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Big Bad / Star Wars

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"I have been every voice you have ever heard inside your head."
In a galaxy far far away, it's bound to have many Big Bads. Many of them either are or are tied to the Sith, especially Darth Sidious (which provides the main Big Bad page image and this image)

  • The Skywalker Saga:
    • Emperor Palpatine, otherwise known as Darth Sidious, is the main antagonist of the Skywalker Saga as a whole, though he only ever gets directly involved at the end of each trilogy. The Original Trilogy has him as the ruler of the Empire and Darth Vader's master; the Prequel Trilogy details his rise to power within the Republic by orchestrating a war with the Separatists, lead by his Sith apprentice Count Dooku; and the Sequel Trilogy has him as the Greater-Scope Villain behind the First Order and Snoke.
    • The Original Trilogy:
      • The primary antagonist of A New Hope is Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, who commands the Death Star and pursues the Rebels to their hidden base on Yavin IV. Vader serves as The Heavy and more direct threat, and while he obeys Tarkin it's out of respect rather than authority.
      • The Empire Strikes Back has Darth Vader take center stage, chasing down the Rebel Alliance with the help of bounty hunter Boba Fett and seeking to corrupt Luke into becoming his own Sith apprentice.
      • Emperor Palpatine oversees construction of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, setting up a trap to destroy the Rebel alliance with it while planning to turn Luke into his new apprentice. Jabba the Hutt is a Disc-One Final Boss, the Rebellion heroes focusing on rescuing Han from the crime lord before confronting the Emperor and Vader.
    • The Prequel Trilogy:
      • The Phantom Menace has a Big Bad Duumvirate between Nute Gunray, Big Bad Wannabe leader of the Trade Federation who instigates a military occupation of Naboo, and Darth Maul, The Heavy and The Dragon to Palpatine who provides the greatest physical threat to the heroes.
      • Attack of the Clones has Count Dooku, leader of the growing Separatist Alliance and secret apprentice to Palpatine as Darth Tyranus, who goes to war with the Republic and secretly helps orchestrate the construction of their clone army. Bounty hunter Jango Fett serves as The Dragon, who Obi-Wan chases throughout the first half of the film after he tries to assassinate Senator Amidala.
      • Palpatine takes center stage in Revenge of the Sith after the deaths of Dooku and General Grievous, converting Anakin into his apprentice, turning the Republic into the Galatic Empire, and wiping out most of the Jedi Order after framing them for trying to assassinate him.
    • The Sequel Trilogy:
      • The Force Awakens has the First Order, a growing Imperial remnant faction that quickly manages to seize power. Kylo Ren, Han and Leia's son Ben who turned to the Dark Side, serves as The Heavy for Greater-Scope Villain Supreme Leader Snoke.
      • In The Last Jedi, Snoke becomes the direct antagonist until Kylo Ren kills him and takes over as the First Order's Supreme Leader in the final act of the film.
      • The Rise of Skywalker reveals that Palpatine is still alive, having been resurrected through a clone body on the planet Exegol. It's explained that he was behind the First Order, the creation of Snoke, Ben's fall to the dark side and the death of Rey's family. Kylo Ren is quickly Demoted to Dragon, and Sidious initiates his ultimate plan to destroy the Resistance and restore himself to full strength.
  • Rogue One has Director Krennic as the mastermind behind the creation of the Death Star and The Heavy. However, due to being set immediately before A New Hope, Tarkin and Vader are on hand to represent the Emperor and assert authority.
  • Solo has Dryden Vos, The Don of Crimson Dawn, the crime syndicate that ropes Han and Chewie into doing the Kessel job, with Tobias Beckett as the Post-Final Boss after selling out Han's double-cross to Vos. Vos himself answers directly to Darth Maul.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Mandalorian has Moff Gideon for the first two seasons. He's the one after Grogu, with the Client merely acting on his behalf. When Mando absconds with his quarry, all of the bounty hunters that go after him can be traced back to Gideon's initial bounty. When Mando returns to Nevarro, Gideon takes direct action in the final two episodes of the first season and claims the Big Bad mantle full time in the second.

