There’s a new buzzword in Hollywood: “Shared Universe.” Marvel and DC fans think their franchise of choice created the term, but in reality, Star Wars is the granddaddy of all shared universes. George Lucas loyalists see Star Wars as a kind of hipster blockbuster movie. Why? Because it shared universes before sharing was cool.

With Daredevil and Jessica Jones on Netflix, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and, soon, The Inhumans on ABC, Marvel has quickly become the media’s poster child for all things interconnected. Though it hasn’t gotten as much coverage, Star Wars is taking things a step further.

Star Wars is like a religion. Just like actual councils met to decide which books should be published in Old and New Testaments of the Bible, Lucasfilm Story Group officially made a decree: that all of the old (pre-2014) Star Wars “Expanded Universe” material would be given the non-canonical status of Star Wars Legends. From then on, only the six feature films and The Clone Wars would be considered canon.

In the meantime, however, Disney Lucasfilm has been producing novels, comic books, cartoons and video games, all set within the new shared universe, at a pretty fast clip, and it’s a lot to keep track of, so that’s why we’re bringing you the 32 Major Canonical Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies. Read this and you’ll be all caught up on the Star Wars universe in time for Rogue One.

32. Bail Organa is the Puppet Master

senate 32 Major Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies

The arrival of Bail Organa is long overdue. Though his story has never received much attention, Organa’s influence was felt throughout A New Hope, and with Rogue One, we’ll finally meet the mastermind behind the Rebel Alliance. Though he will hold a lower rank in Gareth Edwards’ upcoming movie (which takes place prior to the peak of his powers), Organa remains the driving force behind summoning Obi-Wan back to the frontlines. Though Leia physically completed the task, Bail was the puppet master behind delivering the Death Star blueprints to the Jedi master.

He’s merely a senator in the narrative of Ahsoka, but Bail Organa still displays a great deal of political clout. While defending the Skywalker clan and tracking down remaining Jedi, Bail covertly assembles the rebellion. Thanks to his secrecy and savvy, Organa keeps his strategies invisible to the eyes of others, while single-handedly mounting the resistance against the increasingly unrestrained Empire.

31. The Siege of Mandalore & the Darth Maul Duel

Darth Maul Flames 32 Major Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies

Of all the major moments left off the big screen, The Siege of Mandalore reigns supreme. Though it has been briefly mentioned in many stories, E.K. Johnston’s novel, Ahsoka, shed more light on the significance of the siege. After Darth Maul and his band of criminals (known as the Shadow Collective) occupied Mandalore, the Republic declared war on the oppressors and sent Obi-Wan, Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker and the 501st clone battalion to lay the hammer down on Maul’s tyranny.

Anakin and Obi-Wan never made it to the frontlines, however, as they were forced to rescue Chancellor Palpatine from General Grievous. Though these events played out towards the start of Revenge of the Sith, we never got to see Ahsoka lead the charge against Darth Maul. While she and the 501st helped liberate Mandalore, the battle climaxed with a duel between Maul and Ahsoka that saw the Sith Lord narrowly escape thanks to the Padawan’s mercy.

 

 

30. Red Lightsabers Explained

star wars force awakens kylo ren2 32 Major Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies

Red has always been a power color. For dark siders and their lightsabers, however, it’s more than a statement of allegiance. While the Jedi have a full cache of colors at their disposal, a Sith has no say in the matter. As revealed in Ahsoka, the crimson colors of Sith lightsabers have a violent genesis.

Kyber crystals have a peculiar sentience that allows them to be revealed to a select few. With a sort of spiritual reverence, they expose themselves solely to those who have been chosen, like fledgling Jedi students at the start of their training. Kyber crystals keep their distance from those on the dark side, however, forcing the jealous Sith to resort to extreme measures. Indeed, malevolent Force users can only use kyber crystals stripped from the corpses of their vanquished enemies. No matter the color of the crystal they steal, it will swiftly “bleed” into red as the Sith harness its power.

29. Why Leia Chose Politics Over Being a Jedi

Princess Leia on the Star Wars Bloodline Cover 32 Major Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies

Though she has been shown to acutely feel the Force, Leia ultimately chose a very different path than her biological father, brother and son. While some have speculated that Leia feared the temptations of the Force (having witnessed its overwhelming power over her immediate family), Leia instead directed her talents to the political sphere rather than the world of the Jedi. By following in the diplomatic footsteps of her adoptive father, the highly influential Bail Ogana, Leia found her calling. Indeed, she left the trials and tribulations of Jedi life to her more willing brother, becoming the fearsome General Leia Organa seen in The Force Awakens.

