The jettisoning of the Star Wars Expanded Universe from the “official canon” has rid Star Wars fandom of awful characters like Waru, the sentient gold Jell-O mold (yes, this is an actual EU character), Trioculous, the Emperor’s long-lost three-eyed son (again, an actual guy running around), Intergalactic Fabio clone Prince Isolder, and others too horrendous to mention. Yet, despite being left with only classic heroes and villains, and those tantalizing glimpses of new characters who will carry on the legacy of the Force into the next decade or so, there are still plenty of lame, annoying, superfluous, and all-around awful characters still populating the canonical sources of the Star Wars universe – namely the films, The Clone Wars animated series, and Star Wars: Rebels. Here are the top ten absolute worst:
10.) Hondo Ohnaka (The Clone Wars)
There are 123 episodes of the (mostly) brilliant Clone Wars animated series, and this annoying pirate lord appears in around 122 of them. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but it certainly feels like the guy rears his ugly Weequay head in story arcs far too often, especially if you’re blasting through the series in an epic binge-watch. At first, Hondo was a breath of fresh air – his fleet of flying saucer ships and gun-laden landspeeders were cool, he had an amusing accent, he cracked jokes, and seemed to live by a code of honor despite being the ruthless and deceitful ringleader for a group of villainous pirates, smugglers, and assorted space scum. But by the time the later seasons rolled around, and Hondo’s run-ins with Obi-Wan, Anakin and the major power players of the Clone Wars period became more frequent (and more contrived), it felt less and less like he was a bad penny that kept turning up and more like I was continually stepping in piles of dog poop.
9.) Ric Olie (The Phantom Menace)
Ric Olie is the Basil Exposition of the Star Wars universe – almost everything that comes out of his mouth is a regurgitation of what’s going on around him and what the audience is seeing. “There’s the blockade!”, “Coruscant, the entire planet is one big city.”, “That’s it…Tatooine.” The poor guy literally has no thoughts of his own and offers up nothing compelling as a character. It also didn’t help that actor Ralph Brown delivered this exposition with all the gusto of a bored guy selling fish n’ chips out of a dingy food truck. It’s hard to believe he was the same actor who regaled Wayne and Garth with tales of beating Bengal tigers with his shoe…
8.) Logray (Return Of The Jedi)
It’s hard to imagine any of those cute, furry Ewoks being jerks, but Logray is one of the biggest jerks in the entire galaxy. The Ewok’s “Medicine Man” seemed to have a classic Grima Womtongue/King Théoden thing going on with Chief Chirpa, sticking close to the tribe’s leader and murmuring poisonous thoughts into his head. Logray was taller than all the other Ewoks, wore a creepy bird skull on his head, and had no trouble completely ignoring the wishes of a golden god who the entire tribe worshipped. If it weren’t for some timely Force magic from Luke, Logray’s plan to serve the Ewoks some delicious Jedi, Wookiee, and smuggler barbecue would have resulted in the utter destruction of the universe. Man, what a jerk.
7.) Kitster (The Phantom Menace)
6.) Viceroy Nute Gunray (The Phantom Menace)
We can just lump every Niemoidian member of the much-loathed Trade Federation into this entry along with their leader, Nute Gunray (imaginative name there, George) because every one of them is a horrific Asian stereotype bumbling through the Prequels with their offensive broken English. The Viceroy and his cowardly, scheming cronies also spoke to a glaring problem with the prequels, Episode I in particular — they were simply weak, non-threatening enemies. I waited 16 years to get a new Star Wars film and after being terrified and emotionally invested in real threats like Darth Vader, The Emperor, and Jabba The Hutt, I got some’30s-era Charlie Chan trade barons taxing galactic trade routes? Zzzzzz…
5.) Rotta The Hutt, aka “Stinky.” (The Clone Wars Animated Movie)
Rotta here is the plot device that drives the narrative of the 2008 Clone Wars feature, which was released theatrically and served as the introduction to the long-running Clone Wars CG-animated series. He’s essentially a baby hutt (the son of Jabba, actually) who farts a lot and is really, really smelly. If you haven’t seen the film, he’s about as entertaining as that description sounds. Also, his nickname is “Punky Muffin.” I think we’re done here.
4.) Rush Clovis (The Clone Wars)
It may seem difficult to comprehend, but there are actually worse characters in The Clone Wars series than lil’ Stinky and Hondo. Enter one Mr. Rush Clovis – corrupt politician, traitor, con-artist, ex-boyfriend, and all-around intergalactic douchebag. I mean, just look at this guy. He’s smarmy, condescending, narcissistic, conniving, and every treacherous act he commits is in service to an obsession with Padme that makes Anakin’s petulant, all-consuming attachment to her seem healthy by comparison.
