Earlier this week it was announced that Peter Mayhew would once again be strapping on the fur as Chewbacca in Episode VII directed by J.J. Abrams. This will be the first movie without George Lucas’s direct involvement in the production. Because of this I thought I would share my Top 5: Unsung Star Wars Characters.
Now sure, I could have easily put Yoda, Han Solo, R2-D2 or a slew of others but I have a deep love for the lesser praised characters. You know, the characters that most like to overlook since they are not as flashy as some of the bigger more famous characters? They are the ones that usually add the fine seasoning to the tasty stew that is Star Wars.
Without further ado lets get to the list, but first a quick note on my rules.
Here are the rules…
- Must have appeared in a Star Wars film
- I know who they are
Sadly, while there are many characters in these films, only a few were worth our time. With that in mind, I wanted to highlight some of the Star Wars characters I like.
Who doesn’t remember the Sand People from A New Hope. They were going to kill Luke until old Ben Kenobi came along and scared the shit out of them. They were cool because we didn’t know what they were about or what the hell they really look like. We only ever see them with robes and some kind of mask covering their faces. Sure they are humanoid in appearance but that’s all we really know. Also, they like to torture and kill most regular humans in almost every incarnation of the characters. They like to shoot at podracers which is always good in my mind. They actually are one of the few good things in Episode 1. Still hard to beat seeing them with their Gaffi sticks swung high in the air above their heads.
Peter Cushing of Hammer film fame brings to life the only member of the Empire that Vader seemed to listen to other than the Emperor. He also was in charge of the most fearsome weapon in the universe – The Death Star I. During his interogation of Princess Leia he promises to not destry her home world of Alderran if she gave him them location of the Rebel base. She does and he still destroys the planet anyway. That my friends is what we in the biz like to call a grade “A” bastard. Tarkin is not a man to take lightly as he proves in his short time on screen. However he does have one fatal flaw… his reliance on the technical superiority of the Death Star over the Rebel forces. He makes that one major mis-step that does not account for the exhaust port weakness on the station. In any other fight though, I think he would kick all of our collected asses. Afterall, you don’t get to be Grand Moff by being nice to people.
Wedge is THE coolest rebel out there. With all apologies to Han, Wedge is the only pilot to fly missions in every battle from Yavin to Endor and survive. Han was more of a specailist than Wedge. He got down and dirty and flew in the most dangerous battles the Rebel Alliance fought in. Also Dennis Lawson who played Wedge in the movies is Ewan McGregor’s uncle. How do you like dem apples? Obi-Wan is Wedge’s nephew, so suck it. Wedge is also a pretty damn fine pilot who joined the Rebels in the fight against the Empire. He is better than every pilot in the fleet with the exception of Han Solo. But Wedge is the better combat pilot and is also partially responsible for the destruction of the Death Star II in Return of the Jedi.
People will always love the classic Stormtrooper as first seen in Episode IV. But for me the coolest looking Troopers are the Imperial Scouts. They also get to zip around on the the cool speeder bikes on Endor. They always looked like they were ready for trouble and were suited to be a fast force of soldiers to get in and get the job done, all while wearing less armour than their comrades. Sure, they give the gears to the cuddly Ewoks but they are just following orders from a despotic Emperor and Lord Vader. As we seen them get to battle the Rebels on the forest moon, we learn that they are better at the job than most Stormtroopers but they are hard pressed to beat a force-enhanced Jedi Luke Skywalker as they try to stop each other in one awesome chase scene.
Listen, the guy is one of the only characters in Star Wars universe who’s language is understood here on Earth. The character is voiced by Kipsang Rotich, a student from Kenya, in his native tongue of Haya. This made him a favourite character in Kenya since he is the only character who did not need to be translated for the audience. He was also co-pilot to Lando Calrissian in the Battle of Endor helping to destroy the Death Star. Sure people like to make fun becasue of his jovial laugh in the movie but he helped kick ass and was picked by Lando to be his co-pilot. You don’t get picked to be on the Falcon unless you have serious cred as a pilot.
So there it is, my list. There are so many more that I could have added but I wanted to go with what I think of as the best representatives of the group. If you are looking for something to watch this weekend, give Star Wars a try and check out these unsung Star Wars characters.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!