One of the most influential movie franchise of our time, Star Wars is pivotal in introducing a new genre of cinema. The characters, though varied and definitely alien in nature, enthralled us with their innocence (or not Siths, anyone?). It opened up new avenues in the film industry. Let’s revisit them through a list of main characters in the Star Wars movie series, as we stroll through memory lane of the first time we held a light saber.
Did You Know?
The character R2-D2’s name is Reel 2 Dialog Track 2. It was derived when the sound editor asked for Reel 2, Dialog 2, in abbreviated form ‘R2-D2’. By the way, it actually stands for Second Generation Robotic Droid Series-2.
Fans of the Star Wars franchise would nod in approval, as the nostalgia of remembering our characters brings our teenage selves to the surface. Nobody likes to forget Princess Leia in her metal bikini, or the antics of R2-D2 and C-3PO. Light sabers had become part of our inventory, as we practiced day and night to become Jedi. Who can forget the moment when Darth Vader reveals that he’s Luke’s father?
As our emotions went through a roller coaster ride to the twists and turns, we felt our heart go out to Anakin, as he finally joins the right side. Here’s a list of the characters that comprises the heroes as well as villains that took us through this fabulous journey.
Main Star Wars Characters
Character – Han Solo
A native of Correlia, he was a smuggler by profession. He piloted the Millennium Falcon which he won from Lando Calrissian. His sidekick in many of his conquests is a Wookie by the name of Chewbacca. He was captured by Boba Fett. He was frozen in carbonite before being rescued by Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker, Leia, R2-D2, and C-3PO. He later married Leia Organa.
Portrayed by – Harrison Ford
Character – Leia Organa
The daughter of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala, she was a native of Alderaan and the twin sister of Luke Skywalker. Like her mother, she was a senator and responsible for the creation of the New Republic. She infiltrated the Galactic Republic and stole the plans of the Death Star. She was responsible for the end of Jabba the Hutt. She maintained a relationship with Han Solo.
Portrayed by – Carrie Fisher
Character – C-3PO
He is a protocol droid, fluent in six million languages of communication. He was created by Anakin Skywalker, who found him in a junkyard. His main duty consists of etiquette, customs, and translation of different languages. He assists Luke, Leia, and Lando Calrissian in rescuing Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. He’s very loyal to his friends, as depicted when he agreed to sacrifice some of his mechanical parts to help R2-D2 who was injured in battle. C-3PO convinces the Ewoks to join them in battle against the Galactic Empire. At the end of the prequel trilogy, his memory was wiped out to protect Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa.
Portrayed by – Anthony Daniels
Character – Luke Skywalker
The main protagonist and the hero of the space saga, he was the son of Anakin Skywalker and Princess Padmé of Naboo. He first met R2-D2 and C-3PO when they were bought by his uncle as farm-help. He fought many wars with the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker was gifted with the Force like his father, and was trained by Yoda in the arts of the Jedi. He was shocked when Darth Vader was revealed to be his father. He defeated his father in battle, and persuaded him to come toward the light. He was responsible for the destruction of the Death Star. His sister is Princess Leia Organa.
Portrayed by – Mark Hamill
Character – Obi-Wan Kenobi
He is a mentor to Luke Skywalker, the protagonist of the series. He introduced him to the ways of the Jedi. Obi-Wan Kenobi is the only person in Star Wars history to teach both father and son. He met Anakin Skywalker when his master Qui-Gon Jinn saved him from slavery. He kills Darth Maul, who was responsible for killing his master. Obi-Wan Kenobi cuts Luke’s father down and also severs his left hand. He was hunted down relentlessly by Darth Vader and his stormtroopers. He is killed by Darth Vader, but still appears in a spirit form to Luke by means of the Force.
