Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Rating Jedi/Sith in The Skywalker Saga in Order of Importance

Unused Article For Clickbait Website

I spent a few days working on this and don't want to just throw it away, so you get to see it.

Like the title says, I'm rating Jedi and Sith who appear in The Skywalker Nonology (and only the nonology, no television shows or other ancillary media) in order of importance to the story.

Here we go:

12. Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus

A respected Jedi, Padawan of Yoda, Dooku grew disillusioned with the corruption in the Galactic Senate, as well as the traditions of the Jedi , and left the order to return to his homeworld, Serenno. There, he renounced the Jedi for losing their way. After the death of Maul, Sidious (following the Rule of Two) choose Dooku to be his new apprentice.

Dooku’s primary function was to marshal forces to the Separatist cause in anticipation of the Phantom Sith’s plans for The Clone Wars and, eventual, Empire. After the Battle of Geonosis, Dooku took ostensible command of the Separatist Army (secretly controlled by Sidious). In grand Sith style, Dooku tried to enlist several apprentices, himself, with the objective of overthrowing Palaptine, but Palpatine was far too clever for Dooku and manipulated Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker into executing him.

Dooku was the prime beard for Palpatine during the Clone Wars, but was ultimately too weak to pose a threat to Sidious or the Jedi.

11. Snoke

Widely believed to be a Sith (or at least a force-sensitive humanoid) for the first two films of the sequel trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker revealed  Snoke to have been nothing but a clone manufactured by Sidious to extend his reach beyond the Unknown Regions while awaiting the ascendancy of his granddaughter.
But Snoke was more than simply a placeholder. He was put into position to assemble The First Order and groom Kylo Ren in the Dark Side. Snoke’s ultimate purpose was served when he became the final test of Kylo Ren’s Dark journey. By betraying and murdering his “master”, Kylo proved to the Emperor that he was ready to accept the tenets of Sithhood.

Unbeknownst to Kylo, this proved, once again, the Rule of Two, that there can be only two Sith (one Master and one Apprentice) at any given time.  He also served to bring Kylo and Rey together, an integral part of the Emperor’s master plan.

10. Qui-Gon Jinn

A legendary brave and selfless Jedi Master and the first of four on this list (although Dooku was a Master before he turned to the Dark Side), Qui-Jon Jinn’s importance to The Skywalker Saga manifests itself in a few ways, primarily by discovering the Chosen One and thus being the catalyst for the entire nine film series.
Qui-Gon was also the first Jedi to discover and master (after his death) the Jedi ability to transcend death as a Force Spirit.  The ramifications of this knowledge would be felt through the entire nonology, as Kenobi, Yoda, Anakin, and Luke among others would return as Force Ghosts or voices to instruct further generations.

Qui-Gon was murdered, ignobly, by Darth Maul on the planet Naboo, thus allowing Obi-Wan Kenobi to ascend to the position of Jedi Master, and become instructive in the Jedi training of the young Anakin Skywalker.

9. Darth Maul

Born on the red planet, Dathomir, and son of Madame Talzin, leader of the Nightsisters, Maul became an apprentice to Talzin’s ally, Sidious, when he was still a child. Years later, Darth Maul would be the first Sith to reveal themselves to the Jedi in a millennium. Working at the behest of the Phantom Emperor, Maul, tracking Queen Amidala of the Naboo’s distress call to the desert planet of Tatooine, attempted to kidnap the queen for Sidious’ nefarious purposes.

This resulted in a great many things occurring, all conforming to Palpatine’s master plan of taking over the Republic and supplanting it with an Empire, with himself at the head.

One of the most significant of Maul’s actions was the death of Qui-Gon Jinn, killed by Maul in a generator complex on Naboo. This resulted in Maul’s own supposed death at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which led to Kenobi becoming a Jedi Master assuming the training of Anakin Skywalker, at that time believed to be the fulfillment of an ancient Jedi Prophecy of a “Chosen One” who would bring “Balance to the Force.”

Also, he had the first “cool” lightsaber.

8. Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi was a Jedi Master. A former apprentice of Qui-Gon Jinn, Kenobi was a staunch proponent of the Jedi Council and its dictates. After Kenobi “killed” Darth Maul on Naboo, he took on Qui-Jon Jinn’s dying request to take Anakin Skywalker under his wing as his Padawan. Despite some initial reluctance on the Jedi Council’s part, Kenobi was granted permission to train Skywalker, whom he believed was the “Chosen One” spoken of in Jedi prophecy.

Kenobi trained the volatile Skywalker as best he could, often ignoring (or blind to) Anakin’s growing discontent with the life of a Jedi. Kenobi was only vaguely aware of Skywalker’s unrequited love for Naboo Senator Padme Amidala, but chalked it up to youthful indiscretion.

Kenobi distinguished himself during The Clone Wars, but was unable to stop Anakin’s descent to the Dark Side, resulting in the deaths of the senator and countless Jedi and younglings. Kenobi stood watch over Anakin’s (now Darth Vader) hidden son, Luke, for years, now believing this son to be the Chosen One.
Once revealed to Luke, Kenobi told the boy lies about his parentage and who the Jedi were. Luke fell under his sway, promoting an adventure that resulted in Kenobi’s death at the hands of Vader.

Kenobi appeared as a Force spirit a number of times, apologizing to Luke for misleading him, but continuing to give him advice and guidance.

7. Leia Organa Solo

Another of Darth Vader’s hidden children, Leia grew up in the relative safety of the royal House of Organa on the planet Alderaan. Raised as a princess and politician, Leia didn’t discover her nascent Jedi abilities until long after meeting Rebel pilot (and Jedi in training) Luke Skywalker during a rescue operation. A major figure in the Rebellion against the Empire at the time, it would take three years before Skywalker, in a time of great distress, reached out to Leia through the Force, thus revealing her latent telepathic ability.

Leia trained with Skywalker for over a year following the Battle of Endor, constructing her own lightsaber, and learning the ways of the Jedi. It was at the end of this training that Leia had a vision that her Jedi path would lead to the death of her son, and she gave her lightsaber into Luke’s hands, for someone else to later wield.

Though she had given up her Jedi combat training, Leia was still powerful with the Force. She was able to save herself from exposure to the depths of space and was, eventually, able to reach across countless miles of space with her mind and touch the heart of her son, Kylo Ren, thus distracting him long enough for Rey to defeat him in battle.

This selfless act led to her death, but, ultimately, saved the universe.

6. Kylo Ren/Ben Solo

Ben Solo was the last of a line of Jedi begun by Sheev Palpatine. Ben was the grandson of Darth Vader, son of Leia Organa and Han Solo and student of Jedi, Luke Skywalker, before turning to the Dark Side and taking on the name Kylo Ren.

Young Ben was the subject of visions even before his birth, so powerful was he in the Force. The Emperor Palpatine influenced young Solo, even in the womb, mentally influencing him throughout his life. Solo was unaware of Sidious’ deception and, turning to the Dark Side after what he believed was Luke’s betrayal and attempt to murder him, took the name of Kylo Ren and fell under the sway of First Order Supreme Leader, Snoke. But Snoke was merely Palpatine’s creation, a puppet to control the First Order and, by extension, Kylo Ren.

Ren was instrumental in the purge of Force sensitives as he led the defense forces of the First Order. A part of an uneasy triumvirate with Admiral Hux and Stormtrooper Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren did his best to carry out the orders of Supreme Leader Snoke. Through a combination of terror and the super weapon, Starkiller Base, the First Order was able to murder millions across the galaxy.

Kylo Ren killed Ben Solo’s father, Han, and decimated the Resistance fleet before being distracted by the illusion of his uncle, Luke Skywalker, on the plant of Crait. Ren pursued the Force sensitive, Rey, first through Snoke’s instruction, but then, after disposing of Snoke, attempting to turn her to the Dark Side, following the Rule of Two.

