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Star Wars’ Fan-Favorite Techno-Archeologist – The Doctor Aphra Breakdown

4 Minute Read
May 17 2022

Doctor Aphra is a characters we all want to see in live action. But who is this rogue archaeologist why does the fandom love her so much?

Doctor Aphra is one of the characters that we’ve been most hoping to see a live-action appearance from. She first jointed the galaxy in 2015’s Darth Vader comics and was such a favorite among fans that she’s gone onto be a title leading character in her own right. Appearing so far exclusively in comics and novels, Doctor Aphra is a character we haven’t seen on any screen, animated or live-action. With all of the recent cameos, fans have been wondering when she would be making her debut. But who is this rogue archaeologist and how did she get the fandom so worked up?

Early Life of Doctor Aphra

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Chelli Lona Aphra was born into a scholarly family in the quiet Second Moon of Thrinittik. Her father studied the Ordu Aspectu, a little known splinter group of the Jedi Order. But after the Great Jedi Purge, he threw himself into his work at the expense of his family and while Chelli was young she and her mother left without him for Arbiflux on the Outer Rim.

While on their own, Chelli’s mother was killed by pirates. The Empire found her and returned Chelli to her father  where she attempted to burn down his home and research while expressing that she may have a few issues now.


Chelli attended the University of Bar’leth where she studied galactic history and archaeology. Here she managed to make enemies more than friends, even of the professor supervising her doctoral candidacy. she would prank classes by slicing into the holoprojectors and mock her professors. But when what she hoped would be a major discovery turned out to be a huge disappointment, it seemed unlikely that she would get her doctorate after all.

Instead Chelli blackmailed her supervising professor. And so she became Doctor Aphra. Sort of.

Working For Darth Vader

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After completing her education, Doctor Aphra did a few odd jobs and got into a bit of trouble. She was detained on Dantooine for attempting to reactivate war surplus droidekas and looting an abandoned rebel base. She also found artifacts from the destroyed Alderaan for a client, but then stole them back – as well as keeping her pay – when she realized he would likely destroy them.

But perhaps nothing compared to working directly for Darth Vader himself. Shortly after stealing and reprograming droids 0-0-0 and BT-1, Doctor Aphra was approached by Darth Vader who was looking to build a small private army of his own without the Emperor’s knowledge. Helping Vader grow his private forces is how she came to work with Black Krrsantan and Bossk. One of the jobs she went on for the Sith Lord brought him the information that the late Senator Amidala had given birth to a son who had been taken by Kenobi and Yoda.

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Of course this job had to come to an end eventually. When Vader felt she had overstepped, he fired her… out of airlock. Into space.

Doctor Aphra was resuced by Krrsantan. BT-1 and 0-0-0 and went on to have her own adventures.

Doctor Aphra After Imperial Employment

Aphra is forever a gray character, driven only by her own whims and need for a paycheck. So when she wasn’t working for Darth Vader, she has also been known to work alongside members of the Rebellion. She even worked with Luke Skywalker to capture Hera Syndulla as an Imperial bargaining chip. She has also gone from being on-the-run from Imperial Captain Magna Tolvan to being in a relationship with her.

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Doctor Aphra is a character that can show up just about anywhere and do just about anything. As long as it suits her needs that day. Any show or movie could conceivably feature a cameo from the rogue archeologist. We just can’t wait to see which one.

What is your favorite Doctor Aphra scene or moment? When do you think she will finally make her on-screen debut? Which of her companions is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Adventuring!

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