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Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Luke Skywalker: Who Would Win?

Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Luke Skywalker: Who Would Win?

The last time we did a face-off comparison between two characters, Darth Vader utterly defeated Anakin Skywalker and we saw how the two were very far apart on the power scale.

This time, we wanted to make things a bit more interesting. So, we chose two of the only people to have ever defeated our winner from last time. Having defeated Vader on two separate occasions, both characters have never found themselves on opposing sides, till now.

Any guesses who we are talking about? No? You should know if you read the title.

In the left corner is none other than Anakin Skywalker’s old master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. The slayer of General Grievous and the only Jedi to have defeated Vader when he was not confined to his mechanical suit.

Facing Obi-Wan is his student’s son. Yup, you guessed it, Obi-Wan will be fighting none other than Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker. Considered to be the greatest Jedi to have ever lived, it is usually forgotten that Luke was also Obi-Wan’s pupil at one time.

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Both Jedi, even though they existed at different points in the Galaxy’s timeline, have had major roles in shaping the future of the Galaxy. And while having lived in two drastically different eras, their battle is bound to be one for the ages.

So, following the same pattern as last time, we will start with introductions for both the Jedi Masters.

Note: We will be considering both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker at their respective primes as given below for our comparisons.

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi: His prime is the years surrounding the events of Revenge of The Sith and coinciding with his victory over Darth Vader on Mustafar.
  • Luke Skywalker: Luke is considered to have two primes. The first is the time surrounding the events of Return of The Jedi. The second is more about his mastery and strength in the Force around the events of The Last Jedi.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Trained by Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi was one of the Jedi Order’s most talented pupils. Through his time with Qui Gon, he learned the ability to question the Jedi and their methods, even though they raised him.

Alternatively known as Ben Kenobi, Obi-Wan was the teacher of Anakin Skywalker during his time as a Padawan after the death of Qui Gon Jinn. It was around the same time that Obi-Wan became a Jedi Knight at an exceptionally young age.

Obi-Wan was, the same as Anakin Skywalker, a general in the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars and was responsible for many victories throughout them, including the final defeat of General Grievous.

He was also eventually responsible for watching over Luke on Tatooine and making sure that the child was safe from his father. A responsibility that would eventually lead to his demise.

Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker

Contrary to popular belief, Luke Skywalker is a new character entirely and is not at all related to Anakin Skywalker. Okay, that is not true. Or well, it is not true for this Skywalker (looking at you Rey).

Luke Skywalker was the son of Anakin Skywalker and is believed to be the true Chosen One.

For a while at least, Luke was the face of Star Wars in our universe; until the release of the Sequel Trilogy that is. Luke was also the only Jedi in the Galaxy, from the events of Return of The Jedi, till the undated training scene with Leia in The Rise of Skywalker.

Raised on Tatooine by his aunt and uncle, Luke grew up as a farmer and stayed unaware of who he was until Obi-Wan revealed who he was. Once he realized he was the son of Anakin Skywalker, he started training as a Jedi and eventually defeated Darth Vader.

Throughout his life as a Jedi, Luke became responsible for the revival of the Jedi Order and leading his own Jedi Order after the fall of the Empire at the Battle of Yavin. Luke would eventually pass on into the Force at the end of The Last Jedi after ensuring the escape of the Resistance.

Now that everyone is caught up, we will start by analyzing and comparing Luke’s and Obi-Wan’s individual combat styles and what kind of fighters they are.

Combat Style Analysis

We will start by analyzing both Obi-Wan and Luke’s combat efficiency and style using both a lightsaber and the Force in more than one situation.

Simultaneously, we will also be comparing moments where these combat styles shined through and helped the respective Jedi win the battle they were fighting, whether that victory was mental or physical.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

To call Kenobi a skilled fighter would be an extreme understatement. Obi-Wan was arguably the Jedi Order’s best all-around warrior.

Having been trained in Form III of lightsaber combat, Obi-Wan had honed the style to near perfection. He had, on one occasion, been referred to as the Master of Soresu by the Jedi Order’s best lightsaber duelist, Mace Windu.

Obi-Wan Kenobi with his blue lightsaber

Obi-Wan’s absolute mastery of Soresu allowed him to have a near-impenetrable defense while fighting a lightsaber. This meant that his combat style would rely on tiring the opponent out before Kenobi even attacked them once.

But lightsaber combat was not the only place that Kenobi excelled. His mastery of Soresu did more than just make his physical defense impenetrable; Soresu required that the user be able to keep a firm grip on their emotions and not let them affect them during a battle.

This served two purposes for Kenobi and provided him with two distinct advantages over his opponents. Along with the obvious advantage when it came to defense, Soresu’s requirement of a deeper connection with the Force meant that Kenobi would easily be able to resist the temptation of the Dark Side of the Force.

A deeper connection with the Force also meant that Obi-Wan’s Force abilities were heightened to a point where they were more powerful than most Jedi in the Order at that time.

Kenobi’s Soresu-based combat allowed him to go toe-to-toe with  General Grievous and Darth Maul in Revenge of The Sith and The Phantom Menace, respectively. It also allowed him to overpower pre-suit Darth Vader despite their brotherly bond.

