There’s no doubt that Jedi and Sith alike make up the most powerful members of the Star Wars universe. But as Rogue One shows, those who don’t command the power of Force can also prove to be quite formidable, tackling seemingly insurmountable odds and changing the course of history throughout the galaxy.
Strength comes in many forms. Perhaps it comes in the form of a keen instinct for survival or a ruthless nature. Then again, some characters prove their power through heroism and the desire to do right in the world. Either way, whether it’s skill with a blaster or just sheer courageousness that gets them by, plenty of characters within the Star Wars franchise have proven to be just as much of a threat as any Jedi.
Over the years, Star Wars has spawned a number of films, books, comics, and video games, so for the sake of this list we’re keeping our selections limited to canon.
So without further ado, here are the 16 Most Powerful Characters Not Connected To The Force.
16 Poe Dameron
In The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron serves as Leia Organa’s most trusted member of the Resistance. He is the leader of the Resistance's elite Black Squadron, where his skill in piloting an X-Wing is virtually unparalleled, but it doesn’t stop there. By his own accord, he can fly “anything” and he proves it when he takes the wheel of a TIE Fighter and pilots it to proficiency with a learning curve of only a few minutes.
According to Starwars.com Databank, Poe was born two years after the Battle of Yavin. His mother was an A-Wing fighter pilot and his father was a ground commando in the Rebellion against the Empire. His mother taught Poe to fly at a very early age and his father instilled in him a need to fight for what was right. Poe joined the New Resistance after growing disenchanted with the New Republic’s lack of interest in combating the threat of the newly formed First Order.
15 Wedge Antilles
Another man whose skill behind an X-Wing is not to be trifled with is Wedge Antilles. Wedge’s skill as a pilot was proven by surviving all three of the major battles in Star Wars Episodes IV, V, and VI. He and Luke Skywalker were the only survivors of Red Squadron after the destruction of the first Death Star at the Battle of Yavin, he helped rebels escape the Imperial onslaught on Echo Base on Hoth, and finally, he also helped Lando Calrissian destroy the second Death Star during the Battle of Endor.
Wedge got his start as a TIE Fighter pilot in the Empire before joining the Rebellion. The story of his defection is told in the v episode entitled “The Antilles Extraction”. In it, the burgeoning Rebellion answers a call from a group of rogue Imperial cadets who wish to switch sides. The Rebellion answers by sending Sabine to Skystrike Academy to learn more. It’s there that Sabine meets Wedge and where they manage to escape the Imperials. From there, Wedge is promptly offered a coveted place in the new Rebellion.
Sure, it’s entirely possible this pick could be premature. With two more movies to come, it’s possible that Finn could prove to be Force sensitive, but based on what we know so far that doesn’t seem to be the case. Still, Finn has shown that just because you don’t show signs of the Force, doesn’t mean you can’t wield a mean lightsaber.
Finn got his start in the First Order’s FN Corps going by the assigned designation, FN-2187. Finn proved to be unique among the rest of his platoon. According to the film’s companion book, The Force Awakens: Finn’s Story, he excelled as a Stormtrooper and managed to show enough promise to be made an officer. That is if he hadn’t decided to join the New Resistance instead.
Finn really impressed audiences in his battle against Kylo Ren. Sure, Ren might have taken a mean bowcaster shot to the side, but you’re still talking about a powerful wielder of the Force taking on a mere mortal who only had a few minutes practice with a lightsaber. Although Finn was lucky to escape with his life, his Imperial training did allow him to stand his own against Kylo Ren for a short time.
13 Captain Phasma
As soon as Disney revealed shots of Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens, fans were excited to see how much of a role she would play in the film. Her chrome Stormtrooper armor was stunning, not to mention she was being played by Game of Thrones favorite, Gwendoline Christie.
Unfortunately, Phasma didn’t get a ton of screentime. Only the opening scene of the film really gave us a glimpse of what she could really do. Still, we do have some backstory to give us some idea of her battle prowess.
Phasma is a Captain in the First Order. She is tasked with training the First Order’s military including the FN Corps which Finn was a member of. Phasma is unyieldingly loyal to the First Order and cuts an imposing figure, standing well over 6 feet tall. According to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, she insists on fighting within the ranks of the stormtroopers she trains, proving that she can back up what she teaches.
Before joining the Lothal Rebels, Garazeb Orrelios-- otherwise known as Zeb-- was a captain in the Lasan Honor Guard tasked with protecting the royal family on his homeworld. When the Empire arrived and devastated Lasan, Zeb sought justice by joining the rebels and facing off against the Empire.
A master at hand-to-hand combat, Zeb loves a good brawl, particularly if it’s against a member of the Imperial ranks. Still, although fierce in combat, Zeb has some anger issues that can get him into trouble. At times, he can lose sight of the big picture, as was the case in the Star Wars Rebels short “Entanglement”. In it, Zeb is supposed to rendezvous with his fellow rebels but stops to brawl with a couple of Stormtroopers who are antagonizing a local salesperson. Although it might have caused some unneeded trouble, it serves as an example of how Zeb might seem gruff on the exterior but has a heart of gold within.
