Ridiculous backstories to Star Wars background characters

Everything in Star Wars has a backstory, and that goes at least double for the original trilogy. Any background character, ship, droid, or place you spot in a scene has probably inspired at least three novels, ten comic series and a tie-in video game in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU). (We joke, but sometimes it feels like that.) As deep as the saga's background can get, it's also a little ridiculous at times, and we're here to take a look at some of the downright strangest stories associated with minor Star Wars characters.

IG-88

The Star Wars version of the T-800, the IG-88 showed up for a whole two seconds in Empire Strikes Back, but quickly became a fan favorite. Why wouldn't he? The dude has a ridiculous head that looks like a soda can, but he's still somehow one of the most fearsome bounty hunters in the galaxy.

During the '90s explosion of Star Wars expanded universe content, IG-88 got a kickass backstory: there were five IG-88 assassin droids created for the express purpose of murder, but the robots had other plans. They all decided that, as cool as the universe was, droids deserved to rule. A revolution needed to happen.

To start, they captured the droid factory Mechis III, copying their maniacal, homicidal thoughts into droids sent all over the universe. Even otherwise peaceful robots like R2 units were implanted with revolutionary zeal and programmed so that when the time came, they'd rise up and murder their masters. Of course, they needed a cover so people wouldn't wonder what was happening on Mechis III, so they decided to moonlight as bounty hunters while the revolution got going.

That's not even the most insane part of the story. Eventually four of the droids were blown up in various adventures, and the last one decided to go big or go home. He found the Death Star II computer core and uploaded his consciousness into it, becoming the battlestation. With that immense power, he didn't do something like try to blow up random planets; instead, he did what any of us would have done: screwed with the Emperor by slamming doors in his face.

IG-88 ended up running the computerized defenses of the Death Star at the Battle of Endor—not only were the Rebels fighting the Empire, they were also fighting IG-88. When Wedge and Lando blew up the Death Star, they actually killed two birds with one stone: ending the Empire and the IG-88 Droid Revolution. Not bad for a day's work.

David Felth

We know David Felth from his line in A New Hope: "Look sir, droids!". But he was actually more than just a random stormtrooper. He was a hero of the Rebellion.

Felth was trained as an AT-AT walker pilot and was pretty darn good at it. During a combat simulation in training, he had to defend his walker against Rebel Alliance fighters. Realizing that the AT-AT was too tall for its own good and could get easily tripped if the fighters had two cables, Felth got it to kneel and shot down all the simulated fighters. When asked about it by an Imperial General, Felth pointed out that it was possible for fighters with tow cables to trip AT-AT walkers—a huge weakness.

Seems like something the Imperials would want to know, but instead they told Felth never to talk about it again and sent him to backwater Tattooine. They didn't want anybody to think their awesome death machines could be destroyed.

Disillusioned by his reassignment, Felth and turned against the Empire, killed his commanding officer, and decided to work for the Rebels, giving them the secret walker-tripping technique he'd discovered. Basically, this one random character saved the Rebellion—without him, the saga might have ended during the battle on Hoth. Pretty impressive for a character with one line.

Sarco Plank

Since the sequel trilogy is still ongoing, a lot of the background characters haven't gotten unnecessarily detailed backstories yet, but Sarco Plank is one of the lucky ones. He's a blink-and-you'll-miss-him background character on Jakku in The Force Awakens. He has an action figure and shows up in LEGO's The Force Awakens, so he's got to be somewhere in the frame.

Plank made his living retrieving artifacts and selling them—basically a bad-guy alien Indiana Jones. He also somehow developed Jedi-esque staff fighting skills. After the Battle of Yavin, Sarco helped Luke Skywalker find an ancient Jedi temple, but fully intended on betraying him. (With his knowledge of the Jedi, you'd think Sarco would know it's hard to keep a secret from them.)

Luke wanted to see if the temple held the keys to Jedi training, but Sarco just wanted some of the sweet treasures it held. Together, they found and opened the temple… not knowing the Empire was in close pursuit. A firefight broke out, during which Luke made short work of the stormtroopers and together with Sarco climbed to the top of the temple. In a maximum jerk move, Sarco decided then was the time to betray Luke, and revealed that he had Jedi-like skills with an electrostaff. Luke wasn't having any nonsense and beat the tar out of Sarco, throwing him into a giant, endless pit.

Somehow Sarco survived the fall and ended up on Jakku. With his knowledge of Jedi lore, and the small Jakku community, it's kind of weird that Rey never pumped him for knowledge, seeing as this guy had explored a Jedi temple, survived fighting the Empire and Luke Skywalker, and didn't die after falling into a gigantic pit. Sarco must have kept all that to himself. What a jerk.

