A New Hope exploded in 1977. Fifty years later, audiences around the world stay devoted to Star Wars’ galactic promise of peril and adventure in different Star Wars TV shows and movies created ever since the first movie. Breathtaking special effects and John Williams’ iconic score reel viewers in—but characters keep us coming back. Every iconic Star Wars movie gave fans at least one character to love, or not love.
From aliens to Wookies, stormtroopers to Jedi Masters, the franchise is stuffed with all sorts of fan favorites. Princess Leia, Yoda, Darth Vader, and Obi Wan Kenobi are just a few names most individuals know worldwide, whether they're the biggest Star Wars fan or not. Characters in Star Wars seem to embody the worst and best in all of us. They each grapple with forces of good and evil—and that constant battle can be just as rewarding as the most thrilling and best Star Wars fight scenes.
Although it's hard to choose the best Star Wars character, we've put together a list of the 7 top Star Wars characters. Rooting for (or against) these top Star Wars characters keeps our fandom as lively as the Mos Eisley cantina on a hot day.
#7 Darth Maul
The seventh Star Wars character on our list is Darth Maul. There are at least two places we’d prefer not to come across this spooky, horned villain:
- In our dreams
- As our opponent in high-stakes lightsaber combat
The one place we love to see him, however? On the big screen.
Despite his menacing appearance and allegiance to the Dark Side, this Sith Lord has found his way into fans’ hearts in the creepiest way possible for a couple of reasons:
- Although he made just one film appearance (and uttered only a few bone-chilling lines), Maul leaves a lasting impression on viewers in a way that really hits home.
- Even though he isn’t human, Darth Maul’s very-human criminal capers and desperate fight for power might seem familiar here on Planet Earth.
He perfectly embodies the inhuman horrors of the Dark Side and earns a spot here at number seven.
#6 Kylo Ren
Coming in at number six on this list—and number one in our swooning hearts—is Kylo Ren. Bearing internal agony on his face and thick torso, this Sith made Star Wars spicy for a whole new generation.
Here’s why we’re giving him sixth-place honors:
- While fans were busy debating the quality of newer Star Wars films, Kylo Ren convinced reluctant girlfriends to attend in profitable hordes.
- Everybody stans a complicated bad guy.
To further your love affair with this dark warrior, catch him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi. Watch on repeat to your heart’s content.
#5 Ahsoka Tano
Brave, brash, and unstoppable, Ahsoka Tano brings a mighty spirit to Star Wars’ next chapter. Appearing animated in Clone Wars and live-action in The Mandalorian, Ahsoka is currently on the rise, though her history takes her all the way back to a Jedi apprenticeship under Anakin Skywalker.
Here’s why she blazed a trail to the fifth spot on this list:
- For starters, there’s her white-tiger headpiece. The sooner you can get your hands on one for your next cosplay event, the better.
- Ahsoka fights, trains, prevails, and leads with all the resiliency of her male counterparts, making her a refreshing female legend.
#4 Hans Solo
Dubbed the original space cowboy, Hans Solo’s cavalier charm won over the entire galaxy. Harrison Ford's character has become one of the most iconic in all of the Star Wars franchise for many different reasons.
Hans is one of our top-ranking figures because:
- He’s never one to miss out on hijinks and chances to hoodwink the corrupt—Hans wiggles his way across the galaxy’s underbelly with finesse.
- A true antihero, Hans never intends to get wrapped up in the Skywalker saga, but ultimately his values and loyalty turn him from grifter to hero.
#3 Luke Skywalker
Coming in at number three on our list: the universal golden boy, Luke Skywalker.
We’d need way more fingers and toes to count all of the reasons why we support Luke, but here are a couple to get you started:
- Luke symbolizes the future of everything good—he’s hope and perseverance in human form. If that doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, what does?
- In some ways, Luke illuminates the entire Star Wars canon. Perhaps even more riveting than his trials are the characters and places that help give him purpose on his journey.
“The greatest teacher, failure is.”
Out of all the Star Wars facts, no one can deny that he's one of the most cherished characters. A true teacher himself, Yoda has continued to win over audiences’ hearts for decades—and he’s winning the second spot on our list of top Star Wars characters.
Here are the criteria that earn him such an esteemed ranking:
- Yoda has it all—ancient wisdom, reincarnation properties, true acumen, mastery of the Force, and a speech quirk forever embedded in pop culture—not to mention he broke the rules with Yaddle in the name of love.
- There’s plenty of him to love off-screen as well. Puppeteer Frank Oz brought the Jedi Master to life long before CGI.
Whether as a puppet or as a computer-generated image, he—and his adorably pointy ears—are equally as lovable.
#1 Darth Vader
George Lucas knew what he was doing when he created this character throughout the Star Wars movie timeline, and he’s ranked number one on this list for obvious reasons. Let’s face it—no Star Wars character personifies the inherent duel of good versus evil better than Anakin Skywalker. Plus, he’s downright iconic. Even movie buffs who haven’t got the slightest clue about the Star Wars saga can be found impersonating Darth Vader’s hair-raising heavy breathing to spook their friends.
If you need more reasons to love our number-one pick (or perhaps the GOAT), we’ve got them:
- His all-black attire and commanding presence make even the most seasoned Jedi tremble.
- Before he went rotten, he was the Chosen One of the Jedi Order who crumbled under pressure and temptation. (Who doesn’t love a tragic hero?)
Raise your lightsabers, Star Wars enthusiasts, and toast to this legendary character who’ll be talked about for years to come.
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Wookiepedia. The Galaxy. https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/The_galaxy/
The Rockle. Heroes in Literature: Types and Examples of True Literary Heroes. https://therockle.com/heroes-in-literature-types-and-examples-of-true-literary-heroes