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United in their observance of the Force, the Jedi were the guardians of peace and justice throughout the galaxy. Noble beings from hundreds of worlds, they were. It is no easy task to decide which of these great knights were the most powerful. The Force moves in mysterious ways and to say one Jedi is more powerful than another based on his or her pure strength or abilities would be disingenuous. As Yoda said, “Size matters not...For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.” Instead, we must look at the Jedi’s actions and potential in relation the challenges of their time. While much of the Expanded Universe is now Legends, it will not stop me from acknowledging some of its greatest Jedi and stories.
Of course, my list must begin with Yoda. Yoda was a revered grand master of the Jedi order during the days of the galactic republic. Much of his origins are unknown. Legends tell that Yoda learned the Force from Jedi Master Gormo when he was marooned on a swamp planet. This marked the beginning of his training, and upon being rescued by a galactic republic starship, set out to continue his training at the Jedi temple on Coruscant. There he would rise to the highest rank possible. For 800 years Yoda trained Jedi, playing a role in training many of the most notable Jedi of his time such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ki-Adi-Mundi, and Luke Skywalker. He passed into the Force after completing his training with Luke. Yoda was one of the wisest and most instrumental Jedi in the order.
Luke is considered by many to be the most powerful Jedi to ever exist. The son of Anakin Skywalker, likely the other most powerful Jedi, and Senator Padme Amidala, Luke was kept away from the grasp of the dark side. He was raised by his aunt and uncle on Tatooine where Obi-Wan Kenobi, his father's master, kept a watchful eye on his development. He was thrust into the Galactic Civil War and ultimately turned his father back to the light, brought balance to the Force, and peace to the galaxy. In Legends, Luke went on to create the New Jedi Order which prospered and continued to fight in later wars and against rising Sith. He became grand Jedi Master, married Mara Jade, and had a son, Ben Skywalker. In the most extreme of legends, Luke's power of the Force was comparable to the power of a demi-god, and he had several lesser-known powers as well. In the canon, Luke attempted to forge his New Jedi Order but was betrayed by his nephew Ben Solo, who turned to the dark side.
Anakin Skywalker was a human slave turned Jedi by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. He would go on to become one of the most powerful Jedi ever, fighting through the Clone Wars as a Jedi general and the Republic's best pilot. Anakin is one of most well known tragic heroes of all time. His troubled life is often categorized by love and loss. Considered by the Jedi to be the chosen one, foretold to bring balance to the Force, he was given to Obi-Wan Kenobi for training despite being too old to begin. Because of this, he was never able to control his emotions, leading him to experience great fear, anger, and love.
His love of Padme and fear of her death would lead him to forsake the Jedi and pledge his loyalty to Darth Sidious. His actions were in vain and he could not stop her death. He was left mortally wounded by his former master on Mustafar only to be saved by Sidious at the cost of his humanity. He became more machine than man. For two decades he fought for the Empire as a Dark Lord of the Sith, also known as Darth Vader. He killed Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Death Star in front of Luke. Luke would go on to turn him back to the light in his final moments. Anakin killed Darth Sidious and ultimately brought balance to the Force. He, like his son, is considered to be one of the most powerful Jedi ever, only to be hindered by his attraction to the dark side, and robotic parts. Had he never been turned and thrust into that suit, he may have been the most powerful Force user to ever live.
Now part of Legends, Revan was an immensely powerful Jedi and Sith who fought during the Mandalorian Wars and the Jedi Civil War. Born in the outer rim territories, Revan studied under various Jedi masters as a Padawan before defecting from the Jedi order with Alek, his fellow Padawan to join the old republic and fight in the Mandalorian Wars. Revan achieved great victories during the war, even killing Mandalore the Ultimate, leader of the Mandalorians.
After the war, he and Alek investigated the Sith in the unknown regions where they were turned to the dark side, becoming Darth Revan and Darth Malek. With the commencement of the Jedi Civil War, the two fought against the Jedi until Revan was betrayed by Malek. Revan was saved by the Jedi but lost his memory. The Jedi trained him, he learned of his past, and defeated Malek. When more of his old memories resurfaced, he traveled back to the unknown regions to discover the rest of his past. There he was captured by the Sith and tortured for 300 years by the Emperor. Once freed by the Jedi and the republic, he fought his dark side once more, overcoming it, and banishing it forever. When he died, he became one with the Force. Revan was a tragic yet gifted figure who followed his own path and overcame his corruption.
Legends tell of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s upbringing from being born the first son of a wealthy family, to be taken in infancy to Corscuant to become a Jedi. It was there that he found a master in Qui-Gon Jinn. He and Qui-Gon went on numerous missions before entering into the Naboo Invasion. During this time, they discovered Anakin Skywalker, Qui-Gon was murdered by Darth Maul, and Obi-Wan avenged him, making Obi-Wan the first Jedi in over 1000 years to defeat a Sith Lord. It's clear that he was one of the most powerful Jedi. He would later take Anakin as his Padawan, and together they fought through the Clone Wars.
