The chosen people deserve to be free, to serve and to protect the people of this galaxy under my protection.
—Yahweh while speaking to The Skywalker on Mount Sky.
The Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi was an ancient monastic peacekeeping organization dedicated to serving and protecting the people of the Ashlan Expanse and, later, the Old Republic until it was broken apart in a schism caused by the Supreme Chancellor Fillorean fifteen thousand years before the rise of the Galactic Empire. The organization derived its name from the birth name of The Skywalker, which was “Jedi Bendu”, and the Ophuchi, the people he led in the exodus from Had Abaddon to Kal'Shabbol. Before its decline, the order was unified through its belief in Yahweh, the God of the Universe, and his omnipotent presence that The Skywalker referred to as the Force of Others. Wielders of the Force of Others and signature long swords, the Jedi Bendu were revered as guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy.
A religious people, the Jedi Bendu had an ancient set of prophecies that had been written by The Skywalker in the years leading up to his death. The descendants of Jonathan Bac, the first Supreme Chancellor of the Old Republic and the man responsible for the ultimate cooperation between the Republic and the Jedi Bendu and, later, the Jedi, went on to fulfill many of the prophecies, most notably the Prophecy of the Voyager and the Prophecy of the Last Son. After the creation of the Second Jedi Bendu Order at the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War, some of its members went on to fulfill whole prophecies and parts of others.
Solving crises such as the Kal'Shabbol Civil War and the conflict with the Second Jedi Bendu Schism, the Jedi Bendu came to be trusted above all else by the citizens of the Republic. In the final years of their rule, they challenged the legality of many programs set up by Supreme Chancellor Fillorean. In order to end what he perceived to be a threat to his rule, Fillorean manipulated many members of the Jedi Bendu Council of Masters into drafting a code and reforming their order into a system that the Chancellor felt was more loyal to the Republic. However, two council members, Zios Malachor and Adena Qel-Droma, refused to do so and spoke out against the Supreme Chancellor. Qel-Droma eventually gave in to the reforms that gave birth to the Jedi Order, but she was locked away in carbon freeze and became lost in space for what the Supreme Chancellor labeled as her “crimes”. Malachor and his followers fled to the Ashlan Expanse and formed the Bendu Order on Kal’Shabbol. The two orders would not be reunified into the Second Jedi Bendu Order until the death of Emperor Palpatine and the fall of his Galactic Empire on Coruscant.
- 1 History
- 2 Path
- 3 Religion
- 4 Pillars of strength
- 5 Hierarchy
- 6 Specialization
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Appearances
- 9 Notes and references
- 10 Sources
The Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi was created from the Ophuchi Tribe on Had Abaddon by The Skywalker. Born with the birth name Jedi Bendu, The Skywalker was sent from Ashlan Three to Had Abaddon by his parents for what they felt would be a better life, and he was adopted by the Had Abaddon royal family. While he was a child, The Skywalker felt that he had strange powers, as he had above average foresight and reflexes. Over two decades later, The Skywalker and his step-brother Achab Tarea found the Ophuchi in slaves camps, as they had been enslaved decades prior due to their supposedly supernatural abilities. When their father explained that to them, Achab agreed with the enslavement, though The Skywalker disagreed because he believed he might have been an Ophuchi as well. Therefore, he left the royal palace and infiltrated a slave camp, where he learned about the Ophuchi from their leaders and eventually killed a royal guard who was attacking an Ophuchi.
Because of the death of the guard, the royal family began to hunt The Skywalker down, forcing him to flee. He escaped into the mountains where he climbed Mount Sky, the highest mountain on the planet. The Skywalker made it to the top of the mountain, something that was not known to have been accomplished prior to him. On the mountain top, The Skywalker discovered the Force of Others, which was the power of Yahweh, the creator of the universe. Yahweh sent the Skywalker back down the mountain on a quest to free the Ophuchi, who were Yahweh’s chosen people, from their enslavement.
The Skywalker later returned to face Achab, who had become king while The Skywalker was gone due to the death of their father. Along with him, The Skywalker brought a series of curses against the monarchy, ranging from the rivers running red with blood to a meteor shower to the potential death of the first born son of every family on the planet. These curses caused Achab to release the Ophuchi, though as the Ophuchi were headed for a starport for ships that the monarchy had granted them Achab changed his mind and led the military after them. Achab and The SKywalker entered into a duel, which The Skywalker won by killing his brother. The soldiers under the fallen king’s command followed the Ophuchi as they left the planet for Kal'Shabbol, the planet that was said to be the Promised Land from Yahweh, but the soldiers were stopped and killed due to divine intervention when Yahweh broke apart one of the moons of Kal’Shabbol and destroyed the military vessels.
