When you hear the words "Star Wars," what are some of the characters that immediately come to mind? Luke Skywalker? Princess Leia? Han Solo? Darth Vader? Obi-Wan Kenobi? You get the idea.
But what about characters who may have played a pivotal role in the franchise but for some reason never get the recognition they deserve? The #StarWars universe is vast and filled with these memorable side characters. Here are some of the best.
1. Wedge Antilles
- Appearances: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi
Why He’s Significant: Arguably one of the greatest supporting characters in the Star Wars universe, Wedge Antilles played a key role in the Rebel Alliance's victory over the Empire. Wedge has taken part in all three of the major battles of the original trilogy: The Death Star Trench Run, The Battle of Hoth, and the Battle over Endor. He was one of Luke Skywalker's wing mates for every mission and saved Luke a few times in battle. He was also the first pilot to successfully trip an AT-AT walker at the Battle of Hoth.
For those who’ve read the Rogue Squadron X-Wing books from the '90s know that Wedge was a big part of their success. Unfortunately those stories now aren’t considered canon but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth a read. Wedge has also been in a few Star Wars video games including all of the Rogue Squadron games from the Nintendo 64 to the Nintendo Gamecube. This man doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
2. Biggs Darklighter
- Appearance: A New Hope
Why He’s Significant: From one Rogue Leader to another, Biggs was one of the main reasons why Luke Skywalker wanted to join the Rebel Alliance. Famous for its deleted scenes, #ANewHope showed that Biggs spoke to Luke about joining the academy. While this scene didn’t make it into the final cut, it gives audiences an understanding that Luke and Biggs go way back and have known each other for quite some time. You can watch the deleted clip down below:
As we learn from the film, the two eventually meet up on Yavin 4 shortly before the run at the Death Star. Unfortunately for Biggs, he doesn’t make it out alive and is killed by Darth Vader while attempting to protect Luke Skywalker in the trench. Luke’s childhood friend from Tatooine is gone but he certainly didn’t die in vain.
3. General Grievous
- Appearance: Revenge of the Sith
Why He’s Significant: General Grievous a Kaleesh, was labeled a Supreme Commander of the Droid Army, and is one of those characters who has a decent amount of screen time in #RevengeoftheSith. Yet we don’t learn enough about him. Constructed as a Cyborg, Grievous isn’t a Sith but knows how to wield a lightsaber. In fact the coolest thing about Grievous is that he can wield up to four lightsabers at one time given the four arms that he can have.
We do learn that Grievous has killed many Jedi over the years, taking their lightsabers as gruesome trophies, and his skill shows. His lightsaber duel against #ObiWanKenobi is most impressive. Grievous, however, does meet his demise after a long-fought battle on Utapau. Even with limited screen time, Grievous still earns his spot on the list.
4. Green Leader
- Appearance: Return of the Jedi
Why He’s Significant: Green Leader (Arvel Crynyd) is perhaps one of the most underappreciated characters in Star Wars lore. Like many others of the Rebel Alliance, Green Leader fought bravely against the second Death Star taking out as many TIE-fighters and ships as possible.
However, what Green Leader is most notable for was that he was the one to ultimately take down the Super Star Destroyer. This massive ship proved a major threat against the Alliance. Though Admiral Ackbar ordered all firepower to be aimed at this Super Star Destroyer, it wasn’t until Green Leader swooped in to save the day.
Knowing that their shields were down, Green Leader kamikazed his A-Wing directly into the control room of the massive Star Destroyer thus bringing it down for good. Not only did this help ensure that victory was imminent, but he also saved countless lives. His sacrifice was worth it.
- Appearance: Return of the Jedi
Why They’re Significant: Yes, the mighty Ewoks have to make this list. I know there are those people out there that are always complaining that the Empire lost against a bunch of teddy bears. To an extent this might be true, but it seems that fans are being blindsided as to what this civilization is capable of. Sure the Ewoks are cute and all, but they don’t get the credit they deserve. There is no doubt in my mind that if it weren’t for these creatures on Endor, Han and the Rebels would have been defeated and the Rebel Alliance would have been done for good.
The #Ewoks are also not afraid to fight back. They find ways to take down the AT-ST walkers while also ambushing Stormtroopers. It’s truly a fight of the technologically advanced Empire against the underdog natural world of the Ewoks. They may not be beloved by everyone, but you can’t deny the significance of the Ewoks' win over the Empire.
6. Bail Organa
- Appearance: Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, Rogue One
Why He’s Significant: Played brilliantly by Jimmy Smits, Organa had the tall task of being a representative of the Republic Senate as well as one of the members of Alderaan’s royal family, working closely with Senator Padmé Amidala.
While not targeted directly, Organa survived the purge that was taking place on Coruscant and was barely able to escape the destruction. After a short meeting with both Yoda and Obi-Wan, Organa decided to watch over the baby girl who had survived since he and his wife Breha always wanted a child. That girl, of course, was Princess Leia.
Organa also had a small cameo role in the latest and first Star wars spin-off film #RogueOne. Though his role was minor, it was extremely satisfying to see this man still fighting strong against the Empire. As fans of the films we’ve known Organa’s fate for a long long time. Sadly, after the conclusion of Rogue One Organa doesn’t have much longer to live. At least we know he died as a hero of the Rebellion.
7. Galen Erso
- Appearance: Rogue One
Why He’s Significant: If you've ever been interested in reading any of the canon novels out there, Star Wars: Catalyst is the book. The book tells the story of the career of Galen Erso as he learns how to construct Kyber Crystals and begins to understand their potential for energy usage. What Galen failed to realize, however, was that he was being used by one of his own colleagues, Orson Krennic, to construct a weapon of mass destruction.
Galen eventually learned of this plot and found a way to create a weakness in the center of the Death Star, then snuck that message to the Rebels. Without Galen’s bravery to finish the project and plant a weakness, the Rebels would not have won the battle. Galen was fooled by one of his best friends but found a way to do the right thing and stop the enemy short of victory.
Do you agree with my list? What characters do you feel are heavily underrated. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!