Welcome to Top 10. In this series, I will pick a subject in Star Wars and pick my top 10 rankings within that category. I initially began this ahead of Solo: A Star Wars Story by ranking the first 10 Star Wars films and enjoyed doing it so much, I thought it would be fun to make into a more regular series. Today I will be going through my Top 10 Scum and Villainy.
Now I wanted to make some clarifications on how I will be choosing my Top 10. I have tried to rank my personal top 10 with a heavy weighting on who my favourites are but also accounting for their impact on the stories they have and their impact on the canon.
“Scum and Villainy” isn’t the most obvious of categories, so before I go any further I want to clarify who applies to this list. This will include anyone who has spent time as a smuggler, pirate, assassin, bounty hunter or member of a criminal cartel. A lot of characters in the canon have spent time in these professions, but I have chosen not to judge specifically by their time in this profession as it is not always clear where the boundaries are.
10: Jango Fett
“I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.”
Let me start by saying: you will not see Boba Fett appearing on this list. To me, he looks cool but has not done anywhere near enough in the canon to get near my top 10. His “father” Jango, however is a different story. While he currently has limited appearances in the canon, he was shown to be a highly skilled bounty hunter, capable of holding his own against Obi-Wan Kenobi and killing Coleman Trebor with ease. Further to that, he is key to the Clone Wars despite being killed in its opening battle, as the Republic’s clone army is created from his DNA and goes on to have a key role in the fall of the Jedi and the rise of the Empire.
9: Dryden Vos
“I never ask for anything twice, Han.”
The public face of Crimson Dawn, I love how Vos can initially appear to be a well-mannered and amiable character until you anger him or cross him, at which point he becomes ruhless. We may not know much about him yet in canon but the way those who know him are so deferential towards him shows how dangerous he can be. The man who trained Qi’ra in Teräs Käsi, which eventually proved his downfall as she defeated him.
Perhaps it is largely to Paul Bettany’s performance, but I find myself so excited by this character and hope we get more of him in canon.
8: Rio Durant
“I’m telling you. You’ll never have a deeper sleep than when you’re curled up in a Wookiee’s lap.”
An Ardennian pilot working as part of Beckett’s gang, Rio is another character with (currently) limited appearances in the canon who I want to see more from. In a group with people as serious as Val and Beckett, Rio brought some light-hearted fun to the team, but he showed his more serious side in his final moments, apologising to Han for doubting his abilities as a pilot before telling him that nobody should die alone. Having four arms gives him great moments and allows him to be an effective pilot as he can easily deal with any switches that need his attention without having to worry about losing control of his ship.
The quality jumps up so much coming into the top 7 and next up is the Kyuzo bounty hunter Embo. A being of few words, he is instantly recognisable with his bowcaster, large hat and pet anooba, Marrok. One of the best bounty hunters of his time, he would also willing to work as part of a group, and he frequently worked with Sugi’s group on missions with better morals, such as helping a village of farmers hold off Hondo Ohnaka’s pirates on Felucia, before later working as part of Boba Fett’s syndicate, the Krayt’s Claw.
Proficient both with his bowcaster and in unarmed combat, he would also use his hat as a shield and a weapon, while even using it as a sled when needed. An elite bounty hunter and one of the coolest guys in canon… of course he was going to be on this list!
6: Cad Bane
“Time to pay up, Hutt. I don’t work for free.”
The Duros bounty hunter was arguably the best in the galaxy during the Clone Wars. Another instantly recognisable character due to his wide-brimmed hat, he was one of the smartest adversaries Anakin and Obi-Wan faced during the Clone Wars. Successfully able to steal a holocron from the Jedi Temple, he also had a great ability to get out of custody and was also trusted to hold the Senate hostage to arrange the release of Ziro the Hutt and lead a kidnap attempt on Senator Palpatine.
Another character I really need to see in more stories!
5: Hondo Ohnaka
“Insolence! We are pirates! We don’t even know what that means.”
The Weequay leader of a pirate gang based on Florrum, Hondo is another who is able to hold his own against and occasionally outwit Force-users like Anakin, Skywalker and Count Dooku. The rise of the Empire saw his gang dissolved and he became more of a small-time crook, still with acts of piracy and smuggling. Often motivated by profits to the degree of greed, he did still have some morals, as seen with him convincing Boba Fett to reveal the location of his hostages or being convinced by Katooni to help Ahsoka and the Jedi younglings to escape Grievous, while his friendship with Ezra Bridger really brings out his kind heart.
When I first watched The Clone Wars, I was not too fond of the character, but I fell in love with him during Rebels and now find myself really enjoying him when I go back to watch the earlier show and I love that he will be part of Galaxy’s Edge.
