This will be a little different from my prior posts. Don’t worry, I fully intend to do more analysis on other characters but I wanted to talk a bit about one of my favorite characters, Anakin Skywalker. Anakin has been talked about to death being the central character in the original 6 films, so I wanted to look at him from a different point of view.
George Lucas has stated that Anakin is the Chosen One, so it raises the question, how powerful was Anakin Skywalker? For this analysis, I will only be looking at Anakin up until Sidious dubs him Darth Vader, as Obi-Wan explains to Luke, “He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed.” Although he did become Anakin again before he died, that really was for a short time. So, how powerful was the Chosen One?
Anakin, when discovered by Qui-Gon Jinn was already strong in the Force as he was the only human that could compete in a podrace and survive. Anakin having the highest midichorian account in history, (over 20,000) allowed him to easily tap into the Force naturally. When he began training under Ob-Wan, his powers began to grow. Obi-Wan began to consider that his padawan may be in fact the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy. However, he still believed Anakin had a long why to go in his training. He also began to notice Anakin's growing arrogance and began to see how Anakin believed he was better than the other Jedi students.
Anakin truly did want to please Obi-Wan but he did have a weight on his shoulders as he was being told constantly that he was the Chosen One. Although not having the most Jedi like attitude he did grow faster in the Force than all the other padawans and this led to cause conflict between him and the students, most notably Ferus Olin.
However, while Anakin did grow in the Force, what really held him back was his desire for raw power. Ankain always craved power and wanted to show others he was more powerful than them and others in the order. With this mind set, Anakin became more skilled in the lightsaber than in the Force. And, although not the Jedi way, Anakin loved a good fight and it would always excite him. As a padawan learner, Anakin's style was Form IV,Ataru, which would be taught by him to his own student, Ahsoka Tano. (and to Galen Marek as Darth Vader)
Form IV was a very fast paced form and it was most notably used by Grand Master Yoda. After loosing to Count Dooku on Geonosis, Anakin retooled his lightsaber style and became a master in form V, particularly Dejem So, which was an offshoot of form V. Anakin thrived with this style and due to his natural speed and agility, benefited him quite well.
Anakin was quite skilled with the Force, he was quite talented at telekinesis as he was able to lift heavy objects with very little effort. When he dueled Asajj Ventress on Yavin IV, he deflected a large pillar back at her while running towards her and he was able to block her force push without slowing down.
Skywalker was very talented with Force Jump as he was able leap massive distances. Furthermore, Anakin had strong senses in the Force as he was able to predict his mothers death and his wifes future death and he was able to save Padme Amidala from Zam Wessels assassination attempt.
However, a lot of these powers were truly mastered when he became a Sith. Anakin did thrive in the Force when he would dip into the powers of the dark side of the Force. This does tie into the idea that Anakin was more interested in power, which the dark side offers more offensive powers and the light side does not. By tapping into his anger he was able to defeat Asajj Ventress on Yavin IV in the Clone Wars, and of course, after Palpatine’s encouragement, killed Count Dooku on the Invisible Hand. He was watched carefully by the Jedi throughout the Clone Wars because of his actions, but many still believed he was the Chosen One.
Anakin viewed tapping into the dark side as a way to achieve the common good, and he struggled with the Jedi’s philosophy of the Force. He would go against his masters if he saw fit and wouldn’t be afraid to do so. Anakin didn’t learn for the greater good, he learned so he could be the best.
However, Anakin did much good for the galaxy despite these negatives we have been looking at. Many lives were saved and he was dubbed the Hero with No Fear by the holonet and the citizens of the Republic. His accomplishments in the war included freeing thousands of slaves, liberating entire planets, killing Count Dooku of course, and finally, rescuing Chancellor Palpatine form General Grevious.
Ultimately Anakin was faster, more powerful in the Force and a better duelist, as detailed in the Revenge of the Sith novelization by Matthew Stover. “The blue blade was everywhere, flashing, whirling faster and faster until Dooku saw the room through an electric Haze.” Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover (pg. 74)
But what caused him to loose to Obi-Wan on Mustafar? Obi-Wan more played the defensive role and waited for the perfect time to strike. Although it should be noted that Obi-Wan was the greatest Soresu duelist in the Jedi Order and he barely defeated Anakin. In the final battle on Mustafar, there is a moment where Anakin and Obi-Wan square off and exert all their will to try to Force push each other. They stalemate for several seconds, then both are flung backward. In other words, Anakin was nearly exactly as powerful as Obi-Wan Kenobi at his height.
In terms of relative power, these were two of the greatest Jedi of their day. Anakin and Obi-Wan were heroes, with a long list of accomplishments. Anakin defeated Count Dooku in a duel, who was likewise one of the most powerful (former) Jedi, and a dedicated duelist.
Younger Anakin judged Obi-Wan to be “as powerful as Master Windu.” Though certainly young Anakin isn’t known for his judgment skills, he would surely have had some basis for such a claim, which suggests that Obi-Wan was at least approaching Windu’s level, even if he hadn’t reached it yet.
Lastly, Yoda’s view that Obi-Wan was not on a level to defeat Sidious (whereas he himself was, as we see in the ensuing fight) suggests that Anakin and Obi-Wan were decidedly weaker than Yoda and Sidious.
That suggests that in the scale of power, we can say that Sidious and Yoda were at the top, with Anakin and Obi-Wan tied right beneath them, with perhaps Mace Windu above or below them. A true judgment of Mace Windu’s power relative to the other four probably depends on how much Sidious was pulling his punches in the fight between them to try to lure Anakin into doing his will and betraying the Jedi.
So at the end of the day, the question still stands, how powerful was the Chosen One? Ultimately, Anakin was quite powerful in the Force and while some people had to really work at it, it seemed to come naturally to Skywalker. Skywalker did have the potential to become the most powerful Jedi in history. However, due to how he approached the Force and of course, his injuries he obtained on Mustafar. Had Anakin actually met his full potential, he would have easily become the most powerful Force user of all time. However, this was not even close to being realized and it was passed on to his son Luke Skywalker.
Regardless of his immaturity that often appeared and was a significant flaw, Anakin Skywalker was quite powerful and could have made quite a difference in the Star Wars universe if not for his injuries. As Darth Vader he had to rethink his abilities and retool them, however, that is a post for another day.