When Disney purchased Lucasfilm from Star Wars creator George Lucas, it didn’t take long for a decision to be made on what is and what is not official Star Wars canon. At that moment, everything but the six existing theatrical films and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie and television series were thrown out. Popular books, video games, and comics were no longer part of the Expanded Universe, but instead referred to as Legends.
But in the creation of new Star Wars media, Disney hasn’t been afraid to bring popular Legends characters to the forefront. Grand Admiral Thrawn, for example, made his debut in the third season of Star Wars Rebels. Recently, Lucasfilm executive Leland Chee has teased that more Legends characters could be on their way into official canon, as well.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular characters from Legends that diehard Star Wars fans are absolutely dying to see return.
Quite possibly the most popular Star Wars Legends novel is Shadows of the Empire, which spawned a game of the same name in 1996. The book takes place during the time period following Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and in part, it looks at Darth Vader’s search for Luke Skywalker. But another character emerges in Prince Xizor, the head of the Black Sun crime syndicate.
Xizor plays a major role in the book, attempting to get to Skywalker and murder him before Vader can track the boy down. That, in Xizor’s mind, would help him gain favor over Vader with the Emperor. This specific time period has yet to be explored in the new canon, so there’s room for Xizor to return in some capacity.
Once a Jedi known as A’Sharad Hett, Darth Krayt lived at the time of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and fled to Tatooine to hide following Order 66. Hett later changed locations and fell to the dark side, becoming a Sith Lord and taking on the name Darth Krayt. This portion of the story feels as though it could be relevant, and Disney hasn’t shied away from bringing previously unknown Jedi into this time period — such as Caleb Dume, aka Kanan Jarrus.
Keeping Krayt as a fallen Jedi that was hiding after Order 66 could work, and it could have implications beyond a novel or comic. What if Krayt hid in the Outer Rim, only to return post-Empire to lead the First Order as Supreme Leader Snoke? After what happened to Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the reveal would probably be way less exciting. Even still, Krayt could easily be reincorporated into canon in some way.
One of the most popular characters in Legends is Mara Jade, also known as Mara Jade-Skywalker. Originally, the character was a member of the Emperor’s Hand, a group of Force-sensitive warriors tasked with running Emperor Palpatine’s errands. That group is no longer canon, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be brought back. We’ve seen countless times in recent comics that Palpatine had no issue keeping backup plans beyond his apprentice, Darth Vader.
Jade is best known for having married Luke Skywalker in the post-Return of the Jedi era, and that almost certainly would not be the case if she were brought into canon. But as a bad-guy-turned-good character, there is still plenty of story to tell.
Before you get all pedantic on us and point out that Darth Plagueis is currently a part of official Star Wars canon, let’s take a deeper look. The novel Darth Plagueis, written by James Luceno and published early in 2012, is the version of Plagueis that many diehard fans think of. But that story, surrounding Plagueis and his relationship with his apprentice, Darth Sidious, is now only Legends.
In fact, the only canon reference to Plagueis that exists is the brief story that Palpatine tells Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. While it’s implied that Palpatine, himself, is the apprentice that killed Darth Plagueis, we really are only assuming information. Re-introducing Darth Plagueis into canon with a new novel, comic, or other form of media is a must for Disney.
Raised in Imperial indoctrination, Shira Brie rose up the ranks of the Empire until she was well-trusted by Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. Vader tasked her with infiltrating the Rebel Alliance following the destruction of the Death Star, and she impressively did so while rising all the way to the rank of Captain. Brie even earned the trust of Luke Skywalker.
Although the rest of her story gets a bit wonky, this portion is certainly salvageable. Having an Imperial infiltrate the rebellion with the purpose of bringing information directly to Vader is new territory.
Another character from Shadows of the Empire is Dash Rendar, who served as the hotshot-pilot-stand-in for Han Solo while the scoundrel was frozen in carbonite. Rendar was the major protagonist of the video game, although in the novel he served mostly a supporting character. He’s a smuggler and was hired by the rebellion to find the whereabouts of Solo. Later, he went on a mission with Luke Skywalker and many Bothans to steal the plans for the second Death Star.
It’s unlikely that Rendar’s story could be told exactly as it was in Shadows of the Empire. But again, this era of time is still mostly untouched by the new canon. Having Rendar be a smuggler-turned-rebel with a hand in stealing the second Death Star’s plans would make for an interesting comic series.
Bounty hunter Xasha often worked with Boba Fett around the same timeline of the original trilogy. The character was more than just a partner to Fett, but also a love interest. Nothing is confirmed yet, but there have been rumors of a Boba Fett movie being in the works for a few years.
