Light up your lightsabers, because it is time to head back to the Lucasverse for a close-up look at Star Wars. As the whole world once again goes mad for that galaxy far, far away (thanks to Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi), big stars like Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill are once again at the forefront of the saga. Another movie means more new additions, and while Kylo Ren and co. will be back for more, along for the ride this time are the likes of Benicio Del Toro and Kelly Marie Tran in their first appearances.
However, for every Rey, Luke, Han, Leia, Finn or Chewie, let’s spare a thought for those characters that have blended into the background like an extra as Maz Katana’s castle. Over the past 40 years, fans of Star Wars have seen thousands of characters introduced, across a wide array of species. With so many names and faces to remember, it’s obvious that some are always going to get left by the wayside. From forgotten mothers to lackluster politicians, out-there aliens and surplus senators, we’ve seen them all, and now, so will you… all over again!
15. RAYMUS ANTILLES
As one of the first casualties of the Star Wars saga, Captain Raymus Antilles doesn’t get anywhere near as much recognition as he ought to. Piloting the doomed Tantive IV, Antilles and his crew fell victim to Darth Vader way back in 1977’s A New Hope. Instead of being just some one-shot grunt made to fill the numbers, Antilles actually had much more of a backstory.
It is easy to forget that he was also the owner of both C-3PO and R2-D2 before they became Luke Skywalker’s dithering droids. Also, remember that Raymus actually appeared in Revenge of the Sith AND Rogue One as well. Annoyingly though, Antilles is no relation to Wedge Antilles or any other Antilles featured in the expanded universe — you missed a trick there, George Lucas.
14. PONDA BABA
That guy who looks like he has a pair of testicles for a chin, Ponda Baba is another Star Wars character lost to the ages. Baba was mainly there to show how cutthroat an aged Obi-Wan could actually be, and was part of one of the franchise’s more violent scenes. As Old Ben and Luke headed into the Tatooine cantina, Baba and Dr.Cornelius Evazan confronted the Jedi. After a short altercation, Obi-Wan swiftly chopped off Baba’s arm and went on his way with the rest of the movie.
Although not featured after that in A New Hope, the novels revealed that Evazan would later try and reattach Baba’s arm and nearly killed him in the process. His design should make Baba more memorable, but instead, he ended up looking like the inspiration for Jeff Goldblum’s Brundlefly transformation from The Fly.
13. QUEEN JAMILLIA
The lush greenery of Naboo led to many forgotten characters in Star Wars, with George Lucas seemingly pretending the planet barely exists in the galaxy after The Phantom Menace. However, life carried on. Following in the footsteps of Padmé was never going to be easy, but does anyone really remember Queen Jamillia?
Effectively known for yet more ornate geisha-like clothing, Jamillia only briefly appeared in Attack of the Clones and was then later replaced by several other queens of the planet. Not only a forgotten queen, she was technically unwanted. After Padmé served her two terms, the people of Naboo even tried to amend their constitution so she could carry on serving. Instead, Jamillia suggested that her predecessor lead the Senate instead.
Oh look, it’s Yoda in a wig. Keeping the Frank Oz puppet company in business, Lucas managed to squeeze another (whatever that species is) in for good measure. Apparently growing out of a concept sketch for Yoda, Yaddle was effectively his female counterpart and appeared in The Phantom Menace. As a high ranking member of the Jedi Council, Yaddle was among those who selected Anakin as the Chosen One. Apart from that, we can only assume she probably perished before or during Order 66.
Part of Yoda’s charm was always his apparent loneliness in the galaxy, so adding another of his species jarred a little with fans. This is especially true when you consider she is basically just a slimmed-down version of the Yoda puppet — at least mix it up a bit guys. Also, why did Yaddle and Yoda never have a child, it’s such a waste of continuing the line of those little, green, riddle-talkers?
11. KIT FISTO
Another doomed Jedi not long for this world, poor Kit Fisto looked like an early idea for Abe Sapien from the Hellboy movies. Skilled with his lightsaber, Fisto was a member of the amphibious Nautolan species, however, we didn’t really find out much more than that.
