14

There have been several stories (and even entire novels) based on characters appearing in the 8 theatrical Star Wars films (Episodes I-VII and The Clone Wars movie).

Which character gets the most interest from derivative works (such as Disney-canon or Legends-canon novels, comics, etc) relative to their actual screen time?

For example, IG-88 has less than a minute of screen time and no lines, yet he makes an appearance in no less than 31 derivative works, including a short story devoted to the character, explaining his back story.

  • 1
    Boba Fett is a good example. He appears in hundreds of derivative works but he also has several minutes of screen time, lines and a canon name and back-story which would knock him down the rankings. – Valorum Dec 2 '16 at 16:45
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    @Valorum so the ideal type of find would be something like a storm trooper who is completely anon in the films but is mentioned several times in lower cannon, and a lower cannon work about them places them squarely in the plot line of one of the movies. That way they have fleeting screen time, but zero recognition because they can't be pinpointed, and have significant derivative works about them. – Erik Dec 2 '16 at 16:56
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    @Erik - Precisely. If you can find a book series about the stormtrooper who bumped his head, you'd have a winner. – Valorum Dec 2 '16 at 17:05
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    Also R5-D4, the droid that Uncle Owen almost bought before it malfunctioned and he got R2-D2 instead. Seems there's a lot of love for that little droid who was on screen for all of half a minute, there are even action figures. – DisturbedNeo Dec 2 '16 at 17:32
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    @DisturbedNeo You mean Skippy, the Jedi droid? – CBredlow Dec 2 '16 at 19:52
17

Quinlan Vos — (# of appearances) / (seconds of screen time) = 18

Time on film: about two seconds

He's a background character in The Phantom Menace. He was originally just a random extra, but later on a character was created based on his appearance.*

Quinlan Vos in The Phantom Menace

Number of non-film appearances: 36

Note that I am not counting film adaptations**, comic covers where Quinlan Vos doesn't appear in the comic itself, or instances where a character simply mentions him in passing, but am counting flashbacks, holograms, and visions.

Disney Canon

  • Star Wars: Galactic Defense
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Hunt for Ziro"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Destiny" (Vision to Yoda)
  • Dark Disciple

Legends

  • Star Wars 17: Emissaries to Mala - Stare, Part 5 (First appearance)
  • Star Wars: Republic: Twilight
  • Star Wars: Republic: Infinity's End
  • Heart of Fire
  • Star Wars: Republic: Darkness
  • Star Wars: Republic: The - Stark Hyperspace War (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Star Wars 41: The Devaronian Version, Part 2 (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Star Wars 42: Rite of Passage, Part 1 (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Star Wars 43: Rite of Passage, Part 2
  • Star Wars 44: Rite of Passage, Part 3
  • Star Wars 45: Rite of Passage, Part 4
  • Republic 49: Sacrifice
  • Republic 50: The Defense of Kamino (Appears in hologram)
  • Jedi: Mace Windu
  • Jedi: Shaak Ti
  • Republic 54: Double Blind
  • Jedi: Aayla Secura (Appears in hologram) (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Jedi: Count Dooku
  • Republic 63: Striking from the Shadows
  • Republic 66: Show of Force, Part 2
  • Republic 68: Armor
  • Star Wars: Republic: Dreadnaughts of Rendili
  • "Life Below"— Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 9
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures – "Crisis Ziro"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Masters of the Force
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures – "Lightsaber Duel" (Ataru Mastery Pack)
  • Star Wars: Republic: Trackdown
  • Star Wars: Republic: Siege of Saleucami
  • Dark Times 6: Parallels, Part 1
  • Star Wars: Republic: Hidden Enemy
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith comic adaptation, Issue 3**
  • "Ghost"—Star Wars Tales 11 (Non-canonical appearance)

* Quinlan Vos came about because comic creators John Ostrander and Jan Duursema had a character in mind and were specifically looking for a background character from The Phantom Menace to use for his appearance. John recalled it this way:

We had already done some creation of the character and Jan wanted him to be connected to TPM --- which had appeared in the movie theaters by that time. LFL agreed we could use a background character. Jan [spotted] him while watching the movie. She can see a hummingbird flap [its] wing. I'm totally serious about that. >I< didn't spot him until [TPM] was out on DVD and THEN I had to freeze frame to it.

