Since Darth Vader’s charismatic supporting character, Dr. Aphra, is getting her own solo comic, now feels like a fun time to recall some of the most striking Star Wars characters… who never appeared in any of the movies. From morally ambiguous Jedi to glorified extras to the living embodiment of the Dark Side, these names all debuted in the pages of comics first. Some have had more noteworthy runs than others, but they’ve all still stuck in our memories, for better or worse. Give them a look, and consider whether any of them might deserve their own book, too.
A relic of a more whimsical era of science fiction, when the Expanded Universe was still getting a sense of how it would work (long before it was even called the “Expanded Universe,” actually). Jaxxon is exactly what he looks like: a six-foot-tall green rabbit space pirate. Meant to bring Bugs Bunny’s streetwise sensibility to the long-ago, faraway galaxy, Jaxxon is hired by Han Solo to protect some peasants in a Seven Samurai-style mission. He tags along for a few more adventures, but hasn’t been seen for decades. Jaxxon has been popping up on some variant covers recently, though.
A very recent addition to this mythos, Sana’s story is still unfolding, but this outlaw is definitely worth keeping an eye on. Han asserts they were only “married” as a cover story for a scam they were pulling off together. Sana, however, insists that he double-crossed her and that their union is real and binding. Readers still haven’t seen the full picture yet, but casting rumors suggest Sana may be a prominent character in the forthcoming Han Solo prequel movie, so maybe their record will be set straight there.
As Dr. Jekyll, Adam Warlock, and the Mystics from The Dark Crystal all learned, you can never truly expunge your bad self. It’ll just become its own thing, something far uglier than you could have ever imagined. The Darker is just that. An ancient race known as the Arbrans removed their malignant qualities and imprisoned them underground. Those nasty feelings eventually turned into this creature, who later bedeviled the Rebel Alliance once they set up camp long after the Arbrans were gone. The Darker only appears in one story, but he represents a lot of untapped potential in the Star Wars galaxy, conceptually. Though unconnected to the Sith, or even the Force, he’s basically the personification of the Dark Side.
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Theater-goers may recall Rozencratz & Guildenstern Are Dead, a play that shows the events of Hamlet from two minor players’ vantages. These knuckleheads are Star Wars’ version of those characters, bumbling through major events’ periphery, from Phantom Menace to Return of the Jedi. Ex-Padawans, these Jedi wash-outs go on to to join the Rebel Alliance. Then, in an act of cowardice, they impersonate Storm Troopers during Vader’s capture of Princess Leia’s ship in A New Hope. Eventually, and inexplicably, they ascend far enough into Empire ranks to be Imperial Guardsman… on Palpatine’s bath detail. Now, don’t you wonder what they were up to during The Force Awakens?
Technically, he appeared in the movies first. Vos is based on an unnamed background character from Phantom Menace. However, he didn’t have a name, personality, or story until the comics gave him one. This Master is the “gray” Jedi many RPG-minded fans have wished for. An expert tracker, he’s touched the Dark Side in order to serve as a double agent and spy on Count Dooku during the Clone Wars. He even romanced the Sith Lord’s would-be disciple. Not only did Vos survive Order 66, he actually went on to enjoy an at-least-slightly-pleasant retirement as a family man. Still, he’s remained one of the most striking loose ends in the Stars Wars timeline.
Comics first! Which other characters deserve a bigger spotlight? Drop your picks in the talkback.
Image Credits: Lucas Film