Not so long ago, at a cinema pretty close to you, Solo: A Star Wars Story bombed at the box office. Always destined to cause controversy, it was the origin story that nobody asked for and arrived thirty years too late. While not strictly a bad film, the commercial failure of Solo has now stalled franchise plans for franchise characters to get their own spin-offs. But for all the negativity about Solo, it could have been worse… much, much worse Here are ten Star Wars characters who absolutely, under no circumstances, should ever get their own films…
10. Jar Jar Binks
Of course this one would make the list, and isn’t that proof of how bad he is? They even knew it in Spaced, where he was deemed so mediocre that he made the Ewoks look like f***ing Shaft by comparison. Universally unloved since his very first appearance, the only thing that improved him in the later prequels was giving him less screen time. Exiled from his own underwater home for being a disgrace to his people – and this coming from a race of aliens led by a slobbering couch potato – even Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn thought Jar Jar was a pain in the backside… and those Jedi are supposed to love everybody!
It’s true that technically he became a war hero in the Battle of Naboo, where he defeated droid soldiers with his clumsiness. He also became a political mouthpiece later, foolishly voting to allow the formation of what would become the Empire itself. Technically, again, that means that in a single blunder he did more damage to the Galactic Republic than Darth Vader! Most impressive! Given his humble beginnings, it’s actually fascinating when you think about it and there are plenty of political bio-pics and dramas that have similar plots, and they even go on to win Oscars.
However, fans hate him and that’s an inescapable fact. The less seen and heard of Jar Jar, the better. To this day, fans have never forgiven Star Wars for forcing this character on us and never will. There’s only so much of him that audiences could take, and that limit was reached a long time ago.
The Star Wars Holiday Special is, was, and always will be a blight on the entire franchise. It’s notoriously so bad that George Lucas himself said he wanted to round up all the copies of it and destroy them with a hammer. There’s a lot to hate about it, even if it did introduce Boba Fett to the galaxy far, far away. One of the most irritatingly unfunny comedy sketches in the whole TV movie focused on Gormaanda, a cookery channel chef so bad she made Gordon Ramsey look entertaining. Played by Harvey Korman in drag, Gormaanda’s repetitive cooking advice of “Stir whip, stir whip, whip whip stir” sounded curiously out of place in a show basically meant for kids.
It’s perfectly possible that viewers haven’t seen the best of Gormaanda. After all, many TV chefs do alright for themselves and have fascinating personal histories. For all we know, Gormaanda may be the Emperor’s personal advisor on making sure that younglings in schools aren’t taking sugary sweets or “death sticks” to school. It’s even possible that there are many Star Wars fans who are nutritionists, who would be fascinated to see Gormaanda explain what role blue milk and polystarch bread play in a healthy, balanced diet.
But it’s unlikely.
She’s one of the most irritating characters ever to feature in any form of Star Wars. The Holiday Special’s existence in canon is always debatable, and this is one time when less Star Wars is a good thing.
8. Nute Gunray
Wall Street. Rogue Trader. The Wolf of Wall Street. There’s definitely a market out there, if you’ll pardon the pun, for dramatic films about the hurly-burly world of high finance and those who control it. The news every day is full of talk of trade deals, trade wars, trade embargoes and corporate big-shots being arrested for skimming too much off the top. Enter Nute Gunray, the Viceroy of the Galactic Trade Federation, and he’s all about the money! So much so that he has no problems invading entire planets just to force people to make a deal, and possesses so much political clout that he avoided prison after four trials in the Supreme Court!
To make his story even more compelling, he even switches sides later on and cuts a deal to become a good guy. Now that’s an intriguing story right there! It all sounds like it could make for a great film. Except…
The problem is that he’s painfully boring and fans almost fell asleep every time he was on screen. All he’s ever done in the films is stand around wearing a silly hat, and was the least intimidating villain in Star Wars history. To make matters worse, he’s been generally considered to be a racist Asian stereotype and Lucasfilm should have known better. By any standards, those facts should be a clear warning sign that he’s box office poison – even if the films he appeared in made billions. He may be a master of the universe in the boardroom, but nobody’s keen on seeing him return.
7. The Galactic Jizz-Wailers
How could anybody not want to see a movie with that title? It’ll always be a mystery as to what George Lucas was thinking when he coined the term Jizz-Wailing, but it sounds incredibly unpleasant. Jabba’s in-palace band, the Jizz-Wailers line-up includes Max Rebo, a blue elephant who plays music like no blue elephant has before, singer Sy Snootles, and flute player Droopy McCool. Given their history, a film of them could be the next Blues Brothers. Throw in a wacky storyline of them having to put on a great concert while being in a rivalry with Cantina jizzband the Modal Nodes – led by “Fiery” Figrin D’an – and you could have a comedy classic. It wouldn’t be the first time that musicians have been the focus in Star Wars either.
