Special Report

50 Most (and Least) Popular Star Wars Characters

Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Upon its release in May 1977, “Star Wars” opened in just 42 theaters. The film quickly broke box office records, was ordered to a greater number of theaters, and began to make history as the biggest franchise in cinema history.

Film critics point to a number of reasons behind the film’s success. The film that would eventually be called “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” portrayed a hero’s journey on an epic, intergalactic scale, employed cutting-edge special and visual effects that still hold up today, and had one of the most recognizable film scores of all time. But perhaps the most important element in the film’s enduring quality was its characters.

The Star Wars franchise contains some of the most beloved characters in cinema history. And in a film series as rich in detail as Star Wars, even many of the lesser-known, minor characters make a strong impression on the audience.

To determine the most and least popular Star Wars characters, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on each character’s screen time, dialogue, internet popularity, and other factors.

Click here to see the most popular Star Wars characters.
Click here to see the least popular Star Wars characters.

Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Most Popular Star Wars Characters

25. BB-8
> Role: Astromech droid
> Appears in: Episode VII
> Screentime: 1 hour, 14 minutes

Thanks to director J.J Abrams’ conviction that “The Force Awakens” be shot with little CGI to maintain the authenticity of the original Star Wars films, the droid BB-8 is portrayed practically by a rod puppet and a remote-controlled robotic unit.

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24. Jabba the Hutt
> Role: Tatooine crime boss
> Appears in: Episodes IV, VI
> Screentime: 31 minutes

Leader of the Desilijic-Hutt crime cartel, Jabba the Hutt controls much of the illegal trade, piracy, and human and alien trafficking on the planet Tatooine.

23. Poe Dameron
> Role: Starfighter Corps commander
> Appears in: Episode VII
> Screentime: 45 minutes

One of Leia’s most trusted pilots in the Resistance fleet, Poe Dameron flies an X-wing and owns the astromech droid BB-8. Dameron is seen as the most recent incarnation of the swashbuckling archetype Han Solo embodied in the original trilogy.

22. Mon Mothma
> Role: Rebel Alliance leader
> Appears in: Episodes III, VI, Rogue One
> Screentime: 9 minutes

Despite having just nine minutes of screen time and 127 words of dialogue in the original Star Wars films, Mon Mothma has become relatively popular among the franchise fan base. The character’s Wikipedia page has an average of 794 visitors a day, more than main characters such as C-3PO and Qui-Gon Jinn.

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21. Jar Jar Binks
> Role: Gungan general
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, III
> Screentime: 2 hours, 12 minutes

Seen by many critics an embodiment of the shortcomings of “The Phantom Menace” — overuse of CGI, the attempt to cater to younger audiences, and underdeveloped characters — Jar Jar Binks was originally poorly received. While the character’s popularity is largely the result of negative attention, the Jar Jar Binks Wikipedia page has more than 1,000 views a day, similar to that of Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian.

20. Qui-Gon Jinn
> Role: Jedi Master
> Appears in: Episodes I, II
> Screentime: 1 hour, 50 minutes

One of the main protagonists of “The Phantom Menace,” Qui-Gon Jinn discovers the young Anakin Skywalker and vows to train him as a Jedi — a task which Qui-Gon’s padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, carries out after Qui-Gon’s death. Qui-Gon can be heard briefly in “Attack of the Clones” as he cries out to Anakin through the Force as the young Skywalker begins to massacre a tribe of Tusken Raiders.

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19. Lando Calrissian
> Role: Administrator of Cloud City
> Appears in: Episodes V, VI
> Screentime: 1 hour, 22 minutes

After being forced by the Empire to betray his friend and turn Han Solo over to Boba Fett, Lando Calrissian assists in Han’s rescue attempt and is eventually made a general in the Rebel Alliance.

18. Kylo Ren
> Role: Commander of the First Order
> Appears in: Episode VII
> Screentime: 53 minutes

While Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, Ren’s personality and aspirations are more in line with that of his grandfather, Darth Vader. In the year following the film’s release, 245 newborn babies in the U.S. were named Kylo, six times the amount in 2015 and 30 times the amount in 2014.

17. Finn
> Role: Resistance fighter
> Appears in: Episode VII
> Screentime: 1 hour, 35 minutes

A stormtrooper turned Resistance fighter, Finn is one of the six characters introduced in “The Force Awakens” that rank among the 25 most popular Star Wars characters. In the year following the film’s release, 2,277 newborn boys were named Finn, a 20% increase from 2015 and a 44% increase from 2014.

