Order 66 may have massacred most of the Jedi, but it wasn’t just people that survived Palpatine’s purge. The Jedi existed for eons before the twilight of the Republic, building grand temples of their Order teeming with knowledge and insight that outlived much of the Sith’s wrath, providing hope to new generations of Force users.
Across movies, comics, and books since the rebooted Star Wars canon began, we’ve seen two generations of Skywalkers head out into the galaxy in search of the legacy the Jedi left behind, before their hubris laid them low. Both Luke, eager to learn more about his training with Obi-Wan and Yoda, and Rey, finding her own path in the Skywalker name, have been some of the most prominent excavators of Jedi knowledge — but they’re not the only ones.
Here are some of the places and relics of the Jedi’s highest highs that we’ve seen survive beyond the Rise of the Empire and, in some cases, even further beyond its own fall.
Hidden away from Lothalite civilisation thanks to its underground passages, the Lothal temple uncovered by Kanan and Ezra in Star Wars Rebels was originally built due to the planet’s important vergence in the Force, a potent nexus of Force energies connected to the planet’s links to the World Between Worlds. You’d think such importance would mean Palpatine’s Force-hungry hoarding of any artifacts and ruins he could get his hands would have brought him to this one sooner, but it turns out natural rock formations are the Empire’s biggest blindspot, apparently.
Recently displayed in the ongoing Marvel Star Wars comic, Tempes was home to a Jedi temple dating back to the fabled “High Republic” period that was, at least according to the upcoming transmedia event series, the peak of the Jedi’s idealistic powers as a force for good, helping the nascent Republic protect and expand its borders as it ventured into the Outer Rim.
While the Tempes temple was still mostly standing — and housed multiple Jedi texts and artifacts, including at least one functioning lightsaber — the temple wasn’t necessarily “unknown” to the Empire. At some point Darth Vader himself had discovered its location, using it as a trap to lure Force-sensitives in with the help of a rather haunting gatekeeper.
Jocasta Nu’s Archive
Built by surviving Jedi Librarian Jocasta Nu on an unknown planet with her assistant, Gar, the Archive was essentially a smaller recreation of what Nu had back at the Jedi temple on Coruscant. The location housed holocrons and datalogs of Jedi texts and history. Although believed lost with both Nu’s death and Gar’s own detonation of the cave structure it was housed in, its ruins and secrets were eventually discovered by Luke as he explored the galaxy looking for fonts of Jedi knowledge to fuel his own generation of students…
… a fact that Luke brought up to a young Ben Solo while exploring another Jedi facility on the planet of Elphrona, alongside Lor San Tekka. Described more as an outpost rather than specifically a temple, the Elphrona site housed archives similar to the one kept by Nu, as well as Jedi weaponry like lightsaber rifles. Although known to Luke and Lor, the outpost also became known to the Dark Side in the form of the Knights of Ren, who dueled Luke there.
Eventually carved out by the Empire and First Order alike to first power the Death Star superlaser and then ultimately house the entirety of Starkiller Base, it’s hard to say that Ilum was particularly kept “hidden” after the Purge. But even as the Empire (as the Jedi did before them) sought its vast reserve of Kyber crystals, the former failed to truly uncover the depths of the Jedi temple there, primarily using it as a place for young Jedi padawans to learn how to forge their very first lightsabers.
[referenced id=”1447457″ url=”https://gizmodo.com.au/2020/09/breaking-down-the-epic-sights-and-mysterious-quests-of-the-mandalorian-season-2-trailer-2/” thumb=”https://gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/16/zwifd6dmbrioufqochr6-300×169.gif” title=”Breaking Down the Epic Sights and Mysterious Quests of The Mandalorian Season 2 Trailer” excerpt=”It’s here. After months of waiting, rumours, and more speculation than you can shake a jetpack at, the trailer for The Mandalorian’s second season has arrived. And with it, a whole new look at what’s in store for our clan of two — and some very intriguing hints on what’s…”]
We might — emphasis on the might — even get to visit it again very soon, if speculation about the Mandalorian season two trailer turns out to be accurate.
Temple of the Kyber
This one is not so much a Jedi temple as much as it is a Jedi-adjacent holy place for believers of the Force. Although Jedha was considered a potential candidate for the Order’s first official temple due to the planet’s natural Kyber resources, the Force-sensitives drawn to it beyond the Jedi fashioned the temple and cities built there into a polytheist haven for everyone from Jedi to the mysterious Guardians of the Whills. Although it still stood long after the Empire had turned out practitioners and mined Jedha for its Kyber troves, its fate as one of the earliest test sites for the Death Star superlaser rendered it to history.
Another temple built on a Force vergence like Lothal’s, this facility on the planet Devaron was rediscovered by Luke when he sought out to train his own Jedi abilities after the Battle of Yavin, and again once the Empire fell at Endor. By the time of his visits, however, the Eedit temple had fallen into disrepair; it was already barely manned by the time of the Clone Wars, and years earlier the Empire had bombarded most of its structures.
Ashas Ree’s Temple of the Force
We don’t know much about the Jedi facility on Ashas Ree — briefly visited in Star Wars Resistance — other than its outside superstructures had been cannibalised into a trading outpost by locals. Just what remained there by the time of the New Republic/First Order cold war is unknown. However, we do know it was built over the ruins of an older Sith facility to combat the Dark Side energies hidden even deeper within the planet.
The Great Library of Ossus
One of the earliest and most vital Jedi locations still left…mostly standing, Ossus’ facilities were believed to be destroyed eons before the Clone Wars and the loss of the Jedi’s main facilities pushed its existence further into obscurity. That didn’t stop Luke from being able to uncover its subterranean archives, though, finding multiple fundamental Jedi texts in its hidden vaults — including the Rammahgon, a book of teachings exploring the fundamental nature of the cosmic Force.
Then, of course, we come to the big one: found by Luke after swiping a wayfinder compass from the Emperor’s own hidden caches of Jedi and Sith relics on the planet Pillio, Ahch-To was the fabled home of the very first Jedi temple. Not only did Luke find the earliest origins of the Order as the galaxy would know it for thousands of years, he helped flesh out its significance by adding his own collection of texts and relics found from decades of exploration along the way. He kept them at the heart of Temple Island in a Force-sensitive Uneti tree before forcing himself into exile there.
[referenced id=”1156709″ url=”https://gizmodo.com.au/2019/04/what-palpatine-left-behind/” thumb=”https://gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/16/ow16idcf8do4n2ltubxq.png” title=”What Palpatine Left Behind” excerpt=”A cackle in the dark. That was all it took for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to deliver its biggest shock — a shock that not even a title, a Death Star, or a host of other reveals in its first trailer could compare to. Sheev Palpatine, Darth Sidious,…”]