When the Ophuchi arrived on Kal’Shabbol, they began setting up a colony where they would be able to live. During that time, they formed the Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi, named after The Skywalker and the former tribe, and began to put together their beliefs and ideals into the collective group. The Skywalker also set up the Council of Masters which was comprised of, in his opinion, the twelve most powerful Jedi Bendu, though he himself declined a seat on the Council as he did not wish to lead the Order. The Jedi Bendu also set up a system of ranks, which included Jedi Bendu Padawan, Jedi Bendu Knight, Jedi Bendu Priest, Jedi Bendu Master and Jedi Bendu High Master. While this was happening, the First Had Abaddon Civil War also took place, starting after the death of Achab when the citizens and anti-monarchy factions decided to exploit the power vacuum left in the king’s death.
One of the factions that had been protected by the monarchy, the Eternal Order of the Vipera, began to face persecution as the citizens did not approve of their serpentine worship and other supernatural practices. Initially, they attempted to remain on the planet, though eventually they too fled for Kal’Shabbol, without realizing at first that those who were responsible for their exile, the Jedi Bendu, were also on the planet. This was during a time when settlers from across the Ashlan Expanse made their way to Kal’Shabbol, as they heard that there were many opportunities for colonization there, and began to set up numerous settlements across the planet, including larger ones such as Vattica and Ashla Prime, the latter of which was where the Jedi Bendu were also situated.
After thousands of settlers made their way to Kal’Shabbol, the Jedi Bendu began to interact with them. Because the Jedi Bendu headquarters was in Ashla Prime, the Jedi Bendu formed a relationship with the municipal government, creating a partnership agreement with them in terms of religious involvement. Although citizens of the settlement would not be inducted into the Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi unless they were sensitive to the Force of Others, which some were which caused them to be initiated and help grow the Jedi Bendu numbers, anyone who wanted to was allowed to attend religious services led by a Jedi Bendu Priest.
During these initials services, only a few people attended, mostly due to their own curiosity as the Jedi Bendu had never explained their beliefs, philosophies and practices to anyone other than municipal leaders. After a few years, however, attendance at these services grew to a point where the majority of citizens in Ashla Prime attended. When the other settlements began hearing about this, they sent delegations to observe the services, which caused them to decide that they too wanted some sort of Jedi Bendu presence in their communities. The Jedi Bendu complied and built small outposts in all settlements that requested it, and they decided that each outpost would be watched over by a Jedi Bendu Priest who would lead the weekly religious services in the area. The Jedi Bendu also built a monastery in the Ashlan Mountains, a large mountain range north of Ashla Prime, where they stored what they felt was their more sacred knowledge.
Twenty years after the creation of the Order, The Skywalker died, though before he did he gave the Jedi Bendu two mandates. The first was to locate a species he had seen in his visions called the Whills, who would document galactic history, and help them create the Order of the Whills on Ashlan Four. The second mandate was for the Jedi Bendu to serve as the guardians of peace and justice in the Ashlan Expanse and, eventually, the galaxy-at-large. The Jedi Bendu agreed to these mandates, and once The Skywalker died they created a posthumous rank called Jedi Bendu Saint that would be awarded only to those that the Jedi Bendu believed left an important legacy and contribution to the Order.
Despite having agreed to the first mandate of locating the Whills, the Jedi Bendu did not initially carry it out as they became involved in a conflict with the Eternal Order of the Vipera. When the Jedi Bendu located them in a valley on the same continent as most other settlements, they deemed the Eternal Order to be a taboo culture and one that the Jedi Bendu were forbidden to interact with. The Jedi Bendu also recommended that other settlers not interact with them as well. The war began after a famine spread across Kal’Shabbol and the Eternal Order believed that the Jedi Bendu were stealing their food. This led them to attack the Jedi Bendu out of revenge, thus beginning the war.
