Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (2024)

Star Wars

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (1)

By Diego Pineda Pacheco

Your changes have been saved

Email Is sent

Please verify your email address.

You’ve reached your account maximum for followed topics.

Manage Your List

Follow

Followed

Follow with Notifications

Follow

Unfollow

Link copied to clipboard

Sign in to your Collider account
Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (2)

When George Lucas's original Star Wars came out in 1977, it took the world by storm. Even then, however, it's unlikely that anyone could have predicted the gargantuan cultural phenomenon that it would go on to become. Today, nearly half a century later, it's easily and by far the most iconic sci-fi/fantasy movie franchise of all time, and its popularity only keeps growing.

Like all enduring movie franchises, the canon of Star Wars' movies and shows is filled to the brim with plenty of fearsome antagonists. Most of them are among the most iconic villains in movie and television history, while others aren't nearly as memorable. If anything, the variety and diversity between these characters show that the galaxy far far away is plagued with rogues of all shapes, sizes, and levels of quality.

21 Head of the Pyke Syndicate

Originally Played by Phil LaMarr

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (3)

Could it get any more forgettable than a lead antagonist that doesn't even have a name? The Pyke Syndicate is the galaxy's leading spice dealers and the driving antagonistic force behind The Book of Boba Fett. In it, the legendary titular bounty hunter navigates the underworld of Tatooine when he returns to claim Jabba the Hutt's old turf.

Though most fans felt that The Book of Boba Fett was an underwhelming mess that did a massive disservice to one of the franchise's most intriguing characters, it certainly had a lot of redeeming qualities— including a certain other major Star Wars villains. Its lead antagonist, however, isn't one of those qualities. The Pyke leader is forgettable, lacks presence, and does pretty much nothing of any real consequence.

The Book of Boba Fett

TV-14

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Release Date
2021-12-00
Cast
Temuera Morrison , Ming-Na Wen

Creator
Jon Favreau

Seasons
1

Watch on Disney+

20 Supreme Leader Snoke

Originally Played by Andy Serkis

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (4)

The Star Wars sequel trilogy has just about as many detractors as it does fans. While it undeniably had plenty of great things that made its three installments stand out, Supreme Leader Snoke was a bit of a disappointment. First introduced in Episode VII — The Force Awakens as the mysterious head of the First Order, he would soon prove to be not nearly as important as fans initially thought he'd be.

Snoke showed plenty of promise early on. He was imposing, deceitful, visually striking, and excellently played by the always-great Andy Serkis. However, as soon as he was unceremoniously disposed of in Episode VIII — The Last Jedi and revealed to be even less important in Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker, he quickly faded into the most forgettable of territories.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

PG-13

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Release Date
December 18, 2015
Director
J.J. Abrams
Cast
Daisy Ridley , John Boyega , Oscar Isaac , Domhnall Gleeson , Harrison Ford , Mark Hamill , Carrie Fisher , Adam Driver

Runtime
138 minutes

Watch on Disney+

19 Admiral Hux

Originally Played by Domhnall Gleeson

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (5)

The best Star Wars villains tend to be intimidating and powerful; pure embodiments of evil, but with motivations complex enough to make them engaging; and despicable, yet always a delight to watch. Sadly, Admiral Hux consistently failed to be all those things. He was too dumb to be scary, too insecure to be powerful, too much of a doofus to be engaging.

What began as a simplistic but interesting representation of pure tyrannical power in The Force Awakens quickly became a glaringly lackluster character arc in its sequels. Even considering that he probably has the highest kill count in all of Star Wars, Hux is more of a pathetic character than a compelling villain, even if Domhnall Gleeson's solid and intense performance often manages to make him at least a little fun.

18 Reva Sevander

Originally Played by Moses Ingram

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (6)

Whether a second season of Obi-Wan Kenobi is needed is pretty debatable, particularly considering that many fans felt that the series' glacial pace and logical inconsistencies made for a rather disappointing season of intergalactic television. In following Obi-Wan's first adventure in years since his self-imposed exile on Tatooine, the show finds in the ambitious and violent Third Sister Reva Sevander its main villain.

