The Star Wars franchise has been around for a long time. Moving past the original films, multiple stories have been told through countless mediums. Books, games and a couple of animated television series have all contributed in adding a number of new characters as well as expanding on many of those who appeared in the films. One thing the Expanded Universe has done well is adding depth to certain characters who would play smaller roles in films. Characters that never even got lines had their own stories and personalities molded in the EU. With so much content having been created, fans were introduced to a number of interesting characters newly added to the Star Wars mythos. Not to mention the already established favorites whose stories continued on.
One of the greatest things about Star Wars is the variety of characters to be found. Be it good guys or bad, or even in-between, there’s no shortage of interesting characters. With a fandom as large as this, favorites are to be expected, though opinion obviously varies from fan to fan. While not everyone might be able to agree on who’s better than who, one of the best parts about this fan base is the passion that drives it. That being said, here is a list of the 50 greatest characters in the Star Wars universe. As most opinions vary when it comes to things like this, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section as to who some of your favorite Star Wars characters are.
50 Jek Porkins
Though he was barely on screen, Jek Porkins has left an impression on Star Wars fans since he first appeared in “A New Hope” nearly forty years ago. A perfect example of one of those characters that plays a minor role yet can still draw the interest of fans, Porkins is best remembered for his somewhat ironic role as a fighter pilot and all too sudden death on screen. While he’s a far cry from being one of the franchise's more notable characters, Porkins is still remembered fondly by many fans both old and new.
One of life’s oldest questions; “Who shot first?” Was it Han or Greedo? Well it depends on which version of “A New Hope” you’re watching. The somewhat controversial scene depicts two different instigators but ends up with the same outcome. The Rodian bounty hunter taking a dirt nap and Han walking away unscathed. While the 1997 remastered version of Episode IV has Han acting in self-defense, the reality of this debate is that Greedo never really stood a chance.
48 Wicket Warrick
Ewoks might just seem like cuddly little bears to the untrained eye, but the little buggers are pretty ferocious if you get on their bad side. The Star Wars Universe is all about unlikely heroes answering the call. Case and point; Wicket Warrick. The brave little fighter first made contact with Princess Leia on Endor after her speeder crashed. Not only did he guide her to safety but it was Wicket who convinced his tribe to aid the Rebellion in destroying the shield generator. A move that would ultimately lead to the destruction of the second Death Star.
47 Mon Mothma
As a pioneer of the rebellion, Mon Mothma played a pivotal role in overthrowing the galactic empire. One of the first few people to stand up against the tyranny of galactic rule, Mon Mothma played a key role in galactic politics with the senate as well as behind the scenes during the rise of the Empire. Had it not been for her the Rebellion might not have ever risen up and taken on the immense task of overthrowing the Empire.
46 Kit Fisto
He was one of the first alien Jedi introduced in the prequels, but what most stands out about Kit Fisto is his trademark grin. Though fans didn’t get to see too much of him during the prequels, his presence in the Clone Wars series greatly made up for his lack of face time in the films. Fans did however get to see him in action a couple of times in his live action appearances, with one of those times being his all too quick death at the hands of the Emperor.
Here’s another character from the original trilogy who didn’t have too much to say but still managed to leave his mark on the Star Wars fan base. Lobot could’ve passed for the Star Wars version of RoboCop – though the former came before the latter. As Lando Calrissian’s aid on Bespin, Lobot saw some time during the Cloud City sequence in Episode 5. While he doesn’t have the same charm Lando possesses, Lobot’s unique design and somber tone allowed him to stand on his own despite not having said much of anything throughout the film.
44 Even Piell
At first glance one might confuse Jedi Master Even Piell with another member of the Jedi Council. While he does bear certain similarities to Master Yoda – such as their height and somewhat large ears – Piell was a proud Lannik while Yoda’s species is unclassified. He was seen sparingly in the first two entries of the prequel trilogy. It wasn’t until the release of the Clone Wars animated series that fans got to better know the mysterious Jedi Master. Piell was a ferocious fighter who bravely fought opponents head-on despite his size. While the series did offer a deeper glimpse into Piell’s personality it also sent him off in one of the series’ more heartbreaking moments.
