Star Wars: 10 most powerful characters in the movie franchise

Yoda and Darth Vader
Yoda and Darth Vader in Star Wars Pic credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars brought moviegoers into an amazing world in a galaxy far, far away, one populated with powerful characters, good and evil.

The heroic Jedi Warriors fought to keep the peace while the evil Empire tried to rule over the galaxy with an iron fist. The Empire had a former Jedi of their own, now a brutal Sith Lord.

The Star Wars prequels introduced several Jedi Warriors, long since lost to time, and showed how a hopeful young boy grew up to become the evil Sith Lord.

The sequels moved away from the original Star Wars movies, showing a new group of powerful heroes, although the Jedi warriors still played a large role with a new generation of heroes and villains.

However, not all Star Wars characters are equal, and some of the most powerful played for the villains, and some maintained power even without proper Jedi training.

Here is a look at the 10 most powerful Star Wars movie characters, ranked.

Count Dooku

Count Dooku
Count Dooku in Star Wars Pic credit: Lucasfilm

Before Darth Vader, the main Sith warrior that threatened the Jedi Council was Count Dooku, also known as Darth Tyranus.

However, as powerful and cunning as he was — not many came close — his thirst for power caused his downfall.

Count Dooku was one of the most menacing Sith Lords in the Clone Wars and was actually trained by Yoda.

Dooku left the light side of the Force voluntarily and became Darth Sidious’s disciple, taking on the name Darth Tyranus. Dooku thought he was going to help take over the galaxy, but Darth Sidious betrayed him and had Anakin kill him.


Rey in Star Wars Pic credit: Lucasfilm

Rey is very similar to Luke Skywalker in that she rose in power despite never getting proper training. She received even less training than Luke, but had so much experience living on her own, that she had survival skills Luke never developed before leaving home.

As a Jedi, Rey trained directly under Luke Skywalker, and when added to the fact that she was related to Palpatine, she had the Force sensitivity in the same way Luke did, thanks to him being Anakin’s son.

Thanks to her mental relationship with Kylo Ren, she gained power through their connection. The two ended up working together to beat Palpatine in the sequel trilogy.

Mace Windu

Mace Windu
Mace Windu in Star Wars Pic credit: Lucasfilm

Mace Windu was a prequel Star Wars character, a powerful Jedi Master before the Empire’s rise.

Mace was a powerful warrior, and there is a good argument that he beat Palpatine in their fight. Palpatine is more powerful than Windu, but in the actual lightsaber battle, it was Mace Windu who won that fight.

Windu reputation was as “the greatest champion of the Jedi Order,” and “The Council’s greatest battlefield General and warrior.”

However, Anakin Skywalker betrayed Mace Windu, severing his arm, and that is how he finally fell.

Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren in Star Wars Pic credit: Lucasfilm

Kylo Ren was extremely powerful in the Force, however, his struggles at completely buying into the Dark Side limited his powers.

Kylo was a legacy Jedi, the son of Princess Leia and grandson of Anakin Skywalker. His own uncle, Luke Skywalker, helped train him, and he moved on to serve under Palpatine, who survived Return of the Jedi.

He matched up well with Rey, but he ended up more powerful in the end, thanks to his structured training, something most heroes like Luke and Rey never received.

It was Kylo Ren, using his intense powers to bring Rey back to life, that helped win the battle over Palpatine.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Pic credit: Lucasfilm

Obi-Wan Kenobi had a powerful mentor in Qui-Gon Jinn, and there are some who believe that Anakin could have been a hero if mentored by Qui-Goin and not Obi-Wan.

Despite these debates, there is no questioning Obi-Wan Kenobi’s power. When Anakin Skywalker turned to the Dark Side, it was Obi-Wan who not only defeated him but massacred his former Padawan.

Kenobi was a noble and believed completely in the ways of the Jedi. That was also his downfall, as he fell alongside his brethren when the Empire rose.

