The world (or, more accurately, the galaxy) of Star Wars has introduced audiences to a host of lovable and interesting characters. There are those we can identify with, those we feel sorry for, and those we look up to. The original trilogy gave audiences a humble farmboy who became a hero, a willful princess, and a charming scoundrel.
The prequel trilogy gave fans the backstory to a villain who appeared unlikable and made him sympathetic and compelling. The newest films have introduced us to heroes and villains from all kinds of backgrounds. Each era of Star Wars has produced characters that have became the favorites of many fans.
10 Poe Dameron – Brave
Poe Dameron’s bravery, combined with his skills as a pilot, are what cause him to be one of Leia’s most trusted allies in the war against the First Order. He is the one she often trusts to go out on the most daring missions. He shares Leia’s values and is willing to do whatever it takes to defeat the First Order. In The Last Jedi, he’s challenged with the realization that bravery is only valuable to the point that the costs don’t outweigh the benefits. He learns a valuable lesson about when to be brave and when to save that bravery for another day, and goes from hero to leader, giving the Resistance better odds.
9 Kylo Ren – Byronic
A byronic hero, often found in romantic literature, is someone who is brooding, pessimistic, volatile, and dealing with some pain in all the wrong ways. The mystery and pain that surround these kinds of characters is enough to make them interesting, but the romantic aspect they bring to the story, combined with their more dangerous elements, make for a compelling character audiences can root for, even as they do bad things. Kylo Ren, a.k.a. Ben Solo, displays many character traits that could be considered Byronic: he is afflicted with a deep psychological pain, tortured by his past, and connected to the heroine in ways that are both romantic and dangerous.
8 Padmé Amidala – Idealistic
Padmé Amidala is one of the most remarkable characters to be introduced in Star Wars. She was elected Queen of Naboo at the young age of 14, and displayed calm under intense pressures. She refused to give in to violence until her hand was forced, and only did so in order to defend the people she was elected to protect.
She has a strong set of core values that don’t waver, and she never abuses her power. She believes in the power of negotiation, peace over violence, and serving the interests of those who struggle the most in the galaxy. She has a similar generosity of spirit in her personal life, never giving up on the people she loves and always trying to see the best in them.
7 Finn – Heroic
Finn is an example of a character fans hadn’t seen before. In the past, Stormtroopers were just faceless bad guys. Finn gave people a glimpse of the human beings behind the masks, as he struggled with the life he didn’t choose for himself. He finally made a choice in favor of passive resistance to violence, laying down his weapon on Jakku rather than firing on civilians. This action sets him on a path of heroic action, showing how anyone can have an impact on the galaxy and become a hero.
6 Leia Organa – Devoted
After being raised by parents with strong values, Leia Organa spent all of her adult life fighting to forge a better galaxy. She refuses to give up on her beliefs, even in the face of great danger. She doesn’t break under the pressure of interrogation, she is the last to leave when the Rebels are attacked on Hoth, and she once again takes on a fight against a fascist government years later when the First Order rises from the ashes of the Empire. She suffers many losses, both personal and political, but refuses to give up on fighting for what she knows is right.
5 Obi Wan Kenobi – Honorable
Obi Wan Kenobi is basically the perfect Jedi. He follows the rules set out by the Council, and trains his unruly apprentice with patience and kindness. He has a strong moral compass and a thoughtful way of approaching problems. He’s also a very skilled fighter. However, the best thing about Obi Wan is how truly honorable he is. He believes in telling the truth, searching for the truth, and following through on a course once it has been set. He leads with kindness and believes in those he cares about. He manages not to let his feelings get in the way of the bigger picture, except for in the case of Anakin, his apprentice and best friend.
4 Rey – Resilient
In Rey’s introductory scene in The Force Awakens, we learn everything we need to know about her before she opens her mouth to speak. We see how resourceful she is, as well as what a lonely life she leads. She’s been alone for a long time, but she remains kind and never gives up on the hope that one day things may be better. She goes through a lot throughout the course of her journey, but the setbacks and disappointments she faces never curtail her resilient spirit.
3 Luke Skywalker – Inspirational
Part of what made Star Wars such a phenomenon was Luke Skywalker, the kid who longed for adventure and something beyond his small world. Though the setting of the stories in the galaxy far far away are based in fantasy, the theme of growing up and discovering yourself transcends genre.
Luke’s move from moisture farmer to Rebel pilot to Jedi Knight inspired legions of people of all ages that saw something of themselves in the awkward young man coming into his own in the middle of extreme circumstances.
2 Han Solo – Charming
Han Solo has many great qualities, but what makes him so memorable is Harrison Ford’s performance. He brings a goofy charm and swagger to the character that make him instantly iconic. Han is so great because he has the energy of a space cowboy that makes audiences laugh. He also has a heart of gold despite his rough exterior that adds to his charm. Though he likes for people to think he is tough and uncaring, Han is a good guy that cares deeply about people.
1 Anakin Skywalker – Caring
Anakin Skywalker resonated with many viewers, whether they identified with his journey or not. Like his son, Anakin grew up on Tatooine, but longed for something more. However, Anakin’s life was much harsher, having been born into slavery and being powerless over his circumstances. When he’s offered a place among the Jedi, he is excited to finally see more of the galaxy, but is heartbroken at the forced separation from his mother that comes with this opportunity. To make matters worse, the Jedi Council’s response to his inclusion is far from warm. He is treated with distrust and fear, and told to suppress his emotions- something that is quite difficult for Anakin. He cares deeply about people, especially those he loves. He is never able to let go of his attachment to his mother, and he does all he can to protect his wife, Padmé, and best friends, Obi Wan and Ahsoka.
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