The Jedi Order has long been an establishment of hypocrisy. It’s what led to its undoing across generations of its existence multiple times. Its hubris is what brings about the fall of Anakin Skywalker and its destruction in the Star Wars movies. One such hypocrisy? Those infamously loveless warrior monks sure did have a lot of sex.
The conflicting ideas of the Jedi Order’s establishment of the very idea of “attachment” has long been up for debate. In the past, George Lucas has said that the Jedi weren’t celibate—it was just very specifically the concept of love, and long-term attachments to a person, that the Jedi Order forbade its members from engaging in.
That has consistently thrown up a lot of questions (because Star Wars fans love nothing but talking about, well, jizz?) about where the limit lies. Especially given that Star Wars as a movie saga, and the Order’s downfall, is predicated on keeping an intimate relationship secret.
Is there such a thing as sex that doesn’t, on even a minute level, constitute forming an attachment to a partner? How much is too much for the Jedi? Is there a limit, a hierarchy, to the sexy times? Which one of these crusty old robe-wearing grognards is on the committee that decides that limitation, anyway? And have they ever had sex?
With the release of The Rise of Skywalker, and the lingering questions of whether or not the Order as it was should even come back in the first place—and the potential for romance between its heroes and villains—we thought we’d look back at whether a few Jedi, in the old canon or current, defied one of the Order’s many hypocrisies and absolutely, unequivocally, boned.
Obi-Wan Kenobi (and Siri Tachi)
So, here’s the fun thing: in the old Expanded Universe, there was literally an entire novel dedicated to basically going “Hey, you know those Jedi you like in the prequels? They totally fucked.” It’s hilarious. A junior novel penned by Jude Watson, Secrets of the Jedi told three different short stories about Anakin (who of course, we’ll get to later), Qui-Gon Jinn, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, revolving around secret romances they had. And, most interestingly here, the latter two were relationships with other Jedi.
Let’s start with Obi-Wan, who fell in love with a fellow apprentice, Siri Tachi (the padawan of Jedi Master Adi Gallia, who Obi-Wan would serve on the Council with…awkward!). With Qui-Gon and Adi going on missions together, Obi-Wan and Siri spent plenty of time with each other, with their friendly rivalry eventually blossoming into feelings for each other.
The two acknowledged their love after a particularly dangerous mission to rescue a young child from bounty hunters but immediately decided to put their love aside, telling the council about their attachment and moving on from it. Obi-Wan would eventually drift away from Siri, who went off on her own path (including a period of time away from the Order which, because they’re a bunch of arseholes, convinced Obi-Wan and his fellow Jedi that was because Siri had betrayed them, but it was in fact part of an elaborate undercover mission).
But even if Siri was Obi-Wan’s first love, it’s heavily implied that he had a much more involved relationship not in the old EU, but in the current canon. Clone Wars established that a young Obi-Wan had a secret romantic relationship with Satine Kryze, the future Duchess of Mandalore.
Just as with Siri, Obi-Wan developed feelings for Satine while on a mission with her, protecting her from assassination attempts—but once Satine was returned to Mandalore, Obi-Wan ended their relationship, choosing to stay with the Order. When they eventually reunite as adults during the events of the show, Obi-Wan even tells Satine that, if she had asked him, he would’ve abandoned the Order to stay with her. That charming devil!
Qui-Gon Jinn (and Tahl)
Really, Obi-Wan was only taking after his master. Secrets of the Jedi also delved into the romantic relationship Qui-Gon had with a fellow Jedi named Tahl, an important character throughout the Jedi Apprentice series of novels. A Noorian who came to the Order at the age of six (which was considered an advanced age for an inductee), Tahl shared a path through the Order alongside Qui-Gon as apprentices, Padawans, and eventually Knights. The two established a close bond that eventually blossomed into romantic feelings for each other.
The two mostly kept it flirty for much of their lives, but after Tahl (now not only a Master, but blinded during a previous mission and moved to the Archives as a Jedi Librarian) went on an undercover mission that saw her investigating an attempted coup on New Apsolon, she was captured and eventually tortured. This lead to Qui-Gon, despite council orders, going after her. They reunited, but Tahl’s captivity had left her near death. With him at her side, Qui-Gon and Tahl “pledged their lives to each other”—with the implication of potential consummation—before she eventually passed away, a loss so painful it nearly set Qui-Gon on a path with the Dark Side.
In either canon, Vos’ brushes with the Dark Side as a double agent for the Republic lead to him developing romantic attachments. As a trainee in the old EU, he had a romance with a fellow Padawan, Shylar, but called it off, with the two eventually tragically crossing paths once more in the Clone Wars while Vos was on his deep undercover mission as an alleged Jedi traitor.
In Dark Disciple—a Disney-canon novel adapted from unused scripts for the Clone Wars animated series—during Vos’ time as an undercover agent tasked with assassinating Count Dooku (yeah, very Jedi move, that! God, once again: they’re hypocrites!), he developed a close relationship with Asajj Ventress, first as allies and eventually as lovers.
In fact, Vos briefly succumbed to the Dark Side after failing to assassinate Dooku, when the latter revealed Ventress’ responsibility for the death of Vos’ Jedi Master, Tholme, shattering his trust in their relationship in the process.
