Star Wars confirms that the first generation of the Jedi didn’t serve the light nor the dark side of the Force, but found their strength in the balance in-between.
While the Jedi have always been depicted as an unequivocal force for good in the world of the galaxy far, far away, their failures far outnumber the times they’ve actually managed to keep the darkness at bay. This essentially served as a basis for the Prequel Trilogy, where the zealotry and self-righteousness of the Jedi Order blinded them to Darth Sidious and his evil plans to take over the Galactic Republic. Disney’s Sequel Trilogy, meanwhile, has hinted at the idea of balance in every installment. In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rey finds Luke on Ahch-To, home to the first Jedi Temple. There, we catch a glimpse of a mural that represented the Prime Jedi – the first Jedi Master and the founder of the Order.
What was so utterly interesting about the painting, though, was the fact that it conceptualized the balance of the Force by showing the ancient Jedi surrounded by both the dark side and the light. Fans have speculated that the first master proves that the initial practitioners of the Order didn’t serve the light side, but rather aspired to maintain balance. And it appears that the newly released canon reference book, The Secrets of the Jedi, actually confirms this theory through Luke.
This is an in-universe book, presumably by the Last Jedi himself, containing his observations all the way to his death. In one part of the book, Luke discusses the idea of the dark side and the light, noting:
“Those of us inherently inclined to harness the Force’s vast energies must make a difficult choice. To use its powers either for the greater good or for personal gain.”
Luke then moves on to discuss the idea of balance and even includes the mural of the Prime Jedi, suggesting that we can learn a valuable lesson from the Jedi of yore. This even mirrors Dooku: Jedi Lost which indicated that the Ancient Jedi saw “balance” as a distinct aspect of the living Force, a mantra that Darth Tyranus had adopted.
“We call upon the three — light, dark, and balance true. One is no greater than the others. Together, they unite, restore, center, and renew. We walk into the light, acknowledge the dark, and find balance within ourselves. The Force is strong,” the mantra reads.
The new Star Wars book also suggests that Luke dismissed this philosophy, but since Rey has been going through these ancient texts as part of her training, it’s safe to suggest that the next generation of the Jedi in the galaxy may have the opportunity to truly restore and maintain balance, unlike their unsuccessful predecessors.