In the Jedi order before the purge (Order 66) was carried out, Jedi weren't allowed to marry. The attachment that comes with matrimony and love made the potential of turning to the Dark Side a real risk if that love interest was in danger, and those emotions could be manipulated. (Which is basically what happened in the case of Anakin's road to becoming Darth Vader with Palpatine manipulating his feelings for Padme.)

Not allowing marriage followed the whole idea of love not being part of Jedi life at all (having force-sensitive children removed from their families as soon as possible, etc.) because the emotions love can produce are too volatile.

However, I know that in the New Jedi Order (in the Legacy books), marriage is permissible, and seems to not be looked down upon at all.

Luke himself marries Mara Jade, after all.

What's the reasoning behind the switch in philosophy/ policy? Preferably from a C or G-canon source, please (per the old Holocron Continuity standards).

2 Answers 2


Out of universe, the idea of the Jedi order as a monastic organization praising celibacy was a new concept introduced, if I remember correctly, in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones or around that time. Anyway, Luke made his marriage proposal to Mara in Timothy Zahn's Vision of the Future, published in September 1998, half a year before the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. By this time, Jedi in the expanded universe were known to marry and have families. Forcing the divorce of a popular couple like Mara and Luke would had bean quite unpopular, so thing stayed that way.

In universe, it had to be retconned. All pre-Empire Jedi who were known to be married and/or having children were either given a special exception by the order or dismissed as rogue member who did it in secret or under disapproval from the order.

When Luke formed the New Jedi Order, it was years after his marriage and, as Chad mentioned in the comments, he felt love was an important part of the the light side. Many of the masters of the new order were also married and many had children. So, instead of establishing a retroactive ban on marriage, the prohibition was abolished and pointed out as one of the causes of the fall of the old order.

Excerpt form New Jedi Order, Growth and expansion section (emphasis mine)

Discoveries of Jedi relics, such as Jedi armor on Garn, lightsabers on Ossus, Asli Krimsan's holocron on Vjun and Arca Jeth's holocron on Arkania added to the Order's knowledge of ancient Jedi practices. Many of these would be implemented, such as pairing up Masters to apprentices and the formation of Jedi clans. Not all practices were assimilated, though, such as the Jedi prohibition on marriage, seeing as it was a marriage that was hidden (between Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala) that destroyed the Old Jedi Order in the first place. Instead the new Order allowed marriage, even conducting Jedi ceremonies for Tionne and Kam Solusar, and later in 19 ABY, Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade. Many other Jedi, such as Kirana Ti, Corran Horn, Daye Azur-Jamin and Tyria Sarkin Tainer, married non Force-sensitives, with their children providing the next generation of Jedi trainees. The stark separation from family that was practiced by the Old Order would also be disregarded, with opportunities for employment and accommodation provided for trainees' families around the Academy.

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    " the idea of the Jedi order as a monastic organization praising celibacy was a new concept introduced, if I remember correctly, in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones or around that time" - I am almost certain you are wrong and the topic WAS discussed in EU works before then. Oct 9, 2012 at 20:25
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  • @DVK But not before The Phantom Menace, I stopped reading EU book after it's release. The point is the marriage of Jedi was well established in EU before it was known it was banned in the Old Jedi Order.
    – DavRob60
    Oct 9, 2012 at 20:29
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    It's because the interdiction of marriage was unknown when the New Jedi Order was created, both in universe and out of universe. is incorrect. Luke knew of the old prohibition but as your quote points out it was decided against. Part was because it was not practical and partly because the prohibition removed something luke felt was an important part of the the light side, love.
    – Chad
    Oct 10, 2012 at 17:19
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    @DavRob60 Yes but he was aware of the prohibition of marriage and family ties in the Republic Jedi Order when the NJO was created. Yes he was already married as were many of the masters at the time the NJO was organized. Not to mention all the children. But that did not mean that he did not know of the original prohibition. There was no jedi order to prohibit it when he got married.
    – Chad
    Oct 10, 2012 at 17:57

I don't have canon references ATM (all my SW books packed away), but please remember that Luke as a Jedi was trained by Obi-Wan and Yoda.

Luke was never taught THAT specific rule. There may have been two reasons:

  • Both Jedi Masters finally realized just how much of a SNAFU the Old Jedi Order created when the old "No romantic attachment" rule basically led to Anakin's - and with him, Jedi Order - fall.

  • They didn't exactly have time to concentrate on irrelevant BS, when they needed to teach Luke to beat Darth Vader first.

    Keeping your head attached to the rest of your body when in lightsaber combat against Darth Vader is universally seen as an unavoidable prerequisite to decide to get married or not.

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    Oh, I dunno; some people might say that losing your head is a prerequisite for marriage. :)
    – Martha
    Oct 9, 2012 at 22:06
  • Yoda told luke much about the old order. He even relates a story yoda told him on dagobah about why the old order restricted marriage because of the attachment it creates.
    – Chad
    Oct 10, 2012 at 17:20
  • @Chad - which book was that one in? Oct 10, 2012 at 18:48
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    @DVK the one where the new jedi order is formally reestablished. I do not remember the exact book though I want to say it was Vector Prime. The just reopened the jedi temple on coruscant and luke held the first Jedi Council meeting. The speech was made there.
    – Chad
    Oct 10, 2012 at 19:50

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