    Animated Series 
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars has the main antagonists of the Prequel Trilogy, wreaking havoc during the titular war.
    • Darth Sidious, as usual, is the mastermind behind the war, with almost everything being his fault in some way or another. Much of the corruption and obstruction within the Senate is directly his doing, as he uses his position as Supreme Chancellor of the Republic to influence events and gather power.
    • Due to Palpatine having to act as the leader of the Republic, though, he allows his Sith apprentice, Count Dooku, to act as the leader of the Seperatist Alliance and the main threat in the eyes of the Galactic Republic. Many of the major antagonists and minor Arc Villains directly report to him.
    • General Grievous serves as The Heavy and Supreme Commander of the Separatist droid army, personally leading their forces in warfare and carrying out Dooku's dirty work.
    • The biggest rival to Palpatine's claim as the Big Bad (even serving as the Climax Boss of the series, being the main antagonist of the seventh season and the Siege of Mandalore) is Darth Maul, who strikes out on his own after becoming a crime lord and uses the Death Watch to take over Mandalore.
    • There are also a multitude of secondary antagonists and factions that end up causing trouble throughout the war:
      • Dooku's Dragon Asajj Ventress, who is later betrayed by him and initially sets out for revenge before becoming a bounty hunter and sort-of ally to the Jedi.
      • Bounty hunter Cad Bane, hired to commit assassinations and other crimes by everyone from the Sith to the Hutts.
      • Wild Card Pirate Hondo Ohnaka, who eventually settles into something resembling an ally to the Jedi.
      • The Death Watch, terrorists led by Pre Vizla and Bo-Katan who seek to bring Mandalore back to its warrior culture ways.
      • Savage Opress, Maul's brother who was turned into a monster in one of Ventress' schemes for revenge against Dooku, before striking out on his own to find his brother.
      • Mother Talzin, the leader of the Nightsisters who isn't very active but manipulates Savage, Ventress, Dooku and Maul in her quest for revenge against Palpatine.
      • And that's not even considering the host of minor Arc Villains, notably Separatist leaders like Admiral Trench, Nute Gunray, Wat Tambor, Poggle the Lesser, Osi Sobeck, and Riff Tamson; Ziro the Hutt, a gangster who made an alliance with Dooku to overthrow Jabba with predictable results; bounty hunters Aurra Sing and Boba Fett; Dark Side users such as the Son, Pong Krell, and Barriss Offee; etc.
  • Star Wars Rebels has Grand Moff Tarkin as the Overarching Villain, as a majority of the Imperials featured throughout the series act under his authority. However, he gradually fades in prominence and importance as the series progresses and the conflicts escalate, essentially being replaced by Grand Admiral Thrawn as the face of the Imperial forces about halfway through the show.
    • Season One has the Grand Inquisitor as The Heavy who spends the season relentlessly hunting Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger on the orders of Darth Vader, and remains the biggest threat to the Jedi even after Tarkin assumes direct command.
    • Darth Vader becomes the main antagonist in Season Two, utterly ruining what good the rebellion accomplished during the last season in the premiere before sending two more Inquisitors to hunt down the Jedi. He returns in the finale to confront Ahsoka Tano himself, which is complicated by the return of Maul.
    • Grand Admiral Thrawn is brought in by Tarkin to deal with the growing Rebellion for Season Three, actually succeeding in rooting out their spy and destroying their base on Atollon. Of course, he's also part of a Big Bad Ensemble with Maul, who remains a Wild Card with the goal of finally getting his revenge on Kenobi.
    • Season Four keeps Grand Admiral Thrawn as the main antagonist, overseeing the Imperial occupation of Lothal. He briefly leaves the planet about halfway through the season, with Emperor Palpatine himself attempting to use Ezra to access the World Between Worlds. Once Ezra foils his plans, Thrawn returns as the Final Boss as the Rebellion launches one last mission to liberate the planet.
  • Star Wars Resistance:
    • Captain Phasma is initially the leader of the First Order forces trying to take over the Colossus, but since the first season is occurring around the same time as The Force Awakens she leaves halfway through it. Her Dragon Commander Pyre takes over for the rest of the season.
