Star Wars is home to some of the most illustrious villains and antagonists of all time. The original trilogy introduced fans to illustrious like names Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett. Even the prequels saw the emergence memorable baddies such as Darth Maul, Count Dooku, and General Grievous.
So Disney had to know going into the latest installment in the saga that casting an appropriate adversary was vital to its success. And while fans have certainly been voicing different opinions on the current series, many have agreed that Adam Driver’s performance as Kylo Ren has been a standout.
So much so in fact, that the character has been voted as the seventh-greatest movie villain of all-time by Empire magazine readers. In that seventh slot, Ren placed ahead of Anton Chigurh, Voldemort, and Alien’s Xenomorph. He also beat out the aforementioned Emperor himself, Palpatine, who came in fifteenth on the list.
While some may argue regarding his placement, there is no denying the names that finished above him: Darth Vader, Ledger’s Joker, Loki, Hans Gruber, Hannibal Lecter, and Hans Landa. Of that top 10, there are four Oscar-winning performances.
The most interesting thing about the poll is that Empire launched it on December 15, 2017. This means that the census doesn’t even account for what the character did in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
While Star Wars: The Force Awakens does see Ren murder innocent villagers, torture prisoners with the Force, and commit patricide by killing Han Solo, the beginning of Star Wars: The Last Jedi conveyed there was still hope for Ren to not be evil at some point. A point which doesn’t seem to be up for debate any longer, following his actions in the latest film.
With all the events of that movie in mind, it would be interesting to see where Kylo Ren ended up on the list had it been taken after the latest installment. Even more so, where he lies after his arc seemingly concludes in Episode IX.
The full list, and its order, will be available in the latest issue of Empire, which hits shelves on Thursday, January 25, 2018.