Lucasfilm Animation, who produces The Clone Wars, is located in Singapore and they’re receiving a brand new building designed to look like a Sandcrawler. Lucasfilm broke ground on the eight story building this week that will include Star Wars decor, a 100-seat theater, and state of the art production facilities.
One of the greatest aspects of the Star Wars universe is its villains. When George Lucas created the Jedi and Sith, the Light Side and the Dark Side, he put a fascinating new spin on the ages-old battle between good and evil.
We may want Luke to blow the Death Star to pieces and we may cheer for Han when he sends Boba Fett to his doom in the Sarlacc Pit (even if it was accidental!) but who can deny feeling a thrill when Darth Vader slices through Rebel scum in the closing moments of Rogue One, or when Darth Maul arrives to inject a little spice into The Phantom Menace?
And let’s not forget that other crucial element of Star Wars: its females. Princess Leah inspired countless other leading ladies with her heroism, while Jyn Erso and Rey have been tremendous additions to the universe too.
But when you put these two things together — the Dark Side and well-written female characters — you get some truly irresistible villains. Let’s take a look at the 10 most deadly female Dark Siders in Star Wars history, across both the official canon and the former Expanded Universe / now Legends line.
Asajj Ventress is one of the strongest characters created for The Clone Wars, bringing a real sense of menace to the family-friendly movie and series.
Ventress was born into the care of the Nightsisters Clan, but soon ended up in the hands of a criminal. Despite being trained as a Jedi, Ventress was eventually so consumed with rage at the murder of her Jedi Master, she succumbed to the lure of the Dark Side.
Ventress has an amazing look: bald, sleek, wielding dual lightsabers. Her grasp of the Force and her ruthlessness helped her become a major Sith figure in the Star Wars universe.
Darth Zannah is one Sith even the most seasoned Jedi wouldn’t want to mess with. She served as Darth Bane’s apprentice (the Sith Lord who created the Rule of Two that would go on to be a fundamental tenet of the Dark Side) and developed a brutal hatred for the Jedi when they killed her beloved friend under the false belief that she was a Sith.
After years studying his teachings, Zannah was strong enough to finally destroy Darth Bane himself and continue his legacy.
Darth Maladi is one of the most visually-striking of the female Dark Siders in Star Wars, featuring red skin, a high, snaking ponytail and sinister eyes. This Devaronian Sith warrior had deft lightsaber skills and the ability to fling Force lightning at opponents — something not all Sith are capable of.
Darth Maladi had a nasty habit of using mental manipulation to torture her prey, and possessed scientific knowledge that led her to become involved with the dangerous narcotic ixetal cilona.
Darth Cognus began her career as an assassin before joining Darth Bane, becoming his deadly apprentice.
Originally known as The Huntress, Darth Cognus was sent to find her future master and actually succeeded in sending him to the Stone Prison. She wanted to learn the ways of the Sith, though, and the two became a powerful do.
Loyalty wasn’t a major strong point of Darth Cognus’s, however: she continued her training under Darth Zannah after the latter defeated Darth Bane. She has a terrific design too — her blue lips and hooded robes give her a haunting appearance suited to a cold-blooded Sith.
Alema Rar, a formidable Twi’lek Dark Sider, began as a Jedi Knight before being drawn over to the ways of the Sith. She spent years working as an enslaved dancer in seedy venues before being saved by the Jedi.
However, after her sister was killed in battle, Alema Rar found the rage she felt too much to handle and took the first steps on her way to the Dark Side. She built her first lightsaber herself, wielded a blowgun with poison darts and was, ultimately, a brutal force to be reckoned with.
Aurra Sing is another female Dark Sider in Star Wars with one heck of an amazing look: she’s almost a blend of Asajj Ventress and Darth Maladi, with a mostly-bald scalp, pale skin and high ponytail. And let’s not forget that comlink antenna built right into her head.
Still, there’s much more to her than a kick-ass design, though. She trained as a Jedi Padawan before graduating into the world of bounty hunting, teaching that iconic specialist Boba Fett himself. She collected lightsabers from Jedi she killed and worked with Cad Bane, one of the best villains of the entire Clone Wars series.
This Nightsister and Sith Master served the legendary Darth Krayt, until the monstrous Yuuzhan Vong started their campaign of mischief.
After being captured and ultimately escaping, Lomi Plo went on to achieve numerous memorable feats: she became the Unseen Queen of the Gorog nest, learned how to become invisible to enemies by taking advantage of their internal doubts and was killed by the one and only Luke Skywalker.
