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Lightsaber Masters Ranked Worst To Best

The lightsaber is one of the most compelling inventions in the history of 20th century pop culture. At first glance, it seems like nothing more than a "laser sword," but via its presence in the Star Wars franchise it became something much more. The look of it, the sound of it as it moves through the air, and the various colors of the blades all make for a fascinating weapon, but what really sets the lightsaber apart are the characters who've wielded it over the years.

Thanks to the original trilogy, the prequels, the sequel trilogy and the animated series like The Clone Wars, we've seen the lightsaber wielded by everyone from well-meaning amateurs to cold-blooded killers, but only a few of those characters have distinguished themselves as true masters of the weapon. Whether they serve the light side or the dark, fight with the Sith or the Jedi, these characters have managed to rise above the rest as perhaps the best fighters ever to wield the weapon of the Force. These are our favorite lightsaber masters in Star Wars, ranked.


The desert scavenger then only known as Rey won her first lightsaber duel, which was also the first time she'd ever tried to actually fight with a lightsaber. She did it without any training, and while it helped that her opponent was weakened and distracted by his own rage, it was proof that she was on the path to a special relationship with the weapon of a Jedi.

Rey is a member of the sequel trilogy generation, which means she had very few people around to teach her the many different forms and styles of the Republic era. With the help of Masters Luke and Leia Skywalker, though, she grew into a formidable duelist able to both go head-to-head with Kylo Ren and battle groups of warriors like the Praetorian Guard and Emperor Palpatine's personal Sith Trooper guard. She survived to craft a new lightsaber by the end of The Rise of Skywalker, and the presence of a thousand generations of Jedi within her means she'll have plenty of guidance going forward to further her mastery.

Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren was born Ben Solo, and began his training in the Force under the tutelage of his uncle, Master Luke Skywalker. This early training, which included work with a saber, meant that by the time he was corrupted by Supreme Leader Snoke he was already a formidable young warrior, and his potential in the dark side only made him stronger. Kylo Ren's ties to the bloodline of Anakin Skywalker meant he had tremendous strength in the Force, which he poured into the use of his distinctive lightsaber which featured a crossguard hilt and crackled with volatile energy.

For years Ren went untested as a lightsaber duelist, but was able to easily defeat virtually any other armed opponent he met. With Rey's help, he was able to kill Snoke's Praetorian Guards, and slaughtered numerous Sith cultists on Mustafar in his quest for a Sith Wayfinder. Even after he was redeemed to the light, he proved his mastery of a saber by defeating his former henchmen, the Knights of Ren, single-handedly.

Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker began his Jedi training at a bit of a disadvantage, in that he was learning the ways of the Force at a time when most of the Jedi were dead. Still, even with very little training after time spent with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, he proved himself a natural with a lightsaber. Though he lost his first duel with Darth Vader, he was strong enough to put up a fight, and by the time he faced Vader again he was able to defeat him with the help of a little bit of Dark Side rage.

After defeating Vader, Luke used the years following the Galactic Civil War to build up his own knowledge and start training new Jedi. During that time, he clearly gained new skills both in and out of lightsaber combat. Unfortunately, we don't get to see much of that deployed in the films, but when Luke finally does fight in The Last Jedi, he's able to outmatch Kylo Ren to the point that he's toying with him. It would be great to see what that level of physical control would look like in a full-on duel, but alas, that wasn't Luke Skywalker's journey.

Ahsoka Tano

One of the defining characteristics of Ahsoka Tano that few other characters on this list share is her evolution. Because of her presence as a key character in two different Star Wars animated series, we simply get to see more of her than we do many other Force users, and we start seeing her when she's still a young apprentice. That means we can watch her grow and change over time, and gain a greater appreciation of just how good she gets with a lightsaber... or two.

When we first meet Ahsoka in The Clone Wars, she's already accomplished with a saber, able to hold her in battle against even formidable opponents like Grievous, at least for a little while. When we see her again in Star Wars Rebels, though, Ahsoka's skill has grown to the level of a true master. She's able to face off against multiple Inquisitors at once and win, duel with Darth Maul, and even briefly hang in there in a fight against Darth Vader himself. Ahsoka was always good with lightsabers, but her persistence in going her own way with her fighting style and constantly growing and evolving meant that she eventually became truly great.

