Throughout the history of the Star Wars galaxy, perhaps no other group’s legend and lore have drawn the fascination of fans as much as the powerful group of Force users known as the Jedi order. While their rich history goes back at least “a thousand generations” or 25,000 years, many of the most powerful Jedi lived during the most “recent” millennium.
Amongst Star Wars universe fans, this heated topic is often passionately debated – who is the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy? When one considers their Force powers, ability to wield a lightsaber and other special abilities, just who was the strongest Jedi ever to have graced the stars?
A Pantheon of Legendary Heroes
It is no easy feat to answer this question. As guardians of peace and justice since the founding of the Galactic Republic itself, many powerful members of the Jedi order have attained such a mastery of the Force that they were able to perform unbelievable feats.
They often defeated powerful enemies with their colored lightsabers, including their rival Sith Lords and winning battles against seemingly overwhelming odds.
From the Prodigal Knight Revan during the Old Republic era to the talented Rey during the war against the First Order, many powerful Jedi have come and gone in Star Wars canon.
Ranking the Top Ten
With so many incredible beings to choose from, this article will limit the scope of the candidates from the period beginning in the twilight of the Republic in 33 BBY to the start of the New Republic after the destruction of the second Death Star in 4 ABY.
This tumultuous time was well captured by the prequel films; from Episode I: The Phantom Menace to Episode VI: Return of the Jedi of the original trilogy and numerous books, cartoons, and video games from the Expanded Universe.
Without further ado, let’s analyze our ranking of the most powerful Jedi counting down from #10 all the way to #1, and explore in detail what made each of them so powerful.
10 – Plo Koon
The seemingly quiet and enigmatic Kel Dor from the planet Dorin had already reached the rank of Master, with a place on the Jedi High Council by the time the Trade Federation invaded Naboo in 32 BBY. Despite his face being obscured by a life-supporting mask, he was widely recognized for his patient demeanour and considered very wise.
As the Clone Wars began, Plo Koon became a general in charge of the 104th Battalion, leading his troops into battle on behalf of the Republic against Separatist forces. He demonstrated his powers as a warrior on countless occasions, using the Force many times in battle and wielding a blue lightsaber with great skill.
During the Battle of Geonosis at the outset of the Clone Wars, Plo Koon was one of the few skillful Jedi who survived the rescue mission against thousands of foes, while over one hundred other Jedi perished.
He would lead many missions during the war, notably the two Battles of Felucia, the rescue of fellow Jedi Master Adi Gallia and an assault on the Trade Federation stronghold planet of Cato Neimoidia.
Lightsaber Skill and Force Abilities
As a practitioner who combined Form V (“Shien” and “Djem So”) and Form IV (“Ataru”) lightsaber combat, Koon was described by other warriors such as Darth Maul and Skywalker as “one of the greatest swordsmen.”
This was no exaggeration, as Koon could defend against multiple laser bolt attacks and powerfully counterattack. As such, he holds the distinction of once beating Jedi Grandmaster Yoda in a lightsaber sparring match.
Koon was also strong with the Force and could lift heavy objects with his mind. On Vanqor, he demonstrated this power by holding up the debris from the Endurance’s crash site while clones rescued Mace Windu and others. On a separate mission, Koon was to use the Force to help in the capture of the deadly bounty hunter Boba Fett.
A Skilled Pilot
Koon was an excellent starfighter pilot and considered to be amongst the best in the Jedi order during the Clone Wars era, earning the praise of even the talented Anakin Skywalker himself. On multiple occasions, Koon was able to demonstrate his mastery of maneuvering the Jedi Delta-7B Starfighter under extremely challenging conditions.
For example, during a mission to intercept the separatist warship Malevolence, Koon and his squadron successfully kept up with Skywalker during a treacherous flight through the Balmorra Run, an old smuggler’s route filled with giant neebray mantas.
On another occasion, Koon led a fleet to Lola Sayu to rescue strike team members which included Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who were stranded on the planet on a failed mission. Plo Koon personally escorted the drop ships through heavy enemy resistance, extracted the stranded Republic forces and safely left the system.
Despite these feats in the cockpit, Koon was ultimately kill inside of a starfighter. When Darth Sidious executed Order 66 across the galaxy, a clone pilot named Jag shot Kloon out of the sky during their routine patrol mission above Cato Neimoidia. Plo Kloon’s ship spiralled out of control, and he died instantly in a fiery crash.
9 – Ahsoka Tano
One of Plo Koon’s enduring legacies would be the discovery of a Force-sensitive Ahsoka Tano at a young age on her home world of Shili. Koon brought the Torgruta back to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, where she trained as a youngling to become a Jedi. Koon would become a mentor to Asoka for the remainder of his life.
