There are few things in this world that can unite fans of all ages, but Star Wars has been able to do just that since its initial release back in 1977. The franchise has had many ups and downs over the years, but it’s never been able to shake its spot as one of the biggest sci-fi/fantasy stories of all time and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
With a new movie on the horizon, we thought it would be fun to rank the best characters from one of our favorite film franchises. While it’s impossible to declare one best character, there are definitely some that stand out above the rest.
This list of the 25 best Star Wars characters will guide you to some of the most memorable characters from the Star Wars franchise, so you can choose which one you like best!
Within the frame of the films, we know little about Mon Mothma other than she resisted Emperor Palpatine at the end of the Republic. In Rogue One, she recruited Jyn Erso to find her father, Galen Erso, in hopes of getting the plans for the Death Star. She also told us that “many Bothuns died to bring us this information” in Return of the Jedi, and arguably, that’s what we’ll always remember her for.
Jabba The Hutt
In the film series Star Wars, Jabba the Hutt is a major antagonist and crime lord who resides in his palace on the desert planet Tatooine. He is portrayed as an obese being with a gruff voice and attitude who can barely walk without support from his slaves or throne droids.
Jabba is notorious for his immorality and is deeply involved in many criminal enterprises such as spice trading, slave trading, assassination, and piracy. Although he does not come out of his palace to meet Luke Skywalker until Return of the Jedi, it becomes clear that Jabba is a formidable foe and criminal mastermind due to the scale of his operations and influence over the galaxy.
A veteran warrior, Admiral Ackbar fought in the Clone Wars and later helped lead the Alliance to victory at the Battle of Endor to destroy the second Death Star. But, above all, he said those three beautiful words that’ll forever be cemented in history, “It’s a trap!
This Jedi Master’s stalwart confidence and maverick sensibilities distinguished him among his monotone Jedi peers. He also liberated Anakin Skywalker from slavery, and while that unleashed a whole lot of suffering for the galaxy, Jinn saw potential in the boy and had noble aspirations for his future before the Jedi Council shot him down. One wonders what might have happened if he’d got the chance to train him instead of Obi-Wan.
Other than being a scavenger abandoned by her parents at a young age, we know little about Rey, including her last name. She also is a bit of a Mary Sue protagonist with no character arc in sight. Still, it’s easy to empathize with Rey’s innocence, courage, and her endless search for a connection with a parental figure.
A character who should have been introduced in the original trilogy but was instead saved for a new era of the franchise, Jyn Erso is a compelling and complex protagonist. A strong-willed individual, Erso has always craved adventure and exploration.
In Rogue One, we see her as an orphaned young woman raised by extremist rebels fighting against the Galactic Empire. Whenever the opportunity arises for her to sacrifice herself, she embraces it with all her might and doesn’t hesitate. She’s brave, strong-willed, and independent – all qualities that made Rogue One such an enjoyable experience.
Trained to be a stormtrooper since an early age, FN-2817 was nicknamed Finn by Poe Dameron after Finn rescued him from the First Order. His character has a decent arc. He went from being a stormtrooper to renouncing it, trying to flee, but eventually helping the Resistance to save his friend Rey. He’s a likable, child-like character that will do anything for his friends.
Padmé Amidala was the Queen of Naboo before she married Anakin Skywalker and became Queen of the Galactic Republic. She was a strong fighter for democracy, even when it meant risking her life.
When her planet’s government was taken over by the Trade Federation, Padmé led a rebellion against them with the help of Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jar Jar Binks, and others. Her bravery and determination were inspiring!
Unlike many of the typical evil and elite Star Wars officers, Director Orson Krennic is more of a blue-collar type, working his way up and doing everything he can to earn respect. His friendship with Galen and Lyra Erso helped humanize him and made him slightly more empathetic. Of course, their paths diverged when Galen refused to serve the Empire while Krennic doubled-down on his devotion.
Mace Windu is a powerful Jedi Master who sits on the High Council of the Jedi Order and wields a unique purple-bladed lightsaber. He is responsible for killing Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones.
Windu was born into the long line of Jedi and earned his title as a Knight and Master through hard work and dedication. Windu is one of the most powerful Jedi of his time and has shown this many times throughout his career as a protector of peace and justice in the galaxy.
Much like Boba Fett, we know little about Darth Maul, but his dark and ominous presence makes him an intriguing figure. In many ways, he was the Boogey-Man archetype in The Phantom Menace. Plus, you can’t really beat the double light-saber reveal and the Duel of the Fates lightsaber battle at the end of that movie. Fighting two Jedi at once is no small feat.
