Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Star Wars Original Characters: How To Do Them Right

As Fangirls on Felucia's Fanfiction Guru...I decided to write up a tutorial on how to make fun and creative original characters for the Star Wars fandom, without worrying about canon.

I'll also introduce you to my Original Characters (and throw in a bit of self publicity). I came up with my OC (original character) family on a whim. I was debating doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for those of you who don't know) for the first time in 2010, and decided to go ahead and come up with a character on the night of November 1st (the day NaNo starts). I was terrified and had NO idea as to what I was doing, but I jumped in anyway, creating the character of Marilee Sunstar. Mari (her nickname) was my first OC, and my second favorite (only to my personal RolePlay character). When I created the character, I only had a name, and a very, very vague idea for a novel. That vague idea turned into my first ever novel, Reaching For The Stars.
I'm going to break down the Star Wars Original Character building process. Then I'll go ahead and introduce my four favorite OCs.

Characters are simple to create. Take anything, any idea, any whim any inspiration and just create a character for it!! Your characters can be whatever you want them to be!! That's what is so awesome about OCs, you can make them as awesome, as evil, as fun, as silly, as stupid, as crazy, as reckless, or as epic as you want!!

Step One: Who are they?
Who are they gonna be? A Jedi? A Sith? An X-Wing Pilot? A TIE fighter pilot? A Smuggler? A CorSec agent? A Bounty Hunter? A Clone Trooper? Who are they? Once you decide that, (and it can be WHATEVER you want), pick their species. Human? Torgruta? Twi-Lek? Wookiee? It's up to you!!

Step Two: Names
Names are quite important. Not only are they fun to come up with, but they're also really important about the character's...character! If they have an evil sounding name, but they're a good guy, it could be misleading! (or an awesome plot twist/character development...hmmmm...) then again, if it's too bland, it could be boring! Your character has to have a name that reflects their personality. Are they dashing, are they proud? Are they strong? Are they weak? Are they deep? Are they shallow? Explain their character traits and what you want them to be like before naming them. And to come up with some awesome and unique Star Wars-y names...go here: Star Wars Name Generator.

Step Three: Design
What do they look like?! If they aren't humans this can be fairly simple, but it's still important!! If your new character is a Twi-Lek, what color skin and head-tails does he/she have? What color eyes? What tone of voice? Accent? Wardrobe? Style? Personality in general? The design of your character should not contradict the character's personality. If your character is soft and easy going, she/he should not be wearing a crazy biker outfit. If the person is in costume or disguise, then exceptions are the be made, of course.

Step Four: Play
Write...RolePlay...whatever you want!! Enjoy your new character. Have fun with them, put them in fun situations with your favorite existing characters in the Star Wars saga. Don't worry about messing up continuity, make your own! AU (alternate universe) is the fanfic writer's paradise. My NaNo novel started out fairly true to continuity, but in the end it ended up going AU. I was worried to do that at first, but I ended up going with it and am very happy with the end result. Now I'm writing a sequel! Woo! You never know where your characters will take you.

Now I'll introduce you to my four favorite OCs that I've created, to show you what it could be like to have your own!

pic made for me by my friend Tara
1.  Marilee Sunstar.  Mari was my first OC, and she's still my favorite (next to my RP as stated before). Mari is the "mom" figure to my characters, she takes on a leadership role, when she's not exactly a leader at first.  She has a big heart and a strong will, and I love her for it.  She is a Jedi Padawan during The Clone Wars, and was Knighted shortly before Order 66 was issued. Throughout Revenge of the Sith and afterwards is when my novel takes place, and her adventures start when the chaos ensues. Mari is forced to make decisions about her life that she thought as a Jedi, she'd never have to come to face with, especially when it comes to her heart. *hint hint* Mari has red hair and blue-green eyes. She's only about 22 years old when my novel starts, I believe. I love writing Mari...writing her now versus two years ago makes it feel like I'm returning to an old friend. She's still just as fun to write, and she's become like a second mother to me almost. (in a bizarre sense, as you'll find out next on my favorite character list, haha)

