Based on backstory and how cool of an action figure they’d make.
Please note, this will exclude characters like Rae Sloane, Hera Syndulla and Wedge Antilles as they are already established characters in the Star Wars canon. This ranking is only for the characters that we are seeing for the first time in Squadrons. It will also exclude the first-person Titan Three and Vanguard Five as, while they are given a backstory, their appearance can be customized so the action figure point is moot.
14. Willard Waylin
Story: This character was literally created just to be a conduit for updating and customizing your ship and the back story shows. I guess you could make the case that imperials really shouldn’t be giving you your life story anyways but then why even bother with the character.
Figure: The most interesting thing about him is his mustache. But points for the name though- Willard Waylin is definitely a name fit to be on a Star Wars card back.
Story: His back story given on the Star Wars databank is interesting enough: he fell into the job of Imperial controller through first being mistaken as an information officer (he started life as a low-level clerk with the name Obon Yandro) and then promoted after the Battle of Endor due to a shortage of Information Officers. But you don’t get that from playing the game so it doesn’t help not wanting to skip all his dialogue.
Figure: They haven’t even made an updated Lobot figure so let’s get that out of the way first.
12. Rella Sol
Story: The least interesting Titan Squadron pilot is the team strategist who was the daughter of Imperial Senators before Palpatine became Supreme Leader of the Empire and sees the opportunity with the Emperor gone, to restore Senate leadership. Although Rella is a forgettable NPC, her views are an interesting “what if” to think about: if the Emperor hadn’t consolidated power for himself, the Empire would probably not have lost control of the galaxy. Got to love politics!
Figure: No unique quirks to the helmet, just a standard TIE pilot and we don’t need more of those.
11. Zerelda Sage
Story: Zerelda reminds me a little bit of Trace Marquez from The Clone Wars final season without the naïveté and she seems to have more dialogue than her Imperial counterpart, Willard Waylin. It is also nice to have another person that does not trust droids (from living through the Clone Wars and dealing with the Separatist army of droids). It is a practical and realistic fear and feel like more characters that had dealings with separatist should be a little more prejudice towards droids (like the Empire is prejudice again aliens). These prejudices mirror the real world and are very rarely addressed in the films so nice to have some real-world aspects appear in Squadrons.
Figure: I am always up for more mechanic action figures at any scale (though 3.75 would make more sense to plop right next to a Vintage collection X-wing) but apparently Hasbro doesn’t do new ships anymore outside of HasLab and rereleases/updates of previous ships.
10. Lindon Javes
Story: I supposed I have to put Lindon somewhat at a reasonable rank since he kind of is the catalyst for the plot. In canon there seem to be two defining events for defectors from the Empire: the destruction of Alderaan and Operation Cinder and for Javes, watching the Death Star blow up an entire planet and then being ordered to eliminate survivors was the last straw and he defects. Four years later, he’s in charge of Vanguard Squadron and brings back the first-person pilot who saved his life to join and help protect Project Starhawk. All this…and he’s still not an interesting character. Maybe because the POV of an Imperial defector has been done enough in canon that I’m just more interested in his TIE pilot squadron who got left behind.
Figure: Absolutely no interest.
9. Ardo Barodai
Story: You know, I had almost forgotten to include this character which probably means he should rank lower on the list, but I am a sucker for Mon Calamari. I come to expect an authoritative Mon Calamari co-leading an attack so it was nice that they included one after their absence in The Rise of Skywalker (because the writer lost his mind and decided to kill off Admiral Ackbar in The Last Jedi).
Figure: Again, it’s a Mon Calamari, a blue Mon Calamari. Yes.
Story: An interesting character in the sense that he has more battle damage than any other Squadrons character. And he never takes his helmet off because he is probably more cybernetic than human and Motive didn’t want to go that far into character design detail for a side pilot. But sometimes it is nice to leave room for imagination.
Figure: This is just another TIE pilot figure with a slightly bigger build and some battle damage to the helmet. Would be a nice project for a custom but not an actual produced figure.
7. Grace Siener
Story: Grace is a member of the affluent Siener family who creates and manufactures Imperial TIE Fighters. Having run away to gain more freedom, and avoiding bounty hunters commissioned by her family to bring her home, Grace joined the New Republic and uses her knowledge of TIE fighters to help Vanguard Squadron as second in command under Gunny. While Star Wars is all about battles in space and on various planets, war is also a big business, and reminders of that which help ground Star Wars stories are always welcome.
Figure: Grace is the only human pilot in Vanguard Squadron, which has a nice variety and I would love to add a Grace pilot figure to my collection and would put her right next to Frisk seeing is how they have the best chemistry.
