Most Star Wars stories put the Jedi Order in a good light. They are revered holy men and women, and respected defenders of the Republic. However, if we take a closer look at all their beliefs and practices, it’s clear the sect’s strict doctrine has led to more bad than good. At the height of this guild’s influence, the Jedi had become arrogant and dismissive, and it was this attitude that destroyed them… not the Sith.
This list will focus on two specific groups: the rigidly dogmatic and the fallen Jedi. The first grouping includes all those Knights and Masters whose to-the-letter adherence to the Jedi Code caused themselves or others to turn to the Dark Side. Fallen Jedi, on the other hand, are any Force-users who trained as Jedi but strayed from the cult’s narrow path. While some of these characters abandoned the Order to study or embrace the Dark Side, others were simply orphaned when their masters were killed on missions. Of course, considering our title, none of these entries can be Jedi that actually became Sith. So, sadly fan-favorites like Darth Vader and Count Dooku don’t meet the criteria. Nevertheless, we will include all the worst Light Siders from the movies and shows, as well as some nasty little Jedi from the Expanded Universe (aka Legends).
15 KANAN JARRUS
Introduced in Star Wars Rebels in 2014, Kanan had been hiding his Jedi heritage until he met a Force-sensitive youngster named Ezra Bridger. In fact, Kanan Jarrus is an alias and his real name is Caleb Dume. He became the padawan of Master Depa Billaba during The Clone Wars. At the age of 13, Dume saw his first action in the war. When their Clones received Order 66, Billaba told her teenage apprentice to run. He knew his master would be killed if he abandoned her but he ran anyway. He watched her die as he hid.
Dume gave up the Jedi way to survive in a galaxy that had become hostile to his kind. However, he eventually had the audacity to take a student, even though he hadn't even finished his training. Not surprisingly, his pupil has already shown Dark Side leanings and many believe Ezra's fall is inevitable.
14 CADE SKYWALKER
The furthest in the Star Wars timeline that any media was ever allowed to go was three generations removed from Luke Skywalker in the Legacy (2006-2011) line of comics. In this era, Luke’s great-grandson Cade, was raised as a Jedi by his father Kol. He was apprenticed to Kol’s former padawan, Wolf Sazen. When the One Sith attacked the Jedi Academy on Ossus, Kol and Wolf were killed.
However, in his first experience with the Dark Side, Cade’s focused anger managed to revive Wolf. He then tried to avenge his father but ended up marooned in space. He was rescued by a pirate named Rav and joined his crew. He eventually became a bounty hunter and got a ship and crew of his own. Cade also became a deathstick addict.
13 PONG KRELL
Pong Krell was a Besalisk Jedi introduced in Season 4 of The Clone Wars. He was a general during war who had many victories under his sash. However, his wins usually came at the cost of many Clone lives, as Pong considered them nothing more than “creatures bred in some laboratory.” Not very Jedi-like. As if that wasn’t bad enough, when he had a vision that the Jedi Order would fall, he covertly switched sides.
To win Count Dooku's favor, he sabotaged the 501st Legion when he was given command of the battalion on Umbara. In a ruthless maneuver, he took advantage of limited visibility to have two group of Clones attack each other. Although, Rex and crew managed to arrest and execute Krell, it wasn’t before the four-armed Jedi killed many more Clones.
12 ASAJJ VENTRESS
It is a common misconception that this Force-sensitive Dathomirian was a Sith, but she has only ever been the apprentice of a Sith apprentice. That makes her really nothing more than a Dark Side adept. However, she was a Jedi for more than a decade. Asajj has a complicated history and has learned from teachers in various disciplines. She was born into Mother Talzin’s clan of Nightsisters on Dathomir, but was taken and enslaved by a Siniteen pirate as a child.
When this marauder was dispatched by his competition, Asajj was a adopted by Jedi Knight named Ky Narec. He trained her in the Jedi ways until he was also murdered. Though she had endured many tragedies already, Ky’s death broke her and she fell to the Dark Side. Her power attracted Count Dooku, who took her as his apprentice. She quickly became the Sith Lord's top assassin.
