Star Wars introduces us to many different kinds of characters: Jedi knights, Sith lords, bounty hunters, politicians, and fighter pilots, to name a few. Today, we’re going to talk about the fighter pilots in particular.
In a universe involving space travel, there are, of course, a lot of pilots. In Star Wars, some of these pilots really stand out from the rest. Keep reading for our list of the 10 best pilots in Star Wars.
Table of Contents
1. Anakin Skywalker
Anakin began showing off his impressive piloting skills when he was just a nine-year-old slave boy. Competing in a pod race to win his own freedom, he not only completed but won the race despite having a busted engine.
Not long after that, he accidentally entered a dogfight over the planet of Naboo and practically won the battle all by himself, destroying a massive droid control ship.
As a young adult, he combined his Force-sensitivity and raw talent for flying to become one of the most feared Jedi Generals throughout the Clone Wars.
He consistently out-piloted the best foes the Separatists could throw at him, maneuvering out of target locks and spinning his way through dogfights.
Later, as Darth Vader, his skills were no less impressive. He took out nearly every Rebel ship he ever faced. In the Battle of Yavin, Luke nearly matched his flying skills, prompting Vader to comment, “The Force is strong with this one.”
Still, Vader would have won this fight had Han Solo not arrived at exactly the right moment to send him spinning out into space, giving Luke the clearance he needed to destroy the Death Star.
All told, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader was perhaps the best pilot the Star Wars galaxy has ever seen.
2. Wedge Antilles
Wedge Antilles was not Force-sensitive, which makes his piloting skills all the more impressive.
He was a pilot for the Rebel Alliance who fought and survived both Death Star battles. In the Battle of Yavin, he was with Luke Skywalker nearly all the way before having to pull out after taking a hit.
In the Battle of Endor, he and Lando Calrissian flew inside the Second Death Star, teaming up to destroy its main reactor and ultimately destroy the superweapon.
During the Galactic Civil War, he co-founded Rogue Squadron along with Luke, helping his Force-sensitive co-pilot in various fights such as the Battle of Hoth.
Following the war, Wedge went on to become a General, even mentoring Poe Dameron, another exceptional pilot on this list.
Wedge could fly nearly any aircraft and boasted an exceptional combat record. He was nearly unbeaten in flight simulator tests.
Despite his lack of Force-sensitivity, Wedge Antilles’ impressive feats and flight record put him on par with some of the most powerful Jedi on this list. For this reason, he is often considered one of the best pilots in the Star Wars saga.
3. Hera Syndulla
Hera Syndulla began flying ships as a child and was one of the first people in the galaxy to oppose the oppressive rule of the Empire.
Teaming up with former Jedi padawan Kanan Jarrus and eventually building her own crew, Hera’s early efforts revolved around sabotaging the Empire.
After her crew joined with other rebel cells, she piloted one of the very first B-wings and was promoted to Phoenix Leader following her heroics in breaching the blockade over Ibaar.
Throughout these early efforts at rebellion, she proved herself time and again as an exceptional pilot.
Eventually, she joined the Rebel Alliance and fought throughout the Galactic Civil War, participating in such crucial fights as the battles of Scarif, Hoth, and Endor.
What set Hera apart and made her one of the best was her love of flying, the care she showed for her crew, and her unshakable hope for a better future.
She was not Force-sensitive, but her discipline and enthusiasm led to her developing some truly impressive flying skills. These skills combined with her combat record make her one of the best pilots in Star Wars.
4. Han Solo
Han Solo’s earliest claim to his piloting skills was when he said the Millennium Falcon “made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.” Though he was bragging about his ship, it could not have taken such shortcuts through the 20-parsec smuggler’s route without an exceptional pilot at the helm.
During the Battle of Yavin, Han intervened at the last possible moment, saving Luke and sending Darth Vader spinning off into space.
Later, he kept Princess Leia alive by evacuating her from the doomed Rebel base on Hoth and escaping pursuit through an asteroid field. His ability to maneuver his “piece of junk” freighter and consistently elude enemy fire was nothing short of incredible.
Though he returned to his old life as a smuggler following the Rebels’ defeat of the Empire, he later got back into the fight when he teamed up with Rey in her efforts to return BB-8 to the Resistance.
