Obi-Wan Kenobi was undoubtedly one of the most powerful Jedi ever to live. Not many characters could even match him, let alone surpass Old Ben. However, one that instantly pops to mind is Master Yoda, even in his older, past-prime form. So, if prime Yoda faced prime Obi-Wan Kenobi, who would win, and why?
Master Yoda would beat Obi-Wan Kenobi in virtually any scenario you might imagine. He’s wiser, more versatile in lightsaber combat, more skilled with the Force and superior in terms of physiology. Kenobi is extremely powerful, but Yoda might be the strongest Jedi ever.
That being said, I can see Obi-Wan match or beat Yoda when the Grand Master is already way past his prime, during his olden days. Still, it would be a hard-fought battle, and I’m not sure one could count Yoda out even then. Let’s see what the differences are between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda to see how one would thrive against the other (not that they’d ever fight, but still).
Origins & Physiology
Obi-Wan Kenobi was born in 57 BBY as a human male from a world called Stewjon. Since he was a kid, Kenobi showed signs of high Force sensitivity, which led to him being inducted into the Jedi Order.
Obi-Wan was raised on Coruscant in the Jedi Temple, serving as padawan of Qui-Gon Jinn. Jinn might’ve been Kenobi’s master, but Kenobi trained under many prolific Jedi, including Grand Master Yoda. Eventually, Obi-Wan Kenobi surpassed his master Qui-Gon Jinn and became one of the most powerful Jedi ever to live.
He was already an older fellow when he died in 0 BBY in a duel against Darth Vader. Obi-Wan sacrificed his life to save Luke Skywalker, who was his padawan at the time. However, Obi-Wan became one with the Force after death, which enabled him to remain at Luke’s side, even in death.
On the other hand, Yoda belongs to an unknown, mysterious species from an unknown planet. However, despite his odd appearance and small stature, Yoda became one of the most powerful – if not the most powerful – Jedi of all time.
He was born in 894 BBY and died in 4 ABY on Dagobah, living to be 900 years old. Yoda, who was among the most sensitive Force users of all time, spent 800 years harnessing knowledge
about the Force, while serving as a master and a tutor to many generations of the Jedi.
Yoda trained many notable Jedi throughout the years, including Count Dooku (who was his padawan before turning to the Dark side), Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin, and Luke Skywalker.
Eventually, Yoda became the Grand Master of the Jedi High Council, considered to be the highest-ranked Jedi of all. Mace Windu served as second-in-command.
Despite the small stature, Yoda’s physiology, origins, and history put him above Obi-Wan, who’s just a human. Yoda lived 900 years as one of the wisest, strongest beings among Jedi, living to see the rise and fall of the Galactic Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire. Master Yoda gets the first point against Old Ben.
Point: Yoda (1:0) Obi-Wan Kenobi
Prolific use of the Force is something we can tie to both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. Obi-Wan virtually mastered the Force, and many of its techniques, being heavily devoted to the Light side.
Throughout the years, Kenobi progressed gradually. Having a high count of midi-chlorians within himself certainly helped Obi-Wan. His count stands at 13 400, which is among the highest midi-chlorian counts ever. Only a few characters were above Kenobi in that regard.
Still, Obi-Wan focused more on lightsaber combat but used the Force to guide him. When he wanted to avoid a physical confrontation, Ben used the mind trick – a technique to control others’ minds. Kenobi was also very good at telekinesis and many other Force techniques.
That being said, Yoda is one of the few characters I’ve mentioned who were even more sensitive to the Force than Obi-Wan Kenobi. His midi-chlorian count stands at 17 700, the third most among the characters we know. Only Palpatine had more with 20 000, and Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, who was by far the most Force-sensitive individual ever with 27 700.
Sure, the midi-chlorian count plays some role in one’s use of the Force, but it’s simply the potential one has, not their actual power. Real power to use the Force comes from training, learning, and understanding the Force in its entirety.
Yoda’s thirst for knowledge never stopped, as he continued to learn and study the Force throughout his entire 900-year-long life. While he was highly prone to the Light side, Yoda had a deep understanding of the Dark side as well. Nobody ever knew as much about the Force as Yoda, and nobody was ever as powerful with its use. Yoda gets the point here, hands down.
Point: Yoda (2:0) Obi-Wan Kenobi
This one is very tough to gauge, but let’s try to compare the lightsaber skills of Obi-Wan and Yoda.
Obi-Wan Kenobi focused on lightsaber combat during his Jedi training the most. He became an incredibly prolific combatant – one of the best in history, that is. Kenobi used Soresu, also known as Form III, which concentrated highly on defense, control, and counter.