43 Aayla Secura
Aayla Secura is a mixture of two things not often seen in the Star Wars universe; a female Jedi and an alien Jedi. As a Jedi Master, Secura was one of the most powerful Jedi of her time. But she was rarely seen in the prequels. Like so many character on this list, she got a good deal of screen time during the Clone Wars. While she proved to be another fantastic addition to the Star Wars cannon, her ultimate role in the Star Wars story was no mystery by the time the Clone Wars had come out.
42 General Grievous
Maybe it’s the unsightly distorted mechanical body or the uneasy heavy robotic breathing that makes General Grievous such a great-looking antagonist. One of the more fearsome aspects of Darth Vader was his robotic appearance and mechanical voice and motions. The same can be said about Grievous. An enemy of the Jedi for the entirety of the Clone Wars, Grievous was also a powerful foe who had the ability to match and sometimes best Jedi in hand-to-hand combat and his fearsome and vicious visage made him the perfect complement to the comparatively calm and collected Count Dooku.
41 Ahsoka Tano
Ahsoka Tano is one of the newest additions to the Star Wars cannon and as such is also one of the more controversial characters in recent memory. Ahsoka isn’t just any old Padawan, she’s Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan. Prior to the Clone Wars it was never established that Anakin had taken on an apprentice. So her addition to the Star Wars Universe was more than a little surprising and potentially upsetting to certain fans. But throughout the series she’s proved to be a powerful young Jedi. While she started out as a sort of mirror to her master’s more arrogant and brash tendencies, Ahsoka truly came into her own during the latter half of the series. Now part of the Rebels cast, Ahsoka’s adventure continues while fans eagerly await her fate.
40 Bail Organa
Bail Organa played one of the more crucial roles in Star Wars history, yet had very little time on screen. As one of the original founders of the Rebellion, Organa played a pivotal role in the eventual overthrowing of the tyrannical Empire. His role was expanded during the Clone Wars series and he was shown to be a compassionate politician with a strong sense of justice and the resolve to do whatever necessary to achieve it. Traits that can also be seen in his adoptive daughter Leia.
39 Darth Malak
It’s a story that’s all too common for Jedi. Darth Malak was once a great Jedi Knight who – along with his friend and eventual Master, Revan – was seduced by the dark side of the Force and became an incredibly powerful Sith Lord. As a Jedi, Malak fought in the Mandalorian Wars and proved himself to be both brave and efficient on the battlefield. He sports one of the most gruesome injuries in the Star Wars universe, a missing jaw courtesy of his Master. The cybernetic prosthetic only ads to his terrifying appearance.
38 Plo Koon
Another interesting character sparingly seen throughout the prequels is Master Plo Koon. Like many of the members of the Jedi Counsel, Plo Koon’s role was greatly expanded during the Clone Wars. He was shown to be a compassionate Jedi, with a calm mind and a genuine concern for all living things. He was especially empathetic when it came to the lives of his clones who he went to great lengths to protect, only to be repaid with betrayal towards the war's climax.
37 Asajj Ventress
Here’s another one of the newer characters introduced courtesy of the Clone Wars. This time it’s a young Sith acolyte. Asajj Ventress served as Count Dooku’s apprentice during the Clone Wars and proved to be a powerful foe for some of the republic's greatest fighters - namely Anakin Skywalker and his Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. As the series progressed Ventress was forced to become more independent, having been rejected by her master. While this did open up some interesting new storylines revolving around her, it also left her future in question.
36 Wedge Antilles
When you think of the original trilogy, one of the most iconic moments has to be the destruction of the first Death Star over Yavin IV in “A New Hope”. We all know Luke Skywalker was the one that saved the day, but he couldn’t have done it without help from Han Solo and Rogue Squadron. At the helm of the famed fighter squad was one of Luke’s best friends, Wedge Antilles. Wedge was one of the best pilots to fight against the Empire and led several high profile missions including the destruction of the second Death Star alongside Lando Calrissian. Sadly, we probably won’t be seeing him once the new movies hit theaters.
