Star Wars Villains ranked from worst to best


An in depth look at the evil doers in the Star Wars universe, and how they rank from the worst to the best of the baddies.

Let’s be honest. As incredible as the heroes of the Star Wars universe are, the villains are what make the intergalactic turmoil worth watching.

The Star Wars franchise has spawned some of the most iconic villains in pop culture – from Darth Vader’s legendary rise to power to the incredible acrobatic combat skills of Darth Maul. Of course, the dark side has also had its share of flops. They can’t all be as cool as Vader (in their defense, those are some big shoes to fill.)

Let’s look at the bad guys of the Star Wars universe, and rank them from worst to best.

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# 17. General Hux

Look, I know that every incarnation of the empire has to have its military leader. Traditionally, the characters in this position are third in command (behind the emperor figure and his apprentice.) That’s a pretty big deal. Being the third-most powerful person in an organization that enormous isn’t something to be taken lightly.

You have to be pretty competent and rule with an iron fist. Unfortunately, the rather humorous General Hux is none of this. His character serves as comic relief – a role traditionally reserved for droids. I’m optimistic that Hux’s role in the story arc will blossom in Episode IX, but so far his presence in the sequel trilogy has given the impression the First Order isn’t nearly as terrifying as it needs to be. A little less quirky humor and more relentless leadership would make this character go a long way.

#16. Zam Wessel

Zam Wessel had the potential to be an awesome character. Bounty hunters in the Star Wars universe are no joke. They’ve caused our heroes some serious havoc over the years. When I saw Zam was a Changellum for the first time when I watched Episode II in theaters, I nearly had a heart attack. I thought it was such a cool idea for a character.

Unfortunately, her time in the franchise was rather short lived. She anticlimactically gets killed in the first 20 minutes by Jango Fett. It’s not that she was a bad villain, it’s just that her potential was never fully realized, and that’s what makes her so disappointing.

Photo Credit: [Star Wars: Return of the Jedi] Lucasfilm#15. Jabba The Hutt

Okay, I know the mighty Jabba is a pretty legendary villain. Even people who have never seen Star Wars know who Jabba is. But personally, I’m a little perplexed by his position of power among the realm of gangsters. He literally does nothing but sit on his bed and give orders to other villains who are far more dangerous than he is.

I’m assuming he just so happens to have a lot of money. I can’t think of any other way he could hold so much influence. Don’t get me wrong, I think Jabba is an integral character to the story line, and I enjoy him as an evil doer. However, he’s not nearly as threatening as some of the characters who rank higher on this list.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

14. Dryden Vos

Dryden’s appearance in Solo: A Star Wars Story certainly wasn’t bad, but anytime a character is introduced and killed off in the same film, it is a little disheartening. I regard Dryden as a cooler, more action-packed version of Jabba the Hutt. Not only does he hold a high position of power amongst the gangsters, but he’s also capable of physically fighting his own battles. Not to mention, he does visually come across as more intimidating than everyone’s favorite obese slug.

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#13. Orson Krennic

Speaking of characters who are intimidating yet short lived, Orson Krennic definitely falls into this category. He was a great villain. He ruled with an iron fist and gave his fair share of relentless orders. I’ll cut the writers a little slack with this character.

While there are other villains on the list that definitely should have had more development and screen time, Krennic doesn’t appear in Episode IV (implying from the start that he doesn’t live that long.) The writers didn’t really didn’t have much of a choice when they killed him off at the end of Rogue One. Nevertheless, still a worthy evil doer.

Photo Credit: Star Wars: The Clone Wars/Cartoon Network, LucasFilm Image Acquired from Disney ABC Media Distribution

#12. General Grievous

For a character that is capable of wielding four lightsabers at the same time, General Grievous sure didn’t do a lot of damage. He had some serious agility and swordsmanship, and still got obliterated by Obi-Wan. I still think Grievous was an awesome antagonist, but for someone so combatively skilled, I think it’s safe to say we all expected a little more from him. But hey, his lightsaber fight with Master Kenobi is pretty righteous. That alone makes his presence in Episode III worthwhile.

#11. Captain Phasma

The idea for Phasma’s character was definitely cool, although I feel her development could’ve been executed more efficiently. And by that I mean she shouldn’t have just been randomly killed off in The Last Jedi. It was an unnecessary death for a character that was built up to be something special.

However, not just anyone can climb through the ranks and achieve the position of Leader of the Stormtroopers. That’s quite an accomplishment. She’s also equipped with some rather impressive fighting skills. I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had been able to take on a jedi.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

#10. Grand Moff Tarkin

It takes a pretty competent leader to tame Lord Vader, and Grand Moff Tarkin does just that. Vader is a notoriously violent and aggressive character, yet in the presence of Tarkin he becomes far more calm and civilized (for a villain). There are even a handful of instances when Vader follows Tarkin’s orders without question. Talk about commanding respect. Tarkin is the quintessential archetype for what a leader in the Galactic Empire should look like.

#9. Jango Fett

Jango plays a pretty massive part in the story of Star Wars when you stand back and really examine his role. Without him, there would be no clone army, and more importantly there would be no Boba (perhaps the most revered bounty hunter in all of Star Wars). It takes some serious skill to be able to take on a Jedi as powerful as Obi-Wan and live to tell the tale. Plus, his Mandalorian armor is too cool to ignore.

