Going from good to evil and from evil to good can be quite the trip in a story series. The story of a defined evil entity versus a group of good is as age-old as time. The classic scenario has played out in old westerns as well as in classic superhero comics. Almost every story has taken the good vs evil role in constructing villains and heroes. And no story has been as big as Star Wars. The series has churned out an amazing 8 feature films and counting. There seems no limit to their greatness. And if there is one thing Star Wars does really well (and they clearly do many), it’s the role of its villains and heroes.
Star Wars is a movie franchise that has transcended all mediums. With billions in movie sales and countless television and print stories, the world of mastermind George Lucas has expanded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. With that expansion, there have been many versions of good and evil. Some of the characters have emerged from surprising forms while others have been powerful. Sometimes, there have been heroes in Star Wars who have become villains and villains who have switched sides and become good. These are 15 Star Wars Characters Who Switched Sides.
Finn arrives in Episode 7 The Force Awakens. The world has changed quite a bit from the alliance’s victories. That is where we arrive with Fin. He is a mere stormtrooper. We don’t really have a tremendous background story about his arrival early in Episode 7. But it is clear that he is not a normal stormtrooper. Where many of them take orders without fail, Finn finds himself at a clear crossroad in his life. Instead of following suit with the rest of the destructive evil force as they ravage innocent people, Finn opts to break free of his position with the evils of the dark side. He instead runs away, seeking to go anywhere but his current position. With that, he unwittingly joined a new uprising, a new alliance. Finn goes from stormtrooper to becoming a key cog in the rebel force.
14. Darth Malak
Darth Malak is another Jedi lost to darkness. But long before he took on the name “Darth” and became evil, Malak was simply Alek. He was trained in the ways of the Force. The Jedi Order saw promise in Malak and nicknamed him “Squint.” He embraced his role in the light and became a Jedi Knight. But Alek along with his other Jedi disobeyed a direct order from the Jedi Council and injected themselves into the Republic’s war effort. He adopted the name “Malak” to avoid detection by the Jedi Council who had issued an arrest warrant for him and others. Being cast off allowed an easy conversion to take place when Malak encountered the Sith Emperor. At that point, he was pulled right into the dark side and became a Sith Lord.
13. Darth Revan
Revan was a complicated figure in Star Wars lore. He was both good and evil, peaceful and violent, Jedi and Sith. Revan first studied under various Jedi Masters as a Padawan. He became fast friends with Alek (later to become Darth Malak). Revan joined his good friend Alek/Malak in aiding the Republic and defying a direct Jedi Council order. Revan, just like Malak, got turned easily to the dark side by the Sith Emperor. Unlike Malak, Revan didn’t remain on the dark side. When Malak betrayed Revan, he was captured by Bastila Shan, a Jedi Knight who went to work on Revan and wiped his mind. The Force bond created allowed Revan to pull out of the darkness that marred him. Unfortunately, Revan would be captured by the Sith later on and tortured. His mind would split into two, neither accepting the dark side while having difficulty acknowledging all aspects of the light. In the end, he was a split man, a death that featured him as neither a Jedi or a true Sith.
12. Kylo Ren
When you are the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia, you are born into good, right? Kylo Ren was actually given the name of Ben Solo at birth. He immediately showed signs of the Force and trained as a Jedi under his uncle, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Ben Solo was disenfranchised by his parents’ difficult marriage and was susceptible to negative feelings. This is when the Supreme Leader stepped in and was able to infiltrate the mind of Solo. He became Kylo Ren and destroyed all of the other Jedi students before running off to become one of the Knights of Ren. Ren looked up to his grandfather, Lord Darth Vader. His change over to the dark side is the catalyst of Episode 7.
11. Lando Calrissian
Lando Calrissian is a self-serving politician. He arrives in the Empire Strikes Back (AKA: Episode 5) as a key player. At first, he seems to provide safe haven for his old friend, Han Solo. But as the heart of the rebel uprising is stuck in Cloud City, things quickly fall apart as Calrissian had made a deal to backstab his old friend, Solo. Billy Dee Williams plays the role to perfection. Calrissian seems as though he is good, swings to bad by getting Solo nabbed, and then swings back to good by getting Leia, Skywalker and Chewbacca (along with the droids) out of danger and Cloud City. He switches back and forth so many times, it’s an intense sequence in Cloud City that helps brings the classic Empire to a close.
