When & How Did Anakin Become a Jedi Knight?

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It is often said that Anakin Skywalker was one of the greatest Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars and was arguably just behind a few names in terms of his abilities as a lightsaber duelist. Of course, he was a notable hero during the Clone Wars as he was one of the few Jedi Knights who became so successful as a general that his name became synonymous with heroism and bravery. But before the Clone Wars, he was actually just a Padawan. So, when and how did Anakin become a Jedi Knight?

Anakin Skywalker became a Jedi Knight shortly after the events of the First Battle of Geonosis on 22 BBY. While it was never shown onscreen when or how he was promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight, he was given the rank of Jedi Knight at the suggestion of his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

It is important to note that none of the shows or movies allowed us to see Anakin becoming a Jedi Knight. The only instance was the 2003 ‘Clone Wars’ animated series, which is no longer canon. However, the books clearly establish when and how he was given the rank of Jedi Knight. That said, let’s look at how Anakin became a Jedi Knight.

Anakin was promoted after the First Battle of Geonosis

Arguably the most important character in Star Wars during the Skywalker Saga, Anakin Skywalker’s fate as a Jedi was all but chosen for him because Qui-Gon Jinn believed that he was the prophesized Chosen One. Of course, Anakin also chose the life of a Jedi because he dreamt of being one. That said, while Qui-Gon was supposed to be the one to train him, the responsibility fell on Obi-Wan Kenobi’s shoulders when Jinn died.

Kenobi did his best to train Anakin in the ways of the Force for around ten years. Anakin didn’t make things easy for Obi-Wan because of his innate stubbornness and headstrong nature. However, the duo worked incredibly well together because they complemented each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Eventually, Anakin participated in the First Battle of Geonosis when he discovered that his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, had been captured by the Separatists on Geonosis. He went there to rescue Obi-Wan, only for the Separatists to capture him and attempt to execute him with Kenobi and Senator Padmé Amidala. However, he and his allies escaped and could defend themselves long enough for Mace Windu’s Jedi task force to arrive in time.

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The Jedi task force was backed into a corner and lost a lot of good Jedi Knights and Masters. But Master Yoda arrived together with the clone army from Kamino as he and the Jedi task force rallied together to fight the Separatists in an event known as the First Battle of Geonosis, which was the battle that sparked the outbreak of the Clone Wars.

Shortly after the First Battle of Geonosis, Obi-Wan convinced the Jedi High Council that Anakin was ready for the Jedi trials. As such, he was eventually promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight, as Anakin was now a true Jedi. This happened on 22 BBY.

However, even though Anakin was already a Jedi Knight, his promotion happened before he was even formally knighted. To expedite the proceedings, the Jedi Order held a mass Knighting Ceremony involving several senior Padawans, including Anakin himself, who was never knighted in a Knighting Ceremony before he became a Jedi Knight.

Though Anakin thought this was a waste of time because he was already a Jedi Knight, he still attended the event. This was depicted in the 2022 ‘Star Wars: Brotherhood’ novel by Mike Chen.

There was a growing need for more Jedi

Anakin’s rise to the rank of Jedi Knight was both a product of his skills and the growing need of the Jedi Order to have more Jedi Generals on the field during the battles around the galaxy due to the Clone Wars. 

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As a result, Obi-Wan Kenobi recommended to the Jedi Council to knight Anakin as this would allow them to fight alongside one another as Jedi Generals during the Clone Wars. But at the same time, Anakin would have more freedom on the field as Obi-Wan no longer had to watch over him.

The Jedi Order also expedited the training of their younger Jedi because there was a need for more Jedi on the field during the Clone Wars. Of course, the Jedi Order lost a lot of good men during the First Battle of Geonosis.

Anakin also proved himself to be good enough to receive the rank of Jedi Knight during the Clone Wars because he was so skilled and accomplished as a Jedi Padawan. No other Padawan could rival him in terms of his skills, which was why he truly deserved his knighthood. After all, he did hold his own against Count Dooku long enough in their duel.

How old was Anakin when he became a Jedi Knight?

Anakin Skywalker achieved the rank of Jedi Knight at the age of 19. As such, he was one of the younger Jedi Knights at that time, as he was still a teenager when the Jedi High Council knighted him. In contrast, Obi-Wan Kenobi was around 25 years old when he achieved his knighthood.

Why was Anakin knighted so early?

As mentioned, Anakin was knighted so young and early. But there was a good reason why he received his knighthood at an early age. It all boils down to the fact that there was a growing need for more Jedi during the Clone Wars because the Republic named the Jedi as the generals tasked to lead the clones on the field.

The Jedi Order also sped up the training process of many different Jedi Padawans, which was why there were a lot of young Jedi during the Clone Wars. Nahdar Vebb, who used to be Kit Fisto’s Padawan, was quite young when he was knighted. We can also say the same about Barriss Offee, who was knighted quite young as well. Even Ahsoka was supposed to be knighted at the age of 17 before she rejected the offer to rejoin the Jedi Order.

In that regard, the fact that Anakin was knighted early was not solely a product of his skills but was also due to the need of the Jedi Order to have more Jedi on the field during the Clone Wars. And it was clear that some of these Jedi were not even ready to be knights as they either died early or were incapable of grasping the true meaning of being a Jedi Knight.

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