In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, all Jedi Knights and Masters have been given a rank of General in the Republic Army. In addition, they each seem to be in command of a battalion of clone soldiers as well. In the Star Wars films, it's never clearly shown that Jedi have the skills of military training, or leadership qualities. So why'd every Jedi get their own group of clones to command in the war?

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    I think the drones... er, clones didn't really need great leadership, just someone to give them general direction. They handled the rest.
    – erdiede
    Commented Oct 29, 2011 at 16:09
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    Grade inflation.
    – Adam Wuerl
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 4:29
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    Another reason could be that giving them different army ranks would be also equivalent to ranking them, which the Jedi apparently did not do. (Except for the Council, didn't all Jedis have the same amount of authority.)
    – apoorv020
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 6:58
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    The real answer is that the writers were unaware of any ranks other than Private and General. They make Jar Jar a General too. Enough said.
    – Gaius
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 12:18
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    Thanks for asking this. It always seemed to me that making a Jedi into a General is like taking a police officer and making him in charge of a nation's entire army! Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 7:27

4 Answers 4


There are two sides to the answer - why were Jedi Generals needed, and why were they acceptable as Generals.

The first one is trivial - they need Jedi Generals because they don't have a large standing army and therefore they didn't HAVE existing Generals to use. This was especially true for the Clone Wars since command troopers wouldn't make good Generals due to the fact that clones didn't have the needed independence and creativity.

For the second angle (wouldn't Jedi make bad generals) - you need to look at what the purpose of Jedi-as-Generals was. A General would usually fulfill one of the following roles:

  • Set strategic direction

  • Tactical command

  • Leadership of staff

  • Leadership of overall troops

  • High level management.

Now, let's see how Jedi Generals fit these points:

  • The Jedi definitely have leadership qualities by their nature. They can sense what other people's feelings and emotions are through the Force and sometimes can even influence them via the Force. They can thus motivate men (some of them in exceptional ways, as evidenced by the fact that at least in some cases units refused to implement Order 66). The Jedi also understand humans and their motivations very well in general due to their connection to the Force.

Another leadership benefit - Jedi care about human lives and the troops KNOW they will never be sacrificed by a Jedi General for a stupid reason/no reason.

  • They had some fighting skills (Lightsaber combat), which served two purposes - both to allow them to be "special forces" (Think Obi-Wan Kenobi fighting against Greivous), and general understanding of combat concepts.

Having a "super-warrior" General is beneficial in two ways - both practical (he can do near-impossible, commando-style missions or provide a critical attack/defense point), and also motivational. The troops are a lot more motivated by following a very good fighter than a random officer who can command but can't fight himself.

Another motivational benefit of being a Jedi tied to the one above - Jedi are generally able to be more fearless, both because they are more able to defend themselves and because the good ones aren't afraid to die and join the Force.

  • They did not really need special military training tactics-wise, since that was the job of high-level troop staff officers, like Commander Cody.

  • On the other hand, they probably were likely to be good at strategy due to Force-enabled prescient abilities as well as exceptional discipline.

NOTE: one thing that was NOT accurate as explanation was the comment by "erdiede". The problem with saying "you don't need Jedi Generals because clone troopers don't need great leadership" is that the concept of Jedi Generals was NOT unique or specific to Clone Wars.

  • Which Jedi didn't get attacked by their troops under Order 66?
    – user1027
    Commented Oct 29, 2011 at 23:52
  • @Keen - I think at least some of the answer to your question is at scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/3536/…
    – HorusKol
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 7:27
  • @Keen - Wikia article had some examples. Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 10:19
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    Another reason would be that when a member of a highly respected monastic order known for prescience, pacifism and troubleshooting says that they need a couple of infantry squadrons as backup right now, it's probably something important enough that you don't want red tape getting in the way... Commented Jun 20, 2015 at 13:36
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    I wonder if Jedis were made Generals to be near the clone troopers, ready to get shot by surprise when the Order 66 is given
    – Petersaber
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 8:14

The Jedis became generals because Palpatine Wanted them in battlefield to separate them. He couldn't attack the temple with all Jedis inside.


Agreed, with everything said above. Just wanted to add a few points.

  • Jedi are trained from a very young age in all manner of peace- and war-time tactics and strategies such as combat strategy, battle tactics - yes, they're different - sword fighting, hand-to-hand combat, diplomacy, and presumably instruction in leadership as well, that make them uniquely qualified for leadership.
  • Jedi are chosen from a vast sea of billions upon billions of beings not only for their unique characteristics and Force potential, but it also stands to reason that they possess an innate, extensive combination of more common characteristics that are also unique to the Jedi.
  • Jedi would almost certainly provide a morale boost to the troops owing to their confidence and their "super soldier" abilities. What better way to boost morale than to take point in every battle, deflecting laser beams with a light saber?

Jedi, in short, are just naturally inclined to lead. I am surprised they don't fight amongst themselves more often. Correction - it doesn't surprise me when some of them go their own way. I would imagine it would be difficult being told how powerful you are your entire life then told you must not use that power; very similar to snipers in the military who are trained to take these incredible shots, waiting for hours and hours in horrendous environs for just the right moment, only to be ordered to stand down just when their target is in sight. Must be quite maddening to some.


They would have been Division commanders, not battalion size. They didn’t get put out so palpatine could conquer . There would have been a sea of officers working up the rank that knew tactics on par or better than they could provide, the clones were made by the million, it was galaxy wide . Not one solar system like we know but many. Take a look up in your telescope. It would have taken hundreds of commanders to direct those clones, there weren’t that many Jedi. And lastly, the clones weren’t simple, they were images from Jango Fett who was far from simple. Lastly, they, the Jedi, couldn’t deflect blasts from that many droids. Basically there would have been more high ranking clones

  • Can you offer any specific evidence to back this up?
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 22:06
  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. I believe the question was more asking why Jedi would be put in command of formations of clone troops when normal Jedi training to that point would have consisted mostly of single combat or small unit actions, with an emphasis on melee (lightsaber) combat as opposed to infantry tactics. Why was it presumed that Jedi would have the skills required to command large units?
    – DavidW
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 22:09

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