What is gray? What is it really? It is often defined as a blending of black and white…a mixture of both light and dark. The subject of Gray Jedi continues to live & thrive in the realm of Star Wars Fandom. But it does not exist without certain points of controversy. In essence a Gray Jedi is a term many use to describe a fallen Jedi who is on the way to joining the Dark Side. Not yet Sith, but not truly Jedi, the Gray Jedi are often misunderstood solely based on their philosophical approach. But one cannot simply lump all Gray Jedi into one group. This is the mistake made by most casual fans.
If we look at the existence of Gray Jedi from a social perspective, we can determine that there are various political beliefs and idealogical differences that separate this group into different factions. Imperial Knights, for example, were a fiercely loyal group and willing to serve their leadership until the end without question of authority. The Gray Paladins were Jedi who fell away from the strict adherence to the Jedi Code, often disregarding instructions from the Jedi Council in favor of personal beliefs.
So what truly defines a Gray Jedi? The philosophical answer is truly a simple one. If you take away the political ideologies and get rid of the concept of structured rules, there you will find the answer to the puzzle of Gray Jedi. They exist outside of the normal Jedi boundaries. Whether their personal beliefs have them leaning closer to the dark or more toward the light, they have their own mind to guide them in their Jedi path. They have somehow wavered from the strict belief in following the Jedi Code and taken off on their own internal journey.
Many traditional Jedi purists see Gray Jedi as a negative. This is often judgmental belief based purely on emotion without much rational thought behind it. Jedi, as we know them from films and literature, are traditionally against doing anything that might lead them to be viewed as evil. If they are viewed as evil, normal citizens will believe them to be Sith. We all know that true Sith are the antithesis of true Jedi. But what about that gray area that exists? It begs us to question our own beliefs in order to understand our view point on life and how we can interpret the Gray Jedi.
In the next installment, I’ll discuss more information concerning Gray Jedi beliefs and explain why we need them in the Star Wars Universe.