While the Star Wars saga focuses heavily on the traditional “Good vs. Evil” battle between the Sith and the Jedi, the morally gray bounty hunters often on the outskirts of the story are some of the most interesting characters in the Star Wars Universe. Usually serving as peripheral roles in the movies, bounty hunters have become a huge part of the franchises’ several TV shows, comics and Expanded Universe materials, with their more human struggles perhaps being more relatable, complex and interesting than those of the Jedi and the Sith.
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One of the great things about the exploration of bounty hunters in the Star Wars Universe is that the community is so insular that many of its characters have complicated histories, colorful backstories and constantly shifting alliances, making their stories engaging and fun to read — and often sparks fan speculation about the hierarchy of bounty hunters. With that in mind, as well the hotly anticipated release of The Last Jedi, here’s our ranking of the 15 most dangerous bounty hunters in the galaxy. For the purposes of this list, we’re excluding characters who exist solely outside of Star Wars’ main canon, though some moments from Legends may be referenced when talking about existing characters.
Although he meets his fate relatively early on in A New Hope, Greedo is a more formidable bounty hunter than he’s often given credit for. As well as being considered competent enough to seek out bounties for criminal overlord Jabba the Hut, he’s also seen under the employ of the Trade Federation in Clone Wars, where he’s tasked with kidnapping the daughters of Baron Papanoida.
While it’s true that many of the Rodian bounty hunter’s plans have a tendency to go awry, Greedo’s relentlessly slimy personality as well as his penchant for trickery and violence make him a constant thorn in the side to everyone around him; and that’s enough to secure him a spot on this list — even if it is at the bottom.
14. ZAM WESELL
While Zam Wesell catches a lot of heat for failing to assassinate a slumbering Padmé Amidala in Attack of the Clones, it’s only the interference of two incredibly powerful Jedi — Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker — that stops her from doing so. Belonging to the reptilian Clawdite race, Zam Wesell is a changeling who can imitate almost any humanoid form, making her useful for a whole host of bounty hunting duties.
In her two attempts on Amidala’s life — which include a bombing on the senator’s ship and an attempted poisoning via kouhuns — Wesell has demonstrated the ability to approach her work with both a guns-blazing attitude as well as a more clandestine approach, with her complete disregard for collateral damage making her an even more deadly figure.
One of the six bounty hunters hired by Darth Vader to track down and capture Han Solo in the fallout from the Battle of Hoth, 4-LOM is a LOM-series protocol droid who managed to break free from his programming, allowing him to follow his apparent dream of becoming a spacefaring bounty hunter.
Although 4-LOM’s appearance in the main Star Wars canon is very limited, he quickly became a fan favorite due to his cold demeanor and intimidating insectoid design, resulting in the character garnering much more attention in Star Wars Legends. Giving him a fully-fledged backstory while detailing the impressive extent of his skills and accomplishments, Legends may not be canon, but sheds a great deal of light on why Vader picked him in the first place.
Friend and frequent associate of fellow bounty hunter 4-LOM, the similarly insectoid Zuckuss was also eyed by Darth Vader for the Han Solo job in Empire Strikes Back. This wasn’t his first job for Vader however, having been hired by the Sith Lord to retrieve Doctor Chelli Aphra from the clutches of the Rebel Alliance in the wake of the Battle of Yavin.
Hailing from the planet Gand, Zuckuss also battles with schizophrenia, which causes him to unpredictably flit back and forth from calm, prudent and smart to brash and violent. Even so, Zuckuss appears to have more moral fiber than most bounty hunters — eventually using his skills to assist the Rebel Alliance alongside 4-LOM.
11. CATO PARASITTI
Belonging to the same species as Zam Wesell, Cato Parasitti is a formidable Clawdite bounty hunter with an impressive reputation for infiltration and thievery thanks to her shapeshifting ability. Even managing to slip into a Jedi Temple to steal a holocron for Cad Bane in Clone Wars, Parasitti was incredibly close to success, only to be captured by precocious Padawan Ahsoka Tano, though Bane still escaped with the holocron.
