Obscure Star Wars Characters: Ranking the Top 5

You Never Know Who You’ll Run Into Next

Darth Vader: “There will be a substantial reward for the one who finds the Millennium Falcon. You are free to use any methods necessary, but I want them alive. [points at a bounty hunter] No disintegrations.
Boba Fett: “As you wish.”

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars is set in a big galaxy. You can rub shoulders with criminal scum on Tatooine, take in a show on Coruscant, then vacation on scenic Alderaan before it becomes significantly less scenic. Millions of beings inhabit each world, but there’s only so much limelight to go around.

Everybody knows Luke Skywalker, but how many have heard of Galen Marek? They praise Padme’s reign, but forget Jyn Erso’s sacrifice. Everyone likes to hear about Darth Vader more than Elan Sleazebaggano, and yes, that’s a real name.

Disney has begun diving deeper into that galaxy and airing hits like The Mandalorian and Andor on Disney+. Let’s look past the icons to those waiting in the wings. Who are the obscure Star Wars characters you may not know? Let’s find out.

#5 Star Wars: Asajj Ventress

Played By: Nika Futterman

Obi-Wan:Ventress. And here I thought this mission would be unpleasant.”
Asajj Ventress:The pleasure’s all mine, my dear Obi-Wan. I’ve missed you.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars “The Hidden Apprentice” (Season 1, Episode 16)

The Dark Side is a path to many abilities some consider unnatural. The Sith prefer martial methods while the Nightsisters of Dathomir harness the Dark Side to cast sorcery. So what happens when someone is trained in both disciplines?

Asajj Ventress was kidnapped as a child from her homeworld of Dathomir.  She was rescued by Jedi Master Ky Narec, who took Ventress as an apprentice. He was killed before Ventress could become a Jedi, and she fell to the Dark Side. She was later found by Count Dooku, who trained her as an assassin and his apprentice.

Ventress fought for the Separatists during the Clone Wars. She frequently dueled Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, forming an almost friendly rapport over many encounters. Darth Sideous believed Ventress was a threat and ordered Count Dooku to kill her. He failed and she went on the run, hunted by both sides.

Ventress returned to Dathomir and became a Nightsister. She later fell in love with Jedi Master Quinlan Vos and joined an operation to capture Dooku. Ventress sacrificed herself to protect Vos from a blast of Force Lightning.

Fun Fact: Asajj Ventress was meant to be the lead villain of Attack of the Clones. George Lucas delayed the character ‘s debut after Sir Christopher Lee signed on to play Count Dooku. This is why she is portrayed as his apprentice and surrogate daughter prior to being betrayed.

#4 General Grievous

Played By: Matthew Wood

Grievous:Jedi, you are surrounded, your armies decimated. Make peace with The Force now, for this is your last day. But know that I, General Grievous, am not completely without mercy. I will grant you a warrior’s death. Prepare.

Star Wars: Clone Wars+ “Chapter 20” (Season 2, Episode 10)

Many of you know Grievous from endless Star Wars memes. He appeared in Revenge of the Sith and many characters acted as if he’d always been there. So who is the robotic rapscallion that had the Jedi running scared?

No one knows where General Grievous comes from. The only clue is that his name was once Qymaen jai Sheelal. His body except his brain and some organs has been replaced by cybernetics. This was apparently done to him, but he insists that it was his choice.

General Grievous was introduced in the Clone Wars miniseries. The skeletal Separatist acted like a horror movie monster, stalking Jedi from the shadows and overwhelming Masters with robotic precision. He kept up the momentum by wading through clone troopers and Jedi to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine.

General Grievous is a serial killer of Jedi, taking lightsabers from his victims as souvenirs. Trained by Count Dooku in lightsaber combat, Grievous can simultaneously wield four sabers. General Grievous was the Separatist’s vanguard until Obi-Wan Kenobi killed him in the war’s last days.

Fun Fact: Early in Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker and General Grievous offhandedly mention that this is their first meeting. The Clone Wars TV show was constantly jumping through hoops to ensure that they never ran into each other.

#3 Star Wars: Grand Admiral Thrawn

Played By: Lars Mikkelsen

Thrawn:Have the Kalakori transported to my ship.”
Slavin:We should just destroy that piece of twi’lek trash.
Thrawn: [grabs him by the collar and growls before visibly calming] “My… apologies, Captain Slavin. I forgot that not everyone is able to appreciate art as I do.”

Star Wars: Rebels “Hera’s Heroes” (Season 3, Episode 3)

The Force is flashy, but one of Star Wars’ most dangerous villains doesn’t need it. Why lift rocks with your mind when you can turn your brain to subverting armies? The pen is mightier than a lightsaber in this Admiral’s hand.

