Yes, I was once a Jedi Knight, the same as your father.—Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Jedi Knight was a rank of Jedi in the Jedi Order, following the title of Padawan and preceding that of Jedi Master. A Padawan would become a Jedi Knight once he or she had passed the Jedi Trials. In theory, it could take a Padawan many years of training under another Jedi Knight or a Jedi Master to achieve this rank (example: Obi-Wan Kenobi spent twelve years under Qui-Gon Jinn before he became a Knight, Anakin Skywalker had trained for almost the same time as his master before he achieved the rank). Knights were the backbone to the Jedi Order, being the majority. Jedi who held this rank were assigned most of the standard Jedi missions. Because most of the Jedi were of the rank of Knights, the Jedi Order as a whole were often called Jedi Knights. It should be noted as well that many Knights were addressed as "Master," at least by their own apprentices.
Once a Padawan had passed the Jedi Trials, he was knighted by the Jedi Council and commissioned as an active member of the Jedi Order, free to participate in intergalactic peace-keeping, judicial, and diplomatic affairs. Rather than immediately beginning to participate in galactic affairs, a Jedi Knight may also choose to train a new Padawan.
For a hundred generations the Jedi have fought to protect the Republic!
The Jedi Knights were brought into the Republic shortly after the formation of the Jedi Order on Tython. The Jedi agreed to become peacekeepers for the fledgling Republic. Unfortunately, the Republic felt that the Jedi would be more than capable of fighting entire wars, thus creating a burden for the Order. The Jedi participated in many conflicts, however, including the Sith Wars and the Clone Wars, as well as the Yuuzhan Vong War. During the Clone Wars, the Jedi Knights became Jedi Generals or High Jedi Generals. Following the execution of Order 66 by Darth Sidious, most of the Knights were slaughtered by their clone troopers. Attacks occurred on numerous planets where Knights were leading Clone Troopers in the fight against the Separatists. It is unknown if any Jedi (except for Shaak Ti and Even Piell) made it out of the Jedi Temple alive, where Darth Vader took personal charge of the extermination, but some escaped to the Outer Rim.
In the Old RepublicEdit
Confer on you, the level of Jedi Knight, the Council does.—Yoda, to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
During the time of the Old Jedi Order, after a Padawan had spent an adequate amount of time learning from their Master, they would undertake the trials of Knighthood. If the Padawan passed the trials they were declared to be a Knight of the Galactic Republic by the Jedi Council. The customary braid worn by Padawans who were of species that grew hair on their heads was shorn off with a lightsaber by the leading Jedi Council member of the time, in the Knighting ceremony held in the Hall of Knighthood. Only the Jedi Council or the Padawan's Master could promote a Padawan to the rank of Jedi Knight. Most Knights were promoted to Jedi Masters after they successfully made a Padawan into a Knight, although in rare cases they could also be promoted to Master without having done this (such as in the case of Master Saesee Tiin, who never took an apprentice, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was promoted due to his exceptional credit during the Clone Wars.)
In the waning days of the Order, one legendary Jedi Knight, Anakin Skywalker, was given the chance to sit on the Jedi Council but was not allowed the rank of Master. Sitting on the council was a position mostly reserved for Jedi Masters only. However, Jedi Knight Ki-Adi-Mundi occasionally sat in on a number of Jedi Council meetings in the absence of other members. As such, he temporarily held a unique position on the Council as he had not attained the rank of Master. When he was nominated for a permanent Jedi Council seat as a result of Micah Giiett's death, Ki-Adi-Mundi was officially granted the rank of Jedi Master. At the time of his appointment, Anakin Skywalker was the youngest member of the order to have a seat on the Council, an impressive achievement in the eyes of many. He, however, saw it as a personal insult that he was not promoted to the rank of Jedi Master.
In the New Jedi OrderEdit
That's Jedi Knight, Ragnos.
Knighting within the New Jedi Order was not always as formal as in the Old Jedi Order. A notable example is in 12 ABY, Kyp Durron, Dorsk 81, and Cilghal were made Knights by Luke Skywalker after they were able to complete every task set forth for them, including building their own lightsabers. The three left the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4 and took upon themselves the responsibilities of a Jedi Knight, including the enormous task of keeping the peace within the galaxy.
Another notable example of New Jedi Order methods is Jaden Korr, who was knighted when he was told by means of an informal conversation with Luke Skywalker and Kyle Katarn, that Skywalker and Katarn had decided to promote Korr to the level of Jedi Knight due to his performance on Vjun.
Yet another example was in 24 ABY, the knighting of Anakin Solo, Jacen Solo, Jaina Solo, Zekk, Tenel Ka, Lusa, Raynar Thul, and Lowbacca was performed at the discretion of Luke Skywalker following their year of service in aiding in the defeat of the Diversity Alliance and Black Sun. Their knighting ceremony was a public spectacle held in the Great Temple in front of the assembled New Jedi Order and representatives of the New Republic and included a lightsaber salute from the current knights and a ballad of their deeds from Tionne.
With the reconstruction of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, Knighting ceremonies were once again held in the Hall of Knighthood and were practiced as they were in the days of the Old Republic.
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