10 Star Wars Characters Who Could Actually Defeat Darth Vader


  • Yoda’s power and experience could outmatch Darth Vader in a battle.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi’s logic and composure have proven twice to be more powerful than Vader in battle.
  • Emperor Palpatine may have strategically limited Vader’s power to make himself the stronger Sith.



Darth Vader is undoubtedly an incredibly fearsome Star Wars character, but these 10 characters could have beaten him in battle (and some did). Vader is one of Star Wars’ most powerful Sith, in the movies especially, but there are other Sith in Legends and canon who outrank him in raw power and skill. There are also a number of Jedi throughout Star Wars movies and TV shows who either have bested Vader in battle or would have done so had they ever faced off.

In part, this is due to the limitations Vader had following Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Who knows how dangerous Darth Vader could have become had he not been restricted to a life-sustaining suit after Obi-Wan Kenobi nearly killed him? Even so, Darth Vader remained a formidable opponent, yet these 10 Star Wars characters would beat him if they went head-to-head.

A combined image of Daisy Ridley as Rey in The Last Jedi to the left and Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show to the right both looking forward with serious expressions
10 Jedi Who Would’ve Been More Dangerous Than Darth Vader If They’d Fallen To The Dark Side

While Darth Vader will always go down in history as one of Star Wars’ most dangerous villains, these 10 Jedi would have rivaled him had they turned.

10 Yoda’s Power And Experience Could Have Defeated Darth Vader

Yoda Was An Incredible Jedi Master With More Power Than He Revealed



Created By George Lucas Cast Frank Oz , Tom Kane First Appearance Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Alliance Jedi

Master Yoda was one of Star Wars’ most powerful Jedi and a Grand Master of the Jedi Council, the highest of all the Jedi Order ranks. That alone makes it clear what extensive power he possessed, but so do his many movie appearances throughout the franchise and his legacy even beyond the movies. Yoda was seen as a fierce opponent to the Sith, even Palpatine, and he was highly respected among the Jedi.

Although he never seemed to display the full range of his abilities, perhaps the only exception being his battle with Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith, it was nevertheless clear that he possessed a nearly unmatched level of strength in the Force. After all, when Qui-Gon Jinn learned of Anakin’s midi-chlorian count, Obi-Wan pointed out that it was even higher than Master Yoda’s, suggesting that Yoda’s was already off the charts. Although Vader was plenty powerful (and had a higher midi-chlorian count) he would have been no match for Yoda, especially if they were each fighting in their prime.

9 Obi-Wan Kenobi Beat Darth Vader In Battle Twice

Obi-Wan Has Already Proven He Can Best Darth Vader In Either Form


Obi-Wan Kenobi

Created By George Lucas Cast Alec Guinness , Ewan McGregor First Appearance Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Alliance Jedi

Obi-Wan and Anakin/Vader’s fight on Mustafar is one of Star Wars’ most iconic lightsaber battles, and it proved that Obi-Wan was more powerful than Anakin at the time. Although the two were nearly evenly matched, given how long the battle went on and how hard each had to work to hold their own, Obi-Wan came out on top. Interestingly, this may not have been a question of raw power. Rather, Obi-Wan was more logical and maintained his composure, allowing him to see the best strategy.

Anakin, in contrast, lost the fight because of his stubbornness and recklessness. Obi-Wan then proved yet again in Obi-Wan Kenobi that he was more powerful than Vader, beating him in battle once more. Although Obi-Wan died at the hands of Darth Vader in A New Hope, he seemed resigned to his fate, embracing his imminent death rather than putting up a true fight.

8 Emperor Palpatine Could Have Killed His Own Apprentice

Palpatine Likely Wanted To Diminish Vader’s Power To A Certain Extent


Emperor Palpatine / Darth Sidious

Created By George Lucas Cast Ian McDiarmid , Sam Witwer , ian abercrombie First Appearance Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Alliance Sith, Empire

The Sith Rule of Two means that a Sith apprentice will always be seeking to overthrow the master. This was clearly something Palpatine feared, as he had Anakin Skywalker kill his current apprentice, Count Dooku, in Revenge of the Sith, not only to push Anakin further to the dark side but also to eliminate a threat. This would have been front of mind for Palpatine throughout the Dark Times. After all, Anakin had almost immediately suggested overthrowing Palpatine to Padmé on Mustafar.

