It feels like there’s been a century of debate over Rey and her capabilities as a Jedi. Nobody can seem to agree with the next person, and everyone brings a game-changing perspective to the table.
To some, Luke Skywalker remains the strongest Jedi to have ever lived. Others argue that it’s foolish to think anyone can beat Grand Master Yoda for the title. I’ve been through a thousand arguments researching for this article, as well as forming my own opinions by watching and rewatching the movies.
The conclusion I came upon was inevitable, but hey, when has this fandom ever agreed on anything? Besides, this is only Canon, so most of the characters are barely at 10% of their powers. But it’s still a fun thing to wonder. Is Rey the strongest, after all?
1. Is Rey Skywalker the Strongest Jedi?
Canonically, Rey is indeed the strongest Jedi. Her dyad is stronger than the Force of Life, and by the end of Episode IX, she can heal mortal wounds—a feat reserved for the elite of the elite. Rey is also said to possess the Force of every Jedi before her.
“Every Jedi who’s ever lived lives within you.”Qui-Gon Jinn to Rey during her battle against Palpatine
While many of us dislike the sequel trilogy for its questionable cinematic choices, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Rey shows excellent potential and strength since the very beginning.
Thanks to her dyad, Rey can access several unique Jedi powers, which immediately sets her apart. And despite her limited training, Rey unlocks Palpatine’s lightning attack, levitation, Force mind-control tricks, and telekinesis. Imagine if she’d trained from her childhood… *nervous laugh*
And to go hand-in-hand with the fact that Rey was trained by Grand Master Luke himself, Rey is also the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine and is the sole heir to the Sith Throne. Her strength at this point in Star Wars Canon is unrivaled.
1.1 Is Rey the Strongest Force User?
While I’m very tempted to argue that it’s Yoda, or even Anakin since he’s the child of the Force, the sequel trilogy makes it hard to deny that Rey Skywalker is the strongest Force user in Jedi history.
“The Force surrounds you, Rey.”Anakin to Rey during her battle against Palpatine.
Shortly into her training, Rey manages to advance in her ability to wield Force and use it to levitate, use telekinesis and even lift a hundred rocks effortlessly.
Rey demonstrates a prodigious connection to the Force during her time with Luke. She learns to wield the Force like it’s second nature and starts learning Force techniques without needing to be explicitly taught (like the way she copied Kylo’s mind trick).
There is a distinction, though. Rey might be the strongest Force user among the Sith and Jedi Order, but it doesn’t put her above entities like the Force Priestesses or The Ones. That’s a whole new level of godly creatures no one in Canon has unlocked (yet).
1.2 Is Rey the Chosen One?
No, Rey is not the Chosen One. Anakin Skywalker is. However, Rey plays a vital role in the prophecy. When the Sith rise again, Rey brings balance to the Force like Anakin, fulfilling his role in his absence.
“Rise Rey, bring balance to the Force, as I did.”Anakin Skywalker
Sound confusing? Hang with me a minute; I’ll explain.
The Jedi Prophecy stated that,
“A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him, ultimate balance in the Force shall be restored.”The Jedi Prophecy
The Chosen One is Anakin Skywalker: a child born of no father (conceived by the Force). Anakin later completed the prophecy at the end of the original trilogy by sacrificing himself to kill Emperor Palpatine.
Then what role does Rey play in this? The very definition of “balance” in the Star Wars Universe is “the moment between breath”—meaning that balance, just like the moment between breaths, is impermanent. Anakin might have restored the balance, but eventually, the scales were always meant to be tipped towards imbalance and be balanced all over again.
“The moment between breaths
Is the balance of the Force.
Between life and death,
Rest and action,
Serenity and passion,
Hope and despair.”Ascendants of Mau
And when the scales did tip again after Anakin’s death, Rey Skywalker restored the balance. While there was no prophecy about Rey, she more or less took on Anakin’s mantle (the Skywalker surname) and filled his role.
All things aside, this symbolism is definitely one of my favorite things to come out of the sequels.
2. How Strong Is Rey?
Rey is stronger than both Luke and Anakin in terms of raw, untrained Force. Her midi-chlorian is said to be the highest in the Canonverse, and she is well-versed in both the physical and scholarly disciplines of the Force.
Rey’s lightsaber is a rare yellow, signifying the balance she’s achieved with the status of a Jedi Sentinel in the Order. This means that Rey is the perfect balance between the Jedi Guardian and Jedi Counselor. As of now, she’s the sole wielder of a yellow lightsaber in Canon. (Except my little brother and his very real totally-not-handmade yellow lightsaber, of course. He insists he’s part of Canon.)
