Back in 1999 a new Star Wars movie came to theaters for the first time since Return of the Jedi was released in 1983. The Phantom Menace brought us back to the Galaxy Far Far Away and introduced us to some interesting new characters. Some of the most interesting looking characters were the characters on the Jedi Council. With the exception of Yoda, these twelve Jedi were brand new to us and we knew next to nothing about them.
In the years since much more has been revealed about the Jedi Council members seen in The Phantom Menace. Some had bigger roles in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, some have been featured in The Clone Wars TV show, and others have been fleshed out in the novels and comics. The fate of many of the characters has been revealed in the movies and The Clone Wars. The Expanded Universe has also told its version of some of the Jedi Council member’s deaths, although these stories can always be overridden by George Lucas’s vision in the currently running Clone Wars show (we have already seen a few examples of this.)
So let’s take a look at each of the twelve council members and what we know about where they stand in the Star Wars universe. We will consider stories from not only the movies and The Clone Wars but also the Expanded Universe.
Maybe the oddest looking of the twelve council members, and that’s saying a lot, Poof was a Quermian Jedi Master. Many stories in the Expanded Universe include Yarael Poof, but his most important appearance would probably be in the one shot comic book titled Zam Wessel. In the comic a plot is uncovered to destroy one of the Republic’s key worlds and Coruscasnt is a possible target. Poof volunteers to take on the task of protecting the planet. He used the Force to track down the terrorist whose plan was to destroy the planet by using a very powerful ancient artifact. Poof was able to stop the plan with the help of the unlikely allies Jango Fett and Zam Wessel, but in the process he was stabbed by the terrorist. Using his last bit of Force power he disabled the artifact before it could explode and destroy the planet. After his death, Yarael Poof was replaced by Coleman Trebor on the Jedi Council before the events of Attack of the Clones.
On a lighter note, Poof can also be seen making a hilarious cameo appearance in the Robot Chicken : Star Wars Episode III special.
The girl version of Yoda. She didn’t have much to do in The Phantom Menace and she does not show up in the future movies, so what happened to her? Her adventures after The Phantom Menace, and even before, are chronicled in the Star Wars comics and the young readers novels. One of the most interesting stories is Yaddle’s Tale: The One Below which can be found in the comic Star Wars Tales #5. The story is of a younger Yaddle who is sent on a mission with her master. The mission was to liberate the people of a planet from a vicious warlord. Her master is killed by the warlord and Yaddle is sealed in a pit for over 100 years. While in the pit she becomes a local legend called The One Below. When an earthquake finally frees her she stays on the planet to help the people recover from the earthquake. The warlord had long since left but when his son returns to claim the villages as his birthright, Yaddle defends the people and defeats him in battle.
The story of Yaddle’s death is told in the young readers novel Jedi Quest: The Shadow Trap. While on a mission to Mawan with Anakin and Obi-Wan, Yaddle sacrificed her life to protect the innocent. She used the Force to absorb a bioweapon released by the troubled character Granta Omega. Her death occurs between the events of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.
Another very unique looking Jedi Council member, Oppo Rancisis was Thisspiasian Jedi. He basically had the body of a giant snake but with four arms coming from his more humanoid upper body. Like most of the Council members in The Phantom Menace he was not given any lines in the movie. It wouldn’t be until the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars cartoon in 2005 that Rancisis is given a voice, but he is still just shown sitting on the council. If you want to see Rancisis in action you will have to go to the comics. In the Republic: Siege of Saleucami story line, Rancisis is sent to the planet of Saleucami with Republic forces to stop the creation of an army of Morgukai clones. Racisis role was to coordinate the battle plan and use his Force ability of battle meditation to assist the Republic forces. During the battle the Republic stronghold was infiltrated and Rancisis was attacked by assassins. Exhausted from his battle meditation he was barely able to repel the assassins. In the confusion of the fight Dark Jedi Sora Bulq, an agent of Count Dooku, snuck up behind Rancisis and stabbed him in the back. These events happened just before Revenge of the Sith and Rancisis does not appear in the movie.
