Sure, the Star Wars universe is filled with heroics. From the noble Jedi to a scoundrel turned hero, there’s no shortage of good there. But we all know the real reason you love Star Wars; the villains! Below we’ve tracked down the ten most awesome villains in all of Star Wars.
While the Prequels may have slightly lessened Vader’s menace (it’s just not the same when you see he was just as whiny as Luke), it doesn’t change the fact that Darth Vader isn’t just the coolest villain in all of Star Wars; he’s one of the greatest villains ever created.
Grand Admiral Thrawn
If you’re into the Expanded Universe, then you’ll know how the Empire was notoriously xenophobic. So for a Chiss to become a Grand Admiral in the Imperial fleet was quit an accomplishment. Thrawn helped kick off the revival of Star Wars with Zahn’s awesome trilogy which turns twenty years old next year.
Sure he went out like a punk, but you’re a liar if you didn’t go absolutely nuts when you first saw that double bladed lightsaber in the first Episode I trailer. Even though he’s dead, Maul continues to be one of the most popular Star Wars villains.
The Yuuzhan Vong
A lot of stupid crap happened after the New Jedi Order series, but that run was incredible thanks to an awesome original villain that really threw the Star Wars galaxy for a loop. Deaths in the trillions, the Empire and New Republic working together, and villains unlike anything you’ve seen in Star Wars all added up to make the Vong war a standout era in Star Wars.
Ever wonder why there’s only two Sith? It’s all explained in the Darth Bane trilogy of novels set in the Old Republic. Long before Palpatine manipulated things to put himself in power, Bane was around doing his thing. The Bane trilogy is highly recommended for any Sith fan.
Duh. While you could argue that he’s more of an anti-hero than full-on villain, Boba was definitely not on the Rebellion’s side in Empire Strikes Back when he took Han’s frozen body to Jabba the Hutt for a quick paycheck. You can never get enough of Boba Fett and those who say that he’s been over saturated are just cranky haters.
Eons before the Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War and long before even the events in Knights of the Old Republic, Naga Shadow was the big bad villain in Star Wars. His story is detailed in the excellent Tales of the Jedi comics that Dark Horse put out in the 90s. It was a very different Star Wars universe back then, but the Sith were just as cool as always.
Did you know that Joruus was originally going to be an evil clone of Obi-Wan before Lucasfilm shot that idea down? While many elements of the Thrawn trilogy, and specifically its take on cloning, have been overruled by the Prequels; Joruus remains a very cool villain. If you never read Outbound Flight, there’s more about him in that as well.
Nightsisters of Dathomir
Force sensitive Dark Side Witches who ride around on Rancors? That should be the number one reason you never, ever, land your ship on Dathomir.
Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine is what makes the Prequels worth watching over and over. Once you realize he was behind everything from the beginning, it makes that whole trade blockade of Naboo in The Phantom Menace take on a whole new meaning, and the Clone Wars are even more futile than they originally appeared.