The Force, that mystical energy field that binds us, penetrates us, and brings the universe together, was first introduced to audiences over 40 years ago with George Lucas’ science fiction adventure classic Star Wars: A New Hope. Over the course of nine more films and countless novels, comic books, and video games, the Force has been demonstrated in a wide variety of ways. The Star Wars Universe has given us hundreds of Force-sensitive characters, from the Jedi Knights that protect the galaxy, to the Sith that are compelled to destroy them, and everyone in between.
The Force not only shapes and guides the universe, it also has come to define much of what Star Wars is. While some would call it destiny, others view it as a religion, and even “luck”. It is the backdrop on which all major events in the galaxy play out; from the formation of Republics, to the fall of Empires. And woven into the fabric of this interstellar tapestry are the Force users that seek to act as its conduits. They both control the Force, and let the Force control them, becoming extensions of its will. Whether or not there truly is a Dark Side of the Force, and a Light Side of the Force, the Force is only as virtuous or corruptible as the person who communes with it. Whether it’s because they can lift X-wings with their minds, can wield a double-bladed lightsaber with blinding speed, or simply have 900 years of accumulated Force knowledge, they make the list of the 25 fiercest Force-users in the current canonical Star Wars Universe.
25 LEIA ORGANA-SOLO
While there was a time when Leia Organa-Solo might not have made this list, the recent use of her abilities in The Last Jedi to survive the vacuum of space make her worthy of mention now. "Star Wars Legends" certainly showcases Leia’s impressive skills with the Force under the tutelage of her brother, Luke Skywalker, but canonically, her knowledge of the Force in the Star Wars films has only recently been revealed.
She has always been a woman of action. A senator, a freedom fighter in the Rebel Alliance, and later a General in the Resistance, she may have chosen a different path than her brother, but when she must, she proves the Skywalker blood in her veins is strong with the Force.
24 EZRA BRIDGER
Disney’s Rebels series bridged the time period between when the Empire rose to power and when Luke Skywalker brought about its end. The series introduced Ezra Bridger, a callow Padawan, and chronicled his adventures with the crew of the starship Ghost five years before Luke would blow up the first Death Star.
In the early days of the Rebellion against the Empire, Ezra was a revolutionary leader. Not only was he an operative for the Rebel Alliance, he was a highly Force-sensitive Jedi. Through his missions, he helped reveal what happened to all the Jedi Darth Vader hunted down, and fought alongside famous Force users like Master Yoda, and against them like Darth Maul.
23 KANAN JARRUS
Aboard the starship Ghost, Ezra Bridger was not the only Force-sensitive crewman. Kanan Jarrus was one of the only Jedi to survive Emperor Palpatine’s dreaded Order 66, in which his Sith padawan Darth Vader hunted the remaining Jedi to extinction. He kept his identity a secret and joined the Rebel Alliance to help take down the Empire.
To conceal his identity, Jarrus went by the alias Caleb Dume, and used a blaster instead of his lightsaber. He kept ahold of his Jedi weapon, however, and could assemble its pieces whenever its use was justified. He was a cunning Rebel leader, loyal captain, and fierce warrior.
22 QUINLAN VOS
A Jedi Master in the waning days of the Galactic Republic, Quinlan Vos hailed from the planet Kiffu and hd a gift for psionic abilities. He was frequently sent on covert missions by the Jedi Council, as he had the unique ability to read memories via people’s personal possessions (or objects they had touched) and track them that way.
He kept tabs on Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones, as the young Jedi Knight showed more signs of aggression, and he partnered with the Sith Dathomirian warrioress Asajj Ventress to try and take out Count Dooku, Darth Sidious’s new apprentice, in the book Dark Disciple from that time period.
21 AHSOKA TANO
Ahsoka Tano was one of the fan-favorite characters to come from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which chronicled Anakin Skywalker and his master Obi-Wan Kenobi as they fought for the Grand Army of the Republic. The series introduced new Jedi characters who were not given much screen time in the prequel films.
