1. Tauntaun Entrails Sleeping Bag
Now, on the surface this wraparound sleeping bag doesn’t seem that odd. Admittedly most kids like plush replicas of furry animals, not reptilians from a frozen waste. But when you consider that Han Solo slit open a dead tauntaun’s gullet with Luke’s lightsaber and shoved him inside so the beast’s guts would keep him warm, and that’s what you’re replicating with this sleeping bag, yeah, that’s a little weird.
2. “Then I’ll See You in Hell!”
Han Solo, Empire Strikes Back, Star WarsWhen Han Solo mounts a tauntaun to go looking for Luke on Hoth after nightfall, a concerned fellow Rebel warns him that said tauntaun may freeze before very long, thus stranding Solo and leaving him to the long cold night. That’s an important warning to keep in mind, even if you’re going to ignore it to go find your friend. But the scruffy nerf herder didn’t realize that, obviously, since he fired right back the delicious non sequitur, “Then I’ll see you in hell!” Why such hostility, man?
3. Zombie Gungans
In W. Haden Blackman’s 2003 Clone Wars comic “The New Face of War,” the Separatists kill off a Gungan colony on one of Naboo’s moons by using Swamp Gas, a deadly, airborne poison. Though no explanation is given, several of the dead Gungans, covered in boils, their necrotic flesh rotting, appear to revive as zombie Gungans, requiring lightsaber-assisted mercy kills. Blackman confirmed this to us when he said, “That was fun because I got to kill a bunch of Gungans…twice.”
4. Boba Fett’s a Ladies Man
Boba Fett isn’t that much of a stud. He misses when he shoots at Luke at point-blank range in The Empire Strikes Back. A blind Han Solo knocks into his jetpack causing him to go screaming and flailing into the Sarlacc pit. But he sure acts like a stud. Just look at him flirting with these backup dancers at Jabba’s palace, an incredibly random moment that somehow George Lucas thought was an essential add for the Return of the Jedi special edition.
5. Jedi Rocks
Some fans will never forgive George Lucas for replacing the original song that filled Jabba the Hutt’s audience chamber, the Max Rebo Band’s “Lapti Nek,” with “Jedi Rocks” a CGI extravaganza that shifted the focus away from Max Rebo to singer Sy Snootles and crooner Joh Yowza. But think about it. You invest millions in a CGI overhaul of a scene…to create a crazy over the top floorshow musical number. How is that not incredibly awesome?
There’s a lot of odd stuff in Marvel Comics’ initial line of Star Wars comics set during the Original Trilogy, but the oddest has to be Jaxxon, a smuggler who’s a giant green bunny rabbit. Maybe Lucas loves long-eared creatures, hence also the Gungans, but Jaxxon’s origin lies in his name. It’s a play on “Jackson,” which Bugs Bunny used to always call male characters he interacted with in Warner Bros.’ old Looney Tunes shorts.
7. Bea Arthur’s in Star Wars
The future Golden Girl, already a TV powerhouse with Maude, showed up as Ackmena, a bartender at the Mos Eisley Cantina in The Star Wars Holiday Special dealing with an unruly clientele that refuses to obey the Empire’s curfew. Also on hand? The Carol Burnett Show’s Harvey Korman, and Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia singing the lyrics to John Williams’ main Star Wars theme. Yes, it has lyrics.
8. The Terrence Malick Connection
At his AFI Award ceremony in 2005, George Lucas acknowledged how few films he’s actually made and suggested that Terrence Malick, then having made only three movies, should take heart that he could still win an AFI Award himself. But there’s a deeper connection. In The Star Wars Holiday Special the Wookiees celebrate Life Day at “The Tree of Life.” And the villain of Knights of the Old Republic is Darth Malak, pronounced just like Malick. Coincidence? I think not.
9. The Emperor Has Two Sons With Three Eyes
The most Byzantine, bizarre look at that Galaxy Far, Far Away ever was geared strictly for the under-12 set: a compendium of six novellas released in 1992 and ‘93 by Paul and Hollace Davidsthat included talking whales and the reveal that the name of Jabba’s father is Zorba. But the weirdest revelation was that the Emperor actually had a three-eyed son named Triclops…not to be confused with the three-eyed pretender Trioculus who tried to steal Triclops’ birthright.
10. Ziro the Hutt
A purple Hutt deliberately modeled on Truman Capote, according to supervising direcdtor Dave Filoni, Ziro is the bitchy, sexually ambiguous yin to Jabba’s macho-gangster yang on The Clone Wars. Prone to overheated dialogue like “The cage that imprisons me also imprisons our love” Ziro had a torrid affair with nightclub chanteuse Sy Snootles, one of Star Wars’ great femme fatales, and earned some epic prison tats during a stint in the Republic slammer.
