Rey and Anakin might have their own movies, but the protagonist of the original Star Wars trilogy is undoubtedly Luke Skywalker. And yet, unlike traditional heroes, Luke’s powers aren’t absolute for people to immediately crown him the strongest Jedi.
It’s long been questioned where exactly Luke stands on the list of the strongest Jedi. He may have grown throughout the saga, and his strength rivals many of the most powerful, but it still stands to debate if he could be on the top of the Jedi pyramid.
Opinions, of course, are abundant online. And while they’re valid, I’ve focused on the facts and current status of the Star Wars franchise to answer questions about Luke and his strength.
1. Is Luke Skywalker the Strongest Jedi?
After the events of Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, Luke is no longer the strongest Jedi in Star Wars. George Lucas previously said Luke was the strongest—and while true for a while, the statement doesn’t hold anymore, after the emergence of Rey and Ben.
This isn’t to say Luke isn’t powerful or that he wasn’t strong in his prime. Luke was the most powerful Jedi during the time he recreated the Jedi Order. But again, Lucas admitted that this was only because Anakin never realized his true potential, implying that while he was the strongest living Jedi after Anakin’s death, he wouldn’t have been if Anakin hadn’t changed sides.
That, as well as Rey’s emergence into the canon, leaves us with no choice but to admit that Luke isn’t the top dog anymore.
However, Luke is always placed in the top 5 strongest Jedi of all time (and rightfully so), thanks to his exceptional abilities. He is, after all, a Grand Master.
I. Luke vs Anakin
If I were to put Luke in his prime against Anakin’s Darth Vader when he had both sides of Force at his disposal, Luke is the apparent winner, since “Anakin never reached his full potential.” Had he not gotten injured on Mustafar in a duel against Kenobi, Luke wouldn’t hold a candle against Anakin—the Chosen One!
If I compare their most significant feats:
Luke’s biggest feat in the canon is projecting himself across the galaxy using Force. It may have ended up killing him, but it shows us the intense understanding Luke has of the Force, giving him a possible advantage.
Anakin’s most significant feat is dominating The Father’s Children—something only Anakin has been able to do after The Father himself. This, as you can probably tell, is superior to projection. And it’s only one of many.
This shows the vast difference in their potential. But of course, potential doesn’t win battles. If we consider their strengths at the height of their respective careers, Luke’s lightsaber skills give him the most considerable advantage over Anakin.
Moreover, the son’s understanding of Force and his Grand Master status seems to be more than what his father could achieve. Hence, this round goes to the savior, Luke Skywalker.
II. Luke vs Yoda
“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm.”Yoda to Luke upon their first meeting
It may be a mere dialogue to you, but it’s the difference between life and death for the Star Wars characters. It’s probably the first chapter of the Sith Apprentice handbook—don’t judge a Yoda by its size! Just kidding…
Despite his short build, Yoda’s lightsaber skills make it impossible for someone to go against the gremlin. Yoda flows through the Force and makes use of his entire body during duels, jumping around with incredible agility and speed to strike from all angles.
However, Luke’s lightsaber skills are phenomenal. He also has excellent stamina, which gives him a slight advantage against the little green god of Force.
On the contrary, Yoda’s command over the Force is a concept that’s still far too advanced for Jedi in the canon. Advanced abilities like Force Augmentation Mind Trick and Battlemind are second nature to the gremlin. But Luke was born gifted with the Force, his strength enough for Darth Sidious to believe Luke could one day slay Sith.
In a full-on fight in their primes, Yoda would easily defeat young Skywalker in the canon. However, if we consider all the source material (Star Wars Legends), Luke is a master of the Force in every sense of the word. He’ll be able to best his former master in combat in no time.
III. Luke vs Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren is more potent than Luke (Luke himself said as much), but it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll win. The Jedi Grand Master has honed his skills over the years, and his advantage lies in the Force itself.
Luke’s lightsaber skills alone would be enough to defeat Kylo in a duel.