He piloted the Falcon to a successful crash-landing directly out of hyperspace, a feat that few other pilots would even try.
Han Solo was the original “flyboy” of the Star Wars saga and his skills are right up there with the other top pilots on this list.
5. Luke Skywalker
Of course, Luke Skywalker had the Force and his family heritage on his side; but that doesn’t diminish the fact that he was an exceptional pilot in his own right.
Before he was even aware of his Force-sensitivity, Luke gained a reputation as “The best bush pilot in the Outer Rim Territories.”
Later, during his first fight with the Rebel alliance, he held off Darth Vader longer than most other pilots before delivering the quintessential shot that destroyed the First Death Star.
He later co-founded the Rebel Alliance’s elite Rogue Squadron with Wedge Antilles, serving as its leader and commander.
Though he came to be known more for his skills as a Jedi, his Force-sensitivity combined with his flying abilities made him one of the best pilots in the Star Wars galaxy.
6. Rey Skywalker
Rey Skywalker is another character known for being incredibly strong with the Force. But, before she was aware of these abilities, she taught herself to repair and fly starfighters.
When Rey, Finn, and BB-8 found themselves needing to escape pursuit on Jakku, she successfully piloted the Millennium Falcon out of harm’s way, evading multiple TIE-Fighters in the process.
Her skills gained Han Solo’s attention; he offered her the chance to become a co-pilot of the Falcon.
After Solo’s untimely death, Rey continued to pilot the Falcon for the Resistance, with Chewbacca serving as her co-pilot as he had previously done with Han.
Though Rey’s skills were undoubtedly enhanced by her incredible Force-sensitivity, her ability to teach herself to fly is one of the things that sets her apart on this list.
Like Anakin and Luke, she combined her Force powers with her innate skills to become one of the best pilots the Star Wars galaxy has seen.
7. Poe Dameron
Poe Dameron was seen as perhaps the best fighter pilot the Resistance had. He was trained from a young age by Wedge Antilles, which allowed him to greatly expand on his impressive natural skills.
He was already flying starfighters when he was 6 years old; by the time he had reached adulthood, he could pilot just about any ship. He showed this after being taken captive by the First Order; with the help of Finn, he escaped in a stolen TIE-Fighter.
Later, piloting an X-wing, he attacked a First Order Dreadnought to buy time for the Resistance to evacuate their doomed base. A year or so later, he fought in the Battle of Exegol.
Like Han Solo, Poe was a brash rule-breaker with a lot of natural talent for flying. This exceptional talent combined with his training and bravery make him one of the best pilots in Star Wars.
8. Plo Koon
Plo Koon was a Jedi General throughout the Clone Wars. He was considered one of the best pilots the Jedi had and his flying skills were often compared to those of Anakin Skywalker.
Though he was thought to be the only pilot who could keep up with Anakin, his impressive flying skills could not save him from an attack he didn’t see coming. His own Clone troopers turned against him during Order 66, killing him when they destroyed his ship in space.
9. Din Djarin
Din Djarin, aka Mando, has consistently shown off his flying skills over the first two seasons of The Mandalorian. What made his flying all the more impressive was the ship he piloted.
Many of the characters on this list spent their time at the helm of military-grade ships—X-wings, B-Wings, etc. But Din Djarin wasn’t in the military—he was a bounty hunter.
His ship, the Razor Crest, was only a dropship—and it was in pretty poor condition to boot. Nonetheless, he piloted it with incredible skill until one of Moff Gideon’s cruisers destroyed it.
Though he may be a surprising addition to this list, Mando’s demonstrated abilities while piloting a mediocre ship are proof of his highly advanced skills.
10. Iden Versio
Iden Versio is the protagonist of Star Wars: Battlefront II, and she garnered a spot on this list due to an impressive combat record.
She spent time with both the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. While with the Empire, she was a pilot with the elite Inferno Squad.
She fought in many important battles throughout the Galactic Civil War, both as an Imperialist and a Rebel.
After switching her allegiance and joining the Rebellion, she was most well-known for defeating Gideon Hask, one of the best Imperial pilots at the time.
Thanks to this feat and her incredible skills, she is seen as one of the best pilots in Star Wars.
Sarah Hood is a freelance content writer and editor with a love for all things Star Wars. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, singing, and spending time in the great outdoors.