Asajj Ventress

One of the great challenges of the Clone Wars animated series was its need to produce threatening, memorable new foes for the characters that could somehow stand side by side with the villains already introduced in live action. This meant someone truly compelling had to emerge to join the ranks of characters like Count Dooku, and we got that someone in the form of the Sith assassin Asajj Ventress.

Ventress had it all: A great look, a compelling backstory, and perhaps most importantly, an extremely threatening presence in battle. Via the use of two curved lightsabers — which she could at times combine to form one terrifying weapon — Ventress was able to terrorize the galaxy with a tremendous fighting prowess. She was able to match Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in battle, sometimes at the same time, thanks to nearly unmatched instincts, speed, and agility. She was also able to best Grievous in battle, removing one of his arms in the process, and even once quite literally fought with her hands tied behind her back. Ahsoka Tano once judged her too strong for any single Jedi, and she seemed to prove that over and over again with tremendous strength that allowed her to block and hold the blades of multiple opponents at once. When she finally was defeated, it was through an act of self-sacrifice, and not death during a duel.

Kit Fisto

If you've only watched the live-action Star Wars films, there's a chance you know Kit Fisto's face without ever knowing his name, but if you're into lightsaber combat, you definitely should get more familiar. Master Fisto was one of the best swordsmen in the Jedi Order before its fall, a true artist with a lightsaber who seemed all the more gifted because he always seemed to be having a good time.

Fisto's lightsaber skills were first on display during the Battle of Geonosis, where he fought among the 200 Jedi led by Master Mace Windu and managed to be one of the few survivors of that fight. He then fought throughout the Clone Wars and distinguished himself as a great warrior. At one point he even dueled notorious Jedi killer General Grievous and was able to match him before the General's guards intervened. Perhaps most notably, Fisto was one of three other Jedi taken by Windu to arrest Chancellor Palpatine. When Palpatine revealed himself as Darth Sidious, Fisto was able to stay in the fight against the powerful Sith Lord for a few moments, even as his comrades fell in mere seconds.

Anakin Skywalker

At one point in his teenage years, Anakin Skywalker claimed that he was as good with a lightsaber as Yoda. His master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, said that was all in his head, but as time went on, young Skywalker's prowess with a lightsaber would prove that it was not necessarily an idle boast. He really was that good, and he stayed that way for most of his life.

Even before he'd gained years of experience and practice with his saber, Skywalker was a formidable opponent, able to hold his own against Count Dooku even after Kenobi had fallen. In later years he fought in the Clone Wars and became a capable general, as well as a skilled duelist and a very deft hand at deflecting blaster bolts. When it came to his lightsaber he was aggressive, powerful, and daring, even throwing his saber on occasion to gain the upper hand. His dueling skill improved to the point that he was even able to finally defeat Dooku with a little help from his Dark Side-fueled aggression, and that act helped complete his transformation into Darth Vader. After being defeated by his old master Kenobi on Mustafar, he gained cybernetic limbs which altered his fighting style, but even as his body deteriorated, Vader remained a powerful duelist through the age of the Galactic Empire.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi is, along with Yoda, one of the few surviving holdovers of the last great era of the Jedi Order to survive into the original trilogy, and the first time we see him fight with a lightsaber is not his most impressive. His first duel in the series is one in which he purposefully loses to Darth Vader in order to become one with the Force, but when you view that duel in the context of his larger career, it's one last move of defensive wisdom in a career marked by smart fighting.

While Anakin Skywalker utilized a more aggressive approach to dueling, Kenobi preferred to fight defensively, waiting for his opponents to make a wrong move or tire out. This strategy would prove effective in several key duels throughout his life. After defeating the Sith Darth Maul and avenging his master, Kenobi went on to become one of the most respected and powerful Jedi Masters in the Order, and proved it time and time again in battle. He was able to duel on even ground with everyone from General Grievous (who he fought several times before finally defeating him) to Asajj Ventress, and even faced Maul again on several occasions before finally killing him as an old man. His most famous duel, though, was with a young Darth Vader on Mustafar. The two men fought an emotionally charged battle with one another, before Kenobi was at last able to gain the high ground and turn Vader's own reckless anger against him.