6. Varko Grey
Story: The leader of the Titan Squadron gets surprisingly little screen time in this game given that he is the featured character in the promotional short film, Hunted, released before launch. In the short film, you get a much better understanding of his leadership and flying skills in that short and it is why he ranks this high. The character is gay but that is only mentioned in his bio and not really incorporated into the story or the short film (unless I missed something), which seems like a bit of a cop-out, but Star Wars often misses the mark on meaningful representation.
Figure: Unless they ever plan to make a TIE pilot sculpt with an actual face instead of just a helmet, there would be no distinction and therefore just another army builder.
5. Keo Venzee
Story: Keo’s pro-racer turned New Republic pilot mirrors characters in the animated series Star Wars Resistance so not unique to overall Star Wars canon. However, Keo is a Mirialan and it is nice to have different aliens that you don’t usually see as New Republic pilots with the Rebel flight suit. It is also hinted that Keo is possibly force-sensitive, which would make sense given that most Mirialans we have met in canon have been Jedi or inquisitors. Star Wars always finds a way to bring some mention or use of the force in every medium. Also worth noting that Keo is non-binary, again, not relevant to the overall story but they are voiced by a non-binary actor, Bex Taylor-Klaus.
Figure: Unlike TIE pilots, Rebel pilots don’t have their faces covered completely with their helmets so any alien Rebel pilot is going to be a welcome figure for me, especially a popular species in the Star Wars universe.
4. Havina Vonreg
Story: Something is appealing about characters who have nothing left to lose. Having lost two brothers, trusted squadmates, and dealing with defectors can cause one to see red all the time and Havina’s personality and motivations make sense. She even has the battle scars to go along with the attitude. I dig it.
Figure: She is the only one that appears to have a uniquely designed helmet (red going around the eyes of the helmet). Maybe Vonregs just love the color red but it is enough to pique my interest in a figure and I would put her on the shelf next to Vonreg. Business-wise, it wouldn’t make sense to make just one character from the Titan Squad. But this list doesn’t really need to make sense because it is about the figures I want. She’s a Vonreg and must carry on the tradition of getting a figure with a minimal amount of character development.
3. Kierah “Gunny” Koovah
Story: Mimbanese with a southern accent and a cybernetic arm? Yep! Throw in a Clone Wars history and a species that has had very little face time in the Star Wars canon and Gunny is (almost) the most interesting Vanguard Squadron member. As the leader, she is the most experienced pilot and fighter and gets the most speaking parts other than Lindon Javes from the New Republic side.
Figure: If you haven’t “figured” it out yet, I am not going to say no to an alien Rebel pilot. There are not enough out there. And it would be cool to have a pilot figure with a cybernetic arm.
2. Feresk “Frisk” Tssat
Story: Frisk joined the Rebellion essentially to escape a death mark that was put on him by an Imperial Governor to whom he sold a fake painting (he can thank Admiral Thrawn for that discovery). He also might have a gambling problem. Frisk has a lot of the lighter dialogue and seems to have great chemistry with his teammates, especially Grace who is the only one who calls him by his first name. All of these qualities make Frisk the best Vanguard Squadron member.
Figure: Aside from the fact that it is a freakin TRANDOSHAN Rebel pilot, the second awesome thing about Frisk is he looks completely different from other Trandoshans we’ve seen, different color and his uniform is different as well (blue instead of classic orange). They already have the mold for a Trandoshan from The Black Series and from The Vintage Collection so this would be one of the easier characters to produce.
1. Terisa Kerell
Story: Story-wise, she has the most developed arc as far as motivation: being betrayed by a mentor and reassigned to a career-ending job only to bounce back and be allowed to lead her own squadron is a great driver for revenge. It gives the first-person Titan pilot a great motivation factor too and gives nuance to Kerell who is loyal to her old team. We’re never made sure of whether her obsession with finding and destroying Lindon Javes stems from him derailing her progression in the Empire, or the fact that he didn’t trust her enough to give her the option of defecting with him until he had already turned on his squadron. Obviously, the Empire’s back is against the wall more during this part of the timeline so, in that sense, Kerell has less to lose and is more willing to put her and her team in danger, but she is also shown to be a skilled tactician in choosing when to use Titan Squads making the missions a little more believable than the Vanguard’s squads. Ultimately, she gets what she wants…sort of (Lindon Javes is presumed dead to her as she does not know he survived) and Titan squad is successful in damaging Project Starhawk beyond repair. Her fate afterward is unknown but for the purposes of Squadrons, her story is the most compelling.
Figure: There is a reason I spent more time on Kerell’s story. Hasbro is not known for their Imperial officers and they don’t usually sell well at the 6-inch scale either. For the Sequel trilogy, they only still have the one Force Awakens version of Hux (which has increased in value likely because of that fact) and didn’t even bother with a General Pryde figure. This would be a figure to include perhaps in a Titans squadron figure pack similar to the Force link sets they released for Solo: A Star Wars Story but, alas, 5POA figures seems to be gone for now.