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16. Grand Moff Tarkin
> Role: Grand Moff of the Galactic Empire
> Appears in: Episode III, IV, Rogue One
> Screentime: 39 minutes

Due to the discomfort caused by the snug riding boots provided to all actors portraying Imperial officers, late English actor Peter Cushing played the role of Grand Moff Tarkin in his slippers. As a result, a majority of Grand Moff Tarkin’s scenes in “A New Hope” were filmed in a medium shot, showing the character from the waist up.

15. Supreme Leader Snoke
> Role: Supreme Leader of the First Order
> Appears in: Episode VII
> Screentime: 8 minutes

While not much is known about Supreme Leader Snoke’s history and character background other than his status as leader of the First Order, fans are eager to find out. Despite having just eight minutes of screen time in “The Force Awakens,” Snoke’s Wikipedia page receives an average of 1,366 visits a day — more than fan favorites such as Yoda and Chewbacca.

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14. Boba Fett
> Role: Bounty hunter
> Appears in: Episodes II, V, VI
> Screentime: 59 minutes

A galactic bounty hunter, Boba Fett made his first film appearance in “The Empire Strikes Back,” where he tracks the Millennium Falcon to Cloud City on behalf of Darth Vader. Boba is the clone of Jango Fett, the genetic model for the Clone Army of the Galactic Republic. Based on Google search frequency, Boba Fett was the 348th most popular Halloween costume in 2017.

13. Emperor Palpatine
> Role: Sith Lord and Emperor of the Galactic Empire
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, IIII, V, V, VI
> Screentime: 1 hour, 47 minutes

In the prequel trilogy, Palpatine advances himself from Senator to Supreme Chancellor and reorganizes the Republic into a Galactic Empire. Secretly Darth Sidious — the Dark Lord of the Sith — Palpatine executes Order 66, the command to kill all Jedi, and seduces a young Anakin Skywalker to the dark side of the Force.

12. Padmé Amidala
> Role: Queen and Senator of Naboo
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, III
> Screentime: 3 hours, 30 minutes

As secret wife of Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Amidala dies giving birth to Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. Following her term as Queen of Naboo, Padmé becomes Senator in the Galactic Republic and is one of the original opponents to the founding of the Galactic Empire.

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11. Rey
> Role: Resistance fighter
> Appears in: Episode VII
> Screentime: 1 hour, 40 minutes

The first female lead in the Star Wars franchise, Rey quickly caught on with fans of the series. Rey was one of the most commonly googled Halloween costumes in 2017, and in 2016 — the year following the release of “The Force Awakens,” 45 newborn girls in the U.S. were named Rey.

10. C-3PO
> Role: Protocol droid
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, Rogue One
> Screentime: 5 hours, 59 minutes

A protocol droid built by Anakin Skywalker, C-3PO is one of the only Star Wars characters — including its brief cameo in “Rogue One” — to appear in all eight films. C-3PO has been party to some of the franchise’s most climactic moments. Fluent in over 6 million forms of communication, C-3PO speaks a total of 4,311 words in the Star Wars films, more than any character other than Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker.

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9. Yoda
> Role: Jedi Master
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, III, V, VI, VII
> Screentime: 2 hours, 14 minutes

One of the most powerful Jedi in the Star Wars universe, Yoda was the Grand Master of the Jedi Council and one of the only Jedi to have survived Order 66. Following his defeat at the hands of Darth Sidious, Yoda exiles himself to Dagobah, where he eventually trains Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Force.

8. Chewbacca
> Role: Wookie warrior
> Appears in: Episodes III, IV, V, VI, VII
> Screentime: 4 hours, 20 minutes

The most popular Wookie in the Star Wars films, Chewbacca is Han Solo’s lifelong friend and co-pilot of the Millenium Falcon. Based on Google search frequency, Chewbacca was the 201st most popular Halloween costume in 2017 and the sixth most popular costume of any Star Wars character.

7. R2-D2
> Role: Astromech droid
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, Rogue One
> Screentime: 6 hours, 50 minutes

An astromech droid that has served Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, and Luke Skywalker, R2-D2 is one of the only Star Wars characters to have appeared in all eight films. Based on Google search frequency, R2-D2 was 347th most popular Halloween costume in 2017 and the ninth most popular Star Wars costume.