Oh, and let’s not end without discussing her physical transformation. As Lomi Plo took on Killik traits, she grew extra arms, switched her own eyes for Killik replacements and swapped her lower jaw for a grotesque mandible. All in all, not a female Dark Sider you want to cross.
Darth Traya / Kreia
Darth Traya has one of the most distinguishing physical traits of the deadliest female Dark Siders in Star Wars: she lost her eyesight, ultimately becoming visually-impaired. Instead, she depended on the Force to see.
She was once a Jedi Master and historian, before being exiled by the Jedi High Council. She succumbed to the power of the Dark Side when she visited the Trayus Academy and ended up with Sith apprentices of her own: Darth Nihilus and Darth Sion.
She was a deadly follower of the Sith ways, killing many Jedi and using her powers to tame beasts and prevent Jedi from becoming one with the Force after death (a particularly nasty little trick!).
Darth Talon can’t be mistaken for any other deadly female Dark Sider: she’s a statuesque, red-skinned Twi’lek covered in striking Sith tattoos. These were earned in combat and applied to her flesh by herself.
Darth Talon was named one of Darth Krayt’s two Hands and trained Cade Skywalker in the ways of the Dark Side (after abducting him first). The two even had a little romance, before Cade escaped. She was an amazing fighter too, possessing real acrobatic skill and strong Force powers.
Last but not least, we have Vestara Khai (AKA Savara Raine). This Sith is one of the few who actually turned to the Light Side of the Force, even going on to marry Luke Skywalker’s son, Ben. The two had a child, also named Ben. Quite an imaginative pair, eh?
Vestara had a powerful connection to the Force, so much so Luke saw real potential in her. As a Sith, she trained under Lady Olaris Rhea and was part of a team ordered to find and murder Luke Skywalker. Needless to say, she didn’t succeed.
And that’s it — the 10 most deadly female Dark Siders in Star Wars! Which is your favorite and why? Let us know in the comments!
When Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas way back in 2012, the end of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (AKA the EU) was inevitable.
For decades, the EU had kept such beloved characters as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa, Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett alive. But it spawned a host of new heroes and villains too, including Grand Admiral Thrawn, Lobacca, Darth Malak, Mara Jade and many more.
Today, the Expanded Universe is the Legends line — a non-canon collection of comics, books, video games and more. Though these stories all take place in an alternate timeline, there’s still plenty to enjoy, particularly in its novels.
But with so much to get through, how do you know where to start? Don’t worry — just take a look at our pick of 10 must-read Star Wars books from the old Expanded Universe.
Heir to the Empire (Timothy Zahn, 1991)
Though there had been other Star Wars spin-offs before Heir to the Empire was published, this novel was credited with kick-starting what would go on to be considered the Expanded Universe.
This story introduced Grand Admiral Thrawn, who remains one of the foremost figures of the EU and has even been integrated into the canon. He’s a highly-intelligent, ruthless character who serves as a fantastic antagonist across the three Thrawn books.
Heir to the Empire follows Luke, Han and Leia as they become involved in Thrawn’s machinations, taking well-known heroes in strange new directions. It’s still well worth a read, and was adapted into a comic-book by Dark Horse too.
Darth Bane: Path of Destruction (Drew Karpyshyn, 2006)
Darth Bane is another popular villain from the Expanded Universe, and he made his first big impact in Path of Destruction. Two further Darth Bane novels were published after this, forming a beloved trilogy.
Path of Destruction is set around one thousand years before Episode IV: A New Hope, and revolves around Dessel. This young man emerges from a life of misery and hard work to join the Sith Army, ultimately going on to study at Korriban’s Sith Academy.
Darth Bane created the Sith’s Rule of Two, and Path of Destruction shows why in grand fashion.
Splinter of the Mind’s Eye (Alan Dean Foster, 1978)
Splinter of the Mind’s Eye is a real curiosity every Star Wars fan has to try, and is definitely deserving of its place on this list of must-read books from the old Expanded Universe.
This was rendered non-canonical as soon as The Empire Strikes Back was released, but offers a fascinating glimpse at what could have been. Here, Luke and Leia are on the trail of the Kaiburr crystal, Han Solo is absent and Luke faces off with Darth Vader for the first time.
Splinter of the Mind’s Eye is well worth checking out if you’ve never read it before.
Darth Plagueis (James Luceno, 2012)
Darth Plagueis is first mentioned in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, during a discussion between Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker. Plagueis is described as an incredibly powerful Sith with the ability to create life and prevent people from having to die.
