Best Star Wars Pilots, Ranked

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Best Star Wars Pilots

Long before Disney absorbed this famous sci-fi franchise, Star Wars managed to appeal to different audiences for very different reasons. For example, some people love the deep mythology of the Jedi and the Force, and others just love the roguish charm of characters like Han Solo.

However, our favorite part of Star Wars has always been the kickass space combat scenes, and with that in mind, we decided to compile the definitive list of the best pilots to ever fly through that galaxy far, far away.


When it comes to ranking the Star Wars pilots, chances are that Rey is going to be the most controversial choice, even if she is coming in dead last. But no matter how much weirdo fans screech that she’s a Mary Sue, the simple truth is that Rey was able to almost perfectly pilot the Millennium Falcon despite not having much prior experience with anything bigger than a speeder.  She instantly became one of the best pilots of the sequel trilogy, and we’re hoping to see more of her in the cockpit in her upcoming return to the franchise.

Poe Dameron

Like many of the new characters in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Poe Dameron was almost criminally underutilized, but this hotshot pilot was always at his best when flying his X-Wing like a bat out of hell. His reckless and, frankly, stupid attack at the beginning of The Last Jedi cost him some points.

But we loved seeing Poe kicking ass and taking names as he came to save the day in The Force Awakens. It’s also worth noting he was able to hit targets on the ground with pinpoint precision, something we had never really seen Star Wars pilots do in previous films.

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Lando Calrissian

Like his friend Han Solo, Lando Calrissian proved to be a remarkable warrior with a surprising array of talents. When he was first introduced to us as a smooth-talking businessman, we had no idea he would be so fierce once he began taking on the Empire in space.

And if nothing else, the fact that he successfully led the Rebel attack on the second Death Star will forever earn him a place in Star Wars history as one of the best pilots to ever tangle with a TIE Fighter (even though Han never forgave him for losing that satellite dish in the battle).

Han Solo

We didn’t get to see as much of Han Solo’s fancy flying once he emerged from carbonite, but the first two Star Wars movies more than established the fact that he wasn’t simply bragging when he talked about his accomplishments as a pilot.

In the space of those two films, Solo escapes multiple Star Destroyers, outmaneuvers countless TIE Fighters, and even successfully navigates the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field. As C3PO helpfully notes, the odds of pulling off that last accomplishment are “approximately 3,720 to one,” so we even have a mathematical basis for how good Solo is when it comes to flying.

Luke Skywalker

In Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Luke was a bit like Han Solo: we didn’t get to see him flex his pilot chops unless you count setting his X-Wing down in the murky depths of Dagobah. But the first two films fully establish his skills as an insanely good pilot, especially after he went from simply flying the occasional T-16 skyhopper to destroying the first Death Star in a top-of-the-line snubfighter he had never flown before. And in the sequel, he even pioneered an innovative way for Rebel snow speeders to take down the Empire’s AT-ATs, cementing his ability to think on his feet no matter the situation.

Anakin Skywalker

In any ranked list of Star Wars pilots, Anakin Skywalker is going to appear near the top because we get his reputation straight from Obi-Wan Kenobi: in the first movie, old Ben confidently states that Anakin was already “the best star pilot in the galaxy” when they met.

Of course, he conveniently omitted that his “star pilot” skills were mostly limited to pushing random buttons and shouting out cringe lines like “Now THIS is podracing.” Between this and the fact that Anakin is later foiled by a drug dealer and his talking dog in the Death Star trench run, we simply can’t give the top spot to the man who would become Darth Vader.

Wedge Antilles

This take will likely be hotter than the twin suns of Tattooine, but our pick for the best Star Wars pilot of all time is actually Wedge Antilles. Unlike everyone else on this list, Wedge demonstrated killer piloting skills across all three films of the original trilogy, and he remains the only character in the franchise that helped to destroy two different Death Stars.

On top of that, he did this without the Force, accomplishing with pure skill and ingenuity more than other characters with mystical Jedi skills could ever pull off.