Ren and Rey were, unknowingly, a dyad, two beings who shared a Force bond, a feature of  Sith lore. Through the fulfillment of this prophecy, Kylo Ren and Rey were able to combine their powers to defeat Palpatine on Exegol, helping to end his ambitions once and for all.

5. Luke Skywalker

The Force sensitive son of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala, and brother of Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker was raised on the desert world of Tatooine. Kept in the dark about his heritage by his Step-Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, for safety’s sake, Luke lived a life of ignorance and boredom, although, secretly, watched over, from afar, by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

After Princess Leia inadvertently brought the Galactic Empire to his doorstep, both of Luke’s surrogate parents were killed and he fled Tatooine with Kenobi, attempting to deliver a message to the Rebel Alliance to Restore the Republic. Finding their destination destroyed, Luke and Obi-Wan, with the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, and their hired spaceship, were captured by the Empire and brought aboard the Death Star, a planet destroying superweapon.

While attempting to escape the space station and rescue the Princess (conveniently held prisoner there), Obi-Wan allowed Darth Vader (also on board) to kill him within Luke’s sight, traumatizing the young farmboy. Obi-Wan would manifest to Luke several times over the next few years, instructing him in the ways of the Force and guiding him to the ancient Jedi Master, Yoda, at that time hidden on the swamp planet of Dagobah.

Luke would train for only a short time before a Force vision prompted him to leave Yoda’s instruction to help his friends whom he believed were in danger from Vader in the Bespin mining colony of Cloud City. Luke’s arrival in Cloud City did not help his friends, as their dilemma was nothing but a trap set by Vader to lure Skywalker to him, Vader having learned Luke’s true identity and relation to himself.

Luke’s encounter with Vader ended in disaster, Vader revealing his true self to Luke and alleviating the boy of his right hand. In his desperation, Luke used the Force to call out to Leia, who saved him from certain death.

Luke would use his Jedi powers in several rescue and guerilla operations for the Rebellion before encountering Vader again on the forest moon of Endor. Taking advantage of Luke’s belief in his father’s inherent goodness, Vader was able to capture him and take him before his master, The Galactic Emperor Palpatine. In the ensuing conflagration, both Palpatine and Vader were killed and Luke was able to escape and bear witness to a major Rebellion victory over the Empire.

Following the destruction of the Empire, Luke attempted to restore the Jedi Order by training a number of Force sensitive youth, his nephew Ben Solo among them. This new Jedi Order was destroyed when Luke misinterpreted what he felt were the stirrings of the Dark Side in young Ben Solo and contemplated murdering him to prevent wholesale destruction.

But Ben Solo had been manipulated by the, actually alive, Palpatine from beyond the Unknown Regions, and Luke’s mistake brought forth the very fruit he was trying to stop, sending Ben into the influence and clutches of First Order Supreme Leader Snoke, and, thus, setting into motion the deaths of countless millions.

Recognizing his failure, Skywalker abandoned his plans and exiled himself on Ahch-To, the birthplace of the Jedi Order, becoming a hermit and refusing to help stop everything he had started. It was here that, more than 10 years later, the Force sensitive, Rey, found him and tried to persuade him to help the newly formed Resistance against the First Order.

Luke refused, but consented to train Rey in the ways of the Force until, after glimpsing the extent of the Dark Side within her, he balked once again, afraid that what had happened to Ben would happen to her. Although reticent to help in any way, events conspired that would allow Skywalker to sacrifice himself in one, last Force projection, a delaying action that allowed the remains of the Resistance to escape the First Order’s clutches.

Luke would later return as a Force spirit to advise his spurned pupil, Rey, one last time and provide her with transportation to get somewhere.

4. Rey Skywalker

Rey Skywalker (nee Palpatine) is the biological granddaughter of Sheeve Palpatine, Darth Sidious, Sith lord and Galactic Emperor. Rey was hidden from Palpatine on the planet Jakku when she only a child. There she grew up alone, a scavenger, living off of what few credits or portions of food, she could get in trade.

