There have been a lot of different concepts introduced in the events of the ‘Ahsoka’ series, and most of them were related to the Jedi. Baylan Skoll introduced a new Jedi concept in episode 6 of the series as he and Shin Hati discussed the Jedi Order and Ezra Bridger. He called Ezra a “Bokken Jedi,” as this term was something that we’d never heard before. So, what is a Bokken Jedi?
According to Baylan Skoll, Bokken Jedi are the Jedi that were trained in the “wild” after the fall of the Jedi Temple. That means that they weren’t trained under the normal procedures of the Jedi Order and were taken in as apprentices by Jedi who discovered their talents in the Force.
The thing about the concept of the Bokken Jedi is that this isn’t novel to the Star Wars universe because we’ve seen a lot of Jedi who were trained outside the Jedi Temple. But this is the first time we’ve heard of the term ever being used in Star Wars, even though the Jedi have been training Bokken Jedi for a long time. Now, let’s learn more about this concept.
The Jedi existed without the Jedi Order
One of the things that we discovered in the prequel trilogy of Star Wars was that the Jedi Order was responsible for bringing children to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant so that they could be trained in the ways of the Force at an early age.
The different instructors of the Jedi Temple supervise the training of the youngling. Only when they complete their basic training will they become Padawans, who are assigned to Jedi Knights and Masters, who will be responsible for training and instructing them on the practical concepts of being a Jedi.
Of course, the Jedi Order fell during Order 66, and the Jedi Temple on Coruscant was turned into Emperor Palpatine’s personal palace. In that regard, the Jedi Order itself no longer existed. But while that may be true, it didn’t mean that the very concept of the Jedi no longer existed. The Jedi Order was no more, but there were still Jedi survivors who were still Jedi in terms of name and practice.
In that regard, the Jedi Order still lived within the individual Jedi who survived Order 66. Such names included the likes of Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Cal Kestis, Kanan Jarrus, and many other notable names. These Jedi were the embodiments of the Jedi Order even though the organization no longer existed formally.
The Jedi survivors still trained Padawans
As mentioned, the Jedi used to train younglings in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant before they became Padawans. Of course, the Jedi Temple no longer existed during the era of the Empire. But while that may be true, the fact that there were still Jedi who survived means that they could still train other Jedi.
This was a concept that Baylan Skoll mentioned in passing during the events of ‘Ahsoka’ episode 6. Shin Hati asked him if he knew Ezra Bridger, only for him to mention that he was far too young to have already been alive before the fall of the Jedi Order. Baylan said that Ezra comes from a breed of Bokken Jedi who were trained in the wilds after the fall of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
As such, the fall of the Jedi Temple didn’t stop the Jedi from training new apprentices who could also become Jedi. As such, the Jedi Temple training was never a pre-requisite for taking in a Jedi apprentice, as the Jedi could still take in and train Padawans without needing them to undergo basic training with the instructors of the Jedi Order.
Of course, we’ve seen our fair share of Bokken Jedi throughout the history of Star Wars. Anakin Skywalker, who was considered “far too old” to be trained as a Jedi, never went through basic Jedi Temple training as Obi-Wan Kenobi immediately took him in as his Padawan. Of course, he must have still received training in the Jedi Temple, but Obi-Wan still trained him even though he never took the usual route that Jedi Padawans needed.
Asajj Ventress was actually a Bokken Jedi, as she was discovered by his master when she was just a child. But before she could even be introduced to the Jedi Order, her master was killed. As such, she was never formally a Jedi Padawan.
Even Luke was a Bokken Jedi because Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda trained him in the wilds after the fall of the Jedi Temple. That means that some of the most prominent Jedi we’ve seen in Star Wars were actually Bokken Jedi, who never received formal training in the Jedi Temple before becoming apprentices.
The Japanese inspiration
Like many of the different concepts we’ve seen in ‘Ahsoka,’ such as Zatochi and Kintsugi, the Bokken Jedi concept was also inspired by Japanese culture. In fact, the word “Bokken” is Japanese in terms of its origins.
Bokken is the term used to describe wooden training swords that the Japanese use whenever they train their swordsmanship. We’ve seen a bokken in Star Wars as we did see Sabine, another Bokken Jedi, using one during the events of episode 3 of ‘Ahsoka’ while she and Ahsoka were on their way to Seatos.
Of course, we aren’t sure why the Bokken Jedi are called as such, but there’s a good chance that this term is used to describe them because they don’t use the training sabers that the Jedi Temple allows their younglings to use whenever they are learning how to wield a lightsaber. Training lightsabers are similar to lightsabers except that their blades are a lot weaker to ensure they aren’t capable of harming anyone.
In the wild or outside of the Jedi Temple, it can be difficult for a Jedi to find a training lightsaber that their Padawan could use safely. As such, they probably allowed their Padawans to use wooden swords or bokken instead. We saw this in ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ when both Ezra and Sabine used wooden swords before Kanan Jarrus allowed Sabine to use the Darksaber.
It would make sense for these Padawans to be called Bokken Jedi as they learned how to wield a lightsaber using bokken or wooden swords. And this term probably applies to any other Jedi trained in the wild, regardless of whether or not they used wooden swords for training.
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