As she herself reflected, “I was raised on politics, but it never harmed the family.” This statement stands in stark contrast to the dark side of the Force which tore her family apart once, and reared its ugly head again with the betrayal of Ben.

28. The Enslavement of the Geonosians

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When construction commenced on the first Death Star, it took place directly above the planet Geonosis. Despite the decades required to build the Empire’s most prized weapon, the Death Star remained a well-kept secret, except to the Geonosians.

After Poggle the Lesser was taken captive by the Republic, he crafted a cunning insurance policy by pledging his drones to the development of the Death Star. Backed by the Rebel Alliance, the Geonosians resisted the encroaching Empire until Darth Vader and his forces brought them down. The Rebels were decimated, and in the fallout, the Geonosians were forced to build the Death Star, embroiled in years of slave labor. As Grand Moff Tarkin himself revealed, “I have picked a likely candidate which will provide us with the raw materials and work force for the project. I suspect the Geonosians won’t see the benefit in this.” They didn’t, and a great many of them died in the process.

27. Anakin Skywalker had a Padawan

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Between the time of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker took on a Padawan named Ahsoka Tano. While initially reluctant to be responsible for her, Anakin formed a strong bond with Ahsoka, who was training to become a powerful Jedi. Before she could complete her trials and become a full fledged Knight, however, Ahsoka was framed for murder by a former friend. Due to political pressure on the Jedi from Chancellor Palpatine, she was expelled from the Jedi Order.  

This initiated Anakin’s mistrust in the Jedi Council. Ahsoka’s rejection contributed to sewing the seeds of distrust that eventually allowed Anakin to turn his back on the council altogether, side with Palpatine, and accept the mantle of Darth Vader.

You can find more on this in The Clone Wars animated series and Star Wars: Rebels animated series.

26. Darth Maul is Still Alive

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Star Wars fans were thrilled to see a new and exciting villain, Darth Maul, appear in The Phantom Menace. They weren’t so thrilled to watch his premature death at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi. As it turns out, Maul’s bisection and interminable fall into the reactor pit was simply a flesh wound.

Several years later, Darth Maul reemerged with shiny new legs, a powerful apprentice named Savage Opress, and a hunger for revenge on Obi-Wan Kenobi.  After subverting a group of Mandalorian mercenaries, however, he was captured by Darth Sidious and witnessed the death of Savage Opress. Maul managed to escape captivity and has remained quiet for all Star Wars stories since.

You can find more on this in The Clone Wars animated series and Son of Dathomir comics.

25. The Jedi and the Sith Aren’t the Only Force Users in the Galaxy

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Star Wars is famous for its clearly defined struggle of good versus evil. The first Episode VII trailer mentioned “the dark side” and “the light” (as embodied by the Sith and the Jedi, respectively), but there are also some gray areas. Several other force users have been introduced, such as the Nightsisters of Dathomir, who practice a sort of dark side witchcraft using the Force, or the mysterious force wielders encountered by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker on the planet Mortis.

This proves that the Force is merely an energy source, and that the Jedi and Sith are more akin to strict religious groups than anything else. This leaves the door open for alternate ideologies among Force users, like the Knights of Ren.

You can find more on this in The Clone Wars animated series.

24. The Jedi Temple Was Built on top of a Sith Shrine

jedi temple 32 Major Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies

Unbeknownst to the Jedi, the Temple on Coruscant was built on the foundations of an old Sith Shrine. It has also been revealed that ancient Sith artifacts actually have the ability to possess people that come into contact with them, turning them into a sort of undead slave.

That’s not particularly healthy, nor is it advisable to be in close proximity to the nexus of the Jedi Council. Over the course of several thousand years, the shrine remained active, seeping dark side energy into the temple and clouding the vision of the Jedi Council. This prevented them from seeing Palpatine’s true identity or recognizing the extent of his ruthless plans.

After the defeat of the Jedi, Emperor Sheev Palpatine turned the Jedi temple into his own personal palace and made the former Jedi Council room his own personal chambers. After finishing the interior decoration on the temple, Sheev excavated the long forgotten Sith Shrine.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novel Tarkin.

