With Rian Johnson taking us back to that galaxy far, far away, the hype is at fever pitch for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As we light up our lightsabers and hop in the Falcon for Episode VIII, there is sure to be another cast of memorable (and not so memorable) characters plucked from the depths of outer space.
Across the seven main movies and Rogue One, fans have seen the regular cast of humans cross paths with droids, Ewoks, Wookiees, Hutts, and whatever the hell Salacious B. Crumb was. However, among fan-favorites like the Skywalker dynasty, there have been some characters who haven’t quite struck a chord with fans.
Everyone remembers the epic lightsaber duels, Samuel L. Jackson’s stint as Mace Windu, and all the famous-face cameos from The Force Awakens, but spare a moment for those characters that George Lucas and co. have tried to sweep under the carpet.
From forgotten relatives to offensive caricatures, annoying Gungans to CGI disasters, the Lucasverse has got it right and wrong in equal measure. Heading into The Force Awakens, Episode IX, and Johnson’s “new” trilogy, there are sure to be another crop of forgotten faces. So, with this in mind, here are Star Wars: 15 Characters Disney Wants You To Forget About.
15. Bail Organa
Many Star Wars fans will recognize actor Jimmy Smits, but with Bail Organa being the father of the legend that was Princess Leia, you might have wanted a little more from the character.
First appearing in Attack of the Clones, Bail was shown to be an important founding member of the Rebel Alliance and one of the few survivors of Order 66. However, knowing that Mr. and Mrs. Organa get blown up by the Death Star test on Alderaan, it was hard to really invest in Bail.
With Star Wars usually being so good at family trees and emotive arcs with relatives, Bail just feels like an added extra because Leia had to have a father figure. Even the return of Smits for Rogue One didn’t save Bail from a quick Google to ask “who’s that guy?”
14. Jar Jar Binks
Is Jar Jar Binks possibly the most hated character in all of cinematic history? Binks and the Gungans were a major misfire for Lucasfilm and The Phantom Menace.
Worse still, gone were the cutesy days of Frank Oz puppets, only to be replaced by the CGI mess that was Jar Jar. Seemingly only there for slapstick comedy that even a 5-year-old would struggle to laugh at, the flailing sidekick simply got in the way of The Phantom Menace’s mission.
However, when you have a major character that survives the event of the movie, what happens next? Across the rest Lucas’ prequel trilogy, Jar Jar was slowly phased out to a speechless cameo at Padmé’s funeral. While those theories about Jar Jar being a Sith might be interesting, don’t count on it guys.
13. Wedge Antilles
As a big part of the Star Wars: Rebels TV series, Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath novels, and as the lead character of the X-Wing books, you might expect Wedge Antilles to have a bit more of a standing in the Star Wars community.
With the honor of being the only rebel fighter to survive all the battles of the original trilogy, actor Denis Lawson starred in Lucas’ first three movies. These days, though, hotshot fighter pilots seem to be order of the day for Poe Dameron, meaning that Wedge is a little surplus to requirement. However, as a survivor of the franchise’s early day, he would surely be a welcome addition to the new trilogy.
Sadly, Wedge was left hanging after Return of the Jedi, so will he be seen again in live-action? Given that Lawson has said returning to the Lucasverse would “bore” him, probably not. We can only imagine that he is teaching kids to fly at some retirement home for rebel fighters.
12. Jango Fett
Bounty hunter Boba Fett inadvertently became one of the coolest characters that Lucas ever created, but the same can’t be said about his father. 2002’s Attack of the Clones is classed by some as a “filler” film, and the inclusion of a young Boba and Jango Fett only prove that point further.
Considering that Jango was considered the best bounty hunter in the galaxy, Clones didn’t exactly give him much chance to spread his wings and fly into action with his jetpack. Even making Temuera Morrison’s Jango the template for the entire clone army doesn’t make him any more memorable.
Also, given Jango’s spectacularly underwhelming death (much like Boba), having his head sliced off in the Geonosis arena cemented him as a forgotten piece of the maligned Star Wars years. Why the character didn’t work, but Boba did, is a mystery, but maybe it’s because he had more than three lines?
