I love Star Wars for many reasons. I love the characters whether they’re significant or not, I love the vast array of interesting planets, and I love the stories throughout all of the movies (maybe not so much the story of Attack of the Clones but that’s another topic.) Throughout all of the Star Wars films there is always a villain or villains and these notorious bad guys are part of the reason Star Wars is so great today.
Take the Star Wars merchandise for example. When I walk through Target and I see something affiliated with Star Wars who is the person usually on the products? Kylo Ren. His hooded masked face and his red lightsaber are so easily recognizable you don’t even have to look twice to know that the product has something to do with Star Wars. That’s how memorable the villains are in this sci-fi goliath.
I first wrote this post back in March of 2017 and now, after The Last Jedi, the time has come to update this list. Enjoy!
10. Count Dooku
Count Dooku is not a great Star Wars villain in the slightest. He never felt menacing, he never oozed scariness, and I never could take him seriously. Despite that though he was a rather powerful Sith lord, he helped set into motion the Clone Wars, he hired Jango Fett to kill Senator Padme Amidala, and he was the leader of the Seperatists. And so, because of those simple facts, he sits as tenth on this list.
9. Director Orson Krennic
Director Krennic barely made my top ten for a very valid reason…he’s kind of lame. If it weren’t for villains like the corny lightsaber-wielding machine General Grievous or the posh Count Dooku he would definitely be last on my list. Let me explain my reasons a little further.
Krennic does possess a very beautiful outfit. That white cape of his is so illustrious and gorgeous it’s really the only reason why he’s on my list but if you think about his role in Rogue One he really didn’t possess that frightening quality that I like Star Wars villains to have. Now, in the book Catalyst he was truly the villain he should’ve been in Rogue One. He was ruthless, conniving, witty, and as I read the book I was legitimately scared of him.
In Rogue One he was watered down considerably, I’m sure thanks to the extensive reshoots, and that is a shame. And yes, he ordered for Jyn Erso’s mother to be killed as well as Galen Erso’s assistant scientists but besides that he wasn’t very villainous. The real villain of the movie was Tarkin and that makes Krennic the white cape wearing lacky that he was. If you think about it, were he not to have that grand white outfit would he even be memorable…no! And that’s why he stands at number nine on my list.
8. Captain Phasma
Captain Phasma is an awesome villain for a couple of reasons. First, she’s the first and only (for now) female villain in Star Wars. That already makes her very special. Secondly, she’s the only stormtrooper to possess chrome armor and a cape which only that much cooler. The only reason why she’s not higher in the list is because she, unfortunately, was in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi for I’d say a combined total of twelve minutes, and that’s being generous. Her role in both films was menial and she really only served as a stepping stone for other characters. Now is she still an incredible villain, of course she is, but unless she manages to once again return from the “dead” and return in Episode IX she will always remain amongst the lower ranked villains.
7. General Hux
When I first saw General Hux in The Force Awakens I didn’t take him very seriously. He looked too young to be a general and he didn’t possess that menacing vibe that characters like Grand Moff Tarkin did. Then when General Hux made that wrathful, thunderous speech about annihilating the New Republic before watching Starkiller Base shoot its ginormous red laser into space with a look of stone cold pride upon his face I realized, “Wow, this guy is evil.” That scene right there completely changed my view of the young red haired general and I realized he is not one to mess with.
In The Last Jedi he was turned into more of a joke than in The Force Awakens but that didn’t exactly diminish his quality. In fact, he was about to murder Kylo Ren after he discovered Snoke’s cut up body but Kylo Ren jolted awake just in time. General Hux is a ruthless man and that’s why he’s on this list.
Snoke was, and still is, one of the most mysterious characters to ever appear in Star Wars. He had so much power it was scary. He was able to link Kylo Ren and Rey’s minds through the Force (what?!) and was able to summon lightning just like Palpatine, extract information from Rey through his torturous devices, and was overall very powerful in the Force. And yet in his immense glee to see Rey, who had defied him, get killed by Kylo Ren he wasn’t able to see that it was really him who Kylo Ren was about to murder. How could someone as powerful as he not feel that lightsaber turning towards him? Was he that greedy or just that foolishly blind to the truth?
I understand that killing him was the last step in evolving Kylo Ren’s character but could we at least have gotten a tad bit of backstory before he was gone? Despite the fact that he was so heavily underused in both movies during the brief moments when he was onscreen he definitely emitted that villainous vibe that Star Wars villains are supposed to have and that is why he definitely is on this list.
