Doctor Aphra and Darth Vader
Doctor Aphra has a dark history and a rough upbringing. She is child of war having grown up during the Clone Wars, when the Empire was coming to power. Because of her background she understands why the Empire is necessary and doesn’t see it as a bad thing. The Empire may be a fascist regime, but it’s better than the endless war that needlessly kills innocent people in her eyes.
Eventually, Aphra outlives her usefulness and goes against Vader which results in her apparent death. This is where Aphra’s story veers away from Vader’s and lays the foundation for her first solo comic series, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra.
Doctor Aphra’s Motivations
Unlike most Star Wars characters Aphra doesn’t fall into the category of hero, villain, or innocent bystander. She lives in a galaxy with some of the worst villains alive, such as Darth Vader and The Emperor. However, unlike most protagonists we meet in the Star Wars universe, she doesn’t fight against them. In fact, she works for them, and does so happily, but that doesn’t mean she wants to follow their rules.
Aphra’s main objective is to look out for herself whatever that may take. She switches between doing jobs for the Empire, criminal gangs, and the Rebels more concerned with discovery and profit. She will work with whoever serves her purpose at the time and she’ll probably stab them in the back when the time comes, in order to help herself or save her own skin.
Doctor Aphra not only works with Vader, but she is also accompanied by two droids. The droids dubbed Triple Zero and Beetee are in many ways the evil versions of C3PO and R2D2. Triple Zero a protocol droid who specializes in etiquette, customs, translation…and torture. Triple Zero is not the protocol droid we are used to often wishing to torture or kill “organics” indiscriminately, he enjoys working for Vader and Aphra because it gives him a chance to indulge in his darker pleasures.
Beetee is a blastomech prototype essentially an assassin droid full of weapons to be able to do whatever he needs to get the job done. Much like his fellow droid Triple Zero he enjoys killing whenever he can and he is also a fan of destruction of any kind. For a while they seem content being owned by Aphra, but considering they are in fact psychopathic droids with a sadistic streak, that can’t last very long.
Aphra also befriends Black Krssantan a Wookie bounty hunter who was formerly a gladiator, if you can say Aphra has friends at all. Their relationship is based mostly on a mutual need of each other. In Aphra’s case, Krssantan is extremely useful and trustworthy to a degree. For Krssantan…Aphra owes him debts not only a substantial amount of money, but she also promised to find the slavers that “trained” him as a gladiator. Doctor Aphra is surrounded more often than not by psychopaths and killers and while she’s willing to kill, she doesn’t do so without reason. That’s what the droids are for.
Aphra’s mindset of putting her own needs first makes her unpredictable. Her actions never solidly put her on one side of the line of being a villain or a hero. Instead she falls into the anti-hero category. She often betrays her cohorts, but she also can be seen helping out an ally if the situation allows for it. Aphra is interesting as a character because she makes many mistakes and has to deal with the consequences of her actions. When she agrees to work for Vader she knows it means he will in all likelihood eventually kill her. To be fair, saying no wouldn’t have been a good way to stay alive either.
Doctor Aphra is an Original
Another aspect of Doctor Aphra that makes her stand out is that she’s a lesbian. We come across an ex, or two, that she has scorned in the past, including a smuggler who takes jobs for the Rebel alliance. She also has an interesting push-pull relationship with Magna Tovan, the Imperial Captain chasing her, during Star Wars: Doctor Aphra.
Doctor Aphra has become an extremely popular character among Star Wars fans not only getting her own comic book series, but also by vote of fans who own her action figure. Doctor Aphra will have a new comic books series coming out this month. This new Star Wars: Doctor Aphra series is written by Alyssa Wong, art by Marika Cresta, and cover art by Valentina Remenar. You can pre-order the new comics on Amazon now.
There will also be a new audiobook called Doctor Aphra: An Original Audiobook, which will be an extended adaptation of Aphra’s storyline in the Star Wars: Darth Vader comics. The audiobook is written by Sarah Kuhn and will feature a full cast. Doctor Aphra: An Original Audiobook will be available for download on July 21.
Doctor Aphra is not a character we usually see on television or in films, not only in the Star Wars universe, but in general. She’s selfish and only looks out for herself and her own needs. She’s able and willing to risk the lives of her allies to get what she wants. This type of anti-hero character is rarely portrayed as a woman, especially with the lack of true redemption arc. Star Wars is also lacking in LGBT representation and Aphra fits squarely into that category clearly having past relationships with woman and in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra she has a complicated relationship with Tovan.
This could be exactly the kind of character that opens up a world of possibilities in a galaxy far, far away. Doctor Aphra explores new characters and adventures in the universe of Star Wars, that only an archeologist and criminal like herself could hope to find.
What do you think of the Doctor Aphra? Do you like her addition to the Star Wars universe? Let us know in the comments and let’s talk about it on social media!