Over the weekend Maryann Brandon(Editor of The Force Awakens) said in a with UCSB Script to Screen that according to George Lucas Obi-wan was merely average in terms of power in the Force. This leads to many questions What is the difference between power and ability and how did he beat Anakin who was considered the most powerful Jedi?
Lets look at what it means to be powerful in the force. For years games gave us power levels for different Jedi and that was translated to Midichlorians after the prequels. Based on comments by Dave Filoni and others it seems that this analogous to natural Talent. Just as in our world some people are natural Athletes, musicians, or have an ease with mathematics or language, those with higher power or midichlorian counts have a natural connection with the Force. This means for a Jedi Obi-wan is average and Anakin is at the top of the scale. However this is just natural ability not final skill and ability. Many athletes with average ability do much more than those with tons more natural talent. Through their will, determination, practice and belief, they rise above those who were naturally blessed. We often look at Jedi as though they are video game characters with distinct power levels and power ups, when they have much more depth. They have the ability like us to rise above their limitations and become more than they originally were.
Let’s look at Obi-wan specifically, he is a member of Jedi Council, a Jedi Master, the man that defeated Darth Vader(he became Vader the second he joined with Palps in reality no longer Anakin) and trained two of the most naturally gifted Jedi ever. He also was humble in his own abilities, more so than most. In the Revenge of the Sith novelization Mace and Obi-wan have a conversation after Obi-wan is assigned to track down and bring in Grevious. In the conversation Mace tells Obi-wan he is the master of form III lightsaber technique. Obi-wan initially believes him to saying he was a master but not compared to Mace himself.
“That is so like you, Master Kenobi. I am called a great swordsman because I invented a lethal style; but who is greater, the creator of a killing form—or the master of the classic form?“―Mace Windu to Obi-Wan Kenobi
This passage also shows us that Obi-wan while not as naturally powerful as others was able to still become a symbol of the very best a Jed could be.
Even his style of fighting is the epitome of the Jedi way, used for defense with no attacking moves. Obi-wan implicitly trusts his training and surrenders himself completely to the will of the force. When fighting Darth Vader Obi-wan trusted the force and surrendered completely, giving Luke the chance to escape and still be a part of Luke’s training through the force. Obi-wan’s dedication, wiliness to surrender completely to the force and how he trusted in the Jedi training so much that he fulfilled the ideal requirements of a Jedi is how he was able to defeat Anakin and become the Perfect Jedi and over came his “average” power.