The Star Wars sequel trilogy has been marred by problems since kicking off with The Force Awakens in 2015 but, despite that, Disney has managed to introduce fans to new characters aplenty. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Leia Organa are no longer the talismans of the franchise with Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and John Boyega since taking center stage instead via the characters of Rey, Kylo Ren, and Finn.
The Rise of Skywalker is primed to show off some new heroes and villains as well with the likes of Keri Russell, Naomi Ackie and Richard. E Grant all joining the cast for the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. We now look at the character we’ve loved the most, and the last, ahead of the closing movie of the series.
10 Best: Rey
Of course, there’s only one place to start. Rey first appeared in The Force Awakens, being shown to be a scavenger living on the harsh wastelands of Jakku and scavenging for anything she can in order to survive. Since then, however, we’ve seen her evolve into a fully-fledged Jedi. She has managed to escape Starkiller Base against the odds, beat Kylo Ren during an epic lightsaber showdown and proven herself to be more than a match for Luke Skywalker throughout her time on screen so far.
And with the mystery surrounding the identity of her parents refusing to go way, that intrigue makes her a fascinating character. We can’t wait to see her go to battle against the First Order when the Rise of Skywalker releases this December.
9 Best: Kylo Ren
Just like Rey, Kylo Ren is one of the faces of the sequel trilogy. And, like his grandfather Darth Vader, young Ben Solo has proven to be a captivating and magical villain, with his constant mood swings making him unpredictable and dangerous to anybody who crosses his path.
Some called him a weak version of Vader after he was bested by Rey on Starkiller Base during The Force Awakens but, in The Last Jedi, he proved himself by murdering his master, Supreme Leader Snoke. We still don’t know how he turned to the dark side, or why he chose to leave parents Han Solo and Leia Organa behind, but his rise to leader of the First Order has been a sensational journey so far. Will he stay bad when The Rise of Skywalker releases? Only time will tell.
8 Worst: Rose Tico
Rose Tico has been unflatteringly compared to Jar Jar Binks during her time on screen so far, and that’s just unfortunate. Because there’s no way she’s as bad as the character who came to symbolize the divisive nature of George Lucas’ prequel trilogy. However, that said, she hardly set the world alight when she was introduced during 2017’s The Last Jedi.
Sure, she has her heart in the right place, but she’s prone to making mistakes. Firstly, she incorrectly calls Finn a traitor and then she and the former Stormtrooper both fail when they travel to Canto Bight in order to find the master codebreaker. Throw in the fact she says the cheesiest line of the entire saga when she stops Finn from killing himself, Rose is certainly a character who has a point to prove in the next film.
7 Best: Poe Dameron
In the original trilogy, Han Solo was the bold, cocksure character who charmed fans with his confident, risky attitude. And people have been left similarly happy with Poe Dameron who, while not perfect, has shown himself to be a key member of the Resistance.
Poe nearly ruined his reputation within the Resistance when he regularly plots against Vice Admiral Holdo during The Last Jedi but he’s done some sensational things so far. He’s managed to escape Starkiller Base, , survive the consequence crash on Jakku, played a key role in destroying the First Order hub, taken down a Star Dreadnought and lead the fight against Kylo Ren and his army on Crait. The teaser trailer for Rise of Skywalker suggests he will be at the heart of the action once again.
6 Best: Supreme Leader Snoke
While we feel Supreme Leader Snoke was killed off by Kylo Ren far too soon, he was still a captivating character and one who, because of his villainous goals and hatred of Luke Skywalker, drew justifiable characters with Emperor Palpatine. He made a grave error of judgment by failing to notice his apprentice was turning against him but had a magical aura about him.
Snoke oozed authority, power, and malice. He outright bullies Kylo during the early embers of The Last Jedi, blasting him to the floor with a burst of force lightning. The First Order kingpin also threw Rey around his throne room like a rag doll and, at one point, looked invincible. It’s a shame he’s expected to remain dead but that doesn’t stop us wanting to see and hear more of the character.
5 Worst: Vice Admiral Holdo
We said that Poe went up against Vice Admiral Holdo, making a big error of judgment along the way, but the character played by Laura Dern is far from perfect herself. She takes charge of the Resistance following Leia Organa’s near-death experience but proves to be a poor leader, nearly being overthrown by Poe, C3PO, and co. despite having far more numbers on her side.
She spends the whole movie failing to tell Poe her plan to save the Resistance fleet. Given how important he is, what reason would she have to lie? That’s never explained. And because of her poor communication skills that makes her a poor leader, a stubborn and secretive individual whose sacrifice is her solo redeeming feature.
4 Best: Maz Kanata
One of the reasons why some people opposed Rian Johnson’s decisions for The Last Jedi was because it failed to explain any of the mysteries that were set up during The Force Awakens. One of those came via Maz Kanata, the ancient, wise and quirky person who helps Han Solo, Rey and Chewbacca in their fights against the First Order. When the gang visit her castle on Takodana she reveals she has Luke Skywalker’s old lightsaber, the one last seen clasped in his severed hand during The Empire Strikes Back.
Maz was criminally underused in The Last Jedi but she’s an amusing, wise character who prompts feelings of intrigue. How did she get Luke’s lightsaber? How did she come to meet Han Solo? What other secrets does she have to hide? We’re hoping we get answers later this year...
3 Worst: DJ
Joining Rose Tico and Vice Admiral Holdo in our list of worst characters from the sequel trilogy is DJ who, like the other two, also made his debut in The Last Jedi. When it was revealed that Academy Award winner Benicio del Toro would be signing up to a Star Wars film, years after nearly playing Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, hopes were high that he would be a big hit.
Except...he wasn’t. DJ betrays Finn and Rose Tico to the First Order after they meet him in a cell on Canto Bight but comes across as irritating, rude and patronizing to our heroes. He didn’t really seem to serve any purpose, either, existing solely to help the story get to a point where Finn and Captain Phasma would have their epic showdown. He’s still alive in the galaxy somewhere but we’re hoping our favorite heroes don’t run into him again.
2 Best: Han Solo
We know that Han Solo was in just one movie of the sequel trilogy but he was easily one of the best things about The Force Awakens. While the newer blockbusters have turned Luke Skywalker into a grumpy old hermit who no longer seems to care about the galaxy - and made Leia a bit drab and non-important - Harrison Ford’s guy is the same fiendish and charming person he was all those years ago.
In TFA, Solo shows he’s still got it by outsmarting the Guavian Death Gang, fighting alongside Chewbacca on the front line on Takodana and leading the rescue mission to save Rey from Starkiller Base. It’s a shame, therefore, when he’s dramatically murdered by his son, Ben Solo, despite his attempts to turn his offspring back to the light side.
1 Worst: General Hux
In The Force Awakens, General Hux is introduced as a man you would not want to cross. Despite the threat Kylo Ren brings, Hux has no problem patronizing Ben Solo and making his life far more difficult than he should be. So important is he that Supreme Leader Snoke even appears to have his back and it’s the First Order general who signs off the deaths of the entire Republic, issuing a rallying cry as he does so.
But, in The Last Jedi, his character regresses. He’s humiliated by Poe, battered by Snoke, choked out by Kylo Ren and then body-slammed by the same person as the First Order are left red-faced following their attempts to kill off the Resistance on Crait. We want Hux to be far more villainous in the Rise of Skywalker than he was in the previous movie because, if not, he’s just going to look like one big joke all over again.