Top 10 Jedi Masters
Throughout the millennia that the Jedi Order has had thousands, if not millions, of Masters that have led, trained, and guided generations of Knights and Padawans through the trials and travails of their lives and adventures. With all of these masters, there has to be some that stands out above all of the rest, but who are they? This is probably one of the most hotly debated topics in the history of Star Wars, and one that will more than likely never be definitively answered. That being said, here (in no particular order) are 10 of the most influential Jedi Masters that have had the most profound and lasting impact on the galaxy at large.
If any Jedi Master belongs on a Top 10 list, then it has got to be one of the founders of that order. While there were in fact several people from several species that helped found the original Jedi order (the Je’daii) the human Rajivari is recognized as one of the wisest and most powerful of the Je’daii. During his tenure as a Master of the Order, Rajivari was also one of the Jedi Generals during the Despot War which took place almost 26,000 years prior to the Battle of Yavin (25,805 years to be exact). This war was a particularly nasty one for the time period, and after it was over Rajivari was determined to live a life of peace and contemplation so withdrew from active duty, though this only lasted a few years. Quite possibly due to the horrors of the war that he experienced, Rajivari eventually fell to the Dark Side, and tried to destroy the order. Even with his fall, Rajivari is still lauded as the founder of the Order, and viewed as an example of what a Jedi should strive to be.
9. Belth Allusis
The Great Galactic War, also known as the Great War or the Republic-Sith War, was fought between Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic roughly 3,680 years prior to the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the first Death Star. Roughly 10 years into the war, Jedi Master Belth Allusis was assigned to help defend the Republic world of Bothawui against the superior numbers and forces of the Sith. During the defense of Bothawui, Master Allusis was able to lead a noble last stand against the Sith, though it was at the cost of his own life and the lives of the troops assigned to him. Prior to his death, Master Allusis was a very prominent member of the Jedi High Council, who was known to champion many different “lost causes.” This was so much a character trait of his that when he was faced with the choice of saving his own life at the cost of losing the planet, he chose to sacrifice his life in the defense of the planet. Due to the bravery of Jedi Master Allusis became known as the “Heroes of Bothawui” and helped galvanize the Republic troops, restored hope to the Republic as a whole, and the battle became a turning point in the war.
Arguably Revan is one of the most controversial figures in the history of the Jedi Order. Revan is also one of the few Jedi that have risen the ranks of the Order to attain the rank of Master, only to become a full-fledged Sith Lord, only to return to the Light as one of its strongest advocates and supporters. From the start of his career, the man who became known as Revan was a member of the order whose thirst for knowledge often landed him in trouble with his master, Kreia. Due to his promising nature, Revan was also taught by a large number of other Masters where his promise was brought to its full potential. When he finally became a Knight, the Mandalorian wars were currently underway and Revan became a major and vocal proponent for the Jedi to become a more active participant in ending the war. He was so charismatic that he was able to draw a large number of other Jedi to join him in his crusade against the Mandalorians. Over the course of the war, he claimed the helmet of a fallen Mandalorian and used it as his own which became his trademark. Due to a large number of moral compromises that Revan felt he was forced to make, Revan soon fell to the dark side.
Once the Mandalorian Was won, Revan and his new apprentice, Malak, disappeared into the Unknown Regions for a couple of years. While they were gone the two came across a new Sith Empire, and fell sway to their teachings. In an “effort” to protect the Republic from the Sith Empire (who were secretly pulling the strings during the Mandalorian War) Revan and Malak broke away from their new Sith masters, and located the Star Forge. Using the power of the Star Forge, the two created their own fleet of ships that they were able to use and started the Jedi Civil War. Eventually Revan was captured by his future wife, Jedi Bastila Shan, and had his mind wiped. Over the course of several mishaps and adventures, Revan was able to regain his memories and defeat Malak and his forces. Even though he returned to the Light, there were many within the order that did not trust him. In part to atone his past actions, Revan went on a personal crusade to end the Sith Empire, and became known as the Prodigal Knight. Unfortunately, what happened next has been lost to history. What little is known has been lost to myth and fable, except to the most dedicated of the Jedi Archivists, and with the latest fall of the Order even that has been destroyed.
