Episode I: The Phantom Menace
"I'm tired of these mother-effin' Sith Lords taking over this mother-effin' Republic!"
-What Mace Windu should have said when he found out Palpatine was a Sith
Even though he doesn't really do much in the first film, we all knew that Samuel L. Jackson's character was going to be awesome. And throughout the prequel trilogy he certainly delivers.
As cool as he is in the films, Windu really shines in the Expanded Universe. His appearances in Genndy Tartakovsky's Clone Wars are some of the coolest bits; he is the one who crushes Grievous' chest and forces his perpetual cough, and in one scene he brings down an entire droid army almost single-handedly (I'll post a link to the clip). The novel Shatterpoint focuses on Mace when he visits his home planet Harrun Kal and faces off against the ruler Kar Vastor, and that's definitely one to check out (just barely missed out on my list).
Fun Facts about Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu:
Episode I: Just wanted to be in it.
Episode II: Wanted to stand out on Geonosis, so he received a purple lightsaber.
Episode III: Knew he was going to die, so requested to not go out like a punk.
Mace Windu Clone Wars clip:
"Into the garbage chute, flyboy!"
Yes Leia is higher on my list than Luke. Mainly because she's not as whiny as her twin brother. She is a woman of action, that does a lot to help the characters out of trouble. I just really like her style.
Plus she is witty, and the only person in the whole series that doesn't put up with Han's crap (even though I love Han's sense of humor).
From start to finish of the original trilogy, I loved the way Leia does her own thing, and is more of a help to the team than a helpless kidnapped princess. These are all reasons she is my number 8.
I'm going to be honest here. Fett is kind of lame in the movies. He hardly puts up a fight in the battle at the sarlacc pit. Why does everyone like him!? The Mandalorian armor and his ship. That armor looks cool. You can't help but think the person wearing it must fit the warrior image even though Fett never really showed it in the movie. His ship design is unique and elegent. I think what people really like, me included, is his asthetics, not so much him. Thats OK. Everyone makes their first judgement based on looks. Because everyone finds him so cool, the expanded universe has fleshed out his story more than most characters, and it is an epic story.