One of ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Peskiest Heroes Began as a Dave Filoni Prank


The big picture

  • Melch, a supporting character in Star Wars Rebels, was named by writer Steven Melching as a funny behind-the-scenes joke by creator Dave Filoni.
  • Steven Melching, the writer behind Melch, has also worked on other Star Wars properties and has a prolific career across multiple franchises.
  • Despite Melch's small role, he plays a significant role in the series finale, showing bravery and loyalty to the Ghost crew in the fight against the Empire.

Like the Wild Popularity Tracker Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels features appearances from an iconic cast of characters. Ahsoka appears several times throughout the series, and even Darth Vader destroys the crew of the Ghost on several occasions. However, as fun as it is to see big names play an even bigger role in popular Star Wars stories, it's the minor supporting characters that make the show just as fun. Such is the case with the most unlikely form of comic support in the series, Melch. An Ugnaught who appears sporadically throughout the show's final two seasons, Melch antagonizes the crew until the end of the series, a contribution made all the more unlikely by the fact that Melch was originally the result of a joke made by creator Dave Filoni himself.

Introduced as Laborer 429 in Season 3, Episode 2, “Steps Into Shadow: Part Two”, Melch was a prisoner of the Imperial base on the planet Yarma until he was rescued by the Ghost crew. After escaping with the notorious galactic pirate Hondo Ohnaka, he reappears in season 3, episode 9, “The Wynkahthu Job”, where he once again helps both Hondo and the crew of the Ghost after it is revealed that the pirate let die after a bad job. Despite this betrayal, Melch sticks with the pirate long enough to attend the show's Season 4 finale, a notable achievement that would have been hard to guess given Melch's comedic origins.

Star Wars Rebels

The crew of the spaceship Ghost defends those who cannot fight for themselves against the Empire, providing the spark for a rebellion.

Publication date
October 3, 2014


Disney XD


Dave Filoni made up the name Melch as a prank on one of his writers

With supporting characters as memorable as Cad Bane and as iconic as Jabba the Hutt, the Star Wars Universe is no stranger to introducing unique and original supporting players to fans. The fantastic names and strange appearances of these characters come from the franchise's sci-fi aesthetic, but Melch is special because his addition to Star Wars wasn't just inspired by his genre. Instead of finding another new name for a random alien, Dave Filoni decided to name his chaotic Ugnaught after one of the show's writers, Steven Melching..

An industry veteran who contributed to some The Clone Wars' best episodes, Melching spoke at length about his career during an appearance on the Skywalking through Neverland podcast. The writer joined rebels during its second season and wrote for the beloved two-part season finale, “Twilight of the Apprentice.” The gig then brought Melching to the editor of the story the rebels the past two seasons, with his imprisoned namesake appearing in the season 3 premiere. When discussing how everyone's favorite Ugnaught got his name, Melching hilariously explained, “Filoni is a little prankster, and we're talking about this little Ugnaught fellow for Hondo, and he gives me a sly look, and he's like. and his name is Melc!” Melching went on to clarify then: “I didn't put my name on the character. It was Filoni's idea.”

But what makes Melching's Star Wars mention so funny is the fact that it came as a surprise. Filoni didn't warn Melching that he would be the inspiration behind the Ugnaught ahead of time. Melching was brainstorming in the Star Wars writers' room when Filoni mischievously revealed that Melching would be permanently enshrined in canon as a lovable, slightly cranky space pirate, and the joke ensured that Melching's name would forever live on in the hands of of Hondo's favorite accomplice. .

The joke is also a satisfying investment for Filoni, whose own arrival in the Star Wars Universe was a similar surprise. While working on an equally beloved show in the mid-2000s, Avatar: The Last AirbenderFiloni got the call that would change his life when a producer from the new Lucasfilm animation house wanted to meet with him about what would eventually become him. Clone Wars. According to Cinemablend, however, after being teased about his intense love of Star Wars by his peers in the past, Filoni assumed the call was fake and was later surprised by a hiring process that included an interview in person with George Lucas to himself Fortunately, Filoni's success meant that years later he could return the favor, and he couldn't have chosen a better recipient for his sly humor than one of Star Wars' most accomplished writers.


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Steve Melching's prolific career spans several fan-favorite franchises

While Filoni is currently busy developing film and television projects for Star Wars, Melching also has experience writing for other Star Wars properties. In addition to his dedicated time Clone Wars i rebels, the writer also wrote several episodes for Star Wars Resistance and served as a story consultant for the show's second season. In addition, Melching has written several Star Wars books as well as dialogue for several Star Wars video games. But despite the writer's prolific focus on the popular franchise, some of Melching's best work has come from his time outside of the Lucasfilm universe.

He started in television animation until the 92s X-Men: The Animated Series, Melching wrote for several beloved television franchises. He was on the writing staff for Criminally Underrated Transformers Primeand was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his work in 2004 The Batman. In addition, Melching is credited with more modern projects as wide-ranging as the recently launched Netflix. Dota: Dragon's Blood to that of Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy TV series premiered in 2015. Her achievements and contributions across multiple platforms speak to a career steeped in a deep love of storytelling, and her writing has appeared so often. He has undoubtedly shaped the lives of millions of fans without them even knowing it.

Given that impact, Melching's inclusion in Star Wars comes as no surprise. While Melch's character doesn't get much time in the spotlight, he appears in just four episodes of rebels overall, the Ugnaught's impact on the show is not wasted. Melch often accompanies Hondo to provide much-needed comic support as the Ghost crew focuses on their rebel mission, busting many of the main characters in the process, but also takes part in the liberation of Lothal during the series finale. Melch personally helps the Ghost crew defend the planet from Thrawn's orbital bombardment and he heroically wears a patch on his chest as he tries to drive out the Empire.

Like the writer who shares his name, Melch is a largely understated presence whose contributions to Star Wars deserve to be celebrated. Melch is also brave and a bit chaotic, often rushing into an enemy and chasing the credits wherever he can find them, but that's par for the course in George Lucas' space opera universe. Despite Melch's occasional bursts of irritating squealing and preference for hanging out with Hondo over rebellion, the The character shows that he doesn't need to be at the center of the story to be part of his. Even if that part comes from a funny behind-the-scenes joke.

Star Wars Rebels is available to stream on Disney+ in the US



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