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6 ‘Star Wars’ Comic Book Characters Ready for their Disney+ Debut

We dig into the ‘Star Wars’ comics and pull out the 2-D characters who desperately need a live-action resurrection.
Star Wars Comic Book Characters
IDW Publishing/Lucasfilm
By  · Published on April 2nd, 2022

Star Wars Explained is our ongoing series where we delve into the latest Star Wars shows, movies, trailers, and news stories to divine the franchise’s future. This entry explores the Star Wars Expanded Universe and considers which comics characters should appear in live-action next.

Ten years ago, George Lucas washed Star Wars from his hands. On October 20th, 2012, the great bearded one sold his Lucasfilm kingdom to Disney for roughly $4 billion, half in cash and half in stock. According to some reports, the stock portion was the more significant slice, and it’s suggested Lucas actually scored $10 billion in the deal. Not too bad for a director who originally wanted to make a Flash Gordon adaptation and settled for his own creation in 1977.

In the forty-five years since A New Hope, numerous creators have helped shape the franchise. Almost immediately after the first film hit screens, spin-off comics and novels launched into the market. Holiday Specials and TV movies followed, and these Expanded Universe bits essentially managed the fandom during the agonizing drought between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace.

However, even after Lucas’ departure, filmmakers deemed these tertiary characters and narratives lesser and too often ignored them. Even though the Star Wars comics and books had perfectly reasonable solutions, the prequel and sequel trilogies bent over backward to create new bridges between plots. Why must Kylo Ren steal a Sith Wayfinder when Holocrons are right there in the cartoons? The Rise of Skywalker couldn’t be bothered with such intimate fandom.

The Expanded Universe Finds Redemption on Disney+

On Disney+, the disrespect for the Expanded Universe is fading. The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett seemingly pride themselves on digging into the canon. In the cartoons and comics, characters like Ahsoka Tano, Black Krrsantan, and Cad Bane began their Star Wars career. Their live-action resurrections not only inject vibrant energy into an obsessively well-read franchise but also turn mainstream attention toward backwater stories.

Our Star Wars notions detonate in these deeper realms, where lesser-known creators muck about. The Expanded Universe is the Outer Rim, where the bosses aren’t paying attention. Not everything is gold, but a little gold is better than no gold. With producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni willing to yank from the sidelines, we plunge into the Star Wars comic books. The seven characters listed below are the best and weirdest supporting players ready for primetime adaptation.

Currently, these oddballs sit on the bench. Yet, they’re ready to play. Put them in coach.


Jaxxon, the big green bunny man. He first appeared in Marvel’s Star Wars #8, written by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin and illustrated by Chaykin and inker Tom Palmer. The comic came out in November 1977, about six months after A New Hope. You owe it to yourself if you’ve never read this particular Star Wars comics era. The franchise was not yet a franchise. The writers and artists working on these books barely understood the movie. That’s how you get a character like Jaxxon.

He’s a wannabe Han Solo with a pluckier attitude. He’s a smuggler who gets pulled into the Rebellion after his partner is mistaken for Luke Skywalker. Throughout the years, folks point to Jaxxon as a cruel example. Looney Tunes have no place in Star Wars. Bah. Humbug. Get outta here with that gatekeeping blather.

Thankfully, though, a fondness for Jaxxon has settled. He recently re-appeared in comics and on toy shelves. If Jaxxon were to arrive in ObiWan Kenobi or The Mandalorian season three suddenly, the fandom would lose it. There would be joy, and there would be outrage. That’s how things go.

Partnered with a loving filmmaker, a live-action Jaxxon could operate as an olive branch. He represents an odd time when Star Wars was not yet Star Wars when the possibilities were equally infinite and finite. A nostalgic, earnest creator could redeem the absurd green bunny. And as Lucas would underscore in Return of the Jedi, rehabilitation is this saga’s heart. We owe Jaxxon his second chance.

