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The Jedi were an order of Force users who learned the ways of the Light Side of the Force to become guardians of peace and justice for the Galactic Republic. They were collectively members of the Jedi Order prior to its destruction, using their wisdom for knowledge and defense and were known to use lightsabers to defend themselves.
Since the beginning of the conflict between the light and dark, the Jedi have been the enemies of the Sith, like whom the Jedi wielded lightsabers, often with blue or green blades. But while the Jedi fought for peace and prosperity the Sith sought power and conquest, leading to countless battles and many a war between them.
The last of these conflicts between them was the Clone Wars, where the Galactic Republic, under the leadership of Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine (secretly Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious), aided the Jedi with an army of clones to stop the rising power of an alliance between various anarchy-seeking planetary and sectorial governments and mega-corporations under the leadership of ex-Jedi Count Dooku (now Sidious' second apprentice Darth Tyrannus) known simply as the Separatist Alliance. By the end of this war, 19 years before the Battle of Yavin, the Jedi were wiped out when Order 66, the order turning all clone troopers against their Jedi generals and executing them, was activated by Sidious with the aid of the Jedi's legendary Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker, who the former rechristened as his third apprentice Darth Vader.
In the Jedi Temple, there were many Jedi Temple Guards that were the security force of the order, and many of them were killed during Order 66. One of them was The Grand Inquisitor, who turned to the dark side sometime after the purge. With the Jedi gone, the Sith spread their power across the galaxy with the newly formed Galactic Empire, which took the place of the Republic after its fall;. However, there were very few known survivors of the Jedi Order's fall, such as Grand Master of the Jedi Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kanan Jarrus (formerly Caleb Dume) and Ahsoka Tano (Anakin's former Padawan), who had been expelled from the Jedi Order previously but refused readmission the year before Order 66 was executed.
The Inquisitors, the Jedi hunters of the Empire, were all former Jedi that fell to the darkside after the fall of the Jedi Order. In addition to those that survived, Force-sensitive children were also born, such as Ezra Bridger, Luke Skywalker (Anakin's son), Leia Organa (Anakin's daughter), Alora and Pypey.