Jedi Archives: The Forty best Star Wars characters you haven’t heard of
By Richard Lynch
Happy May the Fourth everyone! This month marks the 40th anniversary of the original release of Star Wars. We’ve spent so much time with characters like Luke, Leia, and Han, but what about the little guy? The background character? The extras who had one line? Today, let’s take a look back at some the best minor characters from the films, characters who stood in the background while the bigger characters saved the galaxy. And maybe we’ll see if there are still a few more stories they could tell.
40. Captain Tarpals – The Phantom Menace
Yes, we’re dealing with all of the movies. Captain Tarpals managed to be the only character to make Gungan’s seem even remotely cool. He also hates Jar Jar, and that’s enough to get him to the very bottom of this list.
39. Moff Jerjerrod – Return of the Jedi
The commander of the second Death Star, Moff Jerjerrod is a perfect example of the sort of nervous officer that ran the Empire after most of the Imperial command was killed on the Death Star. Originally, he was meant to have more scenes in Return of the Jedi, but the scenes were cut. Much of his backstory has now been made non-canonical, but hopefully, this will change.
38. Rune Haako – The Phantom Menace
The Viceroy’s cowardly second in command may have been awful at being a villain, but he made for some of the better comic relief in Episode 1. Like many tertiary characters, Rune Haako has painfully little backstory despite appearing in all of the prequels.
37. Sy Snootles – Return of the Jedi
The singer of the Max Rebo band is the first of several characters on this list to get an expanded backstory in the Clone Wars. She went from being just a singer to double-crossing murderer working for Jabba.
36. Salacious Crumb – Return of the Jedi
Jabba’s snickering pet, Salacious Crumb is not only one of the best-named characters in Star Wars, but he also has a laugh to rival the Emperor.
35. Poggle the Lesser – Attack of the Clones
The leader of the Geonosians, Poggle the Lesser has a minimal role in the films but see much more action in the E.U. We eventually learn that he was instrumental in the early phases of Death Star construction before he met his fate at the end of Vader’s lightsaber.
34. Jocasta Nu – Attack of the Clones
A Jedi Librarian? Lady Jocasta represents a different kind of Jedi who follows the Force through knowledge rather than taking up a saber. She also isn’t afraid to put other Jedi in their place.
33. Garindan – A New Hope
What’s under the mask of this Imperial spy? What motivates him? We may not know the answers, but hopefully, they’ll be explored one day. Until then, his mysterious long nose and black robe earn him a place on this list.
32. Dex – Attack of the Clones
Dexter Jettster, not only is he one of the only characters we meet who has a normal job, but he’s also friends with Obi-Wan. Although he has only one scene, he managed to leave a mark on the saga.
31. Captain Panaka – The Phantom Menace
Queen Amidala’s head of security, Panaka is actually in quite a bit of Episode One, but he hardly does anything more noteworthy than telling us R2-D2’s name. I would love to see more of what happened to the captain in the years leading up to the rise of the Empire.
30. Bazine Netal – The Force Awakens
The saga’s newest bounty hunter/first order informant, we see Bazine briefly in Maz’s castle but learn nothing about her. A short story went a long way toward revealing her role as one of the premiere badasses in the new Star Wars galaxy.
29. General Dodonna – A New Hope
It’s always interesting seeing who leads the Rebellion. When Jan Dodonna walks Red and Gold squadrons through the attack plan against the Death Star, we have no idea how this old man came to be a leader in the fight against the Empire. Rebels has shed a little light on why he has such a lofty position, but not nearly enough.
28. Yaddle – The Phantom Menace
A female Yoda? The existence of this character, and on the Jedi Council no less begs so many questions that we’ll likely never have answered.
27. General Madine – Return of the Jedi
While Crix Madine serves a very similar role to General Dodonna what gets him a higher place on the list is his Legends history, in the old canon, Madine was an Imperial officer who defected to the Rebellion and was instrumental in securing the plans for the Death Star.
26. Admiral Ozzel – The Empires Strikes Back
Ozzel is not only one of Vader’s most iconic victims, but also another example of the sorry state of Imperial leadership following the destruction of the Death Star.
25. Quinlan Vos – The Phantom Menace
This random extra turned out to be an undercover Jedi. Vos is a ton of fun when he shows up in Clone Wars, and he’s even heavily featured in the novel Dark Disciple.
24. Supreme Chancellor Valorum – The Phantom Menace
The deposed chancellor was pushed out of power in part because of Palpatine’s scheme. But was he really that bad of a chancellor? Perhaps not.
23. Boss Nass – The Phantom Menace
The Gungan leader has a fantastic voice and a bunch of goofy expressions. He also comes across as one of the best leaders in the Star Wars Galaxy, saving his people from certain doom before vanishing up until the end of Revenge of the Sith.
22. Korr Sella – The Force Awakens
Aid to General Leia, Korr Sella was meant to have a much bigger storyline in the Force Awakens where she attempted to rally the Senate against the First Order. She was Killed by Starkiller base, but you can see some of her earlier experiences with Leia in the novel Bloodline.
21. Captain Antilles – A New Hope
Not to be confused with Wedge, Captain Antilles died buying time for R2 and 3PO to escape with the Death Star plans. But before that he had the droids with him for 19 years, think of all the stories we have yet to hear.
20. IG-88 – The Empire Strikes Back
An assassin droid turned bounty hunter; I’ve always wanted to see what IG-88 looks like on the move on film.
