7. Qui-Gon Jinn
When Did They Die: Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Who Were They: Jedi, Master of Obi-wan Kenobi
How Did They Die: Stabbed through the torso by Darth Maul on Naboo
The lightsaber battle that preceded Qui-Gon Jinn’s death at the end of The Phantom Menace is rightfully considered the only iconic set piece from that first prequel. Everything from the set design, to the score, to the CGI, to the choreography made it superior to just about every fight involving a lightsaber from the original trilogy.
In the context of the movie, it’s a rather sad and portentous end to Jinn’s life. He has just found what he likely considers to be his life’s work — raising and training Anakin to by the Chosen One — only to have that chance stripped from him by some upstart alien Sith with a cool lightsaber.
Darth Maul’s master, of course, will in the next decade unleash a war that will culminate in the similarly premature deaths of almost all the Jedi in the galaxy. That such a purge would only be possible with the help of the very boy that Jinn planned to guide adds a retroactive layer of irony to his death.
Next: 6. Yoda