6 Star Wars background characters who enriched the galaxy

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Lucas Siegel
May 25, 2017

With a 40-year legacy, Star Wars has plenty of characters everyone knows and loves, like Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Anakin and Ahsoka, and modern characters like Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron. We have villains like Darth Vader, Darth Maul and Kylo Ren to fear. We even have supporting characters like Lando Calrissian, Maz Kanata and Hondo Ohnaka who flesh out the stories.

But there's another tier of characters, one that fans grasp onto in Star Wars unlike in any other franchise: the background players. Characters that only appear on screen for a few moments, often without so much as a line, can still capture the imagination of fans who want to know more about them. Sometimes they'll get their own short stories or novels or later appear in cartoons or even come back for more action.

Here are six of our favorites.

Aurra Sing

When we first saw Aurra Sing, it was as a single-scene background character at the Podrace in The Phantom Menace. The menacing-looking woman with bleach white skin and a rifle as tall as her, it was almost certain she was some kind of badass bounty hunter. It turned out to be correct, as she was fleshed out in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, even becoming a mentor to a young Boba Fett for a time. She can currently be seen in the Darth Maul comic series, still being all pale and awesome.

Labria the Devaronian

Also known as Kardue'sai'Malloc, you probably know this character as simply "Oh my God, why is the Devil in the Cantina?!" While that's really about it for him in the canon universe, a devil-looking guy clearly up to no good in A New Hope, in the Legends continuity he had his backstory told, a killer and military traitor with a massive bounty on his head. He was also considered the worst spy in Mos Eisley, probably because he looks like the freaking devil and thus no one would ever trust him.

Yak Face (or Saelt-Marae)

Literally known only as 'Yak Face' initially and on his action figure, this 'Yarkora' who served Jabba the Hutt was eventually given the name Saelt-Marae. One of the stranger-looking denizens of Jabba's sail barge and fortress, Yak Face became a cult favorite and his action figure was remade by Gentle Giant in 2013 as a SDCC exclusive. His Legends story said he was centuries old and an information broker.

Lama Su

The most prominent of our list, Lama Su was really more of a straight-up supporting character with several lines of dialogue, but the Kamino Prime Minister was a mystery nonetheless. When he first appeared in Attack of the Clones, Lama Su was the head of the Clone Trooper program, and ... well, we don't know much else about him. In fact, we still don't know all that much about the Kaminoans in general, why they were such cloning experts, or why they were so ... cold. So while he has more screen time than the others on this list, he also remains one of the biggest mysteries.

Sidon Ithano, aka The Crimson Corsair

The red-masked character Sidon Ithano seen in the background at Maz's castle in The Force Awakens (who in fact debuted in an image from that movie's Vanity Fair photoshoot) actually wound up the subject of his own short story in which he searched for the lost treasure of Count Dooku: a cache of Jedi lightsaber kyber crystals. Unfortunately for Ithano, he found an old clone trooper in stasis instead. At least he still looks cool!

Oola

The green-skinned dancer for Jabba the Hutt, Oola's time was all too brief as she was fed to his Rancor when he became displeased. She was only the second Twi'lek to appear in Star Wars, and the first female. Since then, the species has crafted quite the legacy, with characters appearing in the Prequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and even in the form of Star Wars Rebels pilot and captain of the Ghost, Hera Syndulla. It all comes back to Oola the dancing girl, who also helps explain a generation of adolescents' affinity toward green skin and head-tails ('Lekku' for the fans).