This is how the Expanded Universe has portrayed his death but it is always possible that The Clone Wars will tell things a little differently. Dave Filoni did say in an online chat over at Entertainment Weekly that Oppo Rancisis would eventually show up in the series.
A very gruff looking member of the Jedi Council, Even Piell was short in stature and had a severe scar over his left eye. When you first see him you know he has seen battle. Piell does show up again in Attack of the Clones but does not make an appearance in Revenge of the Sith. Based on the novel Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight, Piell was originally thought to have survived Order 66 only to be killed by stormtroopers shortly after. This version of his death has recently been changed due to events in The Clone Wars TV series. In the Season 3 episode Citadel Rescue, Piell was being rescued by the Jedi from the stronghold called The Citadel. In the process of the escape the Jedi are attacked by a pack of Anoobas. Though he fought bravely, Piell succumbed to wounds he received and died. Before he died though, he was able to relay the important Nexus Route coordinates to Ahsoka Tano.
The beautiful Adi Gallia was a Tholothian Jedi Master who appeared on the Jedi Council in The Phantom Menace. She makes a brief appearance in Attack of the Clones. Another character who looks very similar also appears in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. This character, named Stass Allie, is the one who is killed in the Order 66 scenes in Revenge of the Sith.
Gallia is very prominent in the Expanded Universe having been featured in novels, young readers books, comics and even video games. Like many Jedi, Adi Gallia died during the Clone Wars. Originally her death was depicted in the comic series Obsession. During a battle on Boz Pity just before the events of Revenge of the Sith, Gallia was killed by General Grievous. In the Season 5 premiere of The Clone Wars a different version of her death was depicted and this is the version that will be considered canon. While on a mission with Obi-Wan to stop the brothers Maul and Savage Opress, Adi Gallia was brutally killed by the hulking Savage Opress.
The Cerean Jedi Master was very distinct because of his cone-head appearance. Before his appearance in The Phantom Menace Ki-Adi-Mundi had already been featured in the Dark Horse comic series Star Wars which started in December 1998, so many fans were already familiar with the character. He continued to be heavily featured in the comic series as it chronicled the time before The Phantom Menace, the time leading up to Attack of the Clones, and on through the events of the Clone Wars. He was also featured in the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars cartoon as one of the first Jedi to face off against the mysterious General Grievous.
He has more recently been featured in the current The Clone Wars TV series having a very prominent role in the Season 2 episode Landing at Point Rain. Unfortunately we know that he dies during Order 66, shot by his clones on the planet Mygeeto during Revenge of the Sith. He did put up a bit of a fight which is more than can be said for many of his Jedi counterparts.
Mace Windu was a human Jedi Master originally from the planet Haruun Kal. On the Council, he was second only to Master Yoda. Other than Yoda Windu was the most prominently featured council member in The Phantom Menace, so it only makes sense that he would also be prominently featured in the Expanded Universe. He got his own novel in Shatterpoint and was a major player in the comics set in this era. He also had an episode of the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars cartoon completely focused on him. In the episode he basically takes out an entire droid army using only his bare hands and the Force.
Mace Windu has also appeared in no less than 29 episodes of The Clone Wars TV series. The Season 1 episode Liberty on Ryloth puts him center stage and shows us his warrior side.
Mace Windu met his unfortunate end in the Revenge of the Sith movie. He went with three other Jedi Masters to arrest Palpatine in his office on the suspicion that he was a Sith Lord. Palpatine quickly dispatched the other Jedi and engaged Windu in a lightsaber battle. Just as it seemed Windu had the upper hand, Anakin Skywalker intervened. Fearing he would lose the knowledge of how to save his wife Padme if Palpatine was killed, Anakin cut off Mace Windu’s hand. Palpatine took the oppuritunity to attack Windu with Force lightning and sent him out the window, falling to his death.
