Secret Stage Top Fives: Star Wars Heroes and Villians

It's Star Wars Week! To start things off, we grabbed everybody at Secret Stage and sat them down to talk about their favorite heroes and villains of the Star Wars Saga. The film series is nothing without its characters, and here our top picks from both sides of the Force:

Hales

Heroes

HM. R2-D2 - "This one droid saved the entire freaking galaxy NUMEROUS times. Plus, he's hilarious without saying anything and adorable while being a hunk of metal. R2 is awesome. Enough said."

5. Padme Amidala - "Some people may not agree with my preferring Padme to Leia in terms of female heroes, but I loved Padme's approach to ending conflict. Leia was very upfront and took things into her own hands regardless of the consequences which is respectable. But Padme thought everything through and only took action when her words couldn't resolve the problem at hand. It takes a lot of intellect and patience to use that approach and the fact she could back it with action when necessary is impressive." 

4. Ahsoka Tano - "While she mostly shows up in the Clone Wars series and is not seen in any of the films, Ahsoka more than earned her spot on my list. From the get go she challenged everything and even fought in a different style to your average Jedi which was really interesting to watch. The fact that she was conflicted and ended up following a different path is incredibly realistic. She may be the most relatable character for me next to Anakin because of this." 

3. Yoda - "You can't have a heroes list without Master Yoda. His wisdom is unmatched and his continuous efforts to keep the force in balance are admirable. He somehow found time to help train the younglings, lead meetings for the Jedi Order and fight on the battlefield during the Clone Wars. Then, when he was found in the Dagobah system by Luke, he used all he had left to train him. He's legendary." 

2. Han Solo - "Everyone loves a good renegade. Han is swift, charming, cunning and is willing to go where no one else will. Without him, Chewie and the Millennium Falcon, the Star Wars universe would be a far more dismal place." 

1. Obi-Wan Kenobi - "I know it's controversial to have a top 5 list without a single Skywalker on it. They're great, but the Star Wars universe simply has too many incredible heroes so sadly, they just missed the mark for me. Obi-Wan is without a doubt my favorite character in the entire series. His calm demeanor and way with words makes him smooth as fuck, but on the battlefield he is a brilliant and skilled fighter. This "kill 'em with kindness" vibe he gives off is badass and as far as Jedi go, I feel he is the best of his kind."

Villains

HM. General Grievous - "Grievous is the master of GTFO. Every time shit went down, he was gone. It's hilarious that he's one of the most powerful Separatists and yet he only fights a handful of times in the series. However, when he did, his quadruple wielding of lightsabers was awesome."

5. Asajj Ventress - "Another character from the Clone Wars series, Ventress is the embodiment of revenge. She worked so hard for Dooku and when he turned his back on her, she stopped at nothing to return the favor. Watching her struggle to get this revenge and ultimately find herself in the process was riveting."

4. Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious - "I don't know how you can be a senator on one side and an emperor on the other without a single person finding out. But he managed to do just that so kudos when it comes to his power of deception. He's a great villain in that every action he takes makes you hate him more. Even when you think there is no way you possibly could."

3. Count Dooku/Darth Tyrannus - "As the Sith Lord on the front lines so to speak, Dooku was the person every Jedi was after. The separatists hung on his every word and his presence was always ominous in that whenever he showed up, you knew something big was about to happen. Another reason I love him is because his battle with Yoda was one of the saving graces of those damn prequels. RIP Christopher Lee."

2. Boba Fett - "Boba Fett is without a doubt the best bounty hunter in the galaxy. He's been doing it since he was a child so he knows his shit. Silent but deadly and always ready for a fight. It's unfortunate that such a skilled hunter met a mediocre fate, but at least that Mandalorian armor was on point."

1. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader - "Duh. My favorite part about Darth Vader is that he is a direct result of the conflicted man that was Anakin. This is what happens when you give into darkness and it's a constant reminder that even in our darkest times we need to fight to be good. It was great to see the turn around when he remembered who he was before he lost control.The force is strong with this one."

Zachary

Heroes

HM. Qui-Gon Jinn - "The only prequel hero that I feel is worth mentioning is Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. He might have cracked the Top Five had he been given some more time to develop in the films, but he was our first glimpse into what the Jedi Masters of old were like, before the dark times. While his most famous Padawan is a very traditional Jedi, we see Qui-Gon clash with the council numerous times in order to do what is right. I feel like the story would be very different had he been given the chance to train Anakin."

5. Princess Leia Organa - "Padmé was a character I tried to like in the Prequel trilogy, but she was never quite as characterized as well as the original Star Wars' leading lady. Leia goes toe to toe with Vader and the Empire right from the get go in A New Hope, and continues to prove just how tough she is throughout Empire and Jedi."

