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The Most Powerful Jedi Masters Ranked

by Culture Slate 9 months ago in star wars

Who Made It On This List?

The Jedi have been the guardians of good and light in the galaxy for over a thousand generations. Led by their Grandmaster, they are sworn to protect the people of the Republic. Many Masters have walked the halls of the Temple, led armies, and channeled the Force over the thousands of years of Star Wars lore. The following is a list of the 10 most powerful Masters that have appeared in the litany of Star Wars media (canon and/or Legends). These are strictly the most powerful Masters, so those who were never granted that rank are excluded form this list.

10. Ki-Adi-Mundi

The Cerean Jedi Master, Ki-Adi-Mundi, was predisposed to wise and contemplative thought, as all Cereans are. With their binary brain structure, they are able to simultaneously consider multiple perspectives on a problem and a multitude of solutions, or multiple attack strategies and their prospective outcomes. This ability was put to good use by Mundi as one of Yoda's closest advisors during the final days of the Clone War. Mundi was also one of the few who could count himself a friend of Mace Windu. During the Second Battle of Geonosis, Mundi notched 65 kills as he, Anakin Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano cut their way through Geonosian warriors and CIS battle droids to rescue the surrounded Obi-Wan Kenobi. This was a feat that earned the "everlasting respect" of Skywalker. In the waning months of the Clone Wars, Mundi was attached to the 21st Nova Corps of the Galactic Marines and ordered to capture an experimental power source on the Outer Rim planet of Mygeeto. Unfortunately, Ki-Adi-Mundi would never leave the snowy surface. Order 66 was enacted as he led his men in a valiant charge against Separatist armor. The Nova Corp unflinchingly enacted the first order of the new Galactic Empire and gunned down their former Jedi general.

9. Plo Koon

A Kel Dor Jedi Master who served with honor during the Clone Wars, Jedi Master Plo Koon was a senior member of the Jedi Council, a gifted pilot, and an excellent tactician. As a Kel Dor, oxygen was highly toxic to Master Plo, forcing him to wear a respirator mask and goggles when not on his homeworld of Dorin. This apparatus allowed him to survive for brief periods in the vacuum of space. His 104th Clone Battalion, nicknamed "The Wolffe Pack", had much admiration for Plo Koon. The clones under his command went as far as to paint his likeness on their LAAT gunships with the Aurebesh inscription "Plo's Bros." Plo Koon is also the Jedi who discovered a young Ahsoka Tano on the planet Shili and brought her to the Temple to be trained. While not exceptionally powerful in the Force or gifted in saber combat, Master Plo still became an indispensable part of the Grand Army of the Republic for his cool, calm, confident demeaner which translated into peak efficiency from his men on the battlefield. In addition, Plo Koon planned, coordinated, and executed numerous successful rescue operations during the Clone Wars, including the rescue of Togruta refugees from a Zygerrian slave camp and the extraction of the strike team sent to the Citadel to rescue Master Even Piell.

8. Rey Skywalker

The newest Jedi Master of the Skywalker saga, Rey is extremely gifted in channeling the Force. This natural affinity is due to her lineage as a Palpatine. Being a descendant of one of the most powerful Sith Lords of all time, Rey can channel her abilities with very little training and is an extremely quick learner. Her brief apprenticeship to Master Luke Skywalker rapidly hones her powers in preparation to carry on the Order as the de facto Master. Her extremely difficult childhood as a scavenger on Jakku also forced her to adapt and hone herself into a physical and determined survivor. She was proficient in bo staff combat before she had ever even heard of the Force, making her an intimidating combatant even without a saber in hand. She was able to use the Skywalker saber to defeat Kylo Ren in the snowy forests of Starkiller Base, albeit after Ren had been shot in the gut by Chewbacca. Her raw saber style doesn't fall into any of the established forms but she effectively channels many elements, including the broad swings of Form IV and the aggressive thrusts and stabs of Juyo. With the help of a redeemed Ben Solo, Rey was able to face and defeat her grandfather, permanently ending the tyranny of the Sith. The fate of the Jedi now falls to Rey as she sets out to once again rebuild their Order.

