The 25 most influential Star Wars characters

Composite: Dork Side of the Force.
Composite: Dork Side of the Force. /
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Darth Vader Empire Strikes Back
David Prowse as Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). © 1980 – Lucasfilm, Ltd. /

3. Darth Vader (formerly Anakin Skywalker)

You don’t have to be a good guy to be influential in the Star Wars world. Even though Anakin was good once, as soon as he became Darth Vader, everything changed. He let the power of the Dark Side go to his head and might be the one person in the galaxy with an ego bigger than Han Solo’s. (At least Han is charming.)

Darth Vader is hands down one of the best villains in the movies. When you stack anyone else from the Empire or the First Order next to him, they pale in comparison. Even though he does take orders (sometimes), he’s always the star of the scene.

Anakin’s story is one of the most compelling ones in Star Wars. In The Clone Wars, you see how he starts out with good intentions and how slowly, over time, things begin to change for him. He’s not as agreeable as he once was by the end of the series, and that’s exactly why Ahsoka walks away from him.

After he makes the turn to the Dark Side, there’s no going back. His kids can’t even convince him of that, nor could Padme. He’s consumed by the power he’s harnessed and won’t let anyone or anything get in his way. That’s what makes him such a fantastic villain; you saw how he became what he is, so you understand, even if you hate him for it.