There are already stories of the crazy antics the Modal Nodes got up to, which mirror Some Like It Hot as they went on the run from Jabba the Hutt, got caught in a crazy gunfight between bounty hunters and the Stormtroopers and gambled their instruments away. Oh, and Figrin D’an killed Evar Orbus – the Jizz-Wailer’s original band leader, so there’s definitely some history between these two groups. So why can’t the Galactic Jizz-Wailers themselves get their own film?
The answer is simple: they suck.
While the Modal Nodes’ appearance and Cantina song are Star Wars classics, the Jizz-Wailers never earned anybody’s respect in Return of The Jedi – and were downright despised when their role was extended through CGI in the Special Edition of the film. They don’t exactly ooze charisma either, and the band’s name is a Parental Advisory nightmare. Throw in the dirty jokes about Max’s musical instrument being called a Red Ball Organ and the circle is complete.
6. Jek Porkins
If his name sounds familiar to you, it should. He’s the man who couldn’t pull out in time and was afraid of premature ejection when the Rebels attacked the Death Star for the first time. He was the first one to die, and while someone had to be first it’s a shame that it had to be him. According to his biography, he was really an expert pilot and was known for being quite the cut-up in the pilots’ locker room. A veteran of the Battle of Scarif, he was so well-respected that there was even a flight manoeuvre named after him that was used by pilots over thirty years after he died. They even made a LEGO figure of him, that’s how revered he is… or should be. The man was a war hero, and we never even realised it.
There’s nothing wrong with a Top Gun-style film set in the Star Wars universe, and it’s presumably only a matter of time until they make one. They’ve given pilots like Poe and Wedge the shaft for far too long. But to revolve a spin-off film around a man best known to viewers for dying just seconds into the Death Star fight would be madness. It would be even harder to have a character whose nickname is “Piggy” as a main character in any story outside of Lord of the Flies, and yet that’s Porkin’s actual nickname. In today’s world, it would be decried for fat-shaming. It doesn’t matter if it was a term of endearment, it’s hard to imagine Maverick in Top Gun being so popular if Tom Cruise had been saddled with the nickname “Short-arse”.
It’s almost impossible to truly hate Porkins, even if many fans laugh at him. His biography makes him sound like he was a good guy, and it’s would be right to finally give him the respect he deserves. But a Porkins film? No matter how good a movie about him might be, he’s always going to be sadly remembered as the Rebellion pilot who died first.
There are many great droids in Star Wars. Whether you’re a fan of the feisty R2-D2, the football known as BB-8, snarky K-2S0, rebellious and sassy L3-37, or cantankerous rustbucket C1-10P – Chopper from Star Wars Rebels, there’s something fun about them. That’s because they’re usually more human than their biological counterparts on screen. Even C-3PO has a fan following, since he showed a surprising amount of bravery and loyalty in wanting to warn his friends in Bespin Cloud City that they were walking in to a trap. That’s pretty heroic by his own cowardly standards, and he was shot by the Stormtroopers for his trouble. Droids are the cornerstone of Star Wars, and they even got their own animated TV show once.
Then there’s MSE-6. Or, as he’s known to fans, the Mouse Droid.
Technically there are plenty of Mouse Droids trundling around Imperial bases and ships, so this isn’t a single character but many of them. They’re apparently repair droids who resemble toolboxes on wheels, and are the Empire’s equivalent of Red Dwarf’s Skutters. They also have a habit of racing around Darth Vader whenever he’s marching around, always coming close to being crushed underfoot before scurrying away.
Being so close to Darth Vader all the time, the Mouse Droids could be a great opportunity to see the workings of the Empire like never before, in a great fly-on-the-wall documentary style. The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, .Rec and Paranormal Activity have all proven that a thrilling story can be told just through videotaped footage. Unfortunately, unlike all the other droids, the MSE-6s’ lack personality counts against them and a film focusing on their daily adventures wouldn’t be enough to excite the fans.
4. Unkar Plutt
The Junk Boss of Jakku has the looks of Jabba the Hutt, the unscrupulous business savvy of Watto and the appeal of Dexter Jettster. Put them together and what have you got? A character so clueless that he had the Millennium Falcon parked in his scrapyard and didn’t even realise the true value of it. He’s also known as “The Blobfish” to the local scavengers, making you wonder if emotionally-scarring insults are perfectly acceptable in the Star Wars universe, much like “Piggy” Porkins.