A Commander in the Clone Wars
During the Clone Wars, she was assigned to be Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker’s new apprentice. As a headstrong teenager, she was stubborn, cocky and impulsive – earning her the nickname “Snips.” Despite these flaws, she was also very loyal, brave and swore to restore the principles of justice and peace in the Republic.
In many ways, she was like her master – with a preference for aggressive tactics and became impatient with more diplomatic means of resolving a situation.
Nonetheless, the intense experiences of the war quickly shaped her character and tempered her emotions. She matured into a confident and capable commander on the battlefield.
As a commander in the 501st Legion in the Grand Army of the Republic, she led clone troopers on many daring and dangerous missions across the galaxy, proving her capabilities while forging a strong bond with her master.
As a highly agile swordsman, Ahsoka adopted an unorthodox reverse grip and practiced Jar’Kai – a style of wielding two lightsabers in combat. Over time, she became extremely effective in using either one or both lightsabers when the circumstances dictated it.
With her signature-color white lightsabers, she could fend off many enemies and blaster bolts at once or go toe-to-toe with some of the deadliest duelists in the galaxy.
Some of Ahsoka’s more notable duels during the Clone Wars where she more than held her own include encounters with the multi-lightsaber wielding General Grievous, the former Sith Lord Darth Maul and assassin Asajj Ventress.
Many Jedi with lesser abilities than her had fallen to these formidable foes in the past, but Ahsoka clearly proved to be an exception.
Leaving the Order and Duel with Vader
After leaving the Jedi order and surviving Order 66, Ahsoka continued to evade the Empire’s forces and helped the growing Rebel Alliance under the alias “Fulcrum.”
This period continued to test her abilities and she rose to the challenge; with duels against Imperial Inquisitors known as the Seventh Sister, Fifth and Eighth Brothers which she won using a combination of wit, lightsaber skill and force abilities.
Ahsoka’s greatest test, however, would be a climatic duel on the planet Malachor against her former master Anakin Skywalker, now revealed to be the terrifying Darth Vader. She held her own during a fervent and protracted clash of lightsabers, even using the element of surprise to score a hit against the powerful Vader – damaging a portion of his mask.
The duel eventually came to an end when Ahsoka’s friend Ezra Bridger saw that Vader was about to strike her down, and he pulled her into the World between Worlds.
A Force for Good
For the remainder of her life, Ahsoka would continue to serve the galaxy for good in her own independent way, free of the constraints imposed on her by the ideologies and dogma of the Jedi order.
With her impressive accomplishments and famous deeds shaping important events in the galaxy, Ahsoka was the most powerful female Jedi of her era and earned a place as a beloved character in fans’ hearts.
8 – Kit Fisto
The upbeat Jedi who frequently wore a smile from the planet of Gleen Anselm had already reached the rank of Master by the start of the Clone Wars.
As one of the few members of the Jedi assault team who survived the Battle of Geonosis, Fisto would go on to serve as a general for the Republic’s forces, leading clone troopers and a Starfleet across many star systems.
As a swordsman, Fisto was a master of Form I (“Shii-Cho” or “The Determination Form”), a simplistic and dogged style of fighting which could be described by observers as wild, unpredictable, and random. However, practitioners who had mastered Form I such as Fisto appeared smooth and could control the heated mind-set to disarm, rather than kill his opponents.
Fisto’s mastery of Form I enabled him to excel at deflecting laser bolt attacks from many enemies, while being able to hold his own in one-on-one duels.
Kit Fisto’s skill was put to the test against the famous Jedi-killer General Grievous on the planet Vassek, as Republic forces were led there as a trap. Standing off against Grievous, who himself was trained by Count Dooku in the ways of the Jedi, Fisto fought the lightsaber wielding cyborg on a cliff ledge.
A Capable Warrior
Despite his size and strength, Fisto moved with surprising quickness and was able to slice off one of Grievous’ mechanical arms. Fisto then demonstrated his mastery of Form I even while dual-wielding two lightsabers against his opponent’s three.
After fending off the General and three IG-100 Magna Guards who had joined the fray, Fisto was able to escape onboard his Jedi starfighter when R6 flew to his rescue.
Another ability that made Fisto a powerful Jedi was the receptors found on his head tentacles. They allowed him to detect changes in the biochemistry of other sentient beings. This extra sense gave him a heightened sense of perception that few other Jedi possessed.
Talents with Water
As an amphibious Nautolan, Fisto was able to fight with expert skill on land and underwater. In fact, his Force powers gave him unique abilities to manipulate water, such as sending powerful blasts of current at his enemies. He also exceled at hand-to-hand combat and his species was known to be highly resilient in harsh environments.
Combined with his strong swimming abilities and a duo-crystal-powered lightsaber which could be used even while underwater, Fisto was a formidable foe in the sea. During the Mon Cala campaign, these skills served him well in the underwater battles against Separatist forces.