Portrayed by – Ewan McGregor
Character – Yoda
He was one of the oldest masters of the Jedi High Order. He was responsible for training almost every Jedi in history. He trained Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Jedi. Yoda was against the training of Anakin Skywalker, but is persuaded by Qui-Gon Jinn. He orders Obi-wan Kenobi to kill Anakin Skywalker, after finding out that he’s responsible for the massacre of all Jedi. He is strong enough to face Darth Sidious in a one-on-one battle. Yoda was one of the few who knew the true identity of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa.
Portrayed by – Frank Oz
Character – Padmé Amidala
Also known as her Royal Highness, the Princess of Naboo was the secret wife of Anakin Skywalker, and the mother of Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker, two of the main protagonists of the Star Wars Universe. She was one of the most respected figures in the galaxy, fighting against the Trade Federations’ invasion. She played a vital role in the politics and events surrounding the Clone Wars. Padmé Amidala tried to convince her husband of leaving the Dark Side, but was suffocated by using the Force. She was saved by Obi-wan Kenobi. She gave birth to twins on a far-away planet.
Portrayed by – Natalie Portman
Character – Mace Windu
He was a Jedi Master of the Jedi High Council, before being succeeded by Yoda. Widely known for his swordplay, he slew Jango Fett, an infamous bounty hunter and father of Boba Fett. Mace Windu had a unique form of Force perception, which made him aware of shatterpoints in individuals. These shatterpoints were feelings closest to the heart between creatures, beings, vessels, and even planets. Mace Windu was betrayed by Anakin Skywalker, and was killed by Darth Sidious.
Portrayed by – Samuel L. Jackson
Character – Count Dooku
One of the main antagonists of the series, Count Dooku, along with General Grievous, abduct Chancellor Palpatine to gain a trump card in their talks against the Jedi Council. He was recruited by Darth Sidious when the Jedi Council refused to aid oppressed states. Count Dooku’s intention was to create an army around Anakin. He was decapitated by Anakin Skywalker.
Portrayed by – Christopher Lee
Character – Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
He lived with his mother Shmi Skywalker in the desert planet Tatooine. He was rescued by Qui-Gon Jinn, a respected Jedi Knight who recognized the Force in him. He was responsible for killing Count Dooku. Anakin Skywalker had the foresight to see visions of the future. Afraid of the consequences his visions might bring, he requested Darth Sidious to help him out. He fought against his former master and lost. Anakin Skywalker was saved by his master, Darth Lord Sidious. He had to encase himself in life-sustaining black armor for the remainder of his life. He redeemed himself in the eyes of his son, by killing his master Darth Sidious and throwing him into Death Star’s reactor core.
Portrayed by – Hayden Christensen
Character – Palpatine/Darth Sidious
Born on planet Naboo, Palpatine worked as a Supreme Chancellor for the Galactic Republic. He wanted to rule the galaxy from the very beginning, and recruited Count Dooku, one of the highest-ranking Jedi in the Jedi Council. He trained Darth Maul. Extremely Machiavellian by nature, Palpatine manipulated the Galactic Republic by starting the Clone Wars, as well as attacks on the Trade Federation. He convinced Anakin Skywalker to come to his side by promising to save his wife. Palpatine was the first and only emperor of the Galactic Republic, and created Death Stars to destroy any planet who stood against him and his ambitions. He was thrown to death.
Portrayed by – Ian McDiarmid
Character – Qui-Gon Jinn
Qui-Gon Jinn was a high-ranking Jedi. He was a mentor to Obi-wan Kenobi. He sensed the Force strongly in Anakin Skywalker, and was responsible for saving him from slavery. He implored the Jedi Council to reconsider the decision of training Anakin Skywalker. Qui-Gon Jinn saved Jar Jar Binks from a Trade Federation ship. He battled Darth Maul, but was no match for him in the end. In his dying moments, he made Obi-wan Kenobi promise to train Anakin. Qui-Gon Jinn passed the secret of immortality to the remaining Jedi by appearing in a spirit form.