7. Satele Shan

3700 years before the Skywalker saga, an ancient Sith entity, Tenebrae, rallied the hordes of the Dark Side to him and launched a full scale invasion of the Republic. Alongside the brave volunteers of the Republic's Grand Army, the Jedi Order rushed to the aid of innocent worlds caught in the Sith warpath. The leader of the Jedi Council at the time, Satele Shan, led the Jedi Knights into combat against Tenebrae. Fighting with a blue staff saber, she slew thousands of Sith warriors and Mandalorians who fought against the Republic. A gifted warrior who fought with great speed and martial ability in planet-wide battles on a tremendous scale, with armies of Force wielders clashing against one another. She was a gifted Master of the Jedi arts, catching Darth Malgus' saber in her hands while shielding herself from the blade with the Force. However, as gifted as she was at using the Force and a lightsaber, military wisdom and leadership were not her strengths. This resulted in the Republic being forced into a stalemate with the Sith after the Eternal Empire attacked form the Unknown Regions, razing Republic and Sith worlds alike.

6. Qui-Gon Jinn

In 32 BBY, with the greedy Trade Federation threatening the peaceful world of Naboo, the Jedi Council dispatched Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn to settle the dispute. With his Padawan learner in tow, Qui-Gon protected the Queen of Naboo, evacuating her from the palace and to the safety of the Senate. A practitioner of the Way of the Hawk-bat lightsaber form, Trade Federation droids stood little chance against the powerful sweeping slashes of Jinn's saber during the conflict. While Jinn was a powerful Jedi Master, and deserving to be on the Council, his discontent with authority and subtle rejection of entrenched Jedi dogma prevented Yoda from appointing him to a seat. However, this led him to becoming more powerful and learning secrets of the Living Force that had been lost to time due to the increasing blindness of the Jedi dogma. Jinn learned the way to preserve his consciousness after his physical body was destroyed, and was able to reach out through the Force and instruct Yoda on how to achieve this preservation of consciousness. Qui-Gon could earn a spot on this list with this achievement alone, but combined with his apprenticeship under Master Dooku and his unparalleled understanding of the Living Force, Jinn was clearly a powerful Jedi Master.

5. Mace Windu

One of the key components of the Jedi arts is lightsaber combat, and few mastered the saber to the same degree as Mace Windu. Inventor of his own style, Vaapad, to swiftly and aggressively attack his opponent in a wild and unpredictable fashion, Windu walked dangerously close to the dark side with this violent form. Few Jedi could match his skills with a saber, as demonstrated by his defeat of Darth Sidious in one-on-one combat before being betrayed by a misguided Anakin Skywalker. Windu also led a strike team to Geonosis to rescue the captive Skywalker, along with Senator Padme Amidala and Obi-Wan Kenobi. This marked the first battle of the Clone Wars and the beginning of the end for the old Jedi Order. During the battle, Windu beheaded the Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett, who was the DNA template for the Republic's clone army. Windu later expressed regret for this kill to Anakin Skywalker as it stoked the fires of hate and vengeance in a young Boba Fett. These examples of aggression speak to how Mace, and the Jedi themselves, lost their way and were deceived for years by Palpatine. These flaws in character and judgment keep Windu from ranking higher on this list. As Master Yoda puts it, "[arrogance is] a flaw more and more common among Jedi, even the older, more experienced ones." Blinded by their arrogance and desire to protect their position of power within the Republic, the Jedi, including Mace Windu, were destroyed by the Dark Lord of the Sith.

4. Obi-Wan Kenobi

One of the few survivors of Order 66 and the Jedi mentor of both Anakin and Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi (also known as Old Ben Kenobi) has a plethora of experiences to draw upon. The "crazy old wizard" has defeated Sith Lords, led the Grand Army of the Republic, and preserved his conscious as a Force ghost. Apart from being one of the most quick-witted characters in Star Wars, Kenobi is also a master of the most defensive form of lightsaber combat, Soresu, and is able to channel the Force into highly effective mind tricks. Obi-Wan also fought in the Clone Wars, leading Commander Cody and the 212th Attack Battalion against Separatist forces, culminating in the defeat of General Grievous on Utapau. Obi-Wan was already an accomplished Knight before the onset of the Clone Wars. As a Padawan, he not only served as the protector of Duchess Satine during the Mandalorian Civil War, he also defeated Darth Maul on Naboo, bisecting the Zabrak Sith Lord with the fallen Qui-Gon's lightsaber. Often referred to as "the Negotiator," Kenobi demonstrated a true understanding of the Jedi Code by always attempting to find a diplomatic solution to a problem as opposed to immediately drawing his saber. His mastery of a saber form that focuses on deflecting and dodging incoming attacks further speaks to these characteristics. Obi-Wan went through many trials on his Jedi path, from watching his master die, to the Great Jedi Purge, through the dark ages of the Empire, Kenobi demonstrated what it meant to truly be a Jedi Knight.

