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The 10 Most Important Star Wars Characters You Don't Know By Name

nien-nunb
A Sullustan smuggler, Nien Nunb and Lando Calrissian pilot the Millennium Falcon during the battle to destroy the second Death Star. MOVIESTILLSDB

In the rich depths of the Star Wars canon, there are a great many droids, creatures and scoundrels who make a huge impact with very little screen time. If the droid known as R5-D4 hadn't spontaneously malfunctioned, the friendship between C-3PO and the beloved and resourceful R2-D2, Luke Sykwalker and Uncle Owen's second-choice cylindrical droid unit, might never have flourished. Do you remember these other galactic creatures? 

This article, along with others that celebrate legendary moments from the epic series, is excerpted from a Newsweek Special Edition, Star Wars—The Legacy that Lead to The Force Awakens.

1.  Nien Nunb

Pictured above. Sullustan smuggler and Lando’s copilot during the battle to destroy the second Death Star, Nunb got his start with the Rebel Alliance ferrying Alderaanian refugees hoping to escape detection by the Empire. But his moment of glory comes when he helps destroy the new Death Star in orbit of Endor.

2.  Bib Fortuna

A Twi’lek and Jabba the Hutt’s major-domo, Bib Fortuna first enters the Star Wars universe on Boonta Eve in Episode I. Decades later, he is chagrined to find Luke Skywalker, now a Jedi master, knocking on the door to Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi, meaning he spans the Star Wars saga.

bib-fortuna Bib Fortuna MOVIESTILLSDB

3.  Dexter Jettster

Also known as “Dex,” Jettster is a former acquaintance of Obi-Wan Kenobi whom Obi-Wan seeks out after an attack with a poison dart on Coruscant. The proprietor of Dex’s Diner, Jettster used to be a prospector and was able to lead Obi-Wan Kenobi to the planet Kamino, where he discovers the clone army and sets in motion a chain of events that eventually led to the Clone Wars.

dexter-jettster Dexter Jettster MOVIESTILLSDB

4.  R5-D4

When Luke Skywalker and his Uncle Owen met the Jawa’s transport to buy new droids, they first picked a cylindrical R5 unit that mercifully malfunctioned before they could take it 50 feet. C-3PO is quick to act, however, and takes advantage of the poor little droid’s demise to stay paired up with his old friend, R2-D2.

r5-d4 R5-D4 MOVIESTILLSDB

5.  2-1B

Also known as Too-Onebee, this surgical droid joined the Rebel Alliance and eventually treated Luke Skywalker after his hand was cut off. The hand plummeted through one of Star Wars’ ubiquitous bottomless pits, but 2-1B was on hand to supply a brand new robot prosthesis.

2-1b 2-1B MOVIESTILLSDB

6.  Arvel Crynyd

The bold and fearless Green Leader in the battle above Endor in Return of the Jedi, A-Wing pilot Crynyd’s maneuver into the bridge of the Star Destroyer Executor bought the Rebels precious time and allowed for their eventual victory over the Empire.

7.  General Rieekan

The commander of Echo Base at Hoth was a founding member of the Rebel Alliance. But before his crusade against the Empire, Rieekan served the Galactic Republic in the Clone Wars, gaining experience that would help him salvage the Rebel Alliance.

general-rieekan General Rieekan MOVIESTILLSDB

8.  Zett Jukassa

One youngling was able to challenge Darth Vader’s attack on the Jedi Temple, if only for a few moments. But his valiant conduct was witnessed by Senator Bail Organa, who was so moved by what he saw that he continued to help the Jedi, even adopting Leia in secret.

9.  “Deviss”

The hero of the first battle of the Clone Wars perfectly illustrates the relationship between the Jedi and the clone troopers. A valiant warrior who risks his life on multiple occasions to save his comrades, Deviss doesn’t hesitate to execute the ruthless Order 66, murdering Ortolan Jedi Nem Bees in cold blood.

10.  Lama Su

Overseeing the creation of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Prime Minister of Kamino was inadvertently responsible for the eventual creation of theClone troopers. Though Obi-Wan Kenobi hopes to save the Republic and strengthen the Jedi Order on his trip to Kamino, his interactions with Lama Su began a chain reaction that led directly to Order 66.1.2million clone troopscreated by Lama Su andthe people of Kamino to create theGrand Army of the Republic. Thetroops would serve under Jedi in the Clone Wars, and under the Emperor during the Galactic Civil War.

This article is excerpted from a Newsweek Special Edition, Star Wars—The Legacy that Lead to The Force Awakens, by Issue Editor Tim Baker.

Star Wars cover final Illustration by Tsuneo Sanda

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