When the Eternal Order discovered the existence of the Force of Others, which they believed was a treasure due to their lack of knowledge about it, they demanded that it be given to them. They became angry when the Jedi Bendu offered to share it with them, as the Eternal Order wanted it solely for themselves, and continued the war which lasted for nearly one year. The actions of the Eternal Order during the civil war caused the settlements, which initially had decided to remain neutral, to become involved as the Eternal Order began to attack them as well. By the end of the war, the Eternal Order discovered what they believed was the location of the supposed treasure in the Jedi Bendu monastery in the Ashlan Mountains. When they found the knowledge of the Force of Others, they found that the Jedi Bendu described it as the peace and love of Yahweh rather than a tangible treasure.
The Eternal Order returned to their valley colony, ashamed of their actions during the war, and within weeks the Eternal Order General Anguigena led most of his army in a ritualistic suicide, as the customs of their people dictated that it was the only way to atone for their crimes. The High Shaman Nazzereal, leader of the Eternal Order, was arrested and charged with crimes against sentience due to her people’s actions. The Eternal Order was disbanded, and the surviving members were given help in assimilating into other colonies, though some moved to other worlds in the Ashlan Expanse to avoid potential persecution.
Due to the events of the war, the Jedi Bendu felt that they would need to strengthen themselves and their numbers to meet the challenges of their continued existence. They believed that because they had been faced with a war only a few years after their foundation, they would likely face additional conflicts in the future. One of the ways they believed they would be able to strengthen themselves was to carry out the mandates given to them by The Skywalker, starting by locating the Whills. They spent nearly eight years searching their region of space for Ashlan Four and the Whills, and eventually found the species on Brodo Asogi, a planet twelve light years outside of the Ashlan Expanse, and the planet deep within the Ashlan Nebula.
When they arrived on Brodo Asogi, the Jedi Bendu found that the average member of the native species was only one meter tall with brown skin, glowing fingers and glowing hearts, but that they were also sensitive to the Force of Others and had telekinetic and telepathic abilities. Recognizing that they had found the Whills, the Jedi Bendu told them about their mandate and the Whills agreed to follow them to Ashlan Four, as they had already known of the existence of Yahweh. Although some Whills decided to remain behind on Brodo Asogi and continue exploring the universe, which had been a goal of the species for centuries, most agreed to travel to Ashlan Four.
The Jedi Bendu, led by Matthew of Skywalker, arrived with the Whills on Ashlan Four and began to construct a monastery for them. Once the construction was complete and the Order of the Whills was founded, a Chief of the Whills was appointed and Matthew of Skywalker shared with the Whills the Jedi Bendu knowledge of the Force of Others and the history of the Ophuchi Tribe and the Jedi Bendu. The Whills began documenting this information in the Journal of the Whills, a manuscript that would be used to document all of galactic history. Once everything was to the satisfaction of the Jedi Bendu, they left Ashlan Four and had no further contact with the Whills.
When the Jedi Bendu leadership returned to Kal’Shabbol, they began working on extending their perceived influence across the Ashlan Expanse to become the guardians of peace and justice as The Skywalker requested of them. They first sent an ambassadorial delegation to Had Abaddon in an attempt to repair and rifts between the two planets due to the Exodus, though because a democratic government had come to power they were inclined to support a treaty with the Jedi Bendu and Kal’Shabbol. Because of the opportunity for an alliance, the municipal leaders from Kal’Shabbol were also sent to Had Abaddon, where they all signed the treaty.
Over the centuries that followed, the Jedi Bendu carried out the same missions to other worlds in the Ashlan Expanse such as Aquilae, Ondos and Decarte. When alliances were established, the Jedi Bendu were able to recruit people who were sensitive to the Force of Others from these planets, and over the years the Jedi Bendu numbers grew to nearly ten thousand. They were able to create monastaries and outposts across the other planets, and held religious services there for anyone who wished to attend. Not everyone believed in the Jedi Bendu religion, though there were large groups of people that decided to attend.
Twenty-five thousand years after the Order was created, many of the planetary alliances began to break down, as there were political tensions between Aquilae and Ondos. During what they felt was heightened political tension, the Aquilaens captured the Princess of Ondos while she was en route to Kal’Shabbol to learn about the Jedi Bendu. This began a war between the two planets, and the other planets eventually took sides which caused the First Ashlan Civil War. The Jedi Bendu were able to convince Kal’Shabbol to remain neutral, and the Jedi Bendu themselves served as mediators during the conflict. After a few years of fighting, the Jedi Bendu were able to negotiate a cease fire and end the war, and although relations between the planets were never again what they had been they were able to negotiate treaties between themselves nearly a century later.
