Star Wars: Ashes of the Old Republic
An order of militant religious zealots whose power derives from the Force, a mystical energy that is present in all living things. Never numerous, the Jedi had served as bodyguards, commandos, and advisers to the Old Republic.
In the latter years of the Republic, the Jedi had become withdrawn and reluctant to involve themselves in galactic politics. Most retreated to remote planets to meditate on the Force, or to various Jedi centers established throughout the galaxy. Where once they were seen as champions of justice and a bulwark against tyranny, their withdrawal led many to feel they had abandoned the common folk.
A schism erupted with the arrival of Kaminoan cloning technology. One faction felt that, as sentient creatures imbued with the Force, clones were deserving of full rights and membership in the Republic. Another felt that the creation of life was an abomination and perversion of the Force, and that cloning should be outlawed.
The dispute would likely have remained purely internal were it not for the passage of the Clone Rights Act. With Republic recognition, the anti-cloning faction was forced to accept these ‘abominations’ as equals, and one provision of the CRA even required the Jedi Council to accept Force-sensitive clones for training. The Jedi were pressured by the Republic to take arms against the breakaway systems. Many resisted or outright refused to do so, leading to accusations of treason from some of the Republic leadership.
When the Jedi Council stood against Senator Palpatine’s proposal to place the Jedi Order under military command, the fate of the Republic was sealed. Within weeks, Palpatine had leveraged fear of this ‘rebellion within a rebellion’ to have himself named Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, with unlimited discretion to bring ‘peace to the Galaxy’. His first act with his new-found powers was to issue the infamous Order 66, outlawing the Jedi and ordering military forces everywhere to kill or capture them on sight. Few, if any, were taken alive.
Within a few years, all that remained of the Jedi was a small cadre that had pledged loyalty to now-Emperor Palpatine, led by Darth Vader.