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5 Ways Star Wars Legends Influenced The Current Canon

by Culture Slate 5 months ago in star wars

Legends Never Die

There is always a bit of truth in Legends.

The old Expanded Universe was one of the tentpoles of the Star Wars franchise for decades. While not considered part of his own personal universe, George Lucas did allow for various authors and storytellers to tell whatever story they wanted more or less in his sandbox. As it grew over the years, it created a dedicated following of fans, expanding on the mythology and lore of Star Wars. While it is mostly discontinued (a current exception being The Old Republic MMORPG), it continues to have great influence even in today’s current canon. Here are five examples of such influence.

Han Solo Imperial Career

One thing that Legends was known for was fleshing out the backstory of a lot of characters. Han Solo was one of them. From various books to comics, his backstory was fleshed out up to the time of A New Hope. One thing Legends stories made note of was that Han Solo was once a member of the Galactic Empire as a pilot in his younger years. For a while, he did missions in the name of the Empire and even befriended some of the officers and stormtroopers. That all changed when he met a Wookiee named Chewbacca and freed him from Imperial slavery and for a while that was his backstory until the canon rebooted

When Solo came out, however, many wondered just how much influence a lot of his Legends backstory would have on the movie and in some ways quite a bit. They continued with the idea that Han was a member of the Imperial military and went to the academy, although his tenure may not have been as long as it was in Legends. Regardless of the time, the fact that Han once served the Empire remains, even if it was more of a job than actual loyalty to the regime

Dark Side Solo Child

The tragedy of Darth Caedus is a Star Wars legend.

Darth Caedus aka Jacen Solo was the first attempt of Star Wars storytelling involving a child of Han and Leia falling to the dark side and becoming a Sith Lord. Happening in the Legacy of the Force series of Legends books, it was a controversial choice, but one that fans seemed to at least be taken to, even to the point were they had a fan poll to give Jacen Solo his Darth name.

The idea of a Solo Child falling to the dark side was powerful enough to perhaps be a major influence on Ben Solo and the creation of Kylo Ren in the sequel trilogy. Whether or not J.J. Abrams and Kasdan knew about Legends is hard to say, but it shows just how powerful an idea can be, and an evil Solo child is a powerful one.

Palpatine's Return

The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural. So much so that both in Legends and Canon, the dark side was able to allow Emperor Palpatine to return from the dead after the Battle of the Endor. The first time, it was in Dark Horse's first story with the license, Dark Empire, where the Emperor returns a few years after the battle of Endor in a clone body to fight Luke, Han, and Leia once again, and reconquer the galaxy in the name of the dark side. While not as popular as other EU stories at the time, the idea of the Emperor's return had staying power.

Many years later, the final installment of the sequel trilogy gave into that idea, showing the return of the Emperor in a clone body in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. This time, his return happened thirty years later, and he had plans to take on the next generation of heroes with Rey, Finn, Poe, and dark sider Kylo Ren. Again, it is hard to say whether or not Abrams and Terrio knew about this Expanded Universe lore, but the idea of the Emperor’s return is a powerful one regardless of what one knows of wider Star Wars.

Boba Fett Alive

Boba Fett surviving the sarlacc pit has always been something fans easily believe. Ever since he first died in Return of the Jedi, many fans have refused to believe that the famed bounty hunter died so easily. So in many comics, first in Marvel but most prominently Dark Horse's Dark Empire, Boba Fett returned and said he survived the sarlacc pit through various means, and thus would return a few more times in post-Episode VI material. This would happen again in The Mandalorian season 2, which revealed that Boba Fett in canon had also survived his encounter with the great sarlacc and would now get his own spin-off in the form of The Book of Boba Fett.

Thrawn

This doesn't need that much explaining, simply Grand Admiral Thrawn, first appearing in Timothy Zahn’s 1991 classic Heir to the Empire. He returned in canon via Star Wars Rebels as a major antagonist for the Ghost crew and might soon make his live-action debut in the Ashoka series.

While the Expanded Universe is mostly discontinued, its legacy has remained to this day, making the old saying true that there is always a little truth in legends.

Written By Joel Davis

Source(s): Wookieepedia

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