May the fourth be with you! To celebrate Star Wars day, we here at EFTM have decided to travel back to a long, long time ago and a galaxy far away to bring you the top 10 men from the Star Wars universe…
10: Darth Maul
The spiky headed red man only lasted a single outing in the Star Wars universe, but Darth Sidious’ apprentice was the only thing worth watching in The Phantom Menace. With a kick-ass double-ended lightsaber, insane jujitsu skills and a grudge against the Jedi, Darth Maul was the perfect character to introduce the idea of the Sith to Star Wars fans. Of course, then George Lucas went and killed him off in the climax of Episode I, making the most interesting character nothing more than a footnote of Star Wars history. Well, at least until they brought him back to life during The Clone Wars… Sigh.
9: Emperor Palpatine
Lurking in the shadows, pulling invisible strings and commanding the power to send lightning bolts from his friggin’ fingertips, Emperor Palpatine is as much brains as he is brawn. The horribly disfigured Sith ruler didn’t get to the top by being nice though, it took a special kind of evil to completely wipe out the Jedi order and turn Anakin Skywalker to the dark side. While not the nicest chap to be around, he did manage to create his own empire, which makes him one of the most successful villains of all time.
8: Mace Windu
Maybe it was his purple lightsaber. Maybe it was the fact that you expected him to fight off the evil Sith and their Trade Federation allies with the power of his voice. Or maybe it was just the fact that Samuel L. Jackson was in Star Wars at all that helps Mace Windu make the top 10. Even though his character shows a lot more poise and control than you’d expect from the short-tempered Jackson, he still manages to kick some ass in Episodes II and III. At least until he got himself thrown out a window…
Powerful in the Force, Yoda is. Powerful in grammar, Yoda is not. Small and agile during battle, the little green man is renowned as the wisest and most powerful of all Jedi. And then, when things are at their darkest, he returns to the swamp planet of Dagobah to live out his days as a hermit, until he is sought out by Luke Skywalker for training. It’s probably not the kind of thing a brave man would do, but a smart one, definitely… Wise, Yoda is. Plus, he can lift an X-Wing fighter out of a swamp with the power of his mind!
Wild and wooly, Wookies may not exactly be suitable as pets, but they do have a certain power on the battlefield. Chewbacca is the manliest Wookie of them all – so long as you forget his escapades to return to his family for Life Day during the Star Wars Holiday Special. But given it’s the one part of Star Wars lore that even George Lucas wants to forget its existence, that shouldn’t be a problem… Let’s remember him for his heroic deeds saving Yoda and helping destroy the Death Stars…
5: Darth Vader
Emperor Palpatine may have been the brains behind the Sith resurgence, but Vader was the muscle. Quite simply the greatest villain of all time, Darth Vader spends three movies defining malevolence, right up until the point he sacrifices himself to save his son. He’d be higher in the list if it weren’t for the three movies where he’s just a whiny teenager named Anakin Skywalker though…
4: Lando Calrissian
First, Lando sells out his friend Han Solo to save his people from Darth Vader. But then he goes undercover in an attempt to save Han from Jabba the Hutt, before volunteering in the Rebel alliance to take down the second Death Star with his old ship, the Millenium Falcon. In other words, this smuggler turned leader gives up everything to save the galaxy – what a champion!
3: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Forget for a second that Obi-Wan turns himself into a blue ghost fairly early on in A New Hope and take a second to consider everything he accomplishes. He takes down Darth Maul. He takes down Grievous. He takes down Anakin, although doesn’t finish the job. This is a guy who can seriously kick some butt with a lightsaber or a blaster. Even after he decides to lower his weapon for Vader to strike him down, he somehow manages to help Luke become a Jedi. That’s pretty damned impressive, really.
2: Luke Skywalker
Even though the entire original trilogy are essentially about Luke and his quest to end the evil Empire, Luke can’t take the top spot. Mostly because of the fact that he only manages to succeed with the help of his friends. That said, the boy from Tatooine does have a pretty impressive CV, which includes blowing up a Death Star and turning Vader away from the Dark Side. How many other moisture farmers on Tatooine can say the same thing?
1: Han Solo
Cool in a fight, loyal to the credits and owner of the best ship in the Galaxy, Solo gets the top honour as the greatest man in the Star Wars Universe for his roguish grin, his skill with a blaster and his ability to win the heart of a galactic Princess. Not bad for a failed Galactic Navy officer turned smuggler, really. The fact that in a different universe he’s also Indiana Jones certainly didn’t hurt, either…
Nick Broughall is the Australian Editor of TechRadar.com, where he gets to indulge his passion for geekery and the lastest technology. He is also the Editor of EFTM.com.au, where he gets to indulge his passion for manliness, from sampling fine liquor to the joys of growing a beard. It’s a pretty good life, really.