Star Wars Character Rankings

The top 100 Star Wars characters ever

Aliens, imperials, and droids — oh my! There are all sorts of characters that populate the Star Wars universe — a universe that consists of multiple films as well as live-action and animated TV/streaming series. But among all the denizens of all the planets and all the Star Destroyers and all the Rebel bases, who are the best of the best? The Star Wars-obsessed writers of Entertainment Weekly embarked on a quest as seemingly impossible as blowing up a Death Star…TWICE!

Our Gold Squadron group of obsessives selected and ranked the top 100 onscreen Star Wars characters ever. Our rankings are based on folks seen in official movies or TV/streaming shows, and do not include characters who have only appeared in video games or as part of either expanded universe canon or legacy books. (Sorry, Mara Jade!)

Who will take the top spot? More importantly, how many members of the Max Rebo Band will make the cut? How will the Sith stack up? And which animated characters will battle their way into contention? Join us as we (Imperial) march our way from 100 all the way down to No. 1. Just make sure to start orbiting over Scarif as we beam a transmission from the planet surface, because this is the Star Wars list you're looking for.

Star Wars Character Rankings
Credit: Illustration by Gluekit for EW; Images courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

100. Wicket

Your Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi opinion might be determined by your generation: The Gen X crowd isn't necessarily a fan of Endor's tiny, fuzzy inhabitants, but Millennials of a certain age hold the Ewoks in high regard and, therefore, the film in general. We could spin this out into an entire Endor-centric think piece, but the essence is, if you care about the Ewoks, you care about Wicket, the young scout who joined the Rebellion. Actor Warwick Davis has made his mark on Star Wars' legacy by taking a concept so out there as a talking teddy bear and making him iconic (and cute as a button!). —Nick Romano

99. Moff Gideon's Scout Troopers 

Stormtroopers don't usually have many distinguishing characteristics…unless they are played by Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally. The two put-upon bike scout troopers who kidnapped Grogu hilariously ran through a greatest hits of Stormtrooper clichés, including their famously poor aim (turns out the blasters are faulty!) and Imperial commanders who routinely kill their own minions. They also inflict some not-so-great hits on poor Grogu, which makes their comeuppance at the claws of homicidal nurse droid IG-11 even more satisfying. —Chuck Kerr

98. The Bendu

The animated Star Wars universe pushed our understanding of the Force in so many ways, but none stranger than in the creation of the Bendu, a character that could charitably be described as an enormous Force moose. Voiced by Doctor Who legend Tom Baker in a delightful fusion of two of pop culture's longest-running geek franchises, the Bendu is the very embodiment of the balance of the Force, choosing neither the light side nor the dark side, but sitting squarely in the middle. But as he helps the blinded Kanan Jarrus learn to see and aids the rebels as they escape from Grand Admiral Thrawn, the haughty and imperious Bendu proves that the Force's will remains as mysterious as ever. —Lauren Morgan

Star Wars Rebels" The Bendu
The Bendu from 'Star Wars Rebels'
| Credit: Lucasfilm via Getty Images

97. Elan Sel'Sabagno

In a galaxy filled with incredible names, Matt Doran's Elan Sel'Sabagno (also known as Elan Sleazebaggano) might have one of the best — and one of the silliest. This Balosar lowlife is best known for lurking in nightclubs and attempting to sell death sticks to the wrong guy, resulting in a very stern talking to from Obi-Wan Kenobi. Everything about him is delightfully unusual, from his twitching antennae to the way he twirls his fingers as he stows his merchandise and slinks away from the bar. We like to think that he really did go home and rethink his life, eventually becoming a leading figure who strives to make a difference in his community. Or he stayed true to his name and kept selling death sticks. That's probably more likely. —Devan Coggan

96. Dexter Jettster

We can't speak for the quality of Dex's Jawa Juice, but the four-armed Besalisk prospector–turned–Coruscant diner owner certainly proved more useful than the Jedi analysis droids, identifying Jango Fett's Kamino saber dart and sending Obi-Wan to the watery planet to uncover the secret of the clone army. But the beauty of Dexter Jettser lies not just with his multiple limbs (great for hugging!), nor his keen insight beyond the Outer Rim. It's all about those super suspenseful pauses he employs in his speech pattern to devastatingly dramatic effect as we ponder the true difference between knowledge and...wisdom. —Dalton Ross

95. Moff Gideon

Moff Gideon, the menacing Imperial introduced on The Mandalorian, lives and dies by Giancarlo Esposito. We love to see the Breaking Bad all-star in a villain role. (Cue the Avengers: Endgame audience cheer sound every time he pops up on screen with a new persona.) Esposito brings an exactness to Moff, and his words are almost as piercing as the ancient Darksaber he wielded for a time. There's also a perpetual air of mystery about him. How did he get the Darksaber in the first place? We'd read an entire trilogy of books, á la Thrawn, about his pre-Mandalorian exploits. —N.R.

94. Babu Frik

Ehh! It's Babu Frik, the little droidsmith who does about as much for Staten Island representation as Pete Davidson. The pint-sized technical wizard seems to constantly channel Marlon Brando's Italiano drawl from The Godfather (1972), blurting out the occasional, "Eh! Youse guys!" exclaim. He's a wholly ridiculous character, but any friend of Felicity — uh, we mean, Keri Russell — is a friend of ours. Plus, you gotta love a puppet performance. —N.R.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Babu Frik in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'
| Credit: Lucasfilm

93. Sy Snootles

Which Sy Snootles is your Sy Snootles? Do you prefer the original disco puppet from Return of the Jedi's theatrical edition, totally Joan Jett-ing a performance of "Lapti Nek" in the darkened shadows of Jabba's Palace? Or perhaps you groove to the neo-Jazz choreography of "Jedi Rocks" in the Special Edition? The kids know Sy was no mere singer, but a Clone Wars spy with a history of Hutt love. Of course, all of these Sy Snootleses are the same Sy Snootles, a troubled-yet-lovable Pa'lowick with a wild song in her heart and memorable tentacle lips to sing with. —Darren Franich

92. Captain Phasma

Yes, the suit does a lot of the work here. Having a super badass chrome stormtrooper uniform (with a cape!) definitely stands out. Of course, Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) became significantly less badass after complying with her captors to let down the Starkiller Base shields, and her anger with FN-2187 bordered on obsession…but did we mention the suit? Also, that shot of Phasma's eye peeking out of the damaged chrome dome before plummeting to a fiery death could earn her a spot on this list alone. —D.R.

91 & 90. Orka & Flix

For a franchise that spans multiple galaxies, countless species, and a vast mythology rooted in the Force, Orka and Flix are the first gay couple in Star Wars' onscreen canon. The Chadra-Fan shopkeeper (who has a skill for parting bargain hunters with their credits) runs the Office of Acquisitions on the Colossus in Resistance, while his "partner" Flix runs the books. Justin Ridge, an executive producer on the animated show, confirmed in a 2019 Coffee With Kenobi podcast that "it's safe to say they're an item." To be more definitive, he added, "They're absolutely a gay couple and we're proud of that. We love Flix and Orka." Now, let's see more gay people in live-action Star Wars! —N.R.

"Star Wars Resistance"
Orka and Flix from 'Star Wars Resistance'
| Credit: Lucasfilm via Getty Images

89. FN-2199

All together now: "TRAITOR!" The single coolest stormtrooper in the canon earns a spot on this list for his brief-but-memorable face-off with Finn. That one line carries an unexpected world of hurt. This isn't just a bad guy fighting a good guy; it's a soldier fighting someone who let their whole (admittedly evil) team down. Upon seeing Finn, "Nines" throws aside his blaster and his shield so he can properly duel baton to sword. It's an epic touch, and the swirly wrist-baton was the coolest weapon introduced in the revival. —D.F.

