Ranking Star Wars Characters’ POTUS Potential

If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Han Solo isn’t on here because uhhh I forgot about him…

By Jesse Sisler, DePaul University


Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now the number one grossing movie of all time, passing the record Avatar set.

Considering the several-year long hype, Disney’s name being attached to it, and the massive critical and commercial success it has achieved, it is safe to say that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the biggest movie event of all time.

Compare that with the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton has essentially been the Democratic front-runner since her 2008 primary defeat, and the revolving door of Republican candidates—from Trump to Cruz and everyone in between—continue to baffle the media and voters.

The Force Awakens introduced several new characters to the saga’s canon, many of whom would probably fare better in national polls than the Mike Huckabee’s of the world. If elected, would Kylo Ren finish what his grandfather started? Would fan favorite BB-8 get an endorsement from fellow droid R2-D2?

Pundits know polls don’t matter this early in the election cycle. Here is a set of rankings that do: The new additions to the Star Wars world, ranked from best to worst, by their presidential electability

Rey (Skywalker??):

Young? Yes. Inexperienced in politics? As inexperienced as they come. But Rey’s abilities cannot be denied. She is able to fend off Kylo Ren’s interrogation using the Force despite having very limited real training.

It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to realize that Rey was trained by Luke as a girl, and may even be his daughter. Self-sufficient, pragmatic, unwilling to back down from a position she knows is right, Rey seems like she would make a great president.

The only knock on her is her age, but as the flashbacks she experienced in Maz’s basement show, she is wise beyond her years. And hey, who better to have as your chief advisor than Princess-General-Badass Leia? Plus, as someone with humble beginnings, she would get the middle-class vote.

Poe Dameron

Loyal, smart, and one hell of a pilot, Dameron shoots from the hip, kind of like the Republican front-runner whose name shall not be mentioned. The key difference: Dameron has the charm to avoid coming off as an asshole.

The guy is clearly on the right side of the conflict in the new film, and must be incredibly likeable because Finn pretty much develops a non-sexual man-crush on the guy in a matter of minutes.

His biggest flaw is his loyalty, which almost gets him killed on multiple occasions. If he mistakenly signed a treaty with Supreme Leader of the Universe Vladimir Putin, it’s hard to imagine him going back on his word. Let’s assume a guy hand-picked by Leia to retrieve a galaxy-changing map would have nothing to do with Putin in the first place.

In an election cycle where the lead candidates are either too polished or too unpolished, Dameron might just strike the right balance, regardless of his loyalty problem.

BB-8:

If he were a human (or a non-droid entity of some kind) he’d be the front-runner. (Is “he” correct? I always assumed all droids were guys, but maybe I’m just being a microaggressive white male).

He is loyal, compassionate, possesses a great deal of empathy, builds strong relationships with all species, and come on, he’s so damn adorable! In the Star Wars universe, everyone seems to know every language (except Finn, interestingly).

Unfortunately, we earthlings do not have that benefit. So every time BB-8 addressed us, we would need a translator. That’s a small price to pay for a ball of pure joy as president. BB-8 is basically your childhood dog with a ridiculously powerful OS. Does his policy really matter?

It seems America is just looking for someone they can believe in, and BB-8 has the trust of everyone he comes across.

Maz Kanata: 

She is the wisest character since Yoda – maybe more so, because let’s face it, that puppet was pretty crazy down the stretch. Maz seems to know every spirit and energy in the galaxy.

Somehow she got her hands on Luke’s old lightsaber, suggesting she knew Yoda. Yoda, the guy who basically nobody knew personally for several hundred years with the exception of Luke and Obi-Wan, seems to have given Maz a lightsaber. Talk about the art of the deal!

She knows about Han and Leia, the Knights of Ren, and the Force. She’s basically Wikipedia personified. The only reason she is ranked below the first three is her age, and older people tend not to get elected in this country. But I’m not sure she’s much older than Bernie Sanders.

Finn:

Two black presidents in a row? Finn (one of three African-Americans in the galaxy, apparently) has a murky past that could get him in trouble on the campaign trail.

Even if he didn’t kill anyone on Jakku, he was pretty much complicit with the operation. What did he think a bunch of storm-troopers under the command of Kylo Ren would do?

Still, under the mentorship of Han and Chewie, Finn grows over the course of the film from a neurotic ex-bad guy to a hero. He seems to have a working knowledge of the galaxy, though his familiarity with the Force is questionable. (“That’s not how the Force works!”)

Politics aside, I’d pay to see a spin-off where Finn and the “traitor”-shouting stormtrooper debate each other on the merits of the First Order.

Kylo Ren:

Emo Kylo RenAh, Kylo. Perhaps the most compelling blockbuster movie character since The Joker. Cruel, but remorseful. Talented in the ways of the force, but relatively untrained.

Darth Vader cut off his son’s hand, but Kylo killed his own father. Much like his grandfather before him, he was trained to be a Jedi only to be seduced by a mysterious, evil entity.

Clearly, though, there is some good in Kylo. The look of remorse on his face after killing his father induced physical discomfort in me. It was painful.

Unfortunately, he has a ridiculous temper, and is hell-bent on destroying his uncle and the Jedi, something even the GOP front-runner would not approve. (And while we’re riffing, maybe the next Death Star designers should consider the front-runner’s wall idea. What is it with leaving the most important part of the ship unguarded?)

Above all, Kylo just wants to be loved. But presidents have to govern even if they are unloved, and when Kylo feels unloved, he destroys entire planetary systems.

Captain Phasma, General Hux, Supreme Leader Snoke:

TBD.

Not really.

They’re all unapologetically evil, and Phasma turns out to be surprisingly spineless. Hux would make Goebbels proud. Snoke seduced Kylo Ren and convinced him to destroy the Jedi. Phasma has a cool suit, General Hux is played by Domhnall Gleeson, who was in Ex Machina and played Bill Weasley, and Snoke is played by CGI-master Andy Serkis, a.k.a. Gollum.

Other than that, these three are pretty irredeemable.

So, if you find yourself wanting to stay home on Election Day, just write-in your favorite Star Wars character instead. But don’t stay home on Election Day. That’s exactly what the Sith would want.