3. Nomi Sunrider

An ancient Grand Master of the Jedi Order, Sunrider lived 4,000 years before the Battle of Yavin. While she was not especially gifted with a lightsaber, she possessed a unique connection to the Force that allowed her to wield some of the rarest Force powers in the galaxy. Her Jedi path started when her Force-sensitive husband was murdered by thieves. With Nomi being the only thing standing between the criminals and their infant daughter, she picked up her fallen husband's saber and killed the attackers. With his dying breath, her husband told her where to find the Jedi so that she may complete her training. As a Padawan, she was the first Jedi to learn how to deflect a blaster bolt using only the Force. This would prove useful in supplementing her less than masterful saber skills. While Nomi was no frontline fighter, her military strategy and leadership made her an invaluable commander of the Republic's army. She was invaluable in defeating the fallen Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma and his army on the planet Ossus during the Great Sith War. One of her most unique gifts was her power to sever the connection between a being and the Force. After watching her best friend Cay fall under Ulic's saber, Nomi defeated him and robbed him of his ability to touch the Force, forever eliminating a threat to the Republic, while preserving his life.

2. Luke Skywalker

The son of the Chosen One Anakin Skywalker, Luke was the last hope to revive the Jedi Order after Order 66. Yoda himself told Luke that when he was gone "the last of the Jedi [Luke would] be." Luke was extremely strong in the Force, given his parentage, and was one of the few Jedi to master all the forms of saber combat. His great power in combat was on display onboard Moff Gideon's Arquitens class cruiser while cutting through a platoon of Phase III Dark Troopers. Luke was trained in the Jedi arts by the great Masters Kenobi and Yoda. He fought his father Darth Vader twice and was able to defeat him in their second duel during the Battle of Endor. But Luke threw aside his weapon instead of striking Vader down. Luke exemplifies what it means to be a Jedi by using the Force in a passive way to defend the innocent. He demonstrates this true understanding of the Jedi Code again when facing down his nephew Kylo Ren on Crait. By Force projecting himself, he baits Kylo into unleashing his rage on Skywalker's mirage, distracting him long enough for the battered Resistance to escape. After defeating the Emperor and assisting the Rebel Alliance in toppling the Galactic Empire, Luke set about rebuilding the Jedi Order. Grogu and Ben Solo became two of his earliest Padawan learners. Powerful in the Force, Luke is also kind and patient enough to be an excellent teacher. Luke's connection to the Force is virtually unparalleled in Star Wars. In Legends, Luke was even capable of using the Force to influence a black hole.

1. Yoda

Grandmaster Yoda has trained Jedi for over 800 years by the time Luke Skywalker arrives at his hut on Dagobah to learn the ways of the Force. Teacher of generations of Jedi, expert swordsman, and one of the few who truly understand the Force, Yoda wisely leads the Jedi as Grandmaster for over 200 years, including through the tumult of the Clone Wars. After Order 66 is enacted Yoda, duels Darth Sidious on Coruscant, attempting to stop the Empire before it can take hold. Yoda and Sidious are evenly matched in lightsaber skills and their mastery of the Force. In order to preserve the knowledge of the Jedi Order, Yoda is forced to flee. Yoda is the only light side Force uder who is able to absorb Sith lightning, catching blasts of the dark side energy from both Dooku and Sidious and either snuffing them out or hurling them back at his opponent. Yoda is also selected by Qui-Gonn Jinn's spirit to be his apprentice on the path to immortality. From learning to become one with the living Force, to traveling to strange worlds teeming with life, Yoda made many important discoveries concerning the nature of the Force and passed this on the multiple generations of Jedi.

Written By Weston Erickson

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