Obi-Wan’s defeat of General Grievous was a feat that was impressive in and of itself, given that Grievous was simultaneously wielding four lightsabers while Kenobi had only one. Despite this, Soresu allowed Obi-Wan to hold his own and eventually defeat Grievous at his first slip-up.

Maul and Vader both had extreme emotional significance attached to them. One had just killed Obi-Wan’s master and Vader had been Obi-Wan’s brother only moments before their fight.

Obi-Wan Kenobi vs Darth Maul - Blu Ray 1080p HD

Nevertheless, Kenobi’s mastery of Soresu had taught him to keep his emotions in check during battles, this meant that he focused on the battles and defeating his opponents, only allowing himself to grieve and mourn his losses after he had won.

Luke Skywalker

Despite never having had any official training as a Jedi, Luke’s combat skills had developed due to him constantly being faced with new opponents. The added responsibility of being the only Jedi in existence also forced Luke to train himself harder than ever before.

Luke Skywalker holding a blaster and going with astromech droid R2D2

After Luke’s initial training with Ben Kenobi and his more advanced training with Master Yoda on Dagobah, his connection with the Force had deepened to the extent that he could sense conflict in people.

His mastery of the Force and abilities such as the Jedi Mind Trick made him an urban legend after the fall of the Empire and the defeat of Darth Vader and the Emperor.

Despite these, Luke was a haphazard duelist. He had no one set form of lightsaber combat for a major part of his prime and was hence reliant on heavy strikes to overpower his opponents.

And while this would never work against another lightsaber user, he found no flaws in using it against opponents with blasters or batons.

This was made glaringly obvious by comparing Luke’s now-famous hallway scene from The Mandalorian and his fight with Vader in Return of The Jedi. He shredded through the newly created Death Troopers under Moff Gideon’s command.

The Mandalorian | Luke's Hallway Scene with Vader's Hallway Scene Music | Spoilers for Chapter 16

But, in Return of The Jedi, Luke chose to hide and use the environment to protect himself from Vader instead of facing him in direct lightsaber combat. The fight ended with Luke using his rage to drive him, which leads us to our next point.

A major aspect of Luke’s combat style is inherited directly from his father because he allows his emotions to affect and drive him to become stronger, faster, and more deadly in a duel. And while this does lead to him being easier to defeat, there are examples to prove otherwise.

Perhaps the best example is Luke’s ability to bring Vader back from the Dark Side of the Force by using his father’s own emotions against him. The way that Luke felt the conflict within Vader and stopped fighting to appeal to the light in him was perhaps the only way to win.

This implied that Luke would one day develop a deeper connection with the Force and become as powerful as he was in The Last Jedi.

Speaking of The Last Jedi, while we mentioned that this period was one of Luke’s primes, this was based purely on his connection with the Force and how he managed the monstrous feat of projecting himself halfway across the Galaxy to face down the First Order.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi/Luke's Final Stand

Who Would Win in a Head-On Fight?

Now that we have analyzed the Master of Soresu and Jedi Grandmaster Luke Skywalker, it is time for us to compare who would win in a fight.

Now, of course, we realize that it was logistically and physically impossible for Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker ever to meet each other in their primes, much less fight, we will assume a hypothetical scenario to cater to our needs.

The scenario goes along the lines of Luke meditating after the events of Return of The Jedi and trying to speak to one of the Force Ghosts when he gets pulled into the World Between Worlds. Here, he comes face to face with a younger version of Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi.

The fight will be an all-out duel without any risk of death since both are fighting using bodies projected into the Force. In the same way that Luke did in The Last Jedi, their bodies are tangible to each other.

While we will not write this battle out like fanfiction, we will analyze every factor and outcome that could occur.


Scenario and Outcome #1:

The fight starts with a simple lightsaber duel. Obi-Wan starts by entering his iconic defensive Soresu stance. Luke would not realize what Kenobi has done and would attack head-on in the hopes of getting a lucky hit.

Kenobi would eventually tire Luke out while retaining his strength and stamina, thus allowing him to take advantage of any mistakes that Luke would make when he is tired. This, combined with how efficient Kenobi is with a lightsaber, would allow for him to deliver a fatal blow instantly.

In this way, Obi-Wan Kenobi effortlessly takes Round 1.

Scenario and Outcome #2:

The second round would start similarly, with Obi-Wan and Luke locking blades after Kenobi assumed the Soresu stance. The variation this time would be that Luke would attempt a Force push.

At this point, Obi-Wan would try to repel it, the same way he did with Anakin in Revenge of The Sith. Luke, having a deeper connection with the Force would win the clash and Kenobi would go flying backward at which point Luke would press his advantage.

From here, it becomes dependent on speed and agility and because Luke is the younger fighter, he would get to Kenobi while he was down, allowing him to deliver a flurry of haphazard blows while Kenobi was down.

So, with a certain degree of effort, Luke would take Round 2. But only because of his natural talent with the Force.

Scenario and Outcome #3:

This round is simple. Since Obi-Wan brought Luke into the World Between Worlds, he has control over where they are fighting. Kenobi will use this control to create a hill from where he will start the fight.

This round automatically goes to Obi-Wan since he is unbeatable when he has high ground.

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