There is a lot of Star Wars going on right now — have you heard? Not only are we soon getting Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on the big screen, we're also getting The Mandalorian on the small screen, as well as a host of other exciting shows and theme park rides.
This ain't just a one-time event, either. There are plenty of shows and movies on the far horizon. There's the mysterious Rian Johnson trilogy, the Benioff and Weiss project, and now Kevin Feige is cooking something up, too. There will also, presumably, be more streaming shows in the works — after the Untitled Cassian Andor series and Untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series, the sky's the limit over on Disney+. New animation will surely be coming as well — after Star Wars: The Clone Wars finishes its triumphant return and Star Wars Resistance wraps up, that is.
What's the point in mentioning all of this again, besides wanting to revel in all of the excitement that is coming our way? There is a lot of potential for some characters who have thus far only appeared in the fully in-canon books and comics to make the transition over to live-action or animation.
At one point this may have seemed like a pipe dream, but then Maul showed up at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Yes, he began in the films, but he also "died" in the films. His resurrection was only seen in animation, so his appearance in Solo opened up a whole new galaxy of opportunities. If that kind of connection is possible, might someone from the printed page make their on-screen?
Here are 8 characters from the new canon books and comics (and one entry from the games, sue us) that we'd love to see make the hyperspace jump to any screen, whether it's large, small, animated, or live.
Note: These will all be characters that appear in the new canon, so there won't be any "Legends" on this list. Re-canonizing characters is a whole other kettle of shaak-meat, so don't expect to see Borsk Fey'lya or the Yuuzhan Vong here. In the case of the latter, we don't really want them anyway. Vong place, vong time.
Eli Vanto (The Thrawn Trilogy)
We got to know this character mostly through Grand Admiral Thrawn when Timothy Zahn returned to writing that character. Vanto's journey is still mysterious, even though we (mostly) know what he's been up to with the Chiss Ascendancy after being sent off to learn from them by Thrawn himself. His tale doesn't seem complete, and if the Chiss have a larger part to play in anything live or animated, then it would make sense to have Vanto be along for the ride.
It would also mean, most likely, that we'd get more of Grand Admiral Thrawn himself. He made an incredible return to canon in Star Wars Rebels, but we're really greedy. We want more. Thrawn is still out there (probably with Ezra Bridger), and both the Chiss and Vanto would want him back.
Where they could show up: In a completely unannounced and currently nonexistent (but very much hoped for) animated series from Dave Filoni that features Sabine and Ahsoka looking for Ezra Bridger. Wherever Mr. Bridger is, Thrawn is likely right there with him. Ahsoka/Sabine vs. Vanto and the Chiss in the search for Ezra/Thrawn!
Yrica Quell (Alphabet Squadron)
This Imperial pilot-turned-rebel hero has not finished her literary story — there are two sequels planned in the Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron books. Still, going from her one appearance in the first installment, we'd love to see her jump off of the page.
Quell is a very complicated character, with a shipload of conflicting emotions. She's great in the cockpit, and she's getting better as a leader... but she still has a lot to learn. In terms of the timeline (and depending on whether she survives her next two books), Quell's fascinating psyche could turn up in a couple of places.
Where they could show up: Star Wars Resistance would be a possibility, but that show is fairly heavy on pilots already. The Mandalorian is very possible, but the real dream is if Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker goes all-in on bringing back every possible ally that the Rebellion has ever had. Quell (and the rest of Alphabet Squadron) would be sorely needed, and they could hand the First Order its butt. Plus: Quell was mentored by Hera Syndulla, and if Hera herself shows up in the film (something teased by the Ghost appearing in the final trailer), then why not bring in Quell and her squadron too? Our greed knows no ends.
Sinjir Rath Velus (The Aftermath Trilogy)
Another former Imperial-turned-Rebel, Velus brings an incredibly stylish swagger to every scene he is featured in during Chuck Wendig's Aftermath trilogy. He was formerly an interrogator, he knows how to manipulate, and now he's using his powers for good. He's also one of the first openly gay characters to feature in the new canon.
The real challenge here would be who could possibly play him. He has a palpable panache that comes flying off of the page — with the right actor in the part, Velus could establish himself even more as a character worth paying attention to.
Where they could show up: The Mandalorian would be interesting. After the Battle of Jakku, Velus becomes an advisor to Mon Mothma, the head of the New Republic. If the New Republic establishment has a presence on the show, it would be great to have Velus be the face of it. He would bring a bit of levity to the proceedings, whether those grizzled bounty hunters want it or not. Another great place for him to show up? Literally anywhere else. Give him his own in-universe talk show. We'd watch.
Zay Versio and Shriv (Star Wars: Battlefront II)
This isn't entirely fair, as these two come from a game... but we're doing it anyway.
The daughter of Iden Versio and Del Meeko is still around in the Age of Resistance, and both she and the caustic Shriv are doing secret missions for General Leia Organa. Zay is a great character alone, but paired with the sarcastic and amazing Shriv? They are a grand double-act, and their story is far from over.
