Ever since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, fans have watched the new Star Wars canon cherrypick elements from the long-standing Extended Universe for inclusion and leave the rest under the banner Star Wars Legends. It’s hard to blame Disney for doing so. There have been hundreds of novels, comics, video games, and cartoons based on and around the first six Star Wars films, and trying to fit all of them into one cohesive narrative while continuing the flagship episode films would be an impossible task. However, while not everything from the defunct Star Wars Extended Universe was gold (Jaxxon, anyone?), some fans felt this abandonment trivialized all the time and money spent into enjoying the characters and stories that were once considered mostly canon.
Luckily, when Marvel regained the comic rights to Star Wars, they knocked it out of the park. They took care filling in the gaps between films in interesting ways. Suddenly, a franchise, many of us thought to be picked over to the bone, found new life. To fill these newly exposed cracks, the comics introduced slews of new characters. Some we love and deserve their own movies and comic series. But others, while not terrible (usually), seem to be excess spackle.
15. GOOD: KIRAK INFIL’A
Have you ever wondered how Darth Vader obtained his signature red-bladed lightsaber? Yeah, neither did we, but it turns out there’s a pretty cool story behind it that introduces a really interesting fallen Jedi who dodged Order 66. In their 2017 run of Star Wars: Darth Vader, Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli tell the tale of the young Sith apprentice hunting down a former Jedi known as Kirak Infil’a at the behest of Palpatine.
Vader tries to make short work of Kirak, but soon learns this elder Force-user is pretty tough and won’t go without a fight. Kirak’s character design is awesome and his noble and he literally throw Vader off a freaking cliff! Vader, of course, survives and returns to kill Kirak. It’s unfortunate that Kirak had such a short shelf life. Hopefully we’ll see more stories about him in upcoming comics.
14. BAD: DR. CYLO
Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca’s 25-issue run on Darth Vader (2015) produced some of the best stories ever told about the Sith Lord in comic form. In fact, one could argue, these issues (along with interwoven issues from Star Wars to make up the “Vader Down” story arc) are some of best storing about Vader ever told in any medium.
But while Gillen and Larocca expand the Star War Universe by populating it mostly interesting character, there were a few duds. One such dud is the cybernetic-obsessed villain Dr. Cylo, a deranged scientist who believed natural progress of the Galaxy could be achieved through mechanical augmentations. Cylo’s modus operandi is interesting enough, but he gets very little time to be fully fleshed out or interesting at all.
13. GOOD: SANA STARROS
As the old saying goes: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn.” Han Solo has no shortage of former partners who he’s back-stabbed or by whom he has been betrayed. One such character, who happens to fall into the latter category, is Sana Starros, a mysterious woman who claimed to be Solo’s wife when she first graced the pages of Star Wars.
Sana reappeared to even the score and wound up following the tracks Solo left during the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. Her inclusion to the Star Wars Canon not only helped further develop the notion that Solo is quite the cad when it comes to the opposite sex, but if also gave us another strong female character to root for in a Galaxy that, at least in the films, lacked women heroes significantly.
12. BAD: O-66
Some droids are just jerks. Sure RT-D2 obviously withheld vital information regarding Luke Skywalker’s lineage, but Artoo never tried to leave someone for dead. The same cannot be said for O-66, the caretaker and pilot to Palpatine’s spacecraft, the Scimitar. In all fairness, O-66 was just looking out for himself and his master’s belonging when he left bounty hunter Chanath Cha to die after betraying her, but it was still a cheap move.
The issue with O-66 isn’t that he evil, it’s that he’s condescending. Before leaving Cha to her potential demise, the droid takes a cheap jab by rubbing her nose in her mistakes. While this does further prove that some droids have more agency than others, the last thing we need is another artificial life form with more snark than personality. Then again, we can’t blame him too much.
11. GOOD: LOO RE ANNO
Some Star Wars characters are just amazing to look at. Their exotic designs are enough to keep us engaged and fill us with a sense of wonder. Dragon Void Run racer, Loo Re Anno, a female member of an unknown alien species, is one of these characters we want to see more of simply because of how gorgeous she looks. And we don’t mean “gorgeous” in the traditional sense, but she is visually stunning like the Cloners on Kamino in Attack of the Clones were.