However, before this, he was one of the most powerful warriors in the Clone Wars.

Obi-Wan held his own against Darth Vader in a subsequent battle but gave his own life to join Luke Skywalker in his battles as a Force Ghost.

Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Pic credit: Lucasfilm

Luke Skywalker was highly Force-sensitive as the son of Anakin Skywalker, the man who became Darth Vader.

No one trained Luke Skywalker properly as a Jedi Warrior, but he rose to great heights thanks to being rushed into battle. Obi-Wan Kenobi started the training but died after only a short time. Yoda continued it and did more than anyone, but Luke left before completing his training.

Despite his lack of training, Luke Skywalker rose quickly as a powerful Jedi Warrior and was powerful enough to help beat the Empire in Return of the Jedi (but not without help) and help Rey find her place in the Star Wars universe.

Luke is lower than others because he had no chance to beat Palpatine without Darth Vader’s help and mostly failed in his role as mentor to young Jedi’s as trainer.


Yoda in Star Wars Pic credit: Lucasfilm

Yoda first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, a small reclusive Jedi Master hiding from the Empire. It was Yoda who started Luke Skywalker’s training.

In the prequel movies, Yoda proved to be one of the most powerful Jedi warriors, stronger than most in his connection to the Force.

Yoda trained Jedi for over 800 years and played a huge role in the Clone Wars as well. Yoda also helped unlock the path to immortality for Jedi Warriors.

However, despite his skills and training, he was still the reason the Empire rose to power and helped push Anakin Skywalker into his role as Darth Vader because of his refusal to help train the young Jedi.

Leia Organa

Leia Organa
Leia Organa in Star Wars Pic credit: Lucasfilm

Not all powerful Star Wars characters are Jedi or Sith warriors.

Princess Leia is Force-sensitive, but she rarely used this power. Instead, she rose to power through her military training and leadership skills.

Leia is who sent R2D2 and C3PO to find Obi-Wan Kenobi and try to stop Darth Vader. It was this move that brought Luke Skywalker in to help the Rebel Forces.

It was Leia who was the brains behind the original trilogy, and it was her plans that helped win even more than Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.

In the sequels, it was Rey, Finn, Poe, and more who led the way, but it was Princess Leia that helped lead the war after the events of Return of the Jedi. Leia is the most powerful leader the Rebellion ever saw, and one of the most powerful people in the entire Star Wars universe.

Emperor Palpatine

Emperor Palpatine
Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars Pic credit: Lucasfilm

Most see Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious as the most powerful character in Star Wars movies, but he fell short of the man who defeated him.

Palpatine was powerful, even without using his Force powers. He betrayed the entire Republic and turned it into the Empire under his rule, just using his power as a politician.

He ended the Clone Wars when he turned every clone into a Stormtrooper and slaughtered almost the entire Jedi force. He tempted and turned Anakin Skywalker, turning him into Darth Vader.

He even survived Darth Vader’s betrayal, although as a shell of himself, when he reappeared in the sequels, only to fall to another betrayal by Vader’s grandson, Kylo Ren.

Darth Vader

Darth Vader
Darth Vader in Star Wars Pic credit: Lucasfilm

Darth Vader ended up as the most powerful Star Wars character in the entire movie universe.

As Anakin, he had his weakness, and he ended up losing in battle to Obi-Wan Kenobi, losing most of his body parts. Anakin used this defeat to become stronger.

As Darth Vader, no one could beat him. He even had designs on taking over the leadership role from Palpatine.

Luke Skywalker couldn’t beat Darth Vader in battle. When Luke failed to stop the Emperor, it took him reaching out for what remained of his father’s humility to turn him back to the right side of the Force.

What resulted was Darth Vader defeating the Emperor himself and ending the Empire’s threat. It wasn’t Luke Skywalker and friends who ended the war; it was Darth Vader, the most powerful Star Wars character in the movies.

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