So far, the Disny+ Star Wars shows have drawn inspiration from the movies (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor) and animation (Ahsoka), but there’s one medium they’ve left relatively untouched so far: comic books. That’s a shame because the single coolest character to come out of the Disney era of Star Wars is sitting there, stuck in the realm of graphic novels when she should be raising hell onscreen. We’re talking, of course, of the one, the only, Doctor Aphra.
One part Star Wars, one part Indiana Jones, Aphra is an archeologist by trade whose adventures across the galaxy usually involve looking for ancient relics and stealing them for fun and profit.
Chelli Lona Aphra kind of stretches the definition of a hero—at best, she’s an antihero, and at worst…let’s just say she’s made a few enemies. Most of her accomplices don’t know whether to kill her or kiss her, or—like her on again, off again, love interest, Imperial officer Magna Tolvan—both at once.
That’s Aphra in a nutshell: lovable one moment, detestable the next.
A Doctor Aphra series seems like a no-brainer for Lucasfilm. One part Star Wars, one part Indiana Jones, Aphra is an archeologist by trade whose adventures across the galaxy usually involve looking for ancient relics and stealing them for fun and profit. She’s worked with and double-crossed both the Empire and the Rebellion, equally making several enemies in the process.
In short, she’s the perfect protagonist for a Star Wars show set either prior to A New Hope like Andor or during the three-year period between that film and Empire Strikes Back. Aphra’s Forest Gump-like ability to find herself involved with all the major players, from Darth Vader to Hera Syndula to Luke Skywalker, would give the show plenty of excuses for fun cameos like the kind Disney can’t seem to get enough of. Her penchant for playing both sides would please fans of the Empire and the Rebellion by guaranteeing plenty of screentime for both factions.
The series should be live-action, of course, and we have the perfect person to play the chaotic archeologist…
That’s not to say that any potential Doctor Aphra series would have to rely on the typical Star Wars tropes alone, far from it. Chelli Aphra is such a unique character in the Star Wars universe that even if the show is just her traveling to planets we’ve never seen before, solving Raiders of the Lost Ark-style death traps, it would still rank as one of the best Disney+ series yet.
Doctor Aphra could be a sort of Tomb Raider in space, with Aphra herself representing a morally questionable version of Lara Croft. Doctor Aphra would also be an opportunity for Disney to continue introducing more diversity into the Star Wars universe, seeing as how the main character is coded as both Asian and a lesbian in the comics.
Chelli Lona Aphra kind of stretches the definition of a hero—at best, she’s an antihero, and at worst…let’s just say she’s made a few enemies.
The series should be live-action, of course, and we have the perfect person to play the chaotic archeologist, actress, rapper, and comedian Awkwafina. One thing about Doctor Aphra is she’s almost never serious. Even when facing sudden death, she’s usually cracking wise, and there’s nobody who cracks wise like Awkwafina.
The Chinese/Korean American actress known to family and friends as Nora Lum is already a part of the Disney extended family thanks to her role as Katy in 2021’s MCU film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. With several actors like Oscar Isaac already jumping back and forth between Disney’s two biggest franchises—Star Wars and Marvel—it shouldn’t take too much persuading to get Awkwafina to star as Doctor Aphra in her own Disney+ series.
While the current SAG-AFTRA strike has put a wrench in Disney and other studios’ future projects, hopefully, at some point down the road, a Doctor Aphra series will become a reality. She’s just too cool of a character to leave buried in relative obscurity in the Star Wars comic book universe.