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As introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, he’s the most initially unimpressive myth in the entire Wars world. Built up to represent the end all, be all vision of Jedi superiority, the small green troll with the funny voice and speech pattern definitely defies such a status. But then we understand the internal power this creature possess, as well as his life altering influence on young Skywalker, and we get why Yoda is so special. In the prequels, he has one of the bad-assiest light saber fights ever, indicating his prowess and legend are more than deserved.
Hayden Christensen almost killed this character’s internal mettle, but the truth remains that this diabolical dark lord of the Sith is one of film’s most fascinating baddies. Initially, he comes across as nothing but cruel. Then his admission to son Skywalker shifts the arc more toward the humane. By the last movie in the original trilogy, he’s come full circle, embracing his role as father and finding a way to keep his kid out of harm’s way. Still, Vader never varies. He’s the strong arm of the Empire, under Palpatine’s perverted purpose. He’s intense and iconic.
Like Yoda, the legend of what Obi-Wan far surpasses what he eventually turns out to be. While far more spry and heroic in the prequels, the New Hope version of this aging warrior managed to make a mighty impression with limited screen time. His act of self-sacrifice, meant to help Luke and his cohorts escape capture, stands as the single bravest act in the entire saga. It resonates long after the cloak falls to the floor, empty. Thanks to a consistency of character maintained by two fine actors, Obi-Wan becomes the catalyst, and the core, of what the Alliance is fighting for.
He’s a rogue and a scoundrel, a smuggler who shoots first and walks around Greedo goo later. As embodied by a youthful Harrison Ford, Solo was the soldier we wish Luke was—cocky, determined, and ready to fight. He’s also self-centered, smug, and struggling with a limited moral compass. Of course, he comes around at the end, deciding the friendship and duty are more important than a future frozen in carbonite, but thanks to his elusive nature as a hero/hindrance, Solo becomes the most memorable outsider to enter into this intergalactic fray.
As the far more elegant and less barbaric weapon of choice for the Jedi, this flashy sword with the laser blade is perhaps the most amazing invention of this retro sci-fi universe. It instantly recalls the days of knights and chivalry while turning your standard square-off into a combination of fireworks and finesse. Indeed, instead of blasting away at each other with advanced firepower, the Jedi and the Sith settle their differences in a much more refined, and deadly, manner. The fact that everyone who sees these props immediately wants to own/build one indicated their iconic import.