There’s a disturbance in the force. According to new data, Darth Vader is no longer the most popular character in the Star Wars universe.
An analysis by SEMRush has shown that the Vader has slipped to third place and been replaced by The Mandalorian‘s Baby Yoda, aka The Child. Second place belongs to another newcomer as Pedro Pascal’s titular Mandalorian also joins the list. The data is based on searches from the past year and shows Baby Yoda saw 4.7 million average monthly searches. This pushes the Mandalorian’s adorable traveling partner above his own average of 2.5 million monthly searches.
With Baby Yoda and Mando taking up first and second place, Darth Vader takes third with 893,250 monthly searches. The Jedi master Yoda isn’t far behind Vader with 882,500 searches– possibly thanks to Baby Yoda. New trilogy villain Kylo Ren comes in fifth place, followed by fan-favorite Chewbacca in sixth, Anakin Skywalker in seventh, Boba Fett in eighth, Luke Skywalker in ninth place, and finally, Jabba the Hutt in tenth.
The list contains notable surprises, including Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett’s relatively positions. Mark Hamill’s Jedi was the hero of the original trilogy, had a major role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and was part of The Rise of Skywalker. Boba Fett is still popular after Josh Trank’s plans for an anthology movie fell apart, however, continued theories about a possible cameo in The Mandalorian have probably pushed his ranking. Unexpectedly, both Emperor Palpatine and Princess Leia are absent from the top positions, despite Carrie Fisher’s iconic performance as the Skywalker sister.
Since his debut on Disney+’s The Mandalorian, The Child has gone on to become one of the franchise’s most marketable characters with tie-in merchandise ranging from Baby Yoda waffle irons to Baby Yoda Chia Pets. Elsewhere, Baby Yoda has become synonymous with Jon Favreau’s sci-fi series and has evidently put the showrunner’s fears about the character to rest.
Darth Vader has remained a focal point of the franchise since his introduction in 1997’s Star Wars: A New Hope. Following his villainous role in the original trilogy, George Lucas’ prequels focused on Anakin Skywalker’s transformation into the Sith lord. His spectre even loomed over Disney’s sequel trilogy. Most-recently, Vader’s distinct voice was heard in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Although Vader didn’t physically appear in Episode IX, the cameo appeared to help elevate his monthly searches.
SEMRush’s stats vindicate The Mandalorian as a wide-reaching Star Wars series that appeals to more than just the film fans.
Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito and Emily Swallow. Season 1 is streaming now on Disney+, with Season 2 slated to arrive in October.
Darth Vader is no longer the most popular Star Wars character in the galaxy, according to new survey.