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Obscure Star Wars Backstories You Don't Know

The secret universe of Star Wars is denser than the Forest Moon of Endor. If you've seen a weird alien on-screen for even one half of one second, you can be sure that it has a backstory that would rival that of any of the films' main characters. For decades, there have been books, comics, radio plays, and video games that have elaborated on these untold tales. Now, these stories are all relegated to legend, but some of these space-freaks still have pretty great stories. Here are a few you may have missed...

R5-D4, The Force Droid

At the beginning of A New Hope, Luke Skywalker and his uncle Owen are picking out some Droids to help them on the ol' dusty moisture farm, but the first Droid they choose inexplicably shorts out, leaving them with R2-D2 instead. Star Wars Tales #1 reveals that somehow, R5-D4 possesses Force powers, presumably because a Jedi sneezed a whole lot of midichlorians on him once or something. After being chosen by the Skywalkers, the R5 unit experiences a Force Vision, rare even among powerful Jedi, which reveals that R2 would eventually play a vital role in saving the galaxy from the Empire. R5, martyr that he is, busts his own motivator unit using The Force, and the rest is history.

Greedo, The Delicious Beverage

Han shot first, but what happened to the green bounty hunter Greedo after Han Solo callously left the Rodian's smouldering corpse in the middle of Chalmun's Cantina in Mos Eisley? Did Han really think that one coin would pay for the disposal of an entire body? After Solo departs the murder scene, the cantina's bartender absconds with Greedo's corpse, tossed it into a meat grinder Droid, and turns Greedo into a potent drink for Jabba the Hutt, thick with the Rodian pheromones that Hutts apparently really enjoy. Couldn't be any worse than Bud Light.

Chewbacca's Life Debt

Before A New Hope, Han worked for the evil Empire, and he's good enough at his job to achieve the rank of lieutenant. When a commanding officer orders Han to kill Chewbacca, who had commandeered a ship full of Wookiee child slaves, Han refuses, earning Chewy's respect. Later, when Han's boss lashes out at Chewy again, Han saves the Wookiee and escapes from the Empire with a bounty on his head. Because of Han's many acts of selfless heroism, Chewbacca swears a life debt that he would eventually repay with his own lifeā€”in the books, at least. The Force Awakens seems to put Chewbacca squarely back in the land of the living.

The Ewoks' Golden God

The Ewoks are the original space hippies, and they worship a lot of stuff. Mostly trees. The return of The Golden One is one of the prophecies foretold by the Ewoks' shamans, who were usually the ones that were wearing the most garbage. The novelization of Return of the Jedi goes beyond the film and translates much of the twittering, guttural Ewok language into English, including little Wicket's monologue about C-3PO, who may or may not have actually been the prophesied Golden One. The essence of Wicket's speech is that even though The Golden One had returned, he'd granted them all free will, that The Force is real, and there are jerks coming, so they'd better build some stuff out of logs.

The Church Of Jabba The Hutt

Jabba's not an alien who builds things if he can steal them. The hermaphrodite slug was 604 years old by the time that Leia chokes him out, but Jabba's gross gangster palace was much older, stolen from an order of ancient B'omarr monks. Throughout Jabba's 500-year reign and afterwards, the monks, who are little more than brains in jars attached to robot spider bodies, continue to live in the recesses of the palace, largely unbothered by Jabba's petty criminal activities. After Jabba's death, the monks claim the monastery as their own again, and tear the brains out of anyone who disagreed.

The Sith Race

While the word "Sith" became synonymous with the Dark Side of the Force, it originally referred to a red-skinned, left-handed alien species that were known for their Force sensitivity, almost 7,000 years old by the time The Phantom Menace begins. After hundreds of years of intermarrying with humans and other races, even the most human of humans, like Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, start calling themselves Sith in reference to a race of people they've never met, but mostly agree with. Talk about cultural misappropriation.

The Mystery Of Yoda

Even though the Star Wars universe is more fleshed out than late-night Cinemax, no one knows what Yoda is, and George Lucas is keeping it that way. Despite the terrible and otherwise inconsequential appearance of a girl-Yoda named Yaddle in The Phantom Menace, Yoda's species and origins are an impenetrable secret. Lucas' protection of Yoda's secrets has even extended to forbidding a painting of a bunch of Yodas worshipping a Yoda-like idol from appearing in a trading card set. For everything that the Prequel Trilogy did to destroy the spirit of Star Wars, George Lucas keeping his mouth shut on something for once actually adds to its legacy.

Everyone Lives

A lot of people die on-screen in Star Wars, but many of those people have also secretly, narrowly evaded death and go on to live full lives in the Expanded Universe. Boba Fett falls into the Sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi, but finds his way out in a book. Dr. Evazan, who harasses innocent Luke in A New Hope and gets saber-chopped by Obi-Wan, goes on to botch all kinds of surgeries. Darth Maul, who is literally cut in half in The Phantom Menace, thrives outside of the movie after his evisceration. Even Return of the Jedi's blue, keyboard-playing dope Max Rebo jumps off of Jabba's sail barge before it crashes. The only people who actually die in Star Wars are limited to the dancer that Jabba feeds to the Rancor, Luke's unfortunate Tauntaun sleeping bag, and about a billion Death Star construction workers.