11 Han Solo
Judging from the movies, Han seems like the kind of guy who’s more likely to avoid a conflict rather than start one, but hey, life as a smuggler ain’t easy. Sometimes you have to resort to deadlier methods if you plan on surviving another day. As a result, Han is the type of guy who doesn’t take chances when faced with danger. He’s a man who shoots first and asks questions later. There’s video proof!
Han gravitated to an early life of crime. According to the reference book Ultimate Star Wars, he started life as an orphan on his home planet of Corellia, where he had to steal to eat. Eventually, managed to get his hands on his first starship and start a career as a smuggler.
Han, along with his partner Chewbacca, would continue smuggling until they had a chance encounter with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in Mos Eisley.
Han’s role in helping topple the Empire is legendary. He helped rescue Princess Leia from Imperial clutches in A New Hope and had a pivotal role in helping destroy the second Death Star by leading a small group to take out the space station's shields on Endor in Return of the Jedi. Most importantly, though, he looked damn cool doing it!
Han may have been the brains, but Chewbacca was the muscle. If it wasn’t for this six and a half foot tall furry death machine, Han’s smuggling days would have probably been cut short.
Although never mentioned in the films, the expanded universe touches on a Chewie and Han’s first meeting. According to Star Wars Legends, the Wookiee vowed a life-debt to Han after the smuggler saved him from an Imperial slave ship. Whether any of the upcoming spin-off films will adopt this storyline is unknown, but either way, it’s clear Chewie and Han are lifelong friends who are virtually inseparable.
Still, there is much more to Chewie’s backstory than just being Han’s sidekick.
Before Chewie met Han, he was a military leader on his home planet of Kashyyyk. He fought in the Clone Wars at the Battle of Kashyyyk alongside Jedi Master Yoda in Revenge of the Sith. He also fought alongside Padawan Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “Wookiee Hunt".
Chewie’s size and formidable strength make him a serious threat. Also, Wookiees’ lifespan are hundreds of years long, giving him centuries worth of knowledge to fall back on.
Aside from being a crack shot with a bowcaster, Wookiees are also known to rip off an arm or two.
9 Aurra Sing
Aurra Sing made her first appearance in The Phantom Menace as she overlooked the pod race in Beggar’s Canyon. Originally, George Lucas wanted to just have a few more characters chewing up the scenery, so he commissioned Doug Chiang to come up with some ideas. Sing was based on a sketch by Chaing entitled “Babe Fett”, but after her cameo in Phantom, she failed to make another film appearance. Soon fans began to clamor for more of her, so she began appearing in a number of comics and video games, but she is probably best known for her role in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Sing has rubbed elbows with some of the best assassins the Star Wars galaxy has to offer. She ran with Jango Fett for a short time and upon his death at the hands of Mace Windu, she became the surrogate mother of Boba Fett. Sing trained Fett at an early age to become a ruthless killer. In the Clone Wars episode entitled “Death Trap”, she aided Boba in an attempt to exact revenge on Windu for Jango’s death. Beyond that, she also joined forces with assassins Bossk and Cad Bane.
Sing is a formidable fighter as well as a crack shot, but her real strength lies in her ruthlessness and willingness to do whatever she needs to get the job done.
8 Jango Fett
Dangerous, deadly, and cunning; there is a reason Jango Fett was chosen to be the template the entire Clone Army would be fashioned from. Jango’s notoriety as a deadly bounty hunter attracted the attention of the Jedi-turned-Sith-Lord, Count Dooku. His genetics would go on to fashion some of the Clone Army’s finest soldiers such as CC2224 “Cody”, CC7567 “Rex”, and CC1010 “Fox”.
Jango hails from Concord Dawn, a Mandalorian homeworld, but later began work as a bounty hunter. Over the years he became infamous as one of the most deadly hunters in all of the galaxy, even among other well-known assassins such as Aurra Sing and Cad Bane.
Jango’s skill as a fighter is probably best exhibited in Attack of the Clones, when he goes head-to-head against Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Jango ultimately lost his life in the Petranaki Arena when his booster malfunctioned, leaving him open to a lethal blow by Jedi Master Mace Windu.
IG-88B’s appearance in The Empire Strikes Back may have been brief, but it sure made an impression.
A collection of the most feared bounty hunters were brought together on the bridge of the Executor when Darth Vader hired the galaxy’s best to track down Han Solo. IG-88B's mystique made him an instant fan favorite and audiences demanded more of him.
Unfortunately, after Empire not much is known about IG-88B. Most of his backstory was chronicled in the expanded universe short story by Kevin J. Anderson. In it, IG-88B was one of four IG-88 droids who were bent on starting a war between humans and droids. During IG-88B’s quest for Han Solo, he came face-to-face with Boba Fett but couldn’t manage to overpower the skilled bounty hunter. IG-88B was subsequently destroyed while his counterpart, IG-88A, assimilated himself into the second Death Star. This would prove to be futile, as the Death Star would ultimately be destroyed by the Rebellion at the Battle of Endor.