23. The Emperor Created Dark Side Warriors to Hunt Jedi

dark side warriors 32 Major Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies

Although Darth Vader was the Emperor’s personal enforcer, Palpatine trained additional dark side warriors to serve as Jedi hunters in the years following The Clone Wars. It has been suggested that long before Anakin fell to the Sith, the Emperor started kidnapping force-sensitive younglings and training them to become dark side Jedi hunters. The true origin of these hunters, formally called the Inquisitors, has yet to be fully revealed.

Some Inquisitors were inspired by early discarded concept art for Kylo Ren, so it’s possible the group will have ties to the Knights of Ren in The Force Awakens.

You can find more on this in The Clone Wars animated series and Star Wars: Rebels animated series.

22. Obi-Wan and Yoda Were Not the Only Jedi to Survive Order 66

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Although Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda are the only Jedi present in the Star Wars original trilogy, several other Jedi survived the mass Jedi execution at the hands of the Clone Troopers.  Until the early days of the Rebel Alliance, Padawan Caleb Dume managed to escape and live in hiding for years under the name Kanan Jarrus. When the resistance began, he slowly returned to his Jedi roots and adopted Ezra Bridger as his Padawan.

Although Ahsoka Tano left the Jedi order, she remained a light side force user that served a significant role in the founding of the Rebel Alliance. To this day, she carries two white lightsabers to symbolize her lack of Jedi affiliation.

Although Kanan, Ahsoka and Ezra are the only ones we currently know of, there may be more Jedi in the massive galaxy of Star Wars.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars: Rebels animated series, the novel A New Dawn, and the Kanan comics.

21. Exotic Lightsaber Styles Are Fairly Common After the Fall of the Jedi

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Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber may be all the rage, but it’s considerably tame compared to other alternative lightsabers. The Jedi and Sith were very well trained with their lightsabers, so it wasn’t common for them to incorporate any frills. Still, that didn’t stop some people from thinking outside the box.

The Inquisitors, for example, all carry double bladed lightsabers with a full circle crossguard. This allows the lightsaber to spin in a helicopter-like motion. This might seem unnecessary and dangerous, considering the acrobatics performed during lightsaber fights in the prequels, but the Inquisitors need all the help they can get. They’re not full-powered force users, so they need a little assistance from their weapons to help them stay competitive.

Ezra Bridger also has a unique lightsaber style. He built a stun blaster into the hilt to give him extra firepower and versatility. As the half-baked Padawan of a Jedi dropout, he charts his own path as he completes his Jedi training on the run.

It would be ideal to use a standard saber, but in the world of Star Wars, circumstances rarely allow for the ideal.

You can find more on this in Star Wars: Rebels animated series.

20. The Death Star’s Superlaser Design Uses the Same Technology as a Lightsaber

death star 32 Major Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies

The Death Star is basically a massive lightsaber. On a much larger scale, the Imperial superweapon is dependant on the same kyber crystals used in the construction of a lightsaber. Indeed, the process of forging a lightsaber remains known only to the initiated Jedi and Sith, implying the Death Star is actually a Sith inspired weapon.

This proves there was more happening behind the Empire’s closed doors than simple Research & Design. If the empire was developing ways to transform a Sith weapon into a planet-destroying superweapon, who’s to say they stopped there? It’s highly probable that additional dark side research was being conducted. We already know Starkiller Base is a new superweapon in The Force Awakens, but we’ll have to wait and see what else the dark side imperial research discovered.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novels Tarkin and Lost Stars.

19. The Rebel Alliance Was Far Larger Than Seen On Screen

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The original Star Wars trilogy depicted the Rebel Alliance in a massive David vs. Goliath fight against the Empire. The rebel fighters, depicted almost as a ragtag group of mercenaries, seemed to be overwhelmed by their enemy. While the movies focused on the more intimate stories of the heroes in the Rebel Alliance, there were countless heroes, bases, soldiers, and ships whose stories were simply not a part of the scope of the original trilogy.

While the movies hinted at the scope of the Rebel Alliance, the actual size of the battles were far larger than shown on screen. The Battle of Hoth, for example, had several more Imperial AT-AT walkers and an entire squadron of Snowspeeders (Corona Squadron) that were left offscreen.

Come December 2016, we’ll hopefully see an example of the actual scope of the Rebel Alliance. Rogue One is expected to be a full blown war movie set before A New Hope.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novels Battlefront: Twilight Company, Lost Stars, and Moving Target.