It is easy to forget that Fisto actually played a crucial part in the rescue of Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padmé from the Geonosis gladiator arena. In fact, Fisto was one of only a handful of the surviving Jedi out of the 200 who took part in the Battle of Geonosis. As the wars escalated, Anakin Skywalker told Mace Windu that Palpatine was actually a Sith Lord, prompting the Jedi Masters to make a final stand. Fisto was alongside Windu and several other Jedi as they confronted Palpatine in his office. Sadly, an overpowered Fisto was cut down and left to die.
10. FINIS VALORUM
There has been some truly memorable talent in the Star Wars movies, and from Max von Sydow to Christopher Lee, the greats have had their time to shine. So, whatever happened to Terence Stamp’s brief trip into space? Stamp may have the perfect voice and persona to play some sort of villainous Sith Lord, but in The Phantom Menace, he was nothing more than a noble politician.
Serving as the penultimate Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, Valorum failed to control the various factions in the lead up to the Civil War. Ironically, it was Padmé’s vote of no confidence that ushered Valorum out of the Republic and helped Sheev Palpatine rise to power as his replacement. Stamp apparently based Valorum on US President Bill Clinton and took the role because he thought it wouldn’t be a one-dimensional cameo — sadly, it looks like he was wrong.
9. CRIX MADINE
One of the most important characters in the entire Star Wars saga, how come no one remembers the name Crix Madine? Given that he was the mastermind behind the plans to destroy the second Death Star, there should be statues, tapestries and temples made in his honor. Dermot Crowley had literally seconds of screen time in Return of the Jedi, so there wasn’t much time to give him much of a backstory.
The Expanded Universe revealed that Madine had been in charge of one of the Empire’s best military units before defecting to the “rebel scum.” It was his idea to attack the shield generators on Endor, knowing it would be the perfect way to topple the Empire. Madine may just look like a generic general, but he was crucial to wrapping up Lucas’ original trilogy and paving the way for Disney’s latest run of movies.
8. SLY MOORE
Resembling some sort of out-there Tilda Swinton performance, Sly Moore is one of the creepiest creations to come from the prequel movies. The terrifying Umbaran female had bleached white skin and the ability to control the minds of others. Standing strong beside Palpatine, she was there the day that he titled himself Emperor.
The reason that so few people tend to remember Moore is the fact that she didn’t even get a name until Revenge of the Sith. Although created for Attack of the Clones and played by actress Sandi Finlay, the movie failed to give her an actual character until its successor. There wasn’t much else to her, however, Moore did earn the title “Queen of the Empire” due to persistent rumors that she and Palpatine were more than just workmates. Did she really die in the childbirth of Palpatine’s son Trioculus? Sadly, she vanished after Revenge, so we’ll never know what could’ve been.
7. DROOPY MCCOOL
From alarming albinos to just plain weird, Droopy McCool should win the award for strangest name and appearance. Seemingly part beanbag, part pig, McCool was the talented flute player of the Max Rebo Band. Going under his alias of “Snit,” Droopy’s real name is actually a series of incomprehensible whistles stemming from his species of the Kitonaks.
Sold into slavery, McCool joined Evar Orbus and his Galactic Jizz-Wailers, which would later be retitled the Max Rebo Band when the lead singer was killed in a turf war. The more popular Max Rebo Band featured Sy Snootles as its new frontwoman and appeared in Return of the Jedi before undergoing a CGI makeover for the rerelease. While Droopy may be just one of the many forgotten Max Rebo Band members, he did actually get his own action figure, so at least someone in the toy department remembers him.
6. RUNE HAAKO
Another racial stereotype that hasn’t aged particularly well since 1999, let’s try and remember Rune Haako, the other Neomodian from The Phantom Menace. The spineless Trade Federation official is the largely forgotten right-hand man of Nute Gunray. Gunray was equally annoying/offensive, but was given far more screen time than Haako. It is easy to forget that the two Separatist Neomodians actually played a pretty big part in the franchise and outlived many other more memorable characters.
Haako effectively escaped his crimes in Phantom, survived the Battle of Geonosis, then headed for safety on Mustafar. However, as Lucas culled the many (many) loose-end characters that hadn’t appeared in his original three movies, Gunray and Haako were cut down by Anakin under Palpatine’s orders. Be honest, Haako was basically there to make up the body count.