2.1 Rey vs Luke
In a battle where both Rey and Luke are in their prime, Rey will come out victorious. At least, that’s the case in Canon. If this were about Legends Luke, nobody stood a chance.
Luke Skywalker in canon barely has any feats to boast. He defeated a weakened Vader, got lucky enough to destroy the Death Star, and fought a couple of Ren Knights. The only reason Luke could save the galaxy was that Anakin was his father.
Rey Skywalker, however, is highly overpowered in Canon. She defeated Emperor Palpatine, for one. Stopped a ship with Force and lifted hundreds of rocks—she’s got plenty to brag about.
And while Luke in his prime is powerful, it’s important to remember that Rey’s potential power alone surpasses his in many ways.
Luke, of course, has the advantage of training. He may not have had as much training time during the events of the original trilogy, but he rebuilt the Jedi Order after that and became a Grand Master.
Unfortunately for Luke, though, Rey is a quick learner. Her ability to copy a Jedi’s abilities during a fight give her equal footing with Luke, if not the upper hand.
2.2 Rey vs Anakin
Anakin might be the child of Force, but he’s not winning against Rey. Anakin never realized his full potential, while Rey is the embodiment of what he could’ve been and more. She’s surpassed both him and his son and is the strongest Jedi we’ve seen so far.
Rey mirrors Anakin more than Luke does. Just like Anakin, Rey had the potential to excel in both the dark and light sides. Palpatine eyed both to take his place as the Sith Emperor, and both were meant to bring balance to the Force. The only difference is that Rey managed to stick to the high ground, and therefore surpassed him substantially.
Personally, Rey is the only hero who managed to shoulder the weight of Anakin’s prophecy, and I believe it makes sense that she has surpassed him.
However, as strong as Rey is, you can bet Anakin would give her the most brutal fight in her life.
2.3 Rey vs Yoda
There’s something so fundamentally wrong about comparing a Grand Master who’s trained over 800 years to a novice. But Rey is the strongest, after all. You can’t help but wonder.
The Canon material forces us to believe that Rey would win against Yoda. But logic demands otherwise. Yoda has spent centuries mastering the Force, and it doesn’t matter how strong someone is; that level of mastery isn’t something you can hope to defeat. In a fight, Yoda could defeat Rey while simultaneously drinking tea.
“If no mistake you have made, losing you are. A different game you should play.”Grand Master Yoda
Perhaps if Rey could train for half the time Yoda trained, the fight might be fair. Given that Rey’s raw strength and potential surpassess Yoda’s, she would be able to take on Yoda after proper training. But for now, arguing is pointless.
2.4 Rey vs Ezra
While both Ezra and Rey seem to possess a strong bond with the Force, Rey’s bond is far more intimate due to it being a dyad. The skills and Force techniques in Rey’s arsenal would make it impossible for Ezra to stand against Rey, let alone win.
The sad thing about this is that Ezra had great potential. I truly believed he could’ve been one of the strongest Jedi out there, but his potential was never realized. Instead, we’re left with achievements that seem impressive as long as they’re not compared to the strongest Jedi.
Ezra did have a longer period of training compared to Rey. It would’ve played to his advantage had his mentor not been someone who never completed their own training. (No disrespect, Kanan, I still think you’re cool.)
On the other hand, Rey has trained with Grand Master Luke, and in this case, the quality of the training stacks up against the longevity of it.
3. Is Rey a Skywalker? Is Luke Rey’s Father?
No. Rey is the granddaughter of Darth Sidious, which makes her a descendant of Palpatine. However, she takes on the name of Skywalker to honor the memory of both of her mentors: Luke and Leia Skywalker.
Many argue that she named herself Skywalker because she couldn’t go around calling herself a Palpatine, afraid of the judgment and danger her biological heritage might bring her. I don’t think that’s the case.
Rey choosing to call herself a Skywalker is a subtle nod to her chosen family. To Luke and Leia, the only parental figures she had in her life. To Ben Solo (the real Skywalker heir), with whom she shared her life Force. It’s one of the few things I think the film did right.
4. About Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera media franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope and quickly became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon.
It has three trilogies at its core – Original, Prequel, and Sequel, spread across five decades and interspersed with at least a dozen spin-off series and films.
Created by George Lucas and his Lucasfilm, the franchise is currently under the Disney umbrella. All the Star Wars films and shows are now available to binge on Disney+ streaming service.