By positioning Star Wars: The Old Republic at a unique place in the timeline, BioWare has given themselves a great deal of freedom to create interesting classes without being tightly constrained by pre-existing lore. Sometimes the developers use this freedom to create wholly unique classes like the Imperial Agent, while other times they take a more straightforward approach like the Bounty Hunter. However, how they handle the most iconic Star Wars archetypes could be considered the most important challenge in class design. With this in mind, we now take a closer look at the first of the four Force using classes: the Jedi Consular.
There is already plenty of game information about the Jedi Consular. We know that they are one of two Jedi classes in the game, and of the two, they are the more Force-centric and lighter armored. Their two Advanced Classes are the Shadow and the Sage; the former uses the Lightsaber more and can DPS or tank, while the latter uses Force abilities more and can be ranged damage dealers or healers. In addition, we know from BioWare's marketing that the Consular is more concerned with lore and diplomacy than their knightly brethren. Setting all this aside, what other information is out there in the Star Wars universe about Jedi Consulars?
Before we go any further, it should be noted that there are some terminology differences between Star Wars: The Old Republic and the rest of the Star Wars universe. We'll take a brief look at some of the relevant discrepancies, but only in the interest of placing the Jedi Consular firmly in the lore of the extended Star Wars universe.
In Extended Universe (EU) lore, there are three branches of the Jedi Order: Guardians, Sentinels, and Consulars. For the curious, Jedi Knight is a rank rather than a branch of the Jedi Order. Each of these three branches has several paths that its members can follow.
Jedi Consulars are overseen by the Council of Reconciliation, and are interested in promoting peace through diplomacy and studying the mysteries of the Force and the universe at large. While nonviolent solutions are what Consulars strive for, they do carry Lightsabers and are quite capable of using them. As previously mentioned, there are many possible paths for Consulars to take, depending on personal inclination and talents:
- Jedi Ambassadors are mediators of disputes, and the public face of the Republic. They do not make decisions on their own; instead of making promises, they try to get all involved parties to compromise on mutually agreeable solutions.
- Jedi Artisans are renowned for their crafting skill. While many focus their efforts on Lightsabers, some Jedi Artisans have been known to craft other types of items. While crafting, they use the Force to direct and control both their creativity and their actions.
- Jedi Diplomats are similar to Jedi Ambassadors, but they are empowered by the Republic to make political decisions. Jedi Diplomats are sent into very tense situations where averting bloodshed is a top priority; it is likely that a number of top Jedi Diplomats were present at the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant.
- Jedi Healers are particularly gifted at Force Healing, and work to heal the injuries and illnesses of others. In times of war, they are often found on the battlefield. They are led by a Chief Healer on Coruscant, who works out of the Temple's Halls of Healing.
- Jedi Lore Keepers are composed of archivists, historians and librarians. It is their responsibility to keep the records of the Jedi Order organized and available to all who need them. They are led by a Chief Librarian and overseen by the Council of First Knowledge.
- Jedi Researchers are distinct from Lore Keepers in that they are much more fieldwork-based; the Researchers go out and acquire new knowledge, then bring it back to the Lore Keepers to analyze, organize and store. Common specialties are archaeology, astronomy, biology and geology.
- Jedi Seers are particularly adept at receiving Force Visions. Some particularly skilled Seers are known as Prophets for their ability to foretell the future. Seers are often the first warning that the Jedi Order has of the rise of the Dark Side of the Force. They are overseen by the Council of First Knowledge.
It seems unlikely that these possible paths will have a strong role in Star Wars: The Old Republic; after all, spending the game in the Jedi Temple's Archives is hardly heroic. That being said, it is likely that aspiring Consulars will find tasks throughout their travels that hearken back to all of these paths.
The Jedi Sage is a mystery in EU lore; there does not seem to be any branch of the Order known specifically as Sages. There have been some individuals known as Sage Masters, but this was an honorific title similar to Warrior Master, rather than a path of specialization. It is worth noting that this Advanced Class was originally slated to be called the Jedi Wizard. While that is not a term that is found in EU lore, one of the options BioWare gave us to vote on in the renaming was Jedi Seer.
The Jedi Shadow, interestingly, was not always a path for Consulars. For much of the history of the Jedi Order, Jedi Shadows were a path for Jedi Sentinels. Generally speaking, Sentinels were a middle ground between Jedi Consulars and Jedi Guardians; they used both their Lightsabers and the Force, and used finesse and diplomacy as often as violence to achieve their goals.
Jedi Shadows are devoted to destroying the Sith and their artifacts. They do so in secret, often working alone. Their mission is as much about gathering intelligence as it is about taking direct action. They are renowned for their stealth and vigilance as much as for their combat prowess.
These two advanced classes may appear completely different on the surface, with one slinking through the shadows while the other hurls large objects with the Force, but the lore tells us they share a common thread; they are the intelligent, thoughtful, and contemplative arm of the Jedi Order. It is this core aspect of the Jedi Consular that will almost certainly define their role in the greater story of Star Wars: The Old Republic.