We rank the 50 best Star Wars characters of all-time

45 of 51

7. The Emperor

Major Appearances

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars Episode IV: Return of the Jedi

Best Moment

What’s the best thing that a bad guy did? If you’re looking at this in the warped perspective of Palpatine, then the best thing he did was corrupt Anakin Skywalker and turn him into Darth Vader. It was a long con and a slow burn, but the Emperor took his time to make sure things were good and screwed up for Anakin in order to have his apprentice to run the galaxy with.

Worst Moment

When you’re the all-seeing evil Sith Lord of the galaxy, then you should probably have the foresight to see your apprentice betraying you. That’s the fatal flaw that did Palpatine in, as he was able to see event son the future up to the point where he wasn’t a part of said future. You’d think he would have seen that coming — he didn’t.


Darth Vader may have been the force of evil in the galaxy for the Empire, but Emperor Palpatine was the overlord of it all. He was the mastermind that not only ruled the galaxy in the original trilogy, but he was very calculated in making it happen in the prequels. He’s the epitome of evil with absolutely no redeeming qualities — which is the best kind of bad guy to have.

Next: 6. Luke Skywalker