Star Wars is arguably the most popular movie franchise of all time. And its impression has lasted generations. This is going back to the groundbreaking 1977 film where creator and director George Lucas introduced us to another dimension of completely unique characters and a brand-new way of experiencing the movies. This list constitutes the people, creatures, bad guys and rebels that have enabled Star Wars to sustain a popularity that will inevitably last until the end of time.
She is the central figure of the film’s sequel events. She is a sort of orphan lost in space. This head strong girl comes to realize her innate talent as a tried-and-true Jedi warrior. The list of her enemies runs rampant though. Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke, and the ultimate Star Wars evil, Emperor Palpine. It’s here too that the franchise pulls one of its now legendary punches at familial relations. She’s also a brand-new hero for a new generation of girl fans!
He is the sinister Sith Lord who first came to the universe in Star Wars: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace (1999). And we all thought he died at the end…… but that was just the beginning! He is an uber-master of the force and forges his eventual return. Substituting his lower body with cybernetics, he then segregates himself from the rest of the stars. Upon surfacing again, Darth has become shadowy….. now fiendishly partnering with several criminals and other not-so-savory syndicates. He’s now a member of the Dark Side…….
Samuel L. Jackson chewed up the scenery with his portrayal of this Jedi Master in The Phantom Menace (1999). He is a member of the High Council but slowly begins to re-examine his beliefs of the universe after The Clone Wars. He loves the way of the Jedi yet doesn’t trust Anakin Skywalker. He is an essential component to the developing Soap Opera that is Star Wars!
This lady gets props for being one of the only women of color from the original trilogy of films. She is at Jabba the Hut’s mercy. She is the fat gangster’s mol. His alien side piece. A woman literally in chains. Femi Taylor played this prisoner, and her screen time was shortened after the final cut of Return of the Jedi (1983). Although, some of her performance was restored upon the release of the Special Extended version. Here, her true torment and desperation is further represented.
She has become a central protagonist in the modern-day visions of the Star Wars universe. She was in the animated feature Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) and has since been seen as, well a bitch. She’s snarky, self-indulgent, and a true daredevil. Yet, she’s trustworthy and ready and willing to protect the less fortunate. Those that are unable to protect themselves. She’s a consummate liar but uses this gift for the better in order to look out for her galaxy. She was supposed to become a Jedi Master, but felt deeply opposed to this position, eventually turning it down.
Harrison Ford began the Solo phenomenon single handedly when he originated this guy in the late ’70’s. He is officially a historical figure as well. The American Film Institute named him # 14 on their list of the greatest film heroes of all time. Director George Lucas described him as a loner who eventually realizes that being part of a group and helping for the better good is more important than yourself. Han is egotistical but when it comes down to it, he’s very insecure. He’s also the coolest protagonist in the Star Wars world. He is the flexible backbone to Luke Skywalker’s rigid, rule following school of thought.
This trash can was inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame in 2004 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My hometown! He is a legendary representation of machines, science fiction, and popular culture in general. He was one of the six droids to survive a smashup landing on an unknown planet. A relatively new comic book entitled Star Wars Special: C-3PO envisions how this little dude came to be. This work spells out how C-3 acquired his now famous red arm.
In the original films, this armored bounty hunter was only a supporting character. But his increasing popularity over the decades has given him more opportunities to appear again and again in subsequent Star Wars visions. Ultimately this guy was given his very own Disney + show, providing a platform to delve deeper into his interesting back story. His metallic helmet has become legendary. My brother and my nephew are hardcore devotees of this mystery man. They both wanted the mask for Christmas this past year!
She has become the sexual fantasy of sci fi nerds all over the world. She is a rebel Princess with a heart of steel and a mind to fix the galaxy. Carrie Fisher portrayed this fierce chick and like other Star Wars characters, her story grew deeper and deeper as the saga continued. Her life is opened up and the envelope reveals a woman with an unknown past and grievances she’ll ultimately reconsider.