4: Lando Calrissian
“It appears I have an Idiot’s Array. Which makes you…”
A card player and smuggler, Lando is a scoundrel through and through. The owner of the Millennium Falcon before losing it to Han Solo, Lando is constantly looking for his next edge, as seen with when he uses the Spectres to help him smuggle puffer pigs onto Lothal, while also helping in the heist of unrefined coaxium from Kessel. A quality gambler who was not averse to cheating, he always played the odds, such as when he sold out Han to Vader but turned to help Leia and Chewie when the deal changed against him, leading to him becoming a general in the Rebellion and leading the fighters at Battle of Endor, destroying the second Death Star. And through all this he looked top notch with a wide array of capes and colourful outfits.
I can’t wait to see how he is involved in The Rise of Skywalker.
A character that I have really warmed to over recent years, Chewie is the friend and companion of Han Solo. Rescued by Han from Imperial custody on Mimban, the pair became close friends and partners in crime right up to Han’s death 44 years later. Initially working as part of Beckett’s gang for Crimson Dawn, they went on to work as smugglers for Jabba the Hutt before eventually joining the Rebellion. His loyalty to Han – but also to his family and his people, as seen in the Aftermath trilogy – is a beautiful part of his character, while watching now I really appreciate his humorous side throughout the canon. Dangerous with his bowcaster, he’s perhaps even more dangerous up close and it was great to see him finally rip an opponent’s arms off in Solo: A Star Wars Story after being mentioned in A New Hope.
“Qi’ra, you and I will be working much more closely from now on.”
The former apprentice to Darth Sidious, I loved the mystery around Maul during The Phantom Menace and was gutted that he was supposedly killed off at the end of the film. I was initially sceptical when I heard that he was coming back into canon, but – spider legs aside – I have loved everything done with Maul. The way he is always focused on getting revenge on Obi-Wan drives him on and I love how he has learned enough form Sidious to become a master and leader in his own right as he takes control of Mandalore, before later ending up as leader of Crimson Dawn and eventually ending up alone and finally dying in Obi-Wan’s arms following their final battle on Tatooine. Maul is ultimately a tragic villain when you see his early days as a Sith apprentice and I hope that we get to see more of his story between Mandalore and Malachor in the future.
1: Han Solo
“You know, sometimes I amaze even myself.”
Sometimes, I get the feeling that I’m in the minority of really enjoying Solo: A Star Wars Story, but on the whole, I really enjoy the story we get for Han’s past. From scrumrat for the White Worms to smuggler for Jabba the Hutt via the Empire and Crimson Dawn, Han goes through years of adventures trying to be the bad guy, but is always the good guy at heart, leading to him becoming part of the Rebellion and marrying a princess. His cocky attitude and the way that he always tries to talk himself out of trouble or blast someone, combined with his ability as one of the best pilots in the galaxy (he keeps a hunk of junk like the Falcon flying), make him so likeable to fans as the bad boy antihero, but he also has a great loyalty to his friends and those who are vulnerable. Even when he is older, he takes on the role of a grumpy mentor and I love how he is still a flawed character, going back to his old life as a reaction to his son becoming Kylo Ren, before being drawn back to the Resistance and sacrificing himself trying to turn Ben back to the light.
So that’s my list, how does it compare to yours? Thanks for reading and May the Force be with you…
5 thoughts on “Top 10: Scum & Villainy”
Cad Bane has grown on me… I didn’t like him for several episodes of Clone Wars, but then the writers humanized him a bit.
LikeLiked by 1 person
There are definitely characters who grew on me the more I have seen them, Cad Bane and Hondo especially! I really hope at some point the unfinished arc from the Clone Wars that involved him and Boba Fett is released in some form of media
LikeLiked by 1 person
I still have to start the new animated series. Any crossovers of characters in that should be interesting too.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I can’t top this list. It’s brilliant. But what was done with Maul was amazing. I remember after watching “Phantom Menace” and thinking he had a cool fighting style and tattoos but didn’t think he had a story sufficient to tell after he died. Watching him return in “Clone Wars” to exact his revenge on Obi-Wan was a fascinating and tragic story. Sam Witwer brought so much depth and Shakesperean drama to Maul; even when he doesn’t get what he wants for long, Maul leaves this trail of death and destruction in his path. That makes him an effective villain and a great threat, especially when he nearly tempted Ezra to the Dark Side.
Hondo is another charming character who I found more menacing in “Clone Wars” but became hilarious in “Rebels” as this seemingly washed-up Jack Sparrow type of character. But when he meets Ezra Bridger, Hondo gets some of his fire and energy back.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Couldn’t really have put it better myself! Thanks for reading