Fans were introduced to the Jedi in 1977 during A New Hope. Obi-Wan Kenobi sat with Luke Skywalker in a humble hut on Tatooine, reminiscing about a great Order long lost and wars with clones. With the release of the Prequel Trilogy, fans saw the Jedi Order for the first time and met many fascinating new characters. In the animated series Star Wars Rebels, Kanan Jarrus says 10,000 Jedi protected the galaxy when the Republic fell. Star Wars tends to focus on the Skywalker family, but many Jedi have significantly impacted the story throughout the franchise.
This list isn't about characters who have risen in prominence, like Ahsoka Tano or Ezra Bridger, who have come into live-action. These are side characters who happen to have important roles. There are also fan favorites, Dark Side Force users, and everyone in between too, so here are 25 Jedi and Dark Siders you should know.
1 – Bell Zettifar
Bell Zettifar is in all major storylines during the High Republic Era. As one of the main characters in the adult line of books, the teenager has been through an emotional roller coaster while coming of age against the backdrop of war. Introduced with his master Loden Greatstorm in Light of the Jedi, Bell is never too far away from his loyal charound, Ember, who is a very good fire dog! Moving into Phase III, Bell will have a considerable part as the High Republic comes to a close.
2 – Vernestra Rwoh
Vernestra is possibly on the verge of becoming a prominent Star Wars character, depending on how much she will be featured in The Acolyte. She’s already historic as the first aromantic character in the franchise, and she’s a fan favorite in High Republic circles. This prodigy is a story of having to grow up too fast and take responsibility while leading her peers. While she’s been mainly in the YA and early reader novels, Vernestra feels ready for heavier storytelling.
3 – Avar Kriss
The paragon Jedi of the High Republic Era, Avar’s downfall throughout Phase I is an intriguing story. When someone is so beloved by all and thought to be the best, the pressure of the galaxy, on top of her struggles with obsession, revenge, and anger, tarnishes her once golden image. Avar is a woman who loses so much, so how she responds in Phase III will define her character.
4 – Keeve Trennis
If there was one Jedi that comes from the High Republic Era who will have lasting rippling effects throughout the narrative, it would probably be Keeve Trennis. Before the publishing initiative began, fans knew Keeve survived to the rank of Jedi Master and became a member of the Lost Twenty, a group of Jedi Masters who chose to leave the Jedi Order. Count Dooku in the Prequel Era was a Lost Twenty member. Keeve’s rise as a Jedi Knight to becoming a Master and what she does after she leaves the Order will be worth the wait.
5 – Elzar Mann
What would happen if Anakin Skywalker had healthy support systems and could indulge in adult activities? He would probably be Elzar Mann. Elzar is a rogue forced to take on responsibility when all the other responsible people are suddenly removed. His ‘Will they or won’t they’ relationship with Avar is also the stuff great romances are made of. Because of how The Fallen Star ended, Elzar is primed for an exciting rise in Phase III.
6 – Stellan Gios
Stellan Gios is a cautionary tale of the pitfalls of seeking perfection. As a prodigy and considered one of the best Jedi of his generation with Avar, he continued to succeed on multiple career fronts by becoming the youngest member of the Jedi High Council in generations. But war has a way of exposing flaws, and the ongoing conflict with the Nihil impacted Stellan as he was forced to be the public face of the Jedi Order. The novel The Fallen Star is Stellan’s book as he examines the path that led him to this point.
7 – Cohmac Vitus
Cohmac Vitus is a wild card of a character and also a prime example of how and why the Jedi Order eventually falls. As a young teenager, his master died, and no one helped him work through his emotions. The Order passed along the typical Jedi rhetoric when this kid needed some serious therapy. He’s similar to Qui-Gon Jinn in many ways, and as he chose to walk away from the Order in Midnight Horizon, he could be one of the dark horse characters to look out for as the High Republic closes out its initial run.
8 – Vildar Mac
Vildar is a similar character type to Cohmac, but he goes through different circumstances. He is one of the protagonists of Phase II of the High Republic, and along with Padawan Matthea Cathley and an ex-Guardian of the Whills Tey Sirrek, Vildar finds people who wish to help him. Unlike Cohmac, who closes himself off more and more, Vildar accepts those in his life, and together, they face off against one of the major villains of the High Republic, the Path of the Open Hand. Vildar is also at the Battle of Jedha, where that massive Jedi statue in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story fell.
9 – Kantam Sy
Waiting for a story to fully feature Kantam Sy was worth it. Story-wise, they haven’t done much in the greater narrative but have become an essential piece of queer representation for fans. Kantam is a non-binary Jedi Master who was the padawan of Yoda and one of the supporting characters in The High Republic Adventures comics. Midnight Horizon dove into their backstory to tell a positive coming-of-age tale where Kantam finds love and must decide their path. They are by far one of the most capable and butt-kicking members of the Order while being kind and sarcastic teachers. Kantam is a standout character from this era of storytelling.
