Star Wars: 10 Most Ruthless Imperial Officers

From Thrawn to Tarkin, here are the best of the worst that Star Wars' Empire has to offer.

Thrawn Designed A New TIE Fighter

Since 1977, the Star Wars franchise has provided audiences with some of the best villains ever put to screen.

Included in the ranks of Star Wars' Dark Side are powerful Sith Lords, power-crazed despots, deadly droids, and mysterious bounty hunters. However, some of Star Wars' greatest adversaries have been the most human.

Serving the Nazi-like Galactic Empire and commanding legions of Stormtroopers, Star Destroyers, and Death Stars is an Imperial hierarchy of Officers, Admirals, Generals, and Moffs. Each Officer distinctive and dangerous in their own way, these villains have antagonised brave Rebels with their persistence, cunning, and military tactics.

Giving audiences baddies they love to hate, and often employing the finest British character actors with the most pompous accents, Star Wars' Imperial Officers have been iconic and unpredictable. Whether portrayed as incompetent middle management or unfaltering fascists, the Empire's enforcers have been a welcome mainstay of the series.

Looking at some of the best that the Empire has to offer, these are 10 of the Most Ruthless Imperial Officers in Star Wars.

10. Admiral Piett

Thrawn Designed A New TIE Fighter

Commander of Darth Vader's Super Star Destroyer 'Executor', Firmus Piett was originally the ship's First Officer until Vader demoted Admiral Ozzel with a Force choke.

Somewhat more cowardly than other officers in the hierarchy and particularly weak-willed around Vader, Piett served the Dark Side unwaveringly throughout Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Quick to shift the blame onto others, Piett used his promoted power to survive working with Vader for as long as possible.

In charge of the hunt for Hoth's Rebel escapees, Piett also accommodated a group of bounty hunters - including Boba Fett - aboard his Destroyer. Desperate not to fail Vader like his predecessor, Piett assisted in tracking the Rebels to Bespin with the hunters.

When the Millenium Falcon evaded capture once more, Piett somehow managed to survive Vader's particular brand of firing - presumably by blaming his failings on a subordinate. Ruthless in survival, it wouldn't be long until Piett met his much-prolonged death.

Ascending to the rank of Fleet Admiral by the time of the Battle of Endor, Piett and his Super Star Destroyer were present in the skirmish above the Second Death Star. Foolishly believing that the Empire had the upper hand, the Admiral didn't expect the Alliance's strength. His ship was quickly disabled by the Rebellion's Admiral Ackbar and some careful firepower.

Bracing for impact as an A-Wing hurtled towards his ship's bridge, Piett met his demise and the Super Star Destroyer impacted against the side of the Death Star.


Eden Luke McIntyre is a Scottish writer, editor and script consultant, with an MA in TV Fiction Writing. He writes content for TV, radio, stage, and online, and was appointed as a BBC Writers Room Scottish Voice in early 2020. Eden can usually be found rambling about Doctor Who, The Beatles, and obscure things that no one cares about.