Paul Shipper Star Wars Mega image

My Favorite Star Wars Characters

Ranking My Favorite Star Wars Characters

Star War Celebration and San Diego Comic Con have ended and we are now left in the wake of new trailers and breaking announcements. It’s a good feeling to be excited about more movies and books and comics. The life and times of a nerd, despite the internet trolls being legion and political heat reaching nuclear, remain fun. We still love what we love and are being given more, quality, chances to experience and interact with our fandoms than ever before. As those of you who know me or know my work on the site in recent years will undoubtedly know, my heart beats for Star Wars characters. I almost lost that love in the teenage angst of Prequel rage and had to rebuild it with some help from my friends.

As Celebration Europe live streamed, I found myself thrilled by something more than Gary Fisher and Mark Hamill. Rian Johnson talking about Episode VIII gets my attention, but Dave Filoni talking about The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels had me leaning toward my TV and turning up my Bose headphones. Every syllable important, his tone being analyzed: “Ahsoka, Rex, Kanan, what will come of you? Anakin said what to Ahsoka? Wait, I care about Anakin Skywalker? Am I getting emotional learning of his last moments with a Padawan the live action films do not acknowledge?” Star Wars has changed. And I love The Wars more for it.

In a world prior to my animated adventures and excluding any books, my top ten characters list looked like this:

Top 10

  1. Luke Skywalker
  2. Han Solo
  3. Princess Leia
  4. Yoda
  5. Obi-wan Kenobi
  6. R2
  7. Vader
  8. Lando
  9. C3PO
  10. Chewie

I know. I know. Luke was really whiny. Someone shattered that glass a little over a year ago. I related to his need to get away from the mundanity of life. He was filled with tales from distant worlds and he just wanted to write his own story, not pick up power converters and clean prissy droids. As an avid reader dreaming of different worlds and a kid who wanted desperately to be anywhere but “here,” how could I not love him? Numbers two through ten were often rearranged and jumbled. Lando ranked higher when watching Return of the Jedi. Vader ranked higher when using his action figure to crush enemies.

Since this website started, I’ve had a steady stream of people come into my life and recommend that I reevaluate the prequels. “Watch Cartoon Network’s The Clone Wars, and that I give The Wars another chance.” Rafo, my original podcast partner, and one of the biggest Star Wars fans I know, couldn’t have been a bigger advocate. Logan, current editor of the site, would be the other “biggest Star Wars fan I know,” and he would push for The Clone Wars any time I brought up Star Wars or the Prequels. Adam, my once podcast partner on Star Wars Rebellious Scum, and I decided to jump headfirst into Star Wars Rebels due to Uncle JJ and all of the new movement and excitement surrounding Star Wars as Uncle George ascended the throne. The specter of new Star Wars grew and I dipped into The Clone Wars. Shortly after, I was sucked down by the undertow and swept away in a revitalized passion for Star Wars like I’d never known possible. Two things happened. One: my wife can blame the above people for the refreshed obsession. Two: Star Wars was and is richer and deeper than I knew.

I discovered a library of characters, their motivations fleshed out and performed well by a host of voice actors I then knew nothing about and now obsess over. I finally unlocked the politics of the prequel era and found them fascinating and as convoluted as our own. Anakin, a character I never cared for, jumped off the screen as the man who would be Vader. A cartoon Obi-wan became the first version called up in my mind’s eye. The concept of the Force became less binary and full of possibility. New characters began to ignite my imagination as much as and even more than some of the original trilogy characters.

After getting excited for the Untold Tales of Ahsoka panel at Celebration and watching for Star Wars Rebels figures to be announced at Comic Con, my thoughts turned, as all nerd minds eventually do, to ranking. Who are my favorite Star Wars characters these days? How could a list not include Asajj Ventress? Is Dave Filoni the next George Lucas (a conversation for another day)? And when I think of Star Wars, is it not true that I think of animation as much as live action? I devised an updated list. A post-enlightenment list of my 10 favorite Star Wars character. Up for ranking are any characters within the Lucasfilm Canon, so The Clone Wars, Rebels, and the feature films and books published under that new banner were eligible. Here’s mine. Show me yours in the comments!

  1. Luke Skywalker
  2. Yoda
  3. Ahsoka Tano
  4. Han Solo
  5. Asajj Ventress
  6. R2-D2
  7. Obi-wan Kenobi
  8. Anakin Skywalker
  9. Ezra Bridger
  10. Captain Rex

I struggled to not put Leia, Kylo Ren, BB-8, and Chopper on the list, so they’re getting an honorary mention. I would bet anything after a little more time with characters from the new trilogy, they will be in this list. Rey and Finn were extremely fun to spend time with, but The Force Awakens only gave us an introduction. I’m looking forward to Episode VIII making this list even more difficult to manage. It’s amazing to me that two characters who have never appeared in a live action film cracked my top five and four are in my top ten. This speaks volumes to the qualities of The Clone Wars and Rebels and the work of the crew George Lucas and Dave Filoni worked with to create adventures in the expanding galaxy.

Also, Leia, the princess of Star Wars has been bumped by two other female characters who have had a lot of time to etch themselves into my Star Wars heart. Leia would also get an honorary mention along with her mother, Padme. Without The Clone Wars, Padme would never have crossed my mind. I named my son Ezra, and when he’s 13 and reads this I pray he loves Star Wars because his name was definitely inspired by the main character of Star Wars Rebels. If he doesn’t, it’s a strong name either way, and he can thank God his mom wouldn’t let me name him Anakin. This is the greatest time to be a Star Wars fan since 1977.

Your options are expanding. So far the quality has been excellent. With so many books, Claudia Gray stands out as the author to watch. The two leads of Lost Stars are my current favorite novel-only characters. However, the books ripped from The Clone Wars scripts are fantastic and even the Aftermath series has some moments of Star Wars bliss. It’s a big galaxy and Lucasfilm is offering something for everyone. Even the kids who loved Jar Jar get a little more in The Clone Wars and he is only a bit nauseating for those that don’t get it (people like me). The fandom is strong, the creativity is strong, the lore is expanding. We’re going to meet and fall in love with a new set of characters in December when Rogue One hits theaters. Season 3 of Rebels is promising new characters to latch onto and new looks at the folks we already love. And Episode VIII is going to untold places with a crew we already like and are going to become much more familiar with as time goes on and we get to go on more adventures with Fin and Rey and Poe. There’s so much there for the taking. The Clone Wars is on Netflix. Rebels is available through Disney XD, check with your Cable provider. You can also buy episodes digitally at the usual places. The books are in your book stores along with the comics at your local comic shop. You know how to get the films, but if you’re reading this, you probably already have them.

One last thought on The Clone Wars: Darth Maul lives, and it is amazing.

There is 1 comment

Add yours
  1. Bob Hovey

    Everybody at my house has Yoda at number one … the creature from whom such profound wisdom flows, who tempers forthrightness and strength with kindness and humor. And if nothing else he’s got the best name. I mean who wants to name their dog “Luke?”

Post a new comment