Perhaps more impressively, Parasitti manages to hold her own against Tano in a lightsaber battle despite presumably never having used one before, showing a considerable amount of natural skill in combat. A renowned and unscrupulous assassin, Parasitti is known for her cold, merciless demeanor and vast hunger for credits — which her employers happily indulge if it means adopting Parasitti’s lethal talents.
Becoming a memorable fan favorite despite his fleeting appearance in Empire Strikes Back, it soon became apparent why Darth Vader hired IG-88 to track down and capture Han Solo. Programmed to be a powerful and efficient assassin, IG-88 immediately murdered his creators upon achieving sentience, gaining a superiority complex and subsequently uploading his consciousness into several other identical droids.
Quickly building a reputation as a ruthless bounty hunter, it didn’t take long for IG-88 to rise to the top of the criminal underworld. The perpetually scheming droid even managed to transfer his consciousness into the second Death Star in Legends, hoping to take control of every droid in the galaxy — but is luckily brought down in the destruction of the superweapon.
Reaching the peak of his career during his youth in the Clone Wars, Dengar has long been regarded one of the most skilled bounty hunters out there. Quick-tempered and violent, Dengar has a dangerous tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, rather than taking the more cautious approach of most of his peers.
Adept in the use of his signature heavy weaponry, Dengar isn’t above using the weighty gun to beat his opponents to death, and also happens to be highly skilled in physical combat. With an extremely colorful criminal history under his belt, Dengar is one of the galaxy’s most experienced bounty hunters — though despite his brutal, often villainous career, he was eventually convinced by Jas Emari to assist the Republic in the Battle of Jakku, earning a pardon in the process.
Skilled in the use of a bowcaster, Embo’s signature talent is the ability to use his round, metallic headpiece as a shield to tremendous effect. Although he’s been shown to be remorseless regarding his targets, Embo has also performed several good deeds during his time as a bounty hunter, proving himself to be surprisingly empathetic, developing close bonds with those he works alongside.
While he’s certainly worked for some less than savory figures during his impressive career, his altruistic side has often prevailed, as is evidenced by his protection of a small village from a band of rampaging pirates and even his decision to join Jas Emari and Dengar in the Battle of Jakku — after which he also gained a pardon from the Republic.
Arguably the most imposing of the bounty hunters hired by Darth Vader, Bossk’s Trandoshan heritage dictates his proclivity for hunting down others — particularly Wookies. Skilled in the use of various weapons and hand-to-hand combat, Bossk remained a highly sought-after bounty hunter for decades due to his incredible track record and ability to work alone or as part of a team.
Having teamed up with the likes of Aurra Sing and even Padawan-in-the-making Ezra Bridger, Bossk also became a mentor of sorts to a young, recently orphaned Boba Fett, though the pair were promptly apprehended after attempting to kill Mace Windu — the man responsible for Jango Fett’s death. Amongst the most respected of the bounty hunters in Boba Fett’s syndicate, Bossk is one criminal you certainly don’t want to cross.
6. BLACK KRRSANTAN
Resembling Chewbacca’s evil doppelganger, Black Krrsantan is a bitter, vicious Wookie with immense strength, wielding a bowcaster as his weapon of choice. Considered by Jabba the Hut to be one of his two best bounty hunters — the other being Boba Fett — Black Krrsantan is also the only Wookie to ever willingly enter the Wookie fighting pits, quickly coming out on top with his unmatched talent for savagery and violence.
In fact, Black Krrsantan is such a formidable opponent that he even managed to fight Obi Wan Kenobi during his self-imposed exile on Tatooine — coming shockingly close to defeating him in the process. As if that wasn’t enough, Krrsantan has also taken on Chewbacca, Han Solo, R2-D2 and C-3PO at the same time and lived to tell the tale. Long story short, Black Krrsantan is an example of why you always “let the Wookie win”.