7. Nomi Sunrider
Former Grand Master of the Order, Nomi Sunrider started her training to be a Jedi late in life. In fact, she didn’t really have any contact with the order until after she met her husband Jedi Padawan Andur Sunrider, roughly 4,000 years before the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the first Death Star. After their wedding, and the birth of their daughter Vima, Andur was killed by Bogga the Hutt. In honor of his loss, Nomi joined the order and began training under Jedi Master Thon. Throughout the course of her career, Master Sunrider participated in the Great Sith War against Exar Kun and the Dark Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma, and helped end the Great Sith War by helping to defeat Exar Kun on Yavin IV. Due to the actions of Exar Kun, and his lingering presence on the forest moon, Yavin IV was placed on a quarantine and no Jedi were allowed to land there. Roughly ten years after the defeat of Exar Kun, Nomi Sunrider was elevated to the position of Grand Master of the Order. Master Sunrider was well known for her adept skills in battle meditation, saber skills, and the ability to direct the Wall of Light, a unique ability of multiple Jedi to trap and contain Dark Side Force spirits.
6. Luke Skywalker
Jedi Master Luke Skywalker is another Jedi who got a very late start in his life as a Jedi. Luke is the son of Queen Padme Amidala and former Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, who later became Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. Luke grew up on the desert planet of Tatooine with his Uncle and Aunt, not knowing who his father was or that he had any other family (such as Princess Leia Organa). In many ways, Luke was almost forced into the fight against the First Galactic Empire with the death of his Aunt and Uncle at the hands of some Imperial Storm Troopers. After the death of the only family that he knew, Luke began his training under the hands of Master Obi-Wan Kenobi who, unbeknownst to him, had also trained his father. Unfortunately, Obi-Wan was unable to complete his training since he was killed by Darth Vader so Luke continued his training under the tutelage of Master Yoda. Upon helping to defeat the First Galactic Empire, Luke strove to reestablish the Jedi Order and was making great headway on doing so when he hit a major bump in the road. Luke’s nephew (and apprentice) Ben Solo fell under the sway of a mysterious Dark Sider named Snoke, and ended up most of the new initiates. Currently the fate of the order is unknown, as Luke has been in seclusion for a number of years and only recently has taken a new apprentice by the name of Rei.
5. Bastila Shan
Bastila Shan lived at the end of the Mandalorian War, and was a central figure in the Jedi Civil War. In fact, she became noted for her exceptional powers at Battle Mediation, and the capture and redemption of the Jedi Master known as Revan, the Prodigal Knight. After then Padawan Shan lead the strike force that captured Revan, she also helped convince the Jedi High Council to wipe Revan’s mind and give him a “second chance” at life and see if he could be truly redeemed. This was done in large part to the Force Bond that existed between Bastila and Revan (which later culminated in their marriage). Throughout the final year of the Jedi Civil War, Bastila helped guide and redeem Revan to the point that they were able to relocate the legendary Star Forge, and use the powers from the artifact to destroy Darth Malak and the New Sith Empire that Malak and the former Darth Revan had created. While Revan went on to leave the Known Regions in search of the true threat to the galaxy, Bastila remained behind and had their son Vaner.
The family line of Bastila and Revan would continue to serve in the Jedi for centuries to come with one of the most notable of members being Satele Shan, who was the Grand Master of the Order during the Galactic War between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire. One of the most notable traits of Bastila Shan is that while she did try to follow the Jedi Code to the best of her abilities, she did have an issue with the belief that was starting to crop up among Jedi Masters of her time which is that love (and attachment) should be forbidden. In many ways she was proven right, since it was the very love that Shan had for Revan which helped save and redeem Revan from the Dark Side.
Yoda is one of the most revered, and yet enigmatic, Grand Masters of the Jedi Order. Not much is known about Yoda when he was young, though it is known that he became an incredibly formidable swordsman and manipulator of the Force. There are only three known members of Yoda’s race, all of which were in the Jedi Order, rose to the rank of Master, and sat on the Jedi Council. These three are Jedi Master’s Yaddle (female), Yoda, and Vandar Tokar (who lived during the time of the Jedi Civil War). Yoda’s race is extremely long lived, with Yoda living to be roughly 900 years old at the time of his death. While Yoda is an exceptionally talented Jedi who is only known to have trained two Jedi directly, Count Dooku and Luke Skywalker. Count Dooku eventually left the Order, was known as one of the Lost Twenty, Leader of the Seperatist Movement, and the Sith Apprentice Darth Tyranus. Luke Skywalker eventually became a hero of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and the founder of the New Jedi Order. While Master Yoda may not have had too many direct Padawans, he did make a point of teaching numerous younglings within the Jedi Temple on Coruscant for generations and thus helped influence the direction that countless Jedi took in their lives and careers.