10 – Lula Talisola and Zeen Mrala
Lula and Zeen are similar to Kantam as they’ve become influential figures in queer Star Wars content. While Zeen isn’t a Jedi, she’s Force-sensitive and trained by Kantam alongside their padawan Lula. Zeen has also been featured in Phase III promotional material, so she still has a role to play. Lula and Zeen’s relationship as they slowly fell in love has been praised by fans, especially with Zeen walking away from the oppressive culture she was raised in. These two awesome little lesbians are fantastic LGBTQIA+ representation in the all-ages format.
11 – Orla Jareni
While Ahsoka Tano won’t be featured on this list, Orla Jareni is about as close as someone could get. Orla is a Wayseeker, a Jedi who doesn’t answer to the Jedi Order or High Council to walk their path in the Force. Wayseekers didn’t exist at the time of the Prequel Trilogy. Ahsoka left the Jedi on her own accord to essentially become a Wayseeker, and maybe Anakin Skywalker would have turned out better if he had a choice as Orla did.
Also, Orla’s romance with Jedi Master Sskeer, Keeve’s master, is very charming. Sskeer is a flustered, serious lizard man who Orla loves to tease, and they are adorable together in the comics.
12 – Nubs
There’s a chance you may have pulled up social media and seen fans shouting about “Nubs Nation” with a blue bear-like creature in the picture. That is Nubs, one of the protagonists of the preschool series Young Jedi Adventures. It may seem strange that adults are doing this, but Young Jedi Adventures is very much in the same vein as the Bluey phenomenon. It’s a fun, wholesome little show with Nubs as the breakout star.
Also, to be clear, Nubs is not an Ewok. He is a new alien species called a Pooba.
13 – Yaddle
Yaddle has made a resurgence in the franchise. While she has a long, rich history in the Legends material, she’s been relatively unused in the Disney canon until recently. The Jedi has become a constant in the novels, playing a role in the High Republic Era and popping up in the early lives of Count Dooku and Qui-Gon Jinn. Her most meaningful moment was in the anthology series Tales of the Jedi, voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard. It was a stunning episode which showed why Yaddle isn’t a side Yoda.
14 – Tera Sinube
Longtime fans of The Clone Wars were shocked while watching Obi-Wan Kenobi when the titular character found the frozen body of Tera Sinube in the Imperial Jedi tomb on Fortress Inquisitorious. Tera was a long-living Jedi, showing up in the High Republic 250 years before The Phantom Menace and living until Order 66. Since he often taught the younglings, the lovable old geezer was amid prominent fan theories as the one who saved Grogu in The Mandalorian. Tera has always been one of those characters on the sidelines who has helped shape the lives of several main characters across multiple eras of storytelling.
15 – Plo Koon
Even before The Mandalorian and Ahsoka showrunner, Dave Filoni worked at Lucasfilm, his favorite character was Plo Koon. He dressed up as the character for the Revenge of the Sith premiere, and it’s the reason Plo was given such importance throughout The Clone Wars. Plo was the one who discovered the series’ protagonist, Ahsoka Tano, to bring her into the Jedi Order. He was constantly present throughout the series, with notable moments and story arcs. It’s probably also why Dave Filoni voices a Kel Dor, Plo’s species, in Star Wars Resistance, portraying the Ace Pilot Bo Keevil.
16 – Cal Kestis
Cal Kestis has become a prominent figure in the video game side of the franchise. His survival of Order 66 and rising to fight the Empire is the focus of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Jedi: Survivor. Along with his allies, including the always adorable droid BD-1, Cal is a member of the Hidden Path introduced in Obi-Wan Kenobi. This Underground Railroad-like system helps hide and smuggle Force users to safety while also gathering to preserve knowledge of the Jedi Order. Cal's story is still being written, but he's beloved by fans, even the ones who are not avid gamers.
17 – Quinlan Vos
As Obi-Wan stares at the names of Jedi who had come through the Hidden Path in Obi-Wan Kenobi, he explicitly mentions Quinlan Vos. In The Clone Wars, Quinlan and Obi-Wan were friends, though Quinlan’s more roguish approach often rubbed Kenobi the wrong way.
Quinlan is a fascinating character that is primed for more exploration. In both Legends and the current canon, he went to the Dark Side temporarily and has walked both paths. Thanks to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Charles Soule’s comic run, Darth Vader, it’s known he survived Order 66 and is one of the top Jedi that the Empire wants. He knew the secrets of the Sith as Count Dooku taught him, and Quinlan could make a massive splash at some point.