While Vader’s suit may have been required to save his life, this was at minimum convenient for Palpatine if not orchestrated by him to limit Vader’s strength and skill to a degree. In light of that restriction, and the need to re-learn many skills in this new ‘body,’ Palpatine would have bested Vader in battle. While, yes, Vader technically killed Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, he went with the element of surprise; it wasn’t a true one-on-one battle of strength.

7 Luke Skywalker Would Win Against Darth Vader In His Prime

Luke Was An Immensely Skilled And Powerful Jedi


Luke Skywalker

Created By George Lucas Cast Mark Hamill , Grant Feely First Appearance Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Alliance Jedi

One of the disappointing aspects of the Skywalker Saga is the way it skips over Luke Skywalker’s prime. Return of the Jedi saw Luke as a full-fledged Jedi, but he was still quite new to that role. Even worse, by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Luke had completely abandoned his Jedi path, instead going into hiding and sealing himself off from the Force. While shows like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett have offered brief glimpses into how extensive that power was, Luke’s prime still hasn’t been completely revealed on screen.

However, it’s clear that Luke was an incredibly powerful Jedi, and he would have defeated Darth Vader had they fought in their prime. In fact, Luke shared many of the same strategies as Obi-Wan, having been trained by him, and he likely also could have beaten Vader by using that to his advantage. In fact, Luke technically did defeat Vader in battle in Return of the Jedi when he was able to disarm Vader, beat him to the ground, and slice off his hand, although he didn’t finish him off.

Luke technically did defeat Vader in battle in Return of the Jedi when he was able to disarm Vader, beat him to the ground, and slice off his hand.

6 Darth Plagueis’ Wisdom Would Have Been Too Much For Darth Vader

While Darth Plagueis Has Yet To Make His On-Screen Canon Appearance, His Power Is Well-Known


Darth Plagueis is canon, although he has yet to appear in Star Wars movies and TV shows. However, he was mentioned in Revenge of the Sith, when Palpatine asked Anakin if he was aware of Plagueis’ story and incredible ability to prevent others from dying. That alone revealed how formidable Plagueis’ strength and aptitude with the Force was.

Palpatine’s description of the Sith Lord as “Darth Plagueis the Wise” and explanation that he became so powerful, he only feared losing his power further demonstrated Plagueis’ considerable threat level. Given that history and Plagueis’ obvious discipline, he would easily have won a fight against Darth Vader. Yes, Vader tapped into brand-new levels of power when he joined the dark side, but he never shook off Anakin’s flaws (ego, impulsivity, etc.), which made him vulnerable in battle. The more seasoned Sith Lord would definitely have triumphed.

5 Starkiller’s Raw Power Would Beat Even Vader’s

This Fan-Favorite Legends Character Was More Powerful Than Darth Vader


Starkiller/Galen Marek

Created By Haden Blackman Cast Sam Witwer First Appearance Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Alliance Sith, Rebel Alliance

Starkiller is an extremely popular character in the Star Wars franchise, and many viewers are eager to see him become canon. Starkiller was introduced in the Star Wars video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, but that game is non-canonical. Even so, what was revealed about the character in that game and its sequel makes it clear that, in accordance with the Sith Rule of Two, Starkiller could have overthrown Vader.

While Vader impressively pulled down a shuttle in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Starkiller managed to use the Force to pull down an entire Star Destroyer. Clearly, Starkiller’s raw power was unbelievable, and, compared to Vader, on a completely different level. Had he sought to destroy his master, he could have done so. While it may be unlikely for Starkiller to one day become canon, it’s nevertheless clear that he was one of few characters truly capable of defeating Lord Vader.

