7 Surprisingly Underrated ‘Star Wars’ Characters Who Also Helped Save the Galaxy
Star Wars has been great at creating a galaxy full of major heroes, all of which have become recognizable in pop culture. Seriously, who doesn’t know Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, or even Chewbacca? In the original trilogy and even into the more recent sequel trilogy, these characters have become immortalized in the eyes of Star Wars fans. But not every character in Star Wars gets the hero treatment, even when they really deserve it.
There are some seriously underrated Star Wars characters in the movies. Let’s take a look at seven characters that helped save the galaxy, but still don’t quite get their proper recognition, leading up to the No. 1 most underrated name.
7. Cassian Andor
A lot of fans don’t really consider Rogue One: A Star Wars Story when thinking about the Star Wars universe as a whole, but it has retroactively become a large part of the original trilogy. Truly, we could’ve gone with Jyn Erso, K-2SO, or any of the other characters from the main cast of Rogue One in this spot. But instead, we’ve chosen Cassian Andor.
And the reason for choosing Cassian is simple: At the very end, when things looked their bleakest, Cassian was the one to save the day. With Director Krennic holding a blaster to Jyn and promising her that she would die with the Rebellion, Andor came out of nowhere to save his new friend from certain death. Jyn broadcast the Death Star plans, and the rest was history. But without Cassian’s actions in that moment, the events of Star Wars: A New Hope never even happen.
Next: An Imperial officer makes an error.
6. Captain Bolvan
You’re probably wondering who, exactly, this “Bolvan” guy is. His name is never spoken on screen, and he only gets a few lines of dialogue. But in A New Hope, Captain Bolvan is directly to thank for opening the door a crack and allowing the Rebel Alliance an opportunity to destroy the Death Star.
When R2-D2 and C-3PO get into the escape pod and head down toward Tatooine, it’s Bolvan who instructs a subordinate to “hold your fire.” The reasoning was that there were no lifeforms aboard the escape pod, but what would it have hurt to destroy the pod anyway?
If he hadn’t slipped up in that moment, the droids — and the Death Star plans — would’ve been destroyed and the Empire would have lived on. So a big shout out to Bolvan for saving the galaxy by not doing his job properly!
Next: A hero from the Battle of Scarif.
5. Admiral Raddus
Going back to Rogue One, there is another major character that deserves recognition on this list. Admiral Raddus was the first one to head to Scarif to take up the fight against the Empire. Raddus’ ship conceals the Tantive IV, better known as Leia’s ship from the beginning of A New Hope. He also is the one that receives the Death Star plans transmission from Jyn and Cassian, and helps push the story forward in that way.
And although it wasn’t seen on screen, it’s implied that Raddus’ effort at Scarif cost him his life. With the ship disabled in the final minutes of Rogue One, Darth Vader boarded in search of the stolen plans. We saw Vader mow down an entire hallway full of rebel soldiers, so we can assume that Raddus received a similar fate. But without his heroics, the Rebellion would’ve died that day.
Next: An A-Wing pilot from the Battle of Endor.
4. Arvel Crynyd
It’s OK that you don’t know this name. To be honest, we had to look it up. All we knew Arvel Crynyd for was being the guy who slammed his A-Wing into the bridge of the Executor, Vader’s Super Star Destroyer, in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Crynyd was hit with blaster fire and lost control of his A-Wing, and it quickly became clear that his death was inevitable.
But whether it was on purpose or just a lucky accident, Crynyd still found a way to make an impact in death. He piloted his ship straight into the bridge of the Executor, instantly killing several key Imperials — including Admiral Piatt. The disabled Executor plunged down to the surface of the Death Star, exploding in a massive fireball. This was a huge moment in the Battle of Endor, and it’s all thanks to the sacrifice of an otherwise-unknown A-Wing pilot.
Next: A scoundrel that finally does the right thing.
3. Lando Calrissian
This one is a bit more debated among fans, given the circumstances. Lando Calrissian started out as a traitor, turning on his friend Han Solo in an effort to keep the Empire out of his business at Cloud City. But Lando’s deteriorating deal with Darth Vader, in addition to what we assume is guilt and an inclination to do the right thing, forced him to reconsider his actions and to help Leia and Chewie escape.
Lando also played a major role in freeing Han from Jabba the Hut at the beginning of Return of the Jedi, and he piloted the Millennium Falcon while leading the assault on the second Death Star. Although his contributions get glossed over to a degree, Lando is one of the biggest heroes in the galaxy.
Next: A childhood friend of Luke Skywalker.
2. Biggs Darklighter
Biggs Darklighter only appears briefly at the end of A New Hope, but it’s clear from dialogue early in the movie that he’s a close friend of Luke Skywalker. So even just there, Darklighter is one of the heroes of the original trilogy.
Think about it; Luke desperately wants to get away from Tatooine to join the Imperial Academy — and, we assume, find a way to defect to the Rebellion. That inspiration has to have come from somewhere, and it’s clear that Luke’s muse is his good friend, Biggs.
But when we do finally meet Biggs later in the movie, it’s during the assault on the Death Star. He loses his life in the battle, which resonates with Luke in a big way. However, Darklighter’s death came at the hands of Darth Vader while serving as a human shield for Luke during the trench run.
It’s unfortunate that he had to die, but Biggs Darklighter went down a hero by inspiring Luke Skywalker to join the Rebellion and giving him some extra time to blow up the Death Star.
Next: The guy that blew up the second Death Star.
1. Wedge Antilles
Wedge Antilles is recognizable to the average fan because he appears in all three of the original movies. In fact, Wedge is the only Rebel Alliance character outside of our small band of heroes to fight at the Battles of Yavin, Hoth, and Endor. He even survived to the very end, which is pretty cool!
But the heroism of Wedge Antilles goes further than just being a major part of the Rebellion at a key time. He actually piloted the X-Wing that went into the interior of the second Death Star and shot off the proton torpedoes that would eventually bring the whole thing down. Yes, Wedge was the one that blew up the second Death Star.
That’s a fact that the average Star Wars fan probably would struggle to recall. Among the list of unsung heroes from Star Wars, Wedge Antilles has to be at the very top.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!