Ranking 93 ‘Star Wars’ Characters (Yes, Even Horrible Jar Jar Binks)

Our updated list now includes "The Force Awakens" and "Rogue One."

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, editors at HuffPost got together to rank characters in the “Star Wars” universe, from Jar Jar Binks to best. Now, in honor of the franchise’s 40th anniversary, we’re doing it again. Some of those editors have moved on from HuffPost and are now Force Ghosts, but with new additions from “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One,” updated, the list must be.

This subjective inventory weighed a number of factors — cultural imprint, importance to the story, coolness and whether or not the characters were toys we wanted to own right now as children. Longevity was also taken into account. Some newer characters were excluded but perhaps would be included in future updates as their impact and relevance grows.

With this list, you’ll disagree. In the comments, let us know. And may the Force be with you. Always.

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93. Jar Jar Binks (pictured)

92. Saw Gerrera

91. Anakin Skywalker

90. Greedo (who shot first)

89. Nute Gunray

88. Boss Nass


87. Bodhi Rook (pictured)

86. Teedo

85. Watto

84. Characters from the chess board on the Millennium Falcon

83. Daniel Craig’s Stormtrooper

82. Supreme Leader Snoke

81. All power-converter salesmen at Tosche Station

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80. Sebulba (pictured)

79. Oola, Jabba’s dancer

78. Malakili, rancor keeper

77. Chirrut Îmwe

76. Shmi Skywalker

75. Saché

74. Sabé

73. Zam Wesell

72. General Veers

71. Exogorth

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70. Bail Organa (pictured)

69. IG 88

68. Bib Fortuna

67. Orson Krennic

66. Gamorrean Guards

65. Dianoga

64. Plo Koon

63. Admiral Ozzel

62. Unkar Plutt

61. Galen Erso

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60. Uncle Owen (pictured)

59. Aunt Beru (pictured)

58. The Sarlacc

57. Bothan spies

56. Wampa

55. Tauntauns

54. Kit Fisto

53. Bossk

52. Dak Ralter

51. Shaak Ti

50. Jango Fett


49. General Hux (pictured)

48. Cassian Andor

47. Admiral Motti, whose lack of faith was disturbing

45. Captain Phasma

44. Ki-Adi-Mundi

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43. Count Dooku (pictured)

42. General Grievous

41. Maz Kanata

40. All the Ewoks except Wicket

39. Salacious B. Crumb


38. Jyn Erso (pictured)

37. Imperial Guards

36. K-2SO

35. Poe Dameron

34. Wicket

33. Mace Windu

32. Lobot

31. All the Jawas

30. Greedo (who didn’t shoot first)

29. All the Tusken Raiders

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28. Padmé Amidala (pictured)

27. Nien Nunb

25. Wedge Antilles

24. Finn

23. Mon Mothma

22. Rancor

21. All Stormtroopers

And now, citizens of the universe, here are the top 20 you’re looking for:

20. BB-8

Much like C-3PO and R2D2 become the narrative conduit in the original trilogy, BB-8 fills that role in “The Force Awakens.” BB-8 represents that wide-eyed little kid we all tried to re-suppress after the disappointing prequels, who couldn’t help but emerge again in the presence of a resurrected — read: potentially better — “Star Wars” franchise. As hardened “Star Wars” fans, scarred by the saccharine CG-quels, resisting new episodes was understandable. But the second BB-8 let out that sad womp-womp-womp in the desert, convincing Rey to help him, he made it a “Star Wars” film. ― Andy McDonald

19. Grand Moff Tarkin

It takes a special kind of Moff to hold Darth Vader’s leash. It takes Grand Moff Tarkin. Entrusted with the keys to the first Death Star by Emperor Palpatine, this high-ranking Imperial official was the man who destroyed Alderaan and nearly wiped out the Rebel Alliance at the Battle of Yavin. Unfortunately for the Empire and himself, Luke Skywalker’s X-wing slipped through his fingers as he tightened his grip on the uprising. — Chris Greenberg

18. Kylo Ren

Darth Vader left behind a big cape to fill. And then along came his grandson, the testy and conflicted Kylo Ren. Once a Jedi in training who now wields a frightening crossguard lightsaber, Kylo takes no prisoners, including his own father, Han Solo. Leading a merry band of baddies and unmasking himself with an aplomb that Granddaddy Darth would never dare, Kylo Ren lacks the slick perfection of most “Star Wars” villains. He’s reckless, irascible, sloppy and all the more intimidating for it. His anger is enough to make his own Stormtroopers turn the other way, creating a dynamism that most franchise antagonists don’t capture. He can also deliver a withering insult, as evidenced when he hissed “look how old you’ve become” at Lor San Tekka. With Luke Skywalker re-emerging and Kylo’s conflict with Rey continuing to develop, the Kylo Ren Show is only just starting. ― Matthew Jacobs

