There’s a lot more to Star Wars than the nine movies in the Skywalker saga. In the decades since George Lucas created the sci-fi franchise, a myriad of comics, TV shows, books and video games have worked to fill in the gaps left by the series’ main feature films. But much of the media that made up the Star Wars extended universe was made non-canon once Disney acquired Lucasfilm (and the Star Wars franchise) in 2012, meaning that scores of beloved stories were thrown out the window (as far as continuity was concerned). ). Recent projects have attempted to revive ideas birthed in the old Star Wars canon (collectively known as Star Wars Legends) bringing previously overlooked characters like Boba Fett and Grand Admiral Thrawn onto center stage. A more recent example of this is Disney Plus series Obi-Wan Kenobi, which promises to realize a version of the stories regarding the Jedi Knight’s time in exile in the years between the prequel trilogy and Lucas’ original set of films.
But there are a number of other characters and tales from the expanded universe that deserve the attention of Star Wars fans today. Their non-canon status hasn’t stopped them from being thought of as compelling or inventive additions to Star Wars lore and, with the franchise setting its sights on overlooked or understudied characters, who knows, maybe a few of them have a shot of returning. to the franchise’s expanding continuity.
According to Legends canon, Darth Vader trained a secret apprentice. Debuting in the action-adventure game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Galen Marek was the son of a Jedi Knight that Vader hunted after the Jedi purge. Taking the boy under his wing, Vader turned Galen into his secret weapon, sending him out on clandestine missions to track down and assassinate Jedi.
Galen Marek is more commonly known by his codename, Starkiller, a name used for the First Order’s base / superweapon in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His role as Vader’s Jedi hunter has also been taken by the Sith Inquisitors, like Moses Ingram‘s Reva. But there’s still room to explore the possibility of Galen’s appearance, especially in the ongoing Darth Vader comic series.
In Star Wars Legends, Mara Jade is Luke Skywalker’s love interest and, later, wife. Once an operative for Emperor Palpatine himself, Mara left the Empire and eventually found herself allying with Luke Skywalker and his New Jedi Order. She and Luke would later have a child.
The new movies leave much of Luke’s life following the fall of the Empire unexplored. But with shows like The Book of Boba Fett dedicating some screen time to Skywalker’s story, maybe the writers will be willing to focus on some of Luke’s other relationships.
Darth Revan is the pillar on which Star Wars: The Old Republic video game series stands. While generally impactful and commercially successful, Star Wars video games (those both in and out of current continuity) and their characters tend to be largely underappreciated. And while non-canon as of the writing of this article, Revan fits the bill for one of the coolest and most interesting force users from all of Star Wars lore.
Once a Jedi who turned to the dark side, Revan is best known for the creation of a Sith Empire. Later betrayed by his ambitious apprentice, Revan’s mind was wiped, commencing an arduous redemption that would eventually lead him back to the light.
Nomi Da-Boda was once an ordinary woman in love. She married the Jedi Andur Sunrider, and together they had a daughter. But Andur was later murdered by criminals, leaving Nomi alone and grief-stricken, but forced to defend her child from the thugs. Both her loss and her survival catalyzed her journey to become a Jedi. She rose through the Order’s ranks and later became the Grand Master of the Jedi Order.
Recent films, both in and out of the franchise, have shown a promising future for strong female characters. Nomi Sunrider’s multifaceted character – at once a mother, wife and highly capable Jedi Knight – would make her a complex hero, to be sure, but a welcome one. Nurturing, wise and powerful, Sunrider would serve as a fresh and interesting protagonist the likes of which no main Star Wars project has seen before.
Another character from The Old Republic series, the assassin droid known as HK-47 is a favorite among fans. Suffering from memory loss himself, HK-47 was once an assassin for the amnesiac Darth Revan. He would later reunite with Revan as one of the newly-redeemed Jedi’s most trusted companions.
Beloved for his irrepressible personality, HK-47 would probably rank the highest on Star Wars’ lengthening list of endearing droid companions if not for his non-canon status. It would be a shame if this quirky (if not murderous) bucket of bolts never saw the light of day again.
Mandalore the Indomitable
The name of Mandalore the Indomitable might sound familiar to modern Star Wars fans. This Legends character shares his name with the people from which Pedro Pascal‘s Din Djarin, the title character of The Mandalorian, hails. Indeed, Mandalore is a title belonging to the warlord and leader of the Mandalorian clans. In the old expanded universe, Mandalore the Indomitable was one of the great scourges of the old Republic.
Famed for his combat skills that make him as savage as any of the Star Wars universe’s most ferocious beasts, it would be foolish for the franchise not to reintroduce Mandalore the Indomitable in some form. In the same way that The Mandalorian opened the door for series and films tackling non-Jedi stories, Mandalore’s revitalization would be an excellent way to ease fans into some of the franchise’s older, more brutal, conflicts.
Imagine watching one of the new Star Wars series only to be introduced to a villain made of pure Force energy, a spirit occupying the armor, mask and robes of a Sith lord. This is exactly what it would be like if Disney were to reintroduce Darth Nihilus to the new continuity.
Nihilus, an almost-vampiric dark side force user, was an Sith lord active during the old republic. Created as one of the main antagonists of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Nihilus’ story and origins were expanded upon in various comics and other supplementary material. Should Disney decide to finally leave the time period around Palpatine’s Galactic Empire, Nihilus would make the perfect villain for the heroes of the Old Republic.
The protagonist of Star Wars: Dark Forces, a first-person shooter game made in 1995, Kyle Katarn is one of the expanded universe’s most compelling fan-favorite characters. Once an Imperial Stormtrooper who defected to the Rebel Alliance, Katarn later learned of his force sensitivity, eventually becoming a Jedi Knight.
Parts of Katarn’s story might sound familiar, as they seem to have formed the basis for the character of John Boyega‘s Finn. Both characters were former Stormtroopers who allied themselves with the Rebellion, and the Rise of Skywalker even hints at the possibility of Finn’s force sensitivity, yet Katarn remains non-canon. But if Disney ever wanted to explore another character’s experience of Imperial defection, Kyle Katarn remains a preestablished and already-treasured option.
NEXT: What is the High Republic in the Expanded Star Wars Universe?