The 9 Least Competent Jedi

For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. But they weren't necessarily very bright. Unfortunately, there’s no IQ test needed to become a Jedi Knight, and thus these guardians of peace and justice have brought almost as much war and disorder as they’ve prevented. Here are nine Jedi who should have been held back in the Academy.

1) Qui-Gon Jinn

Do you realize everything that happens in the six Star Wars movies is Qui-Gon Jinn’s fault? Sure, his decision to take Anakin Skywalker out of his life of slavery to train him to become a Jedi is pretty solid, but it’s his decision not to bother to free Anakin’s mother from the exact same slavery that sets up the eminently foreseeable tragedy that followed. And don’t give me that “Qui-Gon tried to save Shmi” crap because one half-hearted attempt to ask Watto if he wanted to gamble for her doesn’t count. Qui-Gon was traveling with a princess — there wasn’t anything he could trade for the mother of the most powerful potential Jedi in the galaxy? Maybe R2-D2? I don’t know what Shmi was doing for Watto, but I sincerely doubt he wouldn’t have preferred an astromech droid. But Qui-Gon didn’t care. And when the Jedi Council told him not to teach the ticking timebomb of midicholrians that was Anakin Skywalker, he told them to fuck off and then pretty much everyone died. Nice going, Qui-Gon.

2) Medd Tendar

Medd Tendar was a Jedi during the New Sith Wars, which you might lead you to believe that he might be slightly equipped to handle a Sith attack, or at least know what they’re capable of. He was not. While trying to mediate a dispute between the Doan royal family and the planet’s striking miners, Tendar sensed a disturbance in the Force but was still completely unable to prevent an assassin called the Huntress from killing all the miners. His more shameful failure was when he confronted the Huntress and used the Force to take her blasters away; the Huntress had overloaded her guns’ power cells, and they blew up in his hands. He may have actually died of embarrassment before he died from the explosion.

3) Obi-Wan Kenobi

I think we can give Obi-Wan a pass for being a shitty teacher to Anakin; I mean, he wasn’t remotely qualified, but Qui-Gon gave him the job anyways, forcing Obi-Wan to promise him as he died. That’s some heavy shit to lay on a Padawan, and you can’t blame Obi-Wan for trying — and failing — to fulfill his insane master’s wishes. But you can blame him for everything he did after the prequels. Call me crazy, but lying to the very last Jedi about his dad seems like a recipe for disaster, and indeed, it nearly was. At the very least, it’s probably information Luke could have used before he went to face Vader in ESB, so he didn’t have a massive emotional breakdown or anything. And why the hell did Obi-Wan allow himself to be cut down by Vader in A New Hope, anyway? Did he really think being a disembodied voice that Luke wasn’t sure was real would be more helpful than staying alive and helping him train? Maybe Obi-Wan was just a shitty teacher, period. And what’s the deal with him not realizing that the “missing” planet in the Jedi library had been erased by somebody? The Jedi kids knew in Attack of the Clones, but it wasn’t the “mind of a child” that was necessary to figure it out, just a mind.

4) Zym

Zym was a Grand Jedi Master back when the Republic was fighting the original Sith Empire, a job the Sith found much, much easier thanks to Zym’s impressive stupidity. When the Sith wanted to sign a peace treaty, Zym fell for it completely, despite the fact that the Sith are, by definition, evil. He told Supreme Chancellor Berooken to stay on Coruscant, which the Sith immediately attacked after Zym left, killing countless Republic leaders. Zym felt absolutely no disturbance in the Force, though, and signed the Sith’s treaty anyways, going so far as to apologize to Darth Barak for one of his Jedi attacking the Sith Lord. Eventually, Zym tried to arrest a guy who was trying to provide vital information for the Republic (namely, proof that Darth Barak was behind several attacks) and got shot. The Republic's future got a little brighter after his passing.