In the thousands of years that followed, the Jedi Bendu continued serving as the guardians of peace and justice, being able to oversee what they felt was relative peace in the region. Around 34,000 BBY, the Jedi Bendu began to formulate plans for exploring space past the Ashlan Expanse. Many on Kal’Shabbol decided to travel with them, and this led to the creation of the Kal’Shabbolian Starfleet. The ships, while small compared to later standards, took them through the Unknown Regions and eventually into the rim worlds. They discovered numerous planets that had sentient life and introduced themselves to many of them. They also discovered what seemed to be powerful governments such as the Infinite Empire, the Organian Empire of Alderaan and the Corellian Empire. The Jedi Bendu did not approach the Infinite Empire as they felt there was some sort of darkness surrounding them, though they did make contact and establish a relationship with Alderaan and Corellia.
Around this time, the events of a Jedi Bendu myth were said to have occurred. According to the myth, a Jedi Bendu Knight named Eden began to study the ways of the dark side of the Force of Others and became interested in its practices, so she began to teach these ways to other Jedi Bendu. These individuals fled Ashla Prime and established a village in the southeastern-most continent that they called Eden after the woman who had brought them there. Their goal was to overthrow the Jedi Bendu, and when they began making plans for this Yahweh was said to have leveled much of the village as a warning to those who wanted to follow the dark side.
After stories of Eden began to spread across the Ashlan Expanse, many citizens began to become wary in the presence of the Jedi Bendu, as they had not known of the dark side in use before. The Jedi Bendu became aware of the lack of trust from the people, so they decided that they would begin to quietly phase themselves off of Kal’Shabbol and out of Ashlan society in general to make their home deeper in the galaxy, having already established bases on Alderaan and many other deeper worlds. After a few decades, the last of the Jedi Bendu left the Ashlan Expanse and established their new base on Kal'Shebbol, a planet named due to its similarities to Kal’Shabbol.
Over the next few millennia, numerous monarchical governments were set up throughout the Core Worlds alongside the Organians and the Corellians, and the Jedi Bendu assisted in the creation of many of them. The Jedi Bendu watched as the two larger governments gained additional planets through peaceful annexation, and while there were some disputed territories in the beginning the Jedi Bendu were able to negotiate between them to ensure non-violent resolutions. The Jedi Bendu also helped promote and eventually set up trade between the governments, as well as limited economic cooperatives. Although most governments did require Jedi Bendu assistance at certain times, the Jedi Bendu focused mostly on Alderaan and Corellia because they were the two most powerful governments.
Despite what had seemed to be peaceful outcomes, the two empires became rivals over the centuries through shipping, trade and territory acquisitions. This rivalry eventually led to them becoming enemies, though a war never broke out despite constant threats. The other governments in the region decided to form what they called the Coalition of Planets, with the Jedi Bendu as peace keepers, in the hopes of creating one galactic government and economy. The Coalition attempted to convince the Organians and the Corellians to join for years, though they both refused as they want to maintain their sovereignty.
In the years that followed, there were some minor skirmishes between the two sides, though a full-scale war did not break out until Organian General Conrad Bac was assassinated by what appeared to be a Corellian bomb on Onderon, though it was actually placed by the unknown Anarchic Brotherhood of Planets. This fact was not known for many years, and because of that the two empires went to war with one another in what became known as the Unification War, with the Jedi Bendu and the Coalition of Planets attempting to broker a peace between the two sides and end what they believed could be a destructive conflict.
After decades of warfare and negotiations, it was discovered by the Jedi Bendu and Organian Admiral Jonathan Bac, son of Conrad Bac and one of the few who wished to see the war end without the destruction of the other side, that the Anarchic Brotherhood of Planets had killed Conrad Bac, not the Corellians. When the Organian and Corellian governments were informed and presented with proof, they ended their war and joined their forces together with the Coalition and destroyed the Brotherhood, thus ending the war completely. Alderaan and Corellia agreed to become part of the Coalition, and in the years that followed a Galactic Charter was drafted.
The signing of the Galactic Charter on Coruscant, a neutral metropolitan world that had been selected to be the capital of the new government, by representatives of all governments involved created the Galactic Republic, and the Galactic Senate elected Jonathan Bac to be the first Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. In his inaugural address, Bac formally requested that the Jedi Bendu become the guardians of peace and justice in the Republic, which they immediately agreed to. Once they did, the Galactic Senate granted the Jedi Bendu permission to build a headquarters on Coruscant. After three years of construction, the Great Jedi Bendu Pyramid was completed and the Jedi Bendu left Kal’Shebbol.