35 Captain Rex
Before the Clone Wears came out, Clone Troopers didn’t seem to be all that diverse from one another. Well, they are clones after all. They weren’t made with individuality in mind. Still, it was refreshing to see the show give them their own personalities and traits. Captain Rex led the famed 501st Legion of the Republic's Army while fighting alongside General Anakin Skywalker. Apart from his totally badass dual pistol wielding – a style similar to Jango Fett – Rex separated himself from his fellow clones with his incredible leadership skills and mental and physical toughness on the battlefield. He’s another Clone Wars character making an appearance in the new Rebels series.
34 Commander Cody
Another Clone who got a larger role in the Clone Wars was Commander Cody. Both Cody and his General, Obi-Wan Kenobi, shared a number of traits and characteristics, as was the same for Rex and his General. Like Kenobi, Cody was level headed and incredibly efficient in battle. Though little is known of what happened to him after the Clone Wars, he did end up staying with the Imperial Army and most probably had to endure as the remaining Clone troopers were slowly replaced by the newer birth-born Stormtroopers.
33 Grand Moff Tarkin
Though he might not look like much, Grand Moff Tarkin was one of the Empire’s cruelest officers. He might not have been a Sith or had any connection to the Force, but Tarkin did have a penchant for cruelty. This is the guy who gave the order to completely destroy the planet of Alderaan, killing millions. The man was even able to talk back to Darth Vader without so much as batting an eye and – unlike some of his compatriots who did the same – wasn’t Force choked after doing so. In a time before the Trade Federation, Grand Moff Tarkin offered fans a non-Force using antagonist who – despite his seemingly frail appearance – gave off a very ominous vibe that perfectly complimented that of his masters.
32 Jabba the Hutt
The Stars Wars Universe is so vast that it opens up the door for a number of character to come in and make a mark. While the series primarily focuses on war, the crime world of the Star Wars Universe does make an appearance from time to time. At the head of it all is Jabba the Hutt, one of the most feared crime bosses in the Star Wars cannon. The slug-like alien might not look to frightening but his network spans pretty far and he employs some of the fiercest bounty hunters in the galaxy. He’s not a guy you’d want to mess with, Jedi or not.
31 Shaak Ti
Another female alien Jedi which as mentioned before is somewhat of a rarity in the Star Wars film franchise. This time it’s Shaak Ti. She was a major player during the Clone Wars and served as a member of the Jedi Counsel. Her skill on the battlefield as well as her ability to command her troops made her one of the Republic's most trusted Generals during the war. Her fate, while somewhat ambiguous, was seemingly revealed when she was killed by Starkiller in “The Force Unleashed”. However that’s no longer cannon, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what finally became of this great Jedi Master.
30 Anakin Solo
One of the greatest things the expanded universe did was deepen the Star Wars mythology and continue the legacy of some of its greatest characters. Namely continuing the Solo and Skywalker names. The youngest son of Han Solo and Leia Organa was Anakin, named after his grandfather. Like his brother and sister before him, Anakin was a Jedi. Well aware of his Sith roots, Anakin feared the possibility of turning to the dark side. Perhaps as a result of this fear, Anakin lived his life as a great hero, even sacrificing his own life to save his friends.
29 Darth Nihilus
As one of the most powerful characters in the Star Wars Universe, Darth Nihilus has quite the reputation. Known as the “Lord of Hunger,” Nihilus was insanely powerful and proved to be one of the most devastating Force users of his time. He literally fed on people and their fear. The creepy mask that he’s constantly got on only adds to his always fearsome presence.