18 – Kanan Jarrus
While most of the Star Wars Rebels crew has been brought into live action, one member won’t be joining them, which is Kanan Jarrus. That doesn’t mean that his presence won’t be felt in Ahsoka. Kanan was one of the leaders of the Spectres and the Jedi Master of Ezra Bridger. With Ezra missing, the search for him will be the focus for Ahsoka and Mandalorian Sabine Wren. Kanan also has ties to the rest of the main cast. He was the love interest of Hera Syndulla and the father of their son Jacen. He’s an important figure even when he’s not in the show.
19 – Shaak Ti
While Shaak Ti is one of those fun, weird Star Wars factoids because she’s had three different deaths filmed, she also played an essential role in the overall story. She is a Togruta, the same species as Ahsoka Tano and much of her story in Legends helped set the stage for Ahsoka’s creation. Shaak also played a prominent role throughout The Clone Wars advocating and protecting the very clones who would one day turn on her. Shaak walked into the Prequels so Ahsoka could run.
20 – Gungi
The Youngling Arc was created as a backdoor pilot for a potential spin-off series during The Clone Wars' fifth season. It never came to fruition with the series cancellation at Cartoon Network due to the Disney acquisition. Still, fans loved those younglings, none more than Gungi, the Wookiee Jedi in the group. Along with his friends, one of the dangle questions was whether or not these kids survived Order 66. Some fears were silenced as The Bad Batch’s second season brought back Gungi and saw him safely taken to the Wookiee home planet of Kashyyyk.
Fun bonus fact: Doctor Who’s David Tennant plays the droid Professor Huyang in the Youngling Arc. He won an Emmy for the part and reprised his role in Ahsoka.
21 – Jocasta Nu
Jocasta Nu is the most kick-butt librarian of the franchise. Yes, that old lady from the deleted scenes of Attack of the Clones possibly helped save the future Jedi Order. Charles Soule’s Darth Vader reveals that Jocasta survived Order 66 and poured all her knowledge as head librarian into shelves full of databooks. She risked her life and held her own against both Darth Vader and the Grand Inquisitor to protect this knowledge. While Jocasta was killed, Luke Skywalker would find her collection years later to help him start his school.
Also, Jocasta’s action led to the construction of Vader’s palace on Mustafar, as seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but you’ll have to read the comic to find out how.
22 – Barriss Offee
Barriss is one of those characters that split fans. While she was right in many ways in her assumptions about the Jedi Order, she executed everything completely wrong. She feared the Clone Wars would make the Jedi lose their way, so she set up an attack on the temple which killed multiple workers. Her friend Ahsoka Tano was framed for the attack, which was a turning point in her story. Barriss’ actions were the catalyst that made Ahsoka leave the Jedi, setting up the long-term events leading to Star Wars Rebels and her titular series.
Barriss’ actions also influenced another character on this list, the Grand Inquisitor. He was a Temple Guard during Barriss’ trial and agreed with her view that the Jedi Order was crumbling, causing him to fall to the Dark Side. The Grand Inquisitor was the main villain in Star Wars Rebels.
23 – The Nightsisters
To shift to the Dark Side of this list, Star Wars animation, comics, and books often explore other Force users who aren’t Jedi or Sith. The Nightsisters were a group of Dark Side witches from the planet of Dathomir, and they were crucial players during the Clone Wars. They were responsible for the return of Darth Maul, whose influence rippled out throughout the franchise from Star Wars Rebels to Solo: A Star Wars Story. Just because they used the Dark Side, Nightsisters weren’t inherently evil, as seen with Merrin in Jedi: Fallen Order and Jedi: Survivor. They feature a different way to use the Force, and things always get weird and creepy with the Nightsisters.
24 – Asajj Ventress
By far, the best-known Nightsister and one of the most prominent characters in The Clone Wars was Asajj Ventress. Her story about walking her path is one of the most beautiful and powerful narratives to come out of Star Wars, which is a shame that casual fans who only watch the movies miss. She chose to walk away from the Sith to gain her freedom. Because of this, she plays a vital role in Ahsoka’s story, briefly trains Boba Fett, and falls in love with Quinlan Vos to save his soul and bring him back to the Light Side. Asajj’s story is intricately tied with many characters, and more people should know about it.
25 – The Inquisitorius
The Inquisitorius is the organization of fallen Jedi who hunts other Jedi for the Empire. The group received significant focus in Star Wars Rebels and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but their secrets are still relatively unknown. Led by the Grand Inquisitor, this group is why so few Jedi are left by the time of the Original Trilogy. Order 66 decimated most of the Jedi Order, and the Inquisitors were the clean-up crew. More Jedi would be running around to help Luke rebuild if not for the actions of these baddies.
Hope Mullinax is a freelance writer with over ten years of experience working for various publications. She’s the Site Expert at Dork Side of the Force, a Freelance News Writer for Collider, and the Animation Staff Writer at The Geeky Waffle. When she’s not writing, she loves on her cats, collects Pokémon cards, and rolls dice on For Light and Dice, a Star Wars TTRPG podcast.