Melch's Name In Star Wars Rebels Was One Big Behind-The-Scenes Prank

"Star Wars" is filled with all sorts of wonderful and strange creatures, most of them background ones that only appear for a few minutes and never show up again. While any other franchise would leave those characters as background oddities, "Star Wars" turns them into stars deserving of their own standalone stories. Any character, no matter how small, is likely to have an extensive background story full of twists and turns, like connecting Yaddle's backstory to that of Count Dooku.

This is also how we get a character like Melch the Ugnaught, a one-off side character in "Star Wars Rebels" that became a beloved side character and hero of Lothal. Though "Star Wars" is full of great alien-sounding names like Ahsoka Tano, Leia Organa, Kit Fisto or Qui-Gon Jinn, there are other that sound, well, less so. Anakin is a phenomenal name, but naming your name hero Luke is about as imaginative as having the emperor of the known universe be called Paul. When it comes to Melch, his name is less an attempt to craft an alien character from a fictional universe and more a prank that resulted in a hero of the Rebellion.

Speaking with Skywalking Through Neverland, "Star Wars Rebels" screenwriter Steven Melching described how the show's writers were breaking the episode where Melch is introduced when co-creator and showrunner Dave Filoni walked in:

"Filoni is a little prankster, and we're talking about this little Ugnaught sidekick for Hondo, and he kind of gives me a sly look, and he's like, 'And his name is Melch!' And he just cackles maniacally. So I get to be an Ugnaught. So I go on the record, I did not name that character after myself. It was Filoni's idea."

From sidekick to a hero of the Rebellion

Melch started out as an enslaved laborer on the planet Yarma, which was under Imperial occupation. It was there that Melch and other enslaved Ugnaughts came into contact with the pirate Hondo Ohnaka and the Ghost crew, helping out the Lothal rebels in exchange for their freedom. The entire Ugnaught crew would go on to assist Hondo in a variety of jobs, with Hondo often leaving them to die while he saved his own skin. Still, even after most of the other Ugnaughts had died, Melch continued to help Hondo out for a bigger cut of his earnings.

To the surprise of the Ghost crew, both Hondo and Melch became invaluable allies, being key players in the liberation of Lothal during the "Rebels" series finale. It was during this final assault, as Grand Admiral Thrawn threatened to bombard the planet's capital, that Melch defended Hondo and Captain Rex as they restarted the shield generations that could protect Lothal's people. Even as Melch got shot by a blaster, which angered Hondo and showed that he did, in fact, care for his partner, Melch survived his wounds.

We don't know exactly what Melch ended up going after the liberation of Lothal, but we do know that Hondo Ohnaka remained tangentially involved in the Rebellion. He eventually helped the New Republic and established a legit shipping and cargo business on Batuu, where he later assisted the Resistance after the Battle of Crait (itself part of the canon of the Galaxy's Edge theme park).