Some very big news recently came out of the world of Star Wars and that is fan favorite character Grand Admiral Thrawn is now officially canon. After Disney purchased the property from George Lucas they completely abandoned the never-officially-confirmed canon of the Expanded Universe; essentially rendering decades of books, comics and games irrelevant. As a lifelong Star Wars fan, I was initially hurt—that is until I started to read the new books and the comics Marvel has been pumping out and have found them to be outstanding. Disney has made it their priority to make a single, cohesive canon that isn’t filled with all the retcons, mistakes and silliness that was in the unofficial EU and their work is showing and paying off as we are seeing comics referencing the books and now we are seeing characters from the cartoons make the jump to live action with Forest Whitaker’s character in Rogue One being confirmed as Saw Gerrera from The Clone Wars.
However, the inclusion of Grand Admiral Thrawn to the official canon—making his debut on Rebels and in a book from the creator of the man himself; Timothy Zahn—has the potential to open a lot of doors and bring in a lot of characters from the EU to be utilized anew. Here’s a list of 10 that I personally would love to see and in no particular order.
10. Dash Rendar
Sure, Dash is pretty much a Han Solo clone who wore what looks like your Grandmother’s quilt around his abdomen but Shadows of the Empire was a major event during the days of the EU and it churned out a cool book, an epic soundtrack and an amazing game. Adjust Dash and make him less of a Han wannabe and maybe turn him into a Han rival that ran afoul of the smuggler and his Wookiee during the events after Han and Leia split and you might have yourself a new use for the character.
9. Borsk Fey’lya
A part of me only wants Borsk Fey’lya included because it means we will finally see a Bothan and get to see what the hell they actually look like. In the EU, there was a couple of ways they looked that varied from dog-looking, horse-appearing and, the more lazy one, just a humanoid-like guy with pointy ears, pointy eyebrows and werewolf amounts of facial hair. In reality though, Fey’lya holds a lot of potential for a strong political figure in the new canon. His ascension to power in the EU often left him with many enemies in his wake and was a thorn in the side of the Jedi Order and Princess Leia. Despite his often antagonistic ways, he went out as a hero in an act of suicide while trying to stop as many Yuuzhan Vong as he could during their invasion of Coruscant. It’s hard to figure out what current era Fey’lya could be best worked in to but since the books are starting to tell the tales of the rising New Republic, I don’t think there’s any shame in adding him to the political theater that he once was a player in.
8. Talon Karrde
Another character created by Timothy Zahn and introduced during the Thrawn Trilogy, Karrde was a smuggler and an information broker that made sporadic appearances during the EU. Karrde lived by a strong code of honor and was always playing the role of the hero and helped out the characters we know and love when they needed it. Karrde, most likely, would be a perfect fit for the series Rebels and might even benefit from retooling him to be more of a morally and ethically ambiguous character; somehow who Ezra and the gang can never fully trust.
Lumiya is a character in the EU who had a long and ridiculously convoluted and expansive backstory. She began life as Shira Elan Colla Brie, a Force sensitive individual who worked for the Rebellion but was actually a double agent for the Empire out to disgrace Luke Skywalker. Though her mission was a success, she suffered injuries and was reborn the cybernetic Lumiya and became one of The Emperor’s Hands. Eventually, Lumiya would become a threat in her own right and would become a major thorn in the sides of Luke Skywalker and his New Jedi Order during the final years of the EU. Lumiya would be a perfect addition to the era of The Resistance and The First Order; possibly even a member of The Knights of Ren. Although she started as a completely forgettable character, she would eventually go on to be a legitimate threat and antagonist and I could easily see her working against Skywalker again before the events in The Force Awakens.
6. Corran Horn
Horn was a member of Rogue Squadron, an officer in the Corellian Security Force and a Jedi in Luke Skywalker’s New Jedi Order. The dude was cool and would go on to play a big part as a Jedi and would have a very emotional arc during the war with the Yuuzhan Vong. Additionally, he had a pretty cool wife with a very cool father (both of which are deserving of being brought into the new canon, as well). Horn would play a fantastic part and would fit in perfectly in the events that led to Luke Skywalker’s self-imposed banishment prior to the events of The Force Awakens. I can already see him as one of Luke’s first Jedi and seeing him standing up valiantly against The Knights of Ren.