88. Grand Inquisitor

Maybe it's the fact that he's voiced by Harry Potter's Lucius Malfoy himself (Jason Isaacs), but the Grand Inquisitor made such an impression as a Star Wars: Rebels villain that he made the jump to live-action on Obi-Wan Kenobi. A fallen Jedi knight, the Inquisitor has been charged with eliminating all remaining Jedi and Force wielders, at the behest of none other than Darth Vader. With his swirling red blades and hissing voice, the Inquisitor sets his sights on Order 66 survivor Kanan Jarrus and his apprentice Ezra Bridger, chasing them throughout the first season of Rebels until their final duel, where the Inquisitor chooses death over facing Vader's wrath. It's a bold, but quite understandable, decision. —L.M.

87. Ki-Adi-Mundi

This towering Cerean warrior brought a little extra mind power to the Jedi Council. With his large, conical forehead housing two brains, Ki-Adi-Mundi (Silas Carson) was one of the wisest and most striking figures on the council, assisting his fellow Jedi in matters of both battle and strategy. Whether he was counseling Mace Windu and Yoda, or slicing through Geonosians with a lightsaber, he proved that he had both brains and brawn. —D.C.

86. General Maximilian Veers

If all viewers ever saw of the Empire were misfiring stormtroopers and groveling officers, they might wonder how this organization ever managed to keep control of the galaxy. General Veers (Julian Glover) is therefore an important counter-example of competence. His relentless assault on the rebels' Hoth base — leading troops not from a distant Star Destroyer bridge, but from an AT-AT cockpit on the frontlines — provides proof positive that the Empire is still a force to be feared after the loss of the Death Star. The high standard he sets at the top of Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980) also helps explain why Darth Vader is so impatient with less-qualified Imperials throughout the rest of the film. —Christian Holub

General Maximilian Veers
Maximilian Veers from 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back'
| Credit: Lucasfilm

85. Maz Kanata

It's hard for a hero to complete their journey without a wise older mystic to help point the way. Maz Kanata plays a small but important role in the sequel films. Jedi Master Luke Skywalker may have cut all ties with civilization, but Maz has kept an eye on the workings of the galaxy and is thus able to tip our heroes off to important allies and artifacts that make their quest easier for them and more exciting for us. Plus, knowing that the diminutive orange alien is portrayed by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o is a great joke that keeps paying off.  —C.H.

84. Migs Mayfeld

A former Imperial sharpshooter-turned-mercenary, Migs had the bad sense to double-cross the Mandalorian on a rescue mission, but that doesn't make him a bad guy. Migs proved it by showing compassion after Mando had to remove his helmet when the two later teamed up to track down Moff Gideon's cruiser. Migs (played to perfection by Bill Burr) also earns a standing slow clap for putting a bullet straight into the chest of Valin Hess (Richard Colin Brake), after the smug Imperial officer gloated about all the deaths under his command during Operation: Cinder. Screw that guy! —D.R.

83 & 82. Uncle Owen & Aunt Beru

The most important thing about Beru and Owen Lars is that they are boring. Wonderfully, simply boring. They work hard at their moisture farm, a place where absolutely nothing ever happens. They take good care of Luke Skywalker, their sorta nephew by marriage, and all they want is for his life to be as boring as theirs is. In Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977), Phil Brown makes Owen a gruff figure, so paternal he's already grandfatherly. Shelagh Fraser gives Beru a twinkle that lets you know she knows Luke's destined for better things. Their death marks the end of boredom in Luke's life. Last seen as, like, charred skeletons, about as bad a way as any Star Wars character ever goes. —D.F.

81. Wrecker

Appearing on The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch, the muscle of the Clone Force 99 squad is a man of simple tastes. If Hulk smashes, then Wrecker wrecks. But we appreciate a man of few words. The soldier with brute force more powerful than any other clone is equally capable of deadlifting spaceship debris and protecting the young Omega as if she were Grogu. Just don't say the word "stealth" in his presence. He hates that word. Subtlety is not his strong suit. —N.R.

Star Wars Character Rankings
Credit: Illustration by Gluekit for EW; Images courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

80. General Hux

Workplace politics can be tough to navigate, especially when said workplace is the fascist First Order regime. Case in point: the ambitious but weaselly General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), who never commanded the respect of upper management, despite posting wins like using Starkiller Base to eradicate the New Republic or tracking the hobbled Resistance fleet through lightspeed. Hux's lust for power caused him to bump helmets with hotheaded goth prince (and eventual Supreme Leader) Kylo Ren, and his career never recovered. If only he had just gone to H.R. —C.K.

79. Duchess Satine Kryze

The woman who caused Obi-Wan Kenobi to consider leaving the Jedi Order on The Clone Wars would have to be pretty spectacular, and that's just what Duchess Satine Kryze is. A pacifist leader in the warlike culture of Mandalore, Satine (voiced by Anna Graves) is nevertheless tough as nails. And as all Obitine fans know, her star-crossed relationship with Obi-Wan revealed the romantic heart hiding underneath the Jedi's robes. His regret in choosing duty over love grew even more bittersweet after Satine died at the hands of his great nemesis, Maul — leaving Obi-Wan both sadder and wiser to the cost of love. —L.M.

78. Shmi Skywalker

Shmi Skywalker (Pernilla August) may be Star Wars' closest thing to a saint. Despite a harsh life of servitude on Tatooine, she was unfailingly warm, kind, and laser-focused on securing a better future for her precocious, Force-sensitive son Anakin (Jake Lloyd) — setting the entire Skywalker Saga into motion. Shmi's tragic death scene later pushed the conflicted Jedi further down the path of becoming the fearsome Sith Lord Darth Vader, proving how important she was in ultimately bringing balance to the Force. —C.K.

77. Saw Gerrera

The feisty older rebel's roles on The Clone Wars and in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) form an important piece of connective tissue, explaining how the war against the Confederacy evolved into the war against the Empire. Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) also proves that the Rebellion was far from a monolith. While Princess Leia and Mon Mothma focused on strategy and coalition-building, Saw's Partisans showed the Empire that violent reprisals were also on the table. His defiant stand against the first use of the Death Star served as a heroic example for those who continued the good fight after he was gone. —C.H.

76. Zam Wesell

Sure, this elite Clawdite assassin (Leeanna Walsman) isn't particularly great at her job. First, she fails to murder Padmé by blowing up her starship, and then she gets caught sneaking killer bugs into Padmé's apartment, leading to a high-speed chase through Coruscant. (Surely there has to be a more efficient assassination method than death by bug?) But she's also one of the most memorable bounty hunters in the Star Wars galaxy, thanks to her shape-shifting abilities and excellent piloting skills. —D.C.

Star Wars Episode II - Attack Of The Clones Leeanna Walsman
Zam Wessell in 'Star Wars: Attack of the Clones'
| Credit: Lucasfilm/Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

75. Bo-Katan Kryze

While Din Djarin was a mere foundling, Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff, first introduced on The Clone Wars) was already blazing a path through Mandalorian history. As martial as her sister Satine was a pacifist, Bo-Katan has one goal in life and that's the defense and protection of Mandalore. Woe to anyone who stands in the way of that, even if they happen to be family members, Sith Lords, or Children of the Watch. Her choices aren't always the wisest (perhaps aligning herself with the terrorist group Death Watch wasn't the best idea), but no one can doubt she's a Mandalorian to her core. —L.M.

74. DJ

At the risk of rehashing the dreadful Last Jedi discourse (it was great, move on!), director Rian Johnson gave us a lot of wonderful characters, including Benicio Del Toro's DJ — if you can get past the fact that the name allegedly stands for "Don't Join." So much of the original Star Wars trilogy was about this mythic fight between the forces of light (the Jedi, the Rebellion) and the forces of darkness (the Sith, the Empire), but the sequel trilogy embraced the morally gray area. What does it mean to be technically neither good nor evil? That's where DJ steps in; a character who is fundamentally out for himself. That simple flaw, in a world that brands you good or evil based on a strict set of values, makes him interesting. —N.R.

