9 Best Animated Star Wars Characters Ranked - VRGyani News and Media

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Friday, August 6, 2021

9 Best Animated Star Wars Characters Ranked

Star Wars wouldn't be the behemoth it is without its animated stories. Sure, the live-action originals are beloved and certainly stand incredibly well on their own. They are, after all, the movies that kickstarted the Star Wars craze and helped catapult creator George Lucas to international prominence. Without supervising director Dave Filoni and his supplemental stories, though, so much of the franchise's depth just wouldn't be there. From his deft handling of interplanetary politics to the creation of Ahsoka Tano, Filoni has made an indelible mark on the franchise. And he continues to do so with The Bad Batch, the upcoming live-action Ahsoka series, and his ongoing collaborations with The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau.

Below, we have a list of animated Star Wars heroes and villains who have helped make the franchise as layered and impactful as it is. It wasn't easy to pick nine characters from the many great ones that populate Star Wars. However, for the purposes of this list, we have narrowed down the players who resonate the most.

9. Agent Kallus

Star Wars Rebels introduces Alexsandr Kallus as a ruthless agent of the Imperial Security Bureau, but over the course of its four-season run, the series changes him. Initially established as one of the people responsible for wiping out the Lasats, Kallus later reveals that he won the weapon fairly. His friendship with Zeb becomes one of the show's most endearing aspects, as does his eventual turn to the light in the third season.

Kallus makes this list because he quickly becomes a three-dimensional character amongst traditionally static Imperial officers. Rebels spends a great deal of time prepping viewers for his defection from the Empire, and the payoff is oh-so-sweet. Eventually, he begins acting as “Fulcrum,” the faceless Rebel informant who supplies the growing alliance with crucial information about big Imperial developments.

At his core, Kallus is proof that light can come from the darkest places, and that one's past actions don't have to define their future. He’s a fun character who introduces unexpected themes and emotion, which by itself warrants placement on this list.

8. Cad Bane

Prior to Boba Fett, Cad Bane was the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy. The lanky, blue-hued gunslinger first appears in The Clone Wars, becoming a recurring adversary for the Jedi as they struggle to maintain some order in their war-torn times. Between very nearly overcoming the combined might of Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Quinlan Vos to taking on the toughest jobs, Cad Bane is a force with whom even the Jedi Council struggles to reckon.

But Bane's “cool” factor isn't limited to his formidability. He's fashioned from the quiet competence of Lee Van Cleef's Angel Eyes from Sergio Leone's legendary spaghetti westerns. Indeed, one look at the bounty hunter confirms this. Filoni once revealed his original plans for Bane, which included the famed bounty hunter finally falling in a duel with Boba Fett.

Cad Bane was absent from new Star Wars stories for years before The Bad Batch brought him back for two episodes earlier in its run. It's unclear if he'll make another appearance in this series, but it's a safe bet that we will see him again soon no matter what.

7. Sabine Wren

Sabine Wren is a remarkable warrior, a fierce friend, and a rebel to her core. Armed with terrifying combat skills and more moxie than most can handle, Sabine quickly becomes one of the biggest heroes of the Rebellion. More importantly, though: She assumes the role of Ezra's older sister, which makes her resolve to find him after his abrupt disappearance far more believable and emotional.

Star Wars Rebels showcases much of what makes Sabine so likable: her compassion for others, her unwavering belief in the power of freedom, and her fierce loyalty to those she loves. But Sabine is also layered in a way that makes her compelling: she has made mistakes, big ones, and seeks atonement for her past sins.

We haven't seen much, if any, of her since the Rebels series finale, but as The Mandalorian and Ahsoka begin to bring in more characters and elements from that era, it becomes more and more likely that we'll see Sabine again soon. Even more exciting, though, is the probability that she'll share the screen with the long-absent Ezra Bridger before we know it.

6. Captain Rex

Captain Rex was one of the first Clone troopers who got actual, substantial character development. He evolved past “just another Jango Fett face” to a commander who valued his brothers and strongly believed in the integrity of the Republic. Essentially, he made viewers care about clone troopers. Through him, The Clone Wars established that despite being copies of a dead bounty hunter, each of these soldiers is strikingly individual. That's not something that most Star Wars fans thought would ever happen, and Rex was the guy Filoni chose as a vehicle for that idea.

Somewhat predictably, Rex becomes a vital part of Star Wars. He narrowly survives the Clone Wars and eventually joins the Rebellion, and he was actually present at the Battle of Endor. It isn't super clear what becomes of him after that, but his fate at that point hardly matters. His values won out in the end.

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5. Asajj Ventress

Like another key character on this list, Asajj Ventress first appeared in the Star Wars Legends continuity. The Dathomirian witch-turned-Jedi-turned-Sith debuted in Genndy Tartakovsky's Star Wars: Clone Wars micro-series before moving to Filoni's canonical take on this pivotal conflict.