Death and Legacy
Despite these powers, Fisto ultimately could not overcome the limitations of Form I in lightsaber combat against the more powerful Darth Sidious.
When the powerful Jedi Master Mace Windu learned that Chancellor Palpatine was in fact the dark lord they had been searching for, he asked Fisto to join him on a mission to apprehend the Sith Lord.
Darth Sidious cut down two of his fellow Jedi masters in seconds. While Fisto managed to parry several deadly blows, he too was cut down across the waist and met an untimely end.
While Fisto’s quick defeat at the hands of the Sith Lord was a devasting loss that signaled the beginning of the end for the Jedi order, he would be remembered as a great Jedi master who fought and led valiantly. His sense of humour and upbeat attitude uplifted those around him during the darkest days of the Clone Wars.
7 – Ki-Adi-Mundi
Ki-Adi-Mundi was a Cerean male who was discovered by the Jedi at a young age and taken to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant for training. He holds the distinction of being the last Jedi padawan of legendary Master Yoda himself, prior to the Jedi Purge and subsequent fall of the Republic.
Under the watchful eye of this great master, Mundi proved his superior abilities and rose quickly through the Jedi ranks.
By the time of the Naboo Crisis, Mundi already sat on the Jedi High Council and provided his wisdom in important affairs. As a binary-brained Cerean, Mundi was highly logical, calculated, and intelligent.
A Cerebral Thinker
While these qualities were highly valued by his allies, critics also believed they were weaknesses – as he was often quick to dismiss highly improbable, yet not impossible events. Examples of this included his disbelief at Qui-Gon Jinn’s revelation that he had dueled a Sith Lord on Tatooine, or dismissal of Count Dooku as a murderer behind the plot to assassinate senator Padmé Amidala.
To some, Mundi’s lack of emotional empathy and compassion made him seem cold and heartless. Other critics even believed that he represented the worst of the Late Republic-era Jedi – being extremely dogmatic, ideological, and set in their ways.
Nonetheless, he was very effective in battle, and was one of the few Jedi knights who survived the Battle of Geonosis against thousands of battle droids.
Like many other Jedi Masters during this time, Mundi led clone troopers in many conflicts against the Confederacy. As a seasoned general by the end of the war, Mundi had participated in two campaigns on Geonosis and an Invasion of Mygeeto.
Mundi’s high intelligence and calculated nature made him a great strategist across many theatres of war. As such, he often leading special commando forces from the frontlines.
As a swordsman, Mundi was a master of Form II (“Makashi”), achieving it to such a level of proficiency that he often taught other Jedi in its ways. As a graceful, precise, and calculated style of lightsaber combat, Makashi complemented Mundi’s personality traits and made him extremely adept at one-on-one duels.
While Mundi was proficient at defending against multiple attackers, he was most effective when his focus could be directed at a single opponent. Armed with quick reflexes, Mundi could probe, tactically retreat, and recalibrate his strikes as he learned more about his enemy.
This stylistic form of lightsaber combat, which wasted no movement was also adopted by famed duelists such as Count Dooku.
Death and Legacy
These abilities, however, were not enough during the events portrayed in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith to allow him to survive. Mundi’s logical mind could not calculate or anticipate Darth Sidious’ plot to destroy the Jedi by turning the Clone Army against their generals.
As Order 66 was executed across the galaxy, Mundi’s clone troopers shot him on Mygeeto as they assaulted an enemy position. He deflected a few initial blaster bolts but was overwhelmed by the firepower and killed.
Despite Mundi’s flaws, later Jedi such as Luke Skywalker were aware of this powerful master who once shaped galactic events during the Clone Wars.
6 – Qui-Gon Jinn
In 80 BBY, Jinn was born on Coruscant – the same planet that housed the Jedi Temple. He was discovered as a force-sensitive being and the young human was soon accepted into the Jedi order, where he would go on to have a Jedi career that influenced some of the most important characters leading up to the events of the Clone War.
Even as a young trainee, Jinn was a skilled swordsman and excelled above his peers. This caught the attention of Jedi Master Dooku, who selected him to be his Padawan learner.
As an imposing figure who possessed great physical strength, Jinn specialized in Form IV (“Ataru”) of lightsaber combat – a form that was fast paced, aggressive and demanded a lot physically from its user.
At the peak of his physical powers during his prime, Jinn was able to use this acrobatic style of combat to great effect. His strength allowed him to rain heavy blows on his opponents, while his athletic abilities ensured he could move quickly as required.
Jinn was revered amongst the Jedi order as being one of the few who could engage even Master Windu and Master Yoda in a sparring match – both considered the greatest swordsman of their generation.
A Powerful Warrior
Throughout The Phantom Menace, an older Jinn demonstrated his combat prowess against multiple battle droids on different occasions by deflecting their laser bolts and cutting them down with ease.