Moses Ingram does an admirable job with the material that she's given, imbuing Reva with as much nuance and emotional layers as she possibly can. Sadly, the issue lies in the script. For the majority of the show, Reva feels more like a loud and uncompelling nuisance than a truly terrifying villain, and the story's attempt at giving her a redemption arc hardly feels earned or satisfying at all.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

TV-14

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Release Date
May 27, 2022
Cast
Ewan McGregor , Moses Ingram , Sung Kang , Hayden Christensen

Seasons
1

Watch on Disney+

17 Jango Fett

Originally Played by Temuera Morrison

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (7)

Even in light of the spike in popularity that George Lucas's prequel trilogy has seen in recent years, Episode II — Attack of the Clones is still widely considered to be a mediocre film at best. It finds Anakin sharing a forbidden romance with former princess Padmé Amidala, while Obi-Wan chases a bounty hunter around the galaxy to unveil a potentially dangerous mystery.

One isn't likely to see Attack of the Clones among many people's favorite sci-fi prequels, and Jango Fett, one of the movie's two main antagonists, is fittingly just as "decent but not exactly good." Though he's the template of the clones, making him one of the most pivotal characters in the franchise's canon, he doesn't have much of a clear personality or strong intimidating presence to make him a great villain.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

PG

Action

Adventure

Fantasy

Sci-Fi

Release Date
May 16, 2002

Director
George Lucas
Cast
Ewan McGregor , Natalie Portman , Hayden Christensen , Christopher Lee , Samuel L. Jackson , Frank Oz

Runtime
142 minutes

Watch on Disney+

16 Dryden Vos

Originally Played by Paul Bettany

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (8)

Solo: A Star Wars Story is not only one of the most overcriticized Star Wars movies but perhaps even one of the most underrated sci-fi movies of recent years. Following the origins of one of the franchise's most beloved and unlikely heroes, it's a space Western adventure that gives fans a glimpse into what made the legendary Han Solo the noble scoundrel that they met in Episode IV — A New Hope.

The story's main antagonist, Dryden Vos, is a violent and unpredictable crime lord with a taste for opulence and excess. Paul Bettany brings some level of nuance to the role, making him a true force to be reckoned with; but the character is so flat that it ends up being pretty easy to forget about him in the ocean of much more interesting characters that the film offers.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

PG-13

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Director
Ron Howard
Cast
Alden Ehrenreich , Woody Harrelson , Emilia Clarke , Donald Glover , Joonas Suotamo , Thandiwe Newton

Runtime
135 minutes

Watch on Disney+

15 Jabba the Hutt

Originally Played by Larry Ward

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (9)

With his grubby hands all over the galaxy's political and corporate worlds, Jabba the Hutt was one of the most powerful gangsters in Star Wars, controlling a massive criminal empire from his palace on Tatooine. Serving as one of the major antagonists in Episode VI — Return of the Jedi, as well as appearing in lots of other Star Wars media, he's one of the series' most visually recognizable characters.

Aside from his iconic appearance, Jabba is a villain that you don't want to mess with. While not outright scary or particularly interesting, the level of power and influence that he holds across the galaxy certainly make him imposing, always making him a fun obstacle to seeing the heroes try to overcome.

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

PG

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Fantasy

Release Date
May 25, 1983

Director
Richard Marquand
Cast
Mark Hamill , Harrison Ford , Carrie Fisher , Billy Dee Williams , Anthony Daniels , Peter Mayhew

Runtime
131 minutes

Watch on Disney+

14 The Grand Inquisitor

Originally Played by Jason Isaacs

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (10)

Though he has considerably less screen time than most other major Star Wars villains, the Grand Inquisitor still managed to leave an unforgettable mark on the franchise. The main antagonist of the first season of Star Wars: Rebels, as well as a side villain in Obi-Wan Kenobi, he's the terrifying leader of the Inquisitors, a band of Jedi hunters working for the Empire.

The Inquisitor is a pivotal element in some of Rebels's strongest episodes, thanks to his intimidating presence and awe-inspiring levels of power. Even though fans have never gotten enough time with him to make him a truly top-tier villain, he's nevertheless a deeply intriguing character who always lights up the screen whenever he's on it.

