Star Wars has created some awesome female characters and will certainly introduce more in the future. Many of them have found a great balance between peace and war. A mix of Expanded Universe and Canon, human and alien, force sensitive and not, here are the best female Star Wars characters, ranked.
10. Mirax Terrik-Horn
There’s no one else like Mirax in a galaxy far far away, and her story livens up the X-Wing novels by adding action and romance. Daughter of smuggler Booster Terrik, Mirax is crafty and intelligent, and she helps the New Republic defeat the remnants of the Empire.
A close friend of Wedge Antilles, she finds herself close to the action rescuing stranded pilots during battles and carrying much-needed supplies in her ship, the Pulsar Skate. She earns the ship after running her dad’s business while he is in prison for a few years, showcasing how independent she can be.
Through Wedge, she meets Corran Horn and Iella Wessiri; the four Corellians become close friends and work together frequently during the invasion of Coruscant. In addition to being a brilliant pilot in the Star Wars universe, she has little moments of brevity, where she’d occasionally express her jealousy towards Corran’s relationship with Erisi Dlarit, naturally making her feel more relatable. She wins Corran over by being more down-to-earth and supporting the Jedi and the New Republic.
9. Hera Syndulla
Hera is the Star Wars mom we all wish we had because she will do anything for her family: she kicks Imperial ass at every opportunity with her piloting and deception skills. Hera fights the Empire mostly through her own small team: Kanan, Ezra, Sabine, Zeb, and her. She pilots the Ghost and leads her team on dangerous missions to infiltrate Imperial facilities and steal information or sometimes sabotage them.
Born and raised on Ryloth during Imperial occupation, Hera’s dad Cham was identified as a potential threat to Imperial rule–giving her a reason to dislike the Empire already. She will do anything to protect her family: she rescues her dad from the Empire multiple times and rescues Kanan too.
After the events of Rebels, Hera becomes a General in the New Republic Navy, where she strives to make the galaxy a better place for her son to live. Since Hera is a more recent Star Wars character, her life hasn’t been explored as much as characters higher on the list. I hope Hera makes an appearance in one of the new Star Wars shows, like Ahsoka; after all, they work well together in Rebels.
8. Padme Amidala Naberrie
Padme is the incorruptible senator everyone needs right now, and it’s clear Leia got her diplomacy skills from her mother. First queen of Naboo, then Senator, Padme proved herself to be levelheaded and fair as a leader and brave enough to protect the people she served.
Her bravery as Senator of Naboo makes her the target of many failed assassination attempts indirectly funded by Darth Sidious before and during the Clone Wars. These assassination attempts and her marriage to Anakin Skywalker make her familiar with a blaster—she ends up with a decent battle droid kill count.
I dig how Natalie Portman portrays Padme in the prequels. Not only is her character mature and resourceful, but she understands people’s feelings. Her death is one of the most disappointing in Star Wars: after delivering Luke and Leia, Padme dies from sadness. After surviving the Battle of Geonosis and multiple poisonings dying of sadness is such a waste. Padme’s commitment to preserving democracy in the galaxy is exciting to watch and makes her one of the best characters.
7. Tenel Ka Djo
A one-armed Jedi Knight, Tenel Ka grows up surrounded by Hapan royalty and eventually takes the throne as Queen Mother of the Hapes Consortium—despite Luke Skywalker’s opinion that Jedi shouldn’t hold positions of political power. Her Force powers make her adept at court politics, and she manages Hapan nobles well enough to keep life smooth for average Hapans. She manages to prove Luke wrong by not allowing herself to be corrupted by power while protecting the beings she rules.
Tenel Ka Djo never has her missing arm replaced by a prosthetic one to remind herself of a mistake she made sparring with lightsabers. She clearly learned her lesson because she can set her feelings and distractions aside and see a situation for what it is.
She sees her lover Jacen Solo become a Sith, and instead of getting depressed, she stays true to herself and fights against him when he tries to take over the galaxy. Tenel inspires fans to push their friends and family to be the best versions of themselves. Her impressive ability to clear her mind and to still see the best course of action makes her one of the best female characters.
6. Tahiri Veila
Kam and Tionne Solusar trained Tahiri on Yavin 4 until the Yuuzhan Vong attacked the planet. She was captured and experimented on by Vong Shapers, who implanted a new identity in her brain named Riina Kwaad; fortunately, Anakin Solo came to her rescue, and she quickly fell in love with him.
This identity stays with her for years, and Riina attempts to take over her body before Tahiri reconciles both identities and becomes whole again, using her knowledge of Vong culture to aid the Jedi. Tahiri is a complex character, made even more complicated by her stint as a Sith apprentice.
Tahiri turns to the dark side during the second Galactic Civil War after manipulation by Darth Caedus; she never recovers fully from Anakin Solo’s death and kills famous Imperial Admiral Gilad Pellaeon, which turns her into a criminal in the Galactic Alliance and the Empire. Her highs and lows in life make Tahiri relatable, although they’re a bit extreme.
