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I would like to find out if anyone knows who originally wrote the text of th Jedi Code ("Emotion, yet peace ...") out-of-universe?

I have looked for an answer on Wookieepedia but found only in-universe answers. What author, screenwriter etc actually came up with the Jedi Code?

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  • Are you asking specifically about the mantra, or more general ideas about the Jedi's code?
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 2:07

2 Answers 2

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It seems to have originated with the first edition of Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game (1987), written by Greg Costikyan

I found a version of the first printing of the rulebook online (the copyright page says October 1987), and on p. 69 I found a version of the code:

enter image description here

The credits page attributes "game design" to Greg Costikyan, and also credits Eric Goldberg, Paul Murphy, and Bill Slavicsek for "editing" along with individual credits for two adventures; I think that means Costikyan would come up with the Jedi Code (this seems to be confirmed in the comment from Pablo Hidalgo below).

enter image description here

Also, a blogger wrote here that he contacted Pablo Hidalgo (who worked on roleplaying material as well as material for StarWars.com, and was 'Internet Content Manager for Lucas Online until 2011') to ask about the source of the Jedi Code, and Hidalgo said the 1987 roleplaying book was indeed the first appearance, and mentioned Costikyan as the author:

[Update: I tweeted to Pablo Hidalgo to see if he knew where the first instance of the Jedi Code appears. He replied telling me that it “first appeared in the first edition RPG rule book by Greg Costikyan, West End Games, 1987.” Sure enough – he was right. Page 69. Amazing how something like the RPG rule book has now made this simple EU Code almost omnipresent in the Star Wars universe.]

I'm not aware of any earlier appearances of the code. For completeness though, I'll mention that my earlier answer of the novel Shield of Lies by Michael P. Kube-McDowell from 1996, which features the code on on p. 170, may be the first appearance of the code in a source other than a roleplaying game book.

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  • I tried to ask both of them via whatever contact info I could find. Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 3:43
  • @DVK - I edited my answer, looks like it probably did originate in the roleplaying game after all, since it dates back to the first edition.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 5:04
  • Yay! You get a bounty if I don't forget in 3 days or whenever it's allowed Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 12:49
  • This is very interesting and not what I expected. I wonder if any other things from this game made it into canon?
    – webdoc
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 23:23
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It was most likely someone at West End games (presumably, George R. Strayton).

The first mention of the Jedi Code, its text and its in-universe authorship by Master Odan-Urr is in 1996 "The Tales of the Jedi Companion" West End Games sourcebook authored by George R. Strayton.

The code was on page 140:

enter image description here

100% of sources i know of that also have the versions of the code came later, notably materials related to Episode I (1999), KOTOR and others in 2000+

Please note that there are different versions of Jedi code, with different sources (e.g. the Junior novelization youngling version of the code in "Star Wars: Kanan 7: First Blood, Part I: The Corridors of Coruscant".

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    The Tales of the Jedi Companion is from August 1996, close on its heels come the EU novel Shield of Lies whose copyright page says September 1996, where on p. 170 a slightly different version of the code is presented: There is no emotion; there is peace. There is no ignorance; there is knowledge. There is no passion; there is serenity. There is no death; there is the Force. So either the author edited it very close to publication to reflect the role-playing game, or they both got it from some other source.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 3:07

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