50 Best 'Star Wars' Characters of All Time

From Mos Eisely aliens to the most dangerous Jedi ever, our updated ranking of the heroes and villains in a galaxy far, far away

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Yoda
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4. Yoda

Like a lot of good mentors, Yoda doesn't make things easy on his pupils, expecting them to figure out things on their own rather than spoon-feeding them important life lessons. (How else to explain a character who refuses to speak in the traditional subject-verb order?) Introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, the diminutive Jedi master remains one of the most remarkable non-human characters ever created, one who the Muppeteer Frank Oz immediately connected with. ("[Jim Henson] showed me a sketch of Yoda — and it felt right," he would later explain. "Sometimes you have to work at something before you have that feeling, but this felt really good.") By avoiding computer effects, Lucas and his team made Yoda seem as real as Luke, creating a warm father-son rapport between the characters that's crucial to Empire's emotional arc. For the prequels, Lucas went with soulless CGI version: Not a good decision, it was. TG

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