James Luceo is a skilled writer with a long list of Star Wars novels to his name, and he’s on great form here. The story charts Plagueis’s major achievements, including meeting Palpatine, his role in the creation of the clone army and more.
The Old Republic: Revan (Drew Karpyshyn, 2011)
Revan is a core figure in 2003’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, one of the most successful Star Wars video games ever. This book continues his story, following on from the events of the game itself.
Revan sheds more light on Revan’s past and motivations. The Mandalorians, Sith warriors, Jedi and more all come into play before the final page, weaving a gripping tale that fans of KOTOR will love.
Shadows of the Empire (Steve Perry, 1996)
Shadows of the Empire was basically a new Star Wars movie — only without an actual movie!
Instead, the tale was told in this novel, comics and a video game, and it’s pretty good stuff overall.
The action slots between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, setting events in place for the close of the Original Trilogy. Steve Perry’s Shadows of the Empire book focuses heavily on Princess Leia’s search for Han Solo after he’s taken by Boba Fett.
Shadows of the Empire introduces another villain, Prince Xizor, as well as Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader.
Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader (James Luceno, 2005)
Darth Vader was given the lead in this novel set in the wake of Revenge of the Sith. This charts his ascent to power in the new Galactic Empire and his quest to bring down Jedi who escaped Order 66.
This is an introspective book, in which Luceno explores the conflict Vader feels as he transitions from his Anakin persona to a Sith Lord. Ultimately, The Rise of Darth Vader sets the stage for A New Hope nicely, creating a neat link from the Prequel Trilogy to the Original Trilogy.
Outbound Flight (Timothy Zahn, 2006)
Timothy Zahn is many fans’ favorite Star Wars novelist, and for good reason. Here, he delves into the universe again to explore events taking place shortly before The Phantom Menace.
The story centers on the Outbound Light Project, which had been mentioned in multiple other works (such as Heir to the Empire and Specter of the Past). This serves as a prequel to Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy and sees a flight outside the known galaxy go a little haywire.
Tales from Jabba’s Palace (Various Authors, 1995)
Tales from Jabba’s Palace features nineteen different stories, primarily starring shady figures populating Jabba the Hutt’s palace (as seen in Return of the Jedi).
Twenty-one authors all created the tales for this book, edited by Kevin J. Anderson, and there’s some solid content here. These include A Boy and His Monster: The Rancor Keeper’s Tale, That’s Entertainment: The Tale of Salacious Crumb and A Time to Mourn, a Time to Dance: Oola’s Tale.
Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter (Michael Reaves, 2001)
Darth Maul is one of the most enigmatic, exciting and deadly villains in the Star Wars saga. This novel is set before The Phantom Menace and chronicles Darth Maul’s attempts to hunt an enemy of his master, Darth Sidious, and his clash with a young Jedi Padawan.
For fans of Darth Maul, Shadow Hunter is highly recommended.
These 10 must-read Star Wars books from the old Expanded Universe are just a small portion of the EU / Legends line. If you’re inspired to delve into our picks, why not cast your net a little wider and see what else there is to offer?
Have you read any of these novels, and if so, what did you think? What others would you recommend?
The Star Wars movies feature some of the most iconic scores in cinematic history. Even people who’ve never watched the films (and, yes, they actually exist) will recognize the main cues.
Sure, they might not be able to tell you which scenes they fit or why they’re important, but they’ll know it’s Star Wars.
For fans, though, nothing takes you back to the thrill of watching your favorite Star Wars moments like hearing a particular piece of music from the franchise.
Star Wars’ music is as crucial to the movies as the actors, the special effects and the creature designs: you just can’t imagine them without it. It deserves to be celebrated — and that’s exactly why we’ve decided to take an epic look at 10 of the best Star Wars music tracks below!
Main Title (All Numbered Episodes)
This IS Star Wars.
The vast majority of people, in countries across the globe, know this music when they hear it. You can’t help but picture the title (in that unmistakable yellow-and-black font) zooming into the distance, followed by the introductory text crawling its way up the screen.
Main Title’ pulls you into each of the numbered Star Wars movies and stirs feelings of excitement, adventure and (for many of us) intense nostalgia. John Williams has composed a lot of fantastic scores for beloved series (Indiana Jones, Harry Potter — you name it), but ‘Main Title’ remains some of his best work.
Duel of the Fates (Episode I: The Phantom Menace)
We all know Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace got a few things wrong — but it also got some right. Especially this unforgettable piece of music.
