I believe you are thinking of the Lorentz velocity boost (and rotation) transformations as the 4x4 matrices which leave invariant the metric diag(1,-1,-1,-1) (ie: they leave invariant the proper time). In this sense, perhaps they seem secondary to the SR principle of invariance of the proper time.
However, these 4x4 matrices are just one representation (called the fundamental rep) of the Lorentz Group O(1,3) or its covering group SL(4,C). There are many other representations by matrices of different dimensions. EVERY particle or object in the universe transforms under rotations and boosts as some dimensional representation of the Lorentz group. You are probably most familiar with this for rotations (subgroup of the Lorentz group). Here each different dimensional representation is labelled by the spin of the particle being rotated. For example, a spin j=1/2 particle has (2j+1)=2 states and is rotated by 2x2 matrices. There is nothing more fundamental in physics than this. Some purely abstract math SL(2,C), can be put in a correspondence with how every particle in the universe must behave! This isn't even an equation. There was no formula to tease out. For example, there was no equation to pull out of a hat by setting curvature equal to stress-energy density because it gave Newton's law in the limit.
Whereas understanding how every object in the universe transforms under rotations and boosts (a major part of quantum mechanics) is a fundamental big deal, the Lorentz group may be just the tip of the group iceberg. Rotations and boosts are not the only continuous transformations that can be done to an object. We also can do strain, space translations, and time translations. The Poincare group extends the Lorentz group by adding abelian translations. If a different group were used in which translations did not commute with each other, perhaps it would be more interesting. Raising and lowering operators would be available and much like non-commuting rotations provided the quantization of angular momentum, non-commuting translations would provide the quantization of mass. Yes, Lorentz transformations are very fundamental for physics.