12 Core Franchise Characters Who Weren't Even There At The Beginning

Over 100 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of 12 Core Franchise Characters Who Weren't Even There At The Beginning
Voting Rules
Vote up the most important movie characters who weren't part of the original cast.

Not every major character in a film franchise is there from the beginning. Sometimes, breakout characters aren't introduced until the sequels. Over time, everything gets mixed up in our minds and we could swear on the graves of our childhood dogs that these characters were always there... even though they weren't.

Franchise staples like Yoda and the Emperor didn't debut in the original Star Wars, but in The Empire Strikes Back. Jason Voorhees? The infamous slasher of the Friday the 13th series? He didn't show up until the second installment. And it may seem like Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson have been hanging with the Fast & Furious crew from the very beginning, but they didn't start driving recklessly until 2 Fast 2 Furious. So, get ready to take a trip down memory lane and vote up the essential characters you can't believe didn't appear in the original flick.

  • The Friday the 13th film franchise essentially went dormant in 2009, but don't discount how much of an impact it has made on pop culture over the years. A lot of kids grew up afraid of hockey masks because of Jason Voorhees and his homicidal tendencies. With 10 original movies, a crossover with A Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger, as well as a reboot film back in 2009, Friday the 13th is one of the premier horror staples of Hollywood filmmaking. Alas, Jason wasn't even there at the beginning...

    One of the big horror movie film questions asked at trivia nights held in local bars around the country involves identifying the killer of 1980's Friday the 13th. Many people will answer Jason, when it was, in fact, Jason's mother who was the slasher in said slasher flick. Jason makes an appearance as a rotting corpse in a dream sequence, but he would have to wait until Friday the 13th Part 2 the very next year to start slaying his way into the hearts of Americans. And he didn't even have his iconic mask then! Just a bag that made him look like a walking scarecrow, which is much less menacing.

    77 votes
  • Puss in Boots is an essential character to the ever-expanding Shrek franchise. He's (mostly) voiced by the charismatic Antonio Banderas. He has his own spinoff movie, Puss in Boots, released in 2011. He has his own Netflix series, The Adventures of Puss in Boots, which lasted for six seasons over three years. He has an "interactive special," Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale, which also appeared on Netflix in 2017. He's getting another film, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, sometime in the future. 

    Alas, if you think back to the original Shrek way back in 2001, Puss in Boots was nowhere to be found. That's right, the animated character known for being an important part of the Shrek franchise wasn't in the first film. Puss in Boots has come a long way! He even helped host Jeopardy! at one point in time.

    71 votes
  • Yoda - Introduced In 'The Empire Strikes Back'
    Photo: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back / 20th Century Fox

    The Star Wars franchise certainly isn't short on famous characters. The venerable sci-fi series has some of the most iconic characters in the history of Hollywood. Luke Skywalker. Princess Leia. Han Solo. Chewbacca. Darth Vader. R2-D2. Even people who have never seen a single Star Wars film know those names and get the references. George Lucas's creation is that ubiquitous. 

    And one of the best-known of them all, the delightfully weird and wise Yoda, didn't even come onto the scene until the 1980 sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. Director Irvin Kershner, writers Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan, and Lucas himself, as well as Frank Oz and the entire puppeteering team, brought the goofy little green sage to life and he's been a pop-culture icon ever since. Not bad for a small puppet with hardly any screen time.

    81 votes
  • As far as long-lasting film franchises go, the James Bond series is in a league of its own. Beginning with 1962's Dr. No and continuing on to 2021's No Time To Die, 007 has been a major box-office draw for six decades now. And who has been there outfitting the superspy with the latest gadgets, no matter how ridiculous? Q, of course. Well... Q hasn't exactly been there the whole time, if we're being exact. 

    Technically, a version of the character known as "Major Boothroyd" was played by Peter Burton in Dr. No, but Q is unquestionably Desmond Llewelyn's character, and he didn't debut as Q until 1963's From Russia with Love. Llewelyn continued on as 007's purveyor of gear until 1999's The World Is Not Enough. John Cleese replaced Llewelyn as a new "Q" in Die Another Day after showing up in The World Is Not Enough as Llewelyn's assistant.

    Ben Whishaw took over as Q for Daniel Craig's Bond in Skyfall as a younger version of the character and continued in the role for the remainder of Craig's tenure.

    48 votes
  • At the turn of the century, the Austin Powers series was one of the premier Hollywood comedy series. You might've forgotten this, as Mike Myers took a step back from the limelight after The Cat in the Hat and The Love Guru weren't exactly the hits they were supposed to be. But there was a time when Myers was on top of the world thanks to Shrek and his James Bond spoof franchise. Seriously, the doofy superspy was everywhere. There were multiple video games, a collectible card game, and even a planned HBO cartoon series.

    And though there are numerous beloved characters from the trilogy, including Powers himself, Dr. Evil, Frau Farbissina, Basil Exposition, and Scott Evil, it is hard to argue that the most famous of them all was Mini-Me. Which makes it weird to think that Verne Troyer's little version of Dr. Evil didn't appear until the 1999 sequel, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

    64 votes
  • 6
    66 VOTES

    Jessie - Introduced In 'Toy Story 2'

    Pixar really knocked it out of the park with the Toy Story series. With first-class computer animation, top-notch storytelling, and a truly lovable cast of characters, the venerable children's franchise has been more popular than anything Pixar's parent company has put out in the past few decades... well, anything that isn't Frozen, that is. Woody, Buzz, Bo-Peep, Mr. Potato Head, Rex, Slinky Dog, and many more have wormed their way into our hearts in four fantastic films. However, the character with arguably the most affecting backstory wasn't introduced until Toy Story 2.

    Jessie's rambunctious personality throughout Toy Story 2 belies her traumatic past; when viewers finally get to see her origin story, the tears begin to flow. Thanks to "When She Loved Me," written by Randy Newman and performed by Sarah McLachlan, parents and kids across the globe got to have a nice theater-cry together back in 1999. Jessie became an integral character for the series from there on out, joining Woody as a member of Andy's toys and, eventually, Bonnie's toys, as well.

    66 votes