Unlimited Power
The 15 Best Background Jedi of the Star Wars Prequels, Ranked

Inverse pays tribute to the legendary Pablo-Jill.

Written by Rory Doherty
Lais Borges/Inverse
Celebrating the Prequels

The Star Wars prequels featured 100 times the lightsabers as the Original Trilogy, so there had to be about as many Jedi wielding them. But something of A New Hope’s enduring grace and simplicity would be lost if there were over 100 fleshed-out Jedi characters, so George Lucas shifted nearly all of them to the background, where their voiceless existence could be a future jumping-off point for toys, animation, and video games.

After over a dozen seasons of animated television, countless comic arcs, and dubiously canon novelizations, it’s strange to think that so many recognizable Jedi had mere seconds of live-action screen time, but it’s a testament to Lucas and his design team they made an entire generation pour over supplementary media to learn more about these cool-looking Jedi. Inverse sorted through the leagues of dialogue-free padawans, knights, and masters to find the best background Jedi in the prequels.


Plo Koon

Koon on the way to either battle or his pulmonologist.


Plo Koon’s bulbous head and eye-catching breathing apparatus stood out in Jedi council scenes and on the Geonosis battlefield, but his status as one of the top-tier Republic Era Jedi is helped by him being Clone Wars creator Dave Filoni’s favorite Jedi Master. He appears in the animated series as a key figure in Ahsoka Tano’s Jedi career, and it’s a shame his bassy, machine-tinted voice never made it into the live-action films. Combine that sound with that bulky alien prosthetic head and you’ve got a hit Disney+ series ready to go.


Kit Fisto

Fisto lived by the ancient Jedi code of “Live, Laugh, Love.”


Sporting one of the most infamous Jedi names, Master Kit Fisto’s squid-like green head and mane of tentacles received a few prominent onscreen moments. He force-pushed a battle droid with C-3PO’s head in the Geonosis Arena, and cracked a goofy grin over it. He later died when helping Mace Windu attempt to arrest Chancellor Palpatine or, from a different point of view, Fisto and the other treacherous Jedi regrettably passed while trying to illegally assassinate the democratically elected Chancellor.


Depa Billaba

Billaba (left) and Koth, wondering if they goofed up.


Before The Bad Batch made her Kanan Jarrus’ master and gave her an Order 66 send-off, Depa Billaba could be seen sharing a knowing glance with Eeth Koth when Qui-Gon tells the council that his Tatooine attacker was trained in the Jedi arts. It’s unclear what she and Eeth know about the Sith assassin that meant a private acknowledgment was necessary — maybe they just remembered it was their job to deal with him and forgot. Still, she got an invite to the Freedom Day ceremony on Naboo, so no one held it against her.


Yarael Poof

Poof gently sways in the background of The Phantom Menace’s council scenes.


If you’re wondering why we didn’t see this blue-ish, long-necked Jedi master beyond The Phantom Menace, it’s likely because Lucas introduced the Kaminoans in the next film and their designs were too similar. That’s a shame, because his bobbing head and cheery expression certainly livened up the serene council scenes. Like the hairy, serpentine council member Oppo Rancisis, Yarael’s introduction was before crowds of Jedi had to be shown as agile warriors and instead could be sedentary alien monks; Yarael’s elongated neck is ill-suited to bladed combat.


Saesee Tiin

Official Star Wars art of Tiin where he’s not getting wrecked by Palpatine.


Saesee Tiin and his heavy, hanging horns have been around since The Phantom Menace. He stands out as an imposing and stern-looking figure among the other alien Jedi, but none of his careful deliberation and starfighter pilot skills get any screen time in the trilogy. Instead, he gets the honor of being killed in the opening seconds of Palpatine’s arrest, which is an embarrassing way to go considering how cool he and Kit Fisto look flanking Mace Windu as they march to the Chancellor’s office.


Even Piell

Even Piell, possibly after being found in an old box of Labyrinth puppets.


Admit it, George Lucas: you forgot about Even Piell after Episode I. The diminutive, elf-eared Jedi Master appeared on the council and in the Freedom Day ceremony in The Phantom Menace but is only seen again in live-action in a recycled establishing shot of the council in Attack of the Clones. Still, Piell looks commanding standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Yoda in Phantom Menace, likely due to that battle-scarred eye, and the character was impactful enough for someone to pay $1,875 for his hair piece in a 2021 auction.


Quinlan Vos

Vos in The Clone Wars, because finding him in The Phantom Menace is like studying the Zapruder film.


Quinlan Vos boasts one of the biggest animation glow-ups, as his live-action appearance didn’t even make it clear he’s a Jedi. In the background of Jar-Jar’s encounter with Sebulba sits a dark-haired man with orange skin and a yellow line drawn across the bridge of his nose, and Star Wars expanded media would soon claim him as a formidable Jedi Knight who didn’t like to play by the council’s rules. In The Clone Wars, Quinlan even gets to quote The Big Lebowski.


