Han Solo is Britain’s favourite Star Wars character

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
December 14, 2016, 10:05 AM UTC

With Rogue One hitting British screens tomorrow, YouGov reveals the UK’s Star Wars preferences

The much-anticipated Star Wars Rogue One hits British cinema screens tomorrow. The film, the first of a series of stand-alone films set in the Star Wars universe but not connected to the main ‘Episodes’, is expected to rake in $280m-350m worldwide in its first five days.

The British public are very fond of the Star Wars series. Nearly half say they either “love” or “like” Star Wars movies, whilst as many as one in four Brits (24%) would describe themselves as Star Wars fans. Overall, more than a third of people intend to watch Rogue One – 19% at the cinema and a further 15% some other way.

Given the popularity of the franchise, we at YouGov decided to use the launch of Rogue One to explore the nation’s Star Wars preferences.

Han Solo is Britain’s most beloved Star Wars character, with 21% of those who have ever watched a Star Wars film saying that he was their favourite. Han is even more favoured by those who consider themselves Star Wars fans, at 28%. It is clear that Brits will have been upset with the plot of Episode VII, which sees Solo killed at the end of the movie by his own son.

Other popular characters were Yoda on 12% and R2-D2 and Chewbacca (both on 9%). Rey and Finn, the protagonists of Episode VII, have yet to make much of an impression on the public, with both characters the favourites of just 1% of people - less popular than even the heinous Jar Jar Binks.

Younger people do have somewhat different character preferences compared to their older peers. They are much less enamoured with Yoda and Han Solo, and are more likely to prefer Obi-Wan Kenobi, R2-D2 and Anakin Skywalker. It is notable that younger people’s favourite characters are prominent in the prequels, whilst those favoured by older people got more screen-time in the original trilogy (except R2-D2, who was prominent in both trilogies).

One of the most iconic visuals of the Star Wars films are the lightsaber battles. Many a child (or child at heart) has been observed swinging around an imaginary blade and imitating the distinctive nyuuuung sound effects. Given the chance to have their own lightsaber, Brits are most likely to opt for a blue-bladed model at 23%.

Green, the other mainstay Jedi colour, is favoured by 12%. Purple lightsabers like the one wielded by Samuel L Jackson’s Mace Windu in the prequel trilogy are also popular at 22%, whilst the red lightsabers favoured by the evil Sith come in at 11%.

Finally, when asked to choose which side of the Force they would rather join, the people of Britain overwhelming opt to join the forces of good on the light side (64%), whilst just 14% would succumb to temptations of the dark side. But beware, the UK’s younglings – those aged 18-24 – are the most likely of any demographic group to say they would rather join the dark side, at 25%.

See the full results here