Doctor Aphra

Okay, so here’s the character that most are already screaming about. Doctor Aphra appeared in the comics thirty-eight years after Jaxxon, in Star Wars: Darth Vader #3. Created by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca, Aphra is Star Wars‘ answer to Indiana Jones…or, maybe more accurately, Star Wars‘ Belloq. She’s a morally gray archeologist hired by Darth Vader to construct a Droid army. The Sith Lord needs a crew to take on the Emperor’s Stormtroopers. It’s a crew we know will never amass. Poor, pathetic Anakin.

Naturally, Aphra turns on Vader and is booted from the series and into her own solo adventure. The character’s swagger immediately engaged with readers. She became the first breakout character from the Marvel Comics line post-Disney acquisition. Her popularity amongst readers necessitates a Disney+ appearance, which could easily lead to her own series, just as it occurred in the books.

The Doctor Aphra solo comic is a necessary read. Written by Alyssa Wong, the 2020 relaunch joyously revels in the character’s mischievous aggression. She does what she wants, and she does it exceptionally. Reading Doctor Aphra is like reading a Richard Stark Parker novel. At no point do you fear for the central character. The delight comes in watching how she reveals everyone around her as chumps.

0-0-0 & BT-1

Meet 0-0-0 and BT-1, a.k.a. evil C-3PO and R2-D2. Firstly, do you really need to know anything else? Secondly, some sick part in your lizard brain has always wanted to see our favorite Star Wars Droids cut loose. These maniacs satisfy your dark heart with violent gusto.

0-0-0 and BT-1 made their first appearance alongside Doctor Aphra. 0-0-0, or Triple-Zero, or Trip, is a protocol Droid specializing in torture. He takes as much pleasure in agonizing people physically as Threepio absentmindedly does so psychologically. BT-1, or Bee-Tee, is a psychotic assassin Droid. He’s from the same Tarkin Initiative that created the integration Droid that stuck Princess Leia with a very long needle in A New Hope. These guys are freaks, the closest thing Star Wars has to serial killers.

Ulic Qel-Droma

Ulic Qel-Droma comes from the fallow period between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. At this point, the comics were published by Dark Horse, and they ran wild with sequel stories, prequel stories, sidequests, and more. Tales of the Jedi #1, written by Tom Veitch, penciled by Chris Gossett, and inked by Mike Barreiro, explores the Old Republic, which occurs about four thousand years before A New Hope.

Ulic Qel-Droma, like Leia, is from Alderaan. Through his many appearances, he lived as a Jedi Knight, a warlord, and a Sith. He was a great hero and a great betrayer. Basically, Ulic did the Anakin thing before it was cool. Or not cool.

Rey’s Dark Side discourse indicates a strong, puzzling desire in the fanbase. We want Jedis to break bad. Maybe it results from the desire to see the Anakin Skywalker switcheroo done properly. Maybe we want more time on the redemption that comes after.

What we got with Darth Vader during Return of the Jedi‘s climax was quick and short-lived. The monster never absorbed the nightmare his decisions caused. Ulic Qel-Droma is a chance to explore those themes in greater detail. It’s also a chance to go back in time and root around in a unique Star Wars era. Although, these days, Lucasfilm seems more High Republic minded than Old Republic. Ulic’s chances seem slim, but slim chances are Star Wars chances. No one expected Black Krrsantan until he started slaughtering Pykes in The Book of Boba Fett.

Tag & Bink

Star Wars and comedy have a shaky reputation. It’s not that the films are without humor, but when comedy becomes the goal, the stories tend to fly off the rails. Tag and Bink are the rare exceptions. They too made their first appearances in Tales of the Jedi, and their comedic shorts were so successful that Dark Horse asked creator Kevin Rubio to knock out a quick two-part story called Tag and Bink are Dead.

Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, the play in which the minor characters from Hamlet take center stage, heavily inspired these Star Wars dimwits. You can also think of them as the franchise’s Forest Gump. These Rebel rascals have popped up in every major Star Wars event, along the edges anyway.

Now, technically, Tag and Bink have already made their live-action debut. In Solo: A Star Wars Story, screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan, and first assistant director Toby Hefferman portrayed the characters as Imperials. Unfortunately, their scenes were nixed. So, that means they’re still fair game. Their close-up awaits.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)