The characters from the Star Wars prequels were some of the most underdeveloped characters in the whole franchise. Perhaps it was due to Lucas’ writing or just the overabundance of characters in the prequel trilogy, but to put it short, not everyone got the development they needed. This made certain characters look kinda cool, but the thing is, they could’ve been much cooler if they were flushed out more. Although they didn’t get this treatment in the films, they certainly got a lot more development elsewhere.
I’m talking about the Star Wars novels, comic books, and television shows. These were all meant to be a continuation of the Star Wars lore in order to expand certain events. This includes The Clone Wars, the remaining days of The Republic, and the years leading up to Attack of the Clones. No matter what you think about the Star Wars prequels, the books explain a lot about what happens in between those films. Not only is it interesting, but it succeeds in where the prequels failed. Whatever character didn’t get his full time to shine in the prequels, he sure as heck got it in the books.
Now to be clear, I won’t be talking about the best characters from the prequels. I will be talking about five characters from the prequels that didn’t get enough development from the films, but had it flushed out well in other forms of media.
Now let’s get down to business and go over the five Star War prequel characters that are better than you think. May the force be with me on this one.
5. Jango Fett
The deadliest bounty hunter in the galaxy? Check. A guy who is capable of killing Jedi? Check. The guy who served as the clone template for the clone army? Check. Jango Fett was cool when we first saw him, but much like other prequel characters, his time was short. Jango was the assassin hired to kill Padme and went toe to toe with Obi-Wan. Yeah, that’s awesome, but then he was quickly decapitated by Mace Windu. A lot of wasted potential there. The Star Wars prequels gave this character the ultimate legacy, as his clones served as the main downfall of the Jedi. Oh, and of course, his death paved the way for Boba Fett, who also died pretty quickly.
The Star Wars comics showed Jango coming from a family of farmers. He was rescued by The Mandalorians after his family was killed and raised as one of their own. Once he became a high ranking member of their creed, he became a leader during the Mandalorian Civil War. It was during this time that he was ambushed by Jedi and managed to kill at least six of them with just his superior combat skills. The rumors of a bounty hunter strong enough to kill Jedi fell upon Count Dooku’s ears and a plan was formed.
The Star Wars: Bounty Hunter game explained this fully. Dooku hired Jango to kill a rogue apprentice of his as final test to see if the rumors were true. Jango succeeded, and this prompted Dooku to offer him the chance to serve as the clone template. In Attack of the Clones, Jango briefly mentioned how he was recruited, but no details were given. His origins, time as a Mandalorian leader, and how he was recruited by Dooku was explained thoroughly in the comics and his own game. Not too many characters get their own game, so that tells you something.
4. Qui-Gon Jinn
The Star Wars prequels began their hero introductions with Qui-Gon Jinn. He was Obi-Wan’s master and the character responsible for finding Anakin. On top of that, he insisted that Anakin was the chosen one and offered to train him. We all know what happened after that, but like Jango, we didn’t get enough of him either. Qui-Gon was arguably the protagonist of The Phantom Menace, but he spent a lot of time being stern and his inclusion felt a bit forced. Despite that, he represented the calm qualities of the Jedi Masters, but served as a maverick to the Jedi Council. He was almost Anakin’s master until Darth Maul killed him.
In the comics and novels, Qui-Gon’s rebel-like attitude towards the Council was explained more. He believed going with his gut feeling, even if it meant going against the Council. He had two apprentices before Obi-Wan, one of them named Xanatos, who turned to the dark side. In a rare story arc, Qui-Gon had a lover, a fellow Jedi, who died right in front of him. This caused him to nearly turn to the dark side, but he was strong enough to resist. This would have been crucial to the prequels, since Qui-Gon possibly could’ve taught Anakin how to accept loss and prevent his turn to the dark side. And let’s not forget, he was trained by Count Dooku, and this was mentioned in Attack of the Clones. This could’ve played a part in Dooku’s turn to the dark side, but was sidelined.
3. Count Dooku
The Star Wars prequels had many villains to offer, but none were more dynamic than Count Dooku. He was once a Jedi Master, but unlike Anakin, he didn’t require much seduction to be turned. Dooku became disillusioned with the Republic overtime and even the Jedi Council. This led him to be discovered by Darth Sidious and with promises of a more peaceful galaxy, Dooku became his apprentice. Dooku’s calmness and charisma separated him from other Sith Lords, but his background as a Jedi Master is what’s most intriguing about him. His time as Qui-Gon’s Master, commitment to the Jedi Order, and increasingly agitation with them was interesting to read. It’s too bad Lucas didn’t go into this more in the prequels, as it could’ve explained why the Jedi Order was capable of flaw.
2. General Grievous
General Grievous was introduced in the Clone Wars cartoon. His live-action debut in Revenge of the Sith felt unsatisfying, since he was killed pretty quickly. Plus, he had that consistent cough that made him weaker. This was explained in the two-part Clone Wars cartoon, where he came on the screen with a bang. Grievous held his own against five Jedi and nearly killed them all if not for the Clones intervening. What made him interesting is that he wasn’t force sensitive at all, but just a droid. His origins were explored in the comics and revealed him to be a Kaleesh warlord, who was already a cunning warrior. His body was nearly destroyed in a ship crash, but he was recovered by the Separatists.
They gave him cybernetic enhancements, turning him into a killing machine, then was trained in the Jedi arts by Count Dooku. This made him the ultimate killing machine and in the comics and show, he was the Jedi’s greatest threat. It’s quite a shame we didn’t get that version in the movie.
1. Darth Maul
Why is Darth Maul so loved by many? He appeared in one Star Wars movie and had three lines. Fans loved him so much that getting cut in half didn’t really kill him and he was brought back. There are so many comics for Darth Maul, not to mention his inclusion in the cartoons. He was a villain in both The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, where the latter showed him meeting his final demise. In a poetic fashion, an aging Obi-Wan quickly killed him and both characters ironically shared a respectful final moment with each other. Unexpected? Very much so, but this only made Maul cooler.
He was one of the coolest characters from the prequels because of his lack of dialogue. His devilish appearance and cold stare was enough to scare anyone. Maul’s very presence dominated the screen enough to get everyone to pay attention to him. By the end of The Phantom Menace, he killed a major character and was apparently gone for good. Nope. Maul’s backstory was explained in comics and further comics showed what he was doing after The Phantom Menace.
His brother, Savage Oppress found him and helped him recuperate. What happened next was an interesting journey, as he sought revenge against Obi-Wan and even Darth Sidious. He had many encounters with both of them throughout the cartoons and suffered the loss of his brother as a result. Darth Maul’s expanded stories showed that he was a villain forged by tragedy. He was a servant of darkness because he knew nothing else and in the end, he died for it. His last words to Obi-Wan were, “He (Luke) will avenge us.” Now that’s deep coming from Maul.
The prequels should have flushed out these characters more, but the books and shows did a fine job of exploring them further. The prequels made them interesting, but they became compelling when their backstories were shown. What can we say? Hooray for books and cartoons.