Loo also embodied all the great weirdness from the old Expanded Universe that is often missing from the films. Not to mention, canonically, she is an early adopter of seeing something in Han Solo beyond the smug, roguish swagger he exudes. Sadly, based on where the Han Solo mini-series left her, we may never see her blue visage ever again.
10. BAD: BLACK KRRSANTAN
While he does have quite the fan base among Star Wars nerds, Black Krrsantan is a prime example of all style and no substance. One of Star Wars Universe’s biggest issues is trying to quantify itself. Sometime this comes in the form of measuring the Force on some bizarre molecular scale, while other times it shows up as unnecessary expansion.
The charm of Chewbacca is that he’s the only Wookiee we meet in the original trilogy of films. He’s unique and mysterious. Where did he come from? Why do most people understand him? Who knows! While Black Krrsantan is certainly not the worse Wookiee to infringe on Chewie’s charm (that would be Lumpy from the Star Wars Holiday Special), he doesn’t really bring anything to the table other than being the anti-Chewbacca. Hopefully he can turn this around.
9. GOOD: KREEL
Just the mere image of a Stormtrooper brandishing a green lightsaber would be enough for any Star Wars fan’s jaw to drop and leave them wondering who exactly is under that big, dumb helmet. Lucky for those fans, we know exactly who is under that big, dumb helmet in the case of Sergeant Kreel, leader of Task Force 99 (a squad of equally tough-as-nails Stormtroopers) and former game master/arena fighter for Grakkus the Hutt.
Most Stormtroopers are relegated to catching blaster fire from Rebels while wearing white, but Kreel is not your average Legionnaire. He’s smart, fearless, and dangerous enough to put Luke and his buddies in a perpetual state of unease when he’s in proximity. Kreel is also an expert when it comes to hand-to-hand combat (with and without a lightsaber) and bargaining tactics (he kidnapped C-3PO for crying out loud!). What’s not to love?
8. DISLIKE: TULON
If the coolest thing about a character is the way they die, perhaps they are not intrinsic to your story and could be eliminated from it completely. Tulon from Darth Vader (2015) is one of these characters ancillary characters that probably sounded awesome in concept, but didn’t work in execution.
Tulon Voidgazer was the byproduct of genetic and cybernetic engineering conducted by Dr. Cylo. She was intended to replace Vader as Palpatine’s apprentice. Now, a genetically perfect being designed for the sole purpose of usurping the baddest dude in the Galaxy from his position sounds like a promising adversary. But Tulon never stood a chance. Sure, she got some licks in, but for a character the comic hyped up so much, we were expecting more out of her.
7. LIKE: PASH DAVANE
Since Disney began involvement with the Star Wars franchise we’ve been getting some brand new and wonderfully strong female characters such as Rey, Jyn Erso, Admiral Holdo, and Sana Starros. But none of them have been quite as strong (at least physically speaking) as Pash Davane.
Pash (nicknamed Bash for…well, bashing someone) is an engineer turned manual laborer who was pretty much a conscientious objector when it came to the war between The Empire and The Rebellion. But things changed once Pash crossed paths with Leia. The hulking woman saved her life and was inspired by her selflessness to join The Rebellion. So far Pash has only shown up in Star Wars Annual #2, but we have our fingers crossed to see more of her. She’s another great example of an average citizen being pulled into a fight bigger than they could ever imagine.
6. DISLIKE: BT-1
When Doctor Aphra first appeared, with her came a pair of assassin droids, one of them (we’ll touch on the other one later) was BT-1 (or Beetee), a squatty, homicidal answer to the more ambivalent RT-D2. While some droids in the Star Wars Universe are basically Swiss Army knives, BT-1 was pretty much a Swiss Army assault rifle.