73. IG-11

Like Din Djarin, IG-11 (voiced by Taika Waititi) is a character from The Mandalorian who began as a riff on a familiar Star Wars favorite — and has now come to totally eclipse his predecessor. Old school Tales of the Bounty Hunters readers might still insist on IG-88's superiority, but IG-11 combines the cool terror of a slim gunslinging android with a real redemption arc. It's hard not to cheer as he transitions from trying to kill Grogu to actually saving the little green guy at an all-important moment. And who doesn't love a heroic sacrifice? Even Din was forced to reevaluate his opinion of droids after seeing IG-11 evolve so beautifully. —C.H

72. Plo Koon

A character like Plo Koon (voiced by James Arnold Taylor) confirms why the animated Star Wars shows are so great. The Clone Wars took someone on the fringes of the live-action movies — in this case, a prequel-era Jedi who served on the council and who died when his own clones shot him out of the sky — and shows audiences just how cool he actually is. Plo was the one who brought fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano into the Jedi fold when she was a toddler, and he later teamed up with her as an adult, fighting at her side during the first battle of Felucia and infiltrating the Coruscant underworld together to hunt Boba Fett. He was a fierce defender of life, especially those of the clones he led as a Jedi General. R.I.P. Plo. —N.R.

Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Plo Koon
Plo Koon in 'Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith'
| Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

71. Sebulba

Sebulba may have been one of Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace's (1999) villains — a mini boss for young Anakin Skywalker to overcome in his quest to become a Jedi — but we can't help but root for him. The podracing, trash-talking Dug may not be a paragon of sportsmanship. And yes, he picked fights with both Jar Jar Binks (a harmless goofball) and Anakin (a literal child). But, in all fairness, who among us hasn't also been annoyed by those two characters? And even if Sebulba broke the rules (or pieces of an opponent's pod) here and there, there's no denying that he was a gifted pilot who could back up his poodoo-talking. —C.K.

70. Ezra Bridger

Brave, impulsive, and Force strong, the Rebels protagonist acts as a mirror vision of Luke Skywalker, only without the pesky bloodline baggage. Born only a few days before the Skywalker twins, Ezra is orphaned as well, but survives on his own, until he stumbles across Kanan Jarrus, who senses Ezra's untapped power. Ezra's impulsiveness often gets him into trouble, especially when he forges into an unlikely bond with Maul, but he's foolishly brave and never afraid to put himself on the line, even if it means fighting Darth Vader as a mere apprentice. Though Ezra and Kanan's relationship could be rocky, Ezra ultimately took his master's sacrifice to heart in his final battle with Thrawn, and today, his location remains one of the galaxy's greatest mysteries. —L.M.

69. Malakili the Rancor Keeper

Yep, that's his name! Even if you didn't know that, you surely remember the figure he strikes: bare-chested, sweaty, and weeping over the death of his favorite monster. The Rancor is ugly and fearsome enough to strike fear into the heart of Luke Skywalker — so seeing that even such a monster is beloved and mourned by at least one soul is what makes Star Wars so unique. This is not a sci-fi galaxy of big-headed ideas and cosmic concepts; it's a lived-in world where people love and lose. Malakili (Paul Brooke) is a perfect example of that, even amidst the slimy schemers and demonic muppets of Jabba's palace. It's hard not to like him more with every viewing of Return of the Jedi. —C.H.

68. Greef Karga

The first test of being a memorable Star Wars side character is having a great goofy sci-fi name, and Carl Weathers' Mandalorian role passes that with flying colors. The second test is to imbue your limited screen time with personality, and you can depend on Weathers to bring the heat. Before we learned the name "Din Djarin," we all called the show's protagonist "Mando" because that's what Greef Karga calls him, and the moniker sounds so lovable in his voice. Take those elements and combine them with a cute hands-on relationship with Grogu? Baby, you've got a stew going! —C.H.

The Mandalorian
Carl Weathers as Greef Karga in 'The Mandalorian'
| Credit: Francois Duhamel/Lucasfilm Ltd.

67. Biggs Darklighter

Without Biggs (Garrick Hagon), there would be no Luke Skywalker. This heroic X-wing pilot was Luke's oldest friend on Tatooine, and it was Biggs' enlistment that inspired Luke to first look to the stars. Together, the pair went from picking off womp rats in Beggar's Canyon to taking down the Death Star. Biggs may not have fired the final shot, but he was always brave, defecting from the Imperial Academy to join the Rebels and ultimately sacrificing himself for the cause. Plus, he rocks one hell of a mustache. —D.C.

66. Nien Nunb

By Return of the Jedi, audiences had already been introduced to a ton of classic alien species: Wookiees, Rodians, whatever Yoda is… But Sullustan pilot Nien Nunb, who looks like a friendly mashup of a mouse and a big-mouth bass, was a more than worthy addition to the pantheon. Despite not speaking English (or being subtitled), Nunb's expressive face always communicated his thoughts loud and clear. Sadly, Nunb did not survive Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019), perishing in the Battle of Exegol when his ship (the Tantive IV! Nunb only flew icons!) was short-circuited by Emperor Palpatine's force lightning. Nunb — and audiences — deserved better. —C.K.

65. Jango Fett

"I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe." With that sly understatement, Jango Fett — bounty hunter, single dad, genetic blueprint for the titular clone army — was introduced to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002). A cold-blooded yet honorable mercenary who wasn't afraid to tangle with a Jedi (he even fights Kenobi to a draw on a rain-soaked Kamino landing pad), Jango never lost his head during the heat of battle…until he actually lost his head during the heat of battle, courtesy of Mace Windu's purple lightsaber. —C.K.

64. L3-37

This witty navigator droid is easily the highlight of Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), a snarky revolutionary with a burn-it-down attitude. L3 (voiced by a delightful Phoebe Waller-Bridge) may be Lando's co-pilot, but she's nobody's sidekick: She assembled herself, using spare parts to stitch together her gangly silhouette. What makes her magical is how decidedly un-robotic she feels, whether she's preaching about droid rights or flirting with Lando. Ultimately, she meets a tragic end, and after she dies, Lando uploads her memories to the Millennium Falcon's main computer. It's meant to be moving, but there's something sad about watching this fast-talking droid lose her voice, condemned to a life of silence. —D.C.

63. Admiral Piett

Look up the phrase "only following orders" in a dictionary, and you're likely to see the Executor's doe-eyed captain. As played by Kenneth Colley, Piett comes off as an eager-to-please yes-man. Can you blame him? He only got the promotion because his last boss got Vader-strangled. This is not a person with a lot of professional options in his future. In a few choice scenes, Colley gives Piett an aristocratic air ("We don't need their scum!") and some light notes of paranoia (watch closely as he looks away, embarrassed, from Vader's helmetless visage). He's a monster, no question, but an oddly resonant monster. In brighter times, he might've been a very annoying, non-evil accountant. Instead, he gets killed by an A-Wing; not an X-Wing, not even a Y-Wing. —D.F.

Admiral Piett in 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back'
| Credit: Lucasfilm

62. Sabine Wren

While we had seen plenty of Mandalorians on The Clone Wars, we never saw one with the rebellious artistic spirit of Rebels' resident graffiti artist, Sabine Wren (voiced by Tiya Sircar). Equally genius with both a can of spray paint and a batch of explosives, Sabine joins Hera's crew as a way to atone for a grave mistake she made while a member of the Imperial Academy of Mandalore. Even after she reclaims the Darksaber to help free Mandalore from the Empire's clutches, Sabine remains torn between her duty to the Rebellion and her duty to her home. Though she might be both a rebel and a Mandalorian, it's clear that in the end, Sabine can only be herself. —L.M.

