Star Wars Villains, Ranked in Order of Evil
A Star Wars movie is only ever as good as its villains—and we've met quite a few over the past eight movies. But who's the baddest? Well…
10| Count Dooku
Once a Jedi Master (and trained by Yoda himself), Count Dooku turned to the Dark Side after becoming disillusioned with the Jedi Order. He became Darth Sidious' (a.k.a. Senator Palpatine's) lackey, taking the name Darth Tyranus and leading the Separatist army.
Fact is, we don't see Dooku do much bad stuff. Okay, he hires Jango Fett to assassinate Queen Amidala and cuts off Anakin's arm but, in Sith Lord terms, that's playground stuff.
9| Director Orson Krennic
Like many of Star Wars' baddies, there's evidence that Orson Krennic wasn't always the Arctic-hearted careerist he appeared to be in Rogue One.
Jyn's flashbacks suggest that he was once BFFs with Galen Erso and it's hard not to feel a slither of sympathy with him as he's out-maneuvered in gaining control of the Death Star by the cannier Grand Moff Tarkin.
8| General Armitage Hux
A ginger-topped sneer in First Order duds, General Hux is a man who clearly wants to be Snoke's right-hand man. A rival with Kylo Ren for Snoke's affections, Hux wants nothing more than to bring down the New Republic and govern the galaxy on behalf of his wizened old superior.
If anyone's in any doubt as to his fanaticism check out his spluttering, blood vessel-busting speech on Starkiller Base. Now *that's* a man in need of a relaxing, lavender-scented bath...
7| Grand Moff Tarkin
Politically ruthless as well as personally heartless, Grand Moff Tarkin isn't as full of fury as his new trilogy counterpart General Hux, but there's a cold, measured calculation to his every act.
His most hateful moment? Lying to Princess Leia about not destroying Alderaan and then, well, destroying Alderaan. What a rotter.
6| Darth Maul
With a face that would put the willies up even the hardest Mexican drug lord, Darth Maul, the taciturn disciple of Darth Sidious from The Phantom Menace, was possibly the most ferocious and skilled lightsaber fighter we've seen in any Star Wars movie.
We don't witness him actually do much bad stuff though (killing Qui-Gon Jinn was his most evil on-screen moment), but we're presuming he's not mister cuddly on his days off.
5| Jabba the Hutt
OK, so Jabs may not be affiliated to the Empire, but the sleazy, corpulent Hutt definitely deserves a place in this rogue's gallery of evil.
What's on his rap sheet? How long have you got? Kidnapping, slavery, torture, murder, bad table manners...and that's only the things *we know about*!
4| Darth Vader
Anakin Skywalker did some heinous things in his lifetime—slaughtering younglings, murdering his old Jedi master, sex-pesting Amidala—but, and we're not using this as an excuse here, he *was* kinda tricked into this life by the manipulative Senator (later Emperor) Palpatine.
"There's good in him," Luke tells Leia in Return of the Jedi. "I've felt it. I can save him. I can turn him back to the good side."
It wasn't easy, but, in his dying moments, Vader saw the light, saving his son from suffering the same fate that befell him. "You were right about me," Vader said in his final breaths. "Tell your sister...you were right." Aww.
3| Kylo Ren
"I know what I have to do," says Kylo Ren at the end of The Force Awakens, "but I don't know if I have the strength to do it." Up until the point when he callously cuts down his own dad, there was a hint of light in the man born Ben Solo. But has that light been extinguished forever? It's difficult to see how he can come back from this, the killing of one of his parents.
There's a lot of fire and fury in this radicalized Dark Side patricide, and it's possible we've only skimmed the surface of his evil. Has he got his death sights set on his mother now, we wonder?
2| Emperor Palpatine
Even when he was plain old Senator Palpatine, there was something icily creepy about this Machiavellian politician. But of course, that was just the public face of the devilish Darth Sidious, a scheming Sith Lord who, through his manipulation of the political system of the Galactic Republic, would become the all-conquering Emperor, ruling the galaxy through fear and tyranny.
There was never a glimmer of good in Palpatine, and he was even willing, at the end, to let his loyal disciple Darth Vader perish, just so Luke could take his place. What a grade-A git.
1| Supreme Leader Snoke
There's a lot we still don't know about the biggest bad of the new trilogy, but we're taking on trust what Andy Serkis (who plays Snoke via performance capture) says about him, that he's "bloody dark—way darker than Palpatine".
He's not a Sith, apparently, but he is at "the dark end of the Force." Serkis has revealed that Snoke's body is riddled with osteoporosis and that "there's a bizarre vulnerability about him." But beneath that vulnerability, he adds, "is this intense hatred..."
(We, of course, reserve the right to shift 1 & 2 after seeing The Last Jedi.)
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.