On other occasions, he was also able to utilize stealth, negotiations and even the Force ability to influence the mind of others when it was required.
On Tatooine, Jinn was confronted by Darth Maul, a lightsaber-wielding assassin and engaged him in a fierce lightsaber duel. Despite it being the first time in centuries that a Jedi had fought the Sith, Jinn matched the younger Maul blow for blow until he began to tire. Eventually, Jinn was able to make a well-timed leap onto Queen Amidala’s passing ship and escaped.
Connection to the Force
While Jinn was a powerful warrior, his connection to the will of the Living Force gave him insights, compassion, and wisdom far beyond most Jedi. He correctly deduced that Maul was a Sith warrior, and that the Sith had returned.
Furthermore, Jinn would change the fate of the entire galaxy forever as the one who was responsible for discovering Anakin Skywalker, correctly believing him to be “The Chosen One” from ancient Jedi prophesy.
Jinn was so certain that he brought the young Skywalker before the Jedi High council and insisted that the boy be trained as a Jedi. While the council was initially skeptical that Maul was indeed a Sith and that Anakin was indeed “The Chosen One,” Jinn was eventually proven to be right on both counts.
A Maverick Jedi
Jinn was such a powerful Jedi, that even Obi-Wan Kenobi commented he could be a member of the Jedi High Council already, if only he would obey the Jedi code and will of the council. However, Jinn was considered a maverick because he acted in ways which he believed served the will of the Living Force, sometimes at odds with the will of the council and the rigid rules of the Jedi.
This connection and dedication to the Force allowed him to learn the ability to become a part of the Living Force itself even after death. Initially, Jinn was able to channel this power by retaining his identity and using his voice to call out to those who still existed in the physical world, such as Skywalker and Yoda to guide them.
Eventually, Jinn was able to fully manifest himself as a Force Ghost, becoming one of the first Jedi to do so. Existing beyond time and space, with a knowledge of future events, he appeared in front of Kenobi on more than one occasion to offer guidance and advice. Eventually, he was able to pass this knowledge on to Yoda, who taught Kenobi to do the same after his death.
Death and Legacy
Qui-Gon Jinn’s life in the physical world ended in 32 BBY during the battle to retake Naboo from the Trade Federation. In a hangar and later a generator complex, Jinn and Kenobi fought Darth Maul, who activated both ends of his dual lightsaber.
A fierce battle ensued, and Jinn held his own even after getting separated with his Padawan. However, as the one-on-one duel wore on, Maul sensed that Jinn was beginning to tire and knew victory was close. Maul eventually stunned Jinn through a counterattack move before quickly driving his red lightsaber through the great master.
After Kenobi defeated Maul and avenged his fallen master, Jinn’s final words were to ask Kenobi to promise he would train Skywalker as a Jedi. This promise would shape the fate of the entire galaxy in the decades to follow. At Jinn’s funeral pyre, he was remembered both as a hero who saved the people of Naboo and a great Jedi master.
5 – Anakin Skywalker
At its heart, the story of Star Wars is the story of Anakin Skywalker. Acknowledged by creator George Lucas as “The Chosen One” who will bring balance to the Force, the events in the prequels and original trilogy films chronicled Anakin’s rise to a Jedi Knight, his fall to the dark side, and ultimate redemption.
Birth and Early Life
In 41 BBY, Anakin was born on Tatooine as a vergence of the Force – believed to be conceived by the will of the Force itself to his mother and without a father. Even at a young age, Anakin displayed superior reflexes and mechanical abilities due to his sensitivity to the Force, being one of the only humans who could pilot a pod racer.
At the age of 9, he was discovered by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and identified as someone who was special. With a midi-chlorian count that surpassed even Master Yoda, Anakin was unusually strong in the Force.
These circumstances led Jinn to believe that he was the Chosen One from an ancient Jedi prophesy. Anakin eventually won his freedom in a pod race and was taken to Coruscant by Jinn before the Jedi High Council.
Becoming a Jedi
After the Battle of Naboo and the death of Jinn, the council granted Obi-Wan Kenobi permission to train Anakin, despite their earlier reservations that he was too old to receive training.
Despite Anakin’s obvious potential, they were concerned that his emotional attachment to his mother and fear of loss would lead to the dark side – a fear which eventually proved prescient.
Under Obi-Wan’s tutelage, Anakin went on many missions and developed his exceptional abilities as a Force user, starship pilot and lightsaber swordsman.
Over time, Anakin’s superior skills over his Padawan peers made him cocky, headstrong, and impatient. Nonetheless, Anakin was fiercely loyal to those closest to him, including his master, and believed in the ideals of the Jedi order.
