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!