Kylo’s temper is likely to give him a disadvantage as well, eventually ensuring his defeat. Unlike Kylo, Luke understands what it means to be a Jedi. His calm and level-headed approach would put him miles ahead of Kylo.
This is beautifully demonstrated in the fight between them at the end of The Last Jedi.
We see a raging Kylo striking against an illusion of Luke without realizing that it’s not Luke. The latter silently deflects the attacks, keeping his calm while effortlessly engaging in the duel.
2. Is Luke Skywalker the Strongest Force User?
Luke Skywalker is no longer the strongest Force user in Star Wars Canon. His alleged daughter, Rey Skywalker, holds the title of the strongest Force user now. However, if we consider Legends, then Luke Skywalker is the strongest Force user ever to exist.
It’s sad but true. No hero can be the strongest forever. The bar is set high for one simple reason—for a new hero to surpass it.
While Luke undoubtedly proved that he was the most substantial Force user in the galaxy, it’s hard to argue that Rey hasn’t surpassed him. Rey managed to channel all of the Jedi in her final battle against Palpatine, and her skills throughout the sequel trilogy prove that she is, in fact, the strongest Force user.
Part of this is because she is part of a dyad. Dyads are Force-bonds that are stronger than the Force of Life, and they’re incredibly rare. Being a part of one immediately gives her a jump start on the power list. Rey also shows excellent command and skill with the Force, proven by her progress in a short time.
However, Luke remains one of the strongest Force users. It’s hard to disagree with that.
3. Is Luke Skywalker the Chosen One?
Despite being the protagonist, Luke Skywalker is not the Chosen One. While Obi-Wan Kenobi (and many fans) believed Luke was the one, George Lucas confirmed that Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) was the child of the prophecy and the one who ultimately defeated the Sith Lord Palpatine.
“A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him, ultimate balance in the Force shall be restored.”The Prophecy
Anakin was born from the Force, making him the child of no father. And despite falling to the dark side, he was the one who killed Palpatine after he reunited with Luke, restoring balance to the Force.
Luke couldn’t have been the Chosen One despite Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan believing he was. He wasn’t born in the absence of a father, nor was he the one who killed Palpatine (it was never his job, to begin with).
Luke did play a vital part in fulfilling the prophecy, though. Without him, Anakin would have never turned back to the light side and completed the prophecy. Luke’s kindness and refusal to fight his father touched Anakin, and Luke convinced him to set things right.
4. How Strong Is Luke Skywalker in EU/Legends?
Luke Skywalker in Legends is the strongest Jedi in galactic history, second only to the literal Gods. In fact, he is so strong that he doesn’t need to worry about winning a battle but instead has to focus on controlling himself and on not causing mass destruction.
Luke Skywalker in Legends is the strongest Jedi in galactic history, second only to the literal Gods. His power has long surpassed both the Jedi and Sith combined, and he remains unrivaled.
I don’t know how you take someone as strong as that and water him down to give us Canon Luke. But alas, here we are.
The sheer power Luke radiates in the Extended Universe is, for the lack of a better word, godlike. Luke long surpassed Master Yoda and went toe-to-toe with Abeloth (the one entity stronger than the Jedi and Sith combined).
And if you thought Luke’s lightsaber skills in the canon were incredible, you might want to sit down.
Legends Luke has mastered all seven forms of lightsaber combat forms. His mastery of the Force gives him unrivalled speed, which, combined with his lightsaber skills, makes him impossible to predict. To bystanders, Luke in combat often looks like a blurry (but very violent) line that’s cutting through the enemies before they can react.
Some of his other remarkable abilities include advanced telekinesis, using the Force to disguise entire spaceships, as well as absorbing blasts and redirecting them.
How anyone in the EU gathers the courage to fight him is beyond me. It’s really not that different from signing a death warrant.
5. About Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera media franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope and quickly became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon.
It has three trilogies at its core – Original, Prequel, and Sequel, spread across five decades and interspersed with at least a dozen spin-off series and films.
Created by George Lucas and his Lucasfilm, the franchise is currently under the Disney umbrella. All the Star Wars films and shows are now available to binge on Disney+ streaming service.