also made for me by tara
2.  Fallon Sunstar.  Fallon is my personal OC.  She is every bit like me, except more awesome.  Fallon is the daughter of Marilee and favorite-OC-number-3, Mari's husband. She is a Jedi Knight in training, and she's just so much fun! When I write her, I'm writing myself. My feelings, my actions, my thoughts. Fallon was created a while ago...long before Reaching for the Stars was even in the works. I created Fallon for RolePlay, and for fanfics. She/I am featured in my story I'm Trapped In The Star Wars Universe, which is actually just about me rather than her character. Fallon is also an X-Wing pilot, and a leading member of the Rebel Alliance. She has a dedicated boyfriend (Derek "Hobbie" Klivian, of Rogue Squadron), and takes after her mother in looks. Red hair, and green eyes.  Fallon is super special to me, because my dear friends Tara and Lareen and I write a fun Role Play-ish story together about our OCs, and Fallon is a leading member of Rogue Squadron in that story.  She's amazing, and goes on many adventures. I could go on forever on how much I love her character.

also made by tara
3. Shadow Sunstar. Shadow is a complicated character but a fun one. He's the ideal husband, in my eyes, haha. He's a Clone Trooper, but a Force Sensitive one. An overused idea, I know, but I've been told by many that I do it right, so I'll just go with it. Shadow was a character with a funny back-story on how I created him. I was in dance class, stretching and bored out of my mind, when I came up with him. I was brainstorming about my story, thinking of where I would go from the first three and a half chapters I had. All I had written was stuff about Marilee and I wanted/needed a supporting character. I was stretching under the ballet bars, against the wall, and I got the idea for Shadow. I was so excited, I jumped up and smacked my head on the bar, and proceeded to get all excited over my new love-interest character. Shadow is sweet and loving, and he's everything I could ever want in a fictional boyfriend.  While you girls quarrel over Rex, or Fives or Wolffe *cough Savanna cough* I'll sit here with Shadow and be happy. He's as close to perfect as they come.  He doesn't have much character conflict, unlike Mari and Fallon especially. When I say "supporting character" I mean it, he offers Mari support and love during the hardest times in her life.

4.  Maryanna Sunstar. Maryanna is special to me because my "in real life" best friend was the only person to be reading this story when it was in the works. I already put it on, so I'll embarrass her a bit more and put it out again. When the story started, as a joke, I put a character in the story with the same name as a guy she had a crush on. She said that she was totally okay with it, as long as she could be his girlfriend in the book. I agreed, and Maryanna Sorun-Sunstar was created. It was a hilarious inside joke (still is) and we'll often refer to each other as Mari and Maryanna, or Master Sunstar. It's fun! Maryanna was one of the supporting characters who was minor at first but later became important. She and her boyfriend counterpart, Clay Sunstar, are majorly important in the plot of Reaching for the Stars, and even more important in the sequel fic, Celestial Eclipse, which is still being written.

Clay and Maryanna made on Azalea's dolls
One character of mine definitely deserves an honorable mention...and that would be Ember Sparkstone!! Ember is more of a legendary epic hero than she is a Star Wars character. Ember is...well...Ember. She is, she IS my cousin. And Ember is way too awesome to sum up in words, so you'll just look at this picture instead.

Alright everyone, I hope you enjoyed this post on the amazing Fangirls on Felucia! Also, comment and tell me about your characters. Do you have any? Any plans for some? Be sure to let me know. I hope I was some help in the creative planning process.


  1. Great post! I have only one Star Wars OC, Ji Solo, who is Han Solo's sister. But you knew that already. :D I'm still thinking through plots to use her in...


  2. how did u make up the dolls? thats so amazing. :)

  3. You are a very talented writer. Great post. Keep up the great work.
    Love Mom

  4. I love this post! I am so glad you love the pictures I made you, because I love your characters! Man, I plain ole love all things about this post. There.

  5. Great guide. Although I am a terible writer I have created a few characters for my movies. My best one is Johnny Starslayer, a Jedi Consular. I noticed that Scarlett Johansson kind of looks like Mara Jade if her hair was more redishbrown. Great photo edited picture.



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