In the decades’ star wars has existed, a number of terrifying villains have populated its world. A number of them have been iconic and badass. Now, the reason why they are iconic is not just because they were badass, but because this badassery was accompanied by great character development.
After all, most of the villains in Star Wars are beloved by fans for this reason.
What most of these villains have in common is the fact that they all possess high levels of intelligence. In fact, if a villain wants to succeed in the Star Wars galaxy, then having intelligence is a must. So let us check out all the baddies who possessed some major brains along with their brawns.
Seeing General Grievous at number 10 would be shocking to many. After all, many consider him to not have much brains at all. However, the correct term would be that- we aren‘t shown often just how smart he is. So to the audiences, he comes across as saying less smart than the rest of his Separatists leaders.
However, it must be said that Grievous was certainly smart enough to learn how to wield a lightsaber. Also, since he also led the battle droids into battle, so he certainly wasn‘t dumb. Along with this, we must also mention that with help, he was also able to outmanoeuvre the forces of the Galactic Republic.
However, even with that, we still have to say that he simply doesn’t have the wisdom that his fellow Clone Wars or Skywalker Saga villains possess.
If there’s a list of underrated Star Wars villains, then the Grand Inquisitor is bound to be on it. He was once a Jedi temple guard but came to be known as The Inquisitorius under Vader. Later on, we saw him as the main villain of the first season of Star Wars Rebels.
As the Grand Inquisitor, he studied the archives of the Jedi to know his enemies better. Also, his intelligence shined through with the way he spoke and the words he used. We must also mention the fact that allowing himself to die rather than facing Vader was a smart choice.
The disappointing part is that fans just don’t have enough information on him. So there are no great feats to judge his intelligence on. As such, he gets a spot at number 9.
If we make a list of the best female villains in Star Wars, then Asajj Ventress undoubtedly takes the top spot. Not only was she a force to reckon with in The Clone Wars, but she enjoyed an overall great character arc as well. After all, who can forget just how emotional her arc was in Dark Disciple.
We can gush endlessly about her, but let us talk about her intelligence a little. A whole lot of Ventress’s brains is reflected in her cunning plans. After all, we see her always outsmarting some of the best Jedi’s like Obi-Wan and Anakin in the very moment.
Now, this is even more impressive because she isn‘t a history student or a leader. So she is just naturally smart or rather the right word would be that she is resourceful. Viewers who have watched the Clone Wars must have been able to conclude her high intelligence levels just by watching her survive as just a bounty hunter after she got defeated by Dooku.
Gideon is definitely most famous for being a ruthless tactician who uses psychological manipulation in his combat. Along with this, he has undertaken scientific experiments about the force as well. Not to mention that he is also quite well versed and knowledgeable about other cultures too, for example, the Mandalorians.
Now, Gideon takes this low spot because he hasn’t shown up much in Star Wars canon. As a result, just like the Grand Inquisitor, fans don’t know much about him or have seen him carry out impressive feats of intelligence to judge just how much brains he has. Due to this, he gets the 7th spot on this list.
However, we believe that if he appears in canon more and we do get to see just how intelligent he is, then he will get a slot in the top half of this list.
Kylo Ren is mostly familiar to us as the angsty emo boy who went bad. We know that when it comes to using the force, he had a tonne of potential. But we also feel like he had a lot of brains too, which sadly, like his Force potential, went underdeveloped. As a result, he gets the number 6 position.
Kylo, the newly minted leader studied both the dark side and Jedi lore so that he could know about the Force and wield it better. Also, Ben was a fan of traditional Jedi weaponry and also studied calligraphy. Avid fans will know that calligraphy was a lost traditional art at that time. So the fact that he was able to study it and practise it talks about his intelligence.
Also, it must be mentioned that Kylo had incredibly smart parents and an uncle, Luke Skywalker, who is simply the greatest (or at least one of them) and most powerful Jedi ever. So, being smart is just in Kylo’s blood.
Count Dooku is immensely intellectual and he appreciates the finer things in life. The reason why he gets the number 5 spot above Kylo and others is because we actually get to see his intellectual feats. Also, he is a well-respected combatant who loves blade-to-blade fights.
This once-a-Jedi became a Sith apprentice and with that, he achieved a greater understanding of what is called The Force. After all, he finally could see the two point-of-views. Apart from this, he was a great manipulator and a shrewd politician too. After all, he did manipulate millions when he led the Separatists.
Darth Maul is the picture of anger, hate, and vengeance. A lot of his hatred is directed towards Obi-Wan Kenobi, but there’s some left for Darth Sidious as well. But, to his credit, his rage never blinds him and so he is able to show his smarts quite a lot in canon.
For one, he is a skilled fighter who is cunning as well as stealthy. Also along with Maul, he is a great manipulator as well. Did we mention that this man was a great military and political strategist as well who built his own criminal empire and tricked Mandalore too! Phew. Now did we miss anything? Oh yes, Maul even escaped from General Grievous, Count Dooku, and Sidious too.
This just shows that this man has plenty of brains.
When Star Wars fans think of Vader they immediately think of the words powerful and badass. Now, this is perhaps why Vader’s intelligence is so underrated. But we do know that Vader was a skilled engineer and mechanic while being a master combatant as well. A great display of his power and intelligence is the fact that he adapted his fighting style to his form after transformation.
Not to mention that he had a deep understanding as well as knowledge of how the Force works as well. Along with this, he was a great strategist and leader for the Empire and the Republic. But that’s not all. He also knew multiple languages like Huttese and native Sith.
So, undoubtedly Vader deserves the number 3 spot. Know that no matter how we arranged Dooku, Kylo, and Maul, it’s undisputed that Vader would always come out on top of the pack.
Now, you must have noticed that everyone on this list is generally known for their brawns and power over their brains. However, this is not the case for Thrawn. This character is known for his genius of mind.
Mitth’raw’nuruodo or Grand Admiral Thrawn is considered by a large portion of the Star Wars fandom as the Empire’s greatest strategic mind. After all, Thrawn’s genius wasn’t limited to just military strategy, he had a vast knowledge about other things as well.
For one, he knew and spoke three languages and studied various historical cultures. This knowledge allowed him an advantage over them, as he could then figure out ways to turn the tide against them.
We know that Thrawn didn’t quite understand politics. So his tactical military decisions impressed many while also upsetting quite a lot of them as well. But Thrawn actually knew that this was a weakness. So he aimed to use it to his advantage. This is why he gets this cozy number 2 spot on our list.
No character is more worthy of the number one spot than Sidious. Sheev Palpatine was vastly knowledgeable about the Force. In fact, his knowledge was only dwarfed or challenged by Yoda. Apart from this, Sheev Palpatine was definitely one of the most successful manipulators in Star Wars history as well.
One of his most impressive manipulation tricks was on the Jedi Order. Also, a huge proof of his brains is in the fact that he was able to master all kinds of lightsaber forms and of course, survive after death as well. So no matter what, Sidious is definitely the man with the greatest brains.
So here’s our list of the best Star Wars villains ranked on the basis of their intelligence. What do you think of this? Would you have changed some spots? Let us know.