Even if you only focus on the movies and not the extended universe – which includes entire galaxies of forgettable aliens and no-mark cantina dwellers – there’s no shortage of terrible characters in the world of Star Wars.
Narrowing them down to a tidy ten was a task worthy of a Jedi master, but we persevered and managed to single out these lame losers who deserve to be banished to a galaxy far, far away…
Jar Jar Binks
Let’s get him out of the way early doors. In a way, the Gungan equivalent of Kevin James was made the scapegoat for all of The Phantom Menace's problems (of which there were many), meaning you can’t help but feel a little sorry for Jar Jar in retrospect.
A fairly transparent attempt to appeal to ‘the kids’ a la Return Of The Jedi's Ewoks, Jar Jar was never meant to be the next Han Solo. But then you remember the cod-Jamaican rasta dialogue, the constant prat-falling, the shrill voice that cuts through you like a knife, those stupid, floppy ears… Actually, sod it: Binks deserves all that criticism and more – here’s hoping the fat-tongued cretin is encased in carbonite somewhere.
Who? You mean you aren’t familiar with the extensive character lore of Yaddle? Also known as ‘The One Below’? Jedi master extraordinaire? Scourge of the Nebula Front? Nothing? Fine: Yaddle is a girl Yoda with a wig.
You may have caught a glimpse of her sitting on the Jedi Council in The Phantom Menace – you’d definitely remember her if you did, because the sight of Yaddle sighting cross-legged, looking for all the world like Yoda in drag, was one of the more bizarre spectacles in Episode I, a movie reknowned for ill-advised character choices.
Making his Star Wars debut in the Special Edition of Return Of The Jedi in 1997, Yowza was a terrifying glimpse of the CG catastrophes due to appear in the prequel trilogy.
A member of the Max Rebo Band, Joh Yowza’s real name is – and we’re not making this up – J’ywz’gnk Kchhllbrxcstk Et’nrmdndlcvtbrx: clearly George Lucas fell asleep on his keyboard and was too ashamed to admit it.
Yowza stuck out like a sore thumb during his ‘Jedi Rocks’ number, overshadowing equally terrible band members like Sy Snootles. He was enough to make you yearn for the days of the bulbous-headed Cantina Band.
Not Darth Vader. Anakin Skywalker. Two totally different guys. As soon as that mask goes on and the asthma kicks in: Instant Badass. But before that? A whiny, irritating toddler who turns into a whiny, irritating teenager, each older iteration of Anakin attempting to outdo himself in the terrible haircut stakes.
Watching Grown-Up Anakin attempting to woo fair maiden Padme (you had me at “I don’t like sand”) it becomes clear he hasn’t got much better at chat-up lines since he creepily propositioned Amidala as a child (“Are you an angel?”).
Even as an old man he had to suffer the indignity of having his eyebrows removed with CGI. Super-lame.
They may be a million strong, but the fledgling Empire’s robotic army was about as effective as a line of dominos. We can only assume intergalactic budget cuts led to a scaled-down design that is desperately lacking in any cool features – just look at the ultra-badass Destroyer Droids to see what could have been.
The battle droids inspire roughly as much dread as a bunch of chickens – fitting, what with their extended beaks and incessant clucking – and they trudge towards the battlefield knowing their eventual destruction is a grim inevitability. You don’t win wars with soldiers made in the space equivalent of IKEA.
Amidst all the lightsaber fights and space battles and Force wrangling, didn’t you always wonder where the Jedi went when they got peckish?
Attack Of The Clones answered the question nobody asked by introducing Dexter Jettster, proprietor of Dex's Diner in Coruscant, where hungry space warriors could have their fill of fried nerf steak, protato wedges and pickled gartro eggs, all washed down with a cup of Jawa juice.
Why did this have to exist? Was the Star Wars universe improved by any measure by having a large gruff owner of a greasy spoon providing the exposition? How are the robot waitresses inspired by 1950s Americana? How? What? WHY?
Even once you get past the frankly insulting Asian stereotype accent and the whole disgusting fish face thing, Neimoidian pansy Nute Gunray is still a terrible character by the Star Wars universe’s standards.
He had the unenviable task of delivering all of George Lucas’s endless exposition on the Trade Federation and taxation and illegal occupation of Naboo and the separatist movements and OH MY GOD why isn’t he dead yet?
He’s not even important enough to be killed – he’s just a useless space politician using precious oxygen with his stupid squid lips. If Nute Gunray was human, he’d be Nick Clegg.
There are many Jedis with unfortunate names (calling Kit Fisto!), so let it not be said that Yarael Poof is unique in having a name that would have caused him all sorts of grief on an Earth playground. That said, your man Poof is kinda easy to mock.
For starters, there’s that elongated, precarious-looking neck, which is just begging to be decapitated during a lightsaber training exercise. And then there’s his second pair of arms, hidden beneath his dainty little cloak. Not to mention the fact his olfactory senses are located in his palms.
Yeah, that’s right – he smells with his hands. And sorry, we really can’t get past the name.
Ziro The Hutt
Here’s an insight into the mind of George Lucas. While overseeing production on the Clone Wars cartoon, evil Emperor Lucas had some input regarding the character of Ziro The Hutt, a fearsome gangster and relation to uber-villain Jabba. That advice? “Make him sound like Truman Capote.”
And thus it was decreed: the Clone Wars' big bad spoke with an effeminate Louisiana accent, wore feathers in his hair and looked like old McDonald’s mascot Grimace had been left out in the sun too long. But what Georgie wants, Georgie gets – even if he’s quite clearly lost his mind at this point.
The first female Stormtrooper, top military leader and boasting kick-ass silver armour, Phasma had all the promise of becoming one of the franchise's most iconic characters. Especially since she's played by Gwendoline Christie - statuesque, strong and take-no-prisoners.
Only she turns out to be a bit wet. In The Force Awakens she caves super-easily when asked to lower the Starkiller base shields and before you know it, she's in a trash compactor. It's okay, you think, she'll come back fighting in The Last Jedi. And she does, but it seems she's actually pretty rubbish at that too, since she's easily defeated by rookie Stormie-turned-Resistance dude Finn and after a feeble one-liner she plunges into a fiery pit.
Farewell, Phasma, we barely knew you (and in fact we're rather pleased we didn't bother to try).
Image Credits: 20th Century Fox