61. Peli Motto

Amy Sedaris in space! That's one of the nicest things The Mandalorian has given us. In this modern age of Star Wars cultural dominance, skilled actors no longer need to feel as embarrassed to participate as Sir Alec Guinness did on the set of the 1977 original. It's great that a performer like Sedaris can pop up for a few episodes and imbue an otherwise functional role with delightful personality. It's always nice to see more female faces out there in the galaxy, and Grogu can use more friends. —C.H.

Star Wars Character Rankings
Credit: Illustration by Gluekit for EW; Images courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

60. Bossk

There's this myth about Boba Fett and how the dent-helmeted bounty hunter made a big impact in only a few scenes of The Empire Strikes Back. You want to talk about making a big impact? Trandoshan's favorite son gets precisely one close-up. His toenails are on screen longer than his face. He has one line, which one could vaguely transcribe as "Legsh Merf Rouf" and which the Disney+ closed captions lazily render as "[Speaking Alien Language]." Still, Bossk became an immediate item of fascination, a crucial toy in any collection and a frequent figure of fun across the expanded universe. Why was Bossk so beloved? Because he looks freaking wild. He looks like a snake grew limbs, earned a pilot's license (the elbow-length sleeves are a wonderful get-down-to-business touch), and then decided the only thing that would make him look more threatening is a blaster. Where's Bossk's Book, Disney? —D.F.

59. Count Dooku

Perhaps we like this silver-bearded baddie for the way Obi-Wan Kenobi says his name. ("You won't get away this time, Dooku!") But props to anyone who can match Master Yoda in Force powers and hold his own in a lightsaber duel — even if he was about to get his butt handed to him. It took someone like Sir Christopher Lee, the same actor who brought Shakespearian theatrics to Saruman in The Lord of the Rings, to give this Sith Lord his controlled flamboyance and a booming, King Lear-like voice that makes every line a dramatic affair. He's also such a shady queen: "Yoda holds you in such high esteem. Surely you can do better." As they say on RuPaul's Drag Race, the library is open. —N.R.

58. Galen Erso

Did any Star Wars character do more to shape the universe? Rogue One's science genius builds a telltale flaw into the Death Star, which sets the table for one soon-to-be-Jedi to change the tide of war. The real heroes are always invisible, and the tragic elimination of Galen's entire family line in service of the Rebellion stands in for a galaxy of loss. Plus, who doesn't love Mads Mikkelsen? —D.F.

57. Max Rebo

The Star Wars galaxy is full of rebels, space princesses, and bounty hunters — but it's also home to working-stiff musicians like Max Rebo, Ortolan master of the red ball jett organ. Resembling a cross between an aardvark and a blue marshmallow Peep, Rebo had a cushy residency at Jabba the Hutt's palace, jamming with bandmates Sy Snootles and Droopy McCool. But not everyone is a music lover, and when Luke Skywalker and friends crashed the party to rescue Han Solo, they blew up Jabba's sail barge with the Max Rebo Band still on board (Star Wars' version of the day the music died). At least, that's how it seemed, until Rebo resurfaced on The Book of Boba Fett as the bandleader at Mos Espa nightclub Sanctuary (which, incredibly, also gets blown up) for what can only be described as the ultimate encore. —C.K.

56. Kuiil

Jawa whisperer. Droid repairer. Blurrg rider. Is there anything Kuiil (Nick Nolte) could not do? Unfortunately, this upstanding Ugnaught, who bought his way out of Imperial indentured servitude and aided the Mandalorian at several turns, was tragically shot down just steps away from safety, all while safeguarding Grogu — a noble quest if ever there was one. Fiercely protective of his freedom, Kuiil would never want to feel indebted to anyone for anything, including his spot on this list. But he earned it with his bravery, blunt conciseness, and fashion-forward goggle cap. We have spoken. —D.R.

The Mandalorian
Kuiil in 'The Mandalorian'
| Credit: Lucasfilm

55. Greedo

Greedo only lasted for a few minutes in the original Star Wars — but what a spotlight it is! Originally meant to establish Han Solo's badass bona fides, Greedo's death scene has been subject to more changes over the years than any other single segment of the franchise. As a result, he has come to stand for all the elements of the original Star Wars films that fans still love in defiance of George Lucas' fiddling, especially the shades-of-gray morality and the violence lurking on the fringes of the galaxy. Aside from his own indelible alien look, Greedo has become an important martyr — whether he likes it or not. —C.H.

54. Asajj Ventress

Asajj Ventress may be best known as a villain, but she was never that alone. A former Jedi Padawan who turned to the Dark Side after her master was killed, Ventress — who was first introduced on the original 2003 Clone Wars series — danced back and forth between the dark and the light, and through the course of her life, she was a Sith assassin, a Nightsister, a bounty hunter, and an occasional aide to a few desperate Jedi. But no matter what role she played, with her shaved head and dual lightsabers, Ventress was one of the coolest and most unpredictable characters on screen. —L.M.

53. Chopper

R2-D2 often gave C-3PO the droid version of a heart attack, but he had nothing on fellow astromech Chopper, who was downright irascible on the best of days. Rebuilt from spare parts by Hera Syndulla, he's possibly even more loyal to her than Kanan was, but that didn't stop his crankiness from driving the rest of the Ghost's crew mad. The Rebels' resident droid spent most of his days arguing with Ezra and Zeb, but when Chopper wasn't trying to make their lives miserable, he could be pretty wily in a crisis. Though he could be both selfish and slightly nutty, Chopper's misbehavior is part of his overall charm, and in a galaxy filled with droids, he's truly one of a kind. —L.M.

Chopper in 'Star Wars Rebels'
| Credit: Disney XD

52. Fennec Shand

Thank the Maker that Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) didn't die in her first Mandalorian appearance. Otherwise, we would've been robbed of this cool, sarcastic assassin. With her elite skills and her appraising stare, Fennec is as deadly with her fists as she is with a blaster — exactly the kind of person you want by your side in a fight. And although she can be ruthless, she's also fiercely loyal. No wonder Boba Fett and Din Djarin are constantly looking to her for help. —D.C.

51. Bib Fortuna

The first Twi'lek to appear on screen in Star Wars was a good standard-bearer for the galaxy's most charismatic alien race. With his long fingernails and pointy smile, Bib Fortuna is the very image of a scheming vizier. Even if The Book of Boba Fett dinged his reputation a bit, Bib Fortuna was clearly capable of keeping control over Jabba's palace — and the number of its denizens who ended up on this list should demonstrate that was no easy task. —C.H.

50. Grand Moff Tarkin

One could be so bold as to make the argument that it's Tarkin — not Vader, not even the Emperor — who most vividly symbolizes everything terrifying about the Galactic Empire. Shorn of all the gothic affectations the dark side Jedi tend to embody, the Grandest of all Moffs radiates pure flavorless fascism, with facial expressions that flit imperceptibly from a frown to a sneer. As played by Peter Cushing in A New Hope, Tarkin is the unquestioned alpha wolf on the Death Star, destroying a whole planet without batting an eyelid. Plus, Cushing's skeletal presence makes a stark contrast with all the energetic young Rebels. —D.F.

49. Paige Tico

Luke, Leia, Rey, Finn, and Poe may be the top-billed heroes of Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2017), but for two pulse-pounding minutes, Paige Tico (Ngô Thanh Vân) is the true star. A resistance bombardier on a mission to take down a First Order dreadnaught, Paige watched in horror as her comrades went up in flames one by one, until she was the only one left to complete the mission — which she did, sacrificing herself in the process. Paige's selflessness, bravery, and courage inspired sister Rose to jump from the sidelines to the frontlines of the resistance. —C.K.

Star Wars The Last Jedi Paige Tico
Paige Tico in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'
| Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

48. Mon Mothma

There aren't a lot of women in the original trilogy — which is part of why Mon Mothma (Carolin Blakiston) makes such an impression. With her cropped hair and her flowing robes, Mothma is the picture of stoic elegance, but she speaks with the authority of a hardened military official. Not only did she oversee the theft of the Death Star plans and the Battle of Endor, but she's one of the initial founders of the Rebel Alliance, helping to shape the very future of the galaxy. —D.C.