One-Arm

It seems safe to assume that Luke Skywalker has a lot of enemies. There are tons of random beings who've been inconvenienced by his adventures, and he's inadvertently ruined many lives along the way. Take, for example, the wampa in Empire Strikes Back: Luke just lopped off the poor creature's arm all willy-nilly. But that wasn't the end of the story. The wampa wanted revenge.

The wampa, named One-Arm, actually gained sentience. When Luke conducted a Force amputation, she wanted to get back at the young Jedi, which we completely understand. As soon as the snow settled over Echo Base, One-Arm started organizing her less intelligent wampa friends into an anti-Luke Skywalker hit squad.

For 12 years they wandered around Hoth, killing anybody who came by, waiting for Luke to return. Finally he did, while searching for a secret Hutt Death Star copy (which is a whole different and completely ridiculous story). One-Arm didn't care that Luke was trying to stop the slugs from getting a Death Star and attacked him again, like a WWE revenge match. This time Luke was even better than before, so One-Arm picked the wrong fight.

Instead of trying to reason with a creature he'd horrifically injured, the "good" Jedi just chopped her in half. Thus ended One-Arm, and one of the weirdest out-of-character moments for Luke.

Buboicullaar

Only the most dedicated of Star Wars fans will even recognize this name, much less know where to find him in the movies. Buboicullaar shows up for a split second in Return of the Jedi as one of Jabba the Hutt's many scummy hangers-on. He looks like an evil Jim Henson puppet, but was actually a super-intelligent, philosophically oriented "frog-dog" hired to blow the hell out of Jabba's palace.

Bubo and Ree-Yees (the three-eyed guy in Jabba's Palace) were conspiring to kill the Hutt. Ree-Yees even had Imperial scientists surgically insert a panel into Bubo's flesh to hide bomb components. The whole time our heroes were getting into shenanigans in Jabba's Palace, Bubo could have just blown everybody up and totally ruined any hope of the Empire being defeated. But Ree-Yees was a raging alcoholic, and constantly abused Bubo. The frog-dog wasn't about to put up with that nonsense. He just wanted to sit around pondering philosophy.

When the last part of the bomb was delivered, Bubo ate it in revenge, ruining the assassination plan. Ree-Yees went out on Jabba's Sail Barge and got blown up when Leia destroyed the ship. Bubo, being the super-genius frog-dog that he was, stayed behind.

Since he was so smart, the monks of Jabba's Palace extracted his brain and put it into one of the spider robots we saw wandering Jabba's palace. Bubo finally achieved his dream of being able to ponder the mysteries of life—and frankly, the spider robot was also a step up in the looks department.

Derek 'Hobbie' Klivian

Often in the old Star Wars expanded universe, the writers would base a character's entire personality on the way they acted onscreen—even if they were only around for a few moments or uttered a single line of dialogue. Derek "Hobbie" Klivian is a perfect example—he's always been written as a cynical pilot just because of his one line in Empire Strikes Back asking Leia if her plan to send two X-wings against a Star Destroyer was very smart. EU writers decided to take that cynicism and turn it into a full-blown nightmare of a life for Hobbie.

The poor dude started off in the Imperial Navy but learned they were evil and left for the Rebels, not before losing an arm in battle. One amputation is bad enough, but Hobbie's other limbs weren't safe either. Later on in his adventures, both of his legs got blown off too.

Hobbie was well known for constantly crashing his fighter planes, leading to even more injuries. Before the Battle of Yavin he picked up a horrifying jungle virus that kept him from flying, which left him struggling with massive depression knowing he wasn't around to save all of his friends. Hobbie was always known as the skeptic of Rogue Squadron, just assuming they were all going to die in horrible ways. After losing three limbs, it's hard to blame him.

The writers decided to bump up Hobbie's depressing life by making him a profane alcoholic who enjoyed hanging out with prostitutes—but that was in the old canon. More recently, he showed up in Star Wars: Rebels, but the show runners decided against characterizing him as a manic depressive who loved booze and hookers. That would be decidedly unpopular among the parents who let their children watch the cartoon.

Wuher

Wuher looks like somebody we wouldn't want to meet in a Mos Eisley back alley, but underneath the gruff exterior, he was just a man with a dream. A talented biochemist and drink mixer, Wuher's particular set of skills made him a natural to open up the Mos Eisley cantina. But that wasn't enough: Wuher wanted to make the best alcoholic beverage in the world—and give it to Jabba the Hutt.

