Empire magazine recently asked readers to vote for their favorite movie villains of all time, and the results can be found in the current issue, available now. Star Wars is represented well, with Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, and Emperor Palpatine landing in the top 20.
How did they do? Find out below:
Coming in at #1 is the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader:
The Star Wars trilogy (1977-1983) Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith (2005), Rogue One (2016)
And so we come to the villain you voted as the best of all time. Darth Vader often appears at the top of these lists, as the character has had more of a lasting impact than the blast that took out Alderaan. Sure, the revelations of his younger years might not have helped the mythos, but it didn’t hurt it either. A blend of tragic figure and evil presence, Vader’s story takes all the great twists and turns, even ending in redemption with the help of Mark Hamill’s Luke. With the looming presence of David Prowse and the booming voice of James Earl Jones, the big V stalks across the screen and inspires awe in every scene. He also wears a mean cape, which not many men can pull off.
Newcomer Kylo Ren (Ben Solo), grandson of Anakin Skywalker, lands in the seventh slot:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
Appearing in a film series that also contains the likes of Palpatine and especially Darth Vader is enough to give anyone performance anxiety issues. But Kylo Ren, so well played by Adam Driver, has become so much more complicated than his initial, mocked emo baddie stance might have suggested. In just two short films, he’s evolved into a driven, deadly character who knows his path and will do anything to achieve victory. Sure, Vader blew up planets, choked the living snot out of enemies and struck down Obi-Wan, but Kylo “Ben Solo” Ren murdered his own dad in cold blood.
Finally, the manipulative Emperor Palpatine sits at #15:
The Star Wars Saga (1983-2005)
When we first encountered him in the flesh, we knew him simply as The Emperor: Return Of The Jedi’s porridge-faced, croaky-voiced overlord, who arrived draped in a heavy robe as black as his soul. Though played with grimacing relish by Scottish character actor Ian McDiarmid, Darth Vader’s less-forgiving boss was hardly three-dimensional. But with the prequel trilogy, we got to know Sheev Palpatine, the man behind the Sith Lord, and appreciate what a slick and sneaky political manipulator he was. Though the films are flawed, you can’t deny they make Palpatine a more compelling and disturbingly realistic creation.
Agree? Disagree? It’s a pretty impressive debut for Kylo Ren that’s for sure. With only two films under his belt, he’s certainly made his mark in a fairly short time.
You can see the rest of the list — which includes the likes of Hannibal Lecter, Hans Gruber, Norman Bates, and Nurse Ratched — at empireonline.com.
You can also pick up the latest issue now. Here’s a look at the cover for the newsstand edition:
And the subscriber cover: