Star Wars: The Clone Wars is one of the best things in the Star Wars franchise. It brings to life the final days of the Galactic Republic with a depth not seen in Prequels and gives us a much better understanding of Anakin Skywalker’s fall to Darth Vader. But along the way, the animated show also gave us some really cool characters and made Star Wars canon that much richer – especially when we consider the Jedi Order.
But among all those powerful Jedi, who was the strongest Force user in the final days of the Republic? Let’s take a look at some of the greatest Jedi of the Clone Wars.
Corralling our discussion of high-powered (and overpowered) Force users
Now, I’m not trying to diss any of the various Force users from other periods of Star Wars. Luke Skywalker is amazing, but he was barely even born in the Clone Wars era. Supreme Leader Snoke was awesome in his power and the Force dyad of Kylo/Rey boggles the mind, but they belong to the new Star Wars Trilogy of Force Awakens, Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker. And with all respect to Darth Revan, Mara Jade and anyone else from the Star Wars EU – now Star Wars Legends – they don’t technically count as canon (yet).
Those characters are all great, and worthy of discussion. But today, let’s look at the most powerful Jedi from the last days of the Republic.
11) Barriss Offee
The first on our list wasn’t even a full Jedi knight. Padawan Barriss Offee was the only apprentice who attended the emergency meeting with Supreme Chancellor Palpatine where the order was given to rescue Obi-Wan Kenobi and the others on Geonosis in Attack of the Clones. But her true power didn’t become evident until it was much, much too late.
Barriss became disenchanted with the Order and set off a devastating bomb in the Jedi Temple, and in the investigation that followed she displayed raw power several times. First, she used her Force abilities to choke prisoner Letta Turmond without even being in the room. Second, she was able to sneak up on Asajj Ventress and defeat the former Sith assassin before Ventress could even react. And third, Barriss held her own against an enraged Anakin freakin’ Skywalker in lightsaber combat once her role in the crime was discovered.
Another duel of the fates
The duel between Barriss and Anakin is one of the most underrated moments in the Star Wars universe. This was a moment when both combatants were, perhaps unknowingly, calling upon the Dark and Light Sides of the Force. Anakin drew strength from his anger and Barriss from her pride, yet both were so well-trained in the Jedi arts that they instinctively called on the Light. They weren’t yet at the point in their falls that either of them would belt out some Force lightning, but both had already used the Force choke and both were succumbing to fear, anger and even hatred.
We don’t yet know the fate of Barriss Offee, but many fans hope she survived the Great Jedi Purge and will one day re-enter Star Wars canon.
10) Sifo Dyas
The Jedi most responsible for the greatest tragedy in galactic history, Sifo Dyas remains something of a mystery. He was a Jedi of the same vintage as Count Dooku and as a Padawan he demonstrated a remarkable Force ability: foresight. He was able to see real events before they happened with stark clarity, a power so unusual that his Jedi Master actually hid his skills from the Council. It seems only a handful of Jedi had any sort of power of premonition and Sifo’s raw ability set him apart from other Force users.
Both Luke Skywalker (in The Empire Strikes Back) and his father Anakin Skywalker (most notably in Revenge of the Sith) had some ability to see the future, but only fleeting glimpses and rarely with certainty or context. Yoda warned against putting too much faith in these visions, because “always in motion is the future” and decisions based on them were likely going to be the wrong ones.
Sifo Dyas seemed to have much greater clarity with his vision, so much so that he secretly ordered the creation of a clone army to defend the Republic. True, he was being subtly influenced by arguably the most powerful Sith lord ever, Darth Sidious, but it was the strength of his visions that drove him. Sadly, Sifo Dyas was driven mad by his visions – while he was gifted with great power, he didn’t have the strength to wield it.
9) Plo Koon
Plo Koon is a great example of someone who was not much more than scenery in the Prequels but who became a rich, beloved character in animation. His command of Force energy was best displayed in the cockpit and he was famous for his starfighter skills. But much of his strength came from his ability to read a situation and empathize with others. It’s been suggested that Leia Organa displayed her Force power best by connecting to others in the Living Force, an often-unconscious skill that made her a brilliant diplomat and general. Plo Koon likely had this same gift.
Almost unique among the powerful Jedi who made up the Council, Plo Koon had a deep understanding of who Anakin Skywalker was and how he needed respect and companionship in order to thrive. Plo remained deeply connected to Ahsoka Tano throughout their years at the Temple, and he was one of the first Jedi to consider his clone troopers to be individuals and not just assets. He was a Jedi Master unafraid to make personal connections, but strong enough to resist the pull of the Dark Side of the Force that emotional attachments could cause.
8) Ki Adi Mundi
Ki Adi Mundi is often touted as the worst Jedi ever. But just because he was a jerk doesn’t mean he wasn’t one of the most powerful Force users of his day. This dude was on the Jedi Council as far back as Star Wars Episode I, and was still making (bad) decisions right up to the end of Revenge of the Sith. So that alone suggests he was one of the strongest Force users among his peers.