** I am including one issue of the Episode III comic adaptation because Quinlan Vos appears there, but the corresponding scene of him dying during Order 66 was cut from the film itself (an unfinished animatic was released as a DVD extra). The film still has a brief moment where Obi-Wan mentions the character by name saying: "Saleucami has fallen, and Master Vos has moved his troops to Boz Pity."

  • Was he on screen for 18 seconds or 2 seconds? – King_llama Dec 3 '16 at 0:40
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    @King_llama 36 appearances/2 seconds of film=18. It's the best way I could find to answer the question posed. I've clarified that. – Thunderforge Dec 3 '16 at 4:22
8
+200

I think @Thunderforge Nails it, but here are some runner ups:

Note: times are estimates, but should be pretty accurate. Also, I'm not including mentions in the appearances.

Aurra Sing: 28 Appearances / 2 second = 14

Aurra Sing

Depa Billaba: 37 appearances / 3 seconds = 12.3 8 seconds = 4.6 EDIT: you see her in The phantom menace, but the back of her head also makes an appearance in Attack of the Clones, which reduces her total score

Depa Billaba

Dengar: 49 appearances / 10 seconds = 4.9 While not an impressive ratio, he is only present for a single shot of him in the distance. We don't even see his face!

Dengar

When I first read about him, I thought I had found a winner,

Davin Felth is the stormtrooper who says "Look sir, droids!" in ANH, unfortunately, this site prooves that he's got a lot more than half a second of screen time! He does make 12 other appearances though.

Look sir, droids!

Possible Contenders

Ewoks: Ewoks ran for about 35 episodes and included a number of ewoks that appeared in ROTJ, however, from what I can tell, most ewoks have at most about 45 appearences outside of them films and at least 20 seconds on film, which doesn't bode well for them.

Cantina Patrons: A few cantina patrons have pretty fleshed out backstories, unfortunately, due to the long panning shots and reused characters in this scene, and the fact that only a couple make more than a few appearances: only one stands out: Kardue Malloc has 1.5 seconds of screen time and makes 14 non film appearances. 9.3 is his ratio.

Stormtroopers Only a few stormtroopers have more than a couple non film appearances, making this one a tough catagory.

Rebel troops Not too sure on this one, but I do know that a lot of extras were reused in multiple scenes, so one character might have a lot of screen time.

  • 1
    How do Bossk and IG-88 fare? – Valorum Dec 3 '16 at 8:45
  • Regarding the Ewoks, some of them appeared in the Ewoks live action movies as well, which aren't counted in the screen time because the question is only asking about theatrical movies. – Thunderforge Dec 3 '16 at 20:36
  • @Valorum Not so well. Bossk is 2.9 (61/21s), IG88 is 1.9 (31/16s). Zuckuss and 4-LOM are both 1.8 (24/13s and 22:12s respectively.) The reason Dengar is nearly double the rest is that he only appears in the first shot of the bounty hunter scene, while the rest get foreground time while Vader debriefs them. – King_llama Dec 3 '16 at 20:38
  • Wookieepedia says that Depa Billaba is in both Episodes I and II. Do her appearances in both movies combined really total 3 seconds? Also, are you counting media where she is only mentioned, but doesn't appear? I get fewer than 37 appearances. – Thunderforge Dec 3 '16 at 20:39
  • @Thunderforge I wasn't counting the Ewok movie, but the Ewok scenes in ROTJ make up a considerable amount of time, some of which have a LOT of Ewoks running around. The Best contenders are Chief Chirpa and Teebo who both appear extensively in the cartoon, but also in ROTJ. – King_llama Dec 3 '16 at 20:43

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