With the release of The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker has been re-introduced into the canonical story that was created after Disney sidelined all the old "Extended Universe" comics and novels that had accumulated in the decades after Return of the Jedi.
Skywalker joins a new canon filled with plenty of great new characters, from Rey — the franchise's new centerpiece — to key cogs like Finn and Poe Dameron. The Last Jedi offers even more new additions, with highlights that include Rose Tico and Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo.
But still, we miss some of those Extended Universe characters. There are some truly amazing (and infamous) Star Wars players, from the comics especially, that you won't see in any movie, no matter how hard you wish upon a holocron. And then there are some great characters from canon comics who won't make it, either, because the stories have passed them by. Here are some of the best.
Triple 0 and BT-1
These two droids. I could write a novel about these guys. Actually, could that be a request? Disney, if you're reading this, please commission a novel about this violent, masochistic, unhinged droid pair. Obviously patterned after C-3PO and R2-D2, 0-0-0 and BT-1 are the morally challenged doppelgangers of the Light Side pair, serving Doctor Aphra and Darth Vader in the Vader comic series.
What I love is, instead of dark clones or polar opposites of the more familiar droid duo, Triple 0 and BT-1 are more what you'd get if you stripped away morality from 3PO and R2, replaced it with a love of death and destruction, and gave them a little push. Triple 0 is the most disconcerting of the two, since he's as polite as he is deadly — like a serial killer in droid form. BT-1 is pretty much exactly what I'd expect R2 to be if given the equivalent firepower of a Star Destroyer.
They could still be active, but given their propensity for violence, it's more likely they're either deactivated or in component parts by this point.
Easily my favorite new character from the new Star Wars comics (originally Vader, then her own series, Doctor Aphra, and currently in the regular Star Wars series), Aphra is an archaeologist/bounty hunter/con woman that has enough steel in her spine to take on Darth Vader as a client. She's a morally grey Lara Croft in space, always working on the next angle to secure the biggest payday she can.
In doing so, she finds herself brushing against (or outright manipulating) the biggest players in a Galaxy Far, Far Away. As with her droids, it's technically possible for the bad Doctor to still be around (though she'd be rather old at this point), but there's no way, outside of being stuck in carbonite, that she lived past 35.
Characters You Can't See (Because They No Longer Exist)
Then there are the characters that have been wiped out of existence, the ones that were created for the Star Wars Extended Universe to continue the story of the original trilogy. Suffice it to say, trying to bring back any of these characters would break the new movie trilogy, so they'll stay in the pages of Star Wars: Legacy forevermore.
The great, great grandson of Luke Skywalker, Cade continued the family tradition of being a conflicted, whiny nerf-herder who wielded Force powers with the grace of a drunken Rancor in the Star Wars: Legacy comics. A smuggler, pirate, former padawan, and drug addict, Skywalker's story in Legacy is a redemption tale.
Cade skirts the muddy grey area between the Dark Side and Light Side of the Force more cavalierly than his ancestors, drawing from both for defensive and offensive powers. But before we even get to that point, he has to find himself again, having resorted to Death Sticks to dampen his connection to the Force and instead using that "connection to everything" to become a notorious pirate.
Against all odds, he has a crew that sees past the self-loathing, sees Cade for the kind, yet damaged individual that he is, and helps him find his way back to the Light (though not before going down the darkest of paths like his great-great-GREAT grandfather Anakin). As an alternate history of the Star Wars universe, Legacy is a fun read. Even if the story has no effect on Last Jedi, it's worth tracking down.
Any good hero needs a villain, and in the Star Wars: Legacy comics, Darth Krayt was the calculating Sith Lord determined to rule the universe (who nearly succeeded in bringing Cade Skywalker to the Dark Side of the Force). His story winds its way through every part of Star Wars mythology: he served as a Jedi in the Clone Wars, became a bounty hunter after Order 66, and eventually trained as a Sith.
It wasn't until he was captured and tortured by the Yuuzhan Vong (an extragalactic species that was culled with the rest of the Extended Universe) that he gained his most distinctive trait -- a set of spiked, full body armor. This parasitic armor grafted on to him by the Yuuzhan Vong gave Darth Krayt immeasurable power, even as it threatened to overtake him completely.
Krayt's right hand Sith and poster character for the Star Wars: Legacy comics is one of the series' most popular characters (and the bane of many a cosplayer... so much bodypaint!). The red-skinned, heavily tattooed Twi'lek was an accomplished warrior, besting nearly every combatant that she threw herself at. This is one character that actually could sneak back into the canon at some point. While she was crucial to the literal and figurative seduction of Cade Skywalker to the Dark Side, there's no reason that she couldn't show up again as a kick-ass devotee of the First Order.
Characters That They Wish You'd Forget
And then there are those characters that, like the Star Wars Holiday Special, you fear are lurking around the fringes of known space, just waiting for a chance to reinsert themselves. Here's hoping they stay even farther, farther away.
The original Star Wars comics by Marvel were odd beasts, populated by characters with familiar names, yet unfamiliar appearances, as the writers and artists only had early scripts to work from when crafting the comic universe. Jabba the Hutt comes to mind, depicted there as a humanoid gangster rather than a sentient space slug. But once they ran out of material from the original movies, the writers had to wing it, creating new Star Wars stories on the fly in order to fill out their publishing schedule.
That meant creating wild stories that would utterly break both the new and old canon, and creating new alien races. Some of these were simply background filler, others got to be front and center with the main cast. Such is the case with Jaxxon the smuggler, part of Han Solo's crew on one of his side adventures... and also a humanoid, green rabbit. Back when the comics were created, Bucky O'hare was popular (because...anthropomorphic animals were big money back then), so the Lepi, a race of aliens that very closely resembled Bucky, except green, were created. Jaxxon was loud mouthed, brash, and did everything he could to act against expected type. But in a universe where a walking throw rug could become a smuggler's co-pilot, he still couldn't overcome being a giant, green space rabbit.
No, sadly, that's not a typo. Debuting in Timothy Zahn's novel The Last Command (and showing up later in the comic adaptation of the same), Luuke was cloned by Grand Admiral Thrawn from the original's severed hand and turned evil, through training by the insane Jedi Master, C'baoth. I can only imagine how hard it was to give orders as the clone wielded Skywalker's recovered lightsaber against him.
"Kill him Luuke!"
"I thought you were on my side!"
"No, Luuke! Kill Luke!"
"...y'know, maybe we should just pause so that you can write down your banter. For clarity's sake."
Ultimately he served little purpose except to let Mara Jade (also lost in the Extended Universe culling) technically fulfill her last order as Palpatine's right hand, to kill Luke Skywalker (which would have been awkward to do with the real deal, seeing as they were married).