Welcome to Star Wars Saturdays! Our Star Wars Fan Panel – a group of big time Star Wars fans – has gathered to talk all things from a Galaxy Far Far Away!
On Saturdays we share our thoughts on ranking anything and everything in the Star Wars galaxy! What makes us different? We vote with our hearts. Our lists are our top FAVORITE things about each Star Wars category. We believe there are already too many critical lists, artistry lists, film making lists… yadda yadda… we are simply talking about our FAVORITES – as all fans do.
Our merry band of rebel fans are:
Brer Brooke (@brer.burke)
Chris B (@thedisneynationtm)
Joe N (@joseph.nicholas35)
Jon Gus (thejonnygus)
And yours truly, Keith – founder of @mindofmodernman and @dadventuredisney
You can follow the Star Wars Panel on Instagram for all our updates!
This week – 13 (a baker’s dozen!) of us take on the task of ranking our favorite characters in the Star Wars universe.
This was a BEAST of a question for all of us. We were allowed to vote for characters from the movies, the television shows, the video games, the books, the comics and anywhere else that a Star Wars character was introduced.
Picking your favorite SW characters is like trying to choose between your favorite memories as a child – how do you rank them? Some are easy, others – there was quite the fight to keep people from getting chopped off the list.
All together, the 13 of us nominated 34 different characters. WOW. That’s a lot of favorites. There are the standards – the Mount Rushmore of Star Wars – who you would expect, but a lot of names that make you smile when you see they made it into the Top 10 ballots.
15 votes came from characters who originated in the Original Trilogy, 8 from SW Television, 5 from the Prequels, 4 from the Disney Films, 1 from the Star Wars Stories and 1 from Books. A mixed bag, for sure! In fact, only ONE character made it on to all 13 ballots! Can you guess who?
Check out which characters made our Top 10 and stick around as I break it all down in the text below the list. THEN – hit the comments and share YOUR thoughts.
On to the list… Punch it!
First Seen: A New Hope
Top 10 Score: 2.54. Nominated on 7 ballots.
Wookiepedia: R2-series astromech droid manufactured by Industrial Automaton with masculine programming. A smart, spunky droid who would serve a multitude of masters over his lifetime, R2-D2 was never given a full memory wipe (apart from a partial wipe of select information by Cad Bane during the senate hostage crisis) nor did he ever receive new programming, with these factors resulting in an adventurous and independent attitude. Often finding himself in pivotal moments in galactic history, his bravery and ingenuity saved the galaxy on numerous occasions.
Where have we seen this little droid? Well, he was in EVERY single one of the 9 Skywalker Saga films. He was in the Clone Wars TV show and showed up on Rebels, too. A cameo in Rogue One happened, numerous video games, books and other appearances. R2 seems to always be there.
Did You Know: R2 is so culturally loved, he showed up (in different ways) in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness as well as Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.
Highest Vote: 2nd Place (1x).
First Seen: Revenge of the Sith
Top 10 Score: 2.62. Nominated on 4 ballots. 2 first place votes.
Wookiepedia: Kaleesh male warlord who served as a commanding officer in the military forces of the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the last years of the Galactic Republic. Although he was known by his rank as a general, Grievous was the Supreme Commander of the Separatist Droid Army that engaged the Grand Army of the Republic throughout the pan-galactic conflict of the Clone Wars. Noted for his ruthlessness and extensive cybernetic enhancements, Grievous inspired fear as he traveled across the galaxy, invading entire worlds and engaging the Jedi Knights of the Republic.
Man or machine? Fans weren’t sure what to think when Grievous showed up first in Revenge of the Sith. However, he really became beloved during his involvement with the The Clone Wars show.
Did You Know: Grievous’ infamous cough was voiced by the Creator – George Lucas, himself!
Highest Vote: 1st Place (2x).
First Seen: A New Hope
Top 10 Score: 2.69. Nominated on 5 ballots.
Wookiepedia: Wookiee warrior, smuggler, and resistance fighter who fought in the Clone Wars, the Galactic Civil War, and the conflict between the First Order and the Resistance. He hailed from the planet Kashyyyk and became a Wookiee military leader.