11. The Max Rebo Band
The big-lipped Sy Snootles, gross Droopy McCool, and adorable Ortolan Max – the Max Rebo Band are one of Star Wars’ biggest tragedies. With problems from the start, Lucas had originally planned to have a big musical number in the middle of Return of the Jedi but didn’t have the time or the money.
However, going back to tinker with his trilogy, the Max Rebo Band were barely recognizable. The band was actually significantly altered for the 1997 re-release of Return, adding nine new members and giving Snootles a CGI makeover.
Even their discography went back to the edit room, with Rebo’s Huttese song “Lapti Nek” being replaced by “Jedi Rocks” – apparently because it was a “less dated” piece of music. As one of the most divisive changes to the entire trilogy, die-hard Wars fans were peeved about the changes to the Max Rebo Band.
10. Bib Fortuna
Sticking with Jabba’s palace, Return offered up yet another forgotten character from the trip back to Tatooine. Long before the The Da Vinci Code was doing it, Star Wars introduced its own villainous albino to haunt out nightmares.
With his tentacle-wrapped appearance and piercing red eyes, Bib Fortuna should’ve stuck out from the crowd more than he did. As the terrifying Twi’lek served as Jabba’s chief of staff for decades since the Invasion of Naboo, it would’ve been simple for the movies to explore their relationship more than just some alien lurking in the background.
The expanded universe did manage to give Fortuna more of a backstory, but it was entirely retconned with Disney’s takeover/reboot. Sadly, Bib Fortuna he was left as just another lackluster victim of the Great Pit of Carkoon.
Before she was playing one doomed third of the Sand Snakes on Game of Thrones, who remembers that Keisha Castle-Hughes played a part in the Star Wars prequel trilogy?
Following Padmé’s rise to senator, she was preceded by several monarchs, but Queen Apailana was by far the youngest. However, apart from effectively looking like a pre-Black Swan Portman, there wasn’t much of Apailana to remember. There was a dress code for the queens of Naboo, but Lucas could’ve done something to make her stand out a little more.
Considering there have been four movies worth of story since fans last saw Apailana, she hasn’t been heard of since. Is she still ruling over Naboo, or has some other queen taken over? In fact, since the end of the prequel trilogy, little has been heard of Padmé’s homeworld at all.
8. Darth Plagueis
Forget Supreme Leader Snoke, there is someone much cooler hiding out there in Star Wars. As arguably the most powerful Sith in the galaxy, Darth Plagueis developed the ability to control midi-chlorians more than anyone before him – and therefore create life.
That is all well and good, but when Palpatine kills you in your sleep, how useful is the ability to resurrect the dead? That being said, the story of Plagueis was one of the most interesting parts of Revenge of Sith and played a major part in Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side.
There are hopes that the story could be revisited, and it is probably a given that Plagueis’ legacy will appear somewhere down the line in the continuing universe. However, Disney could just as easily leave Plagueis as a forgotten ghost of the past.
7. General Grievous
Part skeleton, part robot, all CGI; it must be General Grievous. There have been some truly memorable bad guys across the Star Wars saga, but this wheezing windbag is not one of them.
Like with most of the prequels, it seems that more time went into making Grievous look good than actually giving him any backstory. In fact, you could interchange any number of galactic bad guys and no one would notice. Rasping away behind his mask, he sounded more like a knock-off Darth Vader and is largely remembered for his mediocre battle against Obi-Wan.
It seems that the prequel movies just gave its villains more lightsabers in the hopes of mesmerizing fans. However, even wielding four weapons, Grievous just came across as an anti-smoking campaign. If you want to ever see how the character should be done, check out his much-improved turn in the Clone Wars TV show.
Another big star cast aside by the cruel wars of Star Wars, let’s take a moment to remember Keira Knightley’s Sabé. It’s clear that the casting of Knightley likely came down to the fact that she bears an uncanny resemblance to Natalie Portman. When watching The Phantom Menace as a child, it was nearly impossible to tell Sabé and Padmé apart.
