10 best aliens introduced in Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Episode I introduced over 40 new species into the canon! Did your favorite make it on the list?
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Ray Park as Darth Maul. Image credit: StarWars.com
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Ray Park as Darth Maul. Image credit: StarWars.com /
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Star Wars has always been known for its creative alien designs, from the massive figures of Hutts to the more diminutive Anzellans like Babu Frik. The variety of their creations has never been more clear than Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Through podraces, senate hearings, and space battles, the film introduced over 40 new species to the Star Wars canon. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the prequel movie, here is a ranking of 10 best aliens that made their first appearances in The Phantom Menace.

1. Zabrak

When you think of The Phantom Menace, you think of Zabraks. The image of Darth Maul with his double-bladed saber will forever stand as a symbol of the film. Maul is one of the most compelling characters to come from Episode I. His story, continued through The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, allowed fans to get a better picture of Zabrak culture and their connection with the Nightsisters. Maul and the brilliantly named Savage Opress showcased Zabrak fortitude and fighting prowess. Their horned heads and facial tattoos certainly allow them to stand out in a crowd.

2. Gungan

I know what you're thinking. Mesa crazy to put the Gungans so high on this list. However, whether you hate him or theorize he was a secret Sith all along, or think he is a slightly annoying yet lovable goofball, Jar Jar is one of the most memorable characters from the prequel movies. The Gungans may not be universally adored, but they did make their mark on the fandom. In reality, there are two main subspecies of Gungans. The Otolla, like Jar Jar, are tall and lanky with long bills. Boss Nass is an example of the second type, the Ankura, who are short, stocky, and typically green. Together, these wacky creatures have spawned memes and online debates for 25 years, and that is a legacy worthy of celebration, okee day?

3. Kel Dor

Leathery skin, anti-oxygen masks, and metal goggles. The Kel Dor are a strange looking bunch. Involved members of the Galactic Senate and Jedi Order, the Kel Dor don't allow an oxygen allergy to get in their way. Jedi Master Plo Koon remains one of the most famous examples of Kel Dor excellence. While the Kel Dor often see things in terms of black and white, they are devoted to achieving peace and justice. Plo Koon fought for the Light Side his whole life, mastering many advanced Force techniques. As a background character in The Phantom Menace, Plo may not stand out to some, but fans of The Clone Wars can understand the impact he had on the galaxy.

4. Toong

In spite of his short screen time, Ben Quadinaros steals the show. With a face that takes up thier entire torso, long appendages, and three antennae, Toongs tend to stick out in a crowd. Quadinaros is recognizable as the podracer whose craft never even passed the starting line, known for his little temper tantrum and explosive end to his race. While this particular podrace didn't work in his favor, Quadinaros is one of two famous Toong racers in the galaxy. Toongs are typically quite shy and gentle, but once in a while, a Toong will take on one of the most dangerous sports around.

5. Troig

The saying "two heads are better than one" has never been more true than with Troigs. Podrace announcers Fode and Beed were fun additions to Episode I, bringing their thrilling commentary in both Huttese and Basic. Troigs are gifted with languages and are known to be quite intelligent. Though they are not a common sight across the movies, there is still hope of seeing these clever creatures again.

Check out 6-10 on the next page! Is your favorite alien from The Phantom Menace here?