The Best Pilot in the Galaxy
During his Jedi career, Anakin displayed exceptional abilities as a pilot and was considered one of the best in the galaxy. Blessed with superior reflexes and the ability to sense and anticipate his opponent’s moves ahead of time, he could singlehandedly change the tide of a battle. He could pilot almost any star ship and was considered undefeatable in any one-on-one dogfights.
Some of his more legendary feats as a pilot include singlehandedly destroying a Trade Federation starship as a child, leading the elite Shadow Squadron on multiple campaigns against Separatist forces, and safely landing the heavily damaged Invisible Hand from space onto Coruscant during a mission to rescue the kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine.
Given his unusually strong connection to the Force, Anakin was able to use many of its abilities. Some of his Force powers included a keen ability to sense other people’s feelings, danger within the surrounding environment and even have visions of the future through his dreams.
Anakin could use telekinesis to kinetically move objects, throw opponents and manipulate the battlefield to his advantage. Like many force users, he used it to enhance his strength, speed and sometimes made use of Force leaps.
In his darker moments, he could Force choke others and even kill them – a move which others found terrifying when he eventually became Darth Vader.
By the time he was a Jedi knight, Anakin’s skill with a lightsaber had become exceptional. During the Clone Wars, he was often able to defeat a seemingly overwhelming number of enemies by deflecting their fire and cutting them down with ease.
He studied multiple forms of lightsaber combat, in particular Form V (“Shien” / “Djem So”) and Form IV (“Ataru”), incorporating them with great effectiveness. This combination of speed, agility, and precision enabled him to smoothly duel one-on-one or fight multiple adversaries.
By the end of the Clone Wars, Anakin had dueled against some of the deadliest adversaries in the galaxy, including but not limited to: Count Dooku on multiple occasions, Asajj Ventress and even his own master Obi-Wan.
Fall to the Dark Side
As the Clone Wars drew close to an end, Darth Sidious succeeded in manipulating Anakin’s fear, jealousy, and anger to turn him toward the dark side of the Force.
Anakin betrayed the Jedi order when he attacked Mace Windu. He then pledged his alliance to the Sith and led an attack on the Jedi temple itself, killing many lesser Jedi who were unable to stop him.
During their fateful duel on the lava planet Mustafar after Anakin’s fall to the dark side, it was only Anakin’s hubris and overconfidence that allowed Obi-Wan to cut him down with the advantage of the high ground. As Anakin’s body burned and his mind was consumed by hate, his transformation to Darth Vader was nearly complete.
In the end, despite Anakin’s strength in the Force which gave him extraordinary abilities, he failed to fully study its secrets during his Jedi career.
Many of Anakin’s character flaws and subsequent injuries prevented him from reaching his full potential to be considered the most powerful Jedi of all time.
4 – Mace Windu
During the twilight of the Republic in the years leading up to the Clone Wars, the powerful Jedi Master Windu was considered by many to be one of the Jedi Order’s greatest champions. Trained as a young padawan under Master Cyslin Myr and eventually Master Yoda, Windu quickly ascended the ranks and honed his skills.
A Master of the High Council
During this time, he shared his knowledge, fulfilled the responsibilities expected of a Jedi, and trained Padawans in the ways of the Force – with the most notable being Depa Billaba.
To signal his leadership role in the order, Windu eventually constructed a second purple colored lightsaber powered by rare crystals. This unique color further distinguished him on the battlefield.
Eventually, Windu was promoted to the Jedi High Council and was a key decision maker. He was a staunch defender of the order’s traditions, ideals, and orthodoxy during a time when the dark side and corruption spread across the galaxy.
Whereas more free-spirited Jedi such as Qui-Gon Jinn would bend or even disobey their rules, Windu believed in the absolute judgement of the council.
Due to his determined and forceful personality, he would appear as grim and serious at times, with a no-nonsense approach to dealing with Jedi affairs. Windu even recognized in himself during meditation sessions a harshness and darkness that existed within.
Nonetheless, those who knew him well understood that despite his tough exterior, he maintained compassion for all living beings and cared deeply for his fellow Jedi, a s well as the troopers under his command.
In terms of Force ability, Windu was strong in the Force and used his powers on numerous occasions. Windu possessed Force Telekinesis, Jedi mind control, and Battle Meditation – all of which gave him an edge during combat.
For example, Windu was able to use his telekinesis powers during an encounter versus General Grievous to crush his chest plate, damaging Grievous’ lungs. This resulted in a cough that remained for the remainder of the war.
Windu could also land devastating, Force-enhanced strikes even when unarmed and was known to have shattered metal droids with a mere punch.
Perhaps most critically, Windu possessed a rare Force ability known as Shatterpoint, which allowed him to sense key moments when certain actions can be taken to change the course of events. This gave him ability to strike at an opponent’s point of greatest weakness and detect the crux to resolving a situation.