18. Luke is a Rebel Poster Child, but Not Widely Accepted as a Jedi

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When the most recent The Force Awakens trailer premiered, people wondered how the Jedi could be so easily forgotten. After all, Luke Skywalker was single-handedly dropping AT-ATs with a lightsaber and explosive charge. He should be a living legend, a household name.

Despite his talent and popularity, however, Luke’s Jedi skills weren’t widely recognized. Most of his training occurred in private and his most impressive feats happened away from the eyes of Rebel troops. That left only a handful of eye-witness accounts that amounted to hearsay, and everyone knows how war stories are exaggerated after the fog of war.

The public opinion on Luke is split. While some people believe he is a proper Jedi, the larger population of onlookers (those not in his immediate circle of comrades) simply scoff at his stories of heroism and blame it on luck.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novels Battlefront: Twilight Company, and Lost Stars.

17. Han Solo Has a Wife

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Han may be a “stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder,” but he seems to have a way with the ladies. Shortly after the Battle of Yavin and destruction of the first Death Star, we find him on a mission with Princess Leia when they are attacked and grounded by a bounty hunter. After chasing them down, the bounty hunter claims to be Sana Solo: Han’s wife!

The Millennium Falcon pilot denies the charges in full, explaining to Leia that the wedding was fake and that he didn’t really marry Sana. It was only a ruse as a part of pulling a con on a gangster. Who knows how marriage annulments, alimony and prenups work under the Galactic Empire. Will the New Republic honor any marriages conducted under the authority of the Empire? Needless to say, Han has some personal issues to sort out if he plans on getting sweet with the princess.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars: Skywalker Strikes comics.

16. Darth Vader’s Dark Side Powers Were Barely a Rumor to Imperials, and a Boogeyman Story to the Rebels

Darth Vader Star Wars 8 Hayden Christensen 32 Major Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies

Like father like son. As with Luke, not everyone in the galaxy is quick to accept stories of a masked-man wielding magical powers. Instead, most saw Darth Vader as a talented and terrifying leader amongst Imperials. Sure, he regularly force-choked people in front of an audience, but that’s not the type of gossip you want to spread as an Imperial officer.

Vader also preferred the “take no [Rebel] prisoners” approach. So, although there may have been horror stories of him as a Sith Lord, or a Force-wielding menace, his presence was widely denigrated as lore by those who never witnessed his power.

You can find more on this in Star Wars novels Lords of the Sith, Tarkin, and Battlefront: Twilight Company.

15. The Emperor Was Secretly Setting up Stations Outside Charted Space

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Sheev Palpatine’s plan to rise from Senator to Chancellor to Emperor is clearly chronicled throughout the Star Wars Prequels, but his political aspirations didn’t stop there. As it turns out, Palpatine was searching for the source from which his dark side power emanated. Conducting his search outside of the known galaxy, Sheev spent years sending teams to establish labs and communications stations in uncharted space.

After the Battle of Endor, an Imperial council was held to determine the course of the Empire. Yupe Tashu, Sheev’s former advisor, urged the other attendees to follow the Empire’s course: “Retreat from the galaxy. Go out beyond the veil of stars. We must seek the source of the Dark Side like a man looking for a wellspring of water.” These events may have laid the groundwork for the First Order in The Force Awakens.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novels Aftermath and Lost Stars.

14. Sheev Wanted to Replace Vader After the Death Star’s Destruction

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Although Palpatine spent years grooming Anakin, he didn’t put all his eggs in one basket. In a secret research base near a nebula in the outer rim territories, Palpatine’s personal mad scientist, Doctor Cylo, performed crazy experiments to create human-alien cyborg hybrid warriors that could technologically mimic force abilities without actually tapping into it.

After Anakin’s defeat by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Palpatine considered activating Cylo’s creations as his personal enforcers, but instead provided Anakin with his new cybernetic body. When Vader failed to prevent the destruction of the Death Star, and proved unable to defeat the Rebels at an Imperial weapons factory on Cymoon 1, Vader faced off against Doctor Cylo’s “abominations.” With the force at his disposal, Vader demonstrated his superior strength to the hybrid warriors’ weak imitations.

Vader had already killed Doctor Cylo (who was going by Cylo IV), only for Cylo V to emerge via the resurrection system he had developed for such an occasion. It remains to be seen if anyone else in the Star Wars universe has access to this sort of technology.

You can find more on this in the Darth Vader comics.

