Dave Filoni, the Executive Producer and Creator for the upcoming Star Wars: Ahsoka series on Disney+ recently claimed that Anakin Skywalker “is the greatest Jedi of all time.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 07: James Mangold, Dave Filoni and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy onstage during the studio panel at Star Wars Celebration 2023 in London at ExCel on April 07, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Kate Green/Getty Images for Disney)

In a video promoting the upcoming Disney+ uploaded to the official Star Wars YouTube channel, Filoni states, “We’re telling the story of this character who’s been trained by the greatest Jedi of all time in Anakin Skywalker.”

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There’s absolutely no way anyone can think that Anakin Skywalker is the greatest Jedi of all time by any kind of measurement. On it’s face the entire assertion falls flat given that Anakin Skywalker betrays the Jedi order, submits his will to Darth Sidious, and becomes Darth Vader.

He then wages a campaign of death against the Jedi and the Separatists beginning with a number of younglings and Padawans at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.

Ian McDiarmid as Darth Sidious and Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005), Lucasfilm

Even if you disregard Anakin Skywalker’s betrayal of the Jedi and his turn to Darth Vader and just focus on his time as a Jedi Knight, he was never granted the title of Jedi Master and was clearly resentful that the title was not bestowed upon him.

He tells Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith, “What kind of nonsense is this? Put me on the Council and not make me a Master? It’s never been done in the history of the Jedi. It’s insulting.”

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), Lucasfilm

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Given he never received the title of Jedi Master, he clearly was not even seen by his peers as the greatest Jedi of all time. In fact, the Council was weary of Anakin Skywalker due to his close relationship with Chancellor Palpatine, who would eventually be revealed to be Darth Sidious.

Obi-Wan Kenobi informed Skywalker, “To be on the Council at your age- it’s never happened before. The fact of the matter is you are too close with the Chancellor. The Council doesn’t like it when he interferes in Jedi affairs.”

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), Lucasfilm

When it’s discovered that General Grievous is on Utapau, Yoda also notes that Anakin does not have enough experience to lead the campaign to capture him. Yoda says, “A Master is needed, with more experience.”

Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi agreed with Yoda saying, “I concur. Master Kenobi should go.” Yoda responded, “I agree.” The rest of the Jedi Council would then agree to send Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to capture Grievous. It’s rather clear that Skywalker’s peer did not thing he was greater than Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Silas Carson as Ki-Adi-Mundi, and Frank Oz as Yoda in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), Lucasfilm

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Potentially casting doubt on this is a conversation that Kenobi has with Anakin as he is about to depart to Utapau. After Skywalker apologizes to him for his arrogance and pride, Kenobi responds, “You are strong and wise, Anakin, and I am very proud of you. I have trained you since you were a small boy. I have taught you everything I know. And you have become a far greater Jedi than I could ever hope to be.”

However, given the context, this appears to be simply words of encouragement after Anakin has apologized given Obi-Wan has clearly sensed the unrest with Anakin and his interior struggles.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), Lucasfilm

Nevertheless, it’s still clear that Anakin Skywalker is not the greatest Jedi of all time. He betrayed the Jedi, became a Sith, and systematically worked to wipe the Jedi out.

And while he did eventually realize the evil of what he had done by killing Darth Sidious and then seeking forgiveness from his son, Luke Skywalker, he died shortly after these actions to truly become the greatest Jedi of all time.

David Prowse as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Lucasfilm

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As for who the greatest Jedi of all time really is, that’s an extremely difficult question to answer if you factor in the Disney sequel trilogy. If you disregard the Disney sequel trilogy, the answer is quite obvious, Luke Skywalker.

While Skywalker made a number of mistakes on his path to becoming a Jedi Master, he ultimately resisted the temptation of Darth Sidious in Return of the Jedi, and was willing to sacrifice his own life in order to not corrupt his own soul. This sacrifice eventually redeemed his father and led to the destruction of Darth Sidious and the liberation of the galaxy from his iron rule.

Luke also showed the error of past Jedi like Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi and their adherence to regulations and laws such as restrictions on forming relationships. The Jedi Order led by Yoda, Mace Windu, and Obi-Wan Kenobi failed to realize that true love, such as the one Luke had for this father, was necessary to defeat the Sith. Instead they put a focus on detachment of relationships.

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Ian McDiarmid as Darth Sidious in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Lucasfilm

If you include the Disney sequel trilogy, Luke is clearly not the greatest Jedi of all time. As he does indeed succumb to the temptations of the Dark side of the Force. He attempts to murder his nephew and then in shock at what he’s done, he flees in fear to the island of Ahch-To.

He exiles himself and willfully ignores the rise of evil in the First Order, the descent of his nephew into the Dark side of the Force, and the eventual return of Darth Sidious.

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker contemplating murdering Ben Solo in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), Lucasfilm

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Other options for the title would then be Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Mace Windu. Yoda more than likely claim the title given the training he provided to Luke and how he prepared him to face Darth Vader. Unlike Obi-Wan Kenobi, he also never implied he would need to kill Vader, but would merely face him potentially foreseeing Luke working to redeem him.

And for as much as Yoda conjuring a lightning storm to destroy the Jedi Temple on Ahch-To was appalling, he does get Luke to realize that he was succumbed to fear in his exile on the island in The Last Jedi.

Yoda destroys the Jedi temple on Ahch-To with Force Lightning while Luke Skywalker looks on in horror in The Last Jedi (2017), Lucasfilm

Kenobi, while clearly a great Jedi and respected by his own peers to be the one to capture Grievous, he lacked the ability to see the humanity still alive within Darth Vader after he turned to the Dark side of the Force. He believed Luke needed to kill his own father rather than bring him back to the Light side of the Force. Obi-Wan also failed to properly address Anakin’s interior struggles that he clearly saw.

As for Windu, his major flaw is similar to that of Kenobi’s. He failed to properly recognize that Sidious was working to manipulate Anakin right under his nose. He failed to aid Anakin in his interior struggles as well. He even admits to sensing this, but failed to address it in time.

Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), Lucasfilm

When he’s about to confront Sidious, Windu tells Anakin, “I sense a great deal of confusion in you, young Skywalker. There is much fear that clouds your judgment.” He goes on to add that he’s weary of Anakin as well, “If you what you’ve told me is true, you will have gained my trust.” Clearly, he had reason to fear Anakin as well.

Those fears would eventually be realized when Anakin chops off his hand and then Sidious hits him with Force Lightning throwing him out of the building into the abyss below.

Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu in Star Wars: Episode III -Revenge of the Sith (2005), Lucasfilm

What do you make of Filoni claiming Anakin Skywalker is the greatest Jedi of all time? Who do you think is the greatest Jedi?

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    John F. Trent
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