10. Anakin Skywalker
Hard not to hold a special place in your heart for Anakin Skywalker. It’s also been a bumpy road for the young Jedi. He went from being the greatest hope of the Jedi to being one of the biggest heartbreaks. Anakin started to lose himself in Episode 2, Attack of the Clones, and then for good in Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith. Certainly, Skywalker’s transformation from hopeful and good to angry and evil happened right before our eyes. At times he seemed whiney, but the reality of Anakin Skywalker’s switch to the dark side left a gaping hole in the Jedi order. Skywalker was powerful and emerged as the epic villain, Darth Vader. It was a shocking and tragic turn for such a hopeful young man.
Known originally as Darth Sajar when he was a Sith, this Dark Lord was a human that was not to be trifled with. He sat on the Dark Council and helped to oversee the rising of the Sith Empire during a chaotic time known as the Great Galactic War. In a crazy fight with Jedi Master Tol Braga, Sajar attempted to trap and kill the Jedi. Instead, the insightful Jedi sought to reach Sajar and convince him of his errant ways. The fight took place on the planet Dantooine and Master Braga was able to pry Sajar away from the dark side and had him join the Jedi Order. Sajar renounced his seat on the evil Council and became Braga’s Padawan (apprentice in Star Wars terms). In this off-shoot of the original series, Sajar was extraordinarily pulled back to the dark side before choosing the light and the Jedi in a sacrificial death. He was spared when reinforcements arrived in this next hair raising event. Not many fans beyond the Star Wars gurus may care about Sajar, but he was quite the complex figure in the “offshoot world.”
8. Kel’eth Ur
Don’t let the crazy outfit fool you, this former Sith was strong and insightful. In fact, one of his most prominent quotes that established his mindsight was “Real strength in the Force comes when one is no longer afraid.” Of course, this quote is NOT very Sith-like, thus, Kel’eth Ur makes our list. He was a Human and Sith Lord. He lived on Dromund Kaas. But by the end life, Kel’eth Ur migrated toward peace (ala Gandhi). He adopted the Jedi way of thinking, hypothesizing that true strength emerged from peace. Kel’eth Ur was another black eye for the Emperor and the dark side forces. Thus, when he gained the opportunity, the Emperor captured and killed Kel’eth Ur for his treasonous ways. But before his death, Kel’eth Ur recorded his thoughts and all of his extracted knowledge in a holocron stashed in the Dark Temple.
7. Darth Gravid
Darth Gravid is a tormented figure in Star Wars lore. He was a human who was immensely powerful on the dark side. He was the Dark Lord of the Sith. Gravid took on a female apprentice, naming her Darth Gean. As Gravid aged, his thoughts began to change. His opinions of the dark side and what the Sith stood for began to converge with ideals of the Jedi. Gravid became confused, nearly losing his sanity as he attempted to merge the ideas of the Jedi with that of the Sith. Gravid believed that if the Sith could not evolve, they would be doomed. Clearly on an island with his thoughts, Gravid took matters into his own hands and sabotaged the teachings of the Sith. He destroyed an extraordinary amount of the Sith lore prior to his apprentice, Darth Gean, slaying him inside his own fortress. Gravid’s actions greatly hurt the Sith’s growth and Empire of centuries to come.
6. Lord Praven
Lord Praven is another Sith who bailed to see the light. he was born as a Sith pureblood male. Praven was trained as a Sith Warrior. His mentor was Darth Angral. Praven was an active member of the Sith, attacking the Jedi Temple at Coruscant near the end of the Great Galactic War. Darth Angral was out for blood and dispatched many of his greatest warriors across the galaxy to obtain Republic weapons. Praven successfully acquired one of these, the Shock Drum. His orders were to destroy the planet where he found the Drum, Tatooine. But, Praven’s pride and honor caused him to challenge a Jedi Knight first, instead of destroying the planet. He disobeyed his Master, Angral, and in the process, was convinced by the Jedi during this fight to abandon the dark side and join the Force. Praven fought honorably for the Republic.