Windu was one of the greatest swordsmen of the era, perhaps second only to Master Yoda. As a practitioner of a Form VII variation that he invented (“Vaapad”) – a ferocious style of lightsaber combat – Windu was able to channel his inner darkness into incredible skills with a blade without succumbing to the dark side.
In fact, Vaapad was so dangerous to its users that it was forbidden by the order and only a select few such as Windu were given permission to practice it.
By channeling his inner darkness while still maintaining his state of mind, Windu’s struck with a controlled fury and chaotic pace few Jedi had ever achieved. This made him move blindingly quick in duels and could strike from many angles quickly, appearing to his opponents as if they were assaulted simultaneously on multiple fronts.
A Powerful Warrior
At the onset of the Clone Wars, Windu demonstrated his deadly skill and decapitated the bounty hunter Jango Fett during the Battle of Geonosis. During the war, Windu sometimes led missions personally and used his abilities to defeat adversaries, further solidifying his legendary reputation.
When it was revealed that Sheev Palpatine was Darth Sidious, Windu led three other Jedi masters to arrest him and stand trial. The other Jedi were killed quickly and Windu was the only one left standing.
He dueled the Dark Lord of the Sith ferociously, channeling his inner darkness through perfect Vaapad and gained the upper hand. Windu had disarmed Darth Sidious, concluded that he was too dangerous to be left alive and was about to kill the Sith Lord.
Unfortunately, Skywalker betrayed him by unexpectedly cutting off Windu’s lightsaber-wielding arm in a quick stroke.
Darth Sidious took advantage of the shocking moment and used Force Lightning to blast Windu and sent him plunging out the window to his death high above Coruscant.
Despite his unfortunate end, Windu was remembered as one of the most powerful Jedi of his generation. He was the only Jedi to have bested Darth Sidious in direct combat and would have won if not for Skywalker’s betrayal
Windu’s death in 19 BBY signalled the end of the Clone Wars, the destruction of the Jedi order and beginning of the Great Jedi Purge.
3 – Obi-Wan Kenobi
The legendary Kenobi was born on the home world of Stewjon in 57 BBY and brought to the Jedi temple for training after being identified as a Force-sensitive infant. As a Jedi youngling, he learned under various masters including Yoda, and eventually became an apprentice under the great Qui-Gon Jinn.
A Distinguished Jedi Career
After many adventures and missions, he became less headstrong, continued to excel as a Padawan and grew his abilities as a Jedi. As he grew closer to being a Jedi knight, Kenobi was noted for his qualities such as being patient, thoughtful and wise beyond his years. He remained humble and like to contemplate strategy before acting, if possible.
One of Kenobi’s early tests as a warrior came during the battle to retake Naboo from the Trade Federation. After his master was cut down by Darth Maul, Kenobi successfully sliced the Sith warrior in half to avenge his fallen master.
As a promise to his dying master, Kenobi accepted the immense responsibility to train Anakin Skywalker, believed to be the Chosen One.
During the Clone Wars, Kenobi was one of the Republic’s most distinguished generals, commanding battalions of troopers and star fleets in multiple campaigns.
Along with Skywalker, he undertook some of the most critical missions assigned by the Jedi council. Outside of combat, he could also effectively use infiltration, diplomacy, and persuasion tactics to achieve mission objectives – earning him the moniker of “The Negotiator.”
Force Abilities and Lightsaber Skills
Kenobi was perhaps most famous for his use of Jedi mind tricks to influence the minds of others with just a wave of his hand. He was also capable of other common Jedi force abilities such as telekinesis and Force push.
Even without reliance on the Force or his lightsaber, the Jedi master was more than proficient in hand-to-hand combat, as demonstrated on multiple occasions.
As a swordsman, Kenobi practiced Form III (“Soresu”), a more defensive approach to combat that emphasized resilience and counterattacks. This allowed him to conserve energy versus more physically demanding styles.
Consequently, he was highly effective when defending against multiple attackers and blaster fire. Notably, Kenobi fought the deadly bounty hunter Jango Fett on Kamino and proved his defensive abilities.
A capable duelist, Kenobi’s lightsaber skills were well above the average Jedi, although he was by no means the absolute best. Nonetheless, his preference for a tactical and patient approach, combined with his physical skills allowed him to engage some of the galaxy’s deadliest foes.
He encountered General Grievous on multiple occasions, and finally defeated him during the Battle of Utapau. Kenobi could also hold his own during engagements with master swordsman Count Dooku and assassin Asajj Ventress – although he was clearly outclassed against the former.
Battles Against Darth Vader
During his climatic duel with Darth Vader on Mustafar, Kenobi was able to use deep knowledge of his former apprentice’s fighting style and preferred tactics to match him blow for blow, despite being older and less gifted with the Force.