Photo Credit: [Star Wars: Return of the Jedi]Lucasfilm#8. Boba Fett

Naturally, Jango and Boba go side by side on this list. While it’s true Boba’s very existence was contingent on Jango cloning himself, Boba went on to become an even more infamous bounty hunter than his father – and that’s saying a lot.

Boba was able to help capture Han Solo and deliver him to Jabba. While Han may not have been as skilled at hand-to-hand combat as Obi Wan was, he was certainly a master at the art of escaping dangerous situations. Not just anyone can checkmate the legendary Captain Solo, but Boba did (with some help from Vader) and that’s why he earns the eighth spot on the list.

Photo Credit: [Solo: A Star Wars Story]Lucasfilm#7. Qi’ra

Yes, Qi’ra qualifies as a villain. Anyone who works for Darth Maul is an evil doer in my book. But why does she rank so high on the list? Precisely because she is the most convincing double agent in the Star Wars franchise.

For the majority of Solo you’re under the impression that she’s a hopeless damsel in distress, longing for Han to rescue her.

Wrong! Qi’ra is one of the great overlooked masterminds in the series. She managed to outsmart everyone in the film (except for Darth Maul.) Personally, I have always loved convincingly deceptive characters like Qi’ra. She’s one of the finest additions to the franchise.

Photo Credit: [Star Wars: The Last Jedi] Lucasfilm#6. Supreme Leader Snoke

Even though many fans despised that Snoke unexpectedly dies in Episode VIII, there’s no denying that he was one of the most powerful force wielders in the Star Wars universe. We’ve seen him use force abilities that have never been seen (on screen) before from anyone.

He connects the minds of Rey and Kylo Ren, violently slings Rey through the air using nothing but his mind, and makes a fool out of General Hux by psychically throwing him to the ground in front of his minions. He was one powerful character.

Though I understand why fans were disappointed with his untimely death, I personally thought that it served the overall good of the story line. Will we ever find out Snoke’s true origins? Who knows, but his role in the plot will never be forgotten.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm/Solo: A Star Wars Story

#5. Darth Maul

In terms of agility and swordsmanship, Darth Maul is easily the most revered villain in all of Star Wars. We have never seen a character like him been before or since. He was able to kill Qui-Gon single handedly, and nearly defeated Obi-Wan as well. Not just anyone can take on two of the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy at the same time. Although it would have been cool to see him in Episodes II and III, his temporary absence from the story makes it that much more awesome when he re-appears in Solo. And let’s be honest – he’s probably the coolest looking character in the franchise.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

#4. Count Dooku

Count Dooku has always been a personal favorite of mine. I love the fact that he was a Jedi master gone bad. It always struck me as an interesting idea. He was renowned for his impressive swordsmanship as a Jedi, and it definitely shows when he successfully takes on Anakin and Obi Wan in Episode II.

One of the most interesting things about his character is that he trained Qui-Gon, who trained Obi-Wan, who trained Anakin – who ended up killing him. In some ironic way he was inadvertently responsible for his own demise. It’s little details like this that can make or break a character. In the case of Dooku, it makes him one of the most intriguing characters in the saga. His rank as the fourth greatest villain is well deserved.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

#3. Emperor Palpatine

Also known as Darth Sidious, Emperor Palpatine is the mastermind of all masterminds in a galaxy far, far away. Unlike his modern equivalent – Snoke – Palpatine is actually successful in his plan to overthrow the forces of good and conquer the galaxy. Although his rule only lasted about 25 years, he is hands down the most cunning and successful villain in the series to date.

He was able to turn Anakin Skywalker against the Jedi and turned the Galactic Republic into an empire. And he’s actually not to bad with a lightsaber either, seeing as how he was able to keep up with Yoda in Episode III. At the end of the day, he was killed by Darth Vader, but you have to admit, he had a good run.

Photo Credit: [Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith] Lucasfilm#2. Darth Vader

Believe me, it was difficult not to rank Darth Vader at No. 1. He’s got it all – a wicked reputation, unparalleled force capabilities, and a gnarly space suit to tie it all together. He is without a doubt the most revered villain in all of pop culture. For a quarter of a century, he relentlessly ruled the galaxy with an iron fist and had he not overthrown his master, he could have kept his reign as second in command going for the rest of his life. Vader was one righteous villain, but in my opinion he falls just a little short of beating the one and only…

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

#1. Kylo Ren

No doubt, a lot of fans will disagree with the idea that Kylo Ren is the greatest antagonist in the series, and I understand why. He is often accused of being a snotty little brat (which he kind of is.) But look at it this way, it takes someone with a heart as black as coal to kill their own father.

Kylo is hell-bent on revenge against his family and is just as power hungry as Emperor Palpatine. Plus, he has the coolest looking lightsaber in the entire series. Sure, he might be as emotional as a hormonal teenager, but at the end of the day he’s proven that he’ll do whatever it takes to hold the reins of power.

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Speaking of Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, I know we’re all pretty stoked to see what becomes of his character in the highly anticipated episode 9. We’ll see how his story turns out when it hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.