Star Wars fans can be rabid in our fandom. A slight disagreement might break out and turn into an all-out war between factions on message boards, Reddit, social media, and even the various conventions that keep the Star Wars franchise moving forward.
From the space dust that was once Alderaan to the deserts of Jakku, the Star Wars universe has been expanding for over 40 years with input from all manner of creative minds and storytellers.
But between all the fascinating lore and history, Star Wars is best known—and will always be most known—for its amazing characters. There have been so many cool ones over the years.
Our question is: who are the best, the most popular, the most iconic? Here are our picks for the coolest Star Wars characters!
15. Darth Sidious
Among everything else that happens in Star Wars, it's Darth Sidious who drives the saga to new (and often frightening) heights.
He's the ultimate evil in the galaxy, the one man who plotted a terrible fate for the Jedi after he successfully rose to power, all to eradicate them from existence.
For fans, Darth Sidious is the most iconic Star Wars bad guy, the one whom proved near impossible to kill—until Rey finished the job that Luke Skywalker started. Darth Sidious is just so cool in his evil way.
Darth Sidious's best moment comes when he recounts the story of Darth Plagueis the Wise to Anakin before his own fall to the Dark Side, showing how manipulative Darth Sidious was in his time.
14. Mace Windu
When a character is played with utmost brilliance by an actor as naturally cool as Samuel L. Jackson, you know the character is destined to become part of the franchise lore forever.
That's certainly the case with Mace Windu. Across the saga, Mace handles himself in pretty much the way you'd believe Jackson himself might if he wielded a lightsaber, all while challenging those around him to think and know better.
Sure, Mace is headstrong sometimes, but he's also wise and powerful—even among the Jedi—and manages to defeat Darth Sidious in battle. (Not the easiest of feats, as Master Yoda found out.)
Despite being cast from a window by Sidious, fans continue to believe that Mace Windu is alive somewhere.
13. Qui-Gon Jinn
Of all the Jedi, Qui-Gon Jinn was perhaps the best of them in terms of being wholly at one with the Force. He was the one who taught Yoda how to disappear into the Force after death and become one.
Qui-Gon Jinn is also the master who taught Obi-Wan Kenobi during his padawan days, ensuring that he'd become a great Jedi Knight.
For Star Wars fans, Qui-Gon Jinn was a character who embodied everything they wanted to see in a mentor for Obi-Wan Kenobi, who passed on the best of his own great character traits.
In the end, we look back on Qui-Gon Jinn as a cool, calm, and focused Jedi Master who always understood the greater task at hand.
12. Darth Maul
When he was introduced in The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul had the "Boba Fett effect"—he instantly appealed to fans.
Though he's a Sith, Darth Maul had the mannerisms that made him a powerful and threatening enemy, even defeating both Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in combat (albeit only briefly in the case of Obi-Wan).
Darth Maul was eventually "slain" by Obi-Wan Kenobi, but fans wanted a better ending for the character—so Darth Maul returned in 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story, revealed to have survived his fall.
Of course, he's eventually killed for good again on Tattooine, but it's all part of the character's rich history now.
11. Princess Leia
She was the Princess whom everybody adored. Carrie Fisher's character became so iconic for her no-nonsense attitude and her budding romance with Harrison Ford's Han Solo.
Throughout the galaxy—and farther still—Princess Leia was a beloved icon. She had the cool sense of confidence that many wish they could have, and that attitude made the Princess a most perfect fit in the dynamic between Luke, Han, and Leia.
Her training in the Force made her an even more powerful character, albeit one who had little to do in The Rise of Skywalker due to Carrie Fisher's untimely death before it could be made.
10. Bastila Shan
First appearing in the video game Knights of the Old Republic, Bastila Shan was the leader of the Jedi team sent to kill Darth Revan aboard his ship. The plan failed, even though she did subdue Revan using her powerful command of the Force.
Her love for the redeemed Revan is the focal point of the original game, as well as the stories that were told of them afterwards—after they reached an agreement with the Jedi Council so they could be together.
Fans adore Bastila Shan and her battle meditation powers, making her one of the most fearsome warriors and strongest female presences in the entire Star Wars series.
9. Ahsoka Tano
Ahsoka Tano started as Anakin Skywalker's headstrong apprentice, unwilling to listen but always ready for the fight ahead. While under his wing, Ahsoka learned more about patience, how to control her power, and where she belonged—which wasn't with the Jedi.
She's a character who took time to love for many fans; however, once they understood her, she became embraced by all corners of the Star Wars fandom. Even more so when she appeared in The Mandalorian, expertly portrayed by Rosario Dawson!