6 Pre Vizsla
Vizsla is the leader of the Mandalorian Death Watch, a group of exiled warriors who attempted to overthrow their government on Mandalore. He led the Death Watch through a series of campaigns that involved siding with Count Dooku for a time. Vizsla would eventually go on to become Prime Minister of Mandalore, but his reign was short-lived. Eventually, he met his end at the hands of Darth Maul, when the Sith Lord challenged him to combat and decapitated him in front of the entire Death Watch.
Before his death, Vizsla was no joke. He managed to hold his own against Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “The Mandalore Plot”, at times overpowering the Jedi with his range of high-powered weapons. Despite losing to Maul, he still proved to be a match against the Sith Lord.
Vizsla comes equipped with a number of weapons, such as blasters and a flamethrower, but his most unique weapon has to be the Darksaber. Stolen years ago from Jedi Temple by Mandalorian invaders, the Darksaber was eventually handed down to Vizsla by his ancestors. He would go on to use the weapon to take out a number of enemies, including several Jedi.
5 Sergeant Kreel
Those familiar with the Star Wars Marvel comic might also know of our next pick. Sergeant Kreel, otherwise known as Agent 5241, was one of the Empire’s most decorated Stormtroopers serving under the 501st Legion. After witnessing the murder of his father, he joined underground fighting pits before being lured to the ranks of the Empire. He attracted the attention of Darth Vader, who recruited Kreel as a double agent tasked with infiltrating the underworld of Grakkus the Hutt. Under the alias of “Gamemaster”, Kreel was tasked with training new gladiators for the Grakkus’ arena.
When Luke Skywalker was captured, Grakkus entered him into the underground fight club as a combatant. Kreel takes Luke under his wing and teaches him how to fight, although his true plan is to eventually turn him over to Darth Vader.
As a member of the Empire’s elite squad of stormtroopers, Kreel’s skill with a sword is impressive enough to make him just as effective with a lightsaber. In Star Wars #12: Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon, he makes short work of Grakkus’ MagnaGuards while giving Luke some trouble as well.
Embo might just be one of the more unique bounty hunters in the Star Wars universe. His unorthodox style of fighting makes him one of the most lethal bounty hunters you’re likely to find in the Clone Wars animated series.
Exhibiting incredible skill and agility for a non-Force user, Embo uses an array of different weapons. He is often equipped with his signature bowcaster, but easily his most distinctive weapon is his rimmed hat, which he throws at his enemies-- much like Kung Lao from the Mortal Kombat series.
Embo’s skill and precision has been a challenge for some of the greatest champions the Jedi Council has to offer. In the Clone Wars episode entitled “An Old Friend”, Embo’s marksmanship with his bowcaster proved to be a threat to Anakin Skywalker. The Jedi found himself on the run against the relentless pursuit of Embo on the ice-covered planet of Scipio.
3 Boba Fett
Since his first appearance in the Star Wars Holiday Special years ago, Boba Fett has become one of the most popular characters in all of the Star Wars universe.
The “son” of the famous Jango Fett was actually a clone, much like the rest of the Clone Army. When Jango agreed to be the template of the Clone Army, he asked Dooku to make him one unaltered clone that he could train as his own. But Jango’s desire to be a doting father was cut short when he was struck down by the hands of Mace Windu.
Boba set out on a mission to avenge his father, and in the process, became the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy. However, is career was cut short with a stroke of “blind” luck. Fett was finally done in when a disoriented Han Solo accidently knocked him into the mouth of the dreaded Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi.
2 Cad Bane
Of all the bounty hunters in the history of Star Wars, few were as dangerous and feared as Cad Bane. After the death of Jango Fett, Cad Bane took the mantle as the most revered bounty hunter, specializing in the assassination of Jedi.
Bane might look like some kind of alien Host from Westworld, but his methods of taking out his bounties are anything but dated. His skill with a blaster is a match against even some of the most seasoned Jedi.
In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode entitled “The Hunt For Ziro”, Bane was a match for not just one but two Jedi-- both Quinlan and the great Obi-Wan Kenobi. One-on-one, Bane almost managed to take out Kenobi for good, had it not been for the interference of a previously downed Quinlan. Bane even manages to wield a lightsaber with deadly precision for a short time before escaping.
1 General Grievous
Feared throughout the galaxy, General Grievous tops our list as the most powerful character in the Star Wars Universe who is not connected to the Force.
What Grievous lacks in spiritual connection to the Force, he more than makes up for with a ton of cybernetic enhancements. In fact, Grievous has had such extensive work done that he’s basically a full-on droid.
Grievous is a collector of sorts, but his trophies come with a dark secret. Each lightsaber he’s collected represents a Jedi he’s killed in the past. With this in mind, it’s no wonder Count Dooku made him the leader of the Separatist Army.
After years of leaving a trail of destruction throughout the galaxy, Grievous finally met his end in Return of the Sith. After a long battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi master managed to get a hold of Grievous’ own blaster, firing a number of shots into what little biological matter the General had left. As a result, Grievous ignited from the inside out, scattering his cybernetic parts across the battlefield.
Which other non-Force users from Star Wars are still super powerful? Let us know in the comments!