The Jedi are the main protagonists in the Star Wars universe. They are depicted as an ancient monastic and academic meritocratic organization whose origin dates back to c. 25,000 BBY (Before Battle of Yavin; the destruction of the first Death Star).
The Jedi Order mostly consists of polymaths: teachers, philosophers, scientists, engineers, physicians, diplomats and warriors, who value knowledge and wisdom above nationality. By serving others, the Jedi give of themselves through acts of charity, citizenship, and volunteerism. A Jedi's ideology and strict way of life as a worthwhile challenge to live up to is a recurring theme in the Star Wars universe. Their traditional weapon is the lightsaber, a device which generates a blade-like plasma controlled by a crystal. The fictional organization has inspired a real-world new religious movement, Jediism.