STAR WARS: 5 Great New Characters Introduced In The Disney Era (And 5 Who Rank Among The Franchise's Worst)

The Star Wars franchise has been under the control of Lucasfilm for the past decade, and over that time, we've been introduced to a lot of great new characters...and some we'd be much happier forgetting.

Features Opinion

No one could quite believe it when Disney acquired Lucasfilm for a whopping $4 billion in 2012. The Star Wars franchise had remained pretty much stagnant ever since Revenge of the Sith was released, but the House of Mouse promised to move forward with a new trilogy of movies and vowed to expand this Galaxy Far, Far Away in a myriad of ways. 

They've delivered on that, but not everyone has been pleased with the results. 

It's been a hit-and-miss era of storytelling, with a divisive sequel trilogy, some hit TV shows, and many different projects that have failed to come to fruition. Along the way, we've met a lot of new characters, some of whom have joined the pantheon of icons like Han Solo and Darth Vader, and others...well, the less said about them, the better.

In this feature, we're taking a look back at the good and bad additions to Star Wars courtesy of Disney, and once you hit that "Next" button, be prepared to see some unexpected names...

The Good

5. Ezra Bridger

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Spearheaded by Dave Filoni, Star Wars Rebels was the first animated series of the Disney era and introduced a whole new cast of characters. It didn't take long for familiar faces to pop up, of course, with the series ultimately becoming a showcase for Ahsoka Tano as well. 

Ezra Bridger stands out because of his importance to the wider franchise. 

A powerful young Jedi who appeared at a time when the Empire was at the height of its power, Ezra gave us the chance to explore new sides of the Force. With the character set to return in Ahsoka, his story is only just beginning, and we believe he'll be key to where the Star Wars franchise goes next. 

4. Grogu

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Initially, it looked like The Mandalorian might just be "Boba Fett: The Series," with many fans convinced he was beneath that silver helmet. We quickly realised that wasn't the case, and the first episode ended with one heck of a hook in the form of Baby Yoda.

That moniker stuck until we learned that the 50-year-old baby wasn't a Yoda clone; instead, he's Grogu, a Jedi youngling saved from the Jedi Temple on the night of Order 66. 

On the one hand, Grogu is a good way for Lucasfilm to sell toys. On the other, he's unbelievably adorable, the source of countless memorable (and hilarious) moments, and perhaps the most intriguing character introduced during this era of storytelling. 

3. Jyn Erso

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the first of Lucasfilm's spinoff movies, and it proved to be even better than expected. Revealing what became of the brave Rebels who stole the Death Star plans, we met Jyn Erso, the young woman at the heart of a tale we had waited decades to be told. 

Cassian Andor obviously deserves an honourable mention, but it was Felicity Jones who really stood out to us here. 

Jyn is a character we wish had survived the events of this movie so we could have continued following her story. A prequel wouldn't make much sense, so we continue to hold out hope she found a way to fight another day (just don't bank on it). 

2. Kylo Ren

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The sequel trilogy made a lot of mistakes, and we may never be able to forgive Lucasfilm for dropping the ball on both the original trilogy characters and that final chapter. 

Despite those issues, we do find it hard to find fault with Kylo Ren. A complex and terrifying villain, Ben Solo could have quite easily been a modern-day Darth Vader had J.J. Abrams not fumbled the ball with The Rise of Skywalker. As things stand, the "Supreme Leader" remains a truly great bad guy. 

The fact that he ultimately found redemption wasn't the worst move, but there were arguably better ways to handle it. When Kylo Ren was unleashed, though, he's a villain who is still hard to top. 

1. Din Djarin

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Say what you will about this Disney era of Star Wars, but The Mandalorian is damn near perfect. 

Despite showing his face on only a handful of occasions, Pedro Pascal has made bounty hunter Din Djarin someone who everyone has fallen in love with. A big part of that stems from his dynamic with Grogu, but the badass killer with a heart oozes cool and has shown us a side of this Galaxy Far, Far Away previously unexplored on screen.

As we continue to delve into Mandalorian mythology, we're sure Din will only become more fascinating. It says a lot, however, that even in Boba Fett's TV series, it was this bounty hunter fans were most excited to see. 

The Bad

5. Supreme Leader Snoke

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When we first encountered Supreme Leader Snoke in The Force Awakens, he immediately jumped out as a fascinating new addition to the Star Wars franchise. 

With Andy Serkis playing the villain, speculation immediately started to run rampant about who Snoke might really be. Was he Emperor Palpatine in disguise, or perhaps even his original master, Darth Plagueis? Killed in short order in The Last Jedi, it looked like he was actually little more than The First Order's powerful leader until an awkward retcon in The Rise of Skywalker.

Making him a deformed clone controlled by Palpatine did little to help matters, and Snoke remains a low point for the sequel trilogy. 

4. Maz Kanata

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Whatever J.J. Abrams had planned for the Star Wars sequels, Rian Johnson clearly had a vastly different idea. That must be why he walked back on many of the filmmaker's decisions with The Last Jedi, including sidelining Maz Kanata. 

Introduced as an important character in this Galaxy Far, Far Away, she had somehow acquired Luke Skywalker's lightsaber after it was lost on Cloud City. She also pointed Rey in the right direction, but ultimately proved to be a non-factor in this franchise, even failing to do much of note in The Rise of Skywalker

A wasted addition to the franchise and one who was mostly uninteresting by the time all was said and done. 

3. Rey

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We appreciate not everyone will agree with this choice and should immediately make it clear that there's nothing wrong with what Daisy Ridley did. The actress, a newcomer when she was cast as Rey, did her best and proved herself a legitimate talent.

Sadly, the material she was given to work with didn't do Ridley justice. 

Too much was made of her having a mysterious background, leading to disappointment from fans when it was inevitably revealed that her parents were nobodies. Episode IX made things worse with the reveal that she's the daughter of a failed Palpatine clone, and that "Rey Skywalker" scene remains one of the entire franchise's most cringe-worthy moments. 

2. The Book Of Boba Fett's Biker Gang

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What can we say? 

In an episode of The Book of Boba Fett helmed by Robert Rodriguez, we met a colourful biker gang on Tatooine who embarked on one of the most poorly shot chase scenes we've ever seen on screen. It was embarrassing and quickly became a meme that overshadowed the good this series did.

This group brought absolutely nothing to the table and looked abysmal doing their thing. This was prequel-era bad, and we still don't get what Lucasfilm was going for here. 

1. Enfys Nest

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The change in directors midway through production all but sealed Solo: A Star Wars Story's fate as a mess. While there was a lot about the film to love, it often felt like a patchwork quilt of ideas that never quite came together. 

Enfys Nest was among the concepts that didn't quite click into place, and as villains go, she was a total disappointment. The last-minute reveal that this bad guy was a good girl was similarly ineffective, and the inexperienced Erin Kellyman was in way over her head with this role (the same could be said for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier). 

A forgettable baddie in a film that failed to leave a mark, Enfys remains a low point for this era of Star Wars storytelling. 

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