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The Most Powerful Beings In Star Wars, Ranked

Every entry in the sprawling Star Wars franchise has a few timeless themes in common: good vs. evil, nature vs. technology, shooting first vs. holding your fire. The most central theme of pretty much all the comics, films, video games, and other spin-offs, though, is power (yes, even the Ewok movies). Many types abound, from the Empire's far-reaching political might to the courageous underdogs of the Resistance.  

Individuals also have power in the Star Wars universe, which is home to countless formidable characters, from Jedi and Sith to mythical Force users with ancient abilities. These beings are sometimes great warriors who wield a lightsaber or mystics with otherworldly powers and special connections to the Force. They came from the minds of George Lucas, Dave Filoni, and every contributing creator and author in between. Here are the most powerful beings in the Star Wars canon. 

Be forewarned: this article contains spoilers from all of the existing Star Wars films and various TV shows.

15. Grand Admiral Thrawn

Thrawn is the only character on this list without a connection to the Force of some kind or other. The cunning Chiss admiral gets by on his wits, knowledge, and years of loyalty to the Imperial machine. Grand Admiral Thrawn was first introduced in the Timothy Zahn book "Heir to the Empire" — now a part of the Star Wars "Legends" canon. Thanks to these books and other EU works, Thrawn became a fan favorite for his bloodthirstiness and calculated approach to hunting the Jedi and Rebel scum. 

Thrawn was reintroduced into the canon in Star Wars Rebels as a primary antagonist in seasons three and four. He's definitely one of the best villains in the whole Filoni-verse of animated Star Wars. Thrawn's role going forward is a bit ambiguous, but it's safe to say he'll become even more important to the Star Wars universe very soon. Ahsoka name-drops him during her Mandalorian appearance, asking, "Where is Thrawn?" This has fueled rumors that he'll make an appearance whenever that show drops onto Disney+.

14. Revan

Reestablishing Revan in the Star Wars canon is maybe the best thing to come out of The Rise of Skywalker. This ancient Sith Lord made his debut in Bioware's beloved Star Wars RPG Knights of the Old Republic, existing centuries before any of the movies. In the Legends timeline, Revan is a legendary Force user, one who fought on both the Jedi and Sith sides during the Mandalorian Wars, Jedi Civil War, and the Great Galactic War.

Revan doesn't actually appear in The Rise of Skywalker but in its companion, The Visual Dictionary. Here it is explained that the red troopers introduced in the film are Sith Troopers, with each legion named after a historic Sith from the deep lore and non-canonical games. In the book, you can see one is called "The Revan Legion."

It's worth noting that this villain also nearly made an appearance (alongside Darth Bane) in a deleted scene in the Mortis arc of The Clone Wars. Both Sith Lords were to appear in a vision to the Son, showing the character's connection to the Dark Side of the Force and the influences sending him down his path of destruction.

13. Mace Windu

Throughout the Republic era, Mace Windu is one of the most capable and accomplished fighters in an army full of strong Jedi. He's a hero of the Republic army, has eliminated more battle droids than anyone can count, and would have probably lived through Order 66 if Anakin hadn't made it to him first. 

Many of the Jedi of the Republic era of Star Wars were indeed very strong — and certainly show-offy with their lightsabers — but it's easy to forget that Windu nearly single-handedly toppled Emperor Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. This is what sets him apart from the rest of the pack. The epic lightsaber battle is ridiculous fun to watch, and it showcases Mace's true abilities as a warrior. At the end, Mace has his lightsaber to Palpatine's throat, but it's Sheev's lucky day when Anakin comes to save him and begins to complete his dark transformation into Darth Vader.

12. Ahsoka Tano

Once the young apprentice of Anakin during the Clone War, Ahsoka goes on a journey of self-discovery that leads to her abandoning the Jedi order and their ways. Over the course of the show, Ahsoka faces off against Grievous, Ventress, and Darth Maul, coming out the other end a hardened warrior. As her power grows, so does her compassion, and she gains clarity about the role the Jedi Order is truly serving.

Thanks to a little help from everyone's favorite clone commander, Rex, Ahsoka survived the great Jedi purge. By the time we reach the period of post-Empire collapse seen on The Mandalorian, Ahsoka has become one of the most powerful living characters in the Star Wars universe. 

She's not technically a Jedi anymore, but Ahsoka's Jedi training, deep connection to the Force, and decades spent in hiding honing her skills make her one of the most skilled remaining lightsaber wielders. Her surprise appearance in The Mandalorian only proved her power and left fans wanting even more. They'll be getting what they want soon enough in the Disney+ show starring Rosario Dawson slated for 2022.

