Jedi Master vs. Jedi Knight: What Are the Differences & Which Rank is Higher

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The Jedi Order is a formal group that not only adheres to a code but also follows a ranking system that allows the Jedi to see their own progression within the organization itself. Of course, the titles that are most commonly associated with the Jedi Order are Jedi Knight and Jedi Master because most Jedi come with either of these titles. But what are the differences between a Jedi Knight and a Jedi Master, and which rank is higher?

Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters are almost the same in every aspect except for the fact that Masters are higher in rank. It is also known that Jedi Masters are given more freedom and independence compared to Jedi Knights, who were often the ones sent by the Jedi Order on different missions.

There is a good reason why the rank of Jedi Master was something that all of the Jedi aspired to reach, as this allowed them to have almost full freedom when it came to their own personal studies and pursuit of a greater understanding of the ways of the Force. On the other hand, Jedi Knights weren’t exactly free to do whatever they wanted. So, with that said, let’s look at the main differences between these ranks.

Jedi Knights explained

The rank of the Jedi Knight is often what people think of whenever they think about the Jedi Order. That’s because every Jedi who has graduated from being a Padawan is a Jedi Knight. And it is only when an individual is able to become a Jedi Knight that they are able to call themselves real Jedi, as not even Padawans are considered real Jedi by most people.

Jedi Knights are actually Jedi Padawans who proved themselves worthy to take on and pass the Jedi Trials. Upon successfully passing the Trials, they are knighted through a Knighting Ceremony and are now full members of the Jedi Order. However, there are instances wherein Padawans are knighted on the field or given knighthood without needing them to pass the Jedi Trials. Such was the case for Cal Kestis and even Ahsoka Tano, who was supposed to be knighted on the spot had she not rejected the offer to return to the Jedi Order.

In most cases, Jedi Knights were the ones who were sent by the Jedi Order out on missions, as they were almost always waiting for an assignment from the Jedi Council. That’s because Jedi Knights weren’t allowed to pursue their own studies on their own terms. There were instances wherein they could do their own research and pursue their studies. But they almost always had to secure permission from the Jedi Council.

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The Jedi Knights also served some of the most important roles in the Republic military during the Clone Wars, as they were given the rank of general. These Knights were often on the field during the Clone Wars because they were more like soldiers instead of actual guardians of the galaxy’s peace.

One of the most notable Jedi Knights in the history of the Jedi Order was Anakin Skywalker, who was not only an exceptionally gifted fighter but was also the only Jedi Knight to ever serve on the Jedi High Council.

Jedi Masters explained

A Jedi Master is actually a Jedi Knight who was given a higher ranking by the Jedi Grand Master and the other members of the Jedi High Council. In that regard, it is only when it is deemed that a Jedi Knight is fit for the role of Jedi Master that they can become one. And there are a lot of things that allow a Jedi Master to differentiate themselves from a Jedi Knight.

First things first, Jedi Masters have experience on their side and are wiser and more ready compared to Jedi Knights. They often know what to do in any kind of situation and are always prepared for the worst. On top of that, Jedi Masters show greater devotion to the Jedi Order and the Force. And this is why all Jedi Knights aspire to be Jedi Masters, as they all want to prove themselves devoted to studying the Force.

One of the perks that Jedi Masters get to enjoy is that they are allowed to pursue their own studies at their own pace. In most cases, they don’t have to ask permission from the Jedi Council to gain access to certain data and knowledge regarding the Force and the galaxy’s history. The Jedi Council even expects Jedi Masters to pursue their studies, as we saw when Qui-Gon Jinn pursued his own study regarding the Prophecy of the Chosen One.

Jedi Masters were also relied on a lot for their wisdom and overall abilities because they were almost always more experienced than Jedi Knights. In fact, younglings and Padawans often receive their education from Jedi Masters. Nevertheless, Padawans can be assigned to either a Jedi Knight or a Jedi Master.

It is also worth mentioning that Jedi Masters are the only ones allowed to serve on the Jedi Council. The only time that a Jedi Knight was on the Council was when Chancellor Palpatine insisted that Anakin be assigned to it. Other than that, only Jedi Masters are allowed to become the top leaders of the Jedi Order.

Jedi Masters are certainly higher-ranked than Jedi Knights

At this point, it goes without saying that Jedi Masters are higher up the rank of the Jedi Order than the Jedi Knights. But while that may be true, some Jedi Masters aren’t necessarily stronger or more powerful than Jedi Knights. For example, Anakin was stronger than almost everyone except Yoda, Mace Windu, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. And Obi-Wan, when he was still a Jedi Knight, had more wisdom and skill than a lot of Jedi Masters.

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In that regard, just because a Jedi is a Master doesn’t mean they are incredibly strong and wise. There are some instances wherein someone reached this rank due to experience and knowledge, as was the case for Eno Cordova, who may have been a Jedi Master but certainly wasn’t very skilled or powerful.

But the best part about being a Jedi Master was the freedom and autonomy that came with it. Being a Jedi Master allowed the individual to dive into their research and studies without the need for the Jedi Council to keep a watchful eye on them. It is often said that Anakin hated the Jedi Council for not granting him the rank of Master because he wanted access to the deepest knowledge of the Jedi Archives to learn how to stop Padmé from dying.

In that regard, there are a lot of instances wherein the Jedi wants to be a Jedi Master due to the freedom that comes with being one. Still, every Jedi Master was expected to be as devoted to the Jedi Order as any other organization member, including the Jedi Knights themselves.

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