Why I’m Excited to Unlock Dr. Aphra in Galaxy of Heroes

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra. Image courtesy StarWars.com
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra. Image courtesy StarWars.com /

Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra, the rogue and Indiana Jones-esque archaeologist of the Star Wars universe, has arrived on the Holotables in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes—the hit mobile game that I definitely don’t play way too often.

I for one am pumped to unlock her.

Aphra is a fan-favorite character who—as of this writing—has not appeared on screens big or small. The character originated in 2015; writer Kieron Gillen introduced her in issue #3 of the “Star Wars: Darth Vader” comic series. She’s a queer, kickass adventurer with murderous droid sidekicks—and she obviously needed, at a minimum, her own series of comics.

She’s gotten that and more—appearing in crossover events and an audio drama—as she teams up with Imperial and Rebel heroes alike, as her needs see fit. But mostly, she swashbuckles her way across the galaxy, uncovering all sorts of weird and wonky artifacts and stumbling upon all sorts of iconic and unsettling characters—including Krrsantan, the black-furred Wookie who made his own journey from comics to live-action in The Book of Boba Fett.

We can only hope Aphra will soon follow.

But in the meantime, I’ve begun the grind to add her to my roster of scoundrels in Galaxy of Heroes.

I’ll be honest—I’m not really much of an actual gamer. I don’t have some master plan for how I’ll deploy Aphra across the various game modes. I love this game simply because I love playing as different Star Wars characters.

I think the coolest thing about Galaxy of Heroes is that the whole purpose of the game is to bring characters from across the franchise—from TV shows to video games, from canon to legends, and now increasingly from comics—together in battle, to imagine how the kinds of synergy someone like General Kenobi might have with the legendary Jedi Knight Revan.

But what I’m most excited about for Dr. Aphra’s appearance isn’t her in-game ability kit. It’s the simple proof that these iconic, beloved heroes can and do come together in the story and not just in a pile of action figures on my floor.

Here’s what I mean.

Dr. Aphra is a new(ish) character to the canon—and, for now, comic book bound. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had important, galaxy-altering encounters with Vader and Leia, with Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker. This comparatively unknown character is, actually, important and essential to the overall storytelling of the Star Wars universe. She has—and will continue to have—compelling parts to play on the galactic stage.

And so, the characters that surround her also become important, compelling because they might just have the same kind of impact. We need to know more about and see more of Sana Starros and BT-1 and all the rest.

Elevating Aphra to a character in Galaxy of Heroes—and one that you have to really work to unlock—continues to decentralize the same old “Skywalkers and Friends” mentality. Aphra’s story intersects the Skywalker Saga but isn’t beholden to it—and neither is she.

That’s why she’s worth unlocking. She’s worth playing as. She’s worth teaming up with old standbys like Vader and newcomers like Krrsantan. Her very presence pushes the boundaries of the story, widening the lens so we aren’t focused on a boy from Tatooine, and her transition to the Holotables only proves that there’s much more potential for her and characters like her on the horizon.