11. Bendu

Not all Force users are Jedi, as Star Wars Rebels shows with one of its coolest creations: Bendu. Bendu is an ancient Force-sensitive rock creature who lives on Atollon in the Lothal system and plays a pivotal role in season 3 of Rebels.

After Kanan Jarrus — one of the few living Jedi Knights during the reign of the Empire and a father figure to the Ghost crew — loses his eyesight in a duel with Maul, he retreats to Lothal to sort out his life. It is here that Kanan discovers Bendu. The mystic creature awakes from a years-long slumber after sensing Kanan's imbalance and his cry for help. In an act of altruism, Bendu trains Kanan to become more in touch with the Force, teaching him to use it to see. This more or less turns Kanan into Daredevil with a lightsaber which, no lie, is extremely cool.

Bendu gets to show their true power during the season 3 finale. Thrawn's assault on Atollon enrages the entity and Bendu creates a lightning storm that changes the tide in the Rebel's favor.

10. Obi-Wan Kenobi

Don't you mean old Ben Kenobi? No matter what you call him, it's hard to deny Obi-Wan's importance in the grander Star Wars fiction. From apprentice to mentor, he proved himself as a legendary warrior and wise Jedi Master.

Before he became General Kenobi of the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan was the apprentice of Qui-Gon Jinn. He defeated Darth Maul in the "duel of the fates," losing his master but gaining an unexpected apprentice. Throughout the prequels and The Clone Wars, Obi-Wan is one of the best Jedi of his time. As a warrior, he's a match for Grievous and Dooku, not to mention Asajj Ventress. At the same time, he serves as one of the leading tacticians in the Republic army and a leading voice on the Jedi council. And of course, Obi-Wan managed to survive the great Jedi purge to become one of the last living Jedi.

All of this loops back around to 1977 and Obi-Wan's not-so-humble origins as Luke's mentor. With his transformation complete, Obi-Wan is able to serve his final purpose and send Luke on the path to redeeming his father. A worthy end to one of the light side of the galaxy's finest warriors.

9. Darth Plagueis

Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? I thought not. It's not a story the Jedi would tell you. The most memed moment in Star Wars history, the story Palpatine tells Anakin of his master introduced the world to one of the most powerful Sith Lords of all time.

As Palpatine explained, Darth Plagueis was a powerful — and let's not forget wise — Sith who gained "unnatural powers." According to Palpatine, Plagueis learned how to bring the dead back to life and how to save the ones he cared about. Plagueis was certainly powerful, but whether he actually managed to resurrect anyone is debatable. It is true much of his life was spent studying midichlorians and attempting to master death itself, but Plagueis never finished his research before he was executed by his apprentice. This completed yet another cycle of the Sith, as Plagueis before him had done the same to his master, Darth Tenebrous.

8. The Force Priestesses

Not all who have power wield it in a destructive way. The Force Priestesses hold the power of life and death and are some of the most powerful mystic Force users. They never fight, but the secret to unlocking the power they do hold has been sought by many great Jedi and Sith.

The five Force Priestesses have the key to a kind of immortality: They're the gatekeepers who give the Jedi the ability to become Force ghosts. They aid Yoda in his journey to attain this power in a season 6 arc of The Clone Wars. This set of episodes explains the process Jedi must go through to become ghosts, making it vitally clear that only the most powerful Jedi most connected to the Force can learn this ability. Incidentally, aside from keeping an eye on Luke, Yoda sent Obi-Wan to Tatooine at the end of Revenge of the Sith to master this technique.

7. Darth Bane

This is one that gets in on a technicality, but it's impossible to deny the influence and power of Darth Bane in the Star Wars lore as a whole. Bane appears in one of Yoda's flashbacks in his season 6 Clone Wars arc. This was the first official appearance of Bane in the canon after the Disney acquisition, which allowed his important backstory to be written back into the official arc of Star Wars.

Darth Bane is canonically one of the most powerful Sith Lords of all time. Originally conceptualized by Lucas during the creation of The Phantom Menace, Bane is the origin point of the modern incarnation of the Sith order following the Jedi-Sith war. He established the rule of two, where there are only one master and one apprentice at a time, and only by slaying their master can a Sith apprentice gain the title of master. He also appears in the deleted "Ghosts of Mortis" scene alongside Revan.

6. The Ones/The Celestials

In one of the more fantasy-inspired adventures in The Clone Wars — as opposed to the show's more typical futuristic, militarized representation of science fiction — we meet the most powerful family in the galaxy. In the Mortis arc of The Clone Wars, a highlight of the series, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka encounter The Ones, a family of three Force-users who have an incredible and unique power. 