The 9 Least Competent Jedi

5) Yoda

We’ll get to Yoda’s problems in the prequels below, but let’s just focus on his action in The Empire Strikes Back. Okay, so Luke arrives, and Yoda acts like a demented garden gnome — unorthodox, but certainly a way to get a measure of Luke as a potential Jedi student. But then Yoda decides not to teach Luke because he’s too headstrong. And then he decides not to teach Luke because he’s too old. Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were trying to end the Sith from ruling the Galactic Empire here; I didn’t know there was an age limit to do so. By all means, call in some younger candidates for the job! It’s not like Luke is the last potential Jedi in the universe or anything OH WAIT YES HE IS. I assume Yoda wasn’t really going to let the galaxy suffer fascist oppression for the next few centuries because of an antiquated age limit, but the fact he even pretended to is idiotic.

6) Elora Sund

This Sallustan Jedi was part of a large group of Padawans who had lost their masters during the Clone Wars. Perhaps this is why she didn’t know not to establish a telepathic link with her fellow Padawan Tae Diath, because when he was killed in battle, the psychic backlash killed her too. It’s kind of impressive that during a war that encompassed most of the galaxy and after surviving countless battles she died because she had a crush on someone, but it’s also very, very stupid.

7) Luke Skywalker

Even moreso than Obi-Wan, Luke had a terrible teacher, so it’s no wonder that he was one of the weakest of all Jedi even by the time of his final duel with Vader — no super-running, no super-jumping, just mild telekinesis, mostly to pick up his lightsaber from across the room or impress small teddy bear people. But quitting his training to try to save his friends wasn’t a dumb decision, just an emotional one, and honestly, it’s one of the reasons Luke is probably a better, kinder Jedi than the assholes who came before him. But that doesn’t mean Luke is the brightest Kaiburr crystal in the lightaber, either. Remember his plan to free Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt? Send Lando in undercover. Send C-3PO and R2-D2 in as gifts. Give a captured Chewbacca to Jabba as another gift. Send in Leia in disguise to free Han. Send in himself to get captured… and then kill everybody at their public execution. If the plan was just to kill everybody anyways, did everybody need to get captured first? And if Leia had managed to free Han, what the hell were they going to do about Chewbacca and the droids? There had to be a less complicated way to stage this rescue mission.

8) Atris

Like way too many Jedi before (and after) her, Atris saw the world entirely in black and white, or rather light and dark. When her hero Meetra Surak joined the rogue knights Revan and Malak during the Mandalorian Wars, she was so dumbfounded she sat out the war rather than do anything helpful. That dumbfoundedness turned to bitterness against anyone even remotely Sith-like, and the paranoid Atris held a secret council on Miraluka to draw out any potential threats. It worked in the sense a threat was drawn out, but it was less effective in that the threat — Darth Nihilus — killed almost everyone on the planet, including the Jedi. Atris survived, becoming even bitterer, and researching Sith until she became one herself, which is akin to reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and becoming a Nazi without noticing.

The 9 Least Competent Jedi

9) Everyone on the Jedi High Council During the Prequels

The Jedi have faced many threats over the millennia, from Sith, to Mandalorians, to more Sith. But no one Jedi High Council managed to let the Republic get more fucked up than Yoda, Mace Windu, Saesee Tinn, and the other Jedi during the prequel trilogy. Failing to notice the return of the Sith? Check. Allowing the Separatist movement to start? Check. Refusing to train the most powerful potential Jedi in millennia? Check. Missing the creation of a giant clone army? Check. Constantly shitting on the overemotional teenaged version of the most powerful potential Jedi in millennia thus ensuring he has every reason to hate Jedi? Big check. Allowing the galaxy to erupt in civil war? Check. And most importantly, never noticing that the most powerful Sith in the galaxy has been sitting like three blocks away for almost a decade? Check and mate. The Jedi High Council of the prequels managed to get every single thing they did wrong, thus ensuring the rise of the Empire and every death that occurred in all six Star Wars movies. No wonder Luke didn’t listen to you on Dagobah, Yoda. Sure, you can lift an X-Wing out of a swamp, but at least Luke can recognize a bad guy when he sees him.