In March last year, I wrote a blog about the Star Wars Expanded Universe and whether Disney should keep it or not. By now, we know that everything we’ve been used to is no longer canon and the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released. I want to touch upon my favourite moments of the EU and the ones I’m happy to see go. If you want to catch up on what I said last year, visit this post first.
First things first, the trailer
Now, I don’t think JJ Abrams did too badly with the Star Trek films from the last few years. People have their issues with both of them but I quite enjoy them – they’re nothing on the originals but they’re not trying to be. Given that approach, and how well Disney has done with Marvel, I’m fairly hopeful that the next Star Wars film will be okay, at the very least.
They can’t be worse than the prequels (hopefully) and the trailer looks dark and edgy. The story will always be a conflicting point but we have very little information to go on right now. Eleven months to go but I’m hoping the next trailer will keep the momentum going.
My favourite Expanded Universe moments
I could go on about a lot of favourite moments but I’m going to choose some of my favourites. If you haven’t read a lot or are up to date, then be warned there are spoilers but since it’s not canon, does that matter to you now? Either way, here they are:
Grand Admiral Thrawn from Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy of books was probably one of the best villains outside of the original trilogy. The story made sense given the background of the Empire and their xenophobic attitudes – although this did slowly change over the years – but you really felt that Thrawn could deliver the Empire some long-term success and my only regret is that he didn’t last longer.
The Yuuzahn Vong from the New Jedi Order series of books aren’t always popular. It was a long series, seventeen books or so, but it was the kind of shakeup the Expanded Universe needed. Their fanaticism and resistance to the Force asked the heroes and readers some big questions and the characters become a lot more real in the process. Finally, this is the point where we actually see some beloved characters die and this was a shock from the first book.
The X-Wing series of books are some of my favourites in the whole of the Expanded Universe, following the adventures of Rogue and Wraith Squadrons. They are much funnier than most of the other novels and focus on a different set of characters, although our heroes do show up from time to time. Remember the Ewok pilot fiasco? No? you need to read the ninth book then. Genius – Yub yub!
Boba Fett! What’s not to love about this guy? From being swallowed by the Sarlacc to becoming a living legend, the guy has seen more of the galaxy than anyone else and still comes out on top. He might be getting on a bit but that doesn’t stop him from being a ruthless killer, fearless warrior and commanding leader. He even gave one Jedi a helping hand to stop a tyrant – so he does have a soft side. Hopefully, he’ll be just as legendary in the future.
What am I happy to see go?
There are still more spoilers here:
While the New Jedi Order did something valuable and important for the Expanded Universe, the first book killed Chewbacca! I get why they did it – and to be fair, it’s a pretty epic way to go (death by moon!) – but I’m still happy that he’s back. It tied up his story very well but who isn’t going to be happy at seeing that walking carpet back again? Exactly. Mixed feelings on this one.
Mara Jade was a very interesting character and she has developed the most throughout all characters in the Expanded Universe. From wanting to kill Luke Skywalker to eventually working with him, marrying him and having a kid with him, she’s been on quite a ride. Whether we’ll ever see Mara Jade again is anyone’s guess but at least now she isn’t dead – although she doesn’t really exist right now either.
Han and Leia’s kids really had it rough. One died during the Yuuzahn Vong war, one fell to darkness and redeemed herself and then the other one became a full on Sith Lord. Jacen Solo’s descent to darkness almost mirrored his grandfather;s, which was probably the point. It was an interesting way to come full circle again, especially as he was the one most people guessed would become the ‘next Luke.’ It might have been tragic if not predictable – especially for the person who had to stop him. One guess there.
So, what’s next? Will there be more books to come? Are they going to continue this story or follow from the new films? What about new games and such? There are a lot of questions without answers right now and I doubt we’ll get any serious answers until at least after the film is released in December. Any thoughts or ideas, please let me know. Got any favourite or least liked parts of the EU? Share them with us.