As much as we would love to put Iden Versio (Janina Gavankar) on this list, her story has pretty much been told... though if there is a way to place Gavankar in anything Star Wars-related, then that opportunity should be taken.
As we've said, this isn't completely fair... Star Wars: Battlefront II features fully animated and motion-captured performances, including both Zay and Shriv. If they appear anywhere, then the actors who gave them life in the first place (Brittany Volcy as Zay, Dan Donohoe as Shriv) must be involved.
Where they could show up: Star Wars Resistance is a possibility, but once again, it would be really great if they showed up to help the Resistance in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Mr. Bones (The Aftermath Trilogy, Poe Dameron Comics)
We know that J.J. Abrams stalwart Greg Grunberg will be back in The Rise of Skywalker as Temmin 'Snap' Wexley, and that character got his start as a young boy in Wendig's Aftermath trilogy. While still a wee young lad, Wexley turned an old B-1 battle droid (roger roger) into a lethal death machine named Mr. Bones. Why was he named that? Wexley covered the droid in actual bones. So violent!
Mr. Bones and his joyfully deadly delights were a highlight of the Aftermath books, and we thought that was the last we'd read about this droid. Then the Star Wars: Poe Dameron comic came around, which features an older Wexley in Dameron's Black Squadron... and Mr. Bones made an unexpected reappearance.
During a tight spot in one mission, Wexley was able to upload Mr. Bones' program into another droid in order to save Poe. If he did it once, Wexley could surely do it again. It was great to see another droid take on Mr. Bones' sing-song antics of death.
Where they could show up: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We know Snap is back, and he could pull this same move again. Maybe he'll input Mr. Bones' program into C-3PO, who knows.
Grakkus the Hutt (Star Wars Comics, Poe Dameron Comics)
Do the new movies or shows need a Hutt to fill that Jabba-sized hole that we've all been left with since 1983? They should look no further than Grakkus, a Hutt who has featured in both the ongoing Star Wars comic run, as well as in the comic pages of Star Wars: Poe Dameron.
Grakkus is an interesting Hutt because, for one thing, he hordes Jedi artifacts and knowledge. We first run into him on Nar Shaddaa (a smuggler paradise that we really want to see onscreen) when Luke gets captured by him, but good ol' Grakkus shows up again to menace (and then assist) Poe Dameron during the Age of Resistance. He's a fun Hutt who usually plays both sides, he is quite smart, as well, and has something of a silly streak going. Look no further than his electronic centipede leg contraption for proof.
Where they could show up: Countless places. If Star Wars Resistance needs a good Hutt, then there you go. A better place would probably be The Mandalorian, however, which is almost guaranteed to have a Hutt presence. If we have Huttsign, then make it Grakkus! Gardulla is so 1999.
Rae Sloane (A New Dawn, The Aftermath Trilogy, more)
We're not the only ones that want this to happen. We thought it could be happening when Thandie Newton was cast in Solo, but then we found out that she was playing someone completely different. We still hold out hope that one of the only competent Imperial officers around will make her way to the screen.
How could this happen? The last time we saw Rae Sloane, she was being sent into the Unknown Regions to join up with what was left of the Imperial Remnant. We haven't seen her since, and if she's joined up with the even more useless First Order, that has yet to be revealed.
Sloane is capable, confident, a good leader, as well as a believer in the Empire. She gets the job done, and she's one of the only Imperials who does. Her jump to the screen would be bad for our heroes, but it would be great for audiences.
Where they could show up: We're gonna go out on a limb and call this one — we know that the Empire proper returns in some form in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We've seen an entire fleet of classic-flavor Star Destroyers in the trailers. They've got to have someone on their bridge coordinating them, right? It could be Sloane. It should be Sloane. The Rise of Skywalker is the logical place for Rae Sloane's journey to continue... and then possibly end.
Doctor Aphra (Darth Vader comics, Doctor Aphra comics)
We're dying to see this scoundrel on a screen, any screen, anywhere. The adventures of this rogue space archeologist with insanely dubious morals proved to be so much fun during the original run of Darth Vader comics that the character was then given her own series. Every issue is full of wit, charm, humor, and sometimes... heartbreak.
Chelli Lona Aphra is one of the best Star Wars characters around right now, and the potential for this character in live-action (or animation) is huge. She's smart, dark, and often does the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. She's insanely selfish, and when she occasionally does do the right thing, she usually regrets it. The characters that could come along with her include the deadly Triple Zero, a protocol droid that loves nothing more than murder and torture.
Where they could show up: Aphra's comic is not over, so we don't know where her story is going. That said, there are a number of places where she could appear — though we're gonna go out on a limb again and bet big.
Ming-Na Wen has been cast in The Mandalorian. We don't know who she is playing, but we're gonna shoot this saber dart right now: Ming-Na Wen could very well be playing Doctor Aphra in that series. The timelines (kind of) match up, and there is no better actor to play the role. Ming-Na Wen has the action chops, the humor, and the versatility that the not-so-good Doctor would need. She's also a huge Star Wars fanatic.
Ming-Na Wen appearing as Doctor Aphra in The Mandalorian (and then a spin-off show of her own with a thousand episodes) would be a true Force-dream come true.