    • By the first season finale, Pyre settles into a Big Bad Duumvirate with First Order Security Bureau officer Agent Tierny, who comes to the Colossus to investigate Resistance activity and recruits Tam. The two keep the roles throughout the second season, now working on behalf of Hux and Kylo Ren.

    Star Wars Expanded Universe 

    Star Wars Legends 
The Star Wars Legends novels have had several. In addition to Emperor Palpatine (who usually takes the role by default during any work set during the timeframe of the movies, or is at least the Greater-Scope Villain) some of the most notable are:
  • In Revan, it is the Sith Emperor.
  • In Fatal Alliance, it is Cinzia Xandret.
  • In the X-Wing Series, Ysanne Isard for the Rogue Squadron arc, Warlord Zsinj for the Wraith Squadron arc, Turr Phennir for Starfighters of Adumar and Stavin Thaal and Borath Maddeus for Mercy Kill.
  • The Big Bad Duumvirate of Thrawn and C'baoth from The Thrawn Trilogy (though each could be said to think of himself as sole Big Bad, with the other as The Dragon and The Starscream).
  • Nil Spaar from the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy.
  • In The Courtship of Princess Leia, Zsinj for his fleet and Gethzerion for the Nightsisters. He's blockading her planet.
  • Thracken Sal-Solo from The Corellian Trilogy (notable among Star Wars villains for just being scum as opposed to an avatar of pure evil, and for surviving to take a supporting villain roles in later series). Actually, Thrackan is simply an opportunist claiming credit for the actions of the real Big Bads, the Sacorrian Triad, a mysterious council that rules one of the Corellian system's worlds, Sacorria.
  • From the New Jedi Order series:
    • Supreme Overlord Shimrra, absolute ruler of the Yuuzhan Vong, is presented as the Big Bad—until the climax, when it's revealed that his insane court jester/slave Onimi was pulling the strings all along.
    • The Yuuzhan Vong have a whole succession of leaders throughout the series, each of whom inevitably is convinced he is/ought to be in command of the whole invasion: Prefect Da'Gara of the Praetorite, who isn't even a warrior (the title makes him a high-level bureaucrat. Seriously, no wonder he lost); Shedao Shai, fleet commander; Nas Choka, supreme commander; Tsavong Lah, Warmaster, who actually is in charge of the warrior caste; B'shith Vorrik, fleet commander in the campaign against the Imperial Remnant; Supreme Overlord Shimrra; and Onimi.
  • In the Dark Nest Trilogy, the titular Hive Mind, controlled by Lomi Plo.
  • Disra, Tierce, and Flim, the three Imperials who created the hoax of Thrawn's rebirth, in the Hand of Thrawn duology.
  • In the Legacy of the Force series, Lady Lumiya was the one who set things up, but as she is killed half-way through, in the end the role falls to her protege, Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus. As well, Thrackan Sal-Solo returns; he likes to think he's in charge of the separatist forces. He is actually a credible threat, too, with his contacts. Until he gets shot.
  • The Fate of the Jedi series brings us the mysterious but undeniably powerful Abeloth.
  • The Lando Calrissian Adventures features Rokur Gepta, the last Sorcerer of Tund. In the first book, he tries to con Lando (whom he selected essentially at random) into finding an ancient artifact for him. When Lando outsmarts him, he becomes so obsessed about taking his revenge that he abandons his plans to subvert Palpatine's Empire to spend the next two books chasing one guy across the galaxy and making his life hell.
  • The Galaxy of Fear series is set soon after A New Hope. The villain behind all the events of the first six books is in the Emperor's employ and sometimes gets examined by Vader, but he's allowed a lot of discretion and neither the Emperor nor Vader have much of a hand in those events. So for those six books it is Borborygmus Gog who is the Big Bad. For the rest of the series our heroes are fleeing The Empire, but there's no coordinated effort to catch them.
  • Cleanly averted in the standalone novel Death Star. The book has no overall villain; the closest thing is the Rebellion which is at best a recurring antagonist to the Imperial characters.