Count Dooku

By the time we meet Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones, he's an older man who's been away from the Jedi Order for some time. We know that he was Yoda's apprentice at one point, and that he was able to distinguish himself as a formidable power within the Order during that time. After that, he fell under the thrall of Darth Sidious, becoming Darth Tyranus. That merging of light and dark side teachings made him a formidable opponent, particularly with a lightsaber in his hand.

Dooku's dueling style involved heavy use of a curved blade and precise, graceful movements that allowed him to be effective while also conserving his energy. This made him one of the greatest duelists of his time, even as an old man, and he proved it in Attack of the Clones when he defeated two Jedi — Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi — at the same time, even as one of them dueled with two sabers. Even as Anakin got better as a duelist, Dooku was still able to consistently match him, until the young Jedi's more aggressive attack finally got the better of him. He was also even capable of going toe-to-toe with Yoda, at least for a little while.

Darth Sidious

Like Yoda, Darth Sidious is not a Force user whose outward appearance would suggest an athletic and powerful lightsaber attack, and for most of his time in the Star Wars saga we don't get to see him do much with a blade. He prefers to use his prodigious Force powers, including Force lightning, rather than pick up a saber. When audiences finally did see Palpatine fight with a saber, though, in The Revenge of the Sith, he was revealed as one of the great duelists of his time.

Palpatine's lightsaber attack was based on pure aggression and a sense of speed and fury enhanced by the Force flowing through him. As a result he was able to defeat three Jedi Masters — including Kit Fisto, who appears elsewhere on this very list — in a matter of seconds, then go toe-to-toe with Mace Windu. Later he managed to hold his own against Yoda, though he finally defaulted to fighting with Force powers rather than remaining in a duel. Plus, his Star Wars animated appearances reveal that Sidious was also adept at fighting with two lightsabers at once, which made him a match for double-bladed masters like Darth Maul.

Mace Windu

If Yoda was the Jedi Order's avatar of wisdom in its waning days, then Mace Windu was its field general, the champion who commanded respect not just for his leadership abilities, but for his lightsaber prowess. Wielding his unmistakable purple blade, Windu finally revealed his gifts with a saber during Attack of the Clones at the Battle of Geonosis, when he was able to defeat the bounty hunter Jango Fett by charging him and deflecting his blaster bolts even while running.

Windu was one of the most effective Jedi leaders of the Clone Wars, demonstrating his power again and again right up until his attempt to arrest Chancellor Palpatine during the events of Revenge of the Sith. Though Windu ultimately failed in this effort, it ironically also proves just how skilled he was with a saber. When Palpatine attacked, killing three other Jedi in a matter of seconds, Windu managed to stay in the fight and even disarmed Palpatine. He was then able to use his lightsaber to deflect the Sith Lord's Force lightning, and may have even ultimately prevailed if not for the intervention of Anakin Skywalker, who cut off Windu's arm to prevent him from killing the Chancellor.


For years within the realm of Star Wars fandom, Yoda was a fan favorite character simply for his ability to dispense wisdom with a sense of humor in the original trilogy. By that point, he scoffed at the idea that he was some kind of "great warrior" as Luke Skywalker insisted, but the prequel trilogy released years later allowed us to see a different side of the legendary Master. A few years younger and deeply involved in the affairs of the then-thriving Jedi Order, Yoda revealed that he was about much more than wisdom. He was, quite possibly, the greatest lightsaber swordsman of his time.

Yoda first revealed his prowess with his green blade in Attack of the Clones, then continued to show his abilities in Revenge of the Sith. In both films he displayed a surprisingly acrobatic style, letting the Force flow through him as he set his cane aside and battled against Count Dooku and Darth Sidious. In both cases, his opponents weren't interested in continuing a direct lightsaber battle for long, preferring instead to use the Force to push heavy objects and hurl Force lightning in Yoda's direction. There's a good reason for that. If their battles had been nothing but sabers, it's quite possible the little green Grand Master would have ended them quite quickly.