The great Amandla Stenberg was recently cast as a major character in the upcoming star wars streaming series The Acolyte. Stenberg’s role could join growing list of iconic star wars characters alongside Jedi like Yoda and Qui-Gon Jinn and Sith Lords like Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine.
Every film in George Lucas’ intergalactic saga is filled with iconic characters – from the original trilogy’s central trio of Luke, Leia and Han to the prequel trilogy’s central trio of Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padmé – but there’s always one character in particular that steals the show.
11 Star Wars (1977) – Han Solo
In 1977, the original star wars The film debuted with countless iconic characters: Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Leia Organa, Ben Kenobi, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, the list goes on. But, arguably, the standout character is Han Solo.
Harrison Ford’s effortless charisma fit Solo’s role like a glove. It’s an ice-cool gunslinger ripped straight from a classic Western and transplanted to a galaxy far, far away.
ten The Empire Strikes Back – Darth Vader
Darth Vader was introduced as a faceless symbol of pure evil in the original film. But he was surprisingly humanized in the sequel. In The Empire Strikes BackVader is seen in his private room where his helmet is lowered over his scarred head.
This shot established that there was a human in the costume before what is perhaps the most shocking and effective plot twist in movie history. At the climax of the film, Vader reveals to Luke, “I am your father”.
9 Return of the Jedi – Luke Skywalker
Luke was a bright-eyed benefactor from the very beginning, but Return of the Jedi makes him the ultimate hero for star wars fans to admire. Mark Hamill is more at home than ever in the role of the highly anticipated finale to the original trilogy.
After learning that he is Vader’s son, Luke believes there is still good in his father and refuses to accept otherwise. Armed with this conviction, Luke wins the final battle with love and compassion, not with hatred and violence.
8 The Phantom Menace – Qui-Gon Jinn
Liam Neeson only appeared in one star wars movie, but that was all he needed to become an icon in this universe. A wise, sane, and lovable warrior, Qui-Gon Jinn is the epitome of Jedi teachings. In The Phantom Menacehe emerges as the father figure Anakin needed.
Qui-Gon gets one of the most heartbreaking death scenes in the saga, and his disappearance has massive ramifications on the larger narrative as it seals Anakin’s tragic fate.
seven Attack of the Clones – Obi-Wan Kenobi
In plot A of attack of the clones, Anakin is sent to Naboo to protect Padmé from assassins. As this is notoriously one of the goofiest romances in movie history, the B-plot is much more compelling. The secondary storyline sees Obi-Wan in detective mode.
Throughout the film, Kenobi learns about the cloning operation, becomes entangled with Jango Fett, and confronts the Separatists with a Jedi strike force. Ewan McGregor is still as charming as young Obi-Wan. It captures the warmth and spirit of Kenobi without copying Alec Guinness.
6 Revenge of the Sith – Anakin Skywalker
When attack of the clones Released in theaters, Hayden Christensen’s performance as Anakin Skywalker was criticized for its wooden acting. It didn’t help that Lucas wrote it as a whiny teenager who doesn’t like sand. In Revenge of the SithChristensen settles more comfortably into the role.
The actor is given much darker material to work with as Anakin completes his journey to the dark side and becomes complete Vader, and Christensen nails that journey every step of the way.
5 The Force Awakens – Finn
John Boyega matched the tone of star wars brilliantly, nailing the goofy one-liners and bringing real nuance to the most dramatic turns. Finn arguably should have been the hero who went to Ahch-To to be trained as a Jedi by Luke.
If the plan was for the sequel trilogy to revolve around a “person” who didn’t come from a special Force-sensitive bloodline, then the orphaned Stormtrooper who was never given a real name would have been perfect.
4 Rogue One – Darth Vader
The Empire Strikes Back is not the only one star wars film stolen by Vader. A thug introduced fans to a bunch of exciting new heroes, from Rebel spy Cassian Andor to former Imperial droid K-2SO, but Vader steals the show with a boatload of fan service.
The climactic hallway massacre, illuminated by the chilling red glow of Vader’s lightsaber, is one of the most iconic moments in star wars the story.
3 The Last Jedi – Rose Tico
The second chapter of the sequel trilogy, The Last Jedi, featured Kelly Marie Tran as Every Woman Rose Tico. A mechanic working for the Resistance, Rose is essentially the trilogy’s audience surrogate. She teams up with Finn to help them escape the First Order.
Tran’s impassioned performance made sure the lines that shouldn’t work on paper – “don’t fight what we hate; save what we love” – always landed in the film.
2 Solo: A Star Wars Story – Lando Calrissian
Alden Ehrenreich did a great job playing a naïve young Han in the original film. Solo: A Star Wars Story. But Donald Glover stole the show with his fascinating turn as young Lando Calrissian.
Like McGregor’s turn as a young Obi-Wan, Glover took on the charms of Billy Dee Williams without making a superficial impression. Lando is hilariously arrogant and narcissistic in his early days. He constantly recounts his memoirs, The Calrissian chronicleson a tape recorder.
1 The Rise of Skywalker – Babu Frik
The final chapter of the sequel trilogy, and the Skywalker saga as a whole, The Rise of Skywalker, makes some weird jumps with the main characters. Finn and Poe are once again sidelined, Kylo Ren gets an unearned redemption arc, and Rey is revealed to be Emperor Palpatine’s granddaughter.
But the movie has a few saving graces, like jaw-dropping practical effects, a truer portrayal of Luke Skywalker, and the long-awaited return of Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine. And, of course, there’s the little droid engineer Babu Frik. Babu gives Grogu a run for his money as the cutest star wars character.
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