Thrawn is an agent of The Chiss Ascendancy. As The Empire rose, he was assigned to infiltrate the military and prove the Chiss were worthwhile allies. Thrawn’s cunning, ruthlessness, and charm propelled him up the ranks despite The Empire’s xenophobia. In time, he was promoted to Grand Admiral.

Thrawn specialized in analyzing enemy forces by studying their culture and history. Research and insight allowed him to determine how opponents would act and prepare countermeasures. Fascination with other cultures caused Thrawn to appear snobbish. He was also bad at politics, resulting in a disastrous partnership with Imperial Governor Pryce.

Grand Admiral Thrawn advocated for the TIE Defender program, which would have created fleets of highly advanced ships. He was constantly denied resources in favor of The Death Star until rebels destroyed the Defender Program. Thrawn was last seen being hurled into the Unknown Regions while locked in battle with Jedi Ezra Bridger.

Fun Fact: Grand Admiral Thrawn was introduced in Timothy Zahn’s expanded universe book Heir to The Empire. This was followed by two more books that formed The Thrawn Trilogy, which influenced many spinoffs. Disney made his character canon, but erased several aspects, most notably his enforcer and Luke Skywalker’s eventual wife, Mara Jade.

#2 Bo-Katan Kryze

Played By: Katee Sackhoff

Bo-Katan:I will kill the Moff and retake what is rightfully mine. With the Darksaber restored to me, Mandalore will finally be within reach.

The Mandalorian “The Rescue” (Season 2, Episode 8)

Mandalorians are the Star Wars counterpart of Batman. No inherent superpowers, but plenty of training, toys, and a tight-knit community. You’ve got to be tough to lead this band of badasses. Our penultimate pick is tough enough.

Bo-Katan Kryze was a lieutenant of the Mandalorian terrorists’ Death Watch. She fought to overthrow her sister’s pacifist regime, which was slowly corrupting Mandalore. Death Watch splintered when Darth Maul took control, leading Bo-Katan to form the Mandalorian Resistance as a neutral faction seeking a return to their warrior roots.

Bo-Katan eventually became leader of The Mandalorians by acquiring the Darksaber, a weapon once wielded by a legendary Mandalorian Jedi. She led the unsuccessful Mandalorian rebellion against The Empire. Bo-Katan reluctantly surrendered the Darksaber to Grand Moff Gideon in exchange for her people being spared. He went back on his word and carpet-nuked Mandalore.

Failing her people broke Bo-Katan. She became obsessed with reclaiming the Darksaber and reuniting the Mandalorian remnants. She succeeded with help from Din Djarin, a fellow Mandalorian. Adventuring with Din reignited Bo-Katan’s faith in ancient Mandalorian traditions and she joined his commune, The Children of The Watch. Together, they reunited their people and retook Mandalore.

Fun Fact: Bo-Katan’s appearance was modeled on her voice actor, Katee Sackhoff. This made it much easier for her to adapt the role to live-action when Bo-Katan appeared in The Mandalorian.

#1 Star Wars: Ahsoka Tano

Played By: Ashley Eckstein, Rosario Dawson

Ahsoka:I was beginning to believe I knew who you were behind that mask, but it’s impossible. My Master could never be as vile as you!
Darth Vader:Anakin Skywalker was weak. I destroyed him.
Ahsoka: “…Then I will avenge his death.
Darth Vader:Revenge is not the Jedi way.”
Ahsoka:I am no Jedi.”

Star Wars: Rebels “Twilight of the Apprentice” (Season 2, Episode 22)

Ahsoka was once hated as much as Jar Jar Binks. She’s grown into one of the most popular characters in all of Star Wars. So who is Ahsoka Tano?

Ahsoka Tano became Anakin Skywalker’s padawan in the early days of the Clone Wars. The childish and impulsive tortuga was unprepared for battlefields, but her skills and personality impressed Anakin and Obi-Wan. Ahsoka slowly grew jaded because of The Republic’s atrocities and double-dealing during the war.

Ahsoka was falsely accused of bombing the Jedi Temple, leading everyone but Anakin to turn on her. After the real terrorist was caught, the Jedi offered to reinstate Ahsoka. She refused and left the Order.

Ahsoka survived Order 66 and wandered the galaxy, helping the Rebellion where she could. She joined the battle against Grand Admiral Thrawn and dueled her former Master to protect her new friends. Ahsoka now searches for Thrawn to find Ezra.

Fun Fact: Ahsoka’s white lightsabers are the result of purifying crystals used for a Sith Inquisitor’s lightsaber. They are based on katanas, which blend with Ashoka’s wandering heroics to evoke a ronin, a masterless samurai. 

Who is your favorite obscure Star Wars character? Is there one that is better than these? Tell us in the comments.

Image: (L-R): Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), Chopper and Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) in Lucasfilm’s STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

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