Force Organizations: Jal Shey
By: Jason Dietzel
First being referenced in the Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords video game, the Jal Shey can date their existence back before 4,000 BBY. Following the Great Sith War, the organization started to expand so that by the time of the Jedi Civil War they had become widespread throughout the galaxy. The Jal Shey would exist into the day of the Empire, but it is unknown if they survived the Great Purge.
The Jal Shey recognized the light-dark duality of the Force, however, they took a less spiritual approach to understanding it, instead choosing a more intellectual path. As a result, the Jal Shey became expert diplomats, debaters and negotiators. Their ability to detect deception from their opponents rivaled even Jedi Masters.
However, due to their intellectual focus on the Force, the Jal Shey tended to lack in the physical attributes. Most did not arm themselves with lightsabers, therefore not training in combat, so had to defend themselves in different ways. Their primary source of defense came with creating armor to protect them, while some used the Force to imbue their possessions.
The Jal Shey lacked a homeworld, instead choosing to be nomadic. The order would travel the galaxy looking to study Forces nexuses, along the way helping those they come across. Unlike many Force groups, whom choose to remain reclusive from others, the Jal Shey believed their skills should be used to help others settle disputes.
Through these travels, the Jal Shey would recruit Force-sensitive beings, but were extremely selective in order to prevent those inclined to the dark side from dishonoring their teachings. Those who did make the cut were inducted into the Jal Shey as neophytes, akin the padawans in the Jedi Order. The next rank, Advisor (akin to the Jedi Knight), was tasked with the bulk of the diplomatic missions, earning the reputation of being spirited negotiators rivaling even the best of the Jedi.
Jal Shey Mentors, the highest rank in the group, were renowned for their intelligence and wisdom, and tasked with imparting their knowledge upon the neophytes. This included guiding their training in diplomacy and negotiations, cataloging history of the various worlds and species they interacted with, and learning from the Force nexuses they found.
The only known Mentor was Peet Sieben, who lived during the Clone Wars. Sieben viewed war as terrible, but acknowledged it brought out some of the best qualities in beings; however, lamented that society shouldn’t have to come to such drastic measures in order to bring out greatness in people, signifying the order’s appreciation for philosophy.
As mentioned above, it is unclear if the Jal Shey survived the Great Jedi Purge, especially since the Empire considered, on multiple occasions, to send in Imperial commando special unit teams to purge the Jal Shey and other Force groups. If they did survive, it could be debated that members blended into governmental or corporate roles, shedding their iconic armor for robes of the statesman.