Just How Powerful Is Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Judging a Jedi by his power is … complicated—not because you can’t figure out which Jedi is more powerful than the rest in Star Wars’ vast galaxy, but because it depends. Where Obi-Wan is more powerful overall, Vader is stronger with some other things and vice versa, so trying to figure out how powerful Obi-Wan Kenobi is doesn’t exactly lead to an easy answer. Or does it?
Think, if you will, of Revenge of the Sith. Anakin says that Obi-Wan Kenobi underestimates his power and then instantly falls into fire and loses the battle. So … it’s kind of hard to judge the power of any Jedi, even the strongest of them (even if it was self-reported). But it is interesting to stop and think about how powerful Ben Kenobi might be.
In the context of Obi-Wan Kenobi, he’s not that powerful at all. Don’t get me wrong—he’s still more powerful than most other Jedi, but he’s not up to where he was when we saw him in Revenge of the Sith or even where we see him in A New Hope. He’s lost, and he’s not as connected with the Force as he once was, so he struggles.
When we see him save Leia from falling down in episode 2, he’s struggling to catch her using the Force. Obi-Wan from the prequels could have easily brought her back to the roof that he was on. Instead, he struggled to slow her down at all and barely saved her. So, in Obi-Wan Kenobi, he’s not that powerful. He’s still a great Jedi and clearly can outsmart those he’s facing off against, but he’s not physically powerful with the Force in the way he once was—when Anakin claimed Obi-Wan was as powerful as Mace Windu, whether or not that was actually true.
And when we see him in A New Hope, one could argue that he wasn’t powerful since he was beaten by Vader, but then again, he basically let Vader beat him, and that, to me, is powerful even if it isn’t powerful in the “oh look how badass” I am sense.
So all this is to say that the answer is complicated. He might be powerful, he might be strong with the Force, or he might be a character who struggles to fight balance within himself and his own strength. Not only is it hard to actually measure (unless we get one of those handy midi-chlorian counters), but it changes through time. How powerful is Obi-Wan Kenobi? It depends on how he is doing and where he is in his journey, and that’s what makes him so fascinating to revisit!
(featured image: Lucasfilm)
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