Star Wars has spanned four whole decades in telling an incredible story set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Each new generation of Star Wars fans has their own series of films to love and be attached to, whether its the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, or the newest films. Star Wars not only tells a great space story filled with fun and adventure, it also connects with the audience, giving them characters that they get to cheer for (or against).
And that is really the beauty of this storied film franchise. The characters that people know and love have always been a central point of the entire journey. After all, what kid in 1977 didn't see themselves as Luke Skywalker, going on an adventure to a far off place, fighting the bad guys and rescuing the princess? Maybe they liked Han solo more, with his roguish charm and cool attitude. Maybe there were even kids who thought Darth Vader was the coolest character, due to his towering visage and amazing lightsaber skills. Either way, these characters are indelible, and they stick with audiences forever.
Take a look at all of these classic (and fresh) Star Wars characters. Pick your favorites, and pass on the ones you don't like, and see if you're more of a Jedi or a Sith!
Poe Dameron (played by Oscar Isaac) is one of the newest heroes in the Star Wars universe., He has shown that he is a crack pilot and a brave fighter, willing to go the distance for his friends and allies. However, sometimes his brash attitude can get him into trouble, especially if he isn't willing to trust the people around him. However, he has proven to be a valuable member of the resistance, and a great friend to Finn and Rey.
BB-8 is Poe Dameron's trusty droid. BB-8, like R2D2 before him, has a little bit of an attitude and a personality all its own, but it has proven to be completely loyal to the people around it, willing to go the distance and provide assistance wherever it is needed. Whether that is picking a lock or plugging itself into a computer to read its programming, BB-8 has shown that it can do just about anything, and its unique soccer ball design is also pretty cool!
Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by both Alec Guinness in the original trilogy and Ewan MacGregor in the prequel trilogy) is one of the most well-known and beloved characters in the entire Star Wars canon. Asa younger Jedi, Obi-Wan was responsible for training Anakin Skywalker (who would eventually turn to the dark side and become Darth Vader). Obi-Wan carried the guilt of letting down Anakin and allowing him to turn to the dark side for his entire life. He has remained a central figure in the overall Star Wars story.
R2D2 is the trusty droid sidekick to Luke Skywalker, one that constantly gets on the nerves of his partner, C3PO. R2D2 is helpful, but still has a little bit of an attitude. He communicates through beeps and whistles, which C3PO is (obviously) able to understand perfectly. R2D2 also serves as the droid that powers the computers in Luke's X-Wing. He has always been an important part of the overall Star Wars saga, and even though he looks like he couldn't be that helpful in a fight, he has proven brave and loyal.
Admiral Ackbar is a member of the resistance in the original trilogy, mostly known for his exclamation that "it's a trap!" Of course, Admiral Ackbar is more than a catchphrase, He was an integral part of the resistance defeating the empire the first time around. He even made it so far as to help the resistance take on the New Order in the most recent Sar Wars films. Unfortunately, he met his end in The Last Jedi, but he will be remembered as a hero.
Lando Calrissian (played by both Donald Glover and Billy Dee Williams) is often considered to be the coolest character in the Star Wars universe. He was once a scoundrel and a smuggler like Han Solo, but he worked his way into a more legitimate life as a council member in Cloud City on the planet Bespin. Lando Calrissian offers his help to Han and Leia when they arrive to meet him, but he has secretly been working for Darth Vader in order to keep the people of the city safe.
Jar Jar Binks
Jar Jar Binks may be one of the most disliked figures in all of Star Wars. Fans were immediately put off by his demeanor, as well as his slapstick tendencies, but there is more than meets the eye to this helpful Gungan. Jar Jar was actually crucial to the Jedis in helping them to defeat the clone army and save the Republic. Though he might not have always been the most graceful creature, he was always loyal to his friends, and wanted to help in any way he could.
Darth Vader is the ultimate Star Wars villain, the one that everyone recognizes, whether it's from his menacing black helmet and cape, or his distinctive breathing. Darth Vader cuts an imposing figure, and his deep voice could send chills down anyone's spine. He does not tolerate insolence from his subordinates and is adept at wielding both the force and a lightsaber in order to win his battles. Though he redeems himself at the end of the story, he remains one of the most important figures in the empire.
Of course, with every empire, there must be an emperor. That comes in the form of Emperor Palpatine (played by Ian McDiarmid). Though Palpatine started off as a relatively normal person, his influence is what drove Anakin Skywalker to the dark side. Throughout the prequel trilogy, it became more obvious that Palpatine meant to seize power for himself, and set himself up as the unquestioned ruler of the galaxy. Palpatine was finally defeated when Vader turned against him and threw him down off a platform.
Finn has become one of the newest heroes in the resistance, and although he has stumbled along the way, he has repeatedly shown that like so many of the other people around him, he is loyal to the cause and to his friends. Finn started out as a stormtrooper, although he had always been a reluctant recruit. He did not wish to take part in the First Order's actions across the galaxy, and he decided to defect, making him their enemy, and helping him find a new home in the resistance.
