The Star Wars movies have given us a variety of heroes from different corners of the galaxy far, far away, though none stand taller than the Jedi. From the young Rey Skywalker to the seasoned Master Yoda, the Jedi have supplanted themselves as the most powerful and influential figures in the galaxy. Yet who are the most powerful among their ranks? Well, I’ve got the top 10 figured out for you.
In compiling this ranking, I’ve opted to only include Jedi that have been featured in live-action Star Wars films. This means those who have exclusively appeared in novels, comic books and TV shows were not considered. However, those who are on the list have been measured and ranked by their actions in multiple mediums and were judged by both their physical and mental prowesses. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi, who was portrayed by Silas Carson, is a Cerean member of the Jedi High Council who doesn’t always get his due. Possessing a binary brain, Mundi’s intelligence and wisdom led him to become a master tactician in the Clone Wars, during which he led several successful campaigns as a general. He was a skilled lightsaber combatant with quick reflexes. They would help him achieve 65 total kills during the second Battle of Geonosis.
Conversely, Mundi isn’t noted for his Force abilities. While he is surely capable, his skills leave a bit to be desired. Not only that, but neither his abilities nor his reflexes could save him from death on the planet Mygeeto. Mundi is a memorable and powerful figure, but he met a relatively lackluster end.
Played by Alan Ruscoe and Matt Sloan in the prequels, Plo Koon is a Jedi who was born on the planet Dorin. In time, he earned he rank of master and became a member of the Jedi High Council. In Attack of the Clones, he was one of the many Jedi to take part in the battle of Geonosis. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, he also aided in destroying the Separatist warship, the Malevolence, by leading a strike team in space and taking down hunter pods himself.
Plo Koon’s calm and collected demeanor make a him a challenging opponent, but his Force capabilities are somewhat limited on screen. His underwhelming death in Revenge of the Sith also keeps him lower on this list. At least he leaves a solid legacy as one of Star Wars’ most underrated characters.
Kit Fisto, played by Zac Jensen in the Prequel Trilogy, is another Star Wars character who typically flies (or swims) under casual fans’ radars. Fisto is a respected member of the Jedi High Council and, as a member of the amphibious Nautolan species, he’s a threat both on and off land. Aside from joining in the first Battle of Geonosis, he led a successful campaign on Mon Cala, where he destroyed Hydroid Medusas – massive, armored jellyfish with electrified tentacles.
Master Fisto’s exploits – which also include dueling General Grievous -- are commendable yet, like a number of his peers, his Force abilities are pretty basic. He was also dealt with quickly when aiding Mace Windu and two other Jedi in confronting Chancellor Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. In the end, Kit Fisto will probably be remembered most for that cheeky smile.
When you think of an intense Jedi, Master Mace Windu is probably the first person who comes to mind and, with the incomparable Samuel L. Jackson playing him, why wouldn’t he be? A revered member of the Jedi High Council, Mace has extreme mental discipline and a fighting style filled with raw energy. It was this fighting style that allowed him to kill bounty hunter Jango Fett and nearly defeat Chancellor Palpatine.
Interestingly enough, Mace is never really shown using the Force in his live-action appearances. The comics and TV shows do a nice job of filling out his power set, but he never truly gets to shine Force-wise on the big screen. He also had a death that was very unfitting for a Jedi of his stature, but that could be more to do with George Lucas’ screenplay for Episode III.
Qui-Gon Jinn is honestly one of my favorite Jedi in all of Star Wars, and he was played brilliantly by Liam Neeson. Within the first few minutes of The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon proves himself to be a thoughtful and powerful Jedi Knight. His skill is on full display when battling the droidekas and when he manages to carve through an armored door. He later managed to fight off Darth Maul on Tatooine and, while he would lose their second duel, he doesn’t go down easily.
What sets Qui-Gon apart the most is that he was the first to learn that life after death is possible for a Jedi and even trained Master Yoda in this practice. In other words, he was the first immortal Jedi. His legacy also gets a bump because he laid the foundation for another great Jedi and teacher, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Not too bad for a character who only appeared in one film.