13. Luke Gets a Second Lightsaber Between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back

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Not long after the destruction of the first Death Star, Luke Skywalker was sent on a scouting mission to locate potential locations for a new Rebel base. During this mission, he met Taneetch Soonta, the niece of a Rodian Jedi Knight, Huulik, who was killed during the events of Order 66.

Although very few people remember the Jedi (and nobody is allowed to talk about them, per Imperial propaganda), Taneetch discovers that Luke is training to be a Jedi and gifts him her Uncle’s old amethyst-bladed lightsaber. Luke dissembles it to learn about lightsaber construction, only to find that the process requires precise control of The Force to reassemble, something he notoriously lacks.

The blade color and construction of the hilt make it clear that these parts weren’t used in the construction of Luke’s green-bladed lightsaber. His second saber was constructed after losing Anakin’s former blade (which makes an appearance in The Force Awakens) when Vader chops his hand off during their duel on Cloud City. The amethyst saber (or at least its components) may have a role to play in Luke’s quest to become a Jedi and rebuild the Jedi Order.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novel Heir to the Jedi.

12. Luke Finds an Old Jedi temple on the Planet Davaron

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During the Clone Wars, the Jedi utilized the Temple of Eadit on the planet Devaron as a military outpost. After the fall of the Jedi, it was bombed out and the Empire prohibited anyone from accessing the area.

While on a routine mission for the Rebel Alliance and shortly after destroying the Death Star, Luke’s Y-Wing is grounded on Devaron. Here, he is guided to the Temple of Eadit, where he finds three training remotes of the same type Obi-Wan Kenobi used when aboard the Millennium Falcon. Following instructions from the ghost of Obi-Wan, Luke learns more about how to connect with the force and increases his proficiency with the lightsaber, eventually completing fast-paced exercises with all 3 remotes simultaneously. This explains how he’s able to nearly stand his own (mostly) against Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back after a mere five minutes of lightsaber training in A New Hope.

While on Devaron, Luke promises a local that he will one day rebuild the Temple of Eadit. It has been stated that Luke kept his promise, possibly filling in some of Luke’s mysterious story between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novel Weapon of a Jedi novel and The Clone Wars animated show

11. Clone Trooper Production Ceased After The Clone Wars, but Some Remained in Service for Many Years.

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Stormtrooper and Clone Trooper armor may be similar, but most Stormtroopers are not clones (especially by the time of The Battle of Yavin). To populate its army, the Empire eventually starting conscripting and training people from far and wide. Not only did this strategy prove more affordable than cloning, conscription worked as a political play to keep an oppressed people invested in their government.

By the time of the Original Trilogy, the stormtroopers ranks consist mostly of new conscripts, although some veterans are still made up of aging clones. In fact, a handful of clones, including Captain Rex (who served with Anakin and Ahsoka during The Clone Wars) actually removed the inhibitor chips in their heads that caused them to turn against the Jedi during Order 66 and joined the early efforts of the Rebel Alliance.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novels Lords of the Sith, Smuggler’s Run, Battlefront: Twilight Company, and Star Wars: Rebels animated series

10. Vader knew about Luke before The Empire Strikes Back

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The duel on Cloud City was not the first time Luke and Vader crossed sabers. It was the second.  Their dueling started on Cymoon 1 shortly after Luke destroyed the first Death Star. The fight was short lived and Luke escaped (with all appendages attached), but Vader recognized something: his old lightsaber. Luke had accused him of killing his father, making Vader curious. Who was this young boy with so much force potential, trained by his old master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and carrying Anakin Skywalker’s old weapon?

Enter Boba Fett, Vader’s gun for hire. Fett retraces Luke’s path on Tatooine and discovers his full name: Skywalker. Once this is revealed to Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith realizes he was deceived by Sheev and his son had not perished with Padme. This is the event that kicks off Vader’s hunt for Luke and his plan to make him a grand offer: “join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.”

You can find more on this in the Darth Vader comics.

9. Luke Discovers Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Journal on Tatooine

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After Obi-Wan Kenobi’s death at Vader’s hand in A New Hope, Luke intends to continue his barely started Jedi training, though he doesn’t even know where to start. His search for answers leads him back to the desert hut of old Ben Kenobi, where he discovers a box inscribed “For Luke.” One of the contents is an old journal detailing Obi-Wan’s time on Tatooine watching over Luke from a distance.

It remains to be seen what else the journal contains, but with 18 years of time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, a lot can happen.  There are even rumors of an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie with Ewan McGregor, so we may see the events of this journal show up on the big screen!