Padme Amidala was one of the Republic's strongest supporters, and she worked closely with the Jedi to maintain order against the invading Empire. She was also the true love of Anakin Skywalker. However, as she watched him go further and further to the Dark Side, she began to question whether she could truly love someone like him. Padme was completely taken aback by Anakin's actions, and seriously knew that their relationship would never work. She had twins right before passing away.
Grand Moff Tarkin
Grand Moff Tarkin is one of the highest ranking officers in the entire Empire and is Darth Vader's right-hand man. He is the officer who orders the destruction of Alderaan right before Princess Leia's eyes. He was integral to how the empire operated and took control of the galaxy. He may not be able to control the force, like a Jedi or the Sith, but Tarkin was just as ruthless as any of his superiors, serving the Empire with an unmatched level of loyalty.
Jabba the Hutt
Jabba the Hutt is one of the last members of his kind, and he has made a name for himself by being one of the biggest criminals in the galaxy. He worked closely with Han Solo, but after Han betrayed him and left him behind, he put a bounty out on Solo's head. Solo was delivered to him by Boba Fett, and Jabba's palace was finally revealed in Return of the Jedi. Jabba the Hutt is not able to do anything himself, but he is able to command others to do his bidding.
Rey has become the new protagonist of the Star Wars series. Like Luke Skywalker, she grew up on a desert planet. However, unlike Luke, Rey was an orphan. She also looked to the sky and wondered if she would ever make it anywhere else. Once she met with Finn, she was pulled into the fight between the resistance and the First Order. She traveled to a faraway planet to find Luke Skywalker and train with him, but he was reluctant. Rey has demonstrated great prowess with the force.
Captain Phasma (played by Gwendoline Christie) is the leader of a stormtropper battalion. She is a no-nonsense leader who does not stand for any insubordination. This makes her grudge against Finn a special one, as she sees his desertion as an act of total betrayal to the cause she is fighting for. Phasma is a completely loyal soldier and will do anything she can to serve the First Order and hunt down Finn to make him pay for leaving his post.
Maz Kanata (played by Lupita Nyong'o) is a new addition to the Star Wars saga, and she is an important figure already. Being in touch with the force allows Maz to see that Rey is also able to channel it, and she is the one who gives her one of the most important items she will ever receive: Luke Skywalker's lightsaber. Maz helps the resistance in any way she can. Maz Kanata is over a thousand years old, and has seen empires rise and fall.
K2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) is a droid who is integral to the original plan to steal the blueprints for the deathstar in order to hand them over to the resistance so that they can find its weak point and figure out how to get rid of it. K2So was originally part of the empires' battalion, but after he was captured by Cassian Andor, he was reprogrammed to help the resistance in defeating the empire. He ultimately sacrificed himself for the greater good.
C3PO (played by Anthony Daniels) is a golden protocol droid who was made for diplomatic purposes. He is not one for confrontation or battle, and often finds himself being taken apart, blown up, or otherwise in other dangerous situations. He is a very proper droid who is able to speak many different languages. He and R2D2 are purchased by Luke Skywalker, which is how the young man finds out about Princess Leia and the plight of the resistance. C3PO is loyal, but he is constantly annoyed by his friend R2D2.
General Hux (played by Domhnall Gleason) is a dedicated, loyal, and ruthless officer in the First Order. He commands the respect of his subordinates and has no other goal than the complete takeover of the galaxy and the destruction of the resistance. He and Kylo Ren often find themselves at odds of how to carry out their plans, leading to a lot of tension between the two. Hux believes himself to be a great soldier and craves success at any cost.
Supreme Leader Snoke
Supreme Leader Snoke (played by Andy Serkis) is the leader of the First Order, the organization that rose up in the wake of the empire's defeat. Snoke is a powerful being who commands the respect of both his soldiers and Kylo Ren. Snoke is a truly malevolent being, wishing to entirely wipe out the light side of the force and completely take down the resistance in order to control the whole of the galaxy. However, he is quickly taken out by Kylo Ren.
DJ (played by Benicio Del Toro) is a computer slicer who is found by Rose and Finn when they end up in jail on the casino planet. DJ is a neutral party, as he does not pledge allegiance to the First Order or the resistance. Instead, he just tries to stay ahead of both of them, revealing to Finn and Rose that really, both sides are wrong. He does travel with them in order to help them infiltrate a First Order base, but he turns on them in order to save his own life.
Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz) has always been an integral part of the Star Wars universe. Originally he was the Jedi master who trained Luke Skywalker in the ways of the force. Despite his diminutive appearance, Yoda is a skilled Jedi and a master of the Force. In the prequels, Yoda's role was expanded as he was one of the members that sat on the Jedi council. This was also when audiences got to see Yoda's lightsaber fighting skills, which were very impressive!
Boba Fett is a ruthless bounty hunter who will stop at nothing to find the people he is looking for. Tasked by Darth Vader with finding Princess Leia, Boba Fett is also on the hunt for Han Solo to take back to Jabba the Hutt. Boba Fett brings solo to Hutt's castle, but during the daring escape of Luke, Leia, and Han, he is knocked into the Sarlacc pit. Despite the fact that Boba Fett does not do that much in Star Wars, he has become one of its most popular characters.
