The Star Wars cinematic saga features a huge cast of memorable characters who sometimes get exactly what they deserve, for better or worse, while others get away with horrible things or suffer unjustly. It’s not always a fair galaxy in the Star Wars universe, and in the story and on a meta-level, some characters definitely deserved better than they got.
Some of Star Wars‘ noblest, most heroic characters were richly rewarded in the end and found happiness, but even more suffered a horrible fate that they never deserved. Often, this will drive the story forward in grim but fascinating ways, and in other cases, a character deserved a better character arc or more screentime so they could realize their full potential.
10 Obi-Wan Kenobi
The heroic Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi scored some impressive victories in the Star Wars movie saga and died without regrets aboard the Death Star, but he still deserved better than he got. Obi-Wan was always a kind, sympathetic, brave, and idealistic Jedi who experienced constant loss and heartbreak, which greatly saddened fans.
Obi-Wan saw Qui-Gon die before his eyes, and he was also betrayed by the clone troopers when Order 66 was launched. He also lost Anakin as his brother-like apprentice, and then he suffered 20 harsh years on Tatooine, hiding all alone until Luke was ready to become the galaxy’s next hope.
9 Rose Tico
Rose Tico, a Resistance fighter, made her debut in 2017’s The Last Jedi not long after the small Resistance fleet escaped Snoke’s clutches. The Resistance suffered heavy casualties, including Rose’s beloved older sister. When Rose first appeared, she was in tears, still facing her grief.
Rose pulled herself together to undertake a vital mission with Finn for the Resistance’s cause, only to end up captured, betrayed, and nearly executed. After those harrowing experiences, Rose was practically written out of the sequel trilogy—a poor way to end her unfinished and rough character arc.
8 Padme Amidala
Padme Amidala bravely led the battle to retake her homeworld Naboo in 1999’s The Phantom Menace, making her an admirable and likable action heroine. She also did fairly well in 2002’s Attack of the Clones, but by 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, Padme’s character arc was in bad shape.
Padme was reduced to the role of Anakin’s pregnant wife and nothing more, and she was increasingly distressed by the war, the rise of Palpatine, and most of all, Anakin’s betrayal on Mustafar. Padme died heartbroken right after giving birth to Luke and Leia, a tragic and anticlimactic end to her story.
7 Han Solo
At times, the rogue Han Solo actually got exactly what he deserved as a smuggler outlaw who made his own rules, but he was never truly a bad person. Han was a streetwise cynic in 1977’s A New Hope, but then Han became a real hero with a good heart, and that meant he suffered even more, not less.
Han was betrayed by Lando on Cloud City and got frozen in carbonite then got captured by Ewoks and almost roasted alive. A generation later, he had a son with Leia named Ben Solo, only for Ben to turn to the dark side, then murder his compassionate father aboard Starkiller Base.
Chewbacca the Wookiee rogue always had a good heart, and was the most reliable and loyal hero in the original trilogy, even more so than Luke and Han. Chewbacca may be Star Wars‘ noblest hero, but the galaxy didn’t treat him that way, and he suffered many times.
Before meeting Han, Chewbacca was chained up as an executioner beast in a muddy pit, which no Wookiee should be subjected to. Later, Chewbacca was captured and imprisoned in Jabba’s palace, then suffered a devastating personal blow when Han was killed right before his eyes on Starkiller Base.
5 Qui-Gon Jinn
Obi-Wan’s mentor, Qui-Gon Jinn, was once a quintessential Jedi Master as a wise, patient, caring, and selfless warrior who favored diplomacy and defense over sheer aggression. He had a good career as a Jedi, but during the Naboo crisis, everything went sideways.
Qui-Gon never lived to see Anakin welcomed into the Jedi Order as a trainee. Instead, Qui-Gon suffered a humiliating and painful death at Darth Maul’s hands, all because those energy fields switched back on and blocked Obi-Wan from aiding his master in that fateful duel.
4 Galen Erso
Galen Erso was introduced in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as a conflicted and guilt-ridden engineer and family man who cast his lot with the wrong people. He did choose to help design the Death Star, but he had a change of heart and went into hiding with his small family.
Galen wanted and deserved a more thorough chance to regret his involvement with the Empire and redefine his life as a peaceful farmer and family man. However, director Orson Krennic forced him back into the Death Star project, and then he was shot and killed on Eadu just as his daughter Jyn arrived to help him.
3 Admiral Ackbar
Admiral Ackbar is more than a meme with his line “It’s a trap!” He was a major leader of the Rebel Alliance, bravely fighting to free the galaxy from the Empire’s tyrannical grip. He did well in the second Death Star battle and survived, but his luck ran out in The Last Jedi.
The Resistance suffered a serious loss when the aging Admiral Ackbar perished during the space battle with Snoke’s flagship, the Supremacy. He died fighting the good fight, as he probably intended all along, but it’s still a shame Ackbar couldn’t have survived to take part in that final space battle for Exegol, too.
2 Beru & Owen Lars
For storytelling purposes, Owen and Beru Lars can be lumped together as a single character who deserved better than they got. They lived a tough but manageable life as a loving couple on a Tatooine moisture farm, and they adopted Luke not long after the Empire’s rise.
Beru and Owen did what they could to protect Luke from the galaxy’s perils, but then the danger came to them instead. Stormtroopers raided the Lars family farm while Luke was away, and the innocent Lars and Beru were interrogated and then killed off-screen.
Even if C-3PO sometimes annoys Star Wars fans with his constant arguing and worrying, this protocol droid didn’t deserve any of the misfortune he experienced. On Geonosis, for example, he fell into the droid factory and had his head attached to a battle droid’s own, which confused and terrified him.
Later, C-3PO ended up stranded on Tatooine with R2-D2 and was captured by Jawas. Then, C-3PO was dismantled on Cloud City, with only Chewbacca to collect his pieces and get him out of the city. Finally, C-3PO very nearly lost his memories for good in 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker, but R2-D2 helped him recover at the last moment.
NEXT: 10 Best Star Wars Characters, Ranked By Style
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