At the current time of writing, there have been 11 Star Wars movies, including spin-offs Rogue One and Solo. And the whole adventure in a galaxy far, far away started way back in the summer of 1977, when A New Hope released for the first time. It was a huge box office hit, trouncing the competition that year, and is still regarded as one of the best blockbusters the entire franchise has to offer.
The locations were majestic but it was the characters who instantly became iconic, from Tatooine farmboy Luke Skywalker to evil villain Darth Vader. So it’s now time to take a look back at that film and list the 10 best individuals from it.
When Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker that Mos Eisley is a ‘hive of scum and villainy’, audiences quickly learn why. Doctor Cornelius Evazan and Ponda Baba both instantly threaten Mark Hamill’s character, with Kenobi then forced to come to the rescue of his friend. And another low-life scumbag who resides on the planet of Tatooine is Greedo, one of Jabba the Hutt’s henchmen.
Greedo’s death at the hands of Han Solo is still disputed even now, with fans divided on who originally shot first. Due to the fact it’s still a talking point, Greedo definitely warrants a place on this list. Even if he’s only in the movie for a couple of minutes before being ruthlessly shot at point-blank range.
9 Jabba The Hutt
If Greedo makes this list, then Jabba the Hutt has to as well. The gangster makes just a fleeting cameo in A New Hope, threatening Han Solo over a lost shipment and promising revenge if the loveable rogue fails to pay off his debts. He later reappears in Return of the Jedi, acting as a bigger antagonist during that title.
Jabba’s threat hammers home the fact the Empire aren’t the only evil force in the galaxy, upping the stakes considerably. It also shows Lucas was prepared to plan in advance, even though Jabba was originally a man in a suit instead of a giant slug. This was changed thanks to the evolution of technology and it’s hard to picture him looking any other way now.
8 C-3PO & R2-D2
Since they’re a double act, C-3PO and R2-D2 deserve to be thrown together. They’re central to pretty much everything that goes on during A New Hope and their hilarious, bickering relationship has made them the stuff of pop-culture legend in the years since the movie hit theatres.
They certainly add the majority of the comedic relief that’s needed to counter the dark threat of Darth Vader and the Empire, getting themselves into trouble throughout. They’ve appeared in every single Star Wars movie since, barring Solo in 2018, and it’ll be interesting to see whether they make fleeting cameos in any of the projects Disney currently has in the works.
Moving onto some of the more action-packed characters, it’s time to talk about Chewbacca. With his huge height, wild fur, and sharp teeth it’s definitely easy to see why people in the galaxy would be scared of the Wookiee, particularly when he can rip their limbs from their sockets with ease. But Peter Mayhew’s ‘walking carpet’ is exactly why people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
Chewie is a big softie but capable fighter, helping to rescue Princess Leia from onboard the first Death Star and playing a big role in the space station’s ultimate destruction. One complaint, however, is that he wasn’t given a medal for saving the day – unlike other heroes Luke and Han.
6 Grand Moff Tarkin
When it comes to Star Wars villains, the best ones are usually force-sensitive. Whether that’s Darth Maul and Count Dooku from George Lucas’ prequel trilogy, Darth Vader and Palpatine in the originals, and Kylo Ren during the story of the sequels, that’s an ongoing theme. But Grand Moff Tarkin is certainly an exception to the rule.
He doesn’t need a lightsaber or superpowers to scare the galaxy, instead ruling it with an iron fist and relishing every piece of pain and suffering he causes. Tarkin is killed off when the Death Star blows up but did appear in Rogue One and was similarly loathsome there, too.
5 Obi-Wan Kenobi
Luke Skywalker’s world is turned upside down when the Empire ruthlessly murders his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen on Tatooine, leaving their burning bodies behind to be discovered. And it’s this brutal act that sees him begin his training as a Jedi, working under Obi-Wan Kenobi to follow in the footsteps of his father.
Obi-Wan is a wise, powerful user of the force. He effortlessly helps his friends through a series of difficult situations, including when they’re on the Death Star. And he shows he’s the ultimate team player by sacrificing himself, dying at the hands of Darth Vader after an epic lightsaber duel. That’s not the last fans see of Kenobi, with the Jedi also appearing in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
4 Leia Organa
Narrowly missing out on a place on the podium positions is Leia Organa. Strong female protagonists weren’t as commonplace as they are today when A New Hope released 44 years ago but Carrie Fisher’s character changed the game. Leia’s not just a match for her male rivals, she’s arguably better than many of them too.
Seeing Leia hold her own when under interrogation from Darth Vader and the Empire is particularly admirable and she organizes the successful destruction of the first Death Star. One thing that holds her back, however, is how ruthless she is towards Han Solo and Luke. Given they save her from certain death, she could definitely be a little bit more grateful…
3 Han Solo
Taking the bronze medal is Han Solo. As mentioned above, he’s definitely a loveable rogue. There’s no denying he can be reckless, something that endears him to fans. And he’s a big part of A New Hope, helping Luke to destroy the Death Star just when Darth Vader is threatening to stop that from happening.
Han’s confidence is definitely his best trait, with the former smuggler backing himself no matter the odds. Without that, many of his grand schemes would likely have failed. His chemistry with Leia and Luke is particularly good, while Chewbacca is the perfect partner in crime.
2 Luke Skywalker
In today’s world, the Star Wars saga has some pretty big poster boys and girls. From Rey to Anakin Skywalker, Han Solo to Cassian Andor, a number of characters have taken the spotlight. But the biggest from the good side of the force has always been Luke Skywalker, who embarks on a captivating journey.
He starts off being bossed around by his Uncle and forced to work hard as a farmer, before then meeting Obi-Wan Kenobi and taking his first steps to become a Jedi. Destroying the Death Star was his highlight, showing just how far he’s come. And he also gets the better of a certain Darth Vader…
1 Darth Vader
Hollywood is blessed with a variety of great villains. But Darth Vader is arguably the best of the lot, attracting huge attention when A New Hope first released and raising the standards of pop culture in the process.
His introduction in A New Hope, where he leads an attack of helpless Rebels on Tantive IV, is still breathtaking to this day – making it clear this is somebody to fear. The way he force chokes foes, murders Obi-Wan Kenobi and chillingly breaths through a dark and forbidding mask only adds to that feeling. A memorable performance all around.
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