Star Wars: Rebels

TV-Y7-FV

Animation

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Release Date
September 26, 2014

Creator
Simon Kinberg, Carrie Beck, Dave Filoni, George Lucas
Cast
Dave Filoni , Taylor Gray , Freddie Prinze Jr. , Vanessa Marshall , Steve Blum , Tiya Sircar , Dee Bradley Baker , David Oyelowo

Seasons
4

Watch on Disney+

13 General Grievous

Originally Played by Matthew Wood

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (11)

Originally appearing in the (now tragically non-canon) original 2D-animated Star Wars: Clone Wars, General Grievous then made his jump to film in Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, the eventful conclusion to Lucas's prequel trilogy, which arguably redeems the whole series. In it, Grievous is the feared commander of the Droid Army, a role that he fulfilled over the course of most of the Clone Wars.

Even if Grievous isn't a particularly complex character, there's something that makes him one of the most beloved villains in the franchise: He's incredibly cool. Though he wields four lightsabers that he stole from Jedi enemies he killed in the past, he's not a Force user. Powerful yet cowardly, and ruthless like no other villain from the Clone Wars, he makes up for his lack of depth with some tremendous action scenes in all media he shows up in.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

PG-13

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Fantasy

Release Date
May 17, 2005

Director
George Lucas
Cast
Ewan McGregor , Natalie Portman , Hayden Christensen , Ian McDiarmid , Samuel L. Jackson , Jimmy Smits

Runtime
140 minutes

Watch on Disney+

12 Count Dooku

Originally Played by Christopher Lee

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (12)

Though Palpatine was the mastermind behind the Clone Wars, Count Dooku was the pawn who set everything in motion. Serving as the main antagonist of Attack of the Clones (played by the always masterful Christopher Lee) and The Clone Wars (voiced by the versatile Corey Burton), he's a fallen Jedi Master who shows what happens to those who grow dissatisfied with the Order and give in to the seductions of the Dark Side.

There's a lot of depth to Dooku's journey to becoming a Jedi, and then leaving the Order to become the leader of the Separatists. He's also a master duelist and a cunning strategist, always making him a fun villain to see in action. Even if he tends to feel like a cookie-cutter antagonist with not much uniqueness to offer, the role that he does fulfill, he excels at.

11 Moff Gideon

Originally Played by Giancarlo Esposito

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (13)

The Mandalorian took the world by storm when it premiered in 2019. Audiences had been craving some fresh, unique expansions of the Star Wars galaxy for a while, and with this series about a bounty hunter and his travels throughout the far reaches of the galaxy certainly provided just that. It also offered in Giancarlo Esposito's terrifying Moff Gideon one of the best villains the franchise had had in a while.

Moff Gideon is a big part of what makes the best episodes of the show as good as they are. Though the third season of the show definitely dropped the ball with his character, giving him a conclusion that was anything but satisfying, even that doesn't taint what came before. With strong motivations and a brilliant performance by Esposito, Moff Gideon is a force of nature that's not to be underestimated.

The Mandalorian

TV-14

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Release Date
November 12, 2019
Cast
Pedro Pascal , Carl Weathers , Giancarlo Esposito , Misty Rosas , Temuera Morrison , Omid Abtahi

Seasons
3

Watch on Disney+

10 Crosshair

Originally Played by Dee Bradley Baker

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (14)

Star Wars: The Bad Batch, a spin-off of The Clone Wars focused on the titular genetically enhanced team of clones and their adventures after Order 66, is always at its best when it follows Crosshair, the only member of the team who decided to follow his training and stick by the Republic's side as it transformed into the mighty Galactic Empire.

Making him the best marksman that the Republic had at its disposal, Crosshair's genetic modifications made him one of the most treasured members of the Bad Batch. He has what's by far the most complex and compelling arc of the show, constantly struggling between redemption and blind faith in his superiors.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

TV-PG

Animation

Sci-Fi

Release Date
May 4, 2021

Creator
Jennifer Corbett, Dave Filoni
Cast
Dee Bradley Baker , Ming-Na Wen , Michelle Ang , Noshir Dalal

Seasons
3

Watch on Disney+

9 Cad Bane

Originally Played by Corey Burton

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (15)

Cad Bane was the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy during the time of the Clone Wars and remained a virtually undefeatable villain long after. Showing up consistently as one of The Clone Wars's best secondary villains, and then as a lead antagonist in The Book of Boba Fett, he's a character as badass and cool as he is genuinely intimidating.

