The 10 Best 'Star Wars' Characters In Canon
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First introduced in 1977, the Star Wars universe has expanded exponentially from a pioneering concept to one of the world's largest sci-fi franchises, with the introduction of a great many characters in movies, TV series, books, and video games. Narrowing the scope down to canon, here is a top 10 list of the best Star Wars characters.
The famous Wookiee has seen a lot in the galaxy. Standing at 2.3 meters tall, Chewbacca has served on the side of good since defending his homeworld alongside Jedi at the Battle of Kashyyyk during the Clone Wars, later fighting against the Empire during the Galactic Civil War. A mighty warrior and loyal friend, Chewbacca a.k.a. "Chewie" has always been one of the trustiest companions. Being Han Solo's co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, he is also an expert in advanced technology and machines, proving himself as a faithful and indispensable member of the Galactic Republic, Rebel Alliance, and Resistance.
9. Ahsoka Tano
First introduced in the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated movie, the young Togruta Jedi did not connect with some audiences at first, initially being seen as an irritating youngster who was too big for her britches. However, Ahsoka underwent significant character development throughout The Clone Wars animated series, evolving from a cocky, over-confident padawan to a wise and powerful young Jedi. Wielding dual lightsabers and at one point leaving the Jedi Order, Ahsoka returns toward the end of the Clone Wars as an "unaligned" Force user of the light to serve the greater public good. Discovering the truth of the clone troopers' inhibitor chips, saving her close friend Captain Rex, and eventually confronting her fallen master, Ahsoka has been instrumental in the post-Republic period and Rebellion effort, becoming one of the most popular characters in the new Star Wars era.
8. Darth Maul
The raging Sith warrior was once described as "the Boba Fett of the prequels" - an intimidating villain with very few lines in the movie. Darth Maul demonstrated his superior lightsaber dueling skills in The Phantom Menace, but it was The Clone Wars and Rebels animated shows that dived deep into his history and character. After surviving being cut in half by Obi-Wan, Maul sought revenge by pairing up with Savage Oppress, taking over Mandalore, and building a galaxy-wide criminal syndicate. Notably, he was also practically the only one who saw through the masterplan of Darth Sidious, despite falling short of stopping him after failing to convince Ahsoka to join forces and kill the Chosen One who was "the key to everything." His character arc best culminated into a final showdown with Obi-Wan on Tatooine, where he was poetically defeated by his old rival with a counter-move that was a callback to their first duel on Naboo. One could very much feel sympathy for the Zabrak warrior, who was after all a blindly driven by anger and hatred that eventually consumed him, making him a well-crafted, meaningful and tragic villain in Star Wars.
7. Leia Organa
The princess of Alderaan has captured fans' hearts since her very first appearance in A New Hope. A mixture of courage, strength, kindness, and sense of justice, Leia embodied a symbol of hope in the war-torn galaxy under the tyrannical rule of the Empire. Being a founding member and cornerstone of the Rebel Alliance, she has proved herself to be a charismatic leader and brave warrior, ultimately helping in leading the Rebellion to victory through the destruction of the two Death Stars. More admirably, she never stood down from a noble cause, taking up the important task to build a new republic for the greater good of the galaxy and eventually the Resistance, with her legacy being carried on for the years to come.
6. Han Solo
The Corellian hotshot pilot of the Millennium Falcon certainly makes the list as one of the biggest household names of Star Wars - the smuggler-turned-rebellion-hero has always been an iconic character of the franchise, having the smugness of a scoundrel but also the heart and bravery of a fighter for justice. As the heart-throb in the original trilogy, Han Solo stole fans' hearts not only with his flamboyance and romantic relationship with the beloved princess, but also through his readiness in springing into action against hordes of stormtroopers and squadrons of TIE fighters. Coupled with an intriguing backstory in Solo and further development of his fatherhood of Kylo Ren/Ben Solo in the sequels, Han's character has drawn come full circle, thus positioning hum as one of the best characters in Star Wars canon.
5. Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious
The notorious Sith lord in the modern Star Wars chronology is undoubtedly one of the most well-developed villains in Star Wars, especially as portrayed in the prequels. While fans are first introduced to Emperor Palpatine as the purely evil leader of the Empire, his storyline and development became much more interesting when set out throughout the three prequel movies - beginning as a senator for Naboo, rising to power as Chancellor and becoming the puppet master behind the intergalactic war between the Republic and the Separatists, it was truly mind-blowing to see the seemingly ordinary politician gradually reveal his plans and true identity as one of the most feared Sith in galactic history. His wickedness, cunning strategy, and grand masterplan truly made him one of the best characters in Star Wars, especially with the culmination of The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and The Clone Wars series into the climatic downfall of the Republic by his evil hands in Revenge of the Sith.
"Do, or do not, there is no try" - the wisdom of the old Jedi grandmaster is among the many things that puts Yoda among the best characters in Star Wars. Apart from his superb and nimble dueling skills with his emerald lightsaber and unique, short physique, Yoda is best known for his words of wisdom imparted not only on Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy, but also the audience watching the silver screen. As one of the very few Jedi survivors after Order 66, Yoda decided to go into exile on Dagobah to return to primitive nature. However, even after the fall of the Republic, the green Jedi continued to play a pivotal role in the galaxy by training Luke Skywalker, the young hero that put an end to the Empire's rule and brought light back to the galaxy. At 900 years of age, he had seen through many things, making him one of the wisest characters in Star Wars that transcends his teachings beyond the fourth wall to people in real life.
3. Obi-Wan Kenobi
While Yoda is undoubtedly full of wisdom and immensely powerful, Obi-Wan is (in my opinion) portrayed as an even wiser Jedi in the movies and shows. Notably, his resistance to fall to the dark side despite all he has gone through is truly impressive and admirable. Despite witnessing his master being killed by a Sith assassin, watching his love interest Satine die before his eyes, losing his padawan and close friend to the dark side, and being forced to exile on Tatooine, Obi-Wan has nonetheless followed the Jedi way, stayed benevolent and remained as a competent warrior. Ultimately, he even sacrificed his life to empower young Luke Skywalker to become a great Jedi and hero of the galaxy. His pursuit of negotiation and non-violent resolution before drawing out his lightsaber further demonstrates his commitment to peace, making him one of the best, if not the best Jedi in Star Wars.
(Not to forget his extremely memeable content - HELLO THERE)
2. Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker is easily among the best characters in Star Wars. His journey from a farmboy on Tatooine to hero of the Rebellion was developed in great detail, particularly for his evolution from an eager but unprepared aspiring Jedi knight in The Empire Strikes Back to his confident and powerful reappearance in Return of the Jedi. A highlight of his character is his belief in the light, as demonstrated by his refusal to be tempted to the dark by Palpatine on board the second Death Star, and his successful efforts to turn his father back to the light side that led to the Empire's demise. His undertaking to carry on his strength and dedication to rebuild the Jedi Order further displays his true heart of passion and justice, and fans were most excited to see his return in the The Mandalorian season 2 finale, when he took Grogu off to train a new generation of Jedi.
1. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
The character of Anakin Skywalker is arguably the best not only in Star Wars, but also when squared up against other sci-fi franchises. Chronologically, his development over the six movies and TV series makes him one of the most memorable characters with a meaningful arc. Throughout the events of the prequels and The Clone Wars series, we see the fully understandable factors gradually contributing to Anakin's loss of faith and growing resentment against the Jedi, such as the departure of his padawan due to the Jedi Council's hypocrisy and entanglement with politics. Struggling with his emotional attachments with his late mother and wife, the fall of the Chosen One was tragically perfect, ending with a heartbreaking duel between him and his former master that sealed his fate of becoming Darth Vader. The best part of his character came when he redeemed himself with the encouragement by his son and returning to the light, dying in peace upon realizing that there was light in him after all. Not only did Anakin Skywalker draw the perfect ending to the original trilogy, but it was also a happy ending that makes him the most memorable character in the Star Wars universe.
Written By Geoff Lo
Syndicated From Culture Slate