Annlyel updates her top ten Star Wars characters from the entire saga so far…
Ten months ago I shared a list of my, at the time, ten favorite Star Wars characters. If you look at that list, my view of the franchise was heavily inspired by the Sequel Trilogy and a couple of the characters weren’t even major Star Wars characters but rather the Royal Imperial and Praetorian Guards. Well, I’ve been introduced to two rather fantastic new series, Star Wars: Rebels and The Mandalorian, and because of that, it’s time for a much-needed update of this list.
10. Darth Maul
Like before, Darth Maul rests on the cusp of this list at #10. While there are clearly plenty of other fantastic characters that could take his place Darth Maul’s storyline continues to impress me. From his incredible debut in The Phantom Menace to his last hurrah in Star Wars: Rebels, Maul is a key figure in the franchise and a fascinating character at that.
I’m a bonafide Finn fan. I loved him in The Force Awakens and I loved his role in The Last Jedi. Unfortunately, Finn has been turned into the butt of many jokes throughout the movies, the comic books, and the novels, making him a character that hasn’t reached his full potential of coolness yet. But it seems that this constant narrative is about to change for Finn in The Rise of Skywalker. John Boyega has already announced that he’s gone to J.J Abrams to ask him to give him a bigger role in the film, a request that Abrams obliged. And if you look at the marketing material for The Rise of Skywalker, Finn seems like an entirely different person than what we once knew him as.
Gone is the nervous stormtrooper replaced by this big-deal Resistance hero who looks like he’s ready to take down the First Order singlehandedly. I’m SO ready to see Finn in this final movie!
8. The Armorer
I’m trying not to let the excitement get to my head but after two episodes it’s very clear that The Armorer is one of the coolest characters I’ve seen in Star Wars. Emily Swallow brings a Phasma-like sternness to The Armorer, exuding authority and wisdom over all of the other Mandalorians, even the title character himself. Plus, her outfit is ridiculously cool. I’m waiting for a Funko Pop of The Armorer so I can add her to my collection asap.
I love Rey. I mean, I’m a bonafide Rey fan…however, over the past year, my love for this character has lessened. After The Force Awakens, I was praising Rey for her fascinating story of survival and the inspiring way she overcame the obstacles placed against her in that movie. Plus, her two showdowns with Kylo Ren (both of which she won, by the way) were nothing short of exhilarating. And yet, Rian Johnson did a bit more storyline tampering, turning Rey into a young woman who felt lost and very fragile. This is a far cry from the Rey we knew in The Force Awakens. This new Rey, swept up in the overwhelming responsibility to save the Resistance and the lingering question of her identity, is shown at her most vulnerable.
This vulnerable Rey opens up to Kylo Ren, hence the dark side, and seems to be crying a whole lot more than expected. By the end of the film, Rey is supposedly the last Jedi, which is, of course, an exciting development, but the strength she constantly exuded in The Force Awakens is dampened. I’m hoping The Rise of Skywalker can return her to her former glory and if the trailers and tv spots provide any indication, it seems very apparent that she will be even cooler than she’s ever been.
6. Luke Skywalker
If you had told me last year that Luke Skywalker would sit so low on this list I would’ve laughed at the absurdity of that statement but honestly, I just happen to like the next few characters more. Luke Skywalker is a great character, obviously, but his story seems kind of bland in comparison to the following heroes and villains on this list. Maybe his ranking on this list is in the direct consequence of Rian Johnson’s tampering with the character in The Last Jedi, turning him into an old grumpy hermit and stripping away nearly all of his cool points. By the time he was cool again, he had sacrificed himself, fading away into the Force and leaving me a bit sad and a bit disappointed.
However, there is a bit of solace knowing that J.J Abrams will surely resurrect Luke Skywalker in a substantial way for this final film, giving him the fantastic role that he deserves.
5. Kanan Jarrus
The Jedi were all but destroyed after the events of Order 66 but there were a few members of the Order who managed to go into hiding. One such member was Kanan Jarrus, a young Jedi padawan who had to watch his master, Depa Billaba, murdered before his very eyes by the clone troopers they fought beside.
He managed to escape and to survive, he was forced to bury his true self deep down and roam the galaxy as your typical scallywag. His tale of redemption, slowly realized in the four seasons of Star Wars: Rebels is one of the best stories I’ve seen in the franchise. At first, his responsibilities as a Jedi master to young Ezra Bridger seem too big for him but over time he grows closer with the Force, hence himself, and by the final season, he accepts his destiny with open arms.
A couple of weeks ago, I had next to no knowledge of this character but now I can’t imagine knowing Star Wars without him.
4. Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren, the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, is a force of darkness, confusion, and awesomeness. Despite the Sequel Trilogy taking nearly every character in the story and altering their storylines, for better or worse, Kylo Ren has stood solid in the cool meter. With each movie, his storyline becomes more and more interesting and with The Rise of Skywalker, it’s very apparent that he’s one of the characters I’m most excited to see in the film.
His tale of redemption seems to be just around the corner. How that redemption takes place I’m not entirely sure but it’s sure to be a cheer-worthy moment.
3. Darth Vader
There’s no denying Darth Vader’s grandeur. His menacing presence, that blood-red lightsaber that when ignited inflicts serious damage, the almost skeletal mask that is the face of horror in the Star Wars galaxy, harboring an even scarier face within. And yet, despite how evil Darth Vader can be, he still found redemption at the end to save his son from a gruesome fate. A fate that Mace Windu did receive, by Anakin’s hand.
Darth Vader is Kylo’s driving force but Anakin, Anakin will be the one to get his grandson straight. That should be quite the moment.
2. Ezra Bridger
Yep, Ezra Bridger is my favorite Jedi of all time. And that’s a fact. Ezra Bridger’s storyline in Star Wars: Rebels is one that has struck my heart in such a powerful way that I am undoubtedly an Ezra Bridger fan now. While he was once impulsive and very dark-side prone he learned what it meant to be a rebel and a Jedi through the relationships he built with his adopted family. His family showed him what it meant to be the good guy, the one who will do whatever it takes to make sure that others wouldn’t meet the same fate as his unfortunate parents, or the millions of others that were torn down by the Empire.
His story is one of the best-told stories in the franchise and with him still out there…somewhere, it’s very possible we could see Ezra Bridger again very soon.
1. The Mandalorian
It’s not very often when a character can simply reek coolness like a thick musk but The Mandalorian screams awesome whenever he’s on the screen. From the first episode to the latest one, The Mandalorian has expressed more heart and more storytelling than nearly every other character in the franchise.
No, we haven’t even seen his face and yet I feel more connected to him than those whose faces are always seen. From the beautiful Mandalorian armor he wears to the disintegrating blaster/close-combat weapon he carries with him everywhere he goes, The Mandalorian is the hero of the year, in my book.
This list will surely change again in the coming months but as of now, this is where my list lies.
I have spoken.
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Annlyel James is a prolific Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Follow her on Twitter @annlyeljames where she channels the Force frequently!