Looking at what we know from Star Wars canon, Ki Adi Mundi was certainly a powerful warrior, often leading Clone Commander Wolffe and the Wolfpack into the fiercest of battles. We saw him in fine form at the Landing at Point Rain (one of the most exciting battles in Star Wars and one of the highest-octane episodes of the entire series) as he cleaved his way through Geonosians and led his troops to victory. He even managed to accumulate a higher kill count than either Obi-Wan or Anakin, so I guess that counts for something.
Star Wars is occasionally subtle
But really, Ki Adi Mundi ranks on this list mainly because of what’s inferred about him. He’s clearly a leader on the Council and has a lot of sway even over Yoda – so there must be Force authority behind that privileged position. But I worry that Ki Adi Mundi was far too interested in politics and power – and was a little too okay with the amount of power Emperor Palpatine amassed around himself.
It’s never been explored in canon, but I can’t help but wonder if Ki Adi Mundi wasn’t high on the list of potential apprentices Darth Sidious kept in his desk drawer. Ambitious, unemotional and one of the strongest Jedi of his day, Ki Adi Mundi was surely a prime target to become a dark lord. As Darth Tyranus and Darth Vader proved, a powerful Jedi could also become a powerful Sith lord. Something tells me the Galactic Civil War would have ended very differently if Luke Skywalker had had to face off against Darth Mundi instead of his dad.
7) Luminara Unduli
Luminara Unduli carried her own share of arrogance, as evidenced by her overconfidence in facing Asajj Ventress alone, as well as heading off solo to capture Poggle the Lesser. But she had the ability to learn and grow, realizing her mistake after Ventress nearly killed her and even thanking Ahsoka for helping her.
She clearly commanded the respect of other Jedi greats like Ki Adi Mundi and Obi-Wan Kenobi, neither of whom had the guts to argue with her foolhardy plan to hunt down Poggle on her own. Here we again have to infer a Jedi’s strength from how they’re treated by others, but Luminara’s dominance suggests that she already had a reputation as a powerful Force user.
Luminara is rare in that she actually survived Order 66. We don’t know exactly what happened to her in the years that followed, but it’s likely that she was tortured by the Inquistorius with an intent to turn her to the Dark Side. The fact that she didn’t turn is a testament to her strength, and her connection to the Cosmic Force was so strong that even after death her residual life force was able to create a sort of Force projection that fooled Kanan Jarrus when he tried to rescue her.
6) Ahsoka Tano
Ahsoka is one of the most popular characters in Star Wars, and in her later life she definitely grew into one of the strongest Force users in the galaxy. She hadn’t yet come into the fullness of her power during the Clone Wars, but by the seventh and final season there was no question that she had surpassed most members of the Jedi Order.
It’s ironic – and more than a little insightful – that one of the most powerful Force users alive had turned her back on the Order to chart her own course.
Some of Ahsoka’s greatest feats were displayed in the final episodes of the series. She led the attack on Mandalore, falling from several miles as she fought Death Watch warriors, destroyed enemy weapons and stuck the landing in the opening salvo of what would become the Mandalorian wars. Her charisma inspired her troops to carry the battle to victory, while she single-handedly defeated Darth Maul in a lightsaber duel and captured him alive.
When Star Wars goes epic
In the initial Order 66 attack she not only deflected dozens of laser blasts with her twin lightsabers but she redirected them all upward with enough precision to create a hole in the deckhead, allowing her to escape.
As her world crumbled around her in a mass of terror and confusion, she was able to still her mind and use the Force to connect with Rex, find the chip and free him from his programming.
She defended them both against thousands of shots from highly trained clone troopers intent on killing them, while not ever retaliating in a way that would kill their attackers. She abandoned the doomed star cruiser by leaping into the sky, guiding her way through the falling wreckage to grab hold of Rex’s Y-Wing and pull herself aboard.
And then, finally, she had the wisdom to walk away. To fake her own death, abandon her lightsabers and disappear, knowing that Darth Vader would never stop hunting her if he knew she still lived. Ahsoka was the embodiment of a Force storm, full of energy and strength, but she always kept her humility and knew when to be the calm, and not the storm.
5) Quinlan Vos
A charismatic maverick, Quinlan Vos was just the kind of roguish beefcake the Order needed more of in its final days. Although only featured in a single episode of Clone Wars, Quinlan Vos made a big enough impression on fans that he starred in his own novel with Asajj Ventress – the excellent Dark Disciple by Christie Golden.
Quinlan can safely be considered one of the most powerful Jedi for several reasons. First, he had the amazing ability to read the Force echo in any object, learning specific information about anyone who had touched that object recently. No other Jedi we know of had this power, and Vos was clearly a master of it.