Known as Celestials, the Father, the Son, and the Daughter have existed for millennia and are closer to Gods than humans. They can see the future and seem to be the only beings who know the true meaning of the prophecy — that Anakin is meant to become Vader to destroy the Emperor. The Father even shows Anakin his destiny during the Clone Wars arc, but when the Celestials were destroyed and returned to the Force at the end of these episodes, the Jedi all forget what they saw and learned on Mortis. These legendary Force magicians are referenced again in the final season of Rebels

5. Rey

Rey is the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine (somehow), but her power doesn't come from her Sith blood. It comes from her love and willingness to help others. In The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Rey is still in a process of training and self-discovery. She can almost win a fight with Kylo Ren, but not quite. In these movies, her Force power and battle skills don't hold a candle to many of the great Force users of the Star Wars canon — but even Luke Skywalker started off scrappy.

It's only at the end of Rey's arc that we see why she's one of the most powerful Jedi. In the climactic battle at the end of The Rise of Skywalker, Rey calls on the strength of all the Jedi to defeat Palpatine and the spirits of all the Sith. She opens herself up to be a vessel to all the Jedi who ever lived in order to prove the potency of the light side. Good night, Grandpa Sheev. Haters of the new trilogy can say what they will, but it's hard to deny Rey's power by the end of the Skywalker Saga.

4. Luke Skywalker

Who knew that the whiny boy on Tatooine who only wanted to "go to Tashi Station to pick up some power convertors" would become the hero of the universe? Most people, probably, figured it out after watching Star Wars in 1977. Still, Luke's journey is a fascinating one full of success, power, and — most poignantly — failure.

Luke Skywalker wasn't always the most powerful Jedi in the universe, but he held the title for probably 40 years between the end of Return of the Jedi and the new generation in The Force Awakens. The very human way he conquered his internal and external struggles, especially in The Empire Strikes Back, earned the admiration of an entire generation of Star Wars fans. He successfully turned Vader and brought his true father back to say one last goodbye, overthrowing the Empire along the way. Luke is the father of a generation of Jedi. He leads and learns until he makes the ultimate sacrifice to defeat Kylo Ren and The First Order on Crait. This is Luke's final galaxy-saving victory in a lifetime full of them.

3. Yoda

Thanks to Yoda — everyone's favorite green Muppet — we get a glimpse into the burden of the master, and what happens when they fail. Luke follows a similar arc, but Yoda was ultimately the more powerful Jedi. Yoda was the most influential Jedi to ever exist.

As the Grand Master of the Jedi Order during the Republic era, Yoda trained generation upon generation of Jedi knights and masters. While he's known for his odd speech patterns and wisdom above all else, the prequels showed Star Wars fans Yoda is no schlub with a lightsaber. He stands his own against Darth Sidious in some of the most bombastic fights in the series (The Clone Wars took a much more toned-down approach to Yoda's fighting style).

A wise master to all and living beyond his years as an omnipresent Force ghost, Yoda will always be there to guide young Jedi. His connection to the Force is unbreakable.

2. Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine

Of the many ways to measure "power" for this ranking, Emperor Sheev Palpatine — Darth Sidious to his friends — gets an A rank in pretty much every category.  

In terms of political power, Palpatine wields more than anyone in the Galactic Senate during the Republic era. He is the puppet master behind the entire Clone War, playing all sides in a cruel, calculated manner. As any Star Wars fan knows, he succeeds. The Republic collapses, the Jedi get wiped out, and the Emperor wins absolute control for 30 years until he's forced to let go. 

This is without even mentioning his alter ego, Sidious the Sith Lord — the ultimate villain of the Skywalker saga. In his youth, Sidious was a fighter able to rival Yoda and the best of the Jedi Order. By the time he's resurrected on Exegol, Palpatine has transcended beyond the need for a functional human form and is fully a part of the dark side of the Force.

1. Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker

It's undeniable that Darth Vader belongs at the top of this list. He is the "Chosen One," after all. It can be argued that throughout all the suffering and destruction he caused, Anakin Skywalker did eventually bring balance to the Force.

During his prime as a General in the Clone War, Anakin was a daring warrior with incredible lightsaber skills that helped him take down Count Dooku. He was a reckless but successful tactician. Anakin was known by both clones and Separatists as the best fighter pilot in the galaxy. Even before his tragic fall to the Dark Side, Anakin was one of the most powerful Jedi alive, but Vader is a whole other ballgame.

What is there to say about the iconic villain that hasn't been said hundreds of thousands of times already? While the Emperor reigns, he is the most feared being in the Galactic Republic. Both Obi-Wan and Palpatine met their demise at his hands. No matter which way you slice it, Darth Vader is the most powerful being in Star Wars. Over 40 years later, no one can top him.