Tahiri reminds everyone to focus on the present rather than letting the past destroy their future. She exists in an ethically gray area for most of her life, making her an exciting character in NJO and Legacy of the Force.
5. Jaina Solo
Sword of the Jedi, Jaina knows her way around an X-Wing and can take down some dangerous enemies, especially after working with Boba Fett; for example, she defeats a Sith Lord and a Yuuzhan Vong Warmaster. Taking out the dangerous beings that she has gets her a spot near the top. A bit quick to anger as a teen, she nearly turns to the dark side after Anakin Solo’s death; however, she matures and becomes more disciplined like her mother, Leia. Her growth as a person is a main reason that she’s on this list.
During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Jaina is a part of the Rogue Squadron, where she takes out as many coral skippers as anyone. One of the coolest parts of Jaina’s life is when she and the New Republic create the illusion that she is an embodiment of the Yuuzhan Vong trickster goddess, which infuriates the Vong military leadership. She experiments on a captured Vong ship and finds a way to disrupt their friend or foe identification. Jaina earns her spot by being one of the cleverest Jedi out there.
4. Ahsoka Tano
Introduced in The Clone Wars, Padawan Ahsoka Tano quickly became a notable Jedi character because of her wit and courage. Trained by Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka was growing to her full potential as a Jedi before the scandal that ended her time in the Jedi Order. An unequivocal heroine, she refuses to kill clones who try to arrest her, knowing that she is innocent of planting a bomb in the Jedi temple. Barely surviving Order 66, where she also resists killing clones, she goes into hiding to decide how to live her life with Jedi hunted by the Empire.
She remains true to Jedi ideals of valuing life, protecting the innocent, and standing up to tyranny after leaving the Order: Ahsoka becomes a spy with the codename Fulcrum during Star Wars Rebels to fight the Empire. Also, in Rebels, Ahsoka has an epic showdown with Darth Vader inside a Sith temple to allow her friends time to escape. She takes on other villains like Darth Maul and General Grievous, cementing her as a badass.
Ahsoka has also already made appearances in live-action Star Wars shows, with Rosario Dawson playing her in the Mandalorian, and her skill with two lightsabers is impressive. With marquee matchups against Star Wars’ favorite villains and a compelling story arc from a youngling to a capable force user, Ahsoka Tano is truly a memorable Star Wars character.
3. Saba Sebatyne
Barabel Saba Sebatyne is arguably one of the most underrated Jedi in the franchise, as many have probably never read the New Jedi Order series, as she’s got one of the most unique looks and personalities around.
After completing her training to become a Jedi on Barab I, she formed a fighter wing called the Wild Knights, separate from the New Republic military and the New Jedi Order, mostly made of Barabels. The Wild Knights were quite a crew, capable of some fancy flying using the force and their closeness as a group. It’s an enjoyable ride to read about Saba and her team flying circles around their enemies.
Saba’s heightened force senses were instrumental in finding the living world Zonama Sekot and convincing it to aid the galaxy in defeating the Yuuzhan Vong. Her tough scales and Jedi training allow her to take punishment from foes and keep fighting, like when she battles Darth Caedus and his droids on a Star Destroyer. Her physical strength, combined with her strength in the Force, makes her a cool character indeed.
2. Mara Jade-Skywalker
Mara’s redemption arc from Emperor’s Hand to Jedi Master is top-tier Star Wars, earning her a spot at the top of the rankings. Mara Jade was a pet assassin for the Emperor until his death; she then assisted smuggler Talon Karrde and rose to the top of his organization.
Although she initially hates Luke Skywalker, his trademark patience and ability to see the good in people eventually get to her, and Mara turns to the light side of the Force. Mara and Luke eventually marry and have a son named Ben, and her love for Ben is further proof of finding peace in the light side.
Familiar with the destructive potential of the dark side and one of the bravest Jedi, Mara relentlessly attacks evil Force-users like Joruus C’baoth and Darth Caedus, who she dies fighting. All in all, Mara’s training with Emperor Palpatine, combined with patience and discipline from the light side, make her one of the most dangerous beings in the galaxy; and, therefore, a great candidate to make the jump from the Expanded Universe to Canon.
1. Princess Leia
A hero of democracy for most of her life, Leia Organa-Solo leads a successful rebellion against the Galactic Empire and the New Republic as Chief of State and defends the galaxy from the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. Daughter of Darth Vader, her mother’s friend Bail Organa adopts her, and she doesn’t know her true parentage until Return of the Jedi. Fans loved Carrie Fisher as Leia ever since the first Star Wars movies were released; her willingness to grab a blaster and fend off Stormtroopers is as impressive as her ability to negotiate a treaty between warring planets.
She completes her Jedi training in the EU to become the master of negotiations with and without a lightsaber. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes many times in Leia’s life, including the destruction of Alderaan and the deaths of her sons Jacen and Anakin, but she never turns to the dark side. Her strength and patience are incredible and contribute to her place at the top of the rankings.
Leia earns the #1 spot on the rankings because of everything she accomplishes in her long life and because of her innumerable contributions to the Star Wars galaxy.
Image Source: Disney and Lucasfilm