17. Luke Skywalker

Luke is the ostensible everyman of the “Star Wars” universe, the unwitting hero thrust into the middle of a galactic battle that raged long before he was even born. So why is he so annoying? In “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” Luke is such a teen he might as well stomp up the stairs and slam the door to his bedroom. In “Return of the Jedi,” his demeanor becomes equal parts smug and cocky, like a college freshman returning to his parents’ house for winter break. It’s all too much. (Meanwhile, Han and Leia are carrying the heavy water for the Rebel Alliance.) Fans might find this controversial, but search your feelings ― you know it to be true. — Christopher Rosen

16. Jabba the Hutt

Jabba’s only notable appearance in the franchise comes in “Return of the Jedi” (sorry, Special Edition Jabba in “A New Hope”), but his Tatooine lair is such a world unto its own that the crime lord has remained one of the franchise’s defining figures. The many creatures who inhabit his cave have become just as much a part of his image as their own, from Bib Fortuna and the green slave woman to a band that rivals the Mos Eisley cantina group. Jabba may be a massive blob, but his spittle has earned its spot in the “Star Wars” canon. — MJ

15. Emperor Palpatine

With the ability to deceive and maintain control over most of the galaxy, Emperor Palpatine was arguably the most powerful character in the “Star Wars” universe. But like many villains, his downfall was the result of his overconfidence and pride. He incorrectly believed that he had enslaved Darth Vader to the point of no return. But while the Emperor was the worst of the worst, he was also ... kind of fun? Sometimes you just want to obscure your face in your hoodie and let out an twisted, raspy, “Greetings, young Skywalker!” — AM

14. Admiral Ackbar

If you believe Admiral Ackbar’s significance lies solely in his leading the attack on the second Death Star, stop that line of thinking — IT’S A ... pitfall. Part of what makes Ackbar so meaningful to “Star Wars” is that he is one of the highest-ranking military figures in the Rebel Alliance (Supreme Commander) and a non-human. Ackbar’s existence represents precisely the progressive values held by the rebellion in its battle against a Galactic Empire known for its hostility toward non-humans. OK, yes, fine: IT’S A TRAP! — AM

13. Rey

She’s a hero who needs only one name, like Chewbacca or Madonna. But if she had a surname, what would it be? Skywalker? Kenobi? Last name Ever, first name Greatest? Rey’s mysterious past and crazy connection to The Force make her one of the most intriguing characters in the “Star Wars” universe. And she’s a baller. Whenever this orphan-somehow-turned-expert-pilot is on screen, it’s worth all the portions Unkar Plutt could give. All of them! If we had known Rey a little longer, she’d most definitely break the top 10. She is the last Jedi, after all. Wait, isn’t she? Is “Last Jedi” plural? Seriously, who are her parents? Is it Jar Jar? Rey, meesa thinks yousa owe us some answers. ― Bill Bradley

12. C-3PO

In terms of pure comedic relief, there is no better member of the “Star Wars” ensemble than C-3PO. Fluent in “over 6 million forms of communication,” Threepio is one-half of the best dysfunctional multilingual duo in movie history (alongside R2-D2, of course). The gold droid with the heart of a puppy dog and the temperament of an anxious worrywart is vital in getting the Rebels off Hoth and Han out of Jabba the Hutt’s palace. He may be an Anakin Skywalker creation, but he’s more fun than any other “Star Wars” character. Just don’t call him a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease! — MJ

11. Darth Maul

There have been few greater collective nerdgasms than the moment when Darth Maul unleashed the second blade of his double-sided lightsaber. (Look at that thing.) Horn-headed, eyes fire-red with flips for days, Maul is a demon’s whisper who slinks in and out of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s peripherals before their epic final confrontation. Basically a manifestation of pure evil, the Sith Lord’s brief but insidious film stint was so haunting, his image has reached further than just the “Star Wars” universe. — Ryan Kristobak

10. Lando Calrissian

Hello, what have we here? Lando Calrissian, of course. The true rapscallion of the “Star Wars” universe, Lando was a classic anti-hero in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Full redemption came later in “Return of the Jedi,” but the real reason he’s listed here is because of the way he says “Han” and “Chewbacca.” — CR

9. Qui-Gon Jinn

When the Jedi High Council hands down a decision, the Jedi Order listens without question. Everyone, that is, except for Qui-Gon Jinn. An O.G. Jedi badass, Qui-Gon asked the difficult questions while simultaneously showing love for even the smallest and seemingly most insignificant beings (seriously, he even liked Jar-Jar). Outside his many words of wisdom, we have Jinn to thank for discovering the Chosen One. — RK