5. Galen Marek
We may already be getting a man named Galen in Rogue One but there was a Galen that came along not too long ago. Galen Marek, aka Starkiller (that name sounds familiar in the lore of Star Wars and now in the official canon), was the anti-hero of the video game The Force Unleashed and its sequel. He stood out because he was Darth Vader’s secret apprentice and was filled with awe-inspiring strength in the Force and a power that unleashed itself in big and very unfocused ways. Rendered after and voiced by Sam Witwer (who is no stranger to Star Wars and is the voice of Darth Maul in The Clone Wars and Rebels), it would be a great nod-and-wink to the EU if they incorporated Marek as a rogue Force user in one of the many stand-alone films Disney is producing. Heck, you already have an actor who is familiar with the character.
4. Prince Xizor
Another element from Shadows of the Empire, Xizor was an exotic antagonist that combined an underhanded ruthlessness with a hint of sensuality—yeah, I know that’s weird to say. He was almost like he was James Bond and a Bond villain rolled into one. As a high ranking member of the criminal organization The Black Sun, Xizor would be a great choice to see return to the Star Wars canon. Imagine if you will a Star War spin-off film that centered entirely on the seedier elements of the universe and had their version of The Mob at the forefront. It’d be like Goodfellas but in a galaxy far, far away.
3. Admiral Daala
If there’s a downside to Admiral Natasi Daala it’s that she forces us to imagine Moff Tarkin being intimate with her because of the fact that she was his protégé and later his lover. Aside from this, Daala had quite the character arc in the EU. She began as a ruthless Imperial and one of the first women to rise to the rank of Admiral. She would be a guiding force in attempting to forge the Imperial Remnants into a cohesive unit and, eventually, she even went on to become the Chief of State to the Galactic Alliance. Daala was an endlessly fascinating character with range and depth. She would fit absolutely perfectly with The First Order and it would be incredible to see her worked into Supreme Leader Snoke’s faction.
2. A’Sharad Hett
With the exception of the Number One on this list, A’Sharad Hett might be one of my favorite characters ever created in the EU. His father was a Jedi Knight in the Old Republic who lived among Tusken Raiders on Tatooine. As a child he lived among the Sand People and was trained in the ways of the Force by his father. Eventually he would go on to become a member of the Order and become a bounty hunter after the Purge. During this time, he fell to the dark side and was trained as a Sith lord and, subsequently, was kidnapped and tortured by the Yuuzhan Vong. He would spend generations in stasis before revealing himself and take over the galaxy with his new One Sith. While his augmentations with Yuuzhan Vong technology off the table until Disney decides to use this barbaric race, Hett still holds potential as a Jedi who lives among the Sand People and could one day become a bounty hunter and Sith lord. I imagine they could easily introduce him in Rebels and we can watch his history unfold post-Order 66 in comics and books.
1. Mara Jade
We all knew this was coming. Mara Jade quickly became one of the most iconic characters in the EU after she was introduced by Timothy Zahn. She began life as The Emperor’s Hand and quickly became an adversary of Luke Skywalker’s as she sought revenge for the death of Palpatine. She would go on to have adventures here and there but would eventually become the wife of Skywalker—one of the demands of Zahn when he created her and one of the best kept secrets within the Star Wars enterprise. He stated that Luke could have his romances but Mara would be the one to be his wife (if this was to happen today, that secret never would have made it a day). With Disney wanting to focus on strong female characters for their stories, Mara would be a perfect fit for the new canon. Where can she go? Literally anywhere! Put her in Rebels, bring her in for the new trilogy time frame or, better yet, bring her in as Luke’s wife again—one he loses to Kylo Ren. It would make his loss before The Force Awakens even deeper and more emotional.
The Expanded Universe went on for a long time and created thousands of interesting characters and just as many WTF ones. I’m sure you readers have your own that you’d love to see make the leap from forgotten fable to concrete canonization. Let us know who you’d like to see become official in the Disney comprehensive Star Wars canon in the comments.
Rev. Ron is a gigantic Star Wars geek with several SW tattoos on his body—one of which is now no longer considered canon. Aside from waxing poetically about the ways of the Force, he’s also a wannabe movie critic and you can check out him reviews on his blog at RevRonMovies.BlogSpot.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@RevRonster) where he openly admits that he pretends to use the Force to open automatic doors. Thanks!