Disney has made it clear that they see a bright future with Star Wars. On top of the sequel trilogy, they are also going to be releasing stand-alone movies to add to the vast galaxy far, far away. Because of this, there are a wide variety of characters who could be brought to the big screen, and some fans hope this will include some of the more popular people from the books. Star Wars is known for some of the most iconic villains around, and the same goes for the book series; so I’ve compiled a list of book villains who deserve some love on the big screen at some point.
While statements have been made that the books won’t really factor into the upcoming films, I’m willing to bet we might just see one or two book people pop up. I think they’d be foolish not too considering the large fan base surrounding the expanded universe, especially when it comes to the stand-alone films. Personally, I love the Star Wars books, have read all of them so far, and have to say that some of the villains from the books would be amazing to see on the big screen. Let’s get to it!
I’m going to start this off with a bang, in Lord Nyax. Not everyone is aware of this character (who popped up late in the Yuuzhan Vong storyline, New Jedi Order), but he is a bad dude and has an interesting backstory that would be fun to explore and play with in a movie. Nyax started life as Irek Ismaren who at one point was believed to be the son of Emperor Palpatine. He was strong in the Force, trained in the darkside, and was able to even control machines through his Force mastery.
He was a bad kid, raised by a bad mother who taught him the ways of the darkside, and augmented his body to make him more monster than man. After a brief battle with another darksider (Lord Cronal) Irek was seriously injured, sustaining brain damage that kept him mute and resulted in amnesia. His mother put him in stasis where she outfitted him with EIGHT lightsabers (attached to elbows, forearms, wrists, and knees).
You can’t tell me that wouldn’t be an amazing villain to see the Jedi go up against. Hell, even in the book, it was an epic sounding battle. He’s strong in the Force, and pretty much just has to turn his body around to be a threat. There’s a lot that could be done with his character and his tragic backstory in a movie, but considering how visual Star Wars is with their villains, he’d be a perfect fit for that reason alone.
When news of the sequel trilogy first came out, Thrawn was the main villain that just about every fan thought of. From the Heir to the Empire trilogy, Thrawn isn’t the most menacing looking of adversaries; he doesn’t carry a lightsaber, nor have any Force abilities. What he does have, is a whole lot of brains and the tactical brilliance that has gone unmatched. This alone has made him one of the most well known, and formidable, enemies the Star Wars galaxy has ever seen.
Having him as a villain in the movies would make for some excellent set pieces (tactical warfare is his gig after all) and dramatic battle scenes. On top of that, it would also break the mold from your typical Sith vs. Jedi storyline, giving viewers and fans a different kind of villain, who’s no less imposing. After all, he was a strong enough antagonist to revitalize the Star Wars saga in book form, why not for the movies?
Darth Bane is the progenitor of the Sith as fans know them from the movies. The entire Rule of Two thing that Yoda mentions in Episode 1? Yeah, Darth Bane was the one who created that. When the Sith lost their massive war against the Jedi (way back in the day), Bane saw a way to revitalize the Sith and bring them back to power. He was strong in the Force and managed to survive several things that should have killed him.
One of the reasons I like Bane is that he’s a challenge for heroes in both brains and brawn. He’s not just a raging monster (like Darth Maul), he’s also quick witted and able to draw upon his wisdom when the situation calls for it. I think fans of the books and even the casual movie fans would be interested to see more into the origins of the Sith, and how they got to where there where in the current films. It would also be nice to expand outward into different eras of Star Wars (this takes place several hundreds of years before the Prequels).
Speaking of taking place in other time periods, it’s one of the reasons I have Darth Malgus listed. Gamers may know him as the big Sith bad guy in The Old Republic MMO, but he’s also starred in his own book. First of all, he’s powerful, secondly, his time-frame features an all out war between the Sith and the Jedi. You can’t tell me that wouldn’t be amazing to see on film.
In fact, I don’t think I really have a whole lot of explaining to do on this one. Thanks to Bioware, we’ve got 3 awesome CG trailers that show the potential Malgus has as a movie villain. Just watch (the above video has all the trailers combined into one video of awesomeness)....Nuff’ said.
For the most part, the villains of the Star Wars galaxy in the movies have been confined to men. I feel that’s a shame, as some of the most intriguing and interesting villains to come from the comics/books have been female. Thus I think a great female to bring to the big screen would be Lumiya.
She started off in the comic books, but made her way into one of the biggest book events within Star Wars (Legacy of the Force), as a very troublesome antagonist who assisted fully bringing Jacen Solo to the darkside. She’d be interesting for a movie though, because Lumiya starts off as a love interest to Luke Skywalker, which is something we haven’t seen in the films yet (aside from all the incest stuff).
We could get the drama that goes with that romance, couple with her disfigurement forcing her to become something akin to Vader (cyborg), and the fact that she has an awesome weapon called the light-whip. There’s so much that could be done with this villain, it seems a shame to pass it up.
Jacen Solo (Darth Caedus)
In the books Han and Leia have a total of three children, while I won’t spoil their respective fates, one of the major shake-ups in the recent Star Wars books was their eldest son’s turn to the darkside and embracing of the Sith; Jacen Solo. It was a major event that was long in the making and had serious repercussions on the galaxy.
Jacen’s turn was classic because as with all good villains, everything he did was with the best intentions. He thought he was making the galaxy safer/better with his tyrannical rule. Some of the best villains in books or movies are those who can rationalize their actions. They can be the meanest and toughest ones to fight against, because they have something of a moral gray area.
Even if they didn’t use the storyline from the books, he’d be an interesting villain, as it would keep with the family theme the Star Wars films like to stick with. It would also aid in the transition of the older generation to the newer generation, while keeping the stakes high and entertaining.
As I said, Disney has made it clear they aren’t really looking to the books for inspiration, so the chances of any of these happening are kind of slim. Still, considering the wealth of stories and characters the books can provide, it seems a waste of resources. Who knows, maybe in the future, these villains will get their chance to come off the pages, and onto the big screen.
A film/video editor at heart, Jordan dips his hands in many areas of filmmaking, including producing and VFX. On top of that he's a huge nerd and cartoonist, though you shouldn't hold that against him. He's been writing on the film industry for a number of years now and has had his worked featured on a number of other major film sites.
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