With Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month coming to a close in the United States, I thought it would be a good time to highlight some Asian and Pacific Islander characters featured in our beloved Star Wars. Star Wars has famously drawn inspiration from some East Asian cultures from the beginning (such as the inspiration of certain parts of the Jedi code from Buddhism, as well as inspiration for the Jedi as a whole coming from Japanese Samurai movies), so it is of course very important to highlight the Asian characters that we are treated to in our favorite stories.
Sabine & The Wrens
Of course on Star Wars Geek Girl, I have to start out with Sabine. Sabine, and the rest of her family (Ursa, Alrich, and Tristan) are all Asian characters, and inspiring ones at that. Sabine of course, is our favorite heroic warrior and artist who briefly wielded the darksaber, and her mother is a Countess that was at Bo-Katan's side during the Siege of Mandalore. These characters, along with the men of the family, are amazing, interesting, and just fun.
Another one of my faves, and a character that is often overlooked since The Force Awakens, is Jess Pava. While Jess doesn't get all that much screentime in the movies, she frequently appears in the Poe Dameron comics, and is prominent in the prologue and epilogue to Weapon of a Jedi. Jess is a fun character, a great pilot, and definitely someone I hope we see more of someday.
Rose & Paige Tico
I wrote a lot about this pair of sisters in my Cobalt Squadron review, and that's because they deserve it. Rose and Paige are an adorable little pair- they're interesting, have a great history and an even greater dynamic. And though we unfortunately lose Paige at the beginning of The Last Jedi, we still get to see Rose through the rest of the film, and then a little bit more in The Rise of Skywalker. I love Rose, and I definitely would love to see her come up in more and more content.
While I am embarrassingly behind on her comic books, Chelli Lona Aphra has a very special place in my heart. Dr Aphra's audio drama is just amazing, and a really great insight into such a complex character. Aphra is the type of character that just embodies a lot of the amazing qualities that Star Wars has, and getting to explore her and tag along on her adventures is always fun.
Jun Sato & Mart Mattin
Jun Sato, as we know, was an instrumental leader in the early days of the Rebellion, and his nephew Mart was also very important. Sato made important decisions fighting alongside the rebels, and made an important sacrifice that saved countless lives over Atollon. His nephew Mart was a daring pilot who truly believed in the cause, and fought alongside the rebels in the liberation of Lothal.
Chirrut Imwe & Baze Malbus
This pair are probably two of my favorite characters from Rogue One. These two represent a new kind of connection to the Force, and they have such a fun and sweet relationship with each other. Their book, Guardians of the Whills, is a really great read that I'd highly recommend. Baze and Chirrut are fascinating characters that are as similar as they are different, and they are a better duo for it.
Of course, how could I go on without mentioning Fennec. Played by my favorite Disney Princess, Fennec was first introduced to us in The Mandalorian, and then we very recently got to see her again in The Bad Batch. Fennec is smart and fierce, but also seems to have her own moral code- though as a bounty hunter, she of course seems to value the pay for the job above most other things.
I love Kaz! Our favorite clumsy pilot-turned-spy from Star Wars Resistance is a great example for us to add to this list. While Kaz maybe isn't the best at espionage, he's great in the cockpit, and he's a good friend to the people that he cares about, even if he can get a little caught up in his own head sometimes. Also, he has a super, super stylish jacket, and I really want one.
Jango Fett and Boba Fett
While most of the characters listed here are Asian, there is also some very important Pacific Islander representation in Star Wars. Jango Fett, and obviously his son Boba Fett, are played by actors of Maori descent (Temuera Morrison for both Jango and Boba, as well as Daniel Logan for Boba). Jango of course is the bounty hunter who gives his DNA to the Kaminoans, and takes one unaltered clone as his son. And Boba Fett... is Boba Fett. Silent, mysterious and hardly there in the original trilogy, and a fascinating young child seeking revenge in The Clone Wars, and then a noble hero who helps Din Djarin in The Mandalorian.
Every Clone Trooper
And since Jango is on here... well, that means millions of other characters belong too. Jango's clones, the clone troopers, are all also Pacific Islander characters in Star Wars, and boy do they bring a lot to the table. While our favorites are of course characters like Rex or the Bad Batch, every clone is unique and adds to the flavor and complexity of the galaxy far, far away, and I'm very glad that this story is not without them.