The series introduced Ahsoka Tano as the Apprentice of Anakin Skywalker, who had achieved the rank of Jedi Knight by the time of the conflict against the Separatist Army. Headstrong and brash, she often clashed with Skywalker, but they soon forged a close bond that held right up until he fell to the Dark Side.
Ki-Adi-Mundi was one of a select few Jedi Masters chosen to sit on the Jedi Council. The Cerean Jedi continued to hold his seat on the Council during the Clone Wars, when he was often called away on dangerous missions that forced him to only appear via hologram.
Though he was known for his calm, gentle demeanor, his words carried the same authoritative weight as Master Windu or Master Yoda. He strongly encouraged peace and diplomacy, but in times when the Jedi could no longer be the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, he was the first to lead the charge as a General in the Grand Army of the Republic.
19 SIFO DYAS
Master Sifo Dyas will go down in history as the Jedi Master who commissioned the Kaminoans to make the first Clone Army a decade before the Clone Wars began. Having had a premonition through the Force that galactic war was on the horizon, he felt a pre-emptive strike was necessary. Little did he know that at the same time, Count Dooku had fallen to the Dark Side and plotted with his Master, Darth Sidious, to take him down.
Sadly, Sifo Dyas would be responsible for a self-fulfilling prophecy, and in the end, war would not be preventable, but inevitable. Though he fought to save the galaxy, he could not save himself, and Dooku hired the Pykes to end him before taking control of the clones.
18 THE SEVENTH SISTER
As so often is the case within the ranks of the Sith, their numbers are populated by fallen members of the Jedi Order. The Seventh Sister was one of the deadliest members of the Force-sensitive hit squad known as the Inquisitorius. Introduced in Disney’s Rebels series, she served the Empire as a Jedi hunter before the Battle of Yavin.
On a personal mission from Darth Vader, her main objective was to kill Ahsoka Tano, former Jedi apprentice to Anakin Skywalker. A highly skilled hand to hand combatant as well as a swordswoman, she wielded the standard double-bladed spinning lightsaber all Inquisitors were given with deadly accuracy.
17 SHAAK TI
Known for her calm temperate and wisdom, the Togruta Master Shaak Ti was a prominent member of the Jedi Council and fought valiantly during the Clone Wars as a General in the Grand Army of the Republic. She worked diligently to train the clone army cadets on Kamino, striking a balance between producing battle-ready troops and feeling compassion for the clones as living beings.
An extremely gifted swordswoman, she excelled in every Form of lightsaber combat, from Form I to Form VII and Jar’Kai, which only a handful of Jedi Masters practice. Had she not been snuck up on and impaled from behind by Anakin Skywalker, she might have survived the Attack on the Jedi Temple.
16 THE GRAND INQUISITOR
The leader of The Inquisitorius, Emperor Palpatine’s elite team of Jedi hunters, The Grand Inquisitor made his first appearance in Disney’s Rebels, alongside his cohort of Force-sensitive warriors. He took his orders directly from Palpatine’s right hand, Sith Lord Darth Vader, and was known for being exceptionally ruthless.
Once a guard at the Jedi Temple, he betrayed the Jedi Order and sought about destroying them as part of Order 66 and the Jedi Purge. Because of his previous duties, he had an intimate knowledge of Jedi Records. He fought with a lightsaber pike and a double sided yellow lightsaber.
15 DARTH PLAGUEIS
The Master of Darth Sidious, Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith that used his extensive knowledge of midi-chlorian manipulation to create life. He could prevent those he carried about from passing, but not himself, as in accordance to the Rule of Two, his apprentice ended him in his sleep and became a Sith Master in his own right.
Darth Plagueis the Wise, as he came to be known, showed Sheev Palpatine (Darth Sidious) how to manipulate midi-chlorians, and it is thought by some that Anakin Skywalker, born without a father, might have been the result of their experiments to create the ultimate Sith warrior.
14 ASAJJ VENTRESS
A Dathomirian Nightsister, Asajj Ventress was an assassin chosen to be the student of Count Dooku. While she yearned to become a Sith, it was impossible while the Rule of Two was in effect and his Master, Darth Sidious, still lived.