28 Jango Fett
Not only was he the template for the Clone Trooper project but Jango Fett was also one of the fiercest bounty hunters of his generation. His efficiency and skill were what separated him from the rest of the pack, making him the perfect soldier for the upcoming war. Though he died pretty anti-climactically at the hands of Mace Windu, his son Boba would go on to continue his legacy for years afterwards.
27 Padme Amidala
While Anakin Skywalker’s decent into the dark side was his own doing, his wife Padme Amidala served as the catalyst to his fall. Having served as both Queen and representative to the planed Naboo, Padme greatly cared about her people and was willing to go to great lengths to protect them. Like her friend in the senate, Bail Organa, Padme had a strong sense of justice and was willing to take action herself in order to fight for her cause. It was visions of her eventual death that would push Anakin into the arms of the dark side.
26 Darth Bane
Darth Bane was a ridiculously powerful Sith Lord who influenced countless generations of Sith and single-handedly rewrote the very essence of the Sith hierarchy. As one of the greatest Sith Lords of all time, Bane has a special place in Star Wars lore among the franchise's most influential characters – most notably his Rule of Two which would go on to define the Sith for generations and ultimately lead to the downfall of the Jedi Order itself.
25 Count Doouku\ Darth Tyranus
Once a renowned Jedi who trained for a time under Master Yoda, Count Dooku terrorized the republic for years as the Sith Lord Darth Tyranus. As a Jedi, Dooku was one of the Order's wisest disciples and served as Qui-Gon Jinn’s master. But when he turned to the dark side Tryanus became one of the Jedi’s most powerful foes. On his master’s orders, Tyranus helped lay the groundwork for both the war and the clone trooper project. Both would play a hand in the eventual downfall of the Jedi.
24 Galen Marek\Starkiller
Born on the Wookie homeworld of Kashyyyk to Jedi parents, Galen Marek was thrust into the dark world of the Sith from a young age. After watching his father be defeated by Darth Vader, the boy was taken in by the Sith Lord as his apprentice. Marek would grow to become an incredibly talented swordsman and gifted Force user. As Vader’s apprentice he’d go on to defeat many powerful Jedi and later on play a role in creating the Rebellion.
23 Satele Shan
Satele Shan played a key role in both the Cold War and Galactic War between the Republic and the Sith Empire. A powerful Jedi, Shan was a direct descendant of Revan, which explains why she was so powerful. She led the Republic in some of the war's fiercest battles and eventually became Grand Master of the Jedi Order.
22 Jaina Solo
Another one of Han and Leia’s kids on this list, this time it's their daughter Jaina. Because of her heritage, Jaina was a powerful Force user who, like the rest of her siblings, went on to become a Jedi. However, unlike her two brothers, Jaina took after her father. Jaina also seemed to take after her uncle and grandfather seeing as how she was an excellent pilot. That, along with her unquestionable ability as a Jedi, made her one of the greatest warriors the New Jedi Order had.
21 Jacen Solo\Darth Caedus
Much like his twin sister, Jacen Solo was another great Jedi in the New Jedi Order. But while his sister would be remembered as a great hero, Jacen would go on a different path. Like his grandfather before him, Jacen would fall to the temptation of the Dark Side and betray those he loved as the Dark Lord Darth Caedus. But while Anakin Skywalker’s story was one of redemption, Caedus’ would be one of tragedy. Unlike his grandfather, Caedus never wished to redeem himself or correct his actions, becoming the epitome of a fallen hero.
20 Mara Jade Skywalker
Mara Jade had a number of occupations throughout her lifetime. She was trained from a young age to be an Emperor’s Hand and after her master’s death went on to become a smuggler and finally a Jedi Master. Married to Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade was not to be taken lightly. Trained as both a Jedi and Assassin, she was incredibly adept in battle, making her the perfect bride for one of history’s strongest Jedi.
19 Ben Skywalker
As the only son of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade Skywalker, Ben Skywalker had a lot to live up to. Both his mother and father were powerful Force users, though there was no doubt that Ben would be the same. Initially very playful as a child, Ben grew to become more serious as time went on and like his mother was incredibly loyal to those close to him.
