The term Gray Jedi, or Gray, had two meanings. First, it was used by Jedi and Sith to describe Force-users who walked the line between the light and dark sides of the Force without surrendering to the dark side, and second, it described Jedi who distanced themselves from the Jedi High Council and operated outside the strictures of the Jedi Code. However, those who were considered to be true Gray Jedi met both qualifications and did not belong to any particular Force tradition.
Although the term did not directly refer to those who were capable of using both light and dark side Force abilities, all Gray Jedi could do so. The term was similar to that of “Dark Jedi” in that it could refer to any Force-user, and not only to Jedi. Sith were never considered to be Gray Jedi, as the Sith Order taught full commitment to the dark side.
The term was sometimes used to refer to unorthodox or dissident Jedi who did not meet the strictest requirements of being a Gray Jedi.
The term dated back as far as the Old Sith Wars, when the High Council attempted to consolidate their power and centralize the Order. Some Jedi felt that the Council did not have the authority to reinterpret the Jedi Code, and considered themselves beholden only to the Force. These early Gray Jedi clashed with the Council over new strictures of the Code, such as those barring attachment or restricting training. During this time period, Gray Jedi became associated with a certain variety of robe.
TRAITS AND TECHNIQUES
Gray Jedi called on the dark side of the Force, but were not corrupted by it and did not embrace it entirely. In fact, some Gray Jedi opposed those who embraced the dark side. While Gray Jedi displayed a lack of adherence to the light side of the Force, they were free of dark side corruption; beings who were corrupted by the dark side were not considered to be Gray Jedi—nor were Jedi who fell to the dark side and were later redeemed. Still, some Jedi thought that Gray Jedi carried the dark side’s influence within them, even if the Gray Jedi did not always realize it. The term did not refer to Force-users who believed there was no dark side of the Force.
All Gray Jedi displayed the use of both light and dark side Force abilities and demonstrated skill with techniques common to Jedi and Sith, such as the ability to construct and wield a lightsaber, as well as some unique Force talents. However, the use of both light side and dark side powers was not, in itself, evidence of the individual being a Gray Jedi.
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COUNCIL
While the term was used to refer to Force-users who walked the line between light and dark, Jedi were also labeled as Gray Jedi for distancing themselves from the Jedi High Council. This practice dated back to the days of the Old Republic, when the High Council was attempting to consolidate power. Jedi who frequently clashed with the will of the Council were sometimes thought of as Gray, even if they did not necessarily walk the line between the light and dark sides of the Force.
It was difficult for unorthodox Jedi—especially those labeled as Gray Jedi—to join the Council or ascend to any position of real leadership within the Order. As the High Council chose its own members, they tended to select more traditionalist Jedi, such as the group described as the Old Guard.