4. Lando Calrissian - "Oh Lando. You'd be higher on the list if you weren't so sketchy when we meet you in Empire Strikes Back. Thankfully, he quickly realizes his mistake and becomes a key player in rescuing Han and destroying the Second Death Star. We see many sides of him throughout his two films, and I'm extremely bummed out that he isn't returning for The Force Awakens."

3. Han Solo - "Absolutely classic cinematic character. There's no doubting that. He's always quick with a comeback and quicker with a blaster (don't argue that). There are many cunning characters in the Star Wars Universe, but none are just so damn chill about it the way Captain Solo can be. Han ranks highest of the characters we first see in the Original Trilogy because he as more growth than anyone in those three films, including that whiney-baby Luke Skywalker."

2. Yoda - "Empire Strikes Back features one of my favorite twists, and that is that the little green Muppet Luke finds on Dagobah is actually the Jedi Grand Master that he's looking for. He's depicted as so mystic and wise that he appears to do no wrong, but what I like about him is that he is always learning; Darth Sidious floors him and we really see just how humble the ancient Jedi can be, going into exiling and learning to channel his energy into a Force Ghost."

1. Obi-Wan Kenobi - "To me, Obi-Wan is the template for what a Jedi Knight should be. Alec Guinness portrayed him flawlessly, but Ewan McGregor took that and absolutely ran with it. In fact, I think Obi-Wan benefits the most from the Prequel Trilogy, as it shows a consistency yet progression through his education of the Force. Obi-Wan never falters in the films, and is always the driving voice of good in all six films. And hey, that dry humor doesn't hurt either."

Villains

HM. The Stormtroopers - "While not any one villain, the Stormtrooper is a symbol more than anything else. They aren't particularly well-armored, and can't shoot worth a damn, but they depict the might of the Empire in a way nothing else can."

5. The Emperor - "Part of what makes many characters great is the duality between good and evil. The Emperor does not have this internal conflict. The Emperor is pure, unapologetically evil. As a politician, he secretly orchestrated a takeover of the entire Galactic Republic. Pretty rad."

4. Count Dooku/Darth Tyrannus - "We don't see much of the Count, but one thing is very clear: he doesn't let the Dark Side control him the way it takes over Maul or Vader. As a fallen Jedi, he has a strong command of the Force, and you never see him succumb to hate or fear. He truly believes he has the galaxy's best interest at heart, and you can see the sheer surprise when the Chancellor orders his death in Revenge of the Sith."

3. Grand Moff Tarkin - "Tarkin is cold as ice, bro. He looks Leia right in the face and orders the destruction of her planet right after she 'reveals' the location of the Rebel Base. That's it. Game over."

2. Jabba the Hutt - "Jabba is the epitome of everything I hate. He's greedy, he's revolting, and he has no awareness of how he affects those around him. He runs a massive empire of his own, and until Return of the Jedi, is just this haunting presence that Han Solo refers to time and time again."

1. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader - "Darth Vader has ALWAYS been my favorite villain in anything ever. He's menacing. He's full of mystery that we slowly unravel over the course of three films. And he's deep. He's very much mostly a background presence in A New Hope, but in Empire, he's pissed. He knows what Skywalker is and he wants to find him. He'll do absolutely anything to do so. But by the time we hit Return of the Jedi, he's been beaten down by the last film's revelation just as Luke has."

Dan

Heroes

5. Jar Jar Binks - "Jar Jar has to make the list. If not for the shear reason that because everyone else dislikes him. But also, it's the humor he brings to the table, the mistakes he makes, and the Sith or otherwise theories that surround him."

4. R2-D2 - "one of the few characters that is relatively consistent through the series. Always in the epic battles, and always having the backs of the main characters. I think the ultimate side kick, deserves to be considered a hero this time. They would not have been the same with this tiny little bot."

3. Mace Windu - "His rank definitely earns prestige, but also his skill. He knew from the start not to trust Anakin, he has one of the few rare purple light sabers, and he knew how to have an epic end."

2. Han Solo - "This one I think is cause I feel the most relatable to him. We both have cocky personalities, try to be cutthroat but end up having compassion, and always trying to be the funny guy. So of course I'd put me in my top five. Ha."

1. Obi-Wan Kenobi - "To specify this if more of him in the 1-3 trilogy. Ben I'm not the biggest fan of. I think that Ewan Mcgregor did a really good job. He is responsible for training what was supposed to be the one that brings balance to the force. And he did all that he could to fulfill his masters dying wish, and that's pretty noble."

Villains

5. Grand Moff Tarkin - "He has to make the list because he is very underrated as a lead villain. He was Vader's right hand guy, and a lot of people don't understand how much power this guy possessed. He had more power than some Sith Lords, and that's pretty rad if you ask me."