The big walking carpet was always there for us. He’s in all three Original trilogy films, the three Disney films, Solo, and is a big part of Galaxy’s Edge at the Disney Parks. If you wanted a best friend from the SW Universe, you can’t do any better than Chewbacca.
Did You Know: Chewbacca’s voice doesn’t contain ANY human elements. The sound designers use a combination of a black bear, a badger, a lion, and a walrus. The mixes all depend on the ’emotion’ Chewie is trying to convey.
Highest Vote: 3rd Place (4x).
First Seen: The Star Wars Christmas Special | Empire Strikes Back
Top 10 Score: 2.85. Nominated on 5 ballots. 2 first place votes.
Wookiepedia: Mandalorian human male bounty hunter whose genetic code spawned an army of clone troopers during the final years of the Galactic Republic. With his customized Mandalorian armor, deadly weaponry, and the fearsome Slave I as his starship, Boba carried on his “father’s” legacy by becoming one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy, during the reign of the Galactic Empire. Trained in combat and martial skills from a young age, he became a legend over the course of his career, which included contracts for the Empire and the criminal underworld.
Why do we love him so much? Cause he was a BAD ASS action figure! He could fly. He had weapons in his suit. He had cool armor. Did he survive the Sarlacc Pit? According to recent casting news for The Mandalorian – sure seems like it.
Did You Know: Boba Fett’s costume design didn’t come from Ralph McQuarrie. Many credit the look to Joe Johnston, who worked as a concept artist on Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Johnson the “Father of Boba Fett” went on to work on the Star Wars sequels, and direct Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, The Rocketeer, Jumanji, Jurassic Park III, and Captain America: The First Avenger.
Highest Vote: 1st Place (2x).
First Seen: The Mandalorian
Top 10 Score: 3.08. Nominated on 8 ballots.
Wookiepedia: Din Djarin, commonly known as “the Mandalorian” or “Mando” for short, was a human male Mandalorian who worked as a bounty hunter during the New Republic Era. With his Mandalorian armor and distinctive beskar helmet, Djarin was both well-equipped and enigmatic—a stranger whose past was shrouded in mystery to others. Orphaned and raised as a foundling, he was trained to become a Mandalorian warrior and eventually joined the Tribe, who operated on Nevarro. Djarin became battle-hardened, a man of few words, and a formidable hunter in an increasingly dangerous galaxy.
Two Mandalorian fighters in a row on our list – we love some Mandos! Even with only one season on Disney+, The Mandalorian has quickly become a true Star Wars fan favorite. Thank goodness for Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau! Oh, and Baby Yoda, too…
Did You Know: During the first episode when the “bounty” is looking through the carbonite bounties, one of them is Star Wars creator George Lucas. He keeps popping up!
Highest Vote: 4th place (1x).
First Seen: Empire Strikes Back
Top 10 Score: 3.31. Nominated on 7 ballots.
Wookiepedia: Jedi Master who witnessed the rise and fall of the Galactic Republic, followed by the rise of the Galactic Empire. Small in stature but revered for his wisdom and power, Yoda trained generations of Jedi, ultimately serving as the Grand Master of the Jedi Order. Having lived through nine centuries of galactic history, he played integral roles in the Clone Wars, the rebirth of the Jedi through Luke Skywalker, and unlocking the path to immortality.
When we first heard Frank Oz’s voice come from the little green puppet, we were all hooked. He may have sounded a bit like Fozzie Bear or Miss Piggy, but he was the legend we all wanted in our lives. He was in Empire and Return, all three Prequels (kicking some major butt) and his showing up in The Last Jedi was one of the best moments of the much maligned film.
Did You Know: Yoda’s style of speech derives from real human behavior. Object Subject Verb languages – such as the one that Yoda employs – are actually believed by researchers to be what all human languages evolved from some 50,000 years ago. According to researches, Object Subject Verb order is the way that kids learn to talk, and is actually prevalent in more than half of the 2,000 modern languages of Earth.
Highest Vote: 2nd Place (2x).
A New Hope
Top 10 Score: 3.38. Nominated on 8 ballots. 1 first place vote.
