"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire."
Ben Kenobi[src]

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. Led by a series of Jedi Councils, the Order grew over the millennia despite facing many trials, most often threats from wielders of the Dark Side.

During several Great Schisms, Dark Jedi broke away from the order. These schisms led to several wars including the Hundred Year Darkness after which the Dark Jedi fled and founded the Sith Empire. The Sith were eventually found by the Republic and their discovery led to The Great Hyperspace War, and a Sith invasion of Coruscant. The Jedi on Coruscant, led by Jedi Guardian Anavus Svag and Jedi Master Memit Nadill, successfully defended the planet and defeated the Sith.

A thousand years later, after Great Galactic War, the Mandalorians saw their chance and attacked the weakened Republic. After the war, the Jedi that had led the Republic's military, Revan and Alek Squinimus, disappeared. When they returned it became clear they had turned to the Dark Side, and during the war that followed many Jedi died. During the aftermath the Order was left numbering less than one-hundred Jedi, until it was rebuilt by the Jedi Exile and the Lost Jedi.

Many years later the galaxy was again engulfed in a war between the Republic and Brotherhood of Darkness. Led by Lord Rohlan Hoth, the Jedi were able to regroup and push back the Brotherhood, who eventually withdrew to the planet Ruusan. After seven long battles on Ruusan the Brotherhood were defeated and presumed wiped out. One of them managed to survive and helped to create the Nightsisters on Dathomir.