Star Wars is one of the most successful franchises in cinema history. Not only because of its unique story but also because of its unique characters. The characters of Star Wars are some of the most recognizable characters in the world. For as many great characters that the franchise has, it also has some not so great characters. Now I’m not talking about the Jar Jar type characters. I’m talking about characters that could have been so amazing but never reached their full potential. In this list we explore the wasted characters of the Star Wars galaxy.
We begin with a character from Episode One: A Phantom Menace, Darth Maul. When the marketing came out for A Phantom Menace a big eye grabber was this new Sith Lord and his double bladed lightsaber. Maul had this super sinister look to him almost as if he was the physical embodiment of the Darkside. He had a crown of horns coming out of his head, red and black skin and a lightsaber that we have never seen before or never could have even imagined up to that point. He was the new evil apprentice and we all thought that he was definitely going to be the new Darth Vader of the new trilogy. Well that’s not what happened. The character was mysterious with only a few lines (which was a good thing) and didn’t have much screen time. Darth Maul’s lightsaber and combat skills lived up to the hype that is up until he was cut in half in the second of his two saber battles in the film…in the very first film of the prequels. If anything good came out of killing him so soon was that it meant that Obi-wan Kenobi was ready to become a Jedi and train Anakin because it sure wasn’t a great thing that we got an even more politically driven character, Count Dooku, to take his place. Yay more politics that we don’t understand! Maul would later be brought back in the animated series but oh, what could have been.
General Grievous was brought into the prequels for Revenge of the Sith only to be taken back out on the very same film. He was not a Sith nor a Jedi but sided with the Separatists and was known for killing Jedi. Another villain with a very interesting look and backstory who is then taken out by who other than Obi-Wan. Damn you young Obi-Wan, why are you so good at combat?! A fair debate would be that it was the last film of the trilogy so what do you expect to happen to the character but then again, he could have went into hiding or they could have implied that he went searching for any other Jedi that possibly survived Order 66. At least Grievous had a lot more screen time than Darth Maul.
Boba Fett is probably the one character on this list that may be debatable to include in this list. Boba Fett lasted all three films of the original trilogy so he had that going for him with some added screen time thanks to the George Lucas revisions of the films. In A New Hope, Fett was just used as some background eye candy. Empire Strikes Back is where he gets his 15 seconds of fame…sort of. After Darth Vader forced Lando Calrissian to trick Han, Chewie and Leia into trusting him only to get captured, Boba Fett then freezes Han in carbonite (once again, with the help of Vader). Between the time that Empire ends and Return of the Jedi begins, Fett takes Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt for unpaid debt. Just a few minutes into Return of the Jedi Fett meets his doom (at least on the big screen) when a blind Han Solo accidentally hits Fett’s jetpack launching him into Jabba’s sail barge, then bouncing into the Sarlacc Pitt. The extended universe would have Boba Fett surviving the Sarlacc Pitt. Star Wars creator George Lucas explained that if he had known that the character would have been as popular as he is, he would have made Fett’s death more exciting. Lucas even contemplated adding a scene in ROTJ which would show Boba Fett climbing out go the pitt. I’m thinking that if Disney does end up doing a solo Boba Fett film, that showing his escape would be a good way to start the film off.
Captain Phasma was one of the most interesting looking new characters for the new Disney trilogy. She had this slick shiny armor made of the same material as the Naboo Queen’s Royal Starship, she was over six foot tall and carried a blaster that I’m not even sure that she used in the first film. Phasma was the captain of the First Order in The Force Awakens. She had maybe three to five minutes of screen time in the film. Phasma eventually got put into a thrash compactor in the third act. We would see Phasma return in The Last Jedi which I think would have had more shock value if Disney would have kept her out of the early marketing for the film and let audiences witness her return in the film. She had a little more screen time and we would finally see her in action this time around. Phasma was credited for capturing Finn and Rose during their plot to infiltrate the First Order. This would lead to a fight between Captain Phasma and Finn. The good thing is that we finally got to see Phasma in combat but the bad part is that she lost once again to Finn and went down with the ship. Once again my assumptions got the best of me thinking she would be a Boba Fett type of character, turns out I was right but not in a good way. But there is still a way to save her. I’m not completely convinced that she died in the explosion of the ship. Her armor could make blasters shots bounce right off so is it possible that her suit could be fire resistant and she somehow survived? Wishful thinking.
