More after the Jump--in no particular order.
John Connor fights for human kind in a post-apocalyptic future where powerful, intelligent machines have dedicated themselves to the eradication of humanity. Connor is the leader of the human resistance movement known as Tech-Com that opposes them. Skynet, the supercomputer mainframe of the machines, decides that John Connor is the focal point of the rebellion and that his termination would end the opposition. After repeated failures at terminating John during the war, Skynet decides to use a temporal displacement device to send cyborg assassins called Terminators to various points in John Connor's past in an attempt to terminate him before the war ever begins. In many ways John Connor is the Salvation of mankind. Is it any wonder his initials are JC.
In the future (circa 2375), the Dominion War, an interplanatery conflict held between the Dominion, Cardassian Union and later the Breen Confederacy against the Alpha Quadrant alliance of the United Federation of Planets, Klingon Empire, and later, the Romulan Star Empire, will be held. The dedicated crew of Deep Space Nine will serve as the main combatants in that battle. Whether fighting space battles in the Defiant, subversive attacks on the planet Cardassia or finding the cure for the Changlings Prophets, these soldiers, made from the multiple armed forces, helped bring about the end of the Dominion Wars.
Mal volunteered for the Independents army during the Unification War against the Alliance, gaining the rank of sergeant during that time. His loyal second-in-command Zoe was by his side for most of the war, surviving many dangerous conflicts with him. He fought in several major battles, including the Battle of Du-Khang in 2510 and a long winter campaign in New Kashmir where he commanded a platoon. Mal was also involved in the ground campaign during the Battle of Sturges , the "bloodiest and shortest battle in all the war." Mal fought in many more battles, but the turning point for him and the Independents came with their physical and emotional defeat at the Battle of Serenity Valley on the planet Hera. Mal was given a brevet promotion to Captain during the Battle of Serenity Valley to take command of the ever-increasing number of Independent troops who were losing their officers at the hands of the Alliance. After the war, Mal acquired his own ship, a derelict 03-K64 Firefly-class transport. Mal named the ship Serenity after the Battle of Serenity Valley, the decisive battle of the Unification War.
Juan "Johnnie" Rico is a member of the Roughneck Squad of Starship Troopers. He was the son of a wealthy Filipino family who joined the Terran Mobile Infantry almost on impulse and over his parents' objections. He was sent to boot camp "Arthur Currie" with 2008 other recruits, and graduated as one of the 187 still enlisted. He was assigned as a Private to Company K, Third Regiment, First M.I. Division, or "Willie's Wildcats" on the transport corvette the Valley Forge. His first engagement was the foul-up "Operation Bughouse", during which 80% of the Wildcats were taken out of commission. He was then transferred to "Rasczak's Roughnecks" aboard the Rodger Young, where he achieved the rank of corporal and survived several successful battles. He later entered Officer Candidate School at the encouragement of his friend Ace. He next became a lieutenant after commanding in the critically successful "Operation Royalty". Rico was promoted to colonel to command the military post on the frontier planet Roku San. Eventually Rico is offered a promotion to general and command of the Marauder Program.
Derek Wildstar is the young man who becomes Deputy Captain of the Argo after its commander, Captain Avatar, becomes too ill to actively lead. Born in 2181, he is 18 in 2199. At 11, he and his older brother, Alex, were orphaned when their parents were killed in the aftermath of a Gamilon planet bomb attack. Derek's character matures gradually throughout the first two seasons of Star Blazers, going from a brash and hot-headed kid to a tempered and wise leader. Derek's blossoming relationship with Radar Operator Nova is explored and developed just as gradually as the seasons progress, making for a depth of character seldom seen in American science fiction. Wildstar also functions as the Star Force's Combat Group leader. He also leads the Black Tiger fighter squadron in his SuperStar (CosmoZero) fighter craft. I should note that, for some reason he is known as Susumu Kodai in Japan.
Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leah of the Rebel Alliance
The men and women of the Rebel Alliance were fiercely dedicated to the principle of freedom, and would lay down their lives to win their objectives. It was this dedication that helped bring down the evil Empire even though they were outmatched and outgunned. Princess Leia Organa Solo, Crown Princess of Alderaan, Princess of Naboo (born as Leia Amidala Skywalker) fought first as a spy and later a soldier in the Rebel Army. Han Solo was a smuggler and "reckless mercenary" who become involved in the Rebel Alliance against his will. But, would eventually become a chief figure in the Alliance and succeeding galactic governments. George Lucas described Solo as "a loner who realizes the importance of being part of a group and helping for the common good.” And then there is Luke Skywalker, a whiny farm boy who learns the ways of the Jedi and becomes an important figure in the Rebel Alliance, leading the struggle against the Galactic Empire and who convinces his father to destroy the evil Emperor Palpatine. This gets an honorable mention because while it may appear futuristic, it was, in reality, “A long time ago.”