There are a lot of characters in the six Star Wars movies released prior to The Force Awakens. Like, a lot a lot. And right now I’m going to rank the vast majority of them. It’s not everybody, of course, but at 223 entries, it’s still more thorough than any sane person would dare to attempt, certainly. And now, brace yourself, young padawan, for the final 50.
50. QUEEN JAMILLA (EP. II)
Queen of Naboo after the incessantly monotone Amidala, Jamilla had, like, a personality and varied her tone of voice and it was awesome.
49. NABOO HOLY MAN (EP. II)
A priest who wears a hood is always good in my book.
48. MON MOTHMA (EP. VI)
The political leader of the Rebellion, and stately as hell, to the point where she seemed convincingly sad about the deas bothans And her name has “moth” in it.
47. BUG-EYED DROID (EP. IV)
Of all the weird droids on the Jawa sandcrawler, this one looks most like he would eat you.
46. POLITE BATTLE DROID (EP. III)
Says, “Excuse me” in this shot as he moseys between Obi-Wan and Palpatine, and then hands our Jedi heroes’ lightsabers to General Grievous with a dejected “You’re welcome” after the boss fails to acknowledge his hard work.
45. DEREK “HOBBIE” KLIVIAN (EP. V)
Survives the Battle of Hoth and goes on to become a staple of the Expanded Universe because his death scene was cut from the movie.
44. INTERLOPING EXTRA (EP. V)
Han and Leia are having a heated argument in a busy hallway on Hoth and while everybody else walks around them, this dude barges through right when Han is insinuating that Leia likes having him around because she wants to kiss him. A true hero to the cause of multimedia entertainment.
43. RED LEADER (EP. IV)
Basically all the other pilots’ dad during the Battle of Yavin.
42. NOT-HAN SOLO (EP. IV)
Obi-Wan was chatting this guy up when he was looking for a ride off Tatooine but went with Han and Chewie instead. And to think this bro was so close to being the co-star of Star Wars.
41. THIS DUDE STANDING BEHIND JABBA (EP. VI)
It’s always a delight when I find some random person or thing doing something odd that I never noticed before. When Jabba’s platform moves up to watch the rancor fight Luke we discover this guy, standing at a table for who knows what reason. Props to that guy.
40. SNOW WHITE PROTOCOL DROID (EP. V)
I don’t know anything about this guy except that he gets destroyed when the Empire bombs the rebel base on Hoth. But the novelty factor is super high because he looks like somebody took a bucket of house paint to C-3PO.
39. DARTH MAUL (EP. I)
Definitely the best dancer in the whole series.
38. DUD BOLT (EP. I)
Not much of a looker, but I always played as this guy in Star Wars Episode I: Racer. I love Dud Bolt.
37. R5-D4 (EP. IV)
I had an R5 action figure when I was a kid. They actually made those.
36. WEDGE ANTILLES (EP. IV, V, VI)
Stuck in a fighter cockpit the entire trilogy until that great moment in Return of the Jedi when he gets to go to the ewok dance party.
35. BIGGS DARKLIGHTER (EP. IV)
Has flawless 70s hair and a great mustache, and died so Luke would have time to blow up the Death Star. The perfect man.
34. LAUGHING PIT DROID (EP. I)
He was laughing at Jar Jar, which automatically makes him a great character.
33. ADMIRAL PIETT (EP. VI)
Almost made it to the end of the trilogy, mostly because I guess Darth Vader was tired of murdering his ship captains by the end of The Empire Strikes Back. But even he couldn’t escape having an A-Wing crash into his face at the Battle of Endor. Speaking of which…
32. REBEL PILOT WHO CRASHED INTO THE SUPER STAR DESTROYER (EP. VI)
Singlehandedly took out the biggest ship in the Imperial fleet during the Battle of Endor by crashing his A-Wing into Admiral Piett’s face. Important!
30-31. THIS COUPLE WHO RAN THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF THIS SHOT (EP. I)
God bless you for this.
29. BOSSK (EP. V)
He’s basically a dinosaur, so I love him.
28. THIS JAWA (EP. IV)
It was the first jawa we ever saw, in the original Star Wars. Since every jawa looks the same and we never find out their names (in the movies, anyway), that means this is the best jawa by default.
27. E-3PO (EP. V)
C-3PO says hello and E-3PO replies with only “e chu ta,” the Star Wars equivalent of “go fuck yourself.”
26. TANGIBLE JABBA (EP. VI)
The puppet version of Jabba that exists on the physical plane is a great villain! I’m glad George never updated this version of him.
25. LOBOT (EP. V)
Has a computer in his brain and spins on his heel probably better than anyone else in the history of Star Wars.
