When Disney purchased Lucasfilm and announced new movies were on the way, all of the stories of this so-called Expanded Universe were invalidated, paving the way for the new, original stories that will be told on the big screen.
While a few tidbits of trivia from the Expanded Universe have been referenced in the new official products, the large majority of the stories, characters, and locations invented by all of those writers between 1983 and 2012 are no longer part of the official Star Wars canon. This led to some serious heartbreak for long-time Star Wars fans, as they had to bid farewell to the vast continuing story they knew and loved. That being said, here are 10 things in Star Wars EU canon that Disney erased.
10 The Emperor, Reborn
Luke Skywalker visits Byss, a Deep Core world enveloped in the power of the dark side. There, he came face-to-face with the Emperor reborn. He reveals that for many years, he took to transferring his mind and consciousness to clone bodies to attain immortality. However, the clones were one crucial step from long life; they were more ravaged by the dark side than sustained by the Force.
Luckily, Palpatine had numerous clones to laugh in the face of death itself, allowing him to rule indefinitely. It would be here that Luke would finally be tempted by the dark side.
9 Rogue And Wraith Squadron
Wedge Antilles is a lesser-known character from the movies: he’s the only Rebel pilot other than Luke to survive both Death Star battles and the Battle of Hoth. This legendary pilot became a pivotal character in later Star Wars stories. Wedge led the Rogue Squadron after Luke went on his Jedi training. This elite force of pilots were pivotal in nearly all of the major battles against the Empire. His other task force, Wraith Squadron, was a team of commandos with pilot training. Aside from the main characters and various Jedi, these two squadrons are the coolest heroes in the Star Wars mythos.
8 Boba Fett Escapes The Sarlacc
In A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett, the fate of the Sarlacc’s victims are explored as they are slowly digested over the centuries, and especially of the creature’s first victim, Susejo.
Inside the Sarlacc, Fett is immobilized and his armor heavily damaged by the creature’s digestive system, Eventually, by goading Susejo, Fett makes the Sarlacc contract around his jetpack, causing it to explode, and freeing the bounty hunter from the Sarlacc’s grasp. He then fires concussion grenades into the wall of the beast, blowing a hole in its interior, creating a means of escape. Boba Fett escapes, leaving the Sarlacc (that somehow survives) and goes into the Tatooine Desert with a broken arm, destroyed armor, and many injuries.
7 The Solo Children
Just as they do in the movies, Leia eventually married that scruffy-looking nerf herder Han Solo, and their kids would go on to have their own adventures. First were the twins, Jacen and Jaina Solo. Not long after was their younger brother, Anakin Solo. All three were sensitive to the Force, and while they were young this made them tempting targets for abduction for Imperial forces looking to find a new Emperor. Whether this is better or worse than Ben Solo’s arc in the movies remains to be seen.
6 The Death Of Chewbacca
Chewbacca, Han Solo, and his youngest son Anakin were sent by Lando Calrissian to pick up a shipment on Sernpidal. When they arrived, the Solos and Chewbacca met an old man, the former mayor of Sernpidal City, who informed them that Dobido was headed on a collision course with Sernpidal and that it was orbiting its host quickly, dropping closer to Sernpidal at regular intervals. Through a series of unfortunate events, Chewbacca risks his life to save Anakin Solo’s and perishes.
5 Kyle Katarn
Kyle was the hero of the Dark Forces game, and would later be fleshed out by novels. The sequels, however, showed his journey to become a Jedi Knight, where he fought against some of the Emperor’s former henchmen and would-be Sith. It’s later revealed that he was one of the guys who stole the Imperial plans for the first Death Star.
The coolest thing about Katarn’s adventures was that they weaved into the bigger stories of the novels. He ended up studying the Force, and would go on to be one of the masters in Luke’s re-founded Jedi Order. It made the whole universe seem bigger and made you wonder how many other heroes were having their own adventures every bit as exciting as Luke Skywalker’s.
4 Scary Alien Villains
When the Star Wars EU wanted to make things interesting, they would bring in aliens. Take the Ssi-Ruuk, who were like evil human-sized Velociraptors. Their modus operandi was to capture people and use some seriously evil technology to steal their life-force, which would power their war machines. It gets worse with the Yuuzhan Vong, an entire race of pain-obsessed, technology-hating beings from another galaxy. They were not only immune to the Force, but they enjoyed genetically engineering living weapons. These guys were the main antagonists after the Imperial Remnant finally declared a truce with the New Republic, and their invasion decimated the entire galactic population.
3 The New Republic
In the novels, after the Emperor is defeated, the Rebel Alliance changed gears and set out to restore freedom and democracy to the galaxy.
There are still years of conflict with the remnants of Imperial power, but it isn’t long before the Alliance formally established the New Republic, freeing many sectors of the galaxy from Imperial tyranny.
2 Mara Jade
Mara Jade starts out as an elite assassin for the Emperor. Following the Emperor’s death, she found work with a smuggling group and endeavored to carry out the Emperor’s last telepathic command: kill Luke Skywalker. Luke helped Mara escape the Emperor’s posthumous mental control and the two became unlikely friends. He began to train her in the ways of the Force, and eventually they became romantically involved. After years of adventures, the two Jedi were even married and had a son, Ben Skywalker, who also became a Jedi.
1 Grand Admiral Thrawn
Thrawn, a blue-skinned, red-eyed alien, was the Empire’s greatest tactician. Upon his return from subjugating the distant Unknown Region of the galaxy, he found that the Empire had been defeated, and went on to lead a devastating war against the Rebels, which he nearly won.
Thrawn was cold and calculating, much like an autocratic Sherlock Holmes. He is perhaps the most popular Expanded Universe character, and his introduction as leader of the remaining Imperial forces helped give nuance to the Empire. Sure, they were still the bad guys. But some of them were sympathetic, and more concerned with law and order than just being oppressive tyrants.