10 Star Wars movie characters you (probably) forgot about
Not everyone in the Star Wars universe has Main Character Energy.
The Star Wars universe is a densely populated place and even the most inconsequential characters have detailed backstories in the so-called expanded universe, comprised of novels, comic books, video games and television shows. This means that a daft-looking alien who appeared for half a minute in the prequels will be revered as one of the Republic's greatest heroes by some viewers (and completely ignored by others).
Increasingly, Lucasfilm is placing focus on these more obscure creations, with animated shows The Clone Wars and Rebels being aggressively mined for cameos and live-action spin-offs. Most recently, Obi-Wan Kenobi re-introduced the Grand Inquisitor, while a few months earlier The Book of Boba Fett brought back fan-favourite bounty hunter Cad Bane. It begs the question: Who could be next?
For this list, we made it our mission to find the most forgotten about Star Wars characters featured in the nine mainline movies. In this day and age, it feels like any of these fringe figures could end up getting a Disney Plus show, so brush up on their origins now to have bragging rights if and when that happens.
10 secondary Star Wars characters you've (probably) forgotten about
Appears in: The Phantom Menace
Say what you will about the prequel trilogy, but it is a gold mine for bizarre characters that never say a word. Yarael Poof sits in the background of several scenes in The Phantom Menace, his head comically wavering back and forth while Qui-Gon Jinn attempts to have a serious debate with the Jedi Council regarding Anakin's future.
It's possible that even George Lucas noticed how distracting Poof is in those scenes, as he never appeared in another Star Wars movie. Instead, he was killed off in a comic book set between the events of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, where he nobly sacrificed himself to stop an attack that would have devastated Coruscant.
Even still, the character is among the least respected in all of Star Wars, with animated comedy Robot Chicken giving him an absolute roasting in one memorable sketch, which you can watch below.
Unbelievably, Yarael Poof is now coming back into relevance having recently appeared in several entries of the High Republic; a brand new line of canon Star Wars novels and comic books set 200 years before the events of The Phantom Menace.
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Appears in: The Phantom Menace
Have you ever thought that Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley look similar? Evidently, so has George Lucas, who cast the Pirates of the Caribbean star as one of Queen Amidala's decoys in The Phantom Menace. She appears as a servant in several scenes throughout the film and masquerades as Her Royal Highness during a negotiation with Gungan leader Boss Nass.
Although Knightley did not return for any of the other prequel films, her character has lived on in the expanded universe, including a recent comic book story set between the events of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Sabé crosses paths with Darth Vader, who is taken aback by her strong resemblance to his lost love.
Ultimately, he uncovers her true identity and they form a brief, uneasy alliance, driven by their mutual need for more information regarding the circumstances of Padmé's death. That could make a compelling live-action adaptation if only Lucasfilm could tempt Knightley back to the franchise.
Appears in: Attack of the Clones
The chaotic Battle of Geonosis has a number of memorable moments, one of which involves this ill-fated Jedi Master, who coincidentally took Yarael Poof's spot on the Jedi Council (a cursed seat, if ever there was one). Coleman Trebor makes a beeline straight for separatist leader Count Dooku, whose elimination could have prevented the Clone Wars from happening.
However, he doesn't anticipate intervention from Dooku's hired muscle, Jango Fett, who sends the Jedi hurling from a high-storey balcony with just a couple of shots from his blaster. It's a pretty feeble display from Trebor, who clearly lacks the strength of the breath mints that share his name.
In a handful of expanded universe comics, the amphibious Jedi was depicted as a thoughtful mediator, who preferred diplomatic solutions over violence. However, those stories were declared 'not canon' following Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, while Trebor's gutsy strategy on Geonosis hardly paints him as the shy and retiring type.
Poggle the Lesser
Appears in: Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith
Acting legend Sir Christopher Lee took everything in his stride while working on the CGI-heavy Star Wars prequels, as evidenced by one scene where he can be seen discussing space politics with a roomful of cartoon characters. Among them is Geonosian leader and war profiteer Poggle the Lesser, recognisable from his distinctive speech pattern formed largely by clicks and buzzes.
As seen in Attack of the Clones, Poggle was among the first to see the Death Star plans, with his weapons factory responsible for manufacturing certain components of the dreadful base. However, he would never see the project completed, as he was struck down with the other separatist leaders by Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) when the Republic fell.
In a very dark twist, Star Wars: Rebels revealed that the Geonosians were almost entirely wiped out by the Empire – most likely to maintain the secrecy of the Death Star plans – with only two out of 100 billion members of the species surviving.
Appears in: Revenge of the Sith
Tion Medon certainly has the look of a Star Wars villain with his imposing stature, pitch-black eyes and pointed teeth, but appearances can be deceiving. In reality, Utapau's port administrator from Revenge of the Sith is said to have had a respectful demeanour and rebel tendencies, which drove him to subtly inform Obi-Wan Kenobi about General Grievous' hiding spot.
