An interesting topic on the SWG forums, that i replied to with this.
Not so many people have read the EU books. I think more people played the various Jedi games. That combined with the new trilogy creates a strong “uber Jedi” myth.
What i think about it all is that Jedi do have a huge power, but they need good concentration to use it properly and that power also comes with consequences. Also, theyre Jedi, THEYRE NOT LIKE US. Theyre not like “i have to kill all the bad guys”. The power of Jedi also comes with the mental change. The more power he has, the less he uses it for primitive tasks like mass killing. Because he doesnt want to, its against his teaching, but he also often doesnt have a REASON to do so.
That is like with many martial artists in real world. They do have huge power, but very often, the more power they have, the less likely are they to use it without a good reason. Theyre past that point where “uber killing” seems uber. My former Karate instructor was just like that. When he was attacked, he just parried and dodged the punches until the attacker gave up. Because he didnt want to kill or disable him, which he could do really easily. Of course not everyone is like him, and not every force user is a Jedi. If he was Sith-like, i can imagine he could play soccer with his eyeless head or something like that.
For example, even if Yoda was uber, he didnt go and kill a legion of Clone troopers, because what would be the point of that? If it didnt save another Jedi or solve anything? Even the point of “one legion of bad troopers less” might not be a reason good enough for a Jedi like Yoda. Maybe the only reason good enough for him to really go and fight was to “kill the Sith lord and end the war”. Any fighting with the mere servants of the Lord was pointless for him.
So, some of the Jedi maybe never unleashed their full power, because they never were in a situation where they could do it. And on the other hand, some Jedi failed in seemingly “primitive” skirmishes.
There probably really was such difference between their abilities. Some of them werent trained and talented enough to react so swiftly, a group of clone troopers was able to kill them, while on the other hand there was Yoda, who is (obviously overpowered) winning against heavily armored droid units in The Clone Wars Series (2008), episode 1. Was he in such a close connection to the force, that he had no hard time dodging all the attacks? Some of the Jedi might lose their concentration when under the stress of battle. Focusing on the Force is very important for Jedi, and if he fails at this one thing, if he fails for a second and one shot hits him, all his skill and training is lost because of this small failure.
The Jedi we play in various games either never lose this focus (if they do, we load previous save), or they can take some beating. If every other shot that hits me in a game was to kill me (like in the movies), i would die a long time ago. The single-player games give us a room to correct our mistakes. But the real Jedi never had that chance. Maybe they lost their focus in their first real engagement for a second and got one-shot killed. Theyre not cheating like we do in the games, they cant take much beating and they cant load a save.
No wonder some of them die quickly, i cant imagine how many times my Jedi died in these games while under my control. And Yoda has to be really good.