11 BARRISS OFFEE
Barriss made as brief debut appearance in Attack of the Clones, but the character was properly explored in almost a dozen episodes of The Clone Wars. This Mirialan Jedi was a model padawan at first. She was trained by the strict and traditional Master Luminara Unduli, who was considered a taskmaster by students and fellow instructors alike. Offee’s by-the-book approach was highlighted when she was teamed with Ahsoka Tano, whose style was a harsh contrast.
Eventually she questioned her blind faith in the Order and started to believe the Jedi had lost their way. This led to her bombing the Jedi Temple and killing a numbers of Jedi, clones and civilians. In her own words, "My attack on the Temple was an attack on what the Jedi have become..." She also murdered her accomplice Letta Turmond to avoid being exposed.
10 QUINLAN VOS
Quinlan first appeared in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in The Phantom Menace. His character was then developed in the Star Wars: Republic (1998-2006) comic series. However, it wasn’t until Dave Filoni made him part of The Clone Wars, that this Jedi agent’s exploits became canon. Quinlan was a strong-willed Knight who preferred working undercover, to being a general in the field during The Clone Wars.
The best parts of his story from the EU, as well as an unfinished arc of The Clone Wars, became the basis for the 2015 in-canon novel Dark Disciple. In this tale Quinlan is ordered to assassinate Count Dooku by the Jedi Council. Just like in the comics, Quinlan ends up falling to the Dark Side and becoming Dooku’s apprentice. Although he does it all in the name of uncovering Dooku's master, he commits several atrocities to prove he has embraced the Dark Side.
9 MARIS BROOD
Maris was created for the video game the Force Unleashed and only appears in media tied to that title and its sequel, Force Unleashed II. She was a padawan at the time of The Clone Wars but was trained on a starship away from where the battle raged. Her master, who was never named, felt it in the Force when Order 66 was executed and he decided to investigate. When he disappeared during his inquiry, Brood set out on a mission of vengeance.
Master Shaak Ti managed to track down and stop the wrathful apprentice, and took her to Felucia to lay low. However, not even training under such a gifted master as Ti could calm her raging anger. When Shaak Ti was killed by Vader's apprentice, Maris fully fell to the Dark Side. Her descent was so absolute that she actually infected the Felucian natives and the planet itself.
This Expanded Universe character’s was the padawan of Master Jocasta Nu. If you don’t remember Jocasta, she is the arrogant librarian in Attack of the Clones who tells Obi-Wan that Jedi records being incomplete was impossible. This vain pride clearly rubbed off on Jerec because he too became a haughty scholar. Further following in Nu’s footsteps, this blind Jedi became an archaeologist tasked with tracking down lost artifacts. When Jerec felt he had learned all he could from the Jedi, he was tempted to delve into Dark Side knowledge.
He was on an expedition in the Unknown Regions during The Clone Wars and only returned after Order 66. His homecoming attracted the attention of the Inquisitors, who hunted him down. When offered the choice to turn to the Dark Side or die, Jerec had no problem switching allegiances. He then rose in rank until he was only second to Darth Vader.
7 AURRA SING
It's stated in The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia (2010) that, “rumor has it that she trained as a padawan.” However, this is about all that is canon about this notorious bounty hunter being Force sensitive and ever having been trained to use it. On the other hand, in the Expanded Universe we get a whole backstory on why she is so anti Jedi. In the Star Wars comics of the early ‘00s we found out she had been the apprentice of a Jedi master referred to as the Dark Woman but was kidnapped by pirates before she could finish her training.
She was then raised as a pirate and grew to resent the Jedi for not rescuing her. Eventually, she started hunting Jedi and collecting lightsabers. If this sounds familiar to Asajj’s entry, we believe it is because elements of both characters' EU backstories were used for Asajj’s canon origin.
6 LUCIEN DRAAY
Lucien is a Jedi Master that appeared in the Knights of the Old Republic (2006-2010) comic series. He was from a Jedi family in which his father was a deceased war hero and his mother specialized in teaching seers. His mother, Krynda Draay, secretly formed a cabal called the Jedi Covenant to watch out for the return of the Sith. Krynda trained a group of seers dubbed the First WatchCircle to be a kind of Sith alert system. Lucien was tasked with protecting and leading this group.
