- Who was the founder? Baal Legato
- Founding Date: 1998
- End Date: 2006
- Archive: http://jediliving.com/jediarchive/jediacademy/
“Who are you guys?
What the hell is this?
Do you really think you are Jedi??
Welcome to the Jedi Academy. We are a site dedicated to the philosophy and code presented as the Jedi way in the Star Wars movies. We do not have light sabers, we do not levitate our droids, what we seek to share and learn in this online community is an adaption of older wisdom for a newer age. We seek to identify what it means to live in the Jedi way and how to do so.
We are the people you work with, the people next door who seek to be better people through following the examples of fictional heroes and real world heroes of past and present.
We hope that you will join us in our search for knowledge and our duty to defend the weak.” -Baal Legato and the Academy staff
What Did They Believe?
“The Jedi Academy was more of a Realist site. Role-playing was not a big focus or factor. There was not training program, but rather individual instruction, sort of like the Master/Padawan deal. Mostly it was just discussion and debate. The JA’s focus was much more on Lucas’s inspiration and real world comparable aspect rather then the actual fiction itself.” – Opie MacLeod, Jedi Historian
What Was Their Inspiration?
“How Star Wars changed my life… Excerpt from a forum posting
Inspiration and spiritual guidance are rare things in our world in these times, I should hope that no source is left out because of its media. Whether it be the bible, Koran or the Star Wars trilogy, the result can be the same. Wisdom is wisdom regardless of the packaging.
I and other countless millions grew up with the dream of becoming a Jedi Knight. As children it meant we would act out the battles and do what children do, but as we grew it manifested itself as a desire to live as a Jedi would, to be strong and just, to protect and defend. Now well into adulthood the dream of being a Jedi has evolved for my generation, no longer playing pretend, but shaping the people we are and the judgments that rule thousands of businesses and may one day guide the country.
If something truly changed your life and inspired you, helped shape you into something you can be proud of, then I say tell the world of it. Let those who will laugh do so and those with sense enough to recognize true inspiration benefit.” – Baal Legato and the Academy staff
Definitely, the previous RPG sites were an inspiration, but what the Jedi Academy did was different. They weren’t just another RPG forum – They wanted to find the source of the real teachings that inspired George Lucas, and learn directly from that source.
History of Organisation:
“The Jedi Academy was the most active community of Jedi at the time on the internet. It was almost too active – most Jedi had a smaller community that was their home, and the Jedi Academy was a way to keep in touch with the larger Jedi community. Unlike the Jedi Creed, Jedi of the New Millennium, and even the Force Academy, the Jedi Academy did not place any importance on Role-play. Most were against it and talk down to those that used it. They focused more on real world lessons which could be applied to the Jedi Ideals (the philosophy). Zen, Buddhism, Taoism, Stoicism, Chivalry. These were discussed and taught, the Jedi Academy considered them to be the real Jedi. Samurai, Knights, Martial Arts, Zen Masters, these were the real Jedi Masters. Not Qui-Gon, not Obi-Wan. It was silly to quote them for actual lessons. And so things like the Jedi Code and movie quotes were rarely used, but discussed often enough (to the annoyance of older members it seemed).
The Jedi Academy focused on these aspects. And so Shadow and Grey Jedi did not enter the picture and were laughed at. Dark Jedi and Sith were just considered selfish people who did whatever needed to get ahead. It was Jedi or nothing and Jedi were based upon other real paths so those should be studied instead.” – Opie MacLeod, Jedi Historian
The Jedi Academy was a victim of its own success. It used a free forum to operate, and this inspired anyone with an internet connection to create their own Jedi sites – particularly those too impatient to go through the training themselves. Given the low barrier of entry, dozens of smaller sites opened up – and that splintered the community.
As the Jedi Academy continued to grow, the number of “realists” (people who sought, studied, and taught actual material from Samurai, Knights, etc.) versus the number of role-players grew in favor of the role-players. The older members, burnt out from years of debates and conversation did not step up to take the leadership position when it opened up. And the Jedi Academy turned into the Forsaken Jedi Academy; a role-playing site which died within months of changing.
Jedi Academy West, Jedi Mythos
Kronos’ Musings: The Jedi Academy took a different approach than most sites – rather than take inspiration directly from Star Wars, they sought to take inspiration from the inspiration for Star Wars. This approach is interesting, because it side-steps the embarressment you feel following a fictional path. At least for me, when I was looking into this I was searching Google for “Real Sith religions”, “philosophies that inspired the Sith”.