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Star Wars Hero Endings Ranked From Worst To Best

Star Wars is our modern mythology, a timeless tale of good vs. evil set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. And whether it's in the far reaches of space or in a faraway magical kingdom, every mythological story needs heroes, and Star Wars has some of the best. There's the swashbuckling space pirate Han Solo and his Wookiee companion, Chewbacca. We've got the wise Jedi mentors Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda. And then there's the warrior princess and Rebel alliance leader, Leia Organa, and the new hope, a farm boy turned Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker. 

As great as Star Wars heroes are, the most critical part of every hero's journey is the ending. While some Star Wars hero's endings are among the best in popular fiction, others leave us scratching our heads years later. Which endings are our favorites, and which belong in the Sarlacc pit? Consider yourself warned, there will be SPOILERS. Here are the Star Wars hero endings ranked from worst to best! (And as a side note, we're only paying attention to the movies in the Skywalker Saga.)

Finn's finale even upset the actor who played him

Of all the characters in the sequel trilogy, Finn had the most potential. He wasn't like Luke (Rey) or Han (Poe). He was wholly original — a Stormtrooper who escaped slavery to join the Resistance. If only his story stayed that interesting. It was suggested throughout The Force Awakens that Finn was Force-sensitive, but it wasn't enough to not get KO'd by Kylo Ren. The Jedi journey we expected for Finn went to Rey instead, but hey, maybe it would make sense in the end ... right? 

Finn spent the majority of The Rise of Skywalker telling Rey he had to tell her something, which either meant he was crushing on her or felt the Force. Maybe Finn's going to be a Jedi? Besides that, Finn's story just kinda ended. One person who was vocally disappointed by Finn's finale was the actor who played him, John Boyega, who told GQ Magazine UK, "What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a Black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are, and then have them pushed to the side. It's not good." Boyega's not alone in his disappointment — Finn's ending was a dud.

Poe Dameron's denouement was disappointing

Poe Dameron arrived in The Force Awakens as a confident, cocksure flyboy straight out of Top Gun. While Dameron's character was basically a cross between Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, Oscar Isaac elevated Dameron's "been there, done that" persona to fan-favorite status. But Dameron could've been much different. Flirtatious glances between Dameron and Finn in The Force Awakens suggested the two could've become the first non-traditional couple in Star Wars, excluding the fact that, technically, Han and Leia and Anakin and Padme are all aliens who come from different star systems. But we digress.

Isaac's dreams of "Finnpoe" becoming Star Wars' first bi-racial, LGBTQ+ relationship didn't come to pass, as the romance stayed a bromance. How did Dameron's story end? Well, it just kinda ... ended. Sure, he helped unite the Federation to take down the reincarnated Emperor, but it seemed so basic, like we've seen 1,001 times in other movies. Perhaps it's appropriate that such a clichéd character should have such a nondescript conclusion (at least for now), but the result is one of the least compelling hero endings in Star Wars.

Star Wars' iconic droids deserved better

If you doubt the droids' importance to the Star Wars series, consider that R2-D2 and C-3PO are the only characters to be featured in all nine Skywalker Saga films. Star Wars' creator George Lucas even said, "The entire story of Star Wars is actually being recounted ... a hundred years after the events of Return of the Jedi by none other than R2-D2." So given R2-D2 is literally the narrator of the entire series, you'd think the droids' ending would be a little more, y'know, dramatic. 

Granted, while the droids do play big parts in each movie, their principal function is to sell toys, er, be comic relief. Especially BB-8, who's a solid number two behind Baby Yoda as "Star Wars' most adorable character." Alas, when the credits roll and John Williams' fanfare plays for the final time in The Rise of Skywalker, the droids are basically right where they were at the start, making wisecracks and looking cute. Perhaps that's to be expected. They're only robots, right? But as some of the most iconic characters in the entire series, the droids deserved better.