  • In the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy, Prince Xizor is the Big Bad of the flashback arc, orchestrating events to destroy the political power of the Bounty Hunters' Guild and leave a large assortment of freelance bounty hunters for the Empire's use. In the "current" arc, the Big Bad is Kuat of Kuat, CEO of the most powerful shipyards in the galaxy, Kuat Drive Yards. Kuat of Kuat is trying to kill Fett to cover up a defunct, now inconvenient conspiracy against Xizor.
  • In Shadows of the Empire, Prince Xizor is the Big Bad.
  • Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the earliest Legends novel, has Darth Vader.
  • The Glove of Darth Vader has Trioculus and "Supreme Prophet of the Dark Side" Kadann (later retconned to be an Imperial agent posing as Kadann).
  • The Jedi Academy Trilogy has several alternating Big Bads. The first book of the series is Jedi Search, and the Big Bads are Moruth Doole, administrator of the prison world Kessel, and Natasi Daala, admiral of an Imperial superweapon facility and fleet cut off from the rest of the galaxy. In Dark Apprentice, it's the ancient Sith spirit Exar Kun, who possesses a powerful but inexperienced and embittered Jedi apprentice named Kyp Durron. Imperial Ambassador Furgan also serves as a Big Bad. In the final book of the trilogy, Champions of the Force, Daala, Exar, and Furgan all serve as Big Bads. In I, Jedi, retroactively inserted into the same time period, the Big Bads are Exar Kun and Leonia Tavira, an Imperial admiral leading a group of space pirates and Force sensitives.
  • In Children of the Jedi, the first book of the unofficial Callista Trilogy, the Big Bad is Roganda Ismaren, a former agent of the Emperor and Jedi initiate trying to gain control of the Eye of Palpatine superweapon. In Darksaber, the second book, the Big Bads are Durga the Hutt and Daala. In the third book, Planet of Twilight, the Big Bad is sentient droch Dzym, who tries to unleash the Death Seed Plague in order to quench his thirst for draining life.
  • The first six books of the Young Jedi Knights series, the "Rise of the Shadow Academy" arc, the Big Bads are a cabal of rogue Imperial Royal Guards, who are manipulating Brakiss, the faux Big Bad. The next five books, "The Fall of the Diversity Alliance," feature rabid anti-Human terrorist Nolaa Tarkona.
  • The Big Bad of the Jedi Apprentice series is Qui-Gon Jinn's ex-Padawan, Xanatos, though individual books might have their own Big Bad, with Xanatos sometimes being the Greater-Scope Villain. He directly serves as Big Bad in The Dark Rival (Book 2), The Captive Temple (Book 7), and The Day of Reckoning (Book 8).
  • For Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, the Big Bad is Darth Sidious.
  • The Big Bad of the Jedi Quest series is Granta Omega, Xanatos's son, though like its predecessor series, Jedi Apprentice, some books had an individual Big Bad, with Omega often being the Greater-Scope Villain.
  • In The Approaching Storm, the Big Bad is a Hutt called Soergg, who is attempting to manipulate the planet Ansion into joining the Separatists, which would mean a host of planets, due to an entangling alliance, would follow. Shu Mai, leader of the Commerce Guild and Separatist backer, might also qualify, as she is the one who hires Soergg to do this.
  • The Big Bads of The Han Solo Trilogy alternate. The Big Bad of the first book, The Paradise Snare, is the t'landa Til "High Priest" Teroenza, who runs a spice-treatment operation as a sham religious retreat. The Greater-Scope Villain behind him is Aruk the Hutt, leader of the cartel that owns the operation. The Big Bad of The Hutt Gambit is Moff Sarn Shild, who leads an assault on the smuggling "capital" of Nar Shaddaa as a prelude for his plans to carve out his own independent domain in the galaxy's Outer Rim. It's implied, however, that the Greater-Scope Villain is Palpatine, who used the Force to manipulate Shild in order to commit treason to give him a pretext to remove him from power. In Rebel Dawn, Teroenza is the main villain, though Han's old flame and Rebel leader Bria Tharen might count. While definitely not "bad," she tricks the smugglers, including Han, into attacking Teroenza's operation in order to seize its wealth for the Rebel cause.
