13 Of The Best Minor Alien Characters In Star Wars
The Star Wars universe is so rich and complex that you could never explore it all, and that’s part of what makes being a fan so fun. Not only do the movies have major characters you love, but even the minor characters who only have one line, or maybe just walk in the background of a scene, can garner their own devoted fanbase. The series is full of characters glimpsed for only a second who could easily have an entire movie of their own (and, of course, some that couldn’t). But in a universe of humans, droids, and aliens, the wide variety of alien life stands out the most. Here are 13 of the best minor alien characters in the Star Wars movies.
1. Yarael Poof
Casual viewers know Yarael Poof as the member of the Jedi council with the really long neck. He’s the perfect example of a character who is barely shown in the films and yet has a really long Wookieepedia article. And it is hilarious to think of an alien with a two-foot-long neck in a lightsaber battle. How did he get so good at lightsabers? Isn’t the long neck a disadvantage? Poof, whose name is never mentioned in the movie but is revealed in the credits of Episode I, didn’t appear in Episode II because George Lucas didn’t want viewers to get him confused with the Kaminoans. Haha, as if anyone could confuse a Quermian with a Kaminoan. What are we, rubes?!
Oola is, of course, the green-skinned dancer eaten by Jabba’s Rancor. Such a tragedy. She’s a Twi’lek from Ryloth enslaved by Jabba the Hutt, but was unwilling to give in to all his demands. She was feisty and for that, she paid the ultimate price. RIP Oola.
Hammerhead — whose real name is Momaw Nadon — was the first character to get his own toy despite having no lines in the movie. “Hammerhead” is a derogatory term for Ithorians and apparently really hurts their feelings. Nadon stuck out in audiences’ memories, despite appearing only in Mos Eisley’s cantina, and has been a fan favorite ever since. His backstory is heroic and tragic — he was exiled from Ithor for revealing agricultural secrets to the Empire, even though he was just trying to save his planet.
4. Max Rebo
He’s a BLUE ELEPHANT who PLAYS THE PIANO! Who didn’t love this dude as a kid? I certainly did. To be fair though, he isn’t really a piano-playing blue elephant. He’s a red ball jett organ-playing Ortolan, a prolific bandleader happy to play tunes for criminals and murderers.
5. Taun We
Couldn’t mention Kaminoans earlier and not give one a spot on the list. Taun We is the very tall lady who shows Obi-Wan the clone army. Wookieepedia says she was known on Kamino for her beauty and honestly, and I can see it. For a very tall alien with a long neck and a face that looks sort of like Voldemort, she’s pretty hot. And that voice! So sultry.
Who doesn’t like a lizard– excuse me, I mean a Trandoshan– in a space suit? Bossk appears momentarily as a bounty hunter in The Empire Strikes Back, but had his backstory fleshed out in several Star Wars Legends stories and comics, as well as the Clone Wars TV series.
Jabba’s Rancor was named Pateesa. Native to the planet Dathomir, Rancors are giant, scary predators and Pateesa was happy to eat anyone Jabba threw in his pit. The whole rancor sequence in Return of the Jedi is amazing because you experience its ferocity and power, see Luke vanquish it, and then catch its human handler weeping over its death.
8. Bib Fortuna
Bib Fortuna combined a weird head with a cool name to go down in Star Wars history. Fortuna is Jabba’s right-hand man, a Twi’lek happy to work for someone even uglier than he is.
9. Nien Nunb
Nunb is best known for copiloting the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor with Lando Calrissian. He’s cool because he’s one of the rare characters who’s a pilot and a crustacean-looking dude (technically a Sullustan).
10. Tion Medon
Tion Medon is cool mostly because you would assume, based on his gruesome appearance, that he’s evil. But actually, the guy’s on the side of the Rebels. He is a Pau’an and the Port Administrator of Pau City on Utapau. He secretly tells Obi-Wan that Pau City has been taken over by General Grievous. Star Wars can be a bit obvious in that ugly characters are often bad guys, but Tion Medon is a nice subversion of that stereotype.
Greedo is most famous for the long-lasting debate over whether he or Han Solo shot first (totally Han). A Rodian bounty hunter, Greedo unsuccessfully tries to capture Han and meets an untimely end.
12. Admiral Ackbar
Few characters manage to make such an impression off one famous line. Gial Ackbar is a Mon Calamari from Dac and the highest military commander of the Rebel Alliance. And yes, he knows a trap when he sees one.
Let’s finish off the list with an addition from Rogue One! Pao — full name “Paodok’Draba’Takat Sap’De’Rekti Nik’Linek’Ti’ Ki’Vef’Nik’Ne Sevef’Li’Kek” — is the only non-humanoid member of the Rogue One team that initiated the Battle of Scarif, so that makes him stand out. How did a Drabata from Pipada become so close with all these human rebels? Now that’s a prequel waiting to happen.