The first entry in my series of blogs discussing the inspirations behind my creations will focus on the Gungan smuggler, Ysa Bandas.
Ysa came about as response to the negative reactions Jar Jar and all Gungans received after Episode I was released. I'm not ashamed to admit that I actually like Jar Jar. I read the novelization of The Phantom Menace before the movie was in theatres, as did my friend. Afterward, we both agreed that Jar Jar was a really funny character. However, I noticed that, as time wore on after the movie came out, my friend had jumped on the "We Hate Jar Jar" band wagon.
When it came time to roll up characters for a Rebellion Era game I was planning to run, all my players scoffed at having a Gungan character. My response was to make a badass Gungan who would save the characters' lives early on; sort of a Gungan Han Solo. This also gave me a rather interesting mental image of the character: Han Solo's signature outfit on a Gungan.
To really get the point across that Ysa was not a joke, I made him an excellent pilot and gave him two blasters to use. Although my players groaned when they found out their transportation off world was going to be a Gungan, they soon warmed to him and saw him as a valuable member of the team, despite his language ticks.
Ysa's ship, the Bi-Centennial Lemon came from the Animaniacs/Pinky and the Brain's parody of Star Wars. I just liked the idea of a ship that really wasn't all that great; it allowed for the possibility that something could go wrong despite careful planning and execution.