47. Cad Bane

With the possible exception of original trilogy-era Boba Fett, it doesn't get much cooler than Cad Bane. Inspired by Angel Eyes from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1966), the red-eyed, blue-skinned Clone Wars villain (voiced by Corey Burton) with the quickest draw in the Outer Rim had the look (complete with wide-brimmed hat and toothpick dangling from the mouth), the gadgets (including jet boots, flamethrower, and whipcord launcher), and the ice-in-your-veins demeanor to make him the most fearsome bounty hunter in the galaxy, no matter what his live-action Book of Boba Fett fate might say. Oh, and special shout-out to Bane's cybernetic breathing tubes, which protect him from Force-choking Sith lords. Savvy! —D.R.

46. General Grievous

A standout baddie from the Clone Wars era, General Grievous got fixed up with a cyborg body after nearly dying in a crash. So far so Vader, but the General's gangly-limbed look is distinctively unsettling, a perfect counterbalance for his asthmatic cough. And he hunts Jedi for sport! His final showdown with Obi-Wan is one for the books, specifically a book titled Whoops, My Organs Are Visible! —D.F.

45. Wedge Antilles

There are heroes who save the universe, and then there are the people who just survive. That's Wedge. Wedge exits the first Death Star run with a "sorry," an injured retreat that ensures his survival in a generally fatal military operation. He becomes a trusted member of Rogue Squadron, and he takes the lead X-wing role in the second Death Star battle while boss Luke is off dealing with family issues. Wedge's recurring role in the original trilogy — and the vaguely mystical fact that he's played by two people in A New Hope — turned him into a kind of legendary non-legend, the defining face of Regular Personhood in the galaxy far, far away. Meanwhile, gamers and Expanded Universe heads know Wedge as the leader of Rogue Squadron, guiding a whole team of mavericks through one suicide mission after another. What a guy, that Wedge Antilles! —D.F.

Star Wars Denis Lawson as Wedge Antilles
Wedge Antilles in 'Star Wars'
| Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

44. The Client

The Client isn't so much a famous character, but they're a famous sound. "I would like to see the baby" has spread so wide since uttered by The Mandalorian's Grogu-hunting mystery man that he became his own TikTok trend. He's like the new FN-2199. He doesn't really do anything, but people have probably watched that clip countless times. Plus, we just love seeing Werner Herzog living his best life in a galaxy far, far away. —N.R.

43. Salacious B. Crumb

Every superstar needs to be hyped, and this little monkey-lizard's cackle is the perfect counterpoint to Jabba's bass-drum intonations. A question more of us need to ponder: Is Salacious B. Crumb the real hero? —D.F.

42. Orson Krennic

Bureaucracy has never seemed so sinister. As the head of the Empire's advanced weapons research team, Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) may be overshadowed (and intimidated) by Darth Vader, but he's still plenty terrifying. This Rogue One baddie is the very reason the Death Star exists, and he has an air of cool cruelty that is not to be messed with. Plus, next to Vader and Lando, he has the distinct honor of having one of Star Wars' coolest capes. Just look at the way it billows as he struts around Scarif! Truly the peak of galactic fashion. —D.C.

41. Bail Organa

Well, someone in the prequels-era galaxy had to be a dependable leader. While the Sith schemed and the Jedi carried on oblivious, Bail Organa stood almost alone in support of Padmé's attempts to stop the gradual decay of galactic democracy. When his efforts weren't enough to prevent the rise of the Empire, he stepped up as a needed opposition leader in desperate times, setting the stage for the Republic's eventual rebirth. Warmly embodied by Jimmy Smits, Bail Organa has added important context to the Star Wars story — making the destruction of Alderaan hit even harder. —C.H.

Star Wars Character Rankings
Credit: Illustration by Gluekit for EW; Images courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

40. Cobb Vanth

Timothy Olyphant has built his career playing stoic law-enforcement officers, so who better to play Tatooine's marshal? In a galaxy of self-serving bounty hunters and greedy criminal syndicates, Cobb Vanth is a genuinely good man — a sheriff who protects Freetown (formerly known as Mos Pelgo), but who also isn't afraid to help a stranger in need. Plus, he's a top-notch gunslinger, and he looks pretty sharp in beskar armor. —D.C.

39. Lobot

This Bespin cyborg doesn't have a lot to say, but he keeps Cloud City functioning. As Lando Calrissian's right-hand man, Lobot is the silent administrator of the whole city, rolling around town with his signature bald head and flashing lights. Not only does he help Lando rescue Leia and Chewie from Vader, but he boasts one of the most iconic shots in all of Empire Strikes Back, where all he does is open his eyes and stare at the camera. Sometimes, to make an impression, you don't have to say a single word. —D.C.

The Star Wars Episode V - Empire Strikes Back Lobot
Lobot in 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back'
| Credit: Lucasfilm/Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

38. Jyn Erso

Rogue One is one of the more underrated Star Wars works — perhaps the most underrated of the films — and that's due in large part to Felicity Jones' stellar performance as Jyn Erso, who should've received more credit for carrying this Death Star-sized story on her shoulders. Jyn is already interesting on the surface: a complicated heroine with no real stakes in the game, prompted to do great things by circumstance. She's also what a lot of fans were pining for in the Rey-centric trilogy: a complete nobody, randomly chosen by the Force to be somebody. Her death makes her character arc all the more poignant; not all stories have happy endings. —N.R.

37. Captain Rex

Of all the clone troopers we've seen over the years, what makes The Clone Wars' Captain Rex (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) the best? Second in command to Anakin Skywalker, Rex often doubted his general's impulsive nature, but was always there when Anakin needed him. His faith and trust in Ahsoka helped her become a legendary warrior in her own right, and their friendship was so strong that he managed to resist the implanted Order 66 long enough to warn her, saving her life in the process. Not only did he escape the clutches of the Empire, joining up as a member of the Rebels crew, but he also used his battle knowledge to fight alongside Han Solo during the Battle of Endor, finally seeing his precious Republic restored. A truly befitting ending for the best clone trooper in the Grand Army of the Republic. —L.M.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Captain Rex in 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'
| Credit: Lucasfilm

36. Qui-Gon Jinn

Okay, first off, let's acknowledge the problematic facial hair and just get that out of the way. If we're being completely honest, that may have cost the slain Jedi Master a few spots on the list. But that's about the only thing we don't like about the rebellious Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), who viewed Jedi Council orders as mere suggestions, frustrating his more straight-laced Padawan in the process as he gambled, banked on prophecies, and picked up "pathetic lifeforms" along the way. In one final boss maneuver, he also learned how to communicate from beyond the grave, setting the stage for awesome Force Ghost action to come. —D.R.

35. Finn

Kidnapped as a child and raised to be a First Order Stormtrooper, FN-2187 was ultimately destined for a more heroic path. FN's defection may have been self-serving at first, but through his new friendships with Poe, Rey, and Rose, he eventually became proud "rebel scum" and a key Resistance figure. However, despite John Boyega's talent and megawatt charisma, his character regrettably faded into the background in The Rise of Skywalker. After two films where Finn was unsure of himself, the filmmakers ultimately decided they were unsure of him, too, and the various teases never paid off. Is he Force-sensitive? Does he have feelings for Rey? Or Rose? Or Poe?! —C.K.

34. Boba Fett

Surprise! Once upon a time, the best bounty hunter the galaxy has ever seen might've been able to grab a spot closer to the top of this list. For so many Star Wars fans, Boba Fett was the epitome of mysterious intrigue: that helmet, that jetpack, those spurs, and that ship! But what really cemented the aura (inspiring all kinds of official spin-off stories and personal daydream adventures) was the question of who exactly stood behind that black visor. The more we've learned about him since then — first in the prequels, then on Book of Boba Fett — the more that mystery has been depleted, and his uniqueness along with it. It may seem outrageous to rank The Mandalorian's Boba Fett-inspired protagonist above the man himself, but it's hard to deny the changing tides. —C.H.