Having Xasha as a supporting character in such a movie would make a lot of sense. It would add layers to a character that we’ve only previously seen on the big screen as a cold, faceless bounty hunter and — unfortunately — an overexcited child.
Finally, we’re starting to dig into diehard Star Wars fans’ favorite era: Knights of the Old Republic (also known as KOTOR). Darth Malgus fought as a Sith Lord in the Great Galactic War, and is best-known from the KOTOR video game that was released on Xbox in 2003.
Malgus is perhaps one of the most interesting pre-saga era characters ever created. Bringing Malgus into the fold opens the door to a KOTOR movie trilogy, or possibly just a series of novels or comics.
Legends character Guri was the prototype in an Imperial research project that created human-like droids. She looked every bit like a human, even having functioning organs. Prince Xizor purchased her, and she became a trained assassin for the Black Sun, as well as a personal bodygaurd for Xizor.
It’s not totally necessary that Guri come back into canon specifically for the time period between ESB and ROTJ. In fact, a novel, comic series, or even TV show following Xizor, Guri, and the dealings of the Black Sun would be worthwhile.
During the timeline just before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: A New Hope, Tycho Celchu was a loyal Imperial. However, Celchu’s home planet was Alderaan. Upon learning that the Empire had used the Death Star to blow up his home planet, killing everyone he ever loved, Celchu wanted out. He defected to the Rebel Alliance, where he eventually joined Rogue Squadron and became good friends with Wedge Antilles.
This is an interesting character all of his own and could even be worth a future stand-alone movie. But that probably would only work if it meant bringing back Wedge, Rogue Squadron, and some other familiar rebels.
One of the most popular Legends characters is Galen Marek, also known as Starkiller. In the video game The Force Unleashed (and its follow-up, The Force Unleashed 2), Marek’s father is killed by Darth Vader and the boy is taken as the dark lord’s secret apprentice. Marek grows up in the service of Vader, and the pair even attempt to overthrow the Emperor. Eventually, Marek gets his head on straight, turns against his master, and becomes a Jedi.
That’s leaving out a lot, but frankly, the new canon wouldn’t allow for much of Starkiller’s story. His Jedi Master, Rahm Kota, doesn’t exist in service of the rebellion as far as we know. But a novel or comic about Marek raised as Vader’s secret apprentice would be pretty freakin’ cool. Maybe even someday a stand-alone movie based around Darth Vader?
Another character we want to see again is Imperial officer turned rebel, Juno Eclipse. She exists in the same timeline as Galen Marek, and eventually becomes his love interest. A stand-alone movie surrounding Vader and Marek probably wouldn’t have much room for her character. But a novel that re-imagines the Starkiller story could heavily feature his relationship with Eclipse.
This would all fall in the timeline currently occupied by Star Wars Rebels, so it’s a bit dicey. But if there’s a way to fit Marek and Eclipse into canon, Disney should go for it.
Preceding the aforementioned Darth Malgus by a few hundred years, Darth Nihilus reigned as a Sith Lord during the time period following the Jedi Civil War. When Palpatine comments about the Sith ruling the galaxy in Revenge of the Sith, the time period surrounding Nihilus is what he is referencing. He makes his first appearance in Legends in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, and comes up again in Darth Plagueis and other Legends literature.
Bringing back Nihilus, like Malgus, Krayt, and other Sith Lords, means creating new Star Wars media diving into the time period well before Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. It would take a major leap of faith from Disney, but there’s a large faction of fans who would love to see it.
Another Force sensitive character, Kyle Katarn, also got his start working for the Empire. Upon learning that his parents were killed by the Empire, not the rebels as he had been led to believe, Katarn defected and became a mercenary. He later discovered his abilities in the Force, becoming a Jedi shortly following the destruction of the second Death Star and training under Luke Skywalker.
The era following the end of Return of the Jedi has been explored somewhat through the Bloodline novels, but Luke and his Jedi academy have yet to be fleshed out. There is room for a character like Katarn, if Disney is willing to bring him into canon with several modifications to his story.
Almost certainly the most popular Legends character among diehard Star Wars fans is Darth Revan. He was trained first as a Jedi, taking part in the Madalorian Wars and living through a similar time period as Darth Nihilus. Revan later becomes a Sith, of course, and first appears in the Knights of the Old Republic video game.
Let’s just go ahead and say that every major character from KOTOR should be reincorporated back into canon. Rian Johnson, the writer and director of The Last Jedi, has already been gifted a brand new Star Wars trilogy with which to work. Maybe Johnson will dive into the Old Republic era and bring back Revan, Nihilus, Darth Malak, Darth Sion, and so many other fan favorites.
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