4. General Grievous - "Despite the flawed battle scene on the ship, he was a force to be reckoned with. I'll be honest, I really just like the way he looked. 4 arms, whipping out 4 light sabers has got to be intimidating, I don't care how good a Jedi you are."

3. Emperor Palpatine - "I know it's weird, but I like his ability to manipulate people. I think that is his best asset as a villain. And that's probably just the salesman in me."

2. Boba Fett - "Although short lived, he is definitely on of the coolest villains. I have a soft spot for assassins in general, but he takes it up a notch. He has the reputation, his whole outfit is on point for the role, and he does it without being a Sith."

1. Darth Maul - "The was never a question as to who number one would be. I'm just bummed he was killed off so early. But he is a Sith Lord, looks like a monster you would tell tall tales about, and is one of the few to wield a double sided light saber. What's not to love?"

Nick

Heroes

5. Darth Vader - “Yeah, yeah, he is a villain all the way up until almost the end, but it is that one act that makes him a hero. He saved Luke and killed the emperor in one move, most likely knowing it would kill him. So in that one move he also took out all of the Dark Side. Well, until this new guy in Episode 7.”

4. Yoda - “Although in the movies I care about he didn’t do much other than whine and complain about not wanting to train Luke, but without said training, Luke would never have become the hero that he did.”

3. Obi-Wan Kenobi - “Yeah, maybe he did do a crap job training Anakin, which led to millions, if not billions of people dying, but he was the one who convinced Yoda to train Luke, who then fixed everything. And though many people may have seen his death as a weak end to a good character, but it was the right thing to do. If he had gone on fighting after Luke saw him, Luke would have gone to help and gotten captured. It was a selfless act that probably saved the galaxy.”

2. R2-D2 - “For a character with no lines, he sure does do a lot of hero work. He is always the one who opens the doors and stuff. I mean he just happened to find out from the Star Destroyer’s main computer that the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive had been deactivated and fixed it. Without him they would have been killed or captured more times than I can count.”

1. Luke Skywalker - “Yeah, a little cliche, but he is the one that saves the galaxy after all. And more than that, he doesn’t take the easy way. He could have just let the rebels deactivate the shield generator and destroy the deathstar with the Emperor and Darth Vader on board. But instead he saved his father from the dark side before it all ended. And who knows, maybe if he hadn’t been there with them resisting the dark side maybe they would have evacuated and got away. But in the end he is the main hero of the story he he tops my list.”

Villains

5. Boba Fett - “Boba Fett isn’t on my list because I think he is slightly less cool than the rest, he is here because there is something I never understood. People love this guy in real life. In the movie he has the title of ‘most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy’ but why? All we ever see him do is stand in a corner up until the beginning of Return of the Jedi where he uses his jetpack once, misses a close range shot at Han by a mile, and then is pushed into a living hole in the ground by Han, who is still blind! The most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy was killed by a blind man with a stick!”

4. Emperor Palpatine - “This guy.. ‘Everything That Has Transpired Has Done So According to My Design’ Yeah, then why did you die? Luke was right, he was way too overconfident. He was always talking about his plan and how has foreseen it, but literally nothing goes as planned. The guy pretty much killed himself. I mean what did he think was going to happen if he did turn Luke to the dark side anyways? We as viewers know that Vader wanted to rule the galaxy as father and son, Vader said it out loud, but the all powerful Emperor couldn’t see that? If I hadn’t seen him shoot lightning from his fingers I’d think the guy was just faking it all.”

3. Darth Maul - “I’ll be honest, I don’t know that much about the guy. What I do know is that he looks badass, he fights with a unique dual-sided lightsaber, and he was tragically short lived. Oh, and he killed Liam fucking Neeson. That is kind of a big deal. Look at how he died too. He just stood there as Obi-Wan jumped from the pit, force-grabbed his lightsaber, did a flip over his head, then waited for him to land and cut him in half. With how well he was fighting before that the only reason that worked is because the writers said it did.”

2. General Grievous - “I was thinking about putting him at the top of my list, but after re-watching his fight scene with Obi-Wan I realized I remembered him being more badass than he was. That being said though, he was more of a badass before we saw him in the movie. I mean he is a non-Jedi that kills Jedi with their own weapon of choice! That has to be the ultimate insult for a Jedi. But on the flip side of that death coin, he was killed by Obi-Wan when he shot him multiple times in his exposed chest cavity. Being shot by a Jedi is probably the worst way for a villain to go out.”

1. Count Dooku - “This guy was pretty cool. I mean, he took on two Jedi at once! I think he only lost because his taunting of Anakin about not using his fear and anger worked too well. Plus, when he got his hands chopped off by Anakin, he didn’t cry like a baby. And to top it all off he was beheaded by they guy who would become Darth Vader, under the order of the Emperor, and with his own lightsaber. In terms of villain deaths, I don’t think there is a better way to go.”

