a prayer like the Bendu Code, would be too restricting for its members. Therefore, they allowed their members to practice the official prayers or their own personal prayers whenever they saw fit. However, the Bendu believed that having a vague code that told one of their members what they could do with the Force of Others would help keep them grounded in reality and would help them strive to attain their highest goals.
Pillars of Strength
The Bendu Order stressed and firmly believed that they did not fight for peace, as fighting for peace was futile and far too dangerous. The Bendu believed, much like many members of the first Order of the Jedi Bendu and the Jedi Order, including famed Jedi Master Mace Windy, that saying that one fought for peace was simply a slogan that was just as misleading as any other slogan that had ever been written. The Bendu fought for the survival of civilization, as a strong civilization would then create peace. The Bendu fought for justice, as it was one of the fundamental bedrocks of civilization.
A Jedi Bendu High Master once said that an unjust civilization was built upon sand, meaning that it would not survive any form of assaulting storm for very long. The Bendu Order agreed with and firmly believed that ideal. Because of those beliefs and ideals, the strength of the Bendu Order rested on the shoulders of six major principles:
- Divine Faith
- Attunement to the Force of Others
When used correctly, effectively and efficiently, the six major principles and pillars of strength would allow a Bendu to solve any problem and overcome any obstacle that they would potentially face. The Jedi Order also had similar principles, though they were changed to conform to their own beliefs.
Bendu Hopeful - A Bendu Hopeful was one who was no older than thirteen years of age who showed a great sensitivity to the Force of Others. When one became a Bendu Hopeful, they met with the Council of Priests and, eventually, only the High Priest who would then determine whether or not they would be accepted for training. If accepted, the High Priest would instruct them on where, when and with whom they would begin their training. If they were not accepted, they would be allowed to return to their lives and would never be able to request training again. Very rarely would a candidate be turned away.
Bendu Apprentice - In the first stage of Bendu training, a Bendu Apprentice would be taught the powers of the Force of Others, the intricacies of the Ashla and the Bogan and the history and philosophies of the Jedi Bendu. An apprentice would also be taught the art of the sword, though that came in later stages of training. At the end of training, an apprentice would be faced with the challenge of completing the Trial of Wills and the Trial of Fear, two rigorous ordeals that would test them physically and mentally before ascending to the level of Bendu Knight.
Bendu Knight - Only after completing the two trials and being deemed worthy by the Council of Priests could one become a Bendu Knight. The Knights of the Bendu were the guardians of peace and justice in the Ashlan Expanse. Although a knight would have completed the great bulk of his or her training, he or she would still study the ancient texts found within the Bendu Libraries and would continue to receive some instruction on more challenging forms of philosophy and powers from the Bendu Priests. Should they have been called upon to do so, a Bendu Knight would have taken on an apprentice of their own.
Bendu Priest - After the successful training of an apprentice, along with the completion of another Trial of Wills and Trial of Fear, a Bendu Knight would be considered for ascendancy to the level of Bendu Priest. However, there were a limited number of priest positions, one for each village on Kal’Shabbol and one for each planet in the Ashlan Expanse. If the Council of Masters deemed a knight to be a resourceful and innovative leader within the order and that he or she was truly ready to be exposed to a higher calling, they would appoint that knight to be a Bendu Priest. Bendu Priests did not reside with the Temple of Light, though they often visited it. They resided within the village that they were chosen to oversee and led weekly religious services. They would also help the citizens of the villages with any problems they needed assistance with. Should a Bendu Priest have shined above the rest of his or her peers, he or she would have been considered for a seat on the Council of Priests.
Council of Priests - The Council of Priests was the governing body of the Bendu Order made up exclusively of wise, experienced Bendu Priests and one High Priest. Very few Priests were invited to serve on the council and one’s seat lasted until death or resignation.
