DSOTF Presents: Our Favorite Star Wars Villains


Lately, there have been a lot of great things happening at FanSided and with our humble site! Not only has there been more Star Wars news than any other time in history, DSOTF has experienced growth like never before. It’s all thanks to you, Dork Siders!

The entire staff of DSOTF is grateful for each and every one of you who visit us on a daily basis. To show our gratitude, we decided to do something a little different. We figured that it was about time that our readers get to know our team a little bit better. So, we present our new monthly feature… THE DORK SIDE OF THE FORCE MONTHLY STAFF WRITER’S POLL.

Okay, so what does that even mean?

We will be asking our entire team of Staff Writers to offer their varying opinions on Star Wars topics. Our Editor will then compile the results into a single post at the end of each month. Hopefully, this will offer some fun results and give you a more personal look at the characters that hang around this joint.

For the month of August, we asked our DSOTF Staffers to list their all time favorite Star Wars villains. Their choices could be selected from any realm of the Star Wars galaxy. Whether the baddies were from the films, the television series or even the now defunct Expanded Universe, it mattered not.

Without further adieu, we present the top five most popular choices made by our staff, from the bottom up.

#5. Grand Admiral Thrawn

The high ranking Imperial from Timothy Zahn‘s essential Heir to the Empire series. There were more than a few of our staff who would include the blue skinned Chiss on their list. Even though he’s been counted as non canonical, Thrawn is still quite popular among Star Wars fans.

"“I can understand why Disney decided to blast the Expanded Universe into a thousand bits, but that doesn’t make it any easier not to mourn the many great characters that will never make their way to the silver screen, of which Thrawn is the most heartbreaking casualty. First introduced in Timothy Zahn’s post-Episode VI book trilogy, Thrawn quickly became one of my favorite villains in all of Star Wars, mostly because of the terrific backstory and attention to detail Zahn imbues him with.”~Kyle Warnke “Yes, we’re going there… even though Lucasfilm has declared Thrawn to be non existent in the official Star Wars storyline. However, I’m including him on my list because he deserves it. “Heir to the Empire” author Timothy Zahn wrote a character unlike any we’d seen before in Star Wars. Thrawn was as cool as Boba Fett and as clever as Emperor Palpatine, sometimes even more so. It’s a shame we won’t be seeing an onscreen portrayal of the blue skinned Imperial anytime soon. Perhaps Dave Filoni and his crew can find a way to sneak him into Star Wars Rebels?”~Daniel Berry"

#4. Grand Moff Tarkin

The primary antagonist in 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope. Portrayed onscreen by legendary British actor Peter Cushing, Tarkin was as charming a villain as we’re likely to see in our lifetime. The cunning Imperial enjoyed a revival in the hit animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, where he was voiced by skilled actor Stephen Stanton.

"“Peter Cushing had perhaps the trickiest role in A New Hope. The veteran horror film actor had to craft a menacing villain who could believably stand toe-to-toe with cinema’s most iconic antagonist while not upstaging his costars. But he effortlessly pulls it off. Even when Tarkin is deceived by Leia about the Rebel base, he doesn’t come across as a buffoon, but as a commander consumed by hubris.”~Kyle Warnke  “Peter Cushing. ‘Nuff Said.”~Daniel Berry"

#3. Darth Sidious

The Puppet Master. The Man Behind the Curtain. From his humble beginnings as a soft spoken Naboo Senator to his ultimate rise to power, there’s no smarter bad guy in all of Star Wars. Bow down before the Emperor of the galaxy.

"“I’m a huge fan of the Prequels, and this guy owned them. His political manipulation, deception of the senate, and eventual rise to the all-conquering position of Emperor of the first Galactic Empire was nothing short of astonishing. If there was one dude who had his finger in all the pies it was Palps. Not bad for an aged, rather decrepit, pale-faced senator from Naboo. Oh, and anyone that approves building a space station the size of a moon gets a thumbs up from me.”~Daniel Allinson “OK, so as the Emperor this dude is pretty scary. But I list him here for his work even before Episode I. What kind of meticulous, evil, mastermind planning does it take to put together the web of villainy this guy orchestrated to be VOTED Supreme Chancellor? One of my favorite acknowledgments of this fact is in The Clone Wars Season 6. Trooper “Fives” has discovered the organic chip in the heads of all clone troopers and is convinced there is a diabolical plot in motion involving the clones. He is onto Order 66! With the help of Jedi Shaak Ti, he gets to discuss his theory with Palpatine. Palpatine looks at Shaak Ti and comments on how unlikely it is that someone could put such an elaborate and involved plan together. An unmatched evil strategist, Palpatine’s pure evil is the only thing that could undo him. That kind of evil genius is truly terrifying.”~Eric Crisp “My Favorite villains, like most of my favorite movies, are accompanied by great music.““Ah, the Emperor’s theme – foreboding male chorus chanting as low as they can go. Pure unadulterated evil oozing from the throne. Even the way the Emperor was slowly introduced to the audience from Episodes 4-6 gained my respect, admiration and fright. In A New Hope, we only heard OF him. In The Empire Strikes Back, we got to see a giant hologram of his face… and he was ordering the baddest guy we knew [Darth Vader] around! Cut to Return of the Jedi and here he was, in person, accompanied by that chilling men’s chorus.”~Sarah Woloski"

