One of the reasons that Star Wars is so iconic and has captured our imaginations so thoroughly is because of the fascinating characters that populated its universe. Every character, every droid, every human, and every alien, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, has a rich history and personal narrative. This loving attention to detail adds a richness to the Star Wars universe that draws fans in and makes them want to learn more about the scores of diverse species and cultures that populate the galaxy. Luckily for us, with The Force Awakens (and the novels, short stories, and comics that were part of the “Journey to the Force Awakens” initiative) we now have a host of new characters to discover and treasure. Therefore, in keeping with true Star Wars fashion, particularly its regard for the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40), let’s take a look at some of the smaller characters from The Force Awakens.
5) Temmin ‘Snap’ Wexley
A recon X-wing pilot who only appears in a handful of shots in The Force Awakens, Temmin Wexley was a central character in Chuck Wendig’s Journey to the Force Awakens book, Aftermath. Temmin honed his flying skills on his home planet of Akiva, where, shortly after the Battle of Endor, he worked alongside the Alliance to Restore the Republic to interrupt a top-secret meeting of the Imperial Future Council. He also had a B1 battle droid (the “roger, roger” guys from The Clone Wars) named Mister Bones that he reconfigured into a lethal bodyguard. In other words, Temmin is both resourceful and an ace pilot. You can bet we’ll be seeing more of him in future films.
Ponder the first lines uttered by this ruthless leader of the Guavian Death gang: “Han Solo, you’re a dead man,” Bala-Tik growls in his thick Scottish accent. Not only does he have the nerve, the audacity, to directly confront the legendary smuggler, he has the gumption to do so with a cybernetic leg. It is clear from their on-screen interaction that Bala-Tik has been swindled by the smooth-talking, scruffy-looking nerf-herder one too many times, and this backstory to which the Guavian Death Gang leader alludes is a prime example of the kind of attention to detail and character that Star Wars nerds love. It adds a layer of depth that makes these characters seem all the more real. Hopefully, the Rathtars didn’t get to Bala-Tik, because it would be a treat to have another run-in with him and his Death Gang. And you can tell that to Kanjiklub.
3) Bazine Netal
We first see Bazine nestled up on a couch next to the massive and intimidating Grummgar. This shot bears some intentional parallels to Leia’s scenes with Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi, but unlike her predecessor, we understand that Bazine is in complete control of the situation. She’s a “spy with a direct line to the First Order” , and she makes a great addition to the ever-increasing number of strong female characters who populate the galaxy. If you want to learn more about Bazine Netal, check out Delilah S. Dawson’s short story, The Perfect Weapon, where she goes on a secret mission to recover a mysterious crate owned by an ex-Stormtrooper.
2) Lor San Tekka
A New Republic sympathizer and a “font of obscure information” , our time with Lor San Tekka was cut short by Kylo Ren. However, early rumors (or rumors of rumors) indicate that San Tekka could have a significant role to play in Gareth Edwards’ upcoming anthology film, Rogue One. After all, this member of the Church of the Force has traversed the little-known corners of the galaxy for years and is friends with General Leia; that is certainly a backstory worth exploring. Of course, if we do see Lor San Tekka in Rogue One it won’t be Max Von Sydow playing the part—all the better reason to treasure it when you see him on screen in The Force Awakens.
1) Constable Zuvio
If anyone in The Force Awakens is the new Boba Fett, it is Constable Zuvio. He is in The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary; he was in early press release images; his figure was released as part of the Star Wars: Black Series line, and he got his very own short story in Landry Q. Walker’s High Noon on Jakku. Constable Zuvio is everywhere … except for The Force Awakens. He’s simply not in the movie. So, who exactly is this mysterious alien, and why is he so important?
A Kyuzo living on the planet Jakku, Constable Zuvio is essentially the de facto sheriff of Niima Outpost (where Rey trades all of her wares to Unkar Plutt). He is such an interesting character precisely because he is so thoroughly committed to establishing law and order on this outlaw-ridden and the all-but-forgotten desert planet. While several sources have indicated that Constable Zuvio’s scene in The Force Awakens was cut from the film at the last minute, we will have to wait until the Blu-Ray release to confirm; for now, it looks like there’s still plenty of mystery left in the galaxy after all.
1. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary identifies his left leg as cybernetic. ↩
2. ibid. ↩
3. ibid. ↩