When Star Wars goes adult
Second, in Dark Disciple he willingly embraced the Dark Side of the Force in order to better understand his enemy, Count Dooku. He walked a very dangerous path, even succumbing to the Dark Side for a time, but such was his inner strength that he managed to pull himself back to the Light. While no doubt permanently changed by his experience, Quinlan never lost his devotion to the Jedi Code.
And third, as has long been suspected due to certain comics and recently confirmed by the TV series Obi-Wan Kenobi, Quinlan Vos achieved something very few Jedi did: he survived Order 66 and continued to serve the galaxy for many years after. His fate isn’t known in canon, and we may yet learn that poor Quinlan was ultimately tracked down by Darth Vader and his Inquisitors, but no matter how his story ends he is still one of the Order’s greatest.
4) Mace Windu
There would definitely have been one name whispered by younglings as they debated who was the most powerful Force user in Clone Wars: Jedi Master Mace Windu. Creator of his own form of lightsaber combat, Vaapad, Mace Windu was another Jedi who had the strength to skirt toward the Dark Side but still remain firmly in the Light. Like famous Jedi of old, Mace drew on the Darkness to empower the Light and Vaapad was a devastating technique. While Darth Sidious dispatched the other Jedi sent to arrest him with ease, Mace Windu defeated the Sith Emperor in single combat and would have carried the day had Anakin Skywalker not chosen that moment to turn to the Dark Side.
Windu was the youngest Jedi ever raised to the Council, a fact which must inform our impression of just how powerful he was. Like Ki Adi Mundi we rarely saw Mace actually demonstrate his Force powers: we certainly saw his phenomenal combat skills, and we glimpsed his power at mind manipulation, but ultimately it’s the unquestioned respect and deference he received from all other Jedi that reveals Windu’s power.
It’s a shame that the fan theory of Mace Windu surviving his fall and returning decades later as Supreme Leader Snoke isn’t true: that would have been truly epic.
3) Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan sometimes plays a dramatic second fiddle to Anakin, but have no doubt that he was one of the most powerful Jedi of the era. Consider: he killed Sith lord Darth Maul before he was even a fully trained Jedi. True, he didn’t fare as well against Count Dooku, but that may have been due to his pesky Padawan ruining the “let’s take him together” strategy. Obi-Wan redeemed himself at the very end of the Clone Wars era, though, when he faced off solo against that same Padawan-now-Sith Darth Vader and defeated him handily.
There’s lots more we could say about Obi-Wan’s awesomeness, but he’s a strong contender for the title of strongest Jedi Force user simply because he defeated one more Sith lord than his apprentice, and two more than any other Clone War Jedi. Period.
2) Anakin Skywalker
It might seem odd for Anakin to rank higher than Obi-Wan, considering Anakin lost their duel, but as we survey the Clone Wars landscape, there’s an awful lot to say about Anakin Skywalker.
He used the Force to anticipate the very near future, giving him lightning reflexes that made him the best starfighter pilot in the galaxy and a formidable swordsman.
He drew on both the Dark and Light sides of the Force to accomplish tasks no other Jedi could – and had he been properly coached and supported in the way that he needed (as opposed to what the Order demanded) he might never have fallen to the Dark Side.
Balance this, overpowered Force users
But the greatest example of Anakin’s power comes from the Mortis series of episodes, when he, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka met what can only be described as Force gods. In a terrifying moment, Anakin was able to save his friends by forcing these gods to bow before him. His raw power was unmistakable, and had he remained in balance rather than falling to the Darkness and becoming Darth Vader, Anakin could have been the most amazing Jedi in all of Star Wars.
But looking at all the Jedi of the age, I don’t think anyone can question that, at that time, Yoda was the most powerful Jedi. He was revered above all other Masters, and in just a few glimpses throughout the Clone War era we learn why.
He was extremely skilled with a lightsaber and bested Count Dooku in a duel – even absorbing the count’s Force lightning attack with nothing but his hand.
He defeated an entire army of battle droids with just a few clone troopers assisting him.
He went on a spiritual journey guided by Force ghost Qui-Gon Jinn, where he met the mysterious Force priestesses and succeeded in their trials. (As an aside, Rise of Skywalker might have been better with some Force priestesses…)
I got a fever, and the only prescription is more Force priestesses
Yoda faced off against Darth Sidious in the spirit realm in what could have been a slug-out between two of the most overpowered Force users in Star Wars history. But instead, Yoda used his wisdom to defeat the Sith trickery, proving exactly why he was a champion of the Light.
And finally, he went toe-to-toe with Emperor Palpatine in the real world and, with Force powers fully on display by both, very nearly defeated this mightiest of Sith lords in single combat.
All in all, a pretty remarkable record. When Yoda became master to Luke Skywalker in Empire we all knew he was something special, but it’s his many actions in the Clone War era that prove why Yoda was among the most powerful force users in all of Star Wars.