Whenever Cad Bane shows up in an episode, it's bound to be a great few minutes of television. Clever, powerful, and more resourceful than anyone else in his field, he's enough of a threat to even singlehandedly hold his own against two powerful Jedis like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Quinlan Vos. Love or hate his demise in The Book of Boba Fett, he'll forever be remembered as one of the galaxy's coolest outlaws.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

TV-PG

Animation

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Release Date
October 3, 2008

Creator
George Lucas
Cast
Corey Burton , Dee Bradley Baker , Matt Lanter , Tom Kane , Matthew Wood , David Tennant , Ashley Eckstein

Seasons
7

Watch on Disney+

8 Kylo Ren

Originally Played by Adam Driver

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (16)

A layered and tortured antagonist with a tragic past, Kylo Ren is easily the sequel's best character. Played with pathos and poignancy by Adam Driver, he's the child of Han Solo and Leia Organa, who fell to the seductions of the Dark Side by the hand of Supreme Leader Snoke, after his uncle Luke's attempted murder of him (understandably one of the most heavily criticized moments in the sequel trilogy).

Kylo has complex motivations and an ocean of anger and hate boiling inside him that's always fascinating to see come to the surface. It's this that makes his arc so interesting, and his eventual redemption in Rise of Skywalker one of that film's rare gems. Even if he doesn't live up to the main villains of the original trilogy, he's still an incredibly fun character to follow.

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi

PG-13

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Fantasy

Release Date
December 15, 2017

Director
Rian Johnson
Cast
Daisy Ridley , John Boyega , Mark Hamill , Carrie Fisher , Adam Driver , Oscar Isaac , Andy Serkis , Lupita Nyong'O

Runtime
152 minutes

Watch on Disney+

7 Lieutenant Supervisor Dedra Meero

Originally Played by Denise Gough

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (17)

No one could have expected a small-scale spin-off following a character from a spin-off movie to be one of the absolute best pieces of Star Wars media ever. Still, that's precisely what Andor is. Dramatic, nuanced, brilliantly written, with intelligent themes, and displaying the Empire as the oppressive fascist regime that it was always better than ever before, it's all that Star Wars should be at its best.

The series has a wide variety of excellent characters, and the main antagonist Dedra Meero is definitely one of its best. Using her ruthless intelligence to climb through the male-dominated ranks of the Imperial Security Bureau, squashing whoever stands in the way of her ambitions, she's a cold and calculated villain who's always fascinating to learn more about.

Andor

TV-14

Sci-Fi

Adventure

Drama

Release Date
September 21, 2022

Creator
Tony Gilroy
Cast
Diego Luna , Stellan Skarsgård , Fiona Shaw , Genevieve O'Reilly

Seasons
2

Watch on Disney+

6 Grand Moff Tarkin

Originally Played by Peter Cushing

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (18)

When written right, Imperial leaders are always really interesting figures; but they will all always operate under the shadow of one of the greatest Star Wars villains ever: Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, a politician and military officer with a long career that has given him the level of power to be the force of nature that he is in A New Hope.

Peter Cushing is terrific in the role, relishing the evilness of the character while never making him feel too simple or cartoonish. Tall and imposing, terrifyingly smart and manipulative, Tarkin was essential to the Empire's survival until his death. He's not often talked about in the same breath as villains like Darth Vader and Sidious, but he absolutely deserves to be.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

PG

Action

Adventure

Fantasy

Sci-Fi

Director
George Lucas
Cast
Mark Hamill , Harrison Ford , Carrie Fisher , Peter Cushing , Alec Guinness , Anthony Daniels

Runtime
121 minutes

Watch on Disney+

5 Director Orson Krennic

Originally Played by Ben Mendelsohn

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (19)

Some fans would go so far as to say that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the best movie in the Star Wars franchise. It wouldn't be a crazy argument. Telling the story of the Rebels who stole the Death Star plans that allowed the Rebels' victory in A New Hope, it has one of the franchise's most menacing villains in the shape of Ben Mendelsohn's arrogant and ambitious Orson Krennic.

