Top 10: Jedi

Welcome to Top 10. In this series, I will pick a subject in Star Wars and pick my top 10 rankings within that category. I initially began this ahead of Solo: A Star Wars Story by ranking the first 10 Star Wars films and enjoyed doing it so much, I thought it would be fun to make into a more regular series. Today I will be going through my Top 10 Jedi.

Now before I start, I want to make some clarifications for how I have made this list, as when I was telling it to a friend at work, he was shocked by some of my decisions. This is not my 10 favourite Jedi, or even the 10 strongest Jedi, but rather a combination of these factors, and their stories within the Star Wars canon. I have also decided to stick to characters that have clearly gone through some form of extensive Jedi training, so that means Leia will not feature on the list as the novel Bloodline suggests that she chose to stay in politics rather than learn to use the Force.

 

10. Ezra Bridger

“Stand up together. Because that’s when we’re strongest—as one.”

Let me start by saying I am not a big fan of Ezra Bridger on the whole. Throughout Rebels he continually made the same mistakes of trusting people who had continually proven untrustworthy rather than his friends in the Ghost crew. However by the end of the show, he had grown into not just a leader but a true Jedi, refusing to help the Emperor and sacrificing himself (maybe) to save Lothal and his friends. He may be a liability at times (he really can’t use a Mandalorian jetpack) but his empathy and connection to creatures was a wonderful touch and something we haven’t really seen from other Jedi.

9. Qui-Gon Jinn

“I will do what I must, Obi-Wan.”

I would love to put him higher on the list, but so far he hasn’t featured much in canon. Master to Obi-Wan and the Jedi who brings Anakin to the Order, Qui-Gon was clearly more of an individual and not willing to be constrained by the Jedi Code. Had he not been killed by Darth Maul and had been able to train Anakin himself, I think Palpatine would have struggled to turn him to the Dark Side. After his death, he also became the first Jedi we know of to find a way to manifest himself to the living, teaching Yoda and Obi-wan how to do this too. With Qui-Gon set to feature in Claudia Gray’s next novel, Master & Apprentice, I get the feeling Jinn will be rising up the list over the next few years.

8. Quinlan Vos

“Well, since you’re suddenly so interested in my tracking abilities, they went this way.”

Another who has a limited number of stories in canon, Vos beats Jinn to this position courtesy of Christie Golden’s novel Dark Disciple. Another Jedi who appears a bit more of an individual than most of the Order, Vos also introduced us to the power of psychometry, allowing him to become an expert tracker. His mission with Asajj Ventress to assassinate Count Dooku saw him fall in love and turn to the Dark Side, being redeemed by Ventress and her sacrifice. The comics have also suggested that Vos may have survived Order 66, so there is a potential that we will get more of his story in the coming years.

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Yoda – from the Star Wars Identities exhibit

7. Yoda

“Heeded my words not, did you: “Pass on what you have learned.” Strength, mastery mm… But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is.”

I get the feeling some people may be outraged by such a low position on the list, but I just find myself much more excited by a number of other Jedi. At approximately 900 years old by the time he became one with the Force, we have just scraped the surface of the stories that we can see involving Yoda and I would love to see more of him and the Jedi Order in the millennium preceding the Prequel Trilogy as we move forward. A powerful Jedi, Yoda is arguably one of the wisest in the Order and will try to sort out any incidents through non-violent means. He also trained or was involved in the training of so many other Jedi, so his impact on the galaxy – whether directly or indirectly – cannot be understated.

6. Caleb Dume/Kanan Jarrus

“Do or do not, there is no try!”

“What does that even mean? How can I do something if I don’t try to do it?”

“Well… See… Actually that one always confused me too, but Master Yoda sure used to say it a lot.”

I can imagine many people will be shocked at me ranking Kanan above Yoda, but I love the way the character develops throughout his personal story. Originally called Caleb Dume, he was padawan to Depa Billaba, who sacrificed herself during Order 66 so that he could escape. Having heard Obi-Wan’s warning (which the novel A New Dawn suggests was inspired by him) he changed his name to Kanan Jarrus and went into hiding, trying to distance himself from the Force for years. After years of being alone as a drunk and taking dangerous jobs, he joined Hera Syndulla on the Ghost and went on to become one of the leaders of the Spectres, the Rebel Cell on Lothal. After finding the Force-sensitive orphan Ezra Bridger, he accepted the Force again and took on the role of a teacher, not just in matters of the Force but also in matters of how to live. While he wavered at times, such as after losing his sight to Maul on Malachor, he continued to put his friends first and eventually sacrificed himself on Lothal to allow Ezra, Sabine and Hera to escape – one of my favourite moments in Rebels.

5. Rey

“What do you know about the Force?”

“It’s a power that Jedi have that lets them control people…and make things float.”

“Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.”

Some people may argue Rey has no place on this list due to a lack of Jedi training, but she did train under Luke Skywalker and took the sacred Jedi texts when she left Ahch-To, while it is also suggested in the novels that she picked up some knowledge of how to use the Force from Kylo Ren. “Rey from nowhere” grew up alone in a harsh environment on Jakku, leaving her capable of looking after herself, which as well as helping develop her skills as a pilot and mechanic – and her ability to fight as shown when Unkar Plutt’s tugs tried to steal BB-8 – helped her learn how to look after herself but also be a good person. She has a strong moral compass and – much as Luke with Vader before her – has faith that Ben Solo/Kylo Ren can be redeemed. I know a lot of people have not been a fan of Rey in the Sequel Trilogy, but I have really enjoyed her character and can’t wait to see what happens in Episode 9.