  • The Big Bads of the "Boba Fett" series (featuring a young Boba Fett) vary. The first book lacks a Big Bad, but the second, Crossfire, has two: Count Dooku, who is prepared to kill Boba to prevent him from telling anyone that he is both the leader of the Separatists and the creator of the Republic's army, and Aurra Sing, who covets his father's wealth. Aurra remains the Big Bad for the third book, Maze of Deception. Hunted, the fourth book, features Gilramos Libkath, a small-time crime lord who uses children as his minions and Durge, who wants to kill Boba out of his deep-rooted hatred for Mandalorians. In A New Threat, Wat Tambor is the Big Bad by default of being the villain Fett is hired to kill. In the final book, Pursuit, the main antagonist is Mace Windu.
  • Tatooine Ghost has Grand Admiral Thrawn as the Big Bad. Interestingly, neither he nor the New Republic realize that he's the Big Bad. He's simply attempting to purchase a piece of art, which happens to contain the communications device linking the New Republic to its numerous spies. The New Republic, on the other hand, only knows that some mysterious Imperial is trying to purchase it.
  • In Shatterpoint, the Big Bad is a powerful dark-side-using Force Adept called Kar Vastor.
  • In Labyrinth of Evil, it's Palpatine himself.
  • Outbound Flight: The two Big Bads are Palpatine and the Miskara, leader of an expansionist alien species known the Vagaari.
  • In the first book of the Republic Commando Series, Hard Contact, the Big Bad is a Separatist scientist named Ovolot Qail Uthan, who was developing a virus targeting Fett clones. In Triple Zero it's Perrive, leader of a Separatist terrorist cell. True Colors has no Big Bad, but Order 66 has Palpatine. Though he has no direct involvement in the plot, the characters of the series recognize that Palpatine is unlikely to appreciate Imperial soldiers going AWOL, or taking an ex-Jedi with them. 501st also lacks a Big Bad.
  • Darth Vader is both the Big Bad and the Villain Protagonist of Dark Lord—The Rise of Darth Vader.
  • The first volume of Star Wars: Legacy and its sequel Legacy - War has Darth Krayt, otherwise known as A'Sharad Hett with Darth Wyyrlok as The Dragon though his role is later taken up by Darth Talon, Darth Nihl and Darth Stryfe. The second volume of the comic series has Nihl fulfill this role after Krayt is killed by Cade.
  • The Big Bad of Star Wars: Allegiance is the corrupt governor Barshnis Choard, who seeks to carve out his own independent state in the Shelsha sector.
  • Darth Bane is the Big Bad of the eponymous Darth Bane trilogy. The main antagonists, however, differ by book. In the first book, Path of Destruction, the primary antagonist is Kaan, rival Sith Lord and leader of the Brotherhood of Darkness. In Rule of Two, Johun Othone, a Jedi Knight, is the primary antagonist. In Dynasty of Evil, the primary antagonist is Darth Zannah, his apprentice who, according to the Rule of Two he himself instituted, seeks to supplant him as Sith Master.
  • In Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor the Big Bad is Lord Cronal, also known as Blackhole or Shadowspawn, an Emperor's Hand who held to a philosophy known as the Way of the Dark, a nihilistic view that stated that everything was doomed ultimately to destruction, and goals dedicated to destruction or achieved through destructive means would succeed.
  • The Truce at Bakura has a Big Bad Ensemble of Admiral Ivpikkis, the commander of the Ssi-ruuk forces that attack Bakura, and Governor Wilek Nereus, the Imperial leader who plans to betray the rebels as soon as they have got rid of the Ssi-ruuk for him.
  • The Crystal Star has Lord Hethrir as the Big Bad.
  • The New Rebellion has Kueller (AKA Dolph), a former student of Luke's who turned to the Dark Side after his family were killed and wants to kill Luke and Leia to become the most powerful Force-user in the galaxy and take over the New Republic.
  • The Last of the Jedi series has Emperor Palpatine as the Big Bad, with Darth Vader as The Heavy.

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