Star Wars has had its fair share of villains. Darth Vader, General Grievous, The Emperor, Darth Maul, and Count Dooku are all compelling, intimidating, and iconic in their own right. However, no Star Wars project has had better villains than The Clone Wars. Whether it’s returning villains or original villains, the TV show has a fantastic roster of villains. So with that, here are the best villains in The Clone Wars.
10 General Grievous
General Grievous is an awesome villain, whose role in Revenge of the Sith made him a fan favorite. Grievous’ role isn’t particularly huge in The Clone Wars, especially after its earlier seasons, however, he is responsible for some of the best episodes and moments throughout the first three seasons, including battling Obi-Wan on many occasions, as well as having an exhilarating duel with Kit Fisto. Grievous doesn’t have many complexities about him, but his immorality, memorable voice, awesome design, and the countless Jedi he has killed make for an amazing Star Wars villain.
9 Savage Opress
The Zabrakian brother of Darth Maul is far more intimidating than his older brother. Savage may lack Maul’s power, cunning, and combat ability, however, he more than makes up for it with his large stature and strength. Savage has more than proved himself as a deadly Sith, battling armies with ease, and coming into conflict with Obi-Wan, Anakin, Ventress, Dooku, and Darth Sidious. Likewise, if it wasn’t for Savage, Maul may have never returned.
8 Darth Sidious
As the most powerful Sith Lord in all of Star Wars, Darth Sidious had only a few moments to shine in the movies. However, The Clone Wars gave fans many amazing moments with Darth Sidious that cements his terrifying legend. The Clone Wars delves into Palpatine’s political role in the Senate, as he controls the war and continues to manipulate the galaxy, the Jedi Order, and Anakin.
Behind the scenes as Darth Sidious, Palpatine mostly puppeteered his apprentice, Count Dooku, but when push came to shove, Sidious would do his own dirty work. Sidious took on both Maul and Oppress and came out victorious, and even had a thrilling battle with Grand Master Yoda. It was captivating watching Sidious in The Clone Wars, and the show emphasizes his large role in Star Wars.
7 Pre Vizsla
Voiced by legendary director, Jon Favreau, the terrorist Pre Vizsla became an instant fan favorite. His extremist and traditional views and values were deeply intriguing, and the introduction of the Darksaber made his character far more memorable.
As the leader of the Death Watch, a group of Mandalorian terrorists, Pre Vizsla is one of the deadliest Mandalorians in the galaxy. Vizsla and the Death Watch want Mandalore to go back to its traditions, and Vizsla and his group of terrorists will do anything to achieve that. Vizsla even struck a deal with Maul, allowing Vizsla to overthrow Satine Kryze and rule Mandalore, which inevitably led to his death.
6 Mother Talzin
The Nightsisters are among the most intriguing factions/tribes in Star Wars, and although Asajj Ventress may be the most recognizable of said cult, the all-powerful Mother Talzin certainly deserves the same amount of respect. Mother Talzin may not be able to wield the force, yet her power could easily allow her to come toe to toe with some of the most powerful Jedi and Sith Lords in the franchise.
The mother of the Nightsisters, is capable of using telekinesis to lift any object, including herself. She also has the ability to create voodoo dolls, which she uses on Count Dooku. On top of this, her notable powers include telepathy, teleportation, healing, and possession. Her spooky face paint, intimidating red robe, and haunting voice already make for a terrifying villain, but layer that with her untamed power, and you have one of the best and most powerful villains in The Clone Wars.
5 Count Dooku
Count Dooku was a fan-favorite villain from the prequel era, but he never really had any depth. However, like many characters in the franchise, The Clone Wars delved into Count Dooku’s character and why he left the Jedi Order to become Sidous’ apprentice. The show explored Dooku’s cunning, power, willingness to win the war, and loyalty to his master, Darth Sidious, as he comes up against the Jedi Order and the Republic army countless times.
Dooku trained both Savage Opress and Asajj Ventress, two of the deadliest Sith Lords in the franchise, deepening Dooku’s character as he eventually betrays them both.
4 Asajj Ventress
Ventress is a character who fans quickly fell in love with. However, during the first few seasons, Ventress lacked a character arc that made us truly connect with her. Asajj Ventress has had an incredibly compelling journey throughout the show. First, she was betrayed by Dooku after Darth Sidious feared Ventress’ power, leading Dooku to send an entire droid army after her, and her Nightsisters. From there, she became a bounty hunter, working with Bossk, Dengar, and a young Boba Fett.
After her years of earning a living as a bounty hunter, she was then briefly framed for a bombing on the Jedi Temple, which led Ventress to team up with Ahsoka, and later Anakin, to find who was really responsible. Her curved dual red lightsabers are some of the coolest lightsaber hilts in Star Wars and only enhance the love we have for her character.
3 Pong Krell
The Umbara Arc is without a doubt one of the best story arcs in the show, which is mostly thanks to the phenomenal villain Pong Krell. As much as we love villains we can connect with whose motivations we somewhat understand, sometimes it’s just great to see an utterly loathsome villain who we love to hate.
Pong Krell is bad news from the start, immediately discriminating against Captain Rex and his Clones, treating them as lesser life forms. Yet, it’s the jaw-dropping reveal at the end of the story arc where he forced the Clones to unknowingly kill one another, that cemented Pong Krell as a sensational villain. When the Clones figure this out, however, they all take the fight to Krell where he begins slaughtering them with his dual double-bladed lightsabers. It’s later revealed that Pong Krell fell to the Dark Side after foreseeing the fall of the Republic and the Jedi Order. Krell is a phenomenal villain, who we wish we could have seen more of.
2 Cad Bane
The ruthless Durosian bounty hunter is without a doubt among the best bounty hunters in the franchise. Not purely based on his skill and efficiency to get the job done, but also his incredibly awesome cowboy-inspired aesthetic. Bane has appeared many times in the show, going toe-to-toe with Jedi, kidnapping the Senator, and stealing Holocrons from the Jedi hostage, proving his worth and our love for the character. Cad Bane can pull off any job seamlessly, for the right price, of course.
1 Darth Maul
Aesthetically, the Dathomirian Sith Lord is already a fascinating and mostly awesome character. His costume design, the little horns on his head, his red and black face paint, and most importantly, his double-bladed lightsaber, instantly won him over with fans. Sadly, Maul never really received much depth in The Phantom Menace. However, The Clone Wars gave Maul a compelling character arc that only enhanced our love for the former Sith Lord.
After coming back from the dead, Maul takes Savage Opress as his apprentice. Fueled with vengeance, the two wreak havoc in the galaxy in the hopes of finding Obi-Wan Kenobi. This then leads to the two taking on Asajj Ventress and Obi-Wan Kenobi in a sensational lightsaber duel, with neither side ever getting the upper-hand. From there, Maul defeats Pre Vizsla in combat, claiming ownership of the Darksaber and ruling over Mandalore.
Maul does get some revenge on Kenobi, however, as Maul slaughters Satine Kryze, Obi-Wan’s love interest, right in front of him. His rule over Mandalore greets Maul with an angry Darth Sidious, Maul’s former master, who quickly defeats Maul and Savage in a thrilling duel, where Sidious swiftly kills Savage. After a few seasons of hiding in the shadows, Maul eventually returns in the phenomenal final season of the show, where he takes on a veteran Ahsoka Tano in one of the best duels in the show.
This story originally appeared on Movieweb