A major character in the excellent Republic Commando novels, Etain was a Jedi Knight at the height of the Clone Wars, who fought alongside the titular Commandos of Omega and Delta Squad. Eventually, she fell in love with one of the troopers, Darman, and the two consummated their relationship on Coruscant while on an assignment together. Etain became pregnant with Darman’s child during this, and eventually gave birth in secret to a son named Venku.
Etain originally decided to leave Venku to be raised on Mandalore with Darman’s adoptive people, because the Jedi would never accept her relationship, let alone one with a subordinate in the Grand Army of the Republic—but, feeling her code of ethics and the declining morality of the Jedi Council were at a divergence, she ultimately decided to formally leave the Order to raise her son with Darman. Awww…well, that is, until she died fleeing Coruscant in the wake of Order 66 that is. Womp, womp.
Revan and Bastila Shan
Revan was the protagonist of the original, beloved RPG Knights of the Old Republic, made by Bioware—a game studio whose products are so well known for their romanceable party characters, people got up in arms when its latest, Anthem, confirmed you couldn’t bone anyone in your faux-Iron Man suit.
Customisable by the player in not just gender and appearance but in morality and dialogue, male versions of Revan (a fallen Jedi Knight who could, through player choice, either be redeemed or venture back to the Dark Side) and one of the other major party members of the game, the legendary Jedi Bastila Shan, could engage in a romantic subplot together. While the final scene of that subplot heavily implies the duo had sex after committing to each other—they kiss and the screen fades to black with the message that an hour passes—it wasn’t official that the two got down beyond a kiss until the Old Republic tie-in novel simply titled Revan.
There, it’s revealed Bastila and Revan eventually married, and had a son together, Vaner, born while Revan ventured off into the Unknown Regions to hunt down a mysterious Sith threat. But even then, they married in a time when the Jedi specifically forbade it. The only reason the Council approved Shan and Revan’s marriage at the time was a) because Revan agreed to not spread his philosophies concerning attachment to other Jedi, and b) it was kind of a “thanks for saving the entire galaxy” sort of thing.
The Jedi Knights and Consulars of The Old Republic
And, weirdly enough—because once again, the Jedi Order are self-righteous hypocritical dingbats—just three centuries after Revan and Bastila’s time, the Order was at least somewhat fine with Jedi having both sex and long-term relationships. Even a form of marriage!
In Bioware’s Star Wars MMORPG The Old Republic (which, despite still being supported, has an at-best-dubious relationship to the current canon, even as we exist in this “literally everything is canon now” age) players could hook up with a plethora of the companions their characters picked up along the way, including the two Jedi classes, Knights and Consulars. Male and female characters had multiple options to choose from, following arcs that saw them get to know their potential paramours and then, ultimately, seal their relationship with some off-screen bedroom antics. In some cases, like the male Jedi Knight and their Padawan, Kira Carsen, these relationships could lead to marriage.
Although with the case of Kira and the Knight, their marriage was kept secret, because the official Jedi-approved marriage was a bizarrely clinical process that apparently required that husband and wife could only ever see each other on the Jedi’s founding world, Tython, with monthly reviews to check to see if their attachment was clouding their commitment to the Light. Oh, and willing participants needed to have been raised by the Order since birth (Kira specifically, having begun her training as a young adult, was disqualified). Even when exercising a modicum of leniency, the Jedi Order was still a bunch of dweebs.
I mean, you knew this was coming, right? The man who boned so hard, he helped bring about the destruction of the Jedi Order, the arrival of a fascist regime, and a war that is still roiling on decades after he was put atop a bonfire on a planet of killer teddy bears and lit up like a yule log. That is a remarkable track record for simply hooking up with Padmé.
At least the boning did give us Luke and Leia, setting about Anakin’s redemption—redemption needed from his fall to the Dark Side, mostly predicated on the fact he had to keep his boning secret from his hypocritical-arse colleagues—in the process. And there are people who say this saga isn’t a love story.
Well, at least according to Mark Hamill:
Make up your own backstory. It's undetermined, but in the one I made for him myself, the answer is: no.
— Mark HoHoHoHamill (@HamillHimself) April 17, 2019
Yes, in the old EU there was Luke’s relationship with the former Emperor’s Hand, Mara Jade, culminating in their own son, named Ben (not to be confused with that moody fella played by Adam Driver). But just who Luke did the deed with before starting off to make his own Jedi enclave in the current canon, at least in Hamill’s head, has yet to be revealed.
As is if he actually did have the time to do so, but who are we to question the judgment of the man who embodied Luke for over 40 years? We at least know Luke had the hots for Camie, the female friend cut from A New Hope, given that The Last Jedi’s novelization brought her back as his wife for a dream sequence.
Although some of these examples are no longer part of Star Wars’ current canon, it’s fair to say that, EU or otherwise, there’s long been a history of members of the Jedi Order defying what is arguably meant to be one of its most rigidity tenets. But that’s the thing about rigidity in the first place: The Order’s blind stubbornness to consider anything but their one conflicting stance on attachment is what ultimately leads to their downfall, not these incidents of attachment itself.
Did it crumble when Obi-Wan fell in love with Satine? Did it crumble thousands of years before that, when its greatest heroes came together as husband and wife? No. It fell apart when the pressure to adhere to a doctrine robbed of any nuance or alternate thought became so monstrously hard that the Council and its ancient rules sent the Chosen One running right into the arms of Sheev Palpatine, sparking a downfall that would bring him and the Order down with it. So here’s to the Jedi that Fucked: They sucked a lot less than their Order ever did.