Five hundred years later, after serving in the same capacity as they had when they were the guardians of the Ashlan Expanse, the Jedi Bendu inducted a boy into the Order named Xendor Taral. Taral intended to study and practice the dark side, and he eventually murdered his Jedi Bendu Master and was exiled from the Order. Although the Jedi Bendu did not hear from him for many years, it was later discovered that he had found a source of power on Had Abaddon called the Kaiburr crystal and used that power to create an organization called the Legions of Lettow, becoming Supreme General of it. He also located a species called the Sith on Korriban, and was able to gain additional dark side powers from them as well.
Decades after having been exiled, Taral announced his plan to destroy the Jedi Bendu on Coruscant, and days later his followers set numerous explosives around the Great Jedi Bendu Pyramid to surround the Jedi Bendu in flames. Xendor and his people attacked the Pyramid, though the assault failed. The Jedi Bendu had far larger numbers, and all but a dozen members of the Legions of Lettow were killed. Taral was also killed, though thousands of years later he returned during the New SIth Wars as the Dark Underlord, although he was once again killed. Despite this, the influence of his Kaiburr crystal remained for many years after that, including during the Invasion of Utapau.
Around 15,000 BBY, a politician named Fillorean was elected to the Office of the Supreme Chancellor. He had his own beliefs about the past and philosophies regarding the way the Force of Others worked, and he wished to shape the Jedi Bendu with his own beliefs. When looking through the history of the Jedi Bendu, he also felt embarrassed for the people of the Republic because of the Kal’Shabbol Civil War, the First Ashlan Civil War and the schism with Xendor Taral. Enacting new laws that only temporarily put the Council of Masters under the authority of his Office, Fillorean placed Zoz Apenkee into the position of High Master of the Jedi Bendu. Apenkee also agreed with Fillorean’s views, hence his appointment.
Over the following eight years of Fillorean’s Chancellorship, the two worked together to slowly doctor evidence that suggested their beliefs and philosophies were correct and that what was previously known about The Skywalker and the Jedi Bendu was incorrect. Most Jedi Bendu agreed that the evidence was credible and followed in the reshaping of the Order, though two members of the Council of Masters disagreed and objected to the changes each time they were made. These Jedi Bendu, Zios Malachor and Adena Qel-Droma, were able to convince a few hundred fellow Jedi Bendu of what was happening and they formed a non-violent resistance movement.
The Order, which was renamed the Jedi Order, fought back against the Jedi Bendu loyalists, attempting to expel them from the new Order. The Supreme Chancellor also resorted to violence, attempting to forcible arrest the few hundred loyalists for treason. Quel-Droma attempted to make a stand against Fillorean, though she was captured and put into a cryogenic-freeze pod before being shot out into deep space. Malachor and the other loyalists decided to leave Republic space and relocate Kal’Shabbol. Once they left, the Jedi Order assumed the mantle of guardians of peace and justice in the Republic.
After one year of traveling and searching, the loyalists located Kal’Shabbol, where a unified government had risen to power instead of the multiple municipal governments that had been in place when the Jedi Bendu first left the planet. When the government heard the news of the return of the Jedi Bendu, they agreed to allow them to build a temple in the ruins of the old Jedi Bendu temple. Once it was completed, he assembled a new twelve-member council, which was became the leader of, and helped to form the Bendu Order, named after and based on the traditions that the Jedi Order had rejected.
According to historians, becoming a Jedi Bendu required what the Council of Masters said was the most profound commitment and an astute mind. First and foremost, one must have been raised within the Ashlan Expanse or, later, within the aforementioned area or the planets occupied by the Galactic Republic. The Jedi Bendu would rarely seek what they thought of as outsiders for training. They firmly believed that anyone who had experienced worlds outside of their jurisdiction would have been tainted by a plague of corruption that could not be rectified.
A Jedi Bendu’s life was one of sacrifice. Those who showed an aptitude for the Force of Others began their training in life no later than their thirteenth birthday in the Great Jedi Bendu Pyramid on Coruscant. From the beginning, they were expected to always 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. Emotions such as kindness, compassion and love were expected to be used at all times. Unlike the Jedi of later years, they did not believe those emotions to be 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 Jedi Bendu ended up turning to the dark side, though in cases such as Eden and Xendor Taral this was proven to not always be the case.