However, perhaps Lucas couldn’t afford Knightley for the sequel, because by the time we caught up with Attack of the Clones, Sabé had been replaced by another decoy called Cordé. While it is safe to assume that Sabé went off to live a happy life in the lush greenery of Naboo, Cordé was tragically killed in an attempt on the Queen’s life. Good job you got out when you could, Keira.
5. Zam Wesell
Speaking about that attempt on Padmé’s life, it came from yet another hopeless bounty hunter plucked from the depths of space. Zam Wessell even had the opportunity to kill Padmé with a rifle, but instead shot a robot – go figure. Hired by Fett to kill her, Zam was instead killed by her employer before she could expose his secrets or anyone could remember exactly who she was in the movies.
An awesome assassin who could’ve been like Lucas’ very own Uma in Kill Bill and had the shape-shifting properties of X-Men’s Mystique. Unfortunately, this mediocre villain was never going to kill off Padmé, and the chance of adding another powerful female to the galaxy was scuppered before you could say “opening crawl.”
4. Nute Gunray
A racial stereotype and rubbish character to boot, Nute Gunray is up there with Jar Jar as one of the worst inventions to grace the franchise. Neimoidians are on a par with Gungans as highly annoying, but at least Jar Jar’s species were largely forgotten after The Phantom Menace only.
Gunray was a slippery coward out of his depth, and the Viceroy of the Trade Federation was about as interesting as his Federation talks were. Whatever kind of villainy Lucas was trying to craft with Gunray, he became a forgotten alien from a species no one could pronounce.
Amazing characters like Qui-Gon and Darth Maul were relegated to just one outing, yet Gunray somehow played a part in all three of the prequel movies. If anyone did actually take note of who the character, you’ll likely have let out a small cheer when Anakin sliced Nute down with his lightsaber.
3. Shmi Skywalker
Similar to the inclusion of Bail, Shmi Skywalker served as just another family affair to drive Anakin toward the dark side. It would’ve been just as easy to have Little Orphan Ani from The Phantom Menace, but the movies felt the need to shoehorn in another adult.
The whole slavery thing was also a little creepy. Shmi was sold to Cliegg Lars, who then freed her and married her. The story could’ve ended there, but Lucas decided to make her into another victim of the franchise and kill her just for the sake of some attempted emotional manipulation
That being said, Shmi’s death in Clones was the biggest catalyst in driving Anakin down the Vader path – well, until Padmé went and stole her thunder. Good luck picking Shmi out from a crowd of slaves at a Tatooine market, though.
“C-3PO, he’s pretty popular, I know, let’s do him in silver.” You can almost hear the merchandise dollar signs in Lucas’ eyes when creating TC-14. It took until 1999 for Star Wars to feature a female droid, so it’s a crying shame that no one even noticed her. If it wasn’t for Lindsay Duncan voicing the bucket of bolts, TC-14 likely wouldn’t even appear on the IMDB cast list.
Arguably one of the most pointless characters in the entire saga, the female C-3PO appeared only in the opening of The Phantom Menace. Annoyingly, TC-14 unwillingly helped the Neimoidians gas Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, before she apologized and then shuffled out the room, never to be seen again. Talk about leaving an impact.
What was there to like about the flapping Watto? Also, out of all the characters in the series to give immunity from Jedi mind tricks, why would it be this loser?
Watto has to be one of the most ineffective bad guys in the series, and like with the return on Shmi in Clones, there was absolutely no need to show Watto again after The Phantom Menace. He basically came across as an unlovable Fagin from Oliver, but without the catchy songs.
Let’s not even start with the anti-semitic connotations that go with yet another tired Lucasverse stereotyp. In fact, the overweight Toydarian just about misses out on topping Jar Jar as the most hated Star Wars character of all time. Good work, prequel movies!
Which Star Wars character do you think is the most forgotten? Sound off in the comments below!
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