You can find more on this in the Star Wars: Ben Kenobi one-off comic.

8. Luke Discovers a Hoard of Jedi artifacts on Nar Shaddaa

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Upon discovering that Obi-Wan’s old journal was not an explicit “how to become a Jedi” handbook, Luke takes matters into his own hands and seeks answers on his own. He decides to go to Coruscant and visit the Jedi Temple (which he doesn’t know is the Emperor’s personal palace). He goes to Nar Shadda to find a smuggler shady enough to smuggle him into the Imperial Capital, but only ends up getting captured by Grakkus The Hutt, who has a penchant for collecting old Jedi artifacts. Grakkus plans to feature Luke Skywalker in a gladiatorial showdown, proudly dubbed “The fall of the final Jedi.”

This plot line is currently still playing out in the comics, but Grakkus The Hutt’s treasure trove of old Jedi holocrons, lightsabers, and other artifacts is ripe territory as Luke tries to learn the ways of the Force and rebuild the Jedi Order.

You can find more on this in the Smuggler’s Moon comics.

7. The Rebel Alliance is Not Politically United

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The saying may go “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” but does that mean that friends become adversaries when they no longer share a common opponent? The original trilogy focuses on a small group of rebels with a common cause: to defeat the Empire. But what happens when the Empire has been defeated? Not everyone has the same plans for a post-Empire galaxy. Think post-World War II Germany and the restructuring of the world order that followed.

The Empire enslaved many planets, some more harshly than others, so many people are out for revenge. There are calls for reparations, or even reciprocating similar punishment onto former Imperial societies. Others, such as Mon Mothma (the Chancellor of the New Republic after the destruction of the second Death Star), want to decrease the scope of the military and institute a galaxy wide democracy as in the days of the Old Republic.

Then there’s the smugglers and the mercenaries who work with the Alliance solely because they oppose the Empire. These individuals care little for an Alliance victory because they know they’ll be equally repressed under the New Republic as they were beneath the Empire. The likes of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian are embraced as freedom fighters during the war, but they’ll quickly become criminals after an Alliance victory if they don’t abide by the new rules.

The destruction of the second Death Star and the liberation of the galaxy is the least of the Rebel Alliance’s concerns. They’re focused primarily on the transition to a new, galaxy-wide government.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novels Moving Target, Aftermath, and Battlefront: Twilight Company.

6. The Empire is Not Comprised Exclusively of Villains

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Although there is no shortage of evildoers in the Empire, people don’t necessarily join the Empire with the intent to do ill and inflict pain. Even Luke Skywalker once voiced his eagerness to attend the Imperial Academy. It’s important to note that the Empire ruled the entire galaxy. Sure, the Empire may do loads of detestable things, but it also managed trade routes, trained commercial pilots, built bridges and roads, and facilitated just about any other governmental service.

As a result, most of the people that were drawn to the academies did so out of a desire to do good. To be fair, the Rebel Alliance would appear to be little more than a terrorist organization to most citizens of the Empire, especially when viewed through Imperial propaganda. The thousands of casualties aboard the first Death Star (many of whom were likely non-military construction workers, pilots, merchants and more) all had family and friends who would have a hard time accepting the Rebel Alliance’s modus operandi.

Even the atrocities committed by the Empire would be viewed as necessary by many loyalists. The complete destruction of Alderaan was painted as part of the Empire’s effort to quell the Rebel Alliance. The loss of life would be minimal compared to the deaths that would result from an all-out war. Indeed, the cost of maintaining order and preventing the galaxy from spinning into chaos can easily be justified for many as the lesser of two evils.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novels Lost Stars and Aftermath.

5. Luke Recovers Force Sensitive Trees From One of Palpatine’s Research Stations

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Very little is known about the fate of Luke Skywalker after the destruction of the second Death Star and the deaths of the Emperor and Darth Vader. One of his missions immediately following The Battle of Endor has been chronicled in detail, however.  Recruiting the aid of Rebel pilot Shara Bey (the mother of Poe Dameron), Luke goes to the planet Vetine where he recovers two trees that the Emperor had under observation.

These are the remnants of the tree that once grew at the center of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.  Luke gives one to Shara Bey and her husband, Kes Dameron, which they plant on Yavin IV, the site of their retirement from the Alliance Military service. It can only be assumed that Luke returns to the Temple of Eadit (as promised) where he plants the second tree.