Chewbacca is a Wookiee and a faithful sidekick to Han Solo. Together, the two embark on countless adventures in the Millennium Falcon. Chewbacca communicates mostly through growls and roars, which Han seems to be able to understand perfectly. Chewbacca (or Chewie) has a big heart and loves to protect his friends, but he can also have a short temper, especially if someone beats him in holographic chess. He typically sports a bandolier and a blaster that has the appearance of crossbow.
General Grievous is a partially cybernetic alien member of the Empire. With his enhanced physicality, he is able to wield four lightsabers at once. Originally he was a warlord, but after he was nearly taken out by a massive ship crash, he was found by the empire and rebuilt to serve them. He is the commander of the empire's droid armies during the clone wars. Oddly enough, for being mostly machine, Grievous actually has asthma, as a plate over his breathing apparatus was crushed by Mace Windu.
Mace Windu (played by Samuel L. Jackson) was a member of the Jedi council and featured heavily in the prequel trilogy. Mace Windu is part of the council that first rejects Qui-Gon Jinn's request to train Anakin Skywalker in the ways of the force. However, after witnessing the return of the Sith, Mace changes his mind and allows Obi-Wan to train Anakin after the loss of Qui-Gon. Mace Windu is ultimately defeated when he tries to take down emperor Palpatine once and for all.
Luke Skywalker is probably the most important figure in the entire Star Wars saga. Though he became a legendary Jedi Knight, he did not start out that way. Orphaned at a young age, Luke lived on Tatooine with his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen. After being drawn into the galactic battle between the Rebels and the empire, Luke leaves Tatooine and faces off against Darth Vader. He proves himself as an excellent X-Wing pilot, as well as a skilled Jedi Knight.
Kylo Ren is the newest incarnation of a Sith Lord working with the First Order. Though he draws much of his influence from Darth Vader, almost revering him as some kind of holy figure, Kylo wants to build his own legacy as one of the greatest Sith Lords of all time. He has a tangible link through the force to Rey, and he uses this to communicate with her, even while they are far away from each other. Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia.
Count Dooku is the ultimate example of a traitor. He was once on the Jedi Council, but after seeing the error in their ways of dealing with the developing empire, he defected from their cause in order to join the Dark Side of the force. Count Dooku is an incredibly strong force user and was key to convincing Anakin Skywalker to join the dark side as well. He demonstrated that the Jedi would teach him to hold his power back, rather than embrace it fully.
Qui-Gon Jinn was the Jedi Knight who was originally training Obi-Wan Kenobi. He accompanied the young Jedi to Tatooine, where the two discovered a boy who was very connected to the force: Anakin Skywalker. Qui-Gon knew that the boy had great potential and that he could be one of the greatest Jedi who ever lived. He also knew that there was darkness inside the boy, which, without the right guidance, could lead him to the dark side. Qui-Gon was lost during a battle with Darth Maul.
Han Solo is probably the most popular Star Wars character, if only for his rascally attitude and his devil-may-care approach to life. He began the story as a smuggler with some less-than-virtuous views on what was happening in the galaxy. However, he agrees to help Obi-Wan and Luke by taking them to the Rebel base. Han is an excellent pilot and prefers a straightforward approach to problem-solving. He doesn't believe in the force at first but learns the truth as the story goes on, and he is drawn deeper into the conflict.
Rose Tico is an engineer working with the resistance. she has a big heart and truly believes in what the resistance is doing, even if they do lose a few of their battles. Rose lost her sister during one of these confrontations with the First Order, but she knows that it would have been her wish for rose to carry on. She and Finn find themselves on a casino planet, where they meet the codebreaker DJ. Rose ultimately saves Finn's life during the final battle.
Princess Leia is one of the most popular female characters in all of fiction. Far from being a helpless princess, Leia takes an active role in her rescue during the original film and doesn't hesitate to let people know that she is tough, tenacious, and willing to do things herself. she is even crucial to Luke's rescue in Return of the Jedi. Later on, she becomes an important resistance leader and a famous figure in the fight against the First Order.
Darth Maul was a trusted Sith lieutenant during the original conflict in The Phantom Menace. Recognizable by his distinct red and black skin, as well as the horns on his head, Darth Maul was able to wield a double-sided lightsaber with no issue. He is still one of the only characters to do so. Though it appeared that he was taken out by Obi-Wan in their battle, he ultimately survived this confrontation and continued to be a crucial figure during the clone wars.
Jango Fett was a skilled fighter during the original clone wars. So much so, that his DNA was the basis for all of the clone soldiers that were made to serve the budding empire. However, Jango had more of a questionable attitude than his clones, which often made him a liability. He had "son," who was actually just another clone of him, named Boba, who unfortunately had to watch Jango be defeated at the hands of Mace Windu. Boba would go on to wear his father's armor.