In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Star Wars release, we are scouring the movies, cartoons, and related material for the best characters to come from the prequel era. It goes without saying that we are huge Star Wars fans here at the Temple of Geek. In spite of the negativity surrounding the prequels, we want to shine light on the prequel side of the original Star Wars trilogy (OT). Here is our list of the Top 5 Prequel-era characters, in no particular order.
Rex, (CT-7567 as he was originally tagged) is one of the few clones to remove his inhibitor chip and survive the clone war era. Towards the end of the run of The Clone Wars cartoon we got an explanation of the inhibitor chip placed in each of the clone troopers. This chip was activated during Order 66 (Episode 3), forcing the clones to slaughter their Jedi master’s. Rex fought alongside some of the greatest Jedi in the galaxy, including Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi. He escaped the Empire’s grasp and went into self-exile, only to wind up in the fray in Star Wars Rebels. Rex is a natural leader and an incredible asset to the Rebels, proving time and again the clones were more than just programmable soldiers.
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Mandalorians. There was always something mysterious and inherently cool about the armor and the individuals underneath. The lore of the Star Wars expanded universe (EU) only solidified their race as one of the most proud and honorable in the galaxy. In 2014 the EU was renamed Legends and became non-canon, rewriting the history of the Mandolorians forever. Star Wars Rebels came along and delivered a new Mandalorian warrior by the name of Sabine Wren. Sabine, the graffiti-tagging Mando was an ex-cadet who rebelled against her calling on Mandalore to become a bounty hunter. She later joins the Star Wars Rebels cast, acquiring the dark saber and uniting her people to a common cause; freedom and independence from the Empire.
Cad Bane is easily one of my all-time favorite characters as well as my favorite new intergalactic bounty hunter. For the first time since Boba Fett, we have a gunsling’in tough guy who’s origin is a bit of a mystery. During The Clone Wars cartoon, Bane went toe-to-toe some of the baddest in the galaxy, including multiple Jedi (sometimes simultaneously). Bane supplanted Jango Fett as the premier bounty hunter after Fett’s death at the battle of Geonosis. For these reasons and more Bane makes the list as an interesting and formidable addition to the Star Wars universe.
Ahsoka Tano was first introduced in The Clone Wars cartoon as Anakin Skywalker’s padawan. Another strong female character in the Star Wars universe, Ahsoka gained the nickname “Snips” from the other Jedi for her smart mouth. As a padawan Ahsoka learned much of the universe, including how the Jedi fit into it all. One of the best story lines of the series traces the betrayal of Ashsoka by one of her own. Ahsoka ultimately clears her name, only to leave the Jedi Order in search of meaning in the galaxy. Ahsoka recently turned up in her own canonical book, detailing her story after leaving the Jedi and leading up to her appearance on Star Wars Rebels as the infamous “Fulcrum”.
Grand Admiral Thrawn
No character on this list has had a more interesting journey from page to screen than Grand Admiral Thrawn. First appearing in the book series Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, Thrawn has been recently reentered into canon in the 3rd season of Star Wars Rebels as a prominent force in the galaxy. The cartoon furthers the legend of Thrawn by showing the extent of his cunning and intelligence. Thrawn’s appearance in Rebels was followed by a prequel novel appropriately titled “Thrawn”. The novel of his namesake details the rise of Thrawn through the ranks of the Empire, and gives us a glimpse into just what motivates Thrawn and the Chiss people. The novel is a must read for Star Wars fans and sci-fi fans alike, and Thrawns introduction into canon is a welcome addition to a tremendous mythology.
So what do you think? Did we miss any characters? Share your praise or glaring omissions with us in the comments!