Disney’s attempts to organize their Star Wars continuity continue to retcon previously established lore, as the entry on the hierarchy of the Jedi Order, as seen in the recently released The Star Wars Book, has revealed that the only Skywalker who qualified for the rank of Jedi Master was Princess Leia.
The Star Wars Book is a recently released Star Wars encyclopedia, authored by Pablo Hidalgo, Dan Zehr, and Cole Horton, which describes itself as “a unique and insightful examination of this beloved franchise” and “an invaluable roadmap to this galaxy, far far away…”
Featured within the book is in-depth explanation of the strictly-regimented hierarchy observed by the Jedi Order, prior to its (unfortunately) now-canon disbandment by Luke Skywalker prior to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, providing details on the qualities and qualifications required of each rank.
The descriptions for each of the six respective ranks, as provided by ScreenRant, read as follows:
Initiate: Toddler-aged inductees who are measured for their potential.
Youngling: As children, Jedi learn in classes called clans, reminiscent of the different houses in Harry Potter. A number of clans have been identified in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and in Cavan Scott’s audiobook Dooku: Jedi Lost, namely the Hawkbat Clan, the Heliost Clan, and the Thranta Clan. Traditionally, when all clan members have reached a certain age, they are taken as a group to the planet Ilum, a vergence in the Force rich in kyber crystals, where they acquire crystals for their lightsabers.
Padawan: Adolescent Jedi are paired with a Master or a Knight for training. A Padawan “graduates” by passing the Jedi Trials, although some Padawans are considered to have passed these when they endure difficult experiences. When Ahsoka was acquitted of responsibility for a terrorist act, she was told the Council considered her experience to have proven her character sufficiently to progress.
Knight: A Jedi who has passed the Trials is officially called a Jedi Knight.
Master: Knights who have taken and trained a Padawan to Knighthood officially progress to the next stage, and are considered Masters. Note that only one who has proven themselves able to teach others thus continues to this stage.
Grand Master: This final rank is a solitary one, held by the one considered to be the wisest of the Jedi Masters. Yoda was Grand Master during the prequel era.
While most of this information lines up with what has been previously established, both in film canon and in the non-canon ‘Legends’ continuity, the qualification that a Master must “have taken and trained a Padawan to Knighthood” officially retcons which of the Skywalker family truly qualified for the title.
In ‘Legends’ canon, while it was possible for a Jedi to attain the rank of ‘Master’ through the training of “several” Padawans to Knights, one could also achieve the position through alternative means, including undergoing a modified version of the Trials of Knighthood, showing exceptional skill and devotion to the Force, or, as was the case in the days of the Galactic Republic, displaying their loyalty and service to the Republic.
Given how Anakin both failed to train a Padawan, as Ashoka Tano eventually chose to leave the Order before her training was complete, and chose to follow an alternative path in Darth Sidious and the Dark Side, it’s no surprise that the Chosen One never attained such a prestigious position among the followers of the Light Side.
However, this new ‘teaching’ requirement, which explicitly states that “only one who has proven themselves able to teach others thus continues” to the stage of Master, does hold ramifications for his children, Luke and Leia.
As seen in the sequel trilogy, Luke’s only attempt to train a Padawan, Ben Solo, resulted in not only the latter’s failure to ascend to a Jedi Knight, but also the subsequent dissolution of the Jedi Order all together, which, in the face of this new requirement, disqualifies him from attaining his deserved rank of Master.
Conversely, the mere fact that Leia ‘trained’ Rey, who is assumed to have taken the rank of Knight following her defeat of her grandfather, Emperor Palpatine, means that, canonically, she is the only Skywalker who truly was truly qualified to serve as a Jedi Master.
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