the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice from the early beginnings of the Old Republic. They were highly trained in the use of the Force, and employed the elegant lightsaber as their weapon of choice. In the beginning, the Jedi were merely scientists and scholars who debated on the unusual energy field - the Force - which seemed to eminate from certain individuals. Over time, as knowledge and understanding of the Force grew, this loose affiliation coalesced into the Jedi Order. They protected the Republic from all threats, including the Clone Wars. They were also used to settle disputes and contentions for rulership due to their overall neutrality and their ability to search out the truth via the Force. After the destruction caused by the Great Hyperspace War and the Great Sith War, the Jedi and the Old Republic began to work much closer together, combining their strengths to ensure no further threats to the galaxy erupted into full-scale war. However, over time, the Jedi became a highly insular Order, and rarely mixed with the very citizens they were sworn to protect. They wrapped themselves in rules which stagnated the Order and turned their connection to the Force into more of a scientific relationship. However, their connections to the Force still gave them great power. When Senator Palpatine assumed the throne of galactic Emperor, he realized that the Jedi Knights were the only true faction that could stand between himself and the galaxy, and so he dispatched a series of extermination forces to eradicate the Jedi. He nearly succeeded, for the only Jedi known to have survived were Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the Jedi Master Yoda. Despite Palpatine's efforts, though, many Force-sensitive beings managed to survive the Jedi Purge, including Luke Skywalker and Streen, simply because they were not adept enough to control the Force. It has been estimated that there were 10,000 Jedi active in the galaxy at the time when Senator Palpatine took control of the galaxy. As Luke Skywalker began training new Jedi more than twenty years after the fall of the Old Republic, there were roughly 100 active Knights when the Yuuzhan Vong invaded the galaxy, with dozens more in training. During the conflict their numbers were reduced by half, and most of the survivors were children who were not yet trained enough to become full Jedi Knights. As Master Skywalker contemplated his new understanding of the Force - not a simple delineation between light and dark, but a more profound definition of the ways in which good and evil fight for control of an individual - he chose not to return the Jedi to their roles as an unbiased police force. Luke reasoned that the Jedi Knights of the Old Republic were once a meditative order that was drawn deeper and deeper into the machinations of the Republic when its Chancellors called for their help in mediating disputes. As this call for help escalated into the battle legions of the Clone Wars, the Jedi became less interested in the nature of the Force and more interested in separating good and evil into light and dark halves to the Force. The Jedi of the Old Republic, according to Skywalker, lost sight of the fact that the Force moved through an individual, not from them. In the end, Skywalker chose to allow Kam Solusar and Tionne to re-establish a training center on Ossus, which served as the foundation for a new Jedi Order. In the wake of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, the new Jedi Knights abandoned the original Jedi Code and sought to use their connection to the Force to determine the morally right course of action. With the combination of the Light Side and the Dark Side into a single notion of the Force, a new Jedi Knight was free to use whatever means necessary to ensure that the Force remained in balance. Many within the Galactic Alliance feared that this simply allowed the Jedi to rationalize any actions within the context of something that very few beings understood, thereby giving them free rein to do as they pleased.