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Star Wars' Bothans: The Famous Aliens You've Actually Never Seen In Film Or TV

The Rebel briefing in "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi" is a scene "Star Wars" fans know well. The Rebel Alliance prepares for the attack of all attacks on the Empire's Death Star II and its shield generator. The field operatives are explained the dire nature of the situation and the specifics of the superweapon itself. According to Rebel leader Mon Mothma (Caroline Blakiston), this highly-sensitive information was acquired by Bothans, many of whom didn't make it back from the daring intel mission. 

It's undoubtedly a tragic story, but what is a Bothan exactly?

"Star Wars" fans have sat on this question for decades, and sadly for those in dire need of them, answers have been few and far between. To date, Bothans have yet to appear in live-action at the movies or on TV, only appearing sporadically in comics and video games — most famously the "Star Wars: Battlefront" game series. The species has featured prominently in various pieces of "Star Wars" Legends media, with the most notable of them being Borsk Fey'lya: a seasoned Rebel and later New Republic leader who clashed frequently with the likes of Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar.

Even though Bothans are still relegated to the peripherals of the "Star Wars" saga, perhaps the mystery surrounding them is best left unsolved.

Bothans are one of Star Wars' last great mysteries

Way back when "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi" released in theaters, the "Star Wars" galaxy was still a relatively unexplored one. It took a few decades beyond it for the countless novels, video games, comics, and other films we have today to arise. Thus, fans were left to ponder the franchise's big questions, which, in turn, bolstered the "Star Wars" fandom in no time. What are Bothans? What happened during the Clone Wars? What is the Emperor's (Ian McDiarmid) backstory? As a result of the franchise's rapid expansion, many of these questions have been thoroughly answered.

In fact, it seems like everything in the "Star Wars" universe has a meticulously-created story behind it. Nowadays, fans know everything from the origin of Han Solo's (Harrison Ford) blaster to how Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) wound up with that unmistakable dent in his helmet. For the most part, most of the enduring mysteries of "Star Wars" — especially those from the original trilogy — have been put to rest, though a few longtime favorites still remain for the fan community to mull over. The true nature of the Bothan people is among them, alongside arguably the biggest one of all: which species does Yoda belong to?

It stands to reason that someday the Bothans will take the spotlight within the "Star Wars" canon, but for those who still love a good franchise mystery and speculative chats with fellow passionate fans, hopefully, we still have some waiting to do.