The Most Ancient and Holy Order of Chatos, also known as the Chatos Knighthood, was a chivalric order of knighthood which existed on both Ysonesse and Deiu.
The knighthood began as the Chatos Academy on Ysonesse. Founded in 36,000 BBY, the Chatos Academy was intended as a training school for aristocratic children who were Force sensitive. By 26,000 BBY, the academy accepted any students who possessed Force sensitivity regardless of economic status or gender.
The academy was reestablished in 12,028 BBY soon after the citizens of Ysonesse were relocated to Deiu. The new organization was called The Chatos Knighthood. Its membership was legislated to consist solely of aristocratic men with no emphasis on the possession of Force sensitivity.
The knighthood was dissolved in 4.8 ABY one day after the plutocratic government of Deiu was exchanged for a democratic legislature.
The order was divided into two member categories: Paladins and Chief Paladins. A paladin was created on their respective Day of Ascendancy. A chief paladin was created later in life, depending upon seniority and popularity among the Prestatures. The most notable member of the Chatos Knighthood was Josym Di'sallach, Prestatine of Quodris and later Jedi Knight.
The Chatos Knighting Ceremony was created in 35,000 BBY and was modified to accommodate changes in society which occurred after the Great Resettlement. During its first incarnation on Ysonesse, every paladin initiate was knighted outdoors on a cliff overlooking the Northern Sea. After the relocation to Deiu, the ceremony was held within a consecrated structure known as the Worship Hall of Remembrance.
The form of the ceremony altered little during its history. The paladin initiate spent the night before their induction in the formal rite called Seclusion. The initiate was required to study various essential works like the Foundation Code, the collected writings of religious and philosophical thinkers like Suiame, and the prayers of the Most Holy Ones. The paladin initiate abstained from the consumption of meat or alcohol, only slept if necessary, and spent a considerable portion of Seclusion meditating upon their unique privilege of existence in the social hierarchy. The initiates on Ysonesse focused upon their connection to the Force which a week of mock combat trials and lectures upon matters of moral importance such as physical and spiritual chastity and service to the greater good. These aspects were dropped within two hundred years after the relocation to Deiu, replaced by emphasis on unswerving loyalty to the Prestatures.
The actual ceremony began after sunset on Knighting Day. The paladin initiate, draped in white and gold robes embroidered with their respective family's crest, entered the Worship Hall of Remembrance from the western door. A junior prelate blessed the initiate, after which the initiate began to walk the long processional down the nave. Once the paladin reached the Altar of Consecration, the paladin initiate knelt in front of the Chief Priest who placed his hands upon the top of the novice paladin's head and administered the Convocation Blessing. The initiate’s father then stepped up to the altar to give the congregation an historical summary of the family's origins.
Various orations followed and the ceremony was concluded when the Chief Priest made the Gestures of Blessing, then called for the Sword of Destiny. The priest then tapped the paladin initiate’s shoulders with the sword, which concluded the ceremony and transformed the initiate into a Paladin.
Behind the scenes
The Chatos Knighthood is based on the Chatos Academy which existed in the first drafts of the script for A New Hope.
The idea of the knighthood was inspired by the medieval chivalric orders of Europe.