Force sensitive trees have not had a part in current Star Wars canon, but Luke (and Sheev) clearly found them to be very important. The fact that one was left with the family of one of the main characters of The Force Awakens suggests they may play a significant role in future events.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars: Shattered Empire comic miniseries.

4. Boba Fett’s Armor Survived The Sarlacc Pit.  Did he Survive, Too?

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Although Boba Fett appeared to meet his demise due to a jetpack misfire and a fall into the Sarlacc Pit, the notorious Bounty Hunter may well still be alive and kicking. His armor, showing signs of acid erosion, was recovered and pawned by a band of Jawas. Does this mean Fett is out in the ether, or was his body digested and his armor discarded by the pit as as a sign of poor digestion? Either answer is hard to prove, but it does create a sort of “Schroedinger’s Fett” situation, in which we have no means of knowing whether or not he lives until he next appears on screen (or page).

With rumors of a Boba Fett anthology film in the works, this could be a peek into Lucasfilm’s plan for the character in future installments.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novel Aftermath.

3. There’s a Black Market for Sith Artifacts

25 32 Major Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies

Just as Grakkus The Hutt collects Jedi artifacts, there are other factions that are seeking out Sith artifacts. Although much knowledge of the Jedi and the Sith has been suppressed by The Empire, there are still many shadowy groups and cults that seek knowledge and artifacts from the legendary mystic Jedi and Sith.

Sheev had an extensive collection of Sith artifacts, some of which even retained the power to possess beings that look upon it. Now that Palpatine is dead, his collection could be in possession of any number of groups.

One such group, the Acolytes of the Beyond, seek out the red-bladed lightsaber of Darth Vader. It’s doubtful that the one they purchase is authentic, considering Darth Vader’s lightsaber was on the second Death Star when it exploded, though it is an authentic red saber (which we’ve only seen in the hands of Sith and Inquisitors so far).

The Acolytes state that their mission is to reunite the lightsaber with its owner in death, which definitely sounds like something the new villain, Kylo Ren, would say. After all, he is in possession of Vader’s old helmet.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novel Aftermath and the Star Wars: Lando comic miniseries.

2. Han and Chewie Plan to Liberate The Wookie Homeworld, Kashyyk

wookies 32 Major Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies

One of the last great battles of The Clone Wars took place on Kashyyk, where Chewbacca was present to get Yoda off-planet after his Clone Troopers turned on him during Order 66.  Unfortunately, the entire Wookie race is enslaved shortly thereafter. Chewbacca is, in fact, one of only a handful of liberated wookies in the entire Galaxy.

During an undercover mission after the Battle of Endor, Han and Chewbacca receive a transmission from an old contact informing them that there will be an opportunity to overthrow the Empire’s lingering hold on Kashyyk, but that opportunity remained open for a short time.

After contacting old smuggler friends and calling in as many favors as they can, Han and Chewie made plans to liberate Chewie’s people from the Empire’s stranglehold. The results of this effort have not yet been specified, but its outcome could be very influential.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novel Aftermath.

1. Large Imperial Factions Are Still at Play After The Battle of Endor

271 32 Major Star Wars Events Not Shown in the Movies

The Emperor and Darth Vader may be dead and the Death Star destroyed (along with a large chunk of the Imperial fleet), but the Empire retains a presence in countless systems. Many Star Destroyers escaped the heat of battle and were able to retreat to safety.

The defeat at Endor left a gaping hole at the top of Imperial leadership, so many fleet commanders and system governors took this as an opportunity to grab power for themselves. Even a few Sheev impersonators tried to claim power for themselves, claiming the Emperor’s death had been grossly exaggerated.

The Empire remains far from broken. There is a mysterious Fleet Admiral in command of the Super Star Destroyer, the Ravager (the last remaining Super Star Destroyer), that presents the potential to draw many imperial factions back under his command. The Stormtroopers and Star Destroyers seen in The Force Awakens are a part of The First Order, which appears to be an evolution (or spin-off) of the Empire, giving a glimpse as to how great the former Empire’s threat has become.

You can find more on this in the Star Wars novels Lost Stars, Aftermath, and the Star Wars: Shattered Empire comic miniseries.

There you have it! Did we miss anything? Sound off in the comments below!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released in theaters on December 18, 2015.

Additional research for this article was done by Stephen Colbert (no, not that Stephen Colbert).

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