In honor of May the Fourth, also known as “Star Wars” Day, we look back at the best Jedi Knights and Sith Lords to appear on the big screen.
The next “Star Wars” film, “Rogue One,” takes place between episodes III and IV and is set for release Dec. 16. No word yet on if any Jedi or Sith will appear in this story about stealing plans to the Death Star.
If you’re not up-to-date on the Star Wars story, beware. Spoilers ahead.
Emperor Sheev Palpatine
Emperor Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, ruled the galaxy for nearly four decades. He had the power to manipulate the Force, allowing him to infiltrate and destroy the Galactic Republic from its highest office as chancellor.
His downfall only came with a surprise attack from his protégé, Darth Vader.
Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi
Obi-Wan has numerous achievements on his Jedi resume: defeating a Sith Lord while only a padawan, killing General Grievous singlehandedly, overpowering his protégé, the future Darth Vader, and training both Anakin and Luke Skywalker.
Obi-Wan was one of the most powerful masters of the Force in the Star Wars saga. He was disciplined and willing to do nearly whatever it took to get the job done.
While Obi-Wan could not bring himself to kill Vader in “Revenge of the Sith,” it was not for a lack of power and ability.
Later known as Darth Vader, a dark lord of the Sith, Anakin was essential to the Republic’s efforts during the Clone Wars.
His defeat of Count Dooku, after an earlier loss in a battle with the same man, showed the power Anakin could muster when needed. Anakin didn’t show his true power until his fall to the Dark Side, when he essentially committed an act of genocide at the Jedi Temple.
Anakin’s mastery of the Force and lightsaber techniques made him one of the most powerful Force-users.
Trained by Obi-Wan and Yoda, Luke, the unbeknownst son of Vader, saved the universe by firing the shot that destroyed the Death Star.
Luke, with minimal training, survived multiple encounters with Darth Vader. He ultimately converted Vader back to the Light and brought about the fall of the Galactic Empire, at least for a time.
Grand Master Yoda, a mysterious 900-year-old Jedi with no real backstory, rivals all others who use the Force.
His leadership of the Jedi Order, though ending in disaster, saw a long period of peace and prosperity.
All in the Jedi Order aspired to his wisdom, and while he was not able to stop the rise of the Galactic Empire, he later trained the Jedi who did.
Honorable Mention: Rey
Rey, the female protagonist of the newest installment “The Force Awakens,” shows a natural ability to use the Force and escapes a confrontation with Sith apprentice Kylo Ren without formal training.
But we’ll have to wait for Episode VIII, due in December 2017, to discover if her skills blossom into Jedi-level awesomeness.