Peripheral friendly NPCs are a great resource. They provide an anchor point of familiarity, and become trusted resources who can be used to feed the players little snippets of information.
And once the players start relating to them and caring about them, you have a lever for enemies to take advantage of, with things like threats and hostage situations. Invaluable!
R2-D2: Okay. We're going to go with a double wedge flanking formation.
Admiral Ackbar: Confirmed. Forming up the dragnet.
Wedge: But there's only one of me.
R2-D2: Wedge! Good to have you. I hope you survive the battle again.
C-3PO: You actually care about an NPC?
R2-D2: What, no! I mean...
R2-D2: I'm just roleplay.... No, wait!
Wedge: By the way, I've been scanning for the Lost Orb. I don't think it's up here.
R2-D2: They must have it shielded.
C-3PO: This'll make finding it harder.
Wedge: If we blow up the Moon, we can retrieve it from the wreckage.
R2-D2: Noo! We made that mistake last time, and look where we are now!