The excitement for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” seems to have no end. The seventh episode in the franchise has cleared the $1 billion mark in worldwide grosses as it sits in the number-10 spot on the all-time list, and is eyeing the domestic box0office crown currently held by “Avatar” ($760.5 million) as soon as New Year’s Day.
What really makes “The Force Awakens” work so well, at the end of the day, are the characters, some we’ve grown up watching and others we’re meeting for the first time but who’ve already left an indelible mark.
Here we analyse all the characters in the movie and rank them, moving up to the very best.
(It should be noted we’re judging how good the characters are only within the context of “Force Awakens.”)
Warning: spoilers for the movie below.
There always has to be a sniveling evil henchman, and General Hux is that in 'The Force Awakens.' But outside of trying to one-up Kylo Ren and giving bombastic speeches to the troops at Starkiller Base, there isn't much to Hux. Guess there's always next movie.
Admiral Statura is among the heads of the Resistance who figure out how to take on Starkiller Base. Jury is still out if this was just a role for an actor director J.J. Abrams likes to use (he was in 'Lost'), or if there's more to the character beyond 'Awakens.'
Yes, the whole story revolves around trying to find Luke, but it was kind of a bummer when we finally saw him. All we got was a stare. He will have more of a presence in the future movies, but there wasn't much payoff for all the buildup (and media hype around his role here).
Outside of wondering why 3PO now has a red arm, there wasn't anything new to the character. Always convinced the end is near but never at a loss for a quick one-liner, he was indeed the ol' 'goldenrod,' but we all seemed happy with the limited screen time given.
Seeing that both groups were in the same scene, we figured we'd clump them together on the list. Han and Chewbacca's smuggling ship becomes the site of a crazy battle with a large Rathtar and these two gangs that are looking to collect money from Han.
The highlight is that the Kanjiklub is led by the actors of popular Indonesian martial-arts franchise 'The Raid,' Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian. But sadly, they don't throw a single punch in the whole sequence.
This former smuggler joined the Rebels in the original trilogy. He's best known for riding shotgun when Lando Calrissian took out the Death Star while piloting the Millennium Falcon in 'Return of the Jedi.' Now an X-Wing fighter for the Resistance, he's a familiar face during the attack on Starkiller Base.
The holder of Luke's whereabouts, this member of the Church of the Force doesn't get much screen time in 'Awakens,' but that's never stopped the franchise from continuing storylines. Here's hoping there's more coming.
Played by another actor Abrams likes to feature, 'Snap' has all the makings to be placed in the pantheon of fearless X-Wing fighters like Jek Porkins, Wedge Antilles, and Biggs Darklighter. Expect to see more of him in future battles.
The cameo by the Admiral likely has to do with him becoming a meme sensation since 'Return of the Jedi.' It was a nice piece of nostalgia by Abrams. But is this the last we'll see of him?
You have to admit, 007 dressing as a stormtrooper to do a cameo is pretty cool. And playing the one Rey uses as her first mind-trick victim is the answer to a trivia question in the making.
Is she the new Yoda or just a barkeep who keeps hidden treasures in her clutter? Maz is one of the new characters who need more explanation for us to fully appreciate.
Portrait by Andrew Theophilopoulos.
Fanboy Simon Pegg got to live out his dream and act in a 'Star Wars' movie. His character is the perfect example of how Abrams went back to the style of the original trilogy, as Pegg was inside a suit (not CGI) to play Unkar, the stingy Jakku junk boss who has used the Millennium Falcon as his home -- until Rey and Finn use it to escape from the First Order.
Not to say Abrams was anti-CGI...
Like Maz, Snoke is a character created through computer graphics magic. As with many of the characters already listed here, we have more questions about Snoke than answers. All we know for sure is he's got the evil thing down.
One character I'm hoping to see more of is this mercenary who alerted the First Order of Finn being at Maz's cantina. Or perhaps she's better suited for one of the anthology films. Here's hoping she got out of that cantina before the First Order demolished it.
Leia comes into the story when a lot of the drama begins to build. Where she fits in Rey's life is obviously a big question going forward. And it would be nice if she sees a little more action.
With the death of Han Solo, Chewie's part in this episode is very poignant. It was fun to see the Solo/Chewie banter early in the movie, but by the end he has a blind rage that was fascinating to watch.
R2 has all the answers, and that continued in 'Episode VII.' The interaction with BB-8 was great and its connection with Luke has hit an all-time high.
We needed more Captain Phasma! We're promised more in the coming movies, which is good, but it would have been great if there were a couple more scenes of her in 'Awakens.' The potential for this character to be a fan favourite is off the charts.
The personality in BB-8 is a marvel to watch. With just a few noises and a slight turn of its round body, it can convey more than most of the living characters in the movie can. And the flame thumbs-up to Finn is one of the most ingenious things I saw at the movies this year.
Turns out this was the coda for our favourite space scoundrel. He certainly went out with a bang, as a portion of the movie is in some ways a celebration of Solo. A fitting goodbye.
Though by the end we know who the real lead in the movie is, Finn is still a great character to follow. Escaping the brainwashing of the First Order and stumbling into the Resistance, Boyega plays the role with a mix of comedy and intensity that's fun to watch.
It's going to be a little tougher to find an actor for the young Han Solo movie, because Disney essentially already has one. Isaac, from when he first comes on the screen, has that swagger that exudes a young Solo. But we'll take him as Poe, too. He was just born to be in a 'Star Wars' movie.
The performance that Adam Driver gives as a conflicted pupil of the Dark Side is such a revelation. I didn't think the 'Star Wars' franchise could create a character like this. The daddy issues, the spouts of rage -- it's everything George Lucas tried to make Anakin Skywalker but couldn't pull off.
In a franchise that has historically given actresses little to do, Abrams makes a statement by having the person who carries this movie and ultimately the movies going forward be a strong-willed, no-nonsense woman. She's independent to the point that she get annoyed when Finn tries to pull her when they are running from danger. But outside of that, Ridley just has amazing acting chops. She gives Rey a range of emotions that isn't often seen in this franchise. The future looks bright.
We have to give a shoutout to the fastest bucket of bolts in the galaxy. It got more screen time than some of the characters on this list, and there's nothing wrong with that. With advanced CGI technology, we got to see the Falcon in a way we've never seen before.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.