15 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'Star Wars' Villains

List Rules
Vote up the most surprising things you learned about the baddest people in the galaxy.

The villains of Star Wars are some of the most memorable characters in the entire series, if not the world of cinema. If you know only one character from the series, chances are it's Darth Vader, and he's far from the only genius villain to be introduced in the Star Wars saga. Some of the best villains in the series are Sith Lords like Emperor Palpatine or Darth Maul, but there are also plenty of Imperial bureaucrats like Grand Moff Tarkin who deliver a more calculated brand of villainy. 

While the cast of characters in any given Star Wars project ranges from truly heroic to downright evil, some of the franchise's most terrible villains ultimately become the best thing about their respective films. Although you may think you know plenty about the world of Star Wars, you may not know these facts about some of the franchise's villains. Take a gander down below and be sure to vote up the facts that surprise you the most below. 

  • 1
    235 VOTES

    Ben Solo Was Not Told His Family History For Years

    Because Leia didn't want to confuse or frighten her son, she didn't tell him about her biological father Anakin, who had been a Jedi and eventually succumbed to the dark side. Although Ben didn't know the exact nature of the secret, he knew that his parents were hiding something from him, and his perception of this secret ultimately fueled his insecurities. 

    Leia wanted Luke to be the one to explain it to Ben when the time was right, but before Ben began training as a Jedi, Snoke had already begun communicating with him telepathically, sowing doubt and insecurity. Eventually, a political smear campaign revealing Leia's true parentage made its way across the galaxy, informing Ben of his heritage before any of the adults in his life could tell him.

  • 2
    226 VOTES

    Count Dooku’s Parents Abandoned Him When He Was A Child

    Count Dooku’s Parents Abandoned Him When He Was A Child
    Photo: Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones / 20th Century Fox

    Count Dooku was born on the planet Serenno to the planet's ruler, Count Gora. Dooku displayed Force sensitivity from an incredibly young age, and his abilities terrified his father, who believed that Force users were "freaks." Gora made contact with the Jedi Order and told them to take his son, but he didn't even wait for the Jedi seekers to arrive before he abandoned him

    He left Dooku on the edge of a forest outside of his palace without any clothes or form of identification. A seeker ultimately rescued him and brought him to the Jedi Temple, but not because his father had any regard for what might happen to him. 

  • 3
    247 VOTES

    Darth Vader First Learned About Luke’s Existence From Boba Fett

    In the wake of the destruction of the first Death Star, Darth Vader went to Jabba the Hutt and wound up getting two of Jabba's best bounty hunters to use however he saw fit. Vader then entrusted Boba Fett with finding the pilot who had destroyed the Death Star and bringing him back to Vader alive

    Boba found Luke on Tatooine and almost defeated him in battle, but Luke eventually got away. Boba then returned to Vader to explain his failure, but also added that he had learned the young pilot's name: Luke Skywalker. In the wake of this revelation, Vader recalled Padme's revelation that she was pregnant, and discovered that the Emperor had told him half-truths about her demise. 

  • 4
    186 VOTES

    Darth Vader Found Exegol Before Kylo Ren

    Darth Vader Found Exegol Before Kylo Ren
    Photo: Marvel

    During the time in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Vader found the Sith world of Exegol. This was during a period when Vader was considering challenging his master's supremacy, but after visiting Exegol, Vader came to believe that he would never be able to defeat Sidious.

    Vader saw the fleet that was part of Sidious's plan around the Final Order, and it was then that he realized how powerful Sidious truly was. Vader then returned to his master's service, and was only persuaded to kill him after he saw the pain that Sidious was willing to inflict on his son. 

  • 5
    211 VOTES

    Darth Sidious Took Maul To Malachor To Experience A Vision Of A Jedi-Sith Conflict

    Darth Sidious Took Maul To Malachor To Experience A Vision Of A Jedi-Sith Conflict
    Photo: Marvel

    As part of his training, Darth Sidious took Maul to Malachor, an ancient Sith world that was once the site of a great battle between the Jedi and the Sith. The trip to Malachor was designed to stoke Maul's hate of the Jedi, and it certainly accomplished that. 

    While on Malachor, Sidious forced Maul to breathe in the ashes of fallen Sith warriors, which allowed Maul to have visions of the Sith being struck down by the Jedi outside of a Sith Temple. The visions helped spur the urge for revenge inside Maul, and helped him form his goal of defeating the Jedi, who had destroyed the Sith 1,000 years earlier. 

  • 6
    184 VOTES

    Nute Gunray Was Prepared To Sue For Peace When He Was Slain

    Nute Gunray Was Prepared To Sue For Peace When He Was Slain
    Photo: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith / 20th Century Fox

    After he murdered a slew of younglings, Darth Sidious sent the newly crowned Darth Vader to take out the leaders of the Trade Federation, effectively ending the Clone Wars. Nute Gunray was among those leaders, but what you may not have realized is that he and the rest of the Trade Federation were preparing to sue for peace when they were slaughtered. 

    Count Dooku, who had served as their political leader, was dead, as was General Grievous, the head of their military. Between the loss of these two leaders, it became clear to the Separatists that their cause was totally lost. Gunray's assassination at Vader's hands was covered up, and the official story was that he had taken his own life after becoming despondent over the loss of the war. In reality, though, he was getting ready to ask for peace.