5. Grand Moff Tarkin
Grand Moff Tarkin is one of the most conniving villains in Star Wars and after Rogue One his status as a merciless mastermind of the Empire has been reinforced. Tarkin is a very memorable villain for his stone cold visage and his determination to make the Empire the most powerful faction in the galaxy. He’s also such a powerfu man that he could order Darth Vader around without the slightest fear in getting choked. That’s pretty incredible and that’s why he’s my fifth favorite Star Wars villain.
4. Emperor Palpatine
Emperor Palpatine is pure evil. I mean look at his picture. I shudder just looking at him. And his plan to wipe out the Jedi and take over the galaxy was so immaculately planned it’s frightening. The entire fate of the galaxy was wrapped around his little finger and not even the Jedi could sense his dastardly plan happening beneath their noses. If it wasn’t for Luke Skywalker’s resolve and Darth Vader’s sudden decision to become a good guy again the galaxy would’ve probably never torn itself from his tyrannical rule. But once again, like Snoke, it was greed and pure hate for Luke that blinded him from sensing Darth Vader about to pick him up and chuck him into the Death Star despite his immense power. Even though he’s ranked as fourth on this list he will always remain the scariest villain in Star Wars.
3. Darth Maul
Darth Maul is definitely one of the most ingenious characters of all the Star Wars films. He’s still the only force wielder to have a lightsaber with two blades on each side of the hilt making him extra special in the long list of Sith and Jedi in the movies, his martial arts fighting style is astounding and very memorable, and his look with the red and black face, yellow eyes, and horns spouting from his head give him a terribly frightening appearance. He’s unfortunately another one of those grand characters whose use in Star Wars was under utilized. And even though he’s in the Star Wars: Rebels show and made an appearance in Star Wars: The Clone Wars I don’t watch the cartoons so to me he’s still dead. It’s such a shame because he was clearly one of the coolest Sith ever and he should’ve had a larger role. Despite the lack of involvement he will always remain as one of my favorite villains.
2. Darth Vader
When I last wrote this post Darth Vader was clearly my favorite villain because at the time he was the best villain in Star Wars. The prequel trilogy had tarnished his legacy but Rogue One revitalized his epicness by turning him into a villain worth fearing again.
And the final scene with him in Rogue One is frighteningly incredible. Seeing him destroy all of those poor rebels is terrifying because you never realize just how scary he is until you see him fighting enemies that don’t have the Force. It’s a horrific sight. Darth Vader is back to being the terrifying Sith lord that we all know and love and while his number one spot has been dethroned he will always have a very, very special place in my heart.
1. Kylo Ren
I didn’t think it would happen. I didn’t think it was possible that Kylo Ren would end up becoming my favorite Star Wars villain but after The Last Jedi he totally has and this is why.
First, Adam Driver is a ridiculously fantastic actor. In The Force Awakens he was restricted by that glorious helmet of his and while he was a great villain who oozed menace and struck a tad of fear in me whenever he showed up I always felt like he was too much like Darth Vader and that he wasn’t original enough of a character. With Rian Johnson literally destroying his helmet I was able to fully get to know Kylo Ren and it was fascinating. Kylo Ren is a bonified jerk and yet Adam Driver is such a good actor I can’t help but actually sympathize and like Kylo Ren. He’s not purely evil like Emperor Palpatine nor is he stone cold like Darth Vader. He’s a human being whose experiences traumatized him and turned him into the monster that he is today. He wasn’t trying to turn evil. He woke up with Luke (his uncle!) standing over him with a lightsaber! What else was he supposed to do except to fight back?
He isn’t your typical villain because he isn’t a one-note villain. At times I hate him and then I times I love him. It’s incredible. One of the biggest problems movies sometimes have are having villains that are one note like Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. Their only purpose in the movies was to terrorize the heroes and further the good guy’s stories. Kylo Ren has been given a story as important as Rey’s and that’s a blast to watch.
Secondly, he actually is scary. It seems that everyone he wants dead ends up dying. He wanted to kill Han Solo and he did. He wanted Luke to die and Luke did end up dying. Now he wants to kill Rey and I’m scared for her. Will she fall under the Kylo Ren curse as well? I hope not. It seems that nearly every time Kylo Ren appears onscreen someone is going to fall victim to him and that is a scary thought. We’ll see who becomes his latest victim in Episode IX.
And third, he just looks really cool.
All in all, Kylo Ren is not just a villain, he’s an actual character with feelings, emotions, hopes and wants, and I’m super excited to see how his story ends in Episode IX.
So, these are my ten favorite villains in Star Wars. Maybe in the upcoming films there will be new baddies to rise in the ranks but until then this is my list. I thank you for reading and I hope you have a glorious day. May the Force Be With You.