March 30, 2023

Credit: Marvel Comics

6. Lumiya

Originally known as Shira Brie, this Legends character debuted in the 1970s Star Wars comic books from Marvel. Devoted to the ways of the New Order, Shira quickly rose up the Imperial ranks, and soon found herself serving the Sith Lords directly, taking on assassination missions for both Vader and the Emperor. She trained in the dark side under Vader, and after a fight with Luke Skywalker left her disfigured, Shira was refitted with cybernetic parts and transformed into Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith. Lumiya became one of Luke’s most dangerous nemeses in the comics.

After the deaths of Palpatine and Lord Vader, Lumiya continued the work of the Sith in secret, manipulating galactic events from the shadows as the Emperor once had. Eventually, Lumiya hatched a plan to create a new generation of Sith Lords, a scheme that culminated with the fall of Jacen Solo, Han and Leia’s oldest son, to the dark side. While Lumiya was finally killed by Luke decades after their first meeting, through Jacen’s reign of terror during the twilight years of the Legends timeline, Lumiya secured the long-lasting legacy of the Empire and the Sith.

Grand Inquisitor in Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

5. Grand Inquisitor

The Rebels animated series introduced the shadowy figure known as the Grand Inquisitor, a servant to Darth Vader and the dark sider in charge of hunting down the Jedi and Force-users who had escaped the purge of Order 66. The Grand Inquisitor’s methods were cruel and his blade merciless, striking down even children if need be. And those Jedi who did survive an encounter with this ruthless hunter were tortured and converted into inquisitors themselves, twisted and brainwashed into hunting their own kind for the glory of the Empire.

Even in death, the Grand Inquisitor would often return to continue his work, rising multiple times from his supposed doom like a cockroach. Although he could never pose a threat to Sidious or Vader, the Grand Inquisitor was the soulless mastermind of the deaths of countless people throughout the galaxy.

Grand Admiral Thrawn in Star Wars
Credit: Del Rey/Random House

4. Grand Admiral Thrawn

Grand Admiral Thrawn is arguably the most intelligent military leader to ever serve the Empire. A tactical genius who studied his enemies’ art to better understand their flaws and weaknesses, the Chiss admiral oversaw some of the Empire’s most successful military campaigns, both in the Legends and canon timelines. Although you likely know him from the original trilogy of novels by Timothy Zahn, the heir to the Empire is as much a threat in canon stories like Rebels, where he subjugates planets in the name of the Emperor and leads brutal attacks against the early Rebel Alliance.

Even after he’s been defeated by the good guys, Thrawn pulls a page out of the Emperor’s playbook, usually finding some way to return from the dead. In Legends, he had a clone contingency plan, and in current canon, it sounds like he’s been busy building up his forces in the Unknown Regions. His comeback feels inevitable, and on top of his brilliant mind, that’s what makes him such a scary member of the Empire.

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