Hey! Hallie here!
Happy Star Wars Day! (Or, if you’re reading this the day after, Happy Revenge of the 5th!) We haven’t talked a lot about Star Wars recently, which I’m sure will change once the Obi-Wan Kenobi series hits Disney+, but for now I’m really happy to return to this franchise! It’s definitely a franchise I have a lot of strong opinions on, as do many other people, but for most Star Wars fans it comes from a place of intense love for the series. That intense love is always worth celebrating every May the 4th, whether your favorite Star Wars media is ‘The Mandalorian’, or the original trilogy, or the prequels, or the sequels. There are definitely things I love about each of those things myself, but today I want to focus on characters that get less love from the general public. Primarily, Star Wars characters that come from the cartoons and haven’t seen any live action representation. These characters have decent fan-bases, but a large chunk of Star Wars fans still have no idea who they are. Some Star Wars fans even believe that the cartoons are only for children, which is just not true. So here’s a list of characters that you should definitely seek out if you haven’t yet!
We’re starting out with the most popular character on this list. Captain Rex is one of the main characters in the cartoon series ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’. For those who don’t know, ‘Clone Wars’ covers the period of time between ‘Attack of the Clones’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith’, and it mostly follows Anakin as he works to become a Jedi Master after being assigned a Padawan to train, Ahsoka Tano. I say mostly because ‘Clone Wars’ includes a large amount of characters, many of whom get solo story arcs that are completely separate from Anakin’s. Obi-Wan pops up quite a bit, Yoda has some of his own stories, and most importantly, the clone troopers storylines provide some of the best writing in the entire show. The clone that gets centered the most in these storylines is Captain Rex, the Clone Captain who works directly under Anakin in the same way Commander Cody works directly under Obi-Wan. Where Cody is all rules, Rex is willing to take risks and throw himself into a firefight right next to Anakin regardless of his non-Jedi status. But that doesn’t mean Rex is reckless. As a Captain, he often acts as a wise and comforting presence to his brothers who rank beneath him. He solves disputes, helps “shinies” discover their true talents and individuality, and protects his brothers from bigotry. Rex’s kindness reaches beyond his troopers, though. He creates a very meaningful friendship with Ahsoka and takes it upon himself to help her whenever he can, resulting in a heartwarming friendship that lasts long past Ahsoka’s defection from the Jedi Order. This friendship even helped him overcome Order 66, meaning he’s one of the only clones who remained loyal to the Jedi. He’s the perfect mix of badass and genuinely caring, and he’s long past overdue for a live action appearance.
There are honestly so many clones I could put on this list, but I really couldn’t pass up the newest clone that stole my heart. Omega is a little girl, which is instantly strange to those who know that all of the clones were created from the DNA of Jango Fett. To the Kaminoans though, nothing is impossible especially if you have enough disregard for sentient life. Omega grew up as a medical assistant on Kamino, observing her brothers from afar but not really being allowed to converse with them much. That is, until the events of the Disney+ series ‘The Bad Batch’, where she meets the defective clones who make up Clone Force 99. Omega is quickly endearing to both the members of the Bad Batch and the audience. She’s optimistic to almost a ridiculous degree, she’s more empathetic than any other Star Wars character I’ve encountered, and she’s wise beyond her years. She’s also incredibly capable, which leads to a lot of issues within the series. Not because she’s capable of course, but because her primary caretaker, Hunter, continually underestimates her abilities even after she proves herself time and time again. But she is still a child, and it’s really sweet to see her older brothers dote over her. Her interactions with Wrecker in particular steal my heart each time I see them onscreen, not just because she’s incredibly tiny compared to his hulking figure, but also because they’re both basically just little kids whenever they interact. Omega succeeds at being the heart and soul of ‘The Bad Batch’ without ever feeling like she’s being forced into the center, and the show is better for her presence.
