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Star Wars fans have been introduced to a lot of new characters living in a galaxy far, far away since Lucasfilm started churning out new movies as part of the Disney family. From Rey and Finn in the new main Star Wars trilogy to Jyn Erso and K-2SO in Rogue One, there are plenty of fresh heroes, villains and supporting players to appreciate in this new era. However, the classic Star Wars characters that many of us grew up with still reside in a special place in our minds. In fact, a recent study showed that even with all the new Star Wars additions, many of the longtime characters still rank higher than these newbies.
Morning Consult conducted a survey earlier this month with 2,200 adults who are familiar with Star Wars, and in that group, Princess Leia earned the highest favorability at 73%, while Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca took second and third place, respectively, each at 72%. Going down the list, other Original and Prequel Trilogy Star Wars characters are ranked high, such as R2-D2, Han Solo and Darth Vader, and it's only until reaching 13th place that one of the new Star Wars characters is listed. Finn was the most favorably ranked of this bunch at 39%, with BB-8 following behind at that same percentage. Rey, Kylo Ren, Jyn Erso and Supreme Leader Snoke were the only other new characters who ranked, with Snoke resting in last place at 23%.
I suspect that the main reason that the new Star Wars characters weren't nearly as popular as the older ones is because we haven't spent as much time with them. All of the classic Star Wars characters listed appeared in at least two movies, and many of them appear in more than one trilogy. Not only that, we've had so many years to re-watch the Original and Prequel Star Wars movies that it's hard to imagine the franchise without those characters. In sharp contrast, The Force Awakens and Rogue One were released in 2015 and 2016, respectively, so they're relatively fresh in our minds. In Rogue One's case, we won't even be able to spend time with the main cast again because they were all killed off. As for Rey, Finn and the rest of the new trilogy gang, The Last Jedi is a week away, and Episode IX will arrive in 2019. Perhaps by then those folks will be held with higher regard.
However, it's not all bad for the new Star Wars movies on this study. Both The Force Awakens and Rogue One both ranked at 91% favorability, while the Original Trilogy movies each ranked at 94% and the Prequel Trilogy movies received between 84-88%. The Star Wars saga will continue when The Last Jedi is released on December 15. You can also consult our 2018 premiere guide to plan your visits to the theater next year accordingly.