Bendu High Priest - Though the Council of Priests was primarily a group of equals, one would serve above the rest. This was the Bendu High Priest and there would only be one at a time. A High Priest would be chosen for a life term upon the death or resignation of his or her predecessor and served as the leader of the entire organization. They were responsible for all training and religious activities within the order. The High Priest also served as the King of Kal’Shabbol.
Bendu Saint - An honor given posthumously to very few High Priests, and occasionally those in lower ranks, Sainthood was by far the highest honor any Bendu could ever hope to achieve. Despite this, it was rarely thought about or spoken of in public. Sainthood was given based upon the achievements of a Bendu during his or her life, and those achievements would have had to be extraordinary. The only true criteria was that a candidate brought about a major shift in any facet of the day to day life of all Bendu and that they had the love, respect and trust of all Bendu and citizens of Kal’Shabbol.
Culture, History and Knowledge
During the age of awakening following the Great Sovereign Crusades, the Bendu Order adopted a historical and cultural hierarchy that the Jedi Order had effectively and efficiently been using for thousands of years. Many Bendu ended up specializing in history, the Force of Others and the history of the organization and intricacies of the government of the Bendu Order itself, producing invaluable knowledge throughout the thousands of years that followed the crusades.
- Bendu Archaeologist - A Bendu Archaeologist was a Bendu Knight or higher who had specialized in gaining historical knowledge of the Ashlan Expanse and surrounding areas of the galaxy through archaeological expeditions across the Ashlan Expanse and various other points of interest in the Unknown Regions. Occasionally, an archaeologist would be sent into Republic space for research.
- Bendu Historian - A Bendu Historian was a Bendu Knight or higher who had specialized in chronicling the true history of the galaxy which included the Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi, the Bendu Order, the Jedi Order, the Orders of the Sith and various other smaller religious orders. A Bendu Historian would know virtually all that they could know about the galaxy’s past.
- Bendu Librarian - A Bendu Librarian was a Bendu Priest or higher who had specialized in the administration of the vast scrolls and journals of knowledge that had been placed within the Bendu Libraries in the lowers levels of the Temple of Light and the catacombs within the Ashlan Mountains.
- Bendu Sage - A Bendu Sage was a Bendu Priest or higher that dedicated their life to uncovering the mysteries of the Force of Others. Bendu Sages had deep insights into the philosophies of the Force of Others and were highly skilled users the many powers of the Force of Others. On many occasions, a Bendu High Priest would call upon his own personal Bendu Sage for guidance.
Within the Bendu Order, the relationships that existed between teachers and students were not just between knights and apprentices or priests and apprentices. When it came to instruction in the ways of the Bendu Order, many Bendu Knights and Bendu Priests preferred to teach certain aspects in the course of Bendu training such as philosophy, the art of the sword and the powers of the Force of Others. The positions were much like those of the Jedi Order and were used to add variety into the training of younger Bendu and older Bendu who simply wanted to learn more about the ways of the Bendu Order.
- Bendu Instructor - A Bendu Instructor was a Bendu Knight or higher that was accountable for giving general teachings to those that held ranks lower than them. Many times, Bendu Instructors were members of the Council of Priests, as they generally resided within the Bendu Temple of Light.
- Bendu Swordmaster - A Bendu Swordmaster was a Bendu Knight or higher that was highly skilled in the art of the sword. A Bendu Swordmaster would be a sword combat instructor at the Temple of Light.
- Bendu Trainer - A Bendu Trainer was a Bendu Knight or higher that was responsible for teaching and instructing certain aspects of the Force of Others. Bendu Trainers were vital components in the education of Bendu throughout the history of the order.
