As much as I love making geeky lists, it’s also really hard sometimes. How do I manage to rank the characters of my all-time favorite film franchise, since I love so many of them?
But Story Geeks don’t back down from a challenge! This week on the podcast, the Story Geeks listed their top favorite Star Wars characters. Here are my personal top five!
5. Finn/Captain Rex [Tie]
I know it’s kind of cheating to list two characters for one slot, but I really can’t choose between them. I’ve loved Finn’s character since his introduction in “The Force Awakens.” John Boyega plays the role with so much heart and charisma, and I’ve enjoyed seeing him mature from a stormtrooper on the run into a Resistance hero.
Captain Rex from the computer animated Clone Wars series is another favorite character of mine. The Clone Wars did such a great job showing how the cloned soldiers were still individuals, with their own personalities, hopes and dreams. I always enjoyed seeing Rex interact with Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano.
While “Solo: A Star Wars Story” may not have made as much money at the box office as Disney had hoped, it’s still a great film, and at least for me, Qi’ra is the best part. She loves Han, but she’s also a survivor, and she knows that getting too emotionally involved can be risky. Hollywood hasn’t given us enough female anti-heroes over the years, and I appreciated Qi’ra’s moral complexity. She’s not quite a hero, and not quite a villain. It’s a shame we might not see her on-screen again.
Technically the top three names on my list are tied, but I’ve already cheated once by including a tie for No. 5. So I’ll make myself actually rank the final three!
Rey means a lot to me as a character. I have multiple Rey cosplays (I won’t confess how many), and I love her determined spirit and stubborn optimism. Daisy Ridley plays her so well, and when I watched “The Force Awakens” for the first time, I was so excited to see a female main character use the Force.
Rey is not without a dark side, and I’m glad the filmmakers haven’t shied away from showing us that. I can’t wait to see how her journey ends in Episode IX.
2. Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren is such a fascinating character. A villain who is seduced by the light, he struggles to leave his past behind and to sever his ties to his family. Yet he can’t quite get rid of “Ben Solo,” and that’s the part of him that is drawn to Rey in “The Last Jedi.”
Kylo Ren and Rey’s complicated dynamic is my favorite part of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and Adam Driver does such an amazing job adding nuance to this character. In fact, depending on how Episode IX ends, he might take over the No. 1 spot on this list!
1. Darth Vader
If “A New Hope” was the only Star Wars movie we had, Darth Vader actually wouldn’t be my favorite Star Wars character.
I mean, of course he looks super cool in that movie. But, at least on the surface, he’s a fairly standard movie villain. That’s why I’m so glad that “The Empire Strikes Back” took Vader’s character arc in a more unconventional direction. The moment he tells Luke “I am your father” is my all-time favorite movie plot twist. It re-contextualizes everything we think we know about Vader, and it ups the stakes for the final film, “Return of the Jedi.”
As I mentioned in my Darth Vader dig deeper blog a week ago, Vader’s sacrifice at the end of “Return of the Jedi” doesn’t automatically undo all the pain he’s caused in the galaxy. However, I believe it’s a genuine moment of love and redemption, as he gives his life to save his son. It’s my favorite moment in the entire Star Wars saga.