Kanan comes from the series ‘Star Wars Rebels’, which is even more controversial than the show I mentioned above because it’s considered more lighthearted in tone. Many people feel that ‘Rebels’ is one of the cartoon series that’s aimed the most at kids, but I think it’s a mistake to write it off. ‘Rebels’ has a lot of really excellent characters and even more excellent storylines. Kanan is a major example of this. Kanan, formerly known as the Padawan Caleb Dume, is a Jedi that goes into hiding after Order 66. His master died during the attack, but luckily for Kanan, he survived long enough to join the rebellion forming against the rising Empire. For a long time he kept his identity a secret, partly to avoid being hunted down and partly because of the trauma being a Jedi brought up for him. But ‘Rebels’ introduces Kanan to a force sensitive kid names Ezra Bridger, forcing Kanan to take up the mantle of Jedi again, and even to seek out what it means to be a Jedi Master. Kanan is one of the most impressive Jedi out there. Though he initially seems too reckless or off-the-rails to be a good Master, he soon reveals himself to be very strict and disciplined. He cares so much about being a good role model that he sometimes becomes blind (sorry) to the needs of his Padawans. However, as the series goes on and he manages to start moving past his trauma, he becomes much more attentive to those around him. Kanan is sarcastic and hilariously dry, but he’s also one off the wisest Jedi in canon. Being trained by the Bendu, he knows even more about the balance of the force than some of the Masters who sat on the Jedi Council. And Kanan proves that the love he has for others is his greatest strength, even when he shows it through devastating sacrifices.
I’m continuing on with my ‘Star Wars Rebels’ love because I genuinely believe the series doesn’t get enough of it. Sabine Wren is one of the most badass women Star Wars has to offer. Sabine marked our first female Mandalorian main character, making her super influential to all the girls who wanted to see more of characters like Bo-Katan after she popped up in ‘Clone Wars’. Sabine is another sarcastic character on the show, often proving herself more intelligent than Ezra despite his often embarrassing amount of confidence. Unlike Kanan, she’s definitely less likely to keep to the rules or worry about the safety of the group. Instead, Sabine often has a crazy plan to blow something up with her detonators, and knowing Sabine, most of the time it works. She’s extremely calculating and able to hold her own without backup. In fact, she spent a good amount of time as a bounty hunter, and it shows. She’s also proud to be herself, which is always something worth celebrating. Sabine decorates her armor, her room, her explosions, and really any available surface with her own art that boasts of vibrant colors she feels represent herself. Even without her helmet on, her colorful hair speaks to her loud and proud rebelliousness. And if all of that wasn’t awesome enough, Sabine becomes the reluctant wielder of the Darksaber at one point, showing both her humility as well as her loyalty to her people. She does hand the blade over though, paying tribute to the other badass Mandalorian woman I already mentioned, Bo-Katan. Sabine can sometimes seem standoffish, but behind her uncaring facade is a genuinely good person who wants to right all the wrongs of her past.
Grand Admiral Thrawn:
There’s a lot of rumors going around that Grand Admiral Thrawn is set to be the main villain of the upcoming live-action Ahsoka series. If you have no idea why this news makes me and many other Star Wars fans so excited, you’ll soon find out. Thrawn is another character who showed up in ‘Star Wars Rebels’, though he was decidedly not on the side of Kanan and Sabine. Thrawn is the main villain of the last portion of ‘Rebels’, and he’s a formidable one. Most of the time I’m personally drawn towards Sith Star Wars villains, but Thrawn is a major exception. Despite only being a Grand Admiral, Thrawn is calculating to a degree that makes him frightening. He can practically read the minds of the people who are unfortunate enough to be in his way. He doesn’t need inside intel to be able to tell what the Rebellion is planning next, and rather than the show writing this ability as sudden or unexplainable, you always get to watch his process of figuring everything out. Which is even more frightening because you actually get to see his immense intelligence in action. Also, Thrawn isn’t just a ‘Rebels’ character. Thrawn has been held in high esteem since long before the creation of ‘Rebels’ because of his role in the books written by Timothy Zahn. Initially, Thrawn was a character that hunted down the likes of Luke, Leia, and Han, and he was no less scary there either. In fact, it’s well established in all of his appearances that his role in the Empire is valued by Palpatine in a way no one else’s is aside from Darth Vader himself. This guy’s a big deal, and it’s chilling to watch him work.
That’s my list, but there are so many other characters I could add here! I know some of these characters are well known to some Star Wars fans, but if I introduced you to any new faces I hope you look into how amazing these additions to the Star Wars universe are! There are so many facets to Star Wars that are easy to fall in love with, and even if you don’t like one aspect of the lore, there’s other parts of the franchise to explore. I hope that as we continue to celebrate Star Wars this week, we all praise each other for our unique interests rather than tearing each other down. After all, regardless of opinion, we all share the major impact Star Wars has had on our lives.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!