10 Minor Star Wars Characters With Completely Unnecessary Backstories

By Ethan Kaye in Daily Lists, Movies
Friday, July 16, 2010 at 8:01 am
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It almost goes without saying: Star Wars fans love the fuck out of Star Wars. They pore over ever single frame of even the most boring scenes, looking for odd characters, interesting architecture, or neat-looking future tech. And they do this for days, weeks, years of their lives.

Since the first movie came out, Star Wars fans have made it their mission to full develop back stories for every single character who got even one fraction of screen time in the original trilogy. Every single cantina patron has a pretty much in-canon story about who they are and how they got there, and 90% of them have had at least one run-in with Han Solo. Thanks to Wookiepedia, here are 10 of the best, by which we mean the most ludicrous as compared to their (minuscule amount of) screentime.

10) Malakili, The Rancor Keeper
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Let's get this straight right off the bat: The majority of Star Wars characters never got a name. That's why the toys were released with generic-yet-descriptive names like "Squid Head" and "Pruneface." No one bothered to name them because they were really just set dressing that walked erect. Malakili falls into that category, as his toy was released as "Rancor Keeper" and his only role in the film was to cry when Luke killed the Rancor. If you didn't look in the credits, you would barely know he was the Rancor Keeper. Turns out that Malakili was once a circus performer who was sold to Jabba the Hutt after a circus-related accident, and then plotted to betray his boss to a rival mobster because Jabba planned to pit his rancor against a dragon who could kill it. After Jabba's death, he opened a restaurant. Totally serious.

9) Boushh
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With Boushh, you get the backstory of a character that was only seen in the films when someone else dressed like him. Princess Leia dressed as the bounty hunter Boushh to convince Jabba the Hutt to release Han Solo. But little did we know that Boushh existed prior to this, as a male bounty hunter with scars all over his face. Wookiepedia details some of his more notable jobs, which included fighting alongside Jedi (every other person in the Star Wars universe is either a Jedi or a bounty hunter). Eventually he got greedy and demanded more money for a job. While counting his payment, Boushh was bitten by a hidden lizard (?) which distracted him enough to have his neck broken by his employer. Wookiepedia also includes this gem: "Like most members of his species, Boushh had a fascination with technology of all sorts."

8) Zuckuss
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Blink and you'll miss him in Empire. Zuckuss was one of the multiple bounty hunters that Darth Vader chose to pursue Han Solo. That's really all the movie gives you, since all he does is stand there while Darth Vader walks in front of him. Done and done. But wait, there's more! He's the heir to a long lineage of religious bounty hunters! He shamed his family by leaving his home planet of Gand! He's schizophrenic! He battled a combined force of Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, and Greedo to find an insane man, who then transferred his memories into a coral reef! He can hold his breath for extended periods of time! He joined the Rebellion and was secretly working for them the whole three seconds he was standing behind Vader in Empire! Gah!

7) Garindan, a.k.a. Long Snout
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Just the name his creators gave him originally shows that no one was meant to look too far into his backstory. Who was Garindan? He was the spy who sold out the heroes of A New Hope at Mos Eisley. He has two scenes, one where he sees Luke, Han, etc, and one where he tells Stormtroopers that he saw Luke, Han, etc. But you know what else? He's rich! His name translates to "Blessed One", "Burnt wood", "dust from a windstorm", "ugly", and "toast" in five different languages (that don't exist and that people un-related to movie-making have invented [additional language is mine]). Garindan was the greatest information gatherer of the age, and his info sold to the highest bidder. And how was this resource used in the film? He explained to guards that yes, they were the droids they were looking for.