In a cast full of daring heroes, C-3PO stood out like a sore thumb. The sometimes pessimistic and outwardly cautious protocol droid was seemingly out of place on the battlefield. It didn’t help that he found himself at the center of some of the galaxy's greatest wars. Along with his companion and friend R2-D2, 3PO served as comic relief to alleviate fans from some of the films’ more serious moments.
17 Admiral Ackbar
It’s a trap! Those words will forever embody Admiral Ackbar in modern pop culture. Though he was a minor character in the films, that line alone gained him a strong following, especially on the internet. While most will probably remember him for those few words, Ackbar was an impressive character in the EU. Along with decades of service under his belt he would become one of the greatest military minds of his time.
He didn’t speak a comprehensible word, but Chewbacca still managed to make his presence known among a cast of memorable heroes. Along with Han Solo, Chewie co-piloted the legendary Millennium Falcon during their tenures as smugglers. Incredibly loyal to his friends, Chewbacca – along with the rest of the Falcon’s crew – played major roles in the fight against the Empire. Along with his loyalty, Chewbacca was incredibly brave and often fought alongside his allies in some of the war's most dangerous battles, putting his skills as a warrior to the test.
15 Qui-Gon Jinn
He served as master to Obi-Wan Kenobi and while fans didn’t get to see too much of Qui-Gon Gin in the films, his brief appearance throughout “The Phantom Menace” kind of makes you wish that he’d lasted a little longer in the series. While his apprentice would go on to be more level headed and accepting of the rules of the Jedi Council, Qui-Gon was more of a free spirit and often went against their wishes, instead choosing to follow the will of the Force.
14 Darth Maul
Darth Maul was the first main antagonist introduced in the prequel trilogy. He didn’t have very many lines but his menacing look and the ferocious air surrounding him was enough to show that he meant business. He was initially thought to be dead, only to be brought back in the Clone Wars series. There his story was expanded on and fans saw him achieve a good deal before being taken down by his former master.
13 Darth Revan
Darth Revan was one of the most influential Sith of all time. Having started out as a Jedi only to be lured to the dark side by the Sith Emperor, Revan went on to become a feared user of both the light and dark side of the Force. Unlike his friend and apprentice Darth Malak, Revan’s story would be one of redemption. Though his teachings would go on to influence Darth Bane and lay the foundation for the Rule of Two.
12 Kyle Katarn
Kyle Katarn’s back story might strike a few chords with that of Luke Skywalker, but in time the rebel would develop his own unique characteristics and go on many great adventures. Initially a member of the Empire, Katarn left after his father was murdered and defected to the Rebellion. Eventually he became a Jedi and through the years honed his abilities while doing his part in defeating the Empire. Eventually he earned the rank of Master and would sit on the Jedi High Counsel.
11 Lando Calrissian
At first glance Lando Calrisian seems like nothing more than a smooth talker with his own agenda. True as that may seem, Lando’s efforts in taking down the Galactic Empire proved his bravery and willingness to sacrifice his life for the Rebels' cause. Sure he pretty much sold out one of his oldest friends to Darth Vader, but he still went on and helped rescue him from Jabba’s place. That kind of makes up for it, right?
10 Mace Windu
A member of the Jedi Counsel before the fall of the Republic, Mace Windu was an incredibly powerful Jedi Master whose swordsmanship was often unrivaled. As one of the strongest members of the Jedi Counsel, Windu was entrusted with many responsibilities during the war and served as one of the Republic's greatest assets. He was so powerful that he momentarily managed to gain the upper hand over Emperor Palpatine when he confronted the Sith Lord.
9 Emperor Palpatine\Darth Sidious
He was an incredibly powerful Sith Lord who managed to climb to the top of the Republic’s political hierarchy while fighting a war he’d started on both sides. Oh, and he also brought down the entire Jedi Order with the army he himself provided them with. To say that Darth Sidious was calculating would be an understatement. The man was ridiculously powerful and managed to hide his presence from the Jedi in plain sight for years. His efforts would lead to him ruling the galaxy for years before finally being betrayed by his own apprentice.
