The 50 best Star Wars characters

We count down our favorite denizens of a galaxy far, far away…

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Has a cultural phenomenon ever inspired such devotion, such passion, such—for want of a better term—extreme nerdiness than the Star Wars saga? From the films to the figures, the tie-in novels to the TIE-fighter coffee mugs, the blogs to the chatrooms to the international fan conventions, it’s the closest thing cinema has to a unifying faith. Exactly why this should be is unclear, even to those of us who worship at the shrine of Skywalker—but we reckon a lot of it has to do with the characters.

They can be intensely heroic or irretrievably evil. They can be alluringly human or repulsively alien. Remote and robotic or cuddly and cute. But the characters in Star Wars are endlessly fascinating. So here, in an entirely personal and inevitably controversial list, Time Out’s resident Gonk-geek Tom Huddleston presents the 50 best Star Wars characters, in order of greatness.

A note: with one notable exception, these characters are all drawn from the official six-film canon, rather than the novels and console games of the “expanded universe.” Leave your blasters at the door, and your comments below.

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Janeen V
Janeen V

HEY NOW!!  IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO EAT THAT WOMP RAT!!  I think Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker was one of the greatest all-time fits for an actor IN ANY ROLE!. His combination of hope, purity and  innocence combined with his chronic restlessness and permeating sadness made him so believable that to this day I still believe Luke Skywalker lived in that galaxy long long ago and far far away. .But that hope that somehow managed to fight it's way through all that sadness and restlessness--well that gave even ME hope!!  So, you've found your gal that not only prefers Luke to Han, but absolutely could not even STAND Harrison Ford!  For the record,  I think first place should have been a 4-way tie between Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Alec Guiness's Obi Wan, and the inimitable yet lovable Yoda. Who could possibly choose between those 4? All were superb!!!!   But Han Solo? Ohmigod he was horrid!  I saw Star Wars when it first came out, and absolutely could not stand Harrison Ford in that role,  I thought he was so awful that I almost didn't go see The Empire Strikes Back, but loved the other 4 so much that I just had to go. I just closed my eyes when Harrison Ford came onscreen--and still do--and have throughout the years. I feel the same about Samuel Jackson--he was absolutely awful as Mace Windu!  Ford and Jackson are 2 of the highest paid and worst actors of all time in my opinion..... I have to close my eyes when they come onscreen. But all is redeemed with just the sight or sound of Alec's Obi Wan, Mark's Luke, Oz's Yoda or James' Earl Jones' Darth.  SO EAT A WOMP RAT--I'm an original and die-hard Star Wars lover and I cannot and never could stand Harrison Ford's Han Solo! I would have loved Clint Eastwood as Han, though...........

See all Star Wars films

Episode IV: A New Hope

The movie that started it all: a work of pure spectacle and wonder.

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

The best (and bleakest) movie in the series? Most fans think so.

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

We may have been wondering if it was time Lucas tried his hand at universes new.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The film grinds its way from nonsensical plot exposition to anti-climactic finale.

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

After the longueurs of The Phantom Menace, George Lucas was taking no chances.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Breathless, dramatic, effects-filled, badly acted and slightly disappointing.

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