Rey’s Force powers remained dormant until her encounter with Han Solo brought her to Takodonna, where, in the lower levels of pirate Maz Kanata’s castle, she discovered the old lightsaber of Luke Skywalker, lost in the duel on Cloud City. Contact with the sabre triggered a Force vision in Rey, Shaking her, but, also, awakening the Force within her.

Rey would later learn the ways of the Force from both Skywalker siblings, Luke and Leia, mastering many, previously unseen abilities, including using her life force to heal the wounded. As a part of a Force dyad with Kylo Ren, Rey was able to establish a Force bond with her dark counterpart and combine their powers, forming a “power of two” and giving Rey and Ren the power to confront Palpatine on the Sith planet of Exegol, in the Unknown Regions.

Although their joined power was not enough to defeat the Emperor, on the verge of death, Rey was able to summon the spirits of past Jedi to strengthen her for one final push, thus destroying the Emperor forever. As a result, all Jedi and all Sith live within her, and the Jedi prophecy of a Chosen One bringing balance to the Force was, finally, fulfilled. 

3. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader

Immaculately conceived by midi-chlorians, possibly manipulated by the Dark Lord of the Sith, Sheeve Palpatine (this is still in contention). Anakin Skywalker grew up fatherless, a slave of Hutts and Toydarians on Tatooine. Anakin displayed Force sensitivity at an early age, allowing him to participate in (and win) the super fast Podraces that were a part of Tatooine’s Bunta Eve Celebrations.

Anakin’s Force sensitivity was discovered by Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi while the two Jedi were waylaid on Tatooine, repairing their starship. They arranged the slave’s freedom and brought him before the Jedi Council, who reluctantly agreed to accept Anakin into their order. Anakin would be trained under the watchful eye of Kenobi, becoming his Padawan and his partner for nearly 10 years.

The Jedi Council and the Phantom Emperor, Palpatine, both recognized Anakin’s potential to be the “Chosen One”, a extremely powerful being from Jedi prophecy who would bring “balance to the Force”. As he grew up. Anakin began experiencing disturbing Force visions concerning the death and suffering of his mother, Shmi. With the accompaniment of Naboo Senator Padme Amidala, Anakin returned to Tatooine to save his mother, only to watch her die in his arms, which provoked a rage within him, leading him to slaughter an entire tribe of Tusken Raiders.

Rage was not Anakin’s only passion. He professed his love for the Senator, an attachment forbidden by the Jedi, leading to their surreptitious marriage and Padme’s pregnancy.
Distinguishing himself in the Clone Wars, Anakin, at the insistence of the Palpatine, executed the Sith apprentice, Count Dooku. New Force visions of the death of his wife and unborn children prompted Anakin to seek out the guidance of Palplatine, secretly the Sith Lord, Sidious. The Sith tempted Anakin with the power of life and death, using his emotional weakness to ease him over to the Dark Side.

At the moment of the Sith revelation to the Jedi, Anakin (now using the Sith name Darth Vader) led an assault of the Jedi temple, killing hundreds of Jedi and younglings. A final confrontation on Musafar resulted in the death of Padme and Vader’s dismemberment at the hands of his old Jedi Master, Obi-Wan. Now encased in life-saving cybernetic armor, Vader continued to operate as the Emperor’s right hand, carrying out his master’s every whim, murdering stray Jedi and leading the Empire’s assault forces against the nascent Rebellion.

It is in the fulfillment of these tasks that Vader discovered that his son, Luke Skywalker, was, in fact, alive, having survived Padme’s death during childbirth. Together, Vader and the Emperor plotted to turn Luke to the Dark Side. Vader impetus in this was to depose the Emperor by adhering to the Rule of Two, desiring to take Luke as his own apprentice. Vader was defeated above the forest moon of Endor by Luke, but not before saving the boy from the Emperor’s Force lightening and throwing the Dark Lord down a ventilation shaft.

Vader died in his son’s arms in a moment of weakness, believing himself beyond redemption. Luke mourned the death of his father, but considered it to be an act of spiritual victory.