The oracles have a vision of death and destruction brought on by a Sith Lord in red armor. As their padawans are wearing red spacesuits at the time, they believe one would fall to the Dark Side. So, they take a proactive stance and kill the apprentices. Only Lucien’s student, Zayne Carrick, survives and the WatchCircle frame him for the murders.
5 BEN SOLO
We don’t have to tell you that the offspring of Han Solo and Leia Organa is a bad seed. While we don’t know the full details yet, the information we have been privy to tells of Ben starting his Jedi training with Luke in his twenties. Also, at an unspecified time, Ben had fallen under the influence of Supreme Leader Snoke. He was taught the ways of the Dark Side and to prove his dedication to Snoke, he returned to his uncle’s Jedi Temple and slew all the students (in a scene reminiscent of Anakin in Revenge of the Sith). He was then inducted into the mysterious Knights of Ren. Ben was rechristened Kylo Ren and vowed to finish the mission started by his grandfather, Darth Vader.
4 LUKE SKYWALKER
Here’s the thing, the Skywalker line has actually been nothing but trouble for the galaxy at large. While, yes, Luke did manage to stop the Sith, the Empire regrouped and came back swinging and he was nowhere to be found. It was horrible when the Death Star obliterated Alderaan, but Starkiller Base took out a whole system before Resistance forces were able to neutralize it. Where was Luke? On Ach-To, chillin’ like a villain.
And judging by The Last Jedi trailer, it looks like “villain” is exactly what road our beloved Jedi may have gone down. After the events of Return of the Jedi, Luke went undercover to the Dark Side to try to stop a clone of the Emperor in the non-canon Dark Empire (1991-1992) comics. May Rian Johnson be taking inspiration from this storyline?
3 OBI-WAN KENOBI
While many may think Obi-Wan is the ideal Jedi, he is anything but. Somewhere between Obi, Qui-Gon and Yoda lies the blame for the fall of the Jedi and the Republic. The Jedi's strict rules demanded they ignore their attractions and emotions. We all know how that turns out in real life. This holier-than-thou doctrine led to the arrogance that elders like Yoda and Jocasta Nu displayed in the last days of the Order.
While Yoda made an exception to the Jedi’s age restriction to allow the training of Anakin, it was Obi who had the gall to believe a newly Knighted Jedi could mentor the Chosen One. Further, after slashing off three of his padawan’s limbs, he didn’t have the mercy to put him out of his misery. Then, he just left it up the rest of the galaxy to deal with this monster he created.
2 QUI-GON JINN
Oh, Qui-Gon, Qui-Gon, Qui-Gon. You were so sure you were right about Anakin being The Chosen One and then didn’t live long enough to see what he was “chosen” for. His theories about The Living Force might have held some weight but his focus on the present may have blinded him to the coming dark future. He should have recognized that Anakin's attachment to his mother could pose a problem to his training.
While he did seem to be more in-touch with what was going on in the galaxy than the Jedi Council, the Sith avoided his detection for decades as well. Also, Qui-Gon figured he could train two students and hunt down the Sith, all at the same time. Going to have to call hubris yet again, a common trait in Jedi.
Why does poor Yoda get the #1 spot on list of such notorious villains? Well, the way we see it, he is responsible for leading the Jedi astray, sinking the Republic, the tragedies of the Skywalker family and basically everything else bad that happened in a galaxy far, far away. No really! If he was almost 900 years-old when he met Luke, that means his power and wisdom should have been unparalleled in the era leading up to The Clone Wars.
However, he did not sense generations of Sith machinations (mostly in the Expanded Universe). He also may be one of the Masters that established some of the Order’s restrictive rules and guidelines, considering his age and position. He at least enforced them. So, the whole child soldier thing and no familial or romantic relationships is kind of on his head.
Do you think these Jedi are worse than Sith? Are there even worse examples than the ones we mentioned? Give us a shout in the comments!