8. Chewbacca

Is there a more lovable, oversized fuzzball than Chewbacca? If only we all had a sidekick as loyal as Han Solo’s Wookiee, who’s committed to protecting him after Han is dismissed from the Imperial Navy for refusing to kill Chewie. (We just went expanded universe on you guys.) He’s more than just friendly devotion and animalistic wails, though. Chewbacca convinces Han to turn back when he wants to abandon the Rebels in “A New Hope,” and how would the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive functions cooperate without his handiwork? He saved Yoda in “Revenge of the Sith,” and he basically gets the final word (so to speak) in “A New Hope.” He may seem like a “walking carpet,” but The Force would fall apart without our old pal Chewie. — MJ

7. Yoda

What to be said, need be? Yoda is one of the most recognizable characters in all of pop culture. He’s one of the wisest and most powerful of all the Jedi. A speech pattern named after him he has. In “Empire Strikes Back,” he’s introduced as a goofy little green muppet — with the soul of a philosopher. By “Return of the Jedi,” as you sadly watch Yoda fade away into “forever sleep,” you completely forget that he’s made of cloth and latex. That’s when you walk out of the room and tell your friends there’s “something in your eye.” — AM

6. R2-D2

The case can be made that with a few bloops and bleeps, R2-D2 is the most charming member of the “Star Wars” universe. The extremely well put-together droid is sassy in a way that makes him endearing — he doesn’t put up with C-3PO’s antics, for instance, and displays no fear in the face of the evil Empire. He’s also loyal: look at how hard he works to find Obi-Wan in “Episode IV” as evidence. Speaking of which: Without R2-D2’s bravery, would the events of “A New Hope” even occur? If Princess Leia had given the Death Star plans to C-3PO, we’d all be wearing drab grey uniforms and worshiping at the feet of Darth Vader. Hero status: legit. — CR

5. Boba Fett

It’s one thing to have a lot of great lines or amazing appearances in a film, but it’s quite another to have almost zero dialogue, just a handful of scenes, and still be seen as one of the most terrific characters in the entire series. But that’s Boba Fett. When even Darth Vader shows a modicum of respect for you, that’s saying something. And though the prequels killed his tough-guy image a bit — and the original trilogy, well, just killed him altogether, pre-expanded universe — Boba Fett is a character whose likeness is forever canonized. And not by George Lucas or some poorly conceived prequels, but by the fans. Like his Mandalorian armor, Fett’s legend is not easily compromised. — AM

4. Obi-Wan Kenobi

From the first moment we see him as a Padawan to his days in recluse as Ben Kenobi, Obi-Wan’s resolve, patience and excellent lightsaber skills make him one of the most important Jedis to ever exist. Look at this resume: He was the first Jedi to defeat a Sith Lord in approximately 1,000 years, routing on Darth Maul when all hope seemed lost. He conquers Anakin in combat, and despite all of the egregious actions his former Padawan has undertaken ― younglings, guys, Anakin killed younglings ― Obi-Wan chooses not to end his pupil’s life because Obi-Wan’s love runs too deep for his friend. In the end, Obi-Wan sacrifices his life so Luke can become the Jedi he was destined to be. True, compassionate and genuinely good, Obi-Wan is what makes a man a man. — RK

3. Leia Organa

Rebel. Politician. Soldier. Diplomat. Princess. Leia Organa is the woman that women want to be and that sibling Jedi and smugglers want to be with. From the moment her ship, Tantive IV, enters the screen carrying those stolen plans in “A New Hope,” this fearless and feisty heroine goes where most Galactic males feared to tread. Though she may look the part of the damsel, Leia doesn’t do distress, even when she’s in grave danger. She withstands Darth Vader’s torture on the first Death Star and gets fatal revenge on Jabba The Hutt for objectifying her with that metal bikini. A one-woman committee for change in the galaxy, Leia turns out to be Force-sensitive. — CG

2. Darth Vader

The first time Darth Vader ever appeared onscreen, he was cloaked in a haze of white exhaust from a Stormtrooper shootout. As his black cape comes into view, everyone flees — and one of cinema’s most iconic villains is born. There may be no movie character more synonymous with a few bars of music than Darth Vader is with the Imperial March. Over the course of the original “Star Wars” trilogy (we’re not talking about Anakin Skywalker here), Darth Vader’s guttural voice and masked visage gave us many of the franchise’s most memorable quotes (“I find your lack of faith disturbing”) and introduced the most terrifying way to die in screen history. Vader ranks behind only Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates on AFI’s list of the greatest movie villains of all time, but surely neither of the other two has sold more than his body weight in toys and memorabilia. Impressive. Most impressive. — MJ

1. Han Solo

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smugglers. Don’t let ‘em fire blasters and drive that old Millennium Falcon. Make ‘em be Jedi and Imperial Governors and such. Unless, of course, you want them to be like Han Solo. A scoundrel with a heart of gold, Solo is the dashing, world(s)-weary cynic who shoots first and fixes the hyperdrive later. He may have joined up with the Rebellion for the paycheck and not the ideals, but that doesn’t stop him from helping to destroy a few Death Stars along the way. Don’t worry, he knows you love him. — CG

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