Star Wars has been a mainstay in the world pop culture since before I was but a twinkle my father’s eye. Star Wars swept the world back in 1977 upon release of A New Hope and continued to dominate the box office for 40 years since.
The prequels may have divided fans but watching them was still a great time in a teenage boy’s life. It was great having this enormous galaxy I already loved expand, with new planets and characters, pod racing, epic lightsaber duels and watching the pieces of the universe I knew so well falling into place.
With all the great characters that have been introduced to us over the years; Luke, Leia, Han, Darth Vader and the like I have compiled a list of characters from the movies who I feel received a bit of a raw deal in the films.
Either they never really got their moment to shine or their contribution to the saga has been overlooked.
Some of these you may never have heard of, others you may only be peripherally aware of but they’ve all made a huge contribution to the saga whether you know it or not.
They’re all great characters so I’m not going to rank them, just relax and enjoy our voyage through the underappreciated characters of that galaxy far, far away…
Wedge was one of the greatest pilots the rebellion had to offer; being the only pilot to fly in and survive the Battle of Yavin, the Battle of Hoff and the Battle of Endor.
Promoted to the rank of Red Leader during the Battle of Endor it was Wedge along with Lando that fired the final blow bringing and end to the second death star, and freedom throughout the galaxy.
It’s also important to note that Wedge would be the only character other than the main three to survive all three movies.
What a hero.
A casual fan of the Star Wars movies would be forgiven if they had little knowledge of the species known as the Bothans.
This is mainly due to the fact that they have never actually appeared in any of the Star Wars movies. Despite this, Mon Mothma once told us all that the Bothans suffered a great loss to their species whilst stealing important information concerning the Death Star II, and enabling the Rebel Alliance to plan an attack on the space station.
It was the Bothans that also provided the rebels with the shield generator’s bunker door code on the forest moon of Endor.
Thus, despite the great sacrifice they endured to assist the Rebel Alliance in their battle, the Bothans were never honored or celebrated except for Mon Mothma’s passing line “Many Bothans died to bring us this information” prior to the Battle of Endor.
Because of this selfless act that took place during the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi, the importance of this species should forever be remembered in Star Wars history.
I’m sure all you Star Wars fans remember the little red and white striped astromech droid nursing a bad motivator, right?
Back on Tatooine during the opening act of A New Hope Owen Lars and his nephew notice a sandcrawler piloted by a group of Jawas pull up outside their moisture farm.
These Jawas worked as junkers and in their possession were a few droids including R2-D2, C-3PO and R5-D4. Lars and his nephew were interested in purchasing a new droid from the Jawas who quickly lined the droids up for their new customers to briefly inspect.
Lars eventually found the droids he liked the look of and made it known to the Jawas that he would like to purchase R5-D4 and the protocol droid C-3P0.
As Lars was negotiating the deal with the Jawas his nephew began to lead their new droids home… until R5-D4’s motivator malfunctioned.
With that, they purchased R2-D2 instead. Obviously, the nephew was none other than Luke Skywalker.
Heard of him?
And the rest was history.
Without this little droid (whom Luke had quickly named Red)’s bad motivator and the last minute change of purchase Luke may well have just lived out the rest of his days as a farmer of moisture and the Empire would still rule the galaxy.
So I must say we are all lucky for this little droids shortcomings…
It was the final battle of Endor between the Alliance and the Galactic Empire. The Alliance were struggling until this crazy kamikaze pilot decided to fly directly into one of the Empire’s flagship Star Destroyers yelling like a madman and completely turning the tide of the battle.
So what rewards would be bestowed upon you for the heroic actions of taking down Darth Vader’s personal starship?
Pretty much nothing apparently, as (for some unimaginable reason) not only the character of Green Leader but the actor (Hilton McRae) are missed out of the end credits completely.
Bad form Star Wars, bad form indeed.
Yes, the Ewoks get a bit of a bad rap.
They are cute, they are cuddly and they may well have been put in the galaxy for the sole purpose of selling toys. But let’s not forget the following quote from one of the great philosophers of our time:
“Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like fucking Shaft!”
Wicket was the first Ewok introduced to us during Return of the Jedi when he bumped into Princess Leia after her speeder chase, introducing her to the Ewok village and all the other Ewoks.
These same Ewoks then joined the Rebellion and assisted in taking down a bunch Stormtroopers by pelting them with rounds of stinging rocks, even swinging giant logs causing AT-ST’s to tumble under the might of these furry little rebels.
They showed us that an unassuming primitive race could outdo the more developed parts of the galaxy in diplomacy, teamwork and warrior spirit.
And all of this happened because of Wicket.
So that’s it, the most underrated characters in Star Wars history, each and every one of them had a vital role to play in the wars that gave this great movie franchise its name.
If I’d had the chance to include one more I might have cited Simon Pegg’s example from Spaced right here…