Star Wars has one of the largest fictional universes out there. It's positively teeming with life, from major players like Luke and Leia to tangential but intriguing characters. If you've only seen the major cinematic releases, you're missing out on some of the galaxy's most engaging and entertaining inhabitants.
Star Wars comic books in particular have an array of fascinating characters. And thanks to the directive by Disney that anything published going forward remains canon in the Star Wars universe, we can look forward to learning more about these new characters as the galaxy continues to grow. Here are seven of the most memorable characters deserving of your attention from the Star Wars comic books.
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Sana Starros (Solo)
The Star Wars universe is filled with male scoundrels, vagabonds, con artists, and general ne’er-do-wells. We rarely get to see women with Han Solo’s scandalous brand of charm. Sana Starros, who first appears in Star Wars 4: Skywalker Strikes, Part IV, gives us a chance to see a female spin on Star Wars‘ scum and villainy. She also may or may not be Han Solo’s ex-wife.
Sana and Han have known each other since his smuggling days, before he joined the rebellion in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Their marriage was originally part of a scam to pull off a robbery. However, Han double-crossed Sana and took her cut of their score, leaving her high and dry. Not one to be trifled with, Sana set out after Han and even eventually cornered Han and Leia, nearly turning Leia over to Imperial forces.
Sara’s brutal tenacity and willingness to take out anyone out who stands in her way make her a total bad-ass. Her journey to track down Han Solo after his double-cross is the kind of female-centric story that the galaxy needs more of.
0-0-0 and BT-1
0-0-0 and BT-1 are two assassin droids that accompany Darth Vader during his mission to find the identity of the rebel pilot that destroyed the Death Star. They’re a violent and strange analog to R2-D2 and C-3P0; 0-0-0 is a protocol droid that specializes in, “etiquette, customs, translation and torture,” while BT-1 is a weapons-filled assassin droid disguised as an astromech droid.
Their relationship is a lot like R2-D2 and C-3P0’s, or at least it would be if R2-D2 and C-3P0 liked to kill, torture, and maim organic beings. The droids’ interactions with each other have an oddly tender quality, and even though they’re completely terrible automatons, you can’t help but love their hijinks. Check out their first appearance in Darth Vader 3: Vader, Part III.
Young, spunky Aphra is firmly Team Vader, and that alone is an indicator of her fearlessness. You don’t deal regularly with a Sith Lord like Vader unless you’re a force to be reckoned with, and Aphra is certainly someone I wouldn’t want to cross.
The talented “rogue archaeologist,” who made her first appearance in Darth Vader 3: Vader, Part III, began working under Vader due to her highly sophisticated ability with droids. She sought out and activated both 0-0-0 and BT-1, seen above on this list, and lived to tell the tale.
This act spoke volumes to Vader, who tasked her with building his own private army of loyal droids. The pair traveled to Geonosis, where Aphra was able to pull off the heist of a lifetime: an entire droid factory. She later used the factory to manufacture an entire series of BX droid commandos. In the comics, Aphra consistently proves her ability and pedigree as an all-around badass … which might explain why she recently got her own ongoing series.
Shara Bey and Kes Dameron
The Force Awakens‘ Poe Dameron had to come from somewhere, obviously: his awesome parents, Shara Bey and Kes Dameron. Shara and Kes don’t get enough love in their own right, which is why I’m celebrating them here—you can check out their first appearance in Shattered Empire: Part 1.
Shara Bey is an elite Rebel pilot, who flies Princess Leia to Naboo to convince the planet’s citizens to join the Republic. Luke Skywalker himself gifted a special Force-sensitive tree to Shara, which might explain a few things about Poe’s impressive abilities.
Kes Dameron is a member of Han Solo’s Pathfinders strike team and was instrumental in preventing the remains of the Empire from turning several worlds to ashes as revenge for the Emperor’s death.
The contributions of both Shara and Kes are worth investigating, so make sure you file away their names to come back to the next time you’re in the mood for a Star Wars story.
Women aren’t exactly treated as equal-opportunity employees in the Galactic Empire, so rising in the ranks is a tough proposition. Rae Sloane very quickly made herself known by foiling an attempt on Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader’s life. By age 30, she had command of an Imperial Star Destroyer.
By the Battle of Endor, Rae Sloane had achieved the rank of Admiral and controlled part of the Imperial Fleet from her Flagship Vigilance. Following the destruction of the Star Dreadnought Executor, she was the highest ranking officer present, and when the second Death Star exploded, she organized the Imperial retreat. She’s definitely doing it for herself. Check Rae’s first comic appearance out in Kanan 2: First Blood Epilogue, Epilogue: The Ties That Bind, and find her in the Star Wars novels Star Wars: A New Dawn and Star Wars: Aftermath.