19. Bossk – The Empire Strikes Back
The wookie hating Trandoshian made quite the impression when he first appeared on the Executor’s bridge. Since his appearance in Clone Wars, it’s become clear that Bossk was an all around bad guy, but we never learned what happened to him.
18. Zam Wesell – Attack of the Clones
Jango Fett’s changling assassin puts up one tough fight before being executed by her boss. She had one of the all around coolest looks in the saga and introduced to the potential of characters who can change their appearance at will.
17. Admiral Piett – The Empire Strikes Back
One of the few competent officers in the post-Death Star Empire. Piett took over Vader’s fleet following the death of Admiral Ozzel. He must have done a good job because he was still admiral up until he was killed at Endor.
16. General Veers – The Empire Strikes Back
“Maximum Firepower” General Maximilian Veers brought us AT-ATs and led the assault on Echo Base, disabling the shields so the ground troops could land. I’m surprised that this character hasn’t made any appearances in current canon yet. As an Imperial ground commander, he offers a unique perspective we rarely see in the films.
15. Commander Cody – Revenge of the Sith
The first named clone in the series. Cody showed that the clones could have individual personalities, a fact that was expanded upon thanks to the Clone Wars. Although we see him attacking Obi-Wan in Episode 3, we never learned what became of him after Order 66.
14. Bib Fortuna – Return of the Jedi
Jaba’s loyal aid is a creepy Twi’lek that seems to serve his master unquestioningly. Thanks to Phantom Menace we know that he has been working for Jabba for a long time.
13. Dr. Evezan – A New Hope
Everyone’s favorite threatening bar patron seems to make a habit of hopping planets so that he can start fights with strangers. Before running into Luke and Ben in Mos Eisley, he was a surgeon practicing illegal cybernetic alterations on his victims. We all know how his run in with Luke went, but where did he go after?
12. Kit Fisto – Attack of the Clones
There are so many great Jedi designs introduced in the prequels; Kit Fisto became one of my personal favorites thanks to his portrayal on the Clone Wars where we learned not only that he could breathe underwater but could fight with a lightsaber as well.
11. Shaak Ti – Attack of the Clones
Ever since her death was deleted from Revenge of the Sith, the question has been left open, what happened to Shaak Ti? The Force Unleashed suggested that she survived for some time after the Jedi purge but since that game is no longer canon, we need a new answer to that long-standing question.
10. Temmin Wexley – The Force Awakens
Thanks to the Aftermath books, it looks like Temmin (Snap) Wexley is shaping up to be the next Wedge Antilles. Thanks to his close relationship to both Wedge and Poe, he’s grown up to be quite the pilot. Here’s hoping he survives The Last Jedi.
9. Mas Amedda – The Phantom Menace
Palpatine’s right-hand man, Mas Amedda became the Grand Vizier in Palpatine’s Empire. He ended up stuck with the remains after the Emperor’s death, but he had plenty of time to scheme before the Empire fell.
8. Colonel Yularen – A New Hope
Fans of the Clone Wars may recognize Yularen as Anakin’s military aid and future ISB agent. Any story that he has shown up in is sure to have to espionage and intrigue as he does what’s necessary to keep the Empire’s enemies in check.
7. Lobot – The Empire Strikes Back
Lando’s friend and assistant in Cloud City, Lobot was a tragic victim of his own cybernetic enhancements. When injured, the computer attached to his brain took over wiping out much of his personality. When we last saw him, he was still on Cloud City in the middle of an Imperial takeover.
6. Plo Koon – The Phantom Menace
Master Plo Koon was another Jedi who had hid character significantly developed on the Clone Wars. He was not only the one responsible for finding Asoka but also acted as an intermediary between Obi-Wan and Anakin when neither could agree on a solution. His wisdom helped our heroes get out of many tricky situations.
5. Dengar – The Empire Strikes Back
Dengar used to be my least favorite bounty hunter but seeing him struggle as a middle-aged bounty hunter who can still pack a punch in a number of books and comics have made me come to appreciate the brute. Whenever he shows up in a story, it’s bound to be interesting.
4. Mon Mothma – Return of the Jedi
The more stories that feature the enigmatic leader of the Rebellion, the better. Over time we have learned that Mon Mothma was a pacifist forced to fight a way to stop ever greater atrocities. Things gave never been easy for Mon, but her persistence has always seen her, and the Rebellion pull through.
3. General Tagge – A New Hope
Tagge was the only survivors of the Death Star thanks to the fact that his forces were investigating the abandoned Rebel base on Dantooine at the time. In the comic Darth Vader, he served as an antagonist to Vader as the Emperor gave him more power in response to his anticipating the failure of the Death Star. Eventually, Tagge was killed by Vader, but he had a good run.
2. Biggs Darklighter – A New Hope
Biggs was meant to be Luke’s best friend in the first movie, but all traces of him except a few references were cut. Biggs is a character in desperate need of a new backstory, as an early defector to the Rebellion, he probably went through a lot.#
Aurra Sing is in one scene in Episode One. She easily could have become the next Boba Fett, but that was the last time we saw her for years. Until the Clone Wars reintroduced her as a member of a mercenary team, the included a young Boba. It was revealed that she had trained him in his youth and this is a story that desperately needs to be told.
Thanks for reading. This has been Jedi Archives, May the Fouth be with you.