Lando Calrissian is cool — his conclusion was not

Whether he's played by Billy Dee Williams or Donald Glover, all Star Wars fans should be able to agree on this — Lando Calrissian is cool. They should also agree that his ending was not cool. There's a caveat, though. If Lando's last hurrah was in Return of the Jedi, then we would've been more impressed. However, we all know the reason he showed up in The Rise of Skywalker — fan service. 

If Star Wars were a sitcom instead of a multi-million dollar franchise, you would've heard pre-recorded applause when he showed up, like an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Sure, we're fans, too, and while seeing Lando again was fun, it still felt shallow. Lando showed up, united the Federation, and arrived just in time for the epic "save the day" entrance. On paper, it sounds fine, but in reality, it just feels tacked on. A cat as cool as Lando deserved better.

Chewbacca got his medal but left us wanting more

Chewbacca is a character that can either work really well or really terribly. There's not a lot of wiggle room with Wookiees, given George Lucas basically put a 7'2” man in a bear suit and had the character only communicate using growls. Honestly, when you think of it like that, we're surprised Chewbacca did work and that he became one of the most beloved characters in the series. However, Chewie's swan song was in Rise of the Skywalker, and like so many others whose curtain closed in Episode IX, his denouement was disappointing. 

First, we thought he was killed by Rey's rage-induced electric beam (don't use your superpowers while angry, kids), but we find out only like 17 minutes later that he survived. Some cliffhanger. Anyway, Chewbacca participates in the final battle against the forces of darkness on Exegol, but he doesn't do anything really epic or heroic. No great sacrifice. No critical decision. He's just there. However, he did finally get his medal, the one he'd been denied since 1977's A New Hope. Sure, it was another unnecessary bit of fan service in a movie full of it, but hey, we enjoyed it at the time.

The ending for Rey was just okay

Rey "Don't Call Me Palpatine" is a compelling character who's the unfortunate victim of too many cooks. Or at least, two very different cooks — J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson. Abrams' "magic box" storytelling style (Lost, Star Trek Into Darkness) planted the seed that Rey had significant lineage in The Force Awakens. Johnson's a genre deconstructionist (Brick, Knives Out) and said "no, she doesn't" in The Last Jedi. Abrams then said "no, really, she does" and made her a Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker

It's a confusing mess that could have been alleviated if, y'know, Disney had a grand overarching vision for the story before spending billions of dollars on it. That said, even if it wasn't the most coherent storyline, Rey did have a pretty significant ending. She defeated her dear old grandad, Emperor Palpatine, once and for all (well, until the inevitable sequels), returned the Jedi (again), united the combined powers of the Jedi, saved Kylo Ren's soul, and became an honorary member of the Skywalker clan. So Rey had quite the curriculum vitae. We doubt Rise of the Skywalker is her true finale, so maybe one day she'll do even better.

Luke Skywalker's saga ends with a psych-out

Luke Skywalker is pop culture's definitive hero, but a hero's journey is only as good as the ending. Had Luke's story ended with Return of the Jedi, it would've been perfect. He resurrected the Jedi Order, redeemed his father, and defeated the Dark Side once and for all. Cut to the sequel trilogy, and Luke's now a bitter "okay, boomer" who lives as a hermit at the edge of the galaxy and no longer believes in the ideals he once spent his life preserving. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but his rationale seems a bit ... forced (pun intended). He abandons the Jedi and tried to murder his sleeping nephew simply because he senses Ben Solo's a bad seed. Really? 

Rey seemingly redeems Luke, and his Force projection saves the day (the coolest moment in The Last Jedi), but then he just dies. The greatest hero ever dying from exhaustion millions of light years from the fight is a bit anticlimactic, but okay. Then his Force ghost shows back up in The Rise of Skywalker just to say, "J/k about that whole anti-Jedi thing, lol." Luke's ending in Return of the Jedi was the greatest ever, but his sequel trilogy's conclusion was a bit underwhelming, so we'll call it a wash, and say Luke Skywalker's ending is solid but not spectacular.