Boba Fhet.JPG
Boba Fett in 'Star Wars: Return of the Jedi'
| Credit: Lucasfilm

33. Kanan Jarrus

One of the lone Padawans to survive Order 66, the one-time Caleb Dume resisted using his Force abilities for years until he joined Hera Syndulla's resistance cell on Rebels and resumed his life as a newly-named Jedi. Whereas previous Force users eschewed attachment, Kanan (voiced with gruff skill by former teen heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr.) fell in love with Hera, becoming the ultimate Jedi wife guy in the process. (Take that, Anakin!) As the Inquisitors continually hunted him during one of the most dangerous times in the galaxy, his faith in the Force provided him with a key light in that darkness. —L.M.

32. Cassian Andor

Cassian shot first! With all the attention on Han and Greedo, don't overlook the fact that this Rogue One rebel intelligence officer (played by Diego Luna) straight up murdered a dude who was helping the Rebellion in his very first scene. Why are we not talking more about that? Plus, the guy he killed was not only — and we really feel this cannot be stressed enough — helping the Rebellion, but he was also already injured, which you would figure might elicit some measure of sympathy from Andor. Nope. Bam. Dead. That do-whatever-it-takes attitude — as also evidenced by Cassian's one-way ticket to Scarif — makes the captain one of the most intriguing Rebel officers to ever grace a Star Wars screen, as he also does on his Disney+ series, Andor. —D.R.

31. BB-8

A spherical, new-wave astromech who serves with great distinction in the Resistance, BB-8 is unquestionably the Disney trilogy's most valuable droid. Devotion to Poe Dameron's mission leads BB-8 into contact with Rey and Finn, which also makes BB-8 the glue that sticks the new generation of Star Wars fighters together. Despite being easily mistaken for a gambling device, BB-8 is actually a high-tech creation, with a voice peppily modu-designed by Ben Schwartz and Bill Hader. Let's be honest: This thing's body is a freaking bouncy ball. Can a robot get any cuter? —D.F.

30. Kit Fisto

Look, we could talk all about Kit Fisto's impressive blend of Form I and Form IV lightsaber styles, his flowing tentacle tresses, and his epic battle against General Grievous on The Clone Wars. But who are we kidding? It's all about the smile. Fisto beamed that one-second grin in the middle of armed combat to the death, after Force-pushing the half-battle droid, half-C-3PO monstrosity down onto the Geonosis colosseum ground. We haven't stopped smiling since. —D.R.

29. Grand Admiral Thrawn

Of all the Star Wars characters that have jumped from book to screen, Grand Admiral Thrawn is perhaps the most iconic. One of the few Legends characters to survive the switch into the current canon (Mara Jade, we knew thee well), Thrawn technically debuted in the 1991 novel Heir to the Empire (and has appeared in 14 novels and counting), but crossed over in season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels as the Ghost crew's new Imperial antagonist. Voiced with silky menace by Lars Mikkelsen (brother to Galen Erso himself, Mads Mikkelsen), the blue-skinned Chiss proved a cunning adversary. His disappearance during the Rebels finale remains a mystery, but considering Ahsoka Tano is already on his tail, his live-action debut can't be far behind. —L.M.

28. Grogu

From the moment Grogu stuck his enormous ears out of his floating bassinet, the Mandalorian — and the galaxy at large — fell in love. Still mysterious in origin, but of the same species as Yoda and Yaddle (can't forget her), the child formerly known as Baby Yoda managed to survive Order 66, the entirety of the Empire, and the birth of the New Republic before Din Djarin found him. Though he speaks in only coos and giggles, Grogu humanizes Din, who, like all exhausted parents, can barely keep his wayward green son out of Imperial danger. Whether wreaking havoc on every amphibian species in the galaxy or ditching his Jedi training to return to his father's heavily armored embrace, this tiny mischief maker is the true heart of the Mando-verse. —L.M.

The Book of Boba Fett
Grogu in 'The Book of Boba Fett'
| Credit: Lucasfilm

27. Hera Syndulla

If you're staging a rebellion against an all-powerful Empire, you want Rebels' Hera Syndulla on your side. A natural leader and ace pilot who could give that rogue from Corellia a run for his credits, Hera's cool competence, loyalty to her crew, and dedication to a cause bigger than herself makes her a true galactic hero. She was also part of one of Star Wars' loveliest romances, as her are-they-or-aren't-they relationship with Jedi Kanan Jarrus acted as the glue holding the Ghost's crew together. Even after Kanan sacrificed his life to save hers, she continued the fight alongside their son, Jacen, showing that you can never keep a good rebel down. —L.M.

26. Padmé Amidala

Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), the teen queen of Naboo, is the ultimate icon of Star Wars' "more civilized age." A stoic but compassionate leader, the weight of an entire planet sat on her shoulders (not to mention the weight of one unforgettable Star Wardrobe). She always fought to uphold the ideals of freedom and democracy — even if it meant blasting battle droids in the climactic showdown on Geonosis. Unfortunately, she fell headpiece over heels for a Jedi Knight with an inferiority/messiah complex, and she also indirectly helped the treacherous Palpatine rise to power and forge the evil Galactic Empire. But at least she gets to respond with one of the saga's all-time best clapbacks: "So this is how liberty dies…with thunderous applause." Slay, queen. —C.K.

25. Admiral Ackbar

Han may have taken the shield down, and Lando may have destroyed the second Death Star, but Admiral Ackbar was the one who came up with the plan. And how good of a plan was it? So good that it worked even though… IT WAS A TRAP! Ackbar's strength was not just in pre-battle planning, but in listening to both his instincts and his pilots, like when Lando convinced him to continue the attack above Endor, trap or no trap. Not only that, but we also have it on good authority that the Mon Calamari military genius not once ever made fun of General Madine's hair. —D.R.

24. Rose Tico

Space can be a cold place, but Rose Tico brings a little warmth every time she's on screen. Kelly Marie Tran's heroine isn't a powerful Jedi or an elite pilot. She's just a mechanic, doing her best to help the Resistance however she can. There are many brave characters in the Star Wars universe, but there are fewer kind ones, and she's constantly standing up to injustice, whether it's the First Order or a Canto Bight traffic cop. (She's a standout in the already excellent Last Jedi, which makes her reduced role in The Rise of Skywalker so disappointing.) She serves as a reminder that it isn't Skywalkers who keep the galaxy running. It's loyal, decent, everyday people like Rose. —D.C.

Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'
| Credit: Jonathan Olley/© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd.

23 & 22. Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus

For someone who is supposedly not a Jedi, Chirrut Îmwe's (Donnie Yen) faith in the Force rivals that of the greatest Jedi masters. A play on the trope of the skilled blind fighter, Chirrut's entrance in Rogue One is one for the ages as he disables a whole battalion of stormtroopers, all while invoking his mantra: "I am one with the Force. The Force is with me." Whether he sees through the Force as the blinded Kanan Jarrus learned to do or whether his other senses are just that sharp, his prowess in battle puts some Jedi on this list to shame.

Backed up by Force skeptic Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), who insists he's the one protecting Chirrut and not some mystical nonsense, the pair provide Jyn and Cassian's crew with a welcome sense of world-weary humor, even in the face of impending doom. The nature of their relationship is unclear, but the deep love and affection between the two is impossible to miss. None more so than when Baze takes up Chirrut's Force mantra after his fallen friend's death on Scarif, chanting as he makes his own brave last stand. —L.M.

21. Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo

The Last Jedi's Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) was a divisive figure, both on and off screen. Early in the film, she assumed command of the Resistance after Leia was incapacitated, and her leadership was immediately challenged by the headstrong but charming Poe. However, the Vice Admiral wasn't fazed or charmed, confidently putting Poe back in his place — and triggering some very online fanboys (and delighting Dern's fans) in the process. For Holdo, being a leader was more about saving lives than scoring enemy kills. But her jaw-dropping final act was a little of both. —C.K.

Star Wars Character Rankings
Credit: Illustration by Gluekit for EW; Images courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

20. C-3PO

One of the strangest assertions made by The Phantom Menace is the idea that the young indentured servant Anakin Skywalker would build a robot to help his subjugated mother with farm labor and that robot would be…an uptight butler? No matter, it's just a necessary excuse so C-3PO can continue his all-important role as Star Wars' eternal observer. He and R2-D2 witness everything, like the two peasants of Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress (1958) by way of the man-machine from Metropolis (1927). It is his perspective, particularly in A New Hope, that really differentiates this saga from so many other sci-fi epics. C-3PO may tell us the odds too often, but the young heroes of the sequel trilogy are downright obnoxious with how much they mock him in The Rise of Skywalker. They have no idea what he's seen! —C.H.

19. Din Djarin/The Mandalorian

For decades, Star Wars was known as a blockbuster film franchise. But could it make the lightspeed jump to live-action TV? Enter The Mandalorian — and with it, the future of Star Wars. Taciturn, badass bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) may look like a shiny action figure, but when he unexpectedly bonded with one of his bounties — the adorable and powerful child Grogu — he revealed surprising depths under that beskar helmet. No longer a lone wolf, Din fought his way across the galaxy to deliver Grogu to the Jedi. But their separation was extremely short-lived, and the duo joyfully reunited on The Book of Boba Fett. Sure, it was a fairy-tale reunion — but for Star Wars, this has always been the way. —C.K.

18. Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron was supposed to die. In early drafts of Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (2015), this hotshot X-wing pilot was just a plot device, a doomed flyboy destined to crash in the first act. Oscar Isaac persuaded director J.J. Abrams to keep him around, and Poe soon became a key player in the sequel trilogy, taunting First Order officers and helping lead the Resistance to victory. He's brash and impulsive, but also effortlessly charming — like when he gleefully greets BB-8 or shares a flirtatious glance with Finn. Isaac is so irresistible in the role that he even manages to bring gravitas to the silliest of lines. (Although we have no comment on "Somehow, Palpatine returned.") —D.C.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron in Star Wars: 'The Force Awakens'
| Credit: David James/©Lucasfilm 2015

17. Mace Windu

Samuel L. Jackson has made a career out of playing badass motherf---ers, and Mace Windu is definitely one of them. The Jedi Master was hard to please, especially if you were Anakin Skywalker…or really anyone who challenged his no-nonsense outlook on the Jedi code. And he had nothing but disdain for politicians' poppycock. Mace was also smart. He was aware of the movements from the dark side and knew of a plan to unseat the Jedi's societal dominance. He's a character that feels akin to Boba Fett: Although his death seemingly played out on screen years ago, the actor (and some fans) still retains hope that perhaps Mace actually landed on a ledge or something and is still alive somewhere, ready to make a return for some Disney+ series. —N.R.

16. Darth Maul

Best. Lightsaber battle. Ever. Watching the horned, tattooed Sith warrior leap, kick, and flip his way into engagement against Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi to the sweet, sweet sounds of "Duel of the Fates" is not only the finest sequence in all the prequels, but arguably the most thrilling combat scene in Star Wars history. Is the fact that Maul came back from the dead after being literally sliced in half a tad absurd? Without a doubt. But at least his extended journey in The Clone Wars, Rebels, and yes, Solo, was intriguing enough to overcome that not-so-slight suspension of disbelief. Also, double lightsabers are rad. —D.R.

15. K-2SO

Why is K-2SO so high on our list? Because this glitchy reprogrammed imperial droid is hands down the funniest machine in the Star Wars universe. And while you may "find that answer vague and unconvincing," Alan Tudyk's comedically dry vocal delivery gives Cassian's metal partner the cynical and sarcastic tone that helps elevate Rogue One beyond a mere action spectacular. But he's not just about laughs; K-2SO's sacrificial death scene is as moving as any human's. Don't believe us? Then we say, QUIET! And there's a fresh one if you mouth off again. —D.R.

K-2SO in 'Rogue One'
| Credit: Lucasfilm

14. Jabba the Hutt

Tatooine's most globulous crime boss has been a digital creation for a generation now, from the Special Editions to The Phantom Menace to a recurring role on The Clone Wars. Still, nothing beats his megapuppet physicality in Return of the Jedi, a movie whose first act is visually dominated by Jabba's massive presence (and audibly dominated by his booming voice). The Hutts are a well-known crime species, but Jabba laps his fellow sluglords for pure hedonistic nastiness, throwing a perpetual sorta-sexy/kinda-druggy party where monster feeding is the primary entertainment. You gotta admit, Jabba puts on a hell of a show. —D.F.

13. Kylo Ren

You might as well call him the anti-Luke. Like his former mentor, Ben Solo is a man whose magical bloodline has destined him for greatness. But while Luke chooses to be a hero despite the pull toward his father's darker path, Ben has chosen the dark side and now wrestles with the temptations of the light. That tension strangely makes Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) one of the most romantic men in all of Star Wars — second, perhaps, to his own father. It's only a surprise to Kylo that killing Han Solo doesn't relieve that tension at all. Following those patricidal impulses, Kylo wants to erase the past and its hold on him — but like any fan of a long-tenured franchise like Star Wars, he eventually learns to reconcile the good with the bad. —C.H.

12. R2-D2

R2-D2 is a gay icon. Hear us out: He's a truly over-the-top character making all sorts of theatrical boops and beeps. He comes alive when there's drama. He's super shady; just listen to remarks he makes to C-3PO. His best friend is a fancy gentleman, and his best girlfriend is a princess for whom he literally travels across the galaxy to deliver mail. You can't trust that kind of sensitive intel with straight men. Still, whether you agree with this assessment or not, what makes R2 special is the amount of character that erupts out of such a physically small figure, a figure that can't actually verbalize human dialect. If he didn't suddenly gain the ability to fly in the prequels in some left-field move that didn't make a whole lot of sense other than to move the plot forward, he might've been higher on this list. Still, few images immediately evoke Star Wars quite like R2's round figure. —N.R.

11. Palpatine

A slithery-skinned, dark-wizard politician who prefers black-as-night robes, the proverbial Emperor arrived in Return of the Jedi as a vision of total tyranny. It's a credit to actor Ian McDiarmid that Palpatine was also pretty funny, even absurdly sensual, treasuring the possibility of Skywalker corruption. McDiarmid had even more fun in the prequel series, where Palpatine unleashes his ever-so-gradual strategy for galactic domination. There's not a scarier moment in the whole film series than Palpatine self-cooking himself with Force lightning, a scarring that McDiarmid plays as a euphoric transformation. He was also in The Rise of Skywalker, but don't hold that against him. —D.F.

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine in 'Star Wars: Return of the Jedi'
| Credit: Lucasfilm, Ltd.

10. Lando Calrissian

We love pansexual representation — words we never thought we'd use to describe the debonaire Lando Calrissian. That is until Donald Glover, the character's guardian for Solo: A Star Wars Story, came out and said "there's so many things to have sex with" in space, while also intimating that the man may have made whoopee with his droid. Even without that element, Lando's impact on Star Wars endures. His story begins as a noted gambler of the card game sabacc on the planet Socorro, and after he loses his prized Millennium Falcon to one Han Solo, he proceeds to enjoy the wealthy life through a series of schemes. Just as suave as a young Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams brings a devil-may-care vibe to Lando, whose moral complexity shows its shadier side in Empire Strikes Back, only to see the man redeem himself by Return of the Jedi. He's a messy figure, and Star Wars loves mess almost as much as Marie Kondo. —N.R.

