At the time of writing, there have been 11 Star Wars movies released. The first trilogy dropped between the years of 1977 and 1983, capturing the imaginations of millions across the globe in the process. George Lucas then released his prequel trilogy between 1999 and 2005, and, Disney, after acquiring Lucasfilm in a huge deal back in 2012, then had a crack at a sequel trilogy, as well as releasing spin-offs Solo and Rogue One.
There have been many iconic characters over the years, but not all of them were major players in the story. Some, in fact, had barely any screentime at all. So, we’ll now take a look at 10 awesome individuals who are loved by fans despite spending much of their time shunted into a background role.
10 Nien Nunb (2:30)
In Return of the Jedi, the final installment of the original trilogy, the Rebel Alliance is successful at defeating the abhorrent Imperial Empire, with many people playing a key role. Luke Skywalker stops Emperor Palpatine, albeit with some help from daddy Darth Vader, Han Solo and Leia Organa both succeed in getting the Death Star’s shields down on the forest moon of Endor, and Lando Calrissian fires the shot that destroys the space station once and for all.
But, Nien Nunb was with Lando in the Millennium Falcon and was just as vital as the Cloud City kingpin. Therefore, he certainly deserves a place on this list. He has just two minutes and 30 seconds worth of screentime during that blockbuster but is an iconic figure among fans even all these years on.
9 Wedge Antilles (2:30)
Wedge Antilles is a good friend of Luke Skywalker during the first trilogy, so much so he also has a cult following despite also spending a mere two minutes and 30 seconds on the big screen.
Wedge took part in the battle against the empire and also made a brief cameo in 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker, coming to the Resistance’s aid as they take to the skies in order to defeat Emperor Palpatine and the Final Order. He mans the gun on the Millennium Falcon and also praises Lando, who is in the cockpit. He survived the battle and could yet appear again further down the line.
8 Admiral Ackbar (3:30)
Admiral Ackbar makes his first appearance in Return of the Jedi and instantly became iconic. His line “it’s a trap” caught on like nobody expected, and he was a respected figure within the Rebel Alliance, helping orchestrate the destruction of the second Death Star. Ackbar later served under General Leia Organa for the Resistance, appearing again in 2017’s The Last Jedi.
However, many were disgruntled at his death. Ackbar dies when the First Order attacks his ship, and it doesn’t even warrant a mention, with the story instead moving on with rapid speed. His son, Aftab, pops up in The Rise of Skywalker, suggesting he followed in his father’s footsteps.
7 Wicket (4:00)
George Lucas’ decision to bring Ewoks into the fold for the final installment of the original trilogy didn’t please everybody. Some, Harrison Ford included, felt they were merely there to generate toy sales. However, while that could potentially be the case, many are huge fans of Wicket, the Ewok who meets Leia Organa on Endor.
He’s cute and cuddly, but he’s also a fierce warrior, taking part in the fight against the Empire. Wicket manages to survive the battle and is seen celebrating the downfall of the Final Order in The Rise of Skywalker with another furry friend. He’s played by British actor Warwick Davis, who also made brief cameos in blockbusters such as The Phantom Menace, Rogue One, Solo, and The Last Jedi.
6 Jango Fett (4:45)
Attack of the Clones sees the character of Jango Fett make his first appearance. The Bounty Hunter spends the early stages of the movie attempting to murder Padme Amidala, sending Zam Wessell to get the job done on Coruscant. Obi-Wan Kenobi tracks him down and they face off on Kamino, with Jango then meeting a grisly end at Mace Windu’s hands on the planet of Geonosis.
He was a deadly and dangerous presence thr0ughout that movie, and it’s somewhat surprising to think he has less than five minutes of screentime in total. Jango is played by Temuera Morrison, who is currently playing son Boba Fett in The Mandalorian. And, speaking of Boba…
5 Boba Fett (5)
Boba Fett actually made his first Star Wars appearance in the divisive Holiday Special which released back in 1978, one year after A New Hope. He then appears in The Empire Strikes Back, taking Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt after teaming up with Darth Vader. Fett was then presumed dead after Return of the Jedi after falling into the Sarlaac Pit, having originally been lined up to play a significant role.
As things stand, he’s had a whole five minutes of screentime in Star Wars movies. However, now that he’s back in business in The Mandalorian, we’re expecting him to be a key character. It would be pretty epic to see him and Din Djarin go head to head, but whether that actually happens is something only time will tell.
4 Jabba The Hutt (6:45)
Jabba the Hutt makes a fleeting appearance in A New Hope, having some stern words with Han Solo after Greedo is fried to death in the Mos Eisley cantina. He’s absent for the sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, but appears again in Return of the Jedi. He acts as a dangerous antagonist during the first stages of that movie, taking Leia Organa as his prisoner and also attempting to kill Luke Skywalker via both a Rancor and the Sarlaac Pit.
Jabba, with his slug-like appearance, is another character who has become popular in the years since his first appearance. Unlike Boba, however, we think we’ve seen the last of the gangster. He’s choked to death by Leia, and The Mandalorian has alluded to his death, with things on Tatooine changing in the aftermath.
3 Darth Maul (6:45)
Prior to the release of The Phantom Menace, many fans were excited to see Darth Maul in action. With his red and black face, devilish horns, and double-bladed lightsaber, the Sith Lord certainly looked the part. However, the blockbuster ended with Maul dying at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Lucas, realizing this was an error of judgement, then resurrected him for The Clone Wars.
Maul returned to the big screen in 2018 when Solo hit theatres, and that suggests we should get more of the character in the future. Lucas wanted him to be the bad villain of the sequel trilogy but, ultimately, Disney chose to go in a different direction. Maul’s screentime in the movies is brief, but, thanks to other media, people have got to see far more of the character than they were initially going to.
2 Supreme Leader Snoke (6:45)
The Force Awakens introduced the character of Supreme Leader Snoke. He was revealed to be the head of the First Order—as is made evident by his title—and instantly sparked theories over his identity and role in the series. Snoke returned in The Last Jedi, bullying Kylo Ren with villainous authority – further generating excitement.
That is, until his death. Kylo Ren murdering Sn0ke was a bolt from the blue and, to this day, many disagree with the decision. The Mandalorian has potentially teased a return but, when it comes to the bigger picture, he’s very much gone. We still have so many questions about Snoke and his links to Emperor Palpatine, however, meaning another appearance would certainly be well-received. Only time will tell…
1 Grand Moff Tarkin (9)
A New Hope both introduced and killed off Grand Moff Tarkin. However, despite taking a back seat while characters such as Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Leia Organa took the spotlight, he became instantly popular. He’s the very definition of bad to the bone, having no qualms about using the Death Star to destroy Alderaan while also attempting to wipe out the entire Rebel Alliance from above the skies.
He’s equally as vile in Rogue One, where Disney used CGI to bring Peter Cushing back to life. Tarkin succeeds in killing Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor on Scarif, while also stabbing Orson Krennic in the back despite the pair being imperial allies. Darth Vader and Palpatine aside, we could even go as far as to say Tarkin is the third-best villain in the entire series.
NEXT: Star Wars: 10 Fights We Never Got To See
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