The 10 Biggest Star Wars Villains, According To Ranker

The release of Obi-Wan Kenobi has brought great interest from fans, with the series setting the new viewership record on Disney+ per the official Star Wars Twitter page. There’s been a resurgence in evaluating the villains in Star Wars as well due to the return of Darth Vader in the TV series. 

Fans on Ranker have cast thousands of votes for the villains they have deemed the most hated and memorable in the franchise. These antagonists range from calculating baddies like Grand Moff Tarkin to silent but deadly characters like Darth Maul. It’s interesting to see who the voters have chosen as the big bads that have defined the Star Wars franchise.

10 Grand Admiral Thrawn

Thrawn is from the Chiss species and the commander of the Seventh Fleet who’s promoted to Grand Admiral. His popularity mostly stems from the non-canonical Star Wars Legends, where he was one of the primary antagonists. Fortunately, Star Wars Rebels and a brief mention in The Mandalorian have enabled Thrawn to be part of the main continuity.

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Thrawn is known for his disregard for civilian casualties and stone-cold persona, which makes him a sheer force to deal with. He relies on military tactics rather than power like Darth Vader, but Thrawn does achieve results, and it takes multiple characters to outsmart him.

9 Boba Fett

Before fans checked out all the twists and surprises in The Book of Boba Fett, the character was known primarily as a villain in the original trilogy. Boba Fett’s popularity is something of a mystery because he never actually got around to doing much in the original films.

He was primarily part of Darth Vader’s assembled bounty hunters, with Fett mainly accompanying Vader or keeping watch without speaking much. He became known as a cool villain due to his no-nonsense personality, the unique appearance he carries, and the mystery behind his origins.

8 Jabba The Hutt

Jabba is the crime lord of Tatooine and is the personification of greed and gluttony. He was the overarching villain for Han Solo in the Original trilogy, eventually appearing in Return of the Jedi when he had the frozen Han as part of his collection.

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Jabba’s been a popular character for the casual energy he brings, acting like a know-it-all villain who loves to make smack talk and issue drawn-out threats. The majority of Star Wars villains come from organized evil institutions, while Jabba’s mob boss persona is in good contrast to them.

7 Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren made many bad decisions in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, aligning with the First Order after he was corrupted by Palpatine-as-Snoke. His constant battle with the pull to the light and manipulations from the dark side of the Force made Kylo Ren a captivating villain.

Although he was prone to childish outbursts, these have taken on the forms of memes from the fanbase and added to his entertainment value. His role as Luke’s nephew and Han and Leia’s son serves as the bridge that connects the original trilogy to the sequel trilogy.

6 General Grievous

General Grievous was the Supreme Commander of the Confederacy of Independent Systems' Droid Armies during the Clone Wars. He became Obi-Wan’s rival at this time, with the pair having numerous encounters. Grievous’ obsession with hunting Jedi and collecting their lightsabers became a noticeable character trait.

Many fans see General Grievous as the source of many memes and quotes, ranging from “General Kenobi, you are a bold one,” to “I’ve been trained in your Jedi arts,” among others. Grievous’ CGI has aged massively well, making him look realistic and bringing to life his cyborg physiology.

5 Count Dooku

There are many things that don’t make sense about Count Dooku in Star Wars, such as why he didn’t rat Palpatine out as the Emperor when the latter betrayed him. However, the character is best remembered as a nightmare for Jedi and the personification of the power that Sith Lords command.

Dooku’s status as a former Jedi and his turn to the dark side of the Force due to the Jedi’s deceitful nature show how even the good guys have lots of flaws. His dominance of Anakin and Obi-Wan set him up as the real deal, while Count Dooku’s grand phrases have become popular material that Star Wars fans love to repeat.

4 Wilhuff Tarkin

Tarkin was the main villain of A New Hope as the commander of the Death Star, to whom even Darth Vader reported. Tarkin didn’t have the powers of the Force, but his intimidation tactics made him someone to fear. After all, he’s responsible for the absolute destruction of Alderaan.

Tarkin’s fear-based military strategy saw him rise in the Galactic Empire’s ranks to become its Grand Moff. His complete lack of fear of powerful opponents and his own cunning mind saw him overcome his rivals like Orson Krennic. Fans like how Tarkin was so resolute in his belief that he was always right, as there’s something to respect about a villain who never backs down.

3 Darth Maul

The archenemy of Obi-Wan, Darth Maul is known as the first apprentice of the Emperor. He’s a dominating figure who rarely speaks and is a powerful user of the dark side of the Force. Maul’s skills were such that he defeated and killed Qui-Gon Jinn and survived being bisected by Obi-Wan.

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His role in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels heightened Maul’s popularity, as the villain abandoned the “Darth” title to become an independent crime lord and gathered greater characterization. His use of the double-bladed lightsaber along with his intimidating presence has made Maul an instantly recognizable figure in the fandom.

2 Darth Vader

Perhaps the most popular character in all Star Wars media, Darth Vader is an easy pick as a major villain in the series. He likely misses the top spot because of his turn to the light in the end, although he committed major crimes during the majority of his life.

Darth Vader’s fear factor was unparalleled in the galaxy, known for choking out even his own subordinates for failing him. To him, the power to destroy a planet was inconsequential, proving just how commanding his own presence was. As seen at the end of Rogue One, Darth Vader at his worst was the stuff of nightmares.

1 Sheev Palpatine

There’s no doubt that Palpatine is the ultimate Big Bad of the Star Wars universe. All the feared individuals, ranging from Count Dooku, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and Grand Moff Tarkin, among others, reported to him and were lured by his manipulations of the dark side of the Force.

Palpatine’s issuance of Order 66 wiped out the Jedi, making him the supreme force of the galaxy. Moreover, Palpatine was a master in both political ability and absolute power, being the ultimate user of the Force who was largely unbeaten even by figures like Yoda and Obi-Wan. His status as the villain of the entire Skywalker goes to show just how long he was on top as a threat.

NEXT: 10 Star Wars Planets That Deserve To Be Seen In Live-Action



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