Mendelsohn, as one can expect from any performance of his, makes Krennic a villain that's every bit as detestable as he is riveting to follow. With really interesting motivations (he's just a man who wants to do his job well and get praise for it), he stands out as one of the franchise's most unique villains, but that doesn't make his downfall any less satisfying.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

PG-13

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Release Date
December 16, 2016
Director
Gareth Edwards
Cast
Felicity Jones , Diego Luna , Alan Tudyk , Donnie Yen , Wen Jiang , Ben Mendelsohn , Guy Henry , Forest Whitaker

Runtime
133 minutes

Watch on Disney+

4 Darth Maul

Originally Played by Ray Park

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (20)

The prospect of a new lightsaber-wielding Sith with a terrifying, nearly demonic design got fans even more excited than they already were for Episode I — The Phantom Menace back in the late '90s. Even if the movie didn't live up to expectations, Maul was definitely one of its highlights. Visually imposing, a real threat to the heroes, and with an awesome double-sided lightsaber, he was everything fans had hoped he'd be— even if his death at the hands of Obi-Wan was a little disappointing.

As the years passed, though, media like The Clone Wars and Rebels brought back the character, expanded on his personality and motives, and made him one of the greatest characters in the franchise. A Sith fueled by pure hatred and rage, yet with a surprising level of intelligence and patience, he's a villain that has only grown more and more interesting the more he's shown up in the series.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

PG

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Director
George Lucas
Cast
Liam Neeson , Ewan McGregor , Natalie Portman , Jake Lloyd , Ian McDiarmid , Pernilla August , Oliver Ford Davies , Ahmed Best

Runtime
136 minutes

Watch on Disney+

3 Grand Admiral Thrawn

Originally Played by Lars Mikkelsen

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (21)

Though his first canon appearance was in Star Wars: Rebels— easily one of the show's most exciting moments—Grand Admiral Thrawn was introduced to the world of Star Wars long before that. In Timothy Zahn's 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, to be exact. Since then, he has been one of fans' favorite Star Wars villains, and his canon appearances in shows like Ahsoka have only further cemented him as a legendary antagonist.

Thrawn is far and away the most intelligent character in all of Star Wars, a skill that he harnesses to absorb all the knowledge about his enemies' culture and history in order to better understand them. He's a genius tactician whose calm and level-headedness make him even scarier, as one can always assume that he's constantly ten steps ahead of his rivals.

Ahsoka

Sci-Fi

Release Date
August 1, 2023
Cast
Rosario Dawson , Hayden Christensen , Ray Stevenson , Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Seasons
1

Watch on Disney+

2 Darth Sidious

Originally Played by Ian McDiarmid

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (22)

Even despite the atrocities that The Rise of Skywalker did with his character (which Star Wars fans like to pretend never happened), Emperor Sheev Palpatine, a.k.a. Darth Sidious is still one of the best movie villains of all time. Smart, cruel, and with an unparalleled love for the powers that are granted to him by the Dark Side of the Force, he's perhaps the most powerful character in the Skywalker Saga.

Characters with exaggerated amounts of power can often be very boring, but not this one. Watching Palpatine plot the downfall of the Republic and the domination of his Galactic Empire is fascinating. Manipulative, deceitful, and with a neverending thirst for power and influence, he's an enthralling villain who's absolutely terrifying.

  • Movie
  • Star Wars

Your changes have been saved

Email Is sent

Please verify your email address.

You’ve reached your account maximum for followed topics.

Manage Your List

Follow

Followed

Follow with Notifications

Follow

Unfollow

Every Major 'Star Wars' Villain, Ranked (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Last Updated:

Views: 5768

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Birthday: 1992-02-16

Address: Suite 851 78549 Lubowitz Well, Wardside, TX 98080-8615

Phone: +67618977178100

Job: Manufacturing Director

Hobby: Running, Mountaineering, Inline skating, Writing, Baton twirling, Computer programming, Stone skipping

Introduction: My name is Wyatt Volkman LLD, I am a handsome, rich, comfortable, lively, zealous, graceful, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.