Beetee is another example of a dark mirror image of an already established character. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with the character popping up for an issue and then getting dispatched of slinking off without a trace, Beetee is still kicking around in the Marvel Star Wars comics. To say his one note characteristic as a murderous manic is a little played out is somewhat of an understatement. Perhaps if this little guy has as much personality as say Chopper from Star Wars; Rebels, we’d be excited for him sticking around.
5. LIKE: AGENT TEREX
When Marvel announced a stand-alone Poe Dameron series, we were somewhat hesitant. Poe was certainly charming in The Force Awakens, but it was tough to tell if he had enough chutzpah to carry his own title. Luckily, the series surrounded Poe with rich characters to help develop his back story before the events of The Force Awakens. One of these characters is one of the major foils to Poe, Agent Terex.
Terex is a roughneck former Stormtrooper turned crime syndicate leader. This guy is volatile and after joining The First Order, he quickly climbs the ranks due to how brutal of a military tactician he is. They say stories are only as good as their villains, and with characters like Terex (who harken back to other military heavyweights like Admiral Thrawn), Poe Dameron has quite the anchor to keep the series from flying off the rails (unless it needs to).
4. DISLIKE: 0-0-0
What’s a homicidal RT-D2 without a homicidal C-3PO? Turns out, not a whole lot. Interrogation droid 0-0-0 (also known as Triple-Zero) is the rudest protocol droid since the one who talked smack to Threepio in the halls of Cloud City during The Empire Strikes Back. He’s also surprisingly more annoying than Threepio, himself.
When we first meet Triple-Zero, his obsession with torture and trying out new advanced interrogation tactics is funny, and oddly charming. But that charm fades rather quickly. Despite a few shining moments between him and Dr. Aphra, there isn’t must to really take away from his inclusion in the Star Wars Universe with any real impact. He’s just sort of there. Again, he’s another character who would have been better suited for a minor role with limited installments.
3. LIKE: L’ULO L’AMPAR
Sometimes, to be a good character, all we really need is for them to be a good dude (or Duros in this case). Rebel pilot and surrogate father to Poe Dameron, L’ulo L’ampar was about as noble as you could get. He was a true believer in the Rebellion and carried that faith when it evolved into The Resistance.
L’ulo was there during The Battle of Endor and continued the fight for nearly 30 years. He meant the world to the other members of Poe’s Black Squadron, and when we lost him, it was devastating. L’ulo sacrificed himself to save others, which might be the most noble thing a rebel can do in Star Wars. At L’ulo’s funeral, Poe even compared his fallen friend to the legendary Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi, which might the highest praise one can receive in Star Wars.
2. DISLIKE: GRAKKUS THE HUTT
Remember in The Phantom Menace, during the pod racing scene, we see Jabba the Hutt and some other Hutt watching the race from box seats? Remember how odd it was to see that giant slug off his weird couch and moving around? Yeah, we didn’t like that either (just like that additional Jabba scene in A New Hope Special Edition).
But as odd as that was to see, there is something even more unsettling when witness a Hutt scurrying around on metal legs. Grakkus the Hutt might be one of the oddest inclusions of the Marvel Star Wars comics. He seems to be a placeholder for Jabba since canonically, Jabba’s dead. Grakkus shows up in Star Wars, which takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and returns in the Poe Dameron comic, which takes place right before The Force Awakens. Maybe we don’t need more Hutts.
1. LIKE: DOCTOR APHRA
We don’t think there has been a character that has been introduced in the new Marvel Star Wars comics that has spawned as many cosplays, pieces of fan art, and utter obsessions as Dr. Chelli Lona Aphra. Despite her two companion droids being one-note characters, Aphra is quite complex. Her relationship with Darth Vader is strangely sweet and her intrepidness is splendid.
Aphra was such a hit with fans that she became the first Marvel-introduced Star Wars character to get her own ongoing series. Aphra is an awesome anti-heroine who has become as intrinsic to the Star Wars Canon as any number of scum and villainy you could think of. She’s smart, charming, and somehow survives scenarios that would get pretty much any other character killed. If Disney doesn’t include her in one of these spin-off Star Wars Story films, they’d be crazy.
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