Still, someone at Lucasfilm clearly saw the potential of applying the striking Pau'an design to a more antagonistic character, which is exactly what Dave Filoni and his team did when they introduced the Grand Inquisitor to Star Wars: Rebels. The Jedi-hunting operative later made his live-action debut in Obi-Wan Kenobi, where his unveiling stirred up some controversy.
A number of Star Wars fans unfavourably compared Rupert Friend's Grand Inquisitor to Medon, noting how the prequel character benefits from much more detailed make-up. Indeed, while the trilogy itself is certainly flawed, one has to appreciate the artistry that went into creating ambitious costumes for even the briefest of appearances.
Appears in: Revenge of the Sith
It's easy to forget that not only does Chewbacca appear in the final Star Wars prequel, but also that he brings a friend along with him. Tarfful is a fellow Wookiee and key player in the battle to liberate his home planet Kashyyyk from Separatist forces.
He is present for Yoda's sorrowful departure after Order 66 and ultimately goes on the run himself after being declared an enemy of the new Galactic Empire. But while Chewbacca's rebel adventures are well-documented, little has been said about Tarfful's fate following the events of Revenge of the Sith – until recently, that is.
Players of acclaimed 2019 video game Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order might have been surprised to see a cameo from the galaxy's second most-famous Wookiee, who helps knight Cal Kestis in his search for a holocron. With rumours persisting that the game could spawn a Disney Plus spin-off, this might only be the start of Tarfful's comeback tour.
Appears in: A New Hope
The story of R5-D4 can be considered an example of when Star Wars lore gets out of hand. The droid makes a fleeting appearance in A New Hope, where it is almost sold to Luke Skywalker before exploding due to a "bad motivator", prompting the moisture farmer to take R2-D2 instead.
What can easily be read as a lucky break for the Rebellion has instead been romanticised as a noble sacrifice. Star Wars canon now dictates that R2 approached R5 during their night together on the Jawa Sandcrawler and explained its mission for the Rebellion. In light of this information, R5 deliberately triggered a malfunction after being purchased by Luke the next day so that R2 could take their place, being the only other astromech droid on sale at the time.
Previously, a non-canon story imagined R5-D4 as force-sensitive – naming it "Skippy the Jedi Droid" – who, again, sabotaged itself after having a vision that catastrophe would ensue if R2-D2 were to be discovered by the Empire. Of course, R5 was likely originally intended as simply a shoddy piece of tech; the Star Wars equivalent to a cheap laptop running Windows Vista.
Garindan ezz Zavor (aka Long Snoot)
Appears in: A New Hope
Before Boba Fett and the Mandalorians, there was... whatever this is. Garindan ezz Zavor – or 'Long Snoot' to his friends – is one of the earliest obstacles that Luke Skywalker faces as he attempts to leave Tatooine, with the sneaky spy tipping off a squad of stormtroopers about his fugitive droid.
For a franchise that relentlessly mines nostalgia and cameos, it's somewhat surprising that we've not seen more from Long Snoot in the decades that have followed. Even before Disney's purge of the expanded universe, there had been very few additional chapters featuring the character in any capacity.
As it stands, a recent collection of short stories cast him in a more sympathetic light, explaining how he strongly disapproves of the Empire and wishes only to free his species – the Kubaz – from their ruthless oppression. If Long Snoot cameos in Andor, the most surprising thing about it will be that it didn't happen sooner.
Appears in: The Force Awakens
Star Wars has no shortage of eccentrically dressed bounty hunters, but Bazine Netal stands out as one who could use a little more development. She's one of the less trustworthy patrons at Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana, who leaks the whereabouts of Rey, Finn and BB-8 to the First Order shortly after their arrival.
Following the events of The Force Awakens, Netal continued tracking the Millennium Falcon and eventually came face-to-face with worm-like crime boss Lady Proxima (who also appeared in Solo: A Star Wars Story – remember that one?). From then, the trail goes quiet, with Netal's ultimate fate unknown.
Given that a key focus of the Star Wars shows on Disney Plus has been bounty hunters in the post-Return of the Jedi era, it seems plausible that this character could return. Indeed, a guest appearance from Anna Brewster's Netal could also serve as a bridge between the streaming shows and the sequel trilogy, which have felt largely unconnected so far.
Appears in: The Last Jedi
Arguably the most controversial of all the Star Wars films, The Last Jedi was built on subverting expectations, with one method being the much-hyped introduction of a so-called Master Codebreaker. Finn, Rose and BB-8 managed to track him down on the gambling planet Canto Bight, but were detained before they could make contact.
Portrayed by Justin Theroux, the character was clearly inspired by early film depictions of James Bond, with his suave suit, fawning lady friends and reputation for skilled espionage. His story was expanded slightly in the canon Smuggler's Guide reference book, which gave further details on his close friendship with Maz Kanata.
To this day, there continues to be bitter debate surrounding the decisions of The Last Jedi, which has led many of Rian Johnson's ideas to be discarded or reversed. As such, Master Codebreaker may be destined to remain a novelty cameo, with his ongoing adventures left only to the imagination.
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