It makes sense that a story taking 14 hours of screen time to tell and spanning and spanning several decades from start to finish would require a few characters to help the story along. As battles are fought, locations change, and people die, there begins to be a need to replace characters, and some just work better than others.
Star Wars is the granddaddy of selling products inspired by the film. In the past 40 years, there have been $37 billion dollars of Star Wars merchandise sold, with clothes, books, posters, and toys made to reflect almost every character on screen.
Not just the biggest merchandising film series, Star Wars is also the movie that started the trend of creating products to compliment it. The size of the Star Wars universe means that a character can be easily introduced with 5 seconds of screen time, resulting in a later opportunity to create and sell the whole story through expanded universe items, and the merchandising holy grail, an action figure.
So whether they were one off helpers, mistakes never to be repeated, or merchandising decoys, some characters in the Star Wars universe are quickly forgotten in comparison to the main cast. Here is Screen Rant’s list of 10 Star Wars Characters You Forgot About.
10. Nien Nunb
As co-pilot to Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) during the Battle of Endor, Nien Nunb did receive screen time during a memorable scene, yet isn’t the first person who comes to mind when you ask about the co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon. His one notable trait is his shoulder-shrugging laugh.
Accused of being a mix of stereotypes portraying Mexicans, Asians, and Philipinos, this character is returning in Episode 7, as confirmed by puppeteer Mike Quinn. Hopefully, this means official Colt 45 spokesman Williams will return as Calrissian alongside Nien Nunb the Sullustian smuggler.
9. Shmi Skywalker
The virgin mother herself, Shmi Skywalker (Pernilla August) is the late mother of Anakin Skywalker. A slave who was miraculously impregnated by the force bearing creatures known as midi-chlorians, Shmi gave birth to the future Darth Vader (Jake Lloyd) and raised him as a slave alongside her.
After being visited by Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Padme (Natalie Portman) on Tatooine, she let her young son Anakin leave with the Jedi master to receive a better life. After his training with Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Anakin (Hayden Christensen) returns to Tatooine, where he learns his mother has been abducted by Tusken Raiders. Finding her before she dies of her injuries, Shmi’s death inspires Anakin to massacre a whole village of Sand People that he believes responsible.
While making an appearance in two films, Shmi is a character that slips the mind frequently, due to her somewhat deferential attitude. Reserved, quiet, and willing to let her nine-year-old son run around the galaxy with the Jedi, Shmi is more of window dressing than fully fleshed out character.
8. Mon Mothma
Everyone knows that guilt is not the best motivator, but for some reason, Mon Mothma did not get the memo.
Originally seen in Return of the Jedi, Mothma (Caroline Blakiston) is a former galactic senator and the current Chancellor of the Rebel Alliance at the time of Jedi. Her most famous line was delivered before the attack plans for the second Death Star were unveiled. Hoping to let the onlooking generals and pilots understand the substantial cost to get the designs, she notes, “many Bothans died to bring us this information.” Way to bring down the mood Mon.
Returning in Revenge of the Sith, a young Mon Mothma was played Genevieve O’Reilly. Unfortunately for O’Reilly, her lines were shorter than the original role, and in the end, she was cut from the film entirely.
7. Sio Bibble
With the prequels being more like a forebearer of House of Cards than Star Wars, it’s understandable if it is difficult to remember the names of every Governor and Senator. We understand why Sio Bibble (Oliver Ford Davies), governor of Naboo, could be forgotten, as his role was made fairly redundant with an active queen like Amidala, and an ambitious galactic senator like Sheev Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid).
Not much of a chief executive for the planet, when his crowning achievements were being arrested while Padme escaped, and attending both the celebratory parade for Naboo’s liberation, and the funeral for Padme Amidala.
6. Dak Ralter
Dak Ralter (John Morton) is an overconfident rebel pilot, who served as Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) tail gunner during the battle of Hoth. Aiming to take on the whole Empire by himself, Dak was killed when Luke’s snowspeeder was hit by blaster fire from an AT-AT walker.
Only appearing on screen in this one battle, Dak is one of those characters who had such great fan support, a portion of the extended universe was built for him, providing a relatively comprehensive backstory. Born into an imperial prison colony planet, Dak was inspired by a rebel pilot, Breg, who helped free Dak and led him to join the Rebellion.
While Jabba the Hut had both a Rancor pit and Sarlac pit, one of his forgotten halls of torture lay beneath his palace in his droid dungeon. After Luke delivers C-3PO and R2-D2 to the Hutt crime lord, the droids are brought to see EV-9D9, a sadist more fitting for 50 Shades of Grey than Return of the Jedi.
With backlit slits for eyes, 9D9 looks fairly sinister the first moment she appears on screen and seems to enjoy the work she does. Supervising the robots in Jabba’s droid pool, Eve delights in torturing and having her fellow droids, especially by having them melted down by 8D8, a smelter, and her partner in her sadistic pleasures.
4. Gregar Typho
Captain Panaka’s nephew, Gregar Typho (Jay Laga’aia) was part of Padme Amidala’s security detail during the events of the Naboo blockade, and head of security while she sat in the galactic senate. A hyper-vigilant protector, Typho employed body doubles and decoy ships to protect the senator from assassination attempts.
His eye patch is more memorable than the character as, without a band to secure it to his head, it seems as though it’s nailed into his eye socket. He lost his eye at some point during the battle for Naboo; however, this fact is only revealed in an expanded universe novel, and we doubt George Lucas wanted to include a lost eye in the kid friendly Phantom Menace.
In his only appearance on screen, Lobot (John Hollis) is only referred to in The Empire Strikes Back credits as “Lando’s Aide.” Receiving a larger back story through the Expanded Universe, the character was provided the name Lobot, a shortening of the word lobotomy, and because he is a half robot.
A cyborg who was on the empire’s payroll before he left and started working with rogue Lando Calrissian, Lobot is in charge of Cloud City’s computer network. As a cyborg, he can communicate directly with the computers via the implants found on his head. This served him well as he was able to silently direct security forces to outflank the stormtroopers who remained after Vader left the city.
Having Keira Knightly play the body double of Natalie Portman is like having Zooey Deschanel play Katy Perry’s twin sister, the resemblance is so close, it may not be obvious that there are two characters. In The Phantom Menace, Knightly plays Sabe, the handmaiden who steps in for Queen Amidala, wearing her ceremonial attire and allowing Padme to move about fairly unencumbered by pretending to be a handmaiden herself.
In Episode II, Sabe is replaced by Corde, another Padme double, leading to further confusion around the characters in Padme’s web of deceit. However, EU items do place Sabe on Alderaan as a tutor to Padme’s daughter Leia after the death of her mother.
The most mean-spirited addition to the Star Wars films, Jek Tono Porkins (William Hootkins), is an unfortunately named overweight pilot for the Rebel Alliance, who fought alongside Luke at the Battle of Yavin. Furthermore, with nicknames like “Belly Runner” and “Piggy,” Porkins didn’t even command respect in his expanded universe backstory.
Killed by turbolaser fire during the battle of Yavin, Porkins was part of Red Squadron, the group of fighter pilots who aided Luke’s role in the destruction of the Death Star. It could also be said the Porkins was victim to the film’s small budget; after A New Hope, the movies were able to be more choosy with actors and a guy like Porkins would be more likely to serve in the galactic senate as opposed to the cockpit of an x-wing fighter.
Do you remember (or forget) any other characters who should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!