The Tatooine-born Luke Skywalker remains one of Star Wars’ most iconic figures. Mark Hamill has skillfully played the Jedi who began as a young, bright-eyed farm boy and became a broken recluse. Luke’s first (and still greatest) achievement came when he used the Force to guide torpedoes into the first Death Star’s exhaust port.
Luke’s standard lightsaber skills, reckless attitude and naïve nature as a young man are what keep him at this spot. However, his development as man and Force-user – even after losing faith in the Force -- represents one of Star Wars’ greatest arcs. In the end, it was his firm mastery of the Force (projecting his being on Crait) that led to his ultimate demise. Also, after his sacrifice, he managed to learn the way of immortality like his mentors before him.
Daisy Ridley’s Rey, the newest addition to the Jedi Order, has proven herself to be more than capable. Raised on Jakku, Rey thought she was nothing, but eventually discovered that she was the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine. Like Mace Windu, Rey has a raw but balanced fighting style, which she used to fend off Kylo Ren (twice) as well as Snoke’s Elite Praetorian Guards. Of course, she can also draw strength from past Jedi, which she used to defeat her grandfather.
Rey still has a lot to learn, but her ability to master the Force and a lightsaber so quickly make her a formidable Jedi. Let’s not forget that she was able to construct her own lightsaber on her own and was the first Jedi to use healing Force powers (on the big screen) and commune with someone from a completely different location using the Force. With so much accomplished at such a young age, her ceiling is pretty high.
Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
Where to begin with Hayden Christensen and Sebastian Shaw’s Anakin Skywalker? Conceived by the controversial midichlorians, he was later discovered by Qui-Gon. His feats as a Jedi include singlehandedly taking down Zam Wessell’s speeder, taking part in the Battle of Geonosis, where he tamed a Reek, killing Count Dooku and disarming (sorry) Mace Windu. During the Clone Wars, he even defeated the Son (the living embodiment of the Dark Side), proving himself as the Chosen One in the process.
As fierce a warrior as Anakin is, he never fully committed to the Jedi lifestyle. His impulses also caused poor choices like attacking those Tusken Raiders and yes, even marrying Padmé Amidala. This weakness led him to become Palpatine’s pawn and eventual apprentice and attack dog, Darth Vader. Nevertheless, Anakin was ultimately able to overcome his ties to the Dark Side and died a hero. His legacy is stained, but many (including myself) still view him as a great Jedi.
Obi-Wan, or “Ben,” Kenobi is still one of the strongest Jedi to ever carry a lightsaber. Played impeccably by both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor, Kenobi has plenty of accomplishments. As a padawan, he defeated Darth Maul and would kill him years later with a single blow. He confronted and killed General Grievous and gained “the high ground” over his former apprentice, Anakin Skywalker during their fateful duel.
Aside from his skills with a blade, Kenobi has also been consistent as a character, rarely ever losing focus and always remaining calm (and witty) under pressure. This can be attributed to his teacher, Qui-Gon Jinn, from whom he would later learn immortality from. It’s easy to see why Kenobi became a master and member of the Jedi High Council during his lifetime, and Star Wars is all the better for having him.
The delightful and powerful Yoda takes the top spot here! Veteran actor and puppeteer Frank Oz breathed passionate life into the 900-year old Jedi, who rarely faltered as a master and top member of the council. His incredible lightsaber skills were on full display when facing off with Count Dooku and Darth Sidious, even though he barely lost both battles. He also easily fended off an attempt on his life during the Battle of Kashyyyk by beheading two Clone troopers attacking from behind.
Still, Yoda’s true strength lies in his intense mastery of the Force. In his time, he’s lifted an X-Wing, deflected Force lightning with his bare hands and even caused lightning to strike (as a Force spirt). Qui-Gon may have been the one to discover immortality, but Yoda was the first living being to learn it by completing Force-related tests on several planets. This included the Sith homeworld of Moraband, where he defeated past Sith lords and his own Dark Side. Needless to say, Yoda’s legacy is second to none.
So what do you think of this ranking of the greatest Jedi? Be sure to let us know in the comment section if you have thoughts. Keep it here at CinemaBlend for more Star Wars news and for daily updates from the world of movies and television!