The Wild and Wonderful Aliens of Star Wars

By: Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl, @wiwcool, karl@whenitwascool.com)

I was in the second grade when I first lined up with a classmate outside my hometown theater to see the movie everyone was talking about: Star Wars.  Other kids were coming to school talking about laser swords, monsters, blasters, and spaceships.  In the days before the internet Star Wars was the closest thing I can remember to something going viral.

From there, two more movies followed- The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.  Little did we know that forty years later the franchise would still be going strong with no less than five more movies and counting, plus, dozens of spin-off cartoons, comics, and novels.

 Greedo was one of the more memorable aliens in star Wars: A new hope.  Greedo was a bounty hunter confronting han solo in the iconic Cantina scene... and yes han shot first.

Greedo was one of the more memorable aliens in star Wars: A new hope.  Greedo was a bounty hunter confronting han solo in the iconic Cantina scene... and yes han shot first.

There are many reasons to love Star Wars but I think one of the most under appreciated is the wild and wonderful designs of the alien species in the Star Wars universe.  Who doesn't remember the Cantina scene from their first time watching Star Wars (now designated "A New Hope" in the series of movies) and were blown away by the creatures inside?

 one of the menacing sand people (or tuskan raiders) from the original Star wars movie.

one of the menacing sand people (or tuskan raiders) from the original Star wars movie.

Another aspect of the Star Wars aliens that really enhanced the experience of a young child were the action figures.  Being able to own and play with these interesting creatures made Star Wars that much more immersive and really enhanced the experience which I believe is why fans still love Star Wars forty years later.

 original carded jawa action figure by kenner.

original carded jawa action figure by kenner.

 cantina aliens box set from the 1990's.  Labria, Nabrun leids, and Takeel.

cantina aliens box set from the 1990's.  Labria, Nabrun leids, and Takeel.

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