As a Padawan, a Jedi Bendu would be 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 Jedi Bendu lived and died by. They would be taught the art of the sword, though that would not be until later in their training. The leaders of the order felt 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 reached the point in their training to begin learning how to use a sword, the amount of focus required on their studies was said to have increased, as the Jedi Bendu told them that there was more skill involved when using a combative weapon. 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.
At the end of 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 become a Bendu Knight. All of the aforementioned information would have been given to a hopeful when they were beginning their training and if they felt that they could not rise to the challenge, they would be allowed to turn back without anyone thinking less of them. If they were up to the challenge, their training would begin and their names would be added to the Holy Book of Names.
The religion practiced by the Jedi Bendu was much like the later religion of the Bendu Order, both very different from that of the Jedi Order. The Jedi 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 the omnipotent presence that was also called the Force of Others, the power used by the Jedi Bendu, Jedi, Bendu and other factions that practiced the arts 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 man who was able to walk to the peak of the mountain and live to tell the tale. Yahweh also allowed His chosen people, those being creatures sensitive to the Force of Others, to manipulate His divine power for what He deemed to be good and noble deeds. However, once He allowed the good and righteous to access his power, it opened the door to allow the darkness of the galaxy to tap into it. This led to the creation of groups such as the Sith Empire and the Dark Guardians of Lettow.
Many Jedi Bendu and non-Jedi Bendu alike were known to have challenged the existence of Yahweh. Though it was universally recognized that the Force of Others did exist, many did not believe that The Skywalker spoke to Yahweh because, as they 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 Jedi Bendu and religious scholars.
Despite recognizing that The Skywalker did speak to Yahweh on Mount Sky, many Jedi Bendu Masters did recognize the truth about the passing on of stories. They spoke of how in situations where a collection of stories reached far into the past, the historical truth could have been blended with myths, legends, propaganda, inaccuracies, mistakes, omissions, additions and interpretations. They believe it to be an important part of their task to separate fact from fiction in the early accounts. Regardless, it was nearly unanimously agreed by Jedi Bendu and scholars alike that the tales told by the proclaimed “sons” of The Skywalker were more or less accurate.
Another major difference between the Jedi Bendu and the two orders that it spawned was that the Jedi Bendu did not have any form of official code. Instead, the order utilized a set of sacred prayers that spoke of Yahweh, The Skywalker and various other religious events and individuals. The prayers would later be recognized, and added to, by the Bendu Order. The Jedi Bendu believed that having a code, regardless of whether it was a set of rules or a prayer, would be too restricting for its members. Therefore, they allowed them to practice the official prayers or their own personal prayers whenever they saw fit.
Between the end of the Exodus from Had Abaddon and the end of his life, a number of visions were given to The Skywalker by Yahweh which led The Skywalker to write seven prophecies that he believed would be fulfilled over a span of one hundred thousand years. The prophecies were written in his own journals, and when the Order of the Whills was established the prophecies were given to the Whills and became one of the first entries into the Journal of the Whills.
Foretelling the rise of those such as the Shaman of the Whills and the establishment of the Dark Guardians of Lettow, the Prophecies of The Skywalker were said to have been common knowledge during the time of the Galactic Republic up until the Third Jedi Bendu Schism. Following that event, the only prophecy that remained within the Jedi Order was the Prophecy of the Chosen One, although after many years the Jedi Order lost a great deal of the information and eventually discarded it following the New Sith Wars. The Bendu Order, however, retained the knowledge of the prophecies and continued to teach them to members of the Bendu Order and to school children in the Ashlan Expanse.
Pillars of strength
In the eyes of the Jedi Bendu, they did not believe they fought for peace. Much like Jedi from millennia later, they believed that it was only a slogan and was as misleading as any other slogan. The Jedi Bendu fought for the survival of civilization, as only civilization created peace. They fought for justice because justice was the fundamental bedrock of civilization. As a Jedi Bendu High Master once said, an unjust civilization was built upon sand it would not long survive a storm. Because of those beliefs, the strength of the Jedi Bendu’s organization rested on five major principles:
- Divine Faith
- Attunement to the Force of Others
The Jedi Bendu believed that when these were utilized in the way they deemed to be correct, the five principles would allow a Jedi Bendu to solve any problem and overcome any obstacle that they were faced with. After the schism that broke the Order apart, the Bendu Order also adopted the principles. The Jedi Order did so as well, though they were revised to reflect their own beliefs.