5. ADMIRAL FIRMUS PIETT
A quivering mess of a man, Admiral Firmus Piett gets the dubious honor of being the only Imperial Officer to survive for more than one movie. Piett started as the First Officer on Vader’s flagship the Executor, but soon shot up the ranks thanks to the blunders of his superiors. When Admiral Kendal Ozzel’s failed military strategy alerted the Rebels to their presence over Hoth, he had the life choked out of him. This neatly left a space for Piett to occupy.
Working much better than Ozzel under Vader, Piett still wasn’t without his mistakes. After failing to capture Luke Skywalker on Bespin, Piett just about escaped Vader’s wrath. However, the long-standing officer met his maker when Admiral Ackbar and the Rebel’s personally targeted the Executor. The bridge was hit by an out of control A-Wing and Piett perished along with the entire crew.
4. SALACIOUS B. CRUMB
Another creature feature straight from Jabba’s palace, Salacious B. Crumb is one of those you are more likely to recall the ridiuclous name than the character itself. Jabba the Hutt’s own personal monkey-lizard was the court’s jester with the sole aim to keep the crimelord entertained on a regular basis. However, Crumb simply looked like a rejected design from Gremlins.
Crumb and Jabba had struck a unique deal — if he could make Hutt laugh once a day, he could have as much wine as he wants. However, fail to make Jabba laugh and he would be slain. If Crumb is remembered for anything, it would undoubtedly be his shrill laugh, which he often used to taunt Hutt’s victims. Things came to a head on Jabba’s sail barge when Crumb attacked C-3PO and was shocked by R2-D2. Not long after, the entire barge was blown up and Crumb died with the rest of Jabba’s cronies.
3. BREHA ORGANA
The Star Wars movies don’t have a great history with mothers, and characters like Padmé and Shmi are reminders that having a kid in the galaxy could be just as dangerous as taking on Darth Vader. Breha Organa may not have been the biological mom of Princess Leia, but it didn’t stop her meeting a very early grave back in A New Hope. However, while the prequels made the best use they could of Jimmy Smits’ Bail Organa, Breha was still barely even noticeable.
Although Breha was in George Lucas’ first draft for Star Wars, she never made it into the first movie, but instead appeared in the 2013 non-canon comic adaptation. In live-action, Breha briefly appeared in Revenge of the Sith. Australian actress Rebecca Jackson Mendoza played the part of Breha for a split-second toward the movie’s climax and was seen holding a baby Leia.
2. ORN FREE TAA
Alongside Jabba the Hutt as a poster boy for outer space obesity, the slippery Orn Free Taa is a corrupt senator who played a part in the rise of the Galactic Empire. With his distinct design and garish look, you would expect that more people would remember this blue blaggard. However, despite appearing in all three of the prequel movies, his only line is, “Watch it” to Jar Jar in Revenge of the Sith.
The Twi’lek alien represented Ryloth in the Senate, but only had eyes for one thing — money. Unsurprisingly, he was one of those who pushed for Valorum’s vote of no confidence, seeing an easy way to amass more power and riches for himself. Taa put his might behind supporting Palpatine’s takeover and continued to work under the Emperor and Vader for many years. Not bad for someone none of the movie fans can remember.
1. QUARSH PANAKA
The final addition takes us back to Naboo to meet Quarsh Panaka, the loyal captain of Padmé’s security forces. After a heroic rescue of the planet toward the end of The Phantom Menace, Panaka mysteriously vanished into thin air. He may have had all the makings of a heroic character, but sadly bowed out before he could be elevated to any form of status in the series.
While Panaka went on to have an extended role in the expanded universe, his short tenure in the movies was due to several behind-the-scenes disagreements with the producers. Although Hugh Quarshie was originally intended to return for Attack of the Clones, he was instead replaced by Jay Laga’aia’s Gregar Typho — who happened to be Panaka’s nephew. Conveniently, the eye-patched Typho was equally forgotten, but at least he hung around a little longer than his uncle. Safe to say, Lucas didn’t bother explaining where Panaka had gone.
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