Seven films chronicling over 60 years of history from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Those seven films produced a broad array of characters that have given us many memorable moments and been part of one of the greatest film sagas of all time.
So here’s our ranking of the ten most iconic characters the Star Wars franchise have given us since 1977…
10. The Millennium Falcon – A character is arguably not always a person, it can be a “hunk of junk” that can do the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs! The Falcon is the iconic ship of Han Solo and its frequent breakdowns and close scrapes embedded it in the memory of thousands of children and adults who have gone on to buy the blueprints, Lego sets and hundreds of different replicas making the Falcon the epitome of a rough round the edges hero, battling against the odds and capturing the imagination.
9. Luke Skywalker – A young boy from Tatooine gazes out across the setting suns and dreams of leaving for adventure just as the sweeping score of John Williams comes in with ‘Binary Sunset’. Luke is the iconic small town boy who makes it big with ‘big’ perhaps being an understatement given his rise to the status of ‘only Jedi in the galaxy’. The return of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker in the new Star Wars films is an exciting prospect; does this mean the return of the Jedi is imminent?
8. BB-8 – The trailers and advertising for the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, gave a scintillating taste of what the characters would be like and in the case of BB – 8 this was done perfectly. The droid was a brave, lively companion who reminded fans that droids of the newer films do not have to be reminiscent of the prequels Trade Federation soldiers, but can instead take on a touching persona and become meaningful characters.
7. Darth Maul – The fearsome Sith Lord only appeared in one film but made enough of an impression through his demeanour and unique lightsaber to warrant a place in Star Wars history. His duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui Gon Jinn is massively memorable and the double ended lightsaber’s reveal considered an iconic moment of Star Wars combat. His short appearance seemed unfair and begged the question; did Darth Maul’s uniqueness merit more than one appearance?
6. Boba Fett – One of the most beloved characters of Star Wars whose fan-base has made his merchandise priceless and seen him revered as the coolest villain of all time by Robot Chicken, Family Guy and countless others. His origin story left a little to be desired when revealed in the prequels but Boba Fett has still continued to be a cherished, ‘badass’ figure who may get a film for himself if rumours from Disney are to be believed…
5. Yoda – “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Voted the best quote from Master Yoda by fans but this is merely a small taste of the wisdom imparted on to Jedi Padawans by the 900 year old Master. In Episode V Yoda does very little but his presence and perfectly managed lines gave fans the idea that Yoda was the most powerful being in the galaxy. Prequels Yoda produced some quotes and was involved in two epic lightsaber duels but he was somewhat lost in the CGI heavy, George Lucas romp.
4. Princess Leia – Princess Leia Organa-Skywalker-Solo redefined what it meant to be a “pin up” character and was the only notable female character in the original films. Carrie Fischer’s tenacious portrayal of Leia brought so much to the films, especially in the long running love story with Han Solo were chemistry was explosive as well as romantic. To many, Princess Leia has now become the best Disney Princess ever and deserves more recognition at the Disney theme parks.
3. R2D2 & C3PO – It would be difficult to rank these characters individually given how their on screen relationship so closely resembles a married couple. All seven films have featured this iconic duo and their quick quips, despite R2’s being simply beeps, have entertained fans since that first memorable argument in the Tatooine wastelands. In two words? Hilarious and inseparable.
2. Darth Vader – The towering, cloaked, somewhat asthmatic antagonist of the original trilogy struck fear into all and has become an iconic villain idolised by many, (even a Ukrainian presidential candidate). The voice of James Earl Jones is haunting as the Sith Lord and nearly every line of wheezing Vader dialogue is massively quotable and frequently imitated. Given the impressive on screen presence of Darth Vader it is easy to overlook the poor quality of the origin story in the prequels, despite those films seemingly trying their hardest to spoil the character.
- Han Solo – The best (or, depending on your point of view, worst) smuggler in the galaxy is the obvious choice as Star Wars’ most iconic character given his enduring popularity and charisma that charms and infuriates those around him. Harrison Ford arguably did not have to act much to be Han Solo but his performance is incredible nonetheless, (as demonstrated by the massive fame he would accrue after the original films, compared to the sparse careers of some of his co-stars,) and Episode VII shows that he has definitely still got it. Han is still a smuggler at heart, but perhaps a rebel in conscience and it’s that internal battle that makes him so appealing. The remarkable and ever-present Chewbacca only adds to Han’s appeal as, let’s face it, not many people can claim to have a Wookie sidekick and own what is probably cinemas most iconic spacecraft.
By Arran Byers