4 Mace Windu Could Have Defeated Vader Early On

Mace Windu And Anakin’s Mutual Dislike Would Have Made A Battle Unsurprising


Mace Windu

Created By George Lucas Cast Samuel L. Jackson First Appearance Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Alliance Jedi

Anakin and Mace Windu instantly disliked one another in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (even though Anakin was a child), and that situation never improved. Mace Windu always held Anakin at arm’s length, and he made it known that he never trusted him. In fact, even in Revenge of the Sith, Mace Windu told Anakin that if what he was saying about Palpatine was true, he would have earned Mace’s trust. This was particularly insulting, as Anakin had now known Mace Windu for more than a decade and served the Jedi and the Republic in the Clone Wars.

This bad blood would certainly justify a battle between Anakin and Mace Windu, although one never really came, even with Anakin contributing to Mace Windu’s ultimate demise. Had they fought in Revenge of the Sith, though, Mace Windu would have won. Mace Windu was known for being very skilled with a lightsaber, and his experience alone would have given him an advantage over Anakin. While he may not have defeated Vader after he grew stronger in the dark side, he could have defeated him then.

3 Darth Vader Would Have Been Outmatched By Darth Revan

Vader Would Struggle Against The More Experienced Sith Lords


Darth Revan has been referenced in Star Wars canon, as one of the Sith legions on Exegol was named for him. However, next to nothing is known about his character in the canon. In Legends, though, Darth Revan was an incredibly formidable adversary, known for being brilliant in battle. In fact, Revan’s most impressive fight occurred even before he fell to the dark side, when he defeated the leader of the Mandalorian warriors, Mandalore the Ultimate.

Like many of the more experienced Sith, Darth Revan would have beaten Darth Vader had they gone head-to-head. Darth Vader is certainly one of the most powerful Sith in the movies and TV shows, likely second only to Palpatine, but Legends and other ancient canon Sith simply had much more experience and discipline. Revan is one such character, although it remains to be seen whether his story will be different in canon than it was in Legends.

2 Anakin Skywalker Was More Powerful Than Darth Vader

Anakin Was At His Most Powerful As A Jedi


Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader

Created By George Lucas Cast Bob Anderson , Hayden Christensen , James Earl Jones , Matt Lanter , Matt Lucas , Jake Lloyd , David Prowse , Sebastian Shaw First Appearance Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Alliance Jedi, Sith

Although Anakin accessed brand-new powers when he fell to the dark side of the Force and became Darth Vader, he nevertheless was most powerful as a Jedi Knight. For one, Anakin lost considerable mobility when he needed to use the Darth Vader suit to survive, and he then had to re-learn how to use the Force, wield a lightsaber, and engage in battle with his now entirely mechanical limbs. Moreover, though, Darth Vader was running on pure hatred for nearly 20 years; while it may have increased his power, it didn’t help with his lack of discipline.

Although Anakin accessed brand-new powers when he fell to the dark side of the Force and became Darth Vader, he nevertheless was most powerful as a Jedi Knight.

This is precisely how Obi-Wan beat Vader yet again in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Vader never learned to be strategic in the same way that most Jedi did; instead, he was led by chaotic anger, only seeking revenge. Although Anakin did struggle with impulsivity and, at times, explosive anger, he was also more disciplined as a Jedi. This, combined with Vader’s restrictive suit, means Anakin would absolutely have defeated Darth Vader in battle.

1 Darth Vader Would Have Been Bested By The Ancient Darth Bane

Darth Bane Highlights Darth Vader’s Flaws


Darth Bane

Created By George Lucas Cast Mark Hamill First Appearance Bane of the Sith Alliance Sith

Darth Bane was the sole survivor of a brutal war between the Jedi and the Sith and was the creator of the Rule of Two, proving his prominence among the Sith. He was also impressively known as much for his intelligence as much as he was for his extensive skills in battle and his tactical brilliance. In light of that, Darth Vader would certainly have been bested by the ancient Sith Lord had he ever come face-to-face with him.

In truth, Darth Bane is yet another example of a more disciplined Sith who would have defeated Darth Vader because of his greater experience level and his wisdom. Darth Vader was undoubtedly very powerful, as he was the Chosen One and had the highest midi-chlorian count on record, but Anakin Skywalker’s persistent flaws that worsened when he fell to the dark side made him vulnerable against opponents with more patience and caution. While many never got the opportunity, these 10 Star Wars characters would have defeated Darth Vader had they ever crossed paths.


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