Jedi Bendu Hopeful - A Jedi 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 Jedi Bendu Hopeful, they met with the Council of Masters and, eventually, only the High Master who would then determine whether or not they would be accepted for training. If accepted, the High Master 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. They would never be able to request training again. Very rarely would a candidate be turned away.
Jedi Bendu Padawan – The first stage of Jedi Bendu training. A Jedi Bendu Padawan 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. A padawan would also be taught the art of the sword, though that come in later stages of training. At the end of training, a padawan 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 Jedi Bendu Knight.
Jedi Bendu Knight – Only after completing the two trials and being deemed worthy by the Council of Masters could one become a Jedi Bendu Knight. The Knights of the Jedi Bendu were the guardians of peace and justice in the Galactic Republic and 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 Jedi Bendu Archives and would continue to receive some instruction on more challenging forms of philosophy and powers from the Jedi Bendu Masters. Should they have been called upon to do so, a Jedi Bendu Knight would have taken on an apprentice of their own.
Jedi Bendu Master – After the successful training of a padawan, along with the completion of another Trial of Wills and Trial of Fear, a Jedi Bendu Knight would be considered for ascendancy to the level of Jedi Bendu Master. However, there was a limited number of master positions, one for each sector within the Galactic Republic. 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 a Jedi Bendu Master. Jedi Bendu Masters did not reside with the Great Jedi Bendu Pyramid, though they often visited it. They resided within a major world within the sector they were chosen to oversee and led weekly religious services. They would also help the citizens of the worlds with any problems they needed assistance with. Should a Jedi Bendu Master have shined above the rest of his or her peers, he or she would have been considered for a seat on the Council of Masters.
- Council of Masters – The Council of Masters was the governing body of the Jedi Bendu made up exclusively of wise, experienced masters and two High Masters. Very few masters were invited to serve on the council and one’s seat lasted until death or resignation.
Jedi Bendu High Master – Though the Council of Masters was primarily a group of equals, two would serve above the rest. Those were the two Jedi Bendu High Masters and there would only be two at a time, generally one male and one female. A High Master would be chosen for a life term upon the death or resignation of his or her predecessor and served as the co-leader of the entire organization. They were responsible for all training and religious activities within the order. They also acted as the political liaisons to the Galactic Senate and the Supreme Chancellor once the order became one of the major governmental policing organizations.
Jedi Bendu Saint – An honor given posthumously to very few High Masters, and occasionally a Master, Sainthood was by far the highest honor any Jedi 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 High Master or a Master during their life, and those achievements would have been deemed 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 Jedi Bendu and that they had the love, respect and trust of all Jedi Bendu.
Culture, History and Knowledge
After the Unification War and the pledge to serve as the guardians of peace and justice in the Galactic Republic, the Jedi Bendu adopted a historical and cultural hierarchy. Many Jedi Bendu ended up specializing in history, the Force of Others and the Order itself, producing knowledge for the thousands of years between the war and the schism. After the schism, the Jedi immediately adopted this hierarchy, though the Bendu did not adopt it until after the Great Sovereign Crusades.
- Jedi Bendu Archaeologist – A Jedi Bendu Archaeologist was one who had specialized in gaining historical knowledge through archaeology by being sent on expeditions across the known galaxy and other points of interest within the unknown regions of the galaxy.
- Jedi Bendu Historian – A Jedi Bendu Historian was one who had specialized in chronicling the history of the galaxy from the beginning of recorded time to the schism that broke apart the order. A Jedi Bendu Historian attempted to learn everything there was to know about the past, though they recognized that such a feat was likely unachievable due to the amount of information there was regarding the galaxy.
- Jedi Bendu Librarian – A Jedi Bendu Librarian was one who had specialized in administrating the vast scrolls and journals of knowledge. The Jedi Bendu Librarians were in charge of all Jedi Bendu archives and libraries across the galaxy.
- Jedi Bendu Sage – A Jedi Bendu Sage was a Jedi Bendu Master who had dedicated themselves to the mysteries of the Force of Others. The Jedi Bendu Sages were said to have had deep insights into the philosophies of the Force of Others, and they also worked to master the powers of the Force of Others. Many times, a Jedi Bendu High Master would call upon his or her own personal sage for guidance.
