Who Is Knightfall Anakin & How Powerful Was He?


If there’s a character that some fans love talking about, it’s Anakin Skywalker. Not only was he Darth Vader after he fell to the dark side, but he was also supposed to be the strongest in terms of his potential in the Force. While he never reached his full potential in the Force, fans love to talk about Anakin’s power before he was burned on Mustafar, as they often call him Knightfall Anakin. So, who is Knightfall Anakin, and how powerful was he?

Knightfall Anakin is the name given to Anakin Skywalker when he led Operation Knightfall, which is the Legends name given to the Siege of the Jedi Temple. Anakin was said to be at his most powerful in this state because he still had three of his four limbs and was yet to suffer the burn injuries that weakened him.

The thing about Anakin is that he has always been considered a “what if” character in terms of his potential, as there are a lot of people who believe that he could have been so much more if he didn’t lose to Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar. Nevertheless, what happened to him needed to happen. So, with that said, let’s look at who Knightfall Anakin was and how strong he was.

Anakin led Operation Knightfall

The best description for the Jedi Order during the end of the Clone Wars is the word “tragic.” That’s because the Jedi Order fell due to its own mistakes and weaknesses, as these shortcomings allowed the rise of none other than Darth Sidious, who was actually Chancellor Palpatine hiding in plain sight. But one of the reasons why the Jedi Order fell was that they couldn’t find a way to keep one of their own in check. We are talking about Anakin Skywalker.

Anakin felt like he wasn’t valued well enough by the Jedi Order, and the many different disagreements he had with how the Jedi did things were one of the reasons why he became disillusioned by the Jedi. Of course, his love for Padmé Amidala also made it more likely for him to become obsessed with finding a way to keep her alive, especially after he saw a vision of her death.

anakin palpatine

In that regard, Palpatine was able to find a way to lure him to the dark side as he made Anakin hate the Jedi more while also feeding him the idea that the dark side of the Force could keep people from dying. With that said, Anakin took the bait as he betrayed the Jedi by attacking Mace Windu, whom Palpatine finished off. That act against Windu was the final nail in the coffin of Anakin’s career as a Jedi as he pledged his allegiance to Darth Sidious and was rechristened Darth Vader.

Of course, Sidious sent him on one of his first missions as a Sith Lord. After Palpatine initiated Order 66, he ordered Anakin to take the 501st Legion to the Jedi Temple to kill every Jedi there.

This event is called the Siege of the Jedi Temple in canon. But in Legends, it is often called Operation Knightfall because a fallen Jedi Knight was the one who led the fall of the Jedi Knights in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. And because Anakin led Operation Knightfall, this version of him is often called Knightfall Anakin.


Star Wars’ Father, Daughter & Son Explained: Could Anakin Be ‘The Father’?

In many ways, this is the darkest version of Anakin because his obsession with keeping Padmé alive led him to slay the Jedi that he knew and fought alongside. On top of that, he also slayed multiple younglings inside the temple as he didn’t even hesitate to put children down for his selfish desires.

Knightfall Anakin showed glimpses of his full potential

As mentioned, Knightfall Anakin led the Siege of the Jedi Temple as he brought a lot of clones from the Grand Army of the Republic and the 501st Legion. Of course, he was the only Force user among the soldiers who attacked the Jedi Temple. While the sheer number of the clones may have already been enough to kill all of the Jedi in the Jedi Temple, Anakin’s presence totally shifted the odds in favor of the clones.

Before he fell to the dark side, Anakin was already regarded as one of the greatest duelists in the Jedi Order. Only Mace Windu and Yoda were likely better than him at dueling. But the thing about Anakin was that he was only getting better and better because his potential was greater than any other Force wielder in the galaxy’s history. And the dark side only fueled him to become stronger.


Star Wars: What Lightsaber Form Did Anakin Skywalker Use?

As such, Knightfall Anakin had the overwhelming lightsaber skills of Jedi Knight Anakin, the potential of the Chosen One, and the wrath of a Sith Lord. While he was yet to develop the same kind of anger and rage that the armor-clad Darth Vader was known for, he was still fueled with intensity at that time because he was angry at the Jedi Order and was hell-bent on finding a way to keep his beloved Padmé alive.

That was why Knightfall Anakin could best a few well-trained Jedi in the Jedi Temple. He killed Padawans Bene and Whie Malreaux before turning his attention toward Cin Drallig, regarded as one of the best duelists in the entire Jedi Order and a powerful Jedi Master. Drallig was the Battlemaster of the Jedi Temple, and his skills with the lightsaber made him worthy of training the Padawans and younglings stationed there.

anakin cin drallig

But Anakin defeated one of the greatest swordsmen in the Jedi Temple without much effort. After that, he killed Jedi Master Shaak Ti, who didn’t put up much of a fight because she was far too busy trying to send a message to all of the other Jedi in the galaxy.

In that regard, Knightfall Anakin was so powerful that he easily killed and defeated many Jedi Masters, Knights, Padawans, and younglings during the Siege of the Jedi Temple. Of course, he had help from the clone troopers who accompanied him. But defeating a true Jedi Master and an expert duelist while also killing more Jedi was proof of his power.

This was the Anakin that Palpatine wanted. He wanted Darth Vader to reach his full potential faster by making him draw the power of the dark side. As such, Knightfall Anakin was a glimpse of the full potential that he never reached. Sadly, Anakin became a shell of himself when he lost his limbs and got injured by the fires of Mustafar, thus having a lower potential when he became the armor-clad Darth Vader.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments