Looks Good to be Bad: Most Iconic Star Wars Villain Designs

Sometimes, bad guys just look better. We all know it’s true. Whether it’s the darker color palette, the creepy-cool makeup, or the complex weapons that they wield, villains often draw our eyes in more than heroes. That’s certainly true in one of our favorite sci-fi fandoms.

Join us below as we break down some of the most iconic Star Wars villain designs in a galaxy far, far away.

Darth Maul

Darth Maul is so popular in the fandom because of his design. While his initial role in Episode I: The Phantom Menace was brief, fans couldn’t get enough of his facial markings and the thorn-like spikes protruding from his skull. Coupled with his flowing black robes and yellow eyes, this Zabrak certainly made his mark. Thankfully, audiences get to see a whole lot more of him in subsequent Star Wars series. And his upgraded robotic legs are just as cool as the rest of him.

Death Trooper

Death Troopers, or Death Soldiers, are just as scary as they sound. These elite stormtroopers were designed for stealth and espionage. More lethal than their white-clad counterparts, these villains sneak around in sleek armor taking out high-priority targets. Even if you knew nothing about Star Wars, you could tell all that by their design alone — not a trooper you want to encounter in an empty corridor.

General Grievous

Cough, cough. You didn’t think we’d exclude this infamous lightsaber™ collector, did you? General Grievous has all the spookiness of a spider combined with dual-toned robotic limbs. His angular face and glowing eyes promise a sharp, painful death. Throw a black and red cape over that and you’ve got a truly awesome antagonist.

Darth Vader

Darth Vader is perhaps one of the most iconic villains of all time. Throughout every genre, every movie, every show, and every other piece of media you can think of, you’ve probably seen other villains inspired by his gruesome visage. Clad in black armor and an almost medieval helmet, he strikes an imposing figure to everyone who sets eyes on him. Then you look at the vibrant red lightsaber, and it’s game over. Truly, Vader is a source of both fear and unfettered awe for fans everywhere.


Similar to Darth Vader, when someone thinks of Star Wars, stormtroopers immediately leap to mind. After all, entire battalions are often seen chasing and fighting our heroes. As such, the stormtroopers’ worn white armor is a staple in the media depicting a galaxy far, far away. And sure, they don’t have the best aim. But arguments about vision capabilities aside, the helmet and frowning face will forever be beloved and distinct.

Tusken Raider

Who could forget the first time they heard a Tusken Raider’s cry? Or even better, how well the design matched up to that chilling sound? Although Tusken Raiders — or Sand People — have since been portrayed more dynamically, their first appearance as antagonists is iconic due to the layers of bandages and bulging eye scopes. Plus, villains in light color costumes? We can’t get enough of it.

Moff Gideon

Moff Gideon’s design isn’t the most unique or groundbreaking. But that’s the point. By drawing inspiration from various Sith™ figures, this non-Force wielder evokes the same fear and respect those leaders inspired. His costume is both functional and ostentatious, perfectly indicating his personality before he’s even affixed you with those all-knowing, all-hating eyes.

Which of these Star Wars villain designs is your favorite? Share your thoughts with other fans at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!