Film Lists

Who Are The 5 Best Jedi?

The Jedi are much beloved by both casual viewers and Star Wars fanatics alike. If a Star Wars project doesn’t have someone using the force or pulling out a lightsaber at some point, people will start trying to examine which character is secretly a Jedi and will do so at some point, or call it boring (we’re looking at everyone claiming Luthen is secretly a Jedi in Andor right now). Over the course of the Star Wars saga there are a lot of Jedi, and everyone has their favourites. But which are the best ones, the ones that best exemplify what it means to be a Jedi? Here’s a list of five that we think do just that.

(Before we begin, because this will definitely be criticised at some point: Luke Skywalker isn’t on this list. I love Luke, he’s a great character, but he’s not one of the best Jedi. He makes mistakes, he tries to recreate the old Jedi order and fails because of that, and whilst he does great things following that he does make a lot of mistakes. It’s the same reason Yoda won’t be here either. Sorry.)

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Obi-Wan Kenobi

This might be a choice that some people would argue against being considered one of the best. He trained the man who would become Darth Vader and helps destroy the Jedi order, so how can he be one of the best? And that’s a good point. However, thanks to the manipulations of Palpatine it’s not all down to Obi-Wan. But the stuff that is down to Obi-Wan makes him a pretty damn good Jedi. A rebellious youngling, Obi-Wan was put with Qui-Gon Jinn (more on him later) to learn from. With Qui-Gon being something of a rebel the only way for Obi-Wan to rebel against his master was to become the most by the book Jedi possible.

This is something that we see in Obi-Wan across the saga. He follows the rules, but with a sense of right and wrong. When the Jedi council order the assassination of Count Dooku he speaks out against it. He treats his clones as living beings, people with personalities and the right to live. He respects life, he cares about people. This helps to make him one of the better Jedi around. Even after Anakin falls to the dark side he ‘does what he must’ to stop him, bringing the fallen Jedi close to death – yet he can’t kill a wounded and broken man who he loved. Whilst that decision would go on to have huge repercussions, his respect for life stopped him killing, and kept him on the right path. Obi-Wan is the best example of what the Jedi of the prequel era should have been. He was an exemplar of the order at that time.

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Kanan Jarrus

A padawan during the Clone Wars, Kanan watched his master die during Order 66 and went on the run. After hiding out for a number of years, picking up new skills from smugglers and rogues, he met pilot Her Syndulla and joined her crew, a crew that would eventually become part of the beginnings of the Rebel Alliance. It was when the team went to rescue a group of Wookie prisoners that Kanan relit his saber and embraced his role as a Jedi once again. Over the next four years Kanan would battle against Imperial Inquisitors, Darth Vader, and Maul, all whilst trying to train his own apprentice, Ezra Bridger. Despite never finishing his own training, Kanan was officially knighted through the Force by the spirits of former Jedi.

Kanan isn’t what people expect when they think of Jedi. He’s not a monk-like figure like most others. He embraces his emotions, forming a family with the crew of the Ghost, and even falls in love. Despite this, he manages to find a balance between the teachings of the old Jedi and his new life. He’s able to use his passions and his love to make him into a better Jedi, driving him to do some good in the galaxy. In many ways, he’s what Anakin could have been if he was allowed to love openly. There are many reasons for Kanan to be considered one of the best Jedi, but it’s perhaps his final act, giving his life to save his family, that solidifies why he’s deserving of the title. In the end he sacrificed his existence to help others and do the right thing; which is ultimately what the Jedi are all about.

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Ahsoka Tano

Yes, another one that people will instantly argue against because of her line ‘I am no Jedi’, but there’s a good reason for Ahsoka Tano to be here. Ahoska instantly garnered criticism from some Star Wars fans when she was introduced in The Clone Wars as Anakin’s apprentice. He never had an apprentice in the third film, so why was she there? Over the course of the series, however, Ahsoka grew on fans, and became a firm favourite. We got to see a different side of Anakin through her, and she became an important part of his eventual fall.

Despite leaving the Jedi order during the war Ahsoka still held true to the values of the Jedi. She wanted to help people. She would go on to take part in the Siege of Mandalore alongside the clones, even if she wasn’t an official Jedi. After surviving Order 66 she would go into hiding, but would ultimately be drawn back into the conflict in order to help others. She would help with the formation of the Rebel Alliance, and risked her life on multiple occasions. She could have had a quiet, simple life away from everything, but her desire to help those in need and fight against the darkness in the galaxy prevented that. Whilst she might not be a Jedi in name, she is in deeds. The things she does are the things that Jedi do. She helps people, she puts her life on the line, and she tries to make the galaxy better. She might claim she’s not a Jedi, but she’s more Jedi than most. She’s also one of the few people to survive in conflicts against Imperial Inquisitors, General Grievous, Darth Vader, Maul, and Emperor Palpatine (some more than once), and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

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Qui-Gon Jinn

Qui-Gon Jinn was not particularly liked by the members of the Jedi council. He didn’t always follow orders, he questioned authority, and was considered something of a renegade. But he didn’t do these things for bad reasons. Qui-Gon, more than most other Jedi, believed in the Living Force, and whilst other Jedi tried to maintain order and held to more rigid rule Qui-Gon kind of just went with the flow. He’d allow the Force itself to guide him, to help make his decisions, and help him to do what was right. And this often put him at odds with the council.

The Jedi at the time of the prequel era were mired in politics, they’d lost their way somewhat, and Qui-Gon wanting nothing to do with that made him a maverick. But it also made him a better Jedi. He wasn’t happy to let injustice lie if it meant that political deals could be made. He hated slavery and those who practised it. He called out wrongdoers, no matter their station. He was the kind of Jedi that the Jedi should have been. Whilst Obi-Wan was the best the Jedi of that time could have been, his old master was what the Jedi should have been.

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Photo credit: Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilm ©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd.

Rey Skywalker

Rey Skywalker (and she is a Skywalker) gets a lot of hate for a lot of reasons, some petty misogynistic reasons included. And whilst some will call her a Mary Sue (often using the phrase incorrectly) she’s a lot closer to Luke Skywalker than people would like to believe. She shares a lot of aspects with Luke, an upbringing on a harsh world, the affinity to the Force, great piloting skills, and a family with ties to the dark side. But where Luke becomes focused on recreating the Jedi as they once were, which leads to his failure, Rey is perhaps the best way to create a new Jedi.

Rey has many, many reasons to turn to the dark side throughout the sequel trilogy. She gets tempted by it at multiple points, with characters trying to push her towards turning. And she never does. It would be easier for her if she did, but it doesn’t once enter her mind. Instead of allowing her anger to turn her, she channels it to try and do good instead. Perhaps closer to Kanan than other Jedi, able to better balance the emotions the old order would try to remove, she becomes the embodiment of what the Jedi can be, becoming ‘all the Jedi’ in order to defeat Palpatine. With the sequel trilogy having come to an end, exploring what comes next in other forms has the potential to see Rey create a new Jedi order, one that has learned from the mistakes of the past, and can become a better force for good.

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