Luminara Unduli

Unduli has a more explicitly religious look than many of her fellow Jedi.


Luminara Unduli appears with her apprentice Barriss Offee in one scene in Attack of the Clones, and then they’re never seen together again. Her limited live-action appearance is a shame, as her design is arresting. Her ornate robes and headdress feel more religious than other Jedi, an angle that goes unexplored in the prequels’ power politics. The character went through a lot elsewhere in canon; her apprentice bombed the Jedi Temple in Clone Wars, and Inquisitors used her remains to lure surviving Jedi to their doom in Rebels.


7. Shaak Ti

Shaak Ti in the Clone Wars, during a rare moment where she’s not being murdered.


Before the Clone Wars made her the Jedi supervisor of the Kamino clone project, this colorful Togruta was most notable for having three non-canon deaths — at the hands of General Grievous, Anakin Skywalker, and the Sarlacc Pit — across deleted scenes and video games. Her actual death comes to Yoda in a Clone Wars vision, and it confirms Darth Vader killed her. Still, tough luck to spend most of your live-action screen time dying and then never make the final cut.


Aayla Secura

Secura learns that it’s not always wise to lead from the front.


This blue-skinned Jedi Master continued the exoticized trend of Twi’lek characters established in the Jabba’s Palace opening of Return of the Jedi, and as Aayla wasn’t introduced until Attack of the Clones, we don’t even get to see her on the Jedi Council — she’s first seen in the background of a Jedi Temple shot. She’s never the point of focus in her live-action scenes, as she’s always following others into battle or standing on the edge of hologram conference calls until Commander Bly and his soldiers kill her during Order 66. It’s a tough galaxy for Twi’leks.



Pop quiz: is that Pablo-Jill or Coleman Kcaj on the left?


Probably the most ludicrously named Jedi on this list, this Ongree has eyes below his mouth and swoops into the Geonosis arena in Attack of the Clones. He’s most notable for being one of the only completely CG Jedi designed for Episode II, but when it came to Episode III, the improved VFX called for a more detailed Pablo model. Allegedly, a new model meant he needed to become a new character with an equally ridiculous name: Coleman Kcaj. Pablo and Coleman do nothing in their respective films and look almost identical, so it’s unclear what all the fuss was about, but you can use this fact to amaze people at parties.


Adi Gallia

Pop quiz: is this Adi Gallia, Stass Allie, or Pablo-Jill in disguise?


Adi is the second background Jedi to be replaced by a similarly designed but canonically separate character between films. Attack of the Clones was shot with a different actress playing Adi, but she was retconned to a new character, Stass Allie, when Lucas thought the actor used in Revenge looked dissimilar and would confuse the audience. Arguably, it’s far more confusing when a background character changes to a different person who looks exactly the same after dying off-screen, but everyone has a different perspective on filmmaking. Also, Stass is Adi’s cousin, meaning nepotism is alive and well in the Jedi Order.


Agen Kolar

The Death of Agen Kolar (2005, mixed media).


The horn-headed Zabrak Agen Kolar from Episodes II and III beat out his Phantom Menace lookalike Eeth Koth to make this list; his claim to fame is being the first casualty during Palpatine’s arrest. He also changed his lightsaber color from green to blue between Episodes II and III; canonically, Kolar added his slain padawan’s blue kyber crystal to his blade, meaning he could switch between them at will. In reality, it sounds like no one behind the scenes paid attention to his blade color between films, and we hope someone got fired for this blunder.


2. Yaddle

Sadly, Star Wars canon has yet to reveal who styles Yaddle’s hair.


Yaddle’s nine seconds in the prequel trilogy piqued the interest of fans seeking answers about her and Yoda’s mysterious species. When she finally got a spotlight Tales of the Jedi episode that attempted to answer some of these questions, it instead raised new ones. Did they ever hang out in the same swamp? What do you mean she doesn’t talk backwards like Yoda? Is his speech a dialect? Is Yoda just weird like that? Count Dooku kills her before we have the chance to find out.


Coleman Trebor

Coleman Terbor, who’s not to be confused with Coleman Kcaj, who’s not to be confused with Pablo-Jill.


Coleman Trebor has become something of a meme among prequel fans; this council-appointed Jedi Master bravely tried to dispatch Count Dooku at the Battle of Geonosis, but was shot to death by Jango Fett before he could even swing his lightsaber. The name “Coleman Trebor” sounds slightly more like a reasonable human name than many others on this list, which is probably why he’s more popularly known as “Dinosaur Jedi” online; his tall, angular reptilian head is memorable even if his fighting prowess is not.

This article is part of the “Celebrating the Prequels” series, a two week-long series of articles about the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy leading up to the 25th anniversary of The Phantom Menace.

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