When George Lucas originally planned Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, he shrewdly hatched a plan for a full scale assault on the memorabilia market, a strategy which wasn't particularly common at the time.
Few could've predicted the success of a the franchise that was to follow; the multi-media sci-fi epic, spanning seven feature films, comics, TV series and video games is estimated to be worth $30 billion.
The trend for voluminous amounts of action figures and the like has continued over the past, so much so, many minor characters have their own toys. Let's look at some of the most obscure below:
1. Female "Starkiller"
Where you may have seen her: Nowhere. Early drafts of the script by George Lucas had penned Luke Skywalker as a female with the surname Starkiller. Although this version didn't make it to the film, that didn't stop toy makers manufacturing an action figure.
What's the backstory: Skywalker was originally intended to be a 16-year-old girl who fell in love with Han Solo. I shit you not. Whereas most minor characters have a background story, Starkiller is the character that never was.
2. Willrow Hood/Ice Cream Maker Guy
Where you may have seen him: The enigma was seen looking anxious and confused as a fleeting extra in The Emperor Strikes back, carrying what looked like an Ice Cream maker (hence the nickname). The actors identity remains unknown.
What's the backstory? Willrow Hood wasn't so keen on sugary deserts that he risked life and limb to save the food apparatus, silly. He was actually carrying the main memory core, storying vital information on Rebel contacts, to prevent the Galactic Empire getting their filthy hands on it.
3. Constable Zuvio
Where you may have seen him: Zuvio was due to feature in the Force Awakens, but was mysteriously cut from the film. This is despite the fact he featured in promotional material.
What's the backstory? He's a disciplinarian who keeps an eye out for bad guys on the lawless planet of Jakku. He even helped Rey escape, but his scene got deleted. Poor Zuvio.
Where you may have seen him: A brief, four second appearance in A New Hope shows Obi-Wan and Luke asking BoShek if he can pilot a spacecraft in the Mos Eisley cantina, but he declines, introducing them instead to Chewbacca.
What's the backstory? BoShek was a smuggler and pilot for hire who just didn't fancy the job that day. Essentially, he could've been Han Solo. The identity of BoShek remained a mystery for 40 years, until he was uncovered recently as Frances Alfred Basil Tomlin.
5. Vlix Oncard
Where you may have seen him: Vlix doesn't appear in any of the Star Wars movies, although he is a prominent characters in the Droids cartoon series.
What's the backstory: Vlix's toy is said to be the rarest action figure released. The character himself was the head of security for the Fromm Gang, and also served on the Trigon one.
6. Max Rebo Band
Where you may have seen them: They're the band kicking out the jams at Jabba the Hutt's palace on Tatooine.
What's the backstory: Led by Max Rebo, the band provided musical backdrops for various seedy establishments. The action figure collection comes complete with two microphone stands and an organ.
7. Finally, Just To Freak You Out - Chewbacca's Family
Where you may have seen them: If you're one of the unlucky ones who has been scarred for life by watching the Star Wars Holiday Special, you'll be familiar with Chewwy, Itchy, Malla and Lumpy. The above prototypes were never fully released, to the dismay of fans across the globe.
What's the backstory: The special has a cult following due to the bizarre tale which takes place on Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk. Allegedly, George Lucas would like every copy of the show to be tracked down and destroyed. Shame about the internet.
Do you own any 'Star Wars' action figures?