Ventress has been many things: a Sith apprentice, a Nightsister, a bounty hunter...the list goes on. She places high on this list because she immediately sets herself apart from pretty much every other Star Wars character out there. It's through Ventress that Filoni and company introduce witchcraft and magic to The Clone Wars. It's also through Ventress that we see Boba Fett evolve into a deadlier bounty hunter. She is present for many of the show's most memorable moments, and enhances those moments by proving how much she has grown and changed as a character.

It's nearly impossible not to feel for Ventress by the end of The Clone Wars. Betrayed by Count Dooku and left for dead, she questions her place and purpose in a galaxy that seems to have forgotten her. But it's from that emotion that this complex character derives her power, and she's even stronger because of it.

4. Grand Admiral Thrawn

Grand Admiral Thrawn is no Sith, but his prowess as a strategist and leader make him just as terrifying. The antagonist of Timothy Zahn's acclaimed 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, Thrawn officially entered the new Star Wars canon during the Season 3 premiere of Rebels. Cunning, cruel, and convinced that the Empire is a worthy cause, Thrawn sets out to destroy the Ghost's crew as quickly and as ruthlessly as possible.

Thrawn stands out as a villain because he embodies everything the Empire stands for: power, obedience, and ruthless efficiency. Heck, he's very nearly a better leader than Palpatine. Unlike his shadowy master, Thrawn doesn't sit in a swivel-chair and shoot lightning from his fingers when people displease him. No, Thrawn takes it upon himself to come to you personally, explain to you how and why he's going to destroy you, and then he destroys you. He's simple, direct, and terrifying.

3. Ahsoka Tano

Since her debut in 2008, Ahsoka Tano has cemented herself as one of the Star Wars saga's best, most endearing, most important characters. In hindsight, it's easy to see why. The disgraced Jedi apprentice has seen the darker, more problematic side of the Jedi Order, but her exile only reinforced her goodness.

In so many ways, Ahsoka is the heart and soul of Filoni's seminal series. Anakin and Obi-Wan are permanent fixtures, and they have been for decades. But Ahsoka had to fight for her place alongside these established heroes. Not only does she prove more compelling than both of them, but she also avoids fitting too snugly into her respective archetype. Ahsoka is a character with a journey and an appeal all her own, and Filoni may not ever be able to replicate her popularity.

Ashley Eckstein voiced Ahsoka across her many animated appearances before Rosario Dawson took over for the character's live-action debut in The Mandalorian. Both did an exceptional job, and both helped establish Ahsoka as a hero behind whom we can and should rally.

2. Ezra Bridger

This will strike some as a slightly controversial choice, and that's mainly because it took Ezra Bridger a long, long time to grow out of that “annoying kid” archetype. Star Wars Rebels introduced Ezra as a troublemaking orphan who yearns for an adventure that his homeworld of Lothal could never provide. To some fans, he's still one of the most irritating Star Wars heroes. However, when he finally comes into his own, Ezra emerges from his struggles as a clever, well-rounded, and selfless hero worthy of the title “Jedi.”

Ezra's journey helps ground Rebels in one of its most resonant themes: the importance of home. Not only does Ezra fight tirelessly to protect his new home and family (the Ghost and its crew), but he also eventually finds himself back on Lothal for one final battle against Thrawn. Ezra's concept of home is honestly fairly weak at the start of Rebels, but as he ages and grows closer to new people and places, he realizes home is wherever he feels safe and loved. That's powerful, core-rattling stuff, and it makes Ezra's adventure a singularly compelling one.

1. Kanan Jarrus

As much as he is Ezra's master, Kanan Jarrus doubles as a young man who is constantly fumbling. He deepens the concept that Jedi Masters are students of life above all else. Following every reprimand he throws at Ezra is a moment of reflection, a few seconds of silence in which he looks at a situation and ponders his actions. He constantly strives to improve, and is often the first to recognize his mistakes.

That's where he subverts the mentor archetype: he's wise, but he's always learning. The hubris of the Jedi Order was always something that undercut its ostensibly noble deeds, and Kanan challenges that by being humble, kind, and open to the very real possibility that he is wrong. For Kanan, it isn't just about teaching Ezra to dial back his callow compulsions. It's about preparing him for a reality where Kanan is gone. We get this pretty immediately, when he asks Ezra to take the lead on their last mission together.

Kanan's death in “Jedi Night” marks one of the franchise's most devastating moments. It's understandable to lament the fact that he isn't around to learn more, but it's necessary to keep in mind that Kanan went out the way he knew he needed to. He saved his friends and dealt the Empire a devastating blow, and that, despite its high cost, is everything.

KEEP READING: 'Star Wars: Visions': New Story Details Revealed, Including Setting, Timeline, and More



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