Wookiepedia: Force-sensitive human female political and military leader who served in the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Imperial Era and the Resistance in the subsequent New Republic Era. Adopted into the House of Organa, the Alderaanian royal family, she was the Princess of Alderaan, a planet in the Core Worlds known for its dedication to pacifism. Organa was raised as the daughter of Senator Bail Organa and his wife, Queen Breha Organa, making her the heir to the Alderaanian monarchy. Instilled with the values of her adopted homeworld, Organa devoted her life to the restoration of democracy by opposing authoritarian regimes such as the Galactic Empire and the First Order.
She may have become a General, but Leia will always be our Princess. To witness a female lead hold her own with Han, Luke and the boys was a great sight for us all to see. She paved the way for strong, brash heroines who followed.
Did You Know: Leia was the best shot in the movies? According to a very industrious Reddit user, amongst the original trilogy characters Leia reigns supreme with a 66% hit ratio. Good thing too, as her hubby, Han Solo, had an unimpressive 57%.
Highest Vote: 1st Place (1x)
First Seen: A New Hope
Top 10 Score: 4.54. Nominated on 7 ballots. 2 first place votes.
Wookiepedia: Force-sensitive human male and a legendary Jedi Master and member of the Jedi High Council during the Fall of the Republic. During the Age of the Empire, he went by the alias of Ben Kenobi in order to hide from the regime that drove the Jedi to near extinction in the aftermath of the Clone Wars. A noble man known for his skills with the Force, Kenobi trained Anakin Skywalker as his Padawan, served as a Jedi General in the Grand Army of the Republic, and became a mentor to Luke Skywalker prior to his death.
Wether it’s Sir Alec Guinness, Ewan McGregor or the animated version – we love Obi-Wan. Very often throughout his time in the Star Wars universe, he truly was our ‘only hope’. A perfect combination of wisdom, compassion, battle skills, and heart – he was truly a special guy.
Did You Know: Obi-Wan was the Dr. Doolittle of the Jedi Order? Remember, the first thing you hear from Obi-Wan was a Force assisted animal call. That’s right, one of Obi-Wan’s official Force abilities is his ability to imitate the sound of an animal, in this case a krayt dragon. And, let’s not forget how he was able to tame beasts during the Prequels.
Highest Vote: 1st Place (2x)
First Seen: A New Hope
Top 10 Score: 5.00. Nominated on 10 ballots. 2 first place votes.
Wookiepedia: Known only as Han until being given the surname Solo by an Imperial recruitment officer, and also known as Cadet 124-329 when serving as an Imperial cadet, was a human male smuggler. He became a leader in the Alliance to Restore the Republic and an instrumental figure in the defeat of the Galactic Empire during the Galactic Civil War. He hailed from Corellia and became a smuggler in the employ of Jabba the Hutt, even completing the Kessel Run in just twelve parsecs with his prized ship, the Millennium Falcon. He married Organa, and the two had a son, Ben Solo. The boy struggled with the dark side of the Force—like his mother, who was the daughter of Darth Vader and twin sister of Luke Skywalker, Ben was Force-sensitive—so Organa sent him to be trained as a Jedi by Skywalker. He was seduced to the dark side by Snoke, Supreme Leader of the First Order, resulting in the destruction of Skywalker’s attempt to rebuild the Jedi Order. Having lost their son, Solo left and returned to smuggling, and even lost the Millennium Falcon to numerous thieves. He continued to smuggle until he was brought back into the fight by a scavenger named Rey.
A scoundrel, a pilot, a General, a husband and a pretty lousy father. Doesn’t matter, we love Han. Every appearance of Han Solo just came across as ‘cool’ and we all wanted to be him. Funny, smart and the best instincts in the universe – he was the perfect disgruntled hero we could ask for.
Did You Know: George Lucas based Solo’s attitude on Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola. Lucas was friends with Coppola and infused his smooth-talking and swagger into Han Solo.
Highest Vote: 1st Place (2x)
A New Hope
Top 10 Score: 7.38. Unanimously nominated on all ballots. 3 first place votes.
