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I know that it's a lifelong commitment, but has there been any Jedi that just retired? Every Jedi who stops being a Jedi is killed, so they stop being one essentially.

Can they retire?

Say if someone is just so old and wounded that they can't go on any longer. Can they throw in the towel?

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You can leave Jedi order anytime. Ahsoka did this. Even Count Dooku did this. If you feel like retiring, nobody could stop you. – SS-3 Jan 7 at 8:05
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When Yoda and Kenobi went into exile, it would be called retirement from some perspective... – SS-3 Jan 7 at 8:06
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Retire you can. Play golf, likely it is not. – Jane S Jan 7 at 12:45
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@JaneS - thank you very very much. Now I'll have an image of Yoda mind-kicking soccer balls in my head all day :) – DVK-in-exile Jan 7 at 12:55
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@SS-3: "When Yoda and Kenobi went into exile, it would be called retirement from some perspective..." -- I think you meant to say from a certain point of view – ThePopMachine Jan 7 at 15:54
up vote 47 down vote accepted

Yes

  • Count Dooku was once a Jedi. When he left the Jedi Order, he wasn't punished, hunted down, or even bad-mouthed by the Order. The Jedi held him in high regard and continued to respect him, even after he left the Jedi Order.

    From Attack of the Clones:

    MACE: Count Dooku was once a Jedi. He couldn't assassinate anyone; it's not in his character.

  • Obi-Wan also considered leaving the Jedi Order to settle down and get married.

    SATINE: I don't know quite how to say this but... I've loved you... from the moment you came to my aid all those years ago.

    OBI-WAN: Had you said the word, I would've left the Jedi Order.

  • When the Jedi Council offered to welcome her back into the Order, Ahsoka Tano chose not to come back, choosing instead to follow her own path.

    ANAKIN: They're asking you back, Ahsoka. I'm asking you back.

    AHSOKA: I'm sorry, Master, but I'm not coming back.

    ANAKIN: Ahsoka, wait! Ahsoka, I need to talk to you. Why are you doing this?

    AHSOKA: The Council didn't trust me, so how can I trust myself?

    ANAKIN: What about me? I believed in you. I stood by you.

    AHSOKA: I know you believe in me, Anakin, and I'm grateful for that. But this isn't about you. I can't stay here any longer, not now.

    ANAKIN: The Jedi Order is your life. You can't just throw it away like this. Ahsoka, you are making a mistake.

    AHSOKA: Maybe, but I have to sort this out on my own, without the Council and without you.

    ANAKIN: I understand.

Although these examples may not be exactly the same as retiring, they do however indicate that Jedi are free to leave the Jedi Order if they wish. The Jedi follow the ways of the Force willingly. If a Jedi wants to retire they may counsel him or her to stay but ultimately it's the decision of the individual Jedi.

Rather than fully retire, some probably chose to serve in a simpler, quieter way. Take Tera Sinube or Jocasta Nu for example; They are still Jedi and part of the Order but they don't get sent on many dangerous or important missions any more. Instead they work in the Jedi Archives and render service by offering their knowledge and learning to other Jedi.

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I think that Salvatore novelization has more (and more expanded) examples of what you speak of, when Obi-Wan discusses Dooku with others or with voices in his head. +1 even for just this one quote, very to the point. – DVK-in-exile Jan 7 at 12:57
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I would say he quit more than he retired. He left the order for ideological reasons, not because he was old and he continued working afterwards. – Rogue Jedi Jan 7 at 14:18
    
Just a question about the answer, did Dooku quit to go to the Dark side or did he retire and had a time frame to roam, THEN go to the dark side? – bmarkham Jan 8 at 3:12
    
@bmarkham I think in Dooku's case, he left the Order because he had already turned to the Dark Side. – RedCaio Jan 9 at 9:54

Yes, jedi are free to leave, quit and/or retire from the Jedi Order.

As mentioned by others, Count Dooku reitred from the Jedi Order and returned to his home planet Serenno where he seized/claimed his heritage as Count.

Further evidence includes the rest of the Lost Twenty (of which Count Dooku was the twentieth): Jedi who, for reasons other than falling to the Dark Side or dying in the lines of duty, has withdrawn from the Jedi Order in pursuit of... well, anything.

Expanding our horizons further and entering The Old Republic-verse, the concept of retiring is mentioned by Kira Carsen, a companion and potential love-interest of the Hero of Tython, in the game Star Wars: the Old Republic. You find the quote here.

References other than linked

  1. Excerpt from RotS Novelisation, regarding Count Dooku and The Lost twenty

He is numbered among the Lost: the Jedi who renounced their fealty to the Order and resigned their commissions of Jedi Knighthood in service of ideals higher than even the Order itself professed. The Lost Twenty, as they have been known since Dooku joined their number, are remembered with both honor and regret among the Jedi; their images, sculpted from bronzium, stand enshrined in the Temple archives. These bronzium images serve as melancholy reminders that some Jedi have needs the Order cannot satisfy. Dooku had retired to his family estate, the planetary system of Serenno. Assuming his hereditary title as its Count made him one of the wealthiest beings in the galaxy

-Revenge of the Sith. Stover, M.

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I wonder if there's any Jedi infrastructure to support retired Jedi... If you're not secretly a count - just a peasant who was force sensitive and left your home world very early in life - is there a way to retire without leaving the order? – dunraven Jan 7 at 20:56
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In the thousands of generations the Jedi were guardians of peace and justice in the Galaxy, only 20 ever quit? That's pretty impressive. – Azor-Ahai Jan 7 at 21:57
    
@dunraven Wow, that's an excellent question! If I were to guess (mind you, without looking into it) I'd say that jedi who are too old to be "in the field" probably go into education, research or similar until they finally withdraw and/or die from old age. The Lost Twenty likely had other means of employment/making a living: jedi are probably highly-sought as consultants, bodyguards, tutor and what-have-you. Would definitely be interesting to look into it, though. I'll have a gander at my copy of The Jedi Path once I get home from work. :) – Gunnar Södergren Jan 8 at 8:10
    
@Azor-Ahai Yeah, it quite remarkable. Though, it should probably be mentioned that I have found no information about when they started counting: perhaps the Lost Twenty only refelct the Orders last 500, or 1000 years. – Gunnar Södergren Jan 8 at 8:12

Anakin Skywalker retired from being a Jedi when he was seriously injured, although admittedly it's more a case of his injuries resulting from his retirement than his retirement resulting from his injuries.

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I feel like he quit rather than retire.. if there's a real difference... – bmarkham Jan 7 at 8:28
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'When he was seriously injured' is a bit vague; could you specify which incident you're referring to? – Often Right Jan 7 at 8:34
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When he got injured, he already had became Vader. – SS-3 Jan 7 at 9:42
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"How NOT to rage-quit your Scout Troop: A Guide by Anakin Skywalker" – DVK-in-exile Jan 7 at 12:58
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Agree with @SS-3. This doesn't seem quite accurate. He was Vader before becoming injured on Mustafar (assuming that's the incident you are speaking of). – DangerZone Jan 7 at 14:49

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