3. Meetra Surik
Meetra Surik, the Knight who became known as the Jedi Exile, lived and participated in the Mandalorian Wars and was a follower of the enigmatic Revan. At the start of the Mandalorian Wars she was only a Padawan, but by the time that the conflict was over she was a full Jedi Knight who was also a General in the Republic Military. While she is lauded as a hero, many also see her as a villain due to her actions at the final battle of the Mandalorian War which took place on Malachor V. It was during this battle that Meetra Surik became what is known as a Wound in the Force (as did Darth Nihilius). After the battle, and the resulting end of the war, Meetra Surik was the only Jedi that returned to face the Jedi High Council and the consequences of their actions in following Revan to war. In doing so, Meetra Surik was the only Jedi that had followed Revan which did not turn to the Dark Side, and could still be considered loyal to the light. Despite this behavior though, the Jedi High Council banished Surik in large part due to her being a Wound in the Force, and its potential influence on others in the order.
It took roughly a decade for Meetra to heal, when she was drawn into the Dark Wars and the machinations of the Sith Triumvirate lead by Darth Nihlus, Darth Sion, and Darth Traya. Through her actions, Surik was able to defeat the Triumvirate, and help stop the 1st Jedi Purge. After defeating the Triumvirate at Malachor V, Meetra Surik left the known regions to help Revan in his fight against his unknown enemy. What happened next is largely lost to history, and is largely conjecture, but it is speculated that Surik and Revan faced the Sith Emperor, and 300 years later her Force Spirit helped to later guide Jedi Master Oteg in his fight against the Sith. After this action, Master Meetra Surik is presumed to have become one with the Force.
2. Obi-Wan Kenobi
Master Obi-Wan Kenobi was raised in the Jedi Order from the time he was a small child, and in many ways the Jedi Order was his only known family. Obi-Wan has a rather impressive Jedi pedigree, as he was trained by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, who was trained by Jedi Master Count Dooku (the eventual Darth Tyranus), who was himself trained by Jedi Grand Master Yoda. Obi-Wan became a full-fledged Jedi Knight during the opening stages of the Fall of the Republic, which took place at the end of the Invasion of Naboo when he killed the Sith Apprentice Darth Maul. In a rather surprising break from Jedi tradition, within moments of becoming a Knight himself, Obi-Wan was made the master of newly named Padawan Anakin Skywalker (the eventual Darth Vader). Later in life Obi-Wan would blame his own inadequacies as a trainer and a friend for Anakin’s fall, and never truly forgave himself.
Even though he was a staunch traditionalist, Obi-Wan had his own run ins with the Jedi Council, and even came close to leaving the order. The most notable instance of when this happened is when a young Obi-Wan fell in love with the Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze and contemplated leaving the Order to be with her. Another example of his potential defiance of the Council is when he demanded that he be the one to train young Anakin Skywalker in accordance with the wishes of Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Over the course of the years, Master Kenobi would face the Mandalorian Death Watch, the Seperatists, and the Sith to name only a few. The only other known apprentice of Obi-Wan is the son of Anakin, Luke Skywalker. There was such a connection between Luke and Obi-Wan, almost certainly a true Force Bond, that even after his death Obi-Wan still continued to guide Luke.
1. The Daughter
The Daughter is arguably one of the most enigmatic of all Jedi, or at least the Light Side users. While she is not technically a member of the Jedi order, the tenets that she follows are very similar to those of the Jedi. Perhaps what makes her so fascinating is that she is literally the personification of the Light Side of the Force, though whether this is literal or figurative is still open for debate. What is known, is that she sided with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Padawan Ahsoka Tano in fighting against the Son, and his Dark Side followers. Unfortunately, she died in the fight against the Dark Side of the Force when the Son attempted to over through the Father who was the living embodiment of the balance of the Force. With the death of the Daughter, the Father helped the Jedi fight against the Son, where both the Father and son were killed. In the fight against the Dark Side, both the Son and the Father died as well, resulting in the rebalancing of the Force and the destruction of the planet Mortis. Many may say (noticeably the Jedi High Council) that this was an isolated incident, the foreshadowing of later events cannot be denied. The legacy and example of the Daughter is one that will be felt for generations to come, as long as her teachings and actions are not forgotten.
Well, these are the Top 10 Jedi Masters in the Star Wars universe. How close did we come to your list? Did we miss someone that was particularly powerful or influential that we should have included? If so, please let us know in the comments below. Who knows, it may just end up in the next, updated or expanded version of the list.