24. PAPLOO (EP. VI)
Wins the title of “best ewok” for stealing a speeder bike and leading some scout troopers on a merry chase through the woods.
23. GENERAL VEERS (EP. V)
There aren’t many Imperial officers I’d say were cool – they tend to either come off as blustery or incessantly nervous – but Veers was one of them, acting confident even to Darth Vader’s face.
22. NIEN NUNB (EP. VI)
You may never understand what he’s saying, but this Sullustan pilot who rode shotgun in the Millennium Falcon was able to fly straight into our hearts anyway.
21. JEK PORKINS (EP. IV)
Died in the assault on the first Death Star without really doing anything, but he was fat and his name was Porkins and so we love him.
19-20. ORIGINAL R2 AND 3PO (EP. IV, V, VI)
The cutest couple in Star Wars.
18. REGULAR YODA (EP. V, VI)
As God and Frank Oz intended.
17. ADMIRAL ACKBAR (EP. VI)
The original trilogy has a lot of classic lines, and somehow this fish man was able to elevate something as mundane as “It’s a trap!” to that level.
16. ELAN SLEAZEBAGGANO (EP. II)
We love to make fun of some of the names George Lucas used to come up with, but he nailed it with this guy who wants to sell Obi-Wan some death sticks.
15. IMPERIAL CAPTAIN WHO GETS BLOWN UP BY AN ASTEROID (EP. V)
Until I saw The Empire Strikes Back in the theater in 1997 for the Special Edition release, I’d only ever watched it on fullscreen VHS, which cropped Disappearing Hologram Captain out of the picture. Suffice to say that 9-year-old me was very confused and excited when I saw him for the first time.
14. THE EMPEROR (EP. VI)
Palpatine really mellowed with age. He just sits there during the climactic lightsaber fight between Luke and Darth Vader. My kind of Emperor: lazy.
13. GRAND MOFF TARKIN (EP. IV)
When you imagine the sort of guy who’s the calm brains behind the interstellar Space Nazi Empire, it’s always a guy like Tarkin.
12. OLD OBI-WAN (EP. IV, V, VI)
He can’t wait to die.
11. THE ONE REALLY SMART STORMTROOPER (EP. IV)
This guy pops up holding some little metal thing like, “Look, sir, droids,” and his boss just nods as if he knows what that thing is or what it has to do with droids. I hope the smart guy got a promotion for that.
10. ACTUAL DARTH VADER (EP. IV, V, VI)
Best. Space Nazi. Ever.
9. DEAD ANAKIN SKYWALKER (EP. VI)
This is the only ghost of Anakin, and anyone who says otherwise is just making shit up.
8. LUKE SKYWALKER (EP. IV, V, VI)
Overcomes his small stature to become the star of the original trilogy. And he’s a dweeb and has a normal name so he’s relatable to nerds.
7. AUNT BERU (EP. IV)
Beru understands that dirt farming is not cool.
6. THE DEAD TAUNTAUN LUKE SLEPT INSIDE (EP. V)
Technically one of the greatest of all the Rebellion’s heroes since he saved both Han and Luke at the same time.
5. HAN SOLO (EP. IV, V, VI)
Women want him, and also men want him. Because he has probably 80 percent of all the best lines in the trilogy, and he definitely has the best blaster pistol. And he doesn’t care about anything or anybody, which really speaks to me as a millennial.
4. THE REAL SARLACC (EP. VI)
If you fall in there, you get slowly digested for 1000 years. I feel ill looking at this version of the Sarlacc also, but out of horror rather than annoyance. This maw has freaked me out since the first time I watched Return of the Jedi. I had a little sarlacc playset thing when I was a kid and it was my favorite toy.
3. CHEWBACCA (EP. III, IV, V, VI)
This flea-bitten furball/walking carpet is the most huggable member of the main cast. Has a huge personality despite speaking only in moans and roars. And he’s also the nicest one because he carries broken 3PO around on his back for a while in The Empire Strikes Back and I don’t think any of the others would have done that.
2. PRINCESS LEIA (EP. IV, V, VI)
She’s the boss of everybody, princess of an asteroid field, murderer of an giant talking glob of grease. Being a princess who takes a gun away from a man because she knows what to do with it better than he does is major points in her favor.
1. LANDO CALRISSIAN (EP. V, VI)
Nobody could ever be better than Lando. He’s like Han, but with a plan. He wears a space cape. He’s everybody’s best friend, and it feels like he’s the character most likely to offer legitimately useful life advice. He smiles more than everybody else in these movies combined. Lets out just the most wonderful frightened yelp when a sarlacc tentacle grabs his leg. And his name is “Lando.”
Did you miss any of our epic Star Wars countdown? Go here to read it all.