9. Chewbacca

If you wanted to incarnate every tone of Star Wars into a single being — fantastical, funny, friendly, all those far-out space creatures, and for the whole family — who else could you choose but Chewie? The Falcon's trusty co-pilot is fuzzy as a teddy bear and ferocious as a lion, with the mind of a gearhead and the skills of a brawler. Chewbacca is the reason many of the best quotes from the original trilogy are wordless growls. His roars can be victorious. They can scare away stormtroopers. In one heartrending Empire moment, his cry of concern echoes through Hoth. All that plus the bowcaster, an awesome piece of future-past weaponry. —D.F.

8. Ahsoka Tano

As several seasons of The Clone Wars, a stint on Star Wars Rebels, her own novel, guest spots on both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, and an upcoming live-action series starring Rosaria Dawson have proved, Lucasfilm struck kyber when they created Ahsoka Tano. Not only is she a character who helped give Anakin Skywalker a dimension he lacked in the films, but she paved the way for Rey as the first female Jedi to get main character treatment. Ahsoka started out as Anakin's brash Padawan, earning the nickname "Snips" for her attitude. (He, the future fearsome Darth Vader, became "SkyGuy.") While their relationship was contentious at first, it evolved as they eventually became family to each other. Outside of her bond with Anakin, Ahsoka became a fan favorite entirely on her own volition. Though she once declared that "I'm no Jedi," she is everything they should be — brave, wise, compassionate, and completely kickass.  —L.M.

7. Luke Skywalker

What would Star Wars even be without its original hero? Standing there with his eyes ever toward the horizon, Luke Skywalker represents every hopeful dreamer who ever yearned for a more exciting destiny. Luke is far from generic, though: Not every hero would make the same choice that he does at the end of Return of the Jedi, throwing away his lightsaber and choosing to forgive his fallen father rather than vanquish him. For all his strengths, he also has weaknesses, and in The Last Jedi, Mark Hamill movingly portrays an older Luke now wrestling with his life and legacy. In between, we get to see him kick ass in The Mandalorian as a Jedi Master at the top of his game. Luke Skywalker comes in many flavors, just like Star Wars itself. —C.H.

Mark Hamill as Luke Sykwalker in 'Star Wars: Return of the Jedi'
| Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

6. Rey

Don't hold her lineage against her. Tough, smart, fearless, funny — Rey (Daisy Ridley) actually makes it easy to root for a Palpatine. From her scavenger roots on Jakku, to pushing Luke Skywalker back into mentor mode, to bringing Ben Solo back from the dark side, to taking on her grandaddy's clone, Rey is not only strong in the Force, but a true force of nature. There is no challenge Rey shies away from, and sure, occasionally that may mean mistakenly blowing up a transport ship by shooting lightning from your fingers, but hey, nobody's perfect! Rey Skywalker is pretty gosh darn close though. —D.R.

5. Obi-Wan Kenobi

We don't need a separate Disney+ series to appreciate the tragic and tumultuous story of Obi-Wan Kenobi, although we welcome one. Regardless of how each sector of the fandom feels about the prequels, all seem to agree that Ewan McGregor is iconic as a young Obi-Wan, pulling back the layers of someone who Alec Guinness already turned into a legend. The Jedi apprentice is forced to become a Jedi master, fulfilling Qui-Gon Jinn's lingering wish to train up Anakin Skywalker. Ultimately, he faces more devastating circumstances: The boy he raised to become a Force-wielding hero is seduced toward the dark side, becoming one of the most powerful Sith Lords in the known universe. He then banishes himself to Tatooine to protect the son of his former apprentice from a safe distance. Is it a form of psychological self-flagellation? A punishment for his failings as a Jedi and a teacher? Is it a fate he inflicts on himself, to wander the desert planet as a nomadic loner, to make sure another promising Jedi doesn't follow his father's footsteps? Find out on Obi-Wan Kenobi. —N.R.

4. Han Solo

He may be a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder, but he's also the suavest scoundrel in this or any galaxy. Han Solo is cool personified, a blaster-wielding, Falcon-piloting smuggler who defies the odds and answers to nobody but himself (and maybe Chewbacca). After all, this is the guy who made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Since 1977, there have been a thousand Star Wars rip-offs with a thousand wannabe Han Solos, but no one could ever top Harrison Ford's nonchalant charm. What makes Ford special is that he also understands how deeply uncool Han can be: He's a selfish criminal with money problems, and he bumbles his way through most things with charisma and sheer luck. (He's also not great at talking to princesses.) But ultimately, he's smuggling a heart of gold, and he learns that there are things in this galaxy worth fighting for. We love him — and he knows. —D.C.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Harrison Ford as Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
| Credit: Lucasfilm

3. Yoda

The Star Wars universe is bursting with magical creatures, but none are more magical than the diminutive and infinitely wise Jedi Master. In another, darker galaxy, Yoda could have easily been the 1980s version of Jar Jar Binks — a strange-looking alien with a garbled speech pattern, crashing a beloved blockbuster franchise. Instead, Frank Oz and Co. breathed so much life and emotion into a foam latex puppet (with an assist from MVP scene partner Mark Hamill) that Yoda became one of the most iconic — and most quoted — characters in cinema. He's also one of the only Star Wars creations who consistently shines across all three trilogies. Whether philosophizing on the Jedi Council, flexing insane CG lightsaber skills, trolling and eventually training an impatient Luke Skywalker on Dagobah, or teaching one last tender, tear-jerking lesson to his former apprentice in The Last Jedi, every moment Yoda is on screen is simply luminous. —C.K.

2. Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker

Darth Vader is arguably the most iconic character in the history of pop culture. He has it all: the iconic look (black armor, red lightsaber). The iconic sound (a combo platter of James Earl Jones and mechanical breathing). The iconic line ("I am your father"). There will be those who insist the character's legacy has been tarnished since the original trilogy, and while we are not going to defend the future Dark Lord of the Sith yelling "Yippie!" repeatedly or crying out "NOOOOOOOOOO!" after learning of Padmé's fate, we still get chills thinking about Anakin's internal struggle after slaughtering the Tusken Raiders who abducted his mother. ("Not just the men, but the women and the children, too.") Plus, Anakin's backstory and mentorship to Ahsoka Tano on The Clone Wars series added an entirely new dimension to the fallen Jedi, making his fall from grace that much more heartbreaking. And anyone who questions Vader's modern-day badassery need look no further than the absolutely savage final scene of Rogue One. Sith stays Sith. —D.R.

1. Leia Organa

Star Wars has always been a story built on archetypes: the scoundrel, the farm boy, the grizzled wizard. But there's nothing typical about Carrie Fisher's Leia. From the moment we meet the princess of Alderaan — smuggling the Death Star plans and spitting insults at Grand Moff Tarkin — she's a new kind of hero, a damsel in distress who happily hijacks her own rescue mission. (After all, somebody's gotta save our skins.) What makes Leia extraordinary is her complexity: She's a princess and a general, a daughter and a mother, a lover and a warrior. She's also deeply funny, and she can deliver a one-liner that would disarm even the most unflappable Imperial officer. The original trilogy and its sequels follow her as she evolves from fiery Rebel to Jedi-in-training to battle-hardened military leader, always anchored by Fisher's warm performance. Ultimately, Leia has endured through the decades because of what she represents, both within the galaxy and for generations of Star Wars fans: hope. —D.C.

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in 'Star Wars'
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in 'Star Wars'
| Credit: Lucasfilm, Ltd.

Make sure to subscribe to EW's new Star Wars podcast, Dagobah Dispatch featuring interviews with Star Wars luminaries and plenty of debate about the rankings you see here!

Illustration by Gluekit for EW; images courtesy of Lucasfilm

Related content: