With The Old Republic’s huge emphasis on good and evil choices, it is easy to divide the galaxy amongst those lines. The Sith follow the dark side, and are evil; the Jedi follow the light side and are good. Even the Jedi tend to view the galaxy with this lens and place all Force users into those two categories. But what of the morally ambiguous path, or those who wish to operate outside of these orders and their goals? These men and women are called the Gray Jedi.
Beholden to no Jedi or Sith code and answering to no one but themselves, this combination seems as though it would lead its followers down the path to the dark side. The Jedi renounce it and the Sith call it weak, but there are those who know better. Click past the cut to find out more.
Gray Jedi are oftentimes best described by what they aren’t rather than what they are. They are not Jedi, as their name may imply, but they are not Sith. They do not follow any code other than their own belief system and most certainly do not follow the Jedi Council’s directives. Often, the term Gray would be used to describe a Jedi who did not agree with the Council, such as Qui-Gon Jinn. It was likely used as a negative term, but an actual Gray Jedi would be distanced from the Order entirely rather than operating within it.
In fact, the majority of belief systems labeled as Gray were the result of the Council’s decision to label it. It was a popular term to use by them for any light side leaning force user who chose not to follow the Council’s will. What this says about the Order in general is up to interpretation; they may see themselves as the foremost authority on the Force and must separate into categories who is with and against them. This distinct system of labeling fits neatly into the good and evil split that the Order preaches with the light and dark side. In regards to Gray Jedi, however, it is safe to say they are not the kind to take orders from the Council.
Most importantly, a Gray Jedi is not a Dark Jedi. A Dark Jedi is either a Jedi who chose to deny the light side of the Force, or Force-sensitives who were untrained and chose to follow the dark side. A Gray Jedi would not dedicate himself to the light or dark side of the Force, and were capable of using both side’s techniques. Jolee Bindo, a Gray Jedi who fought in the Jedi Civil War and played a prominent role in the Knights of the Old Republic game assisting Revan, was capable of using force lightning and Jedi mind tricks. Jedi believed that the Gray carried the taint of the dark side within them due to the acceptance of such techniques, but a Gray would be most likely to dismiss such a notion.
What a Gray Jedi is tends to be a difficult topic to pin down. As they do not adhere themselves to any tradition beyond their own belief system, this group tends to have a spectrum of views. There are those, such as Jolee Bindo, who rejected those who embraced the dark side and those who respected what it had to offer as a tool, such as Kyle Katarn. A good argument can be set forth to describe Kreia’s instruction of the Exile to be Gray, though it was later revealed that she was more dark than light. Regardless of this distinction, she was capable of using light and dark side techniques effectively and accepted both sides as valid, which would put her in the category of a Gray Jedi.
Though most Gray Jedi were independent entities, there have been several organizations in the galaxy that the Jedi Council and others have described as Gray. Featured prominently in The Old Republic are the Voss Mystics. These people were the protectors of the Voss people from the Gormek, a hostile group that shared the planet with them. The Mystics were discovered shortly after the end of the Great Galactic War by both sides, and although they were not swayed by the power hungry Sith, they also had no interest in the ways of the Jedi. Instead, they considered themselves the chosen people of the Force and used their powers to rule over the Voss people. Though entirely comprised of seers and healers, powers typically associated with the light side of the Force, the Council chose to call them Gray due to their disinterest with the Jedi Order.
Translating the mindset into the game is a difficult one, as many of the decisions presented to you are a matter of good and evil. There are some difficult moral choices though, and some players may find themselves leaning towards the gray mindset. Bioware has talked about adding in support for players who wish to be neutral, so those players who can relate to Jolee Bindo or Qui Gon Jinn are on even standing with dark and light side players. Until then, it is useful to know of the long tradition that Gray Jedi have and the role they can fill in this galaxy of good and evil.