A paramount antagonist in the prequels to the originals, this guy was a one-time smuggler for the FAT CAT Jabba the Hut. He was taught the Ways of the Force by his uncle Luke Skywalker but ultimately ended up on the Dark Side of stuff. He is also both Rey’s rival and intimate curiosity. Together they share the “Force Dyad”, eventually coming as one in order to destroy her grandfather, the creepiest of creeps Emperor Palpatine.
Din Djarin is a lonely bounty hunter in a galaxy far, far away. He is originally sequestered to find the child Grogu, but ultimately steals the infant away instead. All in order to safeguard the kid. The Mandalorian begins a long, lack luster filled journey to mollify Grogu’s relationship with his real family.
He made his first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back (1980). He is one of Hans Solo’s oldest friends and the managing director of the floating city we know as Bespin. He has lived as a con-artist, a convict, and a guy overtaken with a gambling addiction. But he’s also a savvy businessman through and through. And actor/Hollywood legend Billy Dee Williams rocks this renowned role! In fact, his appearances in subsequent films like The Rise of Skywalker (2019) have hexed Billy Dee proudly with the title of the MOST portrayals of a single character by the SAME actor in any film franchise in American movie history! Congrats Mr. Williams! Whatta paycheck!
Jabba the Hutt
This fat, disgusting piece of trash is the alien version of everything Soprano. He is mean, ugly, glutenous but also actually kind of funny! He gets his kicks from punishing those who cannot repay their debts. He’s also slimy and hungry. He has a community of otherworldly humanoid animals that have fallen at his blubber. In Space Balls (1987), director and comedian Mel Brooks gave this classic brute the greatest sarcastic shoutout, creating Pizza the Hut!
Chewie is a Wookie from the planet Kashyyk. He is Han Solo’s best friend. He’s 200 years old and stands 8 feet tall. He is covered in long bushy hair and speaks in his native tongue Shyriiwook. It’s a form of grunts and moans. It’s a dialogue that Solo totally understands though! These two really are kindred spirits.
These comrade-in-arms are, like many Star Wars personalities, iconic images and presences within the series. Everyone knows what they look like. They are the white warriors of the Galactic Empire. Darth Vader rules them and they obey his every command. They are personas that appear over and over in pretty much every Star Wars spinoff. They are the white warriors of the Galactic Empire. Darth Vader rules them and they obey his every command. They are visions of toughness and integrity in totality. They appear over and over in pretty much every spin off. They are legendary landmarks within the franchise.
Screenwriter Lawrence Kasden came up with this character during an early draft of The Force Awakens (2015). He and other Star Wars scribes originally considered a pirate or a merchant marine as the male lead. But Kasden went deeper, asking, “What if he’s a storm trooper that ran away??” And that was that! Interestingly, Finn’s Stormtrooper code name, FN-2187, is a direct reference to the cell in which Princess Leia was held in the original 1977 film.
Academy Award winning actress Natalie Portman (Black Swan, 2010) took on this role and delivered a nuanced, three-dimensional performance. Her character though, not Portman’s performance, brought division to the world of Star Wars and its fans. She’s incidentally introduced in Return of the Jedi (1983) but her first on-screen appearance occurs in The Phantom Menace (1999) as teen Queen of Naboo. She is anti-war and a liberal lieutenant for the Galactic Senate. She has been criticized for being a plot regression, yet her character is fundamentally essential to the eventual progression of the Star Wars world.
He is known to Star Wars nerds as “The Child”. He is from the same exact breed as Yoda and Jedi Master Yaddle. The New Republic Era showed him held at a hideout dictated by Nikto mercenaries on Aruala-7. He was eventually rescued but extradited to the edge of the galaxy. That sounds fun, right?! Not really actually……. He is a tiny force with a GIANT voice! A sort of Nelson Mandela of outer space.
This miniature, green colored humanoid alien is one of the most powerful and experienced possessors of the Force in the Star Wars galaxy. He was the mentor of Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Grandmaster of the Jedi order. Legendary puppeteer and Hollywood director Frank Oz originally voiced this timid sounding, cool as a cucumber frog like warrior. He eventually schooled Luke Skywalker in the ways of the light sword and the rest of his story is for the history books. A one of kind character.
