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The Star Wars Jedi More Powerful Than Darth Vader

In the four decades since the original Star Wars made its big screen debut, George Lucas' galaxy far, far away has become one of the most beloved and studied fictional worlds ever conjured. It's spawned an ever-expanding cinematic universe, several animated series, stacks of books, theme park lands, and even a marvelous collection of comic book tales. Throughout the lifespan of Lucas' creation, one of the few Star Wars certainties has been that Sith Lord Darth Vader's power to wield the Force was all but unparalleled.

While Vader ultimately used his boundless power for evil, the character continues to be one of the more intriguing Lucas ever created, with the man once known as Anakin Skywalker transitioning from would-be savior of the Jedi, to Empirical agent of doom, to a tragic figure whose humanity was all but consumed by the Dark Side of the Force. With so much story to explore in the former Jedi, it's hardly a surprise that Darth Vader earned his very own comic book series. Even less surprising is that said Marvel series has frequently proven itself among the very best Star Wars books. 

As it happens, a 2017 issue of Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith actually disproves the idea that Vader's power was unmatched. In fact, in a particularly compelling storyline, it's revealed there was indeed a Jedi Master far more powerful than Darth Vader in the galaxy. His name was Kirak Infil'a, and across the third and fourth issues of Dark Lord of the Sith, the exiled Jedi very nearly ended Vader's brutal reign of terror for good. 

Kirak Infil'a was a true Jedi warrior who once bested Darth Vader in battle

For those who've never read Marvel's Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith books, they pick up in the immediate aftermath of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which saw Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christiansen) defeated by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and left for dead on Mustafar. Only Skywalker didn't die, and went on to transform into the half-cybernetic monster the galaxy knows and fears as Darth Vader. The years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, of course, see Vader and Emperor Palpatine ruling the galaxy with an iron fist, hunting down the remaining Jedi after wiping most of them out via the infamous Order 66. More specifically, those years also find Vader out to claim a Jedi's lightsaber for the purpose of bleeding the crystal within and bending its power to the Dark Side. 

Kirak Infil'a is one of the few Jedi to survive Order 66, though he didn't exactly do so by utilizing the Force to escape the murderous Sith and their clone troops. Rather, the former Jedi warrior evaded capture mostly because he'd taken the Barash Vow years prior, excused himself from any dealings with the Jedi Order, and exiled himself to a monastery on a distant river moon called Al'doleem. There, Kirak Infil'a spent years meditating, training, and ultimately becoming one of the most powerful Jedi the galaxy had ever seen.

It is there that Darth Vader ultimately tracks Infil'a, and there the duo first throw down for one of Star Wars' more epic battles. In truly dramatic fashion, that duel unfolds atop a mountain, and ultimately finds Infil'a outwitting, outmaneuvering, and easily overpowering his Dark Side foe, shattering Vader's mechanical leg before sending him over the side of a cliff. With Vader presumably vanquished, Kirak Infil'a quickly sets his sights on vanquishing the Sith Lord's master, and restoring light to the Force.  

Kirak Infil'a ultimately fell to Vader because, well, he was a truly noble Jedi

Of course, if there's one other constant truth in the Star Wars universe, it's that Darth Vader is extremely difficult to kill. Not surprisingly, the vile Sith Lord survives his fall from the mountaintop, and puts himself back together with parts pilfered from one of Kirak's training droids. Vader catches up with the Jedi Master before he can even get off planet. The powerful foes face off for a second time atop a dam looming over Al'doleem City. And though Infil'a fights the Vader valiantly the second time around, he ultimately falls to the Sith.

No, Vader does not overpower Kirak Infil'a. In fact, the Jedi is initially just as in control of the fight the second time around as he was the first. It seems the one thing he hadn't counted on in his fight with Vader is that the Sith Lord won't blink at using anything and anyone in his orbit to vanquish his foe. True to that, Vader's final fight with Infil'a turns in his favor when Al'doleem City police officers show up at the dam to stop the fight. Sensing an opportunity, Vader Force chokes the officers before tossing them over the side of the dam, a tactic that forces Infil'a to pause the fight and save the officers himself.

Infil'a calls Vader "a monster," to which Vader delivers a most Vader-esque understated response, simply stating, "Yes I am." The Sith Lord then begins to take apart the dam itself, threatening to destroy the entire city below and killing everyone in it. Turning his attention to stopping the flood, Infil'a is distracted just enough for Vader to snatch the Jedi's lightsaber and put him in a Force choke. Ignoring Kirak's pleas to spare the city, Vader destroys the dam just before Force-snapping his foe's neck and eliminating the only Jedi in the galaxy stronger than himself. 

As it happens, that's also how Vader gets the Kyber crystal which powers his iconic red light saber.