A fierce warrioress, Asajj fought with two red-bladed lightsabers with curved hilts. She was known for her stealth, precise lightsaber technique, and athleticism. Though she often fought Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, she was not above joining forces with a Jedi. In the novel Dark Disciple, she teamed up with Jedi Master Quinlan Vos to try to end her mentor.
13 CHIRRUT IMWE
Rogue One introduced audiences to a different kind of Force user, Chirrut Imwe. Born on Jedha, which housed the Temple of the Kyber, he was a member of the Guardians of the Whills. The Whills were a group of warrior monks that protected the Kyber Temple from those that would steal its kyber crystals, vital to power a Jedi’s lightsaber.
The temple was raided for its contents when the Empire discovered kyber crystals could power the Death Star, leaving Chirrut homeless. Though he was blind, visions of the future came to him via the Force, and he could use the Force to guide his movements with a bowstaff, easily besting a dozen stormtroopers single handedly with Zama-shiwo, a dangerous martial art.
12 DARTH MAUL
One of the most dangerous duelists to ever wield a lightsaber, Darth Maul had a brief appearance in the Star Wars saga but left a lasting impression. Though he was a Zabrak he was raised on Dathomir amidst the Force wielding Night Sisters. His mother was a Force user, whom Darth Sidious promised he would make his apprentice, but decided on her gifted son instead.
He took Maul from Dathomir and began training him in the Sith arts, which helped him became an incredibly agile and acrobatic warrior. Wielding his two-bladed lightsaber, he fought against Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, a duel which resulted in the Jedi Master’s demise.
11 SUPREME LEADER SNOKE
Supreme Leader Snoke was neither Jedi nor Sith when he created the First Order and sought to pass on his knowledge of the Dark Side. The last Sith had been wiped from the galaxy with the deaths of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. Snoke was a follower of the Dark Side that remained hidden while Emperor Palpatine rose to power, but he too possessed the power of Force lightning, as well as the ability to link minds.
He corrupted the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, and turned him into his pupil, Kylo Ren. Following Snoke’s command, he hunted down Luke Skywalker and the last of the Jedi Order. In true Sith fashion, he would eventually end Snoke, who was blinded by hubris.
10 QUI-GON JINN
A controversial figure in the Jedi Order, Qui-Gon Jinn held views that were often polarizing to the rest of his cohort. He had a strong connection with the Living Force, and was a powerful Force user, intellectual philosopher, and impressive duelist.
He was the mentor of Anakin Skywalker until his demise and the training of the enslaved boy could be passed along to his Jedi apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Qui-Gon felt Anakin was the Chosen One from an ancient prophecy, said to bring Balance to the Force. Before he could witness the fate of young Anakin, he fell in battle at the hands of Darth Maul. With his deep understanding of the Living Force, he would help future generations of Jedi commune from beyond the grave.
9 KYLO REN
It was apparent from the first time he froze a blaster bolt in mid air that Kylo Ren was a new villain unlike anyone seen in the Star Wars saga. A petulant young man with a cruel temper, he was a competent duelist who has the ability to freeze victims in mid-air with the Force.
Kylo Ren was once Ben Solo, the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa. His mother felt the Dark Side in him even while he was in her womb, and her brother, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, could do nothing to temper his aggression. Ben fell to the manipulative machinations of Supreme Leader Snoke, and became an instrument of Snoke’s galactic conquest.
Rey was orphaned on the desert planet of Jakku, and raised to be a junker. When she came upon BB-8, a mysterious droid carrying pieces of a map that led to Luke Skywalker, she left Jakku to return the droid to its owner and join the Resistance against the First Order.
Eventually she sought Master Skywalker to begin her Jedi training. He was unwilling to train her at first, but her raw attunement to the Force could not be denied -- she had talents with the Force it took Jedi Knights years to obtain. He hoped she would be powerful enough in the Light Side to stop the evil that the First Order was spreading across the galaxy.
