- Jason Dietzel
Force Organizations: Matuaki
By: Jason Dietzel
First mentioned in Hero’s Guide, and later mentioned in the Knights of the Old Republic II and The Old Republic video games, and various other RPG supplements, the Matukai were founded circa 4,000 BBY, just prior to the Great Sith War. The identity of the woman who founded the group is unknown, only that she discovered her Force-sensitivity while practicing meditative martial arts on the planet Karvoss II.
This initial experience became the basis for Matukai philosophy: the balance between the physical body and the spiritual Force. Through physical activity and a holistic lifestyle, the Matukai believed their bodies to be purified so that it can be a better temple for the Force to flow through and augment. After all, what is the purpose of purifying water if it will only be placed in a jug that is dirty and cracked.
The Matukai used this physical exercise to help focus on the Force so that it could aid in their spiritual exercise to resist the temptation and impurity of the dark side. To help strengthen this resolve and expand their connection to the spiritual Force, they crafted and wore Meditation Bands.
They relied on their strict physical and spiritual condition to gain flexibility in order to combat frustration, fluster, or other “stressful” emotions like anger from corrupting their mind and decisions. Ultimately, their philosophy allowed them to gain efficiency in use of the Force, as well as aid practitioners normally considered weak in the Force to develop a stronger connection to it.
Once these core practices were accomplished, the Matukai believed to push their physical bodies to the limit in order to test their resolve, both physically and via the Force. They would push their bodies with harsh feats and in harsh conditions to test their will and strength. This resulted in their ability to augment weak points in the body into bulwarks of resistance.
Their strenuous regiment also garnered them the ability to purge poisons and illnesses, as well as rehabilitate injuries and wounds because of their augmented physiological knowledge. In some cases, Matukai philosophy can also help practitioners dampen physical damage, including environmental damage.
To further reflect their expert physiological and “spiritual” combination, the Matukai formulated their own Force-imbued weapon to match their philosophy. Known as the wan-shen, it is a polearm that can be collapsed and decorated to represent the uniqueness of the individual. The Matukai are able to wield this halberd with such speed, precision and lethality that even Jedi have been astonished with their whirlwind of metal and blades.
Throughout most of their history, the Matukai were largely ignored by the Jedi. Though founded on Karvoss II, the Matukai soon took to the stars and became nomads, travelling the galaxy in order to help others. They kept their numbers between fifty and sixty, but were well-known, nonetheless. A few centuries prior to the Clone Wars, the Jedi did try to absorb the group into its order but were met with disdain.
Their organization was structured similarly to the Jedi, having two ranks with distinctive robes to signify these ranks. Apprentices mirrored Padawans and Adepts mirrored Jedi Knights. Matukai instructors were allowed to take multiple apprentices, but many chose not to take any. Overall, a loose hierarchical structure compared to the Jedi.
Unfortunately, the Matukai were hit hard by Order 66, being the second target of Palpatine’s purge. Like the Jedi, they were able to preserve their order by going into hiding, re-emerging during the years of the New Republic and even were willing to ally with the New Jedi Order, viewing it as less dogmatic as its earlier philosophy, especially because it didn’t return to taking Force-sensitive infants and children from their parents.
Like many other Force groups, the Matukai suffered under the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, but were able to survive the ordeal and continue into the future, though their status is unknown come the Legacy era and the rise of Darth Krayt’s One Sith. The only referenced Matukai was a man named Mendor Typhoons, who lived around 580 BBY, and was approached by the Jedi in an attempt to convert him and his apprentices. He declined, considering the Jedi to be elitist and ineffectual.