5. JANGO FETT
Easily one of the most important bounty hunters in the entire Star Wars canon, Jango Fett’s physical prowess and considerable skill with blasters, jet packs, explosives, whipcords and flame projectors — amongst various other tools — caught the attention of the nefarious Count Dooku, who singled out Fett as the genetic template for his army of clones.
Fett’s aptitude for combat was so strong that he could even hold his own against powerful Jedi, besting and outmanoeuvring Obi Wan Kenobi on Kamino and swiftly dispatching Coleman Trebor during the Battle of Geonosis. Though he’d meet his fate at the hands of Mace Windu during the battle, his legacy would live on in the form of the clone army he’d helped create, as well as his son — and notorious bounty hunter in his own right — Boba Fett.
4. AURRA SING
Without a doubt one of the deadliest shots in the galaxy, Aurra Sing is a career criminal whose true heritage is unknown — although it’s suspected she’s some variety of human hybrid. A hot commodity in the bounty hunting business, Sing has one of the largest networks of contacts in the industry. Having worked with the likes of Bossk, Jango Fett, Hondo Ohnaka and Cad Bane just to name a few, Sing also helped train a rookie Boba Fett — teaching him in the art of murder and demonstrating the lack of conscience required to survive in the business.
Infamous for her ruthlessness, expertise and tendency to turn on her allies in a second, Aurra Sing kills without remorse, caring little for bystanders, innocents and even her friends should they get in her way. Able to coldly snipe her targets from afar or gleefully dispatch them up close and personal, Aurra Sing’s crosshairs are the last place you want to find yourself.
3. BOBA FETT
Undoubtedly the most recognizable character on this list, Boba Fett and his iconic Mandalorian armor have ingrained themselves into pop culture despite their relatively short screen time. Trained by some of the best bounty hunters in the galaxy, Boba Fett soon went from student to master, managing to track down and capture Han Solo for Darth Vader — something even the best of the best couldn’t pull off.
One of the most popular characters in Star Wars, Boba Fett’s cool, mysterious demeanor in his initial appearances spawned dozens and dozens of stories involving the bounty hunter — some canon and some not so much — that widened his mythology and painted him as a true legend in the Star Wars Universe. Something of a morally ambiguous character, Boba Fett has been portrayed as everything from straight-up villain to roguish hero — and everything in between — but unfortunately his humiliating death in Return of the Jedi stops him from making the top spot.
2. ASAJJ VENTRESS
One of the more interesting characters in the Clone Wars series, Asajj Ventress started out her training as a Padawan, before giving into her intense anger and turning to the dark side. There, under the tutelage of Count Dooku, she trained as a Sith assassin, becoming so powerful that Palpatine began to see her as a threat, and ordered her death at the hands of Dooku.
Escaping her former master’s betrayal, Ventress remained in the shadows, taking on work as a bounty hunter where she used her raw power to get ahead. A vicious, unyielding warrior, Ventress became the most unstoppable force in the criminal underworld, before her light side began to resurface, setting her on a redemptive path. Gradually forming an uneasy alliance with several Jedi including Ahsoka Tano, Ventress ultimately sacrificed her life to save Jedi and undercover bounty hunter Quinlan Vos from the clutches of the Dark Side.
1. CAD BANE
Taking on a Wild West aesthetic in his design, Cad Bane is the definitive outlaw in the Star Wars Universe, his deadly exploits making him a legend across the galaxy in a similar vain to infamous outlaws Jesse James and Billy the Kid, with Bane even using a stylish pair of blaster pistols as his primary weapon.
Able to perform incredible feats normally presumed impossible, Cade Bane has captured Jedi, infiltrated Jedi Temples, orchestrated high-security prison breaks and kidnapped high-level politicians. Considering no job to be beneath him, Cad Bane is as cruel and unflinching in his methods as his reputation would suggest. As well as being a criminal mastermind, Cad Bane is also incredibly competent in battle, his unmatched finesse and ability to think on his feet allowing him to defeat Jedi on a regular basis — even making Anakin Skywalker himself look foolish on several occasions.
Who’s your favorite bounty hunter in the Star Wars Universe? Let us know in the comments section!
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