Top Fourteen Star Wars Villains
I’m going to do a quick ranking of Star Wars bad guys that I love to hate! Or, in some cases, just love. Sue me. I’m not going to call my opinions good by any means, but hey, I’m here. These are just from the movies--sorry, Ventress--but Rogue One and Solo are included!
14. Dryden Vos
I literally could not remember who the villain in Solo was up until this point. Seriously. I’ve watched that movie twice and I never remember that he exists because I get too caught up in whatever is going with Qi’ra at the end--which is more interesting than whatever this man is doing, if I’m going to be honest. All I really know is that Han was in his debt and if I remember correctly, he found Qi’ra just chilling there with him. That’s all I’ve got to say about him.
13. Captain Phasma
I consider myself a warrior on Phasma’s behalf. I think she’s really, really cool. I read Delilah S. Dawson’s novel about her, and that was absolutely compelling. Honestly, one of the more interesting origin stories I’ve ever read. I definitely recommend it if you ever get bored. That being said, she doesn’t really have a large role in the movies. She gets blackmailed into helping Finn and Han take the shields down, and she nearly executes Finn and Rose in The Last Jedi. I think she was underutilized, since a strong, dedicated stormtrooper isn’t something we’ve ever seen in a Star Wars film before and she would’ve made a very interesting adversary for Finn. Unfortunately, she died in The Last Jedi (albeit in a really well-done fight with Finn), so that ended her character arc.
12. General Grievous
Alright, I know he’s a lot cooler in The Clone Wars. However, I haven’t actually seen the series yet (I know, I’m fake), so I can’t vouch for him in that. Sure, he’s a really nice foil to Obi-Wan, but they really didn’t fight for that long in Revenge of the Sith, and he doesn’t quite stay relevant long enough to make a lasting impression on me like some of these other characters do. Maybe I should find a book about him. Bonus points for his one-wheeled motorcycle thing, though. That’s really cool, and I do think he’s interesting. He’s just not one of my personal favorites.
11. Supreme Leader Snoke
And here we have yet another sequel trilogy villain with a lot of potential that never really went anywhere! He’s only ranked higher than Grievous because when I went to see The Force Awakens, I found this guy absolutely terrifying. Other than that, he doesn’t really do anything. He’s really tall, and he’s creepy looking, and we know that he’s got to be powerful, but other than that? We don’t know anything about him! I guess part of that mystery is supposed to make him creepier? I don’t know. I think he could have been really, really interesting, but he was killed for--very cool--narrative purposes in The Last Jedi, which dashed my hopes of figuring anything else out about him. I just wish he had been kept alive--though wounded--to prevent the resurrection of Palpatine in order to have a villain for The Rise of Skywalker.
10. Count Dooku
I’ll admit it. He’s only this high on the list because Christopher Lee plays him remarkably well. Most prevalent in Attack of the Clones, Count Dooku’s lightsaber battle with Yoda stands out as one of my favorite moments in the entire prequel trilogy. His death also brought us one of the most iconic Star Wars lines of all time (“Do it!”), which shouldn’t boost his ranking, but it does. Even though he’s not in the series for long, I still think Count Dooku is a really interesting villain who--like many others--could have been something great. Also, Darth Tyranus is an awesome villain name.
9. Boba Fett
I think it’s been stated as an unpopular opinion so many times that it’s now a popular opinion, but I think Boba Fett is just the tiniest bit overrated. Don’t get me wrong--he is really, really cool, but as far as villains go, I don’t consider him to be one of the best. I think it’s a question of screen time. He had the groundwork of a great character, especially with the added background of the prequels, but right as we started to see him really come to life, he died. If he’d had just another ten or twenty minutes of screentime, I can guarantee that he’d be so much higher on this list.
8. Darth Maul
Darth Maul is the best part of The Phantom Menace. I’m not going to lie to you. However, he doesn’t have very many lines of dialogue or very much screentime, so he’s kind of lost amidst whatever else was happening in that movie. Like I said before, I haven’t seen The Clone Wars, so I’m not really an authority on Darth Maul. I do think he’s really cool, and I’m interested to see if my opinion of him changes when/if I ever get caught up on the show.