Portrayed by – Liam Neeson
Character – Lando Calrissian
A charming gambler and conman from a young age, Lando Calrissian was the initial owner of the Millennium Falcon. He betrayed Han Solo in favor of ruling over Cloud City, a small mining country. But the Sith Lord had twisted his hand too far and he ended up joining the Rebel Alliance. Lando Calrissian even joined the rescue team to save Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt.
Portrayed by – Billy Dee Williams
Character – R2-D2
R2-D2 is a droid who is always accompanied by C-3PO, joins Luke and Leia in rescuing Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. He belonged to the Naboo defense forces, and was responsible for maintenance of the ship. R2-D2 helps Anakin and Obi-wan Kenobi in rescuing Chancellor Palpatine from Count Dooku’s ship. He helps them in the destruction of the Death Star. He already knew the history of the Skywalker family from the beginning of the series.
Portrayed by – Kenny Baker
Character – Chewbacca
Chewbacca is a 200-year old Wookie from the planet Ewok. He is the co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, and Han Solo’s best friend. He and Han accept a mission to Alderaan. Chewbacca fights in the Clone Wars when the stormtroopers decide to invade his home planet Kashyyyk. He became Solo’s companion after Solo refused an order to kill him.
Portrayed by – Peter Mayhew
Character – Boba Fett
A bounty hunter by profession, Boba Fett was responsible for the capture of Han Solo. His reputation was so revered that he was hired by Jabba the Hutt for assignments. His father Jango Fett, also a bounty hunter, was killed by Mace Windu, which proved to be the catalyst for him to hate Jedis forever.
Portrayed by – Jeremy Bulloch
Character – General Grievous
One of the leaders in the Confederacy of Independent Systems, General Grievous failed to assassinate Padmé Amidala. He was wounded grievously by Mace Windu, and his chest plates were broken. He abducted Chancellor Palpatine aboard his ship, The Invisible Hand. But due to unforeseen events and Count Dooku getting killed, he retreats, but is pursued by Obi-wan Kenobi. He is killed when Obi-wan rips apart his chest plates and incinerates him from the inside.
Portrayed by – Matthew Wood
Character – Jabba the Hutt
Jabba the Hutt was a crime lord who had an affinity for slave girls, droids, and alien creatures. He was greedy and malicious, to such an extent that he sacrificed his former slave to the rancor below his throne room. He put a bounty on Han Solo, and recruited Boba Fett in capturing him. Jabba the Hutt had a host of assassins in his employ. He refused to listen to reason when Luke attempted to negotiate the terms of Hans’ freedom. He was killed by Princess Leia, using her slave chains.
Portrayed by – Larry Ward
Character – Darth Maul
A trained assassin in many arts of the Sith, Darth Maul was responsible for the assassination attempt on the princess of Naboo. He was able to beat Qui-Gon Jinn in a Jedi fight, and eventually killed him. But he underestimated his disciple Obi-Wan Kenobi, and was cut down at the waist.
Portrayed by – Ray Park
Character – Jar Jar Binks
One of the most stupid characters in the Star Wars Universe, Jar Jar Binks actually voted for the Galactic Empire to take down the order of the Jedi. He belonged to the Gungan tribe. He was almost killed by a Federation transport, but was saved by Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-wan Kenobi, and released into their care. Jar Jar Binks played a major role in leading the Gungans in the war against the Trade Federation.
Portrayed by – Ahmed Best
Although the aforementioned are some of the major characters in the movie, nobody can forget Wicket and his lovable gang of Ewoks, as they helped the Rebel Alliance, or General Ackbar, who helped destroy the Death Star. Star Wars depicted Anakin Skywalker fighting his inner demons, trying to resist the dark side of the Force. It has had a cultural impact on us, with Darth Vader being spoofed in South Park, The Simpsons, as well as Toy Story 2. It was the unstoppable battle of good vs. evil. But the series ain’t over yet, with the next movie coming soon, and another two stand-alone movies to follow. I won’t be missing out. Will you?