Like many of the Star Wars characters, Plutt has a ridiculously detailed backstory given how minor a character he is. The details of it reads like the worst fanfiction possible. After a business deal went sour, Plutt left his aquatic homeworld and made a new home… in a desert. That’s the worst decision to make if you really are a fish-person, further proving his stupidity. He was oblivious to Rey forming some kind of union with the other scavengers, and was so out-done by her savvy that he even had to order his own henchmen to leave her alone. He’s billed as a ruthless businessman on paper but, in practicality, he sounds like a first-class fool.
It doesn’t matter if Simon Pegg was playing him – if anything, that only makes matters worse. Given that he’s the one who mocked Jar Jar in Spaced for being a stupid character, he should have known better. The irony is strong with this one, as fans took an instant disliking to Unkar Plutt and it’s hard to imagine anybody wanting to view an entire film of him.
There are many reasons to not love The Phantom Menace, from the obvious (Jar Jar) to seeing a 9-year-old Anakin using the worst pick up line ever (“Are you an angel?”). Yet at least a negative reaction is a reaction, and there’s nothing worse than a character who makes viewers go “Meh”. Jira is one of those characters. For those who don’t remember her, she’s the jolly old lady on Tatooine who tells Little Ani that there’s a storm coming. That was a great ominous line when spoken in The Terminator, but in The Phantom Menace it falls flat and nobody cares… least of all the audience.
So who is this random old lady offering a cryptic warning? Incredibly, she’s something of a local hero. For the kids on Tatooine she was like Yoda but without the force, and ran a secret smuggling operation that helped to rescue slave children and get them to safety. In fact, there’s a whole backstory of Anakin and Jira’s adventure as they rescued some ethereal “ghostling” slave children from a forest full of sentient carnivorous plants. It sounds like something out of Harry Potter, and it would make for a great self-contained film. Throw in her Fagin/Artful Dodger relationship with Anakin and it would make for a fascinating movie – certainly more so than viewers saw in The Phantom Menace itself.
Sadly, none of that was ever explained on screen. It’s unlikely that it ever will be, and even if they did make a film about her it would be doomed to fail. A Star Wars movie based around a local fruit stand owner on Tatooine would be a tough sell, even for Disney.
2. Salacious Crumb
Every fan knows and hates Jabba the Hutt’s irritating monkey-lizard. That shrill laugh, that crazy cackle… it’s worse than fingernails scraping down a blackboard. He’s an ugly little creature that only Jabba could love. Bizarrely, he was named after both a pair of shoelaces and artist Robert Crumb. But could there have been more to Jabba’s court jester than we saw, and could he possibly be the cornerstone of an entire Star Wars film franchise? No. What you saw was what you got.
The most interesting thing about him – and this is a stretch of the term “interesting” – is the contrasting take on whether he was smart or not. Official canon claims that he had a sophisticated sense of humour and that he was intelligent and funny enough to survive Jabba’s wrath for over twelve years. That’s quite an achievement for anybody. However, canon also claims that he was little more than a clown who lacked any sort of brainpower. So which is it? Thankfully, audiences will probably never know the truth.
The downside of not seeing him get his own movie is that he was apparently once threatened by Darth Vader, who found him so irritating that he said he would kill the creature if he heard him laugh again. Since this was coming from a man who tolerated Jar Jar Binks for years, that’s proof of how truly irritating he is.
1. J’ywz’gnk Kchhllbrxcstk Et’nrmdndlcvtbrx
As many people in Britain know, there’s a train station in Wales that has such a long name that almost nobody can pronounce it. Well, this character is the Star Wars equivalent. A name presumably created as a stunt to annoy the hardcore fans, the character – whose name is shortened to Joh Yowza – manages to achieve that even if fans didn’t know his nonsensical name. A CGI character created for the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi, he sings (or yells) in his duet with Sy Snootles. Technically a support member of the Jizz-Wailers, he has to be singled out for one good reason… that awful name of his.
While he may be a hybrid of Joe Cocker and Animal from The Muppets, his name alone is enough to drive anyone crazy. While he has a curious backstory involving his time on Endor, how he came to join the band and change his name, how the band later broke up, and even how he became an intergalactic traveller journeying through the Outer Rim… almost nobody cares. All that fans care about is getting a good Star Wars film, and preferably one with a name that people can pronounce when they’re buying the tickets.