11. Ziro the Hutt’s Mother
Okay, so Ziro may be weird. But nothing — nothing, I tell you! — can prepare you for the epic grotesque that is Ziro’s mother, usually referred to as Mama the Hutt. She’s straight out of a John Waters film: morbidly obese, totally androgynous, living in filth, having parasites crawling over her body, given to saying things like “Break in mah house will ya, smaht guy?” It’s the greatest role Divine never played.
The all-time greatest episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Season 4’s “The Box,” introduced one of the funkiest aliens we’ve ever seen since Luke and Obi-Wan first set foot in the Mos Eisley Cantina a long time ago in 1977: Derrown, a hovering, tentacled, ammunition-belt-wearing bounty hunter with a mushroom-shaped head, capable of only speaking in Beaker-like bleeps and bloops. The best.
13. Ben Quadinaros
Okay, a lot of the podracers in The Phantom Menace are weird. But Ben Quadinaros, with his long, spindly legs and short, truncated torso really stands out. You could say he’s indicative of Episode I’s kiddie-oriented tone, sure, except he’s developed a huge cult following among adult fans. Just witness the endless requests that supervising director Dave Filoni got to include him on The Clone Wars…requests Filoni always refused.
14. Death Sticks
Previous illicit substances in that Galaxy Far, Far Away were very Frank Herbert-esque, i.e. usually some kind of addictive spice. But a dealer in a Coruscant nightclub in Attack of the Clones offers Obi-Wan “Death Sticks,” which look like the glowsticks you carry into a rave and are apparently as dangerous as the hallucinogens you pick up at a rave, hence the name. Is Lucas making a commentary on the “Death Drive” and the pursuit of pleasure? Is this a “Don’t Do Drugs” statement? Obviously both.
15. General Grievous’ Cough
When the Cyborg Separatist made his first big-screen appearance in Revenge of the Sith the first thing you noticed weren’t his mad lightsaber skills or four arms. It was the cough. It showed that he was once an organic being given a bionic makeover, like the future Darth Vader, and that, to quote Pilar in The Big Lebowski, “he has health problems.” Watch 2005’s Star Wars: Clone Wars — Vol. 2 to see just how he got that cough from one Mace Windu.
16. The Ewoks and the Magic Sunberries
Seth Green and Matthew Senreich imagined an Ice Capades version of The Empire Strikes Back called “Empire on Ice” for Robot Chicken. Well, a version of that actually did exist as part of the Ice Capades’ 1986 show, but centered around the Ewoks, those Endorian teddy bears who also got not one but two spin-off movies and their own animated TV series.
17. The Sun Crusher
Sun Crusher, Star WarsHow do you top a weapon that can blow up a planet, like the Death Star? Build one that can blow up a star! Hence, the Sun Crusher, a starfighter-size ship with invulnerable armor that could make stars go nova in Kevin J. Anderson’s Jedi Academy trilogy. But when I gotta pick my favorite non-Death Star superweapon I go with the Galaxy Gun from the comic Dark Empire II. Just the name Galaxy Gun, alone, is a retro Flash Gordon fever dream.
Fans generally consider Vonda N. McIntyre’s The Crystal Star to be the worst Star Wars Expanded Universe novel of all time. It centers on a tired plot about Imperial baddies wanting to kidnap Han and Leia’s kids and ultimately feed them to…Waru, a gold scaled non-humanoid alien from another dimension that some revere as a god. Some bash Waru as being a villain straight out of Star Trek. That’s an insult to Star Trek.
19. Beldorian the Hutt, Jedi Knight
Fans generally consider Barbara Hambly’s Planet of Twilight to be the second worst Expanded Universe novel of all time. Why? Well, the showdown is a lightsaber duel between Leia and a centuries-old ex-Jedi Hutt named Beldorian. Yep, we’ve all got a bad feeling about this.
20. Xizor’s Pheromones
Even one of the all-time best EU novels, Shadows of the Empire gets a little freaky when the green-skinned crimelord Prince Xizor, considered the third most powerful person in the galaxy behind Darth Vader and The Emperor, decided to seduce Princess Leia. To do so he uncorked his own pheromones, which apparently entrance any females in the vicinity. Just like Axe Body Spray! If it weren’t for a timely intervention, Leia almost would have done the deed with this guy.