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6. Obi-Wan Kenobi
> Role: Jedi Master
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, III, VII
> Screentime: 4 hours, 54 minutes

One of the only Jedi to survive Order 66, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Jedi Master who becomes a mentor and friend to both Anakin and Luke Skywalker. Kenobi was portrayed by Ewan McGregor in the prequel trilogy, and by Alec McGuinness in the original trilogy. McGuinness is the only actor ever nominated for an Oscar for a role in Star Wars.

5. Anakin Skywalker
> Role: Jedi Knight
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, III, VI
> Screentime: 5 hours, 16 minutes

Believed to be the prophesied Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker is discovered by Qui-Gon Jinn and trained in the ways of the Force by Obi-Wan Kenobi. While his fear of loss and love leads to the Dark Side, Skywalker may ultimately fulfill the Jedi prophecy in his final moments as he kills Emperor Palpatine to save his son.

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4. Princess Leia
> Role: Princess of Alderaan and Rebel Alliance leader
> Appears in: Episodes IV, V, VI, VII, Rogue One
> Screentime: 2 hours, 43 minutes

A leader of the Rebel Alliance, Princess Leia is instrumental in bringing about the destruction of the Death Star and the collapse of the Galactic Empire. Based on Google search frequency, Princess Leia was the 90th most popular Halloween costume in 2017 and the most popular costume of any Star Wars character.

3. Luke Skywalker
> Role: Jedi Master
> Appears in: Episodes IV, V, VI, VII
> Screentime: 4 hours, 42 minutes

Raised on a moisture farm in Tatooine, Luke Skywalker undergoes the ultimate hero’s journey in the original trilogy as he trains in the ways of the Force under Yoda, and battles the Galactic Empire with Princess Leia, Han Solo, and the Rebel Alliance.

2. Han Solo
> Role: Smuggler and Rebel Alliance general
> Appears in: Episodes IV, V, VI, VII
> Screentime: 4 hours, 21 minutes

Captain of the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo comes to believe in the cause of the Rebel Alliance as he takes on the Galactic Empire with friends Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Chewbacca in the original trilogy. One of the most prominent examples of the antihero archetype, Solo was the 220th most popular Halloween costume based on Google searches in 2017 and the seventh most popular Star Wars costume.

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1. Darth Vader
> Role: Sith Lord
> Appears in: Episodes III, IV, V, VI, Rogue One
> Screentime: 2 hours, 30 minutes

A fallen Jedi, Darth Vader is seduced to the dark side of the Force by Darth Sidious and serves under the Dark Lord of the Sith for decades as they rule the Galactic Empire. While Vader is unsuccessful in his attempts to seduce Luke Skywalker to the dark side, the two unite as father and son as they defeat Emperor Palpatine. Darth Vader dies as Anakin Skywalker and reunites with Obi-Wan and Yoda as a Force spirit.

Least Popular Star Wars Characters

25.Greedo
> Role: Bounty Hunter
> Appears in: Episode IV
> Screentime: 6 minutes

Greedo, a Rodian bounty hunter and relatively poor marksman, met his fate in a shootout with Han Solo in the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine after tracking him down on behalf of Jabba the Hutt.

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24. Bail Organa
> Role: Senator of Alderaan
> Appears in: Episodes II, III, Rogue One
> Screentime: 39 minutes

A senator from the planet Alderaan and agent of the Rebel Alliance, Bail Organa adopts Leia Organa and raises her as a princess.

23. General Hux
> Role: General of the First Order
> Appears in: Episode VII
> Screentime: 25 minutes

Introduced in “The Force Awakens,” General Hux is a ruthless officer of the First Order, competing for rank with Kylo Ren.

22. Cliegg Lars
> Role: Moisture farmer
> Appears in: Episode II
> Screentime: 9 minutes

Cliegg Lars is a moisture farmer who buys Shmi Skywalker, Anakin’s mother, out of slavery and marries her. Not long after Shmi is captured by Tusken Raiders, Lars loses his leg in a failed attempt to rescue her.

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21. Jango Fett
> Role: Bounty hunter
> Appears in: Episode II
> Screentime: 40 minutes

Like his son after him, Jango Fett is regarded as one of the best bounty hunters in the galaxy. A highly skilled warrior, Jango is the genetic template for the soldiers of the Galactic Republic’s Clone Army.

