A part of what makes the Star Wars franchise so unique and gripping is the huge range of talents and skills that can be possessed by the characters within it. From mastering the force to being revered as a sharpshooter, there are a huge amount of things that can earn a character a reputation for being highly specialized and skilled.
One of the most useful skills that a character can possess within Star Wars is that of being a talented pilot. Not only is piloting a spaceship highly complex work in and of itself, but to do so in life-and-death situations and with extreme precision is what truly makes a character stand out as one of the best. Throughout the numerous Star Wars games that have released, there are a few pilots that stand out as being the best.
It would be remiss when talking about the best pilots of the Star Wars games without mentioning the iconic Han Solo. Appearing consistently in multiple Star Wars titles such as the original Battlefront 2 and the recently released Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, the reputation of Han as a commendable pilot precedes him.
Sharpening his pilot skills over a lifetime of smuggling, Han is legendary within the piloting sphere due to having done the sinister “Kessel Run” in less than 12 parsecs, a Galactic record. Han’s achievements are only exacerbated when considering he pilots the iconic Millennium Falcon, a cumbersome light freighter which only necessitates a higher level of skill to navigate under pressure. Solo’s pilot skill is cemented in his presence as a Hero class within the Battlefront games, with the LEGO Star Wars titles only further showcasing his daring feats of pilot prowess in their retelling of the film plots.
A lesser known but very skilled pilot in the Star Wars universe is Iden Versio. Iden was a core character within the story of 2017’s Battlefront 2, in which she was introduced as a lethal Tie Fighter pilot in the Imperial Starfighter Corps.
Her skill as a pilot was so great that Iden quickly rose to the position of Inferno Squad Commander, leading her own elite troop within the Imperial Special Forces. Fighting throughout the Galactic Civil War, Iden eventually switched allegiances following the death of Emperor Palpatine, fighting instead alongside the Rebel Alliance. Maintaining her rank as Commander within the Rebellion, Iden had a storied career as a pilot which saw her command huge amounts of respect and influence across both sides of the Galactic Conflict.
Sharing a fair few similarities with Iden is Lindon Javes, another legendary pilot who defected from the Empire to the Rebellion. Lindon Javes featured heavily within the story of Star Wars: Squadrons, which told the tale of his storied piloting career.
Like Iden, Lindon started his piloting career as a part of the Galactic Empire, excelling so much within the Imperial Starfighter Corps that he would go on to become an official flight instructor. With his morals quickly challenged by the callous nature of the Empire, Lindon soon defected to the Rebel Alliance, using his exemplary piloting skills to aid them in their insurmountable fight against his former employers.
Javes started his Rebel career by hunting down Imperial Capital Ships, giving credence to the extent of his piloting skill. Rapidly rising through the ranks, Lindon also became a commander of his own squadron, and even a consultant for the legendary General Hera Syndulla.
Hera Syndulla appears quite consistently in Star Wars: Squadrons, being one of the most respected and legendary pilot leaders within the entire Rebellion. Hera’s character was originally portrayed in the show Star Wars Rebels, which contextualized the intense amounts of respect that she commands.
Hera was born into an important family on the planet of Ryloth, but quickly left to fight against the Empire after taking up an interest in flying. One of the first major figureheads of the Rebellion, Hera quickly gained notoriety through her escapades, which led to the first contacts and logistical co-ordinations of the otherwise splintered Rebel cells throughout the galaxy.
As the leader of the very successful Phoenix Squad, Hera became one of the first Generals of the Rebellion, and played a pivotal role within the major battles of Hoth, Endor, and Scarif. Often leading from the front, Hera’s reputation as one of the best leaders and pilots in the Galaxy only grew as her career progressed.
One of the single most important figures throughout the entire history of the Galaxy, Anakin Skywalker was as proficient a pilot as he was with a lightsaber. Being obsessed with piloting from a very young age, Anakin’s immense connection to the Force aided his already-existing talent quite significantly.
Anakin’s talents as a pilot saw him partake in podracing as a child, a type of activity usually avoided by humans due to the extreme reflexes and navigational talent that is required. Upon becoming a Jedi, Anakin was often referred to as the “best star pilot in the Galaxy,” with him seeing extensive aerial combat during the brutal Clone Wars.
Skywalker’s legacy as a pilot followed him into his new identity of Darth Vader, in which he flew an experimental Advanced TIE Fighter across many skirmishes in the name of the Galactic Empire. The piloting feats of Anakin are showcased in the LEGO Star Wars games to a large extent, while Vader’s piloting prowess is also shown in many titles, especially the 1994 released Star Wars: TIE Fighter. While there are many characters within the rich Star Wars universe that showcase magnificent piloting abilities, none come quite as close in terms of legacy and sustained ability as those featured here.