8 Princess Leia
Star Wars has always had strong female leads. Women that could pick up a weapon and do some serious damage and look cool while doing so. Princess Leia is the first example of such a character. The daughter of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala, Leia Organa grew to be a great politician actively involved in the efforts against the Empire. Like her father and brother, Leia was very strong in the Force and eventually became a great Jedi in her own right.
As loyal of a companion as they come, R2-D2 aided both Anakin and Luke Skywalker throughout their respective journeys. While he never spoke any lines the, astromech droid developed a brave and spunky attitude throughout his many years in service to both the Republic and Rebellion. As dependable as they come, R2 was consistently able to help out his comrades in a pinch and even saved their lives on several occasions.
6 Boba Fett
Bounty hunters are a tough bunch to deal with. They don’t really fight fair and are willing to go to any lengths necessary to get their bounty dead or alive. While Boba Fett didn’t say much during his time on screen during the original trilogy, he’s still remembered as one of the most iconic non-Force users in the franchise’s history. Ruthless, efficient and cunning, Fett was considered to be the very best of his time, surpassing his father Jango early on in his storied career.
5 Master Yoda
Though he was one of the most powerful Jedi of his time, Master Yoda will always be remembered for allowing the Jedi Order to fall under his watch. Having lived nearly a millennia, Yoda was a highly skilled warrior, strong in both swordsmanship and the Force. In his time with the Jedi Order the wise Jedi Master trained countless young Jedi, most notably Luke Skywalker. Fans will always associate him with his unique way of speaking and noticeably short stature. Not that his height served as a handicap in any way during battle.
4 Obi-Wan Kenobi
A student of Qui-Gon Jinn as well as a highly renowned Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi played a major role during the Clone Wars before being forced into exile during the rise of the Galactic Empire. Known for his wisdom beyond his years as well as his master swordsmanship and powerful connection to the Force, Kenobi would serve as mentor to two of the most powerful Jedi of all time; Anakin Skywalker and later on his son Luke. Even though his role in the war diminished once the Empire had taken over, Obi-Wan was still one of the most influential Jedi of his generation.
3 Anakin Skywalker\Darth Vader
Initially brought into the Jedi Order with the hopes of him being the “Chosen One”, Anakin Skywalker’s story was one of tragedy and eventual redemption. Born to a slave, Anakin was brought to the Jedi Counsel due to the immense potential within him. As powerful as he was, Anakin was also brash, head strong and easily swayed by some of his more dangerous emotions. Knowing this, the Dark Lord Sidious manipulated him over time and eventually convinced him to join the dark side under the name Darth Vader. After ruling the galaxy alongside his master for years, Anakin finally redeemed himself when he sacrificed his life in order to destroy his dark master and finally bring a balance to the Force.
2 Luke Skywalker
After his father succumbed to the lure of the dark side, Luke Skywalker became one of the galaxy's only hopes at ending the Sith rule. Raised by his Aunt and Uncle, Luke had a taste for adventure and a deep connection to the Force which he’d inherited from his father. Though he started his Jedi training late in his life, Luke quickly became the Rebellion's strongest ally. Inheriting his father’s connection to the Force as well as his natural ability as a pilot, Luke was seemingly the splitting image of Anakin Skywalker had he not joined the Sith. He would later go on to sway Darth Vader back to the light side of the Force and ultimately aid in once again bringing peace to the galaxy.
1 Han Solo
Is there any surprise that Han Solo finds himself at the top of this list? If there’s one thing the original trilogy did exceptionally well, it was casting its lead characters. Its two male leads in particular. The former smuggler-turned-hero didn’t make the transition overnight, but instead developed over time. Brave, smart and incredibly cocky, it’s no mystery as to why Han is such a popular character in the Star Wars mythos. While most heroes were duty-bound Jedi, Han offered a fresh take on the role, doing things in style.