20. Shmi Skywalker
> Role: Moisture farmer
> Appears in: Episodes I, II
> Screentime: 42 minutes

Shmi Skywalker, the mother of Anakin Skywalker, was a slave before becoming a moisture farmer on Tatooine. After being freed from slavery and marrying Cliegg Lars, Shmi is captured by Tusken Raiders and dies in captivity. Anakin’s sense of his mother’s pain and suffering becomes a major contributor to his journey to the dark side of the Force.

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19. Nien Nunb
> Role: Rebel Alliance fighter
> Appears in: Episodes VI, VII
> Screentime: 36 minutes

Nien Nunb is an arms dealer and smuggler who has fought on behalf of the Rebel Alliance on multiple occasions. Nunb speaks Kikuyu, a language native to Kenya.

18. Queen Jamillia
> Role: Queen of Naboo
> Appears in: Episode II
> Screentime: 2 minutes

Queen Jamillia is Padmé Amidala’s successor to the throne of the Queen of Naboo.

17. Watto
> Role: Junk dealer
> Appears in: Episodes I, II
> Screentime: 30 minutes

Watto is a Toydarian junk dealer on Tatooine who once owned Anakin and Shmi Skywalker. Watto loses Anakin to Qui-Gon Jinn in a bet on a podrace. Later he sells Shmi to her husband Cliegg Lars.

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16. Max Rebo
> Role: Jabba’s Palace house band leader
> Appears in: Episode VI
> Screentime: 17 minutes

The second most popular band in the Star Wars universe, the Max Rebo Band is a jazz ensemble led by front-Ortolan Max Rebo. The band plays a fast, uptempo style of music and is the house band at Jabba’s Palace.

15. Wicket W. Warrick
> Role: Ewok and Rebel Alliance ally
> Appears in: Episode VI
> Screentime: 31 minutes

Wicket W. Warrick is an Ewok warrior who assists the Rebel Alliance during the Battle of Endor.

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14. Boss Nass
> Role: Gungan leader
> Appears in: Episode I
> Screentime: 12 minutes

Boss Nass is the leader of the Gungans. During the Trade Federation’s occupation of Naboo, Nass mobilizes the Gungan Grand Army to help the Royal Naboo Security Forces fight off the droid invaders.

13. Biggs Darklighter (Red Three)
> Role: Rebel Alliance pilot
> Appears in: Episode IV
> Screentime: 15 minutes

Biggs Darklighter is a pilot for the Rebel Alliance who dies during the Rebellion’s assault on the Death Star.

12. Nute Gunray
> Role: Viceroy of the Trade Federation
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, III
> Screentime: 43 minutes

Nute Gunray is Viceroy of the Trade Federation and a leader of the Separatists. Some speculate his name is some sort of amalgamation of the names Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan. Despite having 43 minutes of screen time and 544 words of dialogue — more than many more popular characters — Gunray’s Wikipedia character listing is rarely visited.

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11. Admiral Piett
> Role: Imperial officer
> Appears in: Episodes V, VI
> Screentime: 25 minutes

Admiral Piett is an Imperial officer assigned to the Super Star Destroyer Executor. Portrayed by Kenneth Colley in both “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” Piett is the only Imperial officer appearing in more than one Star Wars film and played by the same actor.

10. Ki-Adi-Mundi
> Role: Jedi Master
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, III
> Screentime: 40 minutes

A Cerean alien with a binary brain, Ki-Adi-Mundi is a Jedi Master and member of the Jedi High Council. Ki-Adi-Mundi fights in the Clone Wars and is killed by his own troops during the execution of Order 66.

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9. General Veers
> Role: Imperial officer and AT-AT pilot
> Appears in: Episode V
> Screentime: 11 minutes

General Veers is an Imperial officer who pilots an AT-AT during the Battle of Hoth.

8. Sio Bibble
> Role: Governor of Naboo
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, III
> Screentime: 21 minutes

Sio Bibble is the Governor of Naboo. During the Trade Federation invasion of the planet he is taken captive by the Droid Army.

7. Taun We
> Role: Aide to Prime Minister of Kamino
> Appears in: Episode II
> Screentime: 12 minutes

Taun We is the administrative aide to Lama Su, the Prime Minister of Kamino, and one of the overseers of the formation of the Clone Army for the Galactic Republic.

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6. Captain Panaka
> Role: Naboo security captain
> Appears in: Episode I
> Screentime: 1 hour, 4 minutes

Captain Panaka serves as Padme Amidala’s bodyguard and ensures her safety during the Trade Federation invasion of Naboo. In official Star Wars canon, Panaka rises to the rank of Imperial Moff after the Clone Wars and is eventually assassinated under orders of rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.