Feeding a giant slug booze isn't exactly what we'd consider an amazing dream, but hey, at least the guy was trying to improve himself. The only problem: he could never figure out how to make the perfect drink. All of his drinks were good… they were just missing that special something.

That all changed when Han Solo visited Wuher's cantina while on the run from Jabba the Hutt. As we all know, Greedo showed up, talked big talk, and got blown away when Han first (no matter what George Lucas wants us to think). Fate had blessed Wuher, and he took advantage by putting Greedo's still-smoldering body into a specially designed food processor astromech droid.

The droid brewed Greedo's flesh into a concoction Wuher knew was the perfect alcohol for Jabba. And it worked: Jabba thought it was the best booze ever. Now we have the mental image of Jabba drinking flesh whiskey, which is something you can never unsee.

Grizz Frix

Grizz Frix is the one black X-wing pilot we see in the original trilogy. Unfortunately, what makes his backstory so ridiculous is how tone-deaf it is—being the one black pilot in the Rebellion, the EU writers had to give him a story about racism.

And not just any racism: racism from aliens that literally look like Satan. Frix was born on Devaron, a planet inhabited by horned devilish humanoids who hated Frix just because he was human. To escape the oppression, he learned how to fly, and soared away from his problems. Racism is horrible, but is it bad to ask for a little more subtlety in the story?

But the EU writers couldn't just let Frix have a nice—if super on-the-nose—story about overcoming prejudice. When he started training with the Rebels he crashed his X-wing, was horribly injured and got hardcore PTSD. The Rebels took him off flight duty and assigned him to haul fertilizer instead of fight the Empire—making their one black pilot a garbageman.

In the end, they needed pilots to fight the Battle of Endor, so everybody got put in a starfighter. Frix finally got his dream of flying against the Empire… and was blown to pieces. Don't you hate it when a story about overcoming oppression ends with the main character becoming a glorified garbageman and being blown up just as he achieves a lifelong dream?

Momaw Nadon

More often than not, you'd think saving a whole world would make somebody a hero—but apparently not on the Star Wars planet Ithor. Momaw Nadon was one of the leaders of the planet, serving as a high priest and tending to the Ithorian sacred gardens. (Ithorians are hardcore botanists.)

One day the Empire showed up and wanted to know the Ithorian gardening secrets. They really want to grow some cool trees, and were willing to vaporize the planet if they didn't get their way. Nadon, not wanting everybody to get lasered to death, decided to give the Empire what they wanted—saving his world, but earning the wrath of the Ithorian elders. They wanted to execute poor Nadon, but settled for eternal exile. Picky, picky.

That's where we see Nadon in the Mos Eisley cantina, drinking his troubles away and probably wishing that he'd just let the Imperials vaporize everyone. About the same time Han and Luke were messing around in the cantina, Nadon met up with the Imperial captain who threatened to murder his planet, later stealing his DNA and using it to make two clones. Maybe it's a hammerhead thing.

Eventually the Ithorians forgave Nador and let him return to his post, realizing that maybe getting their world blown up was worse than telling the Empire how to grow trees.

Bidlo Kwerve

Remember in Return of the Jedi when Luke threw a skull at the Rancor control panel to drop the big metal door on the beast's head? Nobody in the world ever thought: "Hmm… I wonder what that skull was doing down there. What's its story?" But the EU writers decided that it needed a story anyway, and you can kinda see why: a random skull can't just show up in a pit with a giant monster. It has to come from somewhere.

Turns out the skull belonged to Bidlo Kwerve, one of Jabba the Hutt's right hand men, who competed for the Hutt's attention with Bib Fortuna—the tentacle head guy in Return of the Jedi. Kwerve was gun-ho and impulsive. Once, Han Solo came to talk to Jabba and insulted Kwerve. Instead of just brushing it off, Kwerve got super angry and convinced Jabba to put a hit on Solo's head. So not only was Jabba trying to kill Han Solo for the dropped drugs, but because this jerk had his feelings hurt.

But Mr. Sensitive didn't last too long under Jabba's command. While exploring the Dune Seas of Tattooine, Kwerve found a crashed ship with the Rancor in it. Jabba had a birthday coming up, and Kwerve thought Jabba would love a flesh-eating monster. When the birthday party came, Kwerve unveiled the huge Rancor den. Jabba was impressed… and threw Kwerve into it, just for kicks. Thus Kwerve became the first victim of his own birthday present—and unwittingly helped save Luke Skywalker.