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Luke Skywalker’s robes from Return of the Jedi – from the Star Wars Identities exhibit

4. Luke Skywalker

“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”

Another who could rise higher up the list as we get more stories, Luke Skywalker is the original hero. Raised on a moisture farm by his Aunt and Uncle, Luke had a strict upbringing which helped him remain grounded and make the right decisions when tempted down the wrong path, despite having many of the same choices as his father did before him (if you have never been to the Star Wars Identities exhibit, I recommend it – I went with my cousin before I started this blog, so you can find her write-up about it here). An expert pilot like his father before him, Luke’s abilities with the Force – despite a lack of training – allowed him to destroy the first Death Star, and once he had been trained by Yoda he became strong in the Force. His love for his friends meant that he didn’t always make what appeared to be the right decision – risking everything to save them on Bespin – but he learned from his errors. He was also able to avoid slipping into the absolute certainty that Yoda and Obi-Wan did of believing Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader irredeemable, which ended up being vital to defeating the Emperor. Things didn’t always go right for him after that as he attempted to train a new order of Jedi but failed to stop Ben Solo’s fall. I know many people are not fans of Luke cutting himself off from the Force and exiling himself, but I loved it and the redemption it led to as he used the Force to project himself across the galaxy to stall the First Order and allow the surviving members of the Resistance to escape on Crait, becoming one with the Force as a result – possibly the most Jedi action ever!

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Anakin Skywalker’s robes – from the Star Wars Identities exhibit

3. Anakin Skywalker

“You’re reckless, little one. You never would have made it as Obi-Wan’s Padawan… but you might make it as mine.”

Father just beats son here as Anakin makes it to number 3. While I enjoy the general story of the rise and fall of Anakin and Darth Vader shown during the Original 6 films, it is the flesh given to the character through The Clone Wars that sees him place so high on the list. Another Jedi with strong morals, his feelings sometimes leave him at odds with the Order’s passiveness. He is arguably one of the best Jedi generals in the Clone Wars as he will do what is right but also puts much of the danger on himself rather than the clones he commands – seen in stark contrast when Pong Krell is given command of the 501st on Umbara. Having a padawan during the Clone Wars develops him so well as he takes on the role of a mentor, again being willing to teach her to do what is right not what is ordered, I get the feeling this is a similar lesson t what Qui-Gon would have taught him. Unfortunately, his love for his friends and his fear of loss causes his fall as it pushes him away from the Order and towards Palpatine, but at the same time it is the love of his son that allows him to redeem himself at the end and defeat the Emperor, destroying the Sith and bringing balance to the Force… proving himself to be the Chosen One.

2. Ahsoka Tano

“I understand, more than you realise. I understand wanting to walk away from the Order”

“I know.”

I absolutely love Ahsoka so the decision to put her at number 2 rather than number 1 was very hard! While I did not enjoy her character in the early seasons of The Clone Wars, the character grew up and developed wonderfully. Like her master, she could be headstrong and would go against the Order’s decisions if she did not feel they were right. She is a talented fighter – one of the few we see survive battles with General Grievous – while she also develops into a talented force-user such as with her premonitions of Aurra Sing’s attempts to assassinate Padmé. She matures and grows as a character throughout the show, going through some of the things any teenage girl would be affected by like love, while also having to cope with her responsibilities as a leader of soldiers in a war and also the betrayal of a close friend and the lack of trust from the majority of the Jedi Order. The moment when she leaves the Order at the end of season 5 is still one of the saddest moments in the entire series to me and has a massive impact on Anakin and his trust of the Council moving forward. To have Ahsoka come back and then face Vader in Rebels was amazing and to now know that she survives the Galactic Civil War makes me very excited for the future as we can still potentially get stories set between Ahsoka and Rebels and also after Return of the Jedi.

1. Obi-Wan Kenobi

“Hello there!”

Although the character’s progression from a padawan to Jedi Master through the Prequel Trilogy and his appearance as Luke’s original teacher of the Jedi way would have already put Kenobi high on this list, it is once again the way his story is expanded upon in The Clone Wars that gets him the top spot. He is initially a headstrong apprentice but following the death of Qui-Gon and his new role as a Jedi Knight and master to Anakin he matures, while still having a streak that often appears through his snarky quips and banter. One of the wisest Jedi we have been introduced to, his change of fighting style to a more defensive one following the loss of his master made hi an accomplished fighter and again one of the few who could stand against General Grievous and Darth Vader. He is much more by the book than his apprentice or master were and nothing shows that better than his storylines with Duchess Satine, where he chose the Jedi over his love for her, and with Maul following his return. Following the rise of the Empire, he protects Luke while he grows up and sets him on a course to being a vital part of the Rebellion’s victory over the Empire and the defeat of the Emperor, both with his initial lessons to his new student and then with his sacrifice to allow Luke, Leia and Han to escape the Death Star.

 

So that’s my list, how does it compare to yours? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and May the Force be with you…

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