Power Rankings: Star Wars - Best Villains
"The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be...unnatural." Star Wars has many memorable villains, whether they are Force-sensitive or not, so we are breaking down the 10 best villains from the film saga.
Character: Orson Krennic
Bio: While serving the Empire as Director of Advanced Weapons Research, Orson Krennic was heavily involved in the development and construction of the Death Star. He had Galen Erso provide research on kyber crystals until Erso realized what it was for, at which point, Krennic captured Erso and forced him into helping complete the weapon.
What Makes Them A Great Villain: The overseer of the Death Star creation needs to be on this list for the destruction and terror it caused throughout the saga. He came close to crushing any hope for the Rebellion by nearly preventing the transmission of the battle station's plans, but came up just short.
Most Evil Moment: You can kill a man's wife, separate him from his daughter, and take him hostage to force him to work on your superweapon, but Krennic took it too far when he insulted the farming profession.
Bio: Grievous was a warlord from the planet Kalee and suffered serious injuries that led to him being built into the cyborg we saw in Revenge of the Sith. He was the general of the Separatist Droid Army during the Clone Wars.
What Makes Them A Great Villain: Would he be more intimidating if he didn't have a cold? Sure, but it is implied that Grievous has killed several Jedi, so he was not to be taken lightly.
Most Evil Moment: Grievous' M.O. throughout the Clone Wars was to always just escape capture while leading the droid army. We get to see more of this in the Clone Wars animated series, but this scene in Episode III is the last time Grievous would escape Obi-Wan.
Character: Count Dooku
Bio: Dooku was once a Jedi, trained by Yoda, but left the Jedi Order and became known as Darth Tyranus, the apprentice of Darth Sidious. Sidious/Palpatine had Dooku/Tyranus lead the Separatist movement against the Republic.
What Makes Them A Great Villain: Casting Christopher Lee as a villain is always a good choice. Dooku also made an intriguing character as a former Jedi and for his role in the creation of the clone army as part of Palpatine's grand plan.
Most Evil Moment: It's always fun to see a unique lightsaber, and Dooku used his to manhandle both Obi-Wan and Anakin while also holding his own against Yoda.
Character: Boba Fett
Bio: One of the most revered bounty hunters in the galaxy, Boba Fett was trusted and frequently hired by the likes of Jabba the Hutt and the Empire. We learned from the prequels that Boba was a clone of his father, Jango, but was completely unaltered, unlike the other clones.
What Makes Them A Great Villain: Fett's fandom soared despite not actually having a huge role in the films and after suffering an anticlimactic end...or is he still out there??
Most Evil Moment: Boba tracked the Millennium Falcon to Cloud City and alerted the Empire, leading to Vader wanting to test the carbonite freezing process on Han. Then Boba took the Han wall decoration to Jabba.
Character: Jabba the Hutt
Bio: Jabba led a crime syndicate on Tatooine and held major influence regarding trade. Han Solo worked for Jabba frequently to smuggle goods throughout space. Jabba enjoys eating, good music, and feeding slaves to his rancor.
What Makes Them A Great Villain: One of the most notorious gangsters in the galaxy, Jabba maintained power from Episode I all the way to his death in Episode VI. He was even able to keep his operations outside the reach of the Republic and the Empire.
Most Evil Moment: Forcing your squad to huddle near your giant, smelly, slimy body in a small room behind a curtain all night just waiting for Leia to unfreeze Han so you can humiliate them is evil on many levels.
Character: Kylo Ren
Bio: Ben Solo is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa. He was being trained as a Jedi by Luke Skywalker, but Ben turned to the dark side, committing himself to Supreme Leader Snoke, and became Kylo Ren. Ren eventually killed Snoke and took over as the new Supreme Leader of the First Order. It has been said that Kylo Ren has an 8-pack.
What Makes Them A Great Villain: Kylo is the perfect millennial villian. He is whiny, similar to his uncle and grandfather, but without having suffered the hardships they did (I am a millennial, so I can say this. Please don't "OK Boomer" me).
Most Evil Moment: Even though he redeemed himself in Rise of Skywalker, one cannot simply be forgiven for killing Han Solo.
Character: Darth Maul
Bio: Maul, from the planet Dathomir, was a Sith Lord and the apprentice of Darth Sidious. He was sent to kill Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi to reveal that the Sith were still around after keeping themselves hidden for years. Maul successfully killed Qui-Gon, but was sliced in half by Kenobi. It was later revealed that Maul survived and continued to cause havoc until Kenobi finally killed Maul shortly before the events of Episode IV.
What Makes Them A Great Villain: A badass look, dual-bladed lightsaber, and kick-ass martial arts-inspired fighting style quickly made Maul a fan favorite. There is a reason he is continually brought back in the animated shows or spinoff films despite appearing very dead at the end of Episode I.
Most Evil Moment: Qui-Gon has a glass jaw and Maul exposed it.
Character: Grand Moff Tarkin
Bio: Wilhuff Tarkin was a military leader, with the title of Grand Moff, for the Galactic Empire. He also was given the responsibility of operating the Death Star. Tarkin used the battle station to instill fear in systems of planets to keep them in line and loyal to the Empire. However, like the Titanic, Tarkin went down with his ship when the Death Star was destroyed.
What Makes Them A Great Villain: This man has zero force powers and yet is able to boss Vader around. We also learned in Rogue One that Tarkin basically stole all the credit from Krennic for developing the Death Star and took over its operations when Krennic was gone. And we saw what Tarkin did when in command of the Death Star.
Most Evil Moment: Tarkin pulled the old "had my fingers crossed" and blew up Leia's home planet while also forcing her to watch. Savage AF.
Character: Emperor Palpatine
Bio: Sheev Palpatine started out as a Senator from Naboo, and through manipulation, worked his way up to Supreme Chancellor, and then Emperor in a restructured galaxy that he ruled cruelly. All along, he was an evil Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. For years, Palpatine was thought to be dead and gone after the destruction of the second Death Star, but was revealed to still be pulling the strings of evil in the sequel trilogy, until he was finally eradicated.
What Makes Them A Great Villain: Palpatine tricked the people into handing him the keys to the galaxy in a ploy that real-life politicians probably salivate over. He was both a powerful Sith, who was too much for almost any Jedi in combat, as well as a brilliant schemer.
Most Evil Moment: Don't you hate when you have to pay for just limited power and then you get penalized for overages? The unlimited plan is the way to go.
Character: Darth Vader
Bio: The artist formerly known as Anakin Skywalker. Vader is another fallen Jedi who was seduced by the dark side. He ruled the galaxy alongside Emperor Palpatine until he decided to throw the Emperor to his death to where he would stay until Episode IX because he couldn't stand to watch his son be killed.
What Makes Them A Great Villain: The theme song, the iconic breathing sound, the mask, the dastardly deeds, the bad parenting. All qualities of a great villain. Vader captivated us the instant he first stepped on screen and has the credentials to make a case for best villain in cinematic history.
Most Evil Moment: This is like an episode of Maury where Luke is on the wrong end of a paternity test.
As a bonus, we had to include this collection of Vader's best lines because James Earl Jones is a treasure.