It's been 32 long years since we last saw our heroes on the big screen in Return of the Jedi. But on Dec. 18, one of the most famous franchises -- if not THE most famous franchise -- in movie history is returning to theaters in the much-anticipated next chapter of their story with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Over the next 20 weeks, we will celebrate the franchise by looking back and ranking the best, the worst, the weirdest and the most amusing moments in Star Wars history.
As Star Wars begins to expand its movie-verse with the upcoming Rogue One, a rumored Boba Fett origin story and a Han Solo prequel film, I couldn't help but think back on other characters who might be deserving of their own spinoff. Sure, there are the obvious choices -- Wedge Antilles, Admiral Ackbar, that one soldier played by Cliff Clavin -- but then there are the other guys. Characters who, though they were often minor and never spoke, made a lasting impression during their all-too-short screen time. These supporting characters were even immortalized with their own action figures, cementing their place in young imaginations and guaranteeing box-office gold for whoever might decide to bring them back to the big screen. Here's a list of the best characters from the New Hope to Return of the Jedi whose stories we have yet to be told, especially by them.
Yes, OK, Ponda Baba technically has some dialogue in the form of a series of unintelligible grunts, but we're going to let that one slide. The first creature to interact with Luke Skywalker in the Mos Eisley cantina, Ponda Baba's not merely some alien with a baboon’s butt on his face; his strong dislike for people hints that this is a person with a past. While his hostile encounter with with Ben and Luke does not end well for him, resulting in his losing an arm quite quickly, that brief exchange leaves us with so many unanswered questions. Why doesn’t he like people? How did he get to be friends with Cornelius Evazan? They're both wanted men, but who are they wanted by? The Empire? Then aren’t they technically on the same side of the Republic? Or are they some kind of rogue agents with enemies all over the place? There are too many issues here not to explore.
Hammerhead, aka Momaw Nadon
Hammerhead might be the most impressive-looking Star Wars character ever created. As a young boy, I used to play with the action figure for hours trying to simply figure out how he drank. But aside from trying to decipher the biology of Momaw Nadon, let's look at what little we do know. He was exiled from his home world for giving secrets to the Empire. Like most roads to hell, Momaw Nadon's was paved with the best of intentions. He only gave up the coveted info to save his planet from sure destruction. Despite this, he finds himself a man without a home, biding what's left of his time among the various outcasts of the galaxy. Somewhere beneath that strange head is a man with integrity, and it's an interesting story to explore.
Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes and the Max Rebo Band
One piece of trivia that everyone forgets in Episodes 4-6 of Star Wars is that there were full bands in two of the episodes. While Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes certainly play the most catchy song, the Max Rebo Band convenes an eclectic mix of performers that definitely hold their own. Since both bands are on Tatooine, they certainly have run into each other, quite possibly at a battle of the bands. I see a pretty rocking musical in our future.
Kardue'sai'Malloc aka "Labria"
Basically, the devil is at Mos Eisley Cantina, and his name is Kardue'sai'Malloc. After fleeing his home world, the former infamous army captain assumed life as an information broker under the alias Labria on Tatooine. During his time in the army, Kardue'sai'Malloc was such a ruthless military leader it earned him the nickname "The Butcher of Montellian Serat." But even killers have to have a hobby, and apparantly Labria ( or whatever he's calling himself these days) is quite the music fan, even having spent his early post-military years as a semi-groupie following his favorite musicians around on tour. Not only would his military life fill up 90 minutes of screen time, but could you imagine a Devaronian groupie on tour throughout the galaxy? Someone get Cameron Crowe on the phone; this could be the sequel to Almost Famous.
The bounty hunter business may be the most compelling story out of the Star Wars canon. Do bounty hunters only work for the Empire and the Hutts, or do they sometimes also work for the Republic? Do they have a code that they all live by, or is it every bounty hunter for himself? Bossk himself is interesting because he looks to succeed Boba Fett as the most badass bounty hunter. I mean, he is a dinosaur that wears clothing, BUT NO SHOES. Also look at all the puns you can do? Who’s the bossk, like a bossk and, the Robot Chicken favorite, you just got bossked.
Lando has been a favorite of alternate-universe fiction and comic writers alike, and it’s clear to see why. He’s charismatic, funny and charming, and he’s got one hell of a wardrobe. Yet his silent partner, the Teller to his Penn, whose mind is connected to the computer mainframe, seems like a compelling figure in his own right. This yin/yang pairing has buddy movie written all over it. Just imagine Lobot as someone who's always cleaning up Lando's mess, like those terrible deals and poker games he finds himself in.
Oola may have seemed like a mere throw away character whose enslavement and death only reinforced the cruelty Jabba was capable of, but her backstory reveals much more. Turns out she ended up in Jabba's possession after being tricked by Jabba's lackey, Bib Fortuna. Oola's father was a chieftan and her half-sister the leader of The Diversity Alliance, a terrorist group that was against humans, Jedis, and the Empire and fought to avenge the mistreatment and death of Twi'leks. Her family story, as well as the plight of her race, would make a great movie.
Looking like a younger sibling to Pirates of the Caribbean’s Davy Jones, Tessek kind of hangs back in Jabba’s lair. Strangely, he’s been said to have been Jabba’s accountant and is always portrayed as he’s making a point or an observation. It’s easy to see a Frank Underwood style manipulation role in which Tessek uses his intelligence to get ahead. Now that Jabba is dead, someone needs to take over the business and it’s certainly not going to be this guy.
Pruneface and Yak Face
Pruneface and Yak Face are usually tied as the worst names for characters with an action figure. Still, one must question who these characters are, where they come from, and how they achieved their very, very stupid names. Is this a story worth exploring? Of course. Wouldn’t you go see a Star Wars movie with the title Pruneface and Yak Face? I know I would.
Muftak and Kabe
Finally, always appearing as a pair, Muftak and Kabe are the Norm and Cliff of the Mos Eisley Cantina. Typically pictured with drinks in their hands, these drinking buddies seem like the guys you want to hang out with most. The two seem ideal for a loving buddy comedy about two partiers in search of love. Kind of like A Night at the Roxbury, but with monsters at Mos Eisley Cantina.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Kardue'sai'Malloc as Vilmarh Grahrk. It's been fixed. Blastr regrets the error.
That's our list! What do you think of our choices? Who's your favorite non-speaking Star Wars character? Let us know in the comments!