War and Diplomacy
During the thousands of years that the Bendu Order watched over the Ashlan Expanse, the only war that broke out was the Ashlan Civil War. After that, the Bendu Order only became involved in the Great Sovereign Crusades. During that conflicted, they adopted guerilla tactics and used them to great effects when they were staging attacks against the Jedi Order. During the war, the Bendu did not hand out official military ranks, though some knights and priests ended up taking on more responsibility than others. The High Priest and Council of Priests oversaw the war efforts, and the remainder of the priest served as unofficial military commanders. However, those tactics also proved to be their downfall, because it allowed them to become cocky and complacent which in turn allowed the Jedi to find their flagship and kill Ussej Padric Bac IV. However, that proved to be the catalyst for the end of the crusades, and shortly thereafter the Bendu returned to Kal’Shabbol.
During the age of awakening, the Bendu adopted a policy used by the Jedi Bendu and decided that it would no longer participate in wars as fighters, as they believed that it went against their role as the guardians of peace and justice in the Ashlan Expanse. While some argued that to be guardians of peace and justice one would have to fight to defend those who needed defending, the majority of the Bendu believed that they could be attained through diplomacy and negotiation if the situation ever arose. Though their negotiations between rival groups were sometimes blunt in nature, they never resorted to violence unless they were attacked first.
The Prophecies of The Skywalker were a holy set of writings that foretold the coming of great kings, rulers and other legendary figures throughout the history of the universe. Between the time of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi exodus off of Had Abaddon to his death on Kal'Shabbol, a number of visions came into the mind of The Skywalker. Though he did not know for sure, he believed that they were given to him by Yahweh, the God of the Universe. These visions led him to write eight distinct prophecies that would be fulfilled in a span of over one hundred thousand years and two galaxies. The prophecies were written down in his own sacred journals and later became the first entries of the Journal of the Whills after the establishment of the Order of the Whills.
The coming of many noteworthy historical figures was prophesied by The Skywalker before his death. Such figures included Ussej Padric Bac and other members of the famed Bac family of Alderaan and Kal'Shabbol, Carden Mannux and his Dark Guardians of Lettow, Darth Bane, Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker and Patrick Keylan Bac, a man who lived on Earth after the Jedi Bendu were forced to exile themselves there to avoid annihilation.
Before the establishment of the second Jedi Bendu Order and the New Republic on Coruscant, the prophecies were known by very few people. Most of those who did know of their existence were members of the Bendu Order. However, when the public learned that the actions of Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker and Ussej Padric Bac LXIV had been foretold, along with the actions of numerous others, the prophecies gained galactic attention. Once the Jedi and the Bendu were officially reunified into the second Jedi Bendu Order, the prophecies were published and the galaxy-at-large was able to read and cherish them for millennia to follow.
Behind the scenes
The Bendu Order was created in 2005 by author Brandon Rhea for use in the Alternative Star Wars Saga. The Bendu were based on the limited information given by George Lucas in the original drafts of the Star Wars Saga about the formation and philosophies of the Jedi Bendu of Ophuchi, which became the Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi in the Alternative Saga. Additional back story points, such as the discovery of the Force of Others by The Skywalker, were based on the two-part Journal of the Whills fan fiction series written by Brendan J. Wahlberg, a story that can be found in the Fan Fiction Archives of TheForce.Net.
The Bendu were first thought of in early 2005 when Rhea was putting together a story treatment for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Beginning which, before the development of Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One, was the first episode of the re-imagining of the Star Wars Saga. Originally referred to as the “Bendu Knights of the Ashla”, the Bendu were shown as having some prejudices against the fallen Jedi Order due to a schism that had broken up the Jedi Bendu into the Jedi and the Bendu Orders. Prince Padric Bac, who later became Ussej Padric Bac LXIV, was originally against agreeing to a request made by the Rebel Alliance to help in the Galactic Civil War, but he eventually changed his mind and they arrived soon enough to help the rebels win a battle that helped them secure information about the Death Star.
The Bendu later participated in other major battles of the war such as the Second Battle of Alderaan, the Fall of the Lettow, the Battle of Yavin, the Battle of Bespin, the Battle of Kashyyyk and the Battle of Coruscant. After the final battle, the Bendu re-unified with the Jedi Order and became the Second Jedi Bendu Order. Though the idea for the Reunification War that followed was not developed until later in 2006, these plot points remains in the story.
