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Film

The 10 greatest ‘Star Wars’ characters of all time

@Russellisation

It should be a given that for a story that takes place in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars should contain a multitude of exciting characters from eclectic backgrounds of the universe. 

Thankfully, this is indeed the case, with each of the eleven canonical Star Wars feature films offering up some of the strangest and most imaginative characters ever put to screen. Conjured by the mind of American filmmaker and visionary screenwriter George Lucas, these characters span different allegiances and races, with only a handful of the very best series icons being human. 

Considering the sheer amount of characters that populate the franchise, cutting the list of the very best down to a mere ten was no easy task, with the likes of C-3PO, Count Dooku, Chewbacca and more having been omitted from the list. Touching on the prequel and sequel trilogy, whilst quietly bypassing the sequel era, let’s take a look into the top ten greatest Star Wars characters of all time. 

The 10 greatest ‘Star Wars’ characters:

10. Darth Maul

Whilst The Phantom Menace remains known as one of the biggest cinematic disappointments of all time, there’s no doubt that it got a few things right, not least the sinister character of Darth Maul, Darth Sidious’ loyal apprentice. With a red and black patterned face, jagged horns and poisoned yellow eyes, Maul is one of the greatest aesthetic treats of the Star Wars series. 

Whilst he says very little during his time on screen and appears only in the first film of the prequel trilogy (aside from a short cameo in Solo), we are destined to see the character back on screen soon thanks to his considerable love from fans of the series. 

9. R2-D2

Not one word of comprehensible English comes out of the droid R2-D2, yet he remains such a beloved character thanks to the work of conceptual designer Ralph McQuarrie and George Lucas who helped to anthropomorphise the robot. Appearing alongside C-3PO who misses out from appearing on this list despite having far more lines than R2-D2, the droid has been a mainstay of the series ever since the original film in 1977. 

Both R2 and C-3PO sparked an eternal interest in friendly droids for the Star Wars series, with countless other robotic characters appearing after the inception of both icons. 

8. Boba Fett

Recently getting his very own series (that did very little to improve the character), Boba Fett remains a classic Star Wars character, not because of the sub-par Disney+ series, but for his carefully crafted character in the original series. Whilst Lucas admits that he didn’t think Fett would turn into such a beloved character, there’s no denying that everything from the costume of the character to his steely persona makes him one of the series’ coolest characters.

Intriguing and mysterious, the thrill of Boba Fett was in his inherent curiosity. Who is he? Where did he come from? Why is he so good at fighting? Why is his costume so cool? These are all questions we didn’t need answers to. 

7. Luke Skywalker

Quite possibly one of the most loyal Jedi of all time, Luke Skywalker is a young man with a significant daddy problem, spending much of the original trilogy trying to tempt his father away from the dark side, despite the fact that he is one of the sith’s most sinister overlords. Returning for the sequel trilogy, Skywalker remained a thrilling character to behold, even if his personality was constantly tweaked by Disney. 

Part of the magic trinity of characters in the original films, joining Han Solo and Princess Leia, Skywalker, and particularly the beloved actor Mark Hamill, remain favourites of the series. 

6. Darth Sidious

The grand puppet master, Darth Sidious is one of the most lusciously evil characters in the whole Star Wars series, with skin devoid of a soul and eyes empty of reason and empathy. In including this character, we intend to make reference to both the evil overlord of the original trilogy as well as the crafty politician of the prequel trilogy who pulled the strings of the senate and manipulated them to his favour. 

A staple character of the prequel series who helps to elevate the trilogy, Darth Sidious is a pervading force of evil throughout the greatest films of the franchise, with every second of his screen time being a joy to behold.

5. Princess Leia

A wildcard of the original films, the appearance of Princess Leia in A New Hope welcomes the character into Star Wars with an emphatic introduction that perfectly reflects her well-fleshed-out persona. Gutsy, self-sufficient and often very funny, Leia is one of George Lucas’ best-written characters, with more personality than many of her other supporting characters. 

Making a statement in the original trilogy, she appeared again in the sequel trilogy as well as a CGI figure in Rogue One, though nothing can beat her original iteration.

4. Han Solo

Inspiring countless imitators following the release of A New Hope in 1977, Harrison Ford’s Han Solo was an instant favourite of the series thanks to his maverick personality and sharp tongue. A smuggler and famous pilot, Solo manned the Millennium Falcon with his Wookie sidekick, Chewbacca, with the duo forming a loveable team of eccentric rogues capable of pulling off any mission. 

Known as one of the franchise’s coolest characters alongside Boba Fett, Solo also featured in the sequel trilogy, with his son Kylo Ren becoming a key character, whilst he (spoilers) fell tragically to his lightsaber.

3. Yoda

There are few characters in the Star Wars franchise quite as iconic as the small green sage Yoda who guides Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker through their training, embodying the Jedi code. Thanks to his unique way of speaking that for some reason makes him sound more intelligent, Yoda quickly became a fan-favourite character for his wise words of advice and profound statements. 

Though he shined in the original trilogy, Yoda also appeared as a younger, more acrobatic self in the prequels where his character is somewhat compromised, though undoubtedly still marvellous. 

2. Obi-Wan Kebobi

Loyal and headstrong, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a mainstay of the Star Wars franchise, and is the only character of the entire series to be made more popular by the prequel series. Played by Alec Guinness in A New Hope, it is Ewan McGregor who takes up the mantle in The Phantom Menace, crafting a truly compelling character over the course of three films that remains loyal to the original version whilst adding a fresh twist. 

Soon to be getting his very own Disney+ series, there is something truly inviting about the Obi-Wan character, displaying the purity of goodness whilst suggesting a fragile mind, broken by the events of the past. 

1. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader

The story of Anakin Skywalker, a young Jedi with incredible power who fell from grace and became one of the galaxy’s most feared villains remains the greatest story George Lucas and the Star Wars franchise has ever told. Explored with surprising depth in the prequel trilogy, Hayden Christensen does a great job with Lucas’ questionable script to craft a volatile teenage character in conflict with his past and future, providing solid foundations for his iconic later form. 

Transforming into Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith, we see the power of the terrifying villain in the original trilogy and Rogue One, with fans of the series having an enduring amount of love for the towering figure of pure evil who remains a brokenhearted boy deep down.