Plo Koon was a Kel Dor Jedi Master who required a breathing mask when away from his home planet of Dorin. He appears in all three of the Star Wars prequel movies. In the Expanded Universe Plo Koon is featured in a number of stories including some that take place before the events of The Phantom Menace. The comics The Stark Hyperspace War and Jedi Council: Acts of War are two of these stories.
The character currently enjoys the spotlight thanks in part to his biggest fan and supervising director of The Clone Wars, Dave Filoni. Plo Koon has become a very important character in the series and plays the part of mentor to Ahsoka Tano. One of his best episodes is the Season 2 finale Lethal Trackdown. In the episode he and Ahsoka hunt down the bounty hunters Aurra Sing, Boba Fett and Bossk.
Plo Koon was known for his piloting skills but unfortunately he wasn’t good enough to avoid Order 66. In Revenge of the Sith while he was in his Jedi Starfighter, he was shot down by his clones when the order was given to take out the Jedi.
The horned Iktochi Jedi Master also appeared in all three of the Star Wars prequel movies. He is featured in Expanded Universe materials including novels, comics, and video games, although not as prominently as some of the other council members. One of his more memorable appearances comes in the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars cartoon. In episode 23 of the series he is shown leading a group of clones with jet packs as they attack a Separatist ship in open space. Tiin sported some really cool armor and a mask that left only his horns exposed, one of the coolest designs I have ever seen for a Jedi.
He has appeared in The Clone Wars TV series but has yet to play a major role. Here’s hoping we get to see him in action in Season 5.
Saesee Tiin was one of the Jedi who accompanied Mace Windu to arrest Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. He was quickly cut down by Palpatine.
Yoda was the head of the Jedi Council and arguably the most powerful Jedi of his time. He is the one Jedi on the council in The Phantom Menace that we already knew well because of his appearance in the Original Trilogy. Being the major character he is he has popped up all over the place in the Expanded Universe. Much of Yoda’s past is still a mystery and probably always will be, but you can get a small glimpse into his past concerning Count Dooku in the novel Dark Rendezvous. Yoda is also the main focus of the comic Jedi: Yoda where he leads a clone army against a king that he knew from 200 years before.
In the TV series The Clone Wars Yoda is a main character and appears in many episodes. The series premiere was an episode titled Ambush which featured Yoda as the main character facing off against the droid army and Asajj Ventress.
Yoda is the only member of the Jedi Council from The Phantom Menace who is known to have survived Order 66 and the Jedi Purge. Much later in his life, after completing his training of Luke Skywalker on Dagobah, he peacefully became one with the Force.
Of the members of the Jedi Council from The Phantom Menace, Billaba is the only one to have gone astray. The novel Shatterpoint tells the story of how she took a mission to Mace Windu’s home planet of Haruun Kal. While on the planet she linked up with the local militia and came under the influence of the Force sensitive leader, Kar Vastor. She slowly lost her sanity and Mace Windu was sent to retrieve her from the planet. When he confronted her she did not come willingly, having fallen to the Dark Side. She ended up sustaining injuries that caused her to fall into a coma. Windu took her body back to the Jedi Temple where she never recovered. It is unknown when and how she ultimately died but it is likely she was killed during the attack on the Jedi Temple during the events of Revenge of the Sith.
Eeth Koth, the Zabrak Jedi Master, is the only member of the Jedi Council from The Phantom Menace that we do not know his ultimate fate. A character by the name of Agen Kolar appears in Attack of the Clones and looks very much like him which caused some confusion as to the status of Koth. In the reference book Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones it was revealed that Eeth Koth had actually died in a gunship crash at the Battle of Geonosis. Well this reported death turned out to be inaccurate because Eeth Koth makes an appearance in The Clone Wars TV series in the episode Grievous Intrigue. Since his appearance in the episode, nothing more has been revealed about his status in the Clone Wars. Could he possibly have escaped Order 66 like Yoda did or will his ultimate demise be told in a future episode of The Clone Wars? We’ll just have to keep watching.