Autumn of the Republic
Grandmaster of the Jedi Order
Male Ishi Tib Jedi Master
Gume Taal, an Ishi Tib, is the leader of the Jedi Council. He has a strong, businesslike approach to managing the day-to-day affairs of the Order, and his knowledge of the Force, the galaxy, and the Jedi are unrivaled. He keeps the Order humming, and it’s his organizational acumen that maintains Jedi patrols that keep the space lanes safe. It’s said that there’s nothing that goes on in the Order that he doesn’t know about. Furthermore, Taal is a big proponent of the Jedi staying involved in the galaxy and not isolating themselves in the Temple on Coruscant; he is most often found on the Bindu’nal, the Jedi Order’s traveling academy ship.
However, Grandmaster Taal’s authority is not without controversy. He can be quite cold, often acting more a manager than mentor. With the Sith wiped out from the galaxy, he is concerned — some would say obsessed — with rooting out the dark side in the Jedi Order, wherever it may lurk; young apprentices have been known to refer to him behind his back as ‘Inquisitor Taal.’
Taal is increasingly convinced the Jedi need to take greater steps to disentangle themselves from the Republic, as he fears they’re increasingly becoming a police arm for a political system that doesn’t actually respect them. He also fears that encouraging Jedi to be law enforcement will corrupt the Jedi ideals; he is quick to point out that many historical Jedi who have tried to save the galaxy single-handedly — Revan, Malak, Ulic Qel-Droma — have instead turned to the dark side and nearly brought it to ruin. His chief opponent on the Jedi Council in this matter is Saiya Dashel, who believes the Jedi now have the opportunity to get more involved in policing the galaxy. Many Council meetings have turned into shouting matches between the two, with most of the Council choosing sides, and only wise Ramar Qel-Droma able to keep the two masters civil. Further, it’s no secret that Taal doesn’t get along well with Supreme Chancellor Dugo Vegnu, who the Grand Master considers a simpleton with an overly romanticized notion of the Jedi Order.
Most controversially, Taal is responsible for the death of his Master. Gane Sunrider, an elderly Jedi Master beloved by many, had turned to the dark side and stolen Sith holocrons from the Jedi Temple vaults in an attempt to find immortality. Taal pursued his Master and was forced to kill him. However, the uncertain nature of the incident — Taal was the only one aware of the thefts — meant it was Taal’s word against Sunrider’s, and while the Jedi Council investigation exonerated Taal, many in the Order have let it color their opinions of the new Grandmaster.