The two fought to a stalemate, until Vader recklessly leapt at Kenobi from a disadvantaged position. During the climax of the duel in The Revenge of the Sith, Kenobi was able to win the duel by cutting Vader down and left him burning in lava.
Two decades later in 0 BBY, the former master and apprentice would meet again onboard the first Death Star. This time, Kenobi allowed himself to be struck down by Darth Vader and to become one with the Force. In his own words, he would become “more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”
Death and Legacy
Through years of training, Kenobi was able to become a Force ghost and manifest himself after death. His appearance to provide guidance in key moments allowed Luke Skywalker to ultimately complete his training as a Jedi, save his father from the dark side and help to destroy the Sith.
As one of the most influential Jedi knights of his era, Kenobi was instrumental in the training of Anakin Skywalker, with key involvement during the Clone Wars and subsequent mentoring of a young Luke Skywalker.
Perhaps one of Kenobi’s few shortcomings was in his failure as a teacher; being unable to teach his first apprentice how to properly deal with conflicting emotions and ignoring the relationship with Padmé Amidala.
This led to Anakin’s fall to the dark side – although it’s debatable whether the sequence of events was the will of the Force itself and therefore unavoidable.
Kenobi was one of the few surviving Jedi of Order 66 who witnessed the fall of the once great Republic and eluded the Empire during a dark time. His abilities as a Jedi came from a well-rounded overall combination of wisdom, judgement, and combat abilities rather than sheer power and talent alone.
2 – Yoda
As the Grandmaster of the Jedi order and its leader, Yoda was already nearly 900 years old in the last years of the Republic. Little is known about Yoda’s species and much of his past origins are shrouded in mystery.
Nonetheless, individuals of his physically diminutive species are believed to have a strong affinity to the light side of the Force and had very long lifespans to discover its secrets.
A Leader of the Jedi
Yoda was trained by a Jedi Master named N’Kata Del Gormo and reached the rank of Master himself by age 100. As a result of his 900 years of training and experience, Yoda was widely considered to be the wisest Jedi of his generation and have trained thousands of Jedi over the centuries. His last apprentice would be Dooku, who eventually renounced the order and would later join the Sith cause.
Yoda’s vast knowledge garnered respect and awe from his peers, and his advice was highly sought after. This was particularly needed during the Clone Wars, when it was revealed that their archnemesis the Sith had returned and the galaxy was thrown into the chaos of war.
As a being who was greatly in tune with the light side of the Force and had more time than any previous Jedi to study its path, Yoda was extremely powerful. It was even speculated that Yoda had dabbled with the dark side of the Force out of curiosity to enhance his understanding, but not actually succumbing to it.
During a journey to the Sith home planet of Korriban, Yoda faced a dark avatar of himself and overcame it through sheer will. This confirmed that he was aware of a darker side to his personality, but chose to control it through discipline, training, and dedication to the light side.
Aside from the “common” Force abilities possessed by other Jedi, Yoda could also perform extraordinary feats, such as the ability to move massive objects and throw multiple opponents at once with a mere wave of his hand.
Yoda’s mastery of the Force enabled him to absorb blaster bolts and even Sith lightning with his hands, before redirecting it back at his opponents. His connection to the Force allowed him to glimpse into the future during meditation sessions and communicate with other Jedi across space.
During the middle of the Clone Wars, Yoda further enhanced his powers after communicating with Qui-Gon Jinn and embarked on a journey of self-discovery.
Through a series of trials and encounters with the Force Priestesses, Yoda learned how to become one with the Force and fully retain his consciousness even after death – an ability he would later teach Obi-Wan Kenobi.
As a swordsman, Yoda was a master of Form IV (“Ataru”), a style of combat well-suited to his agile stature and force-enhanced abilities.
He was nearly untouchable by more common enemies and demonstrated his devasting powers on multiple occasions, such as taking out an entire battalion of droids and tanks by himself during a negotiation mission on Rugosa while his squadron looked on in amusement.
As a duelist, Yoda was perhaps second only to Mace Windu in terms of raw lightsaber skills. His attacks came as a whirlwind and often with blinding speed. His agility and Force powers made him a difficult target to strike. This made him an equal with even the most powerful Sith lords.
Notably, Yoda was on the verge of defeating Count Dooku until he created a distraction to escape. During his confrontation with Emperor Palpatine, Yoda fought fiercely and was able to repel the Sith Lord’s repeated Force attacks – one of few Jedi able to do so.
The Last Years
After his failure to decisively defeat the Emperor, Yoda exiled himself on the planet Dagobah as the Jedi order fell and the galaxy transformed into the Empire. Biding his time and monitoring events through the Force, Yoda reflected on his failings and waited patiently for the day that a new hope would emerge.
Eventually, Luke Skywalker was guided to Yoda’s hiding place by the spirit of Obi-Wan. While he was in the last years of his life, Yoda eventually passed on enough Jedi knowledge and of the Force to Luke that the legacy of their order would live on.