Apparently our man Rush here met a young Padme when she was a first-year senator and some sparks flew between he and the future Mrs. Skywalker, but she quickly caught on to his creepiness and told him she wanted to keep things professional. He was so livid at his perceived “friend-zoning,” that he betrayed the Republic, started working for the Separatists and kept popping up trying to prove he was a good guy, all the while plotting to line his own pockets and help the Droid army win the war. Basically, he’s the Star Wars Universe’s very first MRA.
3.) Joh Yowza (Return Of The Jedi)
The revamped song and dance number “Jedi Rocks” is perhaps the most egregious of all the alterations George Lucas made to the Special Editions of the classic Star Wars trilogy, and when you have Greedo shooting at Han Solo and missing at point-blank range, that’s saying a lot.
Return of the Jedi originally had a jaunty little ’80s ditty called “Lapti Nek,” performed by the three-member Sy Snootles & The Max Rebo Band (Max is the blue elephant guy), but George Lucas claimed he was never happy with the Sy Snootles puppet work, and always wanted the Jabba’s Palace number to be an elaborate musical production, so the funky workout beats of Lapti Nek were wiped off the face of the Earth forever, replaced with a CGI-laden, badly composited, overstuffed abomination shot in early 1996 on a soundstage and integrated into the film for its March, 1997 theatrical re-release. Jabba’s band still included Droopy McCool and Max Rebo, but Lucas added three female alien backup singers, a harmonica-playing frog puppet, a couple of Weequay drummers, a CG Sy Snootles, and this guy…Mr. Joh Yowza.
Joh is the perfect example of Lucas showing absolutely zero restraint or subtlety, as this CG crooner weightlessly bounces around the frame, looking beyond cartoonish and never once feeling like he’s interacting with the costumed actors or puppets in the frame. The coup de grâce of his terribleness comes when he rushes the camera and fills the entire screen with his massive open mouth to belt out a mighty note. It’s awful, feels completely out-of-place, and I’d honestly rather see Lapti Nek restored, or Joh Yowza outsted for anyone else. Except Chad Kroger of Nickelback, because, screw that guy.
2.) Jar Jar Binks (The Phantom Menace)
It’s almost boring—and perhaps even borderline cruel and sadistic—to make fun of poor ol’ Jar Jar Binks at this point; it’s the very definition of beating a dead horse. However, Jar Jar is despised by the majority of Star Wars fans for good reason. The list of transgressions committed by this staggering misfire of a character is lengthy and damning: His silliness leached any drama or tension from the narrative; he could be viewed as a crude racial stereotype of Rastafarians; his clumsy antics and bizarre speech pattern recalled racist Stepin Fetchit caricatures; he was the subject of needless scatological humor (he stepped in the poopy a lot); and he was an all-around chirping, shrieking, grating annoyance.
George Lucas had good intentions with Jar-Jar: he was meant to make children laugh and smile, and he was supposed to demonstrate the moral that even if you’re clumsy or don’t fit in, you can still contribute and accomplish great things in your own unique way. Then later on, he was used as an example of how political manipulations can take advantage of the naïve, the pure-hearted, and the well-meaning “true believers” of society. But the older Star Wars stalwarts immediately rejected him the moment he spoke his first “Meesa!”, and he never did seem to click with children. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for; even they can spot a crappy character a mile way.
1.) Ziro The Hutt (The Clone Wars)
Well, I guess we should start with the character design. Ziro is a Hutt just like Jabba, except he’s got purple skin, neon-colored tattoos all over his face and body, and wears a giant feathered headdress. Yes, really.
He’s very flamboyant, and when I say flamboyant, I mean, he ‘s a cringe worthy homosexual stereotype. Ziro is foppish, effeminate, and speaks in a southern drawl with a heavy lisp. If that last part sounds familiar, your hunch is exactly correct — he’s Truman Capote. Apparently Ziro here was supposed to speak in Huttese just like all the other Hutts, but George felt kids couldn’t be bothered to read subtitles or listen to a translator droid, so he specifically instructed the Clone Wars crew to make him speak English and to sound exactly like Truman Capote, because reasons. And because George Lucas.
Ziro was a favorite among the Clone Wars production team, but the fans absolutely hated him and must have vociferously demonstrated this, because he was brought back for a story arc during the Clone Wars series, and quickly and unceremoniously assassinated, thus sparing Star Wars fandom from further pain and suffering.