It was not until the second role-playing timeline of TheStarWarsRP.Com did the Bendu receive a more major development in terms of the history, philosophies and religion. Rhea created Ussej Padric Bac III as his role-playing character, who was the grandson of his first role-playing character Ussej Padric Bac, and with that he made Ussej the leader of the Bendu Order. The Bendu were originally meant to remain as a faction solely based on Kal'Shabbol, the homeworld of the Bendu that was developed in 2005, but eventually Rhea brought them into the Republic and Jedi war against the Sith where he intended to help them defeat the Sith. During this time, the element of Yahweh and the tie-ins to Earth religions, as well as a great deal of the Bendu religion as a whole, were also fully solidified.
Around May 2006, a fellow role-player and then-Star Wars Role-Play Global Moderator named John Thomas O’Connell, who had role-played Damien Nightblade in the first timeline, proposed an alliance between his faction called the Shadourian Order and the Bendu Order. His role-playing character Kage Tatsujin, who was later morphed into that of Ein Nightblade, was preparing a holy crusade against the Jedi and wanted Ussej to be involved. Rhea was originally hesitant, but eventually he joined with O’Connell and they developed the holy war that took place during the Great Sovereign Crusades. The Shadourian role-players eventually became inactive, so it was only Rhea and the Bendu that eventually prevailed against the Jedi during the story.
It was not until well after the role-playing of the Bendu ended in December 2006 did Rhea develop the elements of the religious extremism that had taken hold in the Bendu Order, as well as the Second Ashlan Civil War that it participated in decades prior to the holy war. Other elements that were later developed were those of religious artifacts put together by the former Jedi Bendu during the Third Jedi Bendu Schism that pointed the way to Kal'Shabbol. These elements were carried over when the Bendu briefly returned as a role-playing faction with Josiah Rendar as their leader in September 2007.
In Summer 2007, members of the Star Wars Fanon Wiki began discussing a review board for Good Articles that would be somewhat similar to the Decreton Lords, the group of users that votes on and oversees the maintenance of Featured Articles. Rhea was elected as one of the first founding members of the board, and after the members were established names began to be discussed that would be used for the group. The three suggested names were the Subjugators from Subjugation by Jedi Master 76, the Ascendancy from New Chiss Ascendancy also by Jedi Master 76, and finally the High Priests from the Bendu Order. It was unanimously decided that the board would be called the High Priests.
There are very few non-canon appearances of the Bendu Order in other works, though Rhea did grant permission for fellow role-player Steve Young to use them briefly in his own series of fan fiction, albeit in a different manner than most stories. Young's character Skyu Lon had a vision where he saw a terrible war coming to Dorin, Lon's homeworld. The battle was going to be led by Darth Nefarius, a Lord of the Sith who sought only the utmost of victories for the Third Sith Empire. The Jedi Council would neglect the needs of the people of Dorin and would not try to help them in their time of need. With an army of Sith, Nefarius slaughtered most of the population and corrupted many others.
Knowing that the Jedi would do nothing, the Bendu Order would decide to try and defend the planet. However, Ussej Padric Bac III, who was leading the Bendu Order at that point, would be struck down by Nefarius while Ussej was defending a small group of Force-sensitive children. Before he could leave, Nefarius would then corrupt everything that he could before killing the rest of the people in his wake mercilessly and brutally, leaving their bodies scattered across a barren world. Skyu would spend many years attempting to make sure that this did not come to pass, for the sake of all who were involved.
In early 2008, a Star Wars Fanon user named George Skywalker requested permission to use Ussej Padric Bac III in his fan fiction novel titled Star Wars: Vector, which also likely meant that the Bendu Order would somehow be involved. Rhea denied the request as he did not want the Bendu being used improperly, especially because the novel was to be set thousands of years after Ussej had lived and led the Bendu. What Ussej and the Bendu were meant to do in the novel is unknown, though Rhea has contacted the author to try to find out what he had planned.