5. Dexter Jettster
> Role: Cook
> Appears in: Episode II
> Screentime: 3 minutes

Dexter Jettster is a cook on the city-planet Coruscant who helps Obi-Wan Kenobi identify the origins of a Kamino saberdart and the location of the planet it came from.

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4. Owen Lars
> Role: Moisture farmer
> Appears in: Episodes II, III, IV
> Screentime: 13 minutes

Owen Lars is a moisture farmer and the son of Cliegg Lars, Anakin Skywalker’s stepfather. He becomes the adoptive father of Luke Skywalker after Padmé Amidala dies in childbirth. After Luke purchases R2-D2, who contains stolen plans for the Death Star, Owen is killed by Imperial stormtroopers during their search for the droid.

3. Ric Olié
> Role: Naboo Royal Space Fighter Corps pilot
> Appears in: Episode I
> Screentime: 38 minutes

Ric Olié is a veteran of the Naboo Royal Space Fighter Corps who helps destroy the Trade Federation’s Droid Control Ship during the Battle of Naboo. Despite having 38 minutes of screen time — more than more popular characters such as Darth Maul and Jabba the Hutt — Olié’s Wikipedia character listing has an average of just three visitors a day.

2. Garven Dreis
> Role: Rebel Alliance pilot
> Appears in: Episode IV, Rogue One
> Screentime: 15 minutes

Garven Dreis, whose callsign is Red Leader during the Battle of Scarif and Battle of Yavin, is a pilot for the Rebel Alliance. He is shot down and killed by Darth Vader during the Rebellion’s assault on the Death Star.

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1. Rune Haako
> Role: Trade Federation official
> Appears in: Episodes I, II, III
> Screentime: 32 minutes

An official of the Trade Federation and Separatist movement, Rune Haako is killed by Darth Vader during the Clone Wars. Despite having a total 32 minutes of screen time — more than more popular characters such as Jabba the Hutt and Maz Kanata — Rune Haako character listing on Wikipedia has an average of just one visitor per day.

Detailed Findings & Methodology

Despite little screen time or relevance to the story’s plot, some characters become strong fan favorites. One example is Mon Mothma. First appearing in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,” Mon Mothma spoke just a few lines of dialogue as she briefed members of the rebel alliance on plans to attack the Death Star. While Mothma has only 127 words of dialogue, something about her character captivated audiences, leading to her being featured in Episode III — although the scene was deleted in the theatrical release — and in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Other examples of beloved minor characters include Boba Fett and Lando Calrissian.

Many of the most popular characters appear in the most well-regarded Star Wars movies. According to user reviews on the Internet Movie Database, films in the original trilogy — Episodes IV, V, and VI — far outrank the later franchise installments. Episodes IV, V, and VI have an average ranking of 8.6/10 on IMDb compared to 6.9/10 for Episodes I, II, and III. Of the 25 most popular Star Wars characters, only three were introduced in the prequel trilogy films.

To determine the most and least popular Star Wars characters, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on each character’s screen time, dialogue, internet presence, and other factors. The daily average views of a character’s Wikipedia page had over the period from December 2, 2016 to December 2, 2017 were included in the index and given a full weight. To be considered, a character must have his or her own Wikipedia page or be included in Wikipedia’s list of Star Wars characters and have at least 100 words of dialogue in a Star Wars film.

Each character’s total word count in all of the Star Wars films was included in the index and given full weight. Data on word count came from “The Largest Ever Analysis of Film Dialogue by Gender,” a project by Hannah Anderson and Matt Daniels hosted on the website The Pudding. Word counts reflect dialogue in a film’s screenplay and may not be representative of the actual word count in a film’s theatrical version.

A character’s total screen time in all of the Star Wars films came from analysis of Amazon X-Ray data available on Tableau Public and was included in the index with a full weighting. The ratio of a character’s daily average Wikipedia page views to his or her total screen time was included in the index and given double weight. Screen time estimates do not include time on screen in the film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

The popularity of a character’s Halloween costume — as determined by its position in the national ranking of Halloween costume Google searches — came from Google Frightgeist and was included in the index with full weight. Finally, the average user rating on IMDb for the films that a character was featured in was included in the index and given a one-fourth weighting.

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