Mace Windu's martyrdom was pretty moving

In Mace Windu, Samuel L. Jackson played a character who was remarkably un-Samuel L. Jackson-like. Mace Windu was calm, stoic, didn't pull out a handgun to bust a cap, or drop the F-bomb even once! So yeah, all of that's pretty much a first for Sam Jackson, and he nailed it, which made Mace Windu's demise so devastating. About three-quarters of the way through Revenge of the Sith, Mace Windu has discovered that Senator Palpatine is actually the puppeteer Darth Sidious, who's been pulling the strings behind the scenes for an Imperial takeover, so Windu comes to lay a Jedi beatdown on him. 

He comes pretty close, too, using Palpatine's own electric beams against him, creating the scars Palpatine suffers through the rest of the series. But before Windu can vanquish Palpatine once and for all, Anakin Skywalker betrays the Jedi and the Republic, cutting off the Jedi's arm and sending him plunging to his death. It's a compelling moment, and it's not only a heroically tragic end for Mace Windu but a disturbing beginning for Darth Vader.

Qui-Gon Jinn was a goner, and it was pretty great

Call us sentimental, but we love a good martyr story, especially when it's a noble Jedi played by Liam Neeson, an actor who pretty much always plays noble Jedi, even in non-Star Wars movies. And granted, there are a lot of people who aren't crazy about The Phantom Menace. But the pod race was pretty cool, Darth Maul was totally badass, and we might've teared up a little when Qui-Gon Jinn was killed in his lightsaber duel with Maul. 

Okay, we teared up a lot, but only because Qui-Gon Jinn was one of the best parts of a pretty controversial movie. Qui-Gon Jinn's death was also one of the most consequential events in the entire story, as it inspired Obi-Wan Kenobi to defeat Darth Maul (though we wish the Sith would've lasted longer), follow in his Master's footsteps, and take the young Anakin Skywalker as his Padawan. Nothing fancy about it — just a good, old-fashioned heroic sacrifice.

Padmé's death was poetically epic

As the mysterious matriarch of the galaxy's most famous family, Padmé Amidala had a lot to live up to before her Phantom Menace debut. While we can certainly critique some of her cringe-inducing lines ("Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo"), she proved to be one of the prequel trilogy's most popular characters, and for good reason. Queen. Senator. Warrior. Rebel. She gave Luke and Leia quite the legacy to live up to, even if the two never met their mother. Padmé was a compelling character, but did her ending live up to her promise? We think so.

You could quibble about this strong-willed, wise young woman being caught completely off guard by Senator Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker's shenanigans, but that was the point — everybody got caught off guard, even Master Yoda! She also delivered the prequel trilogy's defining line — "So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause." Fans have bickered about her dying from a broken heart, but that's a real thing, as we sadly learned from the death of Carrie Fisher's mother, Debbie Reynolds. Padmé's death proved sometimes poetic can be epic. 

Leia's last moments were compelling considering the circumstances

Carrie Fisher's tragic death in 2016, a year before The Last Jedi was released, gives her legendary character's ending a major asterisk. Leia Organa was set to play a more pivotal role in Episode IX, with Fisher's brother telling Yahoo! Entertainment, "She was going to be the big payoff in the final film. She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak. That's cool, right?" Indeed, it would've been, but her death forced filmmakers to scramble in The Rise of Skywalker, using previously shot footage to give the iconic character a worthy ending. 

We won't say the results are 100% perfect, but it's still pretty impressive. Master Leia has taken Rey as her Padawan, training her to become a fully fledged Jedi. However, Leia's estranged son is still a genocidal warlord ruling the galaxy with an iron fist. Leia saves the day, using her powers to convince Ben Solo to abandon the Dark Side as her dying act. No, Leia didn't die in a heroic blaze of glory (and her planned ending may have been much better), but considering the circumstances, her ending was appropriate for the character.

Master Yoda's ending was magnificent

Master Yoda died the way all of us wish we could — peaceably in our sleep, surrounded by loved ones while living in a cave in exile on a swamp-like planet. Okay, so maybe not that last part, but "the dying in our sleep" sounds pretty nice. In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker is startled to discover that the great Jedi warrior he's seeking is actually a diminutive space troll. Moviegoers shared Luke's surprise, as Yoda's reveal was a pretty great twist that was later overshadowed by an even greater twist ("Luke, I am your father"), but that's why Empire Strikes Back is so awesome. 

