3. Anakin Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker likely played a bigger role in galactic history than any other Jedi on this list. Strong-willed, hot-headed, and rarely eager to listen, Anakin’s life story makes up the core of the first six Star Wars films. Simply put, there is no Skywalker saga without him, and Anakin’s choices, both on the Light Side and the Dark Side, would forever alter the Jedi Order.
Born into slavery on Tatooine, Anakin was incredibly gifted with the Force. He possessed the highest midi-chlorian count that the Jedi High Council had ever seen, greater even than Master Yoda’s. The Jedi soon branded him the Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force. Despite showing significant potential, he soon fell in love with Padmé Amidala, and as the Clone Wars broke out, the two began a secret relationship.
However, darkness tempted Anakin, and in an attempt to save his wife, succumbed to the Dark Side as Darth Vader. Sadly, fate had other ideas, and Padmé would die in childbirth. This made Vader a total servant of the Dark Side, and he would ravage the galaxy, slaughtering the remaining Jedi without remorse and helping to mold the Empire into a dictatorship.
Unfortunately, the one thing that Vader didn’t account for was the love he had for his son Luke. Decades after his wife’s death, a final confrontation with his son brought the Sith Lord back to the Light. Thus, Anakin was reborn just long enough to look into Luke’s eyes before he became one with the Force, fulfilling his prophecy.
The tragedy of Anakin Skywalker is the pinnacle of the Star Wars story. The boy who became the Chosen One, who fell to darkness, and was redeemed in death. Anakin’s tale would impact every major galactic event for almost half a century, and his triumph over the Dark Side made him a legend that would never be forgotten.