So is Kanan a Jedi now?

One of the more significant mysteries of the Star Wars mythos is how someone becomes an official Jedi.  There are several references to it throughout the original trilogy and the prequels:

“Only a fully-trained Jedi Knight will conquer Vader and his Emperor.” ~ Yoda, ESB

“Obi-wan is ready.  He is head strong and has much to learn about the Living Force, but he is capable.  There is little more he can learn from me.” ~ Qui-Gon Jinn, TPM

“Already know you that which you need…One thing remains.  Vader.  You must confront Vader.  And confront him you will.”  ~ Yoda, ESB

But there’s a lot of confusion as to how someone becomes a full Jedi.  And Yoda keeps his own council on these kinds of things.  But Yoda is just a character.  And fans need a bit more to go on.

We could say that defeating a Sith Lord with most of your limbs intact gets you automatic entry.  But since Sith are in such short supply I think that’s not a very practical measure.

The Expanded Universe did come up with its own mythos on the Jedi Trials.   According to the Expanded Universe / Legends, there are five trials: Skill, Courage, Spirit, Flesh (great suffering or physical sacrifice), and Insight.  I won’t go into these very deeply as the link above does a good job of it.  These are interesting to contemplate and are pretty consistent with what we’ve seen in the movies.

When we apply the basis for the five trials to Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi (really the only ones we’ve seen become full Jedi), they seem to hold up (including their failures):

Luke Skywalker (ANH, ESB, RoTJ)


Courage: Leading attack on the first Death Star after most of the Rebel fighters had been destroyed

Insight: Figuring out Leia was his sister; Not using his computer when destroying the Death Star

Skill: Fighting Vader on Cloud City.  Defeating Vader on the second Death Star.

Flesh: Losing his hand to Vader in Cloud City

Spirit:  Failed his test in the Cave on Degobah.  Didn’t kill Vader in anger after he defeated him on the Second Death Star

Obi-Wan Kenobi (All from TPM)


Courage:  Escaping Federation forces during negotiations to end the Naboo blockade

Insight: Knowing that the messages from Naboo while crashed on Tatooine were false

Skill: Defeating Darth Maul on Naboo; Escaping Federation forces during negotiations to end the Naboo blockade

Flesh: Defeating Darth Maul on Naboo after losing his Light Saber

Spirit:  Defeating Darth Maul on Naboo after seeing Qui-Gonn mortally injured

Not bad.

But you could do the same analysis when evaluating Kanan’s actions in A New Dawn and the first season of Rebels.

Kanan Jarrus

Copyright Lucasfilm

Courage: Defeating the Inquisitor, rescuing the Wookies, etc.

Insight:  Failed to see that Master Luminara imprisonment was a trap;

Skill: Defeating the Inquisitor (also lost the Inquisitor… a lot);

Flesh: Surviving torture by The Inquisitor and Tarkin without disclosing any information

Spirit: Defeating the Inquisitor after being tortured and after seeing Ezra harmed.  Committing to training Ezra;

Not bad either, but also feels insufficient.  The biggest limitation for Kanan is his lack of Insight.  Kanan carries many insecurities and unresolved issues regarding losing his Master to Order 66.  He also seems to lack some of the insight into the nature of The Force that one might expect for someone to have before they are able to take on an apprentice (this is alluded to in the Episode Path of the Jedi).  We could also raise some questions about Kanan’s skill level as we haven’t seen him perform to the level that we’ve seen, say, Ahsoka perform in The Clone Wars as a Padowan.  But perhaps that’s just being hyper critical – Kanan has performed admirably when fighting the Empire.

So this isn’t necessarily a bad framework for understanding the Jedi path.  Just casually thinking about how this would apply to Ezra, he certainly wouldn’t pass trials of Skill, Flesh (maybe, he does have a scar now), or Insight, but perhaps would pass on Spirit and Courage.  We should get the opportunity to see him grow in all of these areas as Rebels continues.

So it’s not bad.  It’s not canon, but these five trials it helps us to think about who ought to be a Jedi or not (by this logic, any of the Rebels crew should be Jedi).

Right now, there’s a good case for Kanan, but no he’s not a Jedi.  There’s also some very specific elements that he clearly needs more development (Insight in particular).  There are some indications with the Season 2 trailer may address some of his issues  – fighting along-side soldiers, confronting Clone Troopers (Rex), new Inquisitors; training Ezra, and a confrontation with Vader.


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