Wookiepedia: Force-sensitive human male, was a Jedi Knight of the Galactic Republic and the Chosen One of the Force. During the Clone Wars, his accomplishments as a battlefield commander earned him the Hero With No Fear moniker. After turning to the dark side of the Force, he became known as Darth Vader, a Dark Lord of the Sith and apprentice to Emperor Darth Sidious. As a Sith Lord, Vader turned against his former comrades and hunted the surviving Jedi into near extinction. He became an enforcer of the Galactic Empire, who worked to crush the Alliance to Restore the Republic for opposing his Sith Master’s will. Yet despite his actions as Darth Vader, a glimmer of the light side of the Force remained within the former Anakin Skywalker.
Vader (Anakin) was the through-line of every Skywalker Saga film. His rule and connection with Luke in the Originals, his path to Vader in the Prequels, and Kylo Ren’s obsession in the Disney three. He was big, bad and scared us (in a good way) when he first walked through those doors in A New Hope. He blew our minds with the biggest cinematic reveal in Empire and redeemed himself in Return of the Jedi. He showed up in Rebels, built C-3PO, trained Ashoka, and was the most amazing moment of Rogue One. Can you even call yourself a Star Wars fan if you don’t own SOMETHING with Darth Vader on it?
Highest Vote: 1st Place (3x)
PHEW! That was a marathon of work on all of our parts. I’m shocked at where some of these characters landed on our list, amazed to see some omissions too.
Are you curious who else made our 34 nominations? Well, let’s put all the cards on the table. Shall we?
11. Darth Maul 2.23 6 votes
12. Ashoka Tano 2.23 5 votes
13. Luke Skywalker 1.92 4 votes
14. The Child “Baby Yoda” 1.62 5 votes
15. Kylo Ren/Ben 1.54 5 votes
16. Rey (do we have to call her Skywalker now?) 1.08 5 votes
17. BB8 1.00 3 votes
18. C3PO 0.85 2 votes
19. Grand Admiral Thrawn 0.69 3 votes
20. Sabine Wren 0.62 1 vote
(all with 1 vote, unless noted)
21. Jabba the Hutt 2 votes
22. Mace Windu 2 votes
23. Wicket 2 votes
25. **SEE BELOW**
27. Senator/Emperor Palpatine
28. Captain Rex
29. Count Dooku
30. Kanan Jarrus 2 votes
31. Jango Fett
33. Grand Moff Tarkin
34. Poe Dameron
** Our Biggest Surprise And a TRUE Fan Hero was #25 – Showing on TWO Ballots. The Man. The Myth…
Ok.. on to my thoughts and break down…
With only one season of a show – Mando has risen to a spot of such love amongst SW fans – getting as high as 4th place on one ballot. I thought we might see Baby Yoda on the Top 10, but happy to see Mando taking a spot.
I cannot believe General Grievous is even on this list. If you asked me my top 40, not sure he’d make it there. Truly each to their own, I guess.
How do you do a Star Wars character list and Luke Skywalker isn’t there? Says a lot how the specter of “Grumpy Luke” hangs over fans and taints the character.
I love the smaller characters that showed up like Jek Porkins or Jabba or Wicket. I LOVE that Grand Admiral Thrawn made the list. Ever since I read Heir to the Empire, I was hooked on the character. Although, I must admit, I ‘forgot’ to add him to my ballot.
K2SO was the best character in Rogue One for me (one of the very few I liked) – so if anyone had to make it – glad it’s him.
In a future poll, I’ll ask the crowd about their favorite secondary or “overlooked” character.
Doesn’t seem killing many people in an evil way sways us from liking a character. We had 8 “bad guys” on there! Besides Lord Vader in the #1 spot, we also had Boba and Jango Fett, Grievous, Darth Maul, Thrawn, Jabba, Count Dooku and the Emperor!
We love our droids too with 5 on the list. R2 led the way followed by BB8, C3PO, K2SO, and Chopper.
I end with one really pressing question…. how is Han Solo NOT on every list? Two of us decided he didn’t fit in the Top 10 favorites. I don’t judge (too much) but I’m really curious how he didn’t end up on the list.
What’s your order? Who are your favorites in the Star Wars Universe? Who didn’t make our 34 as a glaring mistake in your eyes? Would you vote for young Obi-Wan or old Obi-Wan? SO many questions to get the ball rolling below.
Hit the comments and let us know. Or head over to our Instagram Page and hit us up there, too!
On behalf of the Star Wars Fan Panel, thank you for reading and we’ll see you next time for another Star Wars Saturday.