Friday, November 16, 2012

Top 5 Background Characters in Star Wars (Who Aren’t Bounty Hunters)

Guest blogger Dan brings you today's top 5...

Yeah, I had to throw that last bit in, because everyone knows who the best background character of any series every is....  So, without saying his name, I shall continue....

Fact is, Star Wars is littered with background characters.  When the first toys came out, they got generic names.  I’ll always remember Squidface...  Anyway, through time, many many things happened to these background characters, for tons of various reasons.  Once, a friend of mine brought over a Star Wars Customizable Card Game (CCG).  Obviously based on Magic: The Gathering, and the Star Trek CCG, it was interesting because it used pictures of just about every character in the Star Wars movies and gave each a little background and story.  Some of that was based on writings of the producers; some was based on novels in the Extended Universe.  Either way, it was a huge catalyst for getting stories out about the background characters, and got me interested in knowing each one.

5: Oola - Yeah, that’s the dancer that Jabba had before he got Leia into the most famous bikini of all time.   There are various reasons for the rest of this list, but there are a couple of interesting points about Oola.  Mainly, she was just in the movie as a plot setup for the Rancor.  This was emphasized by the fact that they had the exact same actress come back and play her for a pick up scene for the Special Editions.  That in itself is amazing, because the new scene was filmed a well over a decade later...  On top of that, she’s a teenager favorite because during her dance scene, she actually popped a boob out, which is probably the first “nip slip” most young kids will see in their life (without realizing it)...

4: Sebulba - To me, he was the best character in the entire prequel trilogy.   I know many people would argue this, but Darth Maul and E.T. don’t count, and I’d still argue for Sebulba.  He's from the Dug race, and you had to love how he walked on his hands, and used his feet as hands.  He was a dastardly evil creature and a perfect pod racer.  He was a great antagonist, who survived the movie.  His story continues that he went on to purchase the exact speeder that Anakin used to beat him, and continued pod racing.  On top of that, his grandson, Pugwis continues the Podracing tradition.  People can argue whatever they want about the pod race scene, but it was inspired, fun, and it inspired Star Wars: Racer, arguably one of the best Star Wars games of all time.

3: Mon Mothma - Here’s where we really start getting into some stories.  Fact is, Star Wars expanded far beyond the movies, which is one of the reasons for its fame.  It was deep, and continues to get deeper.  Through video games and books, we get to see the same characters from the movies carrying on the roles.  Mon Mothma is the leader character for the Rebellion and the New Republic.  She co-founded the entire Rebel Alliance, and if there was a heart to the Rebellion at all, it would be hers.

2: Admiral Ackbar - Here’s where Kooz is going to roll some eyes.  In a comment I left about Ackbar here, Kooz was amazed that someone actually liked this character, as Ackbar has really been reduced to the “It’s a Trap!” meme.  But Ackbar meant a lot to me from the movies.  First off, he was a really freaky looking alien in a position of authority.  The Empire had no aliens what-so-ever in its ranks, which obviously was put there to show a bit of racism.  Ackbar shines as an example that no matter what you look like, you can be important.  His life extended way beyond the movies, and started in the video games.  Most gamers that played PC games while the Genesis and SNES were going at each other will remember the games X-Wing and Tie Fighter.  Probably the 2nd best space flight games ever made (the first being Wing Commander).  They were fun, and had a spectacular story.  I distinctly remember saving Ackbar from slavery, and him creating the B-Wing, which was an amazing bomber in the game.  I even had the toy, which was quite fun.

1: Wedge Antilles - Wedge is my favorite Star Wars character, period.  And this one is going to draw some controversy.  Here’s a fact, I hate 95% of all the Star Wars novels.  They are not well-written, and most rely on a heavy set of coincidences to keep going.  I will say I haven’t read any of the newer books, where Luke is training the Jedi Order.   I will argue with anyone, that even the Zahn trilogy wasn’t very good.  The characters in it were good, but the best Star Wars novels ever were the X-Wing series by Michael A Stackpole and Aaron Allston.  Wedge was the only non-main character who was in all 3 of the original movies, which is more than can be said for Yoda, Lando, or Boba Fett (dangit, said his name...*sigh*).  He went on to star in the best Star Wars books and comics along side the rest of Rogue Squadron.  He continued on to claim an admiralship himself, and command a refurbished Super Star Destroyer.  He had loves, losses, and his own amazing antagonists, such as Baron Fel (which subsequently had his own Tie Interceptor toy in Toys 'R Us once upon a time).  I can tell you more about Wedge’s life and times than I can of Han Solo’s or Luke Skywalker’s.  He was the character I most wanted to meet when I played Star Wars Galaxies, and I have a few screen shots of my character with him.  Personally, I think a TV show based on Rogue Squadron would be a huge success.

Anyways, this is my list, and I’m sticking to it.  I had to play it out a bit, because the entire top five could have been Wedge Antilles, Hobbie Klivan, Wes Janson, Boba Fett, and IG-88.  Star Wars is made far more interesting by the Expanded Universe, and its wonderful that the story exists outside the movies. That’s why I find it far more interesting than Star Trek.  Anyways, I’m Dan Bonser, and I write for A Brainless Nod.

Alright nerds, you know what to do--show Dan some love in the comments below and let him know what you think of his list!  Also, be sure to find us on Facebook and like our page!

4 comments:

  1. Good list. Wedge is a great character. I don't know about your #5 ... Oola is kind of a lame-duck character. So much potential there, but I don't think she had much going for her. There's a reason she's a background character; she's about as good looking as a stick dressed up in fishnet.

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  2. One thing I can say about Oola, is that she was the first time we got to see the 'sexy' twi'lek, which has spawned....uber amounts of fan-fic. And honestly, it was the first 'sexy' in all of Star Wars. A slave dancing girl, wearing next to nothing, dancing for a giant slug. Sure, she was pushed aside by Leia in THE bikini, but still, it was interesting. Disagree all you want, in the end, Oola is a very memorable character, whether you admit it or not.

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  3. I would like to go ahead and admit...I have that picture of Wedge, the one that was used as the comic book cover.... Uhm, its a lithograph, signed by the artist, on the wall to my right, and its quite a bit larger than the comic, and doesn't have the title on it. One of my most treasured posters/pictures on the wall.

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  4. Love your number 5. But, Aayla Secura was a hot Twilek Jedi.

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