War and Diplomacy
The Jedi Bendu felt that they always did what they could to avoid entering into wars, which some felt was ironic considering the first twenty years of the Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi saw two violent conflicts. Although there were no battles during the Exodus from Had Abaddon, The Skywalker still brought curses against Had Abaddon, and although they were directed at the monarchy some of them did end up costing the lives of civilians. By the end of the Exodus as well, Achab Tarea and numerous members of the military had been killed as the Ophuchi escaped to Kal’Shabbol.
During the Kal’Shabbol Civil War, the Jedi Bendu did have a standing army. The Jedi Bendu Army of God was the main fighting force that combated the Eternal Order of the Vipera for most of the year-long conflict. Jedi Bendu Knights and Jedi Bendu Masters were trained in combat in order to fight against the Eternal Order, and because of the war the Army of God felt that they were forced into convincing other settlements on the planet, particularly Ashla Prime and Vattica, to join in on the war effort. Despite what the Jedi Bendu deemed to be a successful outcome, the Jedi Bendu Army of God was disbanded after the war, as they wished to focus on peace rather than war.
After the First Ashlan Civil War, during which the Jedi Bendu had only small combat roles in certain theaters, the Jedi Bendu decided that they would no longer participate in wars as fighters. They believed that it went against their mandate as guardians of peace, and while some argued that to be a guardian of peace one would have to fight to defend their ideals most Jedi Bendu believed that peace could be attained through diplomacy and negotiation. Although some felt that their negotiations were, on occasion, blunt in their nature, the Jedi Bendu felt that they had always done what they could to avoid violence, despite the wars and conflicts in their earlier years.
The Jedi Bendu did not witness another full-scale war after the First Ashlan Civil War until the Unification War and the formation of the Galactic Republic. Because they had established neutrality between the Organian Empire and the Corellian Empire in the centuries prior to the war, they did not fight and instead offered counsel and diplomatic negotiations to both sides in the hopes that the Organians and Corellians would see past their differences and join the Coalition of Planets. However, despite not fighting, it was through Jedi Bendu investigative efforts that Jonathan Bac was able to discover the existence and involvement of the Anarchic Brotherhood of Planets. The Jedi Bendu silently supported the destruction of the Brotherhood, not disagreeing with the course of action that the Organians and the Corellians took.
Five hundred years later, the Jedi Bendu fought to defend themselves when Xendor Taral led the Legions of Lettow to Coruscant to destroy the Order. The conflict was short, as the Legions of Lettow were outnumbered by a large amount. While the Jedi Bendu did kill all but a few Legion members, they maintained that it was through self-defense. The Jedi Bendu did not participate in another conflict for nearly ten thousand years, at which point those loyal to the Jedi Bendu ideals chose not to fight against the then-newly established Jedi Order when Supreme Chancellor Fillorean resulted to violence. The loyalists carried this ideal over to the Bendu Order.
Within the order, Knights and Masters were not the only teachers when it came to the instruction in the way of their people given to Jedi Bendu padawans. A great deal of Knights, Masters and even some High Masters much rather preferred to teach certain aspects in the course of training such as philosophy, the art of the sword and the powers of the Force of Others. The positions that they took on were much like those found within the orders that were created after the schism.
- Jedi Bendu Instructor – A Jedi Bendu Instructor was accountable for giving general lessons to hopefuls, padawans and, occasionally, Knights and Masters. Many times, instructors would be members of the Council of Masters as they were generally located within the Great Pyramid.
- Jedi Bendu Swordmaster – A Jedi Bendu Swordmaster was skilled in the art of the sword. He or she would serve as a sword combat instructor at the Great Pyramid and other monasteries across the galaxy.
Behind the scenes
The Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi was created using the limited information given by George Lucas in the original drafts of Star Wars regarding The Skywalker and the formation and philosophies of the Jedi Bendu. The name of the Order comes from “Jedi Bendu of Ophuchi”, a group that was mentioned in a thirteen-page story treatment for Star Wars written by George Lucas. In this treatment, it was said that Star Wars was “the story of Mace Windy, a revered Jedi Bendu of Ophuchi who was related to Usby C.J. Thape, a padawaan leader to the famed Jedi”. Along with that, the basic information about The Skywalker, such as him confronting the light side and the dark side and dying after giving the Jedi Bendu a mandate, is based off of a fan fiction novel called The Journal of the Whills written by Brendan J. Whalberg.
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Trials of War - Stranger in a Strange Land (First mentioned)
Notes and references