John Williams’ work here is incredible, capturing the sense of epic grandeur and urgency in the climactic battle between Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi and the sneering Darth Maul. Watching the two Jedi struggle to bring down this new enemy never gets old, and that’s thanks in large part to Duel of the Gates.
The choir, layered strings and fluctuating tempo all combine beautifully, making Duel of the Fates one of the saga’s stand-out tracks.
Emperor’s Throne Room (Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)
‘Emperor’s Throne Room’ is a dark, somber, intimidating music track, and the perfect accompaniment to the scene in which Luke Skywalker finally comes face to face with the Emperor himself.
It’s a major moment in the Original Trilogy (and the saga as a whole) and lets Luke see just who’s been pulling the strings of the Empire’s machinations all along.
‘Emperor’s Throne Room’ has a real sense of creeping menace and ominous darkness, which is why it’s so perfect for the bleakest point of the film: Luke discovers the Rebels’ plan to bring down the shield generator on Endor isn’t as secret as they thought.
The Imperial March (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)
Darth Vader should inspire dread in everyone else on-screen when he appears, not to mention the audience. And ‘The Imperial March’ helps him do just that.
Williams surely had no way of knowing just how important this track would become not just to the character, but to the entire saga itself, when he created it. Regardless, it’s an essential piece of Star Wars music, filled with real drive and purpose — just like Vader himself.
Williams creates a beautiful callback to it in Return of the Jedi too, when Vader dies after his redemption. The notes are far softer and slower, marking the end of both the man and his connection to the Dark Side.
Hope (Rogue One)
ohn Williams is the brainchild of much of the saga’s soundtrack, though others have delved into it for the solo movies too. Michael Giacchino’s work on Rogue One was particularly amazing, capturing the Star Wars feel while still creating a unique sound.
‘Hope’ comes in one of Rogue One’s most exhilarating, powerful and unforgettable scenes. It manages to capture the full horror and brutality of Darth Vader’s assault on the Rebels as he attempts to retrieve the stolen Death Star plans.
The scene is brilliantly shot, directed and performed — it helped to make Vader genuinely scary again, and ‘Hope’ punctuates the action perfectly.
Across the Stars (Episode II: Attack of the Clones)
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones may not be jam-packed with classic moments, but ‘Across the Stars’ is easily one of its finest aspects.
This is John Williams at the height of his powers again: it’s romantic, it’s complex, it’s melancholic. For all the ground battles and lightsaber duels, Attack of the Clones had a story of forbidden love at its heart, and ‘Across the Stars’ conveys that brilliantly.
The Emperor’s Death (Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)
‘The Emperor’s Death’ accompanies one of the most powerful and important scenes in the franchise: Darth Vader’s redemption.
His decision to turn his back on the Dark Side and kill the Emperor, the man who helped him discover his full power but also destroyed him in the process, isn’t an easy one. ‘The Emperor’s Death’ progresses from hopelessness to triumph, matching Vader’s journey from the Dark into the Light.
It’s a masterpiece. Nuff said.
Battle of the Heroes (Episode III: Revenge of the Sith)
While the climactic showdown between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi might not feature some of the strongest dialogue ever written, there’s no denying its score is outstanding.
John Williams packs a huge amount into this music track, filling it with ominous choir vocals, immense beats and a real epic flair. It helps to make the action on-screen even more dramatic and pivotal, making sure the Prequel Trilogy goes out on a high note.
Rey’s Theme (Episode VII: The Force Awakens)
Rey is definitely one of the best aspects of The Force Awakens, and John Williams’ ‘Rey’s Theme’ is a terrific track.
It reuses notes from ‘The Scavenger’, which plays during the first scene in which Rey appears, as she explores the ruins of Jakku. But whereas that introduced us to a girl scraping by and living amongst relics, Rey’s Theme charts Rey’s growth into a brave, strong Jedi-to-be.
Cantina Band (Episode IV: A New Hope)
Cantina Band is a fun little Star Wars music track that plays a small part in A New Hope, but is hard to get out of your head.
It’s upbeat, jazzy and genuinely makes you want to dance along. Sure, it might not be quite as epic or dramatic as some of the other iconic Star Wars music tracks, but it truly does sound exotic and alien. It’s not hard to imagine yourself in a galaxy far, far away, supping blue milk, when you hear it.
And, of course, anyone who played 2005’s Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (a game that still receives updates!) will remember hearing this on the Mos Eisley heroes-versus-villains map.
Well, that’s the end of our look at 10 of the best Star Wars music tracks ever made! Would you change the order of these at all? Would you add any different pieces?
Let us know!