DJ is a character that I felt was totally unnecessary to have in The Last Jedi. He was a hacker (aka slicer) and a thief that offered to help Rose and Finn infiltrate the First Order Supremacy ship. He wound up betraying the pair to save his own life when they were caught by Captain Phasma. I felt like this character could have easily been Lando Calrissian and the whole film could have done without that betrayal. The betrayal was only done to setup Captain Phasma’s re-entry into the Star Wars films. Since her reintroduction didn’t really payoff, neither did this character. A great actor but not so great of a character.
Supreme Leader Snoke is probably the biggest disappointment on this list. He was brought into the Star Wars films in The Force Awakens to serve as a mentor to Kylo Ren. He was a massive hologram in the film which added more mystery to the character because we did not know his size, his species nor why he was Force sensitive. After TFA hit ended, one of the biggest questions was who was Snoke. Fans had a field day (that lasted two years) to speculate who Snoke could possibly be. Some theories were that Snoke was a reincarnated Anakin Skywalker or that he was one of the Jedi younglings that Anakin attempted to strike down in Revenge of the Sith. Then The Last Jedi debuts on Dec. 15. Some of the questions fans have had would be answered, so they thought. SPOILERS: 3, 2, 1… Snoke gets cut in half while sitting on a thrown by his apprentice Kylo Ren. Writer and director Rian Johnson failed to give an sort of backstory for the Supreme Leader Snoke. No questions were answered. Not so “supreme” if you ask me.
Elite Praetorian Guards
The Elite Praetorian Guards served as guards for Supreme Leader Snoke. They had an interesting look resembling the Imperial Guards and also resembling something straight out of a Target commercial. The guards had very cool looking weapons and once seeing them in marketing for TLJ we all hoped those weapons would be put to use in the film. Well they were put to use in one of the best scenes in the film. Again spoilers: the guards attempt to avenge Snoke’s murder and we see Rey and Kylo team up for the first time against the Elite Praetorian Guards. What I’ve learned over the years of repeatedly watching Star Wars is that when it comes to two Force sensitive characters teaming up against anyone, chances are the two Force sensitive beings out number an army of any kind. The guards fell to the sabers of Rey and Kylo in honorable fashion. It’s not the fact that these guards die in the very same film that they are introduced in that made me want them on this list, it’s the fact that these characters could have been so much more than what they were. Before the film came out, fans had questioned if these guards were possibly the Knights of Ren which were briefly shown in TFA. If that were the case, that would have added more to the story and would have made their deaths mean more. Well until Episode IX hits theaters we will not know if they were truly the Knights of Ren or not.
I know what you are thinking, “The Star Destroyer is not a character.” Now here’s my reasoning for putting the Star Destroyer on this list. One of the great things about Star Wars is that the galaxy is filled with a vast amount of characters, creatures, systems, bases and starships. Some of the starships are so well known all over the world that they too started taking a type of character distinction to them. Ships and bases like the Millennium Falcon, X-Wing and the Death Star are examples that come to mind. When TFA came out we seen something that was much more enormous than the Death Star. It was the Star Destroyer. Not only was it greater in size but it could take out several planets at the same time, which we would see in the film. Now something this massive and dangerous shouldn’t have been able to be blown up so easily. J.J. Abrams obviously tried to recreate the feel of A New Hope, which he pretty much did. But to give the Star Destroyer more clout, I feel that Abrams should have carried the weapon out into at least Episode VIII. On the other hand I’m just glad that the First Order/Lucasfilm decided not to have anymore Death Star type of weapons in the next installment. I think three (even two) were enough to see in the Star Wars galaxy.
There you have it. If you agree or disagree with the characters on this list, feel free to comment below and let us know your thoughts.