Jordan

Heroes

5. Yoda - "I like Yoda not only because of his instruction and teachings to Luke Skywalker, but also because of just how powerful he totally is."

4. R2-D2 - “R2’s loyalty is kind of amazing given the circumstances that he is placed in. Considering he had served so many people, including Anakin.”

3. Chewbacca - “Chewie. Han’s right hand man. Without him freedom may not have been restored to the entire galaxy. He’s got to be on my list.”

2. Luke Skywalker - “The evolution from a farm boy to the greatest Jedi the galaxy has ever seen is kind of a big deal.”

1. Han Solo - “Basically the original Space Cowboy. Han’s badassery and sarcastic attitude earned him his number one spot on my list. Alongside Chewbacca, Han was one of the most powerful among the Rebel Alliance.”

Villains

5. Jabba The Hutt - “Basically the Don of the galaxy, Jabba didn’t believe in second chances. Realistically, I think I just like how much of an OG he is.”

4. Emperor Palpatine - “I feel that it’s not uncommon to say that one would like Palpatine because of how powerful he is, but I think the reason I like him so much is because of how disingenuous he is. He is not only just powerful, but also smart.”

3. Boba Fett - “There is a lot of lore I feel, when it comes to Boba. I really just like that he was one of the most feared bounty hunters in the entire galaxy, which is why I refuse to believe he ever met his demise. He’ll be back… he’ll be back..”

2. Darth Maul - “Although I’m not as much of a fan of the Prequels, I loved Darth Maul. I do feel that some of this could be nostalgia, but much like Palpatine (probably because he was trained by Palpatine) Darth Maul was very devious and deceitful. He also definitely had the most badass lightsaber.”

1. Darth Vader - “My favorite thing about Darth Vader is that he started as a heroic Jedi Knight, and turned into somebody who is dark, and legitimately feared. Of course his mask only makes him more badass.”

Allison

Heroes

5. R2-D2 - "He knew everything. From start to finish."

4. Mace Windu - "Philosophical and a bad ass. He could fight. "

3. Obi-Wan Kenobi - "The original Jedi. He taught us about the Jedi"

2. Han Solo - "He was just a bad ass with no care. Shot first. "

1. Yoda - "The most powerful Jedi. And at first he didn't seem like he was going to be that great of a character. But he was."

Villains

5. Count Dooku - "I just don't really like him. And I don't like the actor who plays him."

4. Darth Maul - "He's the only villain to kill Liam Neeson in movies. And he was actually a bad ass."

3. Darth Vader - "The original Sith. No movie has ever surprised anyone like 'I am your father'. And he was the epitome of the dark side."

2. Jabba the Hutt - "Stopped at nothing to get what he wanted out of Han Solo. Turned Han's lady into a slave. Almost killed Luke."

1. Jar Jar Binks - "He was the most powerful Sith. He taught Anakin to disobey the Jedi. He convinced Anakin to love Padame which eventually killed him. And no one ever knew he was actually controlling the Galactic Senate and convinced them to back the Clone Army."

Keenan

Heroes

5. Obi-Wan - " He next to Yoda is one of the best teachers in the series. I really like how he teaches the way of the force. A true Jedi. All though he voice in the first three movies really got to me.

4. Han Solo - " I really think everyone could have him on there list. He is witty and very confident in what he does. He is quite a shot with a blaster and friends with a Wookie. Every kid wanted to be him.

3. Princes Leia - " She is one of my favorite because of the bikini. Also the fact that she is a very overlooked character. Even with being captured she always took care of herself.

2. Yoda - " He is one of my favorite because he is also over looked I feel. In the first three movies he is this slow moving, wise character that never really shows is power. Then when he fights he is this explosive Jedi master who you then realize has all of this hidden strength and a green light saber.

1. Wicket - " A vital key to the republics success. These little guys are not only adorable but powerful in numbers. With Endor being my favorite setting in star wars. These guys though little could kick some serious ass and even take down a mighty AT-AT.

Villains

5. Darth Vader - " He means business! He is mysterious in costume but he is all power and action as a character. I was always scared as a child with his voice!

4. Boba Fett - " I really like him as a character. I definitely think they could of done more with him. Who he was and what kind of weapons he had were awesome!

3. Jabba the Hutt - " This guy was awesome! I really like how well he fit into the gangster persona. How much power he had without having the force was impressive.

2. The Emperor -" The only reason he is on my list is the reason that he killed Mace Windu. The Emperor was almost brought down and he killed him in such a Bullshit way.

1. Darth Maul - " He is one of my favorite villains of all time. With such little time spent on camera he is the only person to kill Liam Neeson on film.