Star Wars: 8 Things From The Expanded Universe That Are Now Canon

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In 2014, when Lucasfilm announced that lore from the Star Wars Expanded Universe was no longer canon, fans reacted one of two ways: Either they accepted it and moved on, or they went into a Sith-like rage because they were just told that over 30 years of Star Wars history “doesn’t matter anymore.”

Alright, it might not have been that extreme, but nevertheless, those who passionately followed the countless novels, comics, video games, and other forms of media that made up the EU were understandably upset by this news. Imagine cooking dinner for your significant other, only for them to tell you they picked up a pizza on their way home from work. Sure, you can still eat one or the other (or even both if you want), but you’d be forgiven if you felt like you wasted your time, or that your significant other didn’t care about the effort you put into that meal.

Thankfully, in the case of Star Wars, material from the EU – now known as Legends – still serves as a well of inspiration for Lucasfilm. At any given point, characters, creatures, and concepts from the EU can have their canonical status restored by having them show up in the latest movie, mentioned in the latest comic, or even referenced in referenced in the latest Visual Dictionary – we’ve seen it happen before, and it’s sure to happen again.

That being said, here are 8 things from the Star Wars Expanded Universe that are now canon:

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  1. The New Republic

    Although it’s often simply referred to as “the Republic,” there are three distinct eras of the Star Wars Universe’s galactic government: the Old Republic, which existed thousands of years before the Clone Wars, the Galactic Republic, which spanned from approximately 1,000 years before The Phantom Menace to the formation of the Galactic Empire, and the New Republic, which was established after Return of the Jedi when the Empire was defeated. In the EU, the New Republic was protected by Luke Skywalker’s New Jedi Order, following in the footsteps of its predecessors, and although it was fragmented in 27 ABY, it was restored as the Galactic Federating of Free Alliances just one year later. This concept made the jump to canon with the sequel trilogy, largely resembling its EU counterpart by serving as the democratic government established in the wake of the Galactic Civil War. However, with the destruction of New Republic capital Hosnian Prime in The Force Awakens, it remains fragmented at this time.

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  2. Hammerhead Cruisers

    The Hammerhead-class cruiser, which rose to prominence in Knights of the Old Republic, was a ship used by the Republic Navy in such conflicts as the Old Sith Wars, the Mandalorian Wars, and the New Sith Wars. Long considered one of the most successful warships in the galaxy, the design was slightly reworked for canon, and the newly dubbed Hammerhead corvette eventually debuted in Star Wars Rebels. The ship also factored heavily into the climactic Battle of Scarif in Rogue One, in which Admiral Raddus ordered the Hammerhead corvette Lightmaker to ram into an Imperial Star Destroyer, causing it to crash into another Star Destroyer before eventually destroying the Shield Gate.

  3. Black Sun

    The fan-favorite EU novel Shadows of the Empire, which took place between Episodes V and VI, introduced an intriguing new character named Xizor – a Falleen Prince and the leader of a criminal organization known as Black Sun. In that story, Xizor sought to usurp Darth Vader as Emperor Palpatine’s apprentice and was considered by many to be just as influential as Palpatine. To date, Xizor has yet to be introduced into canon, but Black Sun was retroactively canonized along with Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This is because it was reintroduced into the Star Wars Universe in 2013, which was after Disney bought Lucasfilm but before the EU was declared non-canon. In any case, the whole Black Sun concept was re-established as existing during the prequel era instead of the original trilogy era, but it was still a crime syndicate, all the same.  

  4. The Inquisitorius

    First appearing in Young Jedi Knights: The Rise of the Shadow Academy, the Inquisitorius was a division of Dark Side users who worked under Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader to track down any Jedi who survived Order 66. The group made its canonical debut in Star Wars Rebels, fulfilling precisely the same purpose it did in the EU. Both iterations of the Inquisitorius were founded in 19 BBY, both were lead by a Grand Inquisitor, and both faded away rather unceremoniously.

  5. Sith Holocrons

    Much like the Jedi holocron, a Sith holocron is a device used to store important information that can typically only be accessed by using the Force. These items first premiered in Darkhorse’s Tales of the Jedi series, and their influence was so strong that they actually had the power to turn a Jedi to the Dark Side, as was the case with a Jedi Historian named Atris. In Star Wars Rebels, a Sith holocron was discovered at the site an old Sith temple on Malachor (more on that shortly), where it was retrieved by Ezra Bridger and Darth Maul during their short-lived alliance. However, the holocron slowly began corrupting Ezra, and after changing hands several times, it was eventually destroyed.

  6. Malachor

    The planet Malachor, once home to a Sith academy, was a significant location in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. It’s where the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars took place, as well as the site of a secret base during the Jedi Civil War. As mentioned in the previous entry, when the planet premieres in Star Wars Rebels, it’s home to an old Sith temple containing a Sith holocron, and it’s established that thousands of years before, it was the site of a deadly conflict known as the Great Scourge of Malachor. This massive battle between the Jedi and the Sith began when the Jedi discovered the temple was actually a superweapon (because the Sith love their superweapons), which prompted them to attack. However, the weapon was activated and once it went off, all that was left was the petrified remains of the combatants, which is the state the planet was in when Ezra arrived.

  7. Malla

    Malla, short for Mallatobuck, was the wife of Chewbacca and the mother of their son Lumpawaroo. She was first introduced in the much-maligned Star Wars Holiday Special, though pair rarely saw one another due to Chewie’s life debt to Han Solo. Nevertheless, as hated as the Holiday Special is, Malla was brought into canon when she was referenced in the novel A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy. After Chewie’s homeworld of Kashyyyk was freed from Imperial control, he reconnected with his wife, though she’s still rarely mentioned.

  8. Grand Admiral Thrawn

    Mitth’raw’nuruodo, otherwise known as Thrawn, is perhaps the most iconic Star Wars villain outside of Darth Vader, and a primary figure in the aptly titled Thrawn Trilogy. He served in the Imperial Navy and notably became the only alien to achieve the rank of Grand Admiral. Unfortunately, upon being reintroduced in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels, the character was a mere shadow of his former EU self, failing to live up to the hype created when fans first learned he would be canonized. However, the 2017 Thrawn novel received largely positive feedback, and the sequel, which will be released this summer, should help build upon those good vibes, even if his inclusion in Rebels was ultimately a letdown.