Darth Vader has been named the best Star Wars villain of all time in a new RadioTimes.com poll which saw over 10,000 votes cast as fans picked their favourite baddie from a galaxy far, far away.


With 16 specimens of unlimited scum and villainy to choose from, competition was fierce – but in the end it was a runaway victory for the former Anakin Skywalker, who scored 33 per cent of the final tally with over a thousand votes more than his nearest rival.

“Never underestimate the power of the Dark Side,” Huw Fullerton, RadioTimes.com’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy Editor said.

“Over 40 years after he first wheezed his way onto our screens, it’s clear that Star Wars’ fans' faith in Lord Vader remains stronger than ever, with a third of the thousands who voted picking him as their favourite villain from the series.

“Star Wars films and TV series may come and go, but Darth Vader will always be the ultimate villain. Truly, he is the Master.”

Originally appearing in the original 1979 movie Star Wars where he became a pop culture icon, Darth Vader has appeared in multiple films, TV shows and other spin-off media over the decades, his black mask becoming one of the most recognisable symbols of the franchise around the world.

David Prowse Darth Vader
Getty Images

Originally played physically by the late David Prowse (above), Vader has been voiced since his first appearance by veteran actor James Earl Jones, who returned to lend his vocals to the character for his most recent live-action appearance in 2016 movie Rogue One.

The character is set to return for upcoming Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi, where he'll be played by Anakin Skywalker (and briefly, Darth Vader) actor Hayden Christensen.

In our poll, the second place position fell to Lord Vader’s old master The Emperor (played by Ian McDiarmid in multiple Star Wars films including 2019’s Rise of Skywalker), who received 18 per cent of the vote.

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Following him, Star Wars Rebels favourite Thrawn inched ahead of live-action baddies like Darth Maul and Boba Fett, with only a handful of votes separating the lower-ranking villains.

You can check out the full ranking, including final vote totals, in the rundown below.

  1. Darth Vader – 33 per cent (3422)
  2. The Emperor – 18 per cent (1897)
  3. Grand Admiral Thrawn – 6 per cent (636)
  4. Darth Maul – 6 per cent (632)
  5. Boba Fett – 6 per cent (631)
  6. General Grievous – 4 per cent (458)
  7. Greedo – 4 per cent (399)
  8. Moff Gideon – 4 per cent (381)
  9. Kylo Ren – 3 per cent (354)
  10. Grand Moff Tarkin – 3 per cent (330)
  11. Count Dooku – 2 per cent (258)
  12. Supreme Leader Snoke – 2 per cent (224)
  13. Captain Phasma – 2 per cent (223)
  14. Asajj Ventress – 2 per cent (193)
  15. Grand Inquisitor – 2 per cent (178)
  16. Jabba the Hutt – 2 per cent (158)

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