5. Galen Marek “Starkiller”
Galen Marek was nicknamed “Starkiller,” definitely one of the coolest nicknames in the entire galaxy. Marek was the apprentice of the ultimate Sith Lord himself, Darth Vader. Marek’s journey was pretty amazing, originating from the Wookie’s home planet of Kashyyyk. Marek was the offspring of two Jedi Knights. However, his parents abandoned the Jedi Order during the time of the Clone Wars. Marek was orphaned after Vader killed his father. Sensing the strength of the Force within Marek, Vader took him as an apprentice. Vader’s brutal training methods with Marek led him to forget his past and his true self. Vader turned Marek into a Sith assassin. Vader constantly let Marek down. Marek had hoped to help Vader turn on the Emperor and take over. Instead, Marek was hung out to dry. In doing so, Marek channeled his inner Jedi and his last breath in life had him helping key rebels escape the hands of the dark side. Thus, Marek is celebrated as one of the early founders of the Rebellion.
4. Exar Kun
Exar Kun is one of the rare Jedi who fell to the dark side. Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas became Kun’s Master. But while training, Kun came across the knowledge of the Sith and their history. The information tantalized Kun, and he became obsessed with finding out more about the Sith. Kun was known to have a temper. The combination of his interest in the Sith along with his anger issues led Kun down a dangerous path. Kun became obsessed with power and wanted to assume power. He was lured right in the direction he wanted to go to take on the persona of a Sith Lord. With evil surfacing inside him, Kun sought to take control of his destiny and attempted to take over everything in his path. “I was the greatest Dark Lord of the Sith. I am Exar Kun.”
3. Ulic Qel-Droma
Ulic Qel-Droma, in addition to his brother, Cay, were born to Jedi Master Lien-Tsai Qel-Droma. Ulic was a noble Jedi, fighting along the side his brother. Ulic loved the Force and studied relentlessly. The many wars Ulic fought in eventually got him into trouble. As they fought, a terrible sabotage took place. Ulic, a tragic figure, was poisoned. The rage-inducing poison caused Ulic to fall to the dark side over time. It led Ulic to join forces with some of the worst of the Sith, including Kun. Eventually, Ulic killed his own brother, Cay. The Jedi were infuriated with Ulic and disavowed him. But then Ulic channeled his better self and found the Force yet again. He took on an apprentice and redeemed himself. He suffered a tragic end when a glory hunter killed him.
2. Han Solo
Some would be scratching their head wondering why Han Solo was on this list. Well, Solo didn’t start out as a gangbuster supporter of the rebel alliance. In fact, he was happy to be a smuggler. He helmed the famous Millennium Falcon along with his BFF Chewbacca. The two were the perfect 1-2 punch in the Star Wars universe. And many can argue over Solo’s intentions as he dove deeper and deeper into the helping the rebels (was it simply his love over Princess Leia or was it an internal force of good beckoning him to aid the rebel alliance), but the fact of the matter is, Solo was a wanted man. He wasn’t a “good guy” when we meet him. He dealt with the dreck of the world. But Luke Skywalker along with Princess Leia helped guide Solo into the depths of good, luring him away from his more sinister and greedy intentions.
1. Darth Vader
The ultimate dark figure in Star Wars has to be Darth Vader. He is one of the most amazing characters ever created in cinematic history. His deep voice (Thank you, James Earl Jones!!!), intimidating black cape and outfit, warped messed up head and insane powers have made Darth Vader epic. He is clearly evil from the get-go in Episode 4, A New Hope. He grows more and more sinister, even lopping off his own son’s arm in Empire Strikes Back. But something happens to Vader in Episode 6, Return of the Jedi. Destiny has Luke Skywalker pitted against his father, Darth Vader. And Luke is convinced he can make a connection with his father, channel the good inside him and get him to leave the dark side. Luke’s faith in his father is paid off when Vader defies his Master, The Emperor, and hurls him to his perceived death. Vader, dying, has his mask removed, a both literal and metaphorical event. He gazes upon his son with his own dying eyes, a final beautiful moment shared between them. At that point, Darth Vader had died and Luke’s father had reassumed his old self. That was the most epic change ever in Star Wars.