Obi-Wan attained the rank of general of the republic and Jedi Master during this period. When Anakin betrayed the Jedi order, It was Obi-Wan who stopped him and hid Luke away on Tatooine. He trained Luke and assisted in the rescuing of Princess Leia on the Death Star. There Obi-Wan fought his old Padawan and sacrificed himself to give his allies time to escape. He became one with the Force and continued guiding Luke through the rest of his life. In Legends, when Luke created the New Jedi Order, Obi-Wan continued to mentor the new Jedi from his Force state. His influence and actions during one of the most pivotal era’s of the Jedi order echoed for generations to come.
Galen Marek (Starkiller)
Galen Marek, secret apprentice to Vader during the years before the battle of Yavin 4, was a gifted Force sensitive male and the son of two Jedi. After his mother’s passing and his father's murder by Vader at a young age, Marek was taken and trained in the ways of the dark side by Vader, naming him Starkiller, and breaking the rule of two. He was sent on missions to assassinate Jedi. After successfully killing Jedi master Shaak-ti, he was discovered by the emperor and killed by Vader, only to be revived soon after by his master. Vader instructed him to help found the rebellion and rally leaders to the cause so they could one day overthrow the Emperor. But this was a trap set forth by the Emperor and Vader. Their meeting was discovered and the leaders were taken prisoner. Marek journeyed to the death star to free them, challenged and defeated Vader, and was then confronted by the Emperor. Knowing he could not beat him, he sacrificed himself to give the leaders time to escape. In recognition of his heroism, they used the Marek family crest as the symbol of the rebellion.
Nomi Sunrider was a Jedi Master and pivotal figure in the Great Sith War during the Old Republic. Prior to her training, Nomi was the wife of a Jedi Knight. During a trip to the Stenness System, they were attacked by raiders. Her husband was killed and she elected to become a Jedi Knight. She trained under Jedi master Thon. She fought and ended the rise of the Sith on Onderon. During the Great Sith War, she fought against the rise of the Sith Lord Exar Kun and his apprentice Ulic Qel-Droma. Near the end of the war, she used her immense Force abilities to sever Qel-Droma’s link to the Force forever. In the years following the conclusion of the war, Sunrider achieved the rank of Grand Master of the Jedi Order.
Mace Windu was a legendary Jedi Master during the final years of the Galactic Republic considered second only to Yoda. Windu was one of the best swordsmen and founded in the seventh form of lightsaber combat known as Vaapad. Vaapad focused on channeling the Jedi’s inner darkness and embracing the fury of the opponent in order to become one of the most powerful Jedi. Windu led the Jedi in the battle of Geonosis and was a high Jedi general in the Clone Wars. His most notable battle of the wars being on Dantooine, where he faced a droid army without his lightsaber. Windu faced and defeated the Supreme Chancellor, who had been discovered as Darth Sidious, only to be betrayed by Anakin, and killed by Sidious.
Kyp Durron was a conflicted yet extremely powerful Jedi master of Luke’s New Jedi Order in the Star Wars Legends. As a result of his incarceration on the spice mines of Kessel by the Galactic Empire, Durron was filled with anger. after being freed by Han Solo and brought to Luke's New Jedi Order on Yavin 4, his mind was easily corrupted by the spirit of Exar Kun which lived there. Under his influence, Durron stole the Sun Crusher, a starfighter sized super weapon stronger than the death star, and destroyed several Imperial targets, accidentally killing his brother in the process. After the spirit of Kun was defeated, Durron devoted himself to finding peace, becoming one of the first Jedi masters of Luke’s New Jedi Order. Luke held him in the highest of regards, considering Durron to have the potential to be more powerful than himself. His immense power was marked by heightened telekinetic and precognitive abilities. Durron believed in acting in the interest of the Force rather than that of the reigning government, a belief that he instilled in his pupils.
Ki-Adi-Mundi was a Cerean Jedi Master during the final years of the galactic republic. Ki-Adi started his Jedi training at age 4, becoming one of the few Jedi to be permitted to train after infancy. Ki-Adi trained under Yoda, and after gaining the rank of knight returned to his home world of Cerea to liberate his village. Ki-Adi became the guardian of this sector and was allowed to violate the Jedi’s law against marriage due to the low birth rate of his species. He is one of the few Jedi to be offered a seat on the Jedi Council despite not attaining the rank of master. Ki-Adi fought during the Clone Wars most notable as the first Jedi to survive combat against General Grievous, one of the most powerful villains, at the height of his strength. Although he was among the most powerful Jedi, he met his death when his clone troopers betrayed him on Mygeeto during the Jedi Purge.