2. Yoda

Yoda was a long-lived, legendary Jedi Master, a leading member of the Jedi Council and original Master of Count Dooku. Outside of that relationship, Yoda trained all younglings in the Jedi basics (including the lightsaber) prior to their Master/Padawan assignments, making him one of the most influential Jedi ever.

Yoda was one of the few Jedi to sense that there was a disturbance in the Force, realizing that the Jedi had been blinded by their arrogance and position. Yoda initially refused to admit Anakin Skywalker into the Jedi Order because he sensed the darkness within him, despite a number of Jedi believing Anakin to be the Chosen One.
Yoda was instrumental in many of the Republic’s victories during the Clone Wars, as he led Clone troops against the Separatist droid armies, liberating entire planets and star systems.

Yoda’s continued unease during Sheeve Palpatine's rise through the ranks of the Galactic Senate was confirmed when the politician turned out to be a Dark Lord of the Sith, secret leader of the Separatists. After a tumultuous duel during which Palpatine got the better of him, Yoda went into hiding on the swamp planet of Dagobah, awaiting the return of the Jedi. Yoda offered his experience and training to the young acolyte, Luke Skywalker in the waning days of the Empire.

Following his death, the tiny Jedi Master later appeared as a Force spirit to Luke during the Resistance’s conflict against The First Order, and admitted that it was time for the Jedi to die.

1. Sheeve Palpatine, Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith

Sheeve Palpatine was born on the planet of Naboo. At some time in his past, he discovered his Force sensitivity, became apprentice to Darth Plagueis, and learned the ways of the Sith. After learning all he could from his master, including the manipulation of midi-chlorians and the secret to eternal life, the now christened Darth Sidious murdered his Master and took on a new apprentice, adhering to the Sith Rule of Two.
His Sith identity a secret, Palpatine used his political acumen to get elected to the Galactic Senate. While there, he began to manipulate the political process, eventually being appointed, first, Chancellor to the Republic, and, later, Emperor. All the while, Sidious covertly led the Separatist rebellion against the Republic, using a succession of apprentices including Darths Maul and Tyranus.

It was Palpatine who influenced the midi-chlorians that resulted in the birth of Anakin Skywalker, believed to be the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy. Sidous continued to manipulate Skywalker and events, leading to Skywalker’s turn to the Dark Side, his enlistment as Sidious’ apprentice, and the destruction of both the Jedi and the Republic.

Palpatine continued his iron-fisted reign over the Empire for more than twenty years, all the while secretly putting in place The Contingency, by which he could reform his forces, deep with the Unknown Regions, if anything ever went south.

Palpatine was an octogenarian when Skywalker’s (now Darth Vader) son, Luke, was revealed to be alive and a threat to his power. Palpatine coaxed Vader into hunting and capturing Luke (still fully aware of the ramifications of the Rule of Two), leading to a confrontation between the three on the second Death Star. And south things went, when Vader turned against the Emperor, attacking him to save his son. Following the destruction of the super weapon, Palpatine was believed to have been destroyed.

But Palpatine had survived, using dark Sith Magic, and, taking advantage of the Contingency, relocated to the Unknown Regions and his waiting legions of Sith Loyalists. There he plotted and planned for over thirty years, exerting influence over events and individuals in the New Republic when he could, inserting his own agents to plant the seeds of his return when he couldn’t.

It was from the Sith planet Exegol that Sidious sent the clone, Snoke, to revive the Sith and control the newly born First Order, formerly a military junta made up of ex-Imperials and malcontents. It was also from here that Sidious corrupted Kylo Ren, driving Darth Vader’s grandson to the Dark Side, and placing him in a position from which he could control the former Ben Solo and guide him to Exgol, whereupon his entire plan could be revealed.

That plan was to include the seduction of Palpatine’s very own grandchild, the Force sensitive scavenger Rey. Drawing her, through Kylo Ren, to himself, the Dark Lord attempted to use the two youths' Force dyad, and complete his resurrection. This evil plot backfired when Rey was able to gather the spirits of all former Jedi and deflect Palpatine’s own force against him, causing him to disintegrate.

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