The GREEN LANTERN movie's pretty committed to depicting Hal Jordan’s rookie days in the Corps so they correspond to the comics' timeline. Sinestro’s still one of the good guys, sure, but a more impressive measure is Tomar Re breathing and walking and doing all the other delightful that come with being alive. See, the character’s actually been dead for 25 years, now, and that’s remarkable for a comics character. More often, the space between death and resurrection is quick six months. So who is this somewhat aquatic, somewhat avian alien and why's he so important to the mythos of the Green Lantern Corps?
Tomar Re hails from the planet Xudar and patrols Space Sector 2813. He’s a Lantern largely defined by his relationship to these other major Lanterns. He was a friend of Abin Sur’s and he was the first Lantern to welcome Jordan to the Corps and offer acceptance and support when other Lanterns may have treated him brusquely. He trained new recruits like Kilowog so often does and he was one of the Lanterns who investigated the corruption of power that got Sinestro expelled from the Corps. He's sort-of like the ultimate middle man in the GLs.== TEASER ==
Let's take a couple steps back: Tomar Re's relationship with Jordan warrants some more discussion, as it looks like he’ll be serving as one of the Earthman’s mentors in the movie. While the hardcase Kilowog will bust Jordan into shape and the proud Sinestro will likely keep the hotshot humble, Tomar Re seems like he’ll playing good cop and offering Hal some kind perspective on the elegant intricacies of the power ring’s powers. In one of the trailers, we see him demonstrating its ability to create constructs by conjuring what looks like some kind of complex, fractal extrapolation of a Moebius strip. Notably, it’s his voice (provided by Geoffery Rush) that narrates the illustrative explanation of the Corps’ origins in the 3D trailer, suggesting he’ll be taking on some of the “chronicler” duties that Salaak holds in the comics.
To be frank, Tomar Re didn’t actually do that much that’s worth mentioning in the 25 odd years after his debut in GREEN LANTERN #6. Aside from helping expose Sinestro’s corruption, his most notable adventure involved him trying to prevent the destruction of Superman’s home planet, Krypton. Obviously, the mission was a failure, as Tomar Re was blinded by sun rays at a crucial moment and only regained his sight after the planet had completed vaporized.
His next most notable adventure didn’t happen until years later for the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. He perished during a battle with the third-string villain, Goldface, and bequeathed his power ring to John Stewart so he could serve as a Lantern at the same time as Jordan instead of the two Earthmen having to share one ring. Since then, Tomar Re sort-of showed up during the BLACKEST NIGHT storyline when a Black Lantern stole his body to torment current Green Lanterns with the visage of their old friend.
His undead presence there harped on how he’s become more notable for being dead - - for being an example of the risks of a GLs’ lifestyle - - than he has for anything he actually accomplished during his career.