Jedi Ranks and How They Work

“Master Skywalker, there’s too many of them!” Although this Youngling isn’t referring to Jedi ranks, his question is a valid one for Star Wars watchers and fans alike when speaking of the Jedi ranks.

Although it can be overwhelming and confusing to differentiate the seven types of Jedi ranks and how they work, our article will help you impress even the most knowledgeable Star Wars fan.

In addition to discovering the differences and workings of various Jedi ranks, in this article, you will discover who the most powerful Jedi is, who the highest ranked Jedi is, what Jedi rank Obi-Wan Kenobi is, and what rank is needed to sit on the Jedi Council.

May the force be with you as you read on about Jedi ranks and how they work!

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Jedi Ranks

Seasoned Star Wars fans know that not all are granted the rank of master. Some watchers may wonder though, what ranks are necessary to meet before one becomes a master? How are these ranks determined, what are their differences, and how are they important?

Below you will discover the seven Jedi ranks, how each one is reached, and how they work.

1. Youngling

If you’ve watched the Clone Wars or Revenge of the Sith you have seen the younglings at work. They are seen joining Ahsoka to pick out their lightsabers, learning from Master Yoda, and helping Obi-Wan Kenobi discover his lost planet.

Younglings, also known as Jedi Hopeful or Initiates are force-sensitive children that were discovered across galaxies and brought to the Jedi Temple to train. As mentioned by various Jedi throughout the movies and shows, it is well-known that Younglings are taken from their families as infants or toddlers, thus why Mace Windu says that Anakin is too old to be trained.

Jedi Younglings

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Each Youngling is placed into a clan group, where they train together in the hope of taking the trials to become a Padawan. In these clans, they learn knowledge such as, “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.” As part of their training, a Youngling also goes to the planet Ilum to discover and bond with the Kyber crystals that are used in the creation of their lightsaber. It is here that the lightsaber color is determined. 

2. Padawan

The second Jedi ranking is that of Padawan learners. Padawans are Younglings that passed the trials. Due to their success, they were able to move on to become a Padawan.

You may wonder what occurs to a Youngling that does not pass the trials. Those Younglings no longer have the opportunity to train to become a Jedi but are still a part of the Jedi Order.

Anakin Skywalker Padawan

Once a Youngling becomes a Padawan they are then trained under a specific Jedi Knight or Master. As a Padawan, they learn to “Train [themselves] to let go of everything [they] fear to lose.”

If you have read a variety of Star Wars books, you will know that often a Jedi would choose a Padawan to train. However, during the Clone Wars that was done away with, and the Jedi Council became the ones who assigned a specific Padawan to a Jedi.

3. Knight

After a Padawan completed their training and was deemed ready, they were able to take their Jedi Trials given by the Jedi High Council. These trials consist of five parts: the Trial of Skill, the Trial of Courage, the Trial of the Flesh, the Trial of the Spirit, and the Trial of Insight. Once these trials were passed, the Padawan would then become a Jedi Knight. As a Knight, the Jedi is now a full member of the Order.

VC175 Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight

There are different subclasses of Jedi Knights as well which include: Guardian, Consular, and Sentinel. Each of these classes holds different roles in the Jedi Order.

Guardians are talented in battle and focus their training more on martial arts and diplomacy to help keep the peace.

Consulars, also known as Seers, focus on an in-depth study of the force. They often become teachers, scholars, and diplomats of the Jedi Order.

Finally, Sentinels find a balance between the two. Not only are they skilled in combat, but also are knowledgeable about the force. The majority of Jedi Knights fall in this category.

4. Master

Master is the rank-following Knight. You will remember well Anakin’s dismay in finding out he was able to join the Jedi council, but not granted the rank of master. His situation was a very unique one, that seldom happened in the history of the Jedi.

Qui-Gon Jinn

To achieve the rank of Master it must be granted by the Council. This is done in one of two ways, either by training a Padawan learner to Knighthood or by demonstrating incredible skill in combat, knowledge in the force, or a variety of incredible feats.

As Master Yoda states, “The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.” A Jedi Master still is one that constantly learns and masters the ways of combat and the force.

5. Council Member

The Jedi Council is seen throughout the shows and movies discussing important matters of the Jedi, peacekeeping, and war. 

To become a Council Member, a Jedi must be a Master and nominated by current members of the Council. That is why Anakin’s nomination was so uncommon, neither was he a Master nor nominated by members of the Council. This nomination is then put to a vote that must be unanimous, of course not including Anakin’s nomination.

Jedi Council Members

Being a member of the Council differs for each member. Five of the members are there for life, four are long-term positions, and three are limited-time and only serve for specified terms. Long-term members can serve until they choose to step down from their position.

There are also four Jedi Councils that include the Council of First Knowledge, the Council of Reconciliation, the Council of Reassignment, and The High Council. The High Council is the only one seen in the original canon movies.

6. Master of the Order

Master of the Order is a position given to the highest-ranking member of the High Council. Mace Windu held this position until right after the Clone Wars began. Often the Master of the Order is more known for being the tactician of the Order. They help with making sure the structural side of the Order is in place.

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7. Grand Master

The highest rank held though, is that of Grand Master. This position was held by Master Yoda.

A Jedi becomes Grand Master when they are unanimously voted it by the High Council. The Grand Master is most knowledgeable about the force, pondering it and discovering its deep intricacies.

Yoda green lightsaber


After discovering the differences between each Jedi Rank and how they work, you may still be left with a few questions. We will answer those below!

Who is the Highest Ranked Jedi?

As stated above, the highest rank a Jedi can receive is that of Grand Master. This position is held by a Jedi most knowledgeable in the ways of the force, one who the other Jedi can turn to in times of struggle.

Yoda is the highest-ranked Jedi, as he holds the position of Grand Master. It is seen throughout the movies of his deep knowledge of the force and wisdom.

Many Jedi Knights, Masters, Padawans, and Younglings alike turn to Yoda when they have questions. This can be seen when Obi-Wan is concerned about following his master’s last request to train Anakin, when Anakin begins to have troubling dreams about those he loves, and when Mace Windu worries about whether the Master or the Apprentice Sith was the one was found.

What Jedi Rank is Obi-Wan Kenobi?

A fan favorite with his unique sense of sarcasm, his famous one-liners, and his kindness is Obi-Wan Kenobi. Many may wonder what Jedi Rank this famous Jedi holds.

Obi-Wan is seen at the beginning of the series as a Padawan learner under Qui-Gon Jinn. At the end of The Phantom Menace, he is granted the rank of Knight and receives his first Padawan Anakin Skywalker.

He becomes a Master in between the timeline of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith and becomes a Council Member. Thus, his final Jedi Rank is a Council Member.

What Rank is Needed to Sit on the Jedi Council?

As explained earlier on in this article, the rank of Master is needed to sit on the Jedi Council. This is due to the desire to have members be wise Jedi who can counsel those who come seeking advice. This ranking is also important to ensure experienced and knowledgeable members who can lead by example and with wisdom.


The Jedi have a variety of ranks and positions within the Order.

Each is there to make sure each Jedi receives the correct training and that the Jedi Order runs smoothly.

With this further knowledge, you will now be able to watch Star Wars with a better understanding of each Jedi’s unique role in the Jedi Order.