The original Star Wars trilogy is one of the most successful, beloved, and pored over franchises in the history of film. Fans of Star Wars have overturned every rock of the original trilogy, and the creation of the other Star Wars films, TV shows, games, and pretty much everything else that exists in the Star Wars extended universe has given new life to every character that appeared in the films. But fleshing out every single aspect of the movies is definitely its own unique double-edged sword.
Because sure, it's awesome to learn all of this backstory and character development for characters who seem like basic place holders, but oftentimes that backstory just makes everyone wish that a particular character had been a bigger part of the actual story. So, which characters who appeared briefly in the original Star Wars trilogy seem to have been tragically underrated with heaps of unexplored potential?
10 Mon Mothma
Although Mon Mothma's appearance in the original Star Wars trilogy was brief, she went on to become one of the most interesting minor characters in the extended universe. This senator and leader in the Rebel Alliance was an all-around badass, and she was instrumental in the demise of the Galactic Empire as well as the first chancellor of the New Republic after Palpatine's defeat. As a politician she promoted peace, and as a rebel she did some shady and not so peaceful things to try to make that happen. Her few moments in the Star Wars original trilogy definitely undersold how awesome she really was.
9 Wedge Antilles
Even if you don't recognize the name Wedge Antilles, you'll recognize Wedge Antilles. Wedge is one of the best pilots in the Rebel Alliance, and he's arguably the most recognizable fighter pilot behind Luke Skywalker himself. Star Wars is at it's best when it's telling the story of near-mythical heroes, but characters like Wedge Antilles who are heroic, talented, and capable without actually being the "chosen one" deserved a lot more screen time than they've gotten in the Star Wars films traditionally. As one of the leading pilots in the Rebel Alliance, it would have been cool to see more of his story.
8 Admiral Ackbar
One thing that definitely sets Star Wars apart is simply that the visual impact of many of its characters is so great that even a brief appearance in the Star Wars universe can leave an impression on the audience for years to come.
Admiral Ackbar is definitely one of those characters that everyone will always remember, even if they don't remember much about him besides his unique, attention-getting look. But the character itself actually has a fascinating backstory, and it would have been awesome to see more of the story arc of this Rebel Alliance military leader as it was happening.
7 Beru Lars
Luke's relationship (or lack thereof) with his long lost father, Anakin Skywalker, is a huge driving force behind the entire Star Wars saga. However, his relationship with his real parents, Owen and Beru Lars, isn't given nearly the credit it's due in the story. Obviously, destiny will always play a huge part in the lives that all of the Skywalkers seem to lead, but Luke's life as the small-town son of two down to earth, humble, and kind moisture farmers was an enormous contributing factor to the entire Star Wars saga as well. For better or worse, characters like Beru are what form the backbone of the saga.
The random red shirt characters that always seem to show up just to die dramatically a few moments later seem to be designed to be as forgettable as possible, which makes Greedo's relative notoriety a pretty exceptional rarity.
Most people are familiar with Greedo because of the endless debate over who shot first, but the background characterization of this bounty hunter from Rodia definitely gives him some weight. Greedo was actually one of the mercenaries for another ultra-famous Star Wars supporting character, Jabba the Hutt. Giving Han Solo one of the most badass intros imaginable was an essential Star Wars moment, but his scene partner deserves some props too.
5 Jabba The Hutt
A successful sci-fi adventure movie relies on having lovable heroes to keep the audience invested in the action, but another essential component of a successful story is having truly hateable villains too. Obviously, he's not the big villainous kahuna of the series, but Jabba the Hutt is an exceptionally creepy and gross side villain. It's easy to see why he's such a memorable character, his appearance is definitely attention-getting and hard to forget. However, it would have been interesting to see even more Jabba, even just getting a basic explanation as to how a sentient blob becomes a crime overlord would have been great.
4 Emperor Palpatine
Emperor Palpatine was definitely creepy as hell in the original Star Wars trilogy, but he was ultimately a bit of a one-dimensional villain who didn't seem to have a lot of nuance or complexities to his character. Oh, what little the audience knew.
Palpatine did what he was supposed to do for the narrative of the original trilogy, but it's insane to consider what Palpatine has ultimately meant for the story of the entire Star Wars saga. Watching the OG films now knowing everything that he's done and the transformation he's undergone is insane, even though he seems like little more than Darth Vader's boss in the original films.
3 Grand Moff Tarkin
That little extra splash of force magic mojo is what sets Star Wars apart from so many sci-fi space stories, but the flashier elements of the Star Wars saga tends to overshadow the fact that it's actually a very interesting war story in its own right. Characters like Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin aren't the stars of the show, but they're still really intriguing and it would have been cool to see more of them. The road to hell is often paved by the most banal villains, and this military man who oversaw the Death Star was every bit as much of a villain as Darth Vader or even Chancellor Palpatine himself.
2 Boba Fett
Boba Fett most definitely got a lot of coolness credibility from the moment he appeared on the Star Wars stage, but when you take the entirety of his characterization throughout all of the films into account it seems like he didn't get nearly the credit he was due from the outset. Yes, he's the most dangerous bounty hunter alive, but it's absolutely wild to realize that he is an actual clone of his father, the previous most dangerous bounty hunter alive, as well as genetically identical to the entire army of clone troopers. Boba's importance to the saga is clear now, but you'd never know that just by watching the first trilogy.
1 Anakin Skywalker
Darth Vader is clearly the main antagonist of the entire A New Hope-The Empire Strikes Back-Return of the Jedi trilogy, but it's really the man he once was that is the driving force behind everything that happens in the tale. Obviously, Vader is meant to return back to Anakin Skywalker in his last moment decision to betray Palpatine, but even though Anakin spends the entire trilogy being figuratively dead and then literally dead it seems obvious that his character is the key to the entire story. Anakin drives Luke as a character, drives the battle between the dark and light sides of the force, and is what ultimately defeats the dark side in the end.