Soresu, or the Resilience Form, had been developed as a technique to repel blasters. It has been said that true Soresu masters have no weakness in their game, and Kenobi was indeed a Soresu master.
He could repel the brutal onslaught of General Grievous, who could literally bang out twenty strikes per second. Also, we’ve seen Obi-Wan use the techniques of Form II, Makashi (albeit in the Clone Wars). Count Dooku, who was the master of Kenobi’s master, Qui-Gon Jinn, was a prolific Makashi wielder, so it makes sense that Obi-Wan at least explored the style.
That being said, Yoda was probably an even better lightsaber combatant than Obi-Wan, despite Old Ben being such a powerful swordsman. Throughout his long life, Yoda became a master in all six regular lightsaber Forms but mostly used Ataru, known as Form IV.
Master Yoda’s Form included a lot of Force use in battle, which makes sense, seeing how incredibly prolific he was with the Force. Ataru combines acrobatics with an offensive lightsaber stance. Despite being small in stature, Yoda used the Force to propel his body, performing agile movements and aiding his combat strategy at every moment.
Being one of the most prolific lightsaber wielders among the Jedi, you can hardly name anyone who could match prime Yoda in a duel. He forced Darth Sidious to retreat, and he was already way past his prime fighting years. Mace Windu was the only one who came close to Yoda’s lightsaber mastery at the time of both being members of the Jedi High Council.
I’m not sure if prime Obi-Wan Kenobi could even match prime Yoda, let alone beat him, but they are both undoubtedly among the top-tier lightsaber wielders ever, so I’ll give them both points in this category.
Point(s): Yoda (3:1) Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Let’s not waste too many words in this category. I wouldn’t pick anyone above Master Yoda in terms of wisdom. I mean, he was known for his wisdom and an undying thirst for knowledge that saw him explore every aspect of the Force and the galaxy as a whole throughout his entire life.
Combined with his naturally high intelligence, Yoda probably forgot more about the Force than Obi-Wan Kenobi ever knew. He was strongly against training both Anakin and Luke Skywalker, as he sensed what it could lead to. Yoda himself stated that he could understand the history of one’s soul through the Force. His knowledge surpasses any Jedi ever.
Don’t get me wrong, Obi-Wan Kenobi is not a slouch in any way. In fact, Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker himself once said that Kenobi was just as wise as Master Yoda. I think it’s an overstatement, to say the least, but it does witness how incredibly wise and intelligent Ben was.
He trained both Anakin and Luke and, in his olden days, became incredibly wise, almost intuitive. I would put Obi-Wan’s wisdom above most characters – but not Master Yoda.
Point: Yoda (4:1) Obi-Wan Kenobi
To settle the debate once and for all, let’s see how the two matched up against other characters.
Yoda was way past his prime when he fought Darth Sidious, aka Palpatine, aka the Emperor, and still managed to beat him. Despite Yoda’s old age and small stature, his skills, wisdom, and Force proficiency allowed him to defeat Palpatine in that duel.
Also, Yoda easily dismantled Count Dooku in combat and would end him had he not let him live to save Anakin and Obi-Wan. Meanwhile, both Anakin and Kenobi got tossed around by Dooku before Master Yoda intervened.
That being said, Obi-Wan fought more (or we saw more, at least) and battled some incredibly tough opponents. His arch-nemesis was Darth Maul, whose hatred towards Kenobi grew so much that the Sith made it his life goal to end Obi-Wan. Still, Kenobi defeated him numerous times and eventually killed Maul.
He could also keep up with General Grievous while also defeating Anakin Skywalker, the most Force-sensitive individual ever.
While I do believe Master Yoda was simply more powerful, seeing how the fights between him and Darth Sidious and Count Dooku went, I’ll give both him and Obi-Wan points here because Obi-Wan deserves it with all the hard-fought battles he had won.
Point(s): Yoda (5:2) Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs. Yoda: Who Wins?
In the end, the scoreboard says it all. While Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of my favorite characters in the entire Star Wars universe and one of the most powerful Jedi ever, I think Master Yoda would destroy him if he really wanted to, even when Yoda was way past his prime years.
Yoda is simply superior in almost every category. He lived for nine hundred years and spent most of them harnessing knowledge and wisdom. He’s the better and more powerful Force user, has more versatile lightsaber skills, and beat opponents who nearly killed Kenobi.
With Obi-Wan in his prime and Yoda in the olden days, I can see the fight being close. However, if Master Yoda is in his prime, he’d wipe the floor with Obi-Wan – or anybody else, for that matter.