8. Han Solo
The scruffy smuggler with a devil-may-care attitude whose best friend is a Wookie, Han Solo occupies a strange place within the Star Wars lore. He isn't a person who holds great power, yet he's key to everything that is Star Wars and much adored by most fans.
Han is so endearing because when push comes to shove, he's always ready to turn up and fight. His return to help Luke Skywalker blow up the original Death Star is everything that Han Solo represents—and he'll will always be an important part of the great Harrison Ford.
7. Din Djarin & Grogu
When Disney bought LucasFilm and promised to make more Star Wars content, fans celebrated. Sadly, much of that promised content didn't play well with fans when it released.
But just when fans were starting to hate what Disney had done to Star Wars, Disney went ahead and gave us The Mandalorian—and along with the series came both Din Djarin (Mando) and Grogu (Baby Yoda).
Din Djarin and Grogu comprise a double team: the former is a helmeted warrior/bounty hunter, the latter is the child he swore to protect. The pair is now so beloved that when Grogu was taken away to be trained by Luke Skywalker, there wasn't a dry eye among viewers.
For all of Din Djarin's code and ethics born from the fires of Mandalore, he loved Grogu—and Grogu loved him back.
Yoda wasn't just the wisest Jedi Master who offered sage counsel for generations of warriors, but a Jedi who was incredibly strong with the Force. Yoda is the teacher of all teachers who understands that all dynasties end—and that failure is itself the greatest teacher.
The whole of The Empire Strikes Back hinged on the tiny green puppet being accepted by fans—and fans took him into their hearts almost immediately. Yoda is the only Jedi who understood that balance wasn't necessarily what the Jedi thought it ought to be.
Revan remains one of the few Jedi to ever see the Jedi for what they are underneath. He noted himself that he had seen the Force from both sides of the perspective... and chose neither path.
Revan's power and wisdom set him apart from most others. He was a Jedi turned Sith, turned back to Jedi, only to end up neutral. He questioned teachings and walked his own path at great risk.
He disagreed with the Jedi Council on why Jedi weren't allowed to love (as he fell in love with Bastila Shan during the events of Knights of the Old Republic), which is something fans love about Revan.
4. Luke Skywalker
Depending on which story path you follow after the events of Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker ends up in very different places.
However, as a character on the big screen, the man who defeated Darth Sidious and redeemed Darth Vader eventually became a hermit—one who was exiled and determined to end the Jedi Order.
Fans will always love Luke, given that he was the first person we ever saw become trained in the Jedi ways. His masters were the great Obi-Wan Kenobi and wise Master Yoda, but he was the original hero—and for that reason, he garners ravenous support from the fanbase.
3. Boba Fett
Boba Fett is a Star Wars character who didn't become a fan favorite until after his death. Another way to look at him: Boba Fett is a Star Wars character who was so beloved that he was brought back from the grave by sheer fan service.
Boba Fett is cool, there's no argument about that. His new TV series is everything fans have dreamed of for decades, as was his plot resurrection in The Mandalorian.
As the bounty hunter tasked by Darth Vader to capture Luke Skywalker and his friends, he's a cinematic giant of the Star Wars universe and—more importantly—a character with a still-ongoing story.
2. Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan may not be the most powerful Jedi or the wisest Jedi, but he's certainly the greatest Jedi.
Obi-Wan is the Jedi who failed to bring Anakin back from the Dark Side. That very student whom he trained eventually led the Jedi to ruin, and all because a promise between Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn.
Obi-Wan is also the reason why Luke became the Jedi who defeated the Sith and brought balance back to the Force.
His wisdom and cunning are shown in the very first film when he sacrifices himself, giving a tiny look towards Luke as he does, knowing the secret that wouldn't be revealed until The Empire Strikes Back.
Fans don't simply adore Obi-Wan; they hold him in great esteem. Yoda may be the Jedi who stands above all others, but if you were to train in the Jedi ways, you'd want to be trained by Obi-Wan Kenobi.
1. Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker
Anakin is the chosen one. He's the Jedi who turned on his kind and slaughtered all he could find, simply because he knew love. Unlike Revan before him, Anakin kept his bond with Padme a secret from the Jedi Order—and his fear of losing her drove him to darkness.
As Darth Vader, he was ruthless and unwilling to be pulled out of his rage from causing Padme's death—at least until the sight of his son being tortured by the Emperor caused him to throw his master down a chasm, thus redeeming him as Anakin Skywalker.
Without Anakin, the Star Wars franchise doesn't exist. He's the focus of it all—his family, his power, his weakness. Anakin Skywalker is the Jedi who fell, only to return at the brink. He's the coolest, the darkest, and the greatest character in Star Wars by far.