He is a certified Jedi Knight and Sith Lord. The character who eventually evolves into the iconic Darth Vader. Like his son he was taught by the best, Obi-Won Kenobi. The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002), and Revenge of the Sith (2005) all uncover his childhood, taking time to unravel for us the reasoning behind his transformation to the Dark Side.
Sometimes spelled Artoo- Detoo, this is an astromech droid and C-3PO’s BFF. He is a robot trash can who has, with a handful of other Star Wars characters, appeared in every single subsequent film. Director Lucas came up with its name while making his earlier movie American Graffiti (1973). The sound editor on that production asked the young auteur’s assistant for Reel 2, dialog Track 2. He overheard the conversation, and immediately went to his typewriter. There, on that day, he coined the name R2-D2. It was a brilliant realization that could only have been birthed by a true cinematic storytelling genius.
This Rodian bounty hunter weirdo worked for Jabba the Hut…… much like most of them ALL did! He is actually a controversy within himself. He is now best known for his supposed “death” by Han Solo. He appears repeatedly in the Star Wars world with younger visions of his iconic mug.
As a kid, this character gave me goosebumps. In the best way possible though! I was obsessed with his piercing red eyes, raspy voice, and the unknown language that emerged from his lips. He was bizarre, unique, enticing. Everything a creative kid from suburbia searches for. He’s Jabba the Hut’s personal assistant and it’s no wonder why he was chosen for the job. He’s way more intimidating than the fat mafioso that hired him. He’s such a cool freak.
He looks like a human and a frog did it. Ya, the dirty yet BEAUTIFUL deed. He is a military leader for the Rebel Alliance. This amphibiman is truly, genuinely hardcore. Without his essential leadership, the Rebels would have been destroyed. He is a primary character in all kinds of Star Wars media. From comic books to video games, the Admiral has always been admired as a recognizably original presence.
This male Ewok scout is a warrior that played a key role in overthrowing the Galactic Empire. He was anti-Emperor Palpatine, who had constructed a shield over Wicket’s space in order to protect his second coming Death Star. Wicket is a staunch liberal. He is determined to defeat the Imperial War mongers.
Originally portrayed by Sir Alec Guinness, this thespian represented the only Oscar nomination for acting from the original 1977 film. With the popularity of the franchise came an instant love for this character. He has been depicted over and over again. Actor Ewan McGregor evoked this beloved guy in a younger, more virile celluloid vision. He is Luke Skywalker’s mentor, ultimately inducting his young protégé into the Jedi Hall of Fame. HIs presence in the subsequent films has always been appreciated by fans and the performers portraying him have never let the fans down!
This guy is our hero. He is the force behind the force. A singular young man who faces seemingly insurmountable hurdles in order to bring justice to the galaxy. His story is one of the most interesting in the series because of the hardships he must hurdle and the incestual back story that is famously, eventually, revealed. He is a trusted partner to the misfits who are behind him in his destiny to overcome the dark side. He is the Prince of Star Wars. An archetype of goodness and kindness in a universe filled with hate and shade.
The Emperor Palpatine
He’s the creepiest guy in the galaxy. And I LOVE him! As a kid I wasn’t a huge Star Wars (1977) fanatic, but he definitely stuck with me. He’s old, wrinkly and EVIL! I’m a sucker for an incredible bad guy and he is one of the most memorable of all time. Just when you thought Darth ruled the Dark Side this geriatric, hooded human worm comes in. Showing audiences who’s REALLY in charge!
He is the ultimate. The epidemy of Star Wars success. He is the foreboding villain who’s actually more than just a villain when it comes down to it. The complications of his character are slowly revealed throughout the process of the first three original films. Deeper still, further flicks have examined the ways in which he became the leviathan we identify him to be today. And James Earl Jones deserves so much credit here. Without his voice, I’m sure Vader wouldn’t have been so impactful.