7 COUNT DOOKU
A Jedi Master that became disillusioned with both the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic at large, he was trained by Master Yoda, and eventually took Qui-Gon Jinn as his apprentice, but his resentment grew.
When Dooku left the Jedi Order to train under Darth Sidious and reclaim his family title, he set about a series of events that resulted in corruption in both the Senate and the Republic. As Darth Tyranus, he oversaw the creation of the droid army that would aid his Confederacy of Independent Systems and fight the Grand Army of the Republic. He was an excellent duelist and manipulator of Dark Force Lightning.
6 MACE WINDU
Though the Jedi Code preaches solemn virtues, Mace Windu was a Jedi who could be both patient and hostile. Far more militant than the rest of the Jedi Council, he was one of only a handful of Jedi to master Form VII, which requires the user to sustain a hunger for battle.
A General in the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars, he combatted the droid armies of the Confederacy for Independent Systems. He also opposed Chancellor Palpatine’s politics, and when he was revealed to be Darth Sidious, Windu was the first to lead the charge against him. Ironically, because of Windu’s decisive action, Palpatine could brand the Jedi traitors to the Republic.
5 OBI-WAN KENOBI
Obi-Wan Kenobi was one of the most renowned Jedi Masters in the Jedi Order. He trained Anakin Skywalker in the Jedi Arts, hoping he would bring Balance to the Force. He was heartbroken when Anakin turned to the Dark Side at the hands of Darth Sidious, but vowed that Anakin’s son Luke would not be corrupted like his father.
Obi-Wan watched over Luke as he grew up on the remote planet of Tatooine, and eventually saw in him the seeds of hope he once attributed to Anakin. Though an exceptional swordsman, he sacrificed himself in a duel with Darth Vader so that Luke might know the true power of the Light Side, and use it destroy the Empire.
4 EMPEROR PALPATINE/DARTH SIDIOUS
Darth Sidious was a Lord of the Sith that was known commonly throughout the galaxy as Emperor Palpatine. He was the student of Darth Plagueis, who passed onto his pupil the secrets of immortality. Aside from Sith Alchemy, he also wielded Force Lightning, and was quite skilled with a lightsaber.
He orchestrated the political subterfuge that would bring about one of the greatest eras of galactic violence, placing himself in the ultimate position of authority amidst it. He was responsible for the Galactic Republic becoming the first Galactic Empire, and for turning Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader. With his apprentice, Sidious enforced an iron rule on the galaxy.
With 900 years of knowledge of the Living Force and superior lightsaber skills, Jedi Master Yoda was intimidating for being half the size of everyone around him. The Grand Master of the Jedi Council, he presided over the ranks of the entire Jedi Order.
Though he had doubts about the The Chosen One’s prophecy, he nevertheless allowed Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to train Anakin Skywalker. When Anakin turned to the Dark Side, and Darth Sidious declared himself Emperor Palpatine, Yoda went to the Senate Chambers to face him. There he showed his true strength, hurtling Senate pods at the Sith Lord with ease.
2 DARTH VADER
Both Rebels and Imperials, Jedi and Sith feared Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith and apprentice to Emperor Palpatine. He used fear, intimidation and physical violence to keep entire star systems under his control and loyal to the Empire.
As Anakin Skywalker he was second to none in lightsaber combat, but years spent in the armor keeping him alive limited his mobility. He prized mentally breaking down his opponents over besting them in a duel, though he could Force choke them from yards away as well as hurtle large machinery at them so it hardly mattered.
1 LUKE SKYWALKER
One of the most famous Jedi in the Star Wars Universe, Luke Skywalker began his life as a humble farmboy who would later become a leader of Rogue Squadron and a key member of the Rebel Alliance. He was responsible for the destruction of the Empire’s first Death Star, as well as the Sith Order with the death of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader.
As a Jedi Master, he would go on to rebuild the Jedi Order. It would later be destroyed by his former pupil, Kylo Ren, whom he would have to face in combat. Luke stopped him from destroying the last of the Resistance Army, using Force powers unlike any seen in the Star Wars films.