Programmed and built for etiquette and protocol by Anakin Skywalker, C-3PO became the constant companion of R2-D2, Luke Skywalker, and the Rebellion. His neurotic and cowardly personality made him the perfect comic relief character.
There’s something ingenious about an astromech that looks like a soccer ball with a tiny head. This speedy little guy is the companion of Poe Dameron and later, Rey, helping the Resistance against the First Order. Humorous, brave, and loyal, BB-8 is a great droid we all wish we could have at our side.
Known to pull arms out of sockets when he loses, Chewbacca is the loyal and lovable companion of Han Solo, serving as a co-pilot on the Millenium Falcon. He fought with the Republic on Kashyyyk before being enslaved by the Empire. Once freed, he became a smuggler and eventually a rebel against the Empire. While he’s got a short temper and occasionally shows signs of cowardice and being “a big baby,” Chewy is a loyal friend to those closest to him.
Grievous is one of the best villains in the franchise, and for good reason. He’s smart, cunning, and ruthless- but not as skilled in combat as he likes to believe. His mechanical body is powered by an immense life support system which gives him an edge over his opponents with both strength and agility.
Grievous’ signature weapon is a 4-meter-long electro-staff fitted with a blade at each end which can be split into two smaller lightsabers. This deadly combination enables Grievous to quickly dispatch many of his enemies at once.
This Jedi Master is one of the most complex characters in the franchise. He starts as a mentor and advisor to Luke, but in many ways, he’s just as much of a student as his protégé.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is serious, focused, and always has a plan–though he does have his moments of self-doubt about how well he’s doing at fulfilling his duties. But when it comes down to it, Obi-Wan Kenobi is tough and knows how to get things done. His knowledge helps him stay calm even in the face of danger–he can handle anything that comes up with ease.
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With a strong will and sharp beep, this astromech droid plays by its own rules to get the job done. Skilled in starship mechanics and being a fighter pilot’s assistance, it proves itself time and again to be a loyal and trusted counterpart to C-3PO and the Alliance.
Also known as Darth Sidious, Emperor Palpatine single-handedly orchestrated the demise of the Republic, dismantling the Senate and being sole emperor of the galaxy. His scheming and evil knows no limits and only craves more power.
As a wise, old Jedi Master, Yoda trained generations of Jedi for over 800 years before eventually becoming exiled to the Dagobah system. His kind, quirky, and silly demeanor can quickly become stern and contemplative, and of course, his knowledge of the force is almost unmatched.
She is one of the most badass princesses ever. She’s smart, she’s brave, and she can kick your butt with a blaster. She knows what it means to be a leader and how to give orders in the midst of chaos.
Leia was always there for her friends even when they were on opposite sides of the war. Her love for Han Solo is also admirable and we know that they ended up together at the end, which makes them one of the best couples in film history.
Arguably the most famous and beloved character in the whole franchise, Luke is a child of destiny. He’s more than just a farm boy from Tatooine, however. As the son of Darth Vader and Leia Organa, he carries the weight of both evil and good inside him.
In addition to being an incredibly skilled pilot and mechanic, his innate strength in the Force has allowed him to channel his light side for peace and justice for all. It was only through his strong moral compass that he could eventually vanquish the darkness within him by confronting and killing Darth Vader.
Few Star Wars villains are as complex as Kylo Ren, also known as Ben Solo, making him one of the best characters in the entire film saga. As the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, and Grandson to Anakin Skywalker, he sits in the shadow of greatness and wishes to be better than Darth Vader, finishing what he started. But he’s torn, constantly pulled to the light, wanting to start new and let old things die. Only time will tell where Ren’s arc will lead, but we’re assuming it’ll be a good one.
Growing up on the mean streets of Corellia, this notorious scoundrel became a pilot for the Empire before being kicked out for having a mind of his own. A notorious smuggler with a big heart, Solo went on to help the Rebellion against the Empire. He’s cool, confident, and for a time only believed fate was in his hands until he met a young farm boy that turned all that around. And of course, he always shoots first.
With a menacing voice, an awesome black suit, and fierce determination for control, Vader is iconic in the Star Wars mythos. Yes, he’s an evil Sith Lord that murdered countless numbers of people, but as a character, he also has one of the most tragic and best arcs in Star Wars.
A slave boy terrified of death and ripped from his mother at a young age, he became the most powerful Jedi in all the galaxy before turning to the Dark Side in hopes he could control death. But, it was not to be. Eventually, after seeing his son in peril, Vader made the right choice by killing Emperor Palpatine and turning back over to the Light Side.
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