6) Davin Felth, the Guy Who Said "Look, Sir! Droids!"
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The only way you can tell Stormtroopers apart is... well, you can't. Sometimes one of them talks, and you can identify them that way, or sometimes they wear a shoulder pad. Davin Felth was the Stormtrooper who, in A New Hope, held up a little metal ring and said, "Look sir! Droids!" But fans couldn't let him go unrewarded for this act, no, they had to give him a backstory that rivals that of Batman. His Wookiepedia entry is eight times as long as the Wikipedia entry on famed Dada sculptor Jean Arp. It includes pointless details like what color his duffel bag was when he came to basic training (blue), how much weight he lost in basic training (15 lbs), how long he trained for the desert corps after AT-AT training (three months), and that Davin didn't like it when his Stormtrooper unit killed Jawas. In all the blasting during the scene where the Millennium Falcon escapes, bet you didn't notice this guy shooting his superior in the back, huh? It supposedly happened.

5) Dannik Jerriko, the Pipe Smoker
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One quick cutaway is all we get of the hookah-smoking Dannik, and you really get the feeling that Lucas needed freaky-looking extras for Mos Eisley Cantina and some dude with a messed-up face was good enough to play the part. He's also a bounty hunter who sucks people's brains. Dannik has made 13 post-A New Hope appearances, where we learn that his greatest goal in life is to suck the brains of Han Solo. If you aren't aware, every character in Star Wars has run into every other character at least once, and Han Solo is the crux of the universe.

4) Bubo, a.k.a. Buboicullaar
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Don't you love it when people give personalities to puppets? Bubo was in a few scenes of Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi, and there was no question as to what he was: a puppet that had two arms and a stubby tail. But no! He's also a trained assassin! Bubo was more than a fat, barely mobile "Frog-Dog," he had underappreciated intelligence that made him a fearsome killer, a valuable spy, and (later) a strangely religious monk. He was, according to Wookiepedia, "an unemotional killer, who only killed people for the money," which you can easily assume by his appearance, right? What started out as little more than a space-filling muppet became a sensitive soul who foiled an assassination plot on Jabba the Hutt. Later, he had his brain placed in a jar where he could contemplate the universe.

3) Salacious B.Crumb
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Funny, we know more about Salacious Crumb, Jabba the Hutt's little monkey lizard from Return of the Jedi, than we do about the life of William Shakespeare. We know that he has a middle name. We know the names of the people in Jabba's employ who dislike him and have tried to kill him. We know that he often danced to the music of Max Rebo's band. We're not 100% sure that William Shakespeare was a real person, but we know exactly when and how Salacious Crumb stowed away on Jabba's ship, was caught eating Jabba's food, and forced to perform as a court jester or be killed. And you thought he was just a shrieky little loser. He supposedly has a middle name - even Harry Truman didn't have one of those.

2) Saelt-Marae, a.k.a. Yak Face
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Remember him from Return of the Jedi? Nah, me neither. He's really only famous for being an action figure that was only released overseas, making him worth thousands. In the Star Wars universe, however, our man Yak Face was more than just a mask that looks like Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory -- he's a skilled conman, working his way through Jabba's palace to get info on assassination plots. His secondary story, not included in any of the movies, was that he was married and fathered some kids, then got divorced after 200 years. See, his planet was under-populated, so law dictates that everyone must get married. After courting a female of his species (it's called "Yakora," if you're interested) for a few centuries, they finalized the deal, then called it quits. A lot of work for little reward. On an unrelated note, his Wookiepedia bio includes this gem: "...like all members of his species, he was very secretive; thus, next to nothing was known about his background." Really, Star Wars fans? You can't take the time to make up more fake history?

1) Willrow Hood, a.k.a. Ice Cream Maker Guy
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Probably the most famous minor character with a stupid backstory, Willrow gained notoriety because it looked like he was carrying an ice cream maker during the evacuation of Bespin in Empire Strikes Back. Internet-using fans thought that was cool and gave him a whole backstory where he was an ice cream vendor in space, which was immediately shot down by the people who supposedly write "canonical" histories of these characters and he became a gas miner. This no-name extra is now officially an employee of A'roFilter, a company that sold discount gas to the Rebellion. The ice cream maker (it may have been an actual ice cream maker used as a prop, I can't find anything that says otherwise) was really the data core of a computer that held the names of the Rebellion contacts. What does this prove? That everyone in the Star Wars universe was involved in some way with the big Empire vs Rebellion war. People just couldn't run around a space city without smuggling something related to the plot.

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