In 4 BBY, Yoda died in the arms of Luke, became one with the Force and maintained his identity as a Force Ghost. History would remember him as one of the greatest Jedi masters to have ever lived.
1 – Luke Skywalker
As the son of Anakin Skywalker, Luke was incredibly strong in the Force. The original trilogy told the story of Luke’s rise from a humble farm boy on Tatooine to a famous galactic hero who helped the Rebel Alliance defeat the Galactic Empire.
During this epic quest, Luke would learn the ways of the Jedi and help his father find redemption back to the light side of the Force.
A Unique Jedi
One of the biggest differences between Luke and all the other Jedi before him was that he received little official training. Although he was mentored briefly by old “Ben” Kenobi and later trained for one year on Dagobah under Master Yoda, Luke started his training as an adult – far later than others. He also did not have the structure of a Jedi temple and various masters to guide his development.
Despite this late start, Luke’s immense talents and thirst for self-improvement allowed him to become the most powerful Jedi of his time. As the Rebellion progressed, Luke became more confident in his abilities and transformed into a respected leader.
An Exceptional Warrior and Pilot
Luke combat skills also progressed rapidly, and he learned to duel with a lightsaber with exceptional skill. After losing his father’s Jedi lightsaber during their duel in Cloud City, Luke successfully constructed his own – this time with a green blade.
With his rebuilt lightsaber, Luke would go on to rescue Han Solo from the clutches of Jabba the Hut and win many more battles. Luke evolved from being unable to defeat Darth Vader in their first two encounters to beating him in a duel onboard the second Death Star during the decisive Battle of Endor.
In many ways, Luke was just as good of a pilot as his father during his prime, if not better. Luke was considered one of the best X-wing pilots in the galaxy, with the trusted astromech droid R2-D2 as his side kick.
As part of Rogue Squadron, an elite group of fighter pilots, Luke flew many missions during the Rebellion and foiled the Empire in key battles. Together with the Force as his ally and guide, Luke was able to make a nearly impossible shot from his X-wing to destroy the first Death Star.
After the events of 4 BBY, Luke would continue to grow his powers in the Force. Through independent research and numerous quests to obtain lost Jedi artifacts, Luke was able to teach himself many additional Force powers not shown during the films.
Examples of this included the ability to freeze objects in time, Force heal others and Force project himself across vast distances. Much like Master Yoda and Anakin Skywalker, his connection to the Force gave him visions of the future – although they were not set in stone.
Luke was also one of the few who could enter the World between Worlds and submerge his consciousness within the Force. He did not have to die first in the physical world, as was the case with Yoda or Obi-Wan and could achieve such a pinnacle state through sheer concentration. This was also a power that he used after death to guide Rey as a Force spirit.
A Legacy of Greatness
After defeating the Emperor and helping his sister Leia Organa Solo re-organize the New Republic, Luke would travel far and wide across the galaxy to recruit other Force-sensitive beings into the new Jedi order, such as the young Grogu as seen in The Mandalorian and his nephew Ben Solo.
Through his tireless work and dedication to training new padawans and rediscovering the secrets of the Force, he became the Grand Master for a new generation of Jedi.
Gifted with the powerful Skywalker bloodline and without Anakin’s limitations from heavy physical injuries, Luke was able to fulfill his full potential and become a Jedi dedicated to the light side of the Force in many ways that his father did not.
Luke Skywalker’s reputation was legendary, and his feats were retold for generations, solidifying his place amongst the pantheons of the great Jedi.
Throughout the long history of the Jedi order, many incredible individuals have used the ways of the Force and served as guardians of peace and justice throughout the galaxy. Their influence on galactic events could not be overstated and their actions often had profound effects on countless beings across the stars.
Whether it was for their diplomatic skills in negotiation, their seemingly magical Force powers, or skill in combat with a lightsaber, the feats of the Jedi were legendary.
During the tumultuous era of the late Republic through to the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire, many legendary Jedi have come and gone. Their fight against the Sith represented the cosmic struggle between the light and dark sides of the Force – between good and evil.
Their inner struggles with powerful emotions such as love and hate, pride and hubris, compassion and fear all reflect conflicts people feel inside.
From Obi-Wan Kenobi to Yoda, from Anakin to Luke Skywalker, these heroes walked remarkably different paths in the Jedi quest to seek greater knowledge of the Force. Yet through that journey, they each demonstrated in their own way why they were so powerful and memorable.
In the final analysis, it is no easy task to rank the most powerful Jedi of all time and it is a topic that is often subject to passionate debate. This demonstrates the rich lore of the Star Wars galaxy and the depths of its characters.
As one of the greatest stories ever told, the space saga from a galaxy far, far away has succeeded in revealing lessons we can revisit time and time again.