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What Makes a Great Star Wars Villain?

What Makes a Great Star Wars Villain?

Villainous crooks and evil scoundrels of all shapes and sizes lurk in every corner of the Star Wars galaxy! From drooling slug-like Hutts and arrogant Sith lords, to credit-grabbing bounty hunters and warrior witches, some of the best Star Wars characters are the slippery ones you can’t trust!

But what are the factors that make these evil beings so good at being bad?  Here’s the lowdown on how to be an exceptionally excellent villain:

1. It’s all about personality

You won’t get very far as a villain if you don’t have at least two of the following qualities: a vicious streak of pure ruthlessness, a love for evil plan-formatting, an obsession with money or power and not caring how you get it, and a penchant for instilling chills into just about everyone you meet. The terrifying Sith lord Darth Sidious – Galactic Emperor and uber villain – boasts all four. This merciless Sith shows no compassion for his victims, slays his own master, pits family members against each other, and manages to maintain his disguise as a politician dedicated to peace, without breaking a sweat. This all means that he’s possibly the most dangerous swindler in the entire galaxy!  

2. A great outfit

What villains wear can make a big impact on how menacing they appear. Lots of villains like Count Dooku and the Emperor like a long, heavy cloak for disguising their identity, concealing their facial expressions and sweeping menacingly around corners. But some other crooks like nothing more than making an attention-grabbing statement – just look at the greedy Neimoidians’ flamboyant robes and headpieces, or dangerous bounty hunter Cad Bane’s signature cowboy hat. Pre Vizsla and his band of Death Watch warriors are a sight to be feared in their grey and blue Mandalorian armour, which holds a stash of gizmos and gadgets. Last but not least, pirate bandit Hondo Ohnaka accessorises his stolen red jacket with a bright yellow and blue Kowakian monkey-lizard, perched on his shoulder.

 3. A sense of showmanship
 

Some audacious baddies enjoy merrily unleashing chaos and destruction for everyone to see, including Hondo Ohnaka and his ragtag crew of Weequay pirates, who regularly grab any opportunity to make a profit, from kidnapping hostages to stealing crops!

Meanwhile, other sinister villains lie in wait for years and hide behind disguises, as they scheme up terrifying plots. However, the Emperor and his Sith apprentice, Darth Vader, are not adverse to making the occasional grand entrance – preferably amidst legions of stormtroopers standing to attention and quaking in their boots. Darth Sidious and Darth Vader also sometimes appear by hologram to their Imperial Officers, which allows them to pass on their orders to others, who do their dirty work!

4. A gang of loyal cronies

 

All villains need an entourage of helpers, sidekicks, servants or apprentices to help them carry out their dastardly deeds. Jabba the Hutt has a whole court full of them in his palace on Tatooine! Translators, advisors, guards, accountants, spies and bounty hunters all congregate around the powerful Hutt like flies to a honeypot. They hope to earn his favour, but most importantly, a healthy flow of wupiupi coins, the Hutt currency.

5. One or more robotic limbs 

Upgrading your body with a new robotic arm or leg is pretty popular amongst aspiring baddies. After Obi-Wan slices scary Sith lord Darth Maul in half, Maul is gifted a new set of cybernetic legs by the Nightsister warriors – but only after Maul finds himself six arachnid-like legs on a junkyard first!

Mighty leader of the Separatists’ droid army, General Grievous, goes one step further. This cyborg has upgraded most of his body with robotic parts over time and there’s not much left of him that is organic. Unfortunately, his remaining human parts are struggling to cope and he even has his own personal medical droid to help. Pity it can’t fix his rasping cough!

6. Enviable weapon skills 

Superior weapon-handling techniques are the cherry on the top of the cake when it comes to being an exceptional villain.

Ambitious Nightsister witch and warrior Asajj Ventress is a true maestro of martial arts, which is very useful in her varied career as an assassin, bounty hunter and member of the Nightsister clan.  She has finished off many foes with her double Sith lightsaber approach – why have just one weapon when you can have two?!

The menacing Pau’an Inquisitor is skilled in all seven forms of lightsaber combat, making him a true threat to Jedi Kanan Jarrus and the Lothal rebels. The fact that his personal lightsaber boasts different settings, so that he can switch up his fighting technique mid-duel, makes things even scarier…

It’s not all about lightsabers though! The Imperial Security Bureau’s Agent Kallus has an unusual weapon of choice – a Lasan bo-rifle, normally only wielded by the Lasat Honor Guards. Cold-hearted Kallus took the weapon after defeating its last owner, and has been making it his own ever since! 

© & TM 2015 LUCASFILM LTD.

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