For a sample of John Williams‘ chilling theme representing Emperor Palpatine, check out the video below at the 1:00 mark:

#2. Darth Vader

This armor clad villain scared the Sith out of us in our younger days. Perhaps the most complicated bad guy in the Star Wars universe. Vader is living, breathing proof that even the nicest guy can turn evil with just the right push. The Empire’s second in command and one helluva pilot.

"“Who DOESN’T have Darth Vader at the top of their list? For me, he and Darth Maul share that top spot, due to the music that portrays both. The Imperial March is an iconic piece. When John Williams conducts the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra every year in L.A., The Imperial March isn’t part of the program. However, when John Williams comes out for one of his many encores, picks up the baton, and the orchestra starts playing the Imperial March, the crowd goes absolutely NUTS! Lightsabers ignite, people jump to their feet, iPhones record, and it’s a wondrous moment.”~Sarah Woloski “Is this really up for debate? One of the most developed villains in all of storytelling. He blew you away in the original trilogy when he revealed that he was Luke’s father and his destruction of the Emperor was one of the greatest salvation stories in movies. A beautiful character. James Earl Jones’ voicing was perfect and when you heard that breathing, chills ran up and down your spine. Is there any symbol more recognizable than Vader’s mask? Greatest villain ever.”~Eric Crisp “The main man himself. The balance bringing Chosen One. What makes him such a poignant bad guy is less his evil habits and more his fall from grace. There’s a bit of him in all of us. Conflict. Sadness. Loneliness. Love. Whatever it may well be, his story is an emotional roller-coaster of a ride from bright-eyed young Annie to the more-machine-now-than-man broken wreck lying before his son. The power of his character transcends fandom into pop culture. He is the face of Star Wars.”~Daniel Allinson"

#1. Darth Maul

The top ranking baddie on our list, according to the popular vote! Quite a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. First appearing in 1999’s The Phantom Menace, Maul’s career was… let’s say, cut short. Fortunately, he was given a second chance at life in The Clone Wars. Voiced by the incredible Sam Witwer, the short tempered Zabrak evolved into an even more terrifying threat, half insane and hellbent on revenge. It may have been Ray Park‘s acrobatics that defined Maul, but Witwer‘s turn as the former Sith Lord gave us some serious nightmares.

"“It seems to be a staple of the Star Wars series that the most interesting characters are the first ones to bite the blaster bolt, and Maul is the most riveting character in Episode I by half. The character enjoyed a revival in the “Clone Wars” animated series, but it’s hard to forget the incredible first impression he made in his debut.“~Kyle Warnke“Just look at the guy. He oozes cool. He could bottle his coolness up and sell it as an aftershave. I think they may have actually done that for Episode I. Seriously though, he knows Kung Fu, he’s got a double-bladed lightsaber and he opens doors by throwing stuff at it. If I had to pick the baddest looking dude in the whole galaxy, Maul would be his name. Forget Fett, his performance at the Battle of Carkoon was frankly embarrassing anyway.”~Daniel Allinson“Could he be the most underutilized villain of all time? While The Phantom Menace is my least favorite of the Star Wars movies, Darth Maul single-handedly raised my rating 2 stars. After the heavy saber medieval style fighting of the original trilogy, Darth Maul steps on the scene and blows our minds with acrobatics and quick saber work. He changed the way we saw lightsaber battles. And besides…horns and facial tattoos!”~Eric Crisp“Who remembers that famous Star Wars Insider cover with Darth Maul’s alien, terrifying face staring out at you? Talk about first impressions! And then seeing Episode I for the first time, the MUSIC for Darth Maul, with the unrelenting chanting chorus, was so different than anything we had ever heard before from John Williams in Star Wars. To this day I remember five music loving friends and I cruising around our Senior year of High School, blasting Duel of the Fates and headbanging along.”~Sarah Woloski"

Enjoy this behind the scenes look at Darth Maul‘s return in The Clone Wars, featuring the talented Sam Witwer:

We hope you enjoyed reading through a list of our favorite Star Wars baddies. Now, it’s your turn! Let us know which villains we should have included, Dork Siders! Do you think Darth Maul deserves the number one spot? Let us know by leaving a comment below!