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Are the goals of the Jedi ever clearly defined? From what I understood from the movies, they are dual -

  1. To fight against the Dark Side.
  2. To support the Senate.

However, these goals can be contradictory (as actually happens in the movie). So which is primary?
If 1), then why does the Senate seemingly support them (in what can be called a petty struggle over dogma?)
If 2), then was

Palpatine justified in ordering their execution?

  • First you get da' Force, then you get da' power, den you gets da' woman. – Valorum Jan 1 '17 at 18:15
5

Five Goals of the Jedi:

  • Train Dillegently: Be capable of fulfilling the goals and course of the Jedi.

  • Provide Support: A Jedi does not always serve directly. We must take a backseat at times and provide support for those frontrunners.

  • Render Aid: A Jedi is not always needed physically. Sometimes what is needed is our time, caring, and/or supplies.

  • Defend the Weak: Whether by getting extra help or stepping in physically, a Jedi must defend those in need.

  • Study the Force: Continue to Experience, Explore, and Understand the Force better.

    Reference

  • The reference has expired, but it appears that that might be from a real-life Jedi religious organization, not George Lucas’s fictional Jedi. As such, their goals might be different. – Adamant Jan 1 '17 at 17:51
  • @Adamant - Indeed. If you look at the original article you can see that this is some sort of pseudo-religious website. As such, this answer doesn't address the goals of the fictional Jedi but rather the goals of the author of the real world "Jedi United" organisation. – Valorum Jan 1 '17 at 18:19
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They are peace-keeper, they serve the republic because the Republic generally act for the greater good. They primarily existed to serve the Force, but are funded by the senate because they served the public interest. They have an advisory board for the Office of the Supreme Chancellor.

"Fighting against the Dark Side" is not really a duty, it's just that Dark Side users, by theirs nature, are opposed to peace and justice.

Excerpt from Jedi Order Star Wars wiki article

The Jedi Order, later known as the Old Jedi Order and referred to as the Holy Order of the Jedi Knights, was an ancient monastic peacekeeping organization unified by its belief and observance of the Force, specifically the light side. The Jedi were the guardians of peace and justice in the Galactic Republic, and became the most famous of the various groups that relied on the Force for their power.

Excerpt from Jedi Code Star Wars wiki article, Public service Section

Public service

Although the Jedi existed to serve the Force, they were funded by the senate because they served the public interest. If Jedi were unable to use the Force, they would continue to serve, because that was their duty. The fact that the Force was real, and that the Jedi were its most prolific and devoted practitioners, only strengthened their resolve to use it for good.

Duty To The Republic
Although the Jedi and the Republic were dissimilar, and the Jedi Order had no authority over the Republic, the Jedi served the Republic, and were expected to uphold its laws and ideals, and to protect its citizens. However, members of the Order held no rank in Republic hierarchy, and only served when asked; at all other times they stepped aside. This strange agreement between the two parties had stood for so long that no one knew how or why it had come about.

1

To protect the Republic and ensure peace and justice

According to the canonical Star Wars Databank:

A noble order of protectors unified by their ability to tap into the power of the Force, the Jedi Order were the guardians of peace and justice in the Galactic Republic.

So the Jedi are dedicated to preserving peace, harmony, and justice in the Galactic Republic. This is why, for example, they cracked down on the slave trade:

For thousands of years, Zygerria supplied slave labor the the galaxy; the Zygerrian Slave Empire became wealthy and powerful, as did those who exploited their chained subjects. After the Jedi Knights cracked down on the slave trade, Zygerria diminished.

The goals of the Jedi generally derive from their moral philosophy:

There is no emotion, there is peace.

There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.

There is no passion, there is serenity.

There is no chaos, there is harmony.

There is no death, there is the Force.

Dark Disciple

Indeed, the Clone Wars can be seen as the events that led to the Jedi abandoning their philosophy, by engaging in constant war, accepting an army of semi-enslaved clones, and so forth.

It’s important to understand that the heavy involvement of the Jedi in the war came from these general principles, and not from any ideological conflict. They are not subservient to the Senate (though they are subject to the laws of the Galactic Republic). From the perspective of the Jedi Order, and of the Senate, Count Dooku’s secession attempt was a threat to the Republic. Not merely due to undermining its stability, of course—though that was doubtless part of it, but due to the evidence of massive military buildup and hostile intent on Dooku’s part. Dooku certainly did intend to strike against the Republic: Palpatine needed a war, and it is certain the Separatists would have struck the first blow, if Palpatine had not be able to persuade the Republic to do so. The Jedi fought the Separatists because Dooku was a threat to the Republic, not because he was Sith.

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