The Bendu Order is briefly parodied by Rhea, Victor Dorantes and a handful of other users on Darthipedia, the Star Wars Humor Wiki where it is referred to as the Bendy Bendu Acrobats. Jesus Patrick Bach, a parody of Ussej Padric Bac, located the Medallion of the Superman-Khan. Along with giving him superhuman abilities, save for the ability to see through lead, it also pointed him to the Bendy Bendu once he was redeemed by his “hot blonde apprentice”, who is truly Laili Jeyna Rendar.
Jesus and Laili traveled to the Unknown Regions to run away from the Sith, and it was there that they found and became Bendy Bendu. The Bendy Bendu told them about Yahweh, even though it was known that the true God was Kyle Katarn. Jesus became a hero to them, “just like everywhere else he went”. He then became the Shaman of the Free Willys and was revered when he lived in another dimension until God let him “bang his hot blonde apprentice some more” in Heaven.
The Bendu Order is also the subject of an occasional parody on TheStarWarsRP.Com. When Rhea first announced the Earth Wars Trilogy storyline and Patrick Keylan Bac, he also stated that there would be involvement from some terrorist organizations, though he did not specify which terrorist organization it was. Laurent Bastien, a veteran member and former Global Moderator, said in this discussion, “LOL BENDU AGAINST ISLAM OMG BENDU LAZ0R PEWPEWPEW”. The quote was used frequently on TheStarWarsRP.Com in discussions where the Bendu came up. On July 14, 2008, it was also mentioned by Rhea and others as one of the most memorable quotes of TheStarWarsRP.Com.
The Bendu Order has received generally positive reception. While it was not a very active faction on TheStarWarsRP.Com, this was more attributed to a lack of understanding about the faction rather than a dislike of it. Rhea recognized from the beginning of the second timeline that most veteran users would likely prefer to stick with the more established factions, and this was largely true. He had hoped it would attract the attention of new members, but due to a lack of information compared the information that is presently available caused people to see the Bendu Order as nothing more than the Jedi Order with a different name and a more monk-like attitude and lifestyle. Therefore, when it came to role-playing the faction, it was generally Rhea role-playing the entire Order by himself.
The Bendu Order was one of the first articles that Rhea dedicated himself to when he joined Star Wars Fanon. As it was his first completed article, he nominated it for Featured Article status in February 2007. It was approved by the members, who at that point still voted on Featured Articles, and was featured on the main page during the week of February 25, 2007. Later that year, during the Second Star Wars Fanon Wiki Awards, it was voted as the Best Government and the Best Jedi Organization of the year.
During a Featured Article review in November 2007, the Bendu Order lost its Featured Article status. Rhea himself voted to remove the status, as he no longer felt that it was up to the increased Featured Article standards. Rhea rewrote the article in late 2007 and put it through the nomination process once again, and it became a Good Article in early 2008. After it was approved as a Good Article, Rhea nominated it for Featured Article status once more. It was approved by the Decreton Lords and was featured on the main page for a second time during the week of April 13, 2008, the same week it was also linked to as the Good Article of the week.
- Shadows of the Jedi: The Legend of Ussej Padric Bac (First mentioned)
- Shadows of the Jedi: The Legend of Ussej Padric Bac II (First appearance)
- Shadows of the Jedi: The Legend of Ussej Padric Bac III
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Forum:Good Articles and Featured Articles, as well as a new appointment of users
- Skyu Lon
- George Skywalker story proposal
- Rejection of George Skywalker story proposal
- Questioning of George Skywalker story proposal
- Jesus Patrick Bach
- Patrick Keylan Bac discussion thread
- Favorite SWRP Quotes thread
- Second Star Wars Fanon Wiki Awards