Ranking Baby Yoda vs. Star Wars’ most powerful characters
Disney+’s The Mandalorian, and specifically Baby Yoda, have united Star Wars fandom in the wake of the polarizing sequel trilogy. But just how powerful is the 50-year-old child compared to others in the live-action canon?
Whether it’s dark side Force users, Sith lords or our beloved Jedi, Baby Yoda is already showing abilities to rival all of them. What’s more, he’s only beginning to discover his powers.
For this list, we’ll stick with stacking Baby Yoda up to the live-action Star Wars characters from the Skywalker saga.
1) Sheev Palpatine / Darth Sidious
In The Rise of Skywalker, old Sheev makes his return. He’s not in the best shape, but he tells Kylo Ren how he’s died before. To come back from the dead, somehow, makes Palpatine the most powerful Star Wars being.
The only thing that really gets him in trouble is classic dark side hubris. Endlessly obsessed with power, Palpatine has a blind spot to Darth Vader’s turn to the light in Return of the Jedi. In Episode IX, his Force lightning becomes so out of control that he can’t harness it, and is defeated by Rey.
Despite these losses, there’s no question Palpatine has virtually unlimited power. It’s his character flaws that lead to his downfall.
2) Luke Skywalker
Despite being no match for Palpatine in Episode VI, Luke’s arc in the sequel trilogy is excellent — and bolsters his legendary legacy.
Yes, to begin The Last Jedi, Luke is disenchanted and closed off from the Force. But once he taps back in, it sets the stage for a cross-galaxy Force projection stunt to save the Resistance at the Battle of Crait.
That power move alone vaults Luke into the second slot behind Palpatine. Then, in The Rise of Skywalker, he lifts his X-wing from Ahch-To’s waters as a Force ghost.
The wisest Jedi to ever live, our little green friend also boasts plenty of epic abilities to make him No. 3. For starters, he’s among the best at telekinesis. His lightsaber dueling in the second and third prequel films are among the most impressive in the saga.
Yoda is the first we see in live action to use powers in the physical world as a Force ghost in The Last Jedi. Luke’s stunt in Episode IX gives him a slight edge.
4) Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader
Man, was Anakin a boss in terms of power in the prequels and in Rogue One‘s famous hallway scene. Revenge of the Sith‘s lightsaber duel with Obi-Wan on Mustafar is incredible, albeit a little overly choreographed.
Although we don’t see Vader’s full wrath in the original trilogy, that’s partially due to the fact he’s fighting his son. His Skype Force choking of Imperial officers shows he’s still plenty strong in the dark side.
5) Ben Solo / Kylo Ren
When he stops a blaster bolt in midair in The Force Awakens, it’s clear Kylo has some serious might. In various encounters with Poe and Rey throughout that film, he’s able to probe their minds to the extent we haven’t seen in Star Wars before.
Despite being someone limited with his crackling red lightsaber, once he wields the Skywalker blue in Episode IX, we see Ben has as much skill with the blade as anyone.
The last of the Skywalker bloodline is strong enough mentally to deceive Snoke and kill him in the throne room. If he’d found and accepted love a little sooner, he might’ve been the best Jedi ever.
6) Supreme Leader Snoke
The mere fact that he bridged together the minds of Kylo and Rey in The Last Jedi showed how powerful Snoke is. Alas, like Palpatine, his arrogance clouded his judgment, and like a dark side master is wont to do, he fells at the hands of his apprentice.
Palpatine explains in Episode IX he created Snoke. The specifics are a mystery, so it’s possible Snoke was an ancient dark side entity whose essence was barely harnessed in a clone body, hence his damaged figure.
It’s fun to speculate exactly how Snoke came to be. He’s sort of a vicarious Palpatine, and if not for his hubris, he’d have easily defeated Rey and Kylo.
She needs the help of all the Jedi before her to vanquish Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker. The scavenger from Jakku is revealed to be Sheev’s granddaughter, explaining her quickly developed Force powers. She’s also a dyad in the Force with Ben Solo, which is a testament to her abilities.
Rey is a scrappy fighter both with her staff and saber. She taps into the Force to be a great pilot, too, and shows the ultimate Jedi qualities of compassion and humility. Her main issue is struggling to find her place after such humble origins, but her incorruptibility despite immense power makes her a strong-willed, powerful Star Wars character.
8) Obi-Wan Kenobi
The chasm between Obi-Wan’s lightsaber skills in Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope is startling. Who knows what happened to him in that Tatooine desert as he watched over young Luke and turned into Old Ben? We’ll get some answers in the upcoming Disney+ series!
Nevertheless, Obi-Wan is as wise as any Jedi not named Yoda. He’s the first Force ghost we ever see. In the original film, he sees a larger endgame and selflessly sacrifices himself for the greater good.
9) Leia Organa
Her survival instincts sink in to save herself from floating in deep space in Episode VIII. In the most recent movie, it’s revealed she trained to be a Jedi with her brother Luke.
Leia also reaches her son to redeem him, and keeps hope alive for the rebellion against all odds. She’s the ultimate presence of the light in the Force, with quiet strength, servant leadership and, yes, plenty of Force power to spare.
10) Baby Yoda
Here he is! The cutest little guy in the galaxy. But Baby Yoda is not to be trifled with. He suspends a Mudhorn to save Mando, Force chokes a perceived threat, stops a fiery inferno from engulfing his friends and Force heals Greef Karga in The Mandalorian Season 1.
Baby Yoda is obviously Force sensitive to the highest degree. He’s of Yoda’s unnamed species, and it’ll be fascinating to see what new powers creator Jon Favreau endows him with moving forward.
11) Count Dooku
The artist also known as Darth Tyranus is a fallen Jedi who is a decent duelist, can conjure Force lightning and is strong in telekinesis. But once Anakin has a little more time to train, Count Dooku is no match for him.
By the time we see Christopher Lee’s villain in the prequels, he’s past his prime. At the mercy of Anakin, he shows he harbors immense fear. If not for his demise and advanced age, he might be higher on this list.
12) Mace Windu
Luke refers to the failure, hypocrisy and hubris of the Jedi Council in Episode VIII. No one epitomizes this more than Mace Windu.
Although he’s among the most powerful Jedi ever, his blind eye to the dark side and perpetual distrust of Anakin largely leads to the Skywalker’s Vader transformation. This knocks Mace down a few pegs.
13) Darth Maul
He doesn’t say much. His arc is much improved in the animated series. For whatever lack of screen time he got in The Phantom Menace, Maul made the most of it.
The first Palpatine apprentice we see is among the best lightsaber wielders ever. He takes on two Jedi by himself and nearly prevails. Again, though, that dark side pride gets him cut in half.
14) Qui-Gon Jinn
He’s a pretty powerful Jedi? That’s about all that can be said about Liam Neeson’s character. I dig him thoroughly, but his roguish nature in The Phantom Menace leads to a disastrous chain of events.
Qui-Gon’s fervent belief in the Chosen One prophecy ultimately leads to the Republic’s downfall, the Jedi’s near extinction and the creation of Darth Vader.