7. Director Krennic
He’s probably just on my mind because I recently rewatched Rogue One, but dang. I hate this man with my whole heart. The only reason he’s so high is because, unlike some of these other villains, he actually acts out against the people he’s opposing. He shoots Lyra Erso and forces Galen to return with him within the first five minutes of the movie. Sure, he’s overshadowed by Darth Vader and CGI Moff Tarkin, but he’s as cold and calculating as they come, and by the end of the movie, I wanted nothing more than to see him get what he deserved at the hands of the rebels he hated so much.
6. General Hux
This one’s a personal preference. Remember how I mentioned that Captain Phasma book I read? Yeah, Hux was a pretty important character in that, and he was bone-chilling. Not only that, but I think his viewpoint of not caring who wins as long as Kylo Ren loses in The Rise of Skywalker is really interesting from a character standpoint. His speech on the stairs in The Force Awakens was terrifying to little me, and even now, it gives me chills because he’s just so committed to this unspeakable crime. It’s fascinating, even if he’s objectively a bad person. Unfortunately, he never really grew past that and became sort of the butt of the joke in The Last Jedi. Then, right when his arc was going to get interesting again, he was shot. Shame.
5. Jabba the Hutt
I genuinely hate everything about Jabba the Hutt. A lot of these other characters I love to hate, and I think they’re really interesting, but everything about him makes me want to punch his gooey face. He’s just so sleazy, and that’s what makes him effective. I’ve never met somebody who likes Jabba. He’s the Dolores Umbridge of the Star Wars fandom, and dislike of him runs rampant. It’s the one thing everyone can agree on, and I really appreciate that. I still don’t like him, though. Ugh.
4. Grand Moff Tarkin
This man is so iconic that even as a CGI rendering in Rogue One, he still manages to steal the show. He is what the sequel trilogy was trying to do with General Hux. He’s a formidable military leader, and he’s willing to step on anybody to get what he wants. I know I greatly disliked him in the movie, which I’m pretty sure I was supposed to, but I still think he’s an absolutely fantastic villain, even if his time onscreen did get cut short by the Death Star exploding. Also, have you seen him in The Clone Wars? He just looks like a bad guy.
3. Kylo Ren
I’m partial to Kylo Ren, since I grew up watching him terrorize the galaxy and all my favorite characters. Still, he’s a really interesting villain, even if I did spend a few days thinking he was just a whiny teenager with attachments to the past. He started off kidnapping a character I’d already gotten really attached to, and everything was just more intense from there. I remember when he tortured Rey in The Force Awakens, which, as a twelve-year-old Rey stan, was positively petrifying. And then, just a few minutes later, he killed Han Solo! His struggle with the light is one of my favorite things about the new trilogy because it’s just so interesting to watch unfold. I genuinely like him, which isn’t something I can say about some of the other villains on this list, and all in all, I think he was a compelling character to learn more about.
2. Sheev Palpatine
I understand that for the most part, he’s referred to as the Emperor. However, I think the name Sheev is really funny, so I’m using it. He’s incredibly manipulative, and he knows just how to get what he wants, which is creepy. He’s able to gain a position of power, and by the time anyone realizes who he really is, it’s too late to do anything about it. It’s his fault we have Darth Vader, since he seduced young Anakin to the Dark Side. Even though I didn’t really like his return as a villain in The Rise of Skywalker, I found his assurances that no matter how Rey struck him down, he’d always find a way to return particularly haunting. That doesn’t mean I want him to come back, by the way. Overall, I think Palpatine is one of the best Star Wars villains--and one of the best villains ever written in general. Also, Force lightning and the name Darth Sidious. That’s all.
1. Darth Vader
Who else would be in the number one slot? Perhaps the most iconic cinematic villain of all time, Darth Vader is the epitome of evil. He rules through terror and isn’t afraid to destroy the people who disagree with him. Even in the prequel trilogy, when he is simply Anakin Skywalker, his descent into darkness is not only frightening, but pretty dang compelling to watch as well. He won’t stop until the entire galaxy is under his rule. He also serves as an amazing reminder that nobody is beyond redemption, seen when he saves Luke from being turned into Luke Steakwalker by Force lightning in Return of the Jedi. He’s the catalyst for all the events of the saga, from The Phantom Menace to Kylo Ren’s desire to be just like him in the sequel trilogy. Though Luke may be the main character, without Vader, there would be no Star Wars, and for that, I’ve got to rank him as the best villain of all time.
I realize that my opinions are probably controversial at best, and they’re really sketchy. Please feel free to disagree with me and let me know your thoughts!