Anyway, we come to find out Yoda's a badass, which is further confirmed by the prequel trilogy. Sadly, by the end of Revenge of the Sith, Yoda finds his life's work decimated, as the Dark Side has destroyed his beloved Jedi Order. Yoda's ending in Return of the Jedi is great because it's perfect for the character at that moment in his life. Yoda's an old warrior who's no longer able to join the fight himself, but he dies knowing he's accomplished his last mission — training Luke Skywalker to bring balance to the Force.

Han Solo's sacrifice was worth the wait

Has an actor ever wanted one of their most famous characters to die more than Harrison Ford? Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't a case of Ford hating Star Wars. "I think it's a fitting use of the character," Ford revealed on EW's Tumblr. "I've been arguing for Han Solo to die for about 30 years, not because I was tired of him ... but his sacrifice for the other characters would lend gravitas and emotional weight." Longtime Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan agreed, telling The New York Times that he was for killing Han Solo in Return of the Jedi. George Lucas didn't concur, and both Ford and Kasdan would have to wait 30 years to get their way. 

It was worth the wait (and not just because of Ford's multi-million dollar payday). Han Solo's "Chewie, we're home" moment in The Force Awakens trailer still gives us goosebumps (and probably sold a billion dollars worth of tickets), but it's Solo's sacrifice that sticks with us. Even though we all expected it, Solo dying by his estranged son's hand is the most memorable moment from the sequel trilogy, and it's one of the most heartbreaking in the series. That says something. From a character standpoint, it makes perfect sense — the selfish, swashbuckling space pirate makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the day.

Obi-Wan Kenobi's ending is one of the best

Generations of moviegoers will always associate Sir Alec Guinness, the Academy Award-winning actor from Bridge On The River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, with Obi-Wan Kenobi. And there's a reason he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. At the risk of hyperbole, we can say that without Guinness' star power and gravitas, Star Wars wouldn't have been the success it was. And the prequel trilogy gives Kenobi greater weight, as we discover that the old man from A New Hope was once a great warrior who was forced into exile after his student betrayed him. 

However, you don't need Episodes I-III to appreciate Kenobi's ending. Episode IV is powerful on its own. Kenobi faces off with his former Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, now in the guise of Darth Vader, one last time. Rather than fight to the death, Kenobi sacrifices himself to save Anakin's son, the new hope, with the greatest dying line ever — "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than can possibly imagine." Has there ever been a better movie mentor than Obi-Wan Kenobi? No, and this moment is why.

Anakin Skywalker died a hero after all

"You were the Chosen One," Obi-Wan Kenobi screams at Anakin Skywalker at the conclusion of Revenge of the Sith. But the hero of the prequel trilogy, who we first meet as a precocious slave boy in The Phantom Menace, has betrayed his sacred oath and joined the Dark Side. Some might complain about how the prequel trilogy got to this point, but the overarching story is incredible. Had Anakin Skywalker's story ended here, it would've been the greatest villain turn in Star Wars, but his story wasn't over. 

Under the influence of Emperor Palpatine, Anakin becomes Darth Vader, a genocidal warlord, slayer of innocents, and one of the greatest movie villains ever ... but beneath his shiny black suit that hides his broken body and corrupt soul, he's still Anakin Skywalker. The Force works in funny ways, and it turns out Skywalker is still the Chosen One foretold in the prophecy. He just needs to be redeemed by his children. 

Even through his mask, you can sense Darth Vader's remorse for everything he's ever done wrong while the Emperor is killing his son. In that moment, Anakin fulfills the prophecy, plunging the Emperor to his doom, destroying the Dark Side, and bringing balance to the Force. Not even the giant asterisk that is Palpatine's return in The Rise of Skywalker can compromise this moment — Anakin Skywalker has the greatest hero's ending in Star Wars.