Star Wars: 8 Saddest Jedi Deaths
Lucasfilm recently unveiled the trailer for its upcoming Star Wars animated series Tales of the Jedi. The highly anticipated anthology series will expand upon the character arcs of beloved icons like Ahsoka Tano and Mace Windu with new stories about their Jedi adventures in a galaxy far, far away.
The Jedi are among the most admirable and revered characters in the Star Wars universe. From Qui-Gon Jinn to Ben Kenobi to Luke Skywalker, many of them have died noble, heroic deaths that broke fans’ hearts.
Anakin was forced to definitively choose between reaffirming his alliance to the Jedi and joining the Sith when he found Mace Windu and Chancellor Palpatine in a tense standoff in Revenge of the Sith. He chose to accept Palpatine as his new master and sent poor Windu falling to his death.
Windu’s death is particularly heartbreaking, because he was just starting to trust Anakin when Anakin promptly proved that he was right to be skeptical.
J.J. Abrams had to cut around unused footage from The Force Awakens to give the iconic Leia Organa a climactic send-off in The Rise of Skywalker. Considering the circumstances, the culmination of Leia’s arc was handled very gracefully. In her dying moments, Leia reaches out to her son via the Force.
This cosmic act of compassion is what finally brings Kylo Ren back to the light side, reclaiming his identity as Ben Solo. It was fitting for Leia’s final act to be a selfless one that helped someone she loves.
Qui-Gon’s death at the end of The Phantom Menace seals Anakin’s tragic fate. If he’d survived to train the boy and give him the father figure he needed, then Anakin wouldn’t have fallen into the clutches of Darth Sidious and turned to the dark side.
On top of its ramifications on the larger Star Wars saga, Qui-Gon’s death breaks fans’ hearts simply because he’s a warm, wholesome, lovable character. Killed by Darth Maul in the same movie that introduced him, audiences weren’t ready to say goodbye to Qui-Gon.
Yoda gets a surprisingly peaceful death by Star Wars standards. He isn’t struck down in the heat of battle by a hateful arch-nemesis. He dies on his own terms in the comfort of his own bed on Dagobah, with the latest in a long line of padawans at his side.
He even has the energy to crack one last joke before becoming one with the Force: “When 900 years old you reach, look as good, you will not.” But despite the peace and comfort of Yoda’s passing, it’s still saddening to see such a fan-favorite character die.
Everybody Killed In The Great Jedi Purge
After Anakin kills Windu and pledges himself to Palpatine’s Sith teachings, the galactic politician begins his final steps toward turning the democratic Republic into the oppressive Empire. This starts with wiping out the guardians of peace, the Jedi, by executing Order 66.
This leads to the Great Jedi Purge, a harrowing montage of stunned Jedi Knights being gunned down by the clones assigned to protect them. In one particularly horrifying sequence, Anakin slaughters a room full of younglings.
When Ben Kenobi infiltrates the Death Star in the original Star Wars movie, he confronts his old nemesis Darth Vader for one last lightsaber duel. Before conceding defeat to Vader, Kenobi warns him, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” Kenobi shoots his new apprentice, Luke, a knowing glance across the hangar before allowing Vader to kill him.
Kenobi’s death at Vader’s hands is even more heartbreaking now that the prequel trilogy and Obi-Wan’s self-titled miniseries have filled in the tragic backstory of their master-padawan relationship.
There was a lot about Luke Skywalker’s role in The Last Jedi that disappointed fans, from his bitter attitude toward the Jedi teachings to his attempt on his nephew’s life to the fact he gave up the fight against evil. But his final sacrifice is suitably heroic and deeply moving.
When the First Order has the Resistance backed into a cave on the salt planet of Crait, Luke expends all his Force energy to project himself onto Crait and stand down the entire First Order cavalry alone. After giving the Resistance a chance to escape and hope for the future, Luke dies while once again watching a binary sunset, bringing his character arc full circle.
When Luke is brought into the Emperor’s throne room, he refuses to believe that there’s no trace of his father Anakin left within the metallic shell of Darth Vader. Upon seeing his evil puppet-master Emperor Palpatine torturing his estranged son with Force lightning, Vader snaps back to